Thursday, May 14, 2009

10 Climbs for the rest of us

By Cameron M. Burns The standards in climbing are always rising, even for moderately experienced climbers. There are Everest summiteers who have a scant few years of climbing experience, and many of the hottest "rock stars" of our generation have gone straight from the climbing gym to the hardest pieces of rock on the planet. But most of us aren't like that. Most of us want to get some decent experience under our belts before we run off and tackle K2.

This list of suggested climbs was not chosen just on the routes' grades (indeed, one route has the seemingly advanced grade of 5.9, C1). Rather, these climbs were picked for several reasons: their spectacular and remote settings, their stimulating climbing, their relative safety, and—despite that 5.9, C1 rating—their relative ease. These climbs are all genuine intermediate material, and—regardless of grade—they are all great routes.

Mount Temple as seen from Lake Louise

The climbs here also represent a wide variety of regions, from the canyon country of Utah to the exotic, volcanic peaks of eastern Mexico. And although there are no climbs from certain regions—such as the Himalaya and East Asia—these mountains and routes were chosen for ease of access both from the USA and Europe. Mount Kenya might seem like a long way away; however, it is such an easy mountain to get to (you can take a taxi from Nairobi), and it's a great mountain to learn mountaineering on if you hope to advance in your climbing career. I just had to include it.

Good luck, wear your helmet, and good climbing!

North America
1.Nutcracker, CA
2.Stolen Chimney, UT
3.Ellingwood Arete, CO
4.Disappointment Cleaver / Ingraham Glacier
Route, WA
5.Southwest Ridge, Canada
6.Jamapa Glacier, Mexico

The Rest of the World
7.Normal Route, Kenya
8.Frontier Ridge, France
9.Cuillin Ridge, Scotland
10.South Face, Italy

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