Posts Tagged ‘rock climbing’

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We’re moving to our new domain!!!

July 9, 2009

So exciting, we have finally matured from a blog to a website! I feel so grown-up! Please don’t desert us, follow this link and we’ll continue where we left off…

www.xtremesport4u.com

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From one extreme to another in the rock climbing world…

July 4, 2009

Funny video this from SaasssLove, though my heart goes out to poor Steve!

And from one extreme to another:

If you can’t be out there doing it this weekend, dream of going to Tuscany to climb and indulge yourself in watching this video from robiclimb1. No need to shout “move that right foot Steve!”

Have a good weekend …

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Maple Canyon – a unique rock climbing area in Utah

July 2, 2009

Summer is well and truly here, so if you’re a rock climber and looking for somewhere to go, we highly recommend Maple Canyon in Central Utah. It is one of the nation’s most unique rock climbing areas and offers some truly spectacular, and spectacularly extreme, rock climbing.

Maple Canyon Entrance

With 140 bolted routes, this is a climber’s mecca. The routes are easily accessed from the road or various hiking trails, and range between 5.4 – 5.14c (Yosemite decimal system) in degree of difficulty.  A 60 m rope and 16 draws will be plenty for the area. A guide book is available though sometimes difficult to find.

The walls range from less then ten feet high to hundreds of feet, and for those more advanced climbers there are several large over hangs. Something for everyone.

This canyon is rated one of the top locations in the world for rock climbing.

You always know that a place must be pretty special when climbers from around the world come to test their skills there. But it’s not only the best of the best who climb at Maple Canyon… on any given weekend climbers of all abilities, ranging from novice to expert, can be seen testing their skills.

The rock in Maple Canyon is unique. The cliffs are embedded with thousands of  cobblestones, or rounded rocks,  ranging from the size of a pingpong ball to that of a watermelon. Every cobble will be a different hold and you never know whether it’ll be a crimp, a sloper or a sinker jug. The choice with every move is vast and you will have to feel several cobbles before making your decision. You will require endurance.

If you’re confused about my description of the canyon walls, watch this video from toddhambone, which couldn’t give you a more clear idea of the uniqueness of this rock.

And if you’ve had your fill of climbing for the day, you can always do some bushwacking,  but be careful, these mountains are also filled with Mountain Lion – and remember this is their territory not yours!

The US Forest Service operates a small campground within the canyon. The amenities are basic and include pit toilets, picnic tables and campfire rings. There are 13 sites for tents or small trailers (no pull-through sites) and they fill up quickly on the weekends in the summer months. The sites are generally well shaded and against the canyon walls. All sites are within walking distance to the climbing areas.

For all you rock climbers who fancy something a little different and a little extreme, this is the place…

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Nissan Outdoor Extreme Games 2009

June 30, 2009

We normally keep a close eye on the Nissan Extreme Games, but were obviously so busy writing on other things that Interlaken 2009 slipped by with no comment from us for which we apologise. However, it’s never too late to make up for past omissions and  show you the high quality of both competitors and film producers… following this teaser from  OutdoorGamesTV.

Nissan have been innovative in the extreme sports world and were the first to realise that an original event concept was needed in this growing sector of the market.

Because extreme sports have become more and more fashionable over the past few years, the event organisers came up with a concept like no other – 5 teams, 5 sports and a 5-minute film.

The task for the five teams is challenging: to produce a five-minute short film in seven days including five outdoor sports in the Interlaken region.

Rather than pushing the limits in outdoor sports, the Nissan Outdoor Games again reveals that certain subjects can be addressed within a sports film. The themes represented in the 2009 films go from the meaning of life and death, profound feelings as well as harmony with nature.

Extreme sports challenges have been taking place in Interlaken now for 5 years. The Games are an important event for adventure sports and film making. For a week, the best kayakers, mountain-bikers, climbers, paragliders and base jumpers combine with film makers and photographers to share their adventure in the mountains and to battle  it out for prize money of Swiss Francs 70,000.

Jean-Pierre Diernaz, General Manager of Nissan’s Marketing Communications in Europe, says The Nissan Outdoor Games allow athletes to express themselves in the most awe-inspiring way, whilst thrilling the public by capturing their exploits in a five minute film. Nissan is once again proud to be supporting the Outdoor Games and together we are working to increase participation in an active outdoor lifestyle and a sustainable engagement with the natural environment.

Enjoy these incredible hang gliding sequences filmed by Austrian film team ‘Argon’ (orleyflo)

Marvel at Anthony Green’s 10-second death defying  misting by the falls (acrotwinz).

Enjoy Swiss Team, NBFlyer’s, film for which they received the Jury’s Special Award as well as the Best Sports Sequence for its climbing scene with Cyril Albasini. (OutdoorGamesTV)

And we end with the winning film from Team Golgoht of Finland who received the Golden Peak Award.

The Finn, Petri Kovalainen from the Golgoht team, won the Best Photographer award as well as the Game of Light Award by Julbo.

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As extreme sports and extreme vacations go – Chatel has it all

June 16, 2009

Instead of talking about one extreme sport today, I am going to wax lyrical on an area which supplies just about everything you could possibly want to do on an active summer holiday (we’ve already covered this region for the winter season) – Chatel in the Haute Alpes.

In the whitewater sports they offer canoeing (two-strong team), canyoning (jumping, sliding, daredevil abseiling), hydrospeed or whitewater bodysurfing (a slippery, fast, exhilarating experience), rafting (a 7km ride down the Dranse) and kayaking.

Then there’s bobluging… a 650m descent with 7 bends, an average speed of 7m/sec – definitely a fun-filled thrilling descent. There’s a chairlift to get you back up to the top. The bobluge is open from 28th June to 31st August – weather permitting, and closed over the lunch hour.

And then of course there’s the ubiquitous mountain biking.

The Portes du Soleil has around 650 km of marked mountain bike trails and seemingly endless single track to explore. Using the 24+ lifts that are adapted to carry bikes in the summer,  you have access, from Chatel,  to almost every resort in the Portes Du Soleil including Morzine, Les Gets and the Swiss resorts of Morgins, Champery and Les Crosset – this really is prime mountain biking country and  ideal for mountain biking holidays.

ffredt gives us an idea of what the mountain biking is like:

There are also many downhill mountain biking tracks. Châtel bike park is situated at Pré-la-joux and accessible by Pierre-Longue and Rochassons chair lifts, it consists of 13 trails of all levels of difficulty (including 12 downhill courses) and one “Cross park”.

The 27th and 28th June will see the  PassPortes MTB event celebrating its 6th birthday. More than 20,000 people have now participated in this 80km circuit. The event takes place at an altitude of between 1000 and 2250m and covers resorts in France and in Switzerland discovering the Portes du Soleil area and its fabulous landscapes.

You can check out the link here if you’re interested in taking part yourself:

There’s a second competition on the 3rd, 4th and 6th July called the Chatel Mountain Style contest.  Professional and amateur riders will compete over the 3 days on the 300 metre long “Face” course. 22 Pro Riders from all over the world have already entred the competition.

Climbing:

There is also a good range of climbing routes available in the area.

Plaine Dranse is an excellent place to learn with more than 26 routes, but its the Essert waterfall which will suit our readers I think. You can abseil and canyon at this 250m landmark, with two semi-wet and wet routes and six 30-50m descents. Plus the Pas de Morgins which offers 50 climbing routes of 10m-40m and with a difficulty level of 3 – 7.

Of course there are artificial climbing walls too…

And then there’s the Fantasticable…

This is for the thrill seekers, the  adrenaline junkies of this world. Dizzying speeds and astonishing heights in a ride that is unique in the Alps. Safely harnessed you can fly over the Plaine Dranse hamlet at nearly 100kph, 240m up. The length of the first run is 1,200m and the second one is 1,325 and participants must be no less than 35kg and no more than 120kg.

Watch TheBukakeMaster experience the Fantasticable. I love the superman music and the euphoric laughter!

And, of course, paragliding where you can go for a first tandem flight with a professional.

As adventure holidays go, or an extreme vacation for that matter, what more could you possibly want? Discos?  Well of course they have that too: Le Sloopy, to name but one, and to add to the fun they have theme nights throughout the season…
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A man who sets himself one challenge after another against extraodinary odds, to raise money to help others…

June 8, 2009

You might have heard of Major Phil Packer… the man who was paralysed in February last year when the vehicle he was in was hit by a rocket in Iraq. He suffered broken ribs and a crushed lower spine. He was the man who was told he would never walk again and yet he finished the London marathon, albeit painfully slowly, but remember – 18 months before the doctors said he would never get out of a wheelchair.

We like talking about extreme personalities and this is one man who is definitely worth a mention or two. Thanks to AffiliAid for this introductory video:

Phil Packer says: “From the original prognosis that I would never walk again, I have been very lucky and my injuries have improved. I set out to raise £1million by completing a number of challenges including 3 Main Events; Rowing the Channel, walking the London Marathon, and pulling myself up a Mountain. El Capitan is the last event before I concentrate on providing opportunities for people with disabilities and raising the profile of disability sports. I will travel to the USA during the first two weeks in June and with the expertise & support of Andy Kirkpatrick, Ian Parnell and Paul Tatersal, will pull myself up 1800ft in 3 days”.

A quick excerpt of Maj. Phil Packer completing the London Marathon (6MadeInEngland9):

and how he has successfully got others involved in his charity efforts (AffiliAid)

Packer started his 1,800 ft climb up the sheer rock face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park yesterday, 8th June.

His ascent of El Cap. is being attempted despite the fact that he was told he would never walk again.

Major Packer, who lives in Westminster, London, has said the three-day climb will be his final fundraising campaign before concentrating his efforts on promoting opportunities for disabled people.

Climbing a  rock face would be a challenge most of us would balk at but with a characteristic display of courage over disability, Major Packer is determined to conquer the face that many able-bodied people have failed to do.

Pulling yourself up with your arms (the equivalent of doing more than 4,000 push-ups) is a painfully slow way to scale a rock face and though he’s in constant pain since the rocket attack last year, it’s not enough to discourage him from taking up this challenge.

He wants to prove that his disability is no bar to rock climbing even though he’s no fan of its dizzying heights.

Unseasonable rain over the Yosemite Valley won’t make his task any easier though experience suggests this trifling inconvenience  won’t interrupt his attempt.

He and his team are climbing to support ‘Help for Heroes’ and to raise awareness of Disabled Climbing Opportunites.

El Capitan Pic

Packer’s live update of his climb states: “Great day, currently at 250 meters. Very tough, arms are tired, but every pull up is one pull up nearer the top. Passed Pitch 6 out of 16. Sleeping on a portaledge tonight.”

Having attempted and completed a marathon, kayaked, sky-dived with the Red Devils and accepted El Cap’s challenge,  Major Phil Packer is, in our opinion, the perfect candidate as one of our extreme sports personalities.

To find out more about him, or if you would like to contribute to his fund-raising efforts, please go to: www.philpacker.com

His is a noble cause and I will keep you posted on the climb…

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Some useful tips on belaying

May 11, 2009

The other day I did an article on stupid mistakes to avoid when abseiling – today it’s belaying’s turn… With extreme sports such as rock climbing, there are so many things that can go wrong, so it is worth reminding oneself from time to time of some of the basic most logical rules which are all too easy to forget, or neglect to do, in your haste to get up there.

This article will be a bit like teaching your grandmother to suck eggs to some of you, but bear with me… it never hurts to be reminded of a thing or two.

Belaying is, of course, the technique of controlling the rope so that a falling climber does not fall very far. The term belay is also used to mean the place where the belayer is anchored; this would typically be a ledge, but may instead be a hanging belay, where the belayer is suspended from anchors in the rock. Control of the rope is achieved through applying friction, which allows control of the speed at which the rope slides past the belayer.

It is one of the most important of the climbing skills and is absolutely essential to all climbers.

So, enough about what belaying actually is. What are the mistakes to avoid?

  • Always pay attention to your climbing partner, and I mean ALWAYS
  • Always double check your harness buckles are double passed
  • Check the tie-in knot is properly tied
  • Check the belay device is properly rigged
  • Check that the locking carabiner is locked
  • Check the anchor set-up and tie-ins are rigged correctly
  • Check that the free end of the rope is knotted or tied into the belayer
  • NEVER take your brake hand off the rope – and don’t hold any other strand other than the brake strand in your brake hand. Thanks to teachmetoclimb for this video.
  • Always keep the rope taut when belaying someone – do not let it pass through the belay device while lowering someone. Tie a stopper knot in the end, or even better, get your belayer to tie in to the end.
  • Get acknowledgement before taking someone off belay. Don’t rush into things. Always get confirmation when taking someone off belay or committing to being lowered.
  • Stand close to the cliff when belaying. Put a helmet on if you’re worried about rock fall. If you are belaying from too far out from the cliff the leader could be slammed into the wall during a fall.
  • Forcing your panicked leader to take a fall because, down at the belay, you allowed a knot to creep into the slack rope. Flake the rope out before beginning belay duty, even if it looks neatly coiled.
  • Getting hit by loose rock or items dropped by your leader. Wear a helmet. Even something as simple as the movement of the rope above you can cause loose rock to come crashing down.

Then of course, there are the terms that are used between the leader and belayer, thank you to expertvillage for their simple but excellent short video.

Remember: “a bad anchor is a dead climber”. That’s a saying worth remembering wouldn’t you say?! And another thing worth remembering is that learning to belay is one of the most fundamental links to successful climbing, so learn it well, learn it right, and never never rush it.