Dan Osman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dan Osman
Born(1963-02-11)February 11, 1963
DiedNovember 23, 1998(1998-11-23) (aged 35)
Other names"Dano"
OccupationRock Climber
Known for"Rope jumping" and other stunts

Daniel Eugene Osman (February 11, 1963 – November 23, 1998)[1] was an American extreme sport practitioner, known for the dangerous sport of free-soloing, rock climbing without ropes or other safety gear. He participated in rope jumping, falling several hundred feet from a cliff then being caught by a safety rope, for which his record was over 1,000 feet (300 m).

He lived a bohemian lifestyle, working as a part-time carpenter and living in Lake Tahoe, California. He was the subject of several rock climbing videos, which brought free-soloing to a wider audience. Osman was also instrumental in the development of the Cave Rock climbing area at Tahoe and many other areas in the Carson City area. Osman had one daughter, Emma Osman.[2]

Climbing films[edit]

Osman appeared in Eric Perlman's Masters of Stone series, free soloing Fire in the Hole (5.12b, now closed) on Cave Rock near Lake Tahoe, Atlantis (5.11+) on The Sorcerer in The Needles in the Sequoia National Forest, and Airy Interlude (5.10b, then 5.9) on The Witch, also in Needles (in California's Sierras). He also is featured crashing a BMX bicycle, ziplining off The Witch, taking a 192 feet (59 m) whipper for fun in Yosemite, and on-sight free-soloing Bolder Display of Power (5.11).[3]

Osman gained a wider audience with his 4 minute 25 second speed solo of the route Bear's Reach (5.7), which was featured in Eric Perlman's film Masters of Stone 4. Osman's double dyno over the large gap between two holds for which the route is named has become an iconic image in American rock climbing.[4]


Osman died on November 23, 1998 at the age of 35 after his rope failed while performing a "controlled free-fall" jump from the Leaning Tower rock formation in Yosemite National Park. He had come back to Yosemite to dismantle the jump tower but apparently decided to make several jumps (over a few days) before doing so.[2]

The failure was investigated by the National Park Service with assistance from Chris Harmston, Quality Assurance Manager at Black Diamond Equipment. Harmston concluded that a change in jump site angle probably caused the main jump rope, which consisted of several ropes tied together, to cross and catch on itself at a knot during his fall. This caused the rope to cut itself by melting. Harmston also noted that Osman's rope was in excellent condition, despite it having been left outdoors for some time.[5][unreliable source?]

Miles Daisher, who was with Osman when he made the jump, stated that the ropes used in his fatal jump had been exposed to inclement weather — including rain and snow — for more than a month before the fatal jump, but that the same ropes were used for several shorter jumps on the previous and same day.[2]

Notable climbs[edit]


  • Todhunter, Andrew (1999). Fall of the Phantom Lord: Climbing and the Face of Fear. New York: Anchor Books/Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-48642-1.


  1. ^ Ghiglieri, Michael P.; Farabee, Charles R. "Butch" Jr. (2007). Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA: Puma Press. pp. 349–54, 366. ISBN 978-0-9700973-6-1.
  2. ^ a b c Vetter, Craig (April 1, 1999). "Terminal Velocity". Outside Magazine. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  3. ^ Pruitt, Lee (5 March 2013). "Rope Jumping with Dan Osman". Rock and Ice. Retrieved 2019-06-16.
  4. ^ a b "Free-Climbing Lovers Leap" (Video). YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 2007-08-10.
  5. ^ Dan Osman's Rope Failure Analysis—Possible cause for his death, google.com; accessed February 11, 2016.
  6. ^ Calhoun, Kitty (1998). "Wet and Wild in Kichatnas". American Alpine Journal. Golden, Colorado, USA: American Alpine Club. 40 (72): 88–95. ISBN 0-930410-78-5.

External links[edit]