Watch climbing with the sea as a safety net

Want to climb without a rope? Find a route over deep water, and get ready to get wet!
By Evan David

To most people, climbing simply looks risky – and with the wrong gear in the wrong spot, it certainly is. Ropes, harnesses, carabiners, bolts and more are use to protect climbers from taking a big fall off the wall. 

But what if you wanted to ditch all that stuff and just climb free? Well, you could do like famous free-soloist Alex Honnold, who many simply consider insane.

Or you could ditch that idea, and go for a deep water solo, or, as the Spanish call it, Psicobloc – the practice of free climbing above water deep enough to fall in safely.

Watch the video above to check it out.

A climber tackles a rope-free deep water soloing route above water, which acts a safety net should they fall from their route
Just one hand needed... © De Heeckeren

It's one of climbing legend Chris Sharma's favorite ways to climb. "For me it's absolutely the coolest way to go climbing," says Sharma. "Climbing without ropes is such an amazing feeling, but if you fall you die, so you have to climb below your limit. The beauty of this is that you can have that same freedom, and try things that are at your limit. The freedom you have with no ropes and at your limit – it's such a pure form of climbing."

And you get to go swimming, too. So as far as we're concerned, it's a double-win.

Love this stuff? Check out the coolest moves in climbing.

Chris Sharma
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