1. Claw hammer crag murder
On December 28, 2013, Virginian climber David DiPaolo, 31, was accused of murdering local climber Geoff Farrar, 69, at a crag in Carderock Park, Maryland. It was reported that Farrar had been DiPaolo’s mentor for over 20 years. “I’m sorry this happened,” DiPaolo said in response to the tragedy, “I didn’t want it to happen. I didn’t know it was going to happen.” Read more about it here.
2. Jonathan Siegrist completes his dream route
After two years of returning to the hot temps of Arrow Canyon, Nevada, Jonathan Siegrist made his long-awaited first ascent of La Lune (5.14d). “Obviously I feel elated. I invested so much in this route and spent so many hours in 2013 dreaming about it,” Siegrist said in his blog.
3. Polar vortex creates Northeast ice climbing heaven
An eastern polar vortex dropping temperatures to as low as -52C has pleased ice climbers this week. The freezing weather has even made parts of Niagara Falls potentially sendable, which according to records has not occurred since 1848.
4. 2014 Ouray Ice Festival
This year, two French climbers won America’s hardest ice competition, the 2014 Ouray Ice Festival. Jeff Mercier took first place by 16 seconds, achieving his second 1st place achievement, while Stephanie Maureau championed the women’s field for first.
5. Ueli Steck on Octopussy (M8) 20 years after Jeff Lowe’s first ascent
As the epitome of extreme mixed climbing routes and the world’s first M8, Octopussy remains a dream for many alpinists. On his way to Ouray for this year’s festival, Ueli Steck stopped to visit the first ascencionist, and take on Octopussy itself.
6. Honnold Climbs El Sendero Luminoso
As Outside magazine reports, "Alex Honnold started off 2014 with one of his most ambitious and difficult free-solo ascents to date: a sustained 1,500-foot limestone big-wall route called El Sendero Luminoso in El Potrero Chico, Mexico." Is this his most impressive send yet? Stay tuned for more new from south of the border.