Rock and Ice

Rock and Ice

Genesis: Our First Pro Comp Was the Most Conflicted

Now. It’s really happening. Snowbird, Utah, June 11-12, 1988. The first International Sport Climbing Championship: a whole new world in the United States. There had never been a big-scale international comp on these shores. A few regional bouldering comps, yes. This was different, a turning point—and a flash point. anklin,...
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Weekend Whipper: Skipped Clip, Long Whip

This one comes from Chris Loh, during a burn on a 5.13a called Pride, at Echo Cliffs, in Los Angeles Basin. “This was my 3rd attempt,” Loh told Rock and Ice. “The 9th bolt was difficult for me to clip and since the fall was safe I chose to skip it. This was the first (and only) time I took that fall. It felt really slippery that day and my feet were constantly coming off. The rope got behind my leg when my foot cut on the easy section up top which twisted me sideways as I let go of the right hand side pull. It was a heart break since there were only 3 more moves to the top. I sent the next day on my 6th attempt.”
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Mobility and Flexibility

Everyone knows the type: that dude who’s so obscenely strong he can do one-arm pull-ups and campus wearing a 20-pound weight vest. “I’m surprised he doesn’t climb harder,” someone says—again. How many times at the gym have we heard this banter? Today we see mutants cloned en masse, yet in...
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Three Storms on Mount Bradley

A storm bashed against the pillar of rock and ice projecting from the South Face of Mount Bradley in Alaska, a barrage of snow in its swirling gusts. Mark and I dove into our tent, placed on the only ledge we’d found for hundreds of feet. We had planned to spend a single night on the route. This was our third. We were 3,000 feet up, with 1,000 feet of climbing still to go.

Salat Al Zuhr: Parkinson’s Disease, Allah, and Cathedral Peak

Truth is, I won’t know the pain, or the tension, or the fear that grips him. I can’t know the exact discomfort either; my cells don’t shake the way his do. But I do know there is a safety, both in the brokenness and in beauty. I jumped ahead and scurried up that last lead, confident that while he might have felt at his worst, he was in a good place, after all. At the first ledge, thirty feet up, I looked back at him and did my best to summon the morale booster. “That shit I said about leaning into the pain experience when it takes over the beauty. You’re right there now, my friend. Sweetest spot on earth.”
Rock and Ice

Members Have More Fun

Here at Rock and Ice, we’ve always envied the masterful writing, photography, and movie-making that Outside magazine and Outside TV produce year after year after year. But our jealousy just evaporated, because we’re now all part of the same family. That’s because our parent company, Pocket Outdoor Media (POM), has acquired these iconic brands, along with Gaia GPS (the leading mobile mapping application for backcountry adventure), athleteReg (one of the world’s largest event registration services), and Peloton magazine (the highly respected cycling publication).
Rock and Ice

Jack Tackle: What I’ve Learned

My first expedition was to Mt. Waddington in 1975. We failed miserably. I went back in 1977 with Ken Currens, and we did three other new routes in the area and a new variation on the South Face of Waddington. It was the first time it had been climbed since Fred Beckey and his brother in 1942. Failing before getting up something—it became a theme in my climbing career. I learned how to transform failure into success.
Rock and Ice

Lonnie Dupre Heading North for Fifth Attempt on Begguya (Mt. Hunter)

Lonnie Dupre leaves February 25 for Alaska, to embark on his fifth attempt to summit Begguya (Mt. Hunter, 14,573 feet), in the Alaska Range. “Begguya” means “child” [of Denali] in the native Tanaina language, and is a notoriously difficult peak. It has yet to see a solo winter ascent. Aside from Dupre’s handful of attempts on Begguya, famed Japanese cold man Masatoshi Kuriaki (“The Japanese Caribou”) has made nearly a dozen solo winter attempts himself.
Rock and Ice

Weekend Whipper: Rope Management Gone Wrong

This uncomfortable-looking fall comes from Mike Klein. He took it out in in Enchanted Rock, Texas, where he has been exploring the potential for traditionally protected face climbs, or “Texas Gritstone!” as he calls it. “Last March I started this most recent project,” Klein told Rock and Ice. “You climb...

The Man Behind Merlin Rock Gear

Perched on a hilltop overlooking the San Francisco Bay, Erick Davidson churns out another small batch of handmade climbing cams. It is here, in his two-car garage, where the planning, designing, and production of Merlin Rock Gear takes place. In the living room below, his wife is scrolling through a climbing forum, uncovering requests for their homemade climbing gear. Silently stalking nearby is their cat Merlin—the face of the company.

Tenzing Norgay Biography to Become Netflix Film

Tenzing: Hero of Everest, will soon get the Hollywood treatment as a Netflix adaptation. The book documents the life of the Sherpa mountaineer who made the first ascent of Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. Douglas, a longtime Rock and Ice contributor, is a well-known British climbing writer who...
Rock and Ice

Under the Big Mountain

Chilean climbers Juan Pablo “JP” Mohr and Lucho Birkner went to the Khumbu Valley searching for perfects rocks and a school where they could work with the local Sherpa community. (JP Mohr disappeared on K2 earlier this month.) They build a climbing wall in the school, bolt a sport climbing...

Viagra: The Hidden Mountain Medicine?

Yes, you read that headline right: Viagra. A German study published nearly two decades ago in Annals of Internal Medicine found that the little blue pill had remarkable impact mitigating the effects of hypoxia (lack of oxygen) for mountaineers and trekkers on Everest. Hypoxia is the condition which causes altitude...

Winners of the 2021 GRIT&ROCK First Ascent Grants Announced

A UK-based charity, established an annual international expedition grant award to promote female first ascents. The aims of the GRIT&ROCK Expedition Award are to encourage female participation in pioneering alpine ascents and to further the understanding and exploration of the unclimbed peaks. The Award is open to individuals and climbing teams of any nationality with a majority female participation.

Interview: Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll on the Solo First Ascent of “The Moonwalk,” a.k.a. the Reverse Fitz Traverse

After six days of climbing in which he navigated a five-kilometer gendarme-filled ridge-line and tagged every major summit (and some more minor ones) along the way—requiring over 4,000 meters of technical climbing—Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll was still ready for more. “I would have kept going if there was more,” Villanueva O’Driscoll...

Seb Bouin Takes On Fred Rouhling’s Unrepeatable 9a’s

In the fourth episode of The Vintage Rock Tour, Seb Bouin takes on the classic crag of Les Eaux Claires, on the west coast of France. Famous for its trio of Fred Rouhling 9a’s—Akira, Hugh and De L’ Autre Côté du Ciel—Seb’s mission to repeat all three is a tricky one, and he must use all his experience and focus to work out a solution for each route.

Live Your Dream Grant Applications Open Through February 28!

The Live Your Dream grant, powered by The North Face (TNF), was founded on the belief that our definitions of exploration and our goals are unique to each of us. Meaningful exploration isn’t limited to the highest peaks in the farthest reaches of the world. Your local gym, crag, and backyard mountains are equally important resources to help stoke inspiration for adventure. When we search out new experiences, overcome obstacles, and connect with each other, through exploration, we change ourselves.

Weekend Whipper: “Jordan Express” (5.13d), Jordan

Nothing crazy this week, but a nice solid whip from someplace other than the Red River Gorge, where it seems like 99% of our whipper submissions come from 🙄. Marwan Maayta takes a whip on Jordan Express (8b/5.13d). It is at a crag called Iraq al-Damaj, in the governorate of Ajloun, in the north or Jordan. Louis Villareal is on belay.