Canadian Rockies climbing guide Kris Irwin was gearing up at the base of Club Tropicana in Paradise Valley near Lake Louise when he captured a big mountain goat on video.
He and photographer Bryce Brown then made a direct mixed start to Club Tropicana. But before they started up, a big mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus), also known as the Rocky Mountain goat, stopped by to say hello.
It’s a sure-footed climber commonly seen on cliffs and ice but hard to get close to.
“We were on our way to check out The Tease when we noticed this cool looking line on the southeast face of Mount Sheol,” said Irwin.
“It currently goes at a thin M4 WI4 and is worth the over-two-hour ski approach. Bring a single rack to 3”, a few pitons, 12 alpine draws, set of screws for a 55-metre ice pitch and two 60-metre ropes.
They left a v-thread at the top of the third pitch, cord around a tree at the top of the second pitch and two nuts at the top of the first pitch. Approach on skis recommended and bring avalanche gear.
There has been a lot of ice action in the Rockies of late, including a new pitch to Buddha Nature in Storm Creek by Ian Welsted and Jonny Simms. The north face of Mount Cromwell was attempted and the rarely-formed Arterial Spurt is being lapped. A good fall in the Rockies.
The annual Asian Championships took place this year from Nov. 7 to 11 in Kurayoshi, Japan, and athletes from Indonesia and Japan climbed to all but four spots on the Bouldering, Lead, Speed and Combined podiums. The following is the IFSC press release.
Youth stars dominated in Bouldering finals on Friday. Five of the top six athletes were under 20 years old, including winners Futaba Ito and Meichi Narasaki of Japan. Ito edged compatriot Nanako Kura by top attempts and bested a stacked field of Japanese finalists which included Saki Kikuchi in 3rd place, IFSC World Cup Bouldering season champion Miho Nonaka and Akiyo Noguchi.
Narasaki, the only finalist who completed four tops, also prevailed among IFSC World Cup standouts and joined teammate Keita Watabe and recent Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 finalist YuFei Pan of China on the men’s podium. Click here to watch highlights of Bouldering finals on OlympicChannel.com, which featured Ito in the Olympic Channel original series Going Olympic: Tokyo 2020.
Indonesian athletes equally impressed on the Speed wall the following day, occupying five of the top six spots like Japan did in Bouldering. The men’s big final was nearly too close to call, with Alfian Muhammad and Sabri Sabri slapping the finishing pad atop the 15-metre Speed climbing wall at the same moment.
Muhammad gained the victory by three thousandths of a second on the fastest time of the round (5.833 seconds), and Aspar Jaelolo raced past Veddriq Leonardo in a close small final. Sari Agustina kept a steady pace throughout the women’s Speed final and beat YiLing Song of China in the final race.
Aries Susanti Rahayu scored the fastest time of the round (7.816 seconds) but settled for 3rd place after committing a false start in the semi-final, and Iqomah Nurul placed 4th.
On the Lead wall, Jain Kim topped four routes in Kurayoshi and earned a victory for Korea. Noguchi fell just shy of the top in finals and completed tops in every other round, and Mei Kotake joined them on the women’s podium. Countback to semi-finals separated a three-way tie in the men’s Lead final.
Kokoro Fujii’s top in semi-finals handed him the win, followed by Hidemasa Nishida and Tomoaki Takata. Click here to watch Kim rise to the top and the thrilling Speed finish in the Olympic Channel video highlights.
In the Combined finals on Sunday, Japan concluded the Asian Championships by placing five more athletes on the podium as in Lead and Bouldering. After nonstop Bouldering, Lead and Speed climbing between the six top men and women, Noguchi and Narasaki stood tallest and joined arms with Nonaka and Rei Sugimoto, Ito and Pan.
Boulderfest North took place this weekend at Minneapolis Bouldering Project (MBP). This was the gym’s first big comp held as a community event in the style of its sister Bouldering Project gyms in Austin and Seattle.
For the third time, head route setters from each gym – Chad Walker (SBP), Christine Deyo (ABP) and Canadian transplant Ayo Sopeju (MBP) – teamed up with a crew to set a final round of creative and tough boulders to challenge the top-tier athletes who showed up to compete.
Canada’s Allison Vest threw down in a very strong field of women, including seasoned competitor Alex Johnson and Kyra Condie, who finished 13th overall on the 2018 IFSC World Cup bouldering circuit. Not to mention Michaela Kiersch, who won the previous Bouldering Project comp in Seattle last month.
Kiersch took the top spot once again on Saturday; she was the only competitor to finish two problems. The rest of the women all had one top, so ranking was determined by count backs and attempts. Vest’s flash of boulder four landed her in second place and Abigail York, who also flashed the problem, came third. Condie and Johnson ended up in a very close 4th and 5th respectively. Interestingly, if the scoring had counted bonuses (zones) before attempts to top, as per the new IFSC rules, the final ranking would have been shuffled quite a bit.
For the men, Drew Ruana won the event with two tops, and the only send of problem three. Sean Bailey finished second with some impressive climbing, and Noah Ridge rounded out the podium in third. The problems were a tiny bit hard, but the climbing was still excellent.
And according to emcee Pete Woods, the Minneapolis crowd “was the best yet… They were amazing. Stayed involved the whole time… there was close to 500 people watching!”
Final Results Men/Women Drew Ruana/Michaela Kiersch Sean Bailey/Allison Vest Noah Ridge/Abigail York Weijing Tilleskjor/Kyra Condie Kyle Struthers/Alex Johnson
Bill Ramsey wrote an article in 2012 called Making the Grade, which digs into the deeper philosophy of chipping. He notes that some of the world’s most classic routes have been chipped, such as Just Do It 5.14c (America’s hardest route at the time) in Smith Rock and The Rose and the Vampire in France (the world’s first 5.13d).
In it, he says, ” The problem with this argument is that it has nothing to do with the issue. Of course, most things done badly are bad. But that has nothing to do with the propriety of the practice done responsibly. Note that few people think the existence of bad bolting entails the need to abolish all bolting.
“Route preparers who engage in irresponsible and gratuitous manufacturing await the same condemnation as those who engage in irresponsible and gratuitous bolting. Because my argument is a defense of the limited sort of manufacturing described above, the possibility of other kinds of manufacturing is largely irrelevant. Remember that irresponsible manufacturing sometimes occurs now; our current condemnation hasn’t prevented it from happening.”
Chipping holds is not accepted in Squamish and those climbers who are doing it should stop. The granite in the area is a finite resource and once a problem is chipped, it’s damaged forever.
One of the most representative climbing areas in Austria, with 180 blocks and 320 tracks at 70 km from Innsbruck, is under threat. The climbing community has organized its defense through an online initiative that already has thousands of adhesions.
The alarm went off on Thursday, November 8, when the local newspaper Tiroler Tageszeitung published an article in which it reported that next week the authorities are planning to decide on the application for ] expansion of a quarry dedicated to block mining located in Zillertal . Its objective is to add new areas to the farm, among them the idyllic forest of Zillergrund one of the main climbing areas of Zillertal where some 180 blocks and 320 tracks are accumulated.
The response of the local climbing community, warned by those responsible for the sports climbing section of the Österreichischen Alpenverein (Alpine Club of Austria), was not long in coming. On the same Friday, November 9, a popular initiative was launched to capture online signatures against the project. In the three days it has been in force, almost 9,000 people have already joined it in Austria and the rest of the world .
The accessions of renowned climbers, with many followers in their social networks, have not been lacking either. The recent champion of the World Cup of Difficulty, Jakob Schubert asked for help by contributing a photograph of him in the Zillergrund forest in 2007: "It may have been one of the first block experiences in rock of my life. A very nice 7C that I hope will be there forever ".
His compatriot, four times winner of the World Cup of Boulder, Anna Stöhr also added to the request through his social networks: "When I was young, I used to pass all on weekends in Zillergrund, and that's how my love for climbing and nature developed. If the excavated area expands, the entire boulder area of the Zillergrund forest will be destroyed forever! ". So has another Austrian five-time World Cup champion like Kilian Fischhuber from Yosemite.
Even climbers of other nationalities have posted support messages sharing their experiences in the area. The Finnish Nalle Hukkataival said: "I have really enjoyed climbing here and I would hate to see it fall into the hands of a mining company to be destroyed." Also the German Alex Megos has wanted to add to the international appeal, explaining that "I have only been to Zillertal once, but I was amazed by the beauty of the area" … where by the way he made the first repetition of his way harder, Companion of change 9a +, in the Jagdgründe sector.
History repeats itself
The area of Zillertal already lost part of its sectors about ten years ago for the same reasons, despite the opposition of the climbers. In 2008, Zillertal had just been the destination of a Roc Trip by Petzl, but neither that nor the appearance on national television of local climbers as prestigious as David Lama or Anna Stöhr managed to stop the excavations. In those lost sectors for climbing, "today you can see the wounds in nature, which are visited daily by dozens of trucks and where the construction machinery is spinning" lament the Stone Monkeys , local organization of climbers who led that protest.
In Desnivel.com we offer you the best information of the mountain world for free. You can help us spread the mountain culture by buying your books and guides in Libreriadesnivel.com and in our Bookstore in the center of Madrid, or by subscribing to our magazines.
In this issue: Sandstone in Siurana, new experiences. Ailefroid: sports and boulders in Les Écrins. Alex Megos: new referent …
Alex Honnold’s Free Solo movie is one of the most popular climbing films ever, but he’s not the only one who’s pushed it on hard and big rock walls.
In the film No Turning Back, we get to see what makes Austrian alpinist Hansjorg Auer tick.
As a young boy growing up in Austria, beneath the jagged pinnacles of the Dolomites, Auer and his brother would guide sheep from the family farm into the mountains every summer and the thrill which accompanied those special moments of independence still follows him on his mountain adventures today.
Having first sampled climbing on an indoor wall at the age of 12, he was soon fascinated by the heroes of mountaineering.
Every Christmas he would ask for new books by great climbers such as Reinhold Messner, Hans Kammerlander and Hermann Buhl.
His free solo ascent of The Fish (otherwise known as “Il Pesce” or “Weg durch den Fisch”) in 2007 – a stunning 37-pitch 5.12c slab on the south face of the Marmolada in the Italian Dolomites – is his most iconic rock achievement.
After his bold free-solo, he said, “After the ascent of the Fish I needed a number of days to completely come to terms with what I had accomplished. On the summit I felt total emptiness, combined with an unimaginable sense of fortune.”
Auer recently made the first ascent of the west face of Lupghar Sar West, a 7,181-metre peak in the Karakorum, Pakistan, after climbing solo for a number of days.
He’s free-soloed Tempi Moderni 5.11 800m, Fish Eye 5.12c 850m, Locker vom Hocker 5.12a 350m and Bayrischer Traum 5.12a 400m. He made the first free ascent of L’ultimo dei Paracadutisti (5.14 650 m) on Marmolada and of Bruderliebe 5.14 800m.
He made the first ascent of Kunyang Chhish East (7,400 m) via the 2,700-metre high southwest face and of the south face on Nilgiri South (6,839 m).
Thomas Lindinger has climbed over 20 V13 problems with his most recent being Pipe Dream V13. He’s climbed two V14s: The Dagger and Riot Act.
“Although the Saalachtal isn’t too far away from Munich I’ve never been there before,” he said. “I saw some videos of Bernhard Schwaiger doing hard first ascents and ever since my motivation was high to go there and try myself at those problems.
“Now I finally went there and my first goal was Pipe Dream V13 which Christof Rauch, a friend of mine, did a few days earlier. It’s a short crimpy shield with the crux in the middle. Surprisingly I did this boulder fast. Now I’m psyched to o go to the valley again and try other stuff.”
The Night of Lies is known for rowdy crowds, fun presentations and epic stories.
Wade Graham, founding organizer of the annual Night of Lies event, has announced that Night of Lies will be in Canmore and Jasper this year. This is the inaugural Jasper Night of Lies.
The Canmore event has been more/less taken over by the Alpine Club of Canada. The lineup of presenters is never announced before the show.
It usually features nine presenters telling embellished stories of adventures and mountain exploits. Presenters range from well-known world-class alpinists to weekend warriors.
Each presenter is allowed 15 minutes and those who exceed the time limit will get the hook in the form of an ice axe around the neck.
The event is also a fundraiser, having in past years shared its proceeds with several charitable organizations, including TABVAR (The Association of Bow Valley Rock Climbers), CASA (Climbers Access Society of Alberta), The Friends of Bugaboo Park and, in recent years, SAGE (Stoney Adventure Group Experience).
The Jasper event “funds will support Injured Guides by providing an entertaining evening of slide shows, video and open dialog.”
There’s lots of gear for sale in a silent auction, including jackets and hardware.
The Night of Lies happens in Canmore on Sat. Nov. 24 (event page) and in Jasper on Mon. Dec. 3 (event page).