Monday, January 30, 2012

Can You Evade Capture For 48 Hours?

If you’re pretty good in the woods (Red Wing Ron, that’s you), you might want to apply to be a contestant for this new TV show.

It’s set in the wilds of Georgia and has a theme that’s part game show, part outdoor-adventure production. The premise: Participants must run, hide, swim, climb, bushwhack, and generally elude capture for 48 hours straight.”

hunted graphic.jpg

Poll On Fear

You have a chance of winning a helmet for skiing if you respond to this poll on what scares you the most. (Probably my biggest fear is entering an online poll; but you’re braver than I am.)

I like this quote from the polling guy:

“And because I love canyons so much, I find myself getting into them over and over again,

slots and slits and tight ones, dark ones, creepy-earth-caving-in ones, and though I’ve never had a full-on panic attack, I’ve had to muster every bit of calm and strength and willpower possible to get through certain situations. I once got myself into a one-way slot in the San Raphael Swell with a fairly big group of friends. The crux was about 200 yards of sideways shuffling in complete darkness between sandstone walls 12 inches apart, with someone ahead and someone behind. I pushed through because there was no other option.”

Scouting A Climbing Trip

This short video shows the scouting done for the Patagonia sponsored climbing trip to the Arrigetch Peaks above the Arctic Circle.


Team M & M

Team M & M are back together after a brief break. It was good to see Marianna again today at VEM.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Climbing Mt Kenya

Not as high as Mt Kilimanjaro - which is about 200 miles south – it’s still quite a mountain. It’s probably a little easier if you have porters carrying and fixing the food, like this climber did:

Our first camp deep in the bamboo was at 8,530ft (2,600m). Fires were lit, tents pitched and prepping began for the three-course evening meal. Huge vats of water were boiled…

Afterwards, we all sat around the fire. To welcome us the Kikuyu sang and danced to the ‘Jambo Bwana’ song (jambo meaning hello). A wave of horror spread among us as we realised we were supposed to reciprocate. My tentmate, Katie, took control, falling back on a song from her Girl Guide days: She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain.”.

Climbing Salathe On El Cap

She started three years ago with a goal of free climbing the Salathe on El Cap (35 pitches 5.13b). This video shows her climb of it. At the 6:00 minute mark, she has a no hands rest and leans backward, facing out and looking down the wall. Quite a scene.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Exum Ridge Of Grand Teton

Thirty second video of climbing Exum Ridge on the Grand Teton.

Despite Cute Kids Blocking The Trail

Despite the fact there’d probably be cute little kids (proto-humans) in front of me, blocking my quick hiking of the trail, I like this trail in Zion.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Riding The Edge

Nothing better than a steep, narrow, snow-covered mountain ridge and a motorized vehicle.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

“I Don’t Swing Well. I Swing Like A Sack Of Spuds”

So says Paul Pritchard as he starts his climb with one usable arm, with his friend Johnny Dawes. Pritchard was injured by a falling rock in 1998 while climbing in Tasmania. Dawes, according to his bio, invented the dyno.

At one point in the video, Dawes tells the climber, “Well, he’s got to use his ass to get up.”

I like this quote by Pritchard near the end of the video:

“If the holds are in the right configuration, I can climb some quite hard things. And if they’re not in the right configuration, it’s kind of, almost impossible. But I guess that’s the same for everyone.”


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Homer’s Ice

IMG_0089I stopped by today and there’s an icicle almost all the way to the top. The slab climb barely has a glaze on it.



How I Hurt My Dog

When there’s fresh snow, we put booties on Buddy so he doesn’t’ get frozen  snow in his paws. He really IMG_0096hates putting the booties on and you can see how he holds his paw up in apparent pain. Then he walks away as if he’s got stones in his shoes. Until he sees his first squirrel, then he’s fine.





Ouch, these booties hurt.

What The Sky Sounds Like

I watched a video of loud sky noises. The National Weather Service said the cause of this sound is:



Then I saw this video which is the sound Earth makes as heard from space, with this caveat:

“So what you are hearing is not what it would be like if you just stuck an ear out the window of a space ship. First of all you would probably either die or go deaf in that ear for the rest of your life because of the pressure of the vacuum. What the remote sensors on the satellite are doing is analyzing different radio frequencies coming off the surface of the earth and converting it into audible sound waves for you and I to hear. So you’re not hearing whales, you’re not hearing cars or even wind. You’re merely hearing the general frequencies of the Earth in an audible format.”

Lowering Off Chains

This is Mike Barter a Canadian Mountain Guide and his approach to lowering off chains. I like his acronym “H.A.D” for double-checking before lowering. (Harness, Anchor, Device.) BTW, it’s best if you don’t climb in a suit and tie; the tie might get stuck in the rope.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Something Else To Do In Vegas

This ride in Red Rock Canyon is called “Bone Shaker” (trail description here.) It appeals to me as an alternative to climbing. I wonder if I’ll ever have enough time to do all this stuff.  The video is way too long and his language is coarse, but listening to the sounds of his bike hitting the rocks, brings back fond memories to me.


After Climbing Everest 5 Times…

It’s easy to find work in a gas station in the U.S. A story about Jinpa Sherpa who works in New York City between climbing trips in the Himalaya.

When I’m climbing, my mind is very clear and happy — it’s like meditation,’ he said. ‘You have to be focused enough to grab a tiny crack in the rock and trust it with your life, or drive your ax into the hardest spot in the ice.’

Mr. Sherpa, who has a five-year work visa, says that when the mountain finally wears out his legs and back, he will hang up his crampons, put the yaks out to pasture and, he hopes, become a full-time New Yorker. Now, however, he has an expedition booked for March, and the Sherpa of Hunts Point will go back to the Himalayas.”

Indoor Ice Climbing Saas Fee

They recently completed the ice climbing competition at Sass-Fee Switzerland. More details here. I thought this video was an interesting angle showing the design of the indoor arena. (There are a lot of goofy things about modern climbing; climbing ice indoors might be the goofiest.)

Willpower And Fear

The “Warrior’s Way” website has an article about working on your fear of falling.

“Let’s say you’re afraid of falling. You desire to be free of this fear. So, you use your willpower to force yourself to commit to climbing and push the fear out.

This approach doesn’t improve awareness of the skills you lack; it covers up that deficit. You’re interested only in what you want the outcome to be, not what you need to learn. This isn’t aligned with the learning process or with developing awareness.
Being afraid of falling has merit. Don’t ignore it. That fear stops you from taking inappropriate risks. Rather, find ways to gain experience to improve your skills. Do this by practicing falling.”

I read that part and went “Huh?” So it’s bad to use willpower to force yourself to practice falling. But it’s good to practice falling because you’re aware of your fear of falling and part of that fear, is your lack of practice. (At least that’s my understanding of what he said.)

Bottom line, practice falling if you want to get better at being less afraid of it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

If A Tree Falls On A Record Player, Does It Make A Sound?

This is the music a slice of wood makes when it’s played on a record player.

As you’ll see in the video below, Years utilizes a wooden disk created out of a finely sliced tree trunk. It is similar in thickness and shape to a traditional record. And instead of the typical needle you’d find on most record players, it’s been replaced by a hacked PS Eye Camera.

The resulting music is eerie and a bit whimsical. There’s a definite pattern present, and cracks or knots in the wood yield a particularly disruptive response.”

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tower Jumping

Steph Davis’s latest project involves filming her climbing desert tower and then parachuting off the top. This is a photo of “Ancient Art” and she says about it:

“If you’ve ever climbed Ancient Art, you know that the thought of jumping off that tilted, unattached summit block is terrifying!! Mario suggested that we climb and jump Ancient Art: the climb itself is very easy, one I’ve done maybe fifty times. But to make the jump even more fantastic, we decided to jump simultaneously from that tiny tiptop. Doing that route together was just pure fun, and the two-way jump one of the most enjoyable things I can think of.”

Winter Ascent Of Nanga Parbat

Two climbers are attempting the first winter ascent of the Nanga Parbat which is the ninth highest mountain in the world. You can follow their expedition here. Below is their latest video update with probably the world’s best ventriloquist.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Nature’s So Neat

So you go to Hawaii on a vacation, start to feel ill, and end up with rat lungworm disease. It’s spread by a parasite in rats’ feces that gets on unwashed lettuce. Ain’t Nature neat? (I tell you, we’re a split second from disaster 24/7.)

Things got worse quickly when the pain spread, leaving him bedridden.

‘Just staying as still as I could on my back was the only way I could be at peace for a little bit,’ he said.

After a few days, he was unable to cope with the agony and went to the hospital.

Luckily, a doctor figured out that Reinert had rat lungworm, most likely from eating fruits and vegetables that weren’t properly washed.”

<br />	Rat Lungworm<br />

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thursday At VEM

Besides Killer and Logan ripping up the leads, Jen showed up with her friend from Alaska. Who works File:I samma ögonblick var hon förvandlad till en underskön liten älva.jpgwith Alaskan fairies. Which is cool.


Got a snap of her climbing on one of her favorite routes. 

2012-01-19 11.24.44

And here’re shots of Kyle leading up the Canyon wall.

2012-01-19 13.29.372012-01-19 13.29.552012-01-19 13.29.48

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rock Stars–TV Show

Genevieve told me about this show about clearing potential rock fall from highways. What would be more fun than dropping big rocks from cliffs? Info about the show here. A recent episode below.

Red Pants Party At VEM

IMG_0076Today was “Wear Your Red Pants Day” at VEM. So I climbed in my new red pants as did……let’s see now, who else was wearing them? NO ONE!. You cannot have a successful red pants day if only one person wears them. Luckily, Jen photographed me in my new red pants. (Which are so au courant, that this British website can’t even keep them in stock.)

Next year, I am getting this outfit for après-climb wear.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kayaking Around Ellesmere Island

They hauled and paddled their kayaks about 1,500 miles around the perimeter of Ellesmere Island last summer. It had never been done before. I liked this quote because I think we’re always only a split second from disaster:

Kind of a goofy sea kayak trip because we haven’t been sea kayaking yet,’ Jon Turk said via satellite phone 38 days into the journey. He added, ‘At every moment we expect the possibility that we’re going to run into big trouble’.”

34 Pads To Cushion His Fall

A shot of Alex Honnold highballing a new route near Bishop, CA. They used 34 crash pads to cushion his potential fall. Story here.

It’s Hug Greg Day At VE

Today was hug Greg Day at VEM. The Killer was the only one who took advantage of the fact that he was carrying a ladder and couldn’t run away. He’s pointing out to her, that the climbs are over thataway.


Coyotes In Our Yard

2012-01-17 08.37.09Luckily, Buddy was out on a walk this morning when two of our coyote neighbors walked across our pond. Then they walked across our neighbor’s driveway.

2012-01-17 08.40.05

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ouray Ice Festival

Some great photos here of th3e 2012 climbing festival in Ouray, CO. I read somewhere that this horizontal wooded beam was pre-drilled for ice tool placements.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Calm Yourself Before A Jump

Steph Davis makes some recommendations on how to calm yourself before a jump. Seems like good advice for climbing.