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Posts Tagged ‘rock climbing’
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 …
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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…