Friday, November 27, 2009

If you speak Japanese then check out this thing from the Japanese Marmot distributors.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rock and Ice 25th Anniversary Milestone climbs

It is a huge honor to have 'Imperfect Apparition' - a route that Jack Tackle and I made the first ascent of in 2005, alpine style, on the SW Face of Mount Huntington, Alaska, recognized as one of the milestone climbs of the last 25 years. For more details on the route please see below.

Posted on December 1, 2005

By Jack Tackle

Perfect symmetry and complex faces always drew me to Mt. Huntington (3730m), but until May of this year I had never climbed it. On May 15, 2005, Fabrizio Zangrilli and I landed on the west fork of the Tokositna. Our intent was to climb a new route to the right of the Harvard Route on the Phantom Wall (west face) and left of the Smith/Teare Route on the far right side of the face.

After two days of recon—and the realization that W is clearly wrong about global warming—on May 19 we rappelled onto the face from the lowest point of the Stegosaurus. The terrain was moderate, and we simulclimbed all but one pitch up to the main rock headwall in the middle of the face. We struck out right onto beautiful brown granite—some of the best stone I have seen in the range—and quickly became absorbed in our objective. Fabrizio led two mixed pitches that followed a right-leaning traversing weakness. By the end of the second pitch, he found himself faced with an Alaska Range anomaly—a chimney system running with water at 4 p.m. at 10,200 feet. The thought of being soaked to the skin in this shower stall and enduring a bivy on unknown terrain was unappealing, so we left our two ropes fixed and rapped back to a snowfield where we chopped a bivy ledge and spent the evening waiting for the water to return to solid form.

At 4 a.m. the second day, we left the bivy gear and went light for the summit, intending to climb up and back in a single push. The former shower-stall chimney had seized up into a gorgeous section of mixed climbing that brought us in two pitches to a ramp system. Fabrizio took over, and we pitched out and then simulclimbed six pitches across the face into the center wall, which led us to the crux rockband. I searched for a weakness and found a flaring dihedral with a thin strip of ice in the back. Although it was only eighty feet long and led to easy ground above, it proved to be the most challenging part of the route. First Fabrizio, then I worked on this eighty-foot pitch. Finally, with some creative problem solving (tied-off Bugaboos for pro, a drytool traverse onto a rounded ledge, a manufactured number-three Camalot placement), I was able to break through our temporary barrier. It was now 6 p.m. We started simulclimbing again up the throat of the main upper face, heading for upper summit ridge of the Harvard and West Face Couloir routes.

It was snowing and sloughing spindrift everywhere around us. We climbed until 11 p.m. and finally turned around when we could no longer see more than thirty feet in front of our faces. We had intersected the Harvard Route finish, maybe 500 feet below the summit. As we descended our route in darkness, the snow became more intense. We lost two hours dealing with a stuck rope on rappel in the coldest and darkest part of the night. In our attempts to pull the ropes, we also managed to strip forty feet from our second rope's sheath, reducing the length of our rappels, but increasing our resource of anchor material.

Twenty-seven hours after we left the bivy, we lay down and slept for five hours. I fell asleep while devouring my food and woke like a frozen Mastodon with unchewed jerky still in my mouth. We rapped off the lower Harvard rappels and a few hours later returned to a gracious reception from our base-camp comrades.

In keeping with proper alpine etiquette—tell the truth—and given our proximity to the Phantom Wall, and to the phantom summit, The Imperfect Apparition seems an appropriate name for our route (Alaska Grade 5+: M5 A3, 4,000').

Jack Tackle, Victor, Idaho

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Midwest Mountaineering Winter Expo 2010

If you are in Minneapolis this weekend come down to the Expo! There is a huge sale and over 40 presenters - as well as my slide show at 4:30pm Saturday. For a complete schedule please visit
Hope to see you!

Photo: Me and Rod outside the store just before the sales started yesterday.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ouray Ice festival Clinics

Sign up for clinics with me at the 2010 Ouray Ice festival!
My Ice Fest Clinic Schedule:

Fri 9:00 -11:30 am - CAMP - Intro to Leading
Fri 12:30 - 3:00 pm - CAMP - Intro to leading

Sat 9:00 -11:30 am - SCARPA - Advanced Mixed Climbing M6 - M8
Sat 12:30 - 3:00 pm - SCARPA - Advanced Ice WI 5

Sun 9:00 -11:30 am - Marmot - Easy Ice WI 2-3
Sun 12:30 - 3:00 pm - CAMP - Intro to Leading

for more details and to sign up for clinics please visit:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Alpinist and Guinea Pig: Various Job Titles

This is how I spend a few days a month, oxygen deprived and monitored. Sometimes it is non invasive - pictured - and sometimes very invasive.
Today was very hard, a big drop in oxygen saturation, and too much on my mind. There are many people in the room monitoring me - well I thought there were at least. Don't quit your day job.

Humar's rescue: very sad news: Updated: Tragedy

The world lost one of its great personalities this week.

Tomaz, thanks for the great drinks at your house, I still remember that evening with great fondness..... Your were the best and the greatest inspiration! No one could match your intensity and love of life. My thoughts are with Maja and mutual friends.

Langtang Lirung rescue update: Tomaz Humar missing, Swiss rescuers stuck in BC reports

I am so sad over the news and developments. I am very aware of how the rescue team feels sitting in base camp. I know that Tomaz took great comfort in knowing many people were thinking of him during the similar situation on Nanga. I pray for better news.

This from Monday, January 07, 2008 from my own blog:

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sales Meeting, AORE and more......

I have been traveling for the past week, first to Tahoe and then to Minneapolis. It has been fun, learned a ton about the new amazing product coming out soon from Marmot, had alot of fun with the national and international sales groups and then met some amazing people at the AORE annual conference in Minneapolis. Highlights to follow, and more traveling this week. I cannot wait for the end of next week as I then get a week off to go climbing again....

Photo: One of the great people I have met over the past 6 weeks. Larissa and me at AORE.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Training for alpine climbing

Today I belayed someone who is a living legend in the climbing community, and it was fully eye opening. The three routes that they did allowed me to see that I had not actually reached a plateau in my training, I just was not trying hard enough, plain and simple. I was not climbing through where I thought I "should" fail. It is in this period of struggling that one's biggest gains are made. Before I left the ground I had basically decided that I would fail at a certain point. I received some great belaying and managed to push through the crux on my current project, I didn't finish it, but that is just an endurance issue, easy to deal with. I can handle more training, just not more training that is not benefiting me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Training for alpine climbing

After three weeks of constant improvement I hit a dreaded plateau. My running times have not improved nor my level of redpointing in the gym. Stagnation, I did not think would come so quickly.
I managed to redpoint my project in the gym, and now I am really not climbing anything harder, perhaps the moves were just suited for me, and thus why I picked it as a project. Either way, I guess it is time for a bit of muscle confusion, both for climbing and for general aerobic endurance.

Thoughts on this to follow....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Training for alpine climbing

This week has been hard training wise. After "resting" (Saturday night was a late one) all weekend I was climbing very strong on Monday, then ran 8+ miles after; Tuesday I lifted with a total focus on push muscles and core then ran the same 8+ mile loop; Wednesday was a restday - although it involved a bunch of prodding and needles at a medical research facility - more on this later, but I have very interesting physiological responses to altitude, and very interesting to be at 6000m with cords and cables strapped to me once a week, while doctors monitor my O2 sats. Today, I was back climbing and it was not as strong as Monday but not bad. Tomorrow should be a nice day in RMNP so hopefully I will get a bunch of alpine mixed done.
The struggle to get stronger continues.....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Training for alpine climbing

It has been two weeks since I last posted, I know I have been lazy, but not about training. I did a very good job of staying focused on the goal over the past month, and yesterday I started what I would call the process of really trying.

Over the past month I spent alot of time getting my body ready, just making sure that there were no nagging injuries and "lubricating" the joints. I ran about 200miles and climbed several thousand feet, lifted more than a proverbial ton and read alot about training.

Yesterday was an eye opener, I tried really hard at Movement (my favorite climbing gym in Boulder completing last weeks "project" and then almost onsighting a route that was a full letter grade harder. I warmed up pretty well - still need to improve at this, just a bit more discipline needed really, and then set about getting stronger.

I have found that several routes at my "limit" of onsighting and then working a couple of routes that are supposed to be above my ability and then back to redpointing and then finally a few cooldown climbs has been getting me strong. It is as unscientific as can be, but seems to be working well for me.

I stayed at Movement for 4 hours. I rested and rehydrated well, very well. What does pulling plastic do for alpine climbing you may wonder. My answer is that it has been crap weather out, I have had obligations on the days that have been good for the fun mixed that has climbed in RMNP since the snowfall and in the end if you can rock climb very well, you have the confidence needed in the mountains.

Oh yeah, after the gym session I ran 8.6 miles. I was tired after, but felt great. Perhaps the one thing I did poorly yesterday was eat enough.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Training for Alpine Climbing

Many clients and people I meet at slide shows or shops ask me how I train for alpine climbing, and I never have a concrete answer. I have never kept training logs, but over the next five months I am going to detail my training as I get ready for my upcoming trips to Alaska and Nepal in the Spring and Pakistan in the Summer. I have a decent aerobic base, and decent overall strength, but I just took one month off after the K2, Broad Peak and Latok II season due to fatigue, so I will start from the beginning to build back up to better climbing strength, and it wont happen overnight that is for sure. I had moderate nerve damage in my toes as well from this summer, which has been fun to deal with, but is slowly going away .

There will be method to the madness some days and others will seem random, however I am looking at a five month period before peaking, and in that time I will have many periods where I peak and plateau. Training for a goal makes it easier to stay focused, the key is to be consistent and maintain desire over the duration of training.

Training for alpine climbing, specifically for my goals (mixed routes in the Ruth Gorge in early spring, guiding on Makalu in April/May and then Nanga Parbat in the summer) requires a unique combination of aerobic conditioning and power endurance. I have trouble training aerobic capacity and power at the same time, but if you want to mixed climb for many hours in a day on a cold wall in Alaska you better be able to train both at the same time. The biggest issue for me has been finding the best recovery program, so as I figure out what is working for me I will post it.

I plan to update three times a week, sometimes more and sometimes less. If you have any comments on the training please feel free to email me.

I am a big fan of training instead of reading about it; but to get started on your own program I recommend Climbing: Training for Peak Performance by Clyde Soles. As I find literature specific to the phase of training I am in, I will post it.

AAO Fall '09 Clinic Tour

The Midwest Fall '09 clinic tour with AAO comes to a close and my return to climbing, instead of talking about climbing clothes, will happen this weekend. It was actually pretty fun, and certainly AAO ( took great care of me. I learned alot about the needs of the Midwest in terms of sales and gear over the last three weeks. I will be back soon enough, but now it is time to go climbing for a while, while Brian, Vanessa and Jon continue the tour. Self portraits in front of a few stores in the Midwest territory.

Friday, September 25, 2009

SCARPA & CAMP Warehouse Sale

Check it out if you are in Boulder for the weekend and want to get a great deal on the best footwear, hardware, harnesses, etc...

Friday, September 18, 2009

time to start training

I have been out of the Karakoram for a month now, the feeling in my toes is just starting to come back and it is time to start training. Big plans in the future mean big training needs to be done. I am a firm believer in pushing it when training, in my opinion the strongest alpinist today is Ueli Steck, watch and get inspired!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

2009/2010 Guiding Schedule: Updated

This is the list of expeditions for 2009 & 2010. Please email for pricing, individual trip descriptions, itineraries or to reserve your spot, as space is limited, on any of the listed expeditions; or to organize custom guiding and/or personalized rock, ice, alpine and expedition training.

Fabrizio is also available for slide shows for your club, school or company.

June 10 - Aug 15:

K2 (8611m) & Broad Peak (8046m)

Karakoram, Pakistan
with Field Touring

October 05 - November 05:

Khumbu Nepal


Custom Ice/Alpine/Rock Climbing
and Expedition Training



Custom Ice/Alpine/Rock Climbing
and Expedition Training



Barun Valley, Nepal
with Field Touring Alpine


Nanga Parbat
with Field Touring Alpine


Khumbu, Nepal


Aconcagua Private

Recent Press

A recent collection of press articles on me from Outside Magazine, Nation Geographic Adventure, Climbing, Rock and Ice, Denver Post, Time Magazine, Ski Press World, and 5280 Magazine.

Marmot Athlete Fabrizio Zangrilli Set to Lead Unprecedented ...

4/17/09 - Top alpinist Fabrizio Zangrilli – a recent addition to Marmot's global athlete team – will lead what might be the first-ever commercially ...

An Impossible Mountain Rescue on Latok II in Pakistan - TIME

Aug 16, 2009 ... Fabrizio Zangrilli, 36, was in the area because he recently finished guiding a climb of K2. "Fabrizio is so acclimatized, and his skill set ...,8599,1916483,00.html

Go Light, Go Fast by C.A.M.P.: Fabrizio Zangrilli Leads Light ...

Aug 14, 2009 ... Fresh off of leading the first commercially guided attempt on K2, Fabrizio Zangrilli has been called on to lead the efforts to rescue a ...

Fabrizio Zangrilli Set to Lead Unprecedented Expedition to K2 ...

Boulder, Colo. (Mtn Press)-Top alpinist Fabrizio Zangrilli will lead what might be the first-ever commercially organized expedition of its kind to K2.

» Boulder Climber Fabrizio Zangrilli Heads for K2 | 5280 Magazine

Zangrilli will lead 10 climbers in the first-ever commercial trip up the renowned Himalayan peak.

Desperate Rescue Underway on Latok II - Adventure Travel ...

Aug 13, 2009 ... National Geographic ADVENTURE ( presents the best in adventure travel and ecotourism, with destinations, photos, videos, ...

Rock and Ice Magazine: Zangrilli Set To Guide K2

Apr 13, 2009 ... Fabrizio Zangrilli near his home in Boulder, Colora ... The alpinist Fabrizio Zangrilli will lead what might be the first-ever commercially ...

Zangrilli's resume includes rescue of 2 ailing climbers - The ...

Jun 2, 2009 ... While the summit is typically the main goal for a big-mountain alpinist, Fabrizio Zangrilli is focused on the challenge. ...

Monday, September 14, 2009


I got this from the most recent CAMP-USA news letter, sign up for it at

The name CAMP is an acronym that stands for, ‘Construzione Articoli Montagna Premana,' best translated as, ‘Articles for Mountaineering Made in Premana.' Some climbers know this. Most do not. We were interested in putting the climbing community's imagination to the test by letting them recreate the acronym based on their perceptions of the company, the sport and the lifestyle. From more than 1,500 entries, we are excited to announce the winning entry and top ten finishers as voted on by registered users:

1st Place: Crags Are My Playgrounds
2nd Place: Caviar At Meatloaf Prices
3rd Place: Caught Above My Protection
4th Place: Climbing Away My Paychecks
5th Place: Climbing Against Mother's Protest
6th Place: Climbing Another Magnificent Peak
7th Place: Climbing: A Magical Pursuit
8th Place: Charley Ate My Piton
9th Place: Cultivating America's Missing Past-time
10th Place: Chow At Miguel's Pizza!

Thank you to all who participated! See the winning page post with comments at

Product Review: Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus

There are two things that matter to me when picking a sleeping pad: will it insulate me from the cold and is it comfortable. Luckily for me, this summer I found a pad that did both very, very well. I have been using Therm-a-Rest products for quite some time, but managed to get my hands on a ProLite Plus for my guiding gigs on K2 and Broad Peak this past summer.

Getting some sleep on big mountains is easy for me, but getting a good night's sleep is crucial. My large ProLite Plus was long enough and wide enough to make sure that my feet and shoulders stayed off the ice and felt like I was floating while sleeping. I used the pad at 8000m on K2 and 7100m - the high camp on Broad Peak - and spent over 50 nights total on the pad over the season never regretting using it. If you are looking for a very solid, warm and comfy sleeping pad the ProLite Plus is a phenomenal choice! In Base Camp I would layer the floor of my tent with Z-Lite pads and slept very warm and very well when combined with my Marmot CWM EQ (-40 degree sleeping bag).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

AAO Dealer Employee Incentive Week

Since my return from K2, Broad Peak and the Latok II rescue attempt I have been very fortunate to get out and rock climb a bit in Boulder Canyon but my numb toes - nerve damage from pounding from using the wrong size boots - prevented me from really enjoying it. The feeling is starting to come back, fortunately in time for a trip with the 10 people that won the AAO Dealer Employee Incentive Promotion - see for details - to the Black Hills of South Dakota for a week of trail running, mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing and being a tourist and partying - all on AAO's dime!

We had an awesome time and I managed to spend alot of time rock climbing in The Needles and at Devil's Tower, went to Mount Rushmore to see the evening lighting ceremony, Wind Cave National Monument and got to relax with a very fun bunch of employees from various shops in the midwest. Oh Yeah, we stayed at Normarke Farm B&B, which is amazing!

Robert, from Midwest Mountaineering, enjoying the crystal pulling in the Needles.

Jon, AAO Rep, with Devil's Tower's shadow behind him from the summit.

The Summit registry from Devil's Tower.

Neil, Jon and Jake on the Summit of Devil's Tower after climbing the Durrance Route.

Devil's Tower at sunset.

Another one of me, at the belay ontop of pitch 2, Durrance Route, Devil's Tower.

Mount Rushmore, lit up at night.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

K2 Video: 360 degree from the Shoulder

I took this video at 5am on the shoulder of K2 on August 07, 2009, it shows sunrise over most of the Karakoram, including Masherbrum, Chogolisa, Broad Peak, the Masherbrum group, and China. It also shows the curve of the Earth. My dilemma that morning of moving up given the 10 people that were above me (I left C4 last as I was sure I was fast enough to leave with sunrise and summit early enough to return to C2 or BC the same day) went away rapidly as I climbed high and realized that it was the deep snow that was preventing everybody from moving faster. I had been up past the Bottleneck and Traverse before - in 2000 - and knew the best thing given conditions was to get down to BC as quickly as possible. I was back in base camp by 7pm that day, I left the Shoulder at 11am.

K2 Broad Peak and Latok Photo Albums 8

The view from C3 on Broad Peak up to the Col with the summit ridge on the right.

The upper half of Latok II. The NW ridge is the left hand skyline.

The Trango group seen from the Baltoro.

Looking down on the summit group on Broad Peak as I break trail to C3.

K2 Broad Peak and Latok Photo Albums 7

Latok's North Pillar well defined with the North Face on the left.

The view looking up Broad Peak from 6500m.

Latok III from a Heli from the South.

Me wishing that a Heli would come and resupply us with food.

K2 Broad Peak and Latok Photo Albums 6

LAPs (low altitude porters) carrying rope - in the end we had over 3500m of rope - up the Baintha Glacier to the base of the slope that lead up to the NW Ridge of Latok II.

Pakistani flag with Mickey. Strange I agree

Jordi C. , Alvaro, Dani, Chris and Jonathan in the back seat of the one remaining jeep during the ride back to Skardu from Askoli. We started out with 4 jeeps and by the end of the day only one remained due to a gas shortage in Skardu.

Latok's North Pillar from the North Side Base Camp. The NW Ridge of Latok II is the right Skyline - it lokos like it is a ridge on Latok from this angle. I spent two days here trying to figure out how to lead and orchestrate the rescue, finally I decided that base camp and all of the climbing would have to be done from the south side. It is not much easier, but we needed any help we could get.

K2 Broad Peak and Latok Photo Albums 5

After flying out of the North Side of Latok to Skardu to make the Rescue team in Skardu and Spain realize the importance of MI 17s and many more people and alot of fixed rope I waited for the Spanish guys to arrive and then flew in with Jordi C. and Jonathan and a few HAPS and LAPs. After shuttling us around we finally were dropped off 10km from where I had intended BC to be and where I had the food, tents and equipment airdropped - this photo is of us resting after finally arriving in base camp, after midnight. Luckily I had a prototype Petzl RXP, which is the best headlamp I have ever used, with a phenomenal beam, that helped me navigate to where we needed to be.

MI 17 in Dassu, we dropped off food, equipment and people and then started the shuttling of gear.

Matt and Wim above C2 on K2's Cesen Route during the push to the shoulder.

The view from C4, 8000m on the Shoulder of K2, looking up to the Bottleneck, Traverse with the Serac, and the summit slopes.