Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weekend Warrior -- Videos to Get You Stoked!

We have a bit of a tendency to poo poo bouldering around here. Many of our guides boulder regularly, but few look at it as a major form of climbing. A large percentage of the climbing population does not share this view. Indeed, there are many climbers out there who only own a pair of rock shoes, a chalk bag and a bouldering pad.

Today, we are going to celebrate and art and beauty of bouldering. Extremely short climbs, extremely hard moves, no rope, no gear, and no fear! That's what it's all about!

First, we have a bunch of climbers sponsored by DMM in a video where they show off absolutely perfect bouldering technique.

And in this second selection, we have a group of climbers that don't look quite as smooth. This little gang of non-professionals boulders in the dark forests under the Stawamus Chief in Squamish. It's fun to see people work routes occasionally too!

Friday, January 30, 2009

2009 Denali NP Research Fellowship Programs

AAI just received this email from Denali National Park:

The National Park Service and the Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC) have extended the application period for two research fellowships that are available to individuals wishing to conduct research in Denali National Park and Preserve and other arctic and subarctic Alaska national parks. The Discover Denali Research Fellowship is for research in or near Denali, and the Murie Science and Learning Center Fellowship is for research taking place in Denali or other arctic or subarctic Alaska national parks.

The deadline for both fellowship applications is now February 20, 2009. The selections are expected to be made soon after March 1, 2009. The fieldwork of fellowship recipients must be arranged before September 1, 2009.

The Discover Denali and the MSLC Fellowship Programs are open to undergraduate and graduate students, college and university faculty, state and federal agency scientists, and private-sector researchers. Proposals for research that will help managers make decisions about critical resource issues are particularly encouraged. A typical fellowship grant is expected to be around $3,000 – $3,500; however, proposals for up to $5,000 will be considered. If an applicant wants to be considered for both funding sources, only one application is needed.

This is the second year that the Murie Science and Learning Center research funds will be available to researcher-applicants whose studies help managers in all of the parks that are partners with the MSLC: Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Denali National Park and Preserve, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Kobuk Valley National Park, Noatak National Preserve, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, and Yukon – Charley Rivers National Preserve. A total of approximately 3-6 fellowships may be funded in 2009.

This is the fourth year that the Discover Denali Research Fellowship Program has been available for researchers. It is projected that 3-5 projects may be funded in 2009. Any previous fellow may reapply, but is not assured of additional funding.

An information guide about either of the fellowship programs, which includes specifics on how to apply and other information helpful to the application process, may be downloaded from For more information contact Denali’s Research Administrator Lucy Tyrrell at (907) 683-6352 or

The Discover Denali Fellowship Program is made possible through proceeds from Discover Denali, an MSLC program developed in partnership between the Denali Education Center and the National Park Service. The Discover Denali program helps Royal Celebrity participants learn about Denali’s natural and human history. The Murie Science and Learning Center Fellowship Program is made possible through the proceeds of the Center’s many education programs.

The Murie Science and Learning Center provides research, discovery, and learning opportunities within arctic and subarctic Alaska National Parks to promote appreciation and caring for our national and cultural heritage. The Denali Education Center seeks to connect people to Denali through research, education, and communication.

Guidebooks -- How Much Information is Too Much?

There are two kinds of climbers in the world. First, there are the kind that are completely bewildered by a guidebook description. You'll see them wide-eyed and stumbling around at the crags, or even in the mountains looking for a route. Once they're on the route, they often have no idea which way to go. They simply have to follow their noses and their noses are not very good.

Second, there are the kind of climbers that glance at the guidebook and then walk straight to the route. Once they're on the route, they might glance at the route description occasionally, but they always seem to know where they are going.

Certainly, there are climbers who have more experience and better mountain sense. Those climbers barely need a guidebook as it is. But this article isn't about them. Instead, it's about the guidebooks that each kind of stereotypical climber might use. In other words, "the good guidebooks" and the "bad guidebooks."

What is a so-called "good guidebook"?

Most would consider a good guidebook to be one that is very clear. There are photos of everything. There are route topos. Pitch lengths are described. Bivi sites are detailed. And there is excellent approach and descent beta. In other words, nothing is left to the imagination.

Then what is a "bad guidebook"?

Jason on the third ascent of Sunspot Ridge (5.8 IV) in Red Rock Canyon
This was a phenomenal "secret" route with almost no beta.

A bad guidebook has little valuable information. There are few photos and many routes are described so briefly that no one would ever want to attempt them. Climbers often wander around looking for their climb or even their approach. Pitch lengths are incorrect and there is little to inspire one to climb a given route.

There is actually an argument for "bad guidebooks." The argument goes something like this, if you have too much information, it kills the adventure. If you have too much information, the experience is somehow tarnished. If you have too much information, it's just not as fun.

Coley Gentzel climbs an obscure route on Early Morning Spire in the Cascades.
Note the Guide Tennies while wearing crampons.
"It was an adventure...I'll put it that way," Coley said of the route.

I have to admit that occasionally it is kind of fun to climb an obscure, poorly described route. Particularly one that is in the mountains. Such adventures tend to take one away from the crowds and sometimes even introduce a route that is a little bit of a secret, but quite cool. So there is something to be said for the so-called "bad guidebooks."

A few years ago, I guided one of the couloir routes on Whistler Peak. There were approximately two sentences in the guidebook on the route. Essentially there was no beta. We climbed the route and found it to be utterly spectacular. It was a moderate climb with a bit of steep snow and a bit of mixed terrain.

There was also nobody else on the route...

In other words, I think that people should give certain guidebooks, (i.e. the Beckey books) a break. Historically, all that people had were limited descriptions. I think that every climber should try to climb at least one obscure, poorly described route a year. Every now and again, you'll find it to be worth it.

--Jason D. Martin

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Self-Arrest Techniques

Self-arrest is perhaps the most important skill that we practice in snow school. The British Mountaineering Council put together a nice video on the self-arrest techniques that one should practice.

Though this video is quite good, there are a couple of things that we teach differently:
  1. It is breezed over in the video, but the best way to self-arrest is to avoid falling. Good snow climbing technique should be practiced on low-angle slopes so that when you are on high-angle slopes it comes as second nature.
  2. We teach the piolet canne (cane) position as the baseline position. We only hold the piolet in the self-arrest position when it appears that a fall is likely. As the piolet canne position is the most stable walking position and it provides the most security, we like to see people move up the mountain in this position. One should practice self-arrest starting from the piolet canne position.
  3. There is some debate on whether you should put your feet up or not. The concern -- as the guide in the video points out -- is that if you put your feet down and your crampon points catch, that you might flip head-over-heels. On the other hand, it might stop you more quickly. We teach people to put their toes into the snow to arrest the fall.
There is some controversy about whether to use a leash on an ice axe or not. Most of our guides choose not to use a leash on standard mountaineering routes like the Coleman/Deming on Mount Baker or on the Emmons Glacier on Mount Rainier.

Many people like wrist-leashes because they limit the possibility of dropping the axe. Our guides prefer them for steep terrain. There are two downsides to the constant use of a leash. First, it adds time to a turn, because the axe must be on the uphill side of your body. Moving the wrist-leash from one hand to the other many hundreds of times throughout the day adds time to the clock. Second, if you fall and lose control of the axe, it may become a liability. The last thing that you want in a fall is to be punctured by the axe.

Some people like to attach the ice-axe leash to their harness. This is a very bad place to attach a leash. Any loss of control during a fall could lead to a catastrophic torso puncture injury.

People are very adamant about wanting to use a wrist-leash while climbing for fear of dropping the axe. But really, how common is it for a climber to drop an axe? Not common at all. An ice axe is like a mountaineer's weapon. How many soldiers in the heat of battle drop their weapons? While mountain climbing is definitely not as intense as a war, it can be a dangerous pursuit and most climbers are unlikely to drop the most important tool they carry.

In preparing this blog, I watched a number of videos about self-arrest techniques. There were quite a few bad examples and indeed, some that were just flat dangerous. If you practice self-arrest, always wear a helmet and do not attach the leash of the axe to yourself. Always practice in a place where there is a good run-out. And be conservative in your practice of the head-first/stomach technique as this is a very easy one to get hurt practicing.

Jason D. Martin

February and March Climbing Events

--January 30-February 1 -- Munising, MI -- Michigan Ice Fest

--January 30-February 1 -- Jeffersonville, VT -- Smuggler's Notch Ice Bash

--January 31 -- Bishop, CA -- Peter Croft Slideshow

--January 31 -- Mojstrana, Slovenia -- Ice Climbing World Cup Comp

--February 5 -- Portland, OR -- Madrone Wall Fundraiser

--February 5-8 -- Busteni, Romania -- Ice Climbing World Cup Comp

--February 10 -- Golden, CO -- AAC Book Club Meeting

--February 13-16 -- Cody, WY -- South Fork Ice Festival

--February 20-21 -- Dayton, OH -- The Adventure Summit

--February 20-21 -- Vancouver, BC -- Vancouver Mountain Film Festival

--February 21 -- Golden, CO -- AAC Annual Benefit Dinner

--March 20-22 -- Las Vegas, NV -- Red Rock Rendezvous

Monday, January 26, 2009

AAI Ski Guide Training 2009 - A Photo Essay

AAI guides and staff, Richard Riquelme, Ben Traxler, Andy Bourne, Nick Webb, Justin Wood, and Forest McBrian, participated in a ski guides training course the second week of January. The group led by AMGA Ski Instructor Peter Leh found excellent weather conditions and challenging snow (note: there is no bad snow!) for the course located near the Mt. Baker ski resort. Guides were able to further develop their skills during the 2-day outing which included many useful ski-oriented workshops. Members practiced rescue drills, ski instruction, and terrain selection among many other topics within a peer critiqued course format.

This type of experience has been used within the profession to help facilitate a format in which guides can freely share ideas to come up with safe and creative ways to deal with a variety of situations one might encounter in the backcountry. All were thoroughly pleased with the outcome and made some great turns while they were at it! Thanks to Peter for such a great learning experience!

AAI Staff Nick Webb demonstrates a jump turn!

AMGA guide trainer Peter Leh explains ski anchors.

Mt. Shuksan shows her true colors at the end of the day.

Guide Justin Wood and Guide/victim Forest McBrian practice rescue sled construction

Guides contemplate hazard management in the Mt. Baker backcountry

Andy Bourne lays the tracks on the descent from the Herman saddle

Nick Webb demonstrates a kick turn on the way up Mt. Herman

-- Ben Traxler, AAI Guide

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Winter Recreation Opportunities at Denali National Park

AAI received this email from Denali National Park on Friday:

Denali National Park and Preserve News Release
January 23, 2009
For Immediate Release
Contact: Maureen McLaughlin (907) 733-9103

Ranger Hikes and Other Winter Recreation Opportunities at Denali National Park and Preserve

Park rangers at Denali National Park and Preserve invite the public to join them in exploring the park on weekend hikes this winter. The hikes will be done on snowshoes when snow conditions are favorable, and will take place on Saturdays and Sundays, beginning on Saturday, January 31, 2009. Hikers will meet at 1:00 p.m. at the Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC), located at Mile 1.3 on the Park Road just west of the traffic circle.

The hikes will take place on trails in the park’s entrance area, providing opportunities to experience and learn about the winter environment of the park and interior Alaska. A limited number of snowshoes are available at the MSLC for use on the hike, and those interested in participating are encouraged to bring their own equipment. The programs will last for 2 to 3 hours. Participants are advised to dress warmly and bring lunch or snacks. The hikes will not take place if temperatures are colder than -10ºF.

Besides the ranger-led weekend hikes, winter visitors have several recreation and learning opportunities in the entrance area of Denali National Park and Preserve. A new winter trails map is available at the MSLC showing ski and snowshoe routes of varying difficulties and lengths. Inside the MSLC, visitors can view exhibits on winter ecology, wildlife and park research, watch documentary videos about Denali, and warm up after a ski or hike. Visitors may plug in vehicles during the day at the MSLC parking lot.

Denali National Park and Preserve collects an entrance fee year-round. The entrance fee of $10 per person or $20 per vehicle is good for seven days. The majority of the money collected remains in the park to be used for projects to improve visitor services and facilities. Interagency Federal Recreation Passes such as the Annual, Senior, and Access Pass, and the Denali Annual Pass are also valid for entry into the park and can be purchased at the MSLC.

Additional information on winter activities is available at the Murie Science and Learning Center from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily, by calling (907) 683-9532, or on the park website at Near the park entrance, drivers may listen to visitor information on the radio at 1610 AM.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Breaking News -- Clif Bars and Luna Bars Recalled!

From CNN:

It's not just inside neon orange crackers or slathered on the other side of jelly.

Peanut butter is everywhere.

Products including Trader Joe's celery with peanut butter packs and nutrition bars from Clif Bar, NutriSystem and Luna are among the 125-plus products recalled in a salmonella outbreak.

Cookie dough, candy and even dog treats have been affected as authorities attempt to track down what products contain the contaminated peanut butter and peanut paste.

To read more, click here.

Climbers beware! Clif Bars and Luna Bars both made the list of potentially dangerous peanut products!

--Jason D. Martin

2009 Ouray Ice Festival - History is Made

The 2009 Ouray Ice Festival came to a close on Sunday Jan 11. This is the biggest ice festival held in this country, and it is an amazing event. Officials say that 1000 climbers attended this year’s festival. People of all ages and from all corners of the world attended the fundraising event. There were many activities that filled the evening line up. Slideshows, auctions and dinners are all avenues for funds to be raised. All money raised goes to the operation and maintenance of the free Ouray Ice Park.

The Petzl dance party is always the crazy crescendo of the event. It is the only time a year that the quiet mountain town of Ouray has a DJ dance party. “Beach party” was the theme this year, and people did not hold back on their costumes. A lot of flesh was exposed, and the party raged through the night.

Dawn Glanc, an AAI Guide and winner of the women's division in the Ouray Ice Festival

The award ceremony marked the end of the event. Josh Wharton won the men’s division as well as the overall title. In the women’s division, history was made. It is the first time that an Ouray local has taken first place. Dawn Glanc, an AAI Guide and a winter resident of Ouray, won the women’s division.

The event was a success. Many climbers attended the clinics and demoed new gear. Climbers new to the sport and sponsored athletes all came together in one park to enjoy a unique event that celebrates the sport of ice climbing. Crucial money was raised so that this amazing park will be available in the future. I believe everyone is already looking forward to next year’s festival.

-- Dawn Glanc

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Appropriations Pay for Roads, Trails, Facilities

AAI just received this email about storm damage in Washington's National Forests:

Olympic and Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forests repair old storm damage

The Olympic and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forests can start work this year repairing storm damaged roads, trails and facilities with special funds appropriated by Congress in September 2008. The Pacific Northwest Region approved 10.3 million dollars worth of projects last week, with those two forests obtaining 60 percent of the funds to pay for storm damage, some of it dating back to 2003.

With this money the Forest Service will improve public access and benefit the environment. “Repairing roads and removing other roads will reduce the risk of future road failures, controls road-related sediment production, and restores riparian vegetation, all of which will improve water quality and fish habitat,” said Amy Lieb, soil and sater program manager for the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

“It is crucial to repair and maintain our roads to high quality standards so they provide healthy watersheds and clean water. The Olympic National Forest has been hit hard over the past several years and these dollars are welcome as we make these much-needed improvements,” said Dale Hom, forest supervisor. Funds for that forest total $4,646,163, with $4,104,663 going to repair roads damaged during the 2007 and 2008 floods. The forest will remove 31 miles of road and treat nine miles of road to require minimal maintenance. This money will also upgrade eight culverts and repair one bridge. Engineers expect to finish road repairs in two to three years.

The $273,500 for trails on the Olympic National Forest will restore three major trails, including the Bogachiel Rain Forest Trail, which is part of the Pacific Northwest Trail system and popular access to the Olympic National Forest and the National Park. Trail repairs include:

--Quinault National Recreation Trail, repair, reroute and remove heavy blowdown.
--Quinault Rain Forest Interpretive Trail, the most heavily used trail on the Olympic National Forest, will be resurfaced and rerouted, with signs, a handrail and bulletin board repaired.
--Bogachiel Rain Forest Trail, remove blowdown trees, resurface the trail and repair water crossings.

The Olympic National Forest’s $268,000 facilities funding will fix roofs on seven administrative buildings in the Quinault area, repair the Hoodsport workcenter and restore the Hamma Hamma, Willaby and Klahowya campgrounds. The forest plans to finish the trails and facilities projects by 2010.

The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest funding totals $2,711,396. “Our focus will be on sustainable fixes. We are very pleased to have received the funding to start the repair work,” said Forest Supervisor Rob Iwamoto. He added that these repairs are important to ensure public safety. The $2,057,996 for roads will rebuild three bridges; repair one road and remove nine miles of road no longer needed for management or public access purposes, and should be finished by the end of this year. Some of these projects will restore road access to Glacier Peak Wilderness trailheads inaccessible for nearly six years.

Funds totaling $653,400 will repair trail damage on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. These funds will allow planning to be completed and permanent repairs to be made on several popular trails, including Big Four Ice Caves and Skookum Flats, damaged in 2006 storms. The Forest will complete bridge repairs to the Heliotrope Ridge Trail, on the north side of Mt. Baker, and design a new crossing of the West Fork Foss River. The West Fork Foss River trail leads to popular Trout, Copper and Heart Lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Work on these projects is expected to be complete by the end of 2010. Other trail repairs include:

--Suiattle River Trail, repair washed out tread, remove windfall and heavy brush.
--Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, do maintenance work between Milk Creek and Vista Creek.
--North Fork Sauk Trail, repair puncheon bridges and replace a footlog.
--Baker Lake Trail, move washed-out sections of trail. Repair Blum and Hidden Creek bridges.
--West Cady Ridge/Pass Creek Trails, repair drainage structures.
--Whitechuck Bench Trail, complete planning to relocate washed out sections of trail. Remove brush and remove windfall trees from two miles of trail.
--Iron Goat Trail, replace puncheon bridge near Wellington.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pre-Equalized Anchors

This summer I saw a family climbing on an American Death Triangle in Leavenworth. They were blissfully unaware of the danger of such a set-up and appeared to be even more unaware of pre-equlaized anchors. It's incredibly important to avoid the American Death Triangle. The term "death" isn't in there for nothing.

The American Death Triangle
Picture from the Chockstone Website

This entry is about pre-equalized anchors. The Canadian guide, Mike Barter has put together a variety of videos on youtube that are valuable to both the novice and the advanced climber alike. Following are three of his videos on pre-equalization. The first two are for novice anchor builders, and the third is for all those looking for a short-cut.

A Pre-Equalized Anchor
Photo from the ACMG Website

There is a little bit of controversy over pre-equalized anchors. Some feel that one leg of the anchor will get more force than another, which means that such an anchor could never be fully equalized. While there may be some truth to this concern, the impact on the anchor as a whole is minimal and professional climbing guides throughout the country are generally not concerned about it.

In this first video, Mike describes a sliding-x, followed by the basics of pre-equalization.

The following video takes what Mike just described to the next step. In this video he demonstrates a pre-equalized anchor off three pieces.

The stuff in the preceding video is quite rudimentary when it comes to anchor building and most advanced climbers have this skill dialed. It's important to practice a variety of anchors with legs that are a variety of different lengths. It's also important to practice building anchors with many pieces as well with only a few.

Speaking of building an anchor with only a small number of pieces, more advanced climbers that already have a strong understanding of their anchoring skills may find this next video a bit more valuable.

In this video, the guide provides a quick tip for keeping the power point high.

Practice makes perfect in every one of these techniques. So keep on practicing!

--Jason D. Martin

January and February Climbing Events

--January 21 -- Bellingham, WA -- Backcountry Skiing Pacific Northwest

--January 22-24 -- Saas-Fee, Switzerland -- Ice Climbing World Cup Comp

--January 30-February 1 -- Munising, MI -- Michigan Ice Fest

--January 30-February 1 -- Jeffersonville, VT -- Smuggler's Notch Ice Bash

--January 31 -- Bishop, CA -- Peter Croft Slideshow

--January 31 -- Mojstrana, Slovenia -- Ice Climbing World Cup Comp

--February 5 -- Portland, OR -- Madrone Wall Fundraiser

--February 5-8 -- Busteni, Romania -- Ice Climbing World Cup Comp

--February 10 -- Golden, CO -- AAC Book Club Meeting

--February 13-16 -- Cody, WY -- South Fork Ice Festival

--February 20-21 -- Dayton, OH -- The Adventure Summit

--February 20-21 -- Vancouver, BC -- Vancouver Mountain Film Festival

--February 21 -- Golden, CO -- AAC Annual Benefit Dinner

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sibling Rivalry - Mount Adams vs. Mount Hood

The Klickitat tribe of Washington and Oregon has a fantastic legend about an ancient dispute between two brothers that we now know as the Cascade volcanoes, Mount Adams and Mount Hood.

Long ago, Tyhee Saghalie, the chief of all the gods traveled down the Columbia river with his two sons in search of a place to settle. The sons, Pahto and Wy'east, had a difficult relationship and so when they finally came to a beautiful area where they wanted to live, the sons quarrelled. Each of them wanted the land for himself.

Mount Adams

To settle this dispute, their father shot two arrows from his bow. He shot the first one to the north and the second to the south and then told the boys that they would have to live in the place where each of the arrows landed. Pahto followed the arrow to the north and settled. Wy'east followed the arrow to the south and did the same.

Saghalie wanted his family to be content, so he built a bridge between the north and the south. This bridge became known as the Bridge of the Gods. And for many years the family used the bridge to meet.

But there was a problem...

Both of the sons fell in love with a beautiful young woman named Loowit. And this young woman was indecisive. She could not choose between the two chiefs.

So Pahto and Wy'east went to war with one another. They threw fire at each other and destroyed the Bridge of the Gods. When the bridge fell the earth was devestated. Villages and forests were destroyed and indeed, the collapse of the bridge created a massive rift between the north and the south which we now know as the Columbia River Gorge.

Mount Hood

The devastation from this war was so great that Saghalie was offended by his sons and their violence. So for punishment he transformed all three of the lovers into great mountains. Wy'east, with his head lifted in pride, became Mount Hood. Pahto, with his head bent in shame, became Mount Adams. And the maiden Loowit, became Mount Saint Helens.

Mount Saint Helens

In recent decades, it seems that the biggest hothead of the three was Loowit. Pahto and Wy'east should have treated her better so that she didn't blow her top!

--Jason D. Martin

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Weekend Warrior -- Videos to Get You Stoked!

So what do you think folks? It's the middle of the winter and it's time to ponder something...are you guys getting after it?

Here in the Northwest it's been a bit dreary...but we've finally had a break in the deluge and a few of us have been getting out and skiing. It seems like people are getting after it... And sometimes even animals are getting after it.

Check out this cat!

And speaking of getting after it, a year ago Fred Syversen accidentally made a world record ski jump by turning the wrong way. The well-known free skier dropped 351 feet. Watch this extraordinary jump below:

And speaking of ski know who else gets after it? James Bond! Check out this old clip of Roger Moore as James Bond outskiing the bad guys and ski/base jumping off of a massive cliff on Baffin Island.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Search and Rescue Costs

Recent events in the Pacific Northwest revived the debate about who should pay for rescues.

Many non-climbers feel that climbing related rescues should be paid for by those that are rescued. However, many of these same individuals do not feel that hiking related, hunting related, or boating related rescues should be paid for by the individuals that are rescued. Of course, every year there are a lot more yachters and wayward Boy Scouts that are rescued than climbers.

Mountain rescue in the United States is generally managed by the Sheriff's department or the Park Service, depending on the location. The actual rescue though is usually done by mountain rescue volunteers or the military.

Las Vegas Metro Police Department Search and Rescue Practice in Red Rock Canyon
Photo from LVMPD S&R Website

Some cities maintain full-time Search and Rescue police officers. Places like Las Vegas and Los Angeles County send out their Search and Rescue officers nearly every day to deal with everything from boaters to ATV riders to people who took a wrong turn during a flood. Climbers make up a very small percentage of their rescue costs... But tax dollars certainly do support these operations.

Mountain rescue volunteers work for the satisfaction of providing assistance to those in need. They do not cost the government or the tax payers anything. The military operations that are used in rescues often employ individuals who are rescue specialists and would be training to do rescues anyway. As a result, the funds that go into these rescues are not as exhorbinant as many people might believe.

Recently, a new law in New Hampshire has been put into place that would force those who are rescued to pay for their rescues. WMUR Channel 9 New Hampshire reports:

A New Hampshire law enacted this year aims to make people think twice before heading into the woods unprepared or under the influence.

The state Department of Fish and Game currently fines lost hikers who recklessly venture into the woods to pay for the cost of the rescue, but now the department will have the power to revoke the driver's licenses of those who don't pay. Hikers can also lose licenses with the state Health and Human Services Department, and hunting and fishing licenses.

The law also gives the state more power over who they decide to fine. Previously, the state had to prove someone acted recklessly before charging a hiker for repayment for a rescue. This meant the state had to show the hiker or hikers were aware going into the woods posed a substantial risk but they did it anyway. Now the state only has to prove the person was negligent.

While many rescues are of those who were negligent, there are a lot of rescues that take place where an individual made an honest mistake. The downside to laws such as this is that mountain activities have the look and feel of danger, even when they aren't terribly dangerous. Other wilderness users -- whether they do something that is negligent or not -- may not look like they are putting themselves in peril. The result is that climbers will likely bear the brunt of such laws.

Two Climbers Practice Rescue Techniques in a Single Pitch Instructor Course
Photo by Jason Martin

Indeed, who will decide if a given action is negligent or not? An experienced climber might try a hard route in a light-and-fast manner. Somewhere high on the route a hold breaks and he shatters his ankle. Were this brought to court after a rescue, that climber...even though he did everything right...might be charged for negligence. Why? It's a hard route and he didn't have a lot of equipment.

If a climber that is carrying seventy pounds of food and fuel up a glaciated peak decides to glissade with his crampons on and breaks an ankle, he might be seen as playing it safe and the idea of negligence might never come up. This is despite the fact that he was using an innapropriate technique at an innappropriate time.

Rescues take place in the mountains every day and climbers make up a very small percentage of those that are rescued. This issue always comes to a head when something bad happens to a climber, but it never comes up when something bad happens to another wilderness user. We are unfairly targetted by those that have little knowledge of what happens in the wilderness.

Creating laws that require negligent people to pay for rescues is a step in the wrong direction. It is far too difficult for the courts to delve into the idea of what is negligent in this field and what is not. Our main concern is that any type of climbing activity -- regardless of the experience level and training of the participant -- may be seen as negligent.

--Jason D. Martin

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Slideshow: Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding in the Northwest

A Slideshow hosted by AAI Guides on January 21, 2009 at 7:00pm

Join the American Alpine Institute for a free slideshow on Backcountry Skiing and Snowboard in the Pacific Northwest! This free show will feature photos and a discussion lead by AAI mountain and ski guides. Presentations include skiing the Spearhead Traverse, the Coleman Pinnacle, and splitboarding on Washington Pass.

Skiing the Baker Backcountry
Photo by Lyle Haugsven

American Alpine Institute – Equipment Shop
1513 12th St, Bellingham

Event Cost: Free
Snacks and Drinks will be provided

Phone: 360-671-1505

Mugs Stump Award Winners Announced

The Mugs Stump Award is comprised of a series of grants that are presented annually to strong climbers that are in the process of planning alpine climbing objectives that exemplify fast, light and clean tactics. The awards, sponsored by Black Diamond Equipment, Climbing Magazine, Mountain Gear, Patagonia, PrimaLoft, and W.L. Gore, are a tribute to the late Mugs Stump, one of North America's most prolific and visionary climbers. Mugs died in a crevasse fall on Denali in 1992.

The awards amounting to a total of more than $30,000 were presented at the Ouray Ice Festival on Saturday night. This amount will be broken down into grants that range between $1,500 to $9,500.

The following breakdown of the awards was posted on the Climbing magzine website on January 13th:

  • Clint Helander, the Revelation Range, Alaska; with Seth Holden. The climbers propose a trip into one of the least-explored (20 parties have visited since 1966) clusters of granite mountains in Alaska, to pursue rock, ice, and ridge-running objectives on three unclimbed massifs.

  • Ryan Hokanson, the southeast face of Mount Logan, Alaska; with Samuel Johnson. The two climbers will make an alpine-style bid on the unclimbed southeast face, expecting mixed ground on an exact line TBD tackling a wall two miles high, one of the largest on the planet.

  • Sam Magro, north face of Broken Tooth, Alaska; with Aaron Thrasher. The climbers have spotted a diagonalling weakness on the 1,000-meter north face of Broken Tooth, climbed to half-height, with difficulties up to M6, on a previous bid but never completed.

  • Jim Martinello, Mount Bute, British Columbia, Canada; with Bruce Kay and Jason Sinnes. The climbers look to pioneer a new free route on Bute’s unclimbed lower buttress (2,500 feet), and then either free the existing route on the upper west face (20 pitches; 3,000 feet) or climb a new line on the upper wall.

  • Doug Chabot, Kuk Sar II, Pakistan; with Bruce Miller. The pair will attempt the sheer north face of this unclimbed 6,925-meter Karakoram peak, one that’s never been visited by climbers; the face has locally been rumored to be “impossible,” as well as up to 3,000 meters tall.

  • Colin Haley, North Ridge of Latok 1, Pakistan; with Josh Wharton and Dylan Johnson. The climbers propose an attempt on this longstanding, oft-attempted (20 attempts) prize of Himalayan Mountaineering, climbed nearly to the summit in 1978. They propose beginning on snow and ice beside the ridge crest, to make quicker progress down low.

  • Josh Beckner, El Lonko, Argentine Patagonia; with Dave Anderson and Jared Spaulding. The east face of the El Cap-sized, unclimbed “El Lonko,” in the back of the remote Pirate Valley, in alpine style; a secondary goal will be a new route on the North Arête of the nearby Mariposa (2,220 vertical feet), in the same style.
--Jason D. Martin

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Project Proposals Needed for Forest Improvements

The following email just arrived from the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest:

Submission due date extended to April 1

The public is invited to propose projects to improve Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest lands and the rural economies of local counties by April 1. The submitted projects will be considered for 2009 and 2010 project year funding. Funding is made available through Title II funds under the reauthorized Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (Public Law 110-343.) The due date has been extended from a previous announcement to ensure maximum participation. “We encourage project applications from other agencies, local governments, organizations, any individuals,” said Rob Iwamoto, Forest Supervisor.

Projects must be on or benefit National Forest lands, such as enhancing forest ecosystems, restoring land health and water quality, or improving the maintenance of existing facilities within the national forest. Proposals vary from culvert replacement to help fish passage to youth-oriented outdoor recreation and conservation education work, mountain weather data collection, road, trail and watershed restoration and increased cooperative law enforcement patrols.

Resource Advisory Committees that represent Whatcom and Skagit County, Snohomish County, and King and Pierce Counties review project proposals and recommend which should be funded to the Forest Supervisor. Fifty percent of the funds must be spent on roads or watershed restoration.

Originally enacted by Congress in 2000, then re-enacted and modified in 2008, the law provides payments to local counties as compensation for the impact of reduced tax revenue from large federal land acreages within their boundaries. The law guarantees funding for schools and roads while providing monies that can be devoted to natural resource-related improvement projects that benefit lands within the national forest boundaries.

Forms and information are available at or from the three district rangers who head the three committees.

For project proposals in:

Whatcom & Skagit Counties Contact Jon Vanderheyden 360-856-5700 x201 810 State Route 20 Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284 Snohomish

County Contact Barbara Busse 360-677-2414 P.O. Box 305

Skykomish, WA 98288 King & Pierce Counties Contact Jim Franzel 425-888-1421 x230 42404 SE North Bend Way North Bend, WA 98045

Biggest Climbing & Outdoor Stories of 2008

We are now a little ways into 2009 and have had some time to reflect on the climbing and outdoor news of the year. After some serious consideration we decided that the following stories were the most interesting and intriguing of the year.
Biggest AAI Guide News of 2008

AAI had a phenomenal year. We had people summit major peaks throughout the world, including Mount Everest, Denali and Aconcagua. We also had a very successful year throughout the Cascades, the Sierra, the Alps and the Andes.

Though we had a great year throughout our programming, a few things stuck out above the rest.

AAI Guide Solos New Route in China

AAI Guide Aidan Loehr is currently on his second expedition to Aconcagua this season. He recently returned from China. After guiding one of our China programs, Aidan set out to do some personal climbing.

Initially, he made a solo attempt on China's Minya Konka. This 24,816 foot mountain is the highest peak in eastern Tibet. The first ascent of Minya Konka was made in 1932 by an American team. Since that ascent, only six expeditions have been successful the mountain, with a total of 18 people reaching the summit.

A self-portrait high on an unclimbed peak in China
Photo by Aidan Loehr

Aidan made a strong showing on the mountain, but got stuck at 17,500 feet. He repeatedly tried to move camp up higher, reclimbing the crux of the route three times, but it was not to be. The weather never really let up and the technical difficulties appeared to be too severe for a soloist.

Aidan descended and returned to the the Reddamaine region, hoping to solo a new route there. This was where the AAI team he lead initally made an attempt on the east ridge of Dogonomba (19,550'). Aidan tried a different strategy and succeeded in making the first ascent of the mountain via the west ridge.

He found the lower part of the mountain to be quite difficult. He was forced to climb a loose and exposed fourth-class ridge while keeping an eye out for rockfall from above.

Once he was on the snow and ice, the route became more moderate. He worked his way up 30-40 degree snow slopes until he reached the summit ridge. At that point he was required to traverse sixty-degree snow on a corniced ridge. Aidan indicated that the snow was quite bad at "inappropriate times." Snow conditions on the upper mountain made the traverse incredibly cruxy.

The summit of the mountain was unbelievably small. Aidan stated that, "I had to kneel on the tippy-top of the mountain because it was so tiny. If I stood up and the wind blew, I would have been blown off and they would never have found me."

To see photos of the trip, click here.

AAI Guide Receives the AMGA President's Award

In October, AAI guide Dawn Glanc received the American Mountain Guide's Association President's Award. This is a great honor. Each year, the President of the AMGA selects someone in recognition of their guiding, their skill, and their love of the mountains.

Dawn climbing in the Alps
From the Dawn Glanc Collection

Dawn, along with three other guides (Matt Farmer, Kevin Mahoney, and Bayard Russell) were received the award for their commitment and contribution to the profession of mountain guiding through their efforts on The Big Expedition for Cancer Research. The Big Expedition was a trip to an unclimbed peak in a little explored region of Alaska. The trip was intended to show that seemingly insurmountable challenges are attainable and that they can lead to successes such as finding a cure for cancer.

And though it didn't take place in 2008, yesterday we reported on another piece of interesting news about Dawn. Over the weekend, she took first place in the women's competition at the Ouray Ice Festival. Way to go Dawn!!!

100 Percent Expedition Success Rate on 2008 Denali Trips!

The year 2008 was one of our most successful years for our Denali programs. Every single expedition got climbers to the summit.

Descending the West Buttress
Photo by Dawn Glanc

We are looking forward to another great year. Denali teams are starting to take shape, and we are well into the process of accepting applications and registrations for the upcoming season.

Three AAI Guides have Babies

AAI Guides Richard Riquelme, Peter Kuhnlein and Jason Martin all had babies this year!

Richard and his son, Sammy
Peter's Christmas Card

Jason's babies

Biggest International Climbing News

China Summits Everest with the Olympic Torch

Or did they? There are many suspcious circumstances surrounding the "summit" of the Olympic Torch on May 9th. Following is a breakdown of the issues as they were enumerated by the Nepali blog, Blogdai:

There is a complete lack of visual reference points - peaks in the background, or immediate surrounds that might give any sense of summit dimension - photographic proof of which has been standard verification for Everest summits since Hillary and Norgay. (Interestingly, one of the few supposedly successful Everest campaigns to have returned without such evidence is the controversial 1960 Chinese summit, which, rather unfortunately, took place in the dead of night). There is also the matter of exhalation vapour apparent in the Chinese footage, which some climbers claim doesn’t readily appear above much lower altitudes (nor does it appear in other summit videos). The voices chattering in the background are implausible ("Ask anyone who’s summited Everest and they’ll tell you it’s not a place for a monologue. Short, clipped sentences are all most can manage at that altitude"), and there are lights glowing down the mountain which would not have been visible from the summit, particularly given the climbing ban.

Regardless of whether or not the team actually summitted, the press coverage of this event was unprecedented, and the story was followed all over the world.

It looks like that guy is running up the top of Mount Everest --
which seems rather implausible...

Biggest Environmental and Conservation Climbing News

Activist Stops Oil and Gas Interests from Obtaining Drilling Rights in Utah

The end of 2008 brought unprecidented bad news about the intended sale of the beautiful, untouched desert just outside Arches and Canyonlands National Parks to interests in the oil and gas industry.

Tim DeChristopher

To stop this sale, activist Tim DeChristopher accessed the BLM auction of the parcels as a private bidder. He subsequently ran up the bids on many parcels by as much as $500,000 and secured the prime parcels around the National Parks for himself.

DeChristopher does not have the money to pay for the parcels, but by the time it's all figured out, Barack Obama will be in the White House. The Obama transition team opposes the sale of these parcels.

DeChristopher is facing possible federal charges, but he's happy that he disrupted the process...and so are climbers, hikers, mountain bikers, river-runners and hunters from across the country.

To read more, click here. To donate to DeChristopher's defense fund, click here.

--Jason D. Martin

January and February Climbing Events

--January 16-18 -- Val Daone, Italy -- Ice Climbing World Cup Comp

--January 21 -- Bellingham, WA -- Backcountry Skiing Pacific Northwest

--January 22-24 -- Saas-Fee, Switzerland -- Ice Climbing World Cup Comp

--January 30-February 1 -- Munising, MI -- Michigan Ice Fest

--January 30-February 1 -- Jeffersonville, VT -- Smuggler's Notch Ice Bash

--January 31 -- Mojstrana, Slovenia -- Ice Climbing World Cup Comp

--February 5 -- Portland, OR -- Madrone Wall Fundraiser

--February 5-8 -- Busteni, Romania -- Ice Climbing World Cup Comp

--February 10 -- Golden, CO -- AAC Book Club Meeting

--February 13-16 -- Cody, WY -- South Fork Ice Festival

--February 20-21 -- Dayton, OH -- The Adventure Summit

--February 20-21 -- Vancouver, BC -- Vancouver Mountain Film Festival

--February 21 -- Golden, CO -- AAC Annual Benefit Dinner

Monday, January 12, 2009

Breaking News -- Dawn wins in Ouray!!!!

AAI guide Dawn Glanc won first place in the women's competition at the Ouray Ice Festival on January 10th. Dawn has competed in the festival competion three times. And clearly, the third time is a charm!

Dawn Glanc

To see the full results, click here. To see lots of cool pictures of the festival, click here. To sign up to go ice climbing with Dawn in Ouray, click here.

--Jason D. Martin

Mount Index Road Opens to Local Traffic

The American Alpine Institute just received the following message from Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest:

EVERETT, WA—Forest Service crews will open Mount Index Road (Forest Service Road 6020) to local residents 6 p.m. this evening. A landslide into the South Fork Skykomish River undermined the road and closed access to a neighborhood of about 200 people Saturday night. The road is in eastern Snohomish County about a quarter of a mile west of Index, and connects the residents with Highway 2. The temporary access will be open 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily while crews work on the road. No commercial or heavy vehicles will be allowed.

Workers are building a new roadway into the hillside adjacent to the old road, which Project Leader Jim Mitchell estimates will be done Friday. “The site can change instantly, but if all goes well, we expect to finish on time.” Mitchell is the roads manager for the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Mount Index Road
Photo by Jim Mitchell

Our guess is that nobody has been climbing in Index lately anyway...

--Jason D. Martin

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Weekend Warrior -- Videos to Get You Stoked!

Since we've been playing with the cold over the last few weekends, we thought it was time to warm up a bit with some more rock action. Today we have two servings of hard trad.

The first is the trailer for a film called Committed. It came from across the pond where -- at least in the film -- it looks like all the gear is bad.

In this second film, we watch Sonnie Trotter work the super hard Squamish trad line, Cobra Crack.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Updated Cascade Wilderness Road Report

This slide covered Highway 542 (Mount Baker Highway)
approximately 2 miles east of Glacier
From the Washington State Department of Transportation

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest:

  • --Skykomish Ranger District Station is closed due to flooding.
  • --I-90, State Route 410 and state highways are closed blocking access to the south end of Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
  • --Roads to all ski areas are closed.
  • --Scenic Route 542 (Mt. Baker Highway) is closed at Doug Fir Camp Ground, about two miles east of the town of Glacier and snow blocks FS roads at and above Glacier.
  • --Scenic Route 20 leading to Baker Lake is closed east of Sedro-Woolley and Baker Lake County Road is closed. State and county roads leading to Baker Lake area have been closed due to landslides, water and debris. Forest Service roads around the lake remain under snow.
  • --Scenic Route 542 leading to the Mt Baker ski area is closed two miles east of Glacier due to avalanches.
  • --Scenic Route 9 is closed from Wickersham to the intersection of Scenic Route 542 and 9. SR 530 is closed east of Arlington and north of Darrington and all of the surrounding forest service roads remain under snow and inaccessible.
Olympic National Forest:
  • --Forest Service Road 30 in the Soleduck Valley and Forest Service Road 2160, mile post 1.9, in the Matheny Creek area are washed out.
  • --The bridge at 2160 milepost 1.9 north of Quinault is washed out.
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest:
  • --Salmon La Sac Road is closed at the town of Ronald. This road accesses a heavily used segment of the forest.
  • --Deer Creek Road in the Liberty area is closed.
  • --Icicle Creek Road is closed at the Snow Lakes Trailhead due to avalanche danger and flooding.
  • --Butcher Creek Road #6910 on State Highway 2 just north of Coles Corner is closed.
  • --State Highway 2 through Tumwater Canyon is closed from Coles Corner junction to Leavenworth due to avalanches and slides across the road.
Gifford Pinchot National Forest:
  • --Crews currently are repairing Forest Road 90 on the south side of Mount St Helens at mile post 0.8 which was closed by a debris slide. The road provides access to the community of Northwoods and rural residences.
  • --Cowlitz Valley Ranger Station at Randle along US Highway 12 is closed due to rising waters from the Cowlitz River, and highway closures.
Forest Road Information:

--Gifford Pinchot National Forest: call 360-891-5000 or go to:
--Okanogan and Wenatchee:
--Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie:

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Bellingham Floods!

The last couple days have been epic at our main office in Bellingham. It has been raining really hard non-stop and much of the city is underwater. This morning, we realized that we too were partly underwater. Our basement is drenched with nearly a foot of flood water covering the floor.

Program coordinator and guide, Coley Gentzel checks out the flood.
Photo by Ruth Hennings

The rest of Whatcom County is not doing much better. Over three inches of rain fell in a six hour period yesterday. A mudslide washed across the Mount Baker Highway, trapping people on either side of the slide with no way to get around it. And obviously our local ski hill, the Mount Baker Ski Area, is not operating today.

The passes across the Cascades are currently closed. Stevens, Snoqualmie and White Pass are alll currently impassable. Road crews are working to manage avalanches and mudslides throughout the state, but specifically in the passes.

To see more pictures of the flooding in Bellingham, check out the Bellingham Herald's gallery, here.

--Jason D. Martin

Update - 1:36 pm:

Here's a photo from the WDOT Flickr account of the mudslide on Mount Baker Highway:

It's like the Day After Tomorrow around here!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Breaking News -- Major Avalanches Hit the Cascades

New rain on top of deep light snow has caused massive avalanches throughout the Pacific Northwest today. The following was posted on the Seattle Times webpage:

At the Summit East ski area at Hyak on Snoqualmie Pass, a massive slide brought down a cascade of dirt, snow and trees that took out power lines and at least one chair lift and slammed debris into houses and cottages below.

It wasn't immediately known whether anyone was missing in the slide or if there had been any injuries.

The landslide occurred just before noon, as state transportation workers were busy clearing snow and debris from the pass, which has been closed all day because of the high avalanche danger.

"It happened right outside our front door," Don Whitehouse, a regional administrator with the DOT, said from inside the department's Hyak maintenance facility, on the east side of the summit. "It took out a chair lift, and one home may have been knocked off its foundation."

He estimated the slide was at least 400 to 500 feet across.

"There was snow, but it's mostly dirt that slid down the ski slope," Whitehouse said. "We're not in imminent danger here, but it does look like a few houses were involved."

The roads through all three major passes — Snoqualmie, Stevens and White — were closed this morning due to avalanches and standing water on the road, according to the state Department of Transportation.

The state said Snoqualmie Pass will remain closed through the day until conditions improve.

Meagan McFadden, a DOT spokeswoman, said maintenance employees are being evacuated between mile posts 47 and 53 — from Denny Creek to about a mile west of the summit — as a safety precaution.

"It's really unstable," she said of conditions at the pass, where heavy rain continues to fall.

"Natural avalanches are occurring all over the pass," she said. With the rain, the soil is "becoming more saturated" and more prone to sliding.

In related news, we only have five spots left on this weekend's avalanche courses. Check out what you can learn, here.

--Jason D. Martin

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Frostbite Symptoms and Treatment

When you start to get cold, it's not uncommon for it to feel like your face, your ears, your hands and your feet are affected first. This is a reaction that everybody is predisposed too. As you get cold, your blood vessels constrict in order to avoid heat loss and the possibility of hypothermia. This allows areas of your body which are already cold to get colder. Ultimately, frostbite will occur in these extremeties.

Frostbite is the result of frozen skin and/or other tissue under the skin that becomes frozen. Naturally, this causes cell damage.

Three types of frostbite have been identified by severity. Like burns, they are listed as first degree, second degree and third degree. The following breakdown is from
  • First degree, also called frost nip: Most people who live in very cold climates or do a lot of outdoor activity in the winter have had first degree frostbite (just as most people have had a first degree burn when they get sunburn). Frost nip presents itself as numbed skin that has turned white in color. The skin may feel stiff to the touch, but the tissue under is still warm and soft. There is very little chance of blistering, infection or permanent scarring as long as it is treated properly.

  • Second degree, superficial frostbite: Superficial frostbite is a serious medical condition that needs to be treated by a trained medical professional. The skin will be white or blue and will feel hard and frozen. The tissue underneath is still undamaged. Blistering is likely which is why medical treatment should be sought out. Proper treatment is critical to prevent severe or permanent injuries.

  • Third degree, deep frostbite: The skin is white, blotchy and/or blue. The tissue underneath is hard and cold to the touch. This is a life threatening injury. Deep frostbite needs to be treated by a trained medical professional. The tissue underneath has been damaged, in severe cases amputation may be the final recourse to prevent severe infection. Blistering will happen. Proper medical treatment in a medical facility with personnel trained to deal with severe frostbite injuries is required to aid in the prevention of severe or permanent injury.

As first degree frostbite is common on expeditions or ice climbing trips, it is also common that it needs to be treated in the field. The most important thing with this mild frostbite is to rewarm the area. Rewarm the injured areas slowly and start working from the outside in. In other words, go toes to feet and fingers to hands. Extremities may be warmed under inside clothing or sleeping bags, arm pits or in the groin. Never rub or massage a frozen area. This merely rubs the ice crystals around on the delicate cell walls which causes additional injury and pain. Once it is rewarmed and thawed, it is very important that the area is not re-frozen. If the injury is re-frozen theseverity of the injury will increase.

Second Degree Frostbite

Unfortunately, treating second and third degree frostbite in the field is extremely difficult. Such cold injuries will require medical attention.

Second and third degree cold injuries are the types of injuries that people read about in the climbing literature. These are the injuries that result in blistered skin and blackened digits upon rewarming. The rule is never to walk on frozen feet unless you absolutely have to. Such use will increase the level of injury. But if you are in a situation where you will die of hypothermia if you don't walk on frozen feet, then you're going to have to walk on frozen feet. If they thaw and you are unable to walk on them, or you thaw them and they refreeze later, the situation could become significantly worse.

Third Degree Frostbite
From Land of 10,000 Perspectives

The reality of frostbite is that in most cases it's avoidable. Dressing right and paying attention to your body are two simple ways to avoid this debilitating and dangerous injury.

--Jason D. Martin