The relief on this kid's face at the Spelling Bee is great.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Don't know if I mentioned this before, but this is a handy tool for posting on any blog - whether it's this one or anyone else's.
- It's free
- It allows much better formatting of text, videos and images without having to code HTML
- Many plug-ins are available so you can fancy-up your postings if you wish
- Linking is easier
- It automatically publishes to whatever blog you choose
Friday, May 30, 2008
This is one of my favorite kayaking video's...ya gotta love "Upper Death"
And check out this waterfall...it's the one waterfall I really want to run...yes I'm borderline insane...but it looks like soooo muuuuch fun! Who's in?
And this is me on the Arkansas River in Colorado...green boat. If anyone wants to go kayaking let me know! I love starting new people out!
Thanks for keeping us posted Richard...without Lisa it's going to be another long week ahead. Hopefully she brought the sun with her!
Lisa and Carl are on a big adventure in France. I would have liked to take you all with me. Que Sera' (oh crap that's Spanish). Here is a map so you can follow our travels.
Days 1-2 St Cere to Loubressac
The bustling market town of St Cere on the banks of the River Bave is a delightful place with a unique character. With two medieval towers dominating the skyline and wooden houses dating from the 15th century, it is truly one of France's hidden gems. Stroll around town to prepare for the adventure ahead, and then enjoy the magnificent views over the Gorge d'Autoire on the way to Loubressac.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Russell, Eric and Will completed their guide course in the Black Hills this last weekend. Here they are on a 3 pitch climb called "Garfield Goes to Washington" which is just behind the presidents' heads on Mt Rushmore.
The video is a little blurry and you can't pick out individuals but, believe me, there are 6 people total on this climb. 4 at the base of the headwall on pitch 3 and 2 more at the end of pitch 2 on a big ledge.
Here's a clearer photo of them with the climbers circled. If you click on it, you can enlarge it.
Another training technique - the rocks in the Needles lend themselves to this.
"The idea was to maintain the least contact with the rock while ascending. The use of arms, hands, shoulders and stomach were discouraged, but frequently it was virtually impossible to avoid contact with parts of the lower body above the feet."
These guys have a whole training program for one-arm chin ups.
"A one-arm chin is not learned overnight. Depending on your starting point, it can take 6 months to 3 years or more to achieve it. Weight and age are important factors. Less weight and younger age make a one-arm chin much easier to achieve, but Alexander at 220 lbs. and Jack at 60 years of age both achieved it."
So you can do this.
From an article in the LA Times:
"Want to see for yourself what it feels like to look into the mouth of the most active volcano in the continental U.S.?Sure, you can get a permit to climb the 8,365-foot summit by yourself. But a better way might be to hook up with experts who know what they’re doing. Each year, the Mount St. Helens Institute hosts several field seminars on and around the volcano."
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Climbing + Yoga: Center Yourself
"I'm hesitant to even call this rock climbing," says Heather Sullivan of the rock climbing/yoga retreat slated for July 17 to 20 in Yosemite National Park ($1,215; balancedrockfoundation.org). "It's more about learning to breathe as you move across rock." Never mind that Sullivan's teamed up with local legend Ron Kauk, a seasoned climber with a number of big wall firsts under his belt (he was also a stunt double for Sylvester Stallone and climbing instructor to Tom Cruise). Basing operations out of Tuolumne Meadows Campground (8,800 feet), participants split time between yoga sessions, hiking, and "playing on rocks" at nearby glacial lakes. "We'll also be making some time to just be," Sullivan says. For once you can return home recharged after a weekend of rock climbing.
This is what John and I used in the Black Hills to climb while it rained. It probably saved us from disaster.
I know what Lisa would say, "Babies!" But I'd like her to say that to our faces.
Here's a climb called "Gobs of Knobs" because it had, well, I guess , the best way to describe it is to say, it had gobs of knobs.
Here's one reason people climb in the Needles area: a moderate - 5.7 - sport climb that tops out with a fab view.
This is a rock near the famous John Gill boulder problem at Sylvan Lake. John McDonald's traverse of this boulder has never been repeated. We call it the "John McGill" boulder problem.
This is a 60 foot climb with 3 bolts that goes up a thin flake with perfect handholds the whole way. It's so narrow on top that you can't stand on it.
A typical Rushmore climb - no real handholds; only foot holds on outrageous friction. (We climbed one of these in the rain and there still was enough friction.) Don't bother rubbing the rock hoping for the Handhold Genie to pop out and make holds appear. S/he won't.
Here's what the drive home looked like.
Here's John climbing at Spearfish. It was getting dark & starting to rain.
This is John climbing up "Inner Course" at Youbet Jorasses rock at Sylvan Lake.
This is my foot as I top belayed John on "Inner Course."
Here are some climbers on "Lander Turkey Shoot" at Sylvan. What's cool is she's climbing the ridge on the right and her belayer is up above on the left. Neato, huh?
Here I am on top of some windy, cold climb at Moonlight Ridge area in the Needles.
If you count, you can see 6 climbers on this route called "Garfield Goes to Washington." I think at least 4 of them are our VE boys. (Just behind this rock, are the heads of the Mt Rushmore presidents.)
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Hello, climbers! I hope you guys are getting a lot of airtime outside this spring. If not, here's another opportunity for you. We have one more slot left in our Trad Climbing class on Sunday, June 1. The class is 8-4 p.m., costs $199 (10% discount for members). It is limited to three participants. Pat Mackin, our head guide, will be teaching this class. In other news, we have three staff members getting checked off to guide Devil's Tower and Needles this last week: Russell, Wil, and Eric. They were snowed out one day last week in the Needles! Our primary route on Devil's Tower--the Durrance--has been closed due to Prairie Falcon nesting, so they will head out again in July to finish off the certification process. Vertical Endeavors is one of a handful of organizations that is authorized by the NPS to train guides to guide on the Tower. See you at the crag!
Steven B. DavisVEGA AdministratorField Instructor
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Here's what we've had all day.
We did hike around checking out climbing areas such as Moonlight Ridge and Cathedral Spires. Here's a photo of John walking past the Spires. Can you see the tall rocks in the distance. We couldn't.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Here's an online game about probability that tests your strategy on which door to pick to win a prize.
(You might have to register to use this site. It's free but if you don't want to register, go here and grab a pre-registered user name & password for almost any web site that exists.)
Here's an article describing why you should try a certain strategy.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
We had a wild life and some wildlife at Willow today. Small groundhog and big snake. A few small wasps. Big overhangs. Mucho fun. I'll never go there again.
Snake attacking my helmet.
Snake handler, handling the snake. (That's what they do, you know.)
Aaron leading something that was too hard for me to even remember its name.
Initial Reaction: "Wow this is fricken awesome!
Final Reaction: "My hands hurt, and I have little confidence left, but still beautiful.
Today at willow river I had a good time. I arrived at willow river when Richard started making Chris Sharma grunts, Badass.. . . He was almost to the top of this awesome overhang route. Awesome job Richard! I then attempted the same route but top rope and failed but had a fun time swinging around like peter pan as mel would say. Mel got up jar of flies, awesome! Mom finished jar of flies and decided it was swing time on that one other climb. Aaron got half way up the badass climb all the way to the left. Richard tried the same route but got to the same spot. Time for the swling diddly trick of yours richard! Nice job Aaron! Cool climb and way to go ahead and pick up the snake. Overall, I am pretty burnt out and those rocks are sharp! Thanks for climbing with me people.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Friday, May 23 High: 70 °F RealFeel®: 65 °F
Breezy and warmer with sunshine and some clouds
Friday Night, May 23
Low: 49 °F RealFeel®: 38 °F Cloudy and windy with showers and thunderstorms
Saturday, May 24
High: 72 °F RealFeel®: 67 °F Mostly cloudy and breezy with a couple of showers and thunderstorms possible
Saturday Night, May 24
Low: 46 °F RealFeel®: 39 °F Cloudy most of the time with showers and thunderstorms; breezy
Sunday, May 25
High: 68 °F RealFeel®: 65 °F Clouds and sun with a thunderstorm possible
Sunday Night, May 25
Low: 45 °F RealFeel®: 37 °F
Monday, May 26
High: 72 °F RealFeel®: 70 °F Nice with times of sun and clouds
Monday, May 19, 2008
Letter writer to the New York Times asks:
"...if people whose overeating puts them at risk for illness and early death have eating disorders, why don’t we say that people whose mountaineering puts them at risk for injury and early death have mountaineering disorders?"
So do outdoor risk seekers have a disorder? I know I have issues, maybe that's one of them.
While Lisa led Cinq Jour D'Affille it started to pluie. Our posse today at Red Wing (Aile Rouge) was Sunbeam, Nora, Jake, John, Levi, Buddy and me. We split into two teams: Lisa's Family and Lisa's Friends (LF1 and LF2.)
This was the first time we'd climbed with Nora and with Jake. (Lucky them, huh?)
Unfortunately, Aaron made it rain after we'd only done about a gazillion climbs, so we had to pack up and leave.
N.B. Nora, if you want more photos of yourself climbing today go here.
P.S. Didn't see Lisa do any business in her pants yet. But the day is young.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
The Women on the Edge of St. Andrew's Lutheran Church did an awesome job at Taylor's Falls on Sunday. We climbed the heck out of the Tourist Rocks and the made our way over to the MN Strip. Thank you to Steve from VE for excellent instruction and thank you to Flash, Cici and the rest of the Minnesota Climbers Association for showing up for Clean up the Crag Day. Mel is great leader, I knew she would be. Gorgeous day!