Daniel Eugene Osman

Daniel Eugene Osman

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I´ve recently found some of his crazy videos on YouTube, so I definitely had to write about him. Please, if you find other relevant information about him, send it to my PM and I´ll post them here.


Dan Osman, Daniel Eugene Osman (11.2.1963–23.11.1998)

Daniel was born 11.2.1963 in Reno, Nevada. He was of American-Japanese origin. He was very controversy man. Some people admired him, called him Spiderman, but the others called him crazy, insane and irresponsible. Daniel started climbing in the vicinity of Lake Tahoe, on the Cave Rock (e.g. Phantom Lord; Fire in the Rock 5.12b – in the video section below). Then he has moved to Yosemite Valley, where he stayed with the group of nature-lovers and climbers. He had no money, he worked only seasonaly, and all the money he earned, he spent on climbing equipment. In the 80s he returned to Nevada.

He is most known for two dangerous sports:

  • speed free-soloing , which is rock climbing with no safety equipment; worth-mentioned is his record ascent via Bear´s Reach (5.7) on Lover´s Leap in California from 1997; more than 400 feet (120 m) of vertical face in 4 min and 25 seconds. He climbed mostly for speed.

  • controlled free-falling - falling several hundred feet from a cliff, bridges, natural bridges, towers and then being caught by a safety rope. His record was over 1200 feet. Those falls are dangerous due to possibility of entanglement within the rope. During such a fall, the rope can easily bisect or decapitate your body. Such an accident cost him his life. He died during a failed free fall (over 1000 ft, 305 m) from Leaning Tower in Yosemite National Park (23.11.1998), probably due to bad angle of jump or he miscalculated the rope length.

He was very talented extreme rock- and ice – climber. But suddenly, during climbing on Cave Rock, when he falled several times, he recognized, that falls are his passion. For the first jumps he used only usual equipment – belays and anchors. But then, he begun designing his own complex equipment for long falls. His record jump was made in October 1998 – 335 m. Well known is his 660 feet (over 200 m) long jump from the bridge in Northern California.

His most known climbed routes:

  • Earn Your Wings, 5.9, on Crepes Corner in Tahoe vicinity

  • Funky Cold Medina 5.10a

  • Buttons of Gold 5.9+

  • Blood in My Chalk Bag 5.11 c/d

On the one website about him, I´ve read the old saying, which is true in his case, "when you live by the sword - you die buy the sword".

The Leaning Tower from the...Leaning Tower in Yosemite, image by Diggler


Wikipedia´s entry about Dan Osman
Excerpts from the book Fall of the Phantom Lord by Andrew Todhunter


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Dan Dalton

Dan Dalton - Oct 30, 2007 3:42 pm - Voted 10/10

Nice compialtion of videos...

and breif history. I think you mean a 5.10a as opposed to a 6.10a though! I know he kicked ass, but that would just be outrageous!



Gorzi - Oct 31, 2007 3:32 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Nice compialtion of videos...

Yes, of course, you are right. It was only typing error.


Diggler - Feb 18, 2009 6:19 pm - Hasn't voted

more info

To make the article more comprehensive, I'd recommend elaborating on his inspirations, life in general, & how he died. Here is a good article you should check out & could reference as well: http://outside.away.com/magazine/0499/9904terminal.html
Also, Osman prominently figured in Masters of Stone V. Here's an article in which he's mentioned with regard to Eric Perlman & his videos: http://www.mastersofstone.com/?view=history

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