The ice by the Franklin Ave bridge, also called Bridal Veil Falls, looked like this on Wed 12/30/09
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
“For once, social scientists have discovered a flaw in the human psyche that will not be tedious to correct. You may not even need a support group. You could try on your own by starting with this simple New Year’s resolution: Have fun ... now… when people were asked to anticipate how much extra money and time they would have in the future, they realistically assumed that money would be tight, but they expected free time to magically materialize.”
There’s a term for that now - “resource slack” – and we aren’t very good at judging it. The article quoted above, also talks about how we tend to not visit landmarks in our own city until we have out of town visitors. And how people allow gift certificates to expire without using them.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Amy asked about the location of Homer’s Odyssey (the name is way more grand than the actual icefall.) But this where it is.
In the photo below, you can see the gap in the highway barrier you walk thru to get to the top of the icefall. It is about a 1 minute walk from where you park your car, to the top of the icefall. This is about 15 minutes from VE.
Steph Davis has photos and advice on crack climbing – particularly off-widths (which we have so many of in MN) including what type of shoes work best.
“So as with everything, offwidths are all about the feet. I have good news or bad news, depending on what size you are: the bigger your feet, the easier it will be to climb wide cracks. If you are climbing sandstone offwidths, which tend to have less small footholds and little edges, I strongly recommend you wear Five Tennies for wide cracks. It makes it way easier, and more comfortable. On granite, where you need to take advantage of anything you can get, just wear a big, stiff shoe”
Monday, December 28, 2009
“A Roman Catholic Church in Gatineau, Que., is facing a rocky future, but the archbishop of the diocese feels that's not such a bad thing. The church was on the market for two years before a recent offer was accepted from the developer, who plans to turn it into the rock-climbing centre.”
Climb the walls and get closer to God?
Lisa is filling out her ice climbing gear rack. Today she got new crampons – with heel spurs for heel hooking (cool, huh?) – and 3 of us went to Homer’s to try them out.
The ice was thin; there is one almost full-height icicle on the left side. There is still running water down the middle. Lots of chandelier ice. Some pretty good, soft ice too but not full-height.
We also just had to climb the slabby rock/ice buttress that’s down to the right in the canyon. So we did. It was mostly hooking teeny, tiny pits in the soft sandstone rock with Johnnie Mac’s new ice tools. And then setting the tippy, tip, tips of the front points on the crampons and standing up. Repeat. We were having so much fun, that we had to kick a couple of other climbers out of there.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
The Spirit of Adventure! Here is the trailer
Saturday, December 26, 2009
I had an ID 10 T problem on my ceiling climbing goal. (A few years ago, after I had waited a long time to talk to a computer tech, he said, “Oh, you have a ID 10 T problem with your computer.” What’s that?” I asked. “Write it down,” he told me. So I did. IDIOT. I think I had forgotten to plug the computer into the wall or something.)
Similarly, with my ceiling climb I had been trying the same sequence over and over without succeeding. (“84 times,” Lisa said.) I knew if I kept trying the same sequence I would eventually make it because I’d get strong enough to do it. Then, last week, I switched the sequence on two holds, and Voila!, I now can make it
easily with less difficulty.
So my lesson is: persistence and consistency is important, until you have to change the way you do things. Then it gets in your way. (Is that a lesson? Isn’t there a song title like that? “Know when to hold and know when to fold and know when you’re being an ID 10 T.”)
Weird or wonderful, you decide.
“It has bony armor that protects its head and tail, and a grasping pelvic fin that helps it to climb vertical surfaces such as rocks…climbing could be an advantage to these fishes because of the irregular and sometimes high-flow of streams in these elevations.”
Friday, December 25, 2009
A video showing about a 3,000 foot climb and then ski down. Story here.
At about the 2 minute mark, you can see the skiiers lowering themselves on ropes because they can’t ski the cliff.
The snowman is 10 µm across, 1/5th the width of a human hair.
“The snowman was made from two tin beads used to calibrate electron microscope astigmatism. The eyes and smile were milled using a focused ion beam, and the nose, which is under 1 µm wide (or 0.001 mm), is ion beam deposited platinum.
A nanomanipulation system was used to assemble the parts 'by hand' and platinum deposition was used to weld all elements together. The snowman is mounted on a silicon cantilever from an atomic force microscope whose sharp tip 'feels' surfaces creating topographic surveys at almost atomic scales.”
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wind turbine repair is a growing field for experienced climbers.
“About half of Rope Partner’s technicians double as recreational climbers, Mr. Bley estimated. Their job, requiring them to fly around the country for projects that can last up to several months, offers an on-and-off lifestyle that allows them to climb or relax during their weeks off.”
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Wanna crawl on your belly like a snake? Thru a mud puddle?
If that appeals to you, it’s time for you to register for Muddy Buddy 2010. Lisa did this race last year and had a SUPER FAB time.
“The first 50 teams to register for each event will receive a Technical Participant T-shirt! Muddy Buddy will be in 18 cities in 2010. Secure your spot in the Mud Pit near you. Events typically sell out!”
This site has a complete 16 week workout plan for improving your climbing. (That’ll take you thru winter.) His first post deals with setting your goals. It’s that SMART idea:
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Timely
He also has a workout for each week all on this page.
Here’s a new clothing company that is being sued by…well I bet you can guess which company might be suing them. The South Butt’s slogan is “never stop relaxing.” Slightly different than “never stop exploring,” the other company’s slogan.
Here is a disclaimer by The South Butt:
“We are not in any fashion related to nor do we want to be confused with The North Face Apparel Corp. or its products sold under "The North Face" brand. If you are unable to discern the difference between a face and a butt, we encourage you to buy North Face products.”
I personally have had my face mistaken for my butt, so I can understand any confusion.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Hey it's a blast! Several of you Rockers have said this is the winter you want to start kiting. I think with all the snow coming you picked a good one! I would love to introduce you to the sport but am limited by my gear. Yes kiting is expensive and the gear needs to fit you personally to work safely. I have several kites all sized for different speeds of winds but not two of the same to be able to ride with you at the same time. Lisa has used my trainer kite and it's good for basic starting but you can't really ride with it. Of course riding is what it's all about. That said I have inside information on two affordable intro to kiting sessions coming up. They will be offered through UM St Cloud and be on Mil Lacs. If you're interested in learning or giving it a try contact Evan at this email, outdoor_endeavors – at - stcloudstate.edu Of course UM Duluth has a super program also in place and provides all the gear. Here's their page. If you have any questions feel free to get hold of me. I like kiting so much I don't even buy my season passes to Welch anymore. Here’s a story by Stephen Regenold in the Star Tribune about his experience last winter.
OK. it really wasn’t blind people climbing, it was Lisa, Peter and I climbing with a bandana around our eyes. Not sure if it was a useful exercise, but it focused our attention on remembering where the footholds were. (About 2 minutes.) About halfway in the video, you can see “Bandana Cam.” (Don’t know why there’s no sound in part of it, but that’s probably what climbing was like for Helen Keller.)
Monday, December 21, 2009
I was only able to capture a short (haha) segment of a protest today at VE. Look what they did to the protester to shut her up. If you agree with the protester, please let her know. Power to the little people!
Small carbon footprint people rock! (Man I wish I were short, so I could protest too. But, nooooo! I am average height. I hate being average!)
Are you a scruncher or a reacher? Let us know what you think.
Richard made it across the long ceiling clean as a whistle. He did that all the peeps that have given him beta over the past year. Russel. Tyler, Peter, Kyle, Anthony, Dan... he didn't thank me for telling him that "today was the day!" It stressed him out, but I am just saying HE MADE IT. and he never has to go there again! What an accomplishment. Russell said They aren't going to let Alex Johnson in the gym anymore when Richard is there. One famous climber at a time is enough!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
This fellow’s blog is subtitled “How I stopped worrying and learned to rock climb.” In this post, he tells the story of getting fooled into climbing a route not in his guidebook. He’s a relative newcomer to climbing and posts his trips of easy to moderate climbs he does, mostly in California. (So many stories on the internet are about the 5.13 climbers, it’s kinda fun to read about someone just starting out. )
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Because Jackson Hole is so far away from any natural rock climbing area, they are building a rock climbing park in town.
“The space was patterned after “The Enclosure,” a circle of rocks located on top of a breathtaking peak near the Grand Teton that are believed to be placed there by Native Americans for a sacred ritual, although the exact use and purpose of the rocks is still shrouded in mystery.”
These Black Diamond sponsored climbers wanted to ski 8,000 vertical feet on the south face of Denali. You can see in the approx 4 minute video, they had to bring a lot of gear to attempt it. They skiied over 60 miles and 15,000 feet but didn’t meet their goal because of snow conditions.
“Being delusional is a character trait that all big mountain adventurers share. You have to believe that when things are bad they will get better before you have to leave.”
Friday, December 18, 2009
When you’re deep water soloing at the ocean, this might be why you like going to the beach:
“Turns out, somewhere between 130,000 to 190,000 years ago, the human species was reduced to less than 1000 breeding individuals--just a few thousand people in total….His team eventually found a site, dating to 164,000 years ago, that shows evidence of humans eating shellfish, working with natural pigments and creating technologically sophisticated tools. He thinks this could be the remnants of the humans of the bottleneck--ancestors of everyone alive today.”
I bet they had way cool retro swim togs and I bet they didn’t have to use all that SPF lotion either.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Someone has asked me to post the map again on how to get to Yarusso’s. I won’t mention the person’s name so as to not embarrass him (Ron) so I’ve enclosed a map below along with an award-winning video showing people eating huge amounts of pasta at Yarusso’s.
Based on feedback from participants, we have changed the permit season to run from November 1 through March 31.
The cost of the annual permit is $25.00
In order to participate in our park system, we require all ice climbers to obtain a permit before they climb. The permit includes a signed waiver by the participant, an annual fee, and approval of Parks staff.
We hope you have an enjoyable and safe experience when using Saint Paul parks for your leisure activities.
We have many locations available for your use:
- Five at the Lilydale Brickyard - Map
Please view the following material for more location information:
This is a post by Steph Davis, a professional climber, that describes core-strengthening exercises. Here’s one suggestion she makes:
“The other thing that gives you a pretty big bang for the buck is increasing your turn-out in your hips. If you can’t suck your pelvis up against the rock, you have less weight on your feet and have to pull more with your arms. If you can glue your crotch to the wall (sorry), suddenly you don’t have to exert any strength at all to be solid on the rock. I have literally gone from holding on hard to just standing there, when I started paying more attention to pulling my hips in on climbs.”
“Like many young climbers, I used to think that topping out was my goal - completing the route. It took some really hard routes for me like Rhapsody and Ring of Steall to realise that while I was battling with them, I was right on top of my goal. The progress, move, by move, session by session was the fun part. Topping out was superficially nice, but also an empty moment - the end of the line until another inspirational piece of rock could be found.”
And here he compares trad climbing to sport and bouldering climbing:
“Climbing where your life depends on what happens in the next seconds felt quite a lot more engaging than looking for the next bolt. You are never giving, and taking more from the experience of climbing than when you really must get that next hold. I could never do this type of climbing [trad] all the time. It would be utterly draining. The carefree days of sport climbing and bouldering are also one of my big reasons to go climbing. But neither could I always be carefree and never really put myself on the line. I need both.”
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Just finished a book called Survivors Club about the “secrets and science that could save your life.” Filled with stories and studies about why some people survive accidents and others don’t. It refers to rules about how to survive various types of accidents, such as the 1-10-1 rule if you fall into very cold water:
“If you think you have just minutes to live, that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy…You have 1 minute to get your breathing under control, 10 minutes of the ability to move your muscles, and 1 hour before you lose consciousness.”
And the theory of 10-80-10:
“10 percent of us will handle a crisis in a relatively calm manner…around 80 percent will be stunned and bewildered with impaired reasoning, lethargy, tunnel vision; in short we’ll turn into statues…and 10 percent will do the wrong things.”
The author has a website where you can take a short test about what type of survivor you are. (If you buy his book, you get a special secret code so you can take a much longer test.) I took the short test and achieved an unimaginable score of 112% out of 100%. I think I was the world champion survivor. (But I might have cheated.)
The part about people freezing into inaction, relates to climbing, I think. We have “limited attentional resources” and suffer from “brainlock.” “…with your heart pounding and stress hormones pumping, it’s no surprise your mind can freeze up for a few seconds.”
According to the Air Force survival course the book mentions, there is a “Rule of 3” for survival. You cannot survive:
3 seconds without spirit and hope
3 minutes without air
3 hours without shelter in extreme conditions
3 days without water
3 weeks without food
3 months without companionship
Mel found this, the carol is near the end.
From summit post - a trip report titled Grand Anxiety about a climbing trip on the Grand Teton.
At this juncture, rigor mortis is beginning to set in and unless I get to the hut soon for a hot meal, I may be fodder for the mortician's table by midnight. I became increasingly frustrated by the pace. Finally, we conquered the pitch and after another twenty minutes of talus navigation we were at The Hut.
Nondescript. Not your father's Holiday Inn. Not your mom's Motel 6. Room for sixteen to sleep on the floor, arranged like sardines. Exum provides the sleeping bags and pads and a three burner gas-operated stove for heating water. Paper towels and defecation kits. That's it. After milling about and getting acquainted with our sleeping quarters, Kevin called a meeting and laid out the agenda for Friday's summit attempt. We would rise at three and begin climbing by four, achieve the summit before 8:30 and after a three to four hour descent, be back at the hut by noon. Nice plan.
With everyone's packs reorganized, hot meals ingested, and marching orders disseminated, we retired to our packs. I took a sleeping pill, inserted ear plugs, shut my eyes and proceeded to lay in my pack for 6.5 hours sleeping nary a minute. Ten climbers shifting, nine hikers sniffling, eight marmots searching, seven cowards crying, six people coughing, five guides were talking, four geezers farting, two lovers giggling.....one jackass snoring. At 12:30 a.m., to make matters worse, the wind started pounding the hut mercilessly. I guess the majority of the gusts were in the 50 mph range, with some hitting the 60-70 mph mark.
Monday, December 14, 2009
She’s been working on this off and on for awhile. And today she nailed it. But she said she’s not going to count it. Because, the deal was, when she made it, she was going to buy herself the prettiest, the bestest, the coolest, rope in the world. And today, after doing the climb, she didn’t buy it. Wow, my head’s in a whirl. (Ask her about the soundtrack if you wish.) Video’s about 1.5 minutes; crux move starts at the 45 seconds mark.
Tan, Amy, Lisa, Jen and Peter were there. Tan did her first overhanging lead, Jen did her first “double buttress” lead, Amy did lots of hard stuff, Lisa finished the hardest moves of her arch project on lead and I fell off the ceiling 3x.
I did get some feedback on these climbing videos. “Keep ‘em short.” So I will try. And I know, unless you’re the climber, the belayer, a witness – or – just a really nice person, most of the videos aren’t that interesting to watch. Kinda like this one I made.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
This was a stunner to me:
Women possess some physical and mental advantages that make them as good if not better than the men, says Hansen. “They are able to remain calmer in the high-adrenaline type situations. The ladies I would take out guiding were always calmer. The men had that macho attitude. If they couldn’t do it they would get mad.
“It was 10 to one, men to women. Now what I am seeing is 50/50,” observes Ted Hansen, a longtime climbing guide... He remembers a decade ago when the women he guided were the girlfriends of men who wanted to try rock climbing. Today women are learning to climb on their own and buying their own equipment.
Women are actually buying things on their own? The world is spinning too fast. Please let me off.
We even went over to the Jazz wall and did a sport lead climb. Which was tough in double mountaineering boots. And gloves. But
more fun almost as much fun as shopping at Amazon.
Friday, December 11, 2009
This site has lots of info on training for rock climbing. Including this:
“Here’s a good bet on a better pre-climb ritual, for both competition and training.
1. Get a general warm-up. Think hiking to the crag. 10-15 minutes of nice, easy activity. Sure you think it’s a waste of time now, but wait until you are 50. You’ll wish you’d listened to me when you’re hanging out at Mt. Rainier instead of Hueco Tanks.
2. Move to a more specific warm-up. Grippers, hangboards, easy climbing, pull-ups. Whatever it takes to get good and ready to climb. This should take about 10 minutes.
3. Ease into it. Sure we’ve all heard about the guy who “never warms up” or sends hard off the couch. That ain’t you. Here’s a quick test: Were you in “King Lines” or did you pay to watch it? If the answer is the latter, take it slowly.
So dump the pre-climb stretches, stretch all you want afterward, get real with your warm-ups, and realize that if you are “training” but have not improved in the past 6 months, you’re doing it wrong.”
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
This is a real gyp – two days ago there were 3 Tundra Swans on our lake and I figured, “Good, we only need 4 more for Christmas.” But today, when I checked, there’s only one left. I’ve got a 6 swan deficit! (The photo below was not taken by me; I really can count to 3.)
People often inquire " Do you guys climb everyday"? The answer is "no, that would be crazy".
But now I have been asked, "So you guys never get injured"? The answer to that is, "sometimes a little, but the only injuries that stop us from climbing, were not sustained while climbing" for example, I fell running last night ( I am ok, thanks for asking) Richard hurt his knee running, requiring surgery.( He was back before you could blink) I pulled my shoulder doing yoga. (slowly recovering thanks for asking). The truth is, if am and sore or I strained something, the shot of endorphins and adrenaline I get from climbing makes me feel better.
I also would like to admit that some days are better than others. If you climb alot some days will be just plain substandard, but that ok. I win when I show up. Anything to add Ricardo?
It’s way more likely I’ll get hurt driving to the gym that when I’m at the gym. Or walking down stairs. Or using a machete to cut carrots.
About two years ago, I did a lot of bouldering on small crimpy holds and campus boarding (it’s a lot like water boarding but you don’t need a towel when you’re done.) I got tennis elbow from using the same type of crimpy holds so frequently. So now I try to balance out big hold climbs with slopers and with overhangs and with drinking a beer. (Plus, I’m not that good, so that helps too.)
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
With the biggest snow storm in the world, EVER, forecast for the next few days, better get yourself one of these rescue dogs in case you get buried in snow trying to buy a burrito at Taco Bell. (My dog would dig thru snow to find me as long as I had a pork chop around my neck. Otherwise, he’s too busy.)
The ice festival is this weekend, Friday – Sunday. There are a few of us going up there on Saturday. It’s about 1.5 hours north of the Twin Cities. If you need to rent gear, talk to Lisa ‘cuz she knows more about it than I do.
Looks like all of the clinics are full. We’ll have informal clinics during the winter in town as soon as the ice forms up. (With this new cold snap coming in, it won’t take but a few more days.)
I did this once too:
“I started up my warm-up, and for the first time I believe I’ve ever done this in almost 18 years of climbing, I forgot to put draws on my harness, reaching the second clip only to discover—surprise!—I had no draws to hang. Fabulous. I downclimbed to the first bolt, took, and lowered to the ground to start again, this time with draws on my harness.”
It’s a little unnerving but memorable. She has lots of stories on her blog about her climbing trip to Red River Gorge, where she spent – I think – more than a month. If you start reading her blog at the bottom of the page here, you’ll get lots of info about her training program and the length of her hair. (Length of my hair has never been a big concern of mine. It grows and then I cut it. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later.)
Monday, December 7, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
That’s the plan for these unused silos in Omaha. Wonder if it’ll work.
Here’s an existing climbing gym in Bloomington, IL which has a 65 foot silo as well as a 110 foot outdoor wall lighted for night climbing.
Another one in Oklahoma City.
And another one in Dallas. This one doesn’t have much info about it.