Between January 20 and February 3, a climbing team of five Norwegians and the British alpinist Andy Kirkpatrick climbed in capsule style for 27 pitches up the thrice-attempted South Ridge of Ulvetanna in Antarctica's Queen Maud Land. Herein, Kirkpatrick tells their tale of success.
During a five-week climbing bonanza this summer, Oxford University Mountaineering Club members Tom Codrington, Jacob Cook, Ian Faulkner and Peter Hill sailed among the granite cliffs of Greenland, establishing six new big-wall routes, including two up the thrice-attempted Horn of Upernivik Island (1700m). Along the way, Seal hunters shot bullets over their heads, one rogue husky ate vital climbing equipment, and they made memories they would eradicate from their minds if they could.
Though he had climbed El Capitan in a day—three times—twenty-two-year-old Cheyne Lempe spent the days leading up to his solo attempt on the Salathe Wall (VI 5.9 A2, 2,900') trying not to puke out of the apprehension. "Tomorrow I'm going to try to climb the Salathe Wall on El Cap, in one day, by myself... Man, all those words in the same sentence just sounds... sounds like it's going to be a lot of suffering...."
Two climbers recently rappelled the upper reaches of El Capitan to conduct a traditional "Nose Wipe." They hauled out garbage by the bag-full, but an estimated 500 pounds of debris remains on Yosemite's best-known route.
"Sean has bad case of diarrhea, Nico has bit of a sunstroke and is vomiting, Stephane has bad headache and Evrard has sore back. So nothing unusual to report really," the four-man team wrote from Kyzyl Asker (5842m) on the Chinese-Kyrgyzstani border. And they hadn't even started climbing.
When I was a new teenage climber, I had to talk my parents gently through the mechanics of leading, following and rappelling, but it was their worries that taught me to think beyond the accepted norms of those around me. I came home gushing: my friends were putting up a first ascent from the ground up. Yet my mother didn't adopt the same enthusiasm....
Early this season, climbers Shawn Gregory, Chris Guyer and the intrepid Aaron Mulkey sniffed around cowboy country for climbable ice smears. Along the way, an ice pillar gives these desperadoes more than they bargained for.
Canadian Jon Walsh and American Josh Wharton completed the second ascent of the North Pillar (5.10d A2, 1500m) of Twins Tower on North Twin, a climb known for its horrible rock and technical nature on a face once described as "...dark, sheer and gloomy...like a bad dream."