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253 – December 2006

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253 - December 2006

COVERThe unpredictable waves of California’s Humboldt County are not to be taken lightly — Joe Kinder barely escapes from being swept out to sea on an unnamed, ungraded oceanside boulder problem. Photo by Tim Kemple

“This problem was totally terrifying. The surf below, crashing into the boulder I’m climbing on, was one of the most intense feelings I’ve ever had. I got to the top and had cottonmouth. My girlfriend wasn’t psyched, but everyone else was yelling, ’That’s messed up, dawg!’”

—Joe Kinder, on climbing in Bigfoot Country


BIGFOOT COUNTRYPounding surf, drenching rains, primordial forests, monster fog, stonker limestone, and V-gradeless boulder problems where the landings shift as much as six feet per day — welcome to Humboldt County, a climbers’ eden in far Northern California.Photos by Tim Kemple

GETTING WHAT YOU CAME FOR: ADVENTURE CLIMBING IN CORSICA Mediterranean seas, warm sands, and … desperate, runout granite?! Mon dieu! One of the Med’s smallest and loveliest islands dishes out adventure in spades, even by American standards.By Majka Burhardt • Photos by Gabe Rogel

THE WOMEN OF 5.14bSome 19 years after 5.14b became an overhanging reality, an elite group of 11 women worldwide has ticked this holy grade. Besides talent, training, and determination, how did these grand dames of sport climbing get there? By Jamie Lynn Miller


EDITORIALPOSITIVELY NEGATIVE A road trip full of epics isn’t necessarily a bad thing. …LETTERSReaders are loving Climbing’s move to recycled paper! Plus: Joe’s vs. Hueco — the debate continues. HOT FLASHESDave Graham’s back in action overseas; Jon Walsh and Chris Brazeau free Canada’s Mount Alberta; sleeper Nicolas “Nico” Favresse, teamed with Ivo Ninov, does El Cap ground-up FFA, via Lost in Transletion, plus, makes a gear-only ascent of Father’s Day (5.14a) at Donner Summit; Cody Roth goes off in Europe; Markus Bock, Christian Core hard first ascents — and Maurizio “Manolo” Zanolla establishes 5.14+ multi-pitch at age 48! OFF THE WALLIf Gollum and the Yeti had a lovechild, he’d probably be a “moulineer” … ; climbers rally to help John Bachar; RMNP: Hot and Not?; Bobbi Bensman, Then and Now; Daniel Woods loses face; moreCLASSIC CLIMBSLayback jug flakes, airy hand traverses, a bombay chimney … definitely a classic iConn. A So Dak local leads you up the Black Hills’ multi-pitch Conn Diagonal (5.7).By Dan Dewell • Photos by Andrew Burr

WHIPPEDThe Great Divide: How, exactly, do you split the rack in a climber divorce?By MAJKA BURHARDTGALLERYPrepare your eyeballs for nine pages of dreamy Euro sport cliffs, frigid Colorado ice, and classic trad cragging in Cali and Washington.TECH TIPSSport: No date? No problem. Here’s how to rig a safe solo outing, on toprope. Training: Protein, protein, and more protein … what does it all mean?EQUIPMENTUltimate Clips: seven of the world’s lightest quickdraws tested tough, plus three workhorse drawsJUST OUTJust in time for the holidays: Petzl’s new E+LITE, the OR Extravert glove, Mammut Ambler jacket, Red Chili Sausalito, Julbo eXplorer shades, NUUN Active Hydration tablets, and Michael Reardon’s new John Bachar documentary GEAR YOU NEEDSo, you’re going bouldering in the land of freedom fries, berets, and stinky cheese — here’s what you need for Fontainebleau.THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT … Eigernordwand, the Swiss monster death wall that’s the most storied alpine face on the planet