Venture Series #3: Free Solo

Have you ever considered what it's like to be hanging over a sheer drop without protection or to walk along a knife edge ridge?

Ben Wilson uses spoken word poetry to take a captivating look into the experience and desire of stepping away from security. My words cannot do his work justice, however the poet Evrah Rose writes of Ben: "In a world of sterile words, Ben is fresh, meaningful and impactful with a delicateness undisguised by modern masculinity. A true wordsmith in every sense."

BaseCampVenture series is here to publish short stories and interviews with an aim to inspire, captivate, inform & entertain! Based around the topics of backpacking, exploring, adventure sports or life in a seasonal town. If you have a story to tell CLICK HERE to see how to enter for your chance to win $200 for a charity of your choice. Join our Facebook Group here

Year / Date: 2017

Location: Val d'Isère, France

Persons Involved: solo

Activity: Via Ferrata (translation: The iron way) is climbing up a steep rock face with fixed equipment to aid the way - usually iron pegs, rungs and a safety cable to clip into. Ben did not clip in.

free solo.

I’ve wondered somewhat aimlessly up to this rock face

laced with iron rungs

and an iron wire that runs

up and up and up

an umbilical cord which you’re hung upon

in order to keep yourself safe

a lifeline of sorts

one that I feel as though I must take

as I am that infantile

a needy little child who clung to and smothered

every friend and lover

who’s managed to gnaw out the last drop of milk

from each of their tits


it’s not like I ever wanted this

not like I ever wanted them to be my wet nurse

they don’t deserve it

so I’ll withdraw from them

make myself an orphan

as orphans must grow up


it means that I am alone as I look up at this face

and of course there is no nurture to be found in it

its expression is nothing but indifferent

so fuck it

why clip in

why not finally sever myself

from this pathetic need for security

so I don’t clip in

and now my hands are sweating up against granite and metal

and earth

my ape-like toes are trying to curl themselves

out through the bottom of my shoes

to find more purchase

today I am a primate

humiliated by the fact that he’s dressed as a human

as I don’t want to be human

I don’t want to think as a human

I want my thoughts to be in my finger tips

in heart

in my lungs

for each beat and breath’s sole purpose

to be to pump blood to my limbs

so I can keep on clinging on to life

which unprotected at 100 meters high

is simply the need to climb

is simply the need to survive

as an animal

and what’s incredible is that there is now no I

there is now no me

I am indefinable up here

where everything is air

singing its emptiness around you

whispering to each square inch of bare skin

that there is nothing there to support you

coaxing you

somehow gently


and up

and up until...

Wow! Thanks Ben for this naked dive into the human psyche and a brutally honest understanding of a desire for freedom, independence and primal urges over security. To hear more from this talented wordsmith head to or find out more about his incredible non-profit Osnosh - a community kitchen project that uses surplus food

If you have a story to tell CLICK HERE to see how to enter for your chance to win $200 for a charity of your choice. Join our Facebook Group here

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