Sunday, December 30, 2012

On A Mountain, Women Are A Drag

Interesting ad for clothing.

"Indoors, women are useful - even pleasant. On a mountain, they are something of a drag. So don't go hauling them up a cliff just to show off your Drummond climbing sweaters."

I see those sweaters are still available here. Maybe I'll get one.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

"Fists of Rage"

Will Gadd describes how to hold ice tools. One of the ways to grip is the "fist of rage." Which is probably the grip we use most of the time.

  "The “Fist of Rage” is primarily used when you’re gripped, on hard mixed climbs, and by most novices and even those who should know better but have enough power to substitute that for skill."

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I Did Not Know Women Could Climb

Until I saw this video, I did not know women had an interest in climbing. I like their footwear in the opening shots.

Women's Climbing Symposium from Outcrop Films on Vimeo.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Christmas Belay

Would you trust these guys with a belay?
It's my Mr. Grinch Christmas belay outfit next to Kyle's new jacket taken at VEM last Friday.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Build Your Brain Through Exercise

Better learning through exercise. Apparently a few minutes of exercise at 55-60% of your heart rate maximum, helps you learn by building new brain cells.  But be careful, too much exercise isn't good:  “When your body is stressed and you have high levels of cortisol,' a hormone released in response to physical and psychological stress, Ratey says, 'the brain cells will shrink, and eventually they’ll die. '"

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fun With Zip Lines

Zip lining on skis into Lake Powell. And 2 person zip-lining. Watch the second person get launched when the first person falls off.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chicks With Nuts

An attention-getting name for a climbing school in West Virginia.

Workout From Hell

An article in Outside about a fitness program developed by a well-known climber. In order for the author to be trained in the gym, he needs to go through a pre-fitness program. Here's part of his description of his pre-training:

"Once a week for the next two months, I drove to a grassy field where Parker, a stunning physical specimen with a fondness for climbing waterfall ice in designer leather pants, schooled me in 'the Gym Jones way.'The first day, she threw a medicine ball so hard that it knocked the wind out of me."

Monday, December 10, 2012

Booming Ice Chasm

Great photos of a newly discovered ice cave in the Rockies. "The cave, called Booming Ice Chasm, was named for it's incredible acoustics - as falling rocks crash and 'boom' when they tumble down the 140 metre deep cave. The crystal clear ice is several meters thick - and explorers say navigating across it makes them feel like they are flying."

Friday, December 7, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Games Climbers Play

A short speech based on the classic approach to climbing:

  • Practice trad climbing on short walls so that...
  • You can practice leading big walls so that..
  • You can practice alpine climbing so that...
  • You can climb in the Himalaya
Now people have the money to pay others to lead them up climbs because they don't have the time to learn on their own. 

At first, I thought he was complaining in his speech that too many people are climbing and they are not doing it the "right way." (You know the complaint; "When I was a kid I walked 3 miles uphill both ways to school.") But he surprised me with his conclusion.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Longest Ridge On 8,000 Meter Peak

Two 50-plus year old climbers completed a six-mile-long ridge on Nanga Parbat this last summer. Which "... is the longest ridge on any mountain over 8,000 meters and traverses the summits of eight peaks over 7,000-meters.

In order to finish the climb, the two slept two nights in a snow cave above 7,000 meters and went without food and water for 3 days. Quite a story. Summary of the climb here. Their blog report here. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

A First-Time Visit To VE

An article on Outside magazine describes a first-time visit to VE in Mpls. She walked around

"...taking note of the hippie-ish, we
ll-muscled climbers already clamoring up and across walls slanted outward from the floor like spider people."
Clamoring??? I think she means clambering.

The article reminds me that when reporters write about things I am familiar with, they usually get the details wrong. Such as her descriptions of "tar chips" on the floor and the "rubber holds" on the walls.

It still is fun to see the climbing gym through the eyes of a newbie.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Stuffed On Stuffing

OK, I'm sure it's too late to give you a recipe for stuffing - oh wait - Christmas is coming up. I volunteered to make stuffing for the fam this year because:
  • I love stuffing. Who doesn't?
  • I knew it would be easy peasy lemon squeezy.
I knew it would be EZ PZ because I had a secret recipe in my pocket. And the only hard part of gathering the ingredients was going to a White Castle restaurant. I needed about 20 sliders. They told me at White Castle I could get a discount if I got a "Crave Case" of 30 sliders. 

Who doesn't love a discount? And who couldn't eat an extra 10 sliders? So I got this very nice collector attaché case that I can use for carrying my laptop, my climbing shoes, or sell on ebay for a lot of money. Or carry my extra 10 sliders to the gym for a great snack. 

Here are most of the boxes I used to make my secret stuffing (Shhhh!) recipe. Hmmm, hmmm good. 

I know the Pilgrims never would have left England or Holland if they had White Castles nearby. (Oops, they did have a White Castle nearby; it didn't serve food though.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Climbing Hard Routes - Boom, Boom, Clip The Chains

What's amazing in this video is that this is the first time he's climbed this route. As the description of this video states:
"Amazing to see the conviction Ondra has through every sequence—no stalling, no apprehension about sequences, no anxiety, no slip ups. Aspiring onsight climbers take note: this is how you do it. Boom. Boom. Boom. Clip the chains."

BD athlete Adam Ondra onsights The Golden Ticket (5.14c), Red River Gorge, Kentucky from Black Diamond Equipment on Vimeo.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Revolutionize Mountaineering With A Monk

This new device - the "Mountain Monk" - will revolutionize mountaineering. At least, according to this ad. It will soon allow you to be

"..rolling smoothly down to speed astray down into the valley in a demonic manner." (Huh?)

Bergmönch - Hiking uphill Wheeling downhill from Thomas Kaiser on Vimeo.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Climbing In Zion

Liz, Marianna, Paul & Seth recently returned from a trip to Red Rocks and Zion. Here're some shots from an amazing route in Zion.


I've played with the new magnetron 'biner a little bit and didn't find it anything special. It might be better than a twist lock if you're left handed or wearing gloves. Don't get me wrong, it's always best to get the latest cool gear.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Minnesota-style Anchor Attachment

 A recent trip report about canyoneering in Zion used this phrase: "Quite a few anchors in the canyon were tied with the Minnesota-clip style of equalization." (Photo on the left. The webbing should have some limiter knots in it or at least a half twist.)

I was puzzled about this reference to Minnesota. Until I looked at the photo. And remembered that in the 70s, three climbers from MN died on El Cap when they tied themselves into an anchor chain, and one of the bolts broke when their "pig" (haul sack) fell. Then they all fell because they weren't clipped into individual chain links. (I climbed a lot with one of the guys who was killed; he was an experienced, expert climber.)

Because of that accident, the common way to clip into an anchor with chains, is to use the individual links. 

Cluster Balloon Flying

Traversing the Atlantic Ocean with 365 helium balloons. What a cluster!

I googled cluster ballooning and came up this cool vehicle which is a pedal powered flyer. Now this would be fun.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Biking Thru Town

This is about the only kind of city biking I like. Recorded in Taxco, Mexico.

Get Lost

The British Mountaineering Council writes about the increasing number of mountain hikers who get lost in the mountains by relying solely on their smartphones' GPS.
I like this quote:
"So basically any time you might actually have to rely on it, they have a disclaimer for it....Of course, life is never that simple. Because while at least two police forces in the last month have warned about the risks of using a smartphone, plenty of guides, instructors and ordinary climbers and hill walkers use one routinely."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"If She Can Do It"

Apparently women can ride mountain bikes. Who knew? As they say in this video, "They're getting after it, to build a sisterhood."

Anytime sisters want to go mountain bike with me, they're more than welcome. Details of this ride here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Red Rocks Climbing By Liz & Marianna

Team E&M (Elizabeth and Marianna with Seth & Paul) are out in Red Rocks this week climbing. Or, so they say. Here they are planning, resting and organizing.

R U sure it's up there?

Girls, could you peel me some grapes?

Good use of heucos.

Ahh, There's Something About Sleeping On The Ground Like A Dog

Or, maybe, not so much. Like this report of hut-to-hut hiking in the Italian Dolomites. I love this quote:

"There’s something about sleeping under the stars, a breeze on your face or light rain on your tent fly, and the ritual of making coffee and breakfast in the backcountry. Simple, practical, independent, and satisfying in some uncivilized way.
Tell you what else: There’s something to hiking a massive amount of miles with a super-light pack, and having Italian espresso served to you twice or three times a day, and eating pasta and strudel cooked by someone else every night."

Monday, November 5, 2012

Death Block On El Cap

There was a block of rock sitting 2,000 feet above the valley tied into the wall with some old slings. Watch as they trundled this off a few days ago.

Explaining Climbing On The Internet

Save yourself some time reading this one page summary of most internet discussions about climbing.

For example:

A: No. But you can make it safer by worrying about the things that actually cause the most accidents, such as falling while unroped on exposed, "easy" terrain, rappel-rigging mistakes and communication errors.
A: No, but it's safer if you weight your rappel rope before unclipping from the anchor, knot the ends of your rope and make sure your rope is centered in the anchor."

Why Take Risks?

An academic paper that attempts to prove what climbers already know: there's a benefit in the risk inherent in climbing. That, alone, can justify the activity. (The authors write specifically about mountaineering but I think their thesis applies to all risk-based sports.)

One point they make about risk, is that if all of the risk were removed from mountaineering, it wouldn't be as appealing. So the benefits of the risks/dangers help answer the question: "Why would you do something that's dangerous?" Here is part of their conclusion:

"On the other hand, risk-taking is good in relation to the value of .. certain ‘experiential’ goods. Two are particularly notable. One is that risk-taking can make one ‘feel alive’ and ‘in the zone’. This may take multifarious forms. It can involve a supercharged adrenaline rush; but it can also have a more serene, meditative and sublime exhilarative quality....These quite intense experiences of utter exhilaration often extend long after the real danger is over and can give rise to a sense of personal fulfillment. A second value.. concerns the ways mountaineers experience themselves as agents. Again this has numerous dimensions. It can involve quite simply experiencing yourself as an effective agent: in general terms, you achieve the things you set out to achieve by competently overcoming the risks constitutive of the challenges you set yourself; at a more specific level, the experience of moving competently (fluently, in control) through the medium in which you are climbing gives rise to a deeply 
gratifying experience of effective agency."

Table 1: Risk of death with sports activities

Cause of Death
Number of Deaths
Population Estimate
Crude Rate per 100,000 population
Odds of Dying
(1 in )
BASE JumpingNorway (Kjerag Massif)
2,317 jumps
101,083 jumps
116,000 flights
Sudden cardiac death whilst running a marathonUS
126,626 runners
Horse RidingGermany
American FootballUS
1994-1999 (average annual figures)
Scuba DivingUK
200,000 dives
Table TennisGermany
Rock ClimbingUK
320,000 climbs
750,000 outings
1,556,757 visits

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Climbing Kitty Litter On The Ogre

A report on a recent new route on the 7,000 meter Ogre in Pakistan. The photo is of the "kitty litter" pitch at 6,3000 meters. I liked this quote:

"Hayden's feet skated, sending off showers of kitty litter that fell for thousands of feet to the glacier below. Sometimes he'd rip off microwave-sized blocks that would bounce near his waist and explode into pieces before even making it off the traverse ledge."
Here is a story of climbing the Ogre in 1977 and a mountaineer who broke both legs and had to crawl out to base camp over the course of 7 days.

"So I got on my knees, with my lower legs stuck out behind, and kneed across the ledge with no trouble at all....And that’s how it was done over the next seven days, with a little help from my friends —Chris, Clive and Mo."

After he got to base camp, he was carried out by 8 porters for three days and finally helicoptered to a hospital.

Friday, November 2, 2012

"The Worst Route I've Ever Done"

The only woman to climb all 53 peaks in the Canadian Rockies above 11,000', called the "Wishbone Arete" on Mt Robson the worst route she's ever done. Quite a tale from the Smileys. They encounter gargoyle-like seracs, armpit-deep snow, and a midnite bivouac.
And, they discover the chicken wishbone, left high on the mountain by the 2nd ascent party in 1951.

Devils Lake

A wonderful trip report by a regular VE climber, Ahn T.

Including a video of a first time trad lead.

(Looks like a good one to start on.)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rubber Duckies and Ocean Currents

How far will rubber duckies travel on the ocean? After 15 years, about 17,000 miles.

"The toys have helped researchers to chart the great ocean currents because when they are spotted bobbing on the waves they are much more likely to be reported to the authorities than the floats which scientists normally use. And because the toys are made of durable plastic and are sealed watertight, they have been able to survive years adrift at the mercy of the elements."

Mt. Whitney

The highest peak in the contiguous U.S., Mt. Whitney, can be just a hike up or a real climb. Here's one guy's story. I like this quote:

"I'm not a guy who stands atop pinnacles. I'm a guy who hugs pinnacles."

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

El Cap 1968

At the :20 second mark in the video below, look at the swami belt webbing they used around their waists to tie into the rope when they climbed El Cap in 1968. They used mail bags to haul their gear up. At the 5:00 minute mark, great view of a climber chimneying.

The original film maker is raising money to restore this movie. Details here.

Friday, October 26, 2012

"Then My Leg Just Fell Off"

A great quote from the "Gimp Monkeys" video of the first all disabled ascent of El Cap. Despite one of their legs falling off, they"prevailed and climbed the 1800-foot Zodiac, on the southeast side of the monolith.'The three of us are all climbers first,' DeMartino says, 'disabled second. If you're a climber, you want to climb El Cap.'"

Gimp Monkeys from ARC'TERYX on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ceiling Tricks

The gym was pretty empty Monday morning, so Richard, Liz, and Killer worked on their parlor tricks. Never know when you're going to need to impress someone.

121022 Ceiling Climbing Montage from Eliz1 on Vimeo.

Socrota Island

A short trailer of paragliding over the island of Socrota - off the coast of Yemen - that has frankincense forests and trees like these.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Report From El Cap

Just love the photos on the El Cap Report. Here's his report from Oct 20th. He reports there were four NIAD (Nose In A Day) teams on El Cap at once. Amazing shot of someone seconding a route

Fear & Climbing

Fear/anxiety helps climbers perform better in the short term such as in competitions:

"while fear may be helpful in that sort of short-duration exercise (it can keep the mind sharp and help climbers avoid accidents)."

But on multi-day climbs, fear gets in the way of success.

"Perhaps not surprisingly, those with high levels of anxiety did not, on average, make it as high up the mountain as those who reported they were relatively calm."

The researchers studying this, "speculate that climbers with that mental attitude 'are energized by the attainment of each smaller goal en route to the summit (e.g., successfully crossing a challenging crevasse), and this helps to fuel continued engagement.'"

Saturday, October 20, 2012

How Hot Does A Rappel Device Get?

I know that after a long rappel, my belay tool always feels hot. Can it get hot enough to melt ropes and/of slings? Black Diamond test results here. In the video below, you can see the rope being pulled thru a belay device by a truck. The rope appears to be smokin' hot.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Banff Mountain Film Festival

The Banff Moutain Film Festival is coming to Minneapolis Nov 16-17. I just bought a ticket to go Friday nite the 16th. Details and tickets here.

How To Rescue An Elephant

This is unlikely to happen to you but, keep a rope in your car just in case.

Look Before You Leap

OK, I understand showing off and I understand how fun it is to try something your friends might not do, but still...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Launching Into The Air

This looks like fun - being launched high into the air and landing in water. The first minute or so is the best.

"Don't Show This To Your Mom"

Or anyone else who is concerned about your lead climbing. However, it is an example of the fact that cams will hold even in sandstone. I like his answer to the question "What were you thinking when you fell?" "Wow!" he replies. Good answer.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Training For Long Climbs

If you want to get stronger/fitter for climbing alpine and/or long multi-pitch routes, you need to develop work capacity. Here are some ideas on that. 

 "Understandably, there are big questions when it comes to converting your single-pitch fitness into longer efforts such as big walls or alpine routes. When it comes to performing at a high level for a long day or days on end, a climber needs to develop work capacity."

Red Bull Rampage

Man, it's great what they can do with some desert, a few cliffs, a bike and gravity.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Try Not To Flip Upside Down In A Waterfall While Rappelling

A photo of the spot where a man rapped down a fairly benign-looking and short drop. And then he had a boatload of trouble: his prussik/autoboc knot caught in his belay tool, his heavy pack flipped him upside down, and when he cut his waist strap on his harness to escape, the leg loops caught on his boots so he couldn't get out of the harness. And he hung upside down and didn't make it.

When I look at that photo, it appears to be such an easy, short (15') drop to a sandy bottom. (Granted, the water would be cold.) Lots of discussion here.

The accident report from the ranger is below:


Zion National Park (UT)
Man Dies In Canyoneering Accident

On Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 park rangers determined that Yoshio Hosobuchi, age 74, had died while descending the Left Fork of the North Creek, a popular canyoneering route known as The Subway. Rangers began to look for Hosobuchi and his wife, based on a report from another hiker who was concerned the couple might be caught by darkness. Rangers made contact with Hosobuchi’s wife on the trail who reported Hosobuchi had flipped upside down while rappelling the previous evening and she had been unable to free him. The couple was at the last obstacle of the technical portion of the canyon, a 15-foot rappel, and chose to use an anchor different from the one listed in the route description. The anchor they chose increased the difficulty of the rappel as the location is overhung, free-hanging and in an active waterfall. Hosobuchi’s wife completed the rappel first. Hosobuchi was using a Blue Water VT below his rappel device and attached to his leg loop as a backup. Hosobuchi began his rappel when he flipped upside down, possibly due to the weight of his pack. It appears that when Hosobuchi inverted, the VT slid into the rappel device and jammed it. Due to the overhung and free-hanging nature of the location, Hosobuchi had no leverage to assist in righting himself even after he dropped his pack and his wife pulled on the rope to attempt to move him sideways, towards a wall. Hosobuchi then attempted to free himself by cutting the waist belt of his harness. When he cut through the waist belt, the leg loops of his harness slid down and caught around his ankles and canyoneering boots. Hosobuchi was now hanging upside down from his ankles in an active waterfall approximately 6 feet off the ground. Hosobuchi’s wife repeatedly attempted to pull him free from his harness by pulling on his hands, but was unable to free him from the harness before leaving him to seek help. Rangers reached Hosobuchi in the late afternoon of September 19 and confirmed that he had not survived. A helicopter from the Grand Canyon recovered his body the following morning. Rangers worked closely with Washington County Sheriff’s office and the local medical examiner on the investigation.
[Submitted by Therese Picard, Canyon District Ranger]"


A new extreme sport? Combining a jet ski with a jet pack.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Testing Via Ferrata Gear

Because a fall on a via ferrata can involve significant forces and the climber doesn't have the advantage of a dynamic rope to absorb the force, an energy-absorbing system is built into the lanyard. Lots of info here from Black Diamond on how their lanyard works.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"It Takes A Village" To Mountain Bike Kilimanjaro

One biker in this video says, "It takes a village" to mountain bike down Mt. Kilimanjaro. What he really means is, if you pay some poor native porter to carry your bike to the top, it's pretty fun riding down the mountain. How 'bout you carry your own bike?

KiliClimb Trek Bike Video from WorldServe International on Vimeo.

Mt. Asgard

Climbing under these conditions is quite an accomplishment:

"In bright sunshine, we climbed through the very rotten base toward the centre of the face. Because of heavy rockfall—triggered by the high temperatures on the face—and a lack of alternative routes, we had to bivouac, well protected under a roof. The next day, we reached the summit of Mount Asgard after 1000 metres of climbing alpine style. A sudden storm and high winds made the last two pitches hard and prevented us from seeing anything from the summit."

And it's not easy even getting to the base of the climb:
"After a three-day, 60-km hike—sometimes struggling through hip-deep water—the Mount Asgard basecamp could be pitched on the Turner Glacier."

Looks like she's comfortable, huh?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sport Climbing vs Bouldering

Sport lead climbing is being considered for the 2020 Olympics. Not bouldering.

"...the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) divulged that its bid for Olympic inclusion would only focus on lead climbing.

I was a little surprised at that since bouldering seems so much more TV friendly. But, lead climbing seems more risky because of the heights. Here's what a professional climber said about training for sport climbing vs bouldering:

     "He explained to me how much easier it is to train for bouldering comps because you only need to focus on increasing power—that’s all that really matters when you just have to jump around between slopers and pinches for 10 feet. Also, training power requires more rest, more down time, for muscular supercompensation.
Training for sport is more time consuming, because you need to train both power and power-endurance. The training schedule is more than twice as demanding, Brenna said."


The science of murmuration is described here. The beauty of it is seen below. (I am not sure why this is so hard for scientists to explain; I see this all the time whenever I go into a KMart during a blue light special.)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Modestly Tall Cliffs At Blue Mounds

Last weekend we climbed at Blue Mounds - Mounds O'Blue as the Irish call them. I was surprised at the difficulty of the rock and the number of overhanging routes there are. There were only a few climbers - but they came from 4 states: MN, SD, NE and IA. Climbers living in the prairies are desperate for modestly tall cliffs.

Blue Mounds Sept 2012 from rgsletten on Vimeo.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Politics Affect Climbers

Politics probably affect everything. In this case, politics in China pushed more climbers onto Manaslu and maybe onto the Nepalese side of Everest leading to more deaths on those mountains this year.

"The climbers killed in a weekend avalanche in the Himalayas were part of a crush of mountaineers who came to the slope because of heightened tensions between Chinese authorities and Tibetans."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Up On The Roof

Killer, Liz and Marianna climbing the ceiling. Let's watch.

On the Ceiling from rgsletten on Vimeo.

Aerial Views Of Climbing Trango Tower

A new inexpensive tool for aerial photography - radio controlled helicopters - is used here to film climbers on Trango Towers in Pakistan. More details here. I can easily imagine these drones being used to scout new routes, check on snow/ice conditions, etc. And I am sure they will be highly controversial because they are not traditional and natural like using binocs and maps. I can't tell which 'copter they used from the video, but you can get one with live camera feeds fairly inexpensively.

Mammut 150 Years Peak Project: Trango Tower, Pakistan (6286m / 20,623ft) - RC Helicopter Sample Footage from Corey Rich on Vimeo.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Isn't Nature Neat?

Not if you're caught in a ginormous avalanche. Like on Mansalu. 

"Gobbi and Mondinelli were sleeping in their tent when they heard a strange sound followed by strong gusts of wind. A few seconds later snow flooded their tent and sent it tumbling down a mountain slope. Emerging from their tent, all they could see were torn pieces of tents and stray boots after a crushing wall of snow destroyed their camp. Dozens of climbers had been sheltering just below the peak of the 8,163 metre (26,781 feet) Mount Manaslu."

"Usually You Gotta Have A House To Have A Shower"

Not if you live outside. Like Lenny Pepperbottom.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Geezers At The Geysers

Last week, Lisa, Carl, Barb & I visited Yellowstone to see Lisa's Emily who is working at Old Faithful Lodge this year. Here is a video of our trip.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Speed Soloing Mt Blanc

Will the new speed climbers come from ultra-runners? Probably so, according to this article and the results of this runner's latest achievement in running up Mt. Blanc.
"He covered over 24,000 vertical feet, climbing and running roughly 20 miles over glaciers, loose rock faces and miles of snow and ice slopes, all solo." 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

"Figure It Out As You Go"

He was concerned that if they did too much planning for their 4,000 mile canoe trip, it would've taken the adventure out of it.

"Altogether, Dan and Marc paddled (and walked and towed and portaged) for nearly seven months. They inadvertently notched the first ascent of a 100-mile-long canyon peppered with class IV and V rapids—at an achingly slow 1 mph (and that on a good day!). But humble Dan has no regrets about their level of planning. In fact, he encourages that kind of spontaneity from other would-be canoe explorers."

Friday, September 14, 2012

Why Didn't He Talk Her Out Of It?

OK, this is a sad story of a woman who died climbing on Mt. Everest. She reached the summit but ran out of oxygen and couldn't make it back down. Her husband blames the guides for letting her even climb. He "believes she was too inexperienced to tackle the highest peak in the world and her Nepalese outfitter should have turned her away after she seemingly struggled on her acclimatization hike."

 The guiding company says "... the Sherpas urged Ms. Shah-Klorfine to turn around and abandon her bid to reach the summit, but she refused to stop."

So whose fault is it? If the husband believed she was too inexperienced to climb Everest, as he states, and he couldn't talk her out of it, why does he think the guides should've been able to talk her out of it?

So is climbing Everest become more dangerous because of guided trips? No.

"In the end, 10 people perished this spring on Everest, making it one of the deadliest years on the mountain. But around 550 people made it to summit, among the most ever. Ultimately, guiding has reduced the chances of death, said American mountaineer Mark Jenkins, who reached the summit in May.
“The dangers of climbing Everest have significantly dropped,” Mr. Jenkins noted. “Every decade, climbing Everest becomes safer and safer.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reel Rock 2012

This Thursday and Friday, the Reel Rock Tour 7 will be in Mpls. The trailer for this tour is below. If watching Alex Honnold slip while trying to clip his daisy chain while he's soloing, doesn't make you a little queasy, nothing will.

Now There Is A Reason To Go Into The Wilderness

Up until now, if you traveled in the wilderness, you'd be punished with bugs, bad weather and lack of beer. But now, you can make your own beer in the wild using this slick system. This video shows how to carbonate your beverage - you can read about his beer concentrate here.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Nose In A Day In 3 Days & 2 Nghts

A woman writes about her speed climb of the Nose of El Cap. It took them slightly longer than one day. They started at night and her photo of the first four pitches is to the left.

She has a few regrets about not climbing slower.
I liked this quote:

"Wall style climbing is underrated. We were too busy getting away from each other speed climbing that we never really got to hang out and have the fun we really could have had. We regret not having a Jetboil, no music blazing dance parties. We regret hauling no beer. These are things you have to sacrifice if you want to go light and fast. Since we weren’t going fast, we should have gone heavier."

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Matterhorn Via Lion Ridge

A climb of a less well-known route up the Matterhorn with some great photos, like this of the patio on the Carrel hut.

Which is the tiny rectangle on the only flat spot on the ridgeline in this photo:

"On the patio, you will find the WC which houses the most fecally decorated hole in the ground you’ve ever appreciated. This technologically advanced ‘toilet’ is nothing more than a hole that enables you to privately relieve yourself of excrement along the side of a mountain without feeling like a complete degenerate – assuming smearing your crap alongside a mountain and leaving it there is only ok if no one sees you do it. "

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Elves, Sprites & Blue Jets

Transient luminous events (TLEs) are some of the odd-shaped clouds that can form above thunderstorms. 

'Sprites' are columns of red light that can stretch out over 30 miles and extend to altitudes of 50 miles; they always coincide with common cloud-to-ground lightning, though scientists do not understand the connection. 'Elves,' by far the most common TLE, are brief, fast-expanding 300-mile-wide doughnut-shaped glows that appear in the ionosphere, about 55 miles above Earth. 'Blue jets'move upward from the tops of thunderstorms in a narrow cone and fade away at an altitude of about 25 miles. Based on satellite observations, researchers estimate that thunderstorms around the world generate about 40 TLEs every minute."

Several more unusual cloud shapes in that article including this one: