Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Calf Jam Is The Crux

A video tutorial on climbing off-widths.

Leavittation: How To Climb Offwidth Cracks from Randy Leavitt on Vimeo.

It's Not What We Do But What We Eat

So sitting around watching TV is fine. Just stop eating those chips.

Despite having lower metabolisms, hunter-gatherers eat less, and more unprocessed, food.
"While we've always assumed that humans' ancient ancestors must have been more active than today's modern Westerners -- with our office jobs, our cars and our TV sets to keep us sedentary -- new measurements of actual energy expenditure are surprising. They show that people in traditional foraging societies do indeed participate in more physical activity, but that their total energy output is almost identical to that of today's pudgy Westerners."

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Besides the cool name the Revelation Mountains in Alaska has, it is mostly unclimbed. Climbers have discovered it now, as this trailer for a new movie shows.

A few years ago, there was a film about Richard Proenneke and how he built a wooden cabin and lived near these mountains for 30 years. Here’s a snippet of that film.

How Many Bears Does It Take To Fill A Dumpster?

In this case, it took 3 bears. That was quite bold of this woman to put a ladder in the dumpster while the mama bear is nearby.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Why Is “A Long Walk Up” Mt. Blanc So Deadly?

An attempt by an American to explain why so many climbers are hurt or killed on Mt. Blanc which is basically just a “long walk up.” I wonder how much of it is the easy accessibility of the mountain and this:

“Europe takes a really different approach to risk and death in the mountains than we do here. Europeans are far less risk-averse. Chamonix (the French town at the base of Mont Blanc) is where extreme skiing was born. The fatality rate there just wouldn't be tolerated by land managers here."

Barbara Mont Blanc 124_1.jpg

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Maybe You Need A Better Coach

If you had this kind of coach, you could accomplish anything.

“Pierre wants to know how to bodyboard, it's a sort of dream for him, make his self part of the nature and feel free in the ocean. Fortunately, he meet THE COACH ! thanks to his legendary learning method, Pierre discover all the secrets of bodyboarding champion, even how to seduce sexy models who walk on the beach!”

THE COACH from Ocean Roots on Vimeo.

Monday, July 23, 2012

How To Get Better Faster

Advice on how to find the magic bullet and be a better climber, faster. I like this quote:

“So how do you get better faster?  There's a simple answer.  You don't.  That is, not unless you make some drastic changes and stop doing what you're doing…

Just this week I was asked ‘How do I climb harder problems?’.  My answer (I'm not the most understanding to dumb questions when I'm training) was ‘Stop trying to climb hard problems.’ After the mix of embarrasment, hurt, and ‘wow, this guy is an ass’ faded from his face, I offered one more bit of advice.  ‘Spend your time in here learning HOW to climb.  Climb the easier problems perfectly.  All of them.  After that, the next level will come easy.’”

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Climbing The Matterhorn In Flip-flops

Are popular climbs in the Alps too crowded? This article discusses various ideas for limiting the number of people who climb in the Alps. But one thing they don’t want to do is charge climbers for permits. Even though there is a very casual attitude to the potential dangers:

“The alpine rescue services regularly complain bitterly that they have had to pluck people off the mountains who really had no business being up there.

Mont Maudit, near Chamonix, file pic

On Switzerland's Matterhorn, in recent years, tourists have been rescued whose footwear turned out to be only gym shoes or flip-flops.

‘There is a danger in what we call the herd mentality,’ said Mr Hasler. ‘One or two people alone might look around, and turn back, but when people see lots of other people up there, they think they are safe.’”

Monday, July 16, 2012

Everything You Wanted To Know About Pull-ups

Here is (almost) everything you need to know about the different kinds of pull-ups. I like this quote:

Pull ups are a great exercise, one of the best, combined with a push type exercise i.e. basic floor push up, and a bit of running, you can become very fit. That’s the end of the story”

Sunday, July 15, 2012

“Soul Destroying Wallowing”

The Smileys climb their 36th of 50 Classic Climbs – Mt. Huntington in Alaska. Tough travel through deep snow as well as hard technical climbing:

“The first anchor on the Spiral consisted of three old pitons at a hanging stance. More mixed climbing followed, which opened up into a 65-degree snow slope. The snow was fluffy,


so I had to dig a vertical trench to make upward progress. This was both time consuming and exhausting. The heavy snow year covered up most of the fixed belays, so I dug for 20 minutes to expose a crack for an anchor, 195 feet above the last.”

Huntington from Mark Smiley on Vimeo.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Do It With Enthusiasm

Sure, your friends told you it was a bad idea; that you couldn’t do it. But you believed in yourself and you did it with enthusiasm.

OK, it didn’t quite work out like you planned. (And, it turns out, your friends were right.) But still, why not do it with enthusiasm?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

5 Tallest Climbing Walls

2 of the top 5 tallest climbing walls are in the U.S. This is the tallest climbing “wall” a- a 540’ dam in Italy.

Last Pitch

This is the cutest one:

Klimwand 1

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Going Manless

An article about women climbing without men – the horror. I like this 1929 quote from a male alpinist:

“..Now that it has been done by two women alone, no self-respecting
man can undertake it. A pity, too, because it used to be a very good climb.”

She writes:

Even now, 75 years after Underhill’s ascent of the GrĂ©pon, when I’m with my girlfriends at a popular crag or high in the mountains, we still encounter comments ranging from complimentary and kind to condescending and rude, their message being that we are women and we are climbing, a combination unusual enough to warrant commentary.”

OK, here is what I always think when women say they get rude comments from men: Men get rude comments from other men. So what? Men can be rude. (BTW, women can be rude – say it ain’t so!)

Climbers can be rude. There’s nothing special about climbers that way; they are all-too human. And humans are goofy, mean, rude, etc.

And it is unusual to see women climbing alone. So why wouldn’t men comment on that?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

All The Best Climbers Are Training Like This

This is Core – Tastic..  Here’s Killer Hoopin’ the core.

You Can Always View Scenery–Going Fast Is More Fun

A mountain biker descending a mountain in New Zealand. I like how fast he goes so he doesn’t have to stop and look at the scenery. Scenery’s all around us - no big deal. Going fast, now that’s’ a big deal.

Nose Almost In A Day

An account of a recent NIAD attempt of El Cap. I liked this quote:

[nose]Originally, I had planned to try the biggest climb of my life with my trusted partner and good friend, Seth. But after a couple of training climbs, he changed his mind and pulled out of the project. So I went with the next best thing: a kid I met in the parking lot of Yosemite's Camp 4.”

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Nature Almost Looks Beautiful

In this photo, Nature almost looks beautiful. Although, I bet he got eaten alive by bugs when he took this photo.

“Grand Prize Winner of Outdoor Photographer Magazine’s 3rd Annual Great Outdoors Photography Contest and will be published in the July 2012 issue.”

Details of the photo here.

Worried About Sunburn?

Here’s a solution I think I will try. I think it also is good for robbing banks.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ten Sleep

A trip report of a few days spent in Ten Sleep by some Denver climbers. I like this description:

We climbed our first day at the ‘Home Alone’ crag which boasted a 1 minute approach.  They weren't kidding.  You literally walk from your car, right into this corridor.”

Peligrosidad–Climbing In Cuba

Climbing in Cuba is deemed “peligrosidad” or a danger to the state and it is banned. No one knows why. Climbers can be arrested and imprisoned. Yet the allure of the great climbing there brings tourists from all over who work together to figure out how to avoid the guards. Including this guard with a true Catch-22 approach:

“In March, one guard, a congenial man in a green button-down shirt, said: ‘We don’t like to say climbing is prohibited. Climbing isn’t prohibited, because prohibited is an ugly word.’

But may one climb?

‘No,’ he said.”

One of the locals hopes the tourists never stop coming.

It is a bit of reassurance for him that tourists continue to climb most days, too. They kill mornings waiting for the guards to quit, usually around 2 p.m. They get to the cliffs before the guards are on duty, around 9 a.m. They climb on cliffs the guards do not frequent and wear dull colors to blend in with the rock. On Sundays the guards don’t work at all.”

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Like A Hot Knife Through Butter

Finally a solution to the age-old problem of spreading butter on bread.

Eat More Fat To Stay Slim

Obese people who lost weight were put on 3 different diets: low fat , medium carbs and high fat and protein. The people on the higher fat and higher protein diet burned more calories doing the same amount of exercise.

On the very low-carbohydrate diet, Dr. Ludwig’s subjects expended 300 more calories a day than they did on the low-fat diet and 150 calories more than on the low-glycemic-index diet. As Dr. Ludwig explained, when the subjects were eating low-fat diets, they’d have to add an hour of moderate-intensity physical activity each day to expend as much energy as they would effortlessly on the very-low-carb diet. And this while consuming the same amount of calories.”

I like this part:

From this perspective, the trial suggests that among the bad decisions we can make to maintain our weight is exactly what the government and medical organizations like the American Heart Association have been telling us to do: eat low-fat, carbohydrate-rich diets, even if those diets include whole grains and fruits and vegetables.”