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: