Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pinfest 2011

The Black Hills Climbing Coalition is having their Pinfest in about two weeks. Here’s some info from their Facebook page. I’ve gone to a couple of these and they are fun. The Coalition sets up top ropes on some of the hardest climbs in the Needles. Like this one.

Saturday, July 16 · 9:00am - 10:00pm

Location: Ten Pins Turnout - Custer State Park Needles - Black Hills

More Info: Come check out the excellent granite climbing of Custer State Park and join us for our annual Pin Fest at the Ten Pins climbing area, just uphill from the Cathedral Spires Parking Area. It's a very good idea to car pool, preferably from Rapid City, or from Sylvan Lake Parking Lot because parking at the ten pins is extremely limited. The event is free to all. Casual Potluck if you desire. See you soon!”

Bouldering Goes Uptown

Maybe bouldering is really catching on with the city folks. Here’s last weekend’s competition in Central Park, NYC.

The Unified Bouldering Championships Pro Tour brought the first-ever pro climbing competition to New York's Central Park with the Eastern Mountain Sports Pro on Saturday, June 25th, 2011.

Thousands and thousands of New Yorkers gathered to witness an amazing display of athleticism and drama from the world's best climbers. The crowd collectively held their breath, gasped, screamed and fist pumped the competitors on to their absolute limits. Feeding off the crowd's infectious energy, Vasya Vorotnikov and Angie Payne turned in inspired performances and snagged mens and womens first place victories.

On this day, pro climbing captured the attention of thousands of new fans and even found it's way into one of the world's most acclaimed publications, The New York Times. The sport of climbing was on display for all to see in front of one of the world's largest most influential audiences, New York City, and the result was a resoundingly huge success. Climbing represented itself to be every bit as worthy of delivering the energy, drama, excitement and athleticism expected from a major sporting event.

For full results, pictures, videos and more visit

Music: Mon Voyage Neon (

Slackliners In Paris adventure video blog is proud to share this urban highline experience.
Tancrede, Julien, Sebastien and Antoine highlined the highest twin towers in Paris, France.


Sebastien brugalla
Tancrede Melet
Julien Millot
Antoine Moineviille
Rodolphe, Robin

More about them:, adventure video blog

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Climbing With Women

The experience of a guy who pretended he was a woman (Well, not really. He just put on a wig.) and went climbing with a bunch of women. I like this quote:

“Overall I’d have to say it was an extremely educational experience, but again I caution any other men out there not to take on such an investigation lightly. You might shatter years of misconceptions,..”

Read the whole thing to learn about the secret world of women.

Victoria Canyon

This is a relatively new area developed in the Black Hills. The climbing in the video starts at about 3:35.


In this post, the author discusses how his constantly changing expectations of his accomplishments can lead to unhappiness at his successes. A snippet:

And the funny thing is that these goals seem to be more of expectations.  I don't become overjoyed when I accomplish one, I just make the mental tick and move on, usually adding something else to the list instantly.  Another case in point:  It's been a life goal to onsight 5.13b.  I guess I did that yesterday but it felt so easy that it somehow didn't count?  I've tried much harder to onsight 5.12b's.  Does that mean the route isn't hard?  Don't ask me.  Point being, I didn't feel satisfaction afterward.  In fact, it's never been a goal to do 2 5.14's in a day!  I somehow conjured that one up in a split second just before blowing it so that I would have something to be disappointed about!  Jeez...what a head case.
All I know is that climbing has been so all encompassing for me for so long now that I've lost sight of how far I've come, the places I've seen, the trips I've been on, the satisfaction I have felt.  Somehow I get lost in the moment of constantly pushing myself to do more, all the time, always better.  It's pretty lame in a sense.  But that desire, always nagging, has kept me healthy, alert, and alive.  It's kept me from getting old!

(The video of them climbing here at Ten Sleep is a little long. The rock sure looks good. )

Quite Civilized Climbing

Kc - IMG_0089

A report on climbing near Chamonix has this quote:

We’d finish our cappuccinos and leave at the civilized hour of 10 a.m. or so, climb a four-to-six-pitch route, and be back down sipping wine and eating cheese at an outdoor café by 3 p.m. Quite civilized, indeed.”

(Now of course, you can sip a cappuccino at Red Wing or Taylors Falls at 10AM, climb 4 to 6 climbs and be back eating a cheeseburger and sipping a beer by noon, if you wanted. [Plain cheese and wine are a little harder to come by.] So I don’t see what’s so great about the Alps.)

The author also wonders why there are more people who climb and hike in the mountains in that area than there are in the mountain areas of the U.S. Is it ease of access? History of climbing? Time off work? Fewer TV channels?

“But I do know this: while I love the solitude of climbing back home, I love the access here in Chamonix where, tomorrow morning, just like yesterday, a quick lift will take me nearly 10,000 feet up and onto a glacier into the heart of the Alps.”

(I was in Chamonix twice and if you don’t like unbelievable mountain scenery, glaciated peaks, great climbing, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, or wonderful food, there is no reason to go there. Plus parapenting.) Here’s a tour of downtown Chamonix by bike. At the end of the video, he takes the téléphérique up the mountain and you can see Mt Blanc in the background.

The Titan

The Smileys are at it again – climbing the “mudstone” of the largest freestanding sandstone tower in North America called The Titan.

Here’s the story of that climb.

We had our eyes set on completing #28 of our quest, The Titan via the Finger of Fate route in the Fisher Towers group. At 900 feet tall, the Titan is the largest freestanding sandstone tower in North America. Utah is home to several different types of sandstone, all of which vary in hardness. The majority of the Titan is made of “mudstone”, and as its name implies, it is the softest, and scariest, type of sandstone....

Read the rest of this trip report at:


She has some great photos of icebergs, including, at the end, an iceberg rolling over. (Her descriptions of icebergs are slightly overwrought; icebergs are not people.)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How Much Sun Is Enough?

The Straight Dope explains sunscreen, sunlight, vitamin D. Short version:

“The media makes this subject appear complicated but the solution simply is not. We should get outside during the middle of the day on sunny days whenever we can. Not for long; a stroll through the park at lunch on a sunny day is likely plenty of exposure as long as you’re not completely covered up (the AMA recommends 15 minutes of exposure a ‘few times’ per week). You don’t need to be in a bathing suit but wearing shorts and jogging around the park on occasion wouldn’t hurt.”


“Trying to get too involved in the numbers of this subject will just confuse you. ‘Nobody really knows how much sunlight you need for optimal vitamin D synthesis versus too much sunlight,’ say Jean Tang, dermatologist and lead author of a government study that followed 36,000 women ages 50 to 79 for an average of seven years. And if someone like Tang doesn’t know the math, there’s no reason for you bother with it either.”

(I took this photo of my regular climbing friends last week at the beach. Notice, they are all wearing red.)

Cleaning A Route

Now this would be fun – unless the rock fell on you by accident. I wonder if cutting a tree is worse than putting in some bolts.

Finally, for today, here is a clip I was sent of three Squamish locals removing a dangerous rock on Birds of Prey on the Squaw.  It’s a good reminder that just because something is big, does not mean it’s “safe”.  Be cautious out there, and DO NOT drop rocks without doing all the background work necessary,  this group had people on the ground for public safety.   Use the internet, chat rooms, billboards, climbing shops, the works.  PLEASE PLEASE BE SAFE.  Too many close calls that were NOT necessary are behind us, so please use common sense, we’ll all do the same.  Have fun.  Climb ON.   BOO-YA.”

Winning Spirit

Here’s a determined woman with true grit. (N.B. In the video, they say she often experiences “weakness and pain.” When I heard that I thought, “I often experience weakness and pain too. Maybe I should get checked out. Nah, most of my friends say I checked out years ago.”)


The founder of Organic talks about his business and his climbing.

Carrying Heavy Loads For Money

A short story of two young climbers making money by carrying climbers’ haul bags from the summit of El Cap.

“As wall climbers get older, stiffer, and maybe just a little more lazy, they will hire the monkeys to porter the gear either to the base off El Cap, or off the summit.
The going rate to the base is $50-60 and from the top it is $150.
It seems like it's quite a bit of money, but the bags are very heavy, painful, and it's actually a bit dangerous. Descending the East Ledges isn't for someone without climbing experience.
I feel like I've been in the right place and the right time, and I've gotten to carry loads for 5 different teams making almost $

Monday, June 27, 2011

Stealing Climbing Gear

Allii Rainey writes about the theft of her draws from a route she’s developed at Ten Sleep. She says:

“You, and every other person like you who steals gear from other climbers, destroys the sense of cooperative spirit and unity that binds the climbing community together.”

I understand her anger but I wonder why we assume climbing is different from other human activities. The “climbing community” consists of individuals who could be nice, generous, helpful, honest, truthful and also mean, competitive, dishonest, unhelpful, and thieving. What people who like to climb have in common is an interest in climbing. Your climbing friends would never do anything like steal gear. But that’s why they’re your friends. But to expect the same from the “climbing community,” I think, is naïve.

I have replaced many ‘biners at the anchor chains on Red Wing routes. Most of the time, they are still there when I check back. But, many times, someone has removed the new ones I placed and put an older one in its place. Or, just taken the new ones off. I have learned not to expect anything different from climbers than I would expect from drivers, shoppers, anglers, dog walkers, etc. So when I donate gear to a route, I don’t expect it to remain. That way, I ‘m not disappointed if it’s gone. Also, that way, I would never donate more gear than I’m willing to lose. As Edna St Vincent Millay said, “I love humanity but I hate people.” (I don’t really hate people, but I hope you get my point.)

There are consequences from not being able to trust the group of individuals who are climbers. She says this:

  • “People will be less likely to leave in situ draws on climbs in the future.
  • Crag developers tend to become less enthusiastic and open about sharing beta about the newest crags under development, preferring instead to wait until they’re done with climbing/bolting in these areas,”

Climbing Photos From Ten Sleep

Alli Rainey has photos from Ten Sleep here.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

"Big Girl Pants"


A climb of Mt Whitney done by a new-to-climbing woman. I like this quote:

"I know I’ve made progress in the ‘Put the Big Girl Pants On’ department because I looked at the set-up, watched what he was doing and then said, ‘Looks good, let’s go!’ instead of needing to ask 1000 what-if questions."

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Training Plans

Climb Strong writes about the problems of classic periodization training:

“In a classic model, one trends from high-volume / low-intensity training to low-volume / high-intensity training. In many classic models, we’re looking at a total drop in training time of up to 90%…do any of us really want to go from doing 3000 moves per week to just 300? These reductions in load are so severe the climber faces a real problem with fitness in order to develop maximum power and strength….Perfection of movement requires a lot of movement, and at a high standard. Climbing loads of 5.10 will not translate well to climbing 5.14.”

Read the whole article here.

World Cup Bouldering

Alex Johnson writes about her experiences in the bouldering competitions she’s been in recently and on the upcoming championship.

Bootleg Video From Arcola

This was sent to me anonymously. It’s someone soloing on the Arcola bridge trestle. It’s a little jumpy because it was shot on the sly.

Cleaning A Route

This video (rather long, so best to fast forward) shows a group of climbers cleaning an old route in the Czech Republic. They use a log to lean against the rock, then a human pyramid to get a climber high enough to clean the rock and then to clip the one bolt. Here’s their website. Their rules for climbing are very strict – ground up, no bolting on rappel, no chalk. But apparently they can scrub the dickens out of the rock to remove lichen.

Mzda strachu - kladivo from Radek Jedlicka on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Learning To Fall

A woman tells her story of attending a clinic taught by Arno Ilgner and how she practiced falling.

“Arno told us several things to work on while falling.  We should take three breaths and on the third exhale, fall while breathing out, relax our arms and legs, look down and quietly let our feet brace the rock face.

After the first fall, I was shocked.  I actually grabbed for the rope.  I never knew I did that.  I was completely unaware. This told me I was more afraid than I thought; your body doesn’t lie.”

6 Months Condensed Into 5 Minutes

A 6 month hike of the Appalachia Trail is condensed into about 5 minutes. It’s called “Green Tunnel” and the trail certainly looks like a tunnel of green.

A six month journey along the 2,200 mile long Appalachian Trail, condensed and reinterpreted into five minutes of stop-motion.
A full quality version is available for purchase on DVD. Go to​ and look for it on Stephen Vitiello: Soundtracks.

Pendulum Traverse

The “Molar Pendulum” on El Cap. You can see the route he led on the arching crack to the right. Then the high bolt from which he’s penduluming about 20 feet above him.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Climbing In Malaysia

A new route on granite spires in the jungle. Sounds enticing:

“Creating a path through the dense forest requires an hour of hacking with a machete for five-minutes' worth of trail. With this arduous approach plus heat, insects and rainstorms, the granite summit of Dragon's Horns is not easily attainable.”


More here.

Make Me One With Everything

I heard this joke years ago about the holy man asking a hot dog vendor to make him “One with everything.” This is a better situation for that joke.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fingerboard Training

I have been using the fingerboard much more. I am very cautious of not overdoing it and hurting my elbows again. This article has some good advice about refining your training routine.

Training & Pullups


Davis in this post, says:
“I’ve also seen many

posts written for climbers that play down the benefits of pullups and pullup workouts. I couldn’t disagree more, especially for women. If you start to do pullup workouts, and possibly fingerboard workouts, you will see a dramatic improvement in your climbing very quickly.”

Gymless Training

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Climbing Wall In A Trailer

Steph Davis has a friend who built this climbing wall in a trailer.

Never one to be daunted by adversity, he decided to build a climbing wall inside the 5th wheel trailer he is living in, and even included a materials list for all of you other folks out there who might need to build a climbing wall inside your…trailer?”


Chalk Review

I’ve never tested the different brands of chalk I’ve used. This guy did and says:

So which chalks were the best performers? For me, there were three standouts. Black Diamond White Gold Loose Chalk was excellent, a bit dry but with very good texture and consistency. The refillable canister is a sensible idea as well. I was also impressed by the feel of the Wild Country Pure Chalk which seemed to coat my fingers well with an initially damp layer that dried quickly to a sticky finish. Moon Climbing's Moon Dust seemed to sit between the two, with an excellent consistency and dry gritty feel, though softer than the Black Diamond brand.”

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Buy A House In Yosemtie

Hans Florine – a speed climber who set the record for climbing El Cap in 2 hours 38 minutes 3 years ago – is selling his house in Yosemite. You can buy it or rent a room from him. Read about it here.

He has his own website here. In an interview on speed climbing he says:

What kind of compromises to your safety, if any, do you make when you're speed climbing?

Oh that's a great question. The Nose speed record is a great example... When people sit on The Nose route for four days and they're belaying somebody on a single pitch for an hour, sometimes two hours, you start kind of looking at the clouds, maybe chatting with the people next to you—maybe not 100 percent attentive on the belay, which isn't per-say dangerous as long as you have your brake-hand on. But that whole three days that you're up there, that's three days that you're on a 3,000-foot cliff where things can go wrong, as opposed to being on it for six hours only. And in that six hours, or in the case of Dean and Sean who did it in 2 hours, 36 minutes and 50 seconds, or something like that. Those two guys are focused 100 percent of every second of that 2 hours and 36 minutes and 50 seconds on climbing the route. They're not thinking about their taxes or their girlfriend or anything. They're thinking about that next placement. That next hand jam and belaying, attentively, the person in the hard section.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

He Soloed The Route That Led To The Creation Of Cams

Alex Honnold just soloed a route Yosemite first climbed by the inventor of the first cams.

The Phoenix is considered to be the first 5.13 in the world and was first free climbed by Ray Jardine in 1977.  It is rumored that the difficult climbing of The Phoenix led him to develop a piece of protection that could be placed quickly on lead.  Jardine designed and created the modern camming device in the form of 'Friends'.”

NIAD (Nose In A Day)

Two young climbers just finished their link up of El Cap and Half Dome. They tell their story here. They took a total of 26 hours to do all 54 pitches. The video below shows one of them traversing on the “King Swing” of El Cap. I like this quote:

Some people call it ‘big wall speed climbing’. I think if you have to actually label us, we would be called the ‘two kids that are sort of good at climbing that try really really hard.’"

Linkup EDIT from Cheyne Lempe on Vimeo.

Gorges du Verdon

Fabrice has climbed here and talks about how amazing the climbing is. This is a different kind of amazing.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Climbing Competitions & The U.S.

An article about the poor showing of U.S. boulderers at the recent bouldering competition in Vail. There is a lively discussion in the comments of this article about this issue.

“Last year I climbed a bit with a Dutch climber who came to Colorado for the World Cup and was struck by the serious training regimen that he described for the Dutch team. Regular practices, required attendance at competitions and so on. My impression of the Austrian team and others, though only second-hand, is that the same principles apply. The American approach is much more casual and ad hoc and I wonder if the results of this attitude are now starting to show in earnest.”

The bottom line seems to be, with a  few exceptions, European climbers are way better than U.S. climbers. That doesn’t bother me at all. We just don’t have the admiration for climbing here in the U.S. as they do in other countries. Also, I think the vast majority of Americans look at climbing as a quaint hobby/pastime.. Not a life style. Not a profession. Part of that might be the storied history of climbing and guiding in many European countries which leads to the much higher participation in climbing clubs. Most climbers I see in the U.S. don’t want to join national or regional climbing clubs. Partly, it might be that so many more people live in the mountains - or close to the mountains - in Europe than here.  Maybe they get lots more vacation time than we do and that drives the interest in climbing. Maybe it’s all of those reasons and more. Don’t know all the reasons. Don’t really care. But I like to read about it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Improvements To Climbing Areas

There’s a program from the American Alpine Club that grants money for improvements to climbing areas. Certainly Red Wing and Sandstone could use improvements. SSDS (Somebody Should Do Something) about this.

The American Alpine Club is now accepting applications for their new grant, the Cornerstone Conservation Grant. This grant is targeted toward those looking to improve or protect climbing areas and resources. The AAC will be giving grants ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 ($25,000 total) to individuals, clubs, and organizations in the U.S. who need aid with work such as creating new trails, anchor improvement, crag conservation, and parking.”

How To Film People Flying From Buildings

Here’s what you need to film Wingsuit flying if you’re making a big time Hollywood movie.

Train Like Ueli

For those of you with nothing to do, here’s part of Ueli Steck’s training program. (I do some of the same things he does in my training program – I have a rest day built in.) Read the rest here.



    Run: 12 kilometers/1,000 meters gain–Intensity 2
Climbing outdoors: 3 pitches of 5.13d, 2 of 5.13a, 1 of 5.11d / 1 hour weight training / 1 hour stretching
Climbing outdoors: 4 pitches of 5.14a, 2 of 5.13a / Run: easy 12 kilometers/800 meters gain–Intensity 1

    Run: Eiger Lauper Route, running and climbing from Grindelwald, 20 kilometers/3,075 meters gain–Intensity 3

    Climbing in the gym: 4 pitches of 5.13b, 3 of 5.12d, 5 of 5.12b, 6 of 5.11d / 1 hour weight training / 1 hour stretching
Run: 18 kilometers/1,700 meters gain–Intensity 2”

“Holy Cow! This Is Serious Business” – A Canyoneering Trip

A trip report of a canyoneering class taken near Zion Park. I like this part:

“ mates check out my set-up, and I backed off the sheer drop into the abyss. All I could see was dark, foreboding rock faces dropping straight down into an inky, black pool of fetid water, 100 feet below.”

Nothing like dropping into an inky pool of cold, fetid water to wake you up.

El Cap

Another report from El Cap. This is a shot from yesterday. A reminder from the photographer to those of you who want to be seen in photos:

“Good climbing conditions and an influx of Korean climbers from Team Extreme will insure some good shots in the coming days.  The school actually instructs their students to dress brightly and not to carry sticks!  Americans take heed!”

I know most of you are too shy to allow photos to be taken of you climbing. If you do want to be seen in photos, though, remember - “Salathe: Another Spanish team is on the route, smartly dressed in red shirts.”

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rap Knot Testing


The Euro Death Knot (overhand), Double Fisherman's or ring bend (water knot) are tested by Black Diamond to see which one is stronger. The Double Fisherman and water knot are the strongest, but the E.D.K is certainly strong enough for rapping as their QC guy explains:

The reality is that all three of the methods for joining two ropes for rappelling that I tested were PLENTY strong for the forces seen during a typical rappel (i.e., bodyweight-plus, taking into account some shock loading when bouncing around, jiggering with tangled lines, not smooth rappelling technique, etc).
For what it's worth, when I started climbing I always used the Double Fisherman's, but now I've fully converted to the Euro Death Knot—it's fast to tie, plenty strong, less likely to get hung up when pulling and easy to untie. And finally, no matter what rap knot I tie, I always leave long tails (like at least 12 inches.)

Rock Climbers Collect Garbage

This is a little different than the normal rock crag cleanup. These are climbers hired to pick up trash on steep hillsides outside of Rio de Janeiro.

First Big Wall Climb

Quite a story of a group of friends on their first climb of a really big wall – El Cap. Lots of details about the gear and food they brought. I liked this part:

I was still getting used to aid climbing, and wasn't moving as fast as I wanted. We finally got to Dolt Tower on pitch 11 at midnight. We ate dinner, and then got our sleeping pads and bags out. This was my first time sleeping with a harness on.. uncomfortable, but sweet!!

Day 2:

When I first woke up, I had forgotten where I was. When I remembered, I felt sick to my stomach. I was completely overwhelmed, knowing that we still had another 20 pitches and 2000 feet to go after two full hard days of climbing (well.. hard for me). I forced down a nutella and peanut butter bagel along with a poptart and we started climbing again.”

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Smith Rocks

Jonathan Siegrist writes about his recent trip to Smith Rocks and a 14c climb he did:

“Smith is a really special place - unquestionably one of the greatest crags in America. Towering walls dramatically rise above the Crooked River, huge raptors zig-zag the sky and sun-bathing snakes line the hillside. The scenery and hang at Smith are amazing. The climbing is honest; old school bolting ethics and an unforgiving technical style characterize this world class crag. Climbing well here takes experience that one can't acquire in a gym - it's bold, perplexing and at times seriously heinous.... It's awesome!!”

Finals Of Vail Bouldering

These are the winners of last week’s Teva World Cup. As you can see, lots of balancy, awkward moves.

Anna Stohr and Killan Fischhuber Win Teva World Cup from Rock & Ice on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Secret Areas

There are many climbing areas without guidebooks. Here’s an article about a few of them in Utah and Idaho. (I’ve been in the Mill Creek area a few times but didn’t know there was climbing.)

Lisa knows about a secret area in which she did her first trad lead. It’s near the Twin Cities but she cannot disclose its location. Shhhhh!


Moto, Inc.

DSCN1577That’s the name of Fabrice’s store that just opened in south Minneapolis. I took a few shots of it today.


Here I am wearing some of the cool goggles he’s selling.









These are the great canvas/leather bags he’s got.


Friday, June 10, 2011


Accumulation, intensification and transformation is described in a new article at Climb Strong. A brief summary:

“Accumulation is the idea that you should do as much climbing of as many different styles as possible. This means multiple rock types, lengths of climbs, angles, everything.

Intensification simply means making all those weekly minutes of volume more difficult… All you spreadsheet-loving engineers out there will hate the lack of specifics here, but here’s the deal: go harder than last week. Do this for a month or so, and then look at transforming this into more “usable” fitness.

Transformation is application. You want to back off, way off, on the amount of activity you do each week, and you want to focus all your energy on climbing. All of it. And forget about training for God’s sake. Just go out, go hard, and quit when you get tired.”

Lessons From Bailing

This article about  bailing off a multi-pitch route in Yosemite, has good advice for any type of climbing. Such as these 3:

  • “If you find yourself doing nothing at belays… you should probably be doing something.
  • Take the extra time to double check everything.
  • Memories of suffering fade fast, and that’s good.”

Believe In Yourself

Whatever it is, you will get better if you just practice. And feel “happy of yourself.” (It helps to turn the captions on when watching.) Oh, and “thumbs up for Rock ‘n Roll.”

Thursday, June 9, 2011

1000 Project

This guy is about to start on his fourth 1000 mile long non-motorized trip. He will travel the length of the Mississippi River on a stand-up paddle board starting in mid June. His website is here. His goal is to complete 25 trips over 1000 miles in length, each one using a different mode of travel.

Mountain Climbing In The Atacama Desert

A trip report of climbing – walking – to an 18,645 peak in Chile. The trail starts at over 16,000 feet. Sounds like a good way to get high altitude experience without a lot of work.


Below is the routine of one day of training from John Bachar’s training journal. There’s a lot more at this link on how he trained.

1) Knob job 5.10a solo 150 ft.

2) Crack a-go-go 5.11a solo 150ft

3) Orangutan Arch 5.11a lead 150 ft

4) Bouldering- Bx2, Ax12 150 ft

WORKOUT one arm: jump 1x1 ¾: 1x1, 2 ½ lb x1x2

Two arm: 18” reg: 75lb x4, 85lb x2x3 i = l/v=810/10=81lb

24” wide: 60lb x3x2 i=l/v=360/6=60lb

36” ultra: 4x2

Ladder: 15lb x1x2 Hang: small: 75lb x 10sec x 6 =60sec

Fingertip pull ups: small: ½ x2 Pulley Butterfly: 70lb x 8

Lever: 70lb x10

Bench: 160lb x7x2 i=l/v 2240/14=160

Military: 50lb x 20 Erect row: 50lb x 18

Erect row: 50lb x 18 Dumbell fly: up: 10lb x 10 bent: 10lb x10

Goliath: 6:15/4x1 (252L) , 6:15/5x1 (352L) , 3x1 total time: 16:15

Heavy bag: 3-5min power attacks-full body and boxing

Stretching: 2min

On days he soloed, he would solo a lot like this day:

“Then, like on March 23, 1991 he would go big, soloing 34 routes in Joshua Tree in a day. That journal page is titled ‘Josh solo day’ and he soloed ten pitches of 5.10, ten of 5.10+, twelve of 5.11, one of 5.11+ and one 5.12.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mountain Running

There’s a series about mountain running in different places around the world here. This is a video featuring one of the modern pioneers of mountain running.

A Sense Of Adventure

A couple is planning to drive from Bangladesh to London using a 1936 Rolls Royce. A trip preview.

Rotate Your Climbing Shoes

You can rotate your car tires so they last longer. Why not rotate your climbing shoes? I have a pair with two holes in the toes. I bet it’s because I didn’t rotate them soon enough. I experimented climbing with these shoes and here’s the result:

Teva Mountain Games

Here’s a great shot of Alex Johnson just missing the top hold in the recently completed bouldering competition of the Teva Mountain Games in Vail. Results here. Story from Denver Post here.


Why We Like Burgers

`At least most of us like burgers. It has a lot to do with the Maillard reaction. A scientific description of a cooking a burger.

“When the beef patty hits the hot grill, the water at the lower surface quickly boils away, producing a very thin, dry crust, actually a transparent gel, called the desiccation zone. Immediately above is the Maillard zone, where heat causes reactions among sugars and proteins that turn the meat brown, yielding molecules with an intrinsically appealing flavor — at least to most humans.”

New Adventure Destination

The Atacama desert in northern Chile sounds ripe to become a new adventure destination.

“…you'll be able to book excursions to visit the nearby salt flats or geyser basin, as well as rent mountain bikes or go sandboarding on one of the towering dunes. The more adventurous may want to explore the desert on horseback or take a trek though one of the gorges that are so prolific throughout the area. If you're really up for a challenge, try bagging the summit of one of the many volcanoes that ring the Atacama. Most tower over 18,000 feet in height, with routes that range from a simple walk-up to a full-fledged, technical mountaineering experience.”

The Atacama Desert is a fantastic adventure travel destination

What’s Better Than This?

What’s better than this if you want some exercise, like animals, love to compete and don’t have enough room for horses?

It’s bunny jumping. Invented in Sweden about 20 years ago. Article about it here.

Measuring The Earth

A new book about a 10 year project to measure the size of the earth using triangulation on peaks in the Andes.

“In 1735, a team of about 20 French and Spanish scientists and other crew departed on a most unlikely quest: to sail halfway around the world to determine the true shape of the Earth by measuring the vast distances between mountaintops in modern-day Ecuador.”
Read more:

The Andes Mountains

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Outdoors Is For The Birds

Today Pete and I went climbing at Red Wing. The only things weeping more than the cliff walls - because of the high humidity and temperatures - were our eyes. We wept partly from sweat and partly from tears of failure. Oh, and the mosquitoes were weeping because we left so early.There’s a lot to be said for indoor A/C. And screens.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Aesthetics In Route Design

Some thoughts on how to design a better route in the gym. Included are:

  • Figure-Ground
  • Color
  • Patterns
  • Symmetry
  • Scale
  • Shape

The Milky Way In A Sandstorm

Quite a sight of the Milky Way from the top of a mountain in Spain. From the notes of the video’s creator:

“A large sandstorm hit the Sahara Desert on the 9th April (​g3tsDW) and at approx 3am in the night the sandstorm hit me, making it nearly impossible to see the sky with my own eyes.Interestingly enough my camera was set for a 5 hour sequence of the milky way during this time and I was sure my whole scene was ruined. To my surprise, my camera had managed to capture the sandstorm which was backlit by Grand Canary Island making it look like golden clouds. The Milky Way was shining through the clouds, making the stars sparkle in an interesting way. So if you ever wondered how the Milky Way would look through a Sahara sandstorm, look at 00:32”

The Mountain from TSO Photography on Vimeo.

New Type Of Climbing Pants

These sound too good to be true. Who knew that jeans were so good for climbing?

“..Don’t want to wear a shirt when you send your project? No problem. Levi’s 559s can handle that. Denim matches every color, including your chest hair, or complete lack of it. Bonus points if you wait until you’re at the second bolt to rip your shirt off.

I was, like always, sporting a pair of 559s at the crag one day and a friend of a friend said, ‘Brendan, you climb in jeans. That’s so retro!’ Of course I just shook my head. Lady, retro is pink and purple tights. Hexes. Swami belts. Listening to PM Dawn. No, the word you’re looking for is CLASSIC. Like, Levi’s have been kicking ass since the California Gold Rush, circa 1853, and still are today. Good enough for a bunch of tough miners and gold prospectors? Good enough for a slightly-below-average climber like me. Classic. Like Hemingway, and Paid In Full, and grilled cheese sandwiches.”

Better Hope Your Climbing Partner Has Energy

At least better hope your partner has some of this energy drink from Japan. It’ll help you if you fall. (It repeats itself a few times. Don’t know why.)

Popular Japanese energy drink filmed in Moab, Utah Summer 2010. Locations, location management, logistics, rigging and all stunts performed by Moab Cliffs and Canyons, Inc. Stunt doubles are Nate Martin and Jake Warren. A 30' working wall was used on private land on the Kane Springs Road. The Castleton Tower gag was shot in one day and involved some windy helicopter access. In 25 years of using helicopters while filming and rigging THIS was the closest I've come to being a piece of shrapnel fluttering in the wind!”

A New Way To Preview Routes?

These fairly inexpensive helicopters can be remotely controlled with your phone and, with a HD camera, maybe they could be used to preview a new climbing route. These small ones are limited to distance and by wind, but how neat is this?

Leave Them Kids Alone

What can you do when you need to leave the nest for a few days to get some food? You can’t leave the kids alone. And you don’t have any money to pay for day care. So you coordinate with your neighbors to take care of the kids and shelter them from the weather. And that’s how you get to the photo below photo of a colony of penguins who have put the brown-colored kids in the middle of the white-colored adults. Full story and more photos here. Including this photo whose caption I imagine is something like:

A King penguin protects a female from another male as the sun sets“OK, if you’re taking care of the kids tonite, don’t let them play with the Wii until they’ve eaten all of their food. Got it?’







Extraordinary patterns emerge as the brown baby penguins are herded into creches by their parents

Friday, June 3, 2011

Here’s One Reason To Wear Clothes

This is from Black Diamond’s “Winger for the Weekend.” This guy shows why it’s a good reason to wear clothes while skiing.

Maybe The Most Amazing Start

I pulled this clip from a longer video here. At about 5 seconds into this clip, you can see maybe the most amazing start to a boulder problem. This is kinda bouldering becoming Cirque du Soleil.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

El Cap Report

He’s back giving daily climbing reports & photos of groups on El Cap. Including this shot:

Falling Photos

On this forum, they have some amateur-submitted falling photos. Like this one. Maybe you have some you want to submit.


Elephant Moving

Here’s an elephant helping move a car after the big Missouri tornado.

Climbing In Laos

A new resort built for climbers in Laos.

Tanja climbing in Laos

No Such Thing As An Easy Climb

This is a story of a strong sport climber leading an “easy” trad route. Lots of lessons here:

  • Always figure the weather will turn bad when you’re in the mountains. (This happened to us last week in the Black Hills on a short, 2 pitch climb. We started climbing in the sun and within an hour, it was snowing.)
  • Trad climbing is time-consuming, especially multi-pitch
  • Strong skills in one discipline may not transfer to other disciplines
  • Wearing a helmet’s a good idea
  • Carrying a cell phone can help. (We noticed this too in the Black Hills. We didn’t have any coverage at the base of the climbs, but near the summit, we did.)
  • There’s no such thing as an easy climb

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ueli At Everest

Looks like the speed climber turned back about 100 meters from the summit because he was afraid of his toes being too cold. If he had wanted to breathe supplemental oxygen, he probably would’ve made it. But, as he says, if he had used oxygen, he would have been on the summit of a different peak. Read his whole story here.

The adventure [at] Everest is over. Pity, I was doing well. I imagined that I would only suffer up there. Not at all. I am happy about that. I had a great feeling, I moved on, that’s what I am looking for, although I turned back 100 meters from summit. Of course I would have been nice to stand on top. For a moment I have thought to ask a Sherpa if I could breathe 10 minutes of oxygen. Then I would have had again warm feet. But then I would have stood on another peak. So better to go down. Everest will stay and I can come back!”

Paragliding Over Everest

Another record broken on Everest:

They took off from the Summit of Mt. Everest last Monday, on 21th of May of 2011, on a tandem flight and broke the World Record of Altitude in Paragliding.
Not just because they took off from Everest, but because they flew over Everest, about 30 meters above the highest montain that any pilot or any human being ever been, and the first cross country flight ever done in Everest region.
Following the track of the flight, they did about 31km, flying around Nuptse and landing in Namche Bazar Airport. The project and plan to fly from Everest happened in less than 2 months, with very little financial support, in the limit of saving of both pilots.”