At least in this study which compared indoor climbing to soccer. I’ve always thought that soccer was inherently dangerous. And inherently boring when compared to climbing.
Monday, November 30, 2009
The Basic Setup
By Abrahm Lustgarten
You don't need a 65-pound El Capitan rack before you're ready to lead. Your basic set-up should be an estimation of how much gear you'll use in your average pitch—150 feet of climbing. Don't over-rack, it's both heavy and expensive.
It's best to start with a good selection of passive protection: solid, non-moving nuts and hexes that can be wedged in the rock, and stay (hopefully) in exactly the position you put them. These are both the lightest to carry and the cheapest to buy, so an initial investment of about $200 can get you going. I like to carry a full set of Black Diamond Stoppers (#1-13) and Hugh Banner Off-sets with doubles of a few popular sizes (#5-8), but there are a variety of brands and shapes to choose from. These piece cost between $9-$15 each.
Your active pro—spring-loaded camming gear that literally works for you by expanding and gripping the rock harder when pulled outward—should consist of a variety of devices fitting cracks from about a half-inch to five inches. There are lots to choose from in terms of brand and style, and it's worth doing some extra reading before putting all your eggs in one brand basket. These things aren't cheap either. Smaller sizes start at around $40 and the bigger cams for wide cracks can run as high as $90 each. Purchasing four or five pieces of active protection is a good start for a useable rack, but over time, and as you take on longer routes, you may build a collection of 25-30, with doubles in many sizes.
Serac Adventure Film School
When: Jan 25, 2010
LIVE IT and FILM IT in the Colorado Backcountry!
Join Serac Adventure Films at the 2010 Colorado Backcountry Film School and make your own adventure film. The film school runs from January 25-February 2, 2010 and registration is open now. Click here for the application form.
The Colorado High Country in the heart of winter is a sublime environment and a perfect place for making adventure films. How do you keep your fingers warm and your camera running in these conditions? The High Country is full of surprises, it can be pleasantly warm in the sun, brutally cold and windy or just snowing like it will never end. It really is one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
Exciting aspects of this adventure:
* Camp in the snow for a night. We set up tents in a spectacular snowy meadow at 11,000 ft. You might be surprised how comfortable the snow can be if you have the right skills and equipment.
* Two nights in a rustic back country cabin - it even has a sauna.
* Classes beyond filmmaking, (great subjects for films)
* Avalanche Safety Instruction with guide Tim Brown
* Snow meteorology with Colorado Powder Forecast Creator Joel Gratz
* Backcountry skills with NOLS instructor Phil Henderson
More information on this opportunity is available here.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Nice short video of vistas in Monument Valley, Arizona. You’re not supposed to climb there, but here’s a story of two people who sneaked in to climb the Totem Pole (shown on the left.) And the Mountain Project listing of climbs in Monument.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
It was a typical winter day – warm enough for T shirts.
Tyler was there as well as Mike and The Warden. Ron & I climbed a few familiar routes and fell off a few new ones. Then we found a new place to eat in Red Wing. And reviewed our climbing goals. All of which is shown in the video below.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Holy Moly, I didn’t even know I had such a thing. Here’s an article about learning from other sports to improve your climbing. An excerpt is below:
The use of short, explosive, all-out 1-rep contractions in training, does not so much get you stronger in absolute terms but it trains your bodies 'muscle regulator', the golgi tendon receptor to activate more muscle fibres more quickly, thus enabling you simply to use what you have more efficiently. The progressive use of De-inhibition training teaches us to extend this safety zone to allow us to recruit more power yet still within safe working limits.
The Warden was at VE early this morning so he could warm up before heading for Red Wing. (Today and Saturday might be the last two decent days for climbing at Red Wing. We’ll be there on Saturday.)
Levi came all the way down from Duluth to try some hard leads. Kyle was there with Peter – who hasn’t climbed in a week since he tore a ligament in his foot.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Here’s a review of wool pants for winter wear by the Gear Junkie. On quite a few mountain trips – 2 of them 3 weeks long – I used a pair of wool mailperson’s pants that I bought in a surplus store. They were lightweight, very wind proof, warm, dried fast and much tougher than any poly pants I’ve ever had. But I lost them.
This summer, I bought a pair of surplus wool army pants from this place. (I paid about $30.) I used them on my canoe trip and they were super fab. Very tough, very warm - even though I was constantly walking in the water - and windproof. I think they’ll be excellent for this winter’s ice climbing. (Although, I have my eye on these for ice climbing. Whadda ‘ya think? They’re Italian so they’re very stylish.)
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Andrew Skurka has done many long solo backpack trips – including a solo backpack trip from Duluth to Ely in the winter. He’s now planning a 4,500-mile ski, trek, and packraft trip around Alaska and the Yukon for 2010. I found this statement about his upcoming trip refreshing:
“Although there is an opportunity to, I do not wish to associate this expedition with a particular cause (e.g., sustainable energy or nature deficit disorder) because my personal experiences and the experiences of others have shown that, regardless of one's sincerity, it tends to be an ineffective and distracting effort. I've essentially concluded that if I really wanted to advance a cause, I would have much more of an impact by working for that cause or finding a conventional job and donating my income. Neither of these options sound more appealing than the GAYL. Plus, I've discovered that it's somewhat liberating to say that I'm doing this expedition because, in essence, I can and want to -- I think I'll be a better person for it. This desire for personal enrichment is at the root of every successful expedition anyway.”
Saturday, November 21, 2009
A relative newcomer to climbing, reports on his climb of one of the classic hard climbs in Yosemite.
“It's almost exactly five years to the month that I started climbing. I took up the sport at the rather advanced age of 38—an age when most serious climbers have already entered the sunset years of retirement. Seth, a decade younger, is one of my older partners. But as alpinist Mark Twight once told me, there's nothing to stop the average climber from trying the hardest route in the world.”
Friday, November 20, 2009
Hunting for the elusive ice worm in Denali Park, that’s the comment made in the video below as this group draws a blank finding them. “Ice worms are small, dark colored relatives of earthworms, known only for sure to live from northern Oregon to Alaska, with some distant relatives living near Bomi in eastern Tibet.”
There’s a bounty paid for locating them in the Alaska Range – which includes the Denali area. So maybe you could pay for your trip up there if you’d just dig long enough.
These folks find them easily in a tunnel through an avalanche cone.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I am in the process of planning an expedition to Raise Awareness of the growing phenomenon of “Raising Awareness.” (R.A. R. A.) When I Googled the term “raising awareness,” I found 869,000 hits. There’s way too much awareness raising going on.
I am thinking of raising awareness to this problem by organizing a week-long expedition to a very comfortable 5 star resort. Where the participants will chat about the stresses they feel by being aware of so much stuff. After 10-15 minutes of this chatting, they will jump into the pool, get a bite to eat and/or go take a nap. That’s it for the week. No more awareness raising than that.
Here’s where I need your help; what sort of a fund raiser would work? We would need to raise enough money to pay for our transportation, lodging, super-fast internet connection, entertainment costs, and deluxe food. Some ideas to get you started:
- Donate $1 for every minute we sleep
- Contribute $1 for each laugh we have
- Send us $2 each time you miss seeing a foot hold or a hand hold because you are unaware of it
- Send us $5 each time you get an email, ad or message about some event that’s supposed to raise your awareness
- Or, donate $5K and we won’t ever bother you again about how you should help us raise awareness to this global issue of raising awareness
Now that the summer is starting in Antarctica, there are many trips to choose from – climbing, skiing, even running.
Like this marathon:
“Join the most unusual 'Marathon Race' in the world. Run over a groomed snow track around the mountains by Patriot Hills base camp. Refreshment, warm-up stations, and guides and medics on snowmobiles will support you.”
Running the marathon is only $16K from Punta Arenas, Chile. Or, for something more strenuous and a little less reasonably priced, you can arrange a climb in Queen Maud Land.
The problem is the crowds:
“With tourism still growing along the Antarctic Peninsula groundings and tourist ships stuck in ice are becoming an annual happening.”
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Here’s a story of 3 women who climbed in Newfoundland & “…for two weeks, we paddled around the fjord in a little plastic rowboat; we crawled up 50° slopes of fern and moss; we climbed gorgeous, virgin cracks and crumbly, flakey horror-shows; and we ate tons and tons of wild blueberries,”
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
If you’ve got Prana – pack ‘em up. If you’re wearing Arcteryx, put ‘em away. Here is the new look for men's outdoor wear. “… many of today’s popular men’s styles have their roots in the late 19th century.” At least according to the fashion experts in New York.
“Woolrich Woolen Mills gray herringbone shooting jacket, $595 at Barneys; Dsquared tweed and plaid wool vest, $995 at Bergdorf Goodman Men; black and white plaid flannel shirt, $79 at Club Monaco; Junya Watanabe brown herringbone wool knickers, $660 at Jeffrey New York; black Persian lamb hat with silk faille lining, $800 at Rod Keenan New York.”
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Prim and proper and innocent as a rattlesnake. Tidy and organized, quit
making off with gear you think has been discarded. Not everyone is as neat
as you are. You are the perfect multipitch partner! Organization is your
forte and your gear is never neglected. Your virginity is doomed, my dear,
no matter what you do, there is a lusty Scorpio out there waiting for you.
Bat those eyelashes and enjoy a ride in the Duelfersitz.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
(I’m re-running – get it? – this post from last month because I just registered. So don’t get your feathers ruffled if you think you’ve seen this post before.)
On Thanksgiving morning, there is the annual 5K Turkey Day run. Lisa and Mel are running in it. Why don’t you? (That’s only 3 miles, people. I bet you can run that far.)
Here’s where you can sign up online or you can sign up at any REI store.
If you’re gonna get stuffed later that day, might as well make some room for it by gobbling up a few miles .
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
But, more amazing, they had another visitor at the base of one of their climbs – a fox. And a quick-thinking Lisa grabbed some shots of the fox before s/he ran away. Who knew there was so much Nature outdoors?
Monday, November 9, 2009
Is coming to a town near you.
November 19, 2009
St. John’s University
November 19, 2009 November 19, 2009 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour (North America): Collegeville, MN Science Center Auditorium, St. John's University, Collegeville, MN, USA
November 22, 23, 2009
Duluth Cross Country Ski Club
November 22, 2009 November 23, 2009 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour (North America): Duluth, MN Fregeau Auditorium, Marshall School, Duluth, MN, USA
November 20, 21, 2009
612-339-3433 or 1-888-999-1077
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Well we didn’t see any bats high up in the belfry, but Peter had an encounter with a bat high on “The Bulge” at Taylors Falls today.
He said, “It’s either a bat in that crack or an old banana with a blackened skin. Nope, a banana doesn’t squeak when you try to touch it.” The bat decided anyone tough enough to climb “The Bulge” and “Fancy Dancer” was too tough to bite. So it left us alone.
BTW, everyone was at Taylors Falls (and their Grandmas and their dogs) except you. What were you doing on this beautiful
May November day?
Saturday, November 7, 2009
From the Gear Junkie, I downloaded a swell map of Zion.
Beginning in the 1940s, the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Mapping Program was tasked with the immense cartographical feat of surveying the entire country to create a series of more than 50,000 topographical maps. Widely available and mostly accurate, the 1:24,000-scale government maps canvas the total of the contiguous United States.
Not occurring to many people — including me! — these maps exist within the public domain and are thus free for use and distribution. Taxpayers funded the decades-long project, and now you, dear taxpayer, are allowed the keys to download thousands of maps from a U.S. Geological Survey web site.
To be sure, printed maps from the USGS still come with a fee. But a download of the agency’s cartographical creations, which open in Adobe Acrobat as PDF files, is as simple and free as a few mouse clicks.
You can print the high-resolution map files from a home inkjet. Or, save the file and email a map to a copy shop for large-format print-outs.
To start the process, go to http://store.usgs.gov and find the text “Map Locator” on the top upper part of the left-hand column. Click it to be whisked to a Google Maps interface of the United States.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Where are the most microbes on humans located? The places that touch the climbing holds. Climbing is dangerous.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
- When Richard told me that there would be no more takes in my life, just falls, I was surprised and nervous but after what seemed like a couple of thousand falls, fear of falling was not in the front of my mind so much and I started to enjoy some success and challenged myself with some more difficult projects. When on a project it is nice to have a take now and them to work things out. But it is like a CRUTCH. I found myself up on the arch being gutless today, even though I fell off it 100 times in the last few weeks. Jeez. I will start again next week. No more takes, just falls.
- Focused flow, and stay in it. I read about that in the article posted previously by the amputee climber, inspiring, take a look at it.
- Efficiency, no wasted movements. It saves energy and frustration, I have even extended this thought to the rest of my life and it helps quite a bit, even in my yoga practice.
- And last but not least. Even when you think it's not about the feet, it's about the feet. LOOK DOWN THERE!
- ok, one more thing... ladies, please continue to dress appropriately. I know breasts just seems to get in the way while climbing but if you let "the gals" run wild, it is very distracting to our men friends.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
From an amputee. Here’s one most of us don’t need to worry about:
“Because I can’t use my prosthetic well on bulges, slabs, and small overhangs — with their “invisible” feet — I often have to find alternate rests. Toe or heel hooking with my prosthetic is super solid, and as long as I don’t pull too hard (my leg might fall off — creepy!), I can catch a rest at a corner or lip. You should try these unconventional rests, too.”
I hesitated about writing this post because I never want to discourage people from taking free candy (except from guys in cars, of course.) And I never believed those stories about razor blades or nails in candy at Halloween.
But this Halloween was different; I was horrified when I got home to find someone had given me candy that looked like the photo below. So, be careful out there. It’s a dangerous world.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Mike made a rare appearance at VE today. We watched him climb a route he renamed “Giving Birth to Yourself.” You’ll see why if you watch the video below.
Liz just found out she’s going into the hospital tomorrow for her hip surgery so won’t be climbing for a bit. Wish her well.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
A story of what it takes to pass the 6 day AMGA Rock Guide Exam course from the viewpoint of a female Exum Mountain Guide.
“Living with 12 people training for an exam can be overwhelming - beta overload, nonstop talk of climbing - but as well, very stimulating. For someone like me who suffers from acute case of FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out - it can be a little hard to manage. So, out of 18 days of training, I only took two days off.”