For the Love of Climbing
24: The Process
Just shy of twenty 5.12 free solos, Austin Howell had climbed nineteen unique routes without a rope—one of them without shoes and butt ass naked. In 2019, Austin died free soloing in Linville Gorge, North Carolina. His love for climbing is hard to capture with words alone, so we flew to Minnesota in the summer of 2019 to borrow some of Susan’s. Austin's story is complicated, but as the pendulum in life swings both ways, he embraced both its highs and lows and especially reveled in the joy that free soloing brought him.