• TNB: Climbing's Big Mistake
  • TNB: Trad Dads and Dad Bods
  • TNB: Do the Right Thing
  • TNB: Big Wall Soloing Sustenance – Cookies vs. Bugs
  • TNB: When Your Rope Falls Off—and 5 Ways to Prevent the Nightmare
  • TNB: Before I Die - What Would Climbers Think?
  • TNB: Raphael Slawinski - Firsthand Account of Everest Earthquake
  • TNB: Point Break - Sharma, Andrada on the Big Screen
  • TNB: Muscle Shoals - Rock and Soul
  • TNB: Naked Soloist is Saner Than Me
  • TNB: The Hard Climb to Heaven
  • TNB: Summer Camp
  • TNB: Suicide in Our Sights
  • TNB: Ethan Pringle's 10 Tips for Sending Your Project
  • TNB: Hawaii Rocks - Totally Aloha
  • TNB: PointGate - Why Comp Climbing Is Not The Future
  • TNB: My First Epic
  • TNB: Eight Ways to Avoid Braking Bad - The Art of the Soft Catch
  • TNB: #Dawnwall and The Creation of Alex Honnlove
  • TNB: Vision Quest - Benji Fink and Mexico’s Steepest Big Wall
  • TNB: The New Dawn (Wall) of Climbing
  • TNB: The Top 5 Weekend Whippers of 2014 (Plus the Comments)
  • TNB: 10 Tips for Jolene Kay, Professional Climber (and Hot Actress)
  • TNB: The Story Behind the Craziest of Rescues
  • TNB: The Risk of Climbing
  • TNB: How to Get Stronger by Doing Nothing for 5 Minutes a Day
  • TNB: Eight Ways to Improve Your Footwork
  • TNB: In Praise of the Weekend Warrior
  • TNB: Joe Kinder Visits the World's Hardest Cave
  • TNB: Celebrating Insomnia in Chamonix
  • TNB: Run, Rabbit - Hermann Gollner, 71, Cranks Pump-O-Rama (5.13a)
  • TNB: Five Best Photos of 2014
  • TNB: Clip Like A Pro - 5 Tips from Sasha DiGiulian and Sean McColl
  • TNB: Five Things Every Gym Climber Must Know About Climbing Outside
  • TNB: Still Jeff Lowe
  • TNB: Moving Over Stone With Doug Robinson
  • TNB: Wheels Up—The Top 5 Climbing Rigs
  • TNB: Is K2 The New Everest?
  • TNB: Things—Besides Us, That Is—That Fall
  • TNB: When Homemade Gear Works, Sorta
  • TNB: The Outsiders
  • TNB: R.I.P. Homero Gutierrez Villarreal - The Padrino of El Potrero
  • TNB: A Short Talk with Sierra Blair-Coyle
  • TNB: Ian Dory, Ninja, or The Craziest Thing I Ever Seen
  • TNB: The Best Crag Dogs of All Time
  • TNB: 5 Ways to Make People Love Your Routes
  • TNB: Hudon and Jones, and Don't Forget It!
  • TNB: Climbing's Tribal Rites
  • TNB: Sasha DiGiulian and Alex Johnson On How to Be a Modern Pro
  • TNB: Is Dean Potter A Bad Father?
  • TNB: Silly Places We’ve Slept - Tales of Unplanned Bivies
  • TNB: Forgotten Hero - Frank Sacherer 1940-1978
  • TNB: The World-Class Weekend Warrior – Martin Keller Climbs V15
  • TNB: Everest Sherpas No Longer Willing to “Grin and Bear It”
  • TNB: Hardheaded Helmet Lesson Learned
  • TNB: Six Most Awesome Jobs for Climbers
  • TNB: The Coolest Climbing Deal Breaker
  • TNB: Sharma and Glowacz Send World’s Steepest Rock Climb
  • TNB: An Encounter with a Legend - Patrick Edlinger, Plus A Whipper Vid
  • TNB: Six Things Every Climber Should Do Before They Die
  • TNB: Falling from the Top
  • TNB: Weekend Whipper
  • TNB: Band of Crushers
  • TNB: Charlie Porter, We Hardly Knew You
  • TNB: Climbing's Greatest Route Names
  • TNB: Hot Women Die and Have Sex on Everest
  • TNB: The Great Tragedy at Carderock
  • TNB: Thoughts On Death, and Last Words
  • TNB: Climbing's Next Big Story
  • TNB: Next Level? Honnold Pushes the Game on El Sendero Luminoso
  • TNB: Jeff Lowe Invented the Sport
  • TNB: The Most Popular Weekend Whippers of the Year
  • TNB: If Ondra Isn't The Best Climber In The World, Who Is?
  • TNB: Storm Years or Typhoon? The Biggest Issue in Climbing
  • TNB: Jim Bridwell Speaks
  • TNB: Honnold's Biggest Solo
  • TNB: Death on Forbidden Peak - Was the NPS Complicit?
  • TNB: Ice Climbing Goes to Sochi Olympics
  • TNB: When Gear Attacks
  • TNB: 8a.nu: The Best Climber in the World is the One with the Most Points
  • TNB: Shutdown: Illegal Climbers in Yosemite—Ninjas or Criminals?
  • TNB: Who is the Best Climber in the World?
  • TNB: The New Courage in a Rucksack
  • TNB: Unsolved Mystery - The Ten Sleep Shooting
  • TNB: The Pad Problem - Honnold, Kehl on Headpoints and Highballs
  • TNB: Travels with Delaney Miller - National Champ Turns to Rock
  • TNB: Jail Food and Booty
  • TNB: Love on the Road
  • TNB: Is Pakistan Safe for Climbers?
  • TNB: Flash Floods, Climbers and How to Get Out of the Way
  • TNB: Climbing's Next Level
  • TNB: Best in Show - Brand New Gear from the Outdoor Retailer Show
  • TNB: Adam Ondra Ties the Knot
  • TNB: Under Pressure - Trotter and Honnold On How Bets Can Help You Send
  • TNB: The Tragedy of Tito Traversa
  • TNB: DR's Crazy Brain Puzzle. Get It Correct or Else.
  • TNB: What Happened To Climbing Films?
  • TNB: Cry of the Colorado Fussy Snivel
  • TNB: Mystery Solved!
  • TNB: The Mystery of Moses Tower - Help Answer a 25-Year-Old Question
  • TNB: No Such Luck
  • TNB: Erasing Midnight Lightning
  • TNB: Mayhem - Crawling, Balling & Brawling on the Evere$t Soap Opera
  • TNB: Watching the Boston Marathon
  • TNB: Chasing the Devil's Snort
  • TNB: Born-Again Gumby
  • TNB: Super Unknown - Austin Dark Horse Establishes 5.14d in Random Texas Cave
  • TNB: Fearless?
  • TNB: The Big Freaking Deal, Ain't Bouldering
  • TNB: Honnold's Achilles' Heel
  • TNB: He's Either Crazy or a Poet
  • TNB: The Fish Cheat and the Prince of Climbing
  • TNB: A Letter from Santa... I mean Sharma
  • TNB: Traveler's Advisory - El Potrero Chico, Mexico
  • TNB: A Year Ago - Athol
  • TNB: Gun Control
  • TNB: What's the Problem?
  • TNB: Derek Hersey's Magic Carpet
  • TNB: The Apprentices
  • TNB: The Jungle
  • TNB: Klem Loskot is Back Climbing V15 and 5.15
  • TNB: Eliminated
  • TNB: The Hurt Locker
  • TNB: The Perils of Sport Climbing
  • TNB: Baddest Climb of the Year
  • TNB: Crossfit Misfit
  • TNB: Eating People and the Real Seventh Summit
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  • TNB: The Curse Of The Bandit
  • TNB: Reality Pro
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  • TNB: American Dirtbag
  • TNB: How Not To Climb 5.12
  • TNB: Project FAIL
  • TNB: The Backwards Future of Climbing
  • TNB: The Death of Progress
  • TNB: The Da Vinci CO
  • TNB: The Philosopher King
  • TNB: Spam Alert
  • TNB: Bad Genes - The Different Types of Gumbies
  • TNB: Mouth Wide Shut
  • TNB: Outside Reality
  • TNB: The Day I Saved Jésus
  • TNB: My Pad, Your Problem
  • TNB: House Rules
  • TNB: Five Things I Don't Hate About Climbing
  • TNB: Metro-Pointing
  • TNB: Beast in the East
  • TNB: Artificial Intelligence
  • TNB: To Boldly Go Sprad Climbing
  • TNB: Self-Destruction
  • TNB: Soul Sport
  • TNB: Nine Pitches
  • Video Spotlight
    Of Choss and Lions: Honnold, Wright and Birdwell in Kenya
    Of Choss and Lions: Honnold, Wright and Birdwell in Kenya
    Whipper of the Month
    Weekend Whipper: Chris Sharma's 100-foot Pont d’Arc Deep Water Solo
    Weekend Whipper: Chris Sharma's 100-foot Pont d’Arc Deep Water Solo

    TNB: Six Things Every Climber Should Do Before They Die

    By Duane Raleigh

    Bernd Arnold, a leading Saxony climber, establishes a first ascent on the histoical sandstone walls of the Eldsandstein, near Dresden, Germany. Rock climbing, as we think of it, began here well over a hundred years ago. Photo: Duane Raleigh. 1. Climb some place old.

    When you visit a museum and see the masterpieces made by the ancients with their bare hands, you will be awed. Climbing at an old area will also give you pause, and perhaps inspire you to do something incredible yourself.

    Twenty years ago I went to Dresden—arguably the birthplace of rock climbing—where people like Oliver Perry-Smith were climbing hard before I was born, before my parents were born, and before their parents were born.

    We like to think that we are pushing standards today, but repeat a route on the sandstone of the Sachsische Schweiz and you’ll get a reality check. The routes are long, steep and were climbed barefoot, no chalk, onsight and with no gear except for an occasional ringbolt or jammed knot. I backed off a completely unprotected 5.8 that Perry-Smith put up around 1900, and the grades reach into 5.13 for routes done in the old classical style.

    Perry-Smith was an American studying in Germany, who made ascents of big routes around Dresden in the early 1900s. One of his routes, the Perryriss (5.9) on the Daxenstein was so beyond the imagination of other climbers in 1913 that they accused him of lying. To quiet them, he soloed the route and carved “Perry” in the rock on the second pitch. You can see it still there today. You should go see it.

    2. Do a first ascent.

    History doesn’t note the people who made the second ascent. Many leading climbers today only repeat routes, and that is too bad because they won’t be remembered. No one remembers the second man on the moon, the second team to climb Everest, let alone the 1,000th person to climb Easy Skankin.

    Putting up a route will get you a piece of immortality, and while you still live it will make you appreciate the hard work behind first ascents. The next time you think a route is a little dirty, or has a hard clip, or has a name you think is lame, you’ll understand. Repeating a route is like being a passenger in a car. If you don’t like where it is headed, get behind the wheel.

    3. Replace the worn-out anchor on a route you didn’t put up.

    Gandhi said that “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Finding a route that needs new bolts or anchor chains or lowering biners and replacing them won’t get your name in the book, but it will make you happy. While you are at it, upgrade two routes and get really happy.

    4. Go ice climbing.

    Whoever says ice climbing is easy hasn’t climbed ice. Almost every winter I introduce a rock climber to ice, and every single one of them has said that they have never been as pumped out of their mind rock climbing. Climbing a pitch of ice is as physical as chopping a cord of firewood and as intimidating as swimming across a big, cold lake during a storm. Make that chopping the wood while swimming across the lake. So why do it? Because it makes rock climbing seem easy.

    Face it, most climbs don’t take you anywhere. You struggle up 35 meters rock to where … ? An arbitrary ending equipped with a couple of scraps of chain and worn carabiners? How unromantic.

    <em>Ancient Art</em>, Fisher Towers, Utah. Photo: Thatcher Clay. <a target="_blank" href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode">Creative Commons ShareAlike 2.0</a>.

    5. Climb a tower.

    Climbing began as a sport because people desired to stand on the top of a mountain. Conquering an objective meant something then, and it still does despite nearly everyone nodding to the cop-out adage that “it’s the journey, not the destination.”

    Fortunately, you can experience the euphoria enjoyed by Whymper and Messner by climbing any one of a nearly limitless supply of desert towers (in Europe, try the Dolomites.) Bagging a tower is like owing your own private island, or being marooned on one. My favorite summit is the needle point of the Ancient Art in the Fisher Towers. Getting there isn’t too hard and the route isn’t long, but the summit barely has enough room for one person to stand, and when you are there you can’t help but wonder if the tower is going to fall over with you on it. Then you look uphill and see that nearby Cottontail Tower, the Titan and Echo Tower are even higher. Better climb those ones, too.

    6. Get benighted.

    Getting stuck overnight on a climb isn’t something you can script, but if you are lucky and do something more substantial than a sport route or boulder problem, at some point you will find yourself hunkered down on a ledge or standing in slings, watching the sun sink below the horizon. And there you will stay until sunup.

    During the night you will be hungry, uncomfortable and filled with regret, but you’ll also have several important realizations. The first one is. “Hey, I’m not going to die.”

    Understanding that you can survive without a bed or hot food or a shower will make them seem as frivolous as they are. Unnecessary, even. The second realization is that being on a cliff or mountain all night is one of the coolest things you could ever do, a rare opportunity to star gaze and think without interruption, or think of nothing at all.


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