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Dan Osman, one of the craziest rock climbers ever to have lived

June 29, 2009

History_4Dan Osman was a Japanese-American extreme athlete perhaps best known for the video (below), in which he speed-climbs a 400+ foot tall rock wall without a safety rope in four minutes. (I spent this past weekend in Lover’s Leap, the area in South Lake Tahoe that he did this in, and climbed the same rock.) Osman later became hooked on free-jumping, which is kinda like bungee jumping but for much greater heights in much more dangerous conditions on a normal rope that doesn’t slow you down at all. He even set a Guinness Record for it. Then, in 1998, he died doing when a rope failed him when free-jumping a cliff in Yosemite. A QA guy from Black Diamond, who made the rope, did an evaluation and concluded that it was a freak accident caused by the rope rubbing against itself &mdash something resulting from human error, a slight miscalculation in the angle at which he jumped.

There’s a great story about the life and death of Dan Osman in Outside Magazine.