Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

“Two Ladies And A Vampire”

vampireA story about two women fairly new to climbing (one of them had only been trad leading for two years and one of them had never done a multi-pitch) completing a multi-pitch 5.11 climb at Tahquitz. Good quote:

“There I was, shaking from the stress, stomach cramps, hands sweating, and asking myself “why do I like being so scared so much?” Good thing my mom does not know I am here!!!!”

Black Hills Climbing

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rev Your Engines


I wanna go here to “rev my engine.” What a great description:

“The Cinque Torri are, by definition, everyone's "gym": for alpinists and sport climbers, for beginners to experts alike. It is on this jewel, made up of the most diverse boulders and towers, that the alpine season is prepared, that the "engines are revved" before climbing the massive walls nearby, such as the Tofane and Lagazuoi. In summer the ropes of alpinists intertwine with those of sport climbers who converge here to escape the summer heat and to enjoy the unique surroundings.”

Wouldn’t if be fun to “intertwine your ropes with alpinists?”

Dyneema vs Nylon

DMM has a video testing falls on slings – both nylon and Dyneema as well as a report on the tests.

Here’s a long article describing what to be careful of when tying into an anchor based on the results of these tests.

Don’t leave slack in your sling when you’re attached to a belay anchor. Use the climbing rope if you can. An 11mm Dyneema sling will break with a two foot fall if it has a knot in it.

Once curious point in the video is that tying an overhand knot in a nylon sling, reduces the force.


Blue rope bagBefore my Birthday present from Lisa, I thought the cool people used these blue bags for carrying gear and lead ropes.

Now, since I got a brand new Yellow bag, fresh from Slovakia, I realize that only the V.S.C. people have yellow rope bags. Sorry, kids, I’ve got the only one. Thanks, Lisa.

Yelklow bag

A Headline You Don’t See Much

The Squamish Butt (North Face Variation) 5.9

It’s typical to see headlines about a new 5.13 or harder climb. This is a headline you don’t see much:

Trotter and Moon Climb Chief’s Easiest Route.”

“As one  of Canada’s best rock climbers, Sonnie Trotter’s name is usually associated with cutting edge first  ascents like the unrepeated Forever Expired 5.14d and Cobra Crack 5.14 but with the addition of his new moderate route on the Chief, that’s all about to change. After 70 hours of hard work, Trotter unveiled his new route The Squamish Butt (North Face Variation)  5.9, a climb…”

This is the rock face they’re talking about; “The Chief" in Squamish.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Moderate Multi-Pitch Climbing

Most of the time, the climbing stories are about high level, very difficult climbs. Here’s a story about climbing a 12,000 foot mountain in the Sierra that includes 15 pitches of 5.6 climbing.

If We Had A Wall Like This

If we had an 800 foot granite wall in MN like this one in Index, WA,, I think we could raise $300,000 to keep it from being dynamited.

Popular Wash. climbing wall saved from dynamite

Richard's Special Day

Richard, you know him, you love him. It's a special day so give him a call, write him an email or just leave a comment.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Delicate Arch

When Dean Potter climbed this icon a few years ago,there were no clear rules about not climbing it.  Now the Park Service is developing a climbing plan for Arches Park in Utah.


The photo below shows him free soloing it. image




Geological Failure

A pedestrian in Milwaukee watches as a sinkhole forms and swallows up an SUV. Rain is inherently dangerous.



Friday, July 23, 2010

Women in the Black Hills

Mel, Renee and Janine went out to the Blacks Hills on Pin Fest Weekend. Details are sketchy. They had a good time and they all came back. They must be interviewed soon! I nabbed these details off facebook.

They Climbed Goatskin, at Rushmore, The Meat Counter Area. Here is a photo of them a-fixin’ to go. They commented that it was an awesome climb.

mel and renee

Here is someone else's photo of the view from the top. Looks nice!

NEWS RELEASE - Rescue Did Not Involve Exum Climbing Parties

Today at 3:30pm

On Wednesday, July 21st, 16 climbers were rescued from the Grand Teton after a thunder storm resulted in multiple lightning strikes. Several recent reports have been incorrect regarding Exum's involvement in the rescue. Our guides and climbing parties had reached the summit early that day and were already off the mountain when the storm hit. Some of our guides went back to our hut at the lower saddle only to provide assistance to the rangers. The injured climbers were not members of guided parties - they were climbing on their own. For more information on the rescue please see the Grand Teton National Park website:

The Grand Teton's Exum Ridge
Photo: Tom Bowke

The Wildest Dream

The Wildest Dream is a new movie – see Lisa’s post below – about Mallory on Mt Everest. Here’s the trailer. Here’s a review of the movie.

Aug. 10 The North Face and REI are hosting a free showing of the newest National Geographic documentary "The Wildest Dream." The Film follows the journey of Conrad Anker and his discovery of the body of George Mallory, a mountaineer who is suspected of being the first to climb Mount Everest, even before Sir. Edmund Hillary. For more information visit, tickets are free and only available online here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I got a letter today...


I am Elliott Krizek the Community Outreach and Special Events Lead for The North Face in the St.Paul/Minneapolis area. In searching for local clubs and organizations to work with and I stumbled upon Women on the Edge and was quite intrigued. Following Christ myself and having worked with multiple churches in the area, I have never come across a group such as yours. I wanted to let you know of some up coming events Women on the Edge and others at St. Andrews might be interested in attending.

Aug. 5 at 6:30 The St. Paul Store will be hosting a Chi Running Event with Chris Fuller a certified instructor of Chi Running and Walking for information you can check him out at here's his link:

Aug. 6 at 6 o'clock The Uptown store in Minneapolis will be hosting Dr. Ralph Bovard. Dr. Bovard worked at a Doctor at the base camp of Everest and is coming to the Uptown store to share his experience of Everest. Feel free to come Early and receive a complimentary massages from Mayfield Chiropractic.

Aug. 10 The North Face and REI are hosting a free showing of the newest National Geographic documentary "The Wildest Dream." The Film follows the journey of Conrad Anker and his discovery of the body of George Mallory, a mountaineer who is suspected of being the first to climb Mount Everest, even before Sir. Edmund Hillary. For more information visit, tickets are free and only available online here.

Anyone want to go?

Grand Teton Lightning

I’m glad Lisa. Mel and Carl weren’t up on the Grand when lightning struck.

In addition to the group at the Belly Roll, another team of five climbers was above that feature on the Owen-Spalding route and a third team of four was 100 feet from the summit on the Exum Ridge.

Skaggs said a lightning map showed at least six or seven strikes in the area. A professional Exum mountain guide aided the party from the Belly Roll down to the 11,650-foot high Lower Saddle.

“Multiple patients reported being struck three, four, five times,” physician A.J. Wheeler, co-medical advisor for Grand Teton National Park said. “We saw a whole range of injuries from bumps and bruises to lightning burns and electrical injuries to secondary trauma from being thrown,” by lightning strikes.”

Mountain Skill Training

Will Gadd just finished his first 4 day seminar on mountain movement. I like this part of his post:

One of the many small things I learned is how important good lugs on your soles are for gripping on steep slabby terrain with loose bits on it. This type of terrain is a real PITA for many people, including me, and we were able to test various shoes on the sliding board (rocks and gravel on steep plywood) I built. Movement was important, but footwear was much more important than I had thought it would be. What is excellent for, say, Grand Teton style rock hopping (sticky dot-style rubber) is truly horrible in other conditions. Because most of us don't test our footwear carefully in controlled environments we don't get to see the pluses and minuses.”

Professor Failure

Sometimes failure is just failure. Sometimes it’s not. A video from the series “Steps to the Summit.”

“Pretty Strong Engagement With Fear”

At about 35 seconds into this video, Steph Davis says “There is a pretty strong mental dialog and a pretty strong engagement with fear” when she free solos. I buy that.

New Grigri Design

3 new or re-designed belay devices due out in Spring 2011.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

WISE Photos of Heart and Soul

The first “Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite has just completed its first survey of the entire sky viewable from Earth -- returning more than a million images that provide a zoomed-in look at celestial objects ranging from distant galaxies to asteroids.”

“Located about 6,000 light-years from Earth, the Heart and Soul nebulae in the constellation Cassiopeia form a vast star-forming complex that makes up part of an arm of the Milky Way Galaxy. The nebula to the right is the Heart, named after its resemblance to a human heart.”

Climbing Faster

Toby Dunn - Speed Climbing

This is mostly directed to multi-pitch trad climbs, so not as important when going to VE. They are five reasons for going faster; this is my favorite:

“Closing time: important matter, this: everyone knows the most important feature of summer evening cragging is the debrief pint, and making closing time can be a struggle in midsummer if you try and fit one last route in - a little swifter on the crag equals plenty of chilling time!”

Head to Head Climbing

This is from the recent Arco championship in Italy. Head to head climbing competition.

“Lurking Fear”

3 women climbing “Lurking Fear” on El Cap in Yosemite. This is apparently a training climb for them as they are attempting Mt. Proboscis in the Cirque of the Unclimbables in the Northwest Territories of Canada.

Mt Proboscis (on the left) from Fairy Meadow.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fun With Water


I just got my ski boat out of storage. It’s designed to do 3  4 things well:

  1. Accelerate really fast so it’s easy to get up on skis
  2. Go super fast in a straight line
  3. Have a very smooth wake
  4. Barefoot ski

It’s fun to ski behind or use to pull an inner tube. If you’re interested in using it, let me know. It’s also fun to go up and down the Mississippi from the Ford Plant to downtown St Paul.

Here’s a video of what it’s designed to do very well. (I am not quite this good.)

Speed Climbing Competition In Singapore

Relay team climbing competition up 650 feet walls on the outside of a new hotel in Singapore. 

Great Arch of Pabbay

Crux of pitch 2


In the Outer Hebrides of Scotland there’s a climb still waiting for its first, clean ascent.

a complex arrangement of poor holds that you'd never see from under the roof looked to be the crux. 95 metres off the boulder field below with the waves crashing and a freezing gale blowing the ropes all over the place and tangling up slings and jumars and other bits of random kit I roughly memorised the position of these holds before I got the hell out of there and kind of hoped it went away!"



Nic Sellers below the Great Arch on Pabbay, making the first ascent of Crash Course, 222 kb

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Black Hills Climbing

Richard and Ron are planning to go climbing in the Black Hill the last weekend in July. They would love to have a couple more climbers join them. Is it you? If you are interested in more information, leave a comment or email Richard.

There is also a trip brewing Labor Day, again leave a comment if interested.

“It Just Got Tiring”

A report about the fist free climb of a 29 pitch 13.d route in Italy.I like this quote:


"Every hour was sheer horror," he said. "Exposed climbing on loose rock, all belays hanging, 3,000 feet of air below. It just got tiring in the end..."

Friday, July 16, 2010


Totally climbable....and 10 stories high.
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Bouldering ay Mary’s Lake

Looks like Jake and Hannah are having a good time in Estes Park this summer. Seems the hazards here are cold water and green feet!

38106_1371078918461_1276380273_30950970_7806043_n 38106_1371079078465_1276380273_30950974_594574_n

37577_1371080278495_1276380273_30950979_1030732_n  37577_1371080398498_1276380273_30950982_392964_n 34768_1371080438499_1276380273_30950983_973719_n

Red Wing Friday

IMG_0291As you can see from the photo, Buddy the dog had more sense than we did – he stayed in the shade.

Fabrice, Peter and I climbed a lot of hot routes. Then we watched The Warden and Mike climb – they were super hot.

Ron showed up for a rare cameo appearance and we heard more about his Black Hills climbing trip. All photos here.

The video below is of The Warden climbing “Paradigm Shift..”  (Normally, a 5.13. In the sun, a 5.18D) What a guy!


Couple of things I re-learned today:

    • Before and after the crux, the climbing is not so hard. (Why is that?)
    • On a hot day, the bugs stay in the shade.
    • When you’re drenched in sweat, even your feet slip around in your shoes making it harder to smear.
    • Drinking beer when you’re dehydrated is highly efficacious.

 IMG_0252  IMG_0285 



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ten Sleep Canyon

This is where Fabrice and Peter are going to climb this September.

Just Another 5,14

“A little over a week ago, Jacinda Hunter, 31, nabbed the FA of her project Fantasy Island, a 5.14b in Utah’s American Fork Canyon. This is an impressive feat, considering that Hunter manages to find time for climbing along with a registered nurse career and four children.”

Well, no wonder she can climb so well; she’s probably used to climbing the walls at home with 4 kids around.

Unveiling the Potential

Climbing and yoga camp sponsored by Prana.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Very Old Rock

A recent photo taken from 1800 miles away of an asteroid that’s 4.5 billion years old and about 80 miles across.

ESA’s Rosetta mission has returned the first close-up images of the asteroid showing it is most probably a primitive survivor from the violent birth of the Solar System.
The images show that Lutetia is heavily cratered, having suffered many impacts during its 4.5 billion years of existence. As Rosetta drew close, a giant bowl-shaped depression stretching across much of the asteroid rotated into view. The images confirm that Lutetia is an elongated body, with its longest side around 130km.” 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Looking For Climbing Partners

A relatively new climber describes his experience in finding people with whom to climb using some of the internet climbing forums.. I like this part:

“But I am still looking for that 'partner' who lives down the street and has the exact same work schedule as me and has just a few more years of experience. But then aren't we all.”

Friday, July 9, 2010

How Wacky Is This?

Three friends go climbing with their kids. And get written up in The New York Times. Is that whacked or what? What will these parents think of next?

To the uninitiated, these tactics sound crazy. Just the thought of hanging 10 or 20 feet, or more, off the ground can churn some stomachs. But if you can trust the ropes and your climbing partner, the experience is exhilarating. There’s a peacefulness to studying the rock in front of you and finding the pattern of holds that will take you up.”

I’m Sure This Will Ruin The Mountain

I bet putting a few hundred bolts in a rock that is hundreds of feet in the air will just ruin this mountain. Especially a mountain in British Columbia - ‘cause there are so few of them up there.

I always think it’s such a shame to let people into the mountains. Because they will ruin them. Unless it’s me. And a few of my carefully chosen friends. Because we won’t ruin the mountains. Really, we won’t. Because we are real rock climbers. Not tourists. 

Friday Red Wing

It was not so humid as last Monday so the rocks were dry. It was so hot, that shirts were optional.

Fabice, Pete and I and dozens of mosquitoes climbed for a few hours in the shade. One mosquito followed me to the top of Annadonia. Fun, huh?

“It’d Be Better To Stay On The Ground”

From a purely rational point of view. it’d be better to stay on the ground.”

Hard to argue with that statement from one of the Huber brothers as they attempted their record-setting climb of El Cap in 2.5 hours in July of 2008. This trailer is from their movie “To the Limit.” (They ended up climbing it in 2 hours 43 minutes. That time was beaten in October 2008 by about 6 minutes.)

If we did speed climbing here in Minnesota, it’d kinda take the fun out of climbing. I calculated that to climb “Looking for Lust” (probably the tallest climb at Red Wing) at the speed these guys climbed El Cap, would take about 3 minutes. (They climbed 3000 feet in 163 minutes.)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Climbing in Croatia

Here is Richard trying the first few moves on the most difficult climb in Paklencia Park in Croatia. I know he would have flashed it if we had a rope. I thought the rock was interesting, kind slick like it had a high clay content.

Here is a great Bird's eye view of the cayon on this site
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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Triple Link-up on El Cap

Wow, three separate routes on El Cap in 24 hours.

“The pair began at 8 p.m., climbing the Nose in 4:15. Then they started up Salathé, ascending in six hours, before finishing the day with Lurking Fear. The two were seen eating pizza on Curry Deck at 8 p.m. the next evening, meaning they climbed 85 pitches (2,400 meters) in 24 hours.”

Lots ,more photos and details here.

World Cup Bouldering

Here’s the finals of the latest competition in Holland. The routes are just fiendish.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Black Hills Climbing Coalition Meeting

The next meeting of the BHCC will be 7 pm Wednesday, July 14, at the Slate Creek Grill in Hill City.  We will also check over all the ropes and slings in preparation for Pinfest on Saturday, July 17th.

On June 18th BHCC members Ron Yahne, Jason McNabb, Darryl Stisser, Andrew Busse and Bruce Junek met with Mount Rushmore intern superintendent and mid-west region chief ranger Hughy Dougher about changes to the climbing boundaries at Mount Rushmore. Superintendent Dougher was eager to work together with us to insure a policy that will address security issues at Mount Rushmore, and still allow climbers access to areas that have been important historically to climbing. It was determined that because of the established routes on the White House Wall, and the tradition of climbs along the northern end of Emancipation Rockformation, that the new out-of-bounds areas will start from the top of those formations (allowing climbing to continue all along this wall as long as climbers rappel back down and DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HIKE DOWN THE BACKSIDE OF ANY OF THE EMANCIPATION ROCKFORMATION). This will enlarge the out-of-bounds area to now include Indian Camp and Green Valley, which climbers refer to as the Vale of Tranquility. THIS AREA IS NOW ALL OUT-OF-BOUNDS TO CLIMBING. The BHCC has agreed to accept these new boundaries, which has resulted from changes in security requirements after the Green Peace demonstrations last year. BHCC also expressed our gratitude to the Rushmore administrators for their willingness to adjust the boundaries so that classic routes such as Garfield Goes to Washington and Political Prowess will STILL REMAIN OPEN to climbers. The BHCC has agreed to make sure there are rappel anchors on all of the existing routes, and all of the future climbs put up along this wall.

The Falling Rock workday was a big success—20 people did a major clean-up of the entire area hauling out truckloads of garbage. The Forest Service even cut down the scary tree at the cliffs edge. In addition, nine sets of anchors were replaced over a number of days by Mike Cronin and Ron Yahne, who used 7-inch glue-in bolts in the soft limestone to insure bomber anchors with a long life expectancy.

Other repairs-
Garfield Goes to Washington – new anchors at the first pitch and at the top. There is now a two-pitch rappel straight off the top of the climb. You no longer have to hunt for the tricky rappel off the overhang roof. You still need gear to build the anchor on top of the 2nd pitch.
Mothra – new anchors
Gossamer – new top bolt. Old anchor studs have been ground off.
Tiki—Dick Laptad (the first ascensionist) okay’d an additional bolt at the bottom so long as it was put in on lead. Ron Yahne stepped up to the plate and put in the bolt with Jason McNabb belaying. They also added new anchors on top.

Don’t forget Pin Fest is July 17th. We usually get a leisurely start around 9 am in the Ten Pins area of Custer State Park. Bring a lunch and come out for a truly great day of climbing on some of the most classic routes in North America!
Beans and Biners on Sept 11th.
Devils Tower trail work/climb//barbeque is Sept 25.
Climb Hard and Climb Safe.
Bruce B. Junek – Newsletter Editor

Black Hills Climbing

Here’s a photo Ron took on their trip to the Black Hills last week. (I didn’t think they allowed guns in the campground.)

Black Hills Climbing


Liz, Zack, Ron and Aaron went climbing in the Black Hills last week. Liz posts a great summary of their trip on her blog. Thanks for the report, Liz and congrats on all the climbing you did out there. (But where’s the report and photos from the Boyz?)

Here’s Liz on the 2nd belay station of “Garfield Goes to Washington.”

Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday at Red Wing

The rocks were wringing wet with the humidity today. (I think the dew point was 73 degrees.) Then it started to rain. So we left.

But we got in a few climbs and it was almost like Fathers’ Day with Rackie’s daughter Sylvia and Fabrice’s son Arthur climbing with us.

“Bite Me”

Use Scotch Tape or Nail Polish to Relieve an Itchy Mosquito Bite

“Bite me” is what you’ll be saying to the mosquitoes when you try this new trick. I read about using scotch tape on an itchy mosquito bite to stop the itching. So I’ve been experimenting with it the last few days. (The mosquitoes will carry you away now if you’re in the woods – like today at Red Wing.)

Putting a little piece of tape over the bite does seem to stop the itching. Maybe it’s a placebo effect, but it’s cheap, easy and doesn’t seem to do any harm.

Cave Climbing

Some cave climbing at a county park near Austin, TX.. I’d follow Ken anywhere.

Homo Climbtastic Returns

The Biggest, the Queerest, the most HomoClimbtastic Trip Evar! “is planned for July 15-18 at New River Gorge. Sounds like fun. Bring your booty shorts like this guy in the photo.