In March 2022, Jon Nicolodi was able to free two old aid routes as mixed climbs: Across the Great Divide (M8 R, 5 pitches, 550′) on Cannon Cliff, and the Shurayev-Mirkina-Dynkin Route (aka “The Resistance,” M10, 5 pitches, 360′) on Agiocochook (Mt. Washington). Both routes involved runout climbing and some of the hardest drytooling in the state. He’s got plenty more plans for next season, but for now, he laughs, “I’m ready for some rock climbing.”
From fighting in active combat on the front lines, to scrambling to find food and supplies, to struggling to find a refuge for their families abroad, Ukrainian climbers have had their lives turned upside down by the Russian invasion. Three of them share glimpses into what their day-to-day existence looks like amid war.
On March 25, 2022, in an impressive 15-hour push, the 25-year-old Austrian Laura Tiefenthaler became the second known woman to solo the Heckmair Route on the Eiger-and thus the second known woman to solo the iconic Eiger North Face–thirty years after Catherine Destivelle’s historic solo of the route. (Two other women, Alison Hargreaves and Evelyne Binsack soloed the nearby Northeast Face by the Lauper Route during the 1990s.)
Mountain Standards Gear Review: Corey Buhay, a member of the US Ice Climbing Team, has been testing the Sterling Ion R 9.4 XEROS rope. The new XEROS technology is the first of its kind in which every filament of the rope is dry-treated, a process that adds a deeply integrated level of protection from water absorption. Buhay writes: “While I haven’t been using the rope long enough to vouch for its long-term durability, the new XEROS technology exceeds expectations on all counts so far. If you’re looking for a rope that’s meticulously dry-treated and reliable in all conditions, the Ion R 9.4 XEROS is a safe bet.” Five stars.
US Ice Climbing Team Member and Ouray Ice Festival gold medalist Corey Buhay has been using the Grivel Dark Machines all season, from Colorado to Cody, Wyoming. In this report, she tells us where the Dark Machines shone, and where they left her swinging for something better. “What a pity that the glorious ease of use existed only for Cody’s steeper pitches. For many of the area’s ice climbs, the crux sections are stitched together with lower-angle WI2-3 gullies and slabs. On those portions of climbs…the arched profile of the Dark Machines proved to be more of a liability than an asset….” 3.5 stars.
Lauren Shartell sent the Lightning in Vail’s Rigid Designator Amphitheatre on November 8. In doing so, she became the second US woman to climb the mixed ice and rock route. Corey Buhay chronicles Shartell’s unlikely start to climbing and her hurdles to success.
Corey Buhay finds the Montane Hi Q Lux Pro Pull On jacket to be a versatile piece of equipment for staying warm and dry in the mountains. She awards it four stars out of five.
The Grivel Lambda HMS Twin Gate is an unusual auto-locking carabiner that can be clipped with one hand and provides extra security on critical protection points. Just don’t try to use it with gloves.
Eric Klimt, a climber, teacher and videographer from Baltimore, Maryland, passed away in a climbing accident in Zion National Park on March 9. His family remembers him as an adventurer who projected routes around the globe. To remember Eric and his adventures, the Klimt family will hold two services.