252 - October 2006

252 - October 2006

Cover: Michael Reardon gets in touch with his Irish roots, pioneering a 5.10 free solo on the sea cliffs of the Emerald Isle. Photo: Mark Niles


FEAR IS RULING HERE A bloody civil war has turned once-peaceful Nepal into a political and military chaos that has killed more than 13,000 people. Yet, those who tackle the country’s high peaks climb safely above it all — or do they?By Jordan Campbell

PSICOBLOC: MALLORCA How high — and how hard — are you willing to push it ropeless above the waves? Chris Sharma and friends visit Mallorca, Spain, the world’s deep-water soloing paradise, in search of an answer. Plus: Es Pontas arch, Sharma’s ultimate Psicobloc projectStory and Photos by Boone Speed

CEASE FIREWith Afghanistan open to climbing, former mujahidin and others have put down their guns, realizing their future lies in guiding the Hindu Kush, not in killing.By Brian Calvert • Photos by Ash Sweeting

DO NOT ENTER: THE WORLD’S SKETCHIEST CLIMBING AREAS The lowdown on the six continents’ travel trouble spots, where kidnappings, drug wars, terrorist attacks, and a host of exotic maladies (ever had Ebola?) might take you down before you even reach the climbing.By Ted Callahan


EDITORIAL - GETTING GREENERClimbing switches to recycled paper. LETTERSTimmy shouts back in “Angry Letter of the Month,” trouble in City Park, more skytripping tips, another Saab story, and Master Beta rails on pole-toters. HOT FLASHESInes Papert redpoints Pellisier, 11 pitches of overhanging madness in the Dolomites; McNeely, Ninov, and Potter blitz El Cap’s hardest aid route, the Reticent Wall; Uli Biaho, 7,200 feet of Slovakian big-walling in Pakistan; and Michael Reardon free solos a 5.12+ Suicide testpiece.OFF THE WALLThe dark art of bunker climbing in Berlin, Germany; innovative new techniques for rehabbing landings from across the Pond; HERA goes big; 140-foot whipper; Overheard; hide your daisy chains — they just made the Not list; more …CLASSIC CLIMBSTake The Line up one of California’s premier moderate crags, Lover’s Leap, via 400 feet of sublime splitters and granodiorite sills. By Andrew BurrROADKILLHow much bleach does it take to kill a houseful of cockroaches? By Joe Kinder, with Colette McInerneyGALLERYHighballing in J-Tree, Rolo going solo in Eldo, crucified at Squamish, big air in Arizona, and some Euro guy about ready to explodeTECH TIPSTrad: Rig this: uncamming an auto-block belay device Sport: Push and pull: how to recover from a wicked flash pumpEQUIPMENTNine belay devices — five auto-blockers and four mechanical-assists — for advanced rope managementJUST OUTTame the alpine zone with Kahtoola cramps, Montrail approach boots, OR insulation, and a Mountainsmith women’s pack. Also, Evolv’s new women’s shoe, and a top-notch bouldering DVD from EuropeGEAR YOU NEEDNo going home tonight — de rigeur gear for suffering in style at an open bivy By Mark Synnott10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT … Rifle Mountain Park saunters into our crosshairs as we revisit tales of gluing, chipping, hangdogging, red tags, spats, murder, and all-out insanity at America’s most famous — and infamous — sport-climbing venue.