Sunday, March 31, 2013

Backpacking In The 21st Century

Why wreck your back when you can have your own ATV robot? It can carry more than 1000 pounds and move faster than you can.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Taking Out The Trash In Antarctica

There's currently a group attempting to ski across Antarctica in winter using two tractors, a caboose and a supply trailer. Here's what it's like for them to take out the trash in 50 knot winds. Here's their blog. 

"Climbing Is No Big Deal"

Ueli Steck says the future of mountaineering is climbing with minimal gear and a paraglider. This video shows him learning to fly and then climbing and flying from a summit, where he says, "Climbing is no big deal; it's daily business. But then, lunging off.."It appears as though he's about to be blown off the summit with his 'chute.

He obviously got good enough with his flying to climb three classic Alp peaks in one day. Story here.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Greg Drives Me Up A Wall

At VE the other day, I was working on the ceiling so Greg offered to drive me up the wall in his boom lift. Here's the result:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dangerous - Or Fun - Houses For Kids?

That’s going to require at least ten stitches.
A collection of mid-20th century homes filled with exciting play areas for kids. "Exciting" in this case meaning lots of opportunities for getting hurt.

We never lived in a house with these design features but we still found plenty of ways to get hurt: sidewalks, skates, bikes, playing tag, knives, stairs, roofs, ladders, bees, etc.

It seems to me, we try so hard to make modern life safe, that we are surprised when we're reminded that the world itself is dangerous.

Red arrows show the direction of travel of children’s bodies

Saturday, March 23, 2013

"Fear Counted For Nothing"

Bolting routes for safer climbing was quite controversial at the Red Rocks. Here John Long describes how his initial dislike of bolting turned into an enjoyment of it as he and Lynn Hill do the first ascent of a classic Red Rocks climb Levitation 29. I liked his quote about how climbing a bolted route compared to climbing a trad route:

"The experience immediately cast me onto the indefinite ground between two worlds: one known and established, the other a strange but alluring universe where fun meant everything and fear counted for nothing."

Friday, March 22, 2013

Ceilings At VE

I've spent about 7 hours putting holds back up on the ceilings at both VE St Paul and VE Mpls. I am very inefficient at it - hence the large amount of time - but it is good practice on hanging from a belay and learning rope management. It is a little freaky to belay myself and climb across the ceiling. But, it's easy to get used to.

Both ceilings should be ready now for you ceiling animals; like Liz, Marianna, Killer.

North Pole On A Budget

Each April, a temporary North Pole city is set up on a chunk of floating ice. Tourists fly into the camp, from far northern Norway. One option is to helicopter to the true North Pole from the camp. That will only cost about $21,000 and take about 5 days. Much cheaper - in time - than trying to ski there on your own

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cave Climbing In Norway

Now the hardest route in the world, this 8 minute video shows how Adam Ondra bolted and climbed this cave in Norway.

VIDEO: BD athlete Adam Ondra making the first ascent of Change, the world's first 9b+ from Black Diamond Equipment on Vimeo.

The History Of "Spuds"

Royal Robbins learned about the use of nuts for protecting climbs in 1965. Worried about the damage pitons were doing to some of the popular crack climbs in California, he promoted the use of nuts in this article from a 1967 magazine.

In England, where this idea originated, they were also called "Spuds" after their inventor Spud Murphy.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Around Annapurna In Under 5 Minutes

Hiking the Annapurna Circuit consistently ranks as one of the best long hikes.  This video shortens the 100+ mile hike into about 5 minutes.

Trekking the Annapurna Circuit from Gerardo Segovia on Vimeo.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Owning Your Own Climbing Area

An article about the owners of Muir Valley in the Red River Gorge of KY. This tells the story of how they bought the land and the time and money they spent developing it for climbers. What a generous couple.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Icicle Capital Of The World

Saskatoon has so many big icicles, they have their own Twitter account. Most of these look climbable. Here's the story.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Biking A Bobsled Run

The first 1 1/2 minutes of this video are OK, but the last half - with them biking down a bobsled run - looks fun.

Sounds Of The Iditarod

Nighttime at a campsite on the Iditarod Race. The dogs sound hungry.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Save The Planet - Eat More Meat

Quite an eye-opening lecture by a researcher who believed, at one time, the way to prevent deserts from forming was to eliminate animals from the land. He even had 40,000 elephants killed to save parts of Africa's grasslands. And the grasslands got worse. As does land all over the world that has eliminated livestock.
Watch near the end of this video the improvement in the landscapes when animals are added back to the barren land.

When Will This Be Outlawed?

It looks like too much fun to be allowed for much longer. It certainly won't be allowed in any park.

The View From The Ceiling At VES

Last night at VES, I helped with route setting. My job was to put a route across the ceiling. It took me about 3 1/2 hours. I had to belay myself on lead while moving across the ceiling by adjusting various slings. (When I got up on the ceiling and said "Off Belay," I wasn't sure how I could move across the ceiling since there weren't any holds for me to use. No wonder nobody likes to do this.)

Here are some views from the ceiling.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Hiking Can Pay For Itself

You can find a buried treasure worth about $2M if you can solve the clues of where it's hidden in a national monument in New Mexico. Here's a story of a recent treasure hunter who got lost and had to be "rescued." (I put rescued in quotes because she actually rescued herself and really didn't need any help.)

I like this quote from an official:

"Monument officials used the hiker's experience to remind visitors to stay on marked trails and be prepared for changes in the weather. They also noted that it's illegal to dig, bury an item or use a metal detector on federal lands."
I am sure that someone who's looking for a buried treasure is going to ignore the monument's rules. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Talk About A Pushy Boyfriend

She is - rightfully - nervous about jumping off a cliff, dropping down a long way and then swinging on a rope. After numerous "3,2,1" countdowns, he pushes her off - at about the 2:00 minute mark. After promising her he won't.

Bouldering National Finals

These are the highlights of the Women's Finals at the A.B.S. Nationals in Colorado. As always, I am amazed at their footwork. Men's Finals here.

2013 ABS 14 National Championships - Women's Highlights from USA Climbing on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Home Climbing

This house apartment has indoor climbing and rappelling. Of course, I think it would be more fun to use the slide to get downstairs than to rappel.
"...Ladders lead to hidden lofts, a swing dangles in front of a fireplace and a steel column rising 40 feet (12 meters) from the living room to the rafters is equipped with rubber handholds and a harness, so you can get in a quick climb before breakfast and rappel down before your cappuccino’s finished frothing." 

In this video tour below, you can see some of the climbing holds on a column. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tiny Ski Chalet

This looks like a perfect trailer for climbers. skiers or winter camping. Of course, there's a website devoted to tiny trailers here. And, if you are concerned about towing a trailer because it will slow you down on the highway, below is a video of a trailer setting the speed record of 141mph. (Forward to the 5:00 minute mark to see this baby flying.)


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Chasing Cheese Is Inherently Dangerous!

An annual cheese-chasing race in England leads to lots of hilarity and injuries Look for the guy in the green slingshot swimsuit about 2/3rd of the way through the event. You'll know him when you see him.
More info on this exciting event here.