looks like good times. Headed around the world in Jan for climbing and looking to land in Dolomites July. Checking out your TRs.
been checking out your climbing photos from SE Asia on MP.com Ken – great stuff man!! Looking forward to more.
Dude, cool site…
I don’t visit much but when I do, there’s always something new. Still looking to get Twin Pillars…
thank you very much Karl…sorry for the late response…still trying to figure stuff out here with the spam comment filters etc..cheers!
Perhaps you could help me with some information on Twin Pillars.
I am interested in getting into the cave shelter located on the face of Twin pillars.
I’m a bit older and broke up a bit but have friends that could likely lead climb for me.
I’m working on a book of the Caves Of Oregon and thought this setting for a photo could
be rather impressive. could you send me any beta on which route that cave is located,
what rating, and could you rap from the cave or do you need to top out? Any info. much
appreciated! Brent McGregor.
I’m sorry for the late response Brent but I’ve never done the Twin Pillars (would like to though 🙂 )
Nice site, Radek. Great pics. Agree with your opinion on the tourist part of Sedona although the area around it was nice. Wish we had some of that sun here right now. Maybe it will clear up and dry out by September this year! ;- )
Hey, thanks Mr. Brian – appreciate the visit & the nice word Sir…..that is right, we too miss Sedona on these gray, wet days here 🙂
Hey, thanks Mr. Brian – appreciate the visit & the nice word Sir…..that is right, we too miss Sedona on these gray, wet days here
had a bit of a slow afternoon at work so your website provided plenty of entertainment! Fun to find your pics of our trip to RR too! Boy, do I need to work on our pics from that trip. Might actually have a good one of you guys on the route.
Hope the weather is not too ugly in P-land… really bad here in Boulder… rain, rain, and more rain last few weeks.
Your site is great fun!
Hi Eric, thanks for the visit Sir! Hope you guys DO post up more pic’s & TR’s on your site soon but no pressure 🙂 Hope you guys are doing well despite the weather. cheers.
Awesome website! lots of good pics and info on routes! I was hooked for days! This got me all pumped up for our first trip to “The City of Rocks” this weekend! Climb on!
thanks Taylor – enjoy The City!
Love the TRs. You guys are awesome! Thanks for the effort in putting the stories and photos up.
awesome blog and pictures, really enjoyed the madagascar piece!!! Im planning on a trip to madagascar some time next year with a few friends and as an amateur filmmaker hoping to make a bit of a video (both on the climbing and for a wildlife conservation project, ive a few climbing videos up on my youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/MonkeyMissions?feature=mhee) anyway, hoping to get a nice video done on the out of africa route, I was wondering if you had any information, contacts, tips, and what do you reckon the temps would be like up on those faces in july time? hoping the cooler weather will aid a quick ascent (as a pasty brit, we dont do too well in the sun!)
Anyway, keep up the good work, may the friction we with you always!! 🙂 Luke
thanks for the visit Luke (nice vid’s too). We heard from a couple French guys putting a new route up that June is the best month for Tsaranoro…I’d guess July can’t be that far behind 🙂 …for what it’s worth, in mid-Sept we often found ourselves climbing in long sleeved shirts + wind jackets esp. up high. I think your best starting point is to google “camp catta”. you can basically organize everything you need thru. them. Have fun!
Hey Radek — enjoyed the Fishhook Arete pics ! Do you think supertopo overstates the difficulty of the route ? (they call it 5.9)
Hey Rob, it’s been a while but I remember thinking at the time it was pretty straightforward.
Very nice page, impressive photos,
and an always smiling climbing partner 🙂
grettings from Austria
Hey thanks! & sorry for the late response 🙂
Hello Fellow Portlandians,
My husband and I just came back from El Potrero less than 2 weeks ago, and I am already sick of the rain – not good. I’m thinking a trip to Cochise Jan/Feb with the primary objective being sunny climbing. I was wondering if you had thoughts on west side vs east side that time of year? If my memory serves me, west side seemed warmer when we were there in October. and thoughts on climbing there that time of year in general? Love your site!
I’m very sorry for the late response but we just got back from Potrero (did not stay in Posada & so had no internet though) tonight 🙂 …really it’s your guys’ fault as we’ve been drooling over your 2 Potrero write-ups (& photos!) for some time now & finally did the deed this Thanksgiving week (needless to say it was AWESOME!). As for Cochise, I think you’re right. West side (Sheepshead, Whale Dome etc..) might be a touch warmer than the east side. But I think the only formations that tend to get really cold & windy are the Rockfellows (probably the highest thing in the Stronghold). Other east side stuff (Wasteland etc) seemed OK & staying on sunny faces will make pretty much anything there climbable I think. If you guys have any questions feel free to shoot us an email at rpchalupATyahooDOTcom. Again, sorry for being so late getting back to you guys. cheers & thanks for the Potrero stoke! radek
I have been following your conquest these past few months since I found this site, soaking up all of your great info. I am from Boise Idaho, actually thinking about moving to Portland the fall of 2012. I am planning a 3 month Trip for the spring/summer of 2012 through the southwest hitting up anything I can climb. I would really like to get in touch with you and possibly bump into you somewhere. I would like to email you my Ideas for my trip and maybe get your opinion on crags and routes. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thank you! (Birdboy511@gmail.com) P.S. I will be in Portland mid January and would like to meet up and chat about your amazing adventures! – Taylor
Taylor, thanks for the kind word. Sure man, shoot me an email at rpchalupATyahooDOTCOM. cheers.
Very good job on this blog … thank you for all best topo about climbing in U.S.
I follow in futur your blog … Great
Really enjoy your trip reports. Keep em coming!
Jordan, Portero, Madagascar, and Canada (woot!) all within the last year. Wow. It’s been a long time since we discussed Sky Chimney at Smith on Summitpost. For the first time since 1993 I went for a full year without once breaking out the climbing rope. While I don’t regret my life raising little kids, and more time on skis than in climbing shoes, I’ve got to admit it’s awfully fun (and a little bit of jealousy) to keep up on your blog and see the places you go that I’ve had on my list, and other places I havn’t. In 3 weeks I’ll be in Joshua Tree and Red Rocks to see if I still remember how to climb. Thanks for the effort in posting, it helps. Live with no regrets, and back up that anchor! I’m counting on meeting you guys on your 4th trip to the Dolomites. I’m assuming we will meet on the descent after you’ve led some 18 pitch 10.d and I’ll be coming off a via ferrata with my two cute little helmeted and harnessed daughters in tow. See you then. Darin.
🙂 thank you for the nice words man! The thing about this site (going thru. old photos etc..)…I realize how time flies. Can’t believe it’s been almost a decade since we’ve talked about Sky Chimney (too much time spent dwelling on this & I’ll be reaching for a stiff drink soon enough). Will drop you an email (via SP) if/when we get the chance to get out to Norway..that Stetind & those Lofoten Islands really look AMAZING (very PNWish weather I hear though). Hope you have a great time in the US deserts & post up at least a little bit of your climbs somewhere (SP?). Take care & talk soon. Cheers. radek
Hi ya – I live about an hour from Stone Mountain, NC, and I learned to lead there many years ago, so I got a good chuckle reading your blog. I really enjoyed your perspective and pics, and as someone who has spent more time than I care to admit strung out on some godforsaken runout at Stone and asking myself “what the hell were you thinking,” I can vouch that everything you’ve said about the place is TRUE. I have uttered many bad words while climbing there. Oddly, I keep going back, which seems to confirm your point about how returning to Stone is like cutting yourself with a razor.
I was particularly impressed that you pulled off the third pitch traverse on The Pulpit when it was WET. This is crazy slick when it’s bone dry, and more than one leader has come a cropper trying to cross it when it was wet, so hats off. (I proposed to my wife at the belay right after that traverse. It was six weeks after breaking ribs, which made the traverse even more interesting).
Your attitude is admirable – it’s always best to approach Stone with the idea of bailing if it gets too weird. The FA guys from the ’60s and ’70s were seriously hard men, and although I appreciate the rigorous ethic, more than once I’ve cursed what seemed like a whacky absence of gear. Legend has it that prodigious amounts of, um….herbal relaxation….eased the fear factor on many of those FA’s. But look on the bright side: Although the anchors are sparse, at least they’re bomber. And there’s no need for all of that other gear. You just need a bunch of draws and ‘biners. Oh, and the courage to think the unthinkable.
Luckily (well, unless it’s a ground fall…) if you blow it, then it usually turns into a long slide. Here’s a tip: Turn over on your ass to save your hands. My brother can vouch for this technique, but he also nearly tore his pants off in the process when he zoomed in at the speed of sound. Really, he did. We tried not to laugh, but how can you not? Or, you can take the Death Grip option, as a friend of mine once did on The Sermon, which is a heinously runout 5.9 (redundant, I know, but work with me….). The resulting pressure generated enough heat to melt steel, and he ended up nearly erasing his fingertips. Or, if you’re way out, it will be a tumbling carnival ride of earth-sky-earth-sky-earth-sky WHAM (voice of experience speaking here….). Good times.
If you make a return, I can highly recommend Fantastic (5.9), which has – surprise – good gear placements on the first and second pitches, and includes seriously thought-provoking but well-protected moves on both pitches. Then it’s back to face stuff, only steeper than normal for Stone. And if you didn’t do No Alternative on your previous trips, it’s the left-facing mirror image of The Great Arch, only easier, and way scenic. The last pitch is just stupidly run out (you’re shocked to hear this, I know), but it’s really easy 5.6-5.7, and you can finagle some decent gear in the tiny overlaps on the way.
Really enjoyed your site. if you ever come back to Stone, let me know, and we can go and say bad words together.
I also got a great laugh out of your post (breaking the sound barrier while sliding on one’s ass down a 5.9-5.10 slab! 🙂 Many thanks for the kind words! I appreciate the Fantastic route recommend. If (when…) we go back, I’ll give it a looksee for sure. This place has a weird sort of hold on one…scared but want more. Crazy stuff. Guess it’s good to scare oneself once in a while. My wife says “no way” but I think in another year…we’ll be back, esp. since my folks moved to SC & we have an extra reason to be in the neighborhood. Many thanks again for the good word & sorry for the lateness of my response. Cheers.
Hi Radek – Thanks, and yes, after 25+ years of climbing there, I can vouch that Stone can put a weird hold on you, and I have a long running love/hate relationship with the place. If you make it to SC, you should really consider Looking Glass Rock, in Pisgah National Forest, near Brevard, NC. Amazing place with great rock – everything from easy face to great jam cracks to hard aid. Think of it as Stone Mountain, only with something for your hands. I particularly like the aid routes on the north side – really nice stuff, and easy access.
Marshall, thank you very much for the recommend. Plenty of beautiful multi-pitch granite in NC no doubt (best climbing on the east coast…my feeling) – but yeah, Looking Glass has been at the top of our list. Regards.
Hi, I am Skeno from Italy, I was looking for pics of Wadi Rum and I found your wonderful site with astonishing pictures.
I would like to ask you the permit to use pictures for the free magazine of Italian Alpine Club section of Genova: http://www.cailiguregenova.it/php/home3.php?request=rivista (we all work as volunteers)
Our fellow went to Wadi Rum and wrote a short article, but he has no pics cause he got his camera stolen at the airport in Rome… He climbed Merlin’s Wand and Orange Sunshine as you did.
p.s. take a look at my dog… https://picasaweb.google.com/skeno69/GiroDelMonteAiona#5667155773762376082
Skeno, thank you for asking. Yes, you can use the Wadi Rum photos for the article you mention.
You have a beautiful looking dog! Cheers & thanks for visiting and the kind word Sir.
Thanks a lot, you are very kind!
This stolen camera affaire was a big problem for us!
If you write me your address I will be glad to send you a copy of tha magazine, the issue is scheduled for Xmas.
Hi Skeno – yes, would love to get a copy of your publication if it’s not too much hassle. Can you give me an email address where I can send you my mailing address? thank you!
Here you are.
Radek and Shirley! What great adventures you guys have done! You 2 are the most prolific couple I may have heard of. Keep dreaming, Wayne
Wayne – thank you very much! Big fan of your blog & a regular reader. You sure have a great eye for photos (eg – I’ve never seen the view of Trout Creek columns from the tops of climbs – what a cool landscape) & obviously your exploits are legendary. An inspiration! radek
Love the site, was looking for beta for my freind Ryan, thanks R,S and Blondie for details on your wonderful adventures.
thanks for the visit Steve! cheers.
Glad to see that you finally conquered the illusive Finger of Fate! I’m headed up there this coming weekend to take a shot at standing on the summit (thunderstorm dependent). Just had a couple of questions… what’s a good rack for the climb? We are backpacking in for two nights, so I’m trying to go as minimal as possible on the rack. Also, from the bottom of the raps, how far is it back to the base of the climb? Are approach shoes necessary or can we get back to the base with rock shoes on?
I think a set of doubles to #3 & one #4 C4 is probably enough…There was a section on P1 that would’ve taken a #5 Friend. I think a conservative rack would be doubles to #4 C4’s & a #5 Friend. Have fun – a really FUN climb!!
It’s always fun to come and visit your site. Your slide shows are great and inspiring. Unfortunately, I’ve not been climbing much at all lately due to injuries and arthritis. But, I still enjoy checking out climbing photos.
All the best to you and Shirley.
Marc from SP
Marc, many thanks for visiting & the kind word! Kept thinking about that Pratt’s Crack area you posted on SP until finally we could stand it no more & visited the canyon earlier this year. All I can say is holy cow!! Brilliant climbing! Hope you get some in before the summer is over. Best wishes!
Hey Radek- I just got back from the Cirque and read your TR on Warbonnett. I wish I had come across it more detail before the trip. So we hiked in first thing Fri morning, set up camp in the Cirque and were ready to climb by 12pm. The following day we planned to do Pingora-SE But and Wolf’s Head. So, although the beta was sketchy, we decided the NE Face (right side) of Warbonnet may provide us 1/2 day of climbing. We made it up to the saddle between Plume and War easily from the north side with just Class 4 scrambling on rock. At the Col we angled up to the right over easy 5th toward a left facing dihedral close to the right hand ridgeline. This crack was quite challenging and I really had to give it my all. It felt at least 5.9. At a point the crack eased and then got harder before the upper ridgeline. From here we traversed left under the main ridge and finally found a chimney. Just under this chimney, I led an exposed crack on a ridge that was pretty easy 5.6-7 until it reached a neon yellow/green sling at which point a tricky thin crack angled up and to the right. I naturally clipped the sling and made a move or so up this angled crack with no feet. I finally planted a hand on a decent hold well above me and stepped up when my foot skated and I fell back down to the sling and flipped backward and over that edge onto a blank vertical wall. The cord/anchor held and I was fine. First time I’ve ever fallen climbing and I was surprisingly calm and okay with it. My friend finished the pitch (his foot also slipped) and then he led us up an awkward chimney to the summit. It was late, but not terrible if we could just make the trail by darkness. We descended down the south ridge of Warbonnet looking for a gully or such back down to near Arrowhead Lake. Soon it was dark and we were forced to gamble and try to rap off the east side, thinking maybe just a few raps. 12 raps later (which included several raps into complete blackness over vertical wall and 1 time when the rope didn’t reach something and I had to anchor myself with a nut on a tiny foothold to look for another rap) we reached scrambling terrain at the south of the Plume-Warbonnet approach. We quickly blew thru the webbing I had and I lost most of my thin long runners. It was a tough one, but we reached our camp at 4am. Surprisingly, there were headlamps high up on Pingora!
It looks like you definitely went left of us, but do you know anything about that extreme right crack we climbed (it had a piton right near the top where it became insanely tough?
Wow!! Hell of an adventure Sean. We were camped out near the base of the SE face of Warbonnet on Friday night & heard some voices at night but not sure what time & so not sure if it was you guys. Glad to hear the epic raps worked out well!! Can’t tell you about the details of the line we climbed…it’s been a few years, I just don’t remember. I gotta ask – did you guys nail the Pingora & Wolfshead climbs in the day(s) after? Seems the WBs NE face saw quite a bit of action last weekend with you guys, Pellucid Wombat of SP & 2 more guys that we saw Sat. evening all climbing something on that face (perhaps those were not 3 independent parties??). Thanks for visiting. cheers.
awesome and amazing web site with a lot of great ideas and routes to add in the todo list.
I would say that you are a luck family.
Could I ask you some behind-the-scenes questions about pinnacles? Email me if interested 🙂
Hi Radek and Shirley:
My son Chris and I met you at upper Bead Lake Sept 1. I gather from your trip account you didn’t succeed on Cirque Lake Tower, but I’m happy you emerged unscathed.
We successfully completed our cross country tour of Goat Creek basin’s lakes, crossing the divide just North of Reward Peak and dropping down to Upper Redfish Lakes. We then moved on to the Winds, where we visited the Cirque of the Towers after slogging up Texas Pass from Maes Lake. Visited Baptiste Lake and saw Mt Hooker’s north face–supposedly the biggest wall in the Winds.
5 or 6 climber groups at the climbers camp in the Cirque, although we didn’t actually see anyone climbing. Did see a group of 4 on Warbonnet as we exited via the climber’s route by Arrowhead Lake. They weren’t progressing very quickly, so kinda doubt they were successful.
You have a very nice website. Very impressive trip accounts. Hope to keep living vicariously thru your adventures. Please send an email address where I can send you some photos.
sorry for the late response. Many thanks for the overly kind words!! It was a pleasure to run into you guys & I’m happy to hear you guys had a good time in the Sawtooths & (later) Wind Rivers. There’s a photo of all of us on the page in question. Would love to see the photos you mention…email address is rpchalupATyahooDOTcom
bonjour de France,
merci de nous faire rever avec d’aussi bonnes photos,
et celà depuis plusieurs années, parce que je suis trop
âgé pour l’escalade.
une mention particulière pour l’ambiance de bonheur
qui se dégage de vos reportages, surtout avec Blondie,
ce qui m’émeut un maximum, car l’amour des chiens
révèle la qualité de gens tels que vous.
encore merci !
Hervé, merci beaucoup pour vos commentaires très agréables. Soyez assurés que Blondie obtiendrez un cookie supplémentaire aujourd’hui pour ses contributions inestimables à notre site d’escalade 🙂 Merci de votre visite et des acclamations de l’Oregon.
PS J’espère que google translate effectue de manière adéquate.
Came across your site… nice posts and climbs! I was curious if you have any knowledge about Monte Verita. A friend and I are thinking about climbing this but I haven’t been able to find much info about a route, other than a little bit of info on summitpost.
We typically stick to strenuous hikes/scrambles….no technical climbing with ropes and gear. Not sure what the upper sections of Verita entail. If you have any info it would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Just to be sure, you do mean in the ID Sawtooths, right? Never been up the ridge itself but saw it from both sides (Warbonnet & Baron Lks.). The rock spires would definitely be 5th class (some rts described in the Lopez guidebook). But there are saddles in the ridge between spires that are probably accessible via 3rd-4th classing. Good luck – beautiful area which I’m sure you already know. Cheers
Don’t know if this will work, but I saw a nice photo shot from the rim of Sutton Mountain in Central Oregon. We would like to use the photo in an upcoming story on Hiking Trails. Please contact before 2/4/13 if possible. Thanks.
Guy, yes you can use the photo & if possible credit the author (feel free to email me at rpchalupATyahoodotcom). thanks for asking!
good to find your site back up and running (been down for the last few days?), and you safely back from EPC! Looks like you had a good (though short) time there?
Thanks again for the reports! Makes long boring days at work more tolerable!
Eric, thank you very much…
so how is your guys’ summer looking? Any possibility of a trip out to the PNW?? Here’s an idea…Labor Day+…Slesse…you guys stay as long as you wish…come on!! The classic line is a thorn in our side…you guys must be itching for it too, no? 🙂 Hope you guys had a great ice season (if Slesse is a “no” perhaps another go at meeting up in the Cirque?) Our best – say hi to Lucie from us. cheers. radek
Thanks for the valuable information and photographs of many of the Meteora classics. Looks like you had a great time. I was curious how did you learn about most of the routes? Are there any other classics that you wanted to do but didn’t have the time? Thanks!
Aggelos, I think we found a few route descriptions online (summitpost.org for example) & then bought the 2-volume guidebook in Kalambaka. It was an amazing climbing trip – loved the area and the climbing (despite the bad weather we had)! Yes there’s tons of routes I’d love to come back for, eg. Kontrastprogram (sp?), Black Magic, more lines on the handsome Sourloti face, Corner Of Madness (which we got rained off from) etc….Thanks for visiting.
First congratulations to your Website – Informative stories and beautiful pics.
We are planning a (climbing)trip to Madagascar in September this year. Can you tell us how you found your driver from Tana to Camp Catta and how did you arrange the trip back to Tana after the two weeks. Can you remember what you payed for the taxi?
Many thanks and best greatings from Austria
Renate, sent you an email with the information. Cheers.
I found your site after returning from Devils Tower. You took much better photos than I did! thanks for sharing. It was one of the best days of my life, but I am not a climber so it was really hard for me. Next time up I want to find the “Dreyfuss Route”. Here are some of my photos” http://www.panoramio.com/user/5794447
Hey Rod – sorry for the late response (your comment slipped thru. the cracks somehow). Nice pics.
Nice site! Big accomplishments in climbing! Congratulations. I invite you to check out my site as well as a new climbing area i have developed near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This country has so much potential. You might want to put it on your list. Cheers!
Nico – thank you for the overly kind word. Nice area indeed!!
Perhaps some day. thanks for visiting.
Nico – I just saw your blog & realized that I’ve read your (great) story on Oman a few months ago…just stumbled onto it somehow (http://nicojah.com/the-arabian-pursuit). Love the writing style & the story. Cheers!
Hey you two…nice pics in the Mazama bulletin. Looks good on my coffee table.
Thanks Karl – count your lucky stars that I was behind the camera & you don’t have to stare at my ugly mug while looking down at your coffee table
Hey, kudos on the awesome blog. Thanks for the great beta pics of Black Elk. Heading there in August.
Thanks Pawel. Enjoy BE – a GREAT route!!!
truly great trip write ups.
You may remember me from the potrero and/or heard about the crazy fart who got bunged up but good in december 2011,cleaning with my body a new two pitcher with Magic ed,
Of course we remember you – been following your recovery via Ed and his website. We’re flattered you remember us. That was a great time in the Potrero…the small group of climbers – felt like a great little community (not exactly the same atmosphere this past February…more climbers). Nothing but fun and warm memories. Is your recovery pretty much complete? Can we expect to see you (climbing) in the Potrero in the winter? Cheers & thanks for the nice words and the visit. radek
PS feel free to email at rpchalupATyahooDOTcom
Hey my girlfriend and I met you a few months back at Smith, we were the ones that startled you when we parked next to you and knew who you were (via chossclimbers).
Anywho, we live in Boise and are finally getting around to checking out The Perch this 4th of July weekend! We’re planning on warming up on Mountaineer’s Route. My question is regarding our second route, which route did you find more enjoyable (easier), Sunrise Book or Astro Elephant? I would assume Sunrise might be a bit quicker as it’s only 5 pitches? But yet Astro looks pretty stellar too…
Hey Russell, good to hear from you. Think you nailed it – one (SB) is short but probably a little harder (good pro though all the way I think) and that includes aiding the 12- section. Astro is longer but probably a little easier. Some route finding on that one also (just keep your eyes open & follow the topo). Both were fun but I think SB is a slightly easier day out. Have fun!
I was looking through your meteora photos. Beautiful pictures, reminding me of a few trips I did myself to Greece.
PS: Spindel does not mean penis, but the rock should be actually called that way. I guess the orthodox church did not allow.
Best wishes, Andre
thank you for the kind word. Meteora is such an amazing place to climb – nothing but fond memories from those ~2 weeks there. Wish we could go back sometime. And yes, I know Spindel doesn’t mean penis 🙂 (just poor taste “humor” on my part). Cheers.
My boyfriend and I have been looking through your Thailand pictures, some amazing climbs you guys found! We’re going there in November and looking to follow an itinerary similar to yours. Super excited about the motorcycle trip through the sunflower fields, and rapping onto the roof of a bar. Just curious where you guys stayed in Railay, and if you would recommend it or staying in Tonsai is better? Thanks!
thanks Annie. Shoot me an email & I can try to answer your questions.
EDIT IN: email sent.
Hi, Stumbled on your site. Great adventures. I climbed Dogbreath with Rod, back in 1974, Christmas day. Was quite an epic, very little gear and long runouts, very hot and little water. The Brandberg was, and probably still is, extremely remote. We only had a VW Beetle to drive through the desert to the base of the Orabeskopf gulley. When we got back to the car, it would not start and had to walk out with no water. You have revived some great memories. Keep climbing. Ray
Ray, thank you so much for stopping by and the note. It must have been one hell of an adventure for you guys!! Being the first climbers up that valley and on that beautiful face (and under the blazing Christmas sun no less). Always in awe of such firsts. How did you guys find this wall? Even today the area felt very remote (to us anyway…probably not as remote as back in the day). Thank you again – best regards. Radek
Radek, I always enjoy visiting your site, but today was especially good. Your shots of the West Face of Leaning Tower and the captions made my heart race as if I had been there on the climb myself. For so many years I wished I had a camera to take photos of friends coming up cleaning a pitch. But, I always thought cameras were too heavy and cumbersome to have on a climb, hence no photos. I wish I had been borne 20 years later than I did!
Thank you so much for sharing your incredible climbing adventures in such a free and open way.
Keep climbing and stay safe,
thanks for the nice word & great to hear from you. Leaning Tower was a FUN climb (what a proud line too!) – the heat was less than stellar but that’s the price we pay for going for it in July 🙂
I spent several hours last night viewing pictures from your climbs – mostly the Dolomites. Excellent shots and many views of climbs that I did not capture with the camera. It’s amazing how many routes you have done in common with myself. Not only in the Dolomites, but El Potrero, Squamish, City of Rocks, Red Rocks, Yosemite, Tetons, etc.
Good job! Very fun!
Hi Richard, I guess we get inspired by similar looking things: multi pitch lines! 🙂 Thanks for the kind comments & the visit.
Let me know the next time you guys visit City of Rocks or Castle Rocks. I’m spending more and more time there and have a house there. It would be fun to get together and talk – or climb – or eat.
Richard, thank you very much!! Will do next time we get the chance to visit. Apologies for the late response – the comment slipped by w/o my noticing!
Richard, thank you for the generous invite! We’ll do next time we have plans for City Of Rocks. I apologize for the late response – your comment slipped by me w/o my noticing.
came across your website and pics on summit post. Great pics, you guys rock.
Just wondered where you are from.
I am Radka and I am from Czech republic, has lived in PDX area for the last 15 years.
I don’t rock climb, just looking at your pics makes me dizzy but love to hike and backpack.
Hi Radka (great name if I may say so!! 🙂 ) – thanks for the nice comment.
“wondered where you are from.
I am Radka and I am from Czech republic”
…just across the Tatra range. Cheers.
I found your story online and thought you might have some information or useful contacts with regard to exploring Brandberg.
My name is Mark Jenkins and I am a field staff writer for National Geographic Magazine. My specialities are adventure and war. I climb mountains, kayak rivers, explore canyons and caves around the world, as well as cover landmines, insurgencies and conflicts. I will be on assignment covering landmines in Mozambique for the ICRC 16 Nov-26 Nov. National Geographic Traveler has asked me to spend a week backpacking through the Brandberg Mountains of Nambia directly thereafter—27 Nov to 5 Dec—to write a feature about the San paintings, the San people, and their culture of walking. I realize this is not the ideal time to visit the Brandberg, too hot, however this is the time I have. Besides, I am accustomed to moving at night when need be.
I am looking for a partner, or partners, for this trek who have deep experience in the Brandberg. If possible, it would be wonderful to have one of the San people.
Do you have any contacts in this regard? I am leaving for southern Africa in just a few days and a prompt response would be very much appreciated.
Laramie WY 82070
Sent you an email Mark. Cheers.
I ran across your site as I was planning a trip for the Dolomites (a honeymoon next summer) and was thrilled to read all the scik trip reports and see the amazing photos. Definitely upped our excitement about a similar trip to the two you’ve taken. I was wondering if you might be willing to correspond via e-mail re: lodging, itinerary, climbs, etc. I have a lot in mind but would love to pick the brain of someone who’s spent time there already.
If you’re so willing then shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Regardless, thanks for the great trip reports, keep them up!
Getting back into rockclimbing after many years hiatus. Just glanced through the photos of your 2005 climb of Pingora NE Face. Brought back memories from August 1974 (if not FFA, close to it). Photos from some of your other trips are marvelous. Would love to bump into you guys some day.
Tom, many thanks for the kind word Sir. It’s a route & outing we reminisce very fondly about (esp. since our dog was still a youngin’ back then). Hopefully we run into each other out there in the mtns. some day. Thank you again for the nice note, kind regards. radek
I loved your photos of grand funk railroad at stone mtn. Please tell me what camera you used. Quality is great. Was trying to remember how high the first bolt was. First time I led it, I climbed the tree close by and slung a tree limb, came back down the tree and began tippy toe`n up towards the bolt. Just as I was about to reach it, my belayer sensed my high heart rate and figured I was about to bail. He tensed me up slightly and pulled my balance off and down I came. Still have scars on my elbow as I scraped flesh off…..I love stone mtn!!
thank you very much for the kind word. My apologies for the late response – was not checking the site for a couple of weeks. We use a mix of cameras. One is a P&S Cannon sx160is & the other is a cannon 260xs (currently). Those were chosen because of …price :)…usually the cameras that get to go climbing lead short lives (<2 yrs) due to dirt, wear & tear. So generally go with stuff that's not too pricy. The scenery photos taken from the trail/car etc. were taken by a Nikon D3200 SLR (since 2012…prior to that it was also P&S). I do love Stone Mtn as well. Think I'm ready for a return trip (now that the memories of fear are beginning to fade LOL). Helluva story you have about Grand Funk RR…but it's reassuring to me to know that people DO walk away from falls at Stone - rest assured I'll be thing about it as I'm 30 ft out from my last bolt next time we're there. Thanks again. Cheers, radek.
Great climbing photos.Please send me an Email on what type of camera you use…..I am tired of carrying a full size DSLR on my climbing trips.
Paul from NC…..(lover of Stone Mtn.)
Thank you for your reply. Sorry,I didn’t mean to double post on asking what type camera you used. Didn’t know if first one came thru. Wish all climbers were as nice and helpful as you have been. Keep safe and keep up the good photo work.
I did the Steger on the East Face of Catanaccio with Con Higgins, way back in 1962.
I didn’t recognize some of your locations but we may have veered off to the right of the big overhand and missed the best pitch, near top.
I do recall first few pitches were up a steep corner and belay stances were small holds on either side of corner. Great route, not too hard but always interesting and exposed.
We also did one route on either side of Steger, one on Black Wall(mura negra) and the other to the left. Mura Negra route was hardest technically.
We also did 2 routes on Vajolet Towers, the tourist route on edge of T. Delago and Steger route on south face of T. Winkler.
Great area to start and alpine season.
Your pix were great and gave a great sense of the valley and high towers.
I was from Scotland then but lived now in Vancouver BC area.
Thanx for bringing back memory of a great summer.
Alan, thank you for stopping by and the kind comments. I do recall that Catinaccio route meandering a bit and no doubt many variations go on that thing. Wish we’ve had enough time to climb something on the beautiful Vajolet Towers (got a good look at them during the descent)…perhaps (hopefully) someday…Cheers. Radek
Hi Shirley & John,
really nice trip report. I felt transported back in time while reading your story. Even the photos were pretty similar. Hope you guys enjoyed it. First I was hoping you repeated our route (Hungarob Combination) to give a feedback. But it seems that it is getting more difficult with those restrictions to have more climbers going to this remote but beautiful area.
Thank you for the nice word and sorry for my late response. I too enjoyed your write up on your new route prior to our trip (you guys have some great photos!). I wish we have had enough time and energy to try your route – a proud looking line on a beautiful pillar (we saw the start up close while we were descending from the summit). Those crack pitches look incredible. Can’t imagine how much effort it must’ve taken to establish it! Anyway, great to hear from someone else who’s been up that beautiful valley. All the best. Radek
Hi Khaled – I’ll email you.
Dear Khaled – sent an email to your yahoo address. radek
very motivating & inspiring! what a collage of travels and rock climbing projects around the world!
Thanks Malli – sorry for the late reply, did not notice the message.
Best climbing-foto-site I’ve ever seen. Great climbers. Great photographers. You and Shirley are the GREATEST !!!! Very good times and much luck in the future.
Make a book with all the fotos. I’m sure everyone will buy it….
hey, thanks 🙂
I’m planning on spending a week at Red Rocks this Thanksgiving and focus on knocking out easy traditional multipitch climbs to practice and refine anchors, belay changeovers, etc… However my partner and I are from Texas and don’t really know what would be appropriate clothes for Red Rocks in Thanksgiving, especially while hiking in, climbing, and standing around. Do you have any advice? Being able to survive an emergency bivy would be nice, just in case.
Travis, weather can be almost anything that time of year. I’d say have warm stuff for early morning approaches (it’s a desert…temps really dip overnight) and don’t forget your wind protection for any climbs that gain some elevation. Could be t-shirt conditions but I think that’s less likely (maybe if you limit yourself to single pitch stuff down low). Enjoy.
We’re thinking of replicating your most recent Mx trip this coming Xmas. We have two weeks. Can we connect offline to get some beta?
Hi Todd – email sent.
Just ran across this…So Cool! You guys are inspiring!
Hi Matt, thank you for the nice word and likewise on the inspiring part (we have many friends in common 🙂 ) Keep climbing hard & cheers!
Great Site! Found it through a link to your Summitpost website. Looking for a pdf or hard copy of the Grand Canyon Summits II book by Tomosi. Keep up the awesome exploration & if you happen to know where I might find said book, feel free to hit me back. Thanks,
Thanks for the nice word Joel. The author’s name (probably doesn’t help much) is Tomasi. The first edition has a website listed: http://www.Arizonas-Vertical-Web.com …but I think it’s no longer maintained. If you have a specific climb for which you want beta, I could photocopy those pages for you – let me know.
I had a comment about the first ascent of Steins Pillar via the Richardson route. Doug Bower and I free climbed the entire route a month or more before the Thomas , Watts, Ramsey ascent. Their ascent was the first clean ascent and they placed bolts. We ran out the route and use fixed gear and a few tied off pins. Our ascent was published in the Mazama Journal and documented. The four pitches took two full days to climb and may have been as hard as 5.12, although we rated it 5.11 plus. Their second free ascent took one day. Both of us had many high standard ROUTES UNDER OUT BELTS Free Blast, Hotline, Greesy but Groovy and so on. We didn’t rush the climb and climbed all the moves free and continuous. I feel that our first free ascent of the route should be recognized. Doug Bower was a Reed college physicist and I shared his aptitude as a physicist astronomer from PSU. My climbing career spanned 35 years and included one Grade seven and over a dozen Grade sixes with 20 years of volunteer work with the Mazamas, and American Alpine club.
Jeff Thomas and I climbed the back side route. Grade IV 5.11. Previous to our ascent, I rappelled the route and cleaned off about two tons of loose rock on the upper dihedral and roof although I, didn’t fix or pre place protection previously before our ascent.
Steins Pillar has great potential as a sport climbing area and the climbs of the early pioneers on the Ochocco welded tuft rock were amazing ascents!
Bob McGown MSci, RAS, AAC
Bob, I’m honored! Of course I know of you. I will add your FFA summary to the Steins page – give me a couple of days. Thanks! Radek
Hi Shirley & John!
Great site! I found as I planned our climbing tip to Meteora in Greece. Fotos and descriptions are great!
Keep up the great work! Very inspiring! 🙂
Greetings from Germany
Hi Eszter, have fun in Meteora – wish we were going!! Cheers.
Great stuff which I’ll reference next time I go somewhere new. Email me if you ever come to Australia. mikl
Mr. Law – I’m very honored! Funny thing is we just came back from a couple weeks in Tasmania – mind blowing scenery and climbing but once again we were wishing we could actually have some skill to get up things harder than 18 or 19…hell, even an 18 on Wellington was educational!! Thank you for the visit and the kind word. radek
Hi Shirley, hi John!
I’m going to Meteora this may to celebrate the 50th birthday of (and with) my best friend – and my present for him (as this is his dream since he has been there 25 years ago) shall be “a guided/leaded tour” called Archimedes.
Searching for informations about the route (and the whole area) I found your site…
…and – to say it with simple words – I’ve been absolutely excited!
Thanks for your nice written stories and helpful pictures (not only abourt Meteora), I’ll surely “share some more trips with you”!
Nice greetings from Austria,
P.S.: Even if the “Spindel” looks like a penis the german word stands for “spindle” (for spinning yarn)
P.P.S.: As you mentioned that Archimedes is “…a nice counterbalance to all the phallus-shaped towers…” the (inofficial, of course) german nickname for this tour is (translated) “super sn@ch” 😉
thank you for the kind word and I appreciate the route naming stories 🙂 Hope you have a great time in Meteora – I would LOVE to go back there for some more climbing, some table wine and of course Greek salad! All the best!
Thailand was amazing! Thanks for all of your recommendations. We’re currently looking at spending some time in Squamish in August, and I was curious where you guys usually stay? Cabins, camping, etc? Any favorite routes, or ones to definitely stay away from?
You two have WAYYYYYY too much fun. I have been off SP for years. too much b.s. Have not climbed much for the last three years due to life, but instead have been sculpting my daughter as she progress through comp climbing and moving into the outdoor realm. Well, we are off to the City in a few weeks which is how I came across you guys again. Glad I did. Cheers and when you get up to MT give me a shout.
Good to hear from you Fred – been a while since SP days I agree 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.
Shirley & John: Noted that you went to Malaysia! I grew up there . . . and now live in Vancouver, WA. Is this where you are based? Headed to Tioman for a short break when I visit Msia next week (yes!), but with my mother, and two teenagers. So climbing is not an option. Love all your photo reports.
Hi Grace, thank you for stopping by. I’d love to go back to Tioman…maybe someday. Hope you have a great time. Cheers!
Hi Radek, some years ago I asked you to use some photo for my club’s magazine… Hope you received the copy I sent you.
I came back on your site to take a look to your wonderful adventures and I found out that we were in Cochamo more or less at the same time in last January… We just did a hike, but it sounds a bit strange anyway!
It’s very nice to hear from you! Thank you for sending out the magazine…unfortunately I don’t think it reached me. Anyway, such is life – no worries. Small world, no? Glad you too got to see the beautiful Cochamo…are you sure we did not run into each other over some pizza in the Refugio? 🙂 Cheers, Radek
I am a resident climber in Oman, I am looking for info about MLNW route on Jabal Misht. Do you have any kind of topo, description of this route?
Hi Hamza, just emailed you the topo that I found online a couple years back. Let me know if you received it. Good luck!
Love your pictures and trip reports! Please email me, I’d like to get some trip/route beta. Thanks!
Thanks for the kind word Dean. Email sent.
Thanks for the trip reports! Black Orpheus looks really fun!
Travel and climbing are my 2 faves. Combining them is even better. Any plans for another Australia trip (our $ is weak again)? I’ll come and show you around.
No plans yet (plenty of day dreams). Thank you for the kind offer Michael – will keep in mind.
how are you ? I have seen your photo of all its a nice..you are great climber.
.Im glad because I will see you again in wadi rum.i will wait for you.
Dear Khaled, it’s great to hear from you! I just sent you an email. We both are looking forward to seeing you again. All the best, radek.
hi radek….I sent you an email ..Is the message arrived.
.I sent you an email ..Is the message arrived.
Hi Khaled – we’re all OK with emails, right?
Hello! I saw your Mali post. I will be moving to Mali in August for an extended period and am very interested in climbing. Can we communicate via email?
M, I’ve replied a long while ago – check you junk folder 🙂
Hey guys, amazing site, photos, and adventures! Definitely inspiring me to plan a trip to Oman and Mali.
Two questions for you:
1. What camera/lens did you shoot your Mali photos with?
2. Any plans for a trip to Kenya? There’s plenty of big objectives, adventure climbs, and unexplored rock here, not to mention alpine on Mt Kenya! Shoot me an email and I can send on some beta and photos to get you psyched.
Vadim, email sent. Thanks!
Hey guys, I just want to thank you for sharing such a good trip to Dolomites. I am going there this week and your trip gave me so many ideas as I am looking for same grade as you have climbed. I am just worry about two thing: I am taking a light rack and a single rope 70m as I am going full on sport climbing after Dolomites. I saw that you climbed with double rope, is it mandatory? What about the rack? I read some reviews and people are saying don’t bring anything higher than number 3. Thank you so much.
Sorry for the delays Angela. Rack to number 3 sounds reasonable but I don’t recall how essential twin ropes were…I suspect you can do most routes/descents with a single 70 meter rope but I guess you have more options with twins if you need to bail. Sorry for the lack of details…it’s been a few years since we’ve been to the Dolomites.
RPC, thanks for letting me peek in on you two. Rock on! Henry
Thanks Henry!! Good to hear from you.
This is awesome, I am constantly checking out adventures that climbers post. I’m really into desert landscape and love the six shooter climb. How beautiful.
I’m not a climber, do you have any advice on how to get started? Rock gym? Outdoors? I’m 33, does it matter?
Gym is useless for learning about outside climbing (humble opinion). Read up some books and ideally take some sort of an introductory class on climbing…depending on where you live, there might be a climbing club that offers classes at a reasonable $$ or you might have to go private instruction at a much less reasonable $$$$ 🙂
My name is Dan. I have read many of your summit post write ups and appreciate all the work you have put into great beta. Thank you. I am making a May trip to red rock and am looking for some idea of comparable climbs at smith. I climb mostly trad and wanted to give triassic sands a go depending on how tough you feel it is compared to some of the smith classics. At smith I have lead the following multi pitches: white satin, zion, west face direct monkey face, pack animal direct (which was right at my limit), moonshine dihedral, wherever I may roam (sport) I have also climbed Dragontail Peak backbone ridge route. I wanted to give you an idea of where I am at technically. How does triassic sands compare to some of the smith trad classics? Last year we went to RR and climbed frogland which was completely in the fun zone. Just wanted to see what your thoughts are on how triassic sands 10b grade compares to some of the smith grades? Thanks for you response and time.
Hi Dan, thanks for the nice word. I always thought that Pack Animal Direct was hard so I doubt that Triassic would give you any trouble. Good protection from what I recall so just go do it. I remember thinking that the upper pitches were quite good – so top out if you can vs. stopping & rapping. All the best and have fun!!
thanks for the heads up. We are going to give her a go…
I did (or I should say mostly followed) Barad-Dur in the late 1970’s. I did the climb with John Rich and I knew the Fralick brothers back then as well as Wayne Arrington (who put it up with, I think Bob Ashworth, my first climbing instructor in Yosemite). Your images and description bring back memories… I’d done some big stuff in Yosemite before Barad-Dur but I must say, that climb scared the shit out of me. I lived in Eugene back then: columns, smith, menagerie, etc. and Yosemite in the summer. At some point I’ll post some images of John and me on that climb, I’ve got them, just haven’t had time to get the story together.
Radek and Shirley – you are super inspiring! Thanks for this gem of a site and all your wonderful stories. Whenever I come take a look I am blown way.
Hi Matt, nice to hear from you and many thanks for the nice words! All the best, cheers.
i am documenting South Africa Yellowwood Amphitheatre on thecrag.com, and would like to reuse 5 of your pictures from your Lekkertime and Smalblaar Ridge posts.
They would be attributed to you under whichever license you feel adequate.
The pictures i am interested are the “overview” ones for the hike, the Amphitheatre itsef x2, Lekkertime Buttress and Smalblaar Ridge. The reason is they are “clean” of any route Topo.
Can you feedback me on your approval or refusal ?
Thanks & Best regards,
Hi Marc, email sent. Thanks!
Great article as my daughter and I are preparing to send Devils Tower next year. Looks like links are broken to several of the images I tried to pull up. Would love to see them!
Hopefully I’ll have a detailed trip report of my own posted in 2020! Thanks for the inspiration!
Thanks Todd. The images show up when viewing the pages on a desktop but for some reason, older pages don’t display properly on mobile devices. Cheers.
I love you site! I’ve been trying to find more info about the climbing in Brandberg and so glad to have come across your article. Bit of a strange one. But I’m looking for a wingsuit exit. Looking at the cliff, the top left looks very steep if not overhung, is that the case? Many thanks, Tim
What an adventure, nice report 🙂
Though the most recent development was mainly by the Swiss, Austrians, Ukrainians and Russians 😛
Timo, thank you for the nice word and the correction. I’ve tried to incorporate it. Cheers.
Thank you for this site, as some write before, inspiring indeed! I have a specific question around your ability to climb and hike with your dogs. For example your trip report on the Pingora NE face, 3 days and a long climbing day… I guess you trained your dog to wait for you at the base of the climb? We also climb quite a bit and will soon have a dog and we want to combine as much as possible the dog’s needs and our climbing needs. I am wondering if you would share a bit more your experience on this subject?
Thank you in advance.
Thank you very much Tigrane. Sent you an email. You can definitely have a dog and climbing in your life 🙂
Hi Radek and Shirley
This is Jeff A. Been awhile since the Mazama days. Think I taught you both how to tie a figure eight knot back in 02. Now you are climbing in the big leagues. I am now disabled. Had a work accident about 3 years ago. Major back surgery. Can hardly walk. Can move along at a blistering pace of 1.5 mph with a cane. Getting old sucks. Think I noticed a few gray hairs in your recent picture. Maybe try some hair dye. I used hair dye for awhile when I went thru my mid life crisis trying to meet women on matchdotcom. Now I gave up with the ladies.
Hope all is well. Take care.
Hi Jeff, man great to hear from you. I’ll ping you via email.
Hi Shirley and Radek,
I’m very intrigued with climbing in Mali and I’m thinking about planning a trip there. Thank you for writing such a detailed trip report. Would you please be able to send me contact details for Salvador? He seems like an essential part of any trip there.
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