Climbing June/July 2019

Climbing offers the entire climbing world: sport, trad, bouldering, walls, ice, alpine and mountains. In each issue we offer the richest stories on the vertical world you'll ever read, with award-winning photography. Climbing has earned its moniker as the journal of record for climbers worldwide.

United States
Pocket Outdoor Media, LLC
US$ 5,99

nesta edição

4 minutos
what makes epics “epic”

My older son was six last year when I first heard him use the word “epic,” to describe a Lego spaceship he wanted. He hadn’t picked it up from me—I’m too old to use the word as an adjective and not sound like a narc. But he’d picked it up somewhere. It’s a good word, it’s been around a while, and it isn’t going anywhere. In the climbing world, its connotations as a noun run deep and provoke an immediate reaction: “Oh, crap, you had an epic? What happened?” Luckily, in my 32 years of climbing, I have never been part of or witness to a fatal epic, but like any climber I’ve had plenty of epic experiences—long days out that quickly went from “Whee!” to “Uh-oh” to “This is bad.”…

2 minutos
science friction

BRAVE, NEW WORLD I just read “Lessons from the Waves” ( If you’ve been climbing even as little as five years, you can’t help but notice that the crag you used to have all to yourself at 3 p.m. on a Friday is now packed. Fortunately, I believe there are things we can all do to help make this transition easier: • Did you get into climbing in that golden age when wherever you showed up, the route you wanted to climb was likely open? Realize that that was a blessing—not something to which you had an intrinsic right. • If you’ve been climbing for years, you’ve surely developed the skill to go out and try new, hard routes you haven’t touched before. Sure, the classics are fun to return to, but you…

1 minutos
your epic moves

Phil Watts uses straight-shafted ice tools and mono-points to do an ice-stem at the Rock River Ice Caves in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, late 1980s. BILL THOMPSON Inching together fingertips to pull through the crux of Captain Aslab (V2), Rumbling Bald, North Carolina. SHAUN WILLOUGHBY All this year, Metolius is giving away a sweet prize to the best Re-Gram photo—check our social channels to enter! This issue, Ross Morrison wins the Upshot, the new standard for belay glasses. Jake Griffiths cuts his feet after climbing out the roof on Bad Moon Rising (5.12a), a rarely repeated and utterly outrageous tradventure in the Blue Mountains, Australia. PHILLIP BOOTH A good sidepull and a low rope-grab make the clip easier on Je T’aime Moi Non Plus (5.11d) at the Chateau, Orpierre, France. SJOERD BUSKER On this move on The Uninvited…

2 minutos
the big question

How do you know when to bail?* You’re moving too slowly, a storm is coming in, and it seems the entire route could slough off the wall at any minute. 64.7% 11.3% Only when one or more members of the team are unconscious and/or have bones poking through their skin, which hinders upward progress. None of the above. Bailing is not an option—ever. You can bail when you’re dead. 14.5% You ran out of gummy bears, a cloud covered the sun, and your chalk block isn’t properly broken up—it’s death by 1,000 cuts. 9.5% You know it’s time to bail when there’s only a certain amount of time left before Chipotle closes. There’s nothing worse than having to go to McDonald’s for dinner instead. BRAD GOBRIGHT I don’t often bail. But if I do, it’s because the weather or conditions wherever…

7 minutos
the trace we leave

Stellar views typically reward climbers who endure seven hours in a harness. But Michael Tessler, a biologist at the American Museum of Natural History, has spent days hovering just feet off the ground. In 2013, while researching the impact of bouldering on rock-associated vegetation for a study (later published in Biological Conservation—in 2016), Tessler dangled or perched on a ladder nose-to-nose with boulder problems at the Shawangunks, New York. With a hand lens, small knife, and hundreds of miniature manila envelopes to transport samples clipped to his harness, he collected plants and lichen at Bonticou, Lost City, White Dot, Waterwork, and other Gunks bouldering sites. “I had to basically measure stuff for hours,” says Tessler, a climber of a decade. “It wasn’t fun.” Tessler and his colleagues later compared the biodiversity…

6 minutos
double standards?

Reinforcement and filing versus chipping and drilling. Scaling away hundreds of pounds of surface choss versus excavating a few ounces of stone to make a climb “go.” Manufacturing one hold to make a climb consistent versus drilling 30 to make a would-be 5.13 into a 5.11. A purist might argue that manufacturing means altering the rock from its natural state—period—while a realist might argue that there are many shades of gray. Chipping has long been a heated topic, brought to the forefront recently by reports of heavily manufactured climbs at a popular Western climbing area. It may seem like the topic is cut-and-dry—“Just don’t do it” and call it good. But, with the recent controversies and increasing popularity of climbing, coupled with the lack of formal definitions around what constitutes “manufacturing,”…