Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ten Sleep

A video by Cedar Wright and an article by Ali Rainly about Ten Sleep.

Summers in Ten Sleep are pure climbing bliss. No matter where else I climb, no matter how much my climbing tastes diversify and change, I’ve realized this summer (summer No. 11 for me here) that it’s not just the climbing that makes this season my favorite every year. It’s the aura of the place, its magical beauty combined with an impish sense of humor that characterizes the whole climbing scene.”

MINI-DAWGZ_THE MOVIE_TEN SLEEP_WY_2011 from Cedar Wright on Vimeo.

A Woman’s Climbing Story

I love this story – she climbs because she loves to.

“There are 638 mountains in the Colorado Rockies over 13,000 feet high. I’d climb them all, if my 60-year-old joints allowed it. I want to possess these mountains as they possess me. I want to know everything about them — the density of their forests, the color and scent of their flowers, the angle and texture of their rock….

I climbed until the vision in my left eye clouded over, and my ophthalmologist scheduled cataract surgery. I climbed until a boulder toppled over, pinning my right leg beneath a ton imageof immovable weight. Now there’s a permanent dent in my calf –– a badge of courage, or foolhardiness.

I’m going to keep climbing until my heart gives out and they find me beside the trail, belly up, my grinning skull a whimsical warning to those who dare to venture out on their own.”

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Huts In The Mountains

Carolyn George reports on a climb she just did in the Swiss Alps. Her story points out some major differences between mountain hiking/climbing in the Alps and in the U.S. For example,

“In Europe, there are lots of lifts to access areas, even in places where you couldn’t imagine a real use for them. Sometimes the lift is just to access a house, a pasture for cows or sheep, a small village or just for leisure. But I am always grateful for them as they save my

body from overuse. We parked the car in SaasAlmagell…. and took a small lift up to a tiny hamlet in the mountains. From there, the paths winds through a steep cliff, over manmade bridges, metal steps bolted onto the rock and onward to the Almageller Valley. It is such a contrast from the States, where no manmade structure is allowed in parks or in the mountains. Here, everything is made to be playful, yet it doesn’t seem to really interfere with nature. It’s discreet and not shocking at all”

She also mentions the trail is marked by rocks painted red and white. Could you imagine the horrified cries if we painted rocks as trail markers in the U.S.? Can you imagine how difficult it would be to get permission to build lifts up to cabins or shelters? Can you imagine the outcry if someone wanted to bolt steps into rock? (Some people in the U.S. want to take out the cables on Hlaf Dome which have been helping people climb up the back of Half Dome. Cables that have been there since 1919.)

File:HalfDomeTraffic.jpeg

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Flying the Canadian Rockies

Will Gadd has great photos of his flight across part of the Canadian Rockies here. His latest post mentions his difficulty contrasting his flight over the mountains with his friend’s recent accident from flying.

So three of the absolute best flights of my life are juxtaposed with horror. My images of the Bugaboos, of landing and sleeping in the alpine meadows south of Revelstoke, of just the idea and joy of a flying adventure are mixed with images of a badly broken friend.”

 

How To Look Good Sport Climbing

From a self-described 42 year-old trad climber “with a graying mullet” comes some advice about looking “kewl” at the sport crag. I liked these quotes:

    Kc - sport transitionIMG_2290(LR)

  • “If you’re kewl, you carry a jug of water in your hand as you do the approach.”
  • “Guys, remove your shirt. Always. No matter how cold the temps. If you do not do this, you are not kewl.”
  • “Pantomime the beta.”

“A Little Bit Scary”

That’s what see says just before she jumps off this rock in Norway. After she jumps, she says “That was awesome.” Looks like fun. This is from Dave MacLeod.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Our Trip to Yosemite

This was my fourth trip to Yosemite – the second time I’ve done any climbing there. This trip was only a little climbing and a lot of hiking.

The summer season in Tuolumne is very short – this year the high camps opened the 2nd week of August and will close after the first week of September; 3 weeks. There is a lottery to get permits for hiking the high country because it is quite a demand for such a short period of time.

This is about a 5 minute summary of our trip.

Exercise for Longevity

Here’s research indicating that only 90 minutes of light exercise per week adds about 3 years to life expectancy. I figured out that 90 minutes per week over the course of the average life expectancy of Americans, means you will have exercised one full year over your lifetime. So it’s best you do something you like, ‘cuiz you’ll spend at least a  year doing it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sunrise Camp–Tuolumne

Of the three camps (out of six) we stayed at, the Sunrise Camp was my favorite. It was in the middle of a DSCN1350a boulder field which the staff used to hone their climbing. Our tent is right behind this boulderer.

The front of our tent looked out at this view of a meadow with a 400 foot granite dome in the background.

IMG_1833

From the back of camp, this was the view:. IMG_1841

 

You do have to hike about 5 miles and 1,500 feet vertical from the main highway to get here – not far at all. The best story I’ve read about hiking these high camps is here.

Making A New Multi-pitch Route

Sonnie Trotter’s story of the 5 days he and a friend spent cleaning and preparing a new 1,200 foot 5.9 route on Squamish. He did it as a gift to other climbers. I like this quote:

The work was tedious, as any new route developer will tell you. Sometimes it consisted of shifting boulders or removing a 20-foot long root system. At other times, we were on our hands and knees with a toothbrush, scrubbing the stubborn lichen from the rock.  I can understand why other climbers wonder why we invested so much time and effort. But we did have fun - level-2 style. For whatever reason, this climb was more gratifying than most routes I can recall in 15 years of climbing.”

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Do You Believe Danger Signs?

I have noticed a “Chicken Little, The sky is falling!” syndrome when it comes to signs. I am no longer sure if something is DSCN1656really dangerous just because someone put a sign saying it is dangerous. I am not alone in disbelieving signs, as is evidenced by my recent trip to Yosemite Valley where I encountered this sign at Bridalveil Falls.

This parent was unconcerned about placing his kids on a “dangerous” rock. And the people in the photo below flat-out ignored the sign in order to scramble up the wet, slippery rocks. As did I. Only a pansy would pay attention to the sign. (I may be wrong about the danger there - but I certainly wouldn’t want my skirt to billow up if I believed the sign and didn’t get closer to the falls.)

DSCN1662

Monday, August 22, 2011

What Happens When People See A Bear?

DSCN1702We stayed at Tuolumne Meadows Lodge. They have shared canvas tent cabins with little wood burning stoves. And communal bathrooms. Refugee camp(It looks like a refugee camp for rich, old, white people.)

There was a bear that hung around the camp and climbed into the trees. You should always stay away from bears – unless you have a camera handy like I did. (I, unlike the others, had a good reason for getting so Bear in treeclose to the bear - I wanted to document it for Fun With Rocks. The others, had no good reason for being there.)

 

Inside of tent cabin

I took a short video of the bear climbing down the tree. Unfortunately, I shut the camera off just before it ran past me about 10 feet away. (But come on, 10 feet was plenty of distance for me to outrun an angry bear.)

Tuolumne Meadows

Just returned from hiking in the Sierra high country above Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite Park. Down in the valley it was about 100 degrees; in Tuolumne about 75. Before hiking, we went climbing and I tried aid climbing for the first time on “Horseshoes and Hand Grenades.”

IMG_0160It took me about 2.5 hours to climb this 70 foot, overhanging, right leaning crack. (The guide told me it would take him about 20 minutes.) But the hardest part was cleaning it on ascenders.

IMG_0159

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Flinging Yourself Into The Air

I can think of only one reason to do this:

FUN

I can think of one reason this won’t ever happen commercially in the U. S.:

LIABILTY

In fact, in Britain, where this stunt is done, a guy missed landing in the net and died.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bold Climber

Here’s a 19 year-old “girl” climbing a bold route.

 

Hazel Findlay Climbs Rainbow of Recalcitrance E6 in Llanberris slate quarries. from Wild Country on Vimeo.

“Fight Against The Wimpish Thoughts”

In this video, Sir Ralph Fiennes tells about his battle to “fight against the wimpish thoughts” on Mt Everest which he thought might prevent him from reaching the summit. (What caused his wimpish thoughts, was seeing three dead bodies on his previous trip there.)  He talks about one the importance of being realistic when planning an expedition and why he didn’t’ see angels after being “dead” for four days. 

Help Research When You’re Outdoors

Here is a list of current projects that researchers are looking for volunteers to gather data. More information on how you can help gather data while you’re outdoors. is here.

Mountaineering

1. Iceworm Survey  (Glaciers Worldwide)
2. Wolverine Study (Greater Yellowstone)
3. Glacier Mass Balance Study (Worldwide)
4. High Altitude Rock Samples (Worldwide)
5. Pika Monitoring (Worldwide)

Climbing

1. Pika Monitoring (Worldwide)
2. White- Tailed Ptarmigan (New Mexico and Colorado, perfect for the CDT)

Hiking/Trekking

1. Whitebark pine and Grizzly Bears (Centennial Mountain Range, MT)
2. Pika Monitoring (Worldwide)
3. Bar-headed Geese Survey (Himalaya)
4. California Rare Plant Documentation (California)
5. White- Tailed Ptarmigan (New Mexico and Colorado, perfect for the CDT)
6. Garlic Mustard Invasive Species (Europe, Australia, Asia, North America)

Biking

1. Garlic Mustard Invasive Species (Europe, Australia, Asia, North America)
2. White- Tailed Ptarmigan (New Mexico and Colorado, perfect for the CDT)
3. Pika Monitoring (Worldwide)
4. California Rare Plant Documentation (California)


Sking/Snowshoeing

1. Wolverine Study (Greater Yellowstone)
2. Iceworm Survey (Worldwide)
3. Glacier Mass Balance Study (Worldwide)


Kayaking/Rafting

1. River Diatom Study (Worldwide)


Gliding

1. Glider Pilot Air Monitoring (Worldwide)

Tarp Surfing

When you don’t live near the ocean, but want the effect of tube riding.I saw this on the Black Diamond website.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

“All That Glitters”

A woman who uses ice climbing as an outlet for her troubled life, writes this about her love of ice climbing:

“I loved the inherent aggression of piercing my tool into the ice …. I was immediately captivated by the rhythmic pleasure of the activity, the sound of metal hitting ice, and the complete absorption of my mind and my senses. I loved the smoothness of the ice and the performance of my equipment. Partway up the pitch, I realized that this was the perfect outlet for the intensity that I constantly lived with but had no idea what to do with.”

An interview with her along with a review of her book “All That Glitters: A Climber’s Journey Through Addiction and Depression” is here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Should We Do More To Protect Ourselves From Danger?

How safe should things be for people visiting parks? This editorial in LA Times lays out a good case for leaving things as they are. I wonder if, in well-intentioned  efforts to warn people, we make it more likely that people won’t pay attention to what their common sense tells them.

 

Humans and Magnetism

Apparently humans have the same proteins that birds, bees and other creaturs use for navigation which allows them to “see” magnetism.

These creatures all have proteins called cryptochromes, or light-sensitive chemicals that allow them to ‘see’ the magnetic field.”

Cool, another app I didn’t even know I had.

Green Events

Prana just gathered hundreds of people together in California for a big event. But they say it’s “Green.” How ‘bout this: skip the gathering and save all those resources spent traveling, dancing, partying. Wouldn’t that be greener?

 

Women Only Stories

If you’ve got an inspiring story, ESPN wants to hear about it. Inspiring like:

The key is just that she needs to have an inspiring story–maybe she decided to take on the Rockies to get over a divorce or she woke up one day and realized she was about to turn 30 and wanted to start the new decade with a bang. Or it could be a group of best friends or a story about a mother and daughter.”

Get divorced, climb a mountain and tell your story. Get older, do something, and let them know. Seems as though lots of people have inspiring stories like this. Give it a whack. And we’ll see you on TV.

Walking The Narrows

This video shows part of the hike up the Narrows in Zion Park – I’ve done it from the top down over the course of 2 nights and from the bottom up. The water is surprisingly cold so that dry suit he rents is a good idea. Lots to explore out there.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Training & Rest

Alli Rainey talks about her experiences. with overtraining. Here’s a quote:

“I find that how fast I recover is directly proportional to the difficulty/intensity and duration of my climbing or training day – how many powerful efforts I put in on routes (or moves) that challenge me. The higher the power and strength output/intensity/duration, the longer the recovery time. Of course, if you’re never climbing fully recovered, you probably don’t even know where your real potential lies (yet).”

Northwest Face Of Half Dome

A recent on day climb of Half Dome, started inauspiciously:

There were plenty of reasons to not go. Besides the obvious fact that neither of us has

ever climbed anything this big and committing, we somehow managed to only bring 7 quickdraws on a route notorious for its amount of fixed pro. The prospect of going on a 2200 wall, sleep deprived, inexperienced and ill equipped just seemed like a really bad idea.

The prospect of telling my friends ‘ugh… we decided not to do it.’ however, was even more depressing.”

 

They’re exhausted after 17 pitches, but the prospect of having to “man cuddle” on a bivvy ledge, drove them on.

Very proud of themselves, they got back to camp and heard their friends had just completed both El Cap and Half Dome in one day.. They learn a hard lesson:

And that’s the thing I love about climbing…No matter how proud you think your achievement is, in reality, you are just a huge bitch.”

Sand Anchors

A fairly new invention for canyoneering is the sand anchor – a big piece of cloth that you fill with sand, No Kiddingrappel from, and then pull a cord which dumps all the sand and allows you to re-use the anchor. Near Lake Powell, they can’t use any bolts to set up their rappels. So in this video you can see them pulling down their sand anchors after they rappel.

More of their story here.

 

 

 

Men vs Women

Last Saturday I was mountain biking at a local park where there were 25-30 other bikers. In the parking lot, I talked to a man who was biking with his girlfriend. He told me his girlfriend wasn’t happy and asked him “Why aren’t there any other women biking here?” Just then, a guy came into the lot pushing his broken bike. His arm was bloody and his legs were all scraped up. So my first thought was, “There are no women because this is hard and it’s dangerous.”

When I got home, I asked Barb about this and she said, “Because it’s stupid to mountain bike. And women were doing more important things.”

OK, all of that is true: mountain biking is stupid and unimportant. (Stupid and unimportant in the sense that’s it’s totally unnecessary; all adventure activities are unnecessary.) It’s also true biking can be hard and it can be dangerous.  (I’ve hurt myself more times mountain biking than I ever have climbing.)

I also know there are plenty of women doing hard, dangerous activities. But not in the numbers of men.

With that being said, there’s another way to look at this: why aren’t there more men mountain biking?

Of course, if there were more people biking, it brings up another problem for me -  I don’t want my trails packed with people. So why on earth would I encourage more people to use the outdoors unless I’m a manufacturer or retailer of outdoor gear? Please stay indoors and leave the outdoors to me.

P.S. Implied in that guy’s girlfriend's question, is her lack of interest in ever mountain biking with him again. Don’t you think? (Certainly true after they’re married.)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Guys – Want To Find Out About Women Climbers?

Read the latest issue of the “Alpine Athena – A Woman’s Climbing Magazine” here.

image

Climbing Big Ice Cubes

Besides the logistics of ice berg climbing in Newfoundland, it’s tough to get from the boat to the bottom of an iceberg as told in this story:

The boat continued to flail in a chaotic dance with the iceberg. Shattered ice rained into the ocean as Eliot George swung over and over imageagain from the deck of the boat until he heard the Thunk. His axe stuck. Then a large gray wave grabbed and threw the boat away from the ice, dislocating Eliot's shoulder. Still gripping his axe, Eliot hung over the water. We pulled him back from being crushed.”

Canyoneering Photos

Here’s a whole page of photos devoted to canyoneering in Utah like this one.

No Way Down Except To Jump

Here’s a new Steph Davis video of wingsuiting.

“This video is for all you little girls who want to fly! I imagine we'll be seeing some Hello Kitty wingsuits in formation flight by 2025. And actually, I want one.

Steph Davis and Mario Richard make the first base jump from the Pilastro of Tofana de Rozes in Cortina d'Ampezzo, courtesy of Massimo da Pozza and Mario Lacedelli and the Cortina inCroda festival.”

Climbing With A Cast

Liv Sansoz was frustrated because it was hard to rock climb with a cast on her broken foot. So she had a shoemaker attach some rubber to her cast. Story here.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

What A Great Place To Bolt Climbs

I like this quote about the upcoming Petzl RocTrip to China:

photo

The Gétû Valley area is a protected area because of its unique beauty, ecology, geology and cultural history but at the same time the provincial government of Guizhou is keen to promote tourism, including climbing tourism.”

What a great place to put up some bolted climbs; a place that’s anxious to promote climbing.

 

 

 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Eat Chocolate After Exercise

Seems like 1/6 oz of dark chocolate can help endurance. This is good news for those of us who like chocolate:

“...five grams of dark chocolate daily, or just a sixth of an ounce — about half of one square of a typical chocolate bar — is probably a reasonable human dose if your aim is to intensify the effects of a workout.”

But this is bad news:

Sadly, ‘more is not better,’ he continued. ‘More could lessen or even undo’ any benefits, he said, by overloading the muscles’ receptors or otherwise skewing the body’s response..”

Darn, I thought moderation in the pursuit of chocolate was a bad thing.

Two Marathons A Day

She averaged about 2 marathons a day and wore out 5 pairs of shoes in her record-breaking hike of the Appalachian Trail.

Jennifer Pharr Davis set the unofficial record for the fastest hike of the entire Appalachian Trail, yet she said she never ignored the beauty of the 2,180-mile trek from Maine to Georgia. She saw 36 bears, moose, porcupines and just about every sunrise and sunset during her journey, which lasted exactly 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes since she left Mount Katahdin in Maine on June 16.

‘Fastest is so relative,’ Davis said Tuesday after estimating she had slept about 30 of the past 48 hours. ‘My average was 3 mph. So what are you not going to see at 3 mph?’”

Thursday, August 4, 2011

You Don’t Say

From this report of a recent climb in the Canadian Rockies, I read this quote about this photo:

This is probably the most dangerous place on the face for rockfall hazard.“

The Longest Sport Route

“Infinite Bliss” near Seattle has 23 pitches and is supposedly the longest sport climb in North America at 2600 feet. An older trip report here has directions to get there. From this recent report, I found this quote:

James and I went first. 600 feet of mega slab was taken down in a cool half hour. I’ve never climbed so fast in my life. It was a white blur of wind and water polished granite. When we finally stopped we had put down the first ten pitches in a matter of an hour and a half, and one of those pitches included a really cool 5.9 pitch that is no slouch.”

Tough Guys May Get Old But They Still Can Be Tough

In 2008, he climbed Mt Everest when he was 66 years old. He’s quite motivated as well as clever:

“.. Linzbichler hasn't always had the resources to travel and climb, so he's had to be creative - like joining scientific expeditions with various universities to get to remote places. He financed the entire Everest expedition after pitching the idea of bringing a soccer ball to the peak of the mountain to the UEFA (United European Football Association). ‘It takes no time to write a letter, print it and send it out,’ he says with a shrug. "I had Everest completely financed a week later.’

“Linzbichler retired as a school teacher after a bout with cancer. He will turn 70 at the end of the summer. To celebrate his life and achievements his hometown is hosting a 35km run over a mountain pass to the north of his town. ..After his birthday runs he plans to take things a little more slowly, chip away at a few of his goals and enjoy a bit of rest. That doesn't mean he's finished - he still has peaks in Europe to climb, marathons to run and, on the other side of the world, Garibaldi Mountain. While it should be a piece of cake at 2,678 metres, he seems to hit bad weather every time he visits. ‘Maybe I'll get to it next year,’ he says. ‘There's no rush.’”

Helpless on Hopeless

Two hikers were rescued from Mt Hopeless in New Zealand. They were well prepared but had no climbing ropes with them, and after taking a wrong turn found themselves surrounded by steep cliffs.”

I just like the name: Mt. Hopeless.

Summer Storm at Mount Rushmore

Grant and I went climbing in the Black Hills last Thursday and got rained/hailed out. The video turned out worse than a bootleg Russian snuff film, but you will get the point.


Next Time You’re On A Big Wall

This video is especially helpful if you’re following someone on a big, traversing lead climb at Taylors or Red Wing. Those of you who love complicated, mechanical procedures will love this. Man, I’ve got a lot to learn with this stuff.

Bigwall Climbing: Lowering out 2 w/ audio from Erik Sloan on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Biking On Rocks

Here’s Hans Rey biking in Jordan at the Wadi Rum. known for its climbing. His trip report is here.

Why climb it when you can bike it?

Aerial Exploring Of Canadian Rockies

Will Gadd is on a self-supported 350KM paragliding trip across parts of the Canadian Rockies. You can track his progress in real time here and read about his trip plans here.

Oh No, They Might Build Houses There

Why do people who use the “wilderness” - located 30 minutes from one of the most highly visited cities in the world - think that they deserve special treatment because they are climbers or hikers or use the outdoors? You do not deserve special treatment because you are a climber.

I thought of this when I read about the possible building of “tract houses” that would be close to the Red Rocks Canyon outside of Las Vegas.

“There is no doubt that this project will have an extremely negative impact on climbers, hikers, cyclists, and equestrians. There will be an ugly tract house city with noise and pollution right outside of a federally designated Wilderness Area.”

Apparently Red Rocks is a wilderness that should be saved from any kind of noise or view of houses. It is a wilderness that has paved roads leading to it and that is only a few miles from a major city. And “tract houses” are the ugly houses that people who don’t have a lot of money, can afford. (I, personally, would never live in a tract home. I would make sure that any home I own is built to exacting historically accurate standards and would never be cheek-to-jowl with other homes. Tract houses are what little people buy. I can’t blame them, not really, because they don’t know any better.)

I know, there is no one else as bold and daring as I am – I’m a climber and an outdoors person. I have been know to take a risk or two. I have found myself – and this is not bragging – to be an adventurous type. I am not like the little people who hike around city parks or bike on a flat, paved trail. I am one of the elites who should not have to mingle with regular people. I should not have to be burdened with seeing how or where other people live their meager, desperate small lives.

I hate it when I get on a  highway and am stymied in my perambulations by the hoi polloi – the regular people. Don’t they know I am in a hurry? Don’t they know the highway was built for me by me so I could go about my important tasks? (Oh, wait a minute, didn’t other people pay for “my highway?” Damn! I hate that kind of thinking.) 

Likewise, when I take time out from my schedule to grace a National Park or a wilderness area with my presence – to which I can easily fly and/or drive - I think others should be alerted that I am arriving and should be mandated to leave. I don’t mean they have to leave immediately – that would inconvenience them too much. I would give them 1-2 hours to vacate the area. I am not unreasonable. For example, I have not required this of my companions when I enter a room – yet.

 

Climbing In Europe vs U.S.

This short essay by professional guide Caroline George points out some differences between climbing in the Alps vs. climbing in the U.S. It’s easier in the Alps because you don’t have to carry as much stuff with you. (I don’t mean that the technical climbing is easier, it’s the logistics that are easier.) Here’s one quote from her essay:

“I grew up and started climbing in the ‘comfort’ of the Alps. Alpine climbing would more often

Caroline George on the North Face of the Eiger

than not involve sleeping in a cozy hut, where the hut keeper would provide you with a nice meal before you fell asleep in an army blanket or comforter-covered bed until the wee hours of the morning, when a a pot of hot water and a basket of bread, butter and jam would await you on the dining table as the last meal before your climb. The atmosphere in European huts is usually very friendly….guiding in the Europe is more physically sustainable because you carry less weight on your back, making it less harmful to your body in the long run. I have suffered a great amount of injuries in my life, and a lighter pack makes it possible for me to guide back-to-back without being in too much pain. Getting to good climbing in the Alps is often only a cable car away and you can be home in the evening, making it possible to have a family life. In the US, you have to have be gone for days at a time. As a woman, being able to be home most nights is essential to my sanity as a guide.”

More Women Having Fun Together In The Mountains

It’s almost as if women don’t need men. When did that start? . I am amazed at women climbing mountains all by themselves. Aren’t they too delicate to do that kind of stuff? Here’s a report of women at a mountaineering school in the Canadian Rockies. I’ve know some men who’ve done this trip, but I didn’t know they allowed women there. What’s next?

Devil’s Thumb

Here’s the Smiley’s report on their climb of Devil’s Thumb in Alaska. Four days of waiting for good weather. One day of climbing chossy rock. Looks like the most fun would be the helicopter ride. Oh, and drinking whiskey with your morning vitamin pills.

“The heli flight is an efficient way to blow 600 bucks in 29 minutes, but its totally worth it. Like a nature viewing three-ring circus on crack, the varied landscapes flew by. Passing over an inlet, then deep forest, followed by glacier, these views fit the bill for what a Jack London Alaska should be.

Read the rest of the trip report at:
www.smileysproject.com.”

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Gear

“The OutDoor Show in Germany last month was awash with innovative new climbing protection. Three  of the new inventions are pictured here. Several more are shown here.

Like this new kind of ‘biner that allows you to keep the gate open until you put the rope in.

Mad Rock Trigger Wire

Or these new cams for wide cracks:

Kong Gipsy frictional anchor system

And there’s this device which appears to be a combination of an ATC Guide and a GriGri.

Climbing Technology Alpine Up - UKC/UKH at OutDoor 2011 from UKClimbing.com TV on Vimeo.

Steph Davis In Italy

She attended the Cortina inCroda climbing festival in Italy and did some climbing as well as suit flying. Story here.

Ten Sleep Climbing

Cedar Wright of Black Diamond climbs in Ten Sleep.. He loves the “crack of Noon starts” so he can enjoy his morning coffee.

“Black Diamond athlete Cedar Wright recently escaped the heat of the Colorado Front Range for the cool summer-sending temps of northern Wyoming's Ten Sleep Canyon. Ace lensman John Dickey was on the scene and put together the following video clip of Cedar that highlights the sweetness of Ten Sleep.”

Big Wall Climbing In Europe

This is the most beautifully filmed climbing movie I’ve ever seen for free. It’s the story of two climbers repeating three big wall climbs in Europe. I like this quote from one of the famous old climbers they interview – Manolo (No, not the Italian shoe guy, the Italian climber guy.)

It’s a message for the new generations. There is still the possibility to open new routes, we just need to take a look around.

PS, I gotta get me one of Manolo’s headbands; it is completely Euro-stylin’

Hardest of the Alps from STORY.teller on Vimeo.

Reel Rock Film Competition

You can watch and vote on your favorites of the 13 2-minute  competitors here. My favorites are “The Fake Rock Film Tour” and “Lead Climbing, Lesson One.”

Thank you to all the filmmakers who submitted to the FILMMAKING COMPETITION. Now it's time for the people to vote! Voting will end September 10th and the people's choice and judge's choice winners will be announced at the REEL ROCK Premiere in BOULDER, CO on Sept 15th. Two winners will receive prize packages from our sponsors, tuition to the Outside Adventure Film School in 2012, and their films will screen in over 200 locations across the world.”

 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Biking Down A Glacier

This sure looks like more fun than just walking down a glacier. More of his story here.

glacier biking from mikebromberg on Vimeo.

Who Says A Cliff, A Rope & A ‘Chute Can’t Be Fun?

Somewhere in Australia, they like to do this.

The Tooth Traverse

It’s in the Ruth Gorge near Denali and it’s never been done. These guys have tried twice.

There has been a lot going on surrounding our adventures: The 1st attempt vimeo.com/​6038303 was heavily embarked upon only days after the memorial for the deaths of our close friends vimeo.com/​5065432, the 2nd attempt ended with helping with body recoveries of other climbers in the gorgethenamelesscreature.com/​2010/​07/​25/​a-hard-freeze-away/​ and the just before our proposed launch day this past spring I almost died in a skiing accident vimeo.com/​21904471.
Beyond the allure of enchaining one of the most iconic (& untrodden) skylines in NA the Tooth Traverse has come to represent so much more than that to us. With my healing going well (
vimeo.com/​26531646) and the inspiration (and angst) greater than ever we are planning another attempt in the NEAR future.
I see the eventual story breaching some pretty heavy topics involved in alpine climbing: sponsored vs. non-sponsored expeditions, dealing with death and the effect tackling dangerous objectives has on friends/family.”

 

The Tooth Traverse from Camp 4 Collective on Vimeo.

Heli Hiking In Canada

What could be better than hiking up a mountain? Helicoptering up it and then hiking. And what could be better than climbing a mountain? Climbing a mountain with steps built into it.

In a matter of minutes, we are introduced to our pilot, strapped in as we listened to the awesome power and noise coming from the rotating blades of the Bell 212 helicopter. There is no experience quite like that of the whirl of the rotors and the deafening sound of the motor as we lifted off the ground. It took the helicopter about 12 minutes, through some of the most breathtaking mountain ranges and awesome peaks of the Columbia Mountains in southeastern B.C.”

Mystery On The Grand

 

It was about a year ago that some climbers from Iowa and Minnesota were caught in a storm on the Grand and one of them was lost. This is an article about that trip from the Des Moines Register newspaper. . .

Greg Sparks, right, the new city manager in West Des Moines, climbs in the Grand Tetons last summer with Brandon Oldenkamp, left, and other members of their group from Iowa and Minnesota. Oldenkamp fell to his death on the trip.

“He had spent hours in his garage tying ropes through carabiners and harnesses, replaying it again and again, but never finding an answer to why it happened…..Then lightning hit again, a more direct jolt this time that zapped through Greg’s body and knocked him down. ‘Is this going to kill me?’ he thought…Lower on the mountain , they found crampons fused together by the lightning and an axe with a hole in it.”

 

 

Here’s what Sports Illustrated writes about that trip. I like this quote:

The appeal of the Tetons is obvious, even if you get no closer than a turnout on U.S. 89, 12 miles away. With no foothills, the 40-mile range rises from the earth's crust in one precipitous sweep, like an ax through a door. Upon seeing the mountains, Teddy Roosevelt is said to have remarked that they were ideal—the way a child draws them—and it's easy to see his point. The pinnacles are etched like a fever chart into the Western sky.”

What’s A Few Feet?

Nepal is re-measuring Mt Everest again to find out who’s right about the altitude:

[NUMBGUY]

Nepal and China have been bickering for years about the height of Mount Everest, which soars from the countries' shared border. The Nepalese government long has chafed at China's estimate of 29,017 feet and instead claimed that Earth's highest point actually is 11 feet taller.”