• Ice Climbing World Cup Comes to Durango, Colorado
  • Jongwon Chon Triumphs at La Sportiva Legends Only 2016
  • Jorg Verhoeven - Dihedral Wall Interview
  • El Cap’s Heart Route (5.13b V10) Sees Second Free Ascent
  • Adam Ondra – Dawn Wall Interview
  • Adam Ondra Sends the Dawn Wall!
  • Final Push – Day 6: Ondra Sends Crux Pitches, Reaches Wino Tower
  • Barbara Zangerl, Jacopo Larcher Free El Cap's Zodiac (VI 5.13d)
  • Final Push – Day 4: Adam Ondra Hits First Hurdle
  • Jorg Verhoeven Makes Second Free Ascent of Dihedral Wall (VI 5.14a)
  • Climb Safe: Gear Doesn't Last Forever - Ice Tool Picks
  • Final Push – Day 2: Ondra Completes Pitches 10 Through 13 on Dawn Wall
  • Robbie Phillips Frees El Cap’s 30-Pitch Pre-Muir (5.13d)
  • Michaela Kiersch Sends Golden Ticket (5.14c), Red River Gorge
  • VIDEO: David Lama Attempts Southeast Ridge of Annapurna III
  • Final Push: Adam Ondra Blasts Up First Nine Pitches of the Dawn Wall
  • Wildfire Engulfs Popular East Coast Climbing Area
  • Ashima Shiraishi, Margo Hayes Dominate at 2016 Youth World Championships
  • Dawn Wall Update: Adam Ondra Prepares for Final Push
  • Vandal Destroys Holds on Climbs in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah
  • The Gunks' New Hardest Climb: Bro-Zone (5.14b)
  • Art of the First Ascent: The Bold Climbs of Marcus Garcia
  • INTERVIEW: Jernej Kruder On Climbing Sharma’s “King Line” Es Pontas
  • Jernej Kruder Repeats Sharma’s “King Line” Es Pontas
  • VIDEO: Adam Ondra Onsights C'est La Vie (8c+/5.14c)
  • Joe Kinder Puts Up Bone Tomahawk (5.14d/5.15a)
  • VIDEO: Adam Ondra's First Ascent of Robin Ud (5.15b)
  • Steph Davis, Unpacked: From Desert Towers to Indian Creek Craggin'
  • Dave Graham Nabs Second Ascent of Creature from the Black Lagoon (V16)
  • Michaela Kiersch Sends Lucifer (5.14c), Red River Gorge
  • Nalle Hukkataival Sends World’s First V17
  • Ghisolfi and Garnbret Seize Golds at World Cup in Xiamen, China
  • Neil Gresham, 45, Establishes Sabotage (8c+/5.14c), Malham Cove
  • Dawn Wall Update: Adam Ondra Reaches Pitch 15 and Dyno Crux
  • Adam Ondra Makes Quick Progress on the Dawn Wall
  • TNB: Do the Right Thing
  • Winners of the Rock and Ice / Mammut Photo Contest 2016
  • Dave Graham Establishes Topaz (V15) in Wild Basin, RMNP, Colorado
  • Best Mountaineering Article 2016 Award Goes to Jeff Long
  • El Cap Sees 90-percent Decline In Attempts Following Tom Evans’ Retirement
  • Red Rock Canyon Under Threat From Major Housing Development
  • Magnus Midtbø Finally Sends Thor's Hammer (~5.15a)
  • Chris Sharma Makes Second Ascent of Joe Mama (5.15a)
  • VIDEO: Stefano Carnati Climbing Le Cadre Nouvelle (9a/5.14d), Céüse
  • Matty Hong Sends Shadowboxing (5.14d) and Kryptonite (5.14d)
  • Adam Ondra Climbs New 5.15b, Onsights 5.14c
  • Isabelle Faus Sends Her Second V14, The Wheel of Chaos
  • Stefano Ghisolfi Bags Third Ascent of Jungle Boogie (5.15a)
  • Life and Death in the Karakoram: Climbing Latok I and Ogre II
  • VIDEO: Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker's "Crucifix Project"
  • Wide Boyz Establish World’s Longest Roof Crack - Crown of Thorns (5.14a)
  • Mark Anderson Sends Shadowboxing (5.14d), Rifle, Colorado
  • VIDEO: Kilian Fischhuber Repeats Rätikon's Headless Children (8b/5.13d)
  • Chris Sharma Sends Five-Year 5.15 Deep Water Solo Project
  • Daniel Woods Climbs Black 90 Project at V16
  • Marc-André Leclerc Solos Patagonia’s Torre Egger in Winter
  • Matty Hong Repeats Fat Camp (5.14d) in Rifle, Colorado
  • Banff Mountain Book Competition Announces 2016 Finalists
  • Remembering Kim Schmitz, by John Roskelley
  • Ondra Seizes Lead Championship, American Women Climb High
  • Roger Schaeli Makes Second Ascent of La Vida es Silbar, Eiger North Face
  • Ines Papert Makes Rare Ascent of Alpine Testpiece Scaramouche (5.13b/c)
  • Rob Collister: Gletscherhorn North Face, Swiss Alps
  • 2016 IFSC Climbing World Championships
  • VIDEO: Ryuichi Murai Sends Three V15’s In A Month
  • Ashima Shiraishi on Horizon (V15), Sleepy Rave (V15) & “Young Guns”
  • VIDEO: Chris Sharma Trains With Patxi Usobiaga For ‘Le Blond’ Project
  • Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature 2016 Shortlist
  • VIDEO: Dave Graham Sends Monkey Wedding (V15), Rocklands
  • Search Called Off for Missing Pair in Pakistan
  • (Updated) Weather to Break, Helicopters Expected to Fly in Search for Adamson and Dempster in Karakorum
  • ​Tommy Caldwell Free Climbs Mount Hooker in a Day Car to Car
  • Domen Skofic, Magdalena Röck Victorious at Imst Lead World Cup
  • Alex Megos Flashes The Path (5.14 R) On Gear, Talks Fightclub (5.15b)
  • Coxsey, Narasaki Overall 2016 Bouldering World Cup Champions
  • Dave Graham Sends Old Nemesis, Monkey Wedding (V15)
  • Alex Megos Establishes Fightclub – Canada’s First 5.15
  • Margo Hayes, 18, Breaks the “Boys Club” of Bad Girls Club (5.14d)
  • Jon Cardwell Finishes Fat Camp (5.14d), Rifle First Ascent
  • VIDEO: Man Attempts to Climb Trump Tower, Gets Nabbed
  • Jan Hojer, Michaela Kiersch Win 2016 Psicobloc Masters, Park City
  • Miranda Oakley Breaks Women’s Solo Speed Record on the Nose
  • REEL ROCK 11 Film Tour Lineup
  • Taking Back the Record - The Nose, Yosemite
  • Sean Bailey, 20, Clips Chains on Biographie/Realization (5.15a)
  • LIVE: 2016 Psicobloc Masters
  • Ashima Tops Second V15, Sleepy Rave, Grampians, Australia
  • Tokyo 2020 Olympics Officially Approves Climbing
  • A Win for Tennessee Climbing: Denny Cove Protected
  • Megos Crushes Canada: Seven 5.14b’s in Four Days
  • Toshi Takeuchi, Shawn Raboutou Smash Spray of Light (V15)
  • Drew Ruana, 16, Sends Le Cadre Nouvelle (5.14d) in Céüse
  • VIDEO: Melissa Le Nevé on Training, Comps and Outdoor Projects
  • Dave Di Paolo, Carderock Hammer Killer, Sentenced to 10 Years
  • Climbers Spook Gunman, Allowing Hostages to Flee on Independence Pass
  • Adam Ondra Cranks 5.15a FA in Three Attempts, Onsights Two 5.14c's
  • VIDEO: Alex Megos Sends Ben Moon’s Infamous Hubble (5.14c)
  • Nalle Hukkataival, Vadim Timonov Send Monkey Wedding (V15)
  • Gary Falk, IFMGA Guide, Falls to Death on Grand Teton
  • Janja Garnbret Dominates Lead World Cup, Again
  • Sherpas on Denali: First Nepalese Ascent of the West Rib
  • Mich Kemeter Frees 14-Pitch Voie Petit (8b 5.13d) on Grand Capucin
  • Paul Robinson - South African Boulder Fiend and Visionary
  • Nalle Hukkataival Repeats The Dragon’s Guardian (~V15), South Africa
  • Sean McColl, Janja Garnbret Take Gold At 2016 Villars World Cup
  • Margo Hayes, Brian Huang Win USA Climbing Junior Sport Nationals
  • Seb Bouin Repeats Thor’s Hammer (~5.15a), Suggests Downgrade
  • Inspect Your DMM Climbing Harness
  • Slovenians Victorious at First Lead World Cup of Season
  • LIVE: IFSC Lead Climbing World Cup - Chamonix, France 2016 - Finals
  • Ashima Shiraishi Injured in 45-Foot Ground Fall
  • Weekend Whipper: Climbers vs. Trees
  • Adam Ondra Establishes The Right of Passage (5.14d), Flatanger
  • Sachi Amma Repeats Thor's Hammer (9a+ 5.15a)
  • Paul Robinson Establishes The Dragon’s Guardian (V15), South Africa
  • Three El Cap Routes in a Day for Brad Gobright and Scott Bennett
  • Q&A: Martin Keller, 39, Sends 13-Year Project Highlander (8C V15)
  • American Alpine Club Announces 2016 Craggin’ Classics
  • The Battle for Indian Creek: Bears Ears, Rob Bishop & the Access Fund
  • Climb Safe: Carabiner Off-Axis and Tri/Quad-Axial Loading
  • Jon Cardwell's Biographie (9a+ 5.15a) Training and Projecting Advice
  • Dave Graham Makes Third Ascent of Delirium (V15)
  • Caroline Gleich, World-Famous Ski Mountaineer, is a Trad Addict
  • Virtual Reality: Watch Alex Honnold Solo the Needles in 360-degrees
  • Bouldering Access is Back in Catoctin Mountain Park, Maryland
  • Adam Ondra Makes First Ascent of 120 Degrees (5.15a), Flatanger
  • VIDEO: Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll Loves Pain and Dirty, Wet Cracks
  • Klemen Bečan Sends Papichulo (5.15a), Disappointed With Ease
  • Margo Hayes, 18, Sends The Crew (5.14c) in Rifle
  • President Obama Takes Over Yosemite
  • Rustam Gelmanov Makes Second Ascent of Hypnotized Minds (V16)
  • RIP Ken Wilson: Editor of Mountain Magazine, Rabble-Rouser
  • Lena Herrmann, 22, Climbs 5.14c in the Frankenjura
  • The Desert – Excerpt from “American Climber” by Luke Mehall
  • Heather Weidner Sends China Doll (5.14a R) on Gear
  • INTERVIEW: USA Boulderers On the IFSC World Cup in Vail
  • Stefano Carnati Sends Action Directe (5.14d), Frankenjura
  • RIP: Nicholas Clinch, 85, Led Only American First Ascent of an 8000er
  • Jonathan Siegrist's Mission to Rediscover Switzerland's World-Class Sport Climbing
  • Megan Mascarenas Dominates 2016 Vail Bouldering World Cup
  • LIVE: IFSC Bouldering World Cup, Vail 2016 (Finals)
  • LIVE: IFSC Bouldering World Cup, Vail 2016 (Semi-Finals)
  • Mélissa Le Nevé, a Top-Three Boulderer at Vail World Cup, Talks Rock
  • VIDEO: Pump Control and Efficient Resting for Climbing
  • Virginia Sandstone Crag Opened to Climbing
  • Bouldering World Cup Comes to Vail, Colorado This Weekend
  • Alex Megos Sends Hubble (8c+), Northern Lights (9a)
  • INTERVIEW: Melissa Arnot on Climbing Everest Without Supplemental Oxygen
  • Dai Koyamada Establishes Nehanna (V14/15) in Japan
  • VIDEO: Daniel Woods on the Elusive V17 Bouldering Grade
  • VIDEO: Adam Ondra Makes Second Ascent of Geocache (9a+/5.15a)
  • Q&A: Jon Cardwell On Climbing Biographie/Realization (9a+/5.15a)
  • Adam Ondra Repeats Geocache (9a+/5.15a) in a Day
  • American Melissa Arnot Claims Mount Everest Record
  • Jon Cardwell Sends Biographie/Realization (5.15a)
  • Coxsey, Chon Win Innsbruck Bouldering World Cup
  • Nathaniel Coleman, Brooke Raboutou Win 2016 Riverrock Boulder Bash
  • Zimmerman, Wright Establish New Route in Alaska’s St. Elias Range
  • Three Dead, Two Missing and Hundreds Summit on Everest
  • Robbie Phillips and Jacob Cook Free El Cap’s 30-Pitch El Niño
  • VIDEO: Chris Sharma On His Santa Linya Project
  • Climbing and Mentorship Come Together at City Rocks
  • Japan Triumphs at Bouldering World Cup in Navi Mumbai
  • Silvio Reffo Sends Goldrake (5.15a), Cornalba, Italy
  • The Wizard - Dean Potter
  • The Great Unknown - Graham Hunt
  • Dean Potter: What I've Learned
  • VIDEO: Alex Megos Sends First Round, First Minute (5.15b)
  • Ofer Blutrich Sends Mind Control - First Israeli to Climb 5.14c
  • INTERVIEW: Sonnie Trotter on Freeing "The Prow," 5.14a Multi-pitch
  • Valley Walls: A Memoir of Climbing and Living in Yosemite
  • Block and Wall: Buildering and Raving in Trento, Italy
  • VIDEO: Adam Ondra Attempts The World's First 5.15a Flash
  • VIDEO: The Width of Life - Tribute to Dave Pegg, Colorado Climbing Legend
  • William Bosi, 17, Climbs Rainshadow (5.14d), Malham Cove
  • Shauna Coxsey Triumphs, Tomoa Narasaki Shocks at Chongqing World Cup
  • Alex Lowe's and David Bridges' Remains Found on Shishapangma
  • Mark Cole, Longtime Leader in SE Climbing, Passes at 58
  • The Greatest Boulderer You’ve Never Heard Of: Ryuichi Murai's on Fire
  • Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation's Khumbu Climbing Center Almost Complete
  • Climbers Remember Nepal on Anniversary of Earthquake
  • Shauna Coxsey Dominates at Kazo World Cup
  • VIDEO: Epic Climber - Sharma, Ondra, Digiulian, and Marin in Spain
  • Adam Ondra On Climbing In The Olympics
  • Crack School with Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker (Video Series)
  • Mary Harlan: Heartiness, Suffering and The Zion Link-Up
  • Chuck Pratt's "The View From Dead Horse Point"
  • VIDEO: Ethan Pringle Sends Meadowlark Lemon (V14), Red Rock
  • Megan Mascarenas Places Third At Meiringen Bouldering World Cup
  • VIDEO: Slow Details - 2016 Meiringen Bouldering World Cup
  • Tyler Armstrong, 12, Denied Permit to Climb Mount Everest
  • Drew Ruana Sends Five 5.14s, Onsights Four 5.13s at the RRG
  • Ryuichi Murai Sends Hydrangea (V15), His Third V15 in a Month
  • Roland Hemetzberger Frees 22-Year-Old Project, Outro (5.15a)
  • Everest's Icefall Doctors Establish 2016 Route Through Khumbu Icefall
  • Black Diamond Recalls Camalots/Camalot Ultralights, Ascenders and Via Ferratas
  • Glen Dawson, Sierra Nevada Climbing Pioneer, Dies at 103
  • Jim Curran, British Climber and Author of "K2, The Story of The Savage Mountain," Dies
  • Stefano Ghisolfi Sends Adam Ondra’s Goldrake (5.15a)
  • John Long Writing Symposium Accepting 2016 Applications
  • Access Fund 2016 Climbing Preservation Grants
  • Michaela Kiersch Sends Pure Imagination (5.14c)
  • Five New Mixed Routes in Pilot Creek, Wyoming
  • Allen Frame Hill, Climber-Filmmaker, Found Dead at Home
  • VIDEO: Profondo Sud - Bouldering in Basilicata, Italy
  • Ryan Vachon Makes Second Ascent of Saphira (M15-)
  • Adam Ondra Claims 5.15a/b and 5.14d First Ascents in One Weekend
  • Brooke Raboutou, Dru Mack Send Southern Smoke (5.14c) at the RRG
  • Durango Climbers Linkup Six Fisher Towers in Under 24 Hours
  • Margo Hayes Sends Pure Imagination (5.14c) at the Red River Gorge
  • VIDEO: Edu Marin Discovers His Limits On Alex Huber's Sansara (8b+/5.14a)
  • Matty Hong Sends Papichulo (5.15a) in Oliana, Spain
  • 2016 Piolets d’Or Award Recipients Announced
  • Jon Cardwell Sends Shadow Boxing (5.14d), Flashes Waka Flocka (5.14b)
  • Interview: Klemen Bečan on the First Ascent of Joe Mama (5.15a)
  • Ashima Shiraishi Sends V15!
  • Stefano Carnati, 17, Makes Quick Work of Goldrake (5.15a) in Italy
  • Margo Hayes, Sean Bailey Win USA Sport Open National Championships
  • Big Crowds, Big Money: Climbers Bring $3.6 Million to the RRG
  • Ethan Pringle and La Reina Mora – The Full Story
  • V15 Send Train by Adam Ondra, Sachi Amma and Jongwon Chon
  • The Bold and Cold: A History of 25 Classic Climbs in the Canadian Rockies
  • The 2015 Sharp End Awards from the Access Fund
  • Alex Puccio on Grade Chasing and Climbing Media
  • Magnus Midtbø Makes Fourth Ascent of Seleccion Anal (9a+/5.15a)
  • Daniel Woods Sends Papichulo (5.15a) in Oliana, Spain
  • Legendary Climber Cal Swoager Dies at 66
  • Klemen Bečan Puts Up New 5.15a in Oliana, Spain
  • Mayan Smith-Gobat and Ines Papert Repeat Riders on the Storm, Patagonia
  • Interview: Marc-Andre Leclerc Solos Three Routes on Stanley Headwall
  • Gaetan Raymond Repeats World's Hardest Dry Tooling Route
  • Nacho Sánchez Sends Catalán Witness the Fitness (V15)
  • First Winter Ascent of Nanga Parbat
  • The Final Frontier – Rumney, NH Land Purchase
  • Scott Cosgrove, Bold Yosemite Climber, Passes Away
  • Highlights from the 2016 Ice Climbing World Youth Championship
  • Climb Safe: Rethinking the Double-Loop Bowline
  • Felipe Camargo Repeats Catalán Witness the Fitness (V15)
  • Adam Ondra Repeats Sharma’s Stoking the Fire (5.15b)
  • Lucie Hrozová Establishes Hardest Mixed Climb in U.S.
  • ​Snowball Fight on K2: Interview with Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita
  • Drew Ruana, 16, Establishes Smith Rock’s Hardest Route
  • Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita Named Nat Geo Adventurer of the Year
  • Climb Safe: Common Belay Screw-ups and What To Do About Them
  • Jimmy Webb, Charles Albert Repeat Fontainebleau's “Hardest Climb”
  • Alex Puccio, Jakob Schubert Win 2016 Hueco Rock Rodeo
  • Climbing Anchors and the Evolution of the Quad
  • Tom Ballard Establishes World’s Hardest Dry Tooling Route
  • Tim Emmett, Klemen Preml Establish 260-Foot WI 12 at Helmcken Falls
  • Jimmy Webb Sends The Big Island (V15), Toupie Carnivore assis (V14)
  • Kevin Lopata Sends Jour de Chasse (V15), Fontainebleau (with video)
  • Rocasolano Makes Second Ascent of Catalan Witness the Fitness (V15)
  • VIDEO: Jonathan Siegrist Sends Power Inverter (5.15a)
  • Black Diamond Recalls Carabiners, Quickdraws and Slings
  • Jimmy Webb Sends l’Alchemiste In Three Tries – Downgrades
  • Brette Harrington Free Solos Austríaca in Patagonia
  • Nathaniel Coleman, Megan Mascarenas Win 2016 Bouldering Nationals
  • Marianne van der Steen Flashes Kamasutra (D13+)
  • Alex Honnold and Colin Haley Repeat the Torre Traverse in a Day
  • Barefoot Climber First to Repeat Original l’Alchimiste (~V14)
  • Alban Levier Cranks Third Ascent of l’Alchimiste (V15)
  • New Big Wall Route Established on El Diente North Face in Mexico
  • Epic Ascent of Yosemite’s Ephemeral Widow’s Tears
  • Colin Haley on Patagonian Solo Streak
  • VIDEO: Tom Randall Takes Down the Kraken (V13)
  • Ryan Vachon Dominates 2016 Ouray Mixed Climbing Competition
  • Guillaume Glairon-Mondet Puts Up New V16 in Fontainebleau
  • Two Experienced Climbers Killed in the Scottish Highlands
  • Jimmy Webb Sends The Game (V15)
  • Siegrist Sends Power Inverter (5.15a), Flashes Fish Eye (5.14b) in Spain
  • Jakob Schubert Sends La Planta de Shiva (5.15b) in Spain
  • VIDEO: Ueli Steck - Accepting Risk, Reward & Danger (Part 4)
  • Epic TV's Top Three Training Videos of 2015
  • Chris Sharma Sends Catalan Witness the Fitness (V-Hard) in Spain
  • Alex Megos Sends First Round, First Minute (5.15b) and More
  • A Tribute: Doug Walker, First AAC President Killed in Office
  • VIDEO: Barefoot French Climber Sends V12 Traverse
  • Two-time Mugs Stump Award Winner Ryan Jennings Dies on Ice Climb
  • Climbers We Lost in 2015
  • VIDEO: Tragedy Strikes Ueli Steck’s 82 Summit Project
  • Climbers Against Cancer Founder John Ellison Dies
  • VIDEO: Alexey Rubtsov Climbs Three Magic Wood V14s
  • Ashima Shiraishi Sends Phenomena (V14) in 30 Minutes
  • Kayah Gaydish Climbing Accident Update
  • Climb Safe: To Screamer Or Not To Screamer
  • VIDEO: Ueli Steck Runs Up 18 4,000 Meter Peaks In A Day
  • North Carolina Climber Dies in 50-foot Fall
  • Jimmy Webb Puts Up The Matriarch - The Southeast's First V15
  • The Classic Alpinist: Ueli Steck Climbs 82 Summits In 62 Days - Part 1
  • 2016 Mugs Stump Award Recipients
  • Access Fund Launches Second Batmobile
  • VIDEO: Road to the Top - World Cup Training with Alex Puccio
  • Lost in Mozambique – First Ascent on Mt. Namuli
  • The Top 7 Climbing Achievements of 2015
  • Sarah Hueniken First North American Woman to Send M14
  • Climb Safe: Full Strength Haul Loops
  • Will Gadd Sends The Mustang P-51 (M14-) Second Go - with Video
  • Walton, Grainger Claim Another Triple Crown Victory
  • Founder of The North Face, Doug Tompkins Dies in Patagonia
  • VIDEO: Highlights from La Sportiva Legends Only 2015
  • Top 10 Weekend Whippers of 2015
  • Kai Lightner Storms Bishop, Hikes The Mandala (V12)
  • Southern Rampage – Jimmy Webb Establishes Four V14s
  • Janja Garnbret Dominates La Sportiva Legends Only
  • Alex Megos Hikes Demencia Senil (5.15a)
  • Pirmin Bertle Sends Meiose (~5.15b) in Switzerland
  • VIDEO: Martin Stráník Climbs Story of Two Worlds (V15)
  • Q&A: Ueli Steck On Reclaiming the Eiger Speed Record
  • GEAR OF THE YEAR 2015
  • Edu Marin Redpoints Chilam Balam (5.15b)
  • Martin Stráník Sends Story of Two Worlds (V15)
  • Top 10 Climbing Videos of 2015
  • A Step Too Far - The Tragic First Ascent of Kuksar
  • VIDEO: Ondra and Markovič Crush in Kranj
  • Ueli Steck Reclaims Eiger Speed Record
  • Kai Lightner Reflects on Competitions, Bouldering and the Future
  • Jonathan Siegrist Crushes Papichulo (5.15a)
  • Dani Andrada Sends Chilam Balam (5.15b)
  • Ondra, Markovič Crowned 2015 Lead World Champions
  • Crack Fix – How to Build a Home Crack Training System
  • VIDEO: Alex Puccio Storms the Buttermilks—Bishop, California
  • The K2 Summit Controversy
  • VIDEO: Adam Ondra and Stefano Ghisolfi Send New 5.15b's
  • The Locomotive: Roy McMurtrey – 87 and Still Climbing
  • Whittaker, McManus Claim 2nd Ascent of The Secret Passage, El Cap
  • Sherpa Makes Solo First Ascent on Himalayan Peak
  • Banff Mountain Book Competition Announces Winners
  • VIDEO: Climbing the 9th Grade (5.14d)
  • Hound Ears Competition Postponed Again
  • Jorg Verhoeven Sends Wheel of Life (V15)
  • Adam Ondra Establishes France's Hardest Route
  • Stefano Ghisolfi Establishes Italy’s First 5.15b
  • No Expectations: Joe Kinder Sends 6 5.14c's in Spain
  • Solar, Rock and Landmines—Alex Honnold Explores Angola
  • Spotlight: Megan Mascarenas - The Logician
  • Big Wall Soloing on Bugs
  • Triple Crown Bouldering Series Kicks Off at Stone Fort
  • Niky Ceria Repeats Voyager Sit (V14)
  • Alpine Warriors - History of Alpinists in Yugoslavia
  • VIDEO: Joe Kinder and Patxi Usobiaga Explore Cala Gonone, Italy
  • Sonnie Trotter Fires Blue Jeans Direct (5.14a), Mount Yamnuska, Canada
  • Megos Cruises the Red River Gorge
  • Logan Barber Frees Honeycomb Dome (5.13d) in China
  • Ondra, Kim Sweep Lead World Cup in Wujiang, China
  • How to Build a Home Climbing Wall
  • Winners of the 8th Annual Rock and Ice / Mammut Photo Contest
  • Alex Megos Sweeps the New River Gorge
  • $10,000 Granted for Anchor Replacement Across U.S.
  • Three Sherpas Complete Three Himalayan First Ascents in Three Days
  • Ashima Shiraishi Sends Nuclear War (V14), New York
  • Dan Mirsky Sends The Crew (5.14c) – Rifle, Colorado
  • Marc-André Leclerc Free Solos Aguja Standhardt in Patagonia
  • David Lama Establishes Lebanon's Hardest Route
  • Dave Graham Sends Thor's Hammer
  • Q&A: The Willpower of Mar Álvarez
  • Q&A: Ethan Pringle on Thor's Hammer (5.15a)
  • Tufas in Paradise – Angy Eiter Puts Up New 5.14s in Greece
  • Yosemite Facelift - Finding Beauty Behind the Trash
  • Novice Climbers Could Be Banned from Everest to “Maintain the Glory”
  • Daniel Woods Smashes Thor's Hammer (5.15a)
  • Sport Climbing Makes Shortlist for 2020 Tokyo Olympics
  • Kim, Škofic Climb the Podium in Puurs
  • Trail Runner Now Hiring
  • Schaeli, Jasper, Gietl Establish Odyssee (5.13c) on the Eiger
  • VIDEO: Brette Harrington - Free Solo of Chiaro di Luna (5.11a)
  • Banff Mountain Book Competition Announces 2015 Finalists
  • A Youth Wasted Climbing
  • Toru Nakajima Sends Paint It Black (V15) in RMNP
  • Q&A: Jesse Grupper – Youth World Championships Silver Medalist
  • Everest ’96 – Unheard Voices of the 1996 Disaster
  • Paige Claassen Sends The Bleeding, Discusses First Female Ascents
  • Nalle Hukkataival Puts Up New V15 – The Stepping Stone
  • Sachi Amma Redpoints Jungle Boogie, 5.15a
  • Nina Caprez and Barbara Zangerl Redpoint 1,400-foot Rätikon 5.14
  • Bouldering Bub - Isaac Caldiero
  • REEL ROCK 10 - Interview with Filmmaker Peter Mortimer
  • Jonathan Siegrist Establishes New 5.14+ in the Fins
  • IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTICE: DMM Carabiner Recall
  • Climber Dies in Fall on Crestone Needle, CO
  • Alex Honnold Talks REEL ROCK 10
  • Marc-André Leclerc on Patagonian Climbing
  • The Dawn of Urban Big Wall Speed Climbing
  • She Goes! - Half Dome’s Regular Route Climbed After Rockfall
  • Spotlight: Alexander Ruchkin - Russian Locomotive
  • Climbing Beta: Rocktown, Georgia
  • Tex Bossier, Golden Age Climber, Dies in France
  • Ondra Pioneers Four FA's in Norway
  • Alpinists Killed Attempting New Route in Cordillera Blanca, Peru
  • Shiraishi, Garnbret Win Again at Arco Youth World Championships
  • Climbing Beta: El Potrero Chico, Mexico
  • Q&A: Sasha DiGiulian on Climbing the Eiger
  • Q&A: Carlo Traversi on Climbing the Eiger
  • Americans Claim Two Karakoram First Ascents
  • VIDEO: How To Climb 5.14d and Hold A Job
  • Scottish Team Climbs Paciencia on the Eiger North Face
  • USA Girls Rise Up in Arco's IFSC Bouldering Youth and Junior World Championships
  • Rocklands – How Far Are You
  • Seb Bouin Claims First Ascent in Verdon Gorge
  • Jakob Schubert Takes Third Ascent of Thor’s Hammer (5.15a)
  • Dave Graham Repeats Spray of Light (V15)
  • Sasha DiGiulian and Carlo Traversi Climb the Eiger North Face
  • VIDEO: Jonathan Siegrist Climbs La Rambla (5.15a)
  • Stormed Out – Sasha DiGiulian and Carlo Traversi Bail on Paciencia
  • Roskelleys Climb NE Buttress of Mount Slesse
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    David Lama Sounds Off on Cerro Torre, Pakistan and More

    13-Dec-2012
    By

    Earlier this year David Lama, 22, freed the infamous Compressor Route on Patagonia's Cerro Torre. Almost a year later, Lama is showing no signs of slowing down. A recent trip to Trango Tower in Pakistan saw the driven climber testing his reserves at altitude, and he is keen to return to Pakistan next year to take his high standard of free climbing to the Himalayan arena.

    Opinionated, strong-willed, determined and successful, we spoke at length with the young Austrian.

     

    INTERVIEW with the UKClimbing Editorial Team: David Lama

    Where did you start climbing? Was it with your parents? And in what style?

    My parents were not climbers at all, before I started with it, but they were outdoor and mountain enthusiasts. I started climbing when I was around five years old. Peter Habeler, the partner of Reinhold Messner on the first ascent of Mt. Everest without supplementary oxygen, was a friend of my parents and invited me to one of his outdoor camps for kids in the Zillertal back in 1995. We were doing some glacier hikes, went on some easy mountains and one day also went climbing on some rock slabs, close to the hut we were staying at. Peter noticed my feelings for the rock and the fun I was having and therefore encouraged my parents to let me climb with Reini Scherer, who at that time led a climbing group for kids.


    Your father is from Nepal. What influence does this Sherpa heritage play on your climbing life?

    This is a question I get asked a lot. Both of my parents (my mom is from Austria) are mountain enthusiasts and therefore my early childhood days were full of hiking and adventure, both in Nepal and in Austria, and this influenced my personality for sure. People have said that I'll be able to deal with high altitudes better due to my father being a Sherpa but I'm not sure about that. Personally I have the impression that I benefit much more from the calm and even-tempered approach to life that certainly comes from my father's side.

    ==

    You started climbing at a young age and then soon got involved with competition climbing. Do you feel that this gave you a good introduction to the sport?

    I started on rock and then got into competitions, not the other way around. I think that mainly starting at a young age gives you an advantage, just as in every other sport. For me, the combination of rock climbing and the eagerness to compete were for sure a good motivation to train hard and to get better.


    Has climbing changed for you since those early days? Are you looking for something different in climbing now? Or is it the same?

    It hasn't changed in the respect that climbing is and will always be the center of my life. But my perception of life has evolved together with my view on climbing and vice versa.


    And after a successful competition career you stopped competition climbing after the 2010 season. Do you think you will return to this at some stage in the future?

    It wasn't with a heavy heart that I left the competitions. Already back in 2008 I felt that my perceptions and visions for my climbing future didn't fit within the confines of a gym or a set of rules. When leaving the comps I actually had the intention of coming back in some years, but to be honest for the moment I don't see a single reason why I should, especially with the format that still exists. I still climb in the gym to train, but I'm not sure if I'll ever fit into the world of rules and regulations again that the World Cup currently represents for me.


    It seems that you have some strong ideas about the World Cup and the format of the competitions. How do you think it could be improved? What do you think of the overall competition organization - and any thoughts on climbing and the fact that it might possibly be heading to the Olympic Games?

    I couldn't care less about the Olympics; I don't give much about this platform. Generally speaking, I believe that competition climbing will further evolve more and more, and become a sport all its own, much further away from the original climbing than now. This doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing, but it's simply not my thing. For me the World Cup currently doesn't breathe "climbing DNA" and that's what I'm missing.

    ==

    And do you think it is possible to combine competing at the top level with a career as a top Alpine climber?

    Competitions have gotten a lot more specific over the past couple of years and the level necessary to win increased quite a bit. When I entered the comps I used to be able to go rock climbing a lot while I was still able to win World Cups. It depends what expectations you have on yourself, but with the increasing density of strong competition athletes that focus mainly on the indoor climbing, there is no chance to do well without specific training on plastic.

    Being an alpinist, and especially going on expeditions several times a year, is totally counterproductive to a competitors cycle. So there is no way to combine these two disciplines without making major compromises, especially if you have the ambition to win as I always did.


    Back to what you have been doing out in the world of mountains and rock. So far in your climbing life what do you regard as your greatest climbing achievement?

    That's a difficult question; there are quite a few first ascents that I'm proud of. But if I had to choose one it would probably be the first free ascent of Cerro Torre's southeast ridge, as I failed multiple times before I finally succeeded earlier this year. Furthermore I was confronted with a lot of critique due to mistakes that were made in course of producing a film on my first attempt, which made me reevaluate a lot of different things. I went through hell and back before I was able to realize my dream. For no other project so far have I had to grow as much, not just as a climber.


    Going through hell and back and also reevaluating a lot of different things. It seems that Cerro Torre was indeed a tough challenge, both the climbing of course, and the reaction from climbers following your attempts. You have grown as a person - what have you learned? And could you pass on any advice to other young climbers after this experience? If you could go back in time, would you do it again, or differently?

    If I went there now I would probably start off the project in the way I brought it to an end, but I certainly don't want to miss the experiences made. What I learned was definitely that mistakes, no matter how big, are just a status quo of a situation and offer a range of opportunities to grow on. My advice to young climbers would probably be: Go out there and make your own mistakes!


    In 2011 there was some controversy before your trip since you had stated that you planned to take a drill, and use the old bolts for protection on your free attempt. In the end you didn't use a drill and the upper bolt ladder had been removed just before you got there. What you achieved was amazing, but I am interested as to why your original plans had been less ambitious and clean than what it turned out you were capable of?

    My plan had always been ambitious and it actually didn't change a lot over the years. But as there was no real achievement in the first two years of attempting, all that was visible for the climbing world was the controversy concerning the filming bolts. I had always planned on clipping Maestri's bolts for protection. The route was there back then, and why pretend it wasn't? Regarding the alternations for a free ascent I had always hoped to be able to protect the climb exclusively with removable gear, but I had always suspected that there are some long, blank sections which are free climbable, but not protectable with removable gear; for those I had considered hand-drilling bolts. The fact that the Maestri’s bolts of the headwall were chopped for sure didn't make the whole endeavor easier, but actually the psychologically most demanding part first starts when you leave the Compressor Route. I had four 6mm bolts with me on the free ascent, but I ended up not placing any. There were blank sections, but I felt strong enough to run them out.

    ==

    Can you describe in detail the crux section of your free route on Cerro Torre? Where does it go in relation to the line of the old Compressor Route, and what is the climbing, protection and general feel of the pitch like? (Well done on what is one of the world's most iconic lines, by the way).

    The hardest pitch is the one that goes up a few meters left of the Salvaterra Crack, just a couple of meters above where Maestri's bolt traverse leads into blank granite to the right. The pitch starts off with relatively easy terrain before you climb a thin crack that leads you directly into the crux section, which is a quiet difficult boulder. There is one piton and below you can place some small nuts, maybe a really small cam would work too. Then you have to climb the crux section and about eight meters (26 feet) higher you can place a friend again. At first I thought it must be around 8a (5.13b), but the more I think about it the harder it feels. But I don't really care about the grade of this pitch as it says very little about the difficulty of the whole climb.


    Do you think that it is acceptable to leave small changes to the natural environment - fixed belays and ropes, protection bolts and pegs - or should we strive to leave the rock and mountains untouched so others that follow can find it in the same state, and has your opinion on this changed since the Cerro Torre trip?

    This question could be the basis of a discussion that lasts for hours... Climbing is about freedom, I've always said that written rules will not solve the problems of the world of our sport. But people that are eager for first ascent need to be aware of the fact that the terrain for first ascents gets rarer and rarer. I'm not saying that bolts are to be abandoned completely from alpine climbing, but pristine rock needs to be approached with much more forethought now than some decades ago. And wherever there is the possibility to protect with trad gear, no bolt should be added.

    All in all, it just has to make sense. I put up a new multipitch route called Safety Discussion with my partner Peter Ortner about a month ago through a steep limestone face in East Tirol. It consists of eleven pitches and has bolted belays and very few additional bolts. We first ascended the route partly in free climbing and partly aid climbing, but it was always our aim to make it a free climbable route. We reduced the number of bolts to an absolute minimum in this kind of terrain and left a couple of placements in situ for potential repeaters. With difficulties up to 8b (5.13d) and most pitches above 7b (5.12b), we had the impression that this style made sense.

    In regard to Cerro Torre, which is a very specific case, I think all climbers agree that the compressor route was a big mistake. Despite that f ct, I'm of the opinion that it should have been left in place as part of the mountains history and a symbol of human hubris for the next generations to learn from. For the status quo, it neither exists nor was it removed in its entirety.


    In 2010 you were part of a visiting Mammut Climbing Team who came to the Peak District, England, to sample some gritstone. Did you enjoy the style of gritstone climbing?

    I like the grit climbing a lot. I was actually there already before 2010 and also this September for a few days, together with a friend and we climbed some really nice routes.


    There was another, smaller, controversy after the Mammut Team visit where many of the routes you climbed on the trip were left covered in chalk tick marks, which is very much against the local ethic. Were you aware of this? Have you any thoughts about it now?

    Regarding the Mammut team trip, there was a bunch of people trying the same routes and we also had a long spell of good weather without any rain. Retrospectively it was kind of peculiar that this topic seems to be attached to my name. Even though there is no ethic over in Austria that forbids ticking, I'm known to get mad if people don't brush away their chalk. I'm certainly aware of the local ethics, but I wasn't the only one climbing. I think that's all that needs to be said.

    ==

    What are your future goals in your climbing?

    I thrive most in trying things nobody has ever done before. Generally speaking, big, alpine faces with logical lines are what I'm looking for. Whereas there are hardly any left to find in the Alps, there are plenty in the Karakoram or in the Himalayas. That was the main reason why Peter and I also chose to attempt Chogolisa this year after climbing Trango Tower, which is kind of an unusual goal for climbers like us. We wanted to see what our body feels like way above 7000 meters (22,965 feet), before we can go out next season and try to put up a new difficult climbing route in this altitude.


    Good luck on your next trip - where are you headed? Or is it a secret? And can you tell us about Peter? And what you look for in a partner for these kinds of adventures?

    In 2013 I'm planning on heading back to Patagonia for my fourth consecutive year and in summer I'll be back in Pakistan. I'm not 100% sure yet where exactly I'll be heading, but I saw so many unclimbed walls I just have to go back.

    Besides having what it takes to realize a project, my partner for big alpine projects needs to have a similar view on things as I do and has to be reliable. Peter is not only a strong alpinist, but also great guy and a good friend. Perhaps the only "downside" with having him as my main partner is that he simply cannot commit to expeditions as egoistically as I can. He has a family back home waiting for him.


    Interview and story by the UKClimbing Editorial Team for UKClimbing.com.

    For more on Lama read the full Rock and Ice article here).

     

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