Friday, January 30, 2009

Some More Perched-on-a-Cliff Towns

We posted some photos before of abbeys and religious sites perched on cliffs but these are slightly different.


The Ultimate in Climbing Shoes

Goats are really good climbers, right?  Then these shoes would work great.

Quotes I Like

Here’s a quote I just read that I like:

“When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.”

— Robert A. Heinlein, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

A slightly more recent quote I like:

“If you don’t go, you won’t know.”  The Warden (When I asked him if he thought I could climb a certain route.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ice Fest Slideshow

River Road Ice Fest

Quite a turnout for the 1st annual River Road Ice Fest. All the people who showed up were there. We set up the anchors on a handy bridge and climbed down to the river on a set of ledges similar to those on K2.

P1000870 P1000827 P1000834 More photos here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Climbing leads to opportunity

While Climbing with Liz and Sarah, we decided that combined we have enough short stories to write a book. keep your eyes peeled at barnes and noble! its going to be called "When in Doubt, Spazz Out: short stories and memoirs" I think it will be a best seller! ha. (p.s. spazz is intentionally spelled incorrectly) we already have a cover design and everything.

fartlek: swedish for "asswhuppin"

Ok, when you stop laughing... oh grow up!
Here in an interesting program for interval training. It looks fun, especially for those of us with short attention spans. I just may give it a go. Read about it here.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Excuse Me!

If you would like I could set up an Engineering problem. A 4 foot long pipe with constant cross sectional area and density with two point loads about 1 foot apart resting on dry wall. I am sure it can hold much more than 160. Smart ass right here. haha

Free Gear!

Click here to enter!

VE On Sunday

Some shots of the Flying Karamazov Brothers – Mike and Ward.

P1000701 P1000731  P1000725

How Not to Set Up Pump Rocks

Here’s what happens when you’re not careful about setting up Pump Rocks on a water pipe. 

Hey Girls, Wanna Go Ice Climbing?

Russell at VE today, told me to invite the “girls” ice climbing this week. Either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. (I think boys can come too.)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Surfing Lake Superior

Cool photos – literally – with an article about surfing on Lake Superior.

Friday Night Shivers

Levi and I and our new friends Sarah and Liz took the bus from UMD to VED last night for some friday fun. It was really cold so we got lost in the skyways before finding the gym. Levi flashed an 11something (b or c?) before the night was done, and climed with the big boys while the three of us girls laughed up some hard routes.

just before closing levi handed me a rope to do this lead. (he was climbing like a rockstar as usuall) he scampered up it pretty quick - we almost didnt get the picture.

we decided to skip the skyways on the way back to the bus station down town and almost froze to death on the overpass of the freeway. It was an eventful day!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

El Potrero Chico

Jon from the gym, is taking a trip to El Potrero Chico in Mexico sometime in February. He’s been there before, says it’s great, and is looking for a few more to go with him. Multi pitch sport climbing at its best. More info here.

Only Babies Stop At The Top

Amazing 15 Month Old Girl Rock Climbing

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Richard gets a new Personal Best!

Up the to the ceiling, across and down and back up! Let us celebrate with a video!

today was a pretty good day at VE Duluth (VED). If you're training it would an awesome place to spend a weekend. The climbs are about 30% longer than VE St. Paul, which makes a HUGE difference. Also- we were talking with some girls and they said that the climbs here are rated about one grade lower than VE St. Paul so we struggled with some 5.9's. We met some new people and it seems that the girl ratio is much higher.

with all that being said our plan is to climb our hearts at VED, and then come may, rock your sock off at VE St. paul. so be ready!

New Set up. (hopefully not a flooded apartment haha)

I got these pump rocks from my sister for Christmas and people asked me: "Where are you going to hang them in your apartment?". I said on the water pipe duh! It seems to work so far. My roommates have a go at it every once in a while even. I am going to the VE in Duluth today if anyone's going to be around. Ha Ha

Staying Committed

Warrior’s Way makes an interesting point here about making a commitment to a climb along with an exercise to practice:

An important skill in climbing is to stay committed. You are pumped, in a yes-fall zone, and below a crux section. Your mind creates a perception that you are too pumped to continue, you believe your mind's perception, which turns into a justification for hanging on the rope and convincing yourself you cannot continue. "Of course I couldn't continue climbing; I was too pumped."

Ice Climbing at Sandstone on Thursday

John and Mike (Dr P) are going to Sandstone on Thursday. Meeting in Roseville at 9AM. Questions, call or email me.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Climb With Kids

These two kids, 12 and 14 climb a seaside cliff in Britain.

Need A Way to Bypass the Traffic Jam

This could do it. They’re planning on driving and flying from London to Timbukutu. And it’s biofueled.

Story here.

The Crawl on the Owen Spalding Route Grand Teton

Le Trio Grand is looking for a way to prepare for the exposure, any ideas? We can train physically, what about mentally? That doesn't give you all license to mess with me.

Bye! For now. . . .

Well, it's back up to Duluth for Emily and I for a while. I need to learn some more nonsense about stuff. Emily needs to finish up her degree in junk. Thanks for climbing with us this Christmas break. I improved a lot thanks to you guys. Hopefully I am as still improving while I am away too.
See you in a few weeks.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

There are Plenty of Unclimbed Peaks

This website has a nice listing and photos of unclimbed peaks in eastern Tibet. There is even a map. Tom Nakamura was kind enough to bring back the beta, now it's up to the rest of us to get these peaked sent.

Le Grand Trois begin training

Carl, Mel and Lisa have begun training for their ascent of The Grand Teton on August 4, 2009. They are climbing at very similar skill levels but each have their own gifts. Mel enjoys crimpy, slabby, Lisa likes cracky stemmy and Carl enjoys hippity hop, also referred to as Fred Flintstone starting his car. Hey, it gets him there.

Cardio training has also begun so Mel is a little dizzy from the eliptical trainer and Lisa will be seen "glowing " from the Stair Master. Give them a wave if you see them up there because you know they would rather be climbing. Yes, I am still working on that pull up.

The B team was there too, not sure what they were doing...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Big Falls at VE on Saturday

Somebody did not look at the schedule! Typically there is someone from my family at VE at all times. I take the early shift, Em closes the joint and the boys fill in inbetween. But Today we were all there, plus Michael and Hannah. We also saw the elusive Pamela and her new fiance'.

Jake was leading the yellow 11 right of the roof, he fell early and almost hit the floor, he threw his arm back to brace for the impact that didn't happen, his shoulder pooped out, OW! He got it back in, no worries. This has been and issue, more physical therapy is in order.
Then Levi attempted that same route. A hold near the last clip spun and his took a very long fall, about half way down the wall. The guy next to me said "good catch". Hey, if your mama won't catch you, who will?

I'm sure some or most of us will climb tomorrow, as will Mel and the "B" team. How about you?

Here is a photo of my lads were they were not so tough as they are now but they thought they were.

Ice Report

John AKA Stretch and I were the only two up for some ice today. We first went to Homer's and I started setting up my anchor with all the new purchases I got the night before. John called me over before I was finished and said I needed to look at this. The climb had turned a very filthy muddy brown! Yuk! Nothing I'd put my rope on so we headed to the Brickyards. We spent about four hours down there. Moved our anchors once to get a different perspective. John usually climbs Ivy Falls which is nearby. I think the next time out that way Ivy would be a good alternative. A very good day!

Which Route?

Here is a complete trip report on the Owen Spalding Route up the Grand Teton. Richard's previous post depicted several routes. Which will we take? I am happy to say that the guide will decide based on our climbing skills at ground school. That is very ok with me.

Friday, January 16, 2009

To Climb or Not to Climb, no question.

Lots of funny t-shirts at this site. Ok some are not funny. There are some clever ones and of course some dirty ones. All of us are too cool to wear them, but they are fun to look at.

Who Needs Crampons?

Just get this hobnail boot kit, stop and screw in spikes. Brings me back to the days of studded snowtires. Those were the days...

Click here for a product review

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bootie Call for Buddy

 Bud with bootiesHey now, not that kind of booty! The kind of bootie we're putting on Buddy to go on a walk 'cuz it is PFC (Pretty Fricking Cold) outside in MN right now. Those of you who thought it was something else, should be ashamed of yourself. (You know who you are; shame, shame, shame.) Actually, when you look at his face, he is pretty ashamed too. I suppose it's because his boots don't match his belt. We'll fix that next year.

Folks You Know At VE

P1000632P1000635      P1000626P1000646

More ice?

Anyone up for some ice on Saturday?? Post or give me a call. 651 2 zero 8 4523.
Quick before the global warming comes next week.

One Thing To Do If It's Really Cold Outside

Just a suggestion, not a requirement.

Someone's Got New Shoes

Guess whose foot this is.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Some Us Are Going to the Grand This August

Lisa, Mel and Carl have arranged to climb the Grand Teton this August. So, some photos are in order. Here's the summit from the lower saddle (lower left in photo below), with the most popular routes marked. At the lower saddle, they

grand with route names

will spend a restful and very comfortable night. Then leave shortly after midnight, climb to the summit, and then go back to the car. Lots of history and info here. They'll start at 6732 ft of elevation and finish at the summit at 13770 ft. So the total gain is .... a lot.  I just figured out it is approximately  20.108571428571428571428571428571 times the height of Afton Alps Ski area.  You do the math, if you don't believe me. Afton says it is 350 feet high in the sky. (That's why on many days, you can't see the summit - it's lost in the clouds.)

The British Mountaineering Council

Has a web site filled with gear advice, climbing skills and techniques. Especially at this section "Safety and Skills." They even have a section on "Hill Walking" skills.

Pull Up Training

This synaptic facilitation technique is new to me and I think it's worth trying - at least for pull ups. The article linked above mentions one person who did chin ups every time "he went down into his basement; each day he would do between 25 and 100 chin-ups."  The secret seems to be to stop well short of muscle failure on each set you do. More here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Climb in In Yosemite That's Fun to Watch

This is one part of  a video of the record-breaking ascent of the Nose in Yosemite last summer. They move quite efficiently, not super fast. They also place only a few pieces of gear. The King Swing, at the end, is quite spectacular.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Warden and Raoul at VE Sat

Climbing 3 different routes. Still photos here.

The Odyssey of Homer

Even though it was Greek to us, Lisa, Nora and I were able to climb at Homer's Odyssey today. Photos here.

Homer's Odyssey

Lisa, Richard and I hit up Homer's today. What a great afternoon of ice climbing!! Tall vertical ice with a little dry tooling on the sides. Homer's is in a very beautiful narrow slot canyon. Ice, Ice, Baby! Link to more photos

Friday, January 9, 2009

New Issue of Dead Point Magazine

Click here
Page 15 is my favorite.
Training on page 40
and yes that is me on the cover

About the Worst Conditions You Can Have

John and Mike P. (Dr. P.) got back tonight from their ski trip into the BWCA. And reported they had the worst conditions you can have on a winter ski trip. It was -27 at night and deep (12+") snow on the lakes. OK, so far so good; nice deep, powder snow and cold enough so you can see the stars freeze. (Sounds about right for January in northern MN.) But there was also a foot of wet slush under the snow which, of course, froze to their skis and the sleds they were hauling. OK, but at least they could take a short cut across the lake since it was frozen. No, they couldn't do that because of the  open water. I think pulling big rocks around the yard sounds like more fun.

The Mighty "T"

Here's Tyler doing some insane lead out of the pit. It's rated 5.TUFF. As you can see, he's burning up the route.

(Hey "T" or VE staff, if you want to see the original photos go to this link.)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Couple of Guys Hanging Out

P1000438Saw these guys hanging out at VE. Do you know them? At first, I thought I might have seen them on a milk carton and that's why I recognized them. But I think I've seen them before.


Ice Climbing Saturday

We plan to go to Homer's at about 1PM. Come if you can. Google Street Map below. Address is approximately 1248 Homer St. in St. Paul. It's just north of Shepard road and about 6 blocks west of I-35E.  The climbing area is on the river side of Shepard Road right where Homer ends. I think we'll have enough gear for anyone who wants to come. But check first.

View Larger Map

Ever See A Brocken Spectre?

This photo of a halo caused by 2 climbers on a mountain ridge, comes from this article about climbing in Colorado. Definition of Brocken spectre is here.

I've noticed this from an airplane. Never seen it from a mountain.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Video Slideshow of VE on Wednesday

Starring, Liz, Joanie, Emily, Jake, Kyle, and Liz II with cameos by Doni and Nora. (Remember, if you right click on these videos I post, it gives you options to view them full screen if you want.)

Wednesday at VE

P1000357Whole lot of climbin' going on. From Liz and Joanie, Doni, Kyle, Jake, Emily, Lisa, Mel, Nora and Levi.




Lots more photos of today here at this link.


And here's a shot of Liz, the famous route setter at VE. My new name for her is Scrunchie 'cuz she sets such good routes requiring the climber to get all scrunched up.


Ice Climbing

Would anyone be interested in the Brick yards on Saturday? Give me a call before Thursday night. Six 5 one two zero 8 4 5 two three. I have an extra pair of size mens 8 boots and crampons to loan out and tools to share. I don't have anchor materials. It's going to be 11 degrees and sunny!

Thinking of Climbing the Grand?

Here's a 5 Step  program that'll get you to the top in good form. You already have Steps 1 and 2 done and you're certainly doing part of Steps 3.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ice Climbing Gear Info

"This article is intended to inform you of the features and uses of modern ice climbing gear. The focus is on technical waterfall ice and mixed climbing..."

Expecting a Big turn out Tomorrow

I know there will be plenty of Enders, Mel-lo and Quicks Draw...what about you? We will be bouncing off the walls starting at noon.
Hey Aaron, if you like falling and flying so much - may as well combine the two! check out this video. sorry it didnt work the first time- i fixed it now

Monday, January 5, 2009

My New Idea on Photographing

I tried taking photos from above as Mel climbed. Let me know if you like the shots from above.

Emily Passed Her Lead Test at VE

That's good news. Here's a little video.

(By the way, if you right click on these videos I post, it gives you options to view them full screen if you want.)

Monday at VE

P1000300 There was the famous Mel (a shot of her from above on the right), the rarely seen Kyle ( working a 5.TUFF route below),  Emily, Levi, and Lisa. (I also got to exchange words with my cobbler.)


Here's One Way to Scout New Rock Routes

I know we've seen people flying through the air before, but this is a little different.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


This is a little intimidating for me because of the humiliation I will get if I don't succeed. But, here are some of my climbing goals for this year. Plus, if I don't make any of them, I will just go back and delete this post.

  • Be friendly to other climbers
  • Do a lead from the pit, up and over the ceiling, down the other wall and then back up and over and down to the start without a take. 
  • Cross the other ceiling the long way without a take.
  • Climb 2-3 of the 5.12s at Red Wing clean. I've done about 3 with a few takes.

VE Sunday

Just as I arrived at VE on Sunday, I saw the Warden and Mike sneaking out. They did not want to stay and have a C.R.A.P. with us. For shame.

For the rest of us - Emily, Carl, Nora, Mel, Lisa and me - we had a good day climbing AND a good C.R.A.P. at Yarusso's. And Eric joined us too.

P1000288Here's a photo of Lisa all the way across the arch, trying to hide from the camera by tucking herself up onto the ceiling. We see U!



In order to prevent the spread of disease from the filth and the germs that some of you are leaving on the holds at VE, starting this year, we recommend you wear this outfit.  Especially if I am climbing the route after you. A clean hold is a healthy hold. So keep your filthy hands off of my holds. Thank you.