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ISSUE 160| JUNE 2007




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160 RockIce
J u n e // 2 0 0 7


the photo issue exposed 54 here it is, the issue everyone’s

been waiting for. the most
killer work from the world’s
finest photographers ...
Photos by: Tim Kemple, Greg Epperson, Boone
Speed, Brian Solano, Dawn Kish, Jim Thornburg,
John Evans, Nathan Smith, Hermann Erber, Jonny
Copp, Peter Noebels, Cory Richards, Andrew Burr,
Damon Corso, Eric Draper, Reinhard Fichtinger,
Jonathan Griffith, Paul Bride, Dan Brayack,
Monica Dalmasso, Merrick Ales, Brian Irwin

Cover: Matt Maddaloni hangs by a thread above

the tranquil waters of Halong Bay, Vietnam.
Photo by paul bride

This page: Kevin Daniels goes crazy for Temporary Insanity

66 | the lost city
(5.11+), Buck Rock, Sequoia National Forest, California. America’s best neglected crag goes under the
Photo by greg epperson lens, and you won’t believe what you’ve been
Right: Lucky dog Mike Beck on Cairo (5.11a), City of Rocks, Idaho. missing. Rediscovering the City of Rocks, Idaho.
Photo by boone speed by boone speed

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22 breaking news
Grit’s new headpoint hero also happens to
flash V13. Plus, Mark Jenkins reports from
the brink of devastation in Pakistan. Big-
time comp coverage and war in Patagonia
round out this in-depth news edition.

Miscommunication is fatal ... again.

40 spotlight
He’s collected nine summits in the Fitz 76 field tested two words: vertical slopers
Roy region. Is he a crusty rusty trad Now, even you can own a jacket with James Pearson has repeated every difficult
dude? Nope, it’s Colin Haley, a 22-year- built-in mittens. That’s awesome. grit route. Now he has one of his own.
old willing to miss a few Monday classes. Photo david simmonite
BY Sarah garlick 80 ask gear guy oh, my god, are you serious?
Big Foot goes climbing and Melissa Rice can’t believe the skills she saw
42 outlook anti-freeze gets on a climbing at this year’s Hueco Rock Rodeo.
Sandbagging is just another way of saying, rope. Is the end nigh? Photo merrick ales
“I love you.” Or something like that.
BY fitz cahall 82 training barnes the noble
Natasha Barnes looks poised
You’ve hit your plateau, right? Wrong! at the Gravity Brawl.
46 Kemple’s Corner You can still shoot through the Photo tim kemple
grades like grass through a rabbit.
Listen up to what Chris Lindner has to
say. He’s been climbing his whole life. BY neil gresham

160 RockIce
BY tim kemple
90 parting shot
48 TNB Kim Reynolds, giver. J u n e // 2 0 0 7
What do mainstream media and
mountain lions have in common? 14 EDITOR’S NOTE and
If you’re attacked, Fight Back! 16 LETTERS
BY andrew bisharat 85 CLASSIFIEDS

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Black.Diamond_Quantum_160.indd 1 3/9/07 8:46:38 AM
I REMEMBER THE SMELL OF BURNING fi lm. Grants can benefit more than our
rope, cooking in my rappel device, dur- climbing community.
ing the sickening, bottomless Luna Bong I was a couple of years out of college
rappel, 500 feet above the cliff base, with when I attended the women’s exchange,
a slope dropping steeply below to the dis- and we climbed on Corsica (putting up
tant river bottom. Rope fuzz piled up in a new finish on an 11-pitch tower route),
front of me. I thought of the story some- and in the then emergent area of Buoux.
one had told of two brothers simul-rap- The grant was only for $400 (which I
peling here in the Verdon Gorge, France. later opted to pay back), but without it
Arriving at the belay, one brother auto- I wouldn’t have gone.
matically clipped in, unweighting the Laura Snider, our current intern, a Mas-
rope—and that was it for the other. Was ters candidate in journalism as well as a
the horrifying tale apocryphal? I reached climber of 12 years, has compiled a com-
the hanging belay, but could barely touch prehensive resource chart for climbing
my heated Sticht plate to unclip. grants. See it on
My friends Rhea and Fiona joined me, Years ago, Ned Gillette was a charis-
Fiona rapping last. From below I could see matic career adventurer, recipient of
her knees knocking. When we told Fiona repeated grant and sponsorship support.
she’d have to wait on the rope for
me to leave, the petite Brit said,
“You have got to be kidding—no
way!” and shouldered in. GILLETTE HOW TO LIVE
That trip was a women’s
climbing exchange to France, THAT LIFE. NED SPOKE A FEW
supported by the Vera Watson/ WORDS AND THEN ADDED,
Alison Chadwick-Onyskiewicz
fund (let’s go with VWACO), “AND SAY THANK YOU.”
administered by the Ameri-
can Alpine Club. In 1978, Watson and Gillette, who in 1997 would be tragically
Chadwick-Onyszkiewicz died in a sum- shot by robbers at the base of Laila Peak,
mit attempt, slipping 1,000 feet between Pakistan, was by his own admission never
camps 4 and 5 on Annapurna, during an the best climber; what he did was imag-
expedition that put two women on top. ine. He dreamed up ideas, researched and
Consider these proud firsts supported delivered: in determination and visibility.
by grants: Josh Wharton and Kelly Cordes Once I heard someone at a slide show ask
on the Southwest Ridge of Great Trango, him for advice on, pretty much, how to
Pakistan; Mike Pennings and Jonny Copp live Gillette’s life. He spoke a few words
on the first ascent of Cat’s Ear Spire and about seeking support, and then added
a new route on Hainablak East Tower, deliberately: “And say thank you.”
Shipton, Pakistan; Steve House, Kevin Thanks even means appropriate returns.
Mahoney and Ben Gilmore on a new ice If you receive a grant from one organiza-
route on the Southeast Face of the Moose’s tion, come back and give a benefit slide
Tooth; Lizzy Scully and Heidi Wirtz on a show. Mention grant support in films,
new route and the FFA of the South Howser slide shows and articles or the author bios
Minaret, the Bugaboos; Mike Libecki solo that follow text.
on The Viking’s Shield, Greenland; Vince I never forgot having received a grant,
Anderson and Steve House on a new route, and later served on the other side. I was
alpine style, up the Rupal Face of Nanga on the board when the AAC received
Parbat. The funding sources ranged from a generous bequest from the estate of
the AAC Lyman S. Spitzer, Jr. grants to the the great astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer,
Mugs Stump Awards to one from Moun- driving force behind the Hubble Space
tain Hardwear. Other grantees’ objectives Telescope, and we put a portion toward
have not been successes but were equally cutting-edge, exploratory climbing. I’ve
worthy. Climbing grants for top-flight heard from Spitzer’s friend Bob Palais
achievements benefit individuals and our that Lyman, who climbed in the Gunks
community, creating evolution and prog- and Tetons and achieved a first ascent
ress that draws others along. on Mount Thor, Baffin Island, was always
Grant offerings, however, are part interested in youth and hard climbing,
of a broad spectrum, much of it little- and would be pleased.
known, and being rad is not always Yet be aware that grant funds are not
required. Some grants, such as one in always set in stone. Their use can be sub-
the late Scott Fischer’s name, are for ject to debate or change. There will always
conservation, while others fund scien- be many uses for any money, and they’re
tific or medical projects. Some, like that all good causes, too. Receiving a grant is a
named for Zack Martin, have humani- privilege; help sustain it.
tarian aspects; others, are for women Grants are gifts, and memorial grants
or youth. The Polartec Challenge grant are also very fine tributes. Please remem-
is intended to “inspire.” From the Banff ber the people who gave or inspired them.
Centre comes one requiring that the And say thanks.
trip be recorded in images, words or —Alison Osius

14 R O C K A N D I C E . C O M | 07 JUNE

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No. 157]. I would also like to let you job of portraying that (best) side
know that your article has been a of Todd. He, like his father and
great comfort to the Skinner family many others in the Skinner family,
and to those who miss Todd. was a mountain poet and artist.
The Skinner Brothers Wilderness He, like his family and those of us
School was recently sold, ending who worked at the Skinner Camp,
a long history of outfitting that believed in the value of wilderness
goes back to the 1930s and Todd’s and exploration. But most impor-
grandfather, Clem Skinner. Todd’s tant, Todd was a mountain dreamer
mother, Doris, died in September and inspired many of us to follow
after a very long and difficult ill- our own dreams, to find our own
ness; Todd died in October and paths and not follow others. Todd
Todd’s father, Bob Skinner, passed epitomized the ethic of the Skin-
away in December after a pain- ners: to be practical, creative, car-
ful fight with cancer and kidney ing and comfortable in chaos.
failure. Meanwhile, the old Skinner The last generation of climbers
Ranch may well be subdivided into made a huge contribution toward
700 units, and the mountain way of making this world a better place,
BONDED life that Todd grew up knowing is
coming to an end in the gas boom.
and it is up to our generation to
begin to recognize that there can
PINEDALE, WYOMING These have been hard times. be a special bond between men
While Todd was very famous as a and mountains. It would be fitting
I want to thank the entire Rock and climber, he had another side, known if Todd’s memory would allow all
Ice staff and especially Paul Piana to his family, friends and many of of us to come together and recog-
for the wonderful article celebrat- us that went to the Skinner Camp. nize the true spirit of climbing—the
ing Todd Skinner [“The Renegade,” Your article really did a beautiful bond of the rope.

DOUBLE MOTIVATED NO SYMPATHY FOR owners. Hearing that I’ve lost

In 35 years of reading climbing SOLOISTS access to a classic crag due to
mags, I’ve never felt motivated to OK, so let me get this straight: someone’s foolish disregard for
write a letter to the editor. Paul I’m supposed to work up a bunch posted rules when I make every
Piana’s “The Renegade” changed of sympathy for a 43-year-old effort to climb with “no impact”
that. His personal account of the climber with a 4-year-old daugh- is disappointing and infuriating
life of Todd Skinner, one of the most ter, who goes free soloing in an all at the same time. Losing the
visionary and motivated climbers of area notorious for loose rock, privilege of access for reasons
all time, is one of the best climbing falls and dies [News, No. 157]. such as not following a few rules
articles ever. Kudos to Mr. Piana. Quite frankly, I don’t care if he and using foul language is noth-
KEN DUNCAN was the nicest guy on the planet; ing more than stupid. It’s a well-
FORT COLLINS, COLORADO my only reaction to this obituary known fact that grunting and
was anger and disgust. How many yelling help you climb better, but
GOLDEN SPLENDOR times does this story have to be there isn’t any proof foul language
The cover and story about climbing repeated before climbers get it? If does! Keep the language and the
in China [“The Stone Garden,” No. you have children that depend on land clean—it’s better for every-
159] offers some of the most visually you, knock off the free soloing! one and helps keep crags open.
stunning graphics I have ever seen Although I personally think PRESTON SCHWENDIMAN
in a magazine. Like the cover prom- that free soloing is on par with CLOVIS, CALIFORNIA
ised, it blew my mind! The exotic Russian roulette, I’m perfectly
and seductive imagery of rocks, fi ne with others that want to do it. JONESING FOR ROCK, ICE,
rivers, flora and fauna, in their lus- That said, contrary to what some PEANUT BUTTER
cious blue, green and golden splen- climbers seem to think, you sim- As I am Western Montana born,
dor, are the perfect antidote to the ply can’t have your cake and eat I am naturally addicted to rocks,
grays, beiges and blacks of this grim it, too. If you want to free solo, be mountains, boulders and excep-
Colorado urban winter. my guest, but don’t have kids that tionally cold water. However, I
DOUG HENNINGER you are going to leave parentless am currently a foreign-exchange
DENVER, COLORADO when you die. student in northern Argentina,
MIKE McGLYNN which sounds like great climb-
IMAGINE HENDERSON, NEVADA ing, right? Unfortunately, due
Mixed climbing [“RIP Mixed,” No. to my school, host family and
157] ceases to exist only when the KEEP IT CLEAN geographical situation, I am
top players in the sport cease to Any time a crag gets closed for quite far from being my normal
create a vision and push the sport any reason, it’s a tragedy. Such rock-obsessed self. I haven’t had
further into the future. Mixed is the case in your article [News, chalk on my hands in nearly
climbing will evolve with or with- No. 157] referring to the closing eight months! Next to Missou-
out certain people, but to blame of Torrent Falls, the Red River la’s local burrito joint Taco del
the lackluster status of the sport on Gorge, Kentucky. It seems climb- Sol, I miss the Rock Gardens
technical advancement is to close ers run into opposition on a regu- and Kootnai Creek more than
your mind and accept fate (RIP?). lar basis, and we are lucky to have anything. So, despite the fact
Personally I see a bright future for access to many of the places we that this exchange has been an

the sport—grades and caves and do. Landowners aren’t always the amazing adventure in the realms
climbs that only the mind can most reasonable or cooperative, of language, people, food, smells,
imagine. Mixed ice climbing lives but we should still do whatever places, and that I am utterly in
and rules! we can to have as little impact as love with South America, I would
RICH PURNELL possible on the land and main- like to say “thank you” to Rock
DENVER, COLORADO tain a good relationship with and Ice for reassuring me that

16 R O C K A N D I C E . C O M | 07 JUNE

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while I’m living in Argentina, the other some answer to the persistent pain that
half of my life is still happening. Rock has kept me humbly grounded for the
and Ice magazine has now become a past three months. Julian Saunders’
staple item in my mum’s care packages article [“Dodgy Elbows,” No. 156] has
(along with Ramen Noodles and pea- provided invaluable insight into my
nut butter, of course). injury. I’ve been diagnosed with lateral
EMMA RAY epicondylosis, and though I’ve been to
SAN SALVADOR DE JUJUY, ARGENTINA an M.D., an excellent physical therapist
and a shoddy one, I have been unable
ONE CARD, ALL GYMS to afford any prolonged treatment.
I have this idea that I think would So, I am left with a diagnosis, varying
help the climbing community, from information gleaned through research,
individuals to full gym groups. I cur- and the hope that Dr. J might be able
rently have a membership to Rock’n to offer me some guidance.
&Jam’n, a good-sized gym here in If he can’t—no worries. I just hope
Colorado. There’s been times when he keeps writing engaging, humorous
I’ve wanted to go to another gym, articles that cut through all the bull
especially in the winter, to try new, surrounding climbing injuries. I’ll be
different routes. Having already paid tossing out my counterforce brace
my dues to climb, I fi nd it seems like thanks to Saunders; it made me look
too much money to pay another gym like a wanker anyway.
$15, not including drive time and gas. NATE BATTAGLIA
My idea was to create some kind of BLOOMINGTON, ILLINOIS
national membership that allows peo-
ple to go to different gyms and get some THANKS, BROTHER
sort of a significant discount. The two Whenever the television media gets
main advantages would be that people their hands on a climbing accident
would not feel so committed when get- story, they turn it into some sensation-
ting a membership to a gym, and most alized circus event. Last December’s
important, it would encourage people Mount Hood incident immediately
to climb different routes, in different comes to mind. A consistent theme
places, and different styles. is always the cost of the rescue and
I’ve talked to a couple of owners of the number of rescuers needed. What
some of the climbing gyms in Colorado, the media does not understand is the
and a ton of climbers, and so far most brotherhood of the rope.
liked the idea, seeing that it would not On February 7, while ice climbing
harm their business; in fact, it would at Frankenstein Cliffs in Crawford
bring new customers every day. Notch, New Hampshire, I fell near the
Now I know this poses questions and top of a route. Both of my ankles shat-
barriers, such as how to get a “univer- tered when I hit a ledge. My partner
sal card” that every gym recognizes. Gerry held the fall, but we were now in
Which is why I’m writing to you. As a a tight spot.
subscriber to your magazine, I like the Mark Synnott, an accomplished
way it’s edited and it’s my favorite one climber and guide who was on an adja-
of all. I was hoping this letter could cent route, heard our calls for help and
get gym owners and climbers together, reacted immediately. He recruited every
to come up with some ideas to make climber within shouting distance to assist
this happen. Maybe there is even a way in the rescue. They all gave up their day
to make it benefit the Access Fund so of swinging tools to come to the aid of
that it helps all of us.

It’s great to see Rock and
Ice covering the trend of high
school rock-climbing com-
petitions [Breaking News,
No. 156]. We have a climb-
ing competition series of 18
senior and junior high school
teams every week and we are
still growing. Contact Climb-
com for more information.


Seeing the “100-Percent
Cure” tag line on the recent
issue of Rock and Ice made me
giddy as a kid at Christmas. I
quickly fl ipped past the pages
of badass ascents, hungry for

18 R O C K A N D I C E . C O M | 07 JUNE

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DMM 160.indd 1 3/13/07 8:47:30 AM
a fellow climber. While Mark and Gerry York, of course.
managed to get me back on the deck, oth- In the Gear Guide, No. 158, in the
ers went to call 911, fetch the litter from B.I.G. award for the Lowa Ice Comp,
the rescue cache or wait at the base of we mistyped Lowa as “Lova.”
the route to pony up their belay parka Our apologies.
to keep me warm. Once I was in the lit-
ter, they all carried me down the steep
approach trail and out to the ambulance GOT SOMETHING TO SAY?
waiting in the parking area. The editors of Rock and Ice appre-
Before that day, I had never met ciate your opinions and hope to hear
any of the climbers who rescued me. from you. Letters may be edited for
Pain and morphine has since erased length and clarity, and may be posted
their fi rst names as they introduced on without notice.
themselves, wishing me good luck as To submit a letter to the editor,
I was loaded into the ambulance. To please email us at:
Mark Synnott, my partner Gerry and
all of the other guys who helped that
day, I can never thank you enough for
your unselfi sh assistance. It makes me ROCK AND ICE PROUDLY SUPPORTS
proud to be a climber.

The caption to the photo of Jim Law-
yer on The Apology on page 61 of No.
157 lists the Adirondacks as being in 2007 DIAMOND BENEFACTOR
Maine. The ’Daks are in upstate New

described in Rock & Ice carry those of the writers and
INTERN: LAURA SNIDER a significant risk of personal advertisers; they do not
injury or death. DO NOT necessarily reflect the views
participate in these activities
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of Rock & Ice’s ownership.
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continuous service).
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: LISA RALEIGH OF INFORMATION CONTAINED No part of this publication HEREIN. Rock & Ice further may be reproduced without
disclaims any responsibility written permission from the
ADVERTISING MANAGER: JOANNE KNEAFSEY for injuries or death incurred publisher. © Copyright 2007 by by any person engaging in Big Stone Publishing Ltd.
these activities. Use the Occasionally, we give
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receive, and discard the unsold magazines. Instead, we rely on specialty retail outlets, including
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that micro manages its print run, and encourage all publishers to put the environment first.

20 R O C K A N D I C E . C O M | 07 JUNE

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This year, the grit season has been very
bad. We have had lots and lots of warm,
humid and wet weather. I had spent
maybe six days trying the route, and
although I had only linked it once or
twice on a toprope, I felt confident that
if I had good conditions I could lead it.
The day of the lead started off a
lot like any other day on the route. I
warmed up, fell off the top on the link,
rested, got a little closer, still fell, did
the crux section, rested, fell off the top
again, etcetera. I was lucky enough to
have my girlfriend, Emily, and best
friend Keith with me to offer psyche
The adjectival (i.e. E10) is the over- and give me chocolate.
all grade and this generally tells you The sun went down at about 3:30. I
how much “effort” it will be to climb linked it a couple of times on a toprope
the route. The effort could be both and it felt good. The light was fading,
physical (long and pumpy or powerful) but the conditions felt great and I set
and/or mental (scary). off. The moves flowed and every hold
The technical grade refers to the felt good. I got my arm on the wrong
technical difficulty of the crux move. side of the rope but the conditions
For The Promise, E10 7a means it is very were so good and I was so psyched
dangerous with very hard climbing (sus- that on a move I normally slap, I man-
tained V11) above a terrible landing. aged to lock off, untangle my arm and
continue the climb. When I got to
HOW DO YOU GET READY FOR AN the last move, I felt a little tired, and
E10 GRIT FIRST ASCENT? didn’t quite get the top sloper correctly,
When I am preparing for a hard trad but I stayed calm, managed to adjust,
route, I make sure that I am comfort- reached through and topped out.
ably climbing at a higher level than
is required on the route. I do this so DESCRIBE THE
that if something were to go wrong, I GANYMEDE TAKEOVER.
have a chance of getting myself out of The Ganymede Takeover is on a very
The single #1 slider nut is the only pro on the sustained V11 crux of The Promise.
the dangerous situation. I also spend steep boulder on a beach of a river,
a lot of time mentally rehearsing high in the mountains. It is a beautiful

A HARD PROMISE TO KEEP the moves and body positions. The

more trad routes you climb, the more
your body and mind get used to the
place. The problem climbs a 65-degree
wall via tiny edge snatches to a dyno
for the lip and a cool mantel topout.
GRIT ROUTE, AND FLASHES V13 process and often, when it comes to
the ascent, your body takes over and YOU JUST CLIMBED THE
IN A LITTLE OVER A MONTH, from resume is equally stellar, with repeats THE HARDEST FLASH
January 14 to February 16, James of many scary and difficult gear-pro- DESCRIBE THE PROMISE. IN BOULDERING. HOW MUCH
Pearson of the U.K. put up the hardest tected headpoints, including the former The Promise was one of the last great HARDER CAN YOU CLIMB?
route on British gritstone, The Promise hardest grit route Equilibrium (E10 7a), unclimbed lines on gritstone. It takes A lot harder. I don’t really train. I just
(E10 7a), and made the hardest flash in which he climbed when he was 19. a blunt overhanging arete, with very climb as much as I can on all different
bouldering history when he stepped up hard and powerful moves on bad holds rock types. I feel like over the last year
and sent Dave Graham’s Ticino, Swit- WHAT DOES THE GRADE to get to an extremely precarious crux or so, while I’ve been focusing mainly
zerland, testpiece Ganymede Takeover E10 7A MEAN? right at the top. The landing is a jumble on bouldering, my climbing has started
(V13) on his first attempt. I guess the British trad grade is hard of jagged boulders and the gear is poor, to come together and I have also

Pearson is no stranger to hard climb- for foreigners to grasp at fi rst but once a single #1 slider-nut in a shallow slot started to get a little stronger. I know
ing. Last summer, he flashed Secret you get it, it works very well for trad that is difficult to place correctly. It my technical ability can improve dra-
Splendor in Rocky Mountain National routes. Each grade is split into two is by far the hardest trad route I have matically and I’m still weak compared
Park, Colorado, a problem given V13 parts, the adjectival grade and the ever done, which makes it the hardest to a lot of people. I have a lot that I can
but subsequently down-rated. His trad technical grade. route on gritstone. work on.

22 R O C K A N D I C E . C O M | 07 JUNE

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Pakistan’s revered Western celebrity Greg Mortenson, and a new earthquake-proof school.


“ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR STUDENTS Directly after the earthquake, Morten-
died when the school collapsed,” Iffat son and his local Pakistani team visited
Sulman Usmani said quietly. She was Azid Kashmir, the hardest-hit region of
cradling her textbooks and her eyes Pakistan, and promised to build three
beseeched me not to probe into this schools. One would be in Pattika, a shat-
tragedy. Everyone in this mountainous tered village that sits less than 10 miles
border region of Pakistan, Azad Kash- from the earthquake epicenter, another
mir, had lost family members or friends in Nowseri, and one much deeper up-
in the earthquake. valley in the school-less, hillside village
Iffat, 17, stood with seven of her class- of Pakrat.
mates—each wearing a pure white Remarkably, only a year later, all
shalwar kameez and a brilliant green three schools are open. Built on con-
shawl—outside the brand-new, earth- crete foundations from modular, foam-
quake-proof Pattika Girls Secondary insulated panels proven to withstand
School. an earthquake, the Chinese-engineered
I asked Iffat what she thought of the schools are watertight and warm. When
new school, and her expression immedi- I visited the AAC-sponsored Pakrat
ately changed from one of sorrow to joy. elementary school, one of the teach-
“Bohot Shukuria!” She caught herself ers said, over the cheering of some 50
and translated, “We are very thankful!” wildly happy children, that it was easy
On October 8, 2005, Pakistan was to get kids to come to school because it
rocked by a 7.6-magnitude earthquake is warmer than home.
that killed 75,000 people, injured an The CAI, however, wasn’t the only
equal number, and left 2.8 million peo- group interested in establishing schools.
ple homeless and 500,000 students out “Extremist jihadi groups set up much-
of school. Although the earthquake was needed refugee camps, but with make-
the third-deadliest natural disaster in shift madrassas right next to their mess
the past quarter century, international tents,” said Mortenson.
relief was incommensurate. Americans Madrassas are male-only, Muslim reli-
had pulled $1.6 billion from their wal- gious schools that sometimes encourage
lets to help the South Asian tsunami violence. “They know that poverty and
victims, but came up with less than one death, hunger and helplessness breed
percent of that—$26 million—for survi- desperation, and they wanted to take
vors of the earthquake. Since then, only advantage of it,” said Mortenson. “I
250 of the 9,200 schools destroyed in saw it as essential to get a few secular
the earthquake have been rebuilt. How- schools, particularly girls’ schools, up
ever, a small iconoclastic subgroup did and running as fast as possible.”
respond with cause and cash: climbers. “Girls that are educated can read the
The American Alpine Club orga- newspaper,” said Shaukat Ali, 28, a
nized a “Coats for Pakistan” campaign, richly bearded science teacher at Pat-
encouraging climbers to send in their tika. (Ali is a former Taliban turned
used jackets and gear. girls’-education advocate.) “They know
“The response was astounding,” said their rights. They have status. They can
Phil Powers, executive director for the change backward thinking. This was
AAC. “We received over 22 tons of coats, impossible 20 years ago.”
sleeping bags and tents—plus $122,000 From his time on the ground in the
in cash donations.” Middle East, Mortenson believes the
A portion of the money was used to oxymoronic “war on terrorism” is
transport these supplies over to Paki- backfiring. He believes education is the
stan and distribute them, but with the answer, but knows it will take a long
rest, the AAC decided to “get involved time—generations.
in something more lasting.” Jack Tackle, “Since 2001, the U.S. has fired over 100
chair of the outreach committee, knew Tomahawk Cruise Missiles into Afghani-
what to do: he called Greg Mortenson, stan and northern Pakistan, at the cost
founder and director of Central Asia of $940,000 each. The CAI could build
Institute (CAI). 50 schools with what it costs to pro-

Over the past 13 years, CAI, through duce just one cruise missile. With just
Mortenson’s indefatigable leadership, has the money spent on cruise missiles we
built 58 schools—providing education to could educate a million kids!”
over 24,000 children—in remote villages in (For more on the Central Asia Insti-
the Karakoram, Hindu Kush and Pamirs. tute, visit

24 R O C K A N D I C E . C O M | 07 JUNE

p.022-36 Breaking News.160.indd 24 3/13/07 1:19:23 PM

Blue_Water_160.indd 1 3/9/07 8:57:37 AM

★ ★★
tells the story of three old, beaten- he crumpled on a basketball court.
up climbers who are confi ned to Diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease,
TOP 20 CLASSIC a nursing home and relive their he endured chemo and then, in
BOULDER PROBLEMS glory days through “broken mem- ebullient remission, returned to
OF NORTH AMERICA ories and fractured perspectives,” full-scale activity. Two years later
DIRECTED BY NATHAN CANDO revealed in the fi lm as fl ashbacks, he was struck with a tumor in his, $25 hallucinations and dreams. In lung, Askin’s Sarcoma, with a sur-
★★½ reality, we see montages of direc- vival rate of only 6 percent. He
THE BEST THING ABOUT NATHAN tor Fred Bohm, editor Ed Rhine is apparently the only person to
Cando’s vision—to fi lm the top 20 and producer Scott Moser climb- survive both. That, more than an
most classic boulder problems in ing and bouldering interspersed ascent of Everest as a client, gives
North America as per a survey of 500 with the three old dudes remi- Swarner a tale to tell.
climbers—was his decision to use a niscing about their past exploits: “Life? There was no life,” he
team of badass women as the talent. Like getting caught in a snow- writes, “only the hospital, the
But as captivating as it is to watch storm on a wall in Zion or going treatments, the cycles, the mea-
strong chicks mantel the topouts of bouldering. Take this snippet from surements, the comas, and the
the fi nest problems from New York the fi lm as an example: “Man, you sad, unfi ltered truth: I was sick.”
to Texas to Canada to Colorado, it’s guys couldn’t agree on anything. The heart of his story is his willful,
not enough to carry the fi lm. Seems to me all you did was dis- combative vigor: Sean returned
Despite the fact that the fi lm is agree, disagree. Why, I remember twice to his swim and track teams,
structured around a countdown, when you’d go out to go climbing. even when illness had left him 60
the production feels scattered, You just couldn’t agree.” pounds overweight—or, the sec-
bouncing between musings on the This kind of random rambling ond time, 60 pounds underweight.
central meaning of the word “clas- proves that memory is only rele- The book is marred by an overly
sic,” what really makes a highball, vant or entertaining when accom- colloquial style. For example, we
and why Squamish is the ultimate panied by some kind of point. read this dispatch, from the top of
bouldering destination. Some of the Added to the story problems are Everest: “the stars are at eye level.
problems get only seconds of foot- uneven production values. The Amazing. Truly. If it were a few
age while others drag on for min- actors are hard to understand at hours earlier and I had a lasso, the
utes with detailed beta or an area times and the lighting varies from moon would be, well, you know the
mini-guide. The women’s perfor- harsh sun to full shade depending rest.” Various sentences include
mances are also interrupted with on the angles. lame little asides, or end with
snippets of interviews with dudes— Huge props to Cartel Produc- “right?” or “huh?”
like Fred Nicole, Matt Wilder and tions for attempting to tell a story Still, you give the wallopingly
Jason Kehl—opining about the art about climbing rather than offer- inexperienced Swarner—who had
of bouldering. Credible as they are, ing up the usual blasé mutants never climbed when he decided on
their views relate only peripherally pimping the sickety sickness. But Everest — credit. He and his brother
to the 20 boulder problems. a story has to have some clear moved to Estes Park, ate ramen and
A few of the interviews with the confl ict plus a theme in order to potatoes, and climbed 14ers, Sean
women, however, are refreshingly grab you and keep you interested. while lugging 100 pounds of rocks.
human, illuminating real struggles, Security Life is all concept. On Everest, by then age 27, Swarner
both physical and emotional. Char- —JEFF JACKSON felt strong and passed others. Bet-
lotte Jouett’s story of resending The ter yet, he visited kids in a hospital
Buddha (V7) after being sidelined beforehand and brought hope.
by an abdominal tumor is particu- —ALISON OSIUS
larly compelling.
The majority of the problems fea-
tured—The Buddha excluded—are [guidebook]
rated in the mid-V range, making BISHOP BOULDERING
a future ascent of almost all of the BY WILLS YOUNG
beautiful boulder problems within AND MICK RYAN
the reach of climbing mortals. The, $36
Top 20 Classic Boulder Problems ★ Guidebooks are not rated ★
of North America makes a proud TWO THOUSAND PROBLEMS,
ticklist. nearly 350 pages, over 100 areas,
—LAURA SNIDER zillions of color photos. That’s a lot!

26 R O C K A N D I C E . C O M | 07 JUNE

p.026 Reviews.160.indd 26 3/9/07 9:49:58 AM

Charles.Moretz_fp_160.indd 1 3/9/07 8:59:28 AM
DAMN BEAUTIFUL Today you can type the words “Ruth
Gorge” into your computer and in an
JORGESON WALKS AWAY WITH instant receive 31 pages of results,
STUNNING FA IN BISHOP from notes on measurement by the
great cartographer Brad Washburn
to accounts by prolific climbers such
as Jack Tackle.
FORMER COMP STAR Kevin Jorgeson The initial launch of the AAJ Online
has been on a tear in Bishop, ticking one includes volumes back to 1966. Over
highball after another before crowning time, staff and volunteers will work to
his bouldering vita with a bold first add all volumes to 1929.
ascent of The Beautiful and Damned, a The AAJ research tool is available
30-foot V13 with a nasty landing. Jorge- gratis. —ALISON OSIUS
son rehearsed the sequence on toprope,
explaining that it would be “question- CLIMB HARD, GET FAT FINGERS
able” whether he could walk away after Contrary to widespread speculation,
a slip off the upper slab moves. The rock climbing does not increase the
problem climbs a striking golden streak risk of osteoarthritis, a breakdown
on one of the smattering of granite of the cartilage in the joints causing
rocks at the Bardini Boulders. pain and infl ammation, according
Jorgeson, 22, sent the problem in to a study published last fall in the
early January, taking a dozen tries Journal of Anatomy. Boulderers and
over two days, after a wobbly, terrify- sport climbers do, however, have
wider bones in their fingers and hands
ing reach for the fi nal knob landed his than non-climbers. Trad climbing
numb fi ngers in a shallow seam, giving had no effect on the fi ngers. The
him just enough purchase to pull over research also showed that the harder
the top and keeping him off the mound a climber can send (on average, the
of boulder pads piled below. 27 climbers studied bouldered V6 and
Ethan Pringle, who had also vied for led 5.12c sport routes), the stronger
the first ascent, repeated the problem the fi nger bones. The authors of the
on January 19. study were surprised to fi nd that the
considerable stresses put on joints
[ SMALL WIRES] from climbing hard routes and prob-

lems could cause additional bone to
be deposited on the outside surface
The American Alpine Club has now
of the bone, something not usually
released the American Alpine Journal
seen in adults. Read the study at
Online, available at americanalpin-
Jorgeson punching through the opening moves of The Beautiful and the Damned (V13). —LAURA SNIDER

p.022-36 Breaking News.160.indd 28 3/19/07 4:27:40 PM

Mammut.EMS_160.indd 1 3/9/07 9:00:37 AM

Underdog Paul Robinson may have won the Gravity Brawl, but got served (like everyone
else) on problem 5, dubbed “The Wheel of Tim,” on The Thunderdome.


INDOOR BOULDERING COMPS are one in the room wanted to see the
a hard sell to the many climbers who unthinkable—for Woods to make the
believe that it’s not rad unless it’s trad. biggest comeback of all time.
But have these people ever seen what it Energy poured down on Woods’
takes to suss and send V11 in five min- head. The screams were locomotive
utes? That type of strength, skill and and wave-like as he climbed past Rob-
confidence was on display for over a hun- inson’s high point, past the horizontal
dred wowed spectators at the New Jer- throw to the miserable sidepull, and
sey Rock Gym, in Fairfield, opening the up onto the headwall of the structure
year’s biggest comp series, the Mammut- called The Thunderdome. Woods just
EMS Bouldering Championships. barely reached the last hold, a little
A brutal qualifying round narrowed blob of a sloper. He kept bumping it,
down 40 top male and female com- desperately trying to gain purchase.
petitors to 10 men and 10 women, for One move separated Woods from the
the fi nals round, held Saturday night, top and the ground, from fi rst and sec-
March 3. As at other comps, climbers ond. Woods fell.
were given five minutes to reach the “I was defi nitely not the favorite to
top; unlike in other comps (which use win,” said Robinson, a floppy-haired,
a confounding point system), competi- lanky 19-year-old. “That took some
tors were ranked based on how many pressure off and let me climb to my
problems they completed. ability.”
When Daniel Woods arrived at prob- On the women’s side, Kate Reese
lem 4, he had completed just one prob- arrived on a high wave of confidence
lem—in fact, on the fi rst, Woods had after winning the Triple Crown, but
posted the lowest score of the entire her best effort (two problems sent)
field. It looked as if he was out; he knew wasn’t enough to beat Lizzy Asher, who
that Paul Robinson, who had already fl ashed three problems for fi rst place.
sent three routes, was strongly in con- “Lizzy deserved to win this one,”
trol of fi rst place. As Woods studied the said Reese later. “She climbed really
steep V10, his hands swapped in and well. I gave it my best.” After the comp
out of a chalk pot. If he didn’t send, he ended, Reese laced up to complete the
wouldn’t have a chance. problems she didn’t send, as did both
Woods took a deep breath and began. Woods and Robinson. It was clear that
He absolutely crushed it fi rst go, and these climbers were psyched.
was the only person to tag the top. Vasya Vorotnikov, last year’s Mammut
Things suddenly became heavy, and tour champion, came in third, struggling
the gym vibrated like an Africanized to out-score the fourth-place Gabor Sze-
beehive. Robinson couldn’t do the fi fth kely. Competition for third and fourth
problem (set by Tim Kemple and Jason was equally close on the women’s side
Danforth, and dubbed by the latter, between Sasha DiGiulian and Andrea
“The Wheel of Tim,” in a nod to Dai Szekely. Other impressive performances
Koyamada’s famous V16 Wheel of Life). were by Brian Kim, who demonstrated
It was probably V11—and so far, no near-perfect technique, and Marah Brag-
one had the guns to maneuver through don, who can pull down hard.
the cryptic full-body sequences. Then Cash prizes were awarded to the fi rst
again, no one had the guns of Daniel six fi nalists, with $1,000 for fi rst place.

Woods. If he could send, he would win. Stay tuned for the next issue of Rock

Just then, the DJ’s power acciden- and Ice, when Tuesday Night Bouldering
tally shut off, and the music stopped. reveals what kind of twisted maniac you
The crowd, interestingly, became pri- need to be to set up and pull off a huge
mal, even uproarious, because every- comp like this. Don’t miss it!

30 R O C K A N D I C E . C O M | 07 JUNE

p.022-36 Breaking News.160.indd 30 3/13/07 1:21:02 PM


Gitty up, l’il doggie. Allen Peters way up The Cornerstone (V4), at the Hueco Rock Rodeo.


WITH THE LOSS of two Hueco Tanks
pillars still fresh in our memories, the
2007 Hueco Rock Rodeo, held on Febru-
ary 24, was a special one. Climbers from Yowzer! Josh Haynes pulling piss on Le
all over the world came to the desert of Retour de Goupil (V12).
El Paso, Texas, to pay tribute to Todd
Skinner and Pete Zavala, to celebrate the biggest reasons to take part in the
our mutual love for bouldering and to Rodeo … the celebration. Burgers, beer,
party till the cows came home. schwag, awards, a live band, killer DJ
The Advanced and Mutant categories and Red Bull cocktail bar ensured that
spent the morning on the East Spur. the party was extraordinary. The Rock
Classics as well as new problems, such Ranch bonfire could be seen from two
as Rules of Chaos (a highball V10 put miles away.
up by Jason Kehl in 2006), saw quick Thanks to Hueco Tanks State Historic
repeats. The beginner and intermedi- Site, Hueco Rock Ranch, sponsors and all
ate categories freely explored the end- of the participants, this year’s rodeo was
less classics found on North Mountain. a huge success. First place for the Male
As the day wore on, the Advanced and Mutant category went to Sam Tingey
Mutant categories moved over to North (two of his top six problems were V12s),
to continue their assault on some of the followed by Nick Duttle in second. Jody

best boulders in the world. Hansen placed first, followed by Heather


At day’s end—with thin skin, sore Johnson for the female Mutant category.
fingers and worked muscles—all of the For more on the 2007 Rock Rodeo,
competitors turned in their score cards including all of the results, go to
and diverted their attention to one of

JUNE 07 | R O C K A N D I C E . C O M 31

p.022-36 Breaking News.160.indd 31 3/13/07 1:21:35 PM


Will this new high-altitude helicopter change mountaineering for the better? Or worse?


CLIMBERS STRANDED HIGH on the the summit of Everest ... and now every
slopes—or even at the summit—of ill-prepared sad sack whose ability falls
Mount Everest in 2008 might receive short of his Himalayan ambition can get
a speedy rescue by an unmanned heli- on the radio, call for help, and expect
copter if the not-for-profit Everest Res- the cavalry to save the day,” lamented
cue Trust has its way. With the donation the prolific and notoriously outspoken
of an innovative new helicopter engi- alpinist Mark Twight in the December
neered by New Zealand’s TGR Heli- 2005 issue of National Geographic
corp, the trust is planning to establish Adventure.
an alpine rescue base at 11,300 feet in Cutting-edge alpinist Steve House, who
Namche Bazaar, the village gateway to climbed Nanga Parbat’s Rupal Face the
the Khumbu region of Nepal. same year, opined: “I think that instead
At the heart of the operation is the of rescuing climbers off the top of Ever-
Alpine Wasp, a svelte, windowless, pilot- est, it would be a much better business
less chopper that can fly to 30,000 feet to take people to the top of Everest …
with the help of a two-stroke diesel engine Come to think of it, I see very little dif-
that can burn Jet-A1 fuel and rotor blades ference between what many people call
that are specially designed for maximum ‘climbing Everest’ and flying to the top
lift in thin air. Conventional helicopters by heli. Hell, it might even be cheaper!”
are not designed to reliably hover above The Everest Rescue Trust points out
a ceiling of 14,000 feet—Everest Base- that the risks of high altitude will not
camp sits at 18,000 feet and the summit diminish with the possibility of rescue and
rises above 29,000—and rescues in the that there will always be extreme weather
high mountains can pose deadly risks for conditions that make rescues impossible.
the pilots. The Alpine Wasp will be able “We have not had one response from
to hold two injured climbers, who will anywhere in the world indicating climb-
need only to be capable of hooking them- ers would rather die than be rescued by
selves to a winch; the futuristic Wasp will helicopter,” says founding trustee Trevor
do the rest. Rogers. “Why would anyone not want
Though efficient, high-altitude helicop- assistance if it were available?” Rogers
ter rescues are welcomed by many (and made it clear that the Everest Rescue
billed as a humanitarian project by the Trust will not be providing a “taxi ser-
Everest Rescue Trust), they are viewed vice for those that are tired.”
with trepidation by others. For some The Alpine Wasp is not scheduled to


members of the mountaineering com- land in Nepal until next winter, after
munity, access to easy rescues squelches several months of testing in the New
the spirit of alpinism—a sport that has Zealand Alps, and the rescue center will
long required vigorous self-reliance. The not be fully operational until April 2008,
controversy flared in 2005 when a Euro- assuming continued negotiations with
pean helicopter landed on the summit Nepal go as planned. The rescue base
of Everest and, later in the year, when will also include a clinic specializing in
a Pakistani military helicopter rescued helping Sherpas who have lost limbs to
Slovenian alpinist Tomaz Humar from frostbite and a “Sherpa Shed,” which
19,360 feet on Nanga Parbat. will outfit Sherpas with high quality gear
The Humar rescue sparked a squall for free. For more on the Everest Rescue
among cutting-edge alpinists. “A short Trust and the Alpine Wasp, check out
haul off Nanga Parbat, a helicopter at

32 R O C K A N D I C E . C O M | 07 JUNE

p.022-36 Breaking News.160.indd 32 3/13/07 1:21:47 PM

Scarpa_160.indd 1 3/9/07 9:01:41 AM
WHILE SOME MIXED CLIMBERS have Boyer succeeded in the second ascent,
CLIMBS ZION CLASSIC spent the last season confounded by upping the ante by placing all gear on
the unresolved ethical quagmires of lead. A week after Boyer’s lead, Mayo,
ON OCTOBER 21, Kate Ruther- their sport [see “RIP Mixed,” No. 157], shown here, made the third ascent of
ford and Madaleine Sorkin free a couple of Northeasterners continue a route he first tried six years ago, also
climbed Zion’s Moonlight Buttress to show that cutting-edge challenges placing all gear on lead.
(5.12d) in a two-day push. Theirs still exist for those with exceptional “I know there will be another surge
was likely the fi rst redpoint by an skill, a trad rack and a good head. [in new mixed trad routes] soon,” says
all-female team, and the second Ian Boyer and the mild-mannered Mayo. “While The Fecalator is one in a
female ascent of the route after insurance salesman Will Mayo have million, there are so many more phe-
that of Mia Axon—who completed made the second and third ascents of nomenal traditional mixed climbs just
a team free ascent with Topher the hardest mixed route in the North- waiting for someone with the desire,
Donahue in 1995. east, The Fecalator (M10). motivation and skill to get ’em done.”
First, Rutherford and Sorkin Matt Horner discovered the climb in
rapped into the route to work a 2000, and named it after a weapon in
few key pitches and stash bivy a sci-fi movie that makes people soil
gear. During the ascent, Ruth- themselves. Located at the Exit 30
erford led the 5.12d crux and Crag, Adirondacks, The Fecalator is
Sorkin dispatched the “slot a two-pitch line that leads to a rare
pitch”—5.12 ringlocks in a tight hanging icicle. The second pitch is the
corner. The duo placed all the business: a thin crack that overhangs


gear on lead with the second fol- 120 degrees.
lowing free. For three seasons, various climbers
After topping out, Rutherford worked to send the rig first, but it was
and Sorkin rapped to retrieve Chris Thomas who nabbed the first
their bivy gear, and, wearing ascent, in 2003. Mayo called Thomas’
sombreros to celebrate, passed ascent, with pre-placed gear, “the most
out chocolate caramels to the aid impressive lead I had ever witnessed at
climbers they passed. the time.”
“They were stoked,” says Ruth- In late February, after harrowing
erford. “And while we ruined multi-season battles on The Fecala-
their wilderness experience, at tor that involved massive whippers Mayo on the third ascent of the hardest
Kate Rutherford on Moonlight Buttress (5.12d). least they laughed.” riding the fi nal icicle when it broke, mixed climb in the Daks.

p.022-36 Breaking News.160.indd 34 3/13/07 1:22:46 PM

Gregory_160.indd 1 3/19/07 3:53:00 PM

La Aguja de L’S boasts one of the steepest walls in the Fitz Roy Range, Patagonia.

RYAN NELSON AND CRYSTAL DAVIS- midst of surfing the giant headwall, the
ROBBINS, both of Colorado, established climbers were overcome by darkness. A
a 3,300-foot new route on the unclimbed storm blew in, and both were soaked.
south face of La Aguja de L’S (7,660 feet), Rapping the overhanging face was nearly
in the Fitz Roy range, Patagonia. They out of the question, so they continued
took 35 hours to establish The Art of War upward, freeing and aiding their way to
(V 5.12a A2), on the peak’s west side. the top. They reached the summit in the
“I just went down to Patagonia by early morning, and tried rapping the
myself,” says Nelson, “and luckily met north ridge, battling high winds.
up with Crystal, and she just happened “Crystal and I were literally lifted
to need a partner.” into the air and slammed down on
La Aguja de L’S is small from its our anchors,” says Nelson. The duo
east side, and can be climbed in four walked into camp 35 hours after leav-
pitches. From the west side, however, ing, “hungry and happy as little clams,”
the peak drops down over 3,000 feet to says Nelson. This was his fi rst climbing
the glacier. experience in Patagonia, while Davis-
“The south face rises above you like a Robbins has climbed the North Pillar
big wave,” Nelson explains. “The upper of Fitz Roy and made two other fi rst
headwall is overhanging on every pitch.” ascents in the area. Nelson said Davis-
Nelson and Davis-Robbins began Robbins thought this was her burliest
their route a day late in the weather Patagonia climb yet.
window, on February 11. The climb- “Crystal is a badass,” says Nelson.
ing began on a vertical buttress, “She already is, and will continue to
which Nelson all but freed at 5.12a, be, one of the most influential female
except for one thin corner of A2. The climbers in Patagonia.”
route then kicks back, and the duo If this headline made you think you

traversed over to get beneath the impos- were going to read about the ethical
ing south face headwall. war over Cerro Torre, and the resulting
Davis-Robbins began up the headwall, fi sticuffs, you’ll just have to wait for the
firing a burly offwidth at 5.12a. In the in-depth exclusive in our next issue!

36 R O C K A N D I C E . C O M | 07 JUNE

p.022-36 Breaking News.160.indd 36 3/13/07 1:23:12 PM

NBTY.Met-Rx_160.indd 1 3/9/07 9:04:03 AM
ON FEBRUARY 4, IAN MACK, 23, OF bolts above the fi xed hooks, clipped a
Appleton, Wisconsin, started up the locking carabiner to the cordelette and
route Paradise, a four-star 5.9 at the clipped his rope.
Banana Belt crag, Owens River Gorge, a According to Aidan Loehr, a guide
popular sport-climbing area on the East for American Alpine Institute who was
side of the Sierra Nevada. climbing a route next to Paradise, Mack
Mack, a climber with two to three “clearly yelled, ‘Off belay.’” Mack’s girl-
years’ experience, successfully, though friend, who was belaying, took him off
shakily, navigated the dead-vertical belay and stepped back to take a picture
route, clipping its 12-odd bolts. He of him.
arrived at a set of stainless-steel hooks Seconds later, Loehr saw Mack, still
with spring-loaded gates, a common tied to the rope, free fall 120 feet to the
anchor type at the Gorge. ground. Nearly a dozen climbers rushed
To lower, Mack would simply have to evacuate Mack, but he died of his
had to drop his lead cord into the injuries at the hospital in nearby Bishop,
hooks, but he clipped his cordelette to becoming the first fatality at the Gorge.

Paradise is well bolted and equipped with lowering hooks and a

bolted toproping station to save wear and tear on the hooks. A 70-
meter rope will lower you back to the belay ledge, about 15 feet off
of the ground. According to a climber who had done the route just
prior to Mack, the belayer can see the climber for the first three or
four bolts, but after that the climber is out of sight and you have to
communicate verbally.
Typically, if you were going to lower off Paradise, you would drop
your rope into the hooks, yell, “Take,” and be lowered by your belayer. While no
one will ever know with certainty what Mack, who was a first-timer to the Gorge,
had in mind, the fact that he ignored the hooks and clipped his cordelette to the
bolts and clipped his rope through this with a locking carabiner suggests that he
intended to toprope the climb, and clean the station later. With that in mind, Mack
either meant to be lowered, and said “Off belay,” when he meant to say “Take,” or
correctly said “Off belay,” and intended to rappel. In the latter scenario, which is
the least likely, he may have failed to correctly clove-hitch into the anchor. If he
only looped the rope through the locking carabiner, instead of hitching it down (a
mistake that would be easy to make), when he leaned back at the hanging stance
the rope would have pulled through the carabiner with almost no resistance. Since
Mack did not have a daisychain or sling fixed to his harness, anchoring in with a
clove-hitch or a figure-8-on-a-bight would have been the only way for him to
secure himself.
A contributing factor may have been Mack’s apparent rattled mental state.
Although he was wearing a helmet, an indication that he was safety conscious,
witnesses say he sketched up the route. When you are stressed, it is easy to make
absent-minded mistakes, such as yelling out the wrong belay command. Mack’s
girlfriend initially thought she might have taken him off belay when she was sup-
posed to lower him, but witnesses clearly heard him say, “Off belay,” and felt the
accident was no fault of hers.

MISCOMMUNICATION and when other route he is never off belay until
between the belayer and options abound, avoid all the rope has played
climber is a common climbs where communi- out and the intent of the
cause of accidents, often cation can be a problem. leader is clear.
fatal. As an extra precau- Last, preventing an
When the climber tion, even when the accident of this type is as
and belayer will not be leader yells, “Off belay,” simple as never weight-
able to see one another, the belayer can keep the ing the rope until you
such as on Paradise, leader on, and feed the clearly hear a “got you”
clearly stating—before rope through the belay from your belayer. In this
the climber leaves the device all the way to case, the lack of a reply
ground—whether the the end. This might be would have alerted Mack
climber intends to lower annoying for the climber, to the fact that he had
or rappel is crucial. Nov- who struggles to tug up issued the wrong com-
ice climbers in particular the rope and rig the rap- mand, and was in fact no
should heed this advice, pel, but guarantees that longer on belay.

38 R O C K A N D I C E . C O M | 07 JUNE

p.038 Accidents.160.indd 38 3/19/07 3:58:02 PM

Petzl_harness_160.indd 1 3/14/07 12:48:36 PM

By Sarah Garlick
PULLING UP ONTO A PARTIALLY to climb in my life, it was Cerro with the upper West Face route
buried picket, Colin Haley watched Torre. It felt pretty surreal to be on (VI WI4 M5 AI6). Haley has now
in horror as his sole piece of pro— a summit that I’d been obsessing reached nine summits in the Fitz
another picket, at his feet—slid about for so long.” Roy region.
out of the snow, loosened only by Descending the mountain, Haley Last July, Haley, with Jed Brown,
the movement of his rope. Instinc- became distracted by an odd smell. made the fi rst ascent of The En-
tively, Haley grabbed the piece as “I kept thinking, man, Kelly really tropy Wall (VI 5.9 A2+ WI4+ 2300
it started to fall and then placed it stinks. But then I’d get to an anchor m) on Mount Moffit, in Alaska’s
above his head in a desperate aid before he did and the smell would be remote Hayes Range. Haley has also
move. Haley was leading the last there. I realized it was me, too—we completed the second enchainment
snow mushroom to the summit smelled like ammonia.” Haley and of British Columbia’s Waddington
of Cerro Torre, a bizarre pitch of Cordes, emaciated from 40 hours out, Range (VI 5.9 AI3), in 2004, and
overhanging fluff. were burning through their muscle in 2005, a solo attempt to 21,300
“It was the scariest moment on tissue. “When we got to the ground, feet on Nanga Parbat’s Schell Route.
the entire climb,” Haley said. “I I could actually feel that my harness Last year, the American Alpine Club
used my elbows and knees, trying was looser,” Haley said. honored Haley with the Robert Hicks
to spread out my weight so I didn’t A 22-year-old college student, Bates Award for achievement by a
just fall through.” Haley tunneled Colin Haley has accomplished more young climber.
up and into the steep snow, fi nally in the world’s toughest mountains We chatted with Haley on a Friday
keLLY cordeS

punching his way out. When his than most alpinists will in their afternoon; he’d just gotten out of
partner Kelly Cordes arrived at the entire lives. His January climb of class at the University of Washington
belay, it was only a short pitch to the Cerro Torre with Cordes marks a and was packing his gear for a solo
summit Haley had been dreaming milestone in Patagonian climbing: winter attempt of The Garth Pillar
about since his early teens. the sought-after first linkup of the (V 5.10 A1) on the north face of
“If there was one peak I wanted ephemeral Marsigny-Parkin route Mount Stuart.

40 r o c k a n d i c e . c o m | 07 June

p.040-41 Spotlight 160.indd 40 3/13/07 10:54:15 AM

Q u e s t i o n + A n s w e r
How long are you going to be out? I should be a senior, but I took all of last
It’s a 10-mile ski in to the base of the year off to go to Pakistan, France, Argen-
route. I’m going to try to do it in three tina and Norway, to ski and climb.
days, round trip. You went to Chamonix after
Does that mean you’re skipping Patagonia last year?
classes on Monday? It was pretty crazy. I was on a cheap
There’s a high-pressure system—you’ve stand-by ticket and my travel got messed
got to take advantage of it. up in Buenos Aires. I only had 14 hours
When did you start climbing? in Seattle after being in Argentina for
My dad taught me how to self-arrest when seven weeks and leaving again for Europe
I was 9, but I didn’t start climbing fifth- for four months.
class stuff until about 13. My early climbs I bet your parents were psyched
were mountaineering objectives—fourth- about that.
class climbs using a swami belt and an They still picked me up from the airport,
eight-mil cord. at least.
In the Cascades? How do you spend your time
Yes. One of my main partners was Mark in Patagonia when you’re not
Bunker. He’s great, totally old school. I climbing?
think a lot of people learn how to climb Basecamp is so comfortable there. I go
WI6 and then they go to Alaska thinking bouldering, hang out in camp and listen
that they’re all set. But alpine climbing to music.
has just as much to do with knowing What kind of music do you bring
how to arrange stuff on a tiny bivy or on expeditions?
how to melt snow efficiently. I learned Bjork, Sigur Roas—they’re another Icelan-
that from him. dic group, Tool and Alice in Chains—sort
What has been the highlight of of an eclectic mix.
your climbs so far? What’s with the Icelandic thing?
Cerro Torre. I’d been thinking about it for Oh, it’s awesome. Do you like Radiohead?
so long. Moffit [in Alaska’s Hayes Range] Sigur Roas is just like Radiohead, but
was a more difficult climb, but Cerro better … and even crazier.
Torre was more spectacular. Did you meet any Argentine girls
What was it like to reach your life’s in El Chalten this year?
climbing goal? [pause] Maybe.
I was super psyched to be [on the sum- Where do you live?
mit of Cerro Torre], but to some degree I rent my friend’s floor for $100 a month
it was weird. All of a sudden this thing [in Seattle]. I just keep a sleeping bag, a
that you’ve held in such regard—this ridge rest and a pillow—all my climbing
ideal—no longer exists. and skiing gear is at my parents’ house.
Now what? To save money for climbing?
The world’s most difficult objectives are Yeah, my parents give me enough money
in the Himalaya and Karakoram, so I’m to live in the dorms if I want, but I real-
sure I’ll go there. To up the ante in alpine ized that if I just dirtbag it, I can save
climbing, you have to go to altitude. I enough money to go on climbing trips
want to climb Latok I, but then everyone on my breaks.
wants to climb it. What do your college friends think
What is your favorite kind of route? about your climbing?
The most inspiring climbing objectives They’re all disappointed that I don’t party
for me are mountains where simply as much as I used to.
getting to the summit by any route is Because you’re training?
a challenge. Well, yeah … not going out and binge
You’ve been to Patagonia three drinking is training for me.
times, for a total of less than 11 You’ve climbed with a lot of
weeks—not very long for all the different partners of all ages.
summits you’ve reached. To what Do you look for anything
do you attribute your success specific in a partner?
down there? A good alpine climber has to be physically
Definitely I’ve had good luck with the strong, but intelligence and experience
weather. But I think it’s also due to being are also important. I think in alpine
willing to climb in worse weather than climbing more than any other type of
most people. When Bart [Paull] and I climbing, you have to do a lot of logical
climbed Poincenot, we had on crampons thinking. … It’s no surprise that all the
and ski goggles and belay parkas the sport climbers out there are living the
whole time. We were climbing through rock-star lives and all the alpine climbers
a blizzard. are a bunch of nerds.
You’re in your junior year at the Does that mean you’re a nerd?
University of Washington. Yeah. Totally.

June 07 | r o c k a n d i c e . c o m 41

p.040-41 Spotlight 160.indd 41 3/13/07 10:54:20 AM

the crux on a highball boulder ing led a few aid pitches, Singer
problem only to discover that decided to rope-solo Lurking
my friends failed to mention Fear. He turned to Van Leuven
the agonizing mantel. Slowly, for advice.
the gullibility eroded away and “He showed me what he
was replaced by an icy heart. I, had—a few cams, cheese and
too, came to revel in the ruins crackers, and a few gallons of
of friends’ egos. I had become a water,” says Van Leuven to-
sandbagger. day. “Why send him up with a
As time goes by, our climb- bunch of water and food that
ing culture has grown more he was just going to have to
and more supportive and hike down? I thought he would
trustworthy. With a plethora bail. No one solos El Cap with
of super-detailed topos and so little experience.
Internet sites providing gear “Everyone thought I was try-
lists and beta, today’s climb- ing to sandbag him. I wouldn’t
ers rely less and less on word do something that evil. At least
of mouth. Route descriptions not now.”
aren’t just proliferated around
campfires by shady dirtbags SLOWLY, THE
coming off Old English binges.
Climbers actually encourage GULLIBILITY
one another. ERODED AWAY
Frankly, it’s getting dull.
Something has to be done. AND WAS
Oft-maligned, yet time-hon- REPLACED BY
ored, the psychological sand-
bag—climbing’s true dark AN ICY HEART.
art—is in danger of disappear- I, TOO, CAME
ing altogether. For the last two
months, I have compiled notes, TO REVEL IN
ransacked my journals and THE RUINS
culled information from fellow
sandbaggers. Here are a few OF FRIENDS’
basic, introductory strategies EGOS. I HAD
to undermining your friends’
or soon-to-be ex-friends’ hopes BECOME A
and dreams. Remember, even SANDBAGGER.
if you don’t wander down the
dark path, a thorough under- Singer embarked on a four-
standing of these strategies al- day odyssey with a single rack
lows you to avoid the sandbag. of cams, only a basic knowledge
of aid climbing, a box of Tris-
SIZING UP YOUR VICTIM cuits and will. He slept curled
Whether in demolition derbies, inside his haulbag, weathered
poker or climbing, sandbagging August heat with little water,

THE NOTES ON THE PSYCHOLOGICAL SANDBAG is a form of misrepresentation. and leap-frogged cam place-
BY FITZ CAHALL A driver of a battered Dodge ments forever.
Pinto feigns mechanical failure Singer’s epic ascent illus-

SITTING IN A KATOOMBA PUB, GARTH MILLER TOLD ME, to draw an opponent in. A card trates an important point.
“Whatever you do, don’t grab the surfboard.” shark fakes a weak hand. Es- Even if the victims realize they
We were in the center of the Blue Mountains. My mouth loose sentially, a climbing sandbag- are woefully under-equipped
after a pint or two, I had announced my plans to climb Bladder- ger downplays one’s strength to or in terrain above their

ART hozen, a three-pitch, runout 5.11 face climb in the notoriously

loose Grosse Valley. I puzzled over Garth’s strange advice, slept
nervously and relayed the information to my partner.
When the 10-by-3-foot wide “surfboard” flake appeared in
an otherwise blank section of rock on the third pitch, I tapped
gain an advantage over a usu-
ally weaker peer. If it sounds a
touch sadistic, it is.
The skilled poker player also
looks for the mark whose wal-
ability, they often persevere.
Their drive and stubbornness
is ultimately what sandbags
them. Don’t feel guilty. The
traits that make young climb-
on it. It moaned. I moaned. I inspected its mooring. It didn’t let is bulging. In climbing, we ers such easy targets—confi-
seem to be attached. I considered the source of the advice– gamble in ego. When sizing up dence, ambition and boundless
Miller, the climber who established 5.14 in Australia—and stud- and selecting a target, look for enthusiasm—may make them
ied the surrounding face for a line of micro crimps. Nothing. an outpouring of confidence. great climbers. In the long run,
Already 10 feet out from the last bolt, with the pump setting in, Seek someone who won’t back you’re doing them a favor.
I had only one option—grab the surfboard. I imagined riding down. If that confidence is ac-
it all the way to the talus below. Before waves of panic set in, companied by ambition and TACTICS
I grabbed either side, smeared onto a tiny edge and shuffled my naivete, you’ve got your mark. The typical sandbag involves
hands up. In the mid 1990s a young Ja- ruthlessly wiring an area favor-
Days later, when I ran into Miller at the same pub, he asked, son Smith arrived in Yosemite ite and then tricking visiting
“Did you grab the surfboard?” Valley looking to climb El Cap. climbers into thinking it’s an
“Yes.” A longtime Valley climber, easy tick for the grade. I see
“I did, too,” Miller said with laugh. Realizing I had been duped Chris Van Leuven, befriended two problems with this ap-
by greatness, I bought the man a beer. Smith, whose wild, frilly proach. First, it requires talent.
Through the years, I’ve been talked into climbing crumbling shirts, self-made on a sewing Second, it sounds suspiciously
sandstone towers, leading offwidths that require sophisticated machine, earned him the nick- like work.
knee and arm pads and found myself nearly in tears after pulling name Singer. Despite only hav- Think psychological warfare.


p.042-44 Outlook 160.indd 42 3/9/07 9:22:45 AM

Mountain Hardwear 160.indd 1 3/9/07 9:08:12 AM
IF YOU DO GET wide gear, seize the oppor-
tunity. Tell her, “You could
SANDBAGGED, definitely use the #4 and
REMEMBER #5.” You aren’t lying either—
somewhere along a 1,000-
THIS—OUR foot route, that Big Bro could
GREATEST be placed. Hold back laughter
as she stuffs them into an al-
SUCCESSES ready enormous backpack. A
AND bit childish, maybe, but your
friend’s face after she has
PROUDEST dragged the OW gear up the
MEMORIES approach and pumped out in
the middle of the crux will
ARE OFTEN bring you nothing but joy.
BLUNDERS. If you do get sandbagged,
remember this—our great-
When a friend asks about a est successes and proudest
route, give concrete details memories are often born of
instead of using vague adjec- our miscues and blunders.
tives like “hard” and “scary.” I remember cursing the
Pantomime complex sequenc- sandbagger who had talked
es. Also play up the threat of me onto whatever hor-
animals on the route—effec- ror show I shook my way
tive in creating general mal- up, but in hindsight, these
aise. A hand jam can feel a routes were where I learned
lot like a finger stack if you’re how to manage fear, to take
worried about a peregrine three deep breaths and start
dive-bombing you. climbing, to be patient even
Last summer, a rumor though the instinct is to flail.
began circulating that Astro- Through the years, I have
man’s infamous Harding Slot had the pleasure of return-
was infested with bats. This ing to routes that had previ-
gaping squeeze chimney is al- ously humbled me, induced
ready the most talked-about dry heaving or spit me off in
ropelength in Yosemite. Orig- grand, arcing whippers.
inally rated 5.8 by Warren Occasionally, I cruise up
Harding, it’s now considered these routes and relish each
a sickening, claustrophobic jam or finicky RP placement
5.10+. Most aspiring climbers while wondering what the big
spend weeks fretting over the fuss was about. More often
standard enigmatic advice— than not, though, I’ve lulled
“follow the ‘S’ path”—and myself into believing that
gathering meaningless beta. time has made me a far supe-
When the rumor cropped up, rior climber. Invariably, I’ve
a frantic rush ensued to climb trimmed the rack or failed
Astroman before the Harding to tape. I try to remember
Slot became an impassable whether I’m going to need
cleft of rabid bats and putrid that #4 Camalot. The answer
guano. An already notorious bubbles up through thick
sandbag had become expo- memory: “Quit whining.
nentially sandbagged. You’ll be fine.”
Once your target has set Ten minutes later, I’m
his sights on a particular grunting and swearing. My
route, your mission is to mouth feels like sandpaper,
build up your victim’s ego. my elbows are bleeding and
Let the route break it down. I’m wishing I’d given my part-
Be more blindly optimistic ner this pitch. How could I
than Tony Blair and George ever have done this without
Bush the day they invaded the big cam? The granite
Iraq. The offwidth section? seems to perspire, as if col-
Tell them that it’s got cruiser luding to spit me off. I can’t
hand stacks and the knee let go; it’s too big a fall. The
jams are brilliant. The dou- only option is to climb. I’ve
ble dyno? A gimme at V1+. sandbagged myself. The na-
Blame your own failure to ïve, fresh-faced climber has
climb the route on a lack of finally had his revenge.
the natural athleticism your
friend possesses. Fitz Cahall lives in Corval-
Disinformation also has its lis, Oregon, and is currently
place around the campfire. working to settle his karmic
For example, whenever a debt by volunteering at a lo-
friend asks if a route takes cal youth shelter.

44 R O C K A N D I C E . C O M | 07 JUNE

p.042-44 Outlook 160.indd 44 3/13/07 2:17:54 PM

Julbo_160.indd 1 3/9/07 9:12:43 AM
Chris Lindner has been climbing for 20 years—which is a lot, considering
this blond surfer dude turned 23 in March. He’s an original article: styl-
ing 5.10a trad at age 4 when the cams were almost as long as his legs, red-
pointing his first 8a at age 10, and climbing 5.14c at age 16. Last season,
he stepped it up big time by nearly free climbing the Big Stone, via El Nino
(5.13c A0). An impressive Lindner sent the hard 5.13 pitches within a few
tries each, though a single wet move on the final 5.12 pitch kept him from
ticking the route. Not bad for his first big wall ever.

What’s it like being a Describe your El Cap

total major rock star? You experience in five words:
must have a lot of ladies Intimidating, sketchy, technical,
asking for your number. beautiful and rewarding.
When I roll into the club, most
girls don’t know what rock climb- That’s six.
ing is. When I puff my chest and Whatever.
throw out, “Yeah, I climb rocks,”
I better follow up with something Describe the difficulties
cheesy immediately or I don’t have of El Nino.
a chance. The hardest part for me was con-
stant death-fall potential on the
Like what? easier pitches. I felt like I was
“Wow, your shoes bring out the escaping serious injury or death
color of your eyes.” on pitch after pitch, and it seemed
like just a matter of time before my
You’ve been in the game luck ran out and I slipped and fell
forever. Do you think the 60 feet. But we lived, and I think I
chipped routes of the am used to it now, so I can’t wait to
90s helped or hurt the get back on the Big Stone!
sport of climbing?
Helped. I feel like you have to What’s your worst
make mistakes before you learn climbing injury?
from them. Now, the majority of Sprained my ankle trying to cam-
the world doesn’t approve of chip- pus a boulder problem in my san-
ping tactics, so more people will dals the first climbing day of my
think twice about putting the drill trip to France. Had to climb with
bit to stone. one foot for the first week.

Is chipping OK in What did you dream of

certain situations? becoming as a kid?
I’m not a rock snob. As long as I I wanted to be a rock-and-roll star
am outdoors with good friends and a pro surfer.
doing what I love, I am stoked. I

CHRIS am fortunate that sponsors help

me travel around the world climb-
ing on the best stone. But I am not
Is climbing like surfing?
It’s so similar it is mind-boggling.
People buy surf videos and maga-

everyone. I know plenty of people zines to see people living the ulti-
with families who work 40 or 50 mate lifestyle of traveling to exotic
hours a week, and they only have areas all over the world searching
time and money to make it to the for the perfect waves. Climbing is
local—perhaps heavily chipped— the same exact thing.
AGE 23 *VITALS cliff one day. If that cliff wasn’t
there, that person might not be What would you like
WEIGHT 155 able to climb at all. to accomplish in the
HEIGHT 5' 11" I do take a stand against drilling next five years?
a route down to your ability level. If Improving in both loves of my life.
the route has holds, leave it alone. Focus on developing remote world-
YEARS CLIMBING 20 I have never chipped a hold in my class climbing destinations with
VICES Anything on a tortilla. life, and probably never will. Also, I world-class surfing nearby.
have way more respect for the route
developers who’ve established hun- Describe having a
MUSIC 311 dreds of routes with a few chipped relationship and trying
Primus holds here and there than the to climb your projects.
ALO people who sit in their office and I will take advice from anyone
Donavon Frankenreiter try to defame these [developers] in who has it on this topic. I don’t
Beatles their little online forums. have a clue.


p.046 KemplesCorner.160.indd 46 3/9/07 9:30:14 AM

Omega.Pacific_160.indd 1 3/9/07 9:16:31 AM

DIMENSION By Andrew Bisharat

I keep coming back to the “beach ex-
ample.” If conditions are too danger-
ous, if there are sharks in the water or
a hurricane is coming, there are life-
guards there to Close That Beach. Why
don’t we have similar regulations for
mountains? If conditions are too dan-
gerous, why not Close The Mountain?
—Bill O’Reilly speaking about the recent
highly publicized tragedy on Mount
Hood in which three climbers died.


climbing-related episode or drama
drops from our happy, insular world
up high and plummets to the ground,
where the rest of this disparaging soci-
ety festers. Non-climbers, or as I like
to call them, Floor-boreds, exist in a
terrible two-dimensional world—Left?
Or … Right!—and have no idea about
the third dimension: Up.
But Up is climbing at its core. Up is
uplifting! Up is good, challenging, pos-
itive and provocative, but also, tragic
and harrowing. Well, so what? That’s
what makes Up so real. In fact, the
complexity of Up rivals even life itself.
Unlike, say, snowboarding, Up is not
just for fun, though perhaps, like life,
that’s all it’s meant to be.
The Floor-boreds, who are as Bored
as they are unable to leave the Floor
(and probably resentful of those who
can or do), have a difficult time under-
standing this third dimension that we
call The Climbing Experience, whether
it’s trad, ice, bouldering or whatever it
is that gets you off (the ground). Maybe
that’s why I find it so infuriating to hear
our Experience discussed in the main-
stream—because when non-climbers
talk about climbing, it’s always with
the barely disguised repugnance of a


48 R O C K A N D I C E . C O M | 07 JUNE ART BY E M I L I E L E E

p.048-52 TNB.160.indd 48 3/9/07 9:34:32 AM

Sterling_160.indd 1 3/13/07 9:43:35 AM
ing. A rescue mission found in fact, the list, from most
the deceased Kelly James, of to least easy to understand,
Texas, in a snow cave; his two goes like this: gym climbing,
partners remain missing. mountaineering, rock climb-
Anyone with a TV will prob- ing, ice climbing, aid climb-
ably remember the grim end ing, mixed climbing and,

I plan on taking all that

has been written and said
about climbing by non-
climbers, and compiling
it into the world’s most
comprehensive manuscript
of insane bullshit.
to 2006, when all the “news” finally, bouldering, which, of
media—especially that haz- course, is the dumbest-look-
ardous carnival of irrational- ing one of all.
ity Bill O’Reilly—covered the But for all the insta-com-
Mount Hood report and, “in a prehension that indoor climb-
related story,” the disappear- ing provides, it’s still a strange
ance of “one of America’s best idea to those who believe
climbers, Everest summiter hands should be used to catch
Christine Boskoff” (and, uh, footballs. For instance, back
“her partner, a Colorado boy in college, when I couldn’t
scout,” Charlie Fowler). The get out, my favorite thing to
Hood brouhaha turned what do was grab plastic holds with
is, sadly, a “normal” (though tape beneath them. I’d prac-
always painful) occurrence tice practice-climbing, a sub-
in the climbing world into discipline so far removed from
some kind of weird, “gripping” the real thing that it might as
coverage laced with zipping well be phone sex. An 8-by-10-
helicopters and subtle con- foot woody stood outside my
demnation of anyone who’d room like a British royal guard,
knowingly do something as all immovable and greasy. My
inherently dumb as try to five roommates and I tugged
climb up a mountain. It must on its silly holds until we were
have been a slow news week. positive that we’d always,
Well, no matter. I plan on always remember those good
taking all that has been writ- times by sustaining lifelong
ten and said about climbing cases of tendonitis.
by non-climbers, and com- Coincidentally, the wall dou-
piling it into the world’s most bled as a subject of my all-time
comprehensive manuscript of favorite pick-up line. Check
insane bullshit. this out:
But I will save that for later,
because right now, I feel nei- Me: Hey, Girl. You want to go
ther ready nor even compelled back to my place and see my
to confront the world on its climbing wall?
own terms—I still have proj- Girl: You have a climbing
ects to send. I suspect my wall?
pent-up aggression toward Me: Of course. It’s very big.
anyone at all stems from a And overhung. I can show you
partly smug, mostly sad feel- the jug warm-up.
politician sucking on a garden climbers” need to be regulated erty to take risks, get high and, ing that no one sees the world Girl: Well, I would, but the
hose to get a farmer’s vote. with more Rules, I want to act above all, Live Free. as I do. To most, climbing is a snowboarders are here, and
Climbers, however, don’t out my favorite scene in Philip The nut of this issue’s TNB freak sport for sporty freaks— they have an X-box … and
strike at things outside our Roth’s book American Pasto- is the kind you’d find in a pig it scares them to look at it, and the X-Games. What do climb-
little world, probably because ral and hold his putrid mouth trough or a bar dish—it’s the when something scares people, ers have?
we don’t care. I don’t know open, and vomit directly into frustrating degree to which they usually move to the sub- Me: A confusingly diverse sport
any climbers trying to take all the coal-black void. society fails to understand urbs so they don’t have to see without any money or celebri-
the fun away from snowboard- LOL! That’s pretty harsh lan- climbing, our great sport that, it and their kids don’t have to ties, but an abstract sense that
ers just because they have a guage coming from the happi- despite all our petty arguments go to school with it. what we’re doing has no real
bunch of attitude in the terrain est guy I know (me). Well, my over discipline, ethics and style, Until then, I have my climb- importance, and for that rea-
park and ruin all the snow … tiger of a grandmother taught we supposedly still care about. ing, aggression toward the son, might be one of the most
though I know plenty who rip me that anything worth fight- This fearful, sneering atti- rest of the world and a bunch awesome things ever.
on boulderers for essentially ing for is worth a hyperbole or tude held by the Floor-boreds of failed attempts to explain Girl: Um, right.
those same things. What? Ah, two. Climbing falls into that arises every so often—most this sport to people who don’t Me: I mean … nuts. Yep, we
never mind. Point is, when I category for me, and I respect- recently, with the extensive climb. Interestingly, indoor put our nuts into slots for
hear Bill O’Reilly on national fully ask that outsiders leave national coverage of the Mount climbing has become the protection.
television putting the idea in alone the very thing that I most Hood, Oregon, tragedy, when most easily understandable Girl: Get away from me, you
everyone’s head that “reckless love about this sport—the lib- three climbers went miss- discipline for non-climbers— freak!

50 r o c k a n d i c e . c o m | 07 June

p.048-52 TNB.160.indd 50 3/13/07 9:01:34 AM

petzl 160.indd 1 3/14/07 12:48:02 PM
As far as I can tell, any
climber in America
(according to O’Reilly
and urbandictionary.
com) is either a “reckless”
risk taker that needs to
be incarcerated with
more rules, just for his or
her own good, or a poseur,
or, apparently, a copulator
with the corpulent.
telling fodder that makes me what it means to onsight solo
think non-climbers either the DNB before sticky rub-
don’t understand this sport, ber and Supertopo (Charlie
or understand it better than Fowler), or that Mount Ever-
we do. Here are the first three, est might not be the pinnacle
in order of appearance. No, of climbing achievement, or
I’m not making this up. even that relevant to the mod-
ern climber. I wonder if people
Rock climbing: could ever understand the pri-
1. The act of having sex with mal need to pull yourself into
a large woman. I went rock the vertical world and be, even
climbing last night. just for the 15 minutes one
2. Of all the so-called “extreme pitch takes, like a silly, stupid
sports” (activities undertaken monkey. Or, could it be that
by otherwise boring people in we’re so far removed from our
a desperate attempt to become origin, and that we now live
interesting), this is the trendi- in a world with so many rules
est way to give yourself the and talking heads on TV tell-
affectation of ruggedness, dan- ing us what to do and believe,
ger, physical fitness, etc. Note that we’ve forgotten what free-
that most people who express dom truly means?
an interest in rock climbing Ancient Japanese war gen-
or purchase incidental gear erals say that it’s best to know
such as carabiners have never yourself first, but second best,
climbed and never will. to know your enemy. Punks like
3. a) The extreme sport of Bill O’Reilly and urbandiction-
climbing extremely large cliffs. may not understand
Let’s go to the cliff and go rock this thing we do, and that’s OK
climbing. b) The extreme sport as long as their attacks are all
of [having sex with] extremely fluff. But, if they ever try some-
fat chicks. Let’s go find that thing, I take a solace in know-
chick and rock climb her. ing that I can always go Up,
into the third dimension, into
Where any of this comes from, a very real world where risk,
I have no idea, nor does it mat- camaraderie, freedom and,
ter at this point. As far as I always, Fun, are the only rules
can tell, any climber in Amer- that mean anything.
ica (according to O’Reilly And as it turns out, urban-
and is might not be
Snowboarder: Hey, Girl. first thing about what it means an index of all kinds of fantas- either a “reckless” risk taker entirely wrong. I searched for
Check out my yellow visor. to work hard for something. tically ungrammatical words, that needs to be incarcerated “rock and ice,” just for fun, and
It’s hella cool. Third, no one understands defined by “you,” such as dap with more rules, just for his or here is what I found:
Girl: I love yellow visors. climbing. At all! (the knocking of fists together her own good, or a poseur, or,
Most people can’t be both- as a greeting or form of respect) apparently, a copulator with Rock ice:
I learned three things that ered to learn about something or blogorrhea (to write a blog the corpulent. v. Relatively new and unheard
night. First, climbing should complex. There are truly great entry just for the sake of post- I give up. I suppose as long term synonymous with cool,
get back into the X-Games. things about climbing—it ing, not because you have any- as you don’t hurt anyone, you badass or pimp, depending on
I know a lot of lonely male teaches about will, morals, life thing interesting to say). should be allowed to do and context. Has a benignly smug
climbers and I believe this and death, and it’s also the Example: No one gave me a believe whatever you want. connotation when used in the
would help them. First you best antidote I know to a liti- dap for last month’s TNB the At the same time, I don’t first person.
get into the X-Games, then gious society hell-bent on tak- Blog posting (on rockandice. want to simply pass off all Dick: Damn, you totally just
you get your own video game, ing away everyone’s fun. com) because it was all blog- these haphazard judgments sent that rig like Fed Ex.
then you get a yellow visor. I recently went on a crazy orrhea about going to trade tossed around by society Jane: What can I say,
Second, I learned I hate snow- Googling binge to see what shows and ice fests. because I believe that climb- I rock ice.
boarders. These hedonists people really think of our Anyway, I looked up “rock ing could one day be some-
with hideously neat facial-hair fringe sport. I started on the climbing” on urbandiction- thing people respect. I wonder Andrew Bisharat thinks he
arrangements don’t know the website,, and found some very if people will ever understand totally rocks ice.

52 r o c k a n d i c e . c o m | 07 June

p.048-52 TNB.160.indd 52 3/13/07 9:01:17 AM

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p.053 Guide Directory 160.indd 53 3/13/07 3:43:21 PM


p.054-65 Exposed 160.indd 54 3/19/07 4:01:55 PM


1 Far from the madding crowd

Khaetthaleeya “Kat” Uppakham, co-founder and director
of Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures, racked up for a
day of cragging in paradise, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
photo dawn kish

2 walking tall
Chris Lindner feeling small on Huge (V9), Little Cotton-
wood Canyon, Utah.
photo Tim kemple
To the tooth!
Dean Lords in a weak moment on Indulgence (M9+),
Perrine Coulee, Idaho.
photo Nathan smith

4 feets don’t fail me now

Anonymous paws walking the line, Yosemite Valley.
photo hermann erber

June 07 | r o cka n dic e . c o m 55

p.054-65 Exposed 160.indd 55 3/13/07 2:39:58 PM


56 r o c k a n d i c e . c o m | 07 june

p.054-65 Exposed 160.indd 56 3/22/07 12:48:16 PM

5 fire in the belly (and eyes)
Justin Wood emerges from The Abyss (5.12c/d), Division
Wall, American Fork, Utah.
photo Nathan smith

6 humpity humpity
Bean Bowers jugs a line on Torre Egger, Patagonia. Later
that day he took a 100-foot fall from the tower’s infamous
summit ice mushroom.
photo jonny copp

7 not just another pretty face

Nicky Dyal susses the four-pitch Starchek (5.9), Cheaka-
mus Canyon, British Columbia.
photo Jim thornburg

8 tunnel vision
Drew Haigh at a Barcelona gym, Spain. The tunnel is
closed to all traffic except for bicycles and scooters.
photo dawn kish

9 Not forgotten
Hari Berger gets steep and deep in a glacial cave, Tirol.
Photo hermann erber

10 Men are from mars

Anonymous pulling in the anonymous desert of Utah.
photo duane raleigh


p.054-65 Exposed 160.indd 57 3/19/07 4:03:14 PM

p.054-65 Exposed 160.indd 58 3/13/07 2:41:20 PM

11 head games
Letting loose atop Montezuma’s Head, Organ Pipe, Arizona.
photo peter noebels
12 band of sisters and brothers
A little ritualistic bonding after a hard day’s work, Indian
Creek, Utah.
photo john evans
13 what’s in a name?
Raphael Slawinski and Steve Swenson on the FA of Bros
Before Hos (WI 5+ M5) Ghost River Valley, Alberta, Canada.
photo cory richards
14 oh henry’s!
Mike Anderson somewhere in the Henry Mountains, Utah.
photo Andrew burr
15 the real deal
Kelly Cordes making good time above the crux pitch of
Deprivation, North Buttress, Mount Hunter, Alaska.
photo jonny copp

June 07 | r o cka n dic e . c o m 59

p.054-65 Exposed 160.indd 59 3/13/07 2:41:50 PM

who needs hands anyway? 16
Mallory Cox umphs out a V4 mantel on an unnamed
problem, Vedauwoo, Wyoming.
photo Brian solano

super mega fragilistic 17

Natasha Barnes is on The Chube (V2), Joshua Tree, California.
photo damon corso

Naargh! 18
Cedar Wright on the crux of Birthday Bash (5.12 R), Zion
National Park, Utah. On the FA, Wright took a 35-foot whip-
per onto a nut in the soft sandstone.
Thankfully, it held.
photo Eric Draper

against a crooked sky 19

Kilian Fischhuber on Telefono Azzurro (8a), at
Cinque Torri, Dolomites, Italy.
photo reinhard fichtinger

how’s it hanging? 20
Trevor Massiah begins a multi-pitch
sport route on Ko Laoliang, Thailand.
photo dawn kish
60 r o c k a n d i c e . c o m | 07 June

p.054-65 Exposed 160.indd 60 3/22/07 12:54:45 PM

21 leanie meanie
Kay Okamoto gets a slice of heaven on El Camino Real
(5.10), Tahquitz, California. Near the end of this 70-foot
pitch, and shortly after this photo was taken, Okamoto
fell, ripped her top piece, and plunged 55 feet, bruising
both ankles.
photo greg epperson

22 Oh Canada
A rare aerial view of Squamish Chief, Vancouver.
photo john evans

23 cool running
Lisa Bonds avoids the dip, Little River Canyon, Alabama.
Photo brian solano

p.054-65 Exposed 160.indd 61 3/13/07 3:01:34 PM

me timbers! 24
Portia Menlove, Shivers (V7), Little
Cottonwood Canyon, Utah.
photo tim kemple

Getting the head right 25

Unknown yanker on Mindbender (V7) on the Animal
Magnetism boulder, Squamish, B.C.
photo boone speed

between heaven and italy 26

On the Lyskamm Ridge in the Monte
Rosa Range, near Zermatt, Switzerland.
photo jonathan griffith

treading the dragon 27

John Furneaux and Matt Maddaloni, Tiedemann Glacier,
Waddington Range, B.C.
photo Paul bride

whoa! 28
Serkan Ercan in Dalyan, Turkey, on the fantasy Lancelot
(5.11d), in Dalyan’s Temple Sector. photo boone speed

hooking for dollars 29

Stephane Husson competing in the Tour de la Gorzderette,
Champagny, Vanoise, France.
photo Monica dalmasso

seeing red 30
Matt Fanning tweaks Quinsana Plus (5.13a), Endless Wall,
New River Gorge, West Virginia.
photo Dan brayack

62 r o c k a n d i c e . c o m | 07 june

p.054-65 Exposed 160.indd 62 3/22/07 12:57:07 PM


p.054-65 Exposed 160.indd 63 3/19/07 4:07:30 PM

Slip slidin’ this way 31
Avalanche off Mount Hunter, as seen
from Kahiltna basecamp, Denali National Park, Alaska.
photo Brian irwin

austin power 32
ABS Champion Alex Puccio getting her kicks
on Zen (V5), Roger’s Park, Texas.
photo merrick ales

blood meridian 33
So ends another splitter day. Sunset over the
Six Shooters, Utah.
photo john evans

putting the woods to it 34

Daniel Woods flashing a V9/10 at the recent Mammut /
EMS Gravity Brawl, New Jersey Rock Gym. For this photo,
Kemple, who set the problem, pre-arranged a light and
camera just to capture this crux move. He waited all
evening, but it looked as if he would walk away empty-
handed—no one came even close to the send. Then
Woods, the last competitor, stepped up, fired it, and
Kemple got the shot.
photo tim kemple

64 r o c k a n d i c e . c o m | 07 June

p.054-65 Exposed 160.indd 64 3/22/07 12:58:05 PM


p.054-65 Exposed 160.indd 65 3/19/07 4:08:17 PM

Revisiting America’s premier moderates destination,
Idaho’s oft-neglected City of Rocks.

Rappelling from Skyline (5.8), on Morning Glory Spire, the iconic formation in the City of Rocks, Idaho. Crack of Doom, Greg Lowe’s legendary 5.11c, is the bulging splitter on the protrusion right of
the center chimney. The technical and fingery 5.12 Power Tools follows the face to a cleaved arete between the chimney and Crack of Doom. Yet another classic, Strategic Defense (5.11), climbs
the patina edges on the rounded arete left of the chimney. These are some of the best routes in the City.

66 r o c k a n d i c e . c o m | 07 June

p.066-73 City of Rocks.160.indd 66 3/19/07 4:18:38 PM

photo essay by Boone Speed

The crux was easy. Maybe because I was over-prepared or scared; I don’t know, but over-

hanging 5.11 fingery face climbing makes sense to me. It was the 5.10 hand crack above

that made no sense to me. It spit me out over and over ... and I was on toprope. The

Crack of Doom (or The Incisor, as we called it) on The Morning Glory Spire was first led

free in 1968 by Greg Lowe who, as the story goes, graded it 5.9+. At solid 5.11 it is the

crown jewel of Idaho’s premier rock-climbing area, the City of Rocks. Twenty years and

hundreds of climbing days later, I still haven’t led the route clean.

I learned to climb around the Salt Lake City area in the 1980s, before SLC developed into one

of the country’s biggest and most diverse climbing destinations, with world-class bouldering,

sport, trad and alpine climbing just minutes from downtown. But back then, I felt unlucky

to live in an area with so little climbing. It was the three-hour trips to Indian Creek and the

City of Rocks that kept me going. My mentors, guys like Jeff Pederson, Bill Boyle and Paul

Shilton, often talked about “the City,” with details of classic testpieces like The Incisor.

I drooled over pictures of Straight Edge (5.11)—a perfect 120-foot face climb.

June 07 | r o c k a n d i c e . c o m 67

p.066-73 City of Rocks.160.indd 67 3/19/07 4:18:41 PM


During one early trip to the City, Boyle and I lifelong friends, all from within 250 miles of
arrived in the morning and drove straight to the City, areas including Boise, Sun Valley,
the base of The Twin Sisters formation for Jackson and Pocatello.
Straight Edge. Then we ticked Safer Than Two of those friends were Mike Beck and
Sex (5.10+), to the right. “Wild Bill,” as we Eric Wright. I’d heard Mike’s name tossed
called Boyle, was on a tear. He was 17 years around as an up-and-comer, and we were
older than me and much more experienced. soon thrown on all the SLC testpieces, and
At the time, I couldn’t comprehend his com- had a lot to talk about. Now, 20 years later,
mitment and motivation, let alone how much Mike and I still have a lot to talk about. On
we climbed. The day culminated on Crack a recent drive to the City, Mike and I agreed
of Doom, our 10th route of 5.10 or harder, that the area was a forgotten gem.
which Bill grunted up with a single hang and As soon as you pull into the City of Rocks,
where I hit my failure point. you’ll understand how it got its name. A
That night we met Dave Bingham (author cityscape of granite monoliths rises so
of the City’s guidebook) and Pokey Amory. close to the road you can practically touch
Both were developing new routes in a mod- the rock from your car window. The soar-
ern style imported from Smith Rock. They ing granite is prominent, and the area was
had seen Boyle and me climbing and were a waypoint for California-bound emigrants
psyched to have us check out some of their in the 1840s, some of whom wrote their
new routes. The next day, we were guinea names on the rock in axle grease, graffiti
pigs on Dave and Pokey’s testpieces, lines that survives even today.
that typified the mixed trad/sport routes The slabby to vertical granite that typifies
from the mid-80s ethic of top-down, hand- the City isn’t conducive to producing climbs
drilled bolts. The routes sometimes required harder than 5.12, so it is no longer a place
unique gear like the TCU (new at the time) where the cognoscenti can make big names
on Hyper Spuds (5.11), a face climb that for themselves or impress sponsors. If any-
combined widely spaced bolts with fiddly thing, the City is decisively mellow. It embod-
small nuts and the small three-cam unit. ies that middle slice of American climbing,
The two proud authors offered precise gear where routes between 5.8 and 5.11 abound,
advice and running beta as they took us to the camping is quiet, and you don’t have to
another, and another still. Of all the climb- worry about having relentless beta spewed
ing jaunts I’ve taken, the spontaneity and at you. Here, in this out-of-the-way spot in
adventure of that trip to the City ranks as southern Idaho, you climb for the same rea-
one of my most satisfying ever. son Greg Lowe did way back in the 1960s: 2
Over the next couple of years I met many For the pure enjoyment of it.

p.066-73 City of Rocks.160.indd 68 3/19/07 4:19:11 PM

Bovine Guidance (5.11b)
Nematode (Pokey Amory, 1987)
Mike Beck tackles this paradigm of perfect City
patina. Bring fresh forearms and a couple of
TCUs if you don’t like climbing above your pro.

Quest For Fire (5.10c)

Flaming Rock (Jeff Rhoades, Dave Bing-
ham, Bill Boyle; 1989)
Mike Beck arching back to inspect the route.

Mystery Bolter (5.9)

Bumbly Wall (Dave Cichon,1989)
Unknown climbers, perfect rock and a splitter day.

June 07 | r o c k a n d i c e . c o m 69

p.066-73 City of Rocks.160.indd 69 3/19/07 4:19:17 PM

4 4

70 r o c k a n d i c e . c o m | 07 June

p.066-73 City of Rocks.160.indd 70 3/19/07 4:19:45 PM

Quest For Fire (5.10c)
Flaming Rock (Jeff Rhoades, Dave
Bingham, Bill Boyle; 1989)
Two perspectives, the first pulled back, the
second close up, show Mike Beck on this
patina face. Quest For Fire epitomizes the
circa-1988 “power-drill era” of development.
Because the patina edges of Flaming Rock
were so unpredictable, new routing required
top-down inspection and, consequently,
speedier equipping.

Tribal Boundaries (5.10a)

Flaming Rock. (FA Unknown)
Mike Beck amidst a sea of City escarpments.

The P ygmies Got Stoned (5.10a)

Elephant Rock (Dan Sperlock, 1989)
Climber Unknown. Elephant Rock, at the
entrance of the City, is one of the area’s most
popular formations. It is home to several long
classics ranging from 5.7 to 5.11.

The Cowboy Route (5.5) Crack of Doom (5.11c)

Bath Rock [FA Unknown] Morning Glory Spire [Greg Lowe, 1965]
Classic Route (5.7) Strategic Defense (5.11c)
Lost Arrow [Greg Lowe, Rob Brown; 1962] Morning Glory Spire [Dave Bingham, 1986]
Swiss Cheese (5.7 R) She’s the Bosch (5.11c)
Anteater [FA Unknown] Window Rock [Kellie and Jeff Rhoades,
with Aimee and Chris Barnes; 1989]
Rye Crisp (5.8)
Elephant Rock [Greg Lowe, late 1960s] Spuds in the Gym (5.12a/b)
Rabbit Rock [Dave Bingham,
Bloody Fingers (5.10a)
Pokey Amory, Paul Potters; 1987]
Bloody Fingers Corridor [FA Unknown,
1970s] Betty (5.12c/d)
The Flintstone [Darius Azin, Tedd
The Drilling Fields (5.11a)
Thompson; 1987]
The Drilling Fields [Bill Boyle, 1989]
Tunnel Vision (5.12b)
Terror of Tiny Town (5.11a)
The Office [Bill Boyle, 1989]
Buzzard Perch [Dave Bingham, 1984]
Go Spuds Go (5.12c)
Redtail (5.11a)
Rabbit Rock [Boone Speed, 1988]
Rabbit Rock [Dan Sperlock, 1988]
Power Tools (5.12c)
Scar Tissue (5.11a)
Morning Glory Spire [Tedd Thompson,
The Office [Dan Sperlock,
Darius Azin; 1987]
Stan Caldwell; 1984]
Beware of Nesting Egos (5.11b)
Elephant Rock [Dan Sperlock, Stan
Caldwell; 1984]

p.066-73 City of Rocks.160.indd 71 3/19/07 4:20:03 PM



72 r o c k a n d i c e . c o m | 07 June

p.066-73 City of Rocks.160.indd 72 3/19/07 4:20:33 PM


Interceptor (5.11a)
Upper Breadloaves (First done by visiting
New Yorkers, early 1980s)
Brendan Nicholson on the unforgettable City of
Rocks rainbow lichen.

Double Trouble (5.8)

Upper Creekside (FA Unknown)
Unknown climber following the crack map.

Just A nother Pretty Face (5.10d)

Parking Lot Rock (Jeff Rhoades and
friends, 1989)
This route looks virtually blank from the ground,
but trust your feet to negotiate the opening slab
and use your momentum to pull over the roof,
and you can get established on the upper wall
where tenuous climbing and clips—illustrated
7 here by Brendan Nicholson—lead to long lock-
offs on larger holds on the steep headwall above.

C airo (5.11a)
Parkinglot Rock (Dave Bingham, Tedd
Thompson, 1988)
Cynthia Levinthal cruises technicolor rock.
Thought-provoking moves, good pro and
a nice position make this one of the City’s
most popular jaunts.

June 07 | r o c k a n d i c e . c o m 73

p.066-73 City of Rocks.160.indd 73 3/19/07 4:20:49 PM

p.074-75 City of Rocks.160.indd 74 3/13/07 8:36:19 AM
Sends in the City
* City of Rocks Logistics *

getting there
The City is located in southern Idaho, three hours northwest
of Salt Lake City, Utah, five hours southwest of Jackson Hole,
Wyoming, and four hours east of Boise, Idaho. The nearest
town is Almo, Idaho. Almo offers basic amenities including
gas, groceries, showers and sandwiches. Make sure to visit
Idaho’s oldest store, the Tracy General Store.

From points southeast:

Head north on I-84 past Snowville. Turn left on Utah SR-30:
after 15 miles SR-30 becomes Idaho SR-42. Continue for
another nine miles, then turn left onto 3600 South (Strevell
Road). Take this road for 17 miles and veer right at the first
Y. Veer right again onto Yost Road and drive for about three
miles. Turn left onto 3250 South (EY Road) and drive for five
and a half miles. Turn right onto 825 East and drive for 100
yards. Turn left onto 3075 South (City of Rocks Road), the
east entrance to the reserve.
From points southwest:
Head east on I-80. Turn left onto Nevada SR-233, which
will bend north and become Utah SR-30. Continue through
Lynn, Utah, and veer left and enter Idaho. Turn right onto
Twin Sisters Road, the south entrance to the reserve.
From points northeast:
Drive west on I-86. Veer onto I-84. Turn left onto SR-77 (exit
216) and continue through Declo and Albion. Turn right at
the fork and head through Elba to Almo. Take your first right
after Almo on City of Rocks Road, the east entrance to the
From points northwest:
Drive east on I-84. Turn right onto Route 27 (exit 208)
through Burley. Turn left onto Main Street and continue for
one mile. Veer right onto Birch Creek Road and drive for
about 15 miles. Turn left onto City of Rocks Road, the west s"!#+0!#+).'s42!6%,
reserve entrance. s&!-),9#!-0).'s#,)-").'
camping s")+%4/52).'s7!4%230/243
Make peak-season reservations 90 days in advance or plan
on dossing for free on nearby BLM land. Sites at the City are
#ALL  #!-0-/2
beautiful and popular. Single sites cost $7 per night plus a   
$6 reservation fee. These sites can only be occupied by one /R7RITE0/"/8 2)
vehicle. A $5 fee will be assessed for one additional car. No -!(7!( .*
more than two cars are allowed at each site. Call 208-824-  
5519 to reserve a site.

Climbing seasons
Climbing areas at the City are situated at 6,000 to 7,000
feet. Spring and fall are often perfect. Summer temps can
reach into the 90s, but the climbing can still be pleasant in
the shade.

City of Rocks Idaho: A Climber’s Guide by Dave Bingham,

Mike Beck putting up a new, five-star V2/3 on an unnamed bolder. The

arete to the right remains unclimbed. City of Rocks isn’t known for its
bouldering, but tossed about the rolling plains you find blocks that rival

those of any granite destination.

June 07 | r o c k a n d i c e . c o m 75

p.074-75 City of Rocks.160.indd 75 3/13/07 8:36:26 AM


iB rEliEF $19.95 aNd atwatEr-
CarEY HaNd saNitiZEr $1.99

PEtZl sama $76
The old adage aBoUT a rope,
a rack and the shirt on your back no
longer applies in this era of bumper
belays. We are now creatures of
comfort, and stock up on all sorts
of crazy commodities to make the
daily dirtbag grind easier. We stay
as healthy as possible and avoid
any pain that isn’t a micro-crimp.
Enter two new products that I’ve
thrown into my climbing pack with-
out looking back. IB Relief is a new
topical ibuprofen cream, the first of
its kind. Rub on this lotion and you
get nearly instantaneous relief for
any affl icted area, unlike the pill,
which takes at least 15 minutes to
enter the system. Ingesting ibu-
profen is notoriously harsh on the
stomach, too. In fact, I all but gave
up the smack a few years ago, after
it made my guts feel as if I’d been
eating broken glass.
It was hard to tell if IB Relief lasts
as long as the pill. The stuff works
instantly, but then the relief seems
to fade; however, the bottle explains
that it will take 24 to 48 hours to
really work on the affl icted area. I
can’t attest to that, but I will rec-
ommend IB Relief for the last-ditch
send of the day, when your fi ngers
are stiff and so sore you would This UpdaTed sporT-climBing the swami belt give the Sama a sur-
rather cry than shoe up. harness from Petzl is literally cool. prising amount of rigidity, making
Also, Atwater-Carey has a new The new and very much improved it also quite comfortable.
hand sanitizer, a tube that looks Sama incorporates mesh in both The leg loops are small and tight. I
like a pen with a cap. Spray the the swami and leg loops to create a tested a medium harness, and while
lemon-smelling liquid on your lightweight (14 ounce), breathable the waist fit perfectly, the leg loops
hands, and, according to Atwa- and comfortable harness that is the squeezed my thighs more intimately
ter-Carey, 99.9 percent of bacteria new hot fire for sending the rig. than I would have preferred.
will be annihilated. This packable, I used the Sama in the blister- The thing I like most about the
pen claims to house over 70 sprays ing Mexican heat, on both big walls Sama is its simplicity. There is only
worth, and it fits in my pack right and shorter, harder projects that I one buckle for the swami, and are no
next to a roll of TP. It would also dogged my way up. My shorts and buckles on the legs. Two stiff gear
be a good addition to a med kit or shirt normally sweat out under loops sit up front, which are great
your bouldering gear. With concern other harnesses, but stayed dry in for carrying draws. The two floppier
growing over the risk of a CA-MRSA this one. gear loops in the back stay out of the
infection [see Medicine, No. 159], At first glance, I wondered way. Racking gear back here is prob-
now might be a good time to keep whether the mesh panels would lematic for chimneys; but this is a
bacteria at bay. No excuses! be supportive enough on the lower sport-climbing harness. Very cool.
—andrew BisharaT back, but two stays running along —aB

76 r o c k a n d i c e . c o m | 07 June

p.076-79 Field Tested 160.indd 76 3/13/07 2:17:10 PM

The Rattler
Edelweiss Laser
9.6 x 70 meter

This hardcore rope from Edelweiss is light and

right for sporty sends and long onsights. As a bonus, it comes
in a red, green and yellow rattlesnake pattern.
At 61 grams per meter, it’s right in there with other ropes of
similar diameter, and I barely noticed the Laser on the end-
less, taxing and monotonous 35-meter pitches I’ve been tying
into recently. Unlike babies and snakes, it feeds extremely
well. Right out of the coil, the Laser is slick. Lowering anyone
over 100 pounds was difficult at first, and I definitely needed a
glove to control the thin cord through my auto-locking belay
device. With time, however—perhaps as grit and grime began
to work into the cord, and the dry coating began to wear—the
Laser started paying through my belay device with a level of
friction we can all feel sane about.
The bi-color design on the Laser is great. This visual indi-
cator is the most reliable way to tell where the middle is,
an important bit of info when lowering your partner off a
long route. Of course, as soon as you cut either end of your
rope—as you surely will if you suck as badly as I do and fall
all the time—the middle marking becomes useless unless
you trim an equal amount off each rope end.
With its impact force of 8 kN, on the low end for a rope
of its weight, the Laser gives a nice, soft catch. Also, with a
rating of six falls, it is a durable cord. A few times, I fell on
a wretched, grooved biner with a sharp edge and it really
frayed the sheath, but the core was completely intact. What
more can you ask for?

June 07 | r o c k a n d i c e . c o m 77

p.076-79 Field Tested 160.indd 77 3/13/07 2:17:19 PM


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• p.086 Gear Finder 160.indd 86 3/13/07 3:40:43 PM



★ ★ ★ ★✍


proof/breathable jackets I wore
felt like saunas. They got the
waterproof part right, but like an
asthmatic child, they had trouble
breathing. In sub-zero temps, this
caused my sweat-dampened fleece
to freeze to my shell. Then I tried
something new: the Wild Things
Super Light (SL) Alpinist and the
Loki Levity shells, two garments
that use eVent fabric.
Like most popular waterproof/
breathable fabrics, eVent uses an
fi lm. But, unlike the others, eVent
is oleophobic, meaning it is imper-
vious to body oils. Other water-
proof/breathables employ a layer
of polyurethane to keep oils out, a
layer that can inhibit breathability.
How breathable is eVent? Army
testers at their Natick Lab found
eVent to be more than twice as
breathable as its closest competi-
tor and three times as breathable
as most. Peter Hickner, owner of
Feathered Friends, tested it against
Epic, a micro-fiber, and found
eVent more breathable, a surpris- SL Alpinist (15.8 ounces) is the cold wind blows, just pull a tab
ing result considering that water- lightest full-coverage jacket I’ve on your sleeve, do a Houdini fl ip
proof/breathable fabrics are not tested. It has the usual standard with your wrist and, whah-bam!,
supposed to breathe better than mountain features such as a hood the mitts appear. The built-in face
micro-fibers. that covers a helmet, two internal mask stores behind your head in
As for me, I’ve used eVent shells on pockets and two Napoleon pock- the parka’s hood. The cargo pocket
mounts Rainier, Shasta and Whit- ets. It doesn’t have pit zips and on the jacket’s back allows enough
ney in winter. I’ve taken the jackets doesn’t need them. room to stash any items you’d need
ice climbing in minus-13-degree The 23-ounce Loki Levity con- for a day trip. The jacket also stuffs
temps, and into the high Sierras— tains some truly unique features into this cargo pocket, and in this
battling wind, rain and snow. Both such as integrated mittens, a mode, you can wear it on your back
the Loki Levity and the Wild Things face shield and a huge back cargo with two nylon shoulder straps
SL Alpinist proved waterproof, pocket. The mittens tuck unobtru- instead of tying it around your
windproof and breathable. sively out of the way into a hidden waist. Sick!
At less than one pound, the pocket above your wrist. When the —LARRY AMKRAUT

JUNE 07 | R O C K A N D I C E . C O M 79

p.076-79 Field Tested 160.indd 79 3/13/07 8:18:04 AM

col, a non-toxic, oily liquid with a wide to death. Ironically, the antidote to former swordsman and lead vocal-
range of applications from food addi- ethylene glycol poisoning is a big ist for Van Halen. (Rock on Eddie!)
tive to personal lubricant (bingo!). belt of ethanol in the form of whisky, A custom cobbler made his monstro
Antifreeze also has water, and might vodka or gin. Salud! shoes, which I swear could have dou-
contain ethyl or “grain” alcohol. bled as paddles, but that craftsman
Scott Newell of Blue Water Ropes
says that, as a rule, “Anything that
BIG FOOT BIG fell in love with demon rum and can’t
be bothered now.
you can put on your skin that doesn’t PROBLEM Commercially, you can get some
burn is OK for your rope.” I have been trying to get a pair of select shoes in size 15 from Acopa,
Since we eat propylene glycol and size-18 rock shoes. Does anyone Cava, Evolv, Five Ten and Mad Rock.
rub it on swinging Henry, I feel pretty build, or is anyone willing to Maybe an unlined leather shoe from
good about getting some on the nylon build, a large shoe? I sport climb one of these companies would stretch
cord. Water is also certainly fi ne, and barefoot, and I am reaching the enough to be tolerable. Tony Puppo
dousing a rope with a mild solution of point (5.12) where it is extremely of the Rubber Room in Bishop rec-
THE BIG FLUSH ethyl alcohol is no worse than spilling
a fifth of Jack Daniels on it. If that was
difficult to progress without
better traction on my feet.
ommends a pair of those fashionable
rock-shoe look-alikes, such as the
last april I took a trip to alaska a problem we’d all be playing hide- Puma Chalk or Scrill, and resoling
and rented an rv for the month. the-cat-o-nine-tails with the Horny
—CHase JabLoNsKi / vIa e-maIl
them with sticky rubber, but even
We stored our gear in the One (in other words, dead). You are climbing 5.12 barefoot? Per- those in your size will be tough to
shower, which one day back- Personally, I’d wash that rope and go haps we should all take a lesson from fi nd, even on Google.
flushed. my rope got soaked in about my business. However, if you feel you, and start relying more on talent That failing, according to the Soci-
the water, which had about two the least bit uneasy—did anyone ever and brass than rubber. It’s worked ety for Barefoot Living (for real, yo!),
gallons of rv antifreeze in it. Is use bleach to clean that shower?—chop before. In the Elbsandstein region of tossing out the shoes can improve
my rope ruined? up your cord and tie it into monkey Saxony, Germany, barefoose climbers your life. They cite an article in The
fists. (For details on chemicals that can from Oliver Perry Smith a hundred Journal of the National Association
—WaDe eVeritt / ruin your rope, see “Acid Test,” in the years ago to Berndt Arnold in the of Chiropodists: “Survey in China
Fort CollIns, ColoraDo Gear Guide, No. 158). 1970s have tackled steep sandstone and India of Feet That Have Never
Now, Gear Guy knows you are walls up to 5.12. Are you a relation? Worn Shoes.” The article states that
Let’s not dwell on why you and wondering, “What’s the difference Per your problem, the market 118 rickshaw “coolies” who pulled
someone else were up in the Far between RV antifreeze and auto anti- for kicks your size is diametrically passengers at a run on cobblestone
North, driving around with your rope freeze?” Elementary, child: Auto anti- opposed. Outside of roads had healthier feet than people
in the shower. Let’s just focus on the freeze uses ethylene glycol instead of I couldn’t fi nd any shoes that would who went easier on their feet and
salient facts. So you had a little spill, propylene glycol. Ethylene is sweet. fit you. In fact, during my 34 years wore shoes. Get naked! Of course, as
let’s leave it at that. Dogs and children lap it up. It’s also of climbing, the only person I’ve ever usual, if you experience an erection
The active ingredient in RV anti- extremely toxic, found in cheap seen with dogs your size who climbed lasting longer than four hours, seek
freeze is food-grade propylene gly- moonshine, and causes renal failure was a bodyguard for David Lee Roth, medical attention.

80 R O C K A N D I C E . C O M | 07 JUNE

p.080-81 Gear Guy 160.indd 80 3/13/07 1:00:22 PM

COOKED GOOSE we call it Happy Meal and practice
on small children instead of birds.
Both goose and duck down is valued
for its “fill power.” Outside the world
press out the water. Lift the sop-
ping thing out of the tub, set it in a
I have a goose-down jacket, which
I really like because it is so light When the goose reaches maximum of smut, fill power is the amount of washing machine, and run the spin
and warm, but I’m wondering if plumpness, it gets axed. The bird’s cubic inches one ounce of down can cycle to centrifuge out most of the
they have to kill the goose to get proverbial golden egg, its liver, goes occupy. The higher the fill power, the water. Toss it in a dryer, and dry on
the feathers. to the cannery, the unctuous flesh is better the down will insulate. Down low, checking often to make sure
peddled at market and the down is with a fill power of 600 or greater is the bag isn’t getting hot. When the
—Jim Neiber / via e-mail sold as insulation. excellent, and 700 is standard in the down clumps, gently pull the clumps
Geese aren’t sheep. Their feathers Feeling faint? Consider eiderdown. climbing industry, where you can find apart. Finish with a two- or three-
are plucked only after the goose has This insulation from the wild eider claims as high as 850. day air dry. Hibachi!
been slaughtered, harvested for its duck of Iceland is plucked from the You may notice over time that
liver and meat. Down insulation is
simply an efficient use of a byprod-
female’s breasts or gathered from the
nest lining, where the soft feathers
your down jacket or sleeping bag has
lost some of its loft. Loft reduction
Why is a rack called a rack?
uct, one that is no more likely to protect the young birds from the doesn’t mean that the plumage has
raise the bile of PETA than the mak- Arctic cold. In this case the bird is collapsed. Down, like the stubble on —Robert Patterson /
ing of bologna. not harmed and the feathers are col- your chin, is made from keratin, a Kingston, Ontario
The liver is the most prized part of lected only after the chicks have left tough fibrous protein with a nearly
the goose, being sold for upwards of the nest. infinite shelf life: Feathers thou- The word “rack” has about two
$200 a pound as foie gras, or “fatty Eiderdown, although from ducks, sands of years old have been found dozen definitions, from destruction,
liver. ” Ancient Egyptians learned which typically do not produce down in Egyptian tombs. Rather, down to a scud of clouds, to a cut of juicy
that they could fatten migratory that can compete with that from a loses loft because your body grease ribs, to a most buoyant part of the
waterfowl such as geese and ducks goose, is highly compressible yet is coating it. A washing can restore female anatomy capitalized on by
by force feeding them. A gorged bird has fantastic loft and a unique hook it, or ruin it if you do it wrong. the “restaurant” Hooters. My favor-
can have a plump, buttery liver up to design that interlocks the plumes, Hand wash a down jacket or bag ite definition, and the one that seems
12 times larger than normal, produc- minimizing shifting, the bane of all in a bathtub filled with warm water. most apropos, is that from Ambrose
ing up to three pounds of the organ feather insulation. Shamans even Use a gentle soap like Ivory Flakes Bierce. In his Devil’s Dictionary he
coveted by the gastronome. For cen- claim that eiderdown can heal. Eider- or a special down soap, available said a rack was “An argumentative
turies, the French (and now the Chi- down is rare and spendy. Less than at most climbing shops. Submerge implement formerly much used in
nese) have used a similar fattening 9,000 pounds are produced annually the item and carefully knead the persuading devotees of a false faith
process called gavage, or “to gorge,” and one nest produces just half an down. Washing is easy; rinsing and to embrace the living truth.” Alter-
where they place a tube in the bird’s ounce—there are more Ferraris than drying, like cheating on your taxes, nately, we might consider the first
throat and shovel down the grocer- eiderdown jackets. Usually reserved take a lot of time to do right. Rinse definition from the Oxford Ameri-
ies. Up to four pounds of grain mash for luxury comforters, eiderdown the bag in warm water two, three or can Dictionary, which says a “rack”
are pumped into the bird two to broke into the climbing world in 1982 more times until you are certain it is “a framework for hanging things
three times a day. Here in America, when a Russian team wore BASK is fully rinsed. Drain the tub, then on.” That sorta makes sense, but
we have a similar process, except eiderdown parkas on Everest. fold the jacket or bag, and carefully whatever. Gear Guy has spoken!

p.080-81 Gear Guy 160.indd 81 3/13/07 1:00:23 PM

By Neil Gresham
noticed a real improvement in your
climbing? If it has been a year or two,
then you are probably still reaping
the benefits of your previous break-
through. If it’s been three or four
years, then frustration may be creep-
ing in. Half a decade or more and you
may have given up all hope of reach-
ing the next level. We all get stuck at
various points in our climbing, and it’s
easy to haul out the same old excuses:
insufficient training time and the
same uncooperative body in the same
gym. Surely everyone plateaus after a
while, and perhaps your genetics only
geared you up for 5.11d and not for
.12a? Bunk!
Beating plateaus is not necessarily
about training harder, but training in
a more strategic way. The body adapts
quickly to training stress and it’s vital

dawn kish
to keep one step ahead and “trick”
your system into improving.
Here are three common plateau
Justin woods crushing the “three points of contact” maxim, Big Bend, Utah. stages and tricks to move past them.

82 R O C K A N D I C E . C O M | 07 JUNE

p.082-84 Training.160.indd 82 3/13/07 4:09:07 PM

THE 5.9/5.10 PLATEAU—
real climbs because your endur-
to compensate for weak arms, but if you
ance lets you down, and as a result
can’t hang the holds then you’re out of Beating
FEAR NOT! you treat fire with fire, and carry on
the game. Try problems with a range of plateaus is not
Don’t worry, you are not about to be develop a weakness. The problems
with endurance training. But you still
different holds and moves so you don’t
don’t get results. Why? Because your necessarily
sent to the campus board. The first diagnosis is wrong. You are pumping
should be between four and eight hand about
thing that causes so many 5.9/10 climb-
ers to plateau is a loss of momentum in The classic issue for the 5.9/10
out because your muscles are work-
moves long, and at your absolute limit.
ing at such a high percentage of your training
their training as a result of enforced strength limit. Simply put, you are
climber is to lose interest if you can’t harder, but
breaks or an erratic approach. Aim to
use the climbing gym a minimum of
too weak.
flash a problem or get it on your sec-
ond or third try. But harder climbersIt’s difficult to see how a few moves training
three (and a maximum of four) times may spend weeks working moves and above a crash pad will help you con- in a more
a week during training phases, and
once or twice a week during climbing Rest well between attempts so no
quer a 30-move enduro-fest, but a
it’s this process that builds strength.
typical sport climb requires a 50/50 strategic way.
phases. Heeding this advice alone will lactic acid builds up. On alternatesplit of power and endurance. If
make a huge difference. you’re only training endurance you’re
weeks you may wish to substitute the fingerboard work can also keep things
The next big step is to start doing bouldering session with a home fin-only working one half of the equation. buoyant. Although bouldering is the
separate sessions for bouldering and for gerboard session, doing a combina- Endurance training has a minimal main area of focus, you can also tweak
endurance. A recommended split is two effect on power but power training
tion of dead hangs, pull-ups on jugs your endurance work to keep things
endurance sessions per week, and one (ie: bouldering) has a great effect on
and leg raises for body tension. For moving. It’s time to stop doing what
bouldering session. For bouldering, still endurance. The reason you don’t get
endurance, stop traversing altogether you enjoy, which is trophy hunting on
climb the vertical and slabby problems, and instead aim for between six andpumped on 5.9s isn’t because you’ve the lead wall. Get over it. You know
but know that the improvements from got great endurance, it’s because
eight successful repeats of routes that you can onsight 5.11c and lap easy
now on will come predominantly from the moves feel easy. You’ll never do
are gently overhanging and as close to 5.11s. It’s time to hit the bouldering
using the overhanging walls. This will the moves on 5.13s if you can’t first
your limit as possible. You’ll be climb- wall and start doing circuits. You
help you gain specific strength, and teach make them at ground level. So, get
ing 5.11 before you know it, and when won’t be able to massage your ego by
you an entirely new way of moving to use bouldering. If you don’t already really
you do, you’ll need to throw much of ticking off the grades, but you’ll sure
that strength efficiently. Don’t be intimi- enjoy bouldering, learn to love it.
what you’ve been doing in the trash. as hell need to massage your forearms
dated by the guys who live on these walls; Here’s how: Climb four times a week afterward. All elite-level climbers use
soon you will be able to play their game. during training phases. Keep your circuits extensively for power-endur-
With bouldering, spend at least two- THE 5.11/5.12 PLATEAU— endurance on the back burner and go ance training. You can vary the length
thirds of the session on steeper walls, but YOU ARE TOO WEAK! for a 3:1 bouldering to endurance split from 20 to 50 moves, which will also
make sure the angle isn’t so steep that for the majority of your training. The test your memory for long sequences.
you can only use jugs. Finger strength The biggest mistake made by inter- right type of bouldering (see chart, Make the circuits sustained (with no
is always a greater priority than arm mediate climbers is to undervalue next page) should be all you need to rests or cruxes) and vary the style
strength. You can usually use technique bouldering. You think you fail on make huge gains, but a little supportive from session to session. To get fit for




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p.082-84 Training.160.indd 83 3/13/07 4:09:08 PM

trad routes or longer sport pitches, start try to increase the “extent” of training
going up and down on the leading wall (ie: do more work) and for the second
or doing long stints of random move- half, try increasing “intensity” (harder
ment on easy sections of the bouldering work). The scope for minor variations
wall. I know it seems boring, but if you is almost endless—it’s up to you to take
want to be able to recover on longer control and be creative.
routes, then this is the only call. Don’t
forget your supportive aerobic condi-
tioning and your antagonist exercises LIFESTYLE
either. Do four sets of 10 push-ups and
a three-mile jog twice a week. This bit Regardless of the grade you climb, another
of light exercise may just be the miss- classic plateau buster is to pay more
ing link to help you capitalize on your attention to nutrition and lifestyle factors.
training. Remember, it’s the things If you haven’t used protein supplementa-
that you haven’t done before that will tion during strength phases then give it
make you improve. Once you’ve milked a try, or if you’re used to surviving on
these ideas and onsighted 5.12c here’s seven hours sleep then watch what hap-
what’s next: pens when you up this to eight. There’s
no point polishing your training program
if you’re not fuelling the machine and
THE 5.13 PLATEAU— maximizing your recovery time.
Neil Gresham is based in London
It’s time to increase the intensity of your and has climbed 5.14X (E10) on trad,
training. You may have dabbled with sys- 5.14a sport and M10 in winter. He has
tem training and campus boards in the just released a two-part instructional
past, but you generally use bouldering DVD, Masterclass, which covers tech-
for your core-strength training sim- nique, training and crag skills. See
ply because it’s more fun and requires
less discipline. No one is disputing that
bouldering provides the best overall way
to train strength and technique in uni- 5.9/5.10 PLATEAU
son, but sometimes you need to shock the
• Train more and train regularly—
system and favor methods that maximize
three times per week
overload, even if it is at the expense of
technique and play. Campus board, sys- • Train bouldering and
tem training and bar exercises such as routes separately
assisted one-arm pull-ups, lock-offs and • Greater emphasis on routes,
leg raises are the main ones on the list. but try steeper ones
Split your strength training into phases.
Pad your project with this exclusive Four to six weeks is a good length. For • For bouldering—short, hard,
steepish problems not
the first phase do one bouldering ses-
package deal from sion and two campus or system sessions on jugs, with good rest
per week. For the next phase do two between attempts
bouldering sessions and one campus or
system session. If you’re looking to break
5.14, you’ll need to constantly adjust to 5.11/5.12 PLATEAU
your week/day structure to keep shock-
ing the system. • Greater emphasis on bouldering

2 years of Rock & Ice magazine The key is to train as hard as possible (three bouldering workouts to
one endurance)

+ a basic bouldering combo

without injury, but the big question is
how. A simple method is to push your • Circuits for power endurance
t you ge
training in waves with a hard two weeks (15 – 35 moves)
e ’s w ha
Her followed by a lighter week, and so on.
• Longer stints for stamina
only es of The most productive approach is to
• 18 issu Ice
(up and down on routes)
follow a peaking cycle that is planned

$55 Rock &

• A mini ring pad
months in advance. Don’t switch off
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boulde t
difficult as it sounds. Start with a light

Ch alk • Chalk po phase of general conditioning, then 5.13 PLATEAU

• go for a month of endurance work to
rush provide a base. Then try running two • Higher-intensity strength and
• Toothb strength phases, which are structured power-training methods such
as a campus board, system
differently (as described above) back-
to-back, and then run an endurance training, bar work and
phase as the season approaches. Fin- body-tension exercises
ish with a tapering phase, where you • Push your training in waves or
reduce the frequency and intensity cycles so you don’t get injured
of training, and tune the machine to
• Experiment with periodized
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JUne 07 | r o c k a n d i c e . c o m 85

p.093-97 Classifieds/Listings 1685 85 3/13/07 3:33:37 PM


4377 Boul Street Elzear O. Lavel, QC H7P 10K sq. ft. climbing. Full fitness cen- San Mateo. PLANET GRANITE. 20,000 860-645-0015; www.stoneagerockgym.
4J3; ter, yoga and programs. Retail shop. square feet, 50 foot high cracks! Exten- com

1220 Diamond Way #140 Concord, CA sive weights & fitness, yoga, pro-shop;
Newmarket, ON. OF ROCK & 94520; 925-602-1000; www.touchstone 100 El Camino Real, Belmont, CA 94002; Wallingford. PRIME CLIMB. Connecticut’s
CHALK CLIMBING. Climate 650-591-3030; OLDEST and BEST 203-265-7880; www.
controlled. Open 7 days. 905-
895-ROCK; 888-248-7625; Santa Cruz. PACIFIC EDGE.In- Davis. ROCKNASIUM. Great door climbing at its finest! 104
Routes. 530-757-2902; Bronson St., Santa Cruz, CA FLORIDA 95062; 831-454-9254; www.
Florida’s premier climbing facility.
More Good, Less Suck. 29 Hawthorne. BEACH CITY ROCKS. In the Santa Rosa. VERTEX CLIMBING CENTER. 12,000+ square feet of state-of-the-art
Fraser Ave., Toronto, On- South Bay, 40 foot leads, top ropes, and 707-573-1608; fully textured arches, aretes, slabs &
tario M6K 1Y7; 416-538- bouldering. 100+ routes. Just minutes overhangs, fitness gym & yoga. 13972
7670; south of LAX. 4926 West Rosecrans Ave.; SW 139 Court, 33186; 305-233-6623;
27 Bathurst Street, Toronto: 15,000 sq. Sunnyvale. PLANET GRANITE. 25,000 Tampa. VERTICAL VENTURES. 813-
ft., 60’ high plus bouldering; 416-703- sqft of indoor & outdoor climbing. 60 ft 884-7625.
3434; Ajax Community Center: 3,000 high. Cracks, chimneys, off-widths and
sq. ft., 25’ high plus bouldering: 905-231- Marin County. CLASS 5. 6K sq. ft. climb-
ing. Fitness center. Retail shop. 25B lots of steep climbing. HUGE bouldering
3434: area. Extensive weights & fitness, yoga
Dodie St., San Rafael, CA 94901; 415-485-
6931; & spinning, pro-shop. 815 Stewart Drive,
Toronto, ON. TORONTO CLIMBING Sunnyvale, CA 94085; (408) 991 - 9090; Atlanta. ATLANTA ROCKS!
ACADEMY. 416-406-5900; www.climbing INTOWN/PERIMETER Monterey Peninsula. SANCTUARY ROCK GYMS. The largest gyms
GYM. 1855A East Ave., Sand City, CA 93955; Thousand Oaks. BOULDERDASH IN- in the Southeast, offer
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ALABAMA 12,000/6,000 square
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high walls with over 40 lead/top-ropes; feet of seamless, textured climbing
Homewood. ALABAMA OUTDOORS. Mountain View. TWISTERS. The surface, featuring multi-tiered, wildly
3054 Independence Dr. Homewood, AL best instructional climbing gym overhanging ledges on terrain so real-
35209; 1-800-870-0011 for all ages! 2639 Terminal Blvd. istic, it seems like real rock. Lead routes
Mountain View, CA 94043. GYM. 256 Stowell St., Ste. A, Upland, up to 85 linear feet 50/40 topropes,
ARIZONA 650-967-5581 CA 91786; 909-931-5991; www.climb bouldering features, aerobic and weight training equipment, computerized ro-
tating climbing wall, locker rooms and
Flagstaff. VERTICAL RELIEF Orange County. SOLIDROCK GYM (Lake showers. Group rates, daily instruc-
CLIMBING CENTER. Awe- Forest) 10,000 sq. ft. climbable terrain. Victorville. THE BULLET HOLE TRAIN-
tion, equipment sales and rentals IN-
some indoor walls, guid- Top roping, bouldering, lead climbing. ING CENTER. The high desert’s only
TOWN! location 1019A Collier Road,
ing and instruction, gear shop, S.W. 26784 Vista Terrace; 949-588-6200; indoor climbing gym! 15315 Cholame
Atlanta; 404-351-3009; PERIMETER!
guidebooks, showers. 928-556-9909; Road, Unit D, Victorville, CA 92392;
location 4411A Bankers Circle, Doraville;
www.vertical 760-245-3307
Mobile rock walls for rent in Southern Atlanta. WALL CRAWLER ROCK CLUB.
California. Mobile rappel tower too. Atlanta’s neighborhood climbing gym.
Breckenridge. BRECKENRIDGE RECRE-; 310-378-2171 Where the climbers hang out! www.
Phoenix/North Valley. SOLIDROCK GYM. ATION CENTER CLIMBING WALL. 880 404-371-8997
23620 N. 20th Drive, Suite 24, Phoenix; Airport Road, Breckenridge, CO 80424;
(623) 587-7625; 970-547-4324
“Arizona” Kennesaw. ESCALADE ROCK CLIMB-
Colorado Springs. SPORT CLIMBING ING GYM. 770-794-1575 www.escalade
10K sq. ft. climbing. Full fitness center, CENTER. Colorado’s ultimate indoor
yoga and programs. Retail shop. 116 N. climbing destination. Spacious. Over
16th St. Sacramento, CA 95814; 916-341- 13,000 square feet. Guiding available. Metro Atlanta. ADRENALINE CLIMB-
Phoenix/West Valley. SOLIDROCK GYM. 0100; 4650 Northpark Dr., 80918; 719-260-1050; ING. Climbers come here for long over-
407 S. 107th Ave., Suite A6, Tolleson; hanging leads, massive bouldering, Pro
(623) 643-9399; route setting, & relaxed atmosphere.
-”Arizona” San Diego. SOLIDROCK GYM. Three loca- Denver. PARADISE ROCK 12,500 sf, Radwall design. 460 Brogdon
tions- DOWNTOWN, POWAY, and SAN GYM. Denver’s indoor climb- Road, Suwanee 30024; 770-271-1390;
MARCOS. 30 foot walls, 35-45+ ropes. ing community. 6260 N.
Scottsdale. AZ ON THE ROCKS. State of Washington St., Unit 5, Den-
Hundreds of clearly marked, frequently
the art, approx. 14,000 square feet, fully ver, CO 80216; 303-286-8168;
changed, expertly set routes. Toproping, ILLINOIS
air-conditioned, lead climbing, fitness
bouldering and lead climbing. www.solid
equipment, showers. 480-502-9777;; 619-299-1124 Bloomington. UPPER LIMITS. Over
bouldering traverse, 5 lead arches. 38 20,000 ft2, 65’ silos, wave wall, bi-
Tempe. PHOENIX ROCK GYM. 1353 E. Uni- San Diego. VERTICAL HOLD SPORT topropes, 12,000 sq. ft. of climbing sur- level cave, large outdoor bouldering
versity, Tempe, AZ 85281; 480-921-8322; CLIMBING CENTER, INC. The largest face; area and 110’ routes. Just off I-55 in Southern California. Over 20,000 and I-74 309-829-TALL (8255);
square feet of superbly textured climb-
ing surface. Colossal 40 foot lead GYM. 5800 square feet. 3713 South
ARKANSAS cave, 200+ toprope/lead routes, 2 Mason, Fort Collins, CO; 970-282-8118;
awesome bouldering areas. 9580 Dis-
Little Rock. LITTLE ROCK tribution Ave., San Diego, CA 92121; Chicago. LINCOLN PARK ATHLETIC CLUB.
CLIMBING CENTER; www. 858-586-7572; 773-529-2022;; 501- Fort Collins. MIRAMONT LIFESTYLE FIT-
227-9500 NESS. Over 6000 sq. ft. of awesome ter-
rain. 1800 Heath Pkwy 970-221-5000; Chicago. VERTICAL ENDEAVORS. 18,000ft2 of climbing on 40 ft walls.
CALIFORNIA San Francisco. MISSION CLIFFS. 14K sq. 19 Auto Belays. Programs and outdoor
ft. climbing. Retail shop. Touchstone’s Glenwood Springs. COLORADO MOUN- guiding for all ages. 630-836-0122;
Anaheim Hills. ROCK CITY CLIMBING first gym. 2295 Harrison St. @ 19th St., TAIN COLLEGE, Spring Valley Center
CENTER. 714-777-4884; www.rockcity- San Francisco, CA 94110; 415-550-0515; Climbing Gym. Boudering area and top rope wall. 970-947-8237 Crystal Lake. NORTH WALL. 815-356-
Thornton, Centennial. ROCK’N & JAM’N.
Tallest, steepest, indoor climbing gyms
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San Jose. TOUCH STONE SAN JOSE. 3K 847-866-6190;
Berkeley. BERKELEY IRONWORKS. 14K dust-free, air-conditioned enviroment.
sq. ft. climbing. Full fitness center, yoga sq. ft. climbing. Bouldering and Yoga. Two locations to serve you. North Den-
Retail shop. 200 S. 1st Street #70 (Down- ver at Washington St. Thorton 80229 Homewood. CLIMB ON. 18120 Harwood
and programs. Retail shop. 800 Potter
town), San Jose, CA 95113; 408-920-6000; and South Denver at 7390 Fraser St., Ave, Homewood, IL 60430; 708-798-
St. Berkeley, CA 94710; 510-981-9900; Centennial 80112. 9994;

86 R O C K A N D I C E . C O M | 07 J U N E

p.093-97 Classifieds/Listings 1686 86 3/13/07 3:34:31 PM

GYM. Large, all extremes, professional
walls and routes. Easy access from East-
Bloomington. HOOSIER Billings. STEEP WORLD. Your
ern PA, NY and NJ. 610-863-4444
HEIGHTS. 5100 S Rogers St. comprehensive climbing cen-
12,000 sq ft of climbable ter- ter! Gym/Shop; 208 N 13th. Wildwood. CLIMB NORTH. Best climbing
Billings, MT; 406-25-CLIMB; wall in Pittsburgh. New routes weekly for


rian. 2000 sq ft top out boul-
der. Seperate party room all levels. Open 7 days.
available for rental. 812-824-6414; www. NEVADA RHODE ISLAND
Las Vegas. RED ROCK CLIMBING CEN- 727-1704;
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SHOWERS! (702) 254-5604; Chattanooga. THE TENNESSEE
Columbia, Timonium & Rockville. EARTH ing, instruction, guiding and fraternizing.
of-the-art Climbing Gyms, among NEW HAMPSHIRE CLIMBING
Whether looking
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cilities within 25 minutes of Baltimore Plymouth. ROCK BARN. 603-536-2717 or scale a wall in the Ruth Gorge,
and Washington, DC: 800-Climb-UP, Nashville. CLIMB NASHVILLE; 615-463- Alaska Climbing is the book to
7625; take you there.
NEW JERSEY Author Joseph
TEXAS Puryear`s result of
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Range climbing
Frisco. CANYONS OF FRIS- and research is
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Boston. METROROCK CLIMBING CEN- Price: $29.95
TER. 69 Norman Street, Unit 9, Everett,
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two lead caves, guiding, YOSEMITE
Newburyport. METROROCK NORTH. 40 complete climbing shop. CENTER. 2494 N. University Pkwy Pro- Yosemite Big
Parker Street, Newburyport, MA 01950; 505-341-2016; www.stone vo, UT 84604; 801-418-0266 Walls is the most current, detailed, and accurate guide
VIRGINIA to Yosemite`s
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Santa Fe. SANTA FE CLIMBING CENTER. Alexandria. SPORTROCK 703-212-ROCK; Yosemite Big Walls
Woburn. BOSTON ROCK 825 Early St Ste A, Santa Fe, NM. 87505; covers the 41 best
GYM. New England’s original big wall routes on El Capitan, Half Dome,
rock gym. 78 G Olympia Ave., and Washington
Woburn, MA 01801; 781-935- Sterling. SPORTROCK 703-212-7625; Column all of which
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Albany. ALBANY’S INDOOR ROCK GYM. Price: $24.95
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Ann Arbor/Pontiac. PLANET ROCK ROCK GYM. 6,000 square feet, 33
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Open everyday. 5049 Southern Blvd., Lake Tahoe is be-
lead routes. Ann Arbor 734-827-2680; 7625; coming California`s
Pontiac; 248-334-3904; www.planet- VA Beach, VA 23462; 757-499-8347; largest summer bouldering area.
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518-388-2704; WASHINGTON than 1,400 problems
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Grand Rapids. HIGHER GROUND ROCK Seattle. STONE GARDENS. Big & friend- are discovered every
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Madison. BOULDERS CLIMBING GYM. clip bolts at Luther
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JUNE 07 | R O C K A N D I C E . C O M 87

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88 R O C K A N D I C E . C O M | 07 J U N E

p.093-97 Classifieds/Listings 1688 88 3/19/07 11:24:39 AM

Get the exposure you deserve! • Call 877-762-5423 ext. 17


Smith Rock State Park, 9297 N.E. 5209 Ballard Ave NW., Seattle, WA
ALABAMA OUTDOORS BENT GATE MOUNTAINEERING MIDWEST MOUNTAINEERING Crooked River Dr., Terrebonne, OR 98107; 206-545-8810; F 206-545-
3054 Independence Dr., Birmingham, 1313 Washington Ave., Golden, CO 309 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 97760; 541-548-4786 9397;;
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1335 B Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302; 230 E. Superior St., Ste. 130, Duluth, 64 E Swamp Rd., Doylestown, PA WA 98304; 800-238-5756;
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629-K So. Broadway, Boulder, CO Skiing, Climbing, Boating PO Box 53, Seneca Rocks, WV
928-774-4775; F 928-774-4561; HURST; 80303; 303-499-1731; 160 N Bluff St (Corner Of Bluff And 26884; (304) 567-2600; 800-548-
PIPESTONE MOUNTAINEERING Blvd) St George Ut 84770 435-673- 0108;;
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760-873-7520; 617-536-8060; (206) 525-8500;;

JUNE 07 | R O C K A N D I C E . C O M 89

p.093-97 Classifieds/Listings 1689 89 3/13/07 3:37:20 PM


arrived in Nepal in 1998 hoping to climb
Pumori (23,442 feet) by a new route. Nine
years before, Nowak and two friends,
forging the route, had come within 600
feet of the summit, but stopped, effecting
an epic rescue when one was hit in the
eye by rockfall.
Unfortunately, Reynolds and Nowak hit
a dry year. Prepared for snow and ice, the
two lacked enough rock gear for the huge
swathes of newly exposed, loose rock.
Reynolds says, “The point when we
decided to turn around was a lot less
disappointing than it would be on a
standard expedition.”
The year before, while leading treks in
the region, Reynolds had visited a safe
house for young Nepali girls at risk of
being sold into prostitution. This trip,
she, Nowak and expedition members,
knowing the Friendship House was at
risk of closing its doors, had raised funds
for it as part of their plan. Before starting
up Pumori, they delivered clothing and a
$30,000 check.
“What really stood out for me,” Reynolds
says, “was the love and gratitude we’d
gotten from the girls, this effort we had
put toward helping them. That’s what I
walked away with as mattering. I made
a little promise to myself, that whatever
I did in life I was going to help people, to
give back.”
Reynolds, a longtime Outward Bound
instructor, was a focused ice and alpine
climber. She and Nowak (now her husband)
had done ascents of difficult ice classics
such as Sorceror and Curtain Call in
the Canadian Rockies, as well as the
Nettle-Quirk route on Mount Huntington,
Alaska Range.
“I think the timing was right,” says
Reynolds, 48, who lives in Ridgway,
Colorado. “When all your focus is on
climbing, at some point it becomes sort
of an empty, lonely place because it’s all
about me and my goals. At some point it’s
got to be bigger.”
Reynolds founded the women’s ice-climbing
clinics Chicks with Picks, which fundraise
for local women’s shelters, and early this
year surpassed the $100,000 mark (with
$116,000); and she and Nowak co-founded
the dZi foundation, which now affects
30,000 people with health and educational
programs in Nepal, Ladakh and Sikkim.



90 R O C K A N D I C E . C O M | 07 JUNE PHOTO BY D UA N E R A L E I G H

p.090 partingshot.160.indd 90 3/9/07 9:41:02 AM

Entre Prises 160.indd 2 3/13/07 8:46:30 AM
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Gramicci_160.indd 1 3/14/07 12:54:57 PM
Mad.Rock_160.indd 1 3/9/07 8:38:06 AM