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.