They can earn one sheep a month, so that’s 8 years until they can afford a wife. I know guys who are paying for wives way longer than 8 years.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Quite a video shot by a snowboarder as he fell upside down nto a tree well and thought he was going to die. He managed to get his cell phone out of his pocket after a few minutes and call his wife. Who thought he was joking. She called the ski patrol, gave them his phone number. They called him and he described exactly where he was. After about 30 minutes, they pulled him out. At the very end of the interview with him on this video, he breaks out into tears recalling how he thought he was going to die.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
How about you and 11 of your closest friends run a relay race from Winona to St. Paul? Details here.:
“What you will need to have a good Ragnar
- 12 Runners (6 runners for an Ultra team)
- 2 vans
- An average team pace around 11 minute miles (we have tools to help with this)
- The ability to provide three volunteers if you live within 100 miles of the race. Learn More about volunteer requirements.”
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Here is the last of 4 videos about climbing in Cuba where it is illegal. Looks like you can get a good workout plowing the field with oxen. Plus, they have great cigars down there. The other 3 videos he made, are here.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Will Gadd has a lot to say about the differences between ice and rock climbing – especially the ice climbing shown in a video he has on his site. Here’s one comment about falling while lead ice climbing I was surprised to read:
“In 30 years of ice climbing I've caught exactly one lead fall (Guy Lacelle of all people), and never fallen on lead. Most of the people I climb with are the same; a few fell off once or maybe twice early in their careers before figuring out it was a really bad idea…”
Sunday, March 27, 2011
I just finished a book about three Italians held in a British POW camp during WWII in Kenya, who decided, out of pure boredom, to climb the nearby Mt Kenya (17,200’). They had been prisoners for two years and “In order to break the monotony of [prison] life one had only to start taking risks again..” So they did.
They made their own ice axes, crampons, tent, and sleeping bags from scraps around the camp and saved up food for several weeks. Beside the danger of climbing the mountain – which had only been climbed 5 times before – they had to walk miles through lion, elephant, rhino and buffalo terrain. (On a previous climb of the mountain, a climber had been pulled from his tent by a lion and had his leg chewed off.) They had a close encounter with a bull elephant but weren’t attacked by any animals.
The only information they had on the mountain was from an old magazine article which was smuggled into the camp, and from a label on a can of meat which had a drawing of Mt. Kenya.
After 18 days on the mountain, they reached the lower summit and were turned back by weather and lack of food. Before they escaped, they knew they would have to return to the camp because it was just too far to fully escape captivity. So they sneaked out of camp one night and 18 days later, they sneaked back in. But they were discovered and had to spend 28 days in solitary. And three more years in the prison camp. A flag they left on the summit was found by a later party which validated their story. A Wikipedia version of their story is here.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Or, more accurately, he can’t poop before he climbs El Cap. Quite a story of two older guys who are experienced Yosemite climbers, climbing “The Shield” on El Cap last Fall. The photo on the left is particularly funny with its caption:
“Mark, on the other hand, can pretty much poop on demand. Bastard!”
You can see why his friend is frustrated by this because he says:
“I couldn’t poop! I probably sat there on the crummy campground can reading the topo twenty times over. How many times can you look at a little line labelled “The Groove”? No luck. Not even a walnut. I have never - not once in 7 walls - pooped pre-launch. Nevertheless, off we went, up to Mammoth one last time and on to Gray Ledges.”
As you can tell, it’s quite overhanging on “The Shield.”
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Who knew people older than 30 could climb? A 66 year old woman who only stated climbing when she was 42 is still climbing now.How neat is that? (I hope I will be able to get off the couch if I ever hit 66,) This is a great quote from her:
“If you could offer one piece of advice to a woman in her 40s that has never tied into a rope before but is curious to try, what would it be? Here is how you tie a figure 8 knot.”
A photo of her cleaning a route in Laos. (Of course, it’d have to be somewhere exotic ‘cuz that’s where old people hang out.) More details here.
A short essay about ratings of climbs and why routes of a similar difficulty today would get a higher grad than the same route 20 years ago. He believes a higher rating on a new route makes it more popular to climb because people feel better if they make it and, likewise, feel better if they don’t make it; they’d rather fail on a 5.13 than fail on a 5.12.
(I found his writing confusing. So that’s my short version of what he’s saying. He could be saying the reverse but I think I get his point.) Here’s a quote about why the old timers wanted to sandbag their routes:
“This is a strange turnaround from 20 years ago…when routes were intentionally underrated to burn you off and make you feel angry and low, and, ideally, quit the sport.”
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The Outdoor Women Alliance’s goal is::
“…: getting women outside the city limits and into a new comfort zone. We strive to promote and grow women & like-minded organizations in their efforts to get women hiking, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, camping, kayaking, rock & ice climbing, mountain & road biking, canyoneering, trail running, fly fishing, backpacking.”
Women need a lot of encouragement to leave the kitchen and go outside, I guess. Maybe it’s my feminine side, but I too struggle to get outside into a new comfort zone. Because, at least for me, being indoors is more comfortable than being outdoors.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
I’m not sure what’s more dangerous, climbing “crack that funneled into a bottleneck with rock crumbling underneath her hands and feet all the while.” or gong to the Middle East to climb . The story of a new route climbed by two women in the Jordanian desert.
(Although this is about two women putting up a new route, I was glad to see they brought a husband along to drill out anchors so they could rappel down. Finally, a use for husbands!)
- like it or not, it's the first day of Spring
- the fabric was free
- I am a girl.
If I can just go telemark one more time, I can let winter go. Oh no, it is raining.....
Saturday, March 19, 2011
I saw this logbook advertised and thought it’s a good idea for any climber – especially if you climb in different areas.. Don’t know if you need to spend $13. Maybe just a notebook listing where you were, what the weather was, who you climbed with, what routes you did, additional beta, and gear you used, would be sufficient. I used to just write info on the sides of my guide books. But years (weeks?) later, it is fun to review where you’ve been and what you’ve done
Friday, March 18, 2011
According to the most recent recreation survey of the U.S., there’s been a decline in the number of young people climbing.
“Looking at this data, which is, of course, incomplete, indicates that climbing has passed its peak, at least for now. The sport grew considerably from 1990 when indoor climbing gyms became popular and served as an introduction to a lot of tyros to climbing. Now it appears there is a lessening of recreational climbers as the ones who came of age in the last 15 to 20 years have begun to settle down to careers and family responsibilities.”
I was a little surprised that the number of people who call themselves climbers was this high. Here’s a more detailed breakdown:
“Overall 2009 participation in rock climbing, including bouldering, sport climbing, indoor climbing, traditional climbing, and mountaineering was 6,148,000 Americans or 2.7% of the population six years and older. It broke down to 4,313,000 participants in bouldering, sport climbing, and indoor climbing, and 1,835,000 in trad climbing and mountaineering.”
I wonder how many indoor only vs outdoor climbers are represented in these numbers. It appears as though you won’t find crowds of people trad climbing or mountaineering.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Alex Honnold is interviewed about speed climbing and is asked “What is climbing about” and he answers:
“I have no idea what climbing is ‘about,’ but speed climbing is all about getting down in time for dinner. It's just a nice way to get tons of climbing into one day.”
I notice when I am climbing with others, that I am so much better than they are. It’s kinda of a shame too because they seem to try so hard. And yet, for me, it’s easy to be as good as I am. This article describes why I think that way:
“In the 1950s, 12 percent of high school seniors said they were a ‘very important person.’ By the ’90s, 80 percent said they believed that they were.
In short, there’s abundant evidence to suggest that we have shifted a bit from a culture that emphasized self-effacement — I’m no better than anybody else, but nobody is better than me — to a culture that emphasizes self-expansion….Citizenship, after all, is built on an awareness that we are not all that special but are, instead, enmeshed in a common enterprise”
Luckily, that part of the article that refers to citizenship, doesn’t apply to me. Because I am special, and you are not. Sorry, but the truth hurts.
They spent a month in El Chalten waiting for a good weather window to climb. When they got it, they had a lot of company.
“The block of ice bounced off my helmet hard enough to make my ears ring and make me wonder if I might pass out. My partner Jim and I were climbing an ice-choked chimney high on a mountain called Standhardt. We were several pitches up the chimney, no wider than my shoulders in places, and there was no safe spot to put the belay. We hung a backpack off of an ice screw to block some of the debris funneling down the chute, but mostly all I could do was hold the rope and cower while Jim led up.
Suddenly a rope dropped on Jim's head. Another team of climbers was rappelling down the route, over our heads. At best, this meant gridlock; at worst, a climber-triggered ice fall.
So this is what Patagonia has become, I thought: crowded and overrun by climbers.”
Monday, March 14, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
North Face sponsored climbers set up a clinic for teaching high altitude porters who live in the Hunza valley of the Pakistan Karakoram climbing skills. Best part of the video is them repairing a rickety wooden bridge and then driving across it. (2:50 into the video.)
OK, so he is really only climbing a little bit so that he can snowboard down. But he does do some rock climbing, via ferrata climbing and some ice climbing just to get to the top of these couloirs. And at about the 6 minute mark, he’s basically skiing down a chimney.
“Have you ever dreamed of a place where a chairlift would bring you to the top of untracked couloirs? Xavier de le Rue heads to this magical spot with a fresh 40cm dump of snow. Together with local rider Giulia Monego, he discovers the potential of one of the most beautiful mountain of the alps: Le Dolomiti, in North Italy. The crew managed to come back from this 2 day mission with some of the best images of the winter so far. Winter is back in Europe, stay tuned!”
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
First they rapped down into the crater and then they set up a base camp. Many more photos here.
“In June 2010, a team of scientists and intrepid explorers stepped onto the shore of the lava lake boiling in the depths of Nyiragongo Crater, in the heart of the Great Lakes region of Africa.”
I think Dave MacLeod’s article about “climbing messy” is making the same point as Voltaire when he said something along the lines of “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”
“Obviously we can’t go around hoping for one of those once in a lifetime moments to happen right now. We need to find a way to climb well and be comfortable with our performance on a daily basis. It’s fine to try and keep everything clean and optimal. It’s the eternal game of the athlete. But accept that no matter how much you try, you dealing with something that is inherently messy (life) and you will never win.”
OK, I might be willing to climb in my underwear so I am lighter and therefore can climb a harder route. But I hope I’d draw the line at ideas like gluing sticky rubber to my legs to make a climb easier or re-texturing smooth rocks with acid or shaping a finger with a file so that it would be thinner to fit inside a mono pocket. If you need more ideas than that, they’re detailed here.
Boulder's Jonathan Siegrist about to make a first-try ascent of Power Windows (5.13d) at Mt. Potosi near Las Vegas, with Heather Robinson at the belay. For this route Siegrist duct-taped sticky rubber kneepads to his thighs for the first time, marking his official entrance into the dark side of sport climbing. Photo: Chris Weidner
From Jane Brody of the New York Times is an article about treating tendon pain that indicates just rest alone is not the best treatment.
“Two time-honored remedies for injured tendons seem to be falling on their faces in well-designed clinical trials.
The first, corticosteroid injections into the injured tendon, has been shown to provide only short-term relief, sometimes with poorer long-term results than doing nothing at all.
The second, resting the injured joint, is supposed to prevent matters from getting worse. But it may also fail to make them any better.
Rather, working the joint in a way that doesn’t aggravate the injury but strengthens supporting tissues and stimulates blood flow to the painful area may promote healing faster than ‘a tincture of time’.”
We had each climbed it once when Aaron whipped out a set of brand new ice screws. He accomplished his first lead with no problem. My observation was, good placement takes some time. It would take a long time to climb a mountain. Good thing we don't have any here.
Since a women's work is never done, of course I cleaned up after the man. I was really impressed with the design and ease of operation with the black diamond screws, very clever. It's like someone spend a long time thinking about it.
Aaron walked down to check out the bolts on the old bridge pilings. I could tell he wanted to climb it but that is for another day. Perhaps I'll belay form my kayak. It was a nice day, warm temperatures and a few peeks of sun.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
A list or reasons compiled by a girl woman climber for boys to climb with girls. I have found several of them to be true:
“2. You’ll be the envy of the other guys at the crag. You’ll be the extra-super-envy of the other guys at the crag if your female climbing partners are traditional leaders.
3. If you’re climbing with girls, you’re more likely to have other girls approach your party and chat folks up, because hey — you’re presumptively non-creepy enough for some girl to rock climb with you'.
4. Food and drink. Subject to exceptions, there are usually yummy leftovers when you eat with girls. You also get to sample tasty treats like Luna Bars and that awesome vanilla cinnamon oatmeal without having the cute girl at the grocery store checkout raise her eyebrow at you for buying food with the words ‘for women’ on the label.
5. Our overnight kits generally include such important but often overlooked items as Aleve, eye drops, fingernail clippers and chap stick with SPF.”
How much beer should be given in payment to your friend for loaning you climbing equipment? Here’s a handy guide. I like these:
- Friend/climbing partner picked you up and drove to the trailhead while you slept in the passenger seat
- Friend/climbing partner picked you up and had donuts and/or coffee for you; you did not sleep in the passenger seat on the way to the trailhead
- Climbing partner led the hard pitch, or pitches
- You borrowed a pair of skis or snowboard
- You are very late getting home from hiking/climbing; friend/climbing partner calls your spouse and explains that it was his/her fault you are late
- Friend/climbing partner cooked dinner on overnight trip; it was better than you can cook at home”
She’s a kindergartner teacher who’s climbing 5.14 in “school teacher socks.” More on her here.
In the last 10 years, Vennon has risen to become one of the top female sport climbers in the U.S. while holding down a full-time job as a Kindergarten teacher.
“I love Kindergarten,” Vennon says. “Those kids are the only people who think I’m funny.”
She is one of the few women to have ticked the elusive 5.14 grade in Rifle with her recent (second female) ascent of the 7 P.M. Show (5.14a), in addition to ticking off some difficult, sandbagged 5.13d’s there as well such as Living in Fear, Gropius, Simply Read and Slice of Life.
Before coming to Rifle in 2006, Vennon cut her teeth in the Red River Gorge, where the steep, enduro climbing informed much of her unique and intuitive style. High heel hooks and the ability to shake out on any hold forever are her fortes. Vennon, however, likes to say that her weakness in climbing is her “weakness,” and that “if there’s an easier way to do a move, you’ll be sure I will figure it out.” Climbing for her isn’t about competitive performance, but rather it’s a lifestyle and a way to be outdoors, testing her personal limits in the natural world.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Two experienced climbers get a little lost trying to descend a mountain in Chamonix. They call the mountain guides’ office for directions at 2AM.
“’Yes, ummm, I’m calling from the Midi-Plan traverse, we are on the Rognon du Plan, on the arete, and we are having a hard time finding the actual route?’ I explain in French as my teeth chatter and my body shakes.”
Shiva Rea teaches at Yoga Works in Santa Monica, California
Sunday, March 6, 2011
The National Park Service wants to raise the fees for climbing Denali. They want the costs of dealing with and rescuing climbers to be recouped by charging more for climbers. Of course,
“… the Access Fund, the American Alpine Club, and the American Mountain Guides Association said higher park entrance fees for all visitors…wouldn’t be unreasonable.”
In other words, those groups want all visitors to pay for the few who want to climb the mountain. Seems to me, climbers should carry their own weight.
Maybe not the best way to spot someone on a boulder route. You be the judge.
Rock Climbing Fail - Watch more Funny Videos
Friday, March 4, 2011
Two climbers attempt a newly discovered mountain of snow. One of them slips and almost falls to the bottom before he is caught by his partner. Quite an achievement. Their rope work and use of their climbing gear is stunningly effective. More of their story here.
Until this week, I hadn’t been SCUBA diving in over 10 years. It’s a lot like climbing though – jump in and hold your breath.
Barb & I did 3 dives in Cozumel on a 3 day vacation. Here’s one of the places. (I didn’t make this video and I don’t know who Tim is. He looks a little googly-eyed here.) But we did see lion fish, turtles, sponges, shrimp, lobsters, crabs and lots of cougars. (The cougars were only spotted at the resort bar. Everything else we saw underwater.)
Two women discuss outdoor adventures. I like this part because I, too, would rather take the lighter load. That’s why, whenever I can. I travel with boys who are bigger than me.
“My group of guys knows that I can keep a quick pace so long as I’m not too bogged down with extra gear. It’s not that I can’t carry extra gear. It just means that, naturally, I won’t be as fast. So if my fastest pace is still slower than their average pace, then they may be waiting for me every once in awhile. They would usually rather carry the rope instead of having me take on the extra weight.”
They are challenging themselves to climb better but procrastinating on the training.
“You see, I've got this beautiful machine that carries my mind, heart, and spirit to all the incredible places I want to go to in this world. And, the machine wants to move. Time to shift into a higher gear.”
She wants to build her endurance for climbing long routes at Indian Cree, so here’s part of her training plan:
“I usually climb at the gym 2 nights a week, so I’ve started working an endurance night into most weeks: either a crack endurance night (climbing 2-3 laps on a crack without rest x 7-8 cracks = a lot of pitches) or a TR face climbing endurance pyramid (2 laps per route on 10b, 10c, 10d, 11a, 11b, 11a, 10c, 10a, or similar pyramid, with rests only between routes, to belay my partner.)”