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All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

- JRR Tolkien

While other free soloists—rock climbers who shun ropes and other safety gear—have parlayed their artform into major sponsorships and TV commercials, South African Matt Bush has largely flown under the radar.

But his solos are some of the most palm-sweat-inducing, heart-racing feats rock climbing has ever seen. Dangling by a single hand hundreds of feet above the ground, Bush is routinely pushing the limits of what is considered possible in the sport. For a stretch during his twenties, South African climber Matt Bush was very much a part of the hip, colorful, lingo-laden world of indoor competition climbing. “Comps” were the center of his climbing experience. He did quite well, training hard and winning many of the events he entered.

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