Showing posts with label Rock Climbing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rock Climbing. Show all posts

Friday, August 19, 2016

Vancouver Rock Climbing

The new guidebook...
Squamish is rightfully known as a world-class rock climbing destination, and climbers flock to the area throughout the summer months, but what many visitors fail to realize is there's plenty of interesting climbing just down the road in Vancouver, the coastal city passed through on route to their holiday destination. In fact, Vancouver has a long tradition of rock climbing and mountaineering, starting with the formation of the British Columbia Mountaineering Club (BCMC) in 1907. This was many decades before a coastal highway was built to Squamish, so enthusiasts living in the city naturally turned their attention to Vancouver's North Shore Mountains. In the century since, an interesting story of mountain exploration and climbing development has been written into this range and our newest guidebook, Vancouver Rock Climbing by Quickdraw Publications, now provides climbers with an excellent resource for exploring the "Shore's" varied terrain. Read on...

Monday, January 25, 2016

An Impossible Dream Realized: Becoming an AMGA Rock Guide

Climbing trip to Les Calanques in 2004. From left to right, Chad, Mathieu, and Erin.
Photo by Matthew Smith.
Sitting on the couch with my old Dell laptop, I remember scrolling through the lengthy American Mountain Guide Association's prerequisites on their website back in my college apartment in Bellingham, WA. I knew I could get through the ski guiding discipline with some work, but glancing at the rock guiding discipline made me unsure whether this was a possibility for me. To complete the program, one needs to have completed over 130 prerequisite climbs, 26 days of course and examination, guide routes up to grade V, and be confident leading 5.10+/A2 (sport and traditional). This list was intimidating to me as I had done very little climbing up to this point, and most was following my friends up routes.

Friday, September 18, 2015

I'm on a boat: Lofoten to Kalymnos

Heading towards Grunnfjorden on the Skydancer.
Growing up in Seattle, I became accustomed to the mountains and water surrounding me at all times. Having proximity to both allowed me to explore and fall in love with some of our Earth's great elements, sometimes both in a single day. The mountains provided inspiration and motivation, while the water always gave me a calming emotion that I came to require.

Over the past few months, I have been lucky enough to visit other places around the globe that provide a similar, and even closer distance from the mountains to the sea.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Mt. Hooker and the Jaded Lady

Well up here in Montana winter has come early and my autumn plans for rock climbing have been cut short.  Very frustrating but as the saying goes..... "it is what it is".  This got me thinking about my rock climbing trip to the Wind Rivers back in August.  With the crummy weather a perfect opportunity to share.

Mount Hooker had been on my hit list for years.  It has a massive north facing wall that rises 2000 feet off the valley floor.  It has a long history that starts with the first ascent in 1964, making it Americas first wilderness Grade VI.   It's a 15 mile approach to get to the wall so it requires a bit of logistics especially if you plan on spending some time.  I planed for a two week trip with Josh Wharton and John Dickey. We hired an outfitter to pack our loads as far as they could.  It was helpful but we still had to do a double carry from the drop site up and over Hailey Pass to set up for the week in our base camp. 
Recon on our first objective, a new route on this east facing wall off the shoulder of Mt. Hooker.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Rock Rider Climbing Helmet Review

The climbing helmet, one of the most important pieces of equipment a climber can own.  Why do so many not wear them on a regular basis?

Opening a new 1000 foot rock climb with my Rock Rider Helmet on!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Training for Climbing

Hello again, friends!

In the last few years, I've become a bit of a training nerd. I started climbing in 1999, and spent the majority of my first 12 years injured. (Literally!) I always just assumed that I was injury prone, and there was little I could do about it. However, in the summer of 2011, I happened to spend a month with a good climbing friend and avid trainer. Tired of too much couch time and a severe plateau in ability, I embarked on my first true, climbing-related training plan that summer.

Having trained regularly ever since, I cannot promote it enough! Since that time, I've had very few (and no serious) climbing injuries. As such, I've been able to climb without interruption (even if just indoors) for nearly two years, and I've actually been able to improve at climbing--if only because I haven't constantly been healing or trying to get back in shape.

Many people want to train for rock climbing--for many reasons--but don't really know how. And though I don't claim to be an expert, I've been burying my head in nutrition and (strength) training books during the last few years, and have a definite idea of how the body works with respect to training, nutrition and rest. I also see that many climbers' training plans and theories are quite antithetical to the doctrines of modern sports science.

As such, I've begun writing training articles for a new climbing gym supply company's website. All articles are based on the information from well-researched, published works, and are adapted to climbing. If you're curious, feel free to take a gander! I've only written a few articles to date, but I'll continue to generate more on a fairly regular basis.

Take care!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Little of this, little of that

Here’s to a fantastic fall season.  Lots of office time and a busted up ankle slowed things down a bit this summer but September and October have been busy and Burlington seems to be in just the right spot to get around.  Perfect days climbing on the fine schist of Vermont and New Hampshire, splitter cracks of the Adirondacks, and jug hullin’ at Shagg Crag in Maine.  Haha, and even some wet days in Quebec getting ready for the ice. 
Summer 2012...Jones

Me, Ethan and Jeremy climbing a couple of my favorite Rumney Pitches
Flying Monkey 12c

Dynosoar 13a
New wind power from the Orange Crush ledge, Rumney, NH
Kate on Finger it out 10a  Adirondacks, NY

The road to Shagg Crag, ME
Nice Tooth Link 13a 

I made it out climbing with our East Coast Mammut Rep Tim Augustinowicz.  Tim is a super guy, ex-rock n roll star who has a strong technical clothing background, but is new to the climbing side.  We spent the day playing with the full Mammut arsenal on some local VT routes.
Tim getting after it, Boltsemite VT
A little Tool training in Quebec
Ergocentrique M9+
Beach Muscles on Hysterie M9-
Giant pumpkin head man.  Scary.

Be well all!  Josh Worley, Burlington VT 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Gentleman's Outing

 Three days in Lake Louise, and two mountains.  Above the East Face of Mt. Babel, about 2000 feet of SCARY awesomeness! 
 Nate Opp sending.......oh the rock is so good.  NOT!
 A true "adventure climb" that should not be taken lightly.  It's one of the more serious routes I have ever done 
 Looking down on the glacier fed Consolation Lakes.
 The perfect alpine attack set up: 8.9 serenity and the alpine smart belay device.  ZING POW.
 Nate on the top of Bables, we managed to free the whole route including the 5.11 crux in 8 hours.  I mention it only because of the poor rock quality.  One tends to over grip when the rock is crumbling away around the protection.  Babel was an unforgettable adventure all the way to the summit. 
 Running and gunning.... next up was the less scary but much bigger North Face of Temple Peak, aka the"Eiger of the Rockies."  We launched at 5am, approach shoes, aluminum crampons, one ax each, single set of cams, and one rope. 
 The first three grand went fast.....scrambling and snow climbing to the point where we roped up.  Nate above on the dazzling head wall of the Greenwood-Locke route.
 Max exposure looking down to the scree slopes below.  AMAZING position up there.
The final push though bottomless talus to the summit.  An 8.5 hour ascent from Annette Lake to the summit.
As Nate put it, "Lets go have a gentleman's outing."  Thanks to Nate my eyes have been opened to the potential in the Canadian Rockies.

Whit Magro
Bozeman, MT

Thursday, May 31, 2012

AMGA Rock Instructor Course

Gaining ground in Eldo Canyon
This May I began my tenure as an instructor for the American Mountain Guides Association. It is an honor that my guiding peers deem me fit for this job, and I went into my first course with open eyes. I was teaching a Rock Instructor Course (RIC) which is the preferred entry course for aspiring mountain guides. This course is designed to make sure the students are prepared for future alpine, ski or rock guide courses with the basics of safe guiding. The course has changed a bit since I went through the program some 10 years ago. Many new "tweaks" have been added over the years to create a better, more rounded course. 

Tyrolean Traverse in Boulder Canyon

The course was held in the Boulder area, utilizing Eldorado Canyon, Boulder Canyon and the Flatirons. The weather was perfect, even giving us one rainy day to work on rescue skills. Not too hot or too cold on any given day.

Setting off up the Wind Ri

After a couple days of "ground school" walking through different methods of placing protection, building anchors, rapping, lowering, etc that guides use, it was finally time to hit the rocks. We got in many quality pitches in Eldo Canyon on the Wind Ridge, the Bastille and the West Ridge as well as on Cobb Rock in Boulder Canyon and the classic 1st Flatiron.
Each day the students lead more and more, practicing the guiding techniques they had learned. It was great to watch the progression as they practiced something, got better, then owned it by the end of the course.

Is that a Mammut rope I see?

Being new to the AMGA Instructor Team, I wasn't too sure how the course was going to play out for me. Having been an AIARE avalanche course instructor for many years I am no stranger to the teaching scene, and I have taught many similar rock courses for Western State College over the years, but this was different. Now I had the opportunity to train young guides who are on their way to becoming the most qualified in the profession.  It was a great experience for me, and I am now looking forward to teaching other AMGA guide training courses in the alpine and ski disciplines as well.