Cover – Above & Beyond
Above & Beyond
Feature articles, stories and trip reports
A collection of climbing stories from climbers around the world. To submit your work, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Hot Rock Expedition 5: Lukenya and Hell’s Gate, Kenya
Kenya is the true cradle of African rock climbing. While American climbers were scaling Yosemite walls in the 1960s and ’70s, European ex-patriots were putting up first ascents in Africa on various crags around Nairobi. Our next visit to Kenya was directed toward these well-established climbing areas. Hell’s Gate may be the most amazing, since it is also a national park. It is abundant with big herds of zebras and giraffes, while the near Naivasha lake is full of flamingos. Climbing there means a great safari-tour at the same time.
Whipped: Benched – Injury, Drugs, and Other Dirty Secrets
By Majka Burhardt – I’m on drugs. It’s best to get this out in the beginning. This is not by choice. I’d like to say that this would all be more fun if it were by choice — if I were having a Hunter S. Thompson moment in my writing career. But, as you will soon understand, I would make a very pathetic Hunter S. Thompson. Even saying that makes me shudder.
Hot Rock Expedition 4: Uganda Gallery
Photos by Ivana Crone and Roger Buser – The Hot Rock Climbing Expedition continues in Uganda. Follow the Hot Rock crew as they explore up to Class 5 rapids down the Nile, the friendly culture, and granite domes. The climbing in Uganda varies, from multi-pitch to bolted sport to phenomenal bouldering, with everything from slabs to finger cracks to steep traverses.
Hot Rock Climbing Expedition 4: Uganda
Uganda is that lazy-paced, sunny, reggae-filled African country, with that old Bob Marley/Caribbean vibe. The people are super-friendly, laidback, and always smiling and helpful. This is the most relaxed place we have visited so far. Our first stop was at Jinja, an adventure seekers’ paradise, with its world’s tallest bangi-jump and some of the planet’s gnarliest kayaking, and even rafting on class 5 rapids.
Hot Rock Climbing Expedition 3: Kenya
Entering Kenya feels like entering a typical African postcard. Zebras and giraffes grazed on sweeping grassy plains shadowed by aged sycamore trees, with herds of wild elephants majestically crossing over the horizon. The lakeshores are full of birds often bigger than the mammals. It is like visiting a slightly evolved Jurassic Park.
Brilliance from the Dark Continent
Walking to school in the frigid December Minnesota air, bundled from head to toe in various layers of insulation, I was mulling over an email conversation I had the previous night with my new friend Dave. Dave lives in Mali, West Africa. I was wishing that I could transport myself three weeks forward in time when I would be there for a visit. One night, among other things, we were talking rock.
Hot Rock Climbing Expedition 2: Ethiopia
Ethiopia: The wildest, craziest mix of beauty on the planet. The deep canyons, eagles, and waterfalls, Mohawk kids cracking their whips after a herd of galloping horses. Graceful robed women with crosses and ornaments tattooed to their foreheads. That all has greeted us, as we crossed The high Simien Mountains. Our next climbing destination was Aksum in Northern Ethiopia.
Climbing the Nose With the Man of Speed
I originally met Hans Florine at the Outdoor Retailer trade shows. In October 2009, he came to our climbing gym here in Colorado Springs to do a speed climbing presentation. I talked to him for a bit, bringing up my failed attempt at climbing the Nose two years ago. After his presentation was over, I went to say goodbye to him, and he mentioned climbing the Nose with me “if I was ever down that way.” Of course I would make it a point to get down that way!
Hot Rock Climbing Expedition: Egypt to Cape Town
Yes, climbing is about going beyond the limits, always pushing the envelope, exploring the unreachable, being first where nobody stood before, following the unknown. Hot Rock Climbing Expedition is all about that – a trip across the entire continent of Africa, Egypt to Cape Town, while exploring never before climbed crags, and putting up new routes on barely touched cliffs.
On Kilimanjaro I felt like I ascended into heaven
It is not often that one meets a very experienced veteran trip leader specializing in safaris to wild parks and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro who says, when he successfully climbed Kilimanjaro to the summit for the first time in 1988, “I was very happy when I reached the roof of Africa. I felt like I have been ascended into heaven, body and soul.”
To most, California’s Central Coast is a refreshing kaleidoscope of green vineyards, twisted oaks, and round, open hills between Los Angeles and San Francisco. But to climbers, it’s a secret hideaway with dozens of crags. The Central Coast has some of the state’s best, most diverse cragging. The wild palette includes sandstone, conglomerate, schist, dacite, basalt, and limestone.
Daddy Loves You!
Our reporter arrived on a crowded March weekend, settling into a hollow below a piñon tree 100 feet from the cliff to document the dozens of craggers. The day progressed predictably — with standard-issue hanging, Beta-spraying, and snacking — until around 1:30 p.m., when a booming voice sounded from the trail: a certain “Daddy,” announcing his presence, his terrified bottle-blonde “Babydoll” in tow.
The summer of 2008 was a rough one in Eldorado Canyon, Colorado. It seemed like every week, someone was getting hurt. I figure these accidents are just that — accidents — and I’m not usually drawn to them. Sometimes, though, they’re drawn to me. Maybe it’s because I survived a bad one myself: a 100-foot fall in Rocky Mountain National Park that ultimately claimed my right leg.
Romancing the Stones
As any old mountain goat will tell you, in the piton days of yore, men climbed together, slept together, and ate from the same can with the same spoon — brotherhood-of-the- rope stuff. Although not quite Brokeback Mountaineers, these men chased away their loneliness with wine and women . . . when they could afford or entice either. Then a paradigm shift occurred, improving the sport more than sticky rubber or cams. Women began to flow over the stone, scrubbing away the testosterone stains and proving that climbing is a wholly human endeavor. Broad generalizations aside, there have always been women climbers…
Teton Climbing Achievements Announced
Climbing historian, guidebook author and TBP volunteer Renny Jackson has compiled a list of the most significant achievements in Teton climbing history. The list will serve as the foundation for the historical component of the bouldering park we seek to build at the base of Snow King Mountain in downtown Jackson Hole. We are publishing it here in full, and we actively encourage feedback from climbers and historians to help us finalize the list.
5.13+ Barefoot Free Solo
Photos and video by Djamila Proft / dustinthewind1973 – Andreas Proft barefoot free solos the 25 meter Excess Power, a 8a+ or 5.13c ex-trad route, that’s now a fully bolted sport route, in Costa Blanca’s Echo Valley, Spain. In an email Proft commented that "It took me many tries to get comfy enough [on the route] and cost me some sleep as well." The 36-year-old German has sent a number of other hard 5.13 routes all without rockshoes. See Footloose and Fancy Free for more about Proft’s barefoot endeavors.
World Cup Ice Climbing Crowns Old and New Champions
Austria’s Markus Bendler and Russia’s Pavel Gulyaev have defended their Ice Climbing titles in the Lead and Speed disciplines respectively. This year’s women’s Lead champion is Anna Gallyamova of Russia, and her compatriot, Nadezda Shubina was crowned Speed queen. Go here for full results.
Luckiest Man alive and the Widow Maker
Okay climbers, this is an article for you! You know who you are. You, like me, will watch your favorite sports on Sundays, after a gym climbing workout; may eat healthy food with friends; and for the most part are extremely physical in almost all sports, and pretty much ignore your wife, partner, or friends if they tell you that you ought to get pesky little health things checked out, right?
Updated 2/18/10 by Michael Fagin – Weekly updates on mountain weather for a different location each week and updated every Thursday. We will cover the following: Alps, Cascades, Sierra, Aconcagua, and more will be added. Lead forecaster Michael Fagin has been providing mountain weather forecasts since the 1970′s.
Climbing On The Edge of The World
As our boat left the Harbor out of Ha Long City, my friend, Greg Troutman and I got our first glimpse at the cliffs we traveled halfway across the world to climb. Dark and ominous they rose out of the ocean with a menacing white tint, piercing the horizon. Ha Long Bay, located off the northwest coast of Vietnam is an awe-inspiring site for those who are lucky enough to see it.
|Panoramas from Boston Rock Gym’s 2010 Heart of Steel
Watertown, MA based photographer William Van Tassell captured these awesome 360º panorama images at Boston Rock Gym’s 2010 Heart of Steel Bouldering Competition on January 30th, 2010. Flaunting a $2,400 cash purse in addition to a gorgeous line-up of prizes the HEART OF STEEL appeal speaks for itself.
The AscenDance Project
AscenDance Project is a new company founded in January of 2006 by German born performance artist and rock climber Isabel von Rittberg to create work that explores the aesthetics of climbing. Performing entirely without the use of ropes, their work exhibits strength and grace enhanced by the effects of gravity on the dancers and their ability to overcome it. Check it out from March 5-14th at The Ashby Stage in Berkeley, CA.
Climbing in Belapur, Near Mumbai, India
Before I moved to Mumbai (formerly called Bombay) I started researching the climbing community. I found a climbing wall that is set just off of a school grounds in an area called Goregaon. The community at the wall is very active and dedicated, immediately accepting me and inviting me to join them regularly on their real rock adventures. Towards the end of 2009 I spent several weekends in an area called Belapur in New Bombay, inland a ways from Mumbai.
Boston Rock Gym – Panorama Mania
Watertown, MA based photographer William Van Tassell captured these awesome 360º panorama images at Boston Rock Gym’s 2009 Heart of Steel Bouldering Competition. Don’t miss the 2010 competition on January 30th, 2010. Flaunting a $2,400 cash purse in addition to a gorgeous line-up of prizes provided by a flock of industry leading sponsors, the HEART OF STEEL appeal speaks for itself.
Alaska Climber Injured in Haiti Earthquake
Christa Brelsford, of Anchorage, Alaska, was volunteering in Dabonne, south of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on an 11-day program to teach adult and child literacy when the quake hit. It took her brother Julian and their friends nearly an hour and a half to dig her from debris, her legs trapped by rubble when a building collapsed. Her right leg was amputated from the shin down. Visit: keepchristaclimbing.org to learn more and to make a donation.
The Longest Climb – Part 3
Well rested, well fed, well family feuded and well excited, it is time to hit 2010 running. After far too much indulgence, and not nearly enough contact, let alone climbing, we have both let it slip somewhat over the festive period, and it is with a sense of courageous trepidation that we sit here, staring at the last 6 months until the day when Jonny and I will race against each other to set a new world record; to climb 8,848 meters on an indoor wall.
Teton Boulder Project Releases Design Plans
Bouldering Park scheduled for construction in Summer 2010 – Jackson, Wyo. Organizers of the Teton Boulder Project have released plans for a bouldering park they seek to construct at the base of Snow King Mountain in downtown Jackson Hole. The park, which is being designed by Nona Yehia and Jefferson Ellinger of E/Ye Design under the auspices of Teton County Parks and Recreation Department, is scheduled for construction in Summer 2010.
Ice Climbing World Cup in Kirov, Russia
Last year’s overall winner, Austria’s Markus Bendler, has proven he is still the man to beat on the Ice Climbing World Cup circuit. Bendler took first place in the challenging Lead competition this weekend (January 7- 9, 2010) in Kirov, Russia. For the women, Italy’s Angelika Rainer came first, letting the world know she is ready to challenge for the overall top spot, after finishing second in 2009.
Pianos Rachados 2009 – A New Crack Climbing Event in Portugal
Portugal climbing is best known for its excellent limestone cliffs next to the ocean, providing hard, overhanging sport routes, but not its trad climbing… But now, near to Lisbon, south of the surfing mecca, Ericeira, an outstandingly gorgeous cliff of black basalt with perfect splitter cracks was recently discovered. The place might remind you of UK’s Peak District with exuberant evergreen shrubs and gray to black rock.
A Climber in Iraq
His fingers curl over the crimpy hold as his left hand reaches for a sweat slick sloper. He ascends the wall, ignoring the hum of the air-conditioner, the aggressive flies, the fluorescent lights, the heat and drafts of dust. At the top he hangs for a moment on the two-by-four plank and then drops to the worn padding of blue mats and grey-yellow mattresses. Outside the roar of a Blackhawk’s rotor blades and engines ruffles the tent’s ceiling over the climber’s head, but after nine months in country he hardly notices these sounds anymore.
MATTERHORN MADNESS UNMASKED
Story and photos by John Wutzer – It all began back in 2006 when a couple climbing friends and I decided to attempt to climb the Matterhorn. We reserved a guide but a trail climb to test our Alpine skills was first in order. We were led on a 6 hour exhausting half traverse of the Breithorn that challenged us beyond our imagination. We completed the journey but lacking top fitness and more, it left us physically drained, mentally down and beaten by the mountain. It was determined that we were under-skilled in a variety of mountaineering and climbing aspects thereby deemed unsuited for the Matterhorn.
Bindhammer’s Marathon Through The Roof at Santa Linya
Andreas Bindhammer repeats La Novena Enmienda (9a+ or 5.15a) – The Catolonia region of Spain is known for its denseness of difficult routes. And one area stands out extremely: The Cova Grande cave at Santa Linya, in the cooler months is know as ‘the important meeting place’ of the international climbing scene and an ideal training area. Countless lines promise great challenges at the highest level.
The Teton Ice Park Opens at Grand Targhee Resort
Thanks to Local Support and Sponsorship the Teton Ice Park will officially open Saturday, December 19, at Grand Targhee Resort – It’s been a steep learning curve for local mountain guide Christian Santelices, but his dream became a reality when he climbed on the “KB Wall” for the first time on Sunday. While cold temperatures the past few weeks seemed ideal for making ice, a series of frozen pipes, and miscellaneous snafus have slowed progress.
GETTING DOWN THE CRUX
Story and Red Rocks wood mural by Sherri Lewis – I avoid alpine starts as if they were a cactus on a climbers’ trail. I never grasped the point of losing sleep to bag a plum route when the low-hanging fruit seemed plenty tasty. But lately this cragger was hungry for altitude, so I made plans to fly from Seattle to Las Vegas before Thanksgiving with the goal of climbing Black Orpheus, an 11-pitch 5.10a deep within Oak Creek Canyon in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada.
The Longest Climb – Part 2
So… its all actually really, properly, happening. For real. The wheels are turning, the wagons rolling and any other getting started type metaphors you can think off. I’m sure anyone reading this by now will be aware of the challenge Tom and I are taking on – unless by some random, freak occurrence of coincidence you have just landed on this blog by chance, in all the billions of pages on the internet.
Everest’s “Other Guy”
At the outpost of Sandakphu, along the border of India and Nepal, the snow-capped peak of Kanchenzonga glistens as the rising sun bathes it in fiery orange. But it is the towering pinnacle of Mount Everest, far in the distance and almost forgotten, that first captures the morning light — and the imagination of the local people.
CLIMBING EVEREST: WHO MAKES IT TO THE TOP?
The odds a person climbing Mount Everest will die in the attempt are 1 in 61.46. On its deadliest day, May 10, 1996, the mountain claimed eight people during a single 24-hour period. That day Jon Krakauer, a journalist on assignment for Outside Magazine, was part of an expedition led by celebrated climber, Rob Hall.
The Dirtbag Diaries – The Shorts – Friends In High Places
By Fitz Cahall – Climber and Diaries contributor Kelly Cordes is what you would call an early adopter. Kelly may live in a shack at 8,000 feet, but the guy is no cretin. He’s had an email account for four years now. He knows how to program a VCR. He’s even considered buying one of those new-fangled Blueberry phones. What can I say? Kelly is a mover and a shaker. The guy’s approach to new technology is as cutting edge as his alpine endeavors, but even seasoned pros have the occasional misstep.
Expedition to the Khumbu Valley and Cholatse, Nepal
By Felix Berg / www.SummitClimb.com – This post-monsoon expedition had the goal of exploring the less traveled Cholatse (6443m) mountain in the middle of the Khumbu Valley in Nepal. The style was alpine and light, the team just made up by Robert Steiner and myself, both German nationals. We left Frankfurt on the 14th of September with a cheap and badly timed Air India flight, had a day in Katmandu for organization, and arrived to the Khumbu at the rough little airport of Lukla town with its short uphill landing strip on the 17th.
MINI EPIC: Love on the Rocks
By Joe Antol – I’ve always felt women have a special Spidey sense when it comes to their men, so why should climbers be any different? This much was proven on a perfect autumn day in September 2006 at the Gunks, during a tragicomedy on a three-pitch Trapps 5.8.
|The Longest Climb – Part 1
This is an attempt to set a new world record. An attempt to raise £10,000 for three charities: Amnesty International, Heart UK, Mountain Rescue England and Wales. This is two guys, Tom Lancaster and Jonathan Briggs, attempting to climb the height of Mount Everest, 8,848 meters (or 29,029 feet), in one stretch, on an indoor climbing wall. This equates to 738 times up the 12 meter wall.
UK’s first DigiWall opens at The Warehouse climbing centre
The first DigiWall climbing attraction to be installed in the UK by Innovative Leisure Ltd. has opened at The Warehouse climbing centre in Gloucester city centre. Each section of the DigiWall features 24 grips for hands and feet, each one incorporating a sensor and light which are linked to a computer. A surround sound system is another feature and a variety of games with different levels can be played by users as they climb over the wall. Each game also uses its own sound design.
Two Giants Break World Records on Kilimanjaro
The Guinness Book of World Records might soon add two giants on its lists of record breakers. Chris Waddell pedaled and Tajiri Mungaya hobbled recently to the top of the snow caped Kilimanjaro, the highest mount in Africa, becoming the first paraplegic and amputee respectively to reach the 5,895 meter summit unassisted.
THE BIRTH OF ALPINISM
The English Alpine Club began in 1857 – This new ‘Gentleman’s Club,’ formed by a few wealthy young men in London caused immediate interest in the Alps of Switzerland. Twenty-seven year old Leslie Stephen became one of the charter members. Having finished Cambridge, he immediately followed his ambition to conquer many Swiss glacier-laden mountains. Stephen was one of the most prominent figures in the Golden Age of Alpinism (the period between 1857 and 1875).
Updated 10/30/09 – Climbing.com is pleased to present the PENMEN Cartoons by Colorado Springs climber Gary Blehm. Visit his website penmen.com for posters, animations, music videos, games, and more…
Ghosts, the Rock Gods, and Colombian Climbing
On an overcast night in Suesca, Colombia, three climbers huddle around a campfire. The cliff is one hundred yards away and covered with hanging moss and web-like green vines. The wall cast a shadow from the only street lamp in front of Campo Base, the climber’s campground. Ricardo, the campground manager, Freddy who runs the climbing store, and me, a Canadian on a South America climbing trip, watch as two owls swooped out of the tree and flew over our heads.
Marines Rappel at Sea Abord the USS Bonhomme Richard
Marines and sailors of Battalion Landing Team 2/4 rappelled from a helicopter parked on USS Bonhomme Richard’s flight deck October 6th to an elevator platform three stories below. “It’s pretty scary at first but nice once you’re on the ground,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua D. Thornbloom, 23, from Portland, Ore. “It doesn’t help that we’re leaning out over the rear of the helicopter with the ocean under us. The intimidation factor goes up a little bit.”
Spidermen at large in Swiss cities
Five climbing teams all posed for the camera at the Red Bull Urban Boulder held between 2 – 3 October. Their mission: to use urban space as their playground for creating spectacular Boulder Pics in specified categories within 36 hours. Each team – one professional climber and one local climber, accompanied by a photographer – set off for a different Swiss city equipped with only a city map, guidebook and train ticket.
The Old Man and the Sea – Gorge du Verdon, France
In August and September 2009, Toni Lamprecht, Uli Strunz and Benno Wagner spent several weeks in the Gorge du Verdon with the target of establishing a first ascent on one of the amazing limestone walls in the south of France. The result is Le Vieux et la Mer or The Old Man and the Sea, with 7 pitches up to 5.13b/c. German climber Toni Lamprect believes this one of the nicest and most beautifull first ascents he’s made.
Former Olympian Carl Swenson Wins First Annual Kismet Cliff Run
North Conway native Carl Swenson, a nordic ski Olympian, made it a memorable first ever Kismet Cliff Run as the winner of what more than one competitor commented is destined to become a classic race in northern New England. For the fifty Kismet Cliff Run participants, Sunday, September 20th was a perfect early fall day in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Second Free Ascent of Quinto Imperio (8b, 500m), Naranjo de Bulnes, Spain
At the end of August 2009, Leopoldo "Leo" Faria and Pedro “Primo” Nogueira established the first repeat of Quinto Imperio (V 8b or 5.13d) on the West Face of Spain’s most famous big wall, Naranjo de Bulnes (also known as Picu Urriellu).Quinto Império is a 500 meter long route that was opened in 1996 by the Portuguese climbers Francisco Ataide and Sergio Martins and first free climbed by the Pou brothers in June 2006.
Whispering into a Roar
By Majka Burhardt / MajkaBurhardt.com – This is a story without a conclusion. Maybe that will change by the end. At this point, I’m not betting on it. Four weeks ago, I wrote a piece about trying to understand death in the face of more death, and in spite of life. I thought that, by writing it, I would move on from it – be released from it. But here’s the thing about writing about death: it creates conversation about death. And when you write about death and climbing, it creates a roar.
Traverse of Africa’s Ruwenzori Mountains
Trip report and photos by Felix Berg / Summitclimb.com – July 2009 – Our plan was to traverse the Ruwenzori Mountains, the third highest African peak, from the West to the East. Not due to technical difficulty, but for political reasons, this route has most likely not been done for the last 20-30 years. After 16 years of civil war, maybe even longer unrest, we have used the late seize-fire-agreement to explore this long-forgotten mountain from the unknown Congolese side and traverse the highest peak, Mount Stanley (5100 meters), to the more traveled Ugandan side.
Gorgeous French Limestone at the Gorges du Loup’s Deverse Sector
Videos by PhilippeGatta.fr – Deverse, also called Pupuce Surplomb is the hardest cliff, in term of difficulty, in France’s Gorges du Loup. The first free climbing route was Déversé Satanique, open by Bernard Duterte in the mid 1980’s. Now graded 8a+ (which may be a tad soft) it remains a fantastic climb. Shown here is Philippe Gatta on Qoussaï and on Déversé Satanique, both 8a+ or 5.13c, plus his wife Anna Gatta on Mekanik Destruktive Komando (7c or 5.12d) all at the Deverse Sector in the Gorges du Loup, France.
Obsessed by a Mountain
By Alberto Giovannini / guidedolomiti.com – Climbing the Tofana di Rozes’ Dimai-Eötvös , Dolomites, Italy – How can a grown, educated man, be obsessed by a mountain? This is what I have experienced and want to describe. It is a mountain I know well, the Tofana di Rozes. I have been going to Cortina since I was a small child, and I have been taking countless hikes around it.
The FFA of Cerro Capicua, Valle Cochamo, Chile
By Jvan Tresch courtesy of Arc’teryx and video by Michi Tresch – In January 2009, Tom Holzhauser, Dominik Angehrn and brothers Michi and Jvan Tresch traveled to Valle Cochamó, Chile, for two months of big wall climbing on beautiful granite. They arrived without any specific plans — only an article from the web and a few photos that inspired them and hoped to make a nice first ascent.
THE MEXICAN GUIDE at EL GRAN TRONO BLANCO
By Preston Tierradulce – If you want a climbing article, a pitch-by-pitch travelogue on this secluded place, this story ain’t for you. I’d rather tell a saga of our encounter out there, with a saint of a man on this rugged section of Baja. This piece is a review of a fellow who jumped out of the chaparral and helped us survive. This tall tale is a tribute to our friend who taught us the meaning of a simple Spanish word that few north of the border really appreciate or understand: simpático.
BetaCreator – New Tool for Making Perfect Climbing Topos
A Provo, Utah climber / programmer has designed a free tool for the easy creation of route lines on photos. The program works much like a simplified photo editing program but with tools specifically designed for creating topos for climbing routes. BetaCreator Is both PC and Mac compatible.
SLO Op Climbing Opens Its Doors
After raising over $55,000 from broke college students and pillars of the San Luis Obispo community and two months of construction, SLO-Op Climbing (the country’s first non-profit bouldering gym) opened its doors. SLO Op (an homage to its co-op beginnings in a storage unit) Climbing is a non-profit social club that provides walls open for member climbing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The brainchild of Co-Executive Director Yishai Horowitz, SLO Op has become a central meeting spot for climbers and other athletes in the region.
2009 ARCO ROCK LEGENDS AWARD CERMONY
Chris Sharma won the Salewa Rock Award and Kilian Fischhuber won the La Sportiva Competition Award – The Salewa Rock Award and the La Sportiva Competition Award were handed out in front of a packed crowd which went wild as the Jury’s verdict for the climbing Oscars were announced; for the rock category the 17 international specialized magazines had chosen Chris Sharma, alias the King, while the competition category went to none other than Kilian Fischhuber.
|21 Questions with Boone Speed
Portland Oregon Based pro-photographer, father and 5.14+ climber, Boone Speed recently had his work showcased on the highly acclaimed and widely respected Feature Shoot website “featuring” photos and interviews with both up-and-coming and established photographers. We slowed down with the 43-year-old Mr. Speed for this exclusive Climbing.com interview to see what he’s been up to.
Screaming Uncle at a Whisper
By Majka Burhardt / MajkaBurhardt.com – Remembering Craig Luebben, Andrew Swanson, Jonny Copp, Micah Dash, Wade Johnson, and John Bachar – Sunday, August 16th was Craig Luebben’s funeral. Four weeks ago, Craig was the last person I saw at a memorial. We had a long conversation about risks, coming home, what makes it worth it, and what makes you stay.
DISABLED BUT NOT DEFEATED
By Edward Grondin / www.camppatriot.org – Camp Patriot’s 3rd Annual Summit to Mt. Rainier – Injury is the soldiers worst nightmare, whether it be a combat injury from an improvised explosive device, small arms fire or a accident during a training exercise, it impacts all soldiers.
The 25,000 Dollar Question: What’s the Price of Adventure?
It’s fair to say Scott Mason bit off a little more than he could chew. In April, the Eagle Scout embarked on an ambitious one day traverse of the northern Presidential range in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Early into his hike, he twisted an ankle, but chose to continue. A few miles later, Mason re-considered and opted for a quicker route back to the road, only to find the trail blocked by numerous streams swollen by spring snow melt.
First National Study To Examine Rock Climbing-Related Injuries
In the past decade the popularity of rock climbing has dramatically increased. It has been estimated that rock climbing is now enjoyed by more than 9 million people in the U.S. each year. A new study by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that as the popularity of the sport has escalated, so have the number of injuries.
JOHN BACHAR LIMITED EDITION PHOTOGRAPHS
Photographer Phil Bard is offering six photographs taken of John Bachar from 1982 to 1989, during the height of Bachar’s climbing career and public attention as limited edition prints. They will be approx. 11"x14" in size, mounted and issued in editions of 25, signed and numbered. They will be priced at $100 each, plus shipping.
Largest Group of Blind Climbers and Youngest Blind Climber Summit Mt. Kilimanjaro
On June 29, 2009 after a year of training, the largest group of blind climbers and the youngest blind climber set two world records successfully summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro. “Team Kili,” as they refer to themselves, left for the summit saying “Many doubted us all along the way, but we persevered. There is no doubt left in our hearts, only the will to succeed and get to 19,340 feet.”
New Zealand’s Mayan Smith-Gobat
Climbing “lifer” Mayan Smith-Gobat is one of New Zealand’s top female climbers. She has dedicated her life to climbing and is currently touring Europe, in her van, where there are endless climbing opportunities. Recently in southern France she made quick work of many 5.13′s and added to her growing collection of 5.14as, with the newest being Collection Automne Hiver.
50 Awesome Things About Climbing and America
You know it. I know it. American climbing. It’s awesome. Well… I haven’t exactly climbed out the country yet so I’m not sure if I’m an expert on that, but since ignorance occasionally seems to be another tenant of ‘Murkan culture I’m gonna run with it. In honor of Independence Day I’ve decided that we need some good old fashioned Americana in this post.
ARCTURUS – Part 3
Redemption – June 2007 – The Return to Arcturus – When I left the climb in 2006, I was sure that I could complete the route in just a few short days. Upon returning in 2007, I was surprised with the amount of work that the route needed to indeed be safe to climb, yet committing at the same time. After 12 or 13 days of work, living at the base of the timeless giant Half Dome, I rested in a dank Fresno Days Inn and tried to find the strength and courage to complete the looming task that we set out to accomplish last year.
The Dirtbag Diaries – Episode 29: The Dreamer
By Fitz Cahall – “I had convinced myself at that point that my goal was so important it was worth dying for,” says alpine master Steve House about his 15-year-old dream of climbing the Rupal Face. Big Dreams require big commitment. We may not all dream on the same scale and commitment levels, but we all share dreams. They pull us through our lives on solid ground.
Footloose and Fancy Free
Videos by Djamila Proft – Andreas Proft is a 36-year-old globe trekker from Saxony, in Eastern Germany, who started climbing about 15 years ago. Andreas and his wife Djamila, are relatively stationary now and have been touring around European climbing areas in their campervan for the last six years. Typically they stay in Germany during the summer and travel to the south (France, Spain or Italy) when it starts getting cold.
Spring Break in the Wallowa Mountains
As I made my way down the mountainside, some insightful notions became increasingly clear. The unstable footing and precarious slopes were irrelevant side thoughts in comparison to my feelings of leaving the mountains this day. It seemed a cruel joke that now, after just realizing the epic importance of such adventure, I would need to abandon it for the exact context in which I compared it to.
Major Phil Packer Climbs El Capitan for Charity: Help for Heroes
Major Packer captured the hearts and minds of millions of people in the UK and around the world when he started the London Marathon on crutches on 26th April, 2009 having taken his first unaided steps just 6 weeks earlier. Major Packer painstakingly covered just 2 miles/day and after 2 weeks, completed the 26.2mile marathon. Now he’s climbed Yosemite’s El Capitan.
The GOOD MEN PROJECT ANNOUNCES WINNING ESSAY ON WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A GOOD MAN IN AMERICA TODAY
“Iowa Black Dirt” by Perry Glasser Wins National Writing Contest – The Good Men Foundation, a charitable corporation dedicated to helping organizations provide educational, social, financial and legal support to men and boys at risk, today announced Perry Glasser as the winner of The Good Men Project National Writing Contest (www.goodmenbook.org/winner).
The Dirtbag Diaries – Episode 28: 60 Meters to Anywhere
By Fitz Cahall – “Is there a statute of limitations on finding something you’re passionate about? Is there a certain age when learning something new becomes too much to take on, or we become to afraid to fail or afraid to let others see us fail?” writes Brendan Leonard. A few Christmases back, Brendan received a rather strange gift from his brother – an old rope.
Layton Kor Signed Photos
Please the help iconic climbing legend – Layton Kor – by purchasing a signed desert climbing print for $50 plus $5 shipping and handling. ALL proceeds go towards Layton Kor’s growing medical expenses. To purchase a print please contact Stewart Green at: LaytonKorPhotos@gmail.com
Two Seventeen-Year-Olds Summit Everest
In an amazing week of Himalayan climbing two seventeen-year-old Americans have successfully reached the summit of Mount Everest. A third seventeen-year old, Arizona based Erica Dohring turned around at camp III. John Collinson of Snowbird, Utah reached the summit on May 19th, 2009, followed by Johnny Strange of Malibu, California on May 20th.
Persistence Pays Off
By Guy McCarthy / watershednews.blogspot.com – Blasting winds, heavy snow and grinding ice destroyed three of his tents on the world’s eighth-highest mountain. At times he endured temperatures 40 below zero Fahrenheit and colder, in a realm so devoid of oxygen those who go there call it the Death Zone. He assisted in two rescues and the elements contributed to at least one fatality.
Marooned in the Fisher Towers
Story and photos by Chris Van Leuven – It’s a storming March afternoon in the Fisher Towers, Utah. Four of us are huddled in a two-man tent at the base of a cirque of desert towers reminiscent of late-night dinner candles covered in chocolate-pudding-ﬁght aftermath. The melting landscape, now, in a moment of suspended animation, is blanketed in white.
|First Ascent Team Summits Everest!
On the morning of May 19, two legendary mountaineers on the First Ascent “Return to Everest” expedition reached the highest point on Earth. Ed Viesturs and Peter Whittaker stood on the summit with members of their production crew before descending to High Camp at 26,000 feet.
The Phil Schaal Interview
By Caroline Treadway (aka C-Note) courtesy of pimpinandcrimpin.com – Phil Schaal’s been killing it recently. In the past year alone, this Connecticut climber has ticked 15 V13s, including some rare repeats of hard East Coast lines —The Book of Bitter Aspects (V13) in Bradley, Conn., Agent Orange (V13) in the Gunks, and the Chelsea Smile (V13), Ty Landman’s new sit start to Divine Providence in Lincoln Woods.
Perfect Blocks in Ticino, Switzerland – Trip Report
Every year hundreds of boulderers travel to southern Switzerland to climb on the perfect granite boulders surrounding the small villages of Cresciano and Chironico in the canton of Ticino, Switzerland. This year I joined up with Red Chili team members Dani and Phil Hrozek and the two youngsters, Sammuel Adolph and Lukas Bolesch. See a photo gallery from this trip.
ARCTURUS – Part 2
Remembering the agony of defeat and injury – They say that completing a goal isn‘t the best part of the experience, but that it ís the journey that counts. Unfortunately, my story is not one of great success. It is of pain, discomfort, and months of a climberís worst nightmare: rest and recovery.
The Dirtbag Diaries – The Shortz – The Great White Book
By Fitz Cahall / dirtbagdiaries.com – “Life isn’t a bolted sport route,” says writer Scotty Kennedy. “The gear is sketchy and the route is difficult to read.” In 2001, Scott and his wife Sophie were living in the States. Scott was interning at a magazine. Sophie was dirtbagging it in Camp Four. On weekends, they would meet up to climb in Yosemite’s high country, Tuolumne.
High-Altitude Rescues on Manaslu
Helicopters can’t fly to the roof of the world. People who try to go there know this. When climbers in the Himalayas get into trouble they have to get themselves down. A 24-year-old climber from Hermosa Beach who is trying to climb the eighth-highest mountain in the world – Manaslu in the Nepalese Himalaya – assisted on two high-altitude rescues in the past few days.
The Dirtbag Diaries – Episode 27: The Cowboy and the Maiden
By Fitz Cahall – In September 2008, Chad Kellogg and climbing partner Dylan Johnson stood atop 6250-meter Siguniang in Western China after completing the 10,000-foot-long SW Ridge. It was a mind-bending ascent through a massive big wall, a razor edge ridge and high altitude ice climbing. The two friends endured days without water and several sleepless nights. Dylan lost 30 pounds over the course of their ascent.
ARCTURUS – Part 1
Attempting a First Free Ascent of Yosemite’s Half Dome – July, 2006 – I am staring up at the black metal bars. Lying in the early morning light, the pain continues in my lower back and I hear folding papers in the distance. Mike Anderson is reading and I am silently crying. We have been here at Todd Skinners place in southern California over a week and the pain seers through the rest of my body.
A Trip Report from Patagonia and Valle Cochamo
By Camilo Lopez and Anna Pfaff – This season in Chile and Argentina, despite lots of snow and rain, we made good friends, partied, ate lots of meat, drank good wine, and most importantly, we climbed! Amidst multiple weeks of waiting out bad weather we beat all odds and climbed two spires in the Fitz Roy Range and spent eight days in Valle Cochamó – “The Yosemite of Chile”. Click here to see a photo gallery from this trip.
Destruction of our climbing areas at our expense
By Ann Schmechel – The environmental cost of fires and water contamination related to natural gas and oil drilling is simply unacceptable. Where we hike, climb, camp and bike are directly affected by the numerous toxic chemicals they use to extract the gas and oil, spills, improper run off and the resulting fires from “blow-outs’. Even more disturbing is the tax deductions for oil and gas companies and the cost of massive clean up and restoration comes out of our pockets.
Cerro Torre – The Lie and the Desecration
By Jim Donini – Over the last four decades I have climbed on all seven continents. During that time it became apparent to me that Cerro Torre was the most magical mountain that I would ever encounter. A spike of light brown granite soaring over a vertical mile out of an ice sheet and capped by an otherworldly ice mushroom. Cerro Torre is also a peak of ever changing moods predicated by swirling storm clouds or an intense orange alpine glow on the rare clear days.
Going Big on the Costa Blanca
Story and photos by Shawn Boye – I first travelled to the Costa Blanca, as so many do, for a sunny respite from the long, dark Swedish winter. The chance to climb sporty limestone routes irresistibly drawing me south, we would end up in Calpe and with a view from the 15th floor the Peñón de Ifach would dominate our morning preparations and evening victories and defeats.
Grandmother with towering ambition could be oldest U.S. woman to top Everest
A 65-year-old Flint, Michigan area grandmother has one towering ambition that could put her in the record books, twice. This spring, Nancy Norris will attempt to conquer Mt. Everest. If she succeeds, she will become the oldest U.S. woman to have climbed the world’s highest peak – and the oldest woman in the world to have climbed the highest mountains on all seven continents.
Welcome to DEATH Oregon Style
To put it into my own words… while the Christian Brothers houses some truly incredible lines — the west face stands in sharp opposition as, the rock crumbles and wanders, even as it plows through talus and lichen (which we are never liken). The Christian Brothers Traverse, at 5.7 X, is no exception.
We’re Looking For A Few Good Men
Do you have a compelling story to tell about a defining moment in your life?
The editors of More Than a Few Good Men are sponsoring a national writing contest and are accepting submissions through May 1st, 2009. The contest is open to men ages 35 to 60. Essays should be from 1,000 to 3,000 words long and written in the first person.
This is Buildering
One can only witness the true essence, the intriguing energy of buildering in the deep of the twilight. Late in the night when a change occurs. It is an athletic alchemy, provoked partly by the bartender, telling everyone that it’s closing time, they have to leave. Some think, ‘one more cigarette or a bong session, perhaps a silly movie, maybe the twelve pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon in the fridge at home?’ Others think about climbing buildings.
The First Adaptive Athletes Have Conquered Bridal Veil Falls
On a clear crisp February morning blind climber Erik Weihenmayer and climbing partner Chad Jukes, a below-the-knee amputee, geared-up in Telluride, Colorado to begin a snowshoe hike to the base of this classic landmark. Guided by veteran climber Mike Gibbs of Ouray, Colorado and accompanied by a host of cameramen, the team approached the falls which could still be heard from a distance as water cascaded over portions of the precipice.
First Free Ascent of the South African Route (5.12c/7b+), Torres del Paine, Chile
We (Nicolas Favresse, Sean Villanueva and Ben Ditto) have just returned from Torres del Paine National Park, Chile, where on the 2nd of February we summitted the Central Tower via the South African Route. Our ascent is possibly the third ascent of the route and the first free ascent of the east face of the Central Tower (1200m). We spent 13 days on the wall accompanied by our trusty mandolin, tin whistle and harmonica.
Do you consider yourself an elite mountain athlete?
If you’re the kind of person that does hard alpine routes or steep ski descents – in the middle of nowhere – we’d like you to complete a brief survey for a Wilderness Medicine Research Project being conducted by West Virginia University.
Thirty Pitches of 5.10 in a Day at the Gunks
After climbing ten 10’s in about 4.5 hours in June, 2008, Rufus Lusk and I thought we should up the ante a bit. Twenty 10’s, perhaps, eleven 11’s, eek, thirty 10’s. YES! As training to climb the Nose in a day, we thought that climbing thirty 5.10’s in a day would be a relatively close approximation of the amount of effort we’d have to put forth.
|FIND A GUIDE – OR WHAT IT TAKES TO BE ONE
Updated 2/05/10 – The Dream Meets Education – Nothing can replace the simplicity of mentorship in the context of learning and nothing can overshadow the need for continuing education in climbing. For a pursuit in which ones survival literally relies on proper training it pays to get more than hard skills and a piece of paper from a course; the impact of mentors and friends in my development as a climber certainly cannot be overstated. Read interviews with Andrew Klotz, Mark Sedon, Ryan Waters, Marty Molitoris, Ryan Stefiuk, Joseph Vitti, Guy Cotter, Dave Elmore, Dick Jackson, Amos Mac Whiting, Adrian Ballinger , Pete Keane, and Markus Beck.
Lakpa Rita Sherpa has Seventh Summit in his sights with February climb of Mount Kilimanjaro
When Lakpa Rita Sherpa flies from Seattle on February 7th, 2009, bound for Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, he goes knowing he has the privilege to do what no Sherpa has done before—climb the Seven Summits—the highest peaks on every continent. The 43-year old man, from Shoreline, Washington, expects to summit the 19,340-foot peak on February 13th.
Super Albert: Upping the Ante Every Year
By Mark Krasnow – In 2006 for his 32nd birthday Albert set his mind to lead as many routes in a day as he was old. Red Rocks was the destination, and friends from near and far gathered to assist. Ropes and belayers were dispatched to different locations between the first and second pullouts to make the day as efficient as possible.
The Dirtbag Diaries – The Shortz – The Peach
By Fitz Cahall / dirtbagdiaries.com – Taco Bell. Pizza Hut. Climber and writer, Kelly Cordes had one hell of resume by the time he applied for a position baking bread. The work was simple, came with food and the early starts would teach Cordes to like the dreaded 3 a.m. starts demanded of cutting edge alpinism. Check out The Alpine Briefs, an international newsletter from the American Alpine Journal, mentioned in this episode of The Dirtbag Diaries.
The Climbing Personality and Proficiency Exam for Potential Partners
By Elijah Merrill – Let’s face it: we, the intelligent beings that we are, are relying more and more on tests to make decisions for us. We seek guidance for just about every aspect of our life, which means two things: it is either a reflection of our species’s confidence in our decision making abilities, or it may just be that we’re too damn lazy …
The Horse and Pony Show
By Chris Van Leuven – I’m dangling 500 feet above the deck in a sea of choss. A hammer, crowbar, chalk bag, brushes and ironmongery dangle off my harness. My face is covered in a dust mask and helmet is on tight. With one hand I’m tending to the belay device while the other is feeding the rope out of its coils.
How does video affect climbing?
Gaia (E8 6c) is one of those routes we all know about. You’d be hard pressed to find many climbers that haven’t stumbled across the horrendous fall in the opening scene of Slackjaw Film’s Hard Grit. It’s interesting reading people’s thoughts on the internet and in magazines, about how video is directly affecting modern climbing. When is watching a video beta?
TEAM PROBES WHY CLIMBERS DIE ON MOUNT EVEREST
For the first time ever, an international team of experts has probed every known death on the world’s tallest mountain, shedding some light on what makes Mount Everest one of the most dangerous places on earth. The team’s surprising findings shatter commonly-held beliefs about the prevalence of deaths caused by avalanches, falling ice and pulmonary oedema (lung problems) and highlight severe weather deterioration as a major factor in deaths.
High-altitude climbing causes subtle loss of brain cells and motor function says Everest and K2 study
A study of professional mountain climbers has shown that high-altitude exposure can cause subtle white and grey matter changes to the area of the brain involved in motor activity, according to the October issue of the European Journal of Neurology.
Hampi: Bouldering in Southern India
Text and photos by Sonnie Trotter / www.sonnietrotter.com – In January, 2008, the day after News Years Eve, Sonnie Trotter and his girlfriend Lydia Zamorano boarded a plane for southern India in search of rock climbing, yoga, and a new lifestyle experience. During his trip Sonnie was fascinated by the areas beauty and vowed he would take at least one photograph per day, during his nearly three month pilgrimage. CLICK HERE to see a photo gallery by Sonnie Trotter
The Kilimanjaro glaciers are turning straight to vapor
An Interview by Navaya ole Ndaskoi with Alex Lemunge / East African Voyage Ltd – The Arrow Glacier is no longer on Kilimanjaro. The Heim Glacier was a very famous for glacier climbing before 1996 but now almost all of it has evaporated. The Northern ice fields are mostly gone as well and half of the Fortangular glacier has receded.
Climbing Mont Blanc – Chamonix, France
Story and photos by John Wutzer – In August, 2008, as I checked into my hostel for a week long climbing class in Chamonix, the hostel manager asked me if I had heard. Heard about what I replied? He indicated that a freak ice and snow avalanche buried 8 climbers at 3 am on their way to the Mont Blanc summit via the du Tacul route.
A Trip to the Miyar Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
Trip report and photos by Camilo Lopez and Anna Pfaff – On the 13th of August we started our trip to India. About 18 hours of the "most comfortable airplane seats" and a few hours of waiting in between we made it to our first destination…Delhi, India. We loaded up and got into the mini bus taxi, which smelled like incense and cigarettes, the perfect combo after a long flight.
Not Busted: Free Climbing Half Dome’s Regular NW Face
Story and photos by Chris Van Leuven – It didn’t matter how hard I bared down on the chickenhead, the hold was not positive enough to support body weight. There was just enough friction on Half Dome’s featureless, grainy granite to smear my feet against and stand in place, but not enough to not advance on.
Bouldering Therapy 101
By Robyn Puro – I’d finally cut ties with my corrupt, evil, horrible, poisonous boss and was eager to rid my home-office of negative juju. I wasn’t entirely sure how I had gotten myself into that situation, but “the mindful life” it was not. My days had been full of angry phone calls.
Yuji and Hans Speed Up The Nose – An El Capitan Dispatch from Yosemite, CA
By Larry Arthur / MountainTools.com – We saw our friends Hans Florine & Yuji Hirayama on Sunday, October 12th, 2008, before, during and after their world record ascent of The Nose in 2:37:05! This was 9 minutes and change faster than their previous record last year (6 minutes faster that their ascent in July, 2008).
The Southwest Ridge of Siguniang (6250 meters), Changping Valley, Sichuan, China
Trip report by Dylan Johnson – Chad Kellogg and I, funded in part by a Lyman Spitzer Award from the American Alpine Club, completed the first ascent of the Southwest Ridge of Siguniang (VI 5.11 A2 M5 AI3+), 72 pitches. 9,200’ from base camp, in southwestern China over ten days, September 21-30, 2008.
A Mountaineering Duathlon in Tanzania
Interview by Navaya ole Ndaskoi – Andres Perez, a lawyer at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania, set out on what he calls a "Mountaineering Duathlon". Supported by East African Voyage Company Ltd., Perez biked from the town of Arusha to Mount Meru (Tanzania’s second highest), climbed it, then biked to Kilimanjaro, climbed it, and finally biked back to his home in Arusha.
The Dirtbag Diaries – Episode 21: No Car No Problem
By Fitz Cahall – A 1,200-foot rock wall in a wilderness area – that’s standard summer fare. In a day and back before dinner? Sounds easy. Without a car? That’s when my climbing partners stopped returning my phone calls. Recreating without a car might seem impossible, but this summer I set out to test the preconceived notion.
The Limestone of Yangshuo, China
Text and photos by Gerhard Schaar / www.gerhardschaar.com – With about 20 different crags, and about 400 routes, all no further away than a 30 minute mini-bus drive, Yangshuo is the biggest climbing area in China. The rock is limestone, and there are as many as 70,000 Karst towers scattered throughout a region with a size of only 70 square miles. See a photo gallery by Gerhard Schaar
|It’s “Dojo” time in Boulder, Colorado
By Mike Adamson / thespotgym.com – There comes a time in every gym rat’s life where you begin to crave more beyond the good ol’ walls you’ve come to know and love. Enter The Spot Bouldering Gym’s newest wall, the Dojo, unveiled September 5.
It Only Took Me Four Years to Summit the Grand
By John H. Ridge – My attempt to climb Grand Teton in August 2004 was my first time on a “real” mountain. Prior to that, my only experience in the mountains consisted of training climbs on Mount Si, a 4,167-foot peak in the Washington Cascades favored by beginners like myself.
Yosemite and Rainier Weather Forecasts
Updated 10/23/08 – By Michael Fagin, lead forecaster for West Coast Weather – EverestWeather.com – West Coast weekend forecast and live weather cams for Denali, the Squamish Chief, Mt Rainier, Yosemite and Joshua Tree.
The International of Glenwood Canyon
Story and photos by Mike Schneiter and Chris Van Leuven – "I’ve long harbored a fascination for the towering walls of imposing rock in Glenwood Canyon. The moment I moved to the Roaring Fork Valley I heard rumors of a near-fanciful route that climbed to the canyon rim," reflects Mike Schneiter on the International Route, Glenwood Canyon’s longest line.
The Dirtbag Diaries – The Shorts: The Simple Joy of Moving Upward
By Fitz Cahall – If you plan on calling Craig DeMartino inspirational, he would prefer you wait to see if he can even drag his butt off the ground. After loosing his leg in a climbing accident, DeMartino had to retrain his body and learn his craft all over again. He hoped one day he would compete against the able-bodied, but taking on Chris Sharma in a World Cup? That was beyond dreams.
An Adventure in the Dolomites
By Enrico Maioni / guidedolomiti.com – During my many years in the mountains and my numerous trips abroad, I’ve had the good fortune of living quite a few adventures. Today I’ll tell you my most recent adventure, so you think about how an alpine guide earns a living, especially if you think he does so in the most casual manner … CLICK HERE to see all the photos from this adventure
Cowboys on K2
By Guy McCarthy / watershednews.blogspot.com – The weekend of September 6-7, 2008 marked the 30th anniversary of the first American ascent of K2, the world’s second-highest mountain and widely considered the most dangerous. In early August, 11 climbers were killed high on K2 in one of the deadliest episodes in mountaineering history.
THE NOSE GOES QUICKER
Story and Photos by Eric Perlman / MastersofStone.com – July 2, 2008: “Go Hans! Go Yuji! Go Hans! Go Yuji!” a crowd of onlookers howls from below the 3,000-foot prow of El Capitan, in Yosemite National Park, California. The cheering spurs on Yuji Hirayama and Hans Florine, mere specks on the Nose (VI 5.9 C2; 2,900 feet; 31 pitches), as they charge to reclaim the speed record held since October 2007 by the German brothers Alex and Thomas Huber.
The Bugaboo Experience
By Jeff Zimmerman / JeffZimmermanPhotography.com – Deep in the Purcell mountain range of British Columbia lies the Buagboo Provincial Park, a remote and rugged alpine wonderland about 4-5 hours from the US border (or Calgary), and about 50 kilometers off Highway 93. Any seasoned BC climber knows, alpine starts are important due powerful afternoon thunderstorms. And, as expected, the Bugaboos didn’t provide us any favors this trip.
A Week in the Bugaboos
by Luke Laeser – Mike Brumbaugh and I finally made a trip to the famed Bugaboos within the mighty Purcell Mountains at the end of July, 2007. Mikey’s been a good friend since we met sport climbing at Rifle in Colorado and we’d been talking about taking a trip up to this fantastic British Columbian spot after years of drooling over photos.
Bloqueando Bouldering Competition – Challcupuncu, Bolivia 2008
By Daniel Aramayo – Photos by Juan Gabriel Estellano – On July 19 and 20, we celebrated the second edition of “Bloqueando”, a bouldering event. It’s more of a gathering of participants rather than a competition with mostly Bolivian’s but also some French, English, German and Mexican climbers who measured their skills and strengths over the weekend on some magic volcanic boulders.
AMONGST THE CHAOS
By Julie Lilienkamp and photos by Gerri Kier — www.educationelevated.org – Initially, the idea presented to me to climb for charity seemed appealing. After all, I had been rock climbing and mountaineering for the past seven years — just to escape life itself. This trip, however, would mean the complete opposite. View a photo gallery of this trip by Gerri Kier
Project 365 – Climbing Devils Tower Every Day for a Year
By Luke Laeser – Frank Sanders, 57, owns Devils Tower Lodge, a guide service and basecamp for climbers located a few hundred yards away from the crack climbing kingdom of Devils Tower National Monument in Northeast Wyoming. Frank succeeded in climbing on the tower every day (except for five days when his back was out). Despite this small hurdle, he still managed to top out 365 times.
Matt Segal Interview
By Caroline Treadway – Matt Segal made climbing history with his first free ascent of Iron Monkey, Eldo’s hardest traditional route to date. Lately, Matt’s been climbing up a storm, bringing fresh ambition to the trad world, plus a little attitude. We met up for a morning interview at the Trident, Boulder’s favorite Buddhist-owned cafe/office. The next day he sent his project up at Independence Pass near Aspen, Colorado.
The Citadels of Sinai Granite
Story and photos by Alexander Orlov — web.mac.com/aorlov – It was a snowless winter in 2006 and all of the previous summer and autumn we, as all climbers do, trained hard and surfed the internet with the aim of learning about new lines and high peaks. I found a site describing about 200 routes on the Sinai Peninsula among the granite citadels, some 600 to 800 meters tall, in a place named St. Catherine, Egypt.
Q & A with Jonathan Siegrist
On Monday, June 2, 2008 Jonathan Siegrist, 22, made the third ascent of Grand Ole Opry at the Monastery, Colorado. Originally rated 5.14a by its creator, Tommy Caldwell, the climb was uprated to 5.14c by Andy Raether after he did the second ascent, in 2007. Climbing hard and under the radar, Siegrist, a full-time student at Naropa University and routesetter at the Boulder Rock Club, did the route in just around 10 days.
Iranian Challengers organize expedition to Nanga Parbat to help save Iran’s Karun River
Right now, an extraordinary event is happening. Leyla Estandiari, an Iranian woman has been chosen to lead a team to the top of Nanga Parbat (ninth highest at 26,657 feet), known as the "Man Eater" by some — a peak second in difficulty only to K2.
Homage to the Lowball
Words by Justin Roth – The lowball boulder problem is perhaps the most derided of rock climbs. On a boldness scale, it lies somewhere between toproping in the gym and standing on a chair to change a light bulb. No one makes films about lowballs, or writes books about them — how many lowballs have you seen in the photo galleries of this magazine?
Climb Take Action Seven Summits – Entry 1: Mt. Rainier via Emmons Glacier May 30-June 4, 2008
After eight months of preparation and anticipation, Mt. Rainier (14,410 feet) was finally here. Led by Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. (RMI), I was off for a six-day expedition skills seminar on Mt. Rainier for my last formal training before setting foot on the highest peak in Europe, Russia’s Mt. Elbrus.
Everest Seeds Arrive Home to Winchester Public School
It was top security. They arrived in a hulking grey Brinks truck escorted by three OPP cruisers, emergency lights flashing and sirens heralding their return. Armed guards descended from the armoured car, cradling their precious cargo sealed in a blue security bag.
|Behind the scenes of Andy Parkin – “A Life in Adaptation”
“A Life in Adaptation” – looks at the life of the Sheffield lad who found himself naturally drawn to the nearby moorland crags. There he encountered his first ‘real’ rock climbers. Inspired, he dedicated all of his attention to climbing, funding what became a nomadic existence through a variety of climbing-related jobs, anything that would get him to the crags. WATCH THE TRAILER
Alpine Madness – Maxime Turgeon’s Complete Report From a Month in Alaska
Trip report and photos by Maxime Turgeon – Everything is calm. I can’t tell were I am; all the sensations of my body are gone except for a warm feeling all over. No more pain, no more sore muscles. Slowly I feel pressure building up in my bladder, and then my numb limbs come back to life. The pressure is soon too great, and my arm starts searching for the zipper pull.
Hong Kong – Pearl of the Orient
By Wong Ho Fai and Jonn Benedict Lu – Hong Kong is Asia’s financial hub for international commerce, and gateway to the burgeoning economic superpower that is China. Although Hong Kong is only 1,104 sq km in size, the entire gamut of tropical climbing activities are available; sport, traditional, multi-pitch, bouldering, and of course buildering.
AMONGST THE CHAOS – Education Elevated’s Trek to Mount Everest
In 2006, a seed was planted, has sprout in 2007, and now in 2008, blossomed into reality. Pem Sherpa had a heartfelt idea to change to world, one child at a time by helping the children’s schools in Nepal. Pem and Moni Sherpa are native Nepalese, who live in the Chyangba Village, near Mount Everest. This is his story of how he met an amazing woman who has taken an idea and made it into a reality.
Mt. Everest Weather Report – AAI reaches the summit!
Updated 5/25/08 — stimated summit conditions on Everest at 6 pm Nepal time. -22 C, 35 knots with stronger gusts from the southwest. Cloudy. Daily weather reports by Michael Fagin of Weather Services and dispatches from AlpineAscents.com, MountainGuides.com, and Project-Himalaya.com.
The Dirtbag Diaries – Episode 18 – The Earth Chair
By Fitz Cahall – What defines you? Is it your past? How you look? I doubt it. It’s the course we chart from dawn to dusk that makes us who we are. Seventeen years ago, Sean O’Neill — artist athlete and big brother to pro climber Timmy O’Neill — lost the use of his legs after jumping from a bridge into the Mississippi River. After the accident, Timmy dreamed about helping his older brother climb El Capitan. In 2005, the brothers decided it was time to act.
Fried Chicken on Chicken Island
Björn Alber – Photos by Frank Shröter – Sketchy, stoned boatmen that don’t appear on time, no water, bolt glue that doesn’t work, diving to retrieve lost bolts… A lot of work went into setting up the first sport climb on this Krabi, Thailand landmark.
The Stigma: Part III
This compelling story comes to us from a climber you might know who prefers to remain anonymous — My uncle by marriage was an alcoholic. I recall as a kid visiting my Aunt’s house where he’d be stretched out on the sofa. We looked at him from the distance as if he was an alien, and I don’t ever remember exchanging dialogue with him.
The Seduction: Part II
This compelling story comes to us from a climber you might know who prefers to remain anonymous — I have a bottle of alcohol in front of me. It’s vodka. Clean, clear, pure, cheap. I know how it will feel as it glides down my throat. I know how my head will turn off, my anxiety lessen, my senses numb to what has become all-unimportant in my life which is everything.
Ground Zero: Part I
This compelling story comes to us from a climber you might know who prefers to remain anonymous — I came to bouncing around in my car. It felt like I was crossing a field, but I had no idea where I was or what was happening. I only knew I was bouncing around in my car. I came to a stop in a stupor.
Sard in a Can: Part IV
Dispatches from the Island of Sardinia by Bruce Willey – The best thing about a hanging belay on a multi-pitch climb is the promise of a nice, semi-spacious belay ledge above. A place where you can kick off your shoes, have a sip of water, look around. That, and the hope that when you’re swinging leads with your partner, your pitch ends at one.
The Dirtbag Diaries – Episode 17 – The Golden Hour
By Fitz Cahall – On a warm spring day in 1991, Tom Broxson topped out on The Prow of Yosemite Valley’s Washington Column. To this day, Tom and the rescuers who saved his life aren’t exactly sure what happened next, but it ended in Tom surviving the unthinkable — a 200-foot fall onto a slab. He broke every appendage. On the flight out, the helicopter’s engine burst into flames. It was as Tom says, “A high gravity day.”
Sard in a Can: Part III
Dispatches from the Island of Sardinia by Bruce Willey – Defining Flow is a dubious if uncertain enterprise. It’s supposed to happen when you’re not paying attention, when you’re deep in the throes of say painting water lilies, blowing an Ornette Coleman riff from the mistral winds in your lungs and igniting a thousand fires.
Sard in a Can: Part II
Dispatches from the Island of Sardinia by Bruce Willey – Every time I turn around I catch the missus reading the Sardegna guidebook. Later in bed, she marks off climbs we have done today, highlighting climbs we are going to do tomorrow, and climbs we will never get around to doing.
Sard in a Can: Part I
Dispatches from the Island of Sardinia by Bruce Willey – Overlooking the orange groves and pastures just outside Quirra it becomes clear: we sound like sheep. The quick draws tinkle like the sheep bells, and after a week of climbing we begin to feel as though we are blending into the Mediterranean landscape.
Lisa Rands on The Mandala
Interview by Justin Roth – On January 18, 2008, Lisa Rands nabbed the first female ascent of The Mandala (V12; FA Chris Sharma, 2000), in Bishop, California. The tall, overhung prow was for decades dismissed as too futuristic and to this day remains one of the most coveted and storied problems in American bouldering.
DO NOT LET FEAR AFFECT YOUR CLIMBING
Sometimes, fear and anxiety can get the best of us in our climbing. The key is to know how to manage that fear and anxiety. As a result, here is a brief list of techniques that a climber can use to help manage their fears and every day anxieties.
Bolts for Bangalore
Bolts for Bangalore was two-month project in India to train local climbers how to replace unsafe anchors on existing routes and establish some safe new sport climbs. Over 50 remarkable new pitches were climbed in the areas of Badami and Ramanagaram.
Adventure Therapy – Ice Climbing in Canmore
Story and photos by Tim Ashwood – Pursuing big ice and pushing my cerebral palsy to new heights, I headed to Canmore Canada and Banff National Park. I arrived in Canmore Sunday January 27th at Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge. This would be my home for the next week.
Past the Bolt on the Stanley Headwall
An essay by Raphael Slawinski – The Stanley Headwall (or simply, THE Headwall): the premier hard ice and mixed crag of the Canadian Rockies and a testing ground for winter climbing since way back in ’74. That was the year when Bugs McKeith spearheaded the first ascent of Nemesis (150 m, WI6), brandishing Terrordactyls, aiders, fixed ropes and all.
|Solar Plexus: New 5.12 at Table Rock, NC
In December 2007, Mike Grimm, Nathan Brown, and Lee Carter sent a new route, Solar Plexus, at Table Rock, North Carolina. The two-pitch (5.12b), 200-foot trad route feeds off Mourning Maiden (established in the 1980s by Lee Carter and Tommy Howard; 5.10 R with one bolt and one pin). Solar Plexus is located on the same wall as Indecent Exposure.
The Dirtbag Diaries – Episode 14
By Fitz Cahall – Sir Edmund Hillary often insisted that while his feats and goals were of historic proportions, he was just a simple man, more comfortable in cover-alls than the high-attire of a British Knight. Aside from an Oscar-Wilde-like-talent for producing witty quotes, Hillary was the embodiment of the everyman – a sort of elder, dirtbag statesman.
The Dirtbag Diaries – Episode 13
A Lifeline Home – Micah and Ryan were members of Charlie Company, a medevac unit serving the Baghdad area. Together, they were responsible for shepherding the wounded and the dead from the Iraq’s battlefields to the hospital in a Blackhawk helicopter.
Vote for your Favorite DVD of 2007
Vote for the climbing movie you liked best in 2007: King Lines, E11, Higher Ground, Committed, Memento, Monday Mojo, Psyche, Swedish Meatballs, or The Top 20 Classic Boulder Problems
Arctic Thrills – Greenland’s Fox Jaw Cirque
The land’s frozen, the food questionable, but the climbing … spectacular. For Nate Furman and friends Josh Beckner, Jed Porter, Annie Trujillo, Kadin Panagoulis, and Darcy Deutcher, not even a two-day hike to the nearest liquor store, in Kummuit, 30 miles from basecamp, could put a damper on their excursion to Greenland’s Fox Jaw Cirque.
20 Questions with Tim Emmett
By Luke Laeser – BASE jumping, wing suit piloting, bigwall, mixed, speed, sport, and DWS climbing — UK extremist Tim Emmett is anything but idle with first ascents in the Garhwal Himal to podium finishes at the World Ice Climbing Championships.
Fin Wall Mount Foraker, Alaska
2007 Mugs Stump Award Trip Report by Freddie Wilkinson – Once upon a time, in the forties, fifties, and sixties, way back in the dark ages of alpinism before modern ice climbing had even been invented, Alaskan climbing was all about gnarly glacier travel.
American Latok 1 Expedition
2007 Mugs Stump Award Trip Report by Josh Wharton – Bean Bowers and I arrived on the Choktoi Glacier on July 1st, hopeful that we might be the team lucky enough to finally crack Latok 1’s infamous North Ridge.
Ultar Sar’s Hidden Pillar
2007 Mugs Stump Award Trip Report by Colin Haley – In August Jed Brown and I flew to Islamabad and soon were bumping along the Karakorum Highway towards the famous Hunza Valley, on the west end of the Karakorum Range.
By Andrea Sutherland – Photos by Blake Herrington – After a summer packed with hiking, scrambling, bushwacking, wading, rappelling, climbing, and first ascents, Blake Herrington, of Bellingham, Washington, needs a job… or perhaps just more virgin stone.
Legends of the Costa Blanca
Text and photos by Dougald MacDonald – The Costa Blanca, a 50-mile swath of beaches and limestone cliffs on Spain’s eastern coast, between Murcia and Valencia, is one of the great winter climbing destinations of the world.
LEGACY OF THE DREAMER
Grant more than doubles for 2008 Mugs Stump Award – As long as it was at least a little bit out there, Mugs Stump was always psyched for something, be it a big wall, long free route, frozen waterfall, or high alpine face.
The Dirtbag Diaries – Episode 10
There’s no such thing as a perfect job. There’s always a catch nagging bosses, gossiping co-workers, crummy benefits. That’s why we get paid to work. But what if there was a magical place where you could get paid to climb.
The Best Climbing Wall in Iraq
Micah Helser is a Medevac pilot for the Army, currently deployed to Iraq. He’s been in Iraq for a year now, and will remain there for three more months. He spends his days sweating in the desert heat, flying rescue missions in a Blackhawk helicopter.
The Dirtbag Diaries – Episode 9
A Prayer for a Friend – How do people remember the dead? Some people stuff wrinkled snapshots into wallets. Others build ornate mausoleums. Others ensure their friends’ memories by creating goals that can never fully be realized.
The Dirtbag Diaries – Episode 8
If you’ve opened an outdoor magazine in the last three years, you’ve probably read about Steve House. In the last decade, he’s pulled off some incredible ascents in the Canadian Rockies, Alaska and the Himalaya.
The Dirtbag Diaries – Episode 7
In 1996, photographer John Burcham and three friends completed the first foot traverse of the 650-mile long Alaska Range. Together, they forded streams, chased off curious grizzlies and crossed crevassed glaciers.
The Shared Summits K2 Expedition
Mark your calendar: Sunday February 17th, at 2:30 p.m. EST on NBC’s Jeep World of Adventure Sports … The Shared Summits K2 Expedition Story! Chris and crew captured over 30 hours of high definition footage while climbing K2. NBC’s Jeep World of Adventure Sports is a perfect outlet for the amazing film highlights during this one hour show.
The Man, The Myth, The Legend
Because of his unyielding dedication and immeasurable depth of perseverance, twenty years later, Siurana has over nine-hundred sport routes and forty-five areas. Best of all, he sported a brilliant Spanish mullet: long party dreads in the back, short messy hair for business in the front.
The Dirtbag Diaries – Episode 6 – The Anatomy of an Accident
In May of 2007, writer Fitz Cahall made a mistake that should have cost him his life when he slipped high on a Central Oregon volcano. He fell between 250-300 feet, over a cliff, through rock bands before grabbing a rock out cropping and stopping his fall.
|Step Aside Sucka
In motorsports racing the slower cars move off the raceline when getting lappped, on the golf course faster parties play thru the slower ones … We see it in our lives everyday and we learn from those who are more efficient than us.
A Woodie Project
Do you wish you were stonger? Are you ready to sack-up and take it to the next level? Build a climbing wall in your house and get sronger for less that $2 a day! It’s fun, easy, cheap and you can bribe your friends to help you with beer.
The Dirtbag Diaries – Episode 4 – A Thousand Words
There is no textbook on adventure journalism, but if there were one, it would contain one single, steadfast rule — you can’t photograph adventure from a safe distance.
Zack Smith on the Compressor Route
Maestri ruined the entire nature of this peak by installing over 400 bolts, often a foot-and-a-half apart and next to cracks, across illogical blank rock avoiding the natural line up the arete proper.
The other side of the 2006 “Golden Ice Axe”: Montagnes talks about Prezelj and the Piolet
In the weeks that followed Marko Prezelj’s refusal of the 2006 Piolet d’or, at the ceremony in Grenoble, France, on January 26, Climbing sat down with the Montagnes editors Phillipe Descamps and Manu Rivaud.
TAKE – The story of a boy who fell 110 feet
On March 11th 2007, veteran climber Issac Palatt, fresh from school in New York, and home from spring break, woke up early for a regular day of cragging near Saint George, Utah.
Everest Weather Reports – Updated 5/23/07
Daily weather reports for the Mount Everest region by Michael Fagin of Weather Services and dispatches from Alpineascents.com, Mountainguides.com, and Supersherpas.com. Join their teams as they climb the highest mountain on earth at 8,850m (29,035ft).
The AstroTour of the West
Each area has a flagship climb that inevitably gets compared to its big brother in Yosemite. There’s the Astroman of the Gunks, of the Gorge, of South America, of Switzerland, of Australia, and on, and on, and on.
A Winter Ascent of Bellavista
At some point, between millions of raindrops, the third, and the fourth beer, we speak about the aims for the upcoming winter. Martin, with a big smile from one ear to the next, suggests trying ourselves in the Bellavista on the Cima Ovest … and I cannot help but think he is crazy, or at least drunk.
China – Ice Paradise
Many places in the world claim to be the ice climbers paradise, and even though I’m from Norway, which has some of the longest and most difficult waterfalls in the world, with routes up to 800 meters long, I must say that coming to China and finding several hundred ice walls of varying levels within 2 hours walk from your guesthouse is enough to take your breath away.
Gladiators and Clowns d’Or
I don’t believe in awards for alpinism, much less trophies or titles presented by the public or the media. At the ceremony I could see and feel the competitive spirit created and fueled by the event’s organizers.
First ascents in the Changping Goa Valley
In October 2006, Alpinists Ben Clark and Josh Butson ventured to the Quonglai Mountains in Western China’s Sichuan Province. They were inspired and encouraged by mentor Charlie Fowler to quest for adventure and first ascents on virgin granite. The pair found what they were looking for and the adventure can now be viewed at: therestofeverest.com
The Future of the Himalaya
The weather was unseasonably cold and icy in Seattle as The Mountaineers climbing club on January 11 convened an expert panel accustomed to far worse conditions at much higher altitudes.
Winter Vacation in El Chorro
By Rob Pizem – This year has ended at an all time low: breaking my back, my father needing work done on his heart, and all over the world fellow climbers loosing their lives. On this note I decided to take a trip to El Chorro’s tufa filled caves, multi-pitch wonders and perfect weather near the Mediterranean.
Does climbing guard against arthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is no picnic: joint stiffness, pain, and swelling are all hallmarks of this degenerative condition, caused by the breakdown and loss of crucial cartilage. But can climbing — in particular the brutal stresses of repetitive use — cause it?
Petzl RocTrip – Kalymnos, Greece
They came by plane. They came by boat. They came by motorcycle. On October 25-30th climbers descended on the small town of Massouri in droves for the long awaited Petzl RocTrip on the island of Kalymnos.
Hidden Branches of Joshua Tree
Way out west, far from any big cities, there exists an enchanted rock forest surrounded by lanky trees that look like cheerleaders with outstretched arms, holding pom-poms. Coyotes run around at their feet, howling in unison at twinkling stars.
Whipped into Shape
“Aaaaaggghhhh!” I screamed in the loudest, highest-pitch squeal I could muster. It was a long exaggerated shriek that filled the valley, one that only a first-ever lead whipper of 30-plus feet could generate.
Travel-Climbing in the Boot
Italy is not only a land of orgasmic food and inebriating wines, but a paradise where climbing on quality rock and bathing in crystalline blue water perfectly accompany your cultural experience. The summer routine here is to enjoy remote rocks on white, sandy beaches and late-afternoon bouldering sessions, but also widen your cultural horizons with occasional museum visits.
Decking while Soloing
I static to a four-finger sloper, 15 feet off the deck. I’m on Kim Chi (5.11d), a 40-foot bulging face climb on pocketed tuff just uphill from the trickle of Malibu Creek. I’ve been climbing here for 15 years: I know the Beta to every route, have touched every pocket …
|2006 Arco Rock Master
Arco is a quiet, little mountain town of about 15,000 people, surrounded with falesie (crags) of all types. It has a kid park with miniature boulder problems, and is the home of one of the world’s tallest outdoor climbing stadiums, home to the venerable Arco Rock Master competition.
Everest Weather Reports for Fall 2006
Daily weather reports for the Mount Everest region by Michael Fagin
Photos courtesy of www.bergadventures.com Mount Everest, at 8,850m (29,035ft) above sea level reigns as the highest mountain on Earth.
To Austria with Love – Piz in Europe
Stepping off the plane, my back was tweaked and I was extremely tired from not getting enough sleep. The walk to the baggage claim was easy in the advanced and clean Munich airport. I collected my things and found my bicycle intact after being handled too many times. I quickly found Andy sitting at the car rental station.
Shirts-Off-Screaming High-Energy: The SENDFEST Recap
On August 11, some of the strongest climbers in the United States congregated in Salt Lake City at The Front Climbing Club, for SENDFEST. This was the second annual competition held during the Outdoor Retailer Tradeshow (an event attended by many of the country’s top sponsored athletes). Check out Dan Dewell’s Sendfest Gallery
Back to the Project
In spring 2005, world champion ice climber Ines Papert, from Bavaria, Germany, took a 65-foot fall in the Dolomites. A huge flake had detached from the wall (with her pro in it!), severely breaking her leg. Four months later, with screws still fastened through her tibia, she visited Colorado to climb the most difficult ice routes in Vail.
Ready, Set, Wall – Teva Mountain Games 2006
Imagine an artificial boulder the size of a gigantic mushroom parked in the middle of Vail village, Colorado. Now, imagine a team of climbers ranging from 12 to 24 years old gathered in record high temperatures to challenge each other for a $16,000 overall purse. Event Gallery by Devaki Murch, Cody Blair, and Devin Balet
Hueco Tanks – Winter Dispatches
The 2005/2006 season witnessed everything from standard-setting first ascents and widespread development of new boulders to repeats of proud and stout established problems, as climbers settled into Hueco Tanks’ guided tour policies and North Mountain user limitations.
Everest Weather Reports for Spring 2006
Get daily weather conditions and dispatch reports from Alpine Ascents International, International Mountain Giudes, and Mountain-Link. Mount Everest, at 8,850m (29,035ft) above sea level reigns as the highest mountain on Earth.
By Chris Van Leuven – Most top climbers aspire to free El Cap once in their lifetimes. Justen Sjong has already made two free ascents of El Cap and is well on his way to his third, the Muir Wall (VI 5.13c), which he hopes to complete in the spring of 2006.
Belgian “Dream Team” climbs Central Tower of Paine
I first met Nicolas (Nico) Favresse – the legendary 26-year-old Belgian sport climber cum big wall free climber, who has redpointed 5.14d, and onsighted 5.13d sport – at sunset, in the fall of 2004 atop El Capitan.
Replacing Anger with Fear on the Yosemite Falls Wall
On the Upper Yosemite Falls Wall, Nicolas Favresse free-climbed a major new route in Yosemite Valley without any new fixed protection. Favresse, 25, worked for a month on L’Appat (VI 5.13a), the first free route up a big wall about 200 feet right of Yosemite Falls. (L’Appat means the"bait" or "lure" in French.) Favresse climbed the route all free on September 9, leading every pitch.
Jack Osbourne — Trading in the rockstar for real rock
By Rebecca Stokes – When you’re the son of a death-metal rock star, you’re more likely to be found partying instead of hand jamming up the Salathe Wall. However, Jack Osbourne, son of Ozzy Osbourne, picked up climbing as part of a full-scale detox program, and ever since he gripped his first holds he hasn’t let go.
Colorado Alpine Sickness
RMNP and Mt. Evans report. Freaks of the Industry (V14) was sent by Daniel Woods, Ben Safdi, and Dave Graham.
An Interview with Didier Desalle
By Rebecca Stokes – On the 14 of May, 2005, Eurocopter test pilot Didier Desalle braved the atmospheric conditions of 30,000 feet and landed his Ecureuil/Astar B3 helicopter on the summit of Mount Everest.
Resurgence at the Chapel Wall
With a quivering body, I desperately roll my fingers into white-knuckle crimps and pray my body won’t fly off the route.
Small Dogs, Big Faces
Stepping into the lead took the last drop of my strength. I climbed for ten shaky feet. My body plotted mutiny against my mind.
Friends to Oblivion
I watched as my best friend swan dived backwards from the rock. I knew it was my fault. I was the reason he was on this wall with me.
Not So Soft
A cold wind blows across the snow covered Utah desert, momentarily distracting my thoughts. I have spent the past hour contemplating the 20-foot section of blank rock ahead of me.
Tim Ashwood’s Adventure Therapy
Pursuing a dream of jumaring El Capitan, I headed out to Yosemite National Park in September of 2003 for two months of climbing.
HOT SEAT with Stephen Koch
by Dougald McDonald – When Stephen Koch shows up on the climbing radar, it’s usually as "that guy who’s trying to snowboard the Seven Summits.
|Dave Graham sends New Base Line
Dave Graham continues to rage in Europe, bouldering and dividing his time between Switzerland and Fontainebleau. On May 3, he made the third ascent (after Bernd Zangerl and Fred Nicole)