Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Best Place To Climb In Minnesota...

Is the Black Hills of South Dakota. And a few of us want to go there around the end of May. Like May 29th to June 2nd. Dates are somewhat flexible. Let me know if you're interested.

And we can do my current most-favorite climb, shown here.

There's A Lot That's Artificial About Climbing, But...

This might be the most artificial event. I am sure it is fun to watch and exciting to participate in. And requires skill and strength. But, using crampons and ice tools to climb a rock cliff with pre-painted holds is pretty silly.

I notice though that people get to drink beer - which is never artificial - and climbers get to take their shirts off, even in winter. Taking your shirt off while climbing is super important. Otherwise, you might overheat and your radiator will boil over. Plus, if you don't take your shirt off, others can't see the golden glow of effort that shines off your back.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Toughest Race

In 1989, the first "Tough Guy" race was held in January in England. Full story here.

I love this quote, because there's always someone better than you:

"At the end of it, you think you're tough, because you finished it and survived. And then you look around and you see that there's a guy who finished ahead of you in his underwear."

Friday, January 25, 2013

Stick Clipping

The other night I heard some climbers talk about doing their first leads outdoors. And the importance of bringing a crash pad if the first bolts are high. If you're concerned about your safety, a better thing to do is to get a stick clip. This video shows how to use two high tech stick clips. And here's a low tech homemade one.

(There's a lot of discussion here and here about the ethics of stick clipping. I know some areas recommend you stick clip to do some routes simply because of the danger the leader falling on top of the belayer before the first bolt is clipped. If you're really concerned about getting an onsight and think clipping the first bolt isn't pure, then use a crash pad. If you're more concerned about breaking  an ankle, use a stick clip.)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Boulders Are Dangerous

Apparently boulders can be dangerous even when you're sleeping in your house. This boulder crashed into a woman's bedroom while she was sleeping and nearly crushed her. Too bad she didn't have crash pads around her walls.

"The boulder pushed the bed and other furniture more than 4 feet, he said, and his wife managed to get up and call 911 after being struck. She was taken to a St. George hospital, where she underwent four hours of surgery for non-life-threatening injuries. She also suffered a large leg gash."

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hunting For The Minnesota Iceman In Willow River

The hunt for the elusive "Minnesota Iceman" takes this Outside reporter to Willow River Park. (Not to ruin the story, but... she doesn't find it there.)

"The first-most disappointing thing about the Minnesota Iceman is that he probably wasn’t even a native Minnesotan. He simply stayed here, in the southeastern town of Rollingstone, between trips around the Midwest, encased in a block of ice and wedged into the trailer of a retired Air Force pilot named Frank D. Hansen."

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Curiosity Killed The Cat

The recently ice-trapped killer whales in Hudson Bay got a lot of attention from the press. It even attracted a curious polar bear. "One woman who made the journey to the gap in the ice said even a curious polar bear approached the hole amid the commotion. Siasie Kasudluak said it was shot by a local hunter for its meat."

That is one way to handle those dangerous bears. Eat 'em.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Big Whipper

I posted this video the other day of a big whipper - on purpose - at VE. I measured it today and believe the fall was close to 45 feet. Wow!

Big Wall Climbing

Super Topo is out with a new book and a series of videos on big wall climbing and techniques. Everything from how to aid climb to how to build a poop tube. And who hasn't wanted to build their own poop tube? I know it is on my bucket list.

Cross-Cultural, Classic Gaiters

Those of you interested in winter activities and also cross-cultural exchanges, should take a look at these classic gaiters. They are from the Chinese military and "sherpa lined." I think it would be tough to hold down a bunch of Sherpas while you stitched them into these gaiters, but if anyone could do it, I am sure it would be the Chinese military.

Trango Tower In Pakistan

Some great footage of climbers on Trango Towers in Pakistan. A lot of this was filmed using a helicopter drone. Details of that here.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Party Night At VE

Last night the gym was rented for a private party after closing. A few of us went climbing on the wave wall. A short video below; including a planned fall from the top of the wall to the bottom.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Climbing In The Amazon

Stunning photos of Leo Houlding's first ascent of Cerro Autana in Venezuela. Including camping midway up the rock in the largest description of the highest elevated cave system in the world.

Exploring Ice Caves

These caves are in Switzerland. Lots of photos here.