Active Interest Media


Active Interest Media

category_outlined / Travel & Outdoor


February/March 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
Active Interest Media
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6 Issues


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the ultimate teacher

BENOÎT LAVIGUEUR, A CLIMBING ACADEMY STUDENT, SHARES BETA WITH TEACHER CHEYENNE STIRLING, KALYMNOS, GREECE. (PHOTO BY JULIE ELLISON)The mountains are my cathedrals. Climbing is my spirituality. The rock is the ultimate teacher. As climbers, we tend to repeat these and other aphorisms—notions that the rock is more than just the rock, and that climbing is more than just climbing. While these sayings might help us rationalize the often-unbalanced lives we lead (can you think of many other sports that require you to be gone all day or even for weeks on end?), they are mere truisms that only hint at our deep connection to climbing and the amazing ways it makes us grow. But that, as words so often do, fail to fully capture the experience.However, what if we put…

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GYM TO CRAGIn response to Unsent: The Ultimate Belay Test []: Gyms are producing more and more uneducated climbers, especially in sport climbing. The processes gyms have to go through to certify people may deflate your ego, but just because you’re already skilled with the fundamentals doesn’t mean the gym staff knows that.Instead of writing satire, maybe write an article that explains the importance of the fundamentals and how to make the connection between indoor and outdoor climbing.DAN DELANY, VIA FACEBOOKBEFORE I WAS A CLIMBER, IIn response to the Ed Letter, No. 363 [ 363]: So who was I before I was a climber? Someone who almost lost her life to PTSD and the aftermath of suicide. To this day, I still ride my Harley (I recently took a 1,400-plus-mile…

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epic trainings

Running laps on the crack machine to get ready for next summer at Vedauwoo!PABLO FANCKDon’t leave your hops at the brewery—box jumps are for champions!SEYMORE MUSCLESThis was an aid traverse near Phoenix, Arizona, that we created specifically for the purpose of training.DAMIAN NOEAntagonist training at Coral Cliffs, Fort Lauderdale, Florida—hitting a PR of 5 reps with 55 pounds.BRYAN COIFFMANStepping up to 16-ounce curls this month #trainingbeastmodeEPC.BENJAMIN KULPINSKIWe video our sessions so we can see moves in slow motion and track progress. Here, we’re training for speed nationals.MARIANNE VAN DER STEEN ■…

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THE BIG QUESTIONWhat climbing goal are you training for this winter season?*44%FOR 5.13C, V12, VI 5.12, E10, 7C+, OR SOME OTHER BREAKTHROUGH GRADE.34%FOR GENERAL FITNESS AND THE ABILITY TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR, MAKE A FINGER GUN, AND GO “PEW!”18%TO SEND BABYFACE, NIAD, DARKNESS AT NOON, OR ANOTHER SPECIFIC BOULDER PROBLEM OR ROUTE.4%A JAZZERCISE COMPETITION WHERE THE PERSON WITH THE HIGHEST KICKS GETS A MEDAL FOR TRAINING FOR THE ULTIMATE TRAINING DAY.*Based on 112 responses2018 was a breakthrough year for me. I sent my first V10, Pansy Tank in Tuolumne Meadows. My husband and I built a MoonBoard/training shed that contributed to my success. This winter, I’m hoping to send Beefcake (V10) in Bishop as well as a benchmark V6 on the MoonBoard.REBECCA TAGGARTWe just had our first kid, a…

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“Father Time demands many different styles, from technical slab to bouldering power to endurance laybacking to dihedral wizardry,” says Nina Williams, who in November 2018 made a rare repeat of the 20-pitch 5.13b on Middle Cathedral Rock, Yosemite. “The only thing missing is offwidths, which I’m not complaining about.” Williams and Katie Lambert first tried the 2014 Mikey Schaefer line in spring 2018; it follows 1,100 feet of 5.10-to-5.12 low-angle face—like that on P6 (5.12), shown here—to a bivy ledge. Above, two ropelengths lead to the 300-foot headwall, with its three 5.13b pitches: the “Boulder Problem,” the “Athletic 12c,” and the “Index 11d” (see cover). Above, five more pitches, including two 5.12s, lead to the summit. This autumn, the pair worked the headwall, then began climbing from the ground after…

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science friction

“It’s greasy,” we say on hot days when the holds feel like soap and our feet ooze down the rock. But while it’s easy to blame the stone, the fault actually lies in our own physiology—on those smarmy days, we lack friction. To find ideal conditions and increase our chances of sending, we first need to understand how we stick to the rock.On a microscopic level, friction works when two objects rub against each other. This is quantified by the coefficient of friction, which measures the force needed to slide one surface over another divided by the pressure between the two surfaces. In the case of climbing, it’s the rock’s rugosities—the tiny edges and wrinkles—catching our hands and feet that create friction. Slippery surfaces, like polished marble, have few edges…