Friday, April 30, 2010

Mutiny On The Bounty

221 years ago, the sailors of the “Bounty” mutinied and kicked Captain Bligh and 18 crew members off the ship in the middle of the South Pacific.

Bligh navigated the 23 foot (7 m) open launch on a 47-day voyage, first to Tofua and then to Timor in the Dutch East Indies. Equipped with a sextant and a pocket watch and with no charts or compass, he recorded the distance as 3,618 nautical miles (6710 km). He was chased by cannibals in what is now known as Bligh Water, Fiji and passed through Torres Strait along the way, landing in Kupang, Timor...”

Two days ago, skipper Don McIntyre and his three companions were dropped into the water yesterday, at the same spot, and at the same time as Bligh, they had just two weeks worth of water, very little food, and a complete lack of any luxury items, including charts to navigate by or even toilet paper. Over the next seven weeks, they hope to cross the same 4000 mile stretch of open water as the Bounty's crew, surviving in much the same fashion.”

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Glen and the gals on top of Devil’s Tower


This photo was so great I swiped it off Facebook, Minnesota Climbers!

First Woman To Climb All 8,000 Meter Peaks

This South Korean woman just summited Annapurna to finish her sweep of all fourteen  8,000 meter peaks (over 26,000 feet.)

Yum, someone should make this

Chocolate Balls – Basic Recipe: I think we should call them Chocolate Stoppers.

8 oz baking chocolate (unsweetened)
1 c nuts (I usually use walnuts)
1 c peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1 c honey
1 c raisins (or dates)


* Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave (stir every 30 seconds to avoid burning it)
* Mix everything together – I use a food processor. You can be strategic about this, depending on how “chunky” you want the raisins and nuts. I process everything quite a bit to make the balls fudge-like, but they are also good if the raisins and nuts are left chunkier. (Some people like to know specifically what they are biting into). Whatever you do, it is a pretty thick, almost doughy consistency, and if you use a food processor, it goes around the processor in a big revolving blob. If you choose to just stir, it will build your upper body strength. For the cherry ones (below), I add the cherries toward the end so that they remain somewhat whole.
* Press into pan and refrigerate for a little while
* Cut into bars, or roll into balls… your choice. I grind up some almonds into almond meal and mix with cocoa powder, then roll the balls in the almond/cocoa mixture to give them a truffle-like appearance. If you do this, roll all the balls first, then dust them with the powder… otherwise it becomes a very messy ordeal. AND, if you do it this way, I find that rolling the balls is a good thing to do while watching your favorite show or a movie.
* I say they taste best refrigerated, but they don’t NEED to be refrigerated. If you like them fudgey, they are better when cold. They chunkier ones work better if you want to tote them with you while hiking or something.

I want to climb THIS!

Ok this is right next to Namaste in Zion, known as Half Route or Unknown, gimme a break it deserves a real name like, Holy Huecos Batman or the Poverty of Height or Zippy the Sunbeam or Smootchy goes to Vegas. This is the pertiest rock I have ever seen.I love is so much nothing else matters, not even the rock.

Finally, A Mystery Solved

Whatever happened to the 3 foot long earthworm that spits and smells like lilies?  It was first described in 1897 and hasn’t been seen since the 1980s.

The idea of a giant, white, perfumed earthworm churning its way through the prairies of Idaho has captured imaginations, and the project has received a lot more news media attention than comparable worm studies.”

Turns out it’s only about 1 foot long and doesn’t smell like lilies or spit.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Road Trip!

Some folks you may know are headed west in the flat lands they can't stay

they are headed off to Zion and a climb called Namaste

The stops on their route are many, Rifle Canyon and one that is Joe's

Red Rocks and maybe Las Vegas before they visit some folks in San DiegO

Oh we are so jealous of this big adventurous trip

But it is your turn to travel now, ooo what a gyp!

It shouldn't be too hard, climb Namaste for me,

I looks just like a ladder but I think it is 12b!

Have fun Climb safe!

Road Trip

Some folks you may know are headed west in the flat lands the can't stay
they are headed off to Zion and a climb called Namaste

The stops on their route are many Rifle Canyon and one the is Joe's
Red Rocks and maybe Las Vegas before they visit some folks in San DiegO

Oh we are so jealous of this big adventurous trip
But it is your turn to travel now, ooo what a jip!

It shouldn't be too hard Climb Namaste for me,
I looks just like a ladder but I think it is 12b!

Have fun Climb safe!

Climbing To Zion

4 staff members of VE are leaving soon for about 3 weeks to climb in several areas of the US - including Zion. This is the best video I could find about climbing a mountain in Zion. “Children, won’t you listen?”

Drink A Slushie Before You Workout

Researchers found that

slurries lowered body temperature before the young men ran, letting them run for a longer time before their bodies became critically hot.”

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rest Between Climbs

From the website, comes this advice:

"The ideal time to rest in between attempts varies between 1 (for one move boulders) to 90 minutes (after long endurance routes) general climbers should rest much longer than they are used to.
Adam Ondra usually rests up to one hour after being pumped and if you really opt for your best chances you should not rest less. .. But if you are desperate to send, rest at least one hour to be in your best physical shape. Mentally, you will just get more motivated the longer the clock ticks and your frustration for not climbing sets in.”

Unified Bouldering Championship

Chris Sharma flashes problem #3 at the ET Roc Comp / Unified Bouldering Championships on 4/24/2010 at Earth Treks in Timonium, MD

More on the competition here.

Red Shirt

A story on Rock & Ice about a photo shoot on the Castleton Tower. The part most interesting to me was the insistence by the photographer that the climber wear a red shirt.

“Your turn,” he said. Before he had even caught his breath, he was jugging up the fixed line with his camera gear to take position. “Oh,” he called down. “Put on the red shirt! No, the really red one!”

Monday, April 26, 2010

Working As A “G-Man”

I am now working as a G-Man. (But I have a clipboard not a Tommy gun like this G-Man.) 

Actually, it’s more like a “C-Man” because I am checking up on people who have not turned in  their census forms. This is going to cut into my daytime climbing schedule (“Awww, that’s too bad!”) for a few weeks.

I wish I could talk more about this job, but unless you’ve got a need-to-know, my lips are zipped.

You know what they say about flapping the ol’ lips:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Removable Anchors

Working on the first ascent and want to be safe yet remove any anchors you placed? How ‘bout these removable anchors as seen in this video?

Free Range Turkey

That’s what this video of 3 pro climbers on sassy overhanging limestone in Turkey is called.

What Climbers Think


There was an online poll done in 2005 asking a series of questions of self-described climbers. There were 28 questions including these which I found the most interesting. The authors think this is representative of all climbers even though there were only 407 who answered the questions.



Belay device used for sport climbing? 38% used ATCs ( next was GriGri at 22%)
Ever hit by rock fall during climbing? 51%
How may falls have you taken outside? 50% have taken 10 or fewer
How many years have you been climbing? 43% have climbed 5 or fewer
How many days/year do you climb at rock gyms? Median is 24 days
Days/year do you climb multi-pitch trad? Median is 10 days
Days/year do you sport climb? Median is 12 days
Greatest distance fallen 63% fallen 20 feet or less;highest single % is 10-20 feet

  Complete results here.

Salathe Wall Yosemite

Steph Davis was the first woman to climb all 35 pitches of this route free. She did this in 2005 but I just found this video of her climbing it. There are lots of amazing parts of her story, but, to me, it’s amazing she found a stranger who was a relatively inexperienced climber to do all of the belaying.

On October 23, 2005 Steph Davis became the first woman to free El Cap's Salathe Wall (VI 5.13b/c). Davis, who freed the Freerider (VI 5.12d/5.13a) variation to the Salathe Wall in 2004, spent many hot summer days up high and alone on the Captain, working crux pitches on toprope. In typical Davis style, she met up with a stranger, Cybele Blood, her soon-to-be partner for her free push, on the top of El Cap just after Blood topped out her first El Cap route.

Davis meticulously prepared for a five-day free ascent, but was stymied by aid parties, sleet and rain, and heart-breaking falls from the top of several crux pitches. She and Blood ran precariously low on food. Blood jumared up, descended via the East Ledges, and returned with the goods, allowing Davis to free every pitch of the Salathe, which she completed after 11 days of effort. See the Hot Flashes report in Issue #246 for more details and photos of the climb.”

Long story of her ascent here.  The history of climbing this wall is here.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Trying To Meet Men

Based on the article in City Pages about VE being the best place to meet men, I went to Ladies’ Night on Friday. I paid attention to this quote from the article:

“…so ladies, put on that cute workout outfit and learn how to climb.”

I put on my cutest outfit – see below - and tried to meet men. For some reason, they all ran away screaming. Hmmm, wonder if it was something I said.

Flying Rocks

Sometimes rocks aren’t so fun. Especially if they’re flying.

This video from a helicopter above the Iceland volcano shows lightning bolts and rocks flying thru the air. It’s about 5 days old.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Earth Day At Red Wing

Jen, Lisa, Ron, Elliot, Buddy and I spent Earth Day climbing at Red Wing. We left no trash but we did polish the rock surface more with our climbing shoes. And left a little bit more black rubber.

Lisa did two leads, Jen and Ron led “Frequent Flatulence” and some others I forgot. I tried once again to finish “Advanced Birding” but was rejected and I got in my first trad lead of the year at RW.

Perfect weather, no bugs and no people. Sometimes Nature cooperates and it’s worth going outside. Photos here. Slide show below.

Oh, and to celebrate Earth, we had some beers in the parking lot made from windmills (or something like that.) Thanks Jen.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

If You Play With Your Food

This is what might happen: you get your own website and put on a concert using vegetables as instruments.

Fast forward to about 1:35 if you want to hear the concert without seeing how they made the instruments. (Lisa found this video.)

You Think You’re Safe ‘Cuz You Live On A Cliff

And along comes a cliff-climbing polar bear. It’s just not fair.

Polar bear climbing a cliff face

I bet this bear is thinking, “Look at all those sitting ducks ready to be eaten.” Only they’re not ducks, they’re really murres on Coats Island in Nunavut.

Best College For Climbing?

A forum discussion on Mountain Project about the best college to attend for climbing. As you can imagine, they are mostly in Colorado and Arizona but there is a lively disagreement that’s not too insulting. 

Access Fund Meeting

This weekend at the Midwest Mountaineering Outdoor Expo, there is a one hour Access Fund Regional Climbers Forum Saturday, April 24th 3:30 to 4:30pm. Full schedule here. Access Fund website is here. (There’s a 60% chance of rain on Saturday, so you’ll probably being inside anyway.)

“It's time once again for climbers from all over Minnesota and northern Wisconsin to get together face-to-face and get the news on access, events, issues, new routes and the Minnesota Climbers Association. Join Kaija Webster, Access Fund Regional Coordinator and your climbing peers for this annual event. Come for the latest news and the fun and stay for the prizes!
Please note that this is only a 1 hour presentation, the expo newspaper mistakenly shows it as 2 hours.
Saturday, April 24th, 3:30pm, U of M – Humphrey Ctr., Room 25 — Chippewa Stage.”

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

With All Those Cams, This Could Get Expensive

In this description of climbing at Indian Creek, south of Moab, Utah, these climbers say you need ten or so cams of each size. Wow, set aside some moola to fill out your rack.

“…the parallel nature of the cracks almost completely eliminates the use of nuts….In 2008 our rack consisted of  four or five of each cam between Lizzy and I and we ended up borrowing around ten more of each size from friends. It was nice to have fifteen of each size but it was really overkill and heavy to boot. There are definitely climbs at Indian Creek that require ten or more cams of single size.”

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

City Pages Best Place to Meet Men 2010

Vertical Endeavors

A rock climber must be physically strong, adventurous in spirit, and dedicated to pursing and achieving a goal—qualities that also happen to make a man a great date. The rock-climbing gym at Vertical Endeavors is a magnet for men, so ladies, put on that cute workout outfit and learn how to climb. The gym is a center for an outdoorsy, fun-loving crowd and sponsors all sorts of classes. If you're intimidated, learn the basics at a special ladies night. Once you've gained some confidence, come back and just ask—a friendly guy will be more than happy to show you the ropes.

Ok, my first reaction is "o barf" but I have met a lot of great guys... and girls at VE, and I wasn't even looking. Now I am feeling all...territorial? Bar the door! no, I think you just have to come for the right reasons. And what does that mean? Oh my, I am confused by my feelings now. Comments? please...comments.

What Should You Do About Others’ Safety?

Quite a discussion about how you should handle a situation when you see other climbers doing something unsafe. Speaking personally, I would appreciate the information. (Of course, I have never done anything unsafe, so this doesn’t apply to me.)

I find it interesting that some of the people involved in this discussion are brave enough to do lead climbing (where they could get physically hurt) but not brave enough to speak up to other climbers (where their feelings could be hurt.) Human nature? Men vs women – at least in this case.?

The commenters talk a lot about exactly how you should approach unsafe climbers and what you should say. And I think a discussion of the process might be helpful. But I also think what gets lost with that, is the reality that no matter how you approach the unsafe climbers or what you say, they may not do what you advise. So if you see something unsafe and it bothers you, speak up and let it go. Oh, and if you think they might fall on top of you, move.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Climbs Like A Girl

Man, oh, man can she climb.

In 1990 she free-climbed the Nameless Tower in Pakistan and solo climbed the Bonatti Pillar on Les Drus. In June 1991, she opened a new route up the famous west face of the Drus, during a remarkable 11-day solo-climb. On the 10th March 1992, it took her 17 hours to solo the north face of the Eiger (3970 metres),

This is a BBC interview with Catherine Destivelle who climbs solo a lot. Her website is here.

Here she is free soloing a cliff in Mali.

A Move Called The “Rose”

A route at Joshua Tree gets only its 2nd ascent in 22 years. Partly – mostly? – because it requires the move shown below.

Art imitates nature. Or put the other way, it would be hard to imagine anyone ever inventing a sequence quite as bizarre as the one on the route called The Dunce Cap at Joshua Tree.”

Video of the move starts at the 4:30 mark in movie below.





“Hey, Your Rope Just Fell To The Ground”

That’s what Jen yelled to me just as I reached the first bolt I was going to clip. I looked down to see the last few feet of my lead rope slither down the wall and hit the ground. “Oops, maybe tying the knot is better than just sticking it through my harness.”

We got that straightened out and I managed to finish the climb.

Jen, Peter, Grant and I climbed at Red Wing on Monday in perfect weather. Just after we got there about noon, Mel and Fabrice left. They’d been climbing since 6AM!

More photos here. 

Taking Risks

Pete on Salathe headwall, El Cap

There’s a series about risk taking on Slate Magazine. The quote below is from part two in the series and talks about rock climbing.

“The addiction to the rush is also neurological. Risk-takers are compelled to take risks in part because they become addicted to the intense feeling of arousal and pleasure found at their limit.”

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Camping Is Inherently Dangerous

A photographer was on assignment for an outdoor clothing company in Iceland’s glaciers when Eyjafjallajoekull erupted.

“There were scarlet, yellow and pink pools with pulsating lava being hurled 500ft into the air and the volcano was showering rock across the surrounding ash and ice.” 

4th April Eyjafjallajokull Glacier Iceland Volcanic eruptions 2010

12th April Eyjafjallajokull Glacier Iceland Volcanic eruptions 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

High Hopes for Climbing

Friday, As I was grunting my way up that epic crack by the name of "Relentless" I came across a tiny ant dragging a large wasp straight up the rock. At first I thought he was mocking me! But then I realized he just had high hopes. Here is Frank Sinatra singing the song

Here is an article about why ants can carry so much. They can carry 10-50 times there body weight. Of course Richard can do that and I think Ron can too - as seen in an earlier post. I wish I had a photo but I failed at taking photos that day ;). But this one is pretty good. If I saw this at the crag I would KNOW I was being mocked!

Yoga in the Park

All are invited to do some yoga in the park with me on Sunday, April 18 at 6:30 at Phalen Park. We will be on the west side of the lake just north of the beach house parking lot. It won't be hard, just a bunch of folks celebrating the spring time with a feel-good stretch. Bring a mat if you have one, I will bring some too. After climbing, I need a good yoga session. How about you? Just my way of saying thank you to all the great people in my life. Leave a comment if you are going to come.

Travel Talk 1938

This travelogue shows Devils Tower – a year after Wiessner made the 1st free ascent - and the Black Hills in 1938.

Run Like A Dog

"When it comes down to sheer capacity for prolonged exercise, there is no other animal, including humans, that comes close to competing.

When Tony's in peak condition, his VO2 max—a measure of his ability to take in and use oxygen in the bloodstream—tops out at more than 200 milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute. (Back when Lance Armstrong was racking up multiple Tour de France wins, his famously high VO2 maxed at around 85.)”

They’re researching how sled dogs can work so hard for so long in order to figure out a way to allow people to do what the dogs do. Maybe a drug can be developed to help with cardiovascular disease and diabetes.They’ve already developed a “sports supplement based on quercetin, a plant-based flavonoid that's supposed to increase production of mitochondria.”

That’s great as long as any drug they develop doesn’t make us want to sniff each other’s butts. ‘Cuz that’s a little embarrassing.

“Hello Bear,..Yeah We’re Big”

Saying that, seems to work when this couple encounters a grizzly on a:

“… 4,000-mile expedition from Seattle to the Aleutian Islands, traveling solely by human power. This is the story of their unprecedented trek along the northwestern edge of the Pacific Ocean--a year-long journey through some of the most rugged terrain in the world-- and their encounters with rain, wind, blizzards, bears, and their own emotional and spiritual demons.”

I’m sure I’d be saying some other things.

Friday, April 16, 2010

No Whippin Boys

That’s the name of this climb Scott did at RW today.

Trad Leading At Red Wing

Scott from Rapid City – via VE – came to Red Wing with us. I knew he wanted to climb some cracks, so I suggested we set up a top rope on “Relentless.” I was surprised when he pulled out his trad gear and proceeded to lead it. He put on quite a show. I seconded for him and got a workout.


Then Scott went over to and led “No Whippin Boys.” Lisa seconded his lead and did all the cleaning. (She’s a good cleaner.)

The rest of us – Lisa, Ron, Fabrice, Beth and I – did a bunch of sport leads and had a fine day, albeit chilly in the shade.

Red Wing Friday

As part of Ron’s weight training program, he is supposed to walk up Barn Bluff carrying weight.

So first we asked him to carry Lisa’s rope. Which he did uncomplainingly.


Then we asked him to carry Lisa. Which he did quite easily. He’s a good man to have around the crag. “Light as a feather,” he said.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Crossed Wind Rule

File:Sunset Solar Halo at Keys View of Joshua Tree National Park.jpg

When you’re wondering if the weather’s going to get better or worse and you don’t have access to a weather forecast. try using the “crossed wind rule.”

By standing with one's back to the ground-level wind and observing the movement of the clouds, it is possible to determine whether the weather will improve or deteriorate.[18] For the Northern Hemisphere, it works like this: If the upper-level clouds are moving from the right, a low-pressure area has passed and the weather will improve; if from the left, a low pressure area is arriving and the weather will deteriorate. (Reverse for the Southern Hemisphere.) This is known as the "crossed-winds" rule.[19] Clouds traveling parallel to but against the wind may indicate a thunderstorm approaching.”

And here:

“Of the three rules, the left-hand rule is particularly useful since it predicts bad weather. Place your back to the lower winds, and if the upper winds are coming from the left, the weather will most likely deteriorate.”

Save An Elephant

When you’ve done just about everything else, why not volunteer your time and go save an elephant?


“This is a volunteer project created as a result of the escalation in competition in natural resources between the desert elephants and human inhabitants of the northern Erongo and Kunene regions of Namibia. During the project, you will work with local subsistence farmers, building protective walls around their critical water sources while educating locals on how to manage conflict with the elephants. In addition, you will learn to track elephants, recording invaluable data on their movements and diet.”

And when you’re done with the ‘phants you can go rock climbing. A stiff climb here that some Patagonia folks did.


Or a more relaxing “climb” to see Bushman paintings.

Block Programming Training

This quote is from “Climb Strong” website:

If you're one of the lucky few, you can hit the gym a couple of nights a week and continue to get strong, avoid injury, and enjoy the sport. Most of us, though, will reach a plateau where progress is no longer possible on the "whatever" plan, and will have to set up a honest-to-God "training" plan.”

“Bottom line is that it's not impossible to maintain/improve most of your fitness qualities all at once, it's just really hard. I designed this "Block Programming" model for myself. I organized the training into 30 min blocks of time, and inserted as many blocks as I could into a given training session.”

Details of his training program are at his website.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Shortcutting Failure

This from Dave Graham is either really deep or I’m failing to understand it. It’ll make you think a little. At least, I think it will.

Trying to bypass failure is the shortcut back to the start. The shortcut to the end is directly through the failures.”

Bouldering In MN

Here’s Paul Robinson climbing in MN.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sponsored Climbing Bum

Get paid to travel the US and climb? That’s what this site says:

“We are looking for one or two climbers who would like to be our sponsored climbing bums and create content for from the United States during the summer of 2010. The ideal candidate is an amusing blogger, self-starter, able to self-manage and has a lot of climbers as friends on facebook or as followers on twitter.”

Training Schedule

Here is an interview with Adam Ondra about how he trains and how he got started climbing at 6 years old.

“I train more or less just by climbing. How simple! I train on couple of small bouldering walls, where I train endurance and bouldering power as well. I rarely climb indoor with rope because there are not good walls enough in the city. The way I train depends on what I am training for. If I am preparing for bouldering, I do just lot of hard boulders. If I train endurance I do laps. I figure out usually 20move lap and try to climb 3 times. 60 moves are usually more than enough. Good trick how to become stronger is to use ONLY micro footholds for your feet. You work on your power and precise footwork at the same time. I do not train more than 3 days in a row”

Here he is completing the final route at the 2009 World Cup in Belgium. Watching this, I couldn’t help thinking, “Eat some more. You’re pretty skinny.” (Oh wait, I need to eat less.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

No Wonder These Cost So Much

Actually, when you see all the work that goes into them, they’re pretty cheap.

Sleep On The Ground Like A Dog

I've often said that when we camp, we sleep on the ground like a dog.

So last night I slept on the deck of our house with Buddy. (There are about 6  nights a year, where the temperature is pleasant outside and there are no  biting insects. Last night was one of those 6.)

I brought out my sleeping bag and pad and I got his pad out too. I left the door to the house slightly open. I was enjoying the fresh air, the sounds of nature (frogs), the beautiful starry skies. Buddy was interested in nature too - the raccoon in the tree, the deer, the neighbor’s dog. Whenever I'd wake up, I'd look for him; my faithful companion, my protector from wild animals, my watch dog, my fellow enjoyer of all that the outdoors offers.  But where was he? Oh, yeah, he was sleeping on the couch. 

Camping isn't even for the dogs.

Relief For Allergies?

How about getting some parasitic worms? They’re the perfect pets – they go where you go and eat what you eat. But this research shows they may be helpful for relief of inflammatory diseases:

“As blossoming spring trees spew pollen, many allergy sufferers would be grateful for a more effective way to alleviate their itchy misery. How about swallowing a batch of pig whipworm eggs, or deliberately infecting oneself with the fecal-dwelling hookworm? Yucky as these options sound, mounting evidence in both humans and animals suggests that infection with these parasitic worms seems to protect against a number of inflammatory diseases, including asthma and allergy, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, and type 1 diabetes.”



Sunday, April 11, 2010

San Francisco Traffic 1906

This movie was shot 4 days before the big earthquake.

Apart from the undeniable time-machine coolness of watching a 104-year old movie, there are a few things that strike me about this film.

  • First is the sheer anarchy of traffic. There are no lane stripes, no stoplights or stop signs, no crosswalks. Other than a tacit agreement that everyone keeps to the right side of the road, there don't seem to be any rules at all.
  • Notice, too, that some automobiles have the steering wheel on the right, and others on the left. That particular design issue wasn't fully sorted out for a couple more decades. The last right-hand drive autos built in the U.S. were made by Stutz in 1921
  • Quite apart from its subject matter, this sequence has particular historical significance as the first film made in 35mm format.”

Friday, April 9, 2010

More Friday Photos

Jez, People Richard is right, wear some Colors!
I will never climb in anything but a red shirt again. That Maroon one I wore today, not good enough. Red, red, RED! wow I should but some red pants, that would be awesome.....

Jen's New Gear

Or so she says, I don't see any tape on it. I think that makes it Ron's

TF Friday

Otto was there – the auto belay guy – as well as Jen, Lisa, Pamela, Robin, Bob, Ron and Peter. Great weather, some hornets, lots of WASPs, and delicious pancakes – thanks Jen. Oh, and good brownies too. Thanks Pamela.

Several peeps had new gear – Jen had new Nitro draws, Ron had a new Cinch and I had some new stuff too.

Listen up folks, ‘cuz I’m not going to say this again. (Oh, I’m sure I will.)  Red shirts show up way better in photos. Esp. from a distance. Some advice; go to Goodwill or Savers and buy some red, oversize Hawaiian shirts. Throw it on over your fancy, shmancy, Organic or Prana brand clothes. Then you’ll look very sporty in climbing photos. And your friends will ooh and aah your cool moves ‘CUZ THEN THEY CAN SEE YOU IN THE PHOTOS.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It’s Best To Breathe

I don’t like to breathe while I’m climbing because it takes away from my tunnel-vision focus on the nearest 6-12 inches in front of me. But some people believe that holding your breath isn’t the best thing to do. Who knew?

“In observing others — in their offices, their homes, at cafes — the vast majority of people hold their breath especially when they first begin responding to email. On cell phones, especially when talking and walking, people tend to hyper-ventilate or over-breathe. Either of these breathing patterns disturbs oxygen and CO2 balance.”

Gear Testing Videos

Several videos of cams being tested in rocks are here.

“The videos below show different cam and nut placements and give commentary on different aspects of the placement. Watch the videos and learn how much force it takes to blow out each placement!”

Anchors Aweigh, My Boys (& Girls)

Listen to the music below as you review this info on setting anchors.

“Here’s wishing you a happy voyage home.” At least, if you set your anchors up properly.



Nature By Numbers

Kinda cool.

Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Crag

Because of the independent nature that is inherent in most climbers, today had an odd schedule. This schedule caused Aaron to ask me, " Hey. What's going on?" Don't worry Aaron just read to the end of the story, it ends happily enough.

Thursday was forcast to be the finest weather day of the week. We all anticipated it. We imagined basking in the sun, on the rocks like lizards, hungrily soaking up the spring rays. We were each plotting which routes would soon become a part of our individualized resumes. Mel and Fabrice planned to go to Taylors Falls, Peter and Richard would go to Willow. Aaron and I planned a trip to Red Wing. I know, weird, right?

In the morning heavy grey clouds hung like heavy grey clouds in the sky. Dang, it was cold. At 11:00 am I called Aaron and I told him "Dang it's cold" So we went to the gym.
Surprise Surprise, All the kids were there! (Jen stood in for Mel) What fun! Yes, the sun came out, but it was still cold.

So anyway, Tomorrow most of the kids are going to Taylor's, all together, like it should be. Hope you can make it, Ron. Would you like to join us?

Tip of the day: Always verify your climbing plans by phone, before you leave home

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More On Red Rocks Rendezvous

Red Rock Rendezvous 2010

“Imagine beautiful weather, abundant climbing partners, miles and miles of beautiful rock to climb, oodles of trails to run and mountain bike, fantastic food, and generous amounts of New Belgium beer.”

That’s what says about the 2010 Red Rock Rendezvous.

Re-slinging Cams

Here’s what Black Diamond says about replacing slings on cams:



•    With occasional use: slings should be replaced every 5-8 years
•    With frequent use: slings should be replaced 2-5 years

Re-slinging Black Diamond Camalots and C3s
So what and how should you re-sling your BD cams? Of course you can do anything you like:
•    One-inch tubular webbing with a knot will work.
•    Sending them to someone that knows how to sew structural climbing gear, and have them bartack a single loop of SuperTape will work.
•    Having someone that knows what they’re doing bartack a double length of SuperTape or 10 mm Dynex will work.

Lots more photos and test data at the link.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Rolling Stone Gathers no Choss

This video contains the key to new area development. If John brings the Heli back from his trip, we can use it to clean up his "Secret Place"!
ssshhhhh don't tell.

Massive Bolt Removal=New Jobs!

You've got to read it to believe it, click here for the article from Splitter Choss

Devil's Lake -it's right next door in Wisconsin

This route is called Peter's Project, it's a 5.7 and I fear it wouldn't be a project for the guy I know named Peter. I think I would like to climb that crack. The scenery at this park is beautiful, well worth the drive. Here is the Mountain Project Information.

Thursday is the day

We are climbing outside by golly, I will let you know where as soon as I know.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Rest Days

Dave MacLeod suggests that

“Climbers on short (1-2 week) sport climbing trips often tell themselves they’ll just have a light day as active rest so they can avoid having to discipline a boring full rest day while staying at a dream destination. Tough as it is in the short term, the full rest day often works out better down the line.”

So on your short 2 week climbing  vacations, better take a few days off. More info in his article at the above link.

St. Cloud Quarry Park

Click here for Mountain Project info. There is a swimming hole too, for when it get to hot to climb. Has anyone been there? Sounds fun. If you have bee there, please leave a comment.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Wildest Dream

A movie about climbing Everest as Mallory and Irvine did in 1924 when they disappeared on the mountain. Details about the movie here. Trailer below. More about the movie here.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Red Rock Rendezvous 2010

A summary of the “Climb Like A Girl” clinic at the Rendezvous from one of the instructors:

“We worked on developing confidence in foot placements, especially on smears, and on not using upper body power to just pull through moves. I directed the focus on pushing with the legs and feet, watching the feet connect with each hold, and finding good balance points, even trying to take the hands off of the rock with every step up.”

A video summary below.

Seeing all those people there, makes it look unappealing to me. But, hey, I’m spoiled.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Because It’s Harder That Way

Here’s a short interview with Royall Robbins, the first person to climb Half Dome in Yosemite in 1957.

“Q: When was the last time you climbed in Yosemite?

A: It's been two years. I've slowed down. I climbed After Six, a 600-foot rock. I did it without a rope, which means I couldn't afford to fall.

Q: Why without a rope?

A: Because it was harder that way.

Q: Where are the famous Tretorns?

A: I don't know where they are. They've been passed on. I came upon Tretorns because I played tennis. I got out on the rock and they stuck very well and were very comfortable for walking up and walking down.

The photo above is a pair of Tretorn tennies from the 90s. Don’t know what a pair of Tretorns looked like in the 50s. (Three of us climbed the Grand Tetons with one of us wearing a pair of Tretorns that looked exactly like the photo above.)

Friday At TF

It started to rain after we – Jen, Peter & I – had done about 3 climbs. So we retired to the Border Bar & Grille to discuss our options. Jen did get to do her first trad lead belay. A few more photos here.



Dates are set!....tentatively

Darrel at Sylvan Rocks sez  "El Presidente Bruce-o" sez that...

Pin Fest July 17
Beans and Biners Sept 11

This means we will probably leave here Thursday, July 15 and return Sunday, July 18th. Let us know if you can go.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Testing Info

This site has information on testing:

“multi-point anchors, ice screw and Abalakov anchors, belay devices...other applications of using equipment in real-world configurations..”


Lisa suggested this essay about vigilance:

“Vigilance is alert watchfulness. And as a climber it is paramount to be vigilant, not only for my own safety, but for the safety of my partner. Through the act of belaying, or protecting a partner with the rope, is when I am most watchful.”

“Belaying is a love hate thing for me. On the one hand I love being in a position to encourage and coax my partner up. On the other I have intense feelings of impatience, and become critical and think, no KNOW, how much faster things would go if I were on the sharp end, only to climb up and realize first hand the challenge my partner faced on lead.”

Much more at the link above.

Goldilocks and TF

Yesterday, we were talking about the geology of Interstate State Park, at Taylors Falls. So I did some reading about it and found this quote:

“Imagine a time of cold, when summers were not warm enough to melt all of the snow that fell the winter before. After years of this, the snow piled up deep enough to crush the snow at the bottom of the pile into ice, and then piled up more.”

So that was when TF was glaciated. Too cold for me. Thank heavens it’s warmed up a tad since then.

Before the glaciers though, things were pretty warm (Ibid):

image“From river level to the highest rocks near Taylors Falls there are seven major layers visible, so we know that at least seven different lava flows formed the bedrock we see today.”

The photo at the left shows some pillow lava formation in the basalt.  It is evidence that the lava flowed into a marine environment as it was formed.”


Ouch, I wouldn’t have liked that either. Climbing in asbestos-lined shoes would be hard, I think.

:And gravity is a little higher at TF which explains part of its attraction:

This area is called the Midcontinent Gravity High because the higher density rock causes an increased gravitational attraction in this area.

Between the glaciers and the lava, just like Goldilocks, I think the current temperature range at TF is “Just Right.”