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How to Become an Expert Climber in Five Simple Lessons (Lesson 5)

By Mark Anderson Lesson 5: Proper Practice for Climbers Part 2 If you’ve made it this far, pat yourself on the back! Few have the perseverance to suffer through my pedantic rambling for even one post, let alone 4!  If this is your first lesson you can find Lesson 1 here. In Lesson 4, we…
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How to Become an Expert Climber in Five Simple Lessons (Lesson 4)

Lesson 4: Proper Practice for Climbers Part 1 By Mark Anderson Now that we understand that we all possess tremendous untapped climbing potential, just waiting to be exploited, how can climbers specifically go about unlocking that potential? Ericsson’s work in Peak not only provides tremendous inspiration, but also general frameworks for improvement that can be…
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How to Become an Expert Climber in Five Simple Lessons (Lesson 3)

By Mark Anderson Lesson 3: The First Expert Climber In Lesson 2, we discussed how Anders Ericsson’s findings in Peak apply to athletics in general.  The next question is, to what extent does Ericsson’s work apply to climbing? As discussed in Lesson 2, the vast majority of Ericsson’s research concerns activities I described as “entirely…
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How to Become an Expert Climber in Five Simple Lessons (Lesson 2)

By Mark Anderson Lesson 2: (Almost) Anyone Can Become an Expert Climber When we ended Lesson 1, we were pondering the main theme of Anders Ericsson’s excellent new book Peak: There are no limits*, it’s never too late to start*; You can be anything you want to be* (with the right kind of practice) Ericsson…

Introducing the Vergo by Trango

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCtvZ-9TehA The Vergo is an all-new assisted braking belay device from Trango. We designed the Vergo with ergonomics in mind, meaning that the most comfortable way to use the Vergo is also the safest way. In…

The Vergo Belay Device by Trango

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QITpvF9SIGs&t=6s The all-new Vergo belay device brings new dimensions of safety and ergonomics to belaying. Check www.trango.com/vergo for more information.

Be a Climber

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG37iQsLd0M As climbers we can be known for building up. We can be known for supporting each other. We can be leaders because we are strong. We can be confident, because we’ve seen what we can do. We can be…

My Mom, The Climber

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjYXc7lJOpM Be a climber. It's about more than just pulling hard and pushing past your high point. Our shared passion is a vehicle to pursue what we love and to encourage others as they do the same. This ethos…

0:02 / 1:00 Eastern Offwidths: Big Bros Take on China

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEwDpVO2lNg When you think of climbing in China, limestone sport routes probably come to mind. This spring, Irene Yee and her crew of offwidth aficionados took on some of China's lesser known terrain...offwidths.…

A Day with Pamela Shanti Pack and Devin Fin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiyVynohIPM Where is your happy place? FrictionLabs Pro Pamela Shanti Pack and Athlete Devin Fin found theirs in the heart of the American desert, establishing first ascents amongst the towering sandstone cliffs…

A Day in Vedauwoo with Pamela Shanti Pack

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lq2CMR5OTDI Ever wonder what it's like to climb with an offwidth legend? We spent a day romping around Vedauwoo's storied wide cracks and chatting with Pamela Shanti Pack.

Pamela Shanti-Pack on Hypercrack (5.11x)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmcmH0KuMMw Watch Pamela Shanti-Pack put the #5 Big Bro through the paces on Hypercrack (5.11x) and explain why Big Bros are such an essential piece of gear for offwidth climbing!
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How to Become an Expert Climber in Five Simple Lessons

By Mark Anderson Lesson 1: Anyone Can Be An Expert in Anything* I recently finished reading Peak: Secrets From The New Science of Expertise, by renowned researcher Anders Ericsson (and Robert Pool). Those familiar with The Rock Climber’s Training Manual (RCTM) will recognize Ericsson’s name from our chapter on Skill Development. Ericsson is well-known as…
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2020 Vision

2020 Vision…did you catch my pun?  😉  A little dad joke-ish, but I thought it was fun.  Eyesight jokes aside, however, it’s time for a list of climbing goals for the new year! As always, these goals are subject to change as the rest of the year unfolds.  But looking ahead, this is what I’m aiming for in 2020. FINISH THE 12 WALL AT HAWKSBILL:  There are 3 routes left unsent for me on the 5.12 wall at Middle Hawksbill, and I would love to finish out the wall.  The first one, Manifest Destiny 12b, is  the only one of…Read the rest of this entry →
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2019 Year in Review

As I sat down to write out my climbing goals for 2020, I realized that despite a lot of personal reflection on my 2019 accomplishments, I never really summed things up on the blog, particularly when it came to projects from this past fall.  Even though I stopped writing here long about the time the weather got good, I actually got out a lot this fall, so there’s lots to catch up on! One of my main goals for this year was to establish a firmer grip in the 12+ arena, particularly at the New.  Aside from the stray 13…Read the rest of this entry →
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Whitewater Canyoning in Switzerland — Nala Inferiore

By Mark Anderson The primary motivation for our trip to Switzerland was to visit my friend Rob and his family, who had recently moved to Zurich. I first met Rob in 1999*, on my first day of active duty in the Air Force. We roomed together for several years and shared many crazy adventures and…
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Swiss Sport Climbing Part 2: Off the Beaten Path

By Mark Anderson While I really enjoyed the world-class routes at Lehn and Gimmelwald, I place great value in going to new places. On these whirlwind trips to Europe I try to cover as much ground as possible, so I see virtue in going to a crag I haven’t seen before, even if my research…
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High Wire Act: VF Murren

By Mark Anderson There were two activities on the Swiss trip that were the unequivocal highlights. This was the first one. I’ve done about 10 Via Ferratas now, and this was hands-down the best I’ve done. It has spectacular scenery, incredible position, interesting apparatus and it’s well-designed and maintained. For most well-travelled climbers, the typical…
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Klettersteig on the Flank of the Eiger

By Mark Anderson “Klettersteig” is German for “Via Ferrata” (which is Italian for “Iron Way”).[LINK TO INTRO-STYLE VF Post]. Klettersteigs have existed in Switzerland for decades and they have some of the best in the world, including the best two I’ve ever done—the Eiger Rotstock and Murren via ferrats. The Eiger Rotstock route is not…
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Best Hidden Valley Sport Climbs 5.11 and Up

Time for the final round of Hidden Valley recommendations – this time for 5.11 and up.  And guess what – fall sending is almost here!  So if you are in the market for some good projects, this list might be a good place to start.  While the moderate routes can get quite crowded on good weather weekends, you’ll find that the queues drastically decrease as the grades increase. GREAT “FIRST OF THE GRADE” CANDIDATES ROADKILL 11a – A little pumpy, but straightforward, and you get a good rest once you pull the roof. GRISTLE 12a – I know lots of…Read the rest of this entry →

Swiss Sport Climbing Part 1: The Giants

By Mark Anderson Switzerland isn’t particularly regarded as a sport climbing hotbed, but there are a few crags that are well-known on the world stage. We were able to visit two of the country’s premier sport crags, both located in the Berner Oberland region around the outdoor adventure mecca of Interlaken—Lehn and Gimmelwald. Although not…