Archive for January 2007

Be Careful Out There!

My good friend and long time climbing partner Simeon had a “minor mishap” a couple of weekends back. A slip below an ice climb in New York led to a fifty foot slide and a broken femur, dislocated wrist and chipped vertibrae.

You can read all about it on his blog and think about it next time you contemplate going climbing.

Review: A Climber’s Guide to the St. Elias Mountains

This guide has already been reviewed by JoJo in last year’s CAJ, he published a draft of his review on Cascade Climbers and I added some followup including an errata. Thoughts of another trip to the range prompted me to revisit the guide.

It would be really easy to spend a bunch of time panning this book. There’s a lot bad to be said about it; it’s lack of historical background and references to first ascentionists, the weird listing of unclimbed features as routes and the promotion of seige tactics when all the routes can and should be climbed alpine style.

That would be to ignore the author’s efforts to produce a guidebook to a somewhat obscure and certainly not popular range complete with an accompanying CD of aerial photos. The CD is a novel and welcome addition to this type of guide although the images are a little small to be really useful. But at the end of the day that doesn’t really make up for the books shortcomings. If you’re planning on visiting the range then you may want to buy it but only for the pictures.

A Climbers Guide to the St. Elias Mountains” by Richard Holmes, Icy Bay Press.

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Ten Things NOT to Take Alpine Climbing

After some trial and error, not to mention a fair amount of discomfort, here’s a list of some stuff you shouldn’t take climbing…

Canned fish – Yes. I climbed a two day route in the Waddington Range a few years back and my partner decided the lightweight food du jour was canned sardines. I made him eat them all at the bottom of the serious climbing and we suffered the intestinal consequences for two days.

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Review: MSR XGK EX

Espresso brewing on the EX. Note the old stove base. I’ve owned an original XGK for many years and have been very happy with it. Earlier this year I traded up for a brand new XGK EX. Largely because the old stove was starting to “feel” unreliable. It never failed me but taking a fifteen year old stove on a three week trip doesn’t seem too bright after a while.

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John Scurlock’s Flying Visit to Waddington

John Scurlock is already famous amongst Cascade climbers for his incredible aerial photos of the Cascades in winter. Now he’s started flying further afield. Just before Christmas he paid a flying visit to the range and dispite bad weather got some great shots of some of the major peaks.

Check out his latest pictures at:

If you’ve not seen his Cascades pictures be sure to give them a look also.

Latest Gallery Updates

There are more new pictures in the gallery:

These all appear on the World Map page. Next up… some more photos from the Yukon.

Review: Patagonia Mixmaster Jacket

The Mixmaster - you can live in itA note about my gear reviews. I buy all the items I review. I don’t get given them or get them pro deal in return for a review or a mention on my blog. Now we’ve got that out the way read on…

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Normal service is now resumed

A trip to Florida, a very sketchy landing at Seattle airport, a five day power outage, and illness all caused me to be much more grateful for Christmas when it really did arrive and to not quite get around to blogging about anything.

All that is now behind us and the official winter climbing season in the Pacific Northwest is but a few days old. Let the games commence.

Thanks to CrossFit Eastside for getting the year off to a flying start with a workout that could only be described as “ugly”:

  • 100 sit-ups
  • 500m row
  • 35 jump squats
  • 25 hip extensions
  • 25 push presses
  • 20 T ball slams
  • 20 box jumps
  • 10 knees to elbows and pullups (alternating)
  • 400m run

Sixteen minutes and change of “ugly” in fact. This year’s motto:

Pain now or pain later. You choose.