Monday, January 31, 2011

Welcome to the Tatras!

Conditions are variable where ever one travels, but in the Tatras they can really change. Old School climbing club books that essentially vouch for your ability in the mountains, elusive mountains, Yosemite National Park trained Park Rangers and home made grass protection all add to what should be an adventure. We will see, updates to follow!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Indoor drytool training - Schmoolz and Alpkit

Photo from

I have been searching for a great tool to train indoors with for the mixed season. I have suffered many injuries from tools skating off plastic holds - and for several pre winter training seasons I took to wearing a hockey helmet to protect my teeth, nose and head. While everybody is going plice crazy I am too busy traveling to have a fixed plywood thing....thing because it is late and I could not come up with a better word.

I recently found two companies from the UK, Alpkit - producers of the Figfour, and Schmoolz - producers of the Schmoolz dry tool. They both have the same concept, a wooden handle with a rubber strap that loops over standard indoor climbing holds, any indoor climbing hold. It seems the UK is way ahead of us when it comes to organized indoor training, and has a competition series already going and both manufacturers have actively pursued climbing gyms to let members use them.

Here is a good article comparing the tools, and the websites for Alpkit and Schmoolz. I think somebody in North America should think about distributing these. In the mean time they ship to the US and Europe.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Jeff Lowe's Metanoia Documentary

This is a super cool project, I really hope that you donate and this becomes a reality.

What is the film about?
Nearly 20 years ago Jeff Lowe made an amazing solo first ascent on Switzerland’s Eiger North Face - in winter - without the usual expansion bolts that climbers use for protection on steep, blank rock faces. Jon Krakauer was there on assignment for Men's Journal to photograph and document the climb. Jeff’s survival on the “impossible climb” was nothing short of miraculous. Very strong climbers have tried to repeat the climb… not one has succeeded. Now an extremely talented and accomplished Swiss climber wants to fulfill his own dream of climbing Jeff’s route.

Once again acclaimed author Jon Krakauer teams up with Jeff, this time to narrate this compelling biographical documentary about the life and climbs of one of the world’s greatest alpinists.

In this movie we will travel to some of the most beautiful places on earth and experience firsthand what it is like to be high up in the great ranges. We will learn what sort of spirit drives a man to risk his life repeatedly, as the transcendent moments are revealed that shaped his very soul.

The characteristics that made Jeff Lowe an extraordinary climber and visionary are the same characteristics that engender his graceful response to the mysterious neuro-degenerative process that has robbed him of his climbing life and landed him in a wheelchair.

What is it that makes a person able to embrace their circumstances, no matter how devastating, and continue to find joy in every day life, while others struggle endlessly, still despairing of their losses or simply giving up? >