After seeing the video at momentumvm.com that features Matt Segal doing the FA of Iron Monkey (5.14) on natural gear, I have to say that I was a bit intrigued. I contrasted that with a similar video on the same site of Cedar Wright doing the FA of a trad line at Indian Creek on pre-placed gear. I don’t pretend to be a purist or an expert on trad climbing, but I couldn’t help but think that Matt’s style and approach are just worlds better. To me climbing on preplaced gear is a lot closer to sport climbing than trad climbing but somebody can correct me on that if they feel like it.
Matt working Iron Monkey. Photo by Jonathon Copp
It was at this point that I came across a great article in Alpinist Magazine on Matt Segal and where he draws his motivation and ethics from. It is rather long but it is definitely a worthwhile read. It also has some really nice photos by Jonathon Copp.