Archive - January 2018

CLIMBING THE NOSE – Jorg Verhoeven’s ascent of the most famous route in the world – El Capitan

Everybody that’s interested in big wall climbing they know the nose and know the captain.

It almost bothered me a little like how can this amazing look and route like the most iconic route on the planet

How can it see only three or four free ascends in 20 years.

I asked two rounds and I didn’t really get a satisfying answer they get scared off I guess because it’s so weird climbing riff style to me that’s not good answers.

Salmon is tall is your ground got no news B never seen a god as long as mine when my baby’s on the feet when the baby doesn’t let me the nose has been central to rock climbing since Warren Harding did the first ascent of El Cap Half Dome have just been ascended and mr.Harding went to climb biggest wall in America after days and days of work they finally made it to the top of campus climbed finally at last like the nose was there.

People thought it was impossible, but over a period of nearly two years he finally proved that it was possible to climb such a big wall before that everybody knew that climbing El Cap was impossible and I think ever since that time it’s been sort of this proving ground and it’s amazing that’s reinvented itself every generation in new ways in 1993.

Lynn Hill was the one that came and made it happen for the first time.

I did the first free ascent of the nose and then in 1994 I did it all free in a day.

I still think it’s one of the biggest climbing performances in history, it was such a shift in the paradigm of what people thought it would take to climb a big wall like that everybody thought you had to be some big scruffy gnarly dude and it showed him that having this strong sport climbing background was the way for it.

Really after Lynn Hill people tried the nose a lot of people went up there and just realized it was ridiculously high then Tommy Caldwell and Beth Rawdon did it in 2005 we did the first team free ascent.

Lynne she did the nose but Tommy’s done the rest he’s mister el capitan that was it after comes a void nobody free climbed the nose didn’t even hear of anybody trying it.

There’s always some kid that’s stronger than everybody else and I’m not going to be that kid, I’m just trying to be out there having fun and doing the best I can but I won’t be the strongest and I’ve through nine seas, I’m happy with nine eight it’s hard enough for me I always wanted to actually climb a mountain like I always wanted to do.

Will peak over there, no peak over there it went pretty fast from there on I started do competitions real rock climbing and while I’ve been doing that ever since there’s always this point where I feel like I need to go out and do the mountain.

Things like get some adventure done you know I was back home before this trip and I was thinking on like how can I prepare myself for the nose.

I took her as a multi-year project, didn’t have to be this year I just wanted to eventually free climb the nose it would be so cool if I put enough time on this thing eventually it goes you know the first look you take it out cap you see the nose it’s one of the biggest lines it goes from the lowest point to almost like the highest point it’s the most famous big wall climb in the world.

It’s a historic route people come from all over to try to do the nose and very few people try to free climb it half of the people to climb El Cap climb the nose maybe 4 to 600 a sense a and you know less than one ascent a decade by three parties, so there’s a pretty big difference there when you look at that formation you see the nose you see the towers you see the great roof you see the fantastic upper dihedral.

The beauty of free climbing is that there’s always that unknown you have to find a line of holds that links from the bottom to the top of the wall and you have to be physically strong enough to do every move if it has maybe 100 roots not even ten percent go free scary it takes a lot of work there’s a huge wealth of logistical knowledge that has to be compiled and then all the free routes on El Cap which is pretty hard.

It’s loaded with people a lot, it’s so hard that you need to rehearse it, it’s a long way to come down to rehearse the hard pitches you either have to hike to the top and rappel down to that section or you have to climb 2,500 feet approximately to get to that spot that just takes this work house mentality.

To do these big Walt routes so even if you’re a 5-14 climber that’s usually on overhanging limestone or sandstone that has concrete holds the strength is the key ingredient that you have to have when you’re up there and it’s really touch and go you could make it or not make it on any given day and how many attempts does somebody really want to put into a route like that I spoke to Lin then I spoke to Tommy and separately they both said you fix down all the way to gray roof which is last 10 pitches and you start working on both these pitches the great roof I think is 21 and changing quarters 28 D you work the heck out of it your hangdog all over the place but then to actually do it in the end you have to start at the bottom and climb to the top and a continuous push freeing every pitch along the way.

We were going up a shit on up here to the top of the wall and then I’m going to work on the very last pitches because they’re really hard here shoveling work in the pitches.

I was just out on my own that’s been a period started for about three weeks where I would hike up sleep on top wrap down the pitches rope solo up come down to the valley to spend a couple days in Bali and then do the same thing to basically working.

Working people just aren’t willing to make the logistical commitment to working it hard, so you have to have the very best climbers to do that and there’s not that many of them they’re willing to put in the time when they have other projects.

The question is can you persevere are you tenacious enough to do that day after day or pitch after pitch versus gray roof it’s pitch 21 Rae roof that’s a great.

It’s right off of aval edge above camphor did you do a long five eleven plus climb the first part of its a vertical crack and it turns into lay backing very thin scene and then right before the the roof turns and you you under clinging across there’s a really hard move the crack is really thin and it’s kind of a long reach to another thin opening and there’s really not a lot for your feet.

You have to stem your way into the actual roof and then you reach out for those first decent pin scars.

I found out that the pin scars the under clings they’re way too bad the note should be within top five goals for everybody in Yosemite of the chip be able to climb that route I think it’s probably the most famous route in the world I mean everybody knows one knows it’s just iconic you go down all the way but cam sings for the change of course again changing Cornish pitch is really intimidating first hour.

Even the first day you won’t find any solution to climate you think it’s impossible until I climb the dawn wall the changing cornice which was the hardest pitch I’d done on El Cap there are times when I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it people are intimidated by the reputation of the route and when you look at the change in corners pitch it does look impossible.

It’s very blank and so a lot of the people that have gone to climb El Cap since then to free climb the nose since then have just wrapped into the changing corners first and try to in been like this is absurd.

I can’t do this so they just give up it’s off camp six do you climb like five ten something for 30 meters it ends that’s why the blank piece of rock to write is so hard because there’s no no more the big hang crack you go into the dihedral and then that’s the dihedral here you’re going to climb up it’s hard up to like 4 or 5 meters after that bolt and eventually there will be a crack in the back of the he’d rule it’ll be like 5 10 climbing from there on confidence is pretty high but I’m kind of worried that today is gonna be really hard.

I’ll try to do some some big link-ups such a great roof I think I need to do some more than just a couple of moves in a row and this will be my fourth day working changing cornish a wrap down and working the pitch for mixing progress I would just be hanging there.

We’re gonna move falling a lot of times love’s and hang around and wondering how on earth is this is flammable back in changing chorus that’s our main attraction now see if that works better than the Grigri gosh I’d do some link-ups although that’s pretty hard for yourself not much progress so hard and days before this is limited first I carried up water and then Tommy mentioned like there’s a spring up there while you’re carrying water.

It sounds like no you’re kidding me I hope to find the creek so I can get water so me two top four point eight miles to go hope I find water on the way dry creek number three Creek number four number five, just starting at thirsty yes Creek number six always trust tell me cowboy who’s my tickle.

Oh I found the spring it was Oh still running after like three months of drawed hike to the summit where I’m right now what is looking good then tomorrow change your corners so complex especially changing corners there won’t be another single pitch like that ever it’s incredible.

I can hardly imagine the pitch being so much harder and still flammable it’s just very technical and when something feels that insecure it’s really hard mentally to believe in yourself because you know that if you just are off by a millimeter you could slip off right lift free-climbing a rude what does it mean do you have to lead every pitch it’s up to you as long as you say what you’ve done in what style you’ve done it.

I think you’re good there’s two hard pitches on the nose for a gray roof and changing corners and at least you want to lead those.

I just said an early-morning try the great roof almost do it but finally no my foot popped wasn’t meant to be it was really hard on me actually I was up there for two days on the top of El Cap I worked it in the morning got back up at like 9 o’clock.

I forgot my book so I was just sitting there a whole freaking day it gets dark at you’re just sitting there on a piece of rock you see Half Dome Sentinel the cathedrals see all the way to freaking San Francisco almost you look at that for ten minutes and then you’ve seen it so I just set there I was there like math riddles in my head and telling myself stories potatoes.

I’m yummy and eventually there was two Canadians that came up to work in solid day so you’ve read our like hi I’m York who are you are you gonna hang out with me it was so fun you always learn stuff about yourself when you’re on your own so I hike back up again it’s starting to get annoying but I think it’s gonna be last time yes I found a partner which is super cool.

There’s this Italian guy running around camphor he comes to me it’s like I would go up with you I’m happy to come up with you I like yeah why not we’re gonna have a good time meet Angelo he’s from Italy Abruzzo a blue Katie hey Rocky Angelo and Jimmy so carry knives me see I’ll work on it tomorrow once more so last night in my new baby cake.

I hope at least I see the amount of effort that goes into free climbing a route on El Cap as making the experience in the end that much richer we have to be willing to put the time and a necessary effort into doing it .

There was so much motivation of free climb in the nose for me it was such a big goal I knew that I would have endless energy until the point that actually do it you really have to be focused on what you’re doing and I would have to be willing to accept that it’s not going to go easily if at first you don’t succeed try try again you have to do that on the nose so we are camp for right now you’ll we free climbed everything up to here and he did kind of a long day not to me.

I’m going out there great good, Wow first shut up amazing I felt really good didn’t really warm up that well I ran out there 30 meters up to the roof, starting to bold a problem and then something when I know it just didn’t feel possible so I started to mess around a little bit use different beta.

I was like dude why are you doing your messing up your mess it up I started getting a little nervous and then I was on my knees they were they were starting to shake wildly like boo, loses I was thinking like oh my god this I just see my knees at this distance because this is really looking bad…

I was shaking and the theatres are super small it’s basically friction friction feet.

I just stopped there and was like dude get your shit together because you don’t want to you don’t want to be falling off after the cracksman you’re gonna you’re going to send this bitch in you’re gonna run to the top all of a sudden I I was past a crux I like how did this work you did different beta than you’ve worked it I made it to delay a scream wildly yeah I just sent a great room it was on the limit of falling down wells my knees went like goo goo the smoke beep yes removing games to camp see ya I’ve been wearing a hat for the last 24 hours.

I’ve got a bad headache yes if you three climb the great roof you know that you’ve done one of the key pitches but the hardest one is the changing corners after that it’s almost done four pitches away from the summit and we’re at the base of the edges camp six what is above us the changing corners very good you’re gonna do it tomorrow.

Yes I have the roof uh-huh, this is my third day on starting to get a little tired the first time I got very close to sending it straight away cruised all the way to the very end the last foot placement my feet started to get jittery all shaky, my knees when the foot placements they’re very delicate the feet are very small so I put my left foot just to the side of that small little foothold step right beside it fell off ah two inches away from the joke when I fell on changing corners all these dots.

These fly your head all of a sudden like oh my god can I really do this again, I tried to shut, shut down from everything and just said there for a while I tried to get myself back to calm I try to tell myself, even if you don’t send it today you got like two days left you can even do a rest day tomorrow and climb on your fifty.

Emptied my head went through removed one more time got my shoes back on I would be on the no hand looking at that jug I’d be like okay that’s where I have to go this where I have to go and throughout the whole pitch sneak a look out like oh yeah it’s getting close it’s getting closer!

Wow, it went a lot better than than the great roof everything just felt in control you know the food placements were all like this shit I jumped for the final jog and it felt like such a relief.

So I basically knew they’re hanging on the jug that I had done the nose I did it yes that was my actually my summit.

I was just so you for ease you know is so so so happy that it worked out so well that felt super confident I was not gonna fall off the last like the last couple of pitches.

I’ve been screaming this morning quite well quite a lot action we’re gonna have a party up in camp sakes we were just having a good time with them and go down at a big pizza and we’re gonna start party what do you think thank God.

I just I just felt super destroyed afterwards I couldn’t decide whether it was whether was happy or just plain exhausted.

We’ve done chapter over I’m so tired I can’t believe I happen but I think I’m more tired than happy my buddies they’re all dude that’s really cool you did the milk.

I still can’t believe it 20 years ago I discovered that free climbing your cap was like the coolest thing in the world, you don’t have like had the secret that not too many people have really known about and I think it’s just starting to be illuminated in people’s minds now there’s a lot of people coming from all over the world to try and free climb El Cap.

I want to get people psyched on these things my goal is actually to make this route a little a little bit more popular.

It’s a route that deserves a lot of a sense the journey and big wall free climbing is so much more intense and so much more complicated and so much more beautiful in every way than any other type of climbing that is really fun for me to see other people starting to kind of embrace that and realize that as well like you’re you know that’s that’s just what it takes you have to understand that it’s not about the grades, it’s about the experience it proved that if you come prepared, it’s not just some inhuman thing that you can go there if you’re a good climber and you really want to do it it’s possible.

Looking back on it, I had such a great time but nothing has changed now it’s just free climb the nose.

I really hope that in the next 20 years it sees more sense and forward but that’s for me to change I guess I gonna get people psyched and let’s see how how that works out

Donnie trying to move the bag, it’s pretty heavy round we say capital only Spacey never seen just a fast again new to Germans.

As found on Youtube

Rock Climbing Tips and Tricks

Rock Climbing Holidays

A great way to progress as a rock climber

If you’re a climber, you know that there is no better way to spend your vacations than clambering up an unfamiliar rock face in the midst of some fabulous scenery. Rock climbing holidays are your chance to have fun, discover new places, and progress as a climber.

What to Expect from a Rock Climbing Holiday

If you go on an organized rock climbing holiday, you will benefit from the attention of an expert instructor who will teach you new techniques, suggest routes, and look after your safety. Talk to your instructor to discuss what you want to get out of the trip, and he or she will devise a training program to suit your needs.

A couple of years ago, a large group of us went to Mallorca for a climbing holiday, and we organised everything ourselves. Going through a company with a guide can be a good option for your first trip, but if there are several of you going, you should consider putting the tip together yourself.

It is important to plan before too. Read more about my holiday, Rock Climbing in Mallorca.

Where to Go on a Rock Climbing Holiday

As a rock climber, you clearly have a spirit of adventure, so you probably have plans to travel the whole world. However, you may have a particular area in mind for your trip, especially if you are restricted by financial or time constraints. The time of year you want to travel may also influence your choice of location. Fortunately, every continent has its own fantastic locations for rock climbing.

Rock Climbing Holidays in the United States

California and Colorado offer especially good rock climbing opportunities. In California, head to Yosemite to scale the gigantic granite faces of Half Dome and El Capitan, or to Joshua Tree to climb beautiful white granite walls and cracks. Colorado offers a range of suitable climbing locations in the Rocky Mountains, Eldorado Canyon, and Black Canyon.

Rock Climbing Holidays in Europe

Europe has a very diverse landscape with some great opportunities for climbing. During the summer months, The Rock Climbing Company runs courses in Snowdonia, Wales, which is the climbing hotspot of Great Britain. These professionally-run courses are an excellent way for beginners to get a first taste of rock climbing in a safe environment, or for more advanced climbers to hone their skills.

During the winter months, you might want to consider heading to southern Europe in search of drier weather. The Italian Dolomites are the place to go for wall climbing, as this area features easily accessible routes which are up to 800 meters long. Alternatively, the Italian island of Sardinia offers challenging limestone climbing with spectacular views of the coastline. The tour operator Mountain Spirit offers guided rock climbing holidays in Sardinia for groups of 4-6 people.

Rock Climbing Holidays in Africa and Asia

Only slightly outside of southern Europe is the North African country of Morocco. Rock climbing in the High Atlas Mountains is a treat, particularly in the Todra Gorge where you can explore gigantic limestone cliffs while surrounded by beautiful scenery. It is best to take your climbing holiday in Morocco during the spring, as summer here is oppressively hot.

If you’re looking for a true adventure, Thailand’s Phra Nang peninsula has some excellent routes located close to beautiful beaches. This is a great place for winter climbing; summer is usually too wet due to the monsoon rains. Adventure travel company Rock and Sun offers fully inclusive rock climbing holidays in Thailand. In addition to guided climbs, these trips include other optional activities to relax your aching muscles, such as yoga, Thai massage, swimming and diving.

How to Plan your Rock Climbing Holiday

When choosing a rock climbing holiday, it is important to consider your level of climbing expertise. Remember that you will be climbing for several days and will get tired, so do not sign up for anything that is beyond your capabilities. If possible, choose a holiday that will allow you to take some time off from climbing to explore the local area; this will give you a chance to rest and recover from the intensive climbs. Find out what equipment you will need to take with you and what you will need to hire. Most importantly, approach your trip with a clear idea of what you want to achieve; when you have a clear goal, you can make an astounding amount of progress in developing your climbing skills in just a few short days.

Recommended tip
Buy the book! I personally would highly recommend buying a book of all the routes available in the country you are going to visit. We decided we were going to Mallorca, months before evening properly planning it. I decided it would be good to know the different locations of set routes available, so I headed over to the Rock Fax website and bought the Mallorca edition. When the booked arrived, I dove in to it and started exploring all the photos to get a good feel of where we were going to go.

Although my intentions were to explore to West side of Mallorca and climb some multi-pitch routes, we in fact only explored the east side due to ‘group decisions.

I would actually say its very important to buy the book, otherwise your not going to know where to go if its a trip you put together yourself.

Should I wear climbing tape whilst training?

Should I wear climbing tape in training?Whether or not to use climbing tape whilst training, and by training, actually climbing or bouldering at a gym. This is something myself and my friends often debate about. After some research in to the matter, here’s what I found.

Pullies are small straps of tissue which loop over the tendons and hold them close to the bone. Taping to give strength to an injured pullie, and hence continuing to climb, is an exercise in futility.

There are only two reasons to tape a pullie injury: firstly, to limit potentially damaging finger motion; and secondly, to remind yourself that you have an injury. Don’t underestimate the latter as a rehabilitation tool. Tape accordingly!

Injury recovery is about letting an acute injury settle and stabilize, and avoiding aggravating activity whilst it is healing. Following this you can begin to strengthen the pullie back to its original capacity, plus more if the injury was a result of weakness rather than an abnormal shock load. It is during this phase that taping can be useful.

Common Taping Problems

Contact dermatitis is probably the most common. This is a local skin reaction in response to the tapes adhesives. Cheap tapes use cheap adhesives and as such elicit a greater propensity to cause contact dermatitis. To minimise this apply brown Leuko tape only. If you are sensitive to tape then use a hypoallergenic underlay such as Fixomul. When you finish climbing be sure to wash off all the sticky stuff and apply a skin cream.

Tape Slacking
Tape will also slacken over a relatively short period of time. You will need to re-tape every hour or so to maintain its effectiveness, irrespective of whether the injury site is not painfull.

Taping Methods

As per Lesson Number1, tape does not replace your pullies, nor does it supplement their strength. If you get the tape tight enough to do so, all you will end up with is a self-inflicted necrosing finger. I have seen a vast array of taping methods, with the intricate ‘figure 8’ around the joint being probably the most popular. Essentially these techniques are a waste of time, as they are attempting to unload the injured pullie system while maintaining range of movement. Done tight enough it may actually achieve this, and then your finger will progress through a panorama of colours, culminating in a lovely blue/black that will match the toe nail you stubbed last week. Like the toe nail, your finger may well fall off! Though probably sooner and certainly more smelly.

Realistically, taping can only be afforded in two of many possible climbing-related finger injuries. They are injuries to the A2 and A3 pullies. If torn, pain is typically felt at the sides of the injured digit, most often on the little finger side of the ring or index finger. Pain can, however, be located anywhere between the first and last joints. It can be sharp or dull whilst climbing, though is usually dull after you have finished and cooled down. It is normally aggravated by crimping and direct pressure. Having a gentle feel with your thumb is a good way of locating the tender area.

To be effective, correct taping of A2 and A3 pullies must result in restricting the ability of the finger to bend in the middle. To apply the correct technique, first note that there are three creases on the front of each finger; one at the base, middle and end. With your finger straight, tape from half way between the first two and finish half way between the second and third, overlapping the tape 50%. You will quickly realize that your capacity to crimp is zero. Perfect. It will be great for your climbing, as studies have shown open hand to have greater endurance.

Lesson Number 2: recovery is a process. Consider pain as an index of the damage you are doing. If it is not painful, you are probably fine. And this includes during your warm up. Reduce the tightness of the tape slowly and progressively over a number of weeks depending on whether it hurts following each session. Remember, this is a guide only. You must first see a qualified medical specialist to assess and diagnose your injury.


Improve your Climbing with Sling Training

Physiological overload interspersed with rest generates strength; overload without rest causes degeneration. Not a difficult concept. All climbers will, however, be injured at some point. It is the nature of climbers that they try, at times, too hard, or things just don’t quite go according to plan. Your injury’s worst enemy is your ego, which will tell you that you too can look good doing 1-5-9 on the campus board just like Bla Bla. Ironically, the same passion that drives you to go climbing in the first place will also hinder your recovery. If you get an injury, be smart about it.

So the only time you should consider using tape, is only when you have injured your fingers. So yes, you can use it whilst training, but not as a training method.

Perhaps you are one of those climbers like I used to be, someone who has developed strong fingers, but still has a poor upper body strength. Every winter season I have been focusing on this area, doing lots of core, bouldering, weighted pullups, front levers and plyometrics, and I was keen to learn more about how sling training could help me improve.

Sling training is a portable body weight training system, based around a set of suspended slings. The closest analogy to sling training is the Gymnastic rings. However the sheer difficulty of these exercises makes them inaccessible to those of who lack the power of a gymnast! Sling Training exercises overcome this by allowing the user to reduce the load by changing their body angle or exercise type.

The equipment I used was the Liana Fly, the Pulley and the Bat, from Jungle Sports. The Liana Fly allows you to do most of the basic exercises. The Bat is excellent as it introduces instability into the exercises, forcing all your stabilising and core muscles to work harder and the pulley allows you to introduce rotational exercise into the program.

Jungle Sports also provides a very good series of training exercise videos so you can see it action before thinking about buying, because it is quite expensive.

Its clear from when you unpack the equipment, that this is a real quality product. All elements are really well made, from the Bat to simple things like the slings themselves. Because the system is portable it’s possible to install it in most places. The slings are available with hooks to mount on your ceiling or a door anchor. I decided to hang them from a tree in the back garden.

So I was now ready for my first session. For each exercise you need to adjust the height of the wrist loops from the ground. This is really simple and done by sliding a lock up and down the rope. Once the height is correct you can start your first exercise.

The first thing you notice when you start is that the exercises are really hard! The best I could do was a slight forward lean! I simply don’t have the shoulder, chest and core strength required to sustain the positions that he does. From a climbing perspective this makes sense, as my weakest areas are very steep compression moves, exactly the same muscles these exercises target.

The next thing that is apparent is that each exercise works so many muscle groups. The criticism of weight training is that it generally isolates individual muscle groups rather than working the body as a whole. This certainly isn’t the case with sling training. Because you need your core locked and your body moves, even for exercises as simple as a bicep curl, your whole muscle chain is being used, much more like climbing.

So far the training has been going very well. I have been doing the exercises either on my rest day or as a second session in the day if I have time. As far as I can tell it has had little impact on my climbing training. To really understand how applicable sling training is for climbing I need to see if the training will help improve the climbing areas we chose to focus on.

Over Jorg

Jorg Verhoeven (Abcoude, June 5, 1985) is a Dutch sports climber.

Verhoeven already gained fame through his successes as a junior climber.

In 2001 he was second in the world in his age category.

In 2004 he climbed his hundredth route with a difficulty rating of the 8th degree.

Today he has climbed more than 300 routes in the 8th degree.

He is also the only Dutchman ever to have climbed a 9a.

In November 2005 he was the first Dutchman to win a race in the Worldcup circuit.

He left behind all participants from the Alpine countries, Spain and Russia.

(source: Wikipedia)