Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mountain Goats In The Black Hills

They recently released 22 mountain goats in Custer State Park in the Black Hills. There are lots of photos of them here.

This photo was taken right at the parking area for the Needles Eye. The trailer is parked right at the start of the hike up to Moonlight Ridge.

Friday, October 25, 2013

We Made Some More New Routes

Testing for trad gear placements 
Me watching Ron 
Today, Ron and I went to Red Wing to find some new routes we could bolt We bolted two routes; both really short and unremarkable but, for us, super fun. One is a perfect gear-eating trad route that has one bolt near the top to get you over to the anchors. The other one is a face climb - 5.9ish? - with a route right next to it, that's probably 5.12ish. (That one isn't bolted yet, but it could share anchors with the one we put up.) Just as I started to lead our 5.9, a police car stopped to look. The climbs are right off the parking lot. So we named the climb "PoPo." I wanted to test the bolts, so I took a leader fall on them. They worked! Amazing.

Drillin' the anchors

Falling on "PoPo"

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Our First Bolted Route

Peter named it "Something from Nothing." It's an itty bitty route along the river near Stillwater. Talk to Peter for exact location. It's maybe 5.9.

Heading down

The crux

Armed and dangerous

Clipping the 1st bolt

Grinnin' & drillin'

Testing the rock

Bottom bolt

Bolt beating

1,296,000 Calories For Two People

A short video about packing for 110 days skiing across Antarctica. For two people, they are bringing 1,296,000 calories. More here.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Rappelling Mt Rushmore

Rangers working on Mt Rushmore faces. Great views of the faces.

Rangers Rappel Rushmore: National Parks Epic Challenge from National Park Foundation on Vimeo.

A Bio-Optical Knowledge and Recording System for Navigation

A navigation system that requires no batteries, is easily transportable and can't be hacked.

Bad Weather On Mt Fairweather

The Smiley's climbed Mt Fairweather in Alaska this last June. One of the "50 Classic Routes of North America." Mt Fairweather is a mountain John and I climbed a long time ago.

The route they climbed is 11,000 feet from their base camp. (The route we climbed started at sea level so was 15.000 feet high.)

They waited at base camp for 11 days for the weather to clear. Which seems boring. But they had lots of technology with them:

"For 11 days we sat in our tents, killing time. Many people ask what we do to pass the time while tent bound. I think it's probably similar to being in a nursing home. You have to turn the small everyday activities into individual major events. Things you normally do while multi-tasking (eating, pooping, grooming, etc). That, and try to sleep as much as your body will allow. For me, that is 13 hours/day. We also had an ipad, two computers, lots of movies, angry birds, some shooting game that I mastered..."

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Training For Big Wall Climbing

An interview with Mark Hudon, who at 56 is still climbing El Cap. He stresses training for endurance over power. He says the mental game is 99% of climbing. I like this quote:

"I don’t let my emotions take over at all. To me it’s physics. You can stand on a little hold five feet away from a piece of gear and so why can’t you stand on that same little hold 25 feet away from gear."

Here's his warmup for sport climbing: 

"When I was out sport climbing there were always warm-up routes. My sport climbing warm up was to lead climb a 5.11, then downclimb it, taking my draws with me. I might do this for one or two routes."

What Is Recreating In A National Park?

An interview with two climbers staying in Yosemite Park throughout the shutdown. Right now, they are not allowed to recreate in a National Park. But they can still boulder and do single pitch climbing, because that's not "recreating."

As usual to people who live and work in parks, they don't like the fact that so many people visit the Park and make it less convenient for them.So they're enjoying the Park being closed.

Again, I'll say, stay indoors folks, park visitors don't want to see YOU.

Friday, October 11, 2013

What We Think Is Dangerous, Probably Isn't

A journalist in South Africa makes the case that exaggerated dangers, hurt poor people. Also, eat fewer bananas and more MSG.

Night Time On El Cap

Here's a shot taken last week after the park's shutdown of climbers' bivys at night high on El Cap. Details here. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Two Fun Guys

Oops, make that one fun guy and one fungus. This is a huge mushroom in the woods near our house which is as big as Buddy's head.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Eagle Cam

The eagle point-of-view videos are the:
"...the creation of one Jacques Olivier Travers, operator of a raptor center and theme park in Haute-Savoie, France, that nurtures injured birds back to health and reintroduces them to the wild. A certified falconer in his early 20s, Travers is the youngest person in France ever to be certified to keep raptors in captivity.
To help the birds learn to fly again, Travers has taken to paragliding alongside them in the air, a method he thinks is more effective than traditional means of reintroduction."
More on the story here. 

On The Wall Or At The Gym?

Yosemite Park is closing down. All of the climbers on El Cap will be allowed to finish. At least, that's according to the "ElCap Report." The weather's perfect so the wall is full. Here's a shot on the "Nose" showing some of the parties that are climbing simultaneously. Sort of like the gym.

There was a new male/female speed record of 3:30 set on October1st. Those climbers had to pass 11 other teams.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Women's Speed Record On El Cap

On Sept 29th, after several days of practice, two women set a new speed record for climbing El Cap -  5 hours 39 minutes.  

Here's one photo of Mayan Smith-Gobat on the climb. Several more photos of them here

The previous record for women was 7 hours 26 minutes, set just last Fall. That story is here

"Short And Relatively Easy"

On a trail described as "short and relatively easy," five hikers killed by a rockslide. Who knew that hiking was so dangerous? Stay indoors, folks.