Thursday, February 28, 2013

Aerial Footage of Ice Climbing in Iceland

A really well put together short video that features aerial footage from Iceland. I know that the folks over at have started trying to do similar things, they did a presentation at the Smuggler's Notch Ice Batch last month that was pretty sweet.

As I've mentioned in the past, I think this is going to open up a whole new world of climbing videos. The perspective it brings is really amazing. Frankly, I'm super excited about it.

Iceland -Ice Climbing Aerial Reel from Chad Copeland on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Witness the Fitness- V15 Chris Sharma

A pretty incredible route. I'm definitely focused on more wintery routes right now, but I couldn't pass this by. First ascent was back in 2005 but I'm guessing you'll feel that it's older based on the music...

Monday, January 14, 2013

Have An Ice Day

A nice little video from Patagonia. Steve House and Vince Anderson on some of their favorite ice and mixed routes in Ouray, Colorado.

Have An Ice Day from Patagonia on Vimeo.

Live Your Dream- Smith Rock

Each year the American Alpine Club gives away thousands of dollars to climbers just like you and me to 'live your dream.'

This is just one example of why I think the AAC is an amazing organization. If you're a climber, and not a member, you should join!

Here is a link to the page where you can see the winners of the grant and download an application.

Enjoy this video from one of the recent winners about his trip to smith rock. It's shot well and does a great job telling the climber's story.

Live Your Dream Smith Rock from kevin ziechmann on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Drone captures incredible mountain footage- Trango Tower, Pakistan

This is a must see.

I think that drone technology is going to completely revolutionize mountain cinematography. The shots from this sample footage are absolutely stunning, like nothing I've ever seen. Enjoy!

Mammut 150 Years Peak Project: Trango Tower, Pakistan (6286m / 20,623ft) - RC Helicopter Sample Footage from Corey Rich on Vimeo.

Short Bio of Jimmy Chin

A short film about professional climber and photographer Jimmy Chin.
A Video Profile of Photographer Jimmy Chin from Evan Swinehart on Vimeo.

Follow-up on Wolverine W11 question

This article from Planet Mountain does a good job of explaining why the route was rated WI11. Video posted again below.

Wolverine and the first WI 11 in the history of ice climbing

10.01.2013 by Planetmountain

A brief analysis of the new grade WI 11, put forward for the first time in February 2012 by Klemen Premrl and Tim Emmett after having freed the single pitch ice climb Wolverine at the Helmcken Falls (Canada).

The first time we heard about the Helmcken Falls in Canada was at the start of 2010 when an incredibly motivated Will Gadd told us " I'm just back home after climbing the coolest ice I've ever seen or climbed, anywhere in the world." Seeing that they came from one of the world’s premier ice climbers, these words couldn’t fall on deaf ears and in the interview that followed Gadd explained in detail all the novelties, talked about that enormous overhang climbed ground-up and protected with bolts and he also told us about the improbable spray ice which formed thanks to the nearby waterfall in drips, mushroom and other bizarre blobs of ice.
This new "ice arena" immediately enabled Gadd and his British climbing partner Tim Emmettto do something they’d never done before: climb ultra-steep terrain with ice axes and crampons, not up rock like in drytooling, but on pure ice. A playground which was so new that it defied comparisons, so different that even the difficulties of the routes were immediately "important": WI 10. WI 10? Yes a grade which wasn’t merely completely new, it was also an enormous leap from the maximum difficulties which, up to then, had been in the region of WI 7+ of which there were only a few rare examples worldwide. The logic behind this grading was that these new routes weren’t necessarily more dangerous than others, on the contrary, but they were "merely" more difficult physically. And, to a certain degree, comparable in terms of difficulty therefore to an M10 mixed or drytooling route, though completely on ice. Hence the grade WI 10.
Two years after this "discovery”, in February 2012, Tim Emmett and Slovenia’s Klemen Premrlmanaged to free Spray On... Top!, 230m with difficulties up to WI 10, M10+ which translated into one of the world’s most overhanging multi-pitch ice climbs. The Britain was so enthused about the ascent that he described Spray On as "the most outrageous climb of my life" and the cave as "the future, for those that want to adventure into it…" Before venturing out of it though, Emmett and Premrl also freed Wolverine, a single pitch climb so difficult as to merit the grade WI 11. The hardest ice climb in the world? Possibly… and this is why we wanted to find out more directly from highly talented Klemen Premrl, currently the only person to have climbed both WI 11 and WI 7+ ice!

WOLVERINE and W11 by Klemen Premrl

As far as I know, there are no WI8 or WI9 routes out there, but I might be mistaken. In truth I can’t really compare Wolverine to Leichtfried’s Centercourt WI 7+ or Gadd’s Second Choice WI 7+, or for that matter any other ice route that I’ve climbed so far. Wolverine is simply so different and much, much harder. You can only compare it to Spray on WI10. And you can also compare the difficulty of Wolverine to other mixed routes in the range of M 11.

The climbing style is closer to that of mixed routes, but this certainly doesn’t make Wolverine a mixed route, it is still a proper ice climb. It’s protected by bolts and this removes some of the seriousness of the climbing, but you still climb ice and this, at least to me, makes it an ice climb. Every single move or placement is on ice, so the most obvious thing is to choose ice grading system (WI). Grade 11 is a bit controversial, that is true, but Wolverine is physically much harder than any other ice route I’ve climbed so far!

In short: Wolverine is bolted route, graded WI 11. Which means that the route is an ice climb, protected by bolts, and that the climbing will most probably feel harder than Spray on, and as hard as some M11 routes... that’s all there is to it! You can only climb a route, not a grade. Will Gadd summarized it all perfectly: "At the end we always come to one simple point: They are what they are, and if you are up to the challenge you will do it, and if you are not, you will fall off, and that is enough for me."

A few weeks climbing with Ueli Steck...

An interview with Ueli and some nice clips of him climbing.

Best quote from Ueli- "There is a lot more about Ueli Steck than just speed soloing."

A few weeks climbing with Ueli Steck... from Jonathan Griffith on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Free Solo of Zombie Roof 5.12d Squamish

Nice historical look on a hard roof in Squamish first climbed by Peter Croft and then Will Stanhope's freesolo of the climb. I really enjoyed the way this was shot and put together; wish there were more videos like this.

Zombie Roof from Pearson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tips for dealing with cold hands while ice climbing

I recently had some of the worst screaming barfies I've ever had while ice climbing in Crawford Notch, NH.

This video has some good exercises to help keep your hands warm.