Monday, May 31, 2010

Climbing Icebergs


These folks went up to Newfoundland to climb icebergs. Their story is here. I like this quote:

“I realized that what I had to do was to fully commit and quit worrying about how dangerous this all seemed. Hesitation and fear was not what was needed to mount this iceberg.”

And this one:

“Each swing still made that familiar high pitch crack from the 15,000-year old high pressured air trapped in the ice.”

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Always learning..

This is the seeker of all knowledge.

This is the old way of anchoring to a tree

This is a new way, Friction hitch.

No fatalities.

Zion Climbing

The photo of Jenny and Anthony in the posts below, were taken on this climb. Here’s a 5 minute video of someone else climbing that route.

How To Set A Top Rope In Under A Minute

This was Friday at Taylors Falls. Knowing she was  being filmed, Lisa was very efficient in setting up a top rope. Ask her to show you how she does it.

I am still very Jealous. Go Jenny GO!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Richard, this is the one.

Ok, the kids are on my route. I believe that is Anthony
I am officially jealous. September? Show this to Barbo.
It still need a new name, Half Route? really.

TF Friday

Lisa, Ron, Peter and I had a quiet day of climbing at Taylors on Friday. Photos below of Lisa climbing and Peter leading on Wisconsin side.

100_0041   100_0026

Falling To Fly

Dean Potter’s recent video  explains why he likes to climb with just a parachute.

N.B. He’s the guy who climbed the Delicate Arch in Arches National Park which was quite a scandal a few years back and became a rap song.

The Future Of Bouldering Beta?

This site has over 1,700 videos and photos with the beta on bouldering routes at Fountainbleau in France. Here’s one example. With the ubiquity of cell phone cameras, this is easier to do now than ever before.

Rock Climbing With Skis

It’s really more down climbing with skis.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Friday At Taylors Falls

Clear That’s the weather forecast for Friday at TF. We will be there about 9:30AM on the Wisconsin side.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Perfect Food For Ice Climbing

I think the “Green Cow Stomach” dish might be tasty. Although, I’d be hard-pressed to choose between that and the “Beef Throat.” Here’s a report on climbing in China and a short video.

“At nearly 12,000 feet Shuanqiao Valley is stacked with hundreds of pitches of ice. Similar to Cody, WY the majority of the climbs cascade down through gullies from the mostly unclimbed high peaks that form their backdrop. The majority of the routes are in the WI4 vicinity yet more difficult lines do exist. ..Typically I get board rather fast with WI4 terrain but the combination of being in a foreign country, at altitude, and climbing either heavily aerated or compact dry dinner-platting ice, kept me on my toes on the easier terrain and had me working on the harder routes. Not to mention the difficulty of physical recovery when eating yak kidney, chicken feet, boar hoof, and stomach lining for dinner! Mmmm, seconds please!”

When To Retire A Harness

From the Black Diamond website:

“With normal use and proper care, the life expectancy of your harness is approximately three years, and can be longer or shorter depending on how frequently you use it and on the conditions of its use.”

Lots of information about cleaning your harness and testing off belay loops at the link above. The only thing I know for sure is to make sure the colors in your harness and your shoes match.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Local Peeps in Utah

according to fb, Jenny, Ryan, Zach and Anthony are having a good time is Utah, despite, snow and frigid temps.

Good News/Bad News At Red Wing



Genevieve, Fabrice,Peter and I climbed at RW today and it was hot. The temperature was at 96 when I left about 3. I made a list of some of the good and bad news about Monday.



Good news - it was cooler in the shade

  • Bad news – it was Humidity Awareness Day ;all of the shady routes were dripping wet with water. (Any route eas of Cinq Jour D'Affille was too wet to climb.)

Good news  - it was warm enough for shorts

  • Bad news – lots of poison ivy

Good news – it was too hot for wasps on the sunny side

  • Bad news – tons of mosquitoes in the shade

Good news – there is a window of comfortable weather in Minnesota; temps just so, humidity low, no biting insects

  • Bad news – the window’s open about 5 minutes and it closed last week

Good news – we had lots of chalk

  • Bad news – we really needed it

Training For Alpinists

Will Gadd calls Steve House’s one of the best alpinists and Steve’s training program instructive for any alpine climber. In Steve House’s blog, he says:

“To be sure, many of the colorful figures of modern alpinism have graced us with anecdotes of their training regimes:  Lionel Terray’s tales of humping huge loads of ammunitions to the gun emplacements during WW1 can easily be considered training; Ceasar Meastri famously claimed to do push ups while making love to his wife. But he also cycled to distant climbs, both of which contributed to making him one of the strongest climbers of his generation; Walter Bonatti carried snowballs in bare hands and surely this helped prepare him for the rigors of winter bivys that killed several less well prepared partners.  Reinhold Messner spent untold hours traversing back and forth on the side of an old stone building to build finger strength for his early important climbs in the Dolomites. When Messner transfered his energies to the Himalaya he did timed uphill runs throughout the same mountains, often boasting about vertical-climb rates (800-1000 meters/hour) that remain impressive even today. But other than colorful allusions like these, modern alpinists have had no distinct role models to follow: No Roger Bannister or Michael Phelps to lead the way to breaking new barriers through careful application of athletic training principles.”

Here’s part of his rock climbing program. Read his blog for lots more details.

“Living near Smith Rock state park, I go to the lower gorge, a place stacked with 5.10 cracks. There I do as many routes I can in one day; often the sun is the limiting factor, especially in the summer. My aim to get at least twenty pitches in and will try to climb many of them wearing a light ten-pound pack.”

Steve House has this post about resting, including this bit:

“But objectively, how do we know when to rest. Here are some methods I’ve used, from simple to sophisticated:

Waking heart-rate.

I started doing this when I was a teenager training for cross country ski racing. My coach had me take my pulse for 10 seconds as soon as I woke up. I’ve been doing it so long, I don’t even have to count. I can feel whether I’m rested or not. Slow, and ready to train again is for me around 36-42 beats per minute. Not recovered, fast, for me, is anything higher than 48, but usually if I’m tired I’m most often at 52.

Box-Step Test

Another, more objective method, is the box-step. I like this because I can do it in base camp where the waking heart rate test can be thrown-off by the altitude. For this test you need a heart rate monitor. Find a step a little lower that knee-height and step up and down rapidly. Push hard for 60 or 120 seconds, get your heart rate high, maybe as high as 170. Then stop, lean against the wall, walk around, do whatever you do to recover as quickly as possible. Note both your Max HR and your HR after 30 seconds. If I’m rested I’ll go from 170 to 70 in thirty seconds. If I’m still tired, it will stay between 100-120 after 30 seconds and maybe after a minute it will drop below 70.”

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Will Gadd On Threshold Training

As usual, Will Gadd has a lot to say about training and how it relates to mountain sports.

We all choose to train three main performance components (our skill, muscles, and head); how we perform is the test. An athlete's performance will generally depend not on which one of these three are the strongest, but which one is the weakest…But, and this is the almost funny part, the easiest things to train are muscles, so that's where most people focus most of their time while trying to get "better" at a mountain sport. I really believe this physical-centered approach is wrong for most athletes in the mountain sports I know… In my experience the fastest performance gains for athletes are usually made when they train their sport-specific weaknesses, specifically skills”

Here’s what he considers the threshold strength levels for a few mountain sports:


  • Hike up 3,000 feet in under one hour, 5,000 feet in under three (Messner could reportedly do 1,000M/3,200 feet in under 30 minutes or something...).
  • Do 10 pullups (not because pullups are necessary, but because anyone who can do 10 real pullups is sorta trained up)
  • Do "Angie" in under 20 minutes if you think you're "elite."
  • Climb grade IV ice all day on minimal gear and be relaxed about it, lead 5.6 with a pack.

Technical rock climbing at a solid 5.13 level

  • Do 10 pullups on a half-inch ledge.
  • Hang a 1 inch ledge for 5-10 seconds one-handed.
  • Campus up the smallest rungs in your climbing gym.
  • Climb ten 30M pitches of modern mid-5.12 a in a day (all different pitches, no laps).

Trad Rock climbing 5.10:

  • Do one pullup on a one-inch rung.
  • Do three pullups on a bar.
  • Hike 1,000 feet vertical in 30 minutes.
  • Climb all day on 5.7 and still think it's fun
  • Read his whole post for the details.
  • Moonlight Buttress In Zion

    According to, “This stunning route tackles the namesake feature, a proud prow of rock that juts out from the wall behind it, via a singular, peerless crack that extends for 1200 feet from base to summit and never widens to more than an inch or two... the Moonlight Buttress is a feature of unparalleled perfection.”

    This is the story of two climbers who climbed this route in Zion during Easter weekend of this year. They got about halfway up the first day and had to descend because a team of slow climbers was ahead of them. The second day, they had it all to themselves.

    Last year, we hiked up to the top of this buttress on a paved trail. That was tough enough.

    The Middle Way Of Rock Movement

    Dave MacLeod recommends a “middle way” between a modern style of leaping and yelling and an older, more graceful style.

    “The popularity of bouldering and the influence of famous climbers has tended to make climbers move faster and more aggressively, with less foot moves per hand move. What does this mean? It adds efficiency because you get through the moves quicker and more momentum is used and more aggression is good for realising the maximum force you can produce. But it loses efficiency by getting less weight on your feet throughout the whole move or sequence and adding a lot of swings into disadvantageous positions that must be countered with muscle power.”

    Saturday, May 22, 2010

    “I Just Want To Do Something Big”

    So he did. A 13 year old just summited on Everest. I liked this part of his interview: “I just want to do something big and this is something I wanted to do for myself.”

    Not to build awareness for anything. Good for him.

    Piling Up Rocks

    This family of 4 is bicycling from Alaska to Patagonia. (I guess it beats taking your kids to the State Fair which is what our family did for a big adventure.) This series of blog posts is from the Nazca Lines area of northern Peru.

    From the ground, what they see is a small pile of rocks, at the left. From the air, it looks different.

    Friday, May 21, 2010

    Dare To Wear

    They had a “Dare to Wear Lycra” contest at the 2010 New River Gorge Rendezvous. A step back to the climbing fashion of yesteryear.

    Here’s the winner’s photo.







    A Completely Different Way to have Fun with Rocks!

    I had a hot stone massage today, never had one before. I highly recommend it I was pretty relaxed, let's just say I should not have driven myself home. This would be really awesome after ice climbing or skiing. Come on you tough guys....

    Battle In The Bubble

    A competition in Boulder. CO called “Battle in the Bubble” took place last weekend. It was sponsored by this climbing gym. Don’t know if it’s obvious in this highlight video, but they had a parachutist deliver the starting hold. I wonder how they’d do that at VE.

    World Cup Bouldering Contest

    Here’s some video of the first world cup bouldering competition of 2010 that just ended in Switzerland. The video is over 9 minutes.; What’s interesting is the split screen so you can watch the (slightly) different techniques of each climber. The women’s winner was Alex Johnson and here’s an interview with her. Part of her training regimen consists of “...drinking Oreo milkshakes.” 

    Hmmm, I could do that.

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    Why I Love my Gri-Gri :A Continuing Discussion

    I read through the previous article and while I did found it wildly entertaining and threaded with truth, I need to tell the truth about why I love my gri-gri.

    When I started climbing a lot, I mean 4-5 times a week (I know... lay off) my hands were in pretty rough shape. I would like to add a comment about persistent men hanging on a project for extended periods of time and my poor little fingers twisting and holding my ATC, but let's face it, the guys I climb with don't do that often. But when they do, it's ok! thanks to my beloved gri-gri. Thank you, Richard for leaning on me, oh, I mean encouraging me to buy it. My gri-gri changed my life. I will be able to knit and stuff when I am done climbing. yeah. Go ahead guys, hang for hours. I can take it!

    Wednesday, May 19, 2010

    Buttercup At The Crag

    5 reasons to use a GriGri are listed here. This is my favorite:

    “You take Butter Cup to the crag, she doesn’t really want to go, and doesn’t climb that often. She agrees, only after some pestering and a promise you will take her out for dinner and a movie. You’re all saddled up, you give her your Reverso, or ATC Guide, or whatever, and she is anchored - just in case you fall. You’re clipping away, showing off, no shirt, and go for the last killer dyno move you’ve done like a bazillion times before. This time you slip, catch Butter Cup by surprise, she freaks, and you hit the ground. No dinner, no movie….”

    Sounds like a win-win; you didn’t have to spend money on the GriGri and you didn’t have to spend money on the dinner and movie.

    Maybe this T-shirt is perfect for this situation:

    buttercup tshirt

    Grip Strength & Crimping Angle

    Jens Larssen who runs this website on climbing says this about losing your grip while climbing. (I’ve edited it some because his English is a little awkward.)  

    The weakest link for completing a move is, generally, maintaining the crimping angle at the lower hand. The higher you try to lock of with your arm or the faster you push, the more force is loaded onto the chosen crimping angle and eventually the chain will break. Hopefully you are already grabbing the next hold in control. If not, you will land dynamically and if it is a small hold it is about maintaining the crimping angle again. If it is a large hold, your success depends on your courage to test your open hand friction strength. In most of the cases, you will actually take away the hand as you are afraid of the pain from cutting loose from the friction. As you are working a crux move, you learn to optimize the finger angle and the load you are challenging it with. Often your mind is visualizing sticking the next hold, but instead focusing on locking your gripping angle might do the trick. "I lock my crimper with a key, then I go to the next hold", is a successful concept of Maja Vidmar. The picture tries to explain that we in general use and are stronger in three different finger angle positions.

    (I think it means, keep contact on your previous hold until you have a good grip on your next hold.)

    She can climb

    But mostly I think we should take note of this young climber's confidence building routine. I am going to start the day with this. I think it will help.

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010

    Climbing For Buns

    This year's Cheung Chau bun festival has a record number of female entrants all eager to be the first to the top of the bun towers. The dash up a 15 meter tall tower covered in lucky Chinese buns is a century-old folk custom for the former pirate enclave of Cheung Chau.”

    “Plastic lucky buns will cover the entire bamboo structure for the final event, and competitors must grab as many of them as they can within three minutes. Buns located at the top of the tower are worth nine points, while the ones near the bottom are only worth one.”

    Red Wing Monday

    Fabrice climbed with us Monday at Red Wing. He had a big smile after he onsighted “Needles and Pins,” because it reminded him of climbing in France. 

    He said, “That route’s just like the routes of the Verdon Gorge in France.” Only about 600 feet shorter.”

    So you don’t need to travel to France to climb some of the most famous rock in the world.

    Getting There

    A 3.5 minute video about packing for a climbing/camping trip and the drive from L.A. to Joshua Tree. Very cute.

    “and don’t forget the camp chair.”

    First Multi-Pitch

    Usually we read stories of incredibly hard climbs, with super human feats of derring-do. This is a story of someone’s first 5.7 multi-pitch climb at Red Rocks, Nevada. Something well within the range of us mere mortals. This quote is a little over-the-top maybe, but I like it:

    “Multi pitch climbing is like a song, each pitch a stanza and each belay station a chorus.”

    And this quote:

    “I didn’t want my first multi-pitch experience to be tainted by any leader fright. Besides, leading is overrated.”

    Monday, May 17, 2010

    Sunday, May 16, 2010

    Paen To Indoor Climbing

    Big Up Productions has this tribute to gym climbing. Some amazing move.s

    This is just the THING!

    You can crush an apple with single hand if you’re working out with these finger weights everyday. After that you will have to practice to hold a soybean curd (tofu) without breaking it. This finger weights is from Rakuten and priced at 3,150 yen approximately 26 bucks after conversion

    Friday, May 14, 2010

    Fit for Trips

    Seems like I should be able to kick my own butt to get in shape for a trip. But, this website will design a program for you based on what trip you are going on. Now, I just need to hire someone to work out for me. And I guess I will need a better paying job...
    Seriously, I think for the tower I need to climb 30 laps in the chimney. And step a doorway while I watch the news in the evening. What do you think?

    Is This The Next Devils Tower?


    Similar looking rock but this is located in Indonesia.


    “Roughly 800 feet of granite/basalt with cracks from base to summit waiting to be climbed. Only reason I didn't establish any routes this time is the rain, but I'll head back in March.
    The place is surround by hot springs. These were the biggest pools and longest waterfall flowing directly from the hot springs I've ever seem. As impressive as what i saw in New Zealand.”

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Have you seen this one?

    Edelrid Eddy Belay Device - Climbing Magazine's Editors Choice!

    Eddy is the perfect belaying device for sport climbing for either novice or the experienced climber. The Eddy doesn't need much explanation and in simplicity is safety. Easy to thread, the rope follows logically the rope flow. A controlled descent with an emergency break system eliminates the "panic pull" syndrome which can lead to serious accidents. The Eddy provides maximum safety whether top roping or lead climbing with easy paying out of rope to the leader. Can be used for single ropes with diameters from 9 to 11 mm.


    Chump Talk! That's what Jen calls it when you mess yourself up with negative self dialog. I like it. No chump talk in my head when I flashed a 10c on lead, not bragging, well maybe a little. I just wanted to say to Ward. Good Advise! You were right!

    There is a new 5.8 on the A-butt, every piece of tape has encouraging words! I like it but alas, it is harder than it looks, maybe tomorrow.

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Be Strong! A Miracle Is Hidden In Your Body

    At least that’s what this video says. I’ll never look at sit-ups the same way. Although, I doubt I’ll be able to find another man to do them the way they show in this video – unless I’m in jail. C’est la vie. (That’s French, you know.) Very bouncy music.

    Want To Name Your Own Route?

    You can find a new rock cliff and put up some new routes. Which is hard here in the prairie. Or, you can donate money and dedicate a climb. Mike Endreezi does most – all? – of the bolting at Red Wing and Sandstone. You can contribute to the costs of putting new bolts and new anchors at his site. Or, he’s got a bunch of routes you can sponsor. Info here. Info on what goes into safe bolting is here.

    If you climb a lot at Red Wing or Sandstone, shoot him a few bucks. I know Mike N. gave him a bunch.

    Access Fund DVD

    The Access Fund supports access to climbing areas all over the U.S. – including supporting the MN Climber’s Association. Here’s a DVD they’re offering as a fundraiser.

    “The Petzl All Access DVD contains ten amazing short climbing films. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of All Access goes to the Access Fund and their revolutionary Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign, a multi-million-dollar revolving fund that helps local climbing organizations secure access. Petzl America covered the production costs for the DVD, while the filmmakers donated their work. All Access is an entertaining way for climbers, climbing filmmakers, and Petzl to work together in supporting the access cause. Price: $10.”

    “You can get a copy at either the Access Fund Store or on Mountain Gear.  Here is the list of segments being featured:

    • Catching Reality – Emil Sergel
    • Hey Presto – Paul Diffley, Hot Aches Productions
    • Infinity Lane – TLC Productions
    • Medeoz – Guillaume Broust
    • PURE: Sonoma County with Kevin Jorgeson – Chuck Fryberger
    • Steph Davis – Sender Films
    • Steve McClure, Hubble – Ben Pritchard
    • Weeks Before Winter, featuring Chris Sharma – Mike Call
    • Plus a bonus film, Blind and Naked, by Cedar Wright, and an Access Fund message from Big Up Productions’ Josh Lowell.”

    Super Mosquito Zapper

    I grabbed 3 minutes from a TED talk by Nathan Myhrvold on a machine designed to track and kill the malaria-causing female mosquitoes with a laser. The entire 15 minute lecture is here.

    Pacing For Redpoints

    Dave MacLeod talks about the art of pacing when attempting to redpoint a route.

    “The basics of pacing are that it’s a good idea to climb fast; as fast as possible without sacrificing accuracy. But even this isn’t so simple as occasionally on steep burly climbs with big positive holds, it can be better to err more on the side of speed even if accuracy is sacrificed a little bit.”

    “Here is a video of yesterday’s efforts of mine on a long project (estimated grade V14). It’s about V12 to just before my failure point and the next few moves are the crux, so I need to have plenty left in the tank to make any more progress.”

    Monday, May 10, 2010

    Be as cool as JESUS!

    no kidding this is amazing. I bet Richard could do it and Levi.

    The Month Of Red Calves

    An article about Blue Mounds near Luverne, MN.

    “Blue Mounds is well known in climbing circles. We get people from Colorado who come here to climb for a different experience, as well as people from all the surrounding states. We give out approximately 1,000 to 1,400 rock climbing licenses each year, at no charge. We just keep tabs on how many we get on an annual basis.”

    The bison herd is expanding on a daily basis with about a dozen babies already and more expected.

    “May is the ‘Month of the Red Calves,’ in another language,” noted White. “We should get about 20, give or take two or three. We don’t give pregnancy tests, so we don’t know exactly how many to expect.”

    Blue Mounds offers people a chance to see “a wild herd in a domestic setting,” and there are usually between 85 and 111 bison in the park.

    Sunday, May 9, 2010

    Just In Time For Mothers’ Day

    I was amazed a few years ago when I discovered that women could climb. This video shows that even Moms can climb. Who knew?

    (P.S. In the video, he asks them to check to see if his buckles are good. I did. And his buckles are F i i i i i i i i ne! If you know what I mean.)

    Saturday, May 8, 2010

    Bouldering Without Crash Pads

    Sure, he’s on a bike. But, still, no crash pads.

    The 1st 1.5 minutes are a little slow – just scenery. FF to the 1min 30 sec mark and you’ll see some great bike bouldering.

    At Some Point, Why Bother?

    Why bother buying hundreds of dollars of specialized gear, when you can just grab a used inner tube and go over a 100’ waterfall. K.I.S.S.

    I’ve grabbed the sassiest 2 minutes in the video below. The whole video is here. More on that waterfall here.

    Belaying Technique

    Assuming you are doing roped climbing and are tied into the rope – a mistake I’ve made more than once – here’s a descriptive article on belaying.

    The five most important, ranked parameters that decide the softness of the fall are;

    1. The belaying technique: Moving inwards can prolong the fall by meters but if you instinctively sit-down you can instead reduce the fall by some -20 cm.

    2. Rope condition: A worn out rope can easily reduce the softness by a meter or so.

    3. Rope drag: A fall, especially high up, gets harder by the level of the rope drag.

    4. Belay device: The ATC may increase the softness by 20 cm.

    5. Weight: Lighter climbers will get harder and more static falls.

    So you want a heavy climber and a light belayer using an ATC on a newer rope with minimum drag. (Although, as the article points out, the actual belay device plays a minor role.) So, those of you lighter lead climbers out there – bulk up. Those of you heavier belayers out there – start leading.

    It’s Not Too Early To Plan Your 2011 Climbing

    Go with “Hot Rock” and climb your way from Patagonia to Ecuador.

    And you get to travel in this big red truck with its own climbing wall.

    Friday, May 7, 2010

    More from Red Rocks

    Eliot leading up "The Chamber of Secrets" Larry De Angelo Route, 5.7 in the Radcliff Area, Black Velvet Canyon

    Tunnel Vision, a squished belay with a party of four

    “Harnessing Positivity”

    “Harnessing positivity gives us energy for now and for the future.” He’s got energy, that’s for sure. And he wants to keep “riding the stone” for the rest of his life.

    Is Your Underground Magma Chamber Rumbling?

    It sounds painful but that’s what Mt Fuji is doing. Maybe it means it’ll be erupting soon. 

    Climbing at Taylors with Women on the Ledge

    If you gals would like to go climbing under the expert guidance Russell from VE at Taylors Falls and the encouraging good company of Mel and Lisa, sign up for the Women on the Edge Climbing day. It is May 16. Click here to sign up online. It is sure to be fun!

    Harvest and Mary went to Red Rocks

    I swiped this photo off fb, apparently that’s what I do. I thought this one was amazing!

    Next Year I Gotta Do This

    This Petzl video gives a wrap up of the 2010 Red Rock Rendezvous. Next year, I gotta attend the “Climb Like A Girl” seminar so I can learn “how to use technique and footwork instead of muscle power.” That would really help my climbing. Plus, I bet they have cute color coordinated ensembles.


    Joshua Tree

    After watching this video about climbing in Joshua Tree, I realize it is not for me. I figger:

    • You need to look like a model
    • You need a very cool vintage car
    • You need perfect hair
    • And, apparently, you need to run on the highway for a long distance.

    So with the clothes, hair and running ability I have, I’ll have to stick to Red Wing or TF.


    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    “Conquerors Of The Useless”

    That’s the subtitle of the film “180ยบ South” about a trip taken by the founders of Patagonia and The North Face to Patagonia 40 years ago.

    (It’s nice they made a lot of money because now they own more land in Patagonia than any other person.)

    Be First

    Got a great idea to be the first one to do something? Apply for “Be First” Sponsorship. Winners for this year are listed here.

    They seem a little sassy for me. I was thinking of being the first one to watch all of the videos on YouTube related to climbing. That would be a real butt-buster and, if I could pull it off, certainly worthy of an award.

    Dear Climbing Diary

    Ow, my hands are sore from all those 10's I climbed last night, so I thought I should take a rest day, but then Jen texted that she was going to be at VE this afternoon and you know I have the FOMO (fear of missing out) so I showed up to join the sistahs, Jen and Amy. Well I did about 3 climbs, SO TIRED! Why? because I worked hard the day before. Well, Don't I always work hard? perhaps, perhaps not. Why? That's a good question. So I cut my losses, said goodbye, and proceeded with my rest day. Do I try hard, generally? That's something to think about. This is a photo of me thinking, you may have never seen that before.

    Now Let’s Go All Psych-y

    While climbing, have you ever had a

    “Corrective Emotional Experience. In a nutshell, a past traumatic event (or a similar one) is relived with a different (better) outcome. This is a good thing.”

    This post talks about his experience watching his child climb at an indoor gym as part of their contribution to the “Birthday-Industrial Complex.”

    For me (and I'm sure for many others) there is a predictable cycle of emotions:
    1. Woo-hoo!  My child is not failing! This is good!
    2. But I feel strange. Why? Wait for it...
    3. I could never have done that at that age. Now I'm angry (the typical fall back emotion for men).
    4. Who the Hell is he not to have my problems? It's as if...
    5. I'm not failing as a parent. Well, that's not a bad emotion. It's almost pleasant but I remind myself...
    6. Not failing as a parent is a life long task. Hmm, now I'm feeling conflicted.
    7. But I'm used to feeling conflicted because...

    Is this the opposite of watching others make a climb that you can’t? “Boy, I really hope they don’t get that hold that I missed. Then I will know it’s not just my poor skills; it’s really hard.”

    But then you get your revenge and have your own Corrective Emotional Experience, when you attempt that climb again and make it.

    Lightning Bolt Bouldering

    Video of the boulder problem called “Lightning Bolt” in Yosemite Valley. “3D” photosynth here.

    Route description here.

    Wednesday, May 5, 2010

    Dear Diary

    Monday I climbed alone, I wanted to leave after 15 minutes but I decided I would make myself stay an hour. Auto is not a compassionate belayer, he gives "climbing to failure" new meaning, if I fell, he lowered me right to the ground. Lately I have been working on a lot of leading. Good for me, but they are 9's. So suddenly I found myself unable to climb a 10. i was lamenting to Pam, who was about as compassionate as Auto, she said "Really? with the amount you climb? huh." wow, thanks.

    I told Levi, he said I should climb 11's, ok. good theory. I saw Ward, he said lead 10's. hmmmm.

    Today I went in and I climbed 10's, a 10a then a 10c. YaY! I think I got my confidence back! Then my old belayer Carl showed up. He is a little frugal with the praise but I made a few moves good enough to warrant comment. (they were awesome) I need to look back at my goals. Dare I put an 11 in my sights? we shall see.


    Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    Upside Down For 20 Minutes

    Here's the scary moment visitors to Flamingo Land got stuck upside down on the Mumbo Jumbo ride for 20 minutesPassengers had to hang upside down for 20 minutes 50 feet above the ground as they waited to be rescued from this amusement ride. Amusement rides are inherently dangerous.

    Monday, May 3, 2010

    Derek Sivers: How to start a movement | Video on

    Derek Sivers: How to start a movement | Video on

    He Nailed This Yoga Move

    Now this looks like some fun kinda yoga.

    In the first part of the video, they say “Don’t do this at home.” But that’s only because I don’t have a vintage motorcycle. Otherwise, I would.

    And if I had a pair of shorts like the 2nd guy, you could roll right over me too.

    If you like frogs, don’t worry because no frogs are harmed by the 3rd guy.

    If you’ve ever wanted to pick a table up with your mouth, I think the 4th guy could be your mentor.

    Oh, the stomach guy gives me the creeps.

    The last few tricks I can already do, so no biggie.

    BTW, the last statement he makes about jumping out the window if his guru told him to – no biggie to me either. Lots of peeps tell me all the time to take a flying leap. Isn’t that the same?

    Earth Trek Roc Competition

    A couple of videos from the Earth Trek Roc Comp Finals Problem last week. That’s a long time to hang.

    What footwork.

    Strength Of Old Slings



    This sling tested at about half the normal strength (12kN) after being left out in the weather for 7 years.

    Gear Reviews

    There are lots of gear reviews – from harnesses to ‘biners to rock pro to bouldering pads - at Many of the reviews include a video as listed here.

    DMM Dragon Cams’ Review

    “Perhaps the biggest difference between DMM’s and Black Diamond’s twin-axel is the hot-forged camming lobes. DMM used their special skills to shave weight and add a super smooth finish to each cam. I could go on and on, because these things excite me and butter me up.”

    More info here.

    Sunday, May 2, 2010

    Geologists: “We May Be Slowly Running Out Of Rocks”


    RALEIGH, NC—A coalition of geologists are challenging the way we look at global stone reserves, claiming that, unless smarter methods of preservation are developed, mankind will eventually run out of rocks.

    Geologists theorize that areas like this may have once been filled with rocks.

    "If we do not stop using them up at our current rate, rocks as we know them will be a thing of the past," renowned geologist Henry Kaiser said at a press conference Tuesday. "Igneous, metamorphic, even sedimentary: all of them could be gone in as little as 500,000 years."

    "Think about it," Kaiser added. "When was the last time you even saw a boulder?"

    The scientists warned that, although people have long considered the world's rock supply to be inexhaustible, it has not created a significant number of new rocks since the planet cooled some 3.5 billion years ago. Moreover, the earth's rocks have been very slowly depleting in the last century due to growing demand for fireplace mantels, rock gardens, gravel, and paperweights.

    Kaiser claims that humanity has "wreaked havoc" on the earth's stones by picking them up, carrying them around, and displacing them from their natural habitat.

    "A rock can take millions of years to form, but it only takes a second for someone to skip a smooth pebble into a lake, and then it is gone." Dr. Kaiser said. "Perhaps these thoughtless rock-skippers don't care if they leave our planet completely devoid of rocks, but what about our children? Don't they deserve the chance to hold a rock and toss it up and down a few times?"

    Continued Kaiser, "We are on a collision course to a world without rocks."

    Geologist Victoria Merrill, who has been at the forefront of the rock conservation battle since 2004, said there are simple steps people can take to reduce their rock consumption.

    "Only take as many rocks as you absolutely need," said Dr. Merrill, author of the book No Stone Unturned: Methods For Modern Rock Conservation. "And once you are finished with your rocks, do not simply huck them into the woods. Place the rock down gently where you found it so that others may look at the rock and enjoy it for years to come."

    Merrill went on to point out that, even if there were some "magic hole" in the earth's crust that could miraculously spew out rocks every 10 years or so, modern society's obsession with rocks means that we would still run out of them far more quickly than they could be replenished.

    "Just look at the pet rock craze: In 10 years, millions upon millions of rocks were painted, played with, and discarded like trash," Merrill said. "Looking back, mankind's arrogance and hubris is startling."

    But critics of the movement have already begun to surface, claiming that Kaiser and his colleagues are simply preying on people's fears of losing rocks.

    While acknowledging that we should reduce our dependence on foreign rocks, many have argued that the current rock supply could easily last for the next 2 million years, by which time technology will have advanced enough to allow for the production of endless quantities of cheap, durable basalt.

    Others who oppose the rock-loss theory claim that rocks were put on the earth to be used by humans in marble statues or kitchen countertops as they see fit.

    "Take the Rocky Mountains, for example: There's plenty of rocks right there," Colorado resident Kyle Peters said. "It's our right as Americans to use as many rocks as we need for whatever purposes we decide, and no scientist is going to scare me into thinking otherwise. "This country was built on rocks," he added. "Remember that."