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Escape from Winter

 

In January of 2009, after a 9-month battle (and 30 years since the First Aid Ascent) ‘The Ewbank Route’ on the iconic Totem Pole saw all 4 of its original pitches climbed free by two local talents, Doug McConnel, and Dean Rollins.

The Tasmanian classic went at 27 (or 5.12d in Yosemite terms), and Planet Mountain wrote: “the two climbers were the first to point out that their style could be greatly improved upon as they freed the individual pitches over separate days, and pitches 2 and 3 were separated by a hanging belay. Those aspiring to climb the line in a single push should be aware that the route takes fiddly gear, is run-out, and solid for the grade. Any takers?”

Well as it turns out, this description is exactly what appealed to our athlete’s Sonnie Trotter and Will Stanhope. Both climbers are well known for seeking out beautiful and spicy lines around the world and “The Tote” (as it’s often called) would be no exception. Watch, as these two climbers explore this rugged peninsula and Trotter takes down the nearly 200-foot pencil like pillar via the Ewbank Route, 5.13b R.

First free ascent of Ewbank Route on Tasmania’s Totem PoleTotem1

 

Sleeping in Tazmania

Photos: Cameron Maier & Sonnie Trotter

Read more http://sonnietrotter.com/2016/06/16/first-free-ascent-of-ewbank-route-on-tasmanias-totem-pole/

thumbThis week's Friday Night Video is something a bit different - a 360 virtual reality film of The Needles in Canyonlands National Park, California, USA with none other than Alex Honnold as a tour guide.

Click and drag points on the video frame to spin around 360 and explore the landscape.

Read more http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=70539

thumbOver the past month a group of climbers from the New Zealand Alpine Team have been active in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru. Several new routes have been climbed including four new lines on Taulliraju, including the much attempted West Ridge.

Read more http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=70549

thumbTonight's Friday Night Video from UKC user David Linnett is a short film about a trip to the Isle of Wight to climb one of the UK's most iconic adventure routes - Skeleton Ridge at The Needles by Totland Bay. First climbed by the legendary Mick Fowler in November 1984, this 5 star esoteric and chalky HVS has gained cult classic status over the years and comprises about 160 metres of climbing over 6 pitches with some of the most outrageous exposure to be found in the UK.

Read more http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=70553

Hey Steph, quick question about home wall setting. I have just wrapped up my home wall and have accumulated a good amount of holds, but despite how much I love setting lines, Im finding that being the only one who sets on my wall, is starting to feel a little limiting. I’ve noticed some people seem to just throw all their holds up (ie beth rodden’s wall) and that seems like a great idea for training, but am looking for more feedback. What’s your personal preference? Do you have setting parties (My wife and I just moved to southern california so we dont really know anyone to partake in this with us yet), or spend a day and redo your wall alone? Or do you also just slap all your holds up and more or less let your imagination do the work while you’re sessioning?

My wall is pretty tall, 14.5ft at the high point, so setting had proven to be a big endeavor with heavy ladders on uneven ground, or needing to sit in my harness for a few hours while I set and forerun. I can be pretty lazy at times and this little road block has definitely put a damper on the experience of having a home wall.

Any feedback would be awesome!
Thanks Steph!

-Alex-
If you want to see pics of the wall, check out my IG: chossbucket

Hi Alex,
I also had done the shotgun spray approach when I first built my wall: it was so much empty space and I figured I just had to get lots of holds on it. I ended up disliking that, and having to remove and switch some as I tried to mark problems. And then the whole wall was covered in duct tape to mark problems, and the duct tape kept drying up and falling off and it was all a big mess! I was losing motivation to climb on the wall, and I wanted to start fresh.

I stripped all the holds, repainted the wall, and got new, color-matched holds from Atomik Climbing Holds. Since I wanted to experiment with training by doing linked boulder problems (4 sets of 4, downclimbing ladder holds between each problem, 2 minutes rest between sets), I got 4 different color groups of holds. Each color has its own character: the purples are juggy, the aqua is medium sized and sometimes less positive, the pink is pinches and crimps, and the green is even more crimpy. The downclimbing ladder rungs are orange.

The really awesome thing about deciding to do this with your wall and do this kind of training for a while is you only need 4 good problems (and downclimbing rungs on each side of the wall) at a time, and it will keep you happy and busy for weeks! You don’t need that many holds either. I just started to set one problem at a time, and I didn’t even set anything on the right half of my wall (which is less steep). Eventually my boyfriend got interested, and would come out and start setting some problems he liked on the right side while I was climbing my linked problems on the left side. So we are just gradually adding one problem at a time. I like this so much more than what I did before, just frantically trying to get holds up and having too many–it’s growing organically, I don’t need that many holds, it’s not all cluttered and overwhelming, and all the problems are color matched by holds, which is really really nice. I’ve been perfectly happy with having 6 problems on the left side of my wall for a few months now, because it’s just what I need for training right now. When it’s time, I’ll add more or re-set.

Kenny Matys is the president and owner of Atomik Climbing Holds. He started climbing in 1989, eventually competing in the X Games as well as in the professional circuit before starting Atomik. His holds are designed with systems in mind, and he’s given me a lot of ideas about how to use my limited wall space efficiently. Here are some links that could be helpful from the Atomik site:
https://www.atomikclimbingholds.com/how-to
https://www.atomikclimbingholds.com/how-to-route-set-book
kenny
I asked Kenny for some advice on your question too, and here’s what he has to say:

Having a home wall is a relationship. You get what you put into it in terms of time and the holds. It’s time to not be lazy. Besides, route setting is a workout in itself. Embrace the work, be creative. You will be a better climber from the experience.

My suggestion is to start from scratch. Strip the entire wall, wash the holds and then on date night with your wife, set a warm up up problem. And not just any warm up problem. Set one move at a time and climb each move. Both you and your wife should climb the moves. I like to set the longest length from low left on the wall to upper right. Then down climb and on to the next which runs from lower right to upper left. This gives you a big X on your wall of warm up and cool down holds. That would be my first setting session.

The next session would be an easy problem that focuses on pinches or slopers. It’s important to have easy problems with tendon friendly holds which is why my wall consists of mostly slopers and pinches.

Bottom line, one quality problem at a time makes for a great wall. I never just slap up holds. They all have a place to be the best they can. Your job is to find it.

Kenny Matys
President
www.climbatomik.com

Read more http://stephdavis.co/blog/guest-post-home-wall-setting/

 

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The mountains surrounding Ogwen are steeped in climbing folklore with some of the earliest modern rock climbs in the UK being recorded on the cliffs and gullies of Tryfan and Cwm Idwal. There is a real 'big' mountain feel to the climbing at Ogwen, but this is mixed with a more relaxed atmosphere that many other upland areas don't share. The ease of access, good footpaths, distant sea views and generally off-vertical cliffs, don't threaten or impose in a daunting way and have been instrumental in the continued popularity of this well-travelled area.

Local Ogwen climber Calum Muskett shares his insider knowledge of this picturesque valley in North Wales.

Read more http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=8498

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An area with a longer climbing history than many of its adjacent crags, linking it to some of alpinism's greats, but with modern single and multi pitch climbs.

So where is it? Only 20km north of Ceuse to the region's southern edge, west of some of the greats of the Ecrins, such as l'Olan and east of the well know Vercors.

Read more http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=8482

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The serrated 'stickleback' profile of the Rimpfischhorn's North Ridge makes it an easily recognisable landmark. It is located on the watershed between the Zermatt's Mattertal valley and Saastal.
A long approach over a spread of complex glaciers deters all but the most ardent of alpinists.

Read more http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=8497

red rock canyon

Red Spring Area at Red Rock Canyon (Photo by Shannon Bowsher)

If you’re not into ice climbing or snow sports, chances are you’re itching to hitch a ride somewhere warmer, rich in rock quality.  With most of New England buried in over two feet of snow and temps in the single digits, a westward trip to Red Rock Canyon in sunny, warm Las Vegas sounds pretty damn good.  I am actually starting to wonder why I didn’t just rip up my return ticket and stay for the rest of winter.

Las Vegas has everything you need to fulfill your rock climbing addiction along with some entertainment after a long day of climbing.  Red Rock Canyon has very easy access with over 300 square miles of scattered boulders, multipitch trad, and sport routes.  The best guide books for the area are the Southern Nevada Bouldering by Tom Moulin and Red Rocks: A Climber’s Guide by Jerry Handren and will give you very detailed descriptions and topos.  Get out of New England and head west before the next snow buries you even further!

Check out the video below of some of the classic lines Kraft boulders has to offer.

 

 

Read more http://www.climberism.com/escape-from-winter/

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22 year-old Nathan Phillips has just returned from a successful month-long trip to Magic Wood, Averstal, Switzerland, where he climbed 14 problems of 8A and above - including his first 8B+, Mystic Styles.

Read more http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=70545