Thursday, March 31, 2011

One Hundred Sheep For A Wife

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.

Prisoners of the Himalayas from Louis Meunier on Vimeo.

No Wonder There’s Good Climbing Here

This guys are wingsuiting near Monterrey, Mexico. Look at the rock cliffs they speed past.


Caught Upside Down In Snow

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.


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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

You Have To Find The Right Kind Of Dog

Buddy the dog is not interested in Dogboarding. But you might have the right dog to do this new sport.

Dogboarding from DANIELS on Vimeo.

Like To Run?

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.”


100th Anniversary Of Devil’s Lake Park

Here’s the official directory of Baraboo, WI  which is full of ads but also the history and lots of historical photos of Devil’s Lake State Park in WI.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Climbing In Cuba

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.

Cuba Chapter4_The Life of Leo from renan ozturk on Vimeo.

Training On A Plane

Alain Robert: Alain Robert climbs on the baggage racks of a Dragon Air plane

When you’re on a plane and you’re training to climb the world’s tallest buildings, this might help keep you in shape.

And, apparently, his training paid off. He just finished his climb of the world’s tallest skyscraper in Dubai.

Alain Robert: Alain Robert climbs the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority building

Monday, March 28, 2011

20 Years Frozen In Ice

Jeff Lowe’s backpack was left by him 50 feet below the summit ridge of the Eiger in 1991. It was found and dug out of the ice a few days ago by another climber. Details here.


Ice Climbing Vs Rock Climbing

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

Towers Of Chad

No, not the guy named Chad, the country named Chad. Unclimbed towers full of choss and adventure.

Escape From A Prison Camp, Climb A Mountain, Then Go Back To Prison

Cover of 1999 edition

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.

How To Prepare For An Adventure Race

This is supposed to be a weekly series about 3 women and 1 man training for an adventure race that’s scheduled for July.

Mandatory Equipment: A web series - Trailer from 1iOpen Productions on Vimeo.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Devils Lake

Climbing Magazine has an article on Devils Lake that includes this shot of the famous Cleopatra’s Needle. Which looks super hard but is rated a moderate 5.4. (I climbed there many times and it is Taylors Falls on steroids. Great place.)

Climbing In Swim Suits

They are not always wearing swim suits in this video of climbing in Thailand, but it looks like you could wear them all the time.

Too Pooped To Pop

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

How Climbing Rope Is Made

This 5 minute video shows climbing rope and yachting rope made at New England Ropes. I like the “Maypole Machine” the best.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wow! Even Old People Can Climb

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.

Ratings & Why Older Routes Have Lower Grades

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.”

Save Money With A Buddy

The Chicks with Picks climbing clinic in Devils Lake is offering a discount if you sign up with a buddy. Or two buddies. Details here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Helping Women Go Outdoors

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.

"You Have To Be Happy When You Are Climbing"

She's climbing a multi-pitch, overhanging route in France. At the end of the video she says "You have to be happy when you are climbing...That's the key to success."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

2 Women Climbing On Sandstone In Jordan

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!)

Ok Spring, welcome.

I am having a hard time saying goodbye to winter, it has been a lovely season of skiing, mushing, ice climbing and I even went camping, a first for me. I decided to sew an anorak, I have been meaning to for years. So I did. Traditional, you ask? Nope. Pink with flowers. Why?

  • like it or not, it's the first day of Spring
  • the fabric was free
  • I am a girl.
Happy Spring!
If I can just go telemark one more time, I can let winter go. Oh no, it is raining.....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

36’ Dive Into 12” Of Water

This has got to hurt! A new world record for highest dive into shallowest water.

Prof. Spash jumps into 30 cm of water from 11.03 meter at University of Science and Technology in Norway 10.02.2011.”

Climbing Logbook

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

Personal Rock Climbing Logbook (Volume 1)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Has Climbing Peaked?

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

Endurance for the Durrance

by Steven Davis on Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 6:39pm

Training for (En)Durrance: A Guide's Guide

If you want to climb routes like the Durrance, let alone guide them, you need to be in excellent
physical condition, meaning that you always have enough left over to meet any contingency. Leading
clients up the Durrance will take you 7-12 hours of intense physical and mental exertion, so the focus is
on endurance. I've broken this guide into three parts: endurance, route-specific training, and general
physical conditioning.

Check with your doctor to make sure you don't have any conditions that would prevent you from doing
these work-outs safely. And see a doctor if you notice any unusual symptoms afterwards.. And start
tapering your work-out 7-10 days before you set foot on the Tower.

1. Endurance.
Durrance is known for crack climbing and off-width, though you will find some face holds on every
pitch. Off-width is notorious for being a full-body work-out. It's hard to think of any upper body and
core muscle group that you won't be working. The following exercises can be done every day, with low
weight and high reps. Repeat every exercise to exhaustion. Intensity of effort is critical. If at the end,
you feel like puking, you've done well. Be sure that you are hydrating during and after. If you aren't
familiar with any of these exercises, look them up on-line.

Forearms. Do forearm curls using a bar to which is attached a seven-pound weight with a waistto-
floor length of cord. Roll the weight up to you, then roll it back down.
Bicep curls. EZ bar curls. Two-arm dumbbell curls. Alternating hammer curls.
Pecs. Flat bench dumbbell flyes.
Back. One-arm dumbbell rows.
Triceps, pecs, back. Push-ups.
Calves. Calf raises. Essential for the stemming you'll be doing on the Second Pitch.
Belay Muscles. That's right. There are belay-specific exercises. Imagine you'll be belaying three clients
up the Durrance route, which is 500 feet of climbing. You will be pulling 1500 feet of rope through
your Reverso or Grigri, against resistance. This doesn't include the short-rope belaying you will be
doing on the approach. On top of that, you will flake the three ropes at least 24 times, and coil a rope at
least 21 times! So yes, you will work your trapezius, deltoid, and rhomboid muscles big time!

1. Hang a reverse in autoblock mode from the loop next to the pull-up things in the B-Cave. Drop
in a couple of fat gym ropes, tie the ends of each rope together to form a continuous loop. Pull
through the full 60 meters of rope, re-feed the reverso past the knot. Experiment with creating
resistance, for instance, taking the rope also through an ATC at your feet.
2. Coil a 60 m. rope over your shoulders. Drop it to the ground, and flake it into a 60 m. rope into
a stack.
2. Route-Specific Training
We don't have off-widths in our gym, but we do have cracks and chimneys. Work them!
Crack Climbing. Run laps, on lead, on the big hand crack. Rack some pro, and place it in the crack as
you go up, and clean it on the way down (of course, clipping the rope into the hangars!) Run laps on
the art wall crack on top rope, also placing pro. Experiment with an arm bar up top.
Chimney Climbing. Get into the wide chimney by the A-Buttress. Run laps up and down without using
the holds. Then face the opposite direction and repeat. The chimney will work core muscles, triceps,
and quads. Make sure you do some laps with the left leg outside, keeping your right leg underneath
you. This will mimic the 'death crack' on Durrance.
3. General Conditioning.
Combine the above two types of workouts with aerobic activity. (Note: if you are doing the above
exercises with enough intensity, they should also be aerobic). With a full summit pack and rack, spend
thirty minutes on the Stepmaster (use only your toes). Then an endurance workout to exhaustion. Then
climbing laps to exhaustion. Finish it off with a challenging sport lead climb that forces you to keep
your head while exhausted, while maintaining a confident smile and reciting the history of climbing on
Devil's Tower. This will give you a little taste of the guide's life.
Be careful to give yourself some rest days. The day after a workout like the one above, take a rest day.
4. Sample Workout Schedule
Day One.
Bike to the gym.
Rope Work. 10 sets of: 2 rope flakes, 2 rope coil. Do for time.
Climbing. 4 crack laps (hand crack), 4 chimney laps. Pack and Rack.
Biceps Curls. High reps, low weight, 30 minutes.
Forearm curls. 3 sets of maximum reps.
Day Two.
Stepmaster. 30 minutes, moderate pace (keep it aerobic), summit pack.
Rope Work. 1/4-mile belay. 5 reps. Pull 2 rope-lengths through your belay device.
Climbing. ARC training. 30 minute continuous boulder traverse. (work up to 1 hour).
Dumbbell Flies alternating with One-arm dumbbell rows. Total 30 minutes.
Day Three
Stepmaster. Intervals, 1 minute max and 2 minutes aerobic. Maximum reps.
Rope Work.
Climbing. Bouldering laps. Find a problem you can climb and down climb. Max laps, 5 reps.
Calf Raises. 5 sets, max reps.
Day Four: Rest Day
Don't work a muscle group if it is tired or sore. Substitute. Keep your work-out intense.
5. “The Durrance”
Stepmaster. 45 minutes, 2 steps at a time, aerobic, on toes. With pack and rack.
Dumbbell Flies, 20 reps.
Crack. 4 laps, lead, place and remove pro. With rack and pack.
Rope Pull. 2 x 60 m, 2 ropes at a time.
Rope Coil + Rope Flake. 4 reps.
Stepmaster. 30 minutes, 2 steps at a time, threshold. With pack and rack.
Dumbbell flies, 20 reps.
Chimney. 4 laps, alternate sides. With rack.
Rope Pull. 2 x 60 m, 2 ropes at a time.
Rope Coil + Rope Flake. 4 reps.
Stepmaster. Intervals. 1 min max + 2 min aerobic. 5 reps. With Pack and Rack
Dumbbell flies, 20 reps.
Sport lead at your max difficulty.
Rope Pull. 2 x 60 m., 2 ropes at a time.
Rope Coil + Rope Flake. 4 reps.
Stepmaster. 30 minutes, 2 steps at a time, threshold. With pack and rack.
Dumbbell flies, 20 reps.
Chimney. 4 laps, alternate sides. With rack.
Rope Pull. 2 x 60 m, 2 ropes at a time.
Rope Coil + Rope Flake. 4 reps.
Crack. 4 laps, lead, place and remove pro. With rack and pack.
Rope Pull. 2 x 60 m, 2 ropes at a time.
Rope Coil + Rope Flake. 4 reps.
Dumbbell flies, 20 reps. Rope Pull. 2 x 60 m, 2 ropes at a time.
Stepmaster. 45 minutes, rest pace. With pack and rack.
Once per week. Goal: Do this under five hours. Hydrate and Gu. Rest day (or 2) afterwards. Do this
with a partner who encourages and keeps track of your progress.

First Ascent Of Mt Edgar In China

These guys made the first ascent last November. Quite a story of just missing a huge avalanche, getting lost while descending and running out of food.( I like his “Old Style” cap.) More of their story here.

A Report On Red Rock Rendezvous

A Salt Lake City reporter tells why she loved last year’s Red Rock Rendezvous.

(Alas, I am not going to the Rendezvous this year. My biggest regret is that I will not be able to meet the boys pictured at left.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

“What Is Climbing About?”

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.”

Complete interview here.

I Am Special So It Doesn’t Apply To Me, But You Should Read This

File:Hand 1.svg

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.

Four Weeks In Patagonia Waiting For Good Weather

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

Disco Climbing

Rare footage of disco moves on a boulder. This is certainly one way to get loosened up before a climb. (Actually, once he starts climbing, the crux moves are over.)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fingerboard Pyramid

Here’s part 4 on fingerboard training by Nicros. (The other parts can be found here.)


Resoling Climbing Shoes

I always wait too long – until I have a hole in the rand – so I have to pay more. Here’s an article that explains the whole process. In the comments, one person says she’s resoled her shoes 6-8 times. That’s a lot of wear!

Top 10 Climbing Spots

Caroline George (Eddie Bauer First Ascent/Celin Serbo)

Carolyn George’s full list of her Top 10 Spots is here. She likes Norway for ice climbing and Thailand and Greece are her top two rock climbing locations. There are also a few more prosaic locations, like Zion or Canadian Rockies.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Liz Hits The Roof

OK, really, just the ceiling. Here’s one of her new projects. All photos here.


Clip & Drop

A Brit’s technique for getting comfortable falling while on lead. I think you’d also end up building your endurance if you’re falling at each clip and then re-climbing.

Fear of Falling - clip-drop technique from SteepMedia on Vimeo.

Teaching Climbing In The Karakoram

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.)

Peak Bagging

A new website that lets you enter and track the peaks you climb. They claim they have over 60,000 peaks listed just in the U.S.

Duluth Urban Cragger

Hey Pete, Her is the link to the information that you wanted on climbing in Duluth.
Call me if you want Levi's phone number.

Skiing To The North Pole

Ben Saunders is trying again to ski solo to the North Pole. Here’s a video of why he likes it and what he’ll be bringing with him. His website is here.

Ben Saunders - Solo & Unsupported Speed Record 2011

Sleeping In The Arctic

The Catlin Artic Survey is at Resolute Bay and here’s a story by Kristina Brown of how they practiced sleeping in a tent at –30C. (Which is only –22F in real temperature; a temp we see every winter here in MN.)


Climbing In The Dolomites

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

This is my new method!

My favorite lines
1. slow is safe
2. we all like buying things
webbing is better that cord because it is staic and exerts the most force on your tools
3. Ok, I am ready to build an anchor and belay...if I had a rope.

Chicks With Picks Climbing

This was their veteran chicks climbing trip to Canmore. Details here.


Sandstone to the Max

Our buddy Dan from Life to the Max did a show on Ice Climbing in Sandstone. It is a pretty good piece. Looks like a cold day. I would love to head up there next week, maybe Wednesday, any takers?

Sometimes You Just Need A Buddy

34 seconds demonstrating the importance of friends.How neat is that? (Link here if embed doesn’t work.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Exploring An Active Volcano

imageFirst 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.”






“The Perfect Is The Enemy Of The Good”

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.”


(The original quote in French is "Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien.", from Voltaire's Dictionnaire Philosophique (1764).)

Will Gadd, "It's just not Right!"

I think he scared his self on this one.

Swedish Ice Mines

But really who mines ice? What could possible go wrong?

Dark Side Of Sport Climbing

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

Tendon Therapy

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’.”

Arcola Ice Report

Aaron and I headed out for an icy adventure Tuesday. We headed north of Stillwater to a super secret location. Last time I climbed there I was blindfolded on the approach but I managed to find it anyway. We set a top roped and rapped down, giving a chance to inspect the super chill icicle.
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

Tracking Your Ticklist

A new website - Sendage. – allows you to list and track your climbs online. They are offering some promotions to join up here.  Here’s the best explanation of what it does and why you might want to use it.

Why Climb With Girls?

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 You Buy?

How much beer should be given in payment to your friend for loaning you climbing equipment? Here’s a handy guide. I like these:

“2 beers:

  • 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”

Climbing In “School Teacher Socks”

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

Calling For Help From A Mountain

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.”


Vertical Yoga: Freedom at the Edge

The next time you find yourself going through the motions in your yoga practice, why not imagine that your mat ends at the edge of the grand canyon?
By Shiva Rea
Imagine you are balancing on the edge. With a mixture of inspiration and trepidation, you contemplate your next move. You press down through your foot and hold yourself steady with one hand as you prepare to reach as far as you can with your other arm and leg. You make your move on an inhalation to harness the power of your breath and maintain your inner steadiness. For a moment, time stands still—no thought, no separation—just an expanded sense of being alive, of being whole, as you hover on the edge.
This edge could be a rock face in Joshua Tree or the pose Vasisthasana, in which you balance on the side of one foot and the palm of your hand, holding your big toe and extending your leg into the sky. Yoga and rock climbing meet at this potent place, "the edge"—where meditation happens spontaneously through intense focus, like a fire starting from a magnified ray of sunlight. The edge sharpens your concentration: Being several stories off the ground or standing on your hands naturally wakes you up. But it takes skill to be there and enjoy what the edge offers, not with reckless abandon but with mindfulness and respect.
Many people who practice hatha yoga and meditation are heading to the rocks for vertical yoga teachings: learning to move from the center, to cultivate meditation within action, and live within the present moment, breath by breath. What is often taken for granted on our yoga mats becomes pivotal on the rock. While awareness of the mound of your big toe is important in standing poses, it is sometimes all you have as a balance point when you're climbing. Being centered is the difference between reaching to the next level or falling into the ropes. Staying focused is the difference between moving with lightness or stalling from fear. Like yoga, what brings people back to the rocks is the transformation experienced at the end of a climb, when there is a reconnection with oneself, with nature, and with the joy of life itself.
The next time you find yourself going through the motions in your yoga practice, imagine that your mat ends at the edge of the grand canyon. As you look down within your imagination, the sense of expansive space can take you quickly out of the doldrums and help you, in the words of the late, great Poonjaji, "wake up and roar!" As you move through the asanas, explore the balance point within a pose as if your life depended on it. Seizing the moment, find freedom on the edge.
Shiva Rea teaches at Yoga Works in Santa Monica, California

She’s Got A Good Story Of Adventure

I’ve never seen her TV show, but her life story sounds intriguing. And the title of her new book is great: “Pink Boots And A Machete.”

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Should Climbers Have To Pay The Full Costs Of Climbing?

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.

Radical Reels 2011

Here’s the trailer for the Radical Reels tour coming to Duluth on April 12th and Minneapolis on April 15th. In a way, the videos are a little humdrum – “Oh, there’s another crazy stunt.” (Maybe I’ve seen too many of them.)

Is It A Bad Idea To Spot Someone While Standing On A Ledge?

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

A Mountain Of Snow

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.

Above the Sun from Coudal Partners on Vimeo.

Diving In Mexico

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.)

New Shoe Review

I read this review by Steph Davis of a new kind of climbing shoe with some interest. “Hmmm, sounds like they’re pretty good. Maybe I should buy a pair.” Kicker is, they’re not available.

She Said/She Said

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.”

Sara & Theresa’s Training Plan

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.”

Training Program For Indian Creek

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.)”