PERFECT TO A "T"Southern exposure at the Tennessee Wall - The sandstone bluff Tennessee Wall, or T-Wall as it’s affectionately known, defies comparison. But here’s one anyway: the Indian Creek of the South. What my comparison lacks in imagination, it more than makes up for in, you guessed it, sandstone splitters, though T-Wall’s stone is diamond hard (almost quartzitic), blockier, and more featured. You could even say a few million years of geological inbreeding separate the crag from its Mormon second cousin twice removed, though geologists might wince at the comparison.
Slow GrooveTo 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.Romancing the StonesAs 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...
Tech Tips: Climbing Photography - Light, Camera, ActionBy Jeff Achey - Photo Basics for the don't-wannabe - As a Climbing reader, you trust us to bring you the best in climbing eye candy. You know as well as we do that nothing kills the buzz quicker than a climbing photograph that’s drab, cluttered, boring, predictable, or obviously posed. You’re not a pro climbing photographer, and probably don’t want to be, and you’d rather spend your cash on cams or gas than on expensive camera gear. Tech Tips: Rope Work - Tangled Up in BlueBy Bennett Barthelemy - Rope-work for leaders 101 - “Damn it — I know what I'm doing, Bennett!” shouted my partner, Cedar Wright. “Uh, OK, Cedar, but you’re still kinda tangled up in the . . . never mind,” I said. I watched as Cedar — as solid on cracks as the day is long — ran out a sandy 5.10 offwidth in Canyonlands, the rope twisted around his leg. Even as I hoped for the best, I pictured the worst. Tech Tips: Trad - Munter MagicBy Caroline George - The little belay knot that does it all - In 2005, I was lucky enough to have Mr. Werner Munter, the father of the Avalanche Reduction Method, as my avalanche-course examiner in Switzerland. With his Lennon glasses and straight grey hair and beard, he’d impersonate an avalanche’s characteristic Whumph! by spreading his arms wide and collapsing them onto the lecturers’ table.Tech Tip - Trad - SCUM MANIFESTOBy Matt Samet - Total friction with 7 neglected body parts - “Knees off the rock, Samet!” barked my instructor, an old-school mountain clubber in New Mexico. This was 22 years ago, and I flapped up a 5.6 corner to a midway ledge. Unsure how to highstep and rock over, I’d pressed a knee to its lip, scrabbling for purchase.
Carolina Climbers Coalition and the Access Fund Set to Purchase Rumbling Bald West Side Boulders in North CarolinaThe Carolina Climbers Coalition and the Access Fund announced today the intent to purchase and conserve the Rumbling Bald West Side Boulders in North Carolina. The Access Fund, the national advocacy organization that keeps U.S. climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment, will provide a bridge loan of $72,000 from the new Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign to finance 90% of the purchase price for the 6.12 acre tract that is currently under contract by the Carolina Climbers Coalition.To All climbers who know and love Yosemite National ParkBy Jesse McGahey / www.nps.gov - I realize that many of you are probably rolling your eyes at this point about the planning process in Yosemite and the federal government in general, but being actively vocal and involved with this process is your best way of changing the things you don't like about Yosemite and keeping the aspects you love. Yosemite National Park is revisiting the Merced River Plan after two previous plans resulted in litigation.
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Bishop's Terrace (I 5.8), Church Bowl, Yosemite National Park, CaliforniaThere's no shortage of splitter climbs in the granite crucible. Exhaustingly long, deadly committing, or outrageously difficult — you’ll find them all. But not all the lines are epic; some appeal more for their friendly flavor and grand aesthetics. One such route lies on the Valley’s northeast end, in the accessible Church Bowl: Bishop’s Terrace.Coyote Tower (5.10c) Courthouse Butte, ArizonaOver the last decade, the Flagstaff photographer John Burchamhas amassed a neo-classic FFA quiver of adventure gems on Sedona,Arizona’s best towers and cliffs. The “adventure” begins in town, withgourmet dog-treat bakeries, alien-vortex jeep tours, and kitschygalleries. The local stone is exciting, too.
Hot Rock Climbing Expedition 3: KenyaEntering 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 ContinentWalking 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.Climbing the Nose With the Man of SpeedI 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!
The Asgard Project - Outtakes Part TwoVideo by Alistair Lee/Posing Productions - It's day 11 on the wall, water is running out, and the boys are thirsty; by this stage they'll drink anything! Watch this next installment of the Asgard Project outtakes, clips not shown in the final film, released in 2010. The Asgard Project is a feature film from Posing Productions that follows climber Leo Houlding as he attempts to make the first free ascent of the west face of Mt. Asgard on Baffin Island. Filmmaker Alistair Lee captured Houlding and partners as they sky dived into Baffin Island.Dean Potter: Falling to FlyVideo by Prana Living- Dean Potter is characterized by creativity, commitment, and challenge. He started climbing as a child, with a free solo fall from a stone wall as one of his earliest memories. Since that time, he has speed soloed Half Dome and El Capitan, Cerro Torre, and Fitzroy. He was the first to make a one-day free ascent of El Cap and Half Dome, and a one-day speed linkup of both of those big walls and Mount Watkins, Yosemite's third Grade VI wall. Steph Davis: So in ControlVideo by Prana Living - Steph Davis has been pushing the limits of climbing for 18 years, cross discipline. She is known for her free ascents of El Capitan, for climbing hard cracks in the Moab desert, for free soloing long and committing routes, and for first ascents in South America, the Karakorum, and the Arctic. Steph is also an avid BASE jumper and wingsuit pilot. She has made hundreds of jumps, including combining free soloing with BASE.
Joe's Valley 2010Photos by Cole Benoit - An early spring trip to the sandstone mecca of Utah bouldering, Joe's Valley seemed a necessity as the spring conditions back home in Squamish generally yield some seriously soggy climbing. Lured by the tales of fantastic problems, stellar friction, and good weather, Derek Runions and I headed south on an epic road trip where we met up with fellow Evolv climbers and our guides for the trip, Paul Nadler and Kendra Lloyd-Knox. Climbing at Owens River Gorge and Red RocksPhotos by Tara Reynvaan - This spring break, I am almost certain that the entire state of Oregon went to Bishop, California. It was so awesome to see so many friendly faces on my last climbing trip to Owens River Gorge and Red Rocks, Nevada. With prime conditions and amazing rock, this was a really inspiring week with great company. We took a Sienna minivan that turned into our road warrior through the desert as we did everything from rock grappling to spooning Joshua Trees. These photos are what I collected from the trip of friends and climbing partners Jesper Hilts, Fred Gomez, Heather Whales killing it in California and Nevada.