That's what the WRers did today on Spire 4 in the Cathedral Spires. I think this is a photo of the big step across to the summit.
They also climbed Station 13 which is a long chimney. Details and photos of their climbs to follow.
Here's an excerpt from Bouldering History that mentions gear, technique and an early version of chalk for climbing in the Needles. The Conns have first ascents on over 200 routes in the Black Hills.
"In the Needles of South Dakota, starting in 1949, Jan and Herb Conn practiced long ground-level traverses when not making first ascents of spires. They wore cheap, low-top tennis shoes, tightly fitted and with the smooth rubber soles scored with a knife, and dried their hands with dry forest duff and pinecone powder. Herb and Jan usually climbed on a 60' rope, prefering the shorter length since it encouraged down-climbing, an important facet of the climbing experience as they saw it."
Because I've had several questions about footwear for the Needles area, I decided to show you what I used when I was out there in August.
For the approach march, I used a low heeled, casual shoe like this.
When I walked around town, I went with something more formal but still comfortable.
Although, this seems like a good idea because it protects your toes, it can cause you to put a hole in the climbing rope. So I would not recommend them.
If it'll be hot, this little number allows the foot to breathe.
Whichever way you go, be sure to match your belt with your shoes. This is my favorite belt for out there.
"On 6/08 American climber Dean Potter carried out the first FreeBASE ascent of Deep Blue Sea (Eiger, 5.12+/7b+), climbing without a rope but with a parachute."
You can try this at Red Wing or Taylors Falls, but I don't think the chute would help.
They're looking for a volunteer.
"The Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition will recreate history by crossing Antarctica precisely 100 years after Shackleton attempted the same feat. The journey saw Shackleton fall short of the Pole by 97 miles, at which point he turned back to preserve the lives of his men."
And, living where we do, we train for this every winter:
"The successful candidate will need to be prepared to endure -35°C temperatures and 50mph headwind."
This could be a picture from Lisa's dogsled trip:
Pretty good story of this guy's climb up Mt Rainier. He says,
"At Camp Muir we slept side by side in a shack. We went to bed around 6 p.m. I was utterly exhausted when I climbed in my bag and, though quite uncomfortable lying on a thin pad that was laid on an uneven wood surface, I quickly fell asleep."
Believe me, there's no sleeping jammed into a hot, noisy, smelly hut with a bunch of anxious climbers. I think the sleepless, partial night in that hut, was the hardest part of the climb for me.
To me, survival depends on my Visa card. Others put more thought into what a person should bring for survival. Here are 3 experts opining on what to carry.
(BTW, I also believe light packing consists of putting your charge card in your pocket. Because, almost wherever you're going, someone will be there to sell you what you need.)
We saw one of these clubs "hashing" at the Rushmore climbing area in May. A guy came running past us throwing handfuls of flour. A few minutes later, some other runners passed us trying to find the flour trail.
They are a "drinking club with a running problem." Sounds like a fun way to get
Apparently there is next to nothing to do there. Here's an article called:
Notice that 4 out of 5 are in Mpls (or Mpls suburb.) Man, I'm glad I don't live in St Paul. (Plus, they leave out the Number 1 reason for going to St Paul: VE.)
Barb & I are going to Tanzania in mid September for about 3 weeks. We're going to volunteer at the Peace House School.
This is Mt Meru just outside of Arusha, Tanzania. We're staying at a school right near the foot of this mountain.
Then we're going to the Ngorongoro Crater.
with large herds of tourists like this.
Then we're going to Zanzibar. Then we're coming home.
PS Lisa can go to Tanzania to do yoga. But I can't do yoga; so I won't.
I've heard of the highpointers - people who climb the highest peaks of each state. As well as through hikers - people who hike the full length of the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, etc. But "Loopers" was a new one to me. Boaters who circumnavigate Eastern North America by water are known as loopers.
I learned about this from a friend of mine who is traveling the length of the Mississippi by boat.
Here's an article about using baking soda to improve anaerobic performance. A few quotes:
"A study from British researchers at Loughborough University shows that sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, may improve anaerobic performances. The mechanism, the study reported, could be in baking soda's ability to reduce the acidity of blood pH and thereby cut muscle burn from lactic acid produced by anaerobic activity.
The most recent study, published in 2004, concluded that baking soda reduced fatigue and followed the same dosage of 300mg per kg of body weight taken one hour before testing. To put that in easier terms, a 150-pound person would need to take 20 grams before a workout or race."
I can't find my name on this summit register page - I climbed a different year - but this is John's signature on a climb he did on the Exum Route on the Grand Teton. (It's about 3/4 of the way down from the top.)
I did read through many years of this summit register on the Grand - which dates from 1898 - and found names of famous climbers as well as local people who I recognized.
The people quoted in the post a few days ago said there were no more unclimbed peaks so what was the point of even climbing.
A provocative title of this NY Times article. Included are these quotes about the recent K-2 accident:
'Dozens of readers commented at the New York Times Web site with sentiments overwhelmingly along these lines: “Utterly pointless. What a waste of time and lives.” Or, “Why is this news? Reckless incompetents commit utterly predictable suicide, endangering rescuers.” Or, simply, “No Sympathy. Sorry.”'
"But climbers argued last week that despite the tragedy, there was value in taking risks against nearly impossible odds, testing the strengths of human nature in extremes, and continuing to explore the world’s frontiers."
So what do you think? When conquering the last unclimbed peaks,
"There was something pure and glorious in what they did as they climbed into worlds where no one else had been."
Since there no more peaks to conquer, is mountain climbing not heroic anymore? Does it matter? And to whom is it supposed to matter?
(Also check out the interactive graphic on the K-2 accident.)
Found this quote in the Piana guide book to climbing in the Needles of South Dakota. This is a report from the first ascent of Super Pin - one of the climbs we did last Saturday.
"My belayer Ron was too nervous to belay after I had gone beyond both the point of no return and my protection against falling to the ground. We certainly felt it would be better for him to be in the best position should I succeed rather than in the best position to witness my failure... The holds were small & occasionally loose & Ron was observing from the safety of the highway."
Is what the Black Hills Climbers called us as we climbed on top ropes set up by them in the Ten Pins area of the Needles.
That's alright with me. Most of these climbs were first done 40 years ago and the pitons and bolts that are left, are of that vintage. And, one of the routes we top roped, "Super Pin," has two bolts on it; one at about 15 feet above the start and the other about 10 feet below the summit. And it's around 75 feet tall. (Just before the lead climber got to the 2nd bolt, he told Ward - who was belaying him - "I'm on my own now. You can't catch me. So don't jump over the edge if I fall." With that in mind, I'll proudly wear the badge of "Beta Licker."
Of course, when we told them we had climbed in Spearfish, they called us "Jug Haulers." I told them we'd rather be referred to as "Bolt Lickers."