“First off the BBC TV film To Hell and Back about my first ascent of the E10 on Cairngorm has finally been released on DVD by Triple Echo, after many requests… The climb is still the UK’s only E10 graded mountain rock climb and one of the most serious trad routes anywhere. In the film there’s a fair bit of me getting really quite scared, belayers reduced to tears and even the film crew saying on camera that they wouldn’t film something like it again. You can get a copy here. Enjoy.”
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
I just bought this book written by Dave MacLeod whose website is here. Lots of advice on training for technique, developing finger strength and endurance as well as putting some of the initial fun you had as a beginning climber into your training.
One section of his book is devoted to falling. He states “it’s the primary weakness in over 50% of the climbers I meet for coaching sessions.”
He suggests a fall from every lead climb we do in the gym. He says, “if you do 20 routes per session (that’s a lot!), 3 timers per week, and practice falls from each one, that’s a few thousand falls per year.” There are many ways he suggests to work into this and incorporate it into indoor leading. So Lisa and I have been doing this a little more. We’ll see if it helps.
Will Gadd’s training program for his 24 hours of ice climbing at the Ouray Ice Festival included kayaking, rock climbing, biking, crossfit gym workouts and even ice climbing. Part of his training was doing 50+ laps per day on the ice as shown in this video. What he ate during his climb included “Eight Red Bulls. 18 liters of water/electrolyte mix plus another six or so after the event. An entire tub of Clif Electrolyte mix.”
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Another bit of evidence that modern running shoes are worse for us than no shoes.
“Runners who wore sneakers ended up landing heel-first 75 to 80 percent of the time. By contrast, barefoot runners usually land toward the middle or front of the foot -- a dramatic difference that recalls the more natural foot strike of early Homo sapiens. Needless to say, early humans certainly were not born to run wearing Nike or Reebok.
The heel-landing without shoes means a painful collision force of 1.5 to 3 times human body weight. But cushioned sneaker heels have allowed runners to change their stride to high-impact running, and likely open up a whole world of pain involving foot and leg injuries.”
More on setting training goals from the web site “Climb Strong”.
“Unfortunately, many climbers reach a performance plateau and seek to break through it via training modes outside of climbing such as running, yoga, or high-intensity weight training. Although these are all valid modes of exercise, each is highly unlike climbing and will offer only limited training value.
The first step to effective training is understanding what, exactly, needs to be trained. Take a good, long, and most of all, honest look at your performance before you decide to double your time in the weight room.”
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
For this mother, it’s time to get extreme:
“I tootled to the indoor rock climbing centre, booked myself in for private lessons with a fairly easy on the eye instructor (ah yes, I am a mother but I most certainly am not blind), and began scaling rock walls. Yes I'll be the first to admit that as I hung from a rock wall which was parallel to the floor, with my instructor’s hands on my derriere, I did take a minute to wonder what on earth I was doing. But overall I really enjoyed the experience (no, not JUST the instructors hands on my derriere) and had a fabulous day when we finally went on an outdoor climb. Even the abseiling was fun.”
North Face the Movie - Special Free Prescreening at REI Bloomington
2/26/2010 6:00 PM
Based on a true story, NORTH FACE is a gripping adventure drama about a competition to climb the most dangerous rock face in the Alps. In 1936, Nazi propaganda urges German Alpinists to conquer the unclimbed north face of the Swiss massif, the Eiger, bringing two reluctant climbers, Toni Kurz (BENNO FÜRMANN) and Andi Hinterstoisser (FLORIAN LUKAS), to begin their daring ascent and attempt to scale the infamous rock face, often called the Murder Wall. A truly gripping film! The film is 126 minutes long and is in subtitles. The links below are a previews of the movie.
Location: REI Bloomington
Contact: REI Bloomington Customer Service 952-884-4315 x. 9
If the subtitles bum you out, sit by me, I will read them to you. Then we can go out for a beer.
This 51 year- old woman with a rare debilitating disease is leaving in April to attempt Mt. Everest.
“My immune system is attacking me. It’s attacking my blood vessels. … it’s attacked my sinuses and my eyes and my throat … You just carry on.” Abbott’s illness requires constant treatment and drug therapy.
I had a cold the other day and didn’t go climbing. What a pansy!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Here’s a list from the American Alpine Institute of what courses they recommend for each of the 7 Summits.
(I’ve got a bid on the “7s” at ebay. I’m hoping I can get a good deal.)
“This 2000 climbing film takes climbing movies to new heights of incredulity. Unbelievable situations, such as taking nitroglycerin on a rescue mission on K2 makes this a must view for all climbers.
If you cannot find the actual full video at your local public library watch this for great tips on HOW NOT TO CLIMB.”
Sunday, January 24, 2010
This is scheduled for 2010; a jump from 120,000 feet high. It’ll take 3 hours in a balloon to get that high and then he’ll jump out and
“Within 35 seconds or so, Baumgartner will hit supersonic speeds and break the sound barrier. No one really knows what will happen at that point, but the scientists seem confident that he’ll maintain consciousness. He will free fall for roughly six more minutes, pulling his chute at about 5,000 feet and coasting for 15 minutes back to solid ground.”
Friday, January 22, 2010
I was re-reading this article about stretching and the advantages of dynamic stretching vs static stretching such as this:
“The old presumption that holding a stretch for 20 to 30 seconds — known as static stretching — primes muscles for a workout is dead wrong. It actually weakens them. Other studies have found that this stretching decreases muscle strength by as much as 30 percent. Also, stretching one leg’s muscles can reduce strength in the other leg as well, probably because the central nervous system rebels against the movements.”
Here’s an example for tennis players.
(Updated by Richard.) I found the website of Panagea Guides in Alaska and sure enough there was a photo of Ben. Kewl!
That’s what their friend told them. Here’s part 4 of a climb in Nepal by Renan Ozturk & Cory Richards. They apparently have an indoor toilet now. Lisa will love this quote:
“Climbing on rock like this with only one or two pieces per pitch is against all conventional wisdom .”
Thursday, January 21, 2010
A 49 year old woman will attempt to run up Aconcagua. She left Monday for South America.
“In the dozen years since brain surgery brought relief from debilitating epileptic seizures, Diane Van Deren has become one of the world’s top endurance runners. She regularly competes in long-distance tests of perseverance, 100 miles or more through wicked terrain and tortuous conditions. Van Deren plans a speed ascent of Aconcagua…It would be a 75-mile (120-kilometer) round trip with 18,000 feet in elevation gain. They think it can be done in less than 35 hours.”
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The story is here of their original climb of Siula Grande in Peru when one of the two climbers almost died.
“Yates decided that the only logical step was to cut the rope. Unfortunately, below Simpson at the bottom of the cliff was a deep crevasse... When Yates cut the rope, Simpson plummeted down the cliff and into the crevasse.
Simpson was, however, still alive and on a ledge inside the crevasse. He had survived a 100 ft fall, with a broken leg. From there, he spent three days without food and only splashes of water from melting ice, crawling and hopping five miles back to the base camp. Almost completely delusional, he reached the base camp a few hours before Yates intended to leave the camp to return to civilization.”
Now, one of those climbers is taking a group with him to trek around the mountain. Details here.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
This is part of an article from Will Gadd's Blog:
I've taught some very diverse groups, ranging from the very unfit to the uber-fit. I also do some sports performance coaching, and enjoy the hell out of that. I really love seeing and helping people with both the mental and physical gymnastics of sports on a competitive or recreational level.
Out of all this I've come to realize that fast and safe non-technical movement in the mountains is not all that basic, nor instinctive for most people. Relatively few people can move well across a chossy hillside, over talus, across a rounded and slippery river bed, or feel secure on a short step of higher-angle loose terrain. But the acquisition of these skills can be sped up immensely with a little coaching. I'm now working (slowly) on a book about mountain movement that covers pretty much everything from running talus to staying warm in winter. I want to test some of my theories and ideas this spring, and this is where you may come in...
Want to spend five days in the Canadian Rockies in early July having a lot of fun, falling down, getting wet, suffering and generally being outside a lot? I'm going to run a five-day mountain movement course, open to anyone but aimed mostly at the relatively new outdoor sports enthusiast. No more than five people, five days.
So I sent Will the following Email:
I am a follower of your blog and an intrigued by this idea. You are right, it is not instinctive. I am kind a late bloomer. I am 49. I like to climb rick and ice,
I live in Minnesota so nothing huge ( We do what we can!)
Last Summer I climbed the Exum Ridge on the Grand Teton, that climb was fabulous!!! Then I found out, I SUCK at down climbing. I wanted to back down everything. Jumping form boulder to boulder seemed like a bad idea. My knees were telling me that they could not be trusted, so my head told me best to use caution than to be carried off the mountain. My supportive spouse asked me if I was "having an issue" jeeeez. I was doing my best, so now I feel that if I am not roped up, I move like I am 70. I now down climb at the gym as well as going up. I would be interested in any helpful insights you might have on mountain movement. Going up is easy, must be the short legs!
I will let you know what I hear back for Will. Who wants to go to Calgary??
At least, my hunch is you haven’t done this yet. (But if you have, please leave a comment here or post some photos.)
This couple walked the length of Japan on stilts. (You might ask “Why?” But I’d say “Why not?”)
Video below is in Japanese but walking on stilts is understandable in any language. Here’s their website The Pongo Hogo Hogo Challenge.
Monday, January 18, 2010
In this video, you will see Lisa do a Figure 4 with ice tools and crampons, Peter do his first ice climbs, John do mixed climbing and learn how a queen should wave to the crowd and me climb ice without crampons. Some posse I ride with, huh?
Lisa, Pete, John & I went to Peter’s favorite climbing place by the river. The weather was perfect – sunny and 30s. Warm enough for Peter to be in his T shirt. We did some mixed climbs here which we rated MM 3 –4 for Mixed Moss. Some photos.
There are several bolted sport climbs near this ice. Nice area. Could be developed more for bolted mixed climbing.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
What has plants that look this and unclimbed granite tower like this?
It’s Socotra Island off the coast of Yemen that is
“home to ancient granite towers and over 300 endemic species of plant, animal and insect life, with a culture that has not changed its ways for thousands of years, a fantasy land, that, for today's day of explorers is still (at least it was!) virgin, unseen, and holds the variable that adventure cannot exist without: Mystery. EvenSinbad the Sailor is rumored to have been here and battled huge dragon-like birds as they destroyed his ship.”
“Before we tackle the via ferrata, we spend a day heli-hiking -- it's basically heli-skiing sans skis … touches us down on a broad ridge above the timberline for a gentle stroll with jaw-dropping alpine views in all directions.
The group ranges from late teens to early 70s, with two things in common: Everyone is fit and fairly well-off. At about $800 a day, this sport doesn't attract the impecunious alpinists you find Dumpster-diving around Yosemite's Camp 4.”
Sounds like a cheap place to stay at only $800/day.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
- A light pump
- a chance to experiment with non preferred holds and moves
- and a total slow down, mental and physical.
Yoga pose of the day, a hip opener, Happy Baby. Do IT!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
That’s what they’re saying in the UK.
“It is not surprising that Launchy Gill, the cascade that we are climbing, is melting. What is surprising is that it froze. Just 200m above sea level, and five minutes from the road, it is currently one of the lowest and most accessible ice climbs in Britain. It hasn’t been climbable for this long in 15 years, and usually it does not freeze at all.”
This could be the description of climbing at Homer’s:
But it’s not. It’s the description of the Ouray Ice Festival’s 2010 route.
“It began with a steep but short "sit-start" section of M7 that led to an icy slab. A nearly holdless squeeze chimney above brought competitors to a balancy rest and re-belay. Higher still was the headwall, a 50-foot section of blocky, overhanging rock speckled with ice globules and capped by an overhanging ice ledge that led to the top of the gorge and the finish point.”
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Story here of two women who made the first ascent of a 12oo foot 13a rock climb in Canada last summer.
“In August Ines Papert from Germany and Lisi Steurer from Austria made the first ascent of "Power of Silence" 400m, 5.13a on the Middle Huey Spire in the Cirque of the Unclimbables, Canada.”
Here are two photos of sand dunes on Mars. In the lower one, you can see a landslide as it happens. (The article calls it an avalanche which might be the right word for it; it’s certainly cooler to have an avalanche.)
“It’s Mars, a dune field in the far north; at latitude 83.5° to be precise, less than 400 km (240 miles) from the north pole. The eternal Martian wind blows the heavy sand into dunes, and you can see the hummocks and ripples from this across the image. The sand on Mars is from basalt, which is a darkish gray color. The red comes from much smaller dust particles which settle everywhere.”
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
I bought my new lead bag at Ikea (Bought not stole. It was $.59; $.63 with tax.)
Now I can flake out the lead rope once and then just carry it around the gym to the different areas proud as a peacock. (I did have to get new, matching blue climbing shoes. But, hey, they also match my belt.)
As you can see, Buddy is pretty impressed with how I’ve prepared it.
On one side, for those casual leads, I have a “Bag O’ Fun.” On that side there is space for sunglasses, Ipod and booze.
For those hard leads or sketched-out climbs you kinda don’t wanna make, but just know you should, I have the “Bag O’ Fear.” That side has space for a 1st aid kit, diapers (for after, you know?) and booze.
So now, when you see the big blue bag, you’ll know it’s me. And you better just keep on walking and pretend you don’t know me.
This is an article from Climbing Magazine which details the training program Andy Raether used to climb Stockboy’s Revenge (5.14c FA).
“Whether at 5.11c or 5.13c, training high-intensity PE one day a week, and then regular PE three days a week, will yield incredible results. Rest at least one day between each session, but don’t limit your training to the gym — use the crags, as well.”
He uses a Treadwall and is a big fan of E-Stim for muscle stimulation.
I Googled “Treadwall” and came up with this. I Googled “E-stim” and…well I’m not going to show you what I found. (There’s a whole world out there I don’t know nuttin’ about.) You do it yourself. You’ll either thank me later or be put off your feed.
"I was going to go rock climbing but thought I'd do this instead," she said. "It's liberating, although it might be a little awkward if you did it alone."
What is she talking about? This. A pantless ride on the BART in San Francisco.
I think I’ll go rock climbing instead. And that, too, can be a little awkward if you do it alone.
I have noticed that it is getting darker a little later now than it did 3 weeks ago. Good news. So I checked to see how much more daylight we’re getting now versus the winter solstice. It’s almost 18 minutes more. Hooray.
Bad news: we’re only adding about 1.5 minutes per day of additional daylight in the month of January. (Good news; by the end of January, we’re adding 2.5 minutes of daylight per day.) It’s a long way ‘til Spring.
The photo above shows the Sun’s analemma.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Who doesn’t like the idea of limited time to get stronger? This idea of rhythm interval training is from the website Climbstrong.
“Rhythm intervals are a fast and utterly effective tool in building strength-endurance and endurance for hard rock climbing. This might be the best thing going for a climber that’s got limited space and limited time, but still wants to be able to hit the high grades at the crag.”
They have several other videos demonstrating different training techniques here.
When your falling above a deep roof you don't want to smack your face on it.
Which calls possibly two options: Either jumping up with you climber as the fall or throwing them a little extra slack as the fall. Providing a nice soft catch while your buddy swoops under the roof avoiding the face smash that you imagined would happen the whole time he struggled to clip.
When you fall off a roof in such a spot that it is not possible to swing to the wall or yard up on the descending rope there is some techniques to consider.
This trick is used on very very steep walls. It requires a very good sense of rhythm between the partners.
The person on belay jumps up as high as they can while taking in slack and ends in a dead hang. (It is important not to let the climber any slack while this action takes place). As the climber and the belayer both hang in the air the climber does a full pull up on the rope and quickly releases the rope at the height of there pull up. The belayer then drops down as the climber was doing this. Repeat and Repeat until the climber returns to the clip he had fallen on.
Also to never forget to tell your climber if they forget clips even if it might seem rude at the time. Communication is key. Recent experience scared me quite a bit as I pulled through the crux on my 12b, almost fall and realize I could have taken a 30 foot deck.
Have a good day!
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Here’s the website of a kayaker paddling from Portage Wisconsin to the Mississippi, down the Mississippi, across the Gulf, up the East Coast, thru the Great Lakes and then back to Portage. About 5000 miles. He left last December 1st; not the best plan.
For me, the best part of his trip, is that he’s
not raising awareness for anything. I guess he is; “..to promote paddlesports as an accessible way for ALL Americans to get to know their own backyard.”
One good reason to climb outdoors is you get some sun which helps us make Vitamin D. (As you’re getting sun, you risk getting bitten by mosquitoes, wasps, bees and being hit by falling rocks. But at least you’re getting some Vitamin D.) OK, but when it’s winter, we don’t get the type of sun’s rays we need to make Vitamin D. (Above 35 degrees latitude, we can’t make Vitamin D from mid October to March) So what to do? Well, read the links and you tell me.
“The application of sunscreen with an SPF factor of 8 reduces production of vitamin D by 95%. In latitudes around 40 degrees north or 40 degrees south (Boston is 42 degrees north), there is insufficient UVB radiation available for vitamin D synthesis from November to early March. Ten degrees farther north or south (Edmonton, Canada) the “vitamin D winter” extends from mid-October to mid-March. According to Dr. Michael Holick, as little as 5-10 minutes of sun exposure on arms and legs or face and arms three times weekly between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm during the spring, summer, and fall at 42 degrees latitude should provide a light-skinned individual with adequate vitamin D..”
The video below is a medical, biochemical and evolutionary view of Vitamin D and why we need it. It is from a lecture at the University of California at San Diego. (It’s 58 minutes but it moves fast and is quite entertaining. The first 28 minutes are the most important.)
Update. Lisa found this article:
“Vitamin D is an often overlooked element in athletic achievement, a “sleeper nutrient,” says John Anderson, a professor emeritus of nutrition at the University of North Carolina and one of the authors of a review article published online in May about Vitamin D and athletic performance.”
Friday, January 8, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Today at Homer's, once you got there, through the snow and traffic, it was easy. Dr P and John set up top ropes on the Big Central icicle and on the slab on the east side. Everyone climbed with great style but truly the day was all about fashion.
The boys were melting the ice with their hot climbing techniques and then it was my turn, They noticed I was not wearing my signature red jacket; instead I had donned a maroon sweater that matched John's climbing tools, the ones that Mel has determined will someday be hers. It was a look. The Pit Bulls were grabbing the ice just fine, I have yet to utilize those nice heel spikes. So many feature on these new crampons, Thanks Dr. P. I also used John's new Black Diamond Reactors. Leashless is nice as you can rest and shake out you hands; better make sure that pick is stuck good or it might fall. I wouldn't fall, as I was roped (yep, a big epiphany. It is Epiphany you know, church ladies know these things.)
Dr. P and John dry tooled, traversing to the right and to the left, it was impressive and though chilly in the slot, we were out of the wind and quite comfortable, especially since John zipped me into the biggest puffy coat I have ever seen, and velcro-ed a big hood over my head and around my face muffling my constant chatter. (it's a conspiracy!) But that's ok, I was nice and warm and it matched my boots. These boys can expect a call from my husband if they continue to spoil me like this.
Now you are thinking, wow, it sounds like everyone looked great! Where are the photos, Lisa!? Sadly our photographer was not present. We missed him greatly. We climbed the slab for him. There was a little more ice on it, still thin, a delicate process. John climbed it daintily. Dr. P climbed it with precision. I climbed it with much grunting.
The boys bantered often about who was "the man" I think towards the end, they decided it was me, but then Nora showed up, she might have taken the title after I left. Nora and I agreed I would do first shift, she was on second. There is a time clock on the tree. "Afternoon, Nora."
Nora! I like the green fleece but I also liked the leopard print. Dang, where are the photos?
The drink of the day? Well, Hot Jello and green tea. Yum. Might be even better with some Jack in it. Donde esta Ricardo?
Jump higher, climb harder, go faster, recover sooner with the use of this new fabric does…
“by combining Platinum, Aluminium and Titanium in a fibre, the inventors have created a fabric called Nexus that actually emits natural infra-red rays. When manufactured into clothing, the effect of wearing the finished products is startling. The two main benefits are improved circulation and more effective cellular hydration.”
The Accapi Nexus website is here.