• VIDEO: Nalle Hukkataival on Bügeleisen Sit Start (V15+)
  • Hans Florine, 50, Sets Solo Speed Record for Triple Direct on El Cap
  • Q&A: Shauna Coxsey Third Woman to Climb V14
  • Sam Davis Climbs Jade (V14)
  • Q&A: Alex Megos Sends Biographie/Realization (5.15a) in Three Tries
  • Q&A: Mirko Caballero Claims His 2nd V14
  • Respected Climber Falls 50 Feet and Dies at Cathedral Ledge
  • Coxsey and Caballero Climb V14
  • Ashima Shiraishi, 13, Becomes Second Female to Climb V14
  • Mélissa Le Nevé Sends Baa Baa Black Sheep (5.14b/c)
  • Alex Puccio Sends Nuthin’ But Sunshine (V13)
  • Q&A: Joe Kinder Climbs Punks in the Gym (5.14a) in a Downpour
  • Q&A: Sam Elias and Mike Kerzhner Fire 3rd Ascent of El Cap's PreMuir (5.13+)
  • Austin Siadak Solos Evolution Traverse in a Day
  • Roland Hemetzberger Frees Multi-Pitch 5.14a in Zillertal, Austria
  • Q&A: Mirko Caballero flashes his first V11 in South Africa
  • Kyle Vassilopoulos Establishes 130-Foot 5.14 at Wolf Point
  • Hukkataival Climbs Alpine Sport Testpiece Sibergeier (5.14a)
  • Chattanooga's Take on Buildering
  • Alex Megos Frees 20-Pitch 5.14b in Switzerland
  • Trotter, Caldwell, Wharton Put Up Six-Pitch Route in Sicily
  • Jes Meiris Beats Female Solo Speed Record of the Nose by 4 Days
  • Eitan Green, 28, Remembered
  • Kilian Jornet Smashes Speed Record on Denali
  • 7-Up: Honnold and Allfrey Climb 7 El Cap Routes in 7 Days
  • How To Be a Xena of Rock Climbing
  • Vail World Cup Comp Report: Noguchi repeats from last weekend, Sharafutdinov from last time at Vail
  • Emily Harrington Runs It Out to Send Tom et Je Ris (5.14a)
  • David Mason Sends 20 Problems (V11-V13) in Vastervik, Sweden
  • Mark Anderson Establishes the Hardest Route at Independence Pass
  • Six Presumed Dead After 3,000-Foot Fall On Mount Rainier
  • Q&A: Jonathan Siegrist Sends Biographie/Realization (5.15a)
  • Nick Duttle Sends 10 New River Gorge 5.14s in One Month
  • Ryan Jennings and Kevin Cooper Climb Major New Route in Alaska
  • Dean Potter Responds to Criticism About Flying with His Dog
  • New Yosemite Classic: First Free Ascent of The Unemployment Line (5.12-)
  • Alex Luger Frees "Psycho" 5.14 Trad Route
  • Mélissa Le Nevé Makes First Female Ascent of Wallstreet (5.14b)
  • Jimmy Webb Sends Jour de Chasse (V15) in 15 minutes
  • Ondra Climbs Two 5.14ds and One 5.15a - Plus Amazing Send Footage
  • Interview: Megos Sends Another 5.14d in Two Hours
  • Q&A: Ethan Pringle Gives Some Love to Jumbo Love (5.15b)
  • Nalle Hukkataival Sends Emotional Landscapes (V15)
  • Ondra Onsights Il Domani (5.14d)
  • Interview: Hukkataival on Bügeleisen Sit: Hardest in the World?
  • Special Report: Enough Misinformation, The Truth of Everest
  • Adam Ondra Climbs Two 5.14d’s While Training for the World Cup
  • Wharton Frees Hallucinogen in A Day
  • A Tribute To Our Brother, Ankaji Sherpa
  • 14-Year-Old Kai Lightner Climbs Lucifer (5.14c)
  • Jimmy Webb Climbs Multiple V15s in Magic Wood, Switzerland
  • Fransico “Novato” Marín Is the Oldest Person in the World to Climb 5.14a
  • Rad Video: Mirko Caballero Climbing Meadowlark Lemon
  • Save Getu Climbing From Destruction
  • Jan Hojer Sends The Story of Two Worlds (V15) and Big Kat (V14)
  • Jonathan Siegrist Establishes 5.14 Testpiece at Quality Arizona Crag
  • Alpine Ascent of the Season: Lindic and Krajnc Free Rolling Stones
  • Shauna Coxsey Climbs Her Second V13 in Albarracín, Spain
  • Video: Rok Klancnik Makes Third Ascent of Bügeleisen (V14/15)
  • Hazel Findlay Becomes the First British Woman to Climb 5.14b
  • Sasha DiGiulian Climbs Red Bull Stadium
  • David Roetzel Solos 15 Pitches of Hard Ice in One Day
  • Ueli Steck's Solo, Slawinsky and Welsted's K6 Ascent Win Piolets d'Or
  • Is Bishop World Class? Niccolò Ceria Says Don’t Believe The Hype
  • Dani Arnold Free Solos 1,100-Foot WI 6 in 27 Minutes!
  • Jimmy Webb Sends The Story of Two Worlds (V15) in Switzerland
  • Mirko Caballero Becomes Youngest Person to Climb V14
  • Katy Whittaker Climbs China Crisis (5.14a)
  • Sean "Stanley" Leary Killed BASE Jumping
  • Red Flag! Help protect access to the Red River Gorge’s most popular crag.
  • American Climbers Crush in Switzerland
  • Stefan Glowacz and Chris Sharma Attempt Massive Oman Cave Route
  • Mark Anderson Makes Third Ascent of Mission Impossible (5.14c/d)
  • Crazy Video: Free-Solo Aerial Dancing
  • Isabelle Faus Climbs the World’s First V12 Trice
  • Barbara Zangerl Sends the Spicy Trad Pitch Prinzip Hoffnung (5.14a)
  • Five Ten Adds Mirko Caballero to their Elite Team
  • VIDEO: Woods and Webb Crush The Nest (V15)
  • The Secret Climb of Chris Sharma and Stefan Glowacz
  • Cool Vid: Dave Graham's Process and Send of Foundation's Edge (V15)
  • Dan Goodwin Sets New World Record for Longest Lead Climb
  • Avalanche Kills Two Climbers in the Caucasus Mountains
  • Nepalese Government To Penalize Everest Climbers Who Leave Trash
  • Final Update: UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup and Olympics
  • Sean O’Neill Becomes First Paraplegic to Climb Bridal Veil Falls
  • Climbing Borders: Non-Profit Uses Climbing to Help At-Risk Youth
  • Piolets d’Or 2014 Nominations Announced
  • Nepal Changes Fees to Climb Everest: But Are They Lower or Higher?
  • Puccio and Woods Each Win Eighth ABS National Titles
  • Charlie Porter Dies
  • Nalle Hukkataival Nabs Third Ascent of Gioia (V16)
  • Ian McNaught-Davis: 1929-2014
  • Will Gadd and Team Make First Ascent of Overhead Hazard (M13+)
  • Woods and Wurm Win 21st Annual Hueco Rock Rodeo
  • Paul Robinson Establishes New V14 in Hueco Tanks
  • Sharma to Chouinard in a Weekend
  • Honnold and Caldwell Complete First Ascent of Fitz Traverse
  • Chad Kellogg Killed in Patagonia
  • Help Protect Eagle Bluff in Clifton, Maine
  • Updated: Magnus Midtbø is STILL Working on Neanderthal (5.15b)
  • Film Review: The Last Great Climb
  • New Multi-Pitch M11 Mixed-Route Goes Up in Ouray, Colorado
  • Jay Renneberg Remembered
  • Update: UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup in Switzerland and France
  • Adam Ondra Nabs Second Ascent of First Round, First Minute (5.15b)
  • Record Conditions for Redstone Winterfest
  • Q&A: Daniel Woods Gets "Obsessed" to Send Lucid Dreaming (V15)
  • Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest Celebrates 21 Years
  • 70-Year-Old Legends Tick Bird Brain Boulevard (IV Wi 5)
  • Help Open Climbing in Hawaii
  • Daniel Woods Sends Lucid Dreaming (V15)
  • Update: Climber Found Unresponsive at Rock Gym and Declared Dead
  • Cardwell and Puccio Win Di'Namik Comp
  • VIDEO: David Lama and Dani Arnold on First Ascent of Moose's Tooth
  • Update: UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup
  • Greg Mortenson Grateful for Allegations
  • Q&A: Honnold Takes A "Step Forward" by Soloing El Sendero Luminoso
  • Honnold Free-Solos the 1,750-Foot El Sendero Luminoso (5.12d)
  • Climbing Friend Accused of Killing Geoff Farrar at Carderock
  • John Long Writing Symposium Announced
  • Best In Gear For 2014
  • French Stars Storm Ouray: Mercier and Maureau Win 2014 Mixed Comp
  • VIDEO: Bernd Zangerl's Hardest Problem Yet--V16?
  • Robert Jasper Sends Cutting Edge Mixed Climb: The Black Death
  • Two Killed on Aconcagua
  • VIDEO: Sasha DiGiulian and Edu Marin Send Bellavista (5.14b)
  • 2014 Spitzer Award Winners
  • Roskelley First American Awarded Piolet d’Or Career Award
  • Raw Send Footage of Adam Ondra on New 5.14d First Ascent
  • John Ewbank, 1948-Dec. 2, 2013
  • The Hardest Pitch in Yosemite Goes Down!
  • Mallorca Access Problems for Climbers
  • Paige Claassen Sends India's Hardest Route--Ganesh (5.14)
  • Will Gadd Edged Out at Bozeman UIAA Mixed Comp
  • David Lama Solos New Winter Route in the Alps
  • Webb and Woods Both Send/Downgrade Meadowlark Lemon (V15/14)
  • Jan Hojer Claims V15 First Ascent in Fontainebleau
  • Tommy Caldwell Is Back on the Dawn Wall!
  • Exclusive Dawn Wall Videos: Episodes 3 & 4
  • Interview with Ondra on New 5.15c
  • Ondra Climbs Third 5.15c
  • Watch the Exclusive Dawn Wall Project: Episodes 1 & 2
  • Interview with Ty Landman on the Smiling Buttress FA
  • New Psychological 5.13d Testpiece in the Alps
  • Jimmy Webb Wins La Sportiva Legends Only 2013 Comp
  • Andy Turner Gets Second Ascent Of Powerdab (M13)
  • Muriel Sarkany Becomes Fourth Woman to Redpoint 5.14d
  • Liberty Cap Gets Second FFA of the Year: Scarface (5.12)
  • Q&A: Daniel Woods Defies Gravity
  • How-To's for Gym-Outdoor Transition, Barry Blanchard Memoir and More!
  • Defying Gravity (V15) FA for Daniel Woods
  • Boswell and Bullock Go Big in Canada
  • First Ascent of Unclimbed Peak in the Everest Region, Nepal
  • Building Ethiopia's Potential: Rock Climbing Near Addis Ababa
  • Ryan Vachon Sends M12 Testpiece on Gear
  • Cheyne Lempe Sets New Solo Record on El Cap
  • Gear Guide Contest Winners
  • Jimmy Webb Sends Bridge of Ashes (V15/14) in a Session
  • Updated: Three New Ice Routes on Mt. Evans, Colorado
  • Kevin Jorgeson Is Still Gunning for the Dawn Wall
  • Interview: Daniel Woods on His Hardest Boulder Problem Yet
  • Tommy Caldwell Hurt on the Dawn Wall
  • Jimmy Webb Repeats The Penrose Step (V14)
  • Get power the German way: New training book, new guidebooks and MORE
  • Q&A: Paul Robinson Sends Jaws II (5.15a)
  • Interview: Hazel Findlay Climbs Freerider (5.12d) on El Cap
  • New Ice Route on the Diamond: Window Pain (WI 6+)
  • Ondra Sends Three 5.14d's in One Day
  • Send in your Accident Reports and Win $1000 in Gear
  • Update: Jimmy Webb Flashes Two V12s, One V13 at Leavenworth
  • Interview and Video: Pete Whittaker on the First Ascent of Baron Greenback (5.13d R)
  • Rumney Local Makes Fourth Ascent of Jaws II (5.15a)
  • Traversi Takes Down the Leavenworth Project to Establish The Penrose Step (V14)
  • Graham Makes FA of Foundation's Edge (V15) in Switzerland
  • Woman Paraplegic Climbs El Cap Despite Yosemite's Closure
  • In the Cloud (V12): Hardest Boulder Problem Established by a Woman?
  • Sisu Masters 2013: Finland's Unique Bouldering Competition
  • Megos Makes Easy Work of Kalymnos Climbing Festival
  • Update: New Info on Ueli Steck's 28-Hour Solo of Annapurna's South Face
  • Ueli Steck Summits Annapurna's South Face ... Solo!
  • Sharma to Try New Clark Mountain Project, Possible 5.15+
  • Nick Duttle Sends 5.13 at 14,000 Feet
  • Yosemite Climbers Keep Climbing Despite Shutdown
  • Ashima Shiraishi Makes First Female Ascent of 24 Karats (5.14c) in the Red
  • UPDATED: Rave Reviews and Sleepless Sending at 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell
  • Chris Sharma to Try Dawn Wall Project on El Cap
  • Q&A: Paige Claassen on Sending One of the Word's Hardest Slabs--Art Attack (5.14b)
  • Government Shutdown Forces National Park Closures
  • New Female Speed Record on El Cap's Nose by Smith-Gobat and Sauter
  • Fatal Gym Accident
  • Memoirs of Big Walls and Peaks; Tahoe bouldering, Sonora Pass, Missouri Granite
  • Two More 5.15a's for Ondra in Norway
  • New Route on Kapura Peak, Pakistan
  • Yesterday's Gear Guide Giveaway Winner Announced!
  • Bellavista for MacLeod and Cassidy
  • Amazing Helicopter Mountain Rescue Caught on Video!
  • Ueli Steck Heads Back to Himalaya
  • Wide Boy Randall Ticks Cobra Crack (5.14) on Last Day
  • Wide Boy Pete Whittaker Sends the Cobra Crack (5.14)
  • New 5.14 Alpine Route on Mt. Hooker, Wyoming
  • Arizona Climbing Area at Risk of Destruction
  • More V15's for Graham and Webb
  • Wharton and Walsh Send the North Pillar of Twins Tower
  • Yesterday's Gear Guide Giveaway Winner Announced Here!
  • Polish Team Establishes New Route on Great Trango Tower
  • Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg Rescued from Frendo Spur
  • Daniel Woods Spins The Wheel of Wolvo (V15)
  • Kausch Breaks Record for 6000m Peaks Climbed in Andes
  • Barbara Zangerl Sends Des Kaisers neue Kleider (5.14a) and Completes the Alpine Trilogy
  • Heritage Featuring Carlo Traversi in Switzerland
  • Fischhuber and Stöhr Win European Bouldering Championships
  • Five Ten announces winners of 2013 CORE Awards
  • Trotter Sends New 5.14 Big Wall
  • Black Diamond Engineer Killed in Climbing Fall
  • 12-Year-Old Mirko Caballero Climbs His First 5.14b
  • New Guides to Bouldering in the Winds, Shuteye Ridge, Yosemite and More
  • Interview: Being Alex Megos
  • Ashima Sends V13 in Colorado
  • Alex Megos Establishes 5.15a Link-Up in Australia’s Grampians
  • Manslaughter Charges Filed in Death of Tito Traversa
  • Federation President Killed on G1
  • IFSC 2013 World Youth Championship Results
  • Mario Richard Killed in BASE Jump
  • Alex Megos Establishes Australia's First 5.14d
  • 12-Year-Olds Mirko Caballero and Ashima Shiraishi Send V13 in Magic Wood
  • New 5.12d Free Route on The Eiger's North Face
  • Sasha DiGiulian Makes First Female Ascent of Bellavista (5.14b) in the Dolomites
  • DiGiulian Continues to Roll, Onsights Italy’s Pole Position (5.13c)
  • Weekend Whipper: Psicobloc Choss
  • Mount Everest: New Regulations and "Government Mechanism" to Police Mountain
  • New 5.13b Free Route in Yosemite Valley by Mason Earle
  • Adam Ondra Makes First Ascent of Iron Curtain (5.15b)
  • DiGiulian and Webb Win Psicobloc: Photos and Video
  • Updated: Tommy Caldwell Repeats The Path (5.14 R)
  • Father and Son Killed on K2
  • Rocklands Climbing In Jeopardy
  • New Route Opened in Alaska's Rugged Revelation Mountains
  • Alex Honnold to Climb a Building on Live T.V. but Which One?
  • Weekend Whipper: How to Spot a Bad Spotter
  • New Guidebooks! Beta for Fitz Roy, Rifle and More ...
  • Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright Traverse California's 14ers By Bike and Free Solo
  • 24,278-Foot Mountain in Karakoram Finally Sees First Ascent
  • Gérôme Pouvreau Sends Silbergeier (5.14a) in the Rätikon
  • Kilian Jornet Breaks Speed Record on Mont Blanc
  • DiGiulian Cranks Another 5.14 First Ascent
  • Siegrist Repeats Moonshine (5.14d) in Wyoming
  • Ullrich and Muskett Climb Indian Face (E9 6c/5.13ax)
  • Interview: Adam Ondra About Onsighting La Cabane au Canada (5.14d)
  • Weekend Whipper: Don't Get Your Foot Caught!
  • Remembering Layton Kor
  • Brain Puzzle Winner, Wins!
  • Sasha DiGiulian Cranks the First Ascent of a 5.14c in South Africa
  • Alex Megos Sends The Wheel of Life (V15)
  • Adam Ondra Onsights La Cabane Au Canada (5.14d)
  • Paige Claassen Opens 5.14, Starts Charity Tour
  • 12-Year-Old Tito Traversa Dies From Climbing Fall
  • Austrians Make Second Ascent of Ozturk and Wilkinson's Tooth Traverse in Alaska
  • Randy Udall, Missing in Wind Rivers, Has Deep Mountain Roots
  • Five Ten Accepting Applicants for 2013 CORE AWARD
  • Enormocast Features Rock and Ice Publisher Duane Raleigh
  • Jimmy Webb Crushing Rocklands, South Africa
  • Shauna Coxsey Cranks First Female Ascent of Nuthin' But Sunshine (V13)
  • Video: James Kassay on the First Ascent of The Wheel of Life Direct (V16)
  • Ramonet Sends Sharma's Tierra Negra (5.14d/.15a) Second Try
  • Colorado Man Dies on Grand Teton
  • Nine Climbers Murdered on Nanga Parbat
  • 12-Year-Old Mirko Caballero Crushes In Europe
  • Nalle Hukkataival Sends Long-Standing Swiss Project
  • Two Events Commemorate Layton Kor
  • The Future of Bouldering?
  • Dave Graham Cranks the Second Ascent of The Full Circle (V14)
  • Daring High Altitude Rescue on Everest Sets Records
  • Alex Puccio Third, Stöhr and Sharafutdinov Win Vail World Cup
  • Yosemite's Liberty Cap Goes Free
  • Sharma and Crew Bring First Deep Water Soloing Competition to America!
  • Climber Dies on El Cap
  • New Climbing Area Purchased in Kentucky
  • Climbing Doesn't Make Olympics
  • Possible 5.15a by Steve McClure
  • Whittaker Says Missed Sex and Salad Most
  • 5.14d First Ascent for Adam Ondra
  • Nico Favresse Sends His Hardest Crack Climb!
  • Five Climbers Missing on Kangchenjunga
  • Tragic Climbing Accident at Tahquitz Rock, California
  • Trotter, Cardwell, Traversi and Schulte Join Photo Camp
  • Kenton Cool and Dorje Gylgen Sherpa Summit Nuptse, Everest and Lhotse
  • Updated: Death on El Cap
  • Woods and Robinson Send The Ice Knife (V15)
  • Daniel Woods Establishes New V14
  • Death on Everest
  • National Park Service Authorizes Fixed Anchors in Wilderness
  • Alexander Megos Sends Frankenjura's Hardest
  • Visiting Climbers Ignored Bolt Ban, Prompting Armenian Basalt Closure
  • Climbing Banned at Idaho's Castle Rocks
  • 5.14c Onsight for Adam Ondra
  • Climbing Banned on Armenian Basalt Columns
  • James Pearson Skips Bolts and Places Gear on 5.14a
  • 5.15a First Ascent for Alex Megos
  • Ueli Steck Attacked on Everest
  • Help Layton Kor's Family
  • Lama and Arnold Blitz New Route in Alaska
  • Q&A: Samuel Johnson Solos Mount Hayes
  • Barbara Raudner Climbs Mind Control (5.14c)
  • Female Onsight of Los Humildes pa Casa (5.14a)
  • Sachi Amma Throws Down in Spain
  • Interview: Wilder Sends 5.13d Trad at the New River Gorge
  • 13-Year-Old Drew Ruana Climbs To Bolt or Not to Be (5.14a)
  • Said Belhaj Cranks 5.14d Second Try
  • Climber Dies in Clear Creek Canyon, Colorado
  • Hard New Mixed Route in Alaska's Kichatna Range
  • Nalle Hukkataival Repeats Bügeleisen (V14)
  • First Ski Descent of Grand Teton North Face
  • Solid Gold: Dan Mirsky Opens New 5.14c
  • Joshua Tree Climbing Area Closed Due to Vandalism
  • Sherpa Killed Fixing Lines on Everest
  • VIDEO#2: Honnold Sending A Gift From Wyoming
  • Daniel Woods and Charlotte Durif Win SCS Nationals
  • Everyone Wins at Piolets d'Or
  • VIDEO: Honnold Sending A Gift from Wyoming (5.13) in Yosemite
  • Ramon Julian Sends Three New 5.14's in Spain
  • Hazel Findlay Sends 5.13c Trad Testpiece
  • VIDEO: Robert Jasper's Trad M12 Scarefest
  • Emmett and Gresham Do First One-Day Ascent of Three Welsh Classics
  • Carlo Traversi Sends New V15 in Switzerland
  • Megos Strikes Again with 5.15a Second Try
  • VIDEO: Guntram Jörg Sends V14 in the Canary Islands
  • Q&A: Traversi vs The Story of Two Worlds (V15)
  • Sasha DiGiulian Sends Two 5.14bs in One Day
  • Traversi Repeats The Story of Two Worlds (V15)
  • World's First 5.14d Onsight!
  • Chris Sharma Sends La Dura Dura (5.15c)
  • George Lowe, Member of Everest '53 Team, Dead at 89
  • Piolets d'Or Committee Hails Controversial Cerro Torre Climbs
  • The Struggle For Portugal's Hardest Sport Climb
  • Paul Robinson Cranks New V15
  • Lama, Ortner, and Auer Claim Bold Winter Ascent
  • Bouldering and Speed Climbing Join 2020 Olympic Bid
  • VIDEO: Magnus Midtbø Sends Ciudad de Dios (5.14d/.15a) in Santa Linya, Spain.
  • 5.13 First Free Ascents in Chile
  • Weekend Whipper: 60-Foot Fall!
  • VIDEO: Mina Leslie-Wujastyk Does FFA of Jason's Roof (V10/11)
  • Caldwell and Honnold Rip it Up in Zion
  • Kennedy/Dempster 3rd of Ogre Nominated for Piolet d'Or
  • Three North Faces, Solo, in Winter. Check.
  • Ethical Debate: Dave MacLeod's Routes Disputed
  • Daniel Woods Repeats Bridge of Ashes (V15)
  • 10-Year-Old Sends God's Own Stone (5.14a) in the Red
  • Missing Climbers Declared Dead on Broad Peak
  • Massive Ice Climbing Fall!
  • Dave Graham Sends New V15
  • VIDEO: Emily Harrington on Ice and Mixed Climbing
  • Weekend Whipper: Climber Falls Big on Cobra Crack
  • SICK VIDEO: Ondra Sends Change 5.15c
  • VIDEO: Interview With Adam Ondra
  • VIDEO: Alex Honnold in Chile
  • Two Polish Climbers Feared Dead on Broad Peak
  • Rope Jumping with Dan Osman
  • VIDEO: Mina Leslie-Wujastyk Does FFA of Careless Torque (V11)
  • Q&A: Schulte Sends V15 in Font
  • Solo Climber Dies in Fall
  • Weekend Whipper: Steve McClure on Rhapsody (E11)
  • VIDEO: Chris Sharma, Witness the Fitness (V15)
  • Jasper's Trad M12 Scarefest
  • Schulte Cranking in Font
  • Toru Nakajima Sends The Big Island (V15)
  • Spannuth Repeats La Rêve (5.14d)
  • New M12/13 in Montana
  • Ines Papert Sends New M9+ on Gear
  • Austrian Free Solos Cerro Torre
  • Woods and Puccio Win 2013 ABS Nationals
  • VINTAGE VIDEO: Dani Andrada on La Rambla (5.15a)
  • Weekend Whipper: Ice Groundfall
  • Chipping Controversy
  • New Book on How to Big Wall Climb
  • Grants for Everyday People
  • Robinson and Payne Dominate Hueco
  • Hojer Sends Dreamtime (V15)
  • Sick Video: Nalle Hukkataival Bouldering in Penoles, Mexico.
  • Schulte Cranks in Switzerland
  • Weekend Whipper: Dave MacLeod Whips Big
  • Three Killed in Cairngorms
  • COOL VIDEO: Sasha DiGiulian on "Era Vella" 5.14d
  • Woods Sends Hydrangea (V15): Updated with Photos
  • Q&A: Traversi on Meadowlark Lemon (V15)
  • Honnold Rips in Mexico: Updated with New Send
  • Colin Haley Frees Classic Bolted Line in Patagonia
  • Q&A: Chris Sharma Stokes the Fire
  • The Hueco Rock Rodeo Celebrates 20 Years
  • First Female M14
  • Ondra's Spanish Rampage Continues + Raw Send Video
  • Elias Wins Vail Mixed Comp
  • Weekend Whipper: Scary Ice Fall
  • Kurt Diemberger Wins Piolet d'Or
  • Winter Speed Ascent of the Diamond + Rare Repeat of Eldo Horrorshow
  • VIDEO: For the Love of the Game
  • Ondra Sends La Dura Dura 5.15c
  • Sharma Sends 5.15b Project! Updated with Video
  • First Winter Ascent of Europe's Biggest Wall
  • New Secretary of Interior Could Be Good News For Climbers
  • Dave Macleod is Back After Accident
  • Last Great Problem of the Antarctica, Solved
  • VIDEO: Core's Possible V17
  • Dave Graham Wins Spot Bouldering Comp
  • World's First Trad M10?
  • Two Climbers Killed on Les Droites in Chamonix
  • Weekend Whipper: Katie's Scary Tombstone Fall
  • Dani Arnold Ice Marathon
  • VIDEO: Malcolm Smith On Training for Hubble
  • VIDEO: David Graham Crushes in Australia
  • John Long Accident Recovery Update
  • The Naked Edge in 44 Minutes!
  • Sharma and Ondra Gunning for World's Hardest Route
  • 18 Murdered Near Potrero
  • Q&A: Bernd Zangerl Discovers New Boulders
  • Stanley Headwall Gets Sick New Route
  • The Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest Celebrates 20 Years
  • Hojer Sends The Big Island
  • Ice Climber Killed
  • Despite Warnings, Three Injured in Mount Washington Avalanche
  • Is Patagonia Now a Playground?
  • Video + Interview: Schulte's New V13 at Indy Pass
  • American Women Fire Fitz Roy
  • Dark Horse Repeats Hueco's Hardest
  • Cool Video: Making Tommy Caldwell
  • New Mixed Route in Italian Dolomites
  • Chasing Winter Debuts: Q&A with Ashima + Video
  • Four Dead in Scottish Highlands
  • Weekend Whipper: Man vs Tree
  • Big New Free Route in the Black Canyon
  • Widow's Tears Rare Repeat
  • New Slawinski Route Tribute to Guy Lacelle
  • Fontainebleau's Hardest Repeated
  • Fresh Ascent of Sharma 5.15a
  • David Lama Back to Patagonia
  • Happy Birthday to Fred Beckey
  • Gadd's New M11
  • Papert and Duverney Return, Win Ouray
  • Spindrift: Lama and Ortner Open Alpine Testpiece
  • Blow by Blow: Loskot's V15 Spraydown
  • Photo Gallery: Fred Beckey's Big Comeback
  • Ethical Debate: Traversi versus Blowtorch
  • V15s for Cardwell and Graham
  • Andres Marin Sends Ouray's Hardest Mixed Lines in a Day
  • VIDEO: Rad WI11 in Helmcken Falls
  • Daniel Woods Resurrects Witness the Fitness (V15)
  • Weekend Whipper: Josh Wharton's Screamer in the Park
  • Southeast's First V14? Woods Unlocks Aggravated Assault
  • Everest in 3.8 Billion Pixels
  • Two Dead on Aconcagua
  • Video: Toru Nakajima Storms Colorado
  • Cool Video: Jan Hojer Climbs Off the Wagon (V14)
  • Bill Forrest Dies
  • Thomas Bubendorfer: Eiger Legend Back in the Game
  • Q&A: V15 Maestro Nacho Sanchez Unleashed
  • Jimmy Webb Flashes V13
  • Sarah Hueniken Climbs M11
  • Maurice Herzog Dies
  • Is Chalk Toxic?
  • 11-Year-Old Repeats Sharma Testpiece
  • 10 Best Photos of 2012
  • Saturday Bonus: Stalking Dean Potter
  • Most Beautiful Unclimbed Line in Patagonia Climbed
  • John Long Accident Details and Update
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    Sport Climbing Basics
    Sport Climbing Basics

    Saturday Bonus: Stalking Dean Potter


    Did I tell you about the time I hung from the lip of the overhang,  pumped, looking down at the strewn blocks far below, calmly waiting for  death to take me into its bosom? Can’t be bothered. Or the time I was  marched away at the point of a Kalashinikov in the remote Central Asian  uplands by “soldiers” wearing Adidas shoes and “Enjoy Coca-Cola”  T-shirts? Why bother. You’ll have heard one just like it, I’m sure. Or  the time I was liebacking the 30-ton obelisk of granite on that  forgotten island off Greenland and the entire thing started coming  toward me. Oh, not that one again 

    The big stories are often too big. Bloated carcasses of derring-do pumped full of the gas of bravado, lifeless in the putrid water. The pressure of intestinal gasses farting out the same yarns time and time again.

    “And then I ... And then I ...”

    Let’s face it, if you’ve climbed long enough to have gone through your first block of chalk then you’ve heard all these stories and you’ll know how they work out. They’re too fat to have any truth or magic left in them.

    They are dead behind the eyes. Good night.

    But the little stories, they are a different matter. Stories that at the time you hardly noticed but years later you reflect on, seeing small signs in them that pointed in the most curious directions. That gave you insights into other people, other ways, that perhaps might shine a light into your own life.

    Kevin was the perfect partner inasmuch as he was desperate enough to climb with just about anyone, as was I. I had been set adrift in Zion. Chance in a million, the coffee-shop owner replied to my inquiry that there had indeed been someone hanging around who was looking for a partner. Kevin appeared some time later and, his cut-off denim shorts notwithstanding, I asked if he would want to form a rope. He did. Result.
    Through Touchstone Wall, Iron Messiah and Moonlight Buttress (with a rope, and aided, just so you can rank us in the grand scheme of things and relax into the story), we became friendly, and in the end I joined Kevin and his pickup truck to go on the road. Weeks of fantastic sandstone followed. From Zion we headed toward the Canyonlands, Fisher Towers and Indian Creek. I can’t recall the details of what we did but there was definitely something involving a parallel-sided crack. The town of Moab was the center of our travels.

    Sometimes we treated ourselves to a night in a hostel, and frequently we punished ourselves with one-dollar hamburgers from McDonald’s.

    Sometimes on slack mornings Kevin and I would make our way to a particular coffee shop on the south side of town that was the hangout for the local climbing scene. At least that’s how it appeared. It may just have been a congregation of badly dressed men without jobs who owned trucks, but every now and again a rope would appear from the back of a vehicle or a crux would be mimed. We went there neither for the coffee nor to rendezvous, more just to be there. For despite the fact that Kevin and I enjoyed each other’s company, something about the wide desert left us, both social and chatty types, with a hankering for more conversation every now and again.

    We seldom found it. We would arrive at the coffee shop just as trucks were leaving, irrespective of what time we actually got there. If we coincided with some of the climber-style people, we failed to join great interactions. We often sat consciously on a table slightly within their personal space and tried to make eye contact. We were generally ignored. Not that I blamed them, however. Kevin was still in his denim shorts and I had a very tourist tan, my white Celtic skin reddened on one side of my head and my big sunburned nose peeling. In my desperate need to shade my skull from the sun I had taken to wearing one of those hats that pedophiles wear. We both wore office-worker-style glasses. I wouldn’t have spoken to us either.
    One morning we must have mistimed it completely because the parking lot was filled with people, girls included. We found a spot, parked and tried to mingle. I joined the queue while Kevin went to the bathroom and I came out with two coffees. Kevin appeared from within, took his coffee and we both relaxed in the shade of the shop to observe the crowd.

    “Shit me!” Kevin said, springing out of his slouch into an upright alertness. “It’s Dean Potter.”

    A truck that had been in front of us moved off and there, revealed, was indeed Dean Potter. One of the jokes Kevin and I shared was pretending that we were into spotting climbing celebs, and we would make up over-the-top stories of what we would do to meet them. Classically, it was funny because it was true. I did indeed know who was who in the climbing world and the vast collection of climbing mags that Kevin toted around in his truck identified him as a true train spotter.

    I had seen Dean Potter in the mags and on videos and he seemed like a true ancient spirit. I loved the whole thing he had about being the bird and how different he was from all the other climbers. I thought he was great, still do. He was obviously hot property here for he stood ridiculously tall in the center of a small group arranged around him protectively. He was like a big scruffy lighthouse with wave upon wave of hangers-on breaking onto his rocks. We were psyched.

    We waited around for some time, conspiring strategies for approaching him, all the while drinking more and more coffee in our rising excitement. Eventually the backed-up caffeine imploded onto my intestines and I excused myself to go to the bathroom. After a rapid evacuation, I was on the brink of leaving the cubicle when I heard the main door of the bathroom open. I don’t like meeting people in that space so I sat down again momentarily to allow him to himself but the door to the cubicle beside me opened and the person came in. I looked down and in the gap under the partition I could see an enormous left foot: bare, tanned and streaked with street dirt. I recognized it. It was Dean Potter’s foot. Dean was in the cubicle beside me.
    Was this my chance? Should I wait till he was finished and deliberately open the door at the same time, and swan into a fulfilling conversation about the desert towers I had already done? No, this space was no place for conversation. Perhaps I could just speak to him from here, call under the partition and ask him about BASE jumping or slacklining, or whether he had ever climbed in Britain. What could I ask him in this situation that would be appropriate?

    “Excuse me,” I called out. “May I have some toilet paper, please?”


    I stuck my hand under the gap and waved my fingers around like a nude glove puppet. I heard a grunt, a turn of a roll dispenser, and something was pressed into my hand. I pulled it back and there in my grasp was a sheet of soft white paper. I had spoken to Dean Potter. I panicked now, reflushed the toilet, exited the cubicle and quickly left the room, leaving Dean famous and alone. I ran into the light.

    “Kevin, Kevin, I spoke to Dean. I spoke to him and he gave me this.”

    I waved the sheet like a flag of surrender.

    “He gave you that—Dean did?”

    “Yes, he was in the cubicle beside me and I asked him for it, and he passed it to me.”

    “Is he still there?”

    “Yes. Go and get yourself a sheet.”

    Kevin had turned toward the entrance when Dean burst out of the building, veered sharply right, got straight into a truck and drove off. Another truck followed. In no time the crowd that had hummed in the parking lot seemed to evaporate, and we were left, as usual, alone.

    We went climbing again that day and in the days that followed, and I think it took Kevin a day or two to get over his jealousy of me, especially as I continued to describe being within Dean’s aura and how sublime that had been.

    “I can’t describe it, Kevin. Only those who have been there would understand.”

    The sheet of toilet paper itself got lodged onto the dashboard, one corner under an air vent. It became the subject of some discussion and we were curious if it had been imbued with some of the aura, soaking it up like acid onto blotting paper. A concentrated super-hit of Dean-ness.

    In my Catholic past my mother would sometimes produce little medals from religious-holiday destinations. These had small glassy centers and set in the glass were squares of frayed cotton. I was told they were cuttings from the cloak of Saint Anthony or from Saint Christopher’s trousers. A piece of wood maybe, chipped from the One True Cross. She would wear the medals and make me kiss the glassy bits on Sundays or other feasts. They were called relics, although I’m pretty sure she got the joke.

    Dean Potter relics. There could be a profit in that. I suggested we chop the paper up into 200 pieces, set it in resin and sell it in Moab at $20 a hit to Potter Pilgrims. Four grand, I said to Kevin. Four grand.

    But ultimately, like most failed businessmen, we never got round to it. Our time together was nearing an end and we had lined up Primrose Dihedral as our last climb. The big one. Kevin drove his truck down the roughshod trail late one desert afternoon and we camped that night under the mighty totem of Moses. That morning we looked at each other and knew what we must do.

    I went to the dashboard, freed and halved the sheet, handed Kevin one of the magical gossamers and took the other myself. We both went off behind our respective rocks and with my eyes on the summit I carried out my ritual, and wiped. I then took a lighter from my pocket and, holding the relic by a corner, set fire to it. A small blackened ghost left the earth in the desert wind.

    The climb. Intense. We both struggled on the first three pitches. I felt awkward and lacked commitment but on the fourth pitch I started coming up. A new flow came over us both whereupon corners, cracks and walls went flapping by no harder than feathers. Such things as belays seemed tiresome chores. We summited and looked out, or in, at the world and its great forces, at the patterns in the cosmos.

    Magically, a black bird appeared and circled the tower. In its caw I heard the fabric of everything and understood where we fit.

    “The air,” the bird said. “Not only mine. Yours, too. Come.”

    Perhaps. Mundanely, we rappelled Pale Fire back to the red ground.

    I have lost touch with Kevin and hope he’s doing well, but still there was one part of the episode we didn’t touch upon at the time but on which I often find myself reflecting today. It remains the true fascinating jewel in the whole thing and through it I fancy I see into another life. It is this:

    When I asked Dean to pass me some toilet paper he passed me one sheet. One single sheet no more than five inches by five. I think that’s fascinating. What did he think I could do with one sheet of toilet paper in that situation? Is that all he needs? Or did he have me figured as a goon and was tossing the gag back at me? Did the bird tell him? Was he actually telling me I shouldn’t waste so much and this one square would suffice? A metaphor? Did he think I was wasting my life? Am I still wasting it, Dean?

    Am I?

    Niall Grimes was born in Northern Ireland but now lives in Northern England. He’s thinking about moving to Northern Scotland.


    This article was first published in Rock and Ice, September 2011.

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