Thursday, May 30, 2013

Route Setting In The Black Hills

Greg is on a woking vacation here in the Black Hills. Here he is setting a route on Moonlight Ridge.

Here is Marianna climbing his route. (She is off-route as she is using nats.)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Solitude of Outdoor Climbing

Ahh, the solitude of outdoor climbing. Unlike the gym, you have the rock to yourself. Not so fast, Hondo. Here we are today in the Black Hills.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hello From The Black Hills

Here's a wave from Ron & Peter when they climbed "Waves."

Here're Marianna and Paul on top of a climb near us.

Here's Ron cutting Pete's rope while he rappels.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Getting In Shape By Climbing "A Half Dome Day"

A story by John Long about climbing at Joshua Tree in the 70s. They wanted to climb "a Half Dome day;" which is 2,000 feet of climbing in one day. Without ropes. Here's an excerpt:

"Yosemite’s Half Dome is two thousand feet high, call it twenty rope lengths. So we’ll have to climb twenty pitches, or twenty climbs, to put in our Half Dome day.

Bachar laces up his boots and cinches the sling on his chalk bag. 'Ready?' Only then do I realize he means to climb all two thousand feet solo, without a rope."

Monday, May 20, 2013

Living Under A Rock

A town in Spain built houses under the overhanging cliffs in a gorge. More details and photos here.

Think of the climbing potential from your 2nd floor patio.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Running Is Inherently Dangerous

A jogger recently fell to his death on Barn Bluff in Red Wing. Details here. (Aaron pointed this story out to me.) So, folks, don't go running near the edge of a cliff.

On the other hand, Henry David Thoreau found Red Wing and Barn Bluff to be a healthy place to go. Here's a photo of where he stayed in Red Wing in 1861. 

“I had an incessant cough,” Thoreau wrote, “and the doctors told me I had to ‘clear out’ to the West Indies or elsewhere. So, I selected Minnesota.” Accompanied by amateur botanist Horace Mann, he arrived in Red Wing on June 23, 1861, to explore Barn Bluff and the bottomlands of the Mississippi River.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

What The Crocodile Had For Dinner

Why would a husband and wife spend 6 months to cross India in a 1936 Rolls Royce? For the same reason you'd cross Africa to find out what the crocodile had for dinner -  to have an excellent adventure. As he says in the video below: "You just need an excuse for an expedition...when you have an excuse, the expedition will take on a life of its own." (He has the best outfit for an expedition I've ever seen. )

Is There A Better Way To Spend Your Anniversary Than 2,500 Off The Ground?

2,500 above the ground on El Cap is where the Smileys spent their anniversary. There are lots of places with better food but not better views.

Salathe - El Capitan, Yosemite from Mark Smiley on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"There's Only A Start, A Finish And A Struggle In Between"

A woman sets a new speed record for mountain biking the Kokopelli Trail near Moab, UT - 142 miles in 13.5 hours. "Two hours into her ride, Rebecca crashed hard and dislocated the index finger on her left hand. She continued riding for another 11 hours with that pain. And to make matters worse, as she rode through the night, her headlamp died, leaving her to ride in darkness from 4:00 AM to about 6:00 AM. Despite these difficulties she still managed to set the new record anyway."

Her video below is full of wonderful quotes such as "There's only a start, a finish and a struggle in between." And, "It's too easy to slack and get lazy when the pain comes." 

Because it's a Red Bull video, it is great to watch.

Climbing The Tallest Free-Standing Pile Of Mud

This is the Fisher Towers outside of Moab, UT. It is just dried mud.  In this video, they go from backing off a "5.2 mantle" pitch to finishing a "5.11 sketch" pitch.

Climbing Everest In 3D

This video is the best representation of the normal route up Everest I've ever seen.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

7 Minutes To Fitness

I think if more people followed these scientifically-based exercises, there'd be no need for classes, gyms, coaches, etc. Article here. 
"The exercises should be performed in rapid succession, allowing 30 seconds for each, while, throughout, the intensity hovers at about an 8 on a discomfort scale of 1 to 10, Mr. Jordan says. Those seven minutes should be, in a word, unpleasant. The upside is, after seven minutes, you’re done."

Friday, May 10, 2013

Ice Over The Falls

Jen sent me a link to this video of ice out at Tettegouche Park this spring. It's quite a dramatic change in the river level once the ice comes through.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Climbing Love Story

Here's the trailer from a movie featured at the recent Tribeca Film Festival. Outside Magazine says:

"The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars opens outside a hospital: Matteo (Enrico Lo Verso), an avid mountain climber, has just received a heart transplant. He says farewell to fellow heart patient Sonia (Nastassja Kinski) and waves a carabiner at her—a reminder of a climbing date they’ve set for the future. 
Six months later, they keep their plans and meet in the Dolomite foothills of Italy. She has a husband, but this isn’t an affair. She must make this climb, she tells her husband, to fulfill her promise to a man who helped her through surgery—and as she and Matteo begin their vertical ascent, you get it. This is more than a promise. This is two people testing their new leases on life, affirming that no physical feat can hold them back. A bit sentimental? Yes, but it also resonates. Plus, the views from the top are pretty spectacular."

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ice Breaking In Antartica

An article about spending two months on an ice breaker that started at McMurdo, is here. As extreme as the conditions are, this ship appears to be fairly comfortable.

A 5 minute video of her two month trip is below. It's fun to watch.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Climbing Is Best Left To Young, Single Men

In an interview with high altitude Sherpas of Nepal, one of them says, ""Climbing is exciting, but dangerous,. It's best left to young, single men." 

He's talking about the career Sherpas who support the big expeditions in the Himalayas. 

There is a lot of information about the history of Sherpas and climbing in this article.