Saturday, March 31, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Half Dome

A story of two climbers doing the Regular Northwest Face route on Half Dome. Quite a story of how they imagewere slowed up by other groups, passed by Alex Honnold and then met Royal Robbins (the first ascensionist) eating lunch in a hotel at Yosemite.

I liked this quote:

“After getting settled in it only took a few minutes to string some glow stick party lights through the anchor system for ambiance. A couple of stogies were fired up and we reflected on how great this spot was compared to one of the pay campsites far below in the valley. Soon the cigar smoke began to mask the dried urine stank that had accumulated here during the climbing season.”



Half Dome Northwest Face Climb Part 1 - Intro from Blair K on Vimeo.

Chimney Climbing In Yosemite

imageThe Iota Chimney in Yosemite is 2 pitches rated 5.4. An unusual entrance to it is shown in the video below.




Climbing Gear On Planes

When we flew to Vegas, I checked all of my gear because I didn’t want to hassle with security. Pete brought a few pieces of hardware on his carryon and the TSA agent at the X ray machine asked “Were yimageou climbing?” Of course that was in Vegas on the flight home.

This couple took all of their climbing gear on the plane from MSP (I think) to Vegas and had no problem.

I think I would still hesitate to carry on all my gear. I just think it’s less of a worry. (But then, I get one checked bag for free.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

“Not A Lot Of Metal In Soft Rock”

A recently completed 5.14 in Indian Creek is climbed by the route’s pioneer. I like this quote “Not a lot of metal in soft rock.” Watch as he falls on a 000 Cam near the top.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Looking For Ice In The Alps

Will Gadd and his climbing partner look for ice to climb in the Alps. They find a few locations of bolted mixed climbing. I like the logs hanging down so you can practice tooling on them.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Men Didn’t Let Women Mountaineer Because Of The Freedom

Some old footage of women climbers with a great quote at the 53 second mark:

Because mountaineering meant an excess of freedom that men were not willing to give away.”

Yep, get back into the kitchen and off those mountains. They are way too crowded.

Travelling With Women

Apparently women can do adventurous travel all on their own. (I thought without men along, they’d need one of those aqua bikes that the fish use.)

I suppose the next fad will be women climbing with other women. Nah, that’ll never happen.


Hey, girlfriends, there's a place for us. On second thought, make that thousands of places. Thousands of experiences too. From gap-year gals to empty-nesters, women are setting off on travel adventures in greater numbers just with the girls.”

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Potrero Chico

An informative article here about climbing in Mexico’s El Potrero Chico. I talked to Levi last night about his experience down there this last winter. He had a great time, did not feel unsafe at all. Inexpensive lodging and great climbing. (He did the 23 pitch climb and simul-climbed several pitches to get up and down quickly.)

I recently talked to a climber in the gym who spent a month there this winter. He and his buddy drove down to Monterrey from MN, stayed there and climbed for a month, and spent about $440 each for all expenses. (Including the gas!)

The same woman who wrote the article linked above, has a series of 4 reports on her climbs at EPC. The first report is here.

El Potrero Chico Park Entrance

Dyno To A Sloper With A BD 000

Who hasn’t done a dyno to a sloper protected by a Black Diamond 000 cam? Here’s a report from a recent first ascent of a 5.14 at Indian Creek with just that type of movement. A description of this route:

The feature you are climbing runs out, and you have to do an all-points-off sideways jump to a sloper on an arête.’ He said on numerous attempts, he would overshoot the sloper and whip around the corner, getting flipped upside down. ‘When you are pumped and looking out left at that sloper, you are definitely thinking about that BD 000 in sandstone, and about not wanting to flip,’ he said.”

New Guidebook To MN & WI

You can buy a discounted book to the soaring, towering cliffs of MN and WI from the author right here.

guidebook cover.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Multi-Pitch At VEM

Here are Kyle and Derrick at VEM on Wednesday practicing their multi-pitch skills.


Here are some awed customers who wanted to be with them up high on the wall.


1st Tape Your Hands, Then Your Ankles, Then Put On Elbow Pads

Then start up on this climb:

Online Movie Series

Sender films has an online movies series:

“Our online movie series continues here on March 22 between 6 and 9 P.M. MST with three of Sender Films’s hit climbing flicks: watch Ueli Steck race up the 13,000-foot Eiger in the Swiss Machine, Alex Honnold free-solo Yosemite’s Half Dome in Alone on the Wall, and Dean Potter freeBASE from cliffs high in the Swiss Alps in Fly or Die.”

Suck It Up Buttercup

Hey, there’s scientific evidence that stress is a good thing.

We’ve become addicted to enhanced recovery, obsessed with erasing as quickly as possible the pain, fatigue, and inflammation that come from a hard workout…stress is a

Stress is Good

good thing, because it forces the body to adapt, repair itself, and come back stronger.

…. For example, trainers have long viewed exercise-induced inflammation as an enemy that should be eliminated. But it’s actually a crucial part of the recovery process. Exercise stresses and sometimes damages tissue, and the inflammation afterwards is caused, in part, by white blood cells rushing to the area to help begin healing. So while ibuprofen or ice baths might reduce swelling in the short term, they could also inhibit your long-term adaptation, says Jonathan Leeder, a physiologist at the English Institute of Sport. ‘You need that damage and inflammation for the body to repair itself.’”

So maybe the old way is the best way. Got sore muscles? “Suck it up buttercup” and keep on working out.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Living In A Cave

Here’s one way to get close to your roots (or at least close to tree roots) - live in a cave. If 30 million people do it, it can’t be all bad. It is energy efficient, I guess, especially since the only heat source is a fire. I liked this quote about their sewage “treatment” system:

cave it was hooked up to the national grid some time ago, but there’s still no running water or sewage system, meaning locals are as reliant as ever on the raging muddy waters of the nearby Yellow River.”

I wonder what the color of the Yellow River was before they used it for sewage.

And I liked this quote. Who doesn’t want to be told they’re burning hot in bed?

Inside, their owners sleep on large stone beds, known as kang; cool in the summer, but with cavities underneath so that fires can be lit inside them during the winter months.”

<br />	Teacher Luo Huazhi prepares his evening meal in a thatched bamboo shack in a cave called Zhongdong, or ‘Middle Cave,’ near Ziyun in China’s southern Guizhou province. People of the Miao ethnic minority have lived in the 230-meter-long cave for more than 150 years. (AP Photo/Greg Baker)<br />

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What A Mistake Going To Red Rocks!

I didn't realize what a mistake I made going to Red Rocks until I got back. I had so much fun there, that I now have no interest in climbing back here. I am trying to work up some enthusiasm for climbing the "vertical kitty litter" that is Red Wing. Or the soaring towering low cliffs of Taylors Falls. But I am struggling to do it. I keep checking the weather in the Black Hills (the weather there last week was perfect for climbing, BTW.) But I am not going to the Black Hills until mid-June. I keep thinking of the climb I did in Yosemite last year but I am not there now and currently have no plans to go back there.
So help me get motivated. Tell me what you do. (I think I know all the recommended ways of motivating myself. Such as, "bloom where you're planted." And, have a goal and make a plan to achieve it. And - maybe this is the best one for me now - commit to scheduling climbing with others. )
What else do you recommend? (I know one thing you'll tell me: stop using terms like "vertical kitty litter." OK,and then what?)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Earthquakes Around The World

Mother Earth has a lot of intestinal rumblings; there were more than 9,000 earthquakes in 2011 alone. This video shows:

“. 9323 earthquakes equal to or greater than 4.5 magnitude that occurred during 2011 on a global map in sequence from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, with magnitude indicated by circle size and louder volume for higher magnitude quakes.”

What A Booster Sees

Footage taken from two booster rockets as they climb and accelerate to over 2,800 mph and then fall into the ocean. Cool sound effects.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Expand Your Attention

Warrior's Way author talks about keeping your attention on processes not fears. Focus on your movement, your breathing, not the fact you’re hanging upside down just about to fall. Sounds like a good idea, only problem is you need to practice hanging upside down in order to get good at it. I liked this quote:

“Finally, having a coach that isn’t stressed, such as my belayer, can help. She can remind me to stay open to possibilities, to breathe, relax, and “make the next move.” Her coaching can help me notice when my attention contracts my thinking and actions. I notice my doubts more easily and redirect my attention to possibilities. I notice my body tense and redirect my attention to relaxing, breathing, and making the next move.”

Exploring In Patagonia

The first part of a solo adventure that is way off the beaten trail in Patagonia. Soon after he started, he realized he was in trouble.
 "I should have recognized the first sign of a longer-than-expected trip when, ten minutes after leaving camp, what looked like an easy thirty minutes on the map turned into a two hour slugfest ending on a precarious perch three hundred feet above the glacier. This was the first of several encounters with heinous bushwacking (HB) en route to the southwestern arm of the Exploradores Glacier. The climbing beta for such routes will surely be enhanced by inclusion of this new classification: HB."

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Harness Alternatives

If you ever need an emergency harness, here are two ways to “make” a harness. The bowline on a coil was how I started climbing and then I used the diaper sling, shown below, because it is a lot more comfortable.


How to Tie a Climbing Harness With Webbing

I Wish Nature Looked This Good In Person

What a great idea – watch people hiking national parks on your computer and skip the arduous walking with the bugs and bad weather. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at a new project to film the national parks from a hiker’s perspective. The first three park tours are here.

Everest, Then & Now

A comparison of gear used on Everest in 1953 and today. I know today’s mountaineering suit is better than these from ‘53, but I love the look from back then.


Photo: Members of the 1953 Everest expedition return to Camp IV after a successful ascent of Mount Everest.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Yell With Effort”

Ali Rainey writes about her new-found love of climbing steep and overhanging routes on her trip to Spain.

“I want to be screaming with effort and flinging my hands at holds more often than not…For the first time since arriving in Spain a month and a half ago, I actually tried hard enough on a climb to yell with effort – for three moves in a row, before I whipped off, laughing as I fell with utter joy and delight. At last! I finally felt okay enough to push it hard enough to try – and it was so much fun! Explosive climbing, powerful climbing, steep climbing – yes!”

Cycling And Astronomy

What does bicycling and planetary knowledge have in common? A lot if you’re wearing a Pearl Izumi biking short.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Improving Your Climbing

Lots of great tips here from a trainer. I liked these:

Justen is a big proponent of breathing audibly on the route to hear yourself. Getting me to

breathe more audibly while climbing—not in a weird, forced way … but rather naturally—was really helpful.

Warming up: Two routes, each climbed back to back. If you can’t climb a route twice in a row, it’s not a warm up. On the first time up, notice things that you do wrong and on the second time up, eliminate them. Take care of whatever it is that’s going badly on that day, right away on the warm up.

Warm up the eyes, too. Look around and try to get your focus going. Focus on particular things and notice them. Get your focus working so it’s very precise.

Single Line Rappel

Instructions on single line rappelling with a Cinch or a GriGri.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Fitz Roy Panorama

From Rope and Summit website is a link to a great panorama.

“Here’s a link to an amazing 360 panorama that was shot by our Brazilian friend Irivan after his successful climb of the route ‘Mate, Porro, y todo lo demas’ on Fitz Roy”

When Is A Boulder, Art?

When you move a 21 foot high boulder 106 miles, it becomes art. I wonder if we moved it all the way to Minnesota. And put 15 different boulder problems on it. That would really be artistic. This same guy dug a trench in the Nevada desert a few years ago as another art project.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Red Rock Sisters–Natalie & Killer

Last Thursday in Red Rocks, Natalie and the Killer climbed on their own. This video is in honor of the sisters doing it for themselves.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Get Up Offa That Thing- A Video Review Of Red Rocks

If you don’t get up offa that thing, how are you ever going to get to the top?

Red Rocks, Grocery Carts & Our Hot Tub

The house we rented was called “The Oasis.” The name didn’t make any sense to us until we saw the neighbors’ yards.

Here’s the back yard of our rental house:


Here are what the neighbors’ back yards looked like:


One nice touch, which I haven’t seen elsewhere, was the ready availability of shopping carts. Many of the front yards in our neighborhood had grocery shopping carts parked right on their front gravel pads. That’s a nice feature when you want to spend the night under a bridge.

The biggest attraction of our house was the hot tub. Here we are celebrating its use with our good friend Jimmy.

The Boyz Primping For Climbing; What Happens In Vegas…

What happens in Vegas, doesn’t always stay in Vegas. This video demonstrates why women are always waiting for the men to get ready. It’s tough to be a girl!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Cat In The Hat With Rings

Pete, Eric and I climbed "Cat in the Hat" at Red Rocks on Thursday. And there was a cat in the rocks that ate all our food while we climbed. It was a ring-tailed cat and it took my entire bag of trail mix.

Here’s Eric high on the “Cat”
Here’s Pete placing gear on the first pitch:
Pete coming around the long traverse on the 4th pitch:
Eric, finishing off his lead of the 4th pitch:
I only led one pitch on this route and I had a nasty leader fall. It was kind of a wedgie.

Miriam “Killin’” It On Trad Lead

IMG_1499Miriam, Pete and I went to the Calico Basin today and Miriam did her first trad lead. She killed it.

Here she is belaying Pete up the route she just led. Look at that rope management!

Here are shots of her gear placements.

IMG_1437 IMG_1430

IMG_1511 Way to go Killer!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Red Rocks Day Quatro

40-45 mph gusts all day. Warm temps – 76 – but windy enough to make it hard to climb. Here’s Killer leading a pitch on “Man’s Best Friend.” You can hear the wind and see her clothes flapping.

And here’s a shot of Pete, at the summit of that route, with his hair blown straight up.


To escape the wind, some of us went to the California Crag. And found a rock that looks exactly like a silhouette of the state of Minnesota. Here’s Dawson climbing it and holding onto the MN/Canadian border.


Black Corridor – Red Rocks Part Tres

We climbed in the Black Corridor for most of Monday. Overhanging, big heuco climbs and delicate, balancy face climbs. Dawson and Eric


were on fire. The Killer onsighted several routes as well as Natalie and Anika. While Pete and I wandered around looking at different walls, the others met Wolfgang, a local 72-year-old climber, who showed them some smooth moves racing up several 5.11s at “Sweet Pain Wall.”



Monday, March 5, 2012

Red Rocks Day Deux


P1080929Here is our group hiking to the first day of climbing at Red Rocks. It was horrible weather: 70 degrees, no wind and sunny.

Here are Killer,Pete, Eric and Natalie finishing off a short, fun trad lead near the “Panty Wall.”




IMG_0553 This is “Chris Sharma” Eric leading a very hard 11.D near the “Panty Wall” called “Viagra Falls.” (I call him “Chris” because he flashed this climb so easily. And because he’s wearing Chris Sharma’s shirt. Of IMG_0570course, Eric has not been climbing in three weeks because of his shoulder. So he is “weak.”) Dawson led this climb first, which is hard, not only because of the moves, but because of the fall potential. Dawson, Eric and Pete got to the top.

Here are Anika and Siu-on leading on “Panty Wall.”


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Red Rocks

We managed to get seats IMG_0433together on the plane – in the very last row, without a window. So we went a little crazy.

 IMG_0429 IMG_0428

Then we went climbing.




And we found a perfect gnome home for Killer.