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Extreme to Death – Dan Osman March 25, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Sports, Streamingvideo, Video.

Outside Online – Dan Osman | Outside Online
At 35 years old, Dan Osman had long since become a famous name in the world of extreme—many would say senseless—risk environment. For close to a decade his bizarre specialty was jumps like the one at Leaning Tower: single-rope plunges from bridges or cliffs that Osman would make for videos and commercials and, more often, just for the sheer hell of it. By the late eighties Osman had made a name for himself as an accomplished rock and ice climber and as a no-ropes free soloist. Check out this Speed Climbing Video that Rand Marks sent us as an example.

. But Osman’s interest in the sport was flagging. In 1989, working with a top rope to put up a 5.13 climb at Cave Rock that he called Phantom Lord, he fell 50 times trying to place a single bolt above a particularly torturous move. In the process he discovered that he was more exhilarated by the falling than the climbing.

“I’m not sure why,” Rogalski said. “Maybe when a couple of the hot French guys came along and did Slayer on sight—a 5.14 route that took Dan a year to put up. Sometime after that he sort of drifted away from serious climbing and got very into the jumping.  5.14 is a perceived degree of difficulty level that climbers use to catalog various climbing routes. Here is an 11 miniute video primarily on the jumping and addiction to the fear of death that Outside covers in this article on Dan.


1. shromp - March 27, 2007

Dan did miscalculate on his last jump. For some
reason he moved his jump site. In doing so he crossed the ropes (either
on the retrieval line or on the main jump line). When he jumped the first
knot above the one he was tied in with slid down a section of rope several
lengths up. The sheath was heavily melted and removed in several sections
on this upper part of the rope. The knot that slid down the rope was
melted in multiple locations and was melted nearly completely through,
deep inside the knot. This knot was not tight, yet others in the system
were (this is the one open question that is unresolved as far as I know).
It is my conclusion that Dan’s rope was cut by his own rope sliding
against itself. Use of a magnifying glass indicated to me that the cut
surface was due to sliding action in one direction.

“What I’ve felt, what I’ve known
Sick and tired, I stand alone
Could you be there?, ’cause I’m the one who waits for you
Or are you unforgiven too?” Metallica

2. Chicken - May 24, 2007

Is there a vid of his last fall? That would be cool to see.

3. Denis - May 25, 2007

No that would not be cool to see… because he was a great climber.and he will still live in other climbers memory.

4. Chicken - May 25, 2007

He knew that death was a real possibility in these stunts he pulled, that’s the appeal. That’s why he did it and why people loved wathcing him do it (and he obviously loved the attention it got him). I think he’d want there to be a video of his last fall. The final “look at me everyone!” Climbing is one thing, and indeed he was good at it. But this rope jumping nonsense is completely different. Climbing takes skill and good judgement. Rope jumping doesn’t. Let’s not praise him for something any idiot can do.

5. Denis - May 28, 2007

Yes i understand you,rope jumping is a sick sport.But his climbing whoas incredible,i respect him end all the climbers in the world for what they do.You must see ALIEN ROBERTS he is climbing buildings solo watch his videos end you will see a men who lows attention.do you climb???

6. Don - June 3, 2007

Assholes with a deathwish do not impress me, think about it for a minute. On those last few seconds do you really believe Dan was thinking “wow!!! I have made the big time…I get to thunder in and put an end to my life”….he was a putz with a deathwish and in the end got what he had been asking for all his life…a real shitty end splattered on a bunch of rocks…….what a dickhead!!!! He set a bad example for all young climbers and quite frankly……. good fucking riddance…….The true test is to spend all your life climbing and when the body won’t support it any longer…put your feet up in front of a fire and write a book and become a living legend with an endless supply of stories to tell your grandchildren…..NUFF SAID!!!

Andy - August 25, 2010

Seriously man, what is up with you??
A bad example? He climbed the way he did, not as a bad example but as a way of teaching the rest of us how live life to its fullest. I personally believe he enjoyed his death way more than if he ended up with a terrible disease and stuck in a bed. He taught people not to live by fear but overcoming whatever seems difficult for you. Perhaps he thought death was just one beautiful stage of life and wanted to enjoy it the best way he could. He loved climbing so much that finding out that his body wouldn’t keep up with all the work out would have been miserable for him. It’s sad how many more years he would’ve inspired us but then again who ever knows when we are going to die. People die from falling down a set of stairs…his death was much more monumental. And i would love to end up splattered on a bunch of rock instead of going through a crappy and painful death, stuck in my bed not being able to do anything about it.

FUNKY ENDURANCE - December 27, 2020


DONS BUTTPLUG!! - September 2, 2010

Don carry on with your shit 9/5, go unheard of the rest of your life then die, still unheard of,

carry on with your safe 5a bolted routes,then big yourself up to whoever the fuck wants to waste their time listening.

you think any1 that skydives or base jumps are just assholes with deathwishes,or is it you dont have the booboos to try this shit yourself,

your grandkids will be bored out their fucking wits listening to your dull safe crap stories,and you aint ever gona be no legend, now go have some warm milk and a cookie its 1030 and past your bed time


Emma Osman - March 12, 2011

Hello everyone, Dan Osman’s daughter, Emma here:) For Don(#6) and all the rest of those with negative hurtful words to say, please stop. As I have made it all the way to the very bottom of this long page and read every word said, I am deeply saddened to see that there are really that many people sitting on their computers taking the time and energy to hate on such an amazing individual! Don’t be cold and bitter, open your heart and mind to the world and you may live a much happier life.
My father is literally a legend. He died Nov. 1998 and all these people are still inspired by just a short YouTube video of him. Imagine how all his close friends and family, especially me, feel. I am not at loss at all! I have my father’s spirit around me at all times. He continues to shine and inspire in all of us. I am not an extreme sportist or anything out of this world; however, whether I’m taking classes or going to work or skydiving, my father’s words, drive and ambition to live life and be the greatest still beats through my blood every second of every day.
He did not have a death wish or was crazy or coo-coo! He actually was a very intelligent, sane and wonderful human being. Anyone who had the pleasure of meeting him was extremely impressed with his aura and smile. His personality was astonishingly pleasant and he had more friends than anyone I know to this day. My dad didn’t just inspire people by making some 5 minute video one day anyone could do that at a click of a button, he was honestly an artist at what he did. Watch him climb, his fluidity and composition while scaling up the cliff is remarkable in itself. The funny thing is that he did all of this stuff because he truly loved and enjoyed it. It all started when he was only 14 and his only escape was the wilderness. So to make one calculated error in over 20 years of climbing and how ever many years of jumping, is not that bad. We all make mistakes and take chances(well…hopefully) but that’s just part of not being perfect(a.k.a. human).
He inspired everyone and anyone around him to do anything they wanted. He understood that society had it all wrong, you can DO anything you want if you put your mind to it…. and he did. It’s like his No Fear poster says, “Don’t let your fears stand in the way of your dreams.”
Yes, my father did die at a pretty young age but his death was nothing to deal with compared to many of the other people I’ve lost. His passing was easy because he still lives and breathes through me. I am surrounded by movies, posters, books, articles, and many wonderful e-mails from people talking about him. You must understand that people die because of freak accidents, health related issues, suicide, natural disasters, etc; it’s just a part of life. I accepted it the day it happened, why can’t those angry negative people like Don accept it and realize that we are all humans with a different purpose and a different drive in life so go live your life and stop the pessimism. Let me ask you this: When you die because of liver failure because you drink too much and sat around your house saying rude things about amazing people, do you think your child is going to be typing 12 years later to hundreds of people telling them thank you for showing your support and continuing to keep my father’s legacy alive? Will your child smile everyday and be happy because they know they had one of the world’s most inspirational people as a father/mother? Will your child continue to believe in their heart and mind that they can accomplish anything they want, fears set aside, because you taught them that without having to say a word?
-I don’t know the answer to those questions because I don’t know you, just as you didn’t know DanO and you definitely don’t know me….
I can tell everyone else though that I appreciate the love, the respect and the words of positive inspiration.

Random side note to clear things up: he did not “leave behind a wife and child.” My wonderful mother and he split when I was 4 yrs old and she did a great job of raising me. My father played his role as much as possible between training the navy seals, going on expeditions in Alaska and Russia, and traveling the world to various climbing locations, stopping here and there to build a house or work on a new building to make some extra cash to send to me. I would say he did a damn good job of being a great guy and an outlandishly awesome rock climber and jumper.
Let’s give it up for the inspirational hero we all wish or hope to be one day.

Dan - March 13, 2011

Well said Emma. Your Dad was an awesome human being from what I have read and the interviews I have seen with him. The negative people are just miserable in their own life and misery loves company. Pay them no mind. RIP DanO.

Manorville, NY

michael c. fanning - May 3, 2011

Emma your right your dad was an inspirational hero, I wasn’t into climbing when your father was alive years after his passing I was at a friends house and he put on Masters of Stone and when I watched clips of him jumping but more so climbing I immediately thought I want that, he single handily made me become a climber and like your father its not because I have a death wish its because I have a life wish. I wanna live life to the fullest like your dad did, he will always be a hero to all people who have or want to someday push themselves to their limits both physically and mentally. It makes me happy to see how proud you are of him and that you refuse to apologize to other people,who have no clue what it really means to live, for the choices he made, good for you.

dan fan - May 12, 2011

Sorry for the disrespect Emma! All I want to say is Dan Osman was amazing. I’m appalled at anyone that indifferently disrespects a death of any human life no matter how they died. I myself have only climbed a few times period and spend any time climbing on mere boulders. Even with no experience myself, I watch any of the videos with him and I’m transfixed. What an amazing Climber! He climbed like a monkey up a tree! The jumps he did have had to have set the bar insanely high for anyone looking to best him. I can barely watch its so intense. I can only imagine the rush of adrenaline and complete freedom that he must have had. I don’t believe he had any sort of death wish at all. In every clip I’ve seen, there is kind face usually smiling. it looks more like an intense life wish to me. it appears he was living life more than most people could ever hope to, especially those that can do nothing but show disrespect for him. He accomplished plenty to be proud of, including his daughter who I’m warmed to see lovingly defends his name and actions. my dreams might not be to jump 500 feet off a cliff to be caught by a single little rope, but no matter. He still inspires me. triumph over your fears occurs in many different ways. Dan Osman is one of the best examples that man can do anything he puts his mind to do. respect! and rest well.

Adrenaline Junkie - May 25, 2011

Thank you so much for this. I cannot believe how cruel people are, their moment of judgement will come though. Your father is such an inspiration to me and people all over this world, and you have just inspired me to stand up against the negativity of people. Dan Osman, Your father will ALWAYS be a legend. Thank you 🙂

john peterson - December 27, 2012

I understand that you need to feel this way. But please. Don’t expect others to wish or hope to be this kind of hero. I know that YOU need to make sense of it, and your answer is to put out an image that no person still living could uphold. But in the real world, it is just senseless. So many “rabidly rad” boosters of Dan say he knew he had to stop, it was this one last jump… Of course it was, death was always going to be in the last place he looked…if it hadn’t happened then it would have happened a week, a year later, who cares? The point is his deal was never to stop looking. You call that an inspiration? I say you must not know better. You say “one calculated mistake isnt that bad”. The only calculation dan was (or, more to the point, wasnt) making at that time was that he would only get one mistake. He made sure of that. Its nothing to praise him for. You know this is true. I have real heroes who do real things, who set real, hard, meaningful , purposeful goals… Other than throwing themselves off high places just to prove how rad they can be. Other than deliberately and for no purpose operating with zero margin of error, with their life in the balance. Really, for what? Just for show? To prove something to yourself? To prove what, exactly? And this makes you a hero? Call me a hater, call me a conformist, call me an alcoholic, whatever you need to uphold your worldview. But maybe its time for you to do what Dan never could and face reality. If what his life and death did for you was take you out of reality, and that’s how you like to live, then good for you, and I’m glad you’re happy. I’m glad that your dad helped you out in that way. But the fact that I don’t see it that way, the fact that I am satisfied with life and refuse your brand of “help” is in no way an indication that something is wrong with me. Nor does it make me miserable… Quite the contrary. Dan was an awesome climber, maybe one of the top 100 ever, and of course he was smiling in the clips, what else do you do when your lifestyle is purely recreational? And I’m glad to think that he enjoyed it, but 5.14 climbing is an ego game, pure and simple. Its only purpose is to impress other jock climbers. And while im sure dan continues to make a strong imression on that type of person, who cares? His unrealistic lifestyle is an inspiration only to those with similar desires. It is also no surprise to me how much those people love having such an example of ego integrity, but I hardly see that as any proof of some profound wisdom…only of an exceptional ego, and i admit by all accounts a perfectly friendly one. But don’t make him out to be a hero or martyr to the world just because you need him to be, and don’t consider those that disagree with you misguided souls. He wasn’t mother Theresa, he wasn’t Gandhi. You need to accept that its okay for people to find all this praise for Dan to be pretty dumb. Because that’s never going to stop. Really. Nev-er. I guess for your sake people could stop saying it, but that won’t really change anything, and acting like it would is not the way to show real respect, at least not in my world. May Peace be with us all. And Dan too.

Nema - April 1, 2013

Whoa Don!? Are you that angry at a man for doing things that you cannot even dream of doing? Dan Osman lived a life doing things he loved doing. As someone else stated.. go about your boring, tiny life like “one of the sheep” and go ahead and die, unheard of. To speak of someone who has passed away, in the way that you did, is downright shameful. Your parents should be proud! And if you have children… what an example you set!

We each have the right to live whatever life we choose. It is better to live a short life full of things that you love doing, than to live a long life full of regret and unhappiness.

Correct me if I am wrong but you Don, seem to be quite an unhappy person. Now that sir.. is an awful way to die.

7. Sway - June 4, 2007

wow, the question is Don, who was it that inspired you to climb? Even the supposed America’s ‘greatest mountaineer’ (Ed Viesturs) albeit now known for being a fairly cautious fellow, has admitted that several times when he was climbing (before his family) he made several possible risky decisions. Ones that had they gone badly, we would all be sitting her criticizing him. Granted Osman made some risky decisions that maybe the rest of us will never find ourselves making, but he was doing what he loved. If anything he gives us guidance on what the human body is capable of, whether or not we choose to test it in such a way. It is better to die in the heat of battle and doing what we love, then to wither and disappear with age. Plain and simple, our heroes, our inspirations and our role models, are either the ones that never came back, or the ones that have come through hell and back, and have a tale to tell. Rarely is it the people that have just made it through life, and in their boredom near the end choose to write an autobiography.

8. inspired climber - June 5, 2007

i think dan is a legend. put it this way he ended his life doing what he loved best yeh??

9. Denis - June 14, 2007

Yes he is a legend,so stop wining all of you and climb more!!peace out.

10. Chase - June 25, 2007

who ever thinks all of us who climb are foolish and have a death wish is a lazy, waste of a person! This Don dude…what the hell is your problem? seriously?! Osman never settled for this jump or that climb, but was always pushing the envelope, always thinking of how to better himself! As a damn human being you still should show respect for going after that. Maybe you feel like we should all become like the rest of this country…. Lazy, overweight, corrupt and unambitious. Or Just do climbs that are only in our” comfort” zone, that way we all can sit around a fire and tell stories like ” when i was a young strapping lad like yourself… i enjoyed the average, everyone can do it climbs.”

11. Chase - June 25, 2007

..and good riddance this man is dead.. how in the world can you actually bring yourself to say something so cold bro? It breaks my heart to know that there are people like you in this crazy world that can’t admire someone for their actions! All these sports stars, actors, artists, politicians are causing death, violence, rape, just horendous crimes and we consider them heroes and praise them for their actions… and osman was an asshole for not letting fear and doubt to fill his mind! LOL!…. some people are so simple minded! WOW!!!

12. sanja - July 6, 2007


13. ed crothers - July 12, 2007

don you are an absolute clitoris, i hope your time for a big fall comes very soon and that i,m there when you hit, so i can piss over your broken corpse you useless excuse for a human being , cancers too good for people like you, burn in hell creep.
nuff sed

14. Jake - July 17, 2007

People criticized D.O. for having a death wish, but I don’t think those people had a sense of how much he loved life and was taking in each breath with a sense of purpose. Are the risks Dan took much greater than those taken by a career soldier? They dedicate themselves to a job with a purpose knowing that any moment could be their last. They leave wives and children and friends and siblings and parents at home to go do something they find worth doing, regardless of the inherently extreme risks. Dan was no different in my mind…he was a soldier. He fought for those of us who remain content being sedentary and frightened of taking risks for our passions, and he sacrificed himself to embolden us to follow our dreams. And Don…you can’t be a climber (or at least not a very passionate one) to talk about “putting your feet up” ever! Climb like every day is your last or don’t climb at all.

Dylan - February 2, 2010

I personaly believe that Dan Osman may be a little coo coo, he is still more gutsy than any of us will ever be. I watched one of his videos and after he jumped and was stopped by the rope he said “Some people can’t impress them selves enough and instead they go jump of a massive cliff, what’s wrong with people these days” Although that may not be exactly what he said, you should respect him for what he did. And the kinda man he was.

Dylan - February 2, 2010

First of all Dan Osman did not have a death wish. Yea, he might be crazy but he deserves the respect. If you could give an ounce of energy for every foot he climbed or jumped in his life, he would probably be the most respected person in the world so don’t talk trash about the who enspired me to even take the time to even figure out who this random guy is. So ask your self this, if you direspect him so much why did you take the time and energy to write an awfull message about a known legend? Think about that for a while. For those who live life in the slow lane, tell me when you’ve jumped off a cliff 1000 feet and free climbed 400 feet in 4 minutes. Then you can say any thing about him you want but untill you are better than him, give the biggest climbing legend some well earned respect.

15. Joe - July 24, 2007

I myself am not a climber, but i know of Dan osman, not because i am interested in climbing, but because of his love of life, he spent his life pushing himself to his limits, in more ways than just climbing, and from what i have seen, enjoying every moment of it. he is an insperation to me and many i believe, because of that. it is all to easy to sit back and watch life go by, it however takes alot of work and effort to stand up and be who you really want to be, or do the things you really want to do, fact is he did stand up, and do as much as he possibly could, that is why i respect and admire a man i did not know. All i can do is love life as much, because one day will be my last!!

16. Kruno_X - July 25, 2007

Just want to say that he did what he like and that there is no need to judge him because of that! We are taking risks every day in a way! This guy just took that risk to another level and I RESPECT HIM for that! This is one article that I find on the net where this guy is explaining his theory about the accident! Take an attention to the conclusions on the end!

Page 1
Subject: My Dan Osman Rope Failure Analysis
From: Chris Harmston
Newsgroups: rec.climbing
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 12:09:11 -0600
I think it is time I spoke up publicly. I have reviewed Dano’s rope in
some detail. My findings and theory support those published by Kevin
Worrall in Climbing (No 183, March 1999, Pg 90).
This statement is mine personally and NOT that of Black Diamond Equipment!
This is obvious as you read below.
Irrelevant Background:
I am a Materials Engineer with BS degrees in Physics and Materials
Engineering and a ME in Materials Engineering (I nearly finished a PhD but
bailed once I learned I did not enjoy being a scientist any longer). I
know lots about atomic layer semiconductor crystal growth. I have been
the Quality Assurance Manager for Black Diamond Equipment for 6 years. My
primary responsibility is the testing and analysis of climbing equipment,
among other stuff. I have been involved in the ASTM climbing and
mountaineering standards development for the last 4 years. I investigate
all accidents I hear of involving equipment failure, whether they are BD’s
or not. I review rec.climbing every day looking specifically for posts
related to accidents, gear, misuses of gear, issues about BD, etc. I, and
others at BD, go out of our way on this news group to publish information
above and beyond what is required by the standards that climbing gear is
designed to (see the recent lame thread on “Gear Safety” which I will not
respond to specifically. See Karl Lew’s web site. Search under my name
on dejanews for examples). I do not post to this news group as a general
rule unless I think that posts from various people are specifically wrong
or misleading, as is the current case (in fact I try to avoid posting
because of commercial conflict of interest). I respond to individuals on
this news group constantly and my comments to these people come back into
this group (see the current RP thread on soldering cable fatigue). I
respond in detail to individuals who ask me questions, even when they do
not like what BD is about (see recent Camalot threads and failure analysis
associated with this thread).
Even more irrelevant background:
I have been rock climbing since 1981, and am primarily a trad climber. I
am a risk taker because I climb. Climbing IS dangerous and anyone who
thinks otherwise if fooling themselves. Anyone who climbs is a risk taker
in my opinion. I climb 5.12 on any rock type (that I have been on) and
style (except offwidth, so far) and have onsighted up to 12c/d. I climb
WI6 and possibly harder (ice is either hard or easy to me and is my
primary passion). I climb M8. I establish new rock, ice and mixed
routes ground up with and without bolts. I have no aid or alpine
experience. I weight 190 lbs and take upside-down 40 to 60 footers
without my helmet on. I have nearly killed myself several times due to
falling off 5.8. I am a climber, climbing eventually involves falling,
which may very well kill or maim me. Most people, including myself, would
consider me to be reckless because of how I climb. I climb for my own
reasons and no one else’s. I don’t care what people think about me in
general. Why Dano jumped off cliffs is his own personal choice that
nobody has a right to argue against, even if he had children in my
opinion. I certainly have no right to judge his reasons for doing what he
did. I respect Dano for pushing the limits way way beyond where they had
been previously. I met Dano twice but did not know him. I know many of
his friends.
Relevant Background:
My expertise in the analysis of broken climbing ropes is very limited.
This is due to the fact that climbing ropes very rarely break or cut in
Page 2
actual use. The only previous experience I have with rope failure
analysis was that of Matt Baxter who died on El Cap several years ago when
his rope was cut by a flake after a carabiner had broken (see dejanews for
more info on this, send a Freedom of Information Request to the NPS-I
recommend you do it for the Dano accident as well and then you can have a
copy of my official report, or look at ANAM). I have also reviewed
several ropes with sheaths shredded due to the open back regular carabiner
gates in minor axis. This lack of experience could indicate that my
findings are incorrect or suspect.
I first became involved in Dano’s accident when news of Dano’s death
spread across this news group with the associated rumors that the NPS
might have purposely cut his rope. On December 9, 1998 I sent an email to
John Dill (YOSAR director) letting him know of these rumors on this news
group and offered my assistance in the analysis of Dano’s equipment. John
responded back that Yosemite Law Enforcement (YLE) was investigating the
accident and that they had to finish their investigation before I might be
able to see the ropes (they too knew of the rumors of murder and were
investigating this as well I suspect). As you all should know Dan’s ropes
stayed on the wall for over a month and YLE was unable to recover them.
Given the rumors of tampering by the NPS a climber took matters into his
own hands. He recovered the ropes and sent them directly to BD. As soon
as I received the ropes I contacted YLE because I was in possession of
stolen federal evidence from an active investigation. I was told to
return the ropes immediately and reveal the name of the person who sent me
the ropes. While on the phone with the lead investigator another phone
call came into BD from “someone within YLE” stating that the FBI would be
at BD to arrest me if I did not send the ropes back the next day. I was
freaking out to say the least. Meanwhile I looked at the rope in some
detail. It was melted through. It looked as if there were the
possibility that someone had hot cut the rope. When I called YLE back and
told them this they wanted me to conduct my full investigation and allowed
me to keep the rope for two weeks. No FBI showed up to haul me away.
I only saw the one section of rope that was cut down and contained the
failure point. I did not see the rigging, retrieval rope, or the section
that was attached to Dan directly.
Everything I did was visual examination. I did not untie any knot or
tamper with the rope in any way other than prying the knots to see inside.
With some insight from Doug Heinrich I concluded that the failure of Dan’s
rope was not due to tensile overload or from being tampered with. I
strongly believe that Dan did miscalculate on his last jump. For some
reason he moved his jump site. In doing so he crossed the ropes (either
on the retrieval line or on the main jump line). When he jumped the first
knot above the one he was tied in with slid down a section of rope several
lengths up. The sheath was heavily melted and removed in several sections
on this upper part of the rope. The knot that slid down the rope was
melted in multiple locations and was melted nearly completely through,
deep inside the knot. This knot was not tight, yet others in the system
were (this is the one open question that is unresolved as far as I know).
It is my conclusion that Dan’s rope was cut by his own rope sliding
against itself. Use of a magnifying glass indicated to me that the cut
surface was due to sliding action in one direction. There was no evidence
of hot cutting with a knife or other type of instrument. I conducted
further experiments in my lab to see if tensile overload could have caused
this failure. The samples I tested were significantly different in that
they were heavily frayed and tattered. My analysis of Dan’s ropes in
general was that they were in great condition. There was no evidence to
me of damage due to previous falls, uv exposure, or weather. I would have
climbed on these ropes without any hesitation had they not been from this
accident. I do not believe that the condition of the ropes had anything
Page 3
at all to do with the failure of the ropes. Nor do I believe that Dan’s
basic shock absorbing setup was incorrect. Crossing the ropes was the
I was asked by YLE not to make my findings public until they had finished
their criminal investigation. They forced me to tell them who sent me the
rope and they pressed charges against this individual (I will have to live
with the fact that I was unable to keep this information confidential). I
still have not heard back from YLE about closure of this accident and
decided to make my findings public now due to the vast numbers of
misinformed posts relative to this subject. Maybe my analysis will stop
some of the useless bickering many of you are currently engaged in.
What is to be learned from this accident? NEVER LET NYLON SLIDE AGAINST
NYLON! You should already know this.
I also know that Dano’s rigging setup was reviewed by more than a couple
of technically competent people. I also know that he tested it multiple
times. I personally do not think that what Dan was doing (when done
properly as he had done on earlier jumps) was any more dangerous than
modern ice climbers doing hard thin ice routes (like in Maple Canyon and
elsewhere), in fact his setup was most likely safer in my personal
opinion. Dan’s death was a tragedy and an accident.
Again, this summary is mine personally and not that of Black Diamond.
Chris Harmston (chrish@bdel.com).
Quality Assurance Manager. Materials Engineer BS, ME.

17. Josey - August 3, 2007

Dan did what he liked and took it as far as he wanted. Everyone is responsible for himself and other people have no right judging what a man does with his own life. Talk is cheap, letting actions talk for you is harder. He was a great climber and those jumps took guts, and seeing him inspired me. I may never go with climbing as far as he did, but when I fell and broke an arm on a hard wall, the only thing I wanted to do was to go back and try it again. Nothing worth getting in this life is easy. Easy is for the mediocre. You had a nice life Dan, and you inspired many by pushing the limits. You will be remembered.

18. paul e - August 25, 2007

ed crothers, you are a complete tosser your the creep for thinking of something so horrible.
you are incredibly narrow minded, what dan did he did for his self,his own reasons, just like you might do something which you feel passionate about.
dan is a legend a true hero and a great person, i hope he is still pushing the limits in paradise, an inspiration for us all, i wish i was half the man he was. if you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all, because no one wants to hear it.

R.I.P bro…

19. Justen - September 12, 2007

Dan Osman was to Climbing what Bruce Lee was to Martial Arts. The human possibility is absolutely amazing! Dan Osman is a testimony to that. I’m no climber myself, but my respect for him comes from his passion to be the best. I don’t think anyone can deny him that. He truly pushed things as far as he possibly could. In spite of death, and we all die, he lived a life that wasn’t defined by fear, but by passion. He has instilled a new beauty in life for me. He’s achieved the impossible and for that I can only salute him.


20. Tarrant - September 13, 2007

I am fascinated by Dan Osman and others like him. Most people cannot relate in any way to his lifestyle, thus the fascination. I admire him because he me realize that there is another way to live; in the moment, truly alive, and exhilarated. I can only hope to live at a fraction of that intensity, but I am inspired to make the attempt!

21. Robert Klinger - September 17, 2007

What kind as a moron would risk his life to climb up the sheer side of a cliff? What does it prove? -besides how retarded you are? Not to mention the fact that these “Rock climbrs” piss the Washo Indians off big time, every time the climbers crawl over Cave Rock like a bunch of sick, selfish horseflies. Go get a life and leave Cave Rock alone. Get off the Rcck and stay off of it, macho yuppie assholes.

22. Blake - September 27, 2007

I am a UK climber, and find it hard to believe the mentality of some peoples words.
We all get our kicks, be it reading a good book, nailing a good pitch, or injecting ourselves with smack.
No-one has the right to say how we get by from day to day, but everone has there own choice to make.
Dan was only doing what he knew best, and what kept him going.
He knew the risks and took them in his stride.
I hope all those with such strong negative opinions of the man are taking a walk underneath me when im solo-ing and peel off.
Arrest my fall you fuckers.
And that is all.

23. Adam - October 3, 2007

Dan Osman, it’s been a while since you passed away but I still want to wish you and your family peace.

Your death was a tragedy, and seems to have left some people bitter. But let’s not forget your life was brilliant front to back. Death just happens, passion and love doesn’t.

I saw some people commenting on “rope jumping” or as Dan Osman called it “controlled free-falling”. It is a brilliant sport, not something just anybody could do. The systems Dan and those after him have built are brilliant and the sport is being pioneered by incredible physicists with incredible knowledge of the gear and rope.
Making a rope jump is extremely dangerous not because it is unavoidably inherent to causing death but because it is extremely difficult to do well. It is NOT just about tying a rope to you and a rock.
Bolting, rope break points, gear break points, stretch, swing, and balance in the gear are some of many many important factors. Those ropes are extremely delicate when pulled from a horizontal angle, and absolutely extreme pressure is put on the bolts. These guys realize that and invent solutions. It’s a head game, yes. It’s unreasonable… but all sports are and yet sports seem absolutely necessary.

Head to youtube and type in “rope jumping off mountains moab”. Check out the Frasca II system the guys use and the work and commitment and thought that they put into it.

It is deeper than a rush, but few would see that on the surface. It is an art.

Dan Osman was in many ways an artist.

Back to Osman and his self-fulfilled tragedy. The question you are all asking is, “Did Dan Osman lead a bad or a good life?”

Well what is life more than a brief experience?

24. Andrew - October 3, 2007

Dan Osman, pushed the limits of all the things he did. As a result he pushed the progress of the sport he loved. It is amazing how focused and determined he was when wanted to accomplish something. I am not one to judge him the way he lived. I just think he was amazing and interesting individual within is his world

Perhaps he would have enjoyed BASE Jumping. It would seem to be a progression of his controlled free-falling. I’ve particpated in both sports and could see his attraction with the free-fall.

25. Roche' - October 5, 2007

Heres one for ALL of you…I bet that not one of you have the balls to do any of the Exterme Shit that Dan did….How many of you can truely say that you have done what he has done , all the high solo’s , the extreme falls he’s done , or just all the extreme things he’s done?
I’m willing to bet that not one of you in this little room can say you have…I didnt think so……So until your on an extreme Television show
……..Quit hating on this guy…He climbed better that you ever will and its okay , AND , he’s got bigger balls that you do…

26. Jay - October 6, 2007

I feel that anyone who is out there criticizing Dan are very unaware of the magic he possessed and inspired.

He was able to tap into a far deeper aspect of life than most people could ever dream of. And through that, he showed everyone the possibilities of the human mind, body and spirit. He was a powerful example of what intention means and lets just say that maybe it was his time to go, as we all will have one day. When reading the report, it would appear that way.

Would you rather leave here as an overweight, middle age man dying of cardiac arrest while watching tv with a big bag of chips? Never haven known what it feels like to live life fully? So be it. My deepest respects to you Dan.

27. james - October 8, 2007

“dan osman” the ultimate athlete period

28. james - October 8, 2007

dan lived the life that he wanted,
that the fear of death he had totally taken forgranted

the memories that he had left will never be forgotten,
for those people who are adrenalin ridden

though some people critizised him for being silly,
but in most peoples heart,hes truely be one and only

seeing and praising dan osmans invincibility is called true idolatry
but refusing it is a form of hypocrisy

james lasquites

29. loz - October 11, 2007

one thing that i will say is that no matter how crazy and reckless he is perceived to be, Dan Osman did show remarkable skill. in order to trust yourself to free climb you have to be sure of your skills and limits. in order to rope jump, base jump, bridge swing, sky dive, ect, ect you have to have balls but not skill necessarily. however adrenaline is fueled by the need to disobey skills and boundaries and take risks. if there was no risk behind what any of us do then the thrill would be totally diminished, well for me anyway. at the end of the day, we all choose exactly what we want to do and even if he is seen to be setting a bad example, future climbers will still risk their lives to the extent that they wish. in the words of Oscar Wilde,”disobedience is mans original virtue, it is through disobedience that progress has been made”

30. Willy schmitt - October 11, 2007

There is not much to say besides that Dan Osman was the shiz. It was also for him probaly not a bad way to go, doing what he loved in beautifull place. I just wished thre could of been more because he had the guts and the how to do some crazy ass shit.

31. John Smith - October 16, 2007

Q: what was the last thing to go through DO’s mind before he died?

A: Granite.


32. Brian - October 16, 2007

The Road Most Traveled

There is a road in Life;
It is the road Most traveled;
A road of Comfort and Familiarity.

Created with Caution;
Paved with Planning;
Groomed with Purpose;
Kept with Care.

Every step Measured;
Foreseen and Expected;
Taken with Certainty;
Every step, Known.

The road of life…

There is a road in Life;
It is a road Least traveled;
A road of Unease.

Created with the Wind;
Paved Extemporaneously;
Groomed with Indifference;
Kept with Relinquishment.

Every step Adventurous;
Foreseen and Unexpected;
Taken with Heart;
Every step, Breathed.

The road of living…

Dan lived the way we should all live… Without the slow death of mediocracy.

33. Mike C. - October 16, 2007

He had the responcibility of a wife and child. Stupid move…especially since she asked him to stop.

34. Brian - October 17, 2007

Well, I would have to disagree. He had a responsibility to himself only. The responsibility of his wife and children are their own. Of course, his decision affects them.

Anyone getting into a car, crossing the street or even hoping an airplane are statistically more prone to die than what he was doing. Of course, statistics are varied based on quantity. Not quite sure how many actually get involved in this type of activity. However, the point is, stay home, and play it safe. When you are old and at the end, the chances are good you will regret to some extent not living life to the fullest and playing it safe.

35. Dub - October 18, 2007

Dan Osman is a legend. He had a love for danger and risk. I wouldn’t try most of the stuff he did, and that’s why he’ll be remembered. He had a good run, and he died doing what he loved. I don’t think there can ever be another Dan Osman.

36. Jimmy B - October 20, 2007

Anyone that says rope jumping doesnt require any skill or judgement, and any idiot can do it, clearly has ABSOLUTLEY no knowledge of climbing or the complex systems involved in something like dans jumps. Yes, it is dangerous, but the sheer complexity of the design, and then the stunning bravery to test the numbers that you and you alone calculated deserves every respect in my opinion.

37. ryan - October 28, 2007

he was a climbing genuis and deserves all of our respect. those climbs were alsome and the best i’ve seen.
hope to 2 u in heaven man

38. Karen - October 30, 2007

I totally disagree with all the haters! To hate is a form of jealousy! Here I stand at 41 years of age, female, been all over the world, worked my ass off… what exactly do I have to show to the world? Nothing! My son, 19 years of age, is extreme! High adventure to the MAX! I so support him! He turned me on to rock climbing again. When he was 5 years of age, and my youngest was 4, I hooked a line from the top of a mountain to the lower valley. It was the best fun they ever had! They both knew how to ride a dirtbike by 3 years of age and rode the rapids by 4. I’m proud of my boys. I’m proud they have shown me the way I once shown them! I’ve been lost for so many years. I know the reason thanks to my sons… I gave up what I loved!! Adventure, the unknow, the thrill of life! All my love to Dan’s family! He was a great man and will always be in the hearts of all!!

39. Chicken - November 7, 2007

“hope to 2 u in heaven”?

Looks like you’ve hit your head one too many times against the granite, Ryan.

40. blewsyboy - November 20, 2007

when he does the record free climb, n he jumps up to reach that ledge… that is the definition of living life to the fullest! my heart just stops every time i watch… k imma get another beer n a snack now… guess i don’t know if i’ll be alive tomorrow, what with the risks to my health, alcohol, junk food, after all i am 45… hmmm, k, i need a thrill, guess i’ll watch dan again… last week i was working on a 12 pitch roof, scary as sh*t, man, i was 30 ft up, at least…. what’s the subject again? hmmm, i need another joint, brb, oh yeah, dan o., he was the sh*t, wan’t he?

41. Vanilla Thunder - November 21, 2007

Two kinds of people . . . Dan, and those who wish they were Dan.

42. chill - November 25, 2007

ive allways whanted to climb but dident know really were my limits would lie but seeing dan osman climb and seeing whats possible only makes me whant to push my self more…and what a rush i get when theres is no turning back. and to all that only have bad things to say about dan.. question your own lifes not others

43. Karma - December 3, 2007

Peace and Jah bless
Forever rest D.O

44. cali climber - January 3, 2008

im a climber and i just wanna say 2 things. 1. Dano is the most sickest guy ive ever seen or heard of. 2. To any sick bastard that wants to see his last fall. you need help! why would any1 wanna watch a man fall to his death let alone watch a climbing legend pass away, seek help sickos and keep climbing

45. scratch - February 27, 2008

he left a 12 year old daughter – bottom line is he was an asshole…I still admire his determination – as a father (a climber) and an infantryman I can’t say much, i guess…we forge our own future in most cases…but defninitely keep climbing.

46. E. Rellivent - March 3, 2008

I was rather ambivalent about DO as I read about his exploits until I learned about his child. The minute you are responsible for another human being, taking unnecessary risks with your own life are way out of line regardless of how much fulfillment you get from them. The minute you are no longer responsible for that other life, go back to chasing your risks.A growing child requires parents, deserves parents, loves parents.Depriving your child of yourself because you want to act in risky ways is cruel, selfish,inhumane, uncaring, stupid. Will his child ever be able to be completely “balanced” after his death? Unlikely. I’ m sorry, isn’t life hard enough even if you DO have two loving parents?

47. Mike Zephyr - March 10, 2008

I just started climbing recently, and have been watching climbing vids. when i found out about Dan, i said to myself, “man this guy is my hero.” He was pure raw adrenaline, and an exceptional climber….OMG. i was hoping to one day meet him, but then i found out that he died, and got really bummed out. but i dont think that he’s an asshole or anything…. he is still my hero when it comes to this stuff. he knew how to live life to the fullest… and yeah it sucks that his daughter has to grow up with out her dad now, but how many other great climbers, sky divers, scuba divers… hell just people doing the things they love to persue and challenge themselves with have kids. that shouldn’t mean that they should stop doing it. people can die doing anything, but controlled free-falling just isn’t the norm, so people like to bash him for it, and that’s fucked up…. “shame on you people…”
the leaning towers jump was suppose to be his last big thing before he decided to slow down, it just sucks that it was his last thing. i’m sure his daughter misses him a lot, but i bet she is damn proud that Dan was her dad.
Dan we miss and love ya!

48. Big Al - March 23, 2008

clearly he was an incredible climber, the overplay to his vids on youtube is always Nirvana esque, that whole vibe smacks of unhappiness and escapism and it seems there is a culture of adrenaline and depression around many extreme sports. Thats what it is, a major high intertwined with major lows and extreme sports attract extreme people, with extreme personalities. Full respect to him for his achievements but you can easily see its a dangerous precedent and to do the things he did, he had to be a little bit crazy.

Personally I want to push myself in life but take sensible precautons where possible, I want to experience life to the full as long as possible and when my body gives out, I’l find something else, I age doesn’t frighten me and I’ only 31

49. Dirt Clod - March 29, 2008

DanO was my best friend and climbing partner. He and I jumped together and climbed daily together at Cave Rock for years. Every Youtube stunt you see of him, I was there. The Pine Tree jump was mine and was in my backyard built with rigging left from the Eco-Challenge ropes course we built while working for Jay Smith. His daughter Emma is still apart of my life and would be sad to hear you faggots talking Shit about things you dont know. All you slandering pussies would be getting a beat down from Dano if he were alive. He was a Ultra Intelligent human that thought heavily about ever action and reaction and clearly had bigger balls than most of you.

50. Mark - April 15, 2008

Just a few words from the non-climbing public: I never knew Dan. Didn’t even know of him when he was alive. But … I’ve seen his videos and they are truely amazing. Some here called him crazy, some called him reckless. I don’t think anyone can dispute that he was one of the worlds best climbers. Watching his videos makes me want to get out and climb. I just wish to God that he had not made that fatal error, that he was still with us. He death was a great loss. Maybe if he had gotten into skydiving instead of rope jumping he’d still be with us. I’m an old … 60 years old … former skydiver.
Let’s all salute Dan for the truely incredible climbing he did. Thank you Dan.

51. Kristi - April 25, 2008

Quote from Dirt Clod (#49 above): “He was a Ultra Intelligent human that thought heavily about ever action and reaction….”

Perhaps if the ultra intelligent human had lived longer, he could’ve taught you some basic English skills.

52. icy - May 19, 2008

String games and pain,
I’ve known Dan teenager and he helped me to build myself:
Beta’s topo’s angles to get out of Danger, feel free to erase.
“Learn to fall and expand”, “Consider the angle”
applicable in all of life situations.
With loads of negative parameters his last fall was angel crash.

53. Mike Beck - June 4, 2008

This is the first I’ve ver heard of Dan Osman, but I must admit I am enamored with his willingness to live life to the fullest. I am happy to see some experts come to his defense with regard to the climbing disaster that caused his death. I am also appalled by the limited expansion of intelligence of some individuals. Everyone should choose to live life, fight through that which scares you. I have a fear of heights, and have chosen to ascend many mountains, and look over the sides of the many cliffs in Colorado where I live. It is simply my opinion, but I believe everyone should choose to push themsleves in life. How else are you going to have exciting stories to tell your grandchildren. If all you have to tell is how you went through life not extending yourself, what does that tell your children? God Bless Dan Osman for living, and showing everyone that there are limits that can be overcome.

Mike Beck

54. Rick Cabral - June 5, 2008

He did what he loved,loved what he did and died doing what he loved,can’t ask for more that.
Rick Cabral

55. Arslan - June 6, 2008

One word “FREEDOM” He is so so so so great, it makes me think of life !!

56. Wunderkind - July 1, 2008

DanO, didn’t know who he was until I started climbing this year, but just finished reading about him all over the place. Short and glorious isn’t worse than long and boring – so I respect all his decisions and the guy that he was.

57. Eyesoftheworld - July 30, 2008

I discovered Dan just the other day. I lost him the very next. What a rollercoaster, amazement- sorrow- amazement-respect.
Now, I invite all of you negativity seekers to find fault with my spelling or grammer. I dont care youre a waste of time and vital energy. And that is not what this is about.
Dan had an energy that can touch the soul of people even 10 years after his passing. He touched mine. Definitely one of those rare people that has something special and different. Driven by his passion- that was his souls path. Most people can only envy that kind of passion. I am heartbroken learning of his death.I know in my heart that was his time. We have just got to understand that that was Dan’s journey, not ours. Who can judge someone elses path to a higher conciousness? We all have our own journey and each and every one of our journeys will be different. Dan was a bright star that burned fast and quick. That was his path. Would we want so many to judge our own paths and choices?
Dan was a human being and he doesnt need to be put on a pedestal. I dont think he would want to be, either. As for responsiblity. He had a responsiblilty to his daughter, yes. But he had a responsiblity to himself, too. Its unlikely that his daughter wanted him to be 50 regretting all of his life choices when he realized the prime of his life was over. Like I said before, it was his time . That was his souls path. Not ours to judge.
I know I learned about Dan for a reason, obviously Im a little late. He’ll help me remember to push myself in my own life. Stare fear in the face whatever ones perception of fear may be. Love the Earth- make a connection with her. Embrace her. Always remember it is her you can never conquer but you can follow the lines and cracks and become one with her like Dan did. It is then you might be able to see the world from a new perspective, just like Dan did.
Fare thee well, fare thee well
I love you more than words can tell
Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul
Rock on Dan O!

58. Si Ward. - August 8, 2008

I truly believe that Dan was an absolute legend. The passion and commitment he showed throughout his life is amazing. How ever anyone wants to look at what he did, Dan pursued climbing so stongly and with a passion like no other he deserves to be remembered for what he did. A role model to all, not just outdoor enthusiasts or extreme thrillseekers, anyone in any role of life would be amazed and taken back with what he has done. He pushed the human body to its limit and has proved that anything is possible if you want to it. Many could learn by taking a leaf out of his book. Thanks Dan for inspiring me.

59. max - August 20, 2008

dan o’ makes me want to go outside and move, or go to work and help others,
instead of sitting on my couch for 12 hours smoking weed with a suger rush trying to unwind.
The biggest, most brilliant stars in the universe go supernova after a few million years.
The supernova and nebula they create are among the most beautiful features in the universe. LIVE brilliantly, push the comfort zone and take risks everyday.

60. icy - October 6, 2008

yes, move. NRJ grigri!

Dan pulls strings on his web and links rocks with systems.
he dares deep inspiration, 15….10….5…. sautez!
Dan* taught me to jump in all situations and use fear and anger in a positive way. Encore merci.
i wish we were sharing now “the day that never comes”
but then for all i know on the rainbowbridge he is there watching.
he told me so
Dan’o: dan’o: dan’o:

61. nathan - October 15, 2008

Dan Osman was awesome! He obviously had NO FEAR. He obviously was one of the bravest men who ever lived. I do think though that he probably had a death wish which is unfortunate and that living in such a risky way is probably not a good example for others to follow. You should value your life more than to throw it away recklessly.

62. Marine Iguana - November 20, 2008

I think the guy was a putz….bad example for children and adults everywhere…GOOD RIDDANCE!!!

find some balance in life and try not to be extreme in any direction.
this guy should have learned to surf or something else too and find peace!

he had a death wish and hero worship/idolitry of such idiots….. well go ahead a splat yourselfs….too many fucking people on this planet anyway who are extreme and need to be eliminated…. those of us who balance many activities will keep on keepin on……..and set good examples for future generations NOT GENERATIONS OF JACKASSES and GIRLS GONE WILDS… WHO PUT THEMSELVES AND THERE MISARABLE LIVES ONTO MEDIA FOR ATTENTION…..

me. travelled twice around the world
Once in each direction
sea level at six am
thousand feet by noon
and home inthe boulders sometimes soon

63. icy - November 23, 2008

“Death wish ? Jackasses? eliminated?”
Who is extreme? Respect SVP or SURF a KITE, merci.

Au contraire, good example, Dan Life loved Life and Nature with passion and kept his balance with pendulums. “We are to leave traces of us on earth in what we are skilled for” Dan measured, calculated risks, evaluated angles, invented rope systems and climbed with grace as he were dancing.

10 years today, time to break the silence, past traumas i.e. locked between 6 walls + , escaped sect, icy/Danger, nick Dan gave me. (80) He helped me anchor encore et encore. (seen i don’t climb/jump rocks: had rope phobia)

“Consider the angles”, his angles, and the spiral of tough experiences he went through, of which you, ^ have no idea. Even so, Dan kept his sense of values, of ethics and his willpower to accomplish his dreams. He lived with a contagious intensity, visionary rock artist he had many passions, music: “In remembrance I relive; how can I blame you, when it’s me I can’t forgive? » -Unforgiven lll

Indian Warrior card « Lost » guide in the cold amnesia.
From CaveRock to yonder, just say “green trees”
miss u, see u, encore désolée
Pain Samurai, Grigri merci.

64. pierre - November 24, 2008

rip dan

65. Stephen McGarva - November 30, 2008

Response to Don #6. I wish that you would think before you speak/write. Dan was a dedicated friend, loving father and a great athlete and a visionary. We clearly don’t always understand why another persons does the things they do in life. However, we may have insight into a person’s life and the way they think when we get to know them. Perhaps this would give you the privilege to speak into their life. You obviously didn’t know him! I did know Dan. His drive to push harder than anyone I have ever known leaves me questioning everyone that states… ” I tried my best “… Not likely! I hear you when you say that you want to be the guy that looks back and feels proud of himself in all that he did … and feels… well… alright with most everything he he tried to do. The likelihood is… you kinda sucked at a lot of it. You gave up because you didn’t have the tenacity to push harder. So please… think… you are not likely the perfect role model ether. You sound like the guy that gives up easily. I rather be around someone like Dan than to spend one minute with you when in a crisis situation.

66. ben - December 1, 2008

Not being a fan of writing on internet forums (one should be out doing what they love, not bitching about it online) but i cant believe the disrespect and disgusting attitudes towards the death of a great man. You may not agre with what he did for kicks, but he had a passion, something that has seemed to be lost in recent times. He did what he loved doing, but to do this he needed to do it on a big scale. Im not saying everyone must agree what he did, but saying ‘good riddance’ to another human being who loved what he was doing is just unbelievably narrow minded and quite frankly fucking disgusting. He loved life, and if he had the compulsion to throw himself off things for fun then why does that afffect anyone else?

No im wrong, lets all live conservatively, never take risks, live a long uneventful life. But get hit by a bus when your 36.

Just do what you love doing, and dont call someone a ‘dickhead’ for dying doing he loved.

RIP Dano

67. teliczan - December 21, 2008

I saw some of Dan Osman’s videos on YouTube for the first time today and was amazed at his skill, it defies words. I might not choose to risk my life doing what he did, but I sure do respect his right to live his life on his terms.

68. Charles - December 23, 2008

Dan was a great climber but a moron for playing with death. Should have quit when he broke the world record and live to raise his child. Instead he got greedy and did 1 more time. One last time and leaving his young child fatherless. That’s a coward way out.

69. Cherry - January 16, 2009

I live with a climber and have for the last 18 years, I understand the drive, the need, the focus that compels and that drives them but at the same time pushes then further from the ones who love them. Just one climb more, just push it a little further, make the challenge harder… My husband hit the national papers in a climbing accident and whilst he dealt with the immediate event, I dealt with the fallout, the press, the intrusion and for what? Someone elses selfishness! My husband knows I find climbing and extreme sports an extremely selfish activity and whilst I love him nonetheless, I don’t love what he does, as ultimately I may lose him to it! I’ve seen footage of Dan speed climbing and his skill and talent is awe inspiring, it is just tragic that in pursuit of a goal that can never be achieved (there is ALWAYS something harder to climb, harder to jump etc) that a life has been lost. Whilst I commiserate with his families’ loss, I also understand the passion of such individuals and the frustration that accompanies this wiithin their network of family and friends that means you cannot protect them from their own drives.

70. Mark - February 2, 2009

His responsibility was to raise his family. He childishly sought adrenaline fixes until it killed him. UNTIL IT KILLED HIM! I’m starting to think there needs to be rehabilitation facilities for people like Dan. They demonstrate qualitys that any drug addict would. The next fix needing to be bigger and scarier. I feel blessed that my family doesn’t have to deal with this kind of pain. If you are an “extreme climber,” please think of the people that love you before you endanger yourself again.

71. Youri - April 19, 2009

He was a God damn crazy guy !!!! I can’t stop watch his vids.
He was one of these guys who made the world, one of this guy with bolloks big enought to do what others can’t do. He died young but it’s normal and he probably knew that it was going to be like that.
Some peoples are like that : famous, doing crazy things, and dying young…then they becames legends.

72. Dan Osman (”The law of gravity is strictly enforced.”) d. 1998 « SwittersB & Fly Fishing - July 14, 2009

[…] 1989, working with a top rope to put up a 5.13 climb at Cave Rock that he called Phantom Lord, he fell 50 times trying to place a single bolt above a particularly torturous move. In the process he discovered that […]

73. Jens Jungmann - July 27, 2009

great climber, because of him and chris sharma i started climbing… sry for my bad english… great guy… respect, but only for climbing not for rope jumping. bye

74. Craig B - September 30, 2009

you guys are so full of cliched crap, all this ‘he died doing what he loved,’ like that makes him any less dead, like it makes his death any more glorious. a man who works a mindnumbing job to put food on the table for his family dies getting a cornchip caught in their throat at the taco bell drive-thru dies with far more honor than dan because that man died doing what he ought to do, not what he wanted to do. dan died because he was selfish,because he wanted to feel a certain way. he didn’t die for a cause, or for the sake of another–he sought out his death and got exactly what he was looking for. ‘he died doing what he loved’ is just a story we tell ourselves to make it less painful. heroin addicts die doing what they love too.

that jump was supposed to be his last. he had a wife and young daughter. he said he felt like he needed to give his guardian angel some time off. he knew he was on borrowed time. don’t you think that in that last second when he realized the rope wasn’t catching him, he wished he could have it all back? anyone would. if you don’t think so you’re romanticizing.

he was a man. he was not a great man, nor was he an evil man. just a man, and as selfish as any of us.

75. ben - October 8, 2009

anyone saying bad about dan osman is a cunt your most likely some overweight useless wanking nobody that noone gives a shit about and will never amount to nothing your going to eat, shit, and pay tax all your life and your wife is fucking everyone but you coz you just aint got it! life is for living so get off you fucking computers and lets use this planet to have some real fun bitches!

76. bigben - October 10, 2009

i dont climb nothing too dangerous anyway but why on earth is their people who are critisising this man,for fucks sakes he was doing something he loved and i never climbed or any of that shit but im amazed at what he did,the man was a legend just cause he took risks with his own life he was an asshole,hows that,he got a rush from doing what he did i mean the average person enjoys rollercoasters for the rush it gives them,are they all assholes and deserve to die too,i really think the comments are coming from real shitty climbers that are jealous saying climbing is a sport but any idiot can rope jump,well id like to see one of you twats put a rope on and jump from a 1000ft cliff,r.i.p dan died doing what he loved and loved watching him and if he pisses you off that much dont fucking watch him ,jealous mofo s v

77. patrick - October 23, 2009

I read that dan osman was consulting for some climbing equipment companies as he was developing techniques and hardware.
the thread about the rope and the burned knot really doesnt
help me picture what went wrong with the jump. It is a sad
thing to lose ones life due to equipment or the setup but
it happens. some people think you shouldnt be on the water
without a lifejacket, or in a car or plane unless wearing nomex.
or not to go out in the mountains and snow without a whole
support team. One thing is clear to me that climbers need
to take over the search and rescue and remove law enforcement
from the picture. Just too much blathering about how much money it is costing them or the taxpayers.
Oh and if you are only comfortable at home in front of the tv
it is costing them

78. justin - November 2, 2009

It appears to me the naysayers are forgetting something, actually the most important something! You are never more alive then when close to death i have been to the Daintree looking for crocs and found a small one by myself. My senses have never been more hightened and my place in the world never more clear.

I also ride a super bike and everyday arrive at work exillarated.

Studies have shown that babies are startled by loud noise and frightened (aware?) of heights all other fears are taught, so it would seem natural to me heights are a great place to start to live.

I personally began climbing because i suffered from vertigo that said i no longer do. (vertigo not climb).

The society we live in is so sterile and safe we forget life is not safe we have evolved to survive the unsafe.

My first reaction to Dan was jaw dropping amazment ‘that guy is absolutly fearless’ then when i found out he was killed climbing i was not at all suprised. However that reaction did not dull my amazment.

Finally i do not mention the above examples to blow my own horn they serve to example (yes you can use example this way check the presidence in th O.E.D) my points.

If you don’t like risks do not take them- easy?

79. justin - November 2, 2009

I forgot to mention another time i was climbing a Australian grade 27 double pitch on a face which had claimed several lives previously (the 27 part was only three metres long right in the middle of the climb). There were three of us climbing and the lead was attempting the hard bit and it started to rain! there was no way to go down as the roap was going up so we were committed. Myself and another friend were belaying and waiting on a tiny ledge and relaxing ready for the hard part when we noticed a reptilian head appearing from the crack we could not see if it was a snake or a lizard (we have alot of very scary snakes here) we basically had to wait between a snake(we thought) and a hard place.

It was luckily a lizard and the lead toped and anchored up and we absailed down (having had enough of climbing for that day). The point i am trying to make is that fear and danger are perceptions mostly in the mind (or at least our minds have the ability to control them) They are important but we are able to control them obviously Dan had that ability, well done and thank you mate.

I must say though i nearly had to change my undies after.

george - November 9, 2009

For twenty+ years climbing was the focal point of my life. I have summeted peaks from Patagonia to Alaska.
Dan was an idiot!
Falling has Nothing to do with climbing.
He was a fool.

Dave Nelson - February 9, 2010

it’s only on how you look at it, its his perspective that he gets a mass amount of adrenaline out of jumping and adrenaline is what Dan craved the most. He was a risk craving crazy person that loved to jump. leave it at that.

80. Graham - November 29, 2009

Brave or Stupid? Talking of living legends Steve Redgrave maintained the same level of disciplin for 16 years in the face of oncoming age related performance degredation and put in enough courage and work to win 6 gold medals in a sport where the only danger is your own self defeat. Now that guy is a hero and an inspiration.

81. megan - December 18, 2009

DAN was the man!

RIP to the sickest rock climber /jumper EVER LIVED IN HISTORY!

82. henkman - January 9, 2010

a treu legend

83. Peter Ford - January 21, 2010

Surely the fact that this column is so long shows that Dan was and is worthy of respect!

84. Dave Nelson - February 9, 2010

I cant believe that people would talk shit about someone that did something so brave, i don’t care if he did do stupid things. Like jumping off rocks, that doesn’t give you people the right to talk smack. You should really think about this one because it’s not even the fact that he did what he did. People are disgraceful, all i know if i died like that, that’s the last thing i want people to do is talk shit. But there’s always that fag out their that thinks he more bad ass than the most bad ass dude around. Well whatever i think i have said enough it just disappoints me that there are people out there that talk shit to someone like that… He would whoop your ass, but he wasn’t like that he’s a very passive person.

85. andrew - April 2, 2010

He could have been a much bigger hero had he chose to raise his daughter instead of selfishly living the life of a vagabond climber…but whatever!

86. ben - April 28, 2010

Dan Osman was hands down one of the greats! Period.

87. Mamad - June 17, 2010

May His soul rest in peace.

88. Mamad - June 17, 2010

by the way imust admit that he was one of the greatest man i have ever seen. He was not an ordinary human like all of the other humans in the world. he was realy unique and from now on, I hope we see many zealous humans like Dano in the world. I realy hope so.

89. eerok - July 29, 2010

ya it does seem kinda petty to piss on this guy, in light of the fact that the final Leaning Tower jump was to be the last one of his life… and no I’m not saying that in the ironic sense… even though it is incredibly ironic heh… after that jump he was going to pack up all the scaffolding to raise his daughter.

he had made so many skillful, well-executed, peerless jumps… to focus on this one tiny rope-tangling hard-to-foresee mistake… it just doesn’t seem right or cool

rest in peace Dan Osman

90. Scottie Forrester - September 26, 2010

Hi my name is Scottie Forrester I am a young male who lives in Colorado. I never knew Dan but I have always been interested in getting to know him better unfortunately my age restricted me from getting to see one of my adrenaline junkie heroes. There are many questions that I would love to ask him, but yet again the time came for Dan all too soon. I am 19 years old and seeing that as I get older my adrenaline fix needs to get more radical as well. I attend a school that is asking me to write a paper about my interests and naturally I choose addiction to adrenaline. If anyone knew Dan personally:relatives,friends,fellow climbers, addicts, pets, anyone if you can help me to figure out what he was thinking, what was his drive I would really appreciate the help but again these are the questions that I was never able to ask. Excitement thrills me adrenaline is my drive I am addict and always will.

91. woodsy canada - March 24, 2011

i too have been in high places being a pipefitter but to do what he done does not compare god rest his soul

92. Ralf Berg - March 29, 2011

Dan Osman,
one of the finest athletic sportsmen ever!
Peace brother…

93. Nef - April 13, 2011

I hope many more Dan Osmans will be born in this world !

94. Anon - April 15, 2011

I never heard of this guy but he was quite an athlete. Seems too many adreneline junkies out there though. Glad my brother survived his ice climb accident and lived. Others on climb not so lucky. He had the smarts to change sports. Climbers don’t want to give up their adreneline just like other addicts. The rush is what it’s all about. Glad to hear he had a nice smile though.

95. Ambrosius - May 21, 2011

I just read through the comments, and it seems there’s a bit of misunderstanding going on.

When I read Don’s post (albeit the language used was inappropriate), I didn’t encounter a hater or someone who didn’t appreciate extreme sports, but rather, a loving father who was extremely worried about his own son. The following comments are all about the meaningfulness of ones life and whether a “spiritual pilgrimage” such as rope jumping (with the subsequent accident) is a life “well-lived.” Any loving father who has a child embarking on a similar pilgrimage would caution extremely against it. How can you blame a father for wanting his own son to live a long life with many kids?

Having said that. Obviously, anyone testing the limits of human capability and breaking various “sound barriers” is always a valuable contribution to humanity as a whole (whether as an athlete, ascetic, scientist, novelist, musician, artist, etc.). It is inspiring, illuminating, and incredibly meaningful.

So many people are earth live without ever testing their own limitations, continuing living inauthentic lives full of “what-if’s” and “should of’s.” We always need people like Osman to show us that the problem is not that we demand too much in life, but we want too little; we make “glass ceilings” for ourselves due to our own ignorance and fear. Someone needs to wake us up so that we can truly live; someone to show is the difference between greater Good and lesser goods.

Anyone who tries to understands death (our penultimate limitation), especially to the point of risking their own life, is someone we should all respect, learn from, and treasure.

Nevertheless, no loving father, will ever, ever, ever want their own son to truly explore it, even if they know deep down that it must be done in whatever way we are all “called.” The father-son (or daughter) relationship will always be this way. But we all know that, we must all one day LET GO, test our limits (our fears, our ignorance) by dying to ourselves to regain our true selves. All wise men of all ages in all places agree that knowing DEATH is the only true beginning to an authentic life.

P.S. Adrenaline is “addictive” and does work the same as many illicit drugs. Nevertheless, I do not think the label “adrenaline junkie” does justice to describe the nature of Osman’s journey (even if he may have been addicted to it). His dedication, his mastery of the art, his insatiable curiosity, his enduring sense of wonder, and his unparalleled creativity in “seeing” and doing things in ways no other had done, are all closer to what Socrates would have called the “examined” life. He was truly a pioneer.

96. ClimbOn - June 30, 2011

DanO did not deserve to die. Those who detract his contribution to the world of extreme sports are the same people who would sell their lives away for a small price. RIP DanO

97. Gautam - July 26, 2011

Hi Emma…i still refer to a copy of ‘Fall of the mountain lord’ and 23rd Nov will forever be etched in my mind…Dan was a great guy…he personified freedom and to live ones life to its fullest!!!!

Never mind stupid comments by some Mr Nothing…….

98. Tom.T NSW AUS - September 6, 2011

Upon gazing through these comments I could not help but see the negative comments. Sure everyone is due to give there opinon about Dan Osman. Climbing is considered a extreme sport.. but with the modern day saftey equipment an gear available many of use would hardly think it extreme. Yes Dan pushed the limits to a different level. Myself I would not ever go on that path. But a man or woman is best known for who they are, how they treat others, there kindness, and so on. I’m sure for all those who really knew Dan this is what they remmember.As Sir Edmund Hillary said “It is not the mountain we must conquer but ourselves”. The hardest challenge is life

99. jflash - October 4, 2011

In Will Ferrell’s voice: Look at me I’m freefalling, honey take a good picture, oh my rope snapped, I’m dead.

100. Kelly - November 19, 2011

I knew Dan, he wasn’t crazy nor did he have a death wish. He was actually one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. He was buddies with my then boyfriend, Tom Gilje. We went on a lot of climbing trips together. Most notably was our trip to Yosemite. I didn’t climb & would stay at the base of their climbs reading books. Dan especially loved The Stand by Stephen King and he would ask me what was going on now whenever he got back. LOL I kept him & Tom engaged in whatever story I was reading.

I didn’t find out about his death until years afterwards when a documentary on climbing caught my eye. I said to myself, “OMG, THAT’S DAN-O!!!” Near the end they said how Dan had died. I couldn’t believe it.

Anyways… any of you haters out there are just jealous. Dan was a very sweet guy and the world is missing a great athlete now.

101. Trish - December 22, 2011

Hi Emma,

Your father would be so very proud of you. Your words are eloquent and mature, spoken with dignity and grace. Pay no attention to those who try to detract from your father’s memory, as YOU are his legacy and are living proof of what inspiration can sow. Keep doing what you are doing… all the best for the future.

102. LostAndFound - April 27, 2012

First, thank you Emma for your response to that hateful post. I had never come across your father’s name until today after watching a video of him solo climbing.

I spent my youth as a skier, roller blader and mountain biker. I never thought of myself of extreme but most people would think my friends and myself were nuts. We were just living life balls out, the only way we knew how.

Now I sit in front of a computer sometimes 16 hours a day. To do it I feel like I had to put a gun to the head of the person I use to be, and then pull the trigger. I tell myself I do it for the money, for my family, but that is a lie. I do it because it is safe. I do it because it is easy.

Your father Emma and those like him remind us that there is another way to live, and a different way of looking at life. It is perhaps a simpler outlook but much richer, more profound and in the end much more human.

Most of us reduce ourselves to the status of insects for eight hours a day. Having seen life through a couple of different goggles, I think Dan had the right idea. The other way, the safe and easy way, is just slow death.

So if you are are young and reading this, do not feel the least bit guilty for grabbing life the balls and wringing every single drop of adventure out of it. You will not regret when you are older.

If you are older than never forget that there is an alternative, a perspective towards different and no less valid than those of those suit and tie zombies shuffling around you.

103. LEANNE ♥ - August 3, 2012

Emma Osman what a beautiful individual you are. your words are as inspiring as your dads actions.. both of you have spread love and respect accross the land. i hope you are happy in your life. enough said 🙂

104. KEVIN - September 1, 2012

My condolences although years fate the terrible fact…to you Emma. Your father was surely a daring, totally alive, spirited, tenacious, energetic, focused and extremely physically talented man.
However, I do think that when people like Dan, do these things so fervently…being away from their family to climb and jump from rocks…that is a bit selfish. They are surely obsessed, adrenaline junkies who need to constantly get their fix of climbing and living on the edge. It becomes part of them and like any other addiction, is incredibly hard to get away from or slow down.
It’s so sad Dan lost his life so young, in his prime. He didn’t listen to a close friend or several, who said he should back off a bit and stop pushing his luck…to take a break at the very least..or even hang it up altogether. he really should have listened. Really. Yes, he’ll be remembered, yes he has inspired…but he could be remembered if he had lived..and inspired much much more for many more years.
Dying in the way he did, was a waste. Life is too precious to be playing on rocks for the edge of excitement thrill. Climbing without ropes for safety…and jumping thousands of feet with a rope..is just literally playing with your life. Life is REAL. Human life as the people we are, is a one shot deal. It should not be risked in such ways. I am in no way being conservative either. I’m being sensible. Dan had a daughter. How many more decades could he have spent with her had he not done these jumps? How much more quality of life? I am CERTAIN, he have chosen 50 more years of living life and being able to have a relationship with his daughter..than to died at 35 climbing a rock. He was a little “crazy”…or no, let me say, “on the edge, hyper…care-free etc..” But, he wasn’t realizing the very real threat looming always…most likely because he had been so lucky for so long. He likely felt a bit impervious to falling to his death…that an angel was on his shoulder and he would be, “OK”. But life is REAL…as real as is gravity. And when people start to feel safe and relaxed that their luck in performing extremely dangerous, tricky,complex and daring actions will always be with them, well, that’s usually about the time that the earth crumbles out from beneath their feet.
Several here have stated with bravado that Dan would have chosen death in the way it happened,at his young age rather than dying as an old man etc. I don’t think so. in fact, if he had known what was about to occur, I am sure of it. I do not think that, as some have said here, that when the rope snapped, he was saying to himself, ” Well, I will be remembered for this!..etc..etc..” Hell no.
I think, if he thought anything other than “Shit!!..expletive, expletive” while having a heart attack in those last 4 to 6 seconds of falling, I think what he probably thought to himself was, “Oh my God, my daughter..my life…what was I thinking doing all of this. What have I done.”
I’m sorry a talented man, father lost his precious life…especially a man who loved life so damn much. And I’m sorry a young daughter lost her only father, so young….and that Dan’s friends, lost their beloved brother.
And yes Emma, I am sure, your father is always with you…around you, his spirit smiling on you.

105. Gary Herzberg - January 3, 2013

Live by the sword,die by the sword.god bless.

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