Rock Climbing News

Read here about all the latest rock climbing news--the hardest redpoints, the most astonishing onsights, the wildest trad climbs, and the boldest solos. If it's a ground-breaking rock climb, we've got all the details.
  • RR10HP-660

    Reel Rock 10 Preview and Photo Gallery

    2015 has been a big year for climbing. There was that little Dawn Wall thing with Tommy and Kevin’s heroics launching them into mainstream consciousness to the delight and bewilderment of newscasters everywhere. There was the loss of Dean Potter one of the climbing world's biggest and most influential personalities. It was a year that saw our sport get major play across the country, and our pals down the road at Reel Rock were there with front row seats to all the action.

  • Unbelayvable: A Gym Fall Close Call

    Unbelayvable: A Gym Fall Close Call

    "The belayer had been feeding out slack by holding down the Grigri's cam, but he didn’t release it when his climber fell."

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    Watch Disco 2000: Amazing Arctic Big-Wall Free Climbing

    August 31, 2015 - British climbers Jacob Cook, Dave MacLeod, and Calum Muskett traveled to Norway to free climb Disco 2000, a 13-pitch route on Store Blamman's north face. MacLeod has produced a video with amazing footage of the climb.

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    DiGiulian and Traversi Climb Eiger Free Route

    August 29, 2015 - After spending most of the month attempting to free a 5.13 rock route up the north face of the Eiger in Switzerland, Sasha DiGiulian and Carlo Traversi have redpointed Magic Mushroom, a 20-pitch 5.13a on the far right side of the wall.

  • Unbelayvable: A 20-Foot High Time Out

    Unbelayvable: A 20-Foot High Time Out

    "Her son was still on the wall, suspended about 20 feet up. The only thing holding him up was a Grigri chained to the floor."

  • HPStanhopeCOTW

    Climb of the Week: The Tom Egan Memorial

    August 23, 2015 - The most inspirational climb this week undoubtedly was Will Stanhope’s send of the Tom Egan Memorial, the free version of an old route on the east face of Snowpatch Spire in Canada’s Bugaboos.

  • HPUnBStrongDumb

    Unbelayvable: Strong Climber, Terrible Belayer

    "I went climbing with a 5.13+ leader, so I didn't put too much thought into his belay technique until I fell at the second bolt and landed on the ground."

  • Will Stanhope on the dead-vertical east face of Snowpatch Spire. Photo by Ines Papert.

    Stanhope Redpoints Bugaboos' Hardest Free Climb

    August 17, 2015 - Canadian Will Stanhope has redpointed the Tom Egan Memorial Route on the east face of Snowpatch Spire in the Bugaboos. Climbing with his longtime partner on the project, Matt Segal from the U.S., Stanhope completed the climb over four days, grading it V 5.14.

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    Ondra Lays Out Goals: 5.15+ or 5.16, Karakoram, and the Dawn Wall

    In a CNN interview, Czech climbing superstar Adam Ondra outlines his goals for the coming years. Ambitious!

  • New Half Dome Direct Northwest Face Route Established

    The Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome has Been Restored

    Less than a month after a key section of the wall fell off, the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome has been re-established.

  • Unbelayvable: New Gear, No Idea

    Unbelayvable: New Gear, No Idea

    We saw a father and son team who still had tags on their harnesses. The dad saw our racks and said, "You guys have a lot of stuff, you must be pretty good at this." He then asked us how you get the rope up to the anchor.

  • Unbelayvable: The (Too) Simple Anchor

    Unbelayvable: The (Too) Simple Anchor

    This anchor is so simple I'm not sure it qualifies as an anchor at all.

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    Video: Conrad Anker and David Lama on Zion New Route

    In this short film, David Lama, 24, joins Conrad Anker, 52, to complete an old project of Conrad's in Zion National Park.

  • HPUnBBailFail

    Unbelayvable: How Not to Bail

    "The older gentleman proudly recounted a story of how he bailed from a toy carabiner because he was too cheap to leave a real biner."

  • hpHalfDomeNextStep

    What’s Next For Damaged Half Dome Route?

    A rockfall incident in early July left the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome unclimbable (or at least unprotectable) in its current state. Which begs the question: What next?

  • This screen shot from the Half Dome Interactive Map webpage, by Mark P. Thomas, shows the estimated area of the recent rockfall on Half Dome. Photo by Mark P. Thomas.

    Key Section of Famed Half Dome Route Falls Off

    7/6/15 - A significant section of the Regular Northwest Face route on Half Dome has fallen off, likely making the route unclimbable in its current condition.

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    First Canadian Psicobloc Comp This Weekend

    July 1, 2015 - A new deep-water soloing, or psicobloc, competition will be held in Quebec from July 3 to 5. Fifty climbers will compete for $4,000 in prize money at the Chewpod Extrême Bloc 2015 competition.

  • HPDroneAscentCO

    Drone Attack: The Ingenious First Ascent of Colorado’s Highest Unclimbed Peak

    Three climbers use a drone to haul a rope over an unclimbed peak in Colorado, allowing them to make the first ascent.

  • Unbelayvable: Gear Loops Aren't Strength Rated

    Unbelayvable: Gear Loops Aren't Strength Rated

    "My buddy on the ground noticed that the young lady had clipped directly to the anchors with a gear loop on the side of her harness and had begun untying her knot to clean the draws."

  • Climbing Gets Second Chance at 2020 Olympics

    Climbing Gets Second Chance at 2020 Olympics

    5/22/15 - The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee has announced its shortlist for sports to be included as additional events in the 2020 Olympic games. Climbing, along with seven other sports, made the cut, down from the original list of  26 that applied.

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    Heart Route on El Cap Goes Free

    Mason Earle and Brad Gobright have completed a five-year project to free the Heart Route on El Capitan.

  • Unbelayvable: A Scary Noob Moment

    Unbelayvable: A Scary Noob Moment

    "Instead of using a fixed line, she was acting as a body weight anchor as he lowered, but she wasn't tethered to anything."

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    (Sponsored) Sufferfest: Climbing California's 14ers by Bike

  • Unbelayvable: Rappelling Ain't Easy

    Unbelayvable: Rappelling Ain't Easy

    "My friend was the last person up our toprope and was cleaning the anchors. He intended to rappel, but he failed to feed both strands of rope through his tube style-belay device, only clipping catching one strand instead. As soon as he leaned back, the rope started zipping through the anchor."

  • Young Climber Dies on the Nose

    5/29/15 - A 22-year-old climber from Colorado died from a fall on the Nose of El Capitan on May 27.

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    Explore This Amazingly Detailed Photo of the Alps

    A new 365-gigapixel panoramic photo reveals the Western Alps’ most famous mountains in stunning detail.

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    Dean Potter: Five Short Climbing Films

    In this collection of short films, we celebrate Dean Potter's mastery of rock climbing.

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    Ethan Pringle Repeats Jumbo Love (5.15b)

    5/18/15 - Ethan Pringle has done the second ascent of Jumbo Love (5.15b), the Chris Sharma mega-route at Clark Mountain, California.

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    Dean Potter, Graham Hunt Killed in BASE Jump

    5/17/15 - Dean Potter and Graham Hunt died after their wingsuit flight in Yosemite National Park went badly wrong.

  • HPUnBLittleRope

    Unbelayvable: Little Kids, Little Rope

    "This rope is about 8mm and was used to belay children. Yes, the green cord is the climbing rope. There was no anchor. It ran from the belayer, up around the tree, then down to the climber."

  • Jens Holsten on the first pitch of the Chad Kellogg Memorial Route on Argonaut Peak. Photo by Vern Nelson Jr.

    New Route: The Chad Kellogg Memorial

    Jens Holsten and Vern Nelson Jr. have climbed a new route on the north face of Argonaut Peak in Washington’s Stuart Range and dedicated it to the late Chad Kellogg. Holsten was with Kellogg when he was killed by rockfall while descending from the summit of Fitz Roy in February 2014.

  • Unbelayvable: Ascenders Aren't Belay Devices

    Unbelayvable: Ascenders Aren't Belay Devices

    "I was horrified when I chanced upon these climbers belaying with an ascender."

  • Watch Chris Sharma Send His Hardest FA: El Bon Combat (5.15b/c)

    Watch Chris Sharma Send His Hardest FA: El Bon Combat (5.15b/c)

    On March 7, 2015 Chris Sharma made the first ascent of El Bon Combat at Cova de Ocell near Barcelona, at a proposed grade of 5.15b/c. This is Sharma's hardest FA to date, and if the grade is confirmed, one of the five hardest routes in the world.

  • Unbelayvable: A Belay Too Comfortable

    Unbelayvable: A Belay Too Comfortable

    The story of a shoeless belayer sitting 30-feet from the wall in a comfy chair.

  • Unbelayvable: A Pleasant Day of Topwebbing

    Unbelayvable: A Pleasant Day of Topwebbing

    "They were toproping, but they weren't using a rope. Instead, the group thought it would be fine to use an 80-foot piece nylon webbing. They even threaded it through a belay device."

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    Climber Andy Tyson Killed in Plane Crash

    4/11/15 - Four men were killed in a plane crash Friday in northern Idaho, and the victims included well-known climber Andy Tyson.

  • Mike Libecki and Angie Payne Climb Wild Jungle Tower

    Mike Libecki and Angie Payne Climb Wild Jungle Tower

    In February Angie Payne joined expedition legend Mike Libecki for an attempt on one of the world’s gnarliest towers: a 1,500-foot volcanic spire in the South Pacific called Poumaka.

  • Unbelayvable: Car Doors Aren't Bomber Anchors

    Unbelayvable: Car Doors Aren't Bomber Anchors

    "We only had one harness, so I pulled my car up closer, opened the passenger door, and clipped the locker and belay device to the door latch. The car caught a few falls."

  • HPUnBPointyRocks

    Unbelayvable: One Sling on One Sharp Edge

    "In my early climbing career, I nearly killed myself when I extended an anchor over an edge with just one long sling. After one climb, the sling was halfway cut through. I still carry the section on my keychain as a reminder."

  • Ashima Shiraishi Climbs Possible 5.15

    Ashima Shiraishi Climbs Possible 5.15

    3/17/15 - Ashima Shiraishi has climbed Open Your Mind Direct 9a+ (5.15a) in Santa Linya, Spain. Shiraishi climbed the route in a mere four days of attempts. While the original consensus grade of the route was 5.14d, a broken hold has lead some to suggest it could now be as hard as 5.15a. If the grade holds, she will be the first woman to climb a confirmed 5.15.

  • HPUnBSoloTRDaredevil

    Unbelayvable: Toprope Soloing for Daredevils

    "I was at the gym when I saw a guy “self-belaying” on toprope. He was tied into one side of the rope and he had a tube-style belay device clipped to his belay loop, which was attached to the free-hanging side of the rope. He would climb up five feet or so, pull the slack through his device, then continue up. I stopped him as soon as I saw what was going on."

  • Mason Earle Sends Multi-Year 5.14 Crack Project Near Moab

    Mason Earle Sends Multi-Year 5.14 Crack Project Near Moab

    3/13/15 - Mason Earle has redpointed a 35-meter overhanging finger crack in Bartlett Wash, outside Moab, Utah, and called it 5.14-, undoubtedly one of the hardest pure crack climbs in the United States.

  • Unbelayvable: A Different Kind of Simul-Climbing

    Unbelayvable: A Different Kind of Simul-Climbing

    "I was belaying my 2-year-old at the gym, and I overheard an employee giving an orientation to two new climbers behind me. The employee said something about climbing at the same time using the gym's autobelays. When my daughter was back on the ground, I turned and saw the new couple about to climb ON THE SAME AUTOBELAY! One of them was using the proper locking carabiner. The other was clipped into a regular carabiner that was only connected to the autobelay with some utility cord."

  • Sharma Sends Solid 5.15 Project

    Sharma Sends Solid 5.15 Project

    3/8/15 - Chris Sharma has completed El Bon Combat and proposed 9b/+ (5.15b/c) for the Spanish climb. Sharma worked on the route, off and on, for eight months before sending on March 7.

  • Unbelayvable: The iPad Photographer

    Unbelayvable: The iPad Photographer

    "We saw a smiling belayer that was taking pictures with a tablet. He was holding the device above his head with the rope still in his brake hand. I wonder, in the case of a fall, if his reflexes would make him save the tablet or the leader."

  • HPElCapFreePioneers

    El Cap Pioneers Hudon and Jones Plan Fast, Free Ascents

    Nearly 40 years after they made the first real attempts to free-climb El Capitan, Mark Hudon and Max Jones are ticking El Cap routes once again and aiming for in-a-day routes and the big prize: an all-free ascent.

  • HPUnBKnotToRappel

    Unbelayvable: How Knot to Rappel

    "I saw this guy rapping off Intersection Rock in Joshua Tree. His rope didn't reach the ground, but it was long enough to reach a big ledge most people walk off. I didn’t think much of it. He looked like he was going pretty fast though, so I stopped to see what he was doing. He was about to pass the ledge and was coming to the end of his rope when I yelled, 'Stop! Hey! Your rope's not on the ground!' My buddies quickly chimed in. He stopped just in time to swing to the ledge and not rap off the end of his rope, which wasn’t knotted."

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    Red Rock Rendezvous 2015 Info

    The 12th annual “Mountain Gear Presents: Red Rock Rendezvous” (RRR) rock climbing festival will give participants an opportunity to climb with the world’s best professional rock climbers in a unique venue at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas, Nev., Friday through Sunday, March 27-29. The event will host 45 professional rock climbers from the North Face, Black Diamond, La Sportiva, Petzl, Blue Water, Five Ten, Metolious and Osprey. Athletes will coach festival participants in half-day climbing clinics designed to improve intermediate and advanced rock climbing and mountain biking skills.

  • Sachi Amma Sends Third 5.15 of Incredible Spanish Trip

    As he winds up a short trip to Spain, Sachi Amma of Japan can look back on one of the greatest stretches of redpointing in sport climbing history. In less than three weeks, Amma, 25, has done six routes 5.14d or harder, including two 9a+ (5.15a) routes and his first 9b (5.15b).

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    Red River Gorge Fixed Gear Ethics Initiative Successfully Raises Money to Replace 1000 Bolts (and How to Donate)

    In a very impressive fundraiser, the Red River Gorge Fixed Gear Ethics Initiative has raised enough money to subsidize the replacement of 1,000 bolts in the Red River Gorge. And there's still plenty of time for more. If you'd like to donate to the improvement and maintenance of fixed gear in the Red, visit the Red River Gorge Fixed Gear Fund. The group is having great giveaways for donors every day until February 14.