Thursday, November 24, 2022

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 11/24/22

Thanksgiving Update:

As most of you know, this is often the busiest long weekend of the year in places like Smith Rock, Red Rock, Joshua Tree and Indian Creek. If you intend to visit one of these places, make sure that you have a back-up plan for camping. In addition to that, it's good to have backup plans for any popular routes that you intend to climb.

Northwest:


--Mt. Bachelor is moving to heat its base area with biofuel. They will use locally sourced wood chips to heat their buildings. Theoretically this will decrease greenhouse gasses. They state that this will lead to "150,000 gallons in propane savings and 1,000 tons fewer CO2 emissions annually." To read more, click here.

--So a mountain biker rode down the descent route for the Apron in Squamish. On his way down he passed a free soloist and a base jumper passed him. Check out the video, here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "Danny O’Farrell and Steve Janes have made the first ascent of Great Balls of Fire, a 420-metre WI4 at the Top Gun area near Lillooet, B.C. It’s one of the province’s longest ice climbs that is this less than an hour approach from the road." To read more, click here.

A winter sunset in the Little Lakes Valley in the Eastern Sierra.

--The Sierra Wave is reporting that, "Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center will be holding its annual Season Kickoff Event and Fundraiser on Saturday, December 3, 2022. The ESAC Kickoff is a two part event, with free daytime avalanche workshops in Mammoth and the evening kickoff event and party in Bishop! The evening Kickoff event features a presentation by Jeremy Jones, a world renowned big mountain snowboarder, environmentalist, climate change activist, and entrepreneur!" To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--Z107.7 News is reporting that, "Joshua Tree National Park asked for public comment regarding changes to back country permitting in July, and has received 28 responses to the proposals. Superintendent David Smith and park management have said that they are currently reviewing and responding to these public comments as they finalize their decision about the changes." To read more, click here.

--The Hill is reporting that, "a popular camping spot in Grand Canyon National Park has been renamed, making it just the latest federally-managed space to undergo rebranding. It isn’t the last, either. After a unanimous vote by the U.S. Board of Geographic Names earlier this month, the Indian Garden campground has been renamed Havasupai Gardens. The vote came after the Havasupai Tribe formally requested the National Park Service change the campground’s name." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting on the death of a canyoneering guide. "A 21-year-old woman died Saturday in a climbing accident at Morning Glory Arch near Moab, according to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office." This canyoneering objective is referred to as the Medieval Chamber and has a couple of 100-foot rappels. It's not clear what happened that led to this accident. To read more, click here

--Unofficial Networks has published an article on cost estimates for riding the gondola in Little Cottonwood Canyon: "One expert estimates it could cost as much as $200 per rider if UDOT is attempting to turn a profit. Another expert believes the fare could be as low as $14/day as long as UDOT implements as $25-$35 toll for vehicles. Other estimates included in the report ranged around $100 per rider." To read more, click here.

--The Colorado Sun is reporting that the name of a mountain that used to honor a governor that approved a Native American massacre has been changed: "The Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board moved to make an official recommendation to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis to change the name of Mount Evans to Mount Blue Sky.  The unanimous decision by the board came during the Nov. 17 meeting where all suggested names were considered.  The suggested names included Mount Soule, Mount Rosalie, Mount Sisty, Mount Cheyenne-Arapaho and Mount Evans." To read more, click here.

--Snowbrains is reporting that, "Park City Mountain Resort lift mechanics & electricians yesterday voted 35-6 to unionize with the United Professional Ski Patrols of America, CWA 7781. The vote comes after a months-long organizing effort and signifies the first ski resort lift maintenance department in the country to unionize. They have organized as the Park City Lift Maintenance Professional Union." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--The Skier Responsibility Code has gone from seven points to ten. Check out what has been added.

--Climbing is reporting that, "Access Fund, in partnership with the American Alpine Club, has awarded $15,000 in anchor replacement grants to nine local climbing organizations." To read more, click here.





















--Snowbrains is reporting that, "students in a Fort Lewis College (Durango, CO) marketing research course have developed a survey exploring how snowsliders view safety messaging while on the mountain. They are interested in finding out how much safety signage impacts people while out on the slopes." To read more, click here.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 11/17/22

Northwest:

--Oregon Public Broadcasting is reporting that, "Environmental groups on Thursday hailed a decision by the Biden administration to resume studying whether grizzly bears should be restored to the remote North Cascades ecosystem in Washington state. The National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said they would jointly prepare an environmental impact statement on restoring the endangered bears to the North Cascades." To read more, click here.

Sierra:

Yosemite's El Capitan

--Reservations will not be required to enter Yosemite National Park in 2023. These were required prior to now to deal with COVID, not congestion. More from YNP.

--The Tahoe Daily Tribune is reporting that, "Sierra-at-Tahoe is opening for the season early next month after suffering extensive damage from the Caldor Fire and were unable to spin lifts for all but one weekend during the 2021-22 season. The resort has announced it will open on Saturday, Dec. 3, and plan to fully reopen all 46 trails, weather and conditions permitting." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--Climbing is reporting that, "Riverside Mountain Rescue (RMRU) went into action again when on Saturday, October 22, they responded to a call for help from two climbers stranded in a storm high on Tahquitz’s five-pitch Northeast Face West (5.7)." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "a powder day will be a bitter-sweet experience for skiers at Eldora Mountain Resort, CO. The sweet is obvious; Colorado’s famous blower pow. The bitter; if there’s 10″ or more of fresh snow, parking could cost you $10. The resort explains that 'as required by Boulder County in alignment with its sustainable transportation priorities, single occupancy vehicles (SOVs) will be charged $10 to park at Eldora on weekends and holidays, as well as on non-holiday weekdays with ten or more inches of snow in the forecast.'" To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:


--SnowBrains is reporting on two skier triggered avalanches at Alaska's Hatcher Pass. No one was hurt in either. To read more, click here.

--The Inertia is reporting that, "Two years ago, professional skier Dean Cummings called 911 to report that he’d shot and killed a man in self-defense. This week, Cummings stood trial for the murder of 47-year-old Guillermo Arriola, who ended up dead on the floor of Cummings’ trailer. And just a few hours ago, a jury found Cummings not guilty of second-degree murder." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "Mount Snow, VT, is being sued for $50 million by a guest who suffered life-changing injuries after falling from a closed-off chairlift platform. The lawsuit, which accuses the resort and its owners Vail Resorts of negligence, was filed in federal court in Vermont last week." To read more, click here.

--Gear Junkie is reporting that, "a shuttered Cotopaxi retail location in San Francisco reopened today after hiring private security, Cotopaxi founder and CEO Davis Smith announced. Three weeks ago, Smith announced the initial closing of the Hayes Street Cotopaxi location via a LinkedIn post notable for its strong language regarding crime in San Francisco." To read more, click here.


Thursday, November 10, 2022

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 11/10/22

Northwest:

--The Mountain Loop Highway closed for the season this week, and the North Cascades Highway will stay closed for the winter after the recent storm.

--AAI's director has written an editorial about prescribed burns.

Desert Southwest:


--The streak of car break-ins is continuing at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and the areas adjacent to it. To read about it, click here.

--Several climbers got together to do a climbers cleanup of Joshua Tree last week. Check it out.

Colorado and Utah:

The Flatirons are right outside Boulder, Colorado.
Many people free solo lines on these features.

--Gripped is reporting that, "a rock climber survived after falling around 30 metres from a route on the Second Flatiron in Boulder, Colorado, this week. At 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the Boulder County Communications Center got a call about a 48-year-old who fell and was seriously injured, the Boulder County Sheriff’s office said. He was not using a rope." To read more, click here.


--From the Friends of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center: "Since November 3, there have been 41 avalanches recorded throughout Colorado. 11 of those were human triggered. The majority of these are being triggered on northerly aspects. Be alert of cracking and collapsing in the snowpack, and pay attention to how far the cracks shoot away from the tips of your skis, snowmobiles, or feet." To read more, click here.

--Snowbrains is reporting that, "A Colorado backcountry skier had a close call after triggering an avalanche that carried him 1,000 feet down a gully according to a Colorado Avalanche Information Center report. The incident, involving two skiers, occurred on Greg Mace Peak, south of Ashcroft, on October 27th. Skier one descended first, skiing a short chute that fed into a larger one beneath. Immediate signs of instability were seen, with multiple cracks in the storm slab on top. Skier one descended carefully to a safe zone about halfway down the couloir and stood behind a large rock outcropping. Skier one alerted skier two of the conditions and told skier two to make a large ski cut across the larger adjacent slope." To read more, click here.

--Water rights for the Ouray Ice Park are a little more secure today. As the ice in the park is "farmed" from pipes, a consistent water supply is essential. But as water becomes an increasingly scarce commodity in some regions, there was fear that the Ice Park could become victim to cuts. Read about it, here.

Notes from All Over:

--A former director for the National Park Service, believes that the NPS would be better situated if it were completely detached from the Department of the Interior. To read about it, click here.

--Veterans and Gold Star Families are now eligible for a free lifetime pass to the National Parks. To read more, click here.


--Gripped is reporting that, "Andrew Slootweg and Derrick Van Es have made the first ascent of a two-pitch WI4 just west of the town of Banff. Overall, it’s been a slow start to the ice climbing season in the Canadian Rockies, a range known for having routes formed by mid-October. The new ice line is near Sunshine Ski Resort and can be accessed from the parking lot for the skiing." To read more, click here.

--Here's a breakdown of the winners of the Banff Mountain Film Festival.

--And finally, here are some of the coolest photos you will ever see. This photographer got several exceptional photos of a snow leopard in the Himalaya.  



Thursday, November 3, 2022

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 11/3/22

Northwest

--High Country News is reporting on a very problematic arrest: "A U.S. Forest Service employee leading a prescribed fire in central Oregon was arrested after the fire crossed onto adjacent private land Wednesday night, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office. According to a press release from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, a controlled burn “escaped” Malheur National Forest lands north of Seneca, Oregon, before burning about 20 acres of a nearby ranch. Officers arrested the burn boss, the person in charge of planning, organizing and executing the operation, for what they deemed 'reckless burning.'" The concern is that if these fire managers are arrested for doing their jobs, it could have a chilling effect on controlled burns, making fire issues in an area worse. To read more, click here.

--Mountaineers Creek Road, with access to the Enchantments, closed this week for the winter season.

--Climbing is reporting that, "on October 26 the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Massacre Rocks, Idaho, stating that they intend to permanently close numerous crags to climbing. Massacre Rocks is the single largest climbing area in southeast Idaho, with hundreds of single-pitch basalt sport routes. The BLM’s decision, which was made to protect historical and cultural resources important to the Shoshone-Bannock people, will prohibit all forms of rock climbing on 3,846 acres of the American Falls Archeological District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places." To read more, click here.

Sierra:

--After a high profile accident on Yosemite's Snake Dike (5.7, 6 Pitches), one of the first ascentionist is arguing that the route needs more bolts. To read bout it, click here.

--The Tahoe Daily Tribune is reporting that, "The Tahoe Fund on Tuesday announced the start of ‘Plates for Powder,’ an annual program that offers free skiing opportunities to those who purchase a Lake Tahoe license plate. Proceeds from plate sales and renewals support environmental improvement projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin. " To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

Red Rock Canyon from Turtlehead Peak

--The Las Vegas Review Journal is reporting that, "attorneys for the developer of a long-stalled housing project at Blue Diamond Hill alleged in federal court Thursday that Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones deleted all his text message history hours after voting against the development in 2019. Gypsum Resources LLC asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Elayna Youchah to schedule an evidentiary hearing to explore possible sanctions for “destruction of evidence” against Clark County and Jones, who was legal counsel of a conservation group that opposed the project before he was elected to the commission." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--9News is reporting that, "a man who pleaded guilty earlier this year to shooting a ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park was sentenced on Monday to federal prison. Daron Ellis pleaded guilty to attempted murder of a federal officer and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, prosecutors said. He was sentenced in federal court to 23 years and six months in prison, followed by eight years of supervised release, according to court documents." To read more, click here.


--Yahoo is reporting that, "as an outdoor customer, have you ever wanted to attend an industry trade show to get sneak peeks at all the gear coming out next season? Soon, you'll be able to. The Big Gear Show (BGS), the exclusive hardgoods-only event created in 2020, is attempting to reinvent and revitalize the outdoor trade show model by inviting the public next June." To read more, click here.

--There has long been a competition to beat the fastest known time on Eldorado Canyon State Park's The Naked Edge (5.11b, 6 pitches). Someone just did it in less than 24 minutes. To read about it, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Rossignol is sharing it's recyclable ski formula with other companies. From the Outside Business Journal: "The French company announced it is designing a (mostly) recyclable, all-mountain ski called the Essential, with an eye toward converting at least a third of all the brand’s ski models to recyclable versions by 2028. The Essential will be made with 62 percent recycled materials, with even its topsheet graphics using no solvents or water, Rossignol said. Even more crucially, Rossignol said it plans to share its proprietary manufacturing process with other ski makers so that more brands can start producing recyclable models." To read more, click here.

--Backpacker is reporting that, "Two college wrestlers are lucky to be alive after sparring with an aggressive grizzly bear in Shoshone National Forest last weekend. Northwest College wrestling teammates Brayden Lowry and Kendell Cummings were antler hunting when the bruin came running out from the trees." To read more, click here.

--Several bolts were chopped at an entry level sport area in Eastern Canada. From Gripped: "Ascent New Brunswick issued a statement after a few bolts were chopped on a relatively new sport route at the popular Cochrane Lane. House Sass is an 18-metre 5.5 at the right side of the Waterfall Wall that was developed in 2018 by Dom Caron, Anna Schneider and Amanda Savoie as a fully bolted line. It’s one of three sport routes on this part of the wall. The climb is popular for people learning how to lead. When Caron shared the route details after the first ascent, he said, 'The closely spaced bolts and the grade of this route are sure to attract a fair share of traffic – whether for a warm up, a cool down or for a first outdoor lead.'" To read more, click here.


Monday, October 31, 2022

Training for Endurance

Endurance is an extremely important part of climbing and mountaineering. Obviously, these two pursuits require different types of endurance. Rock climbing requires an individual to climb a series of moves without getting to pumped. Additionally, rock climbing also requires that you build endurance in a way that allows quick recovery when you find a rest on a route. Mountaineering is completely different. It's the art of going...forever.

Professional climber Joe Kinder has recently been putting out videos on techniques for climbing. His most recent foray into that realm is a piece on rock climbing endurance. Check it out below:



--Jason D. Martin

Friday, October 28, 2022

Toproping Etiquette

The following is a series of etiquette oriented questions that arise around toproped climbing at popular cragging destinations. The answers to these questions should be adhered to at North American Climbing destinations. Locations outside of North America may have different etiquette issues.

A Climber Lowers Off a Route in Leavenworth, Washington
Photo by Ruth Hennings


1) Where should I set-up my "camp" at a crag that I'm going to climb at all day?

Gear and equipment should not be placed directly under the wall. It's good to set-up a "safe" area away from the wall where you can relax without a helmet on and eat lunch. This will also keep the base of the wall from being crowded with gear and packs.

It's a good idea to consolodate your group's gear. Avoid allowing equipment and packs to be scattered around.

A Climber Leads Tonto (5.5) in Red Rock Canyon
Photo by Jason Martin

2) What if I have a large group and want to "take-over" a crag for the day?

It is not appropriate for a group to "take-over" a crag. Climbing areas are public areas that are open to everyone. As such, it is incredibly rude for a group to hold an entire area -- or even a few routes -- hostage for the day.

If you have a large group, you have a large impact on both other users as well as the area. The best thing that you can to mitigate that impact is to keep a low profile, allow others to work in on the wall that you're using. Never leave a rope up that is not being used to "hold" a route.

If you do have a lot of ropes up and other users wish to climb routes that you have ropes on, it is okay to allow people to use your ropes if they look like they know what they're doing. If they don't appear knowlegable and they are climbing on your gear, you could become legally liable if something happens to one of the climbers that aren't with your group.

A group climbs at the Cowlick Co. Crag in Red Rock Canyon
Photo by Jason Martin


3) What if a large group is using a crag and refuses to give up a climb to my small group?

If you've got moves, then offer to have a dance-off for the climb. Seriously, joking with people will often loosen them up. In most cases, people that have had a good laugh will be more polite and more open to allowing people to climb.

If the large group is very rude and refuses to give up a climb, then politely find another place to go. It's not worth lecturing an ignorant climber about crag ettiquete. More often than not, a lecture will just reinforce negative behavior.

4) Is it okay to use the same anchor bolts as the person on an adjacent route?

Yes and no. Will this cause the person next door problems? If so, they were there first. If not, then be sure to ask them before clipping in next to their carabiners. If they say yes, then clip the bolts, but be sure not to do anything that changes their set-up in any way.

5) Where should I go to the bathroom when I'm cragging?

If there is an outhouse nearby, always use that first. Avoid urinating at the base of the wall and always avoid urinating in cracks on a wall as this causes the smell to linger.

If you have to defecate, know the rules of the area. Some areas require the use of WAG Bags, while other areas require you to dig a cat hole and pack out your toilet paper. Never go to the bathroom on the ground, stack the toilet paper on it and then put a rock on top.



6) When should I say something to a person who is doing something dangerous?

This is up to you. I usually don't say anything unless there is real and iminent danger. If there is mild danger, I will usually chat with the people for awhile in a non-threatening way before providing any unsolicieted beta.

7) Is it okay to toprope the first pitch of a multi-pitch climb?

More often than not, the answer is no. This is a more complex issue than the others and it does depend on the route and the route's history. People who are doing multi-pitch climbs always have the right of way over those who will TR a climb.

Some climbs are multi-pitch climbs, but nobody does anything but the first pitch. In this case, all the other ettiquete rules apply. Other climbs are commonly climbed as multi-pitch routes and are seldom done as single pitch routes. Such climbs should not be toproped.

8) Is it okay to yell beta at people who didn't ask for it that I don't know?

No, many climbers like figure out the moves on their own.

Climbers who keep these concepts of etiquette in mind will almost universally have a much better time with a lot less conflict at the crags. And climbing isn't about conflict. It's about having fun...!

--Jason D. Martin

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 10/27/22

Northwest:

--Gripped is reporting that, "Squamish-based Nathan Roberts died in a climbing accident in Cheakamus Canyon on Oct. 15. The BC Coroners Service have not released any information, saying they’re investigating." It is currently believed that Nathan died free-soloing. To read more, click here.

--NPR is reporting that, "a Washington state woman left her home to let her dog out early Saturday morning and ended up fending off an attack from a black bear. The woman, who sustained non-life threatening injuries, punched the bear "right in the nose," which led it to run away, according to one official." To read more, click here.

Sierra:

--An 8-year-old boy has set out to become the youngest person ever to climb El Capitan. Check it out!

Desert Southwest:

--The Las Vegas Review Journal is reporting that, "authorities are warning visitors to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area to be vigilant after a rash of car break-ins this month. According to the Bureau of Land Management, which manages the popular hiking and camping refuge west of Las Vegas, there were multiple break-ins at one of the conservation area’s parking lots in early October." To read more, click here.

--Joshua Tree National Park is in the process of closing up old open mine holes. To read about it, click here.

Colorado and Utah:


--It has started...let's be careful out there. Snowbrains is reporting that, "the last flakes of the first significant snowfall of the winter in Utah had barely even settled when a skier triggered an avalanche in Little Cottonwood Canyon. According to Utah Avalanche Center (UAC) forecaster Craig Gordon, the slide was triggered near Main Chute on Mount Baldy above Alta Ski Area. Nobody was injured." To read more, click here.

Moab's Delicate Arch is a major tourist attraction in Arches National Park.

--Arches National Park is completely filling up as early as 8:30am. To read about it, click here.

--From Rocky Mountain National Park: "Beginning in late October and early November 2022, construction will begin on a new and improved entrance station at the Fall River Entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. The Fall River Entrance is one of two major entrance stations on the east side of the park and is located on U.S. Highway 34, just inside the park boundary. During this major construction project, only one lane at Fall River Entrance will be operational to enter the park and one lane to exit. Park visitors are strongly encouraged to avoid the Fall River Entrance and use the Beaver Meadows Entrance." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Outside is reporting that, "Citing lawlessness and “chaos,” Cotopaxi CEO Davis Smith announced on his personal LinkedIn page yesterday that he has closed the company’s sole San Francisco retail location. 'As of today, we are closing the store due to rampant organized theft and lack of safety for our team,” Smith wrote on October 18. “Our store is hit by organized theft rings several times per week.'" To read more, click here.


--SGB Media is reporting that, "The North Face plans to open more than 70 stores in North America and up to 300 additional retail and partner locations globally over the next five years. The North Face also said it plans to continue transforming existing sites to ensure consistent store formats for consumers who shop brick-and-mortar." To read more, click here.

--And finally, Climbing has some costume ideas for your upcoming trick-or-treat festivities.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Climbing Technique: Heel Hooks and Toe Hooks

As the terrain gets steeper, it becomes harder and harder for a climber to hold on...and that's where heel hooks and toe hooks come into play. In the following video, professional climber Joe Kinder discusses how to effectively employ toe hooks and heel hooks in vertical and overhung terrain.



--Jason D. Martin

Friday, October 21, 2022

Rock Climbing Rests

Rock climbing endurance takes time and focus to develop. The more time climbing, the more endurance one will have. However, no matter how much endurance you have, you still need to know how to conserve energy, so as not to "pump out."

In today's blog, two strong climbers share their tips on how to rest effectively mid-climb.

This first video features pro climber Jonathon Siegrist talking about how he looks for rests. Please note, only the first half of the video is pertinent to this blog post:



In review, Jonathon's tips are:
  1. Rest with arms extended.
  2. Keep hips open and keep the torso over the feet wherever possible.
  3. Don't over-grip. 
  4. Heel and toe hooks can provide additional resting positions.
In this second video, Lonnie Kauk discusses his thoughts on resting.


Lonnie's tips are similar to Jonathon's:
  1. Stay calm and relax.
  2. Keep arms straight whenever possible.
  3. Don't over-grip.
  4. Remember to breathe. Take deep breaths.
The key take-away from these videos...? Resting is important. You will climb better if you know how to conserve your energy as you go...!

--Jason D. Martin

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 10/19/22

Northwest:

--The Seattle Times is reporting on the Bolt Creek Fire near Index and the future of wildfire on the west side of the Cascades: "Thinning fuels on a hand crew in the first few days of the Bolt Creek fire, Cassandra Brazfield recalls hearing thuds as trees hit the ground. Early on, the fire — that for weeks has smoldered and smoked out Western Washington — behaved in interesting ways, she said. “It would just burn when it was super humid.” It would light up the “duff,” a dense, peaty layer of partially decomposed moss and litter, and the understory would catch fire. Trees would fall unexpectedly. 'It was scary,' said Brazfield, a firefighter with the state Department of Natural Resources." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--Gripped is reporting that, "Alex Honnold has established a roughly 60-kilometre traverse that included 14 Red Rock multi-pitch routes, hiking and scrambling for well over 7,000 metres of vertical in a 32-hour push. He called the traverse Honnold’s Ultimate Red Rock Traverse or HURT." To read more, click here.

--Z107.7 is reporting that, "Joshua Tree National Park Superintendent David Smith provided Gary Daigneault with an update about the Park’s new West entrance. Smith explained that the entrance would help mitigate crowding at the entrance in Joshua Tree, and ensure that park rangers spend less time selling tickets to eager Park visitors. Smith said that funding for the new construction has been raised, entirely through entrance fees, but that contracting for the project has proved to be the most serious delay." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

-From the New York Times: "President Biden on Wednesday announced the creation of the country’s newest national monument, protecting tens of thousands of acres in the mountains of Colorado from mining and development and delivering an election-year gift to Michael Bennet, one of the state’s two Democratic senators. Standing on the grounds of Camp Hale, a World War II military installation that was used to train the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, Mr. Biden said he was designating 53,804 acres of rugged landscape as the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument." To read more, click here. Here's more from Climbing.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "The snowboarder who was involved in a hit-and-run collision that killed famed instructor Ron LeMaster at Eldora Mountain Resort, CO, last year has pleaded ‘not guilty’. Nicholas K. Martinez, 28, entered the plea during his arraignment in Boulder County Court on Friday. A court hearing will take place in January 2023." To read more, click here.


--SnowBrains is reporting that, "Aspen Skiing Co. (SkiCo) is asking the public to help name the trails at the resort’s new Pandora terrain, set to open 2023-24. An online form asks people to submit their suggestions under five categories: local people, local history, mining history, notable terrain, or greek mythology." To read more, click here.

--Climbing is reporting that, "after weighing several proposals to minimize winter ski traffic in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah’s Department of Transportation (UDOT) announced on Wednesday that it plans to ferry skiers to and from Alta and Snowbird in the world’s longest gondola. UDOT was also considering a road-widening plan, which would have added two bus-only shoulder lanes to SR-210, the avalanche-plagued road that winds its way up the canyon. Local climbing organizations have staunchly opposed both proposals, noting that the traffic is only a real problem for some user groups, and only on the snowy weekends." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--The story about the Iranian climber that didn't wear a headscarf while competing over the weekend is changing by the minute. By the time you read this, the story may have evolved more. From CNN on October 19th: "a female Iranian rock climber, who did not wear a hijab at an international competition in South Korea, has returned to Iran as Iranian groups based abroad raised alarms over her fate back home. Elnaz Rekabi, 33, competed without a hijab during the International Federation of Sport Climbing’s Asian Championships in Seoul on Sunday. Videos of her wearing a headband with her hair in a ponytail while competing spread on social media." There are reports that this individual may go to jail for this infraction. But it is much more complicated, as Iran is currently seeing significant civil strife around women's rights. To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "the 2022 Piolets d’Or awards will take place from Nov. 18 to 20 in Briançon, France. The award will go to two ascents, with one being by Archil Badriashvili, Baqar Gelashvili and Giorgi Tepnadze from Georgia for their first ascent of the northwest face of Saraghrar Northwest in Pakistan. And the other award will go to Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll of Belgium for his Moonwalk Traverse of the Fitz Roy Range in Patagonia. A special jury mention goes to Nikita Balabanov, Mikail Fomin and Viacheslav Polezhaiko from the Ukraine for the first ascent of the southeast ridge of Annapurna III (7,555 m)." To read more, click here.


--Speaking of bears...if you haven't seen the viral video of the bear attacking the climber on fourth class terrain in Japan yet (don't worry, the climber fights it off) then check it out, here.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Rack on the Shoulder or Shoot from the Hip?

I admit it...

I wore a shoulder rack until approximately 2013. Please don't judge me. I started climbing in 1992. It's hard to change and evolve. But after 21-years of shoulder slinging, I finally switched and began to shoot from the hip...

Why would you subject yourself to a shoulder sling, you might be asking?

The author in Red Rock Canyon (circa 2005)
sporting a shoulder rack on a multi-pitch climb.

Easy, there are a number of advantages to racking on a shoulder sling.

Shoulder Sling Advantages

1) It's easy to shift a shoulder sling from one side of your body to the other when climbing off-widths or chimneys.

2) When you climb sport routes, nothing changes on your harness.

3) It's very easy to swap leads by handing the rack to your partner. Indeed, on some speedy ascents, we actually used to hold the sling out so the climber following the pitch would climb right up into the sling and then keep going...!

4) It's easy to see the gear that you have on your rack. Nothing is hidden on a gear loop at the back of your harness.

5) In steep snow, with a lot of clothing, it may be easier to find gear on a shoulder sling.

But there are also a lot of disadvantages.

Shoulder Sling Disadvantages

1) A large rack rubs your shoulder and neck raw. It can be very painful to carry doubles or triples.

2) On low angle terrain, the rack constantly gets in your way. It's hard to see your feet.

3) The edges of cams commonly get caught on edges while you're climbing, making it difficult to move efficiently.

4) Shoulder slings with fixed loops tend to change positions on your shoulder. Heavier gear constantly pulls the rack into inopportune positions.

5) If you fall and flip upside down, it's possible to lose the entire rack.

If you look at the advantages and disadvantages of a shoulder sling, it starts to feel like it's about even. There are five advantages and five disadvantages. But choosing whether to use a shoulder sling or to "shoot from the hip" isn't so much about the advantages and disadvantages of the shoulder sling, it's also about the advantages and disadvantages of racking on your harness.

A climber with a rack on his harness.

Advantages of Racking on the Harness

1) Nothing is rubbing on your neck or shoulder.

2) You can see your feet. Additionally, there's nothing in front of you, so it's easier to see mid-level holds.

3) The edges of your cams are less likely to get caught.

4) Ice screw clippers work extremely well on a harness, but don't work at all on a shoulder rack.

5) Everything feels cleaner and more streamlined when it's on your harness.

6) Most climbers use this system. This makes it easier to work with lots of different partners while having similar systems.

Disadvantages to Racking on the Harness

1) Depending on the harness, gear may be hanging in awkward places. This is especially true with harnesses that have offset gear loops. It can be problematic when cams are hanging over the front of your thigh.

2) It's harder to swap gear between leads.

3) It can be hard to see which cam is which at your waist. I personally rack my cams with carabiners of corresponding color to easily find what I need on my gear loop.

4) There may not be enough space on the gear loops to accommodate all the gear required for a lead.

Conclusion

How you rack is ultimately a personal choice. But I do lean toward racking on the harness. The main reason for this is because I did rack on my shoulder for over twenty years. I didn't want to change. But when I finally committed to updating my system, I found it to be much more streamlined.

That said, I don't put everything on my harness. I still put some slings over my shoulder. So you could say that my technique is a bit of a hybrid...

If you're new to climbing, I would strongly suggest that you try both systems. There is value to being able to accommodate different systems for different kinds of climbing. But ultimately, you're going to lean toward one system that you use most of the time. These days, it's highly likely that you'll lean toward "shooting from the hip." However, if you decide that the shoulder sling is better, there's nothing wrong with that. How you climb is completely up to you...that's one of the cool things about this sport!

--Jason D. Martin

Friday, October 14, 2022

Super Munter and Zooper Munter

In this blog, we have covered the super munter before. This is a technique that is used to add more friction to a munter-hitch lower for seriously heavy loads.

The super-munter is a variation on the munter-hitch. It creates a tremendous amount of friction and doesn't have one of the main problems of the munter-hitch, it doesn't tangle the rope. Indeed, the action of the rope as it goes through the super-munter twists the rope and then twists it back.



There are very few applications for the super munter (also sometimes called the monster munter) in normal climbing. Instead, the applications are more rescue oriented. This particular hitch provides so much friction that it is possible to lower two climbers -- one cradeling the other -- or perhaps a litter and a liter attendant in a SAR operation.

Super munters on two separate legs of a mountain rescue system, backed up by tandem prussiks make for an excellent redundant lowering system with limited equipment. And indeed, such a system would also pass the "Whistle Test." (The Whistle Test is a concept used in mountain rescue. The idea is that if everyone let go of their given strands at the sound of a whistle, the system would stop on its own and no one would get hurt.)

The problem with the super munter is that you have to anticipate that you are going to add the additional friction at the beginning of the operation. In other words, you have to tie the munter with the appropriate position of function, so that you can easily cross the break-strand over the load-strand and then clip it into the carabiner. If you did not do this right then a second option is to make a zooper munter.

This essentially requires a second carabiner behind the first, with the gate facing the spine of the first carabiner. To build the zooper munter, just bring the rope around the back and clip the second carabiner. You can see this in the second video which is a bit shaky since I was holding the camera and tying the knot at the same time.



The zooper munter allows you to create additional fiction without pre-planning. In many ways, this is a far more useful version of the super munter because it doesn't have to be pre-planned and -- even if the carabiner is situated correctly, you wouldn't have to open the gate.

Large amounts of friction are important when it comes to SAR operations and indeed, are super important when you are in a mountain rescue setting with limited gear...

--Jason D. Martin

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 10/12/22

Northwest:

--Here's an awesome piece on a blend of ultra-running and technical mountaineering in the North Cascades.

--Here's a piece from AAI's director about graffiti on public lands.

Sierra:

--The Reds Meadow road has been closed for the season in the Eastern Sierra. 

--Here's a list of seasonal campground closures in the Eastern Sierra.

Desert Southwest:

--A complete report has been produced on the recent deaths of two climbers at Tahquitz Rock. It appears that the fatalities were the result of the use of an old webbing anchor in descent. The webbing snapped and the pair fell. A handful of experienced climbers have died over the last few years making this mistake.

Mt. Wilson in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

--What a nightmare. We've been fighting this for over 20-years. From the Las Vegas Review-Journal: "A project to build more than 400 single-family homes on Blue Diamond Hill near Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area can move forward. In a unanimous vote — and with opposition from Save Red Rock conservation advocates — the Clark County Zoning Commission voted Tuesday to permit the housing development and approved a tentative map of the project." There are more hurdles for the developer to overcome, but this is a bad sign. To read more, click here.

--Some bolting gear was stolen by -- what is believed to be -- climbers from the Story Crag at Mt. Potosi near Red Rock Canyon. To read about this, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "at a meeting on Tuesday, Vail Town Council outlined its parking rates and passes for the upcoming winter season. The town will be introducing peak days and charging more on these days, as well as rate increases across the board, including the Premier Pass, which will increase from $3,330 to $5,500—a 65% increase." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--We don't always report on fatalities outside North America, but this is a big one. Twenty-nine people were killed in a single avalanche on Monday in the Garhwal Himalaya of India. To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "Australian Daniel Heritage, 28, died while climbing near the town of Banff in Banff National Park last week. Details of the the accident, including the route and what happened, are unknown." To read more, click here.

--WCAX is reporting that, "A climber died after falling from a cliff near the Everett Dam in Clough State Park in the town of Weare, the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game says. Rescue crews were called about 4 p.m. Sunday after receiving a report of an individual who had been climbing the cliff that was off the trail and was not a designated climbing area." To read more, click here.

--CNN is reporting that, "REI has quit Black Friday, forever. For the past seven years, the retailer has closed its doors on the day after Thanksgiving to give its employees a day off. The Seattle-based seller of outdoor clothing and gear said Tuesday that starting this year, every part of its business — all 178 stores, its distribution locations, call centers and headquarters — will close every year on Black Friday." To read more, click here.

--The following video is an excellent little piece on climbers of color in the Midwest:


--Congressman Ben Cline's website is reporting that, "Congressman Ben Cline (R-VA-06) and Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH-01) led a bipartisan letter to National Park Service (NPS) Director Charles Sams requesting that NPS institutes a policy that reserves spots for active-duty military, Gold Star families, and Veterans to enter lottery systems at national parks. Currently, the NPS has a lottery system for several attractions at park units across the United States. A lottery system may only let in a set number of individuals to a portion of a national park, with slots often going quickly. The NPS already gives active-duty military, Gold Star families, and Veterans free access to national parks, but there are no spots reserved in these lottery systems for them, often resulting in them not being selected." To read more, click here.

--The New York Times did an article on one of our favorite Alaskan National Park events every year: Fat Bear Week! To read about it, click here.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Knots for Rappelling

There are two key knots for rappelling. The first is the overhand flat bend and the second is the barrel knot (sometimes referred to as the strangle knot). In the following video Climbing magazine's Jullie Ellison demonstrates these two important knots...


The overhand flat bend (also known as the Euro Death Knot) is the go to knot for tying two ropes together for rappelling. The primary reason we use this over another knot is because of the way it rides over the terrain when you pull the rope. The knot exists on one side of tied ropes which makes it less likely to get caught when you pull the ropes...

As Julie notes, some people are concerned that the overhand flat bend will roll over on itself and roll off the end of the ropes. In the video, she shows to tie the knot pretty far from the ends of the rope. This length makes it impossible for the knot to roll. There are a couple of other things you can do to keep the knot from rolling as well...

 In this first photo, I tied an extra overhand around both strands. 
This would decrease the liklihood of rolling.

In this second photo, I tied two overhand flat bends and seated themselves together.
This is my preferred style and I tie my cordelletes into loops with this as well as my ropes.

Some people think that if they tie two ropes together with a flat figure-eight that it will be stronger. Ironically, this is incredibly weak and can roll with as little as 2kN of force (under 500lbs). There have been fatalities from using the flat figure-eight to tie two ropes together.

Julie goes on to talk about tying barrel knots in the end of the rope. She recommends triple barrel knots, but a double is fine, as long as it is pulled tight. A loosly tied double barrel knot can become untied.

A double barrel knot.

Historically climbers and guides didn't tie knots in the ends of their ropes. They were afraid that the ropes would get caught below. That is changing. There have been way too many accidents because there were no knots in the ropes. If you're worried that the ends will get caught below, simple tie an overhand or an eight in the end of the rope and clip it to your harness during the rappel...

--Jason D. Martin

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 9/29/22

Northwest:

--Fire bans have been lifted in Mt. Rainier National Park.


--So a guy rode his bike down the classic Burgers and Fries wall in Squamish. To see a video of this stunt and more weird Squamish stunts, click here.

Sierra:

--There is a fledgling movement on mountainproject.com to petition for the elimination of the mandatory big wall permit system that is slated to go into effect soon. It should be noted that this system is similar to other backcountry permit systems in National Parks in the United States. To read more, click here.

--Inyo National Forest is looking for seasonal rangers.

--The Tahoe Daily Tribune is reporting that, "fire restrictions will be lifted Monday, Sept. 26, in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest due to recent rain and predicted cooler temperatures, officials announced Friday. The fire restrictions will be lifted at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, in the the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest’s Austin-Tonopah, Bridgeport, Carson, Mountain City-Ruby Mountains-Jarbidge, and Santa Rosa Ranger districts." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--The US Department of the Interior recently posted, "during a visit to Las Vegas today, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Tommy Beaudreau announced that over $5.9 million in fiscal year 2022 funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will support fuels management projects in Nevada on 14,655 acres of land across the state. This is part of $103 million allocated by the Department of the Interior earlier this year to reduce wildfire risk, mitigate impacts and rehabilitate burned areas. The additional funding will help complete fuels treatments on nearly 2 million acres nationwide this fiscal year, a substantial increase over the prior year. " To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--The Aspen Times is reporting that, "Aspen Skiing Co. faces civil allegations over its alleged refusal to refund a near $60,000 down payment to a family that booked and cancelled a wedding event at the Little Nell because of pandemic restrictions. Claims against Skico in a lawsuit filed in Pitkin County District Court by Iowa resident Cynthia Baxter and her daughter, Kayla Baxter of Syracuse, New York, include breach of contract and unjust enrichment. Other claims relate to civil fraud, not acting in good faith and negligent misrepresentation." To read more, 

Notes from All Over:

Hilaree Nelson

--The news of Hilaree Nelson's death has been everywhere, and it has shaken the ski mountaineering community to its core. We have found a few tributes that we'd like to share:
--"The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service announced more than $37 million in investments to improve vital recreation infrastructure located on national forests and grasslands. These investments are made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which devotes unprecedented resources to rural infrastructure improvements, including repairs on national forest lands. The funding, which includes $19 million for recreation sites and $18 million for cabins and historic buildings, aims to improve the nation’s recreation infrastructure, which is critical to the health, wellness, and prosperity of the American people." To read more, click here.--Reuters is reporting that, "the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Saturday launched a new office that will be focused on the needs of minority communities overburdened by pollution and oversee the delivery of $3 billion in environmental justice grants created by the recent passage of new climate legislation." To read more, click here.



Monday, September 26, 2022

A Celebration of Women in the Outdoors - Where the Wild Things Play

This is a repost...but an awesome one...

Outdoor Research -- the clothing manufacturer -- has done a great job with inclusion in their recent promotions. It started with their awesome takedown of GQ and its sexist photo shoot that only showed women watching. In ORs response it turned the sexism on its head by showing the men watching the women. And the result is both poignant and funny.

Now, they have produced a great film entitled Where the Wild Things Play, about women in adventure sports playing in the outdoors. Check it out below:



--Jason D. Martin

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 9/22/22

Northwest:

--From the Washington Trails Association: "The Snow Lake trail has reopened after a month and a half of construction! The project included a half mile of trail reconstruction and was funded by the Great American Outdoors Act, which has provided much-needed funding for deferred trail maintenance projects. Ruby Beach has also reopened after a summer of construction. The parking area, access road and restrooms were improved, and pedestrian safety and accessibility features were added like sidewalks, crosswalks, curbs and steps." The Snow Lake Trail is used to access the Tooth and Chair Peak. To read more, click here.

--As of this writing, the Bolt Creek Fire that closed Highway 2 was 79% contained and the highway was still closed. Please note that this info could be old by the time you read it. To read more, click here.

Sierra:

--Somebody killed a black bear within the town limits of Mammoth Lakes.

--The Sierra Sun Times is reporting that, "Yosemite National Park officials report the Superintendent of Yosemite National Park has lifted fire restrictions due to the decrease in fire danger with the recent weather the park has received." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Gripped is reporting that, "several climbing communities are mourning the death of Maya Humeau, who died in a climbing accident this past Tuesday. She was 22 years old. Reports say that Humeau fell around 30 metres while climbing on the Black Wall on Mount Spalding. The Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office said Humeau’s climbing partner called 911 and that several parties, including the sheriff’s deputies, an alpine rescue team and others responded to the scene." To read more, click here.

--The Coloradan is reporting that, "Rocky Mountain National Park said its search and rescue members were briefly able to communicate with the man who became lost in wintry conditions and died on Longs Peak over the weekend." To read more, click here. To see a TikTok with some additional info, click below:
The park in a Tuesday morning news release identified the man who died as Russell Jacobs, 25, of Westminster. His body was recovered Sunday.@superglamp Longs Fatality Update. #longspeak #news #rockymountainnationalpark #rmnp #14ers #14er #colorado14ers #colorado #LikeAMonarch #nationalpark #sad ♬ Chill Vibes - Tollan Kim
--Out There Colorado is reporting that, "according to a report from Custer County Search and Rescue, a 'cliffed-out' climber was saved after getting off-route on the notorious Crestone Needle mountain in Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Range. A 'cliffed-out' situation occurs when a climber moves into terrain where they are unable to safely proceed or backtrack, thus, they can become stuck. On September 17, the climber contacted emergency services to report the situation. Temperatures in the area were dropping and winds were moving in, but the climber was well-prepared with suitable clothing, a GPS communication device, a cell phone and charging bank, a bright orange bivy bag that made spotting him easier, a headlamp, and enough food and water." To read more, click here.

--It appears that several boulders in Utah have been altered to make the problems easier. To read more, click here.

--Route name controversies will never die. But this one is truly distasteful. Someone named a route after a young woman that was murdered. The link brings you to a mountainproject discussion about it.

Notes from All Over:

--Jimmy Chin has a new series coming out that explores how dangerous moments impacted the lives of extreme athletes. To read about it, click here. To see a trailer, click below:


--Finalists in the Banff Mountain Book Festival have been announced.

--The Globe and Mail is reporting that, "The federal government plans to drop the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for people who enter Canada by the end of September, the same day it ends random testing of arrivals and makes optional the ArriveCan app." To read more, click here.









Monday, September 19, 2022

Finger Injuries in Climbing

The hangboard.

It sits above the doorway in the office, taunting me. It sits above the doorway, daring me to train. It sits above the doorway, and stares me down. It sits above the doorway...

I can't help it. I'm a climber. It's in my genes. I have to hang on it. I have to do pull-ups on it. I have to climb.

But the reality is that hanging on a hangboard is not climbing. Hangboards are supposed to be for training. In truth hangboards are one of the best ways climbers have devised to obtain sports injuries.

I know only too well. One day I succumbed to the devious taunts of the board and began to train on it. I succumbed and pulled something in my ring finger.

A climber on the Boy Scout Wall in Red Rock Canyon
Photo by Jason Martin

After doing a little research I discovered that I probably injured one of the pulleys in my finger. A great website called climbinginjuries.comprovided me with everything that I needed to know in order to get better. They indicated that I had a pulley injury in my finger and they identified three levels of pulley injury.

  • Grade III: A grade three injury usually involves a complete rupture of the pulley creating bowstringing of the tendon. Symptoms of this severe soft tissue injury includes local pain in the pulley, swelling or even bruising, pain when squeezing, pain when extending the finger, and most disturbingly those who get this injury often hear a pop inside their finger.
  • Grade II: A grade two injury is identified by a partial rupture of the pulley tendon. This injury is characterized by local pain at the pulley, pain when squeezing and occasionally pain when extending a finger.
  • Grade I: A grade one injury is characterized by local pain at the pulley, pain when squeezing and a sprain of the finger ligaments (collateral ligaments).

Treatment:


These injuries can be quite serious. Some people may require months to recover from a Grade III pulley rupture. Climbinginjuries.com has a prescribed method for treatment:



Go buy some TheraPutty! All orthopedic doctors and physical therapists will recommend putty as a tool for successful recovery.(2) The fingers generally receive poor blood flow so getting blood to the injured area is important. Contrast baths have had mixed results in the literature, but it wouldn't hurt to try. To do a contrast bath, get a bowl of warm water, and cold water. Put injured finger in cold water for a few minutes, then place it immediately in the warm water for a few minutes. Repeat 3-5 times. Finish with the cold water. This could be done after squeezing the putty ball to "flush out" the injured joint. Massaging the effected area can be effective as well. Start out lightly and gradually increase the pressure.

Pulleys
  • Grade III: - Immediately- Stop climbing Apply ice or cold immediately, no more than 15 minutes at a time (1-2 days) Take ibuprofen for 1- 2 day Keep the hand elevated Week 1-2 Don't climb! Don't immobilize the finger. Unless there is a lot of pain, open and close your hand often VERY light massage at the site of the injury. Concentrate on other aspects of your life. Week 4-8 Warm the hands by use of a bath or an electric blanket, then squeeze the yellow (softest) putty. Don't push it, if there's pain…stop. Repeat a few times per day. Go to Grade II Treatment.
  • Grade II: (Week 1-2) No climbing Warm the hands by use of a bath or an electric blanket, then squeeze the red putty. Don't push it, if there's pain…stop. Repeat a few times per day. Lubricate and lightly massage at the site of the injury. (Week 3-6) Tape the injured finger, stretch your forearms (this relieves the stress on the finger tendons) and climb thebiggest holds you can find. Start easy, this will be the quickest way to recovery. If you climb too hard, too fast, then return to the start of Grade 2 and do not collect $200. Always stretch your forearms after warming up and prior to climbing. Start squeezing the medium to firm putty. Lubricate and massage the finger at the site of the injury a couple of times/day. Start lightly and gradually increase the intensity using very short strokes on the injured site. Go to Grade I Treatment
  • Grade I (Week 1) Tape the injured finger and continue to climb at a level well below your normal level. Gradually increase the stresses on the fingers. Stretch your forearms after warming up and prior to climbing. This relieves the stress on the finger tendons. Squeeze the medium to firm putty a few times per day. Lubricate and massage the finger at the site of the injury. Start light and gradually increase intensity. Very short strokes on the injured site. Expected outcome Take advice from a practitioner who specializes in climbing. However, if treated early and effectively, with an appropriately graded return to activity, recovery will usually take 3-8 weeks. However, if the injury is pushed beyond its stage of recovery, re-injury will occur and may result in a chronic injury that will require a much more protracted rehabilitation period.

The best way to recover from a finger injury is to avoid getting hurt in the first place. Here are a few rules to live by:

  • Always warm up on easy climbs. Don't jump straight onto the hardest thing you can get up. 
  • Stretch your fingers. 
  • Don't overtrain. If you are climbing hard then you should probably avoid climbing every day. Strong sport climbers will often climb every other day. 
  • Stretch your fingers again. 
  • Massage your forearms between burns. 
  • Stretch your fingers more.

Sooner or later my finger will heal up and when it does I'll train more consciously. The hangboard definitely requires a bit more care. The last thing I need is another finger injury to crimp my crimping style!

--Jason D. Martin