Ice climbing seems to have a major impact your first time around, and it certainly has its appeal. It’s a fun activity you can pursue in the winter, when most crags are sitting under a couple feet of snow, and the climbs are beautiful, like crystal castles you get to explore.
There are a number of excellent books on the topic of how to get better at climbing, and each tackles the subject in a unique way. Here’s our distilled version of the popular training programs out there, and what you can expect from each.
When it comes to climbing ethics, there’s really only one rule: don’t be an @$$hole!
Yesterday we looked at the case FOR secret crags, today we look at the argument AGAINST them.
Sometimes it’s easier to fly under the radar. Today we take a look at the case FOR secret crags.
Right up there with complaining about crowds, or maybe because of them, people also love to complain about how good things USED to be at almost every major climbing area in the country. Old crusty types seem to relish sitting around the fire, regaling us all with tales of the golden days gone by. Everything [...]
There was no sugar coating it, I was getting a beat down. This normally wouldn’t surprise me, but it was on grades that I can comfortably climb at our home crags, so I was feeling a little frustrated.
For several years, I was pretty focused on new route development in the Roaring Fork Valley. There were three cliffs in particular that we had a vision for, knowing that when they were complete they’d offer fun, unique climbing that was much closer to town than anything currently established. There were only a couple of us toiling away at adding routes, and it was a lot of hard work. Finally, in about 2007, the crags were developed enough that whether you were in the mood for granite, sandstone or something else, you’d have about 50 pitches to choose from at each spot.
Tickmarks. Something so small, and yet so big, at least when it comes to the emotional response they elicit in climbers. Some folks consider them a fact of life in modern climbing, and others think they rob you of the purity of the experience, but maybe we can find some middle ground.
What is it about the open road that calls to us? And not just any open road, but the wide open highways of the West, where the landscape fades to the edges of the horizon, where the possibilities are as endless and big as the scenery.
I’ve thought about renaming this column “Dumb stuff I saw on Mountain Project this week,” but I’ll stick with this for now. Generally I consider MP to have a higher quality audience than Super Topo or Rock Rhyming.com, but every now and then the same tired arguments get resurrected over and over, only to be beat back into submission by the masses. Bolts next to “cracks”, tick marks, sport vs trad, etc. This time around, it was pink points, and one individual was upset that the magazines don’t differentiate between a pink point and a redpoint in sport climbing.
We were sitting around the living room, racking up for a weekend of climbing on the Front Range. My friend grabbed a set of nuts, and mentioned how he was excited to get to climb on some granite where he could actually use them. Around here, you see, we don’t get the opportunity often, as we’re either clipping bolts or sinking the occasional cam, so this was going to be a nice change.
Sitting outside at a popular Moab watering hole, I couldn’t help but laugh. The shirt was clever enough, on the front, “trad is rad”, on the back “your moma’s a sport climber,” but that wasn’t it. What made me chuckle was that this guy was probably just in Indian Creek, thinking he was climbing some rad trad. And maybe he was, but probably like the rest of us he was sport climbing on gear.
In the not-so-distant future, it’s unlikely that climber’s will enjoy the freedoms we currently have when it comes to establishing routes. For a long time we’ve flown under the radar as a self policing community that, aside from a few high profile spats, has proven it can manage itself in a responsible fashion. As the sport continues to grow, however, and more people are putting up new routes, we are coming under increasing scrutiny from land managers. This will inevitably lead to tighter rules and regulations, especially when it comes to the ever controversial bolt.