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Southern China's diverse karst landscape of mountains and caves

In the southern portion of China there is an expansive karst landscape, formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. The region is home to the South China Karst UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is actually seven different notable features, as well as the visually impressive Moon Hill, some of China's supercaves, and Xiaozhai Tiankeng, the world's deepest sinkhole. You can climb Moon Hill, but it's best to plan ahead. You can also explore China's great caves, but it is necessary to explore between October-November and February-March to avoid the monsoon seasons, and getting down Xiaozhai Tiankeng requires a lot of gear. You can read more about the Tiankengs (giant dolines or sinkholes) in the karst of China (PDF).
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 26, 2014 - 6 comments

"This is like an Olympic event during the days of Caligula"

Do you like games with awkward controls and physics? Do you dream of playing QWOP against your friends? Well, Mount Your Friends is just right for you! [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Aug 21, 2014 - 12 comments

Splat.

Are your palms nice and dry? Is your stomach failing to churn? Watch Don't Look Down, a Channel 4 profile of freerunner James Kingston that follows him to the Ukraine to fulfill his need to make other people nervous by climbing (and doing backflips on) cranes, bridges, and buildings.
posted by item on Aug 21, 2014 - 23 comments

Architecture for One

Mountain Lab: An Interview With Scott McGuire
"As a form of minor architecture," the resulting short article explained, "tents are strangely overlooked. They are portable, temporary, and designed to withstand even the most extreme conditions, but they are usually viewed as simple sporting goods. They are something between a large backpack and outdoor lifestyle gear—certainly not small buildings. But what might an architect learn from the structure and design of a well-made tent?" Amongst the group of people we spoke with that day was outdoor equipment strategist Scott McGuire, an intense, articulate, and highly focused advocate for all things outdoors.

posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 21, 2014 - 14 comments

My climbing partner, she eats chicken liver.

Millie is an athlete, she trains hard, and diet is an important part of any athlete’s complete routine.
posted by Dashy on May 13, 2014 - 40 comments

The deadliest day on Everest

The Value of a Sherpa Life - Grayson Schaffer reports on Friday's Everest avalanche that claimed the lives of 16 Sherpas in an instant. "And, yes" he says, "there is something that needs to be done about it." In the wake of this devastating tragedy, many Sherpas are threatening a strike and the government is mulling total closure for the upcoming season, which has 335 permits in the queue. Footage of the avalanche. Previously, in The Disposable Man: A Western History of Sherpas on Everest, Scaheffer spoke of the high risks, low pay and shocking mortality rate: "... no service industry in the world so frequently kills and maims its workers for the benefit of paying clients." [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Apr 21, 2014 - 66 comments

the body, the rock

Stone Nudes: photographs of naked women climbing mountains.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Nov 10, 2013 - 101 comments

professional rock climber Joe Kinder cuts down juniper trees for sport

Professional sport climber Joe Kinder recently admitted to cutting down two Juniper trees at the base of a climbing cliff in the Tahoe, California region in order to make a climb safer. Kinder at first did not admit to the action, which may be illegal (with fines up to $500 and up to six months in jail if the tree was in the Tahoe National Forest) but has since posted an apology (My Actions, My Responsibility, And My Mistake) to his blog.
posted by gen on Oct 31, 2013 - 67 comments

Killers' Mountain

Inside the Nanga Parbat MurdersOne of the worst massacres in mountaineering history happened this summer in Pakistan. Will it happen again? from Outside Online, July 30, 2013 (more details in Climbers Recount Murder on Famous Pakistan Peak at National Geographic and Chilling Accounts of Nanga Parbat Massacre at Climbing). One Pakistani Taliban group claimed the attack was retribution for a U.S. drone strike that killed Wali-ur-Rehman on May 29, 2013. After a dangerous investigation by Pakistani Army forces and local police, 20 perpetrators were arrested by August 19, 2013.
posted by cenoxo on Sep 2, 2013 - 10 comments

The Road From Karakol

In 2011, American alpinist (twice the winner of the prestigious Piolets d'Or award) and coffee shop owner Kyle Dempster, went on a two-month solo biking and climbing odyssey in Kyrgyzstan. He took a video camera with him and the video he shot from his two months was edited to form The Road to Karakol.
posted by gen on Jul 4, 2013 - 11 comments

ALLL HAIL ROBOKITTY

Swiss Researchers develop a robot that runs like a cat.
posted by The Whelk on Jun 18, 2013 - 54 comments

World's highest fight

Last weekend, almost 60 years after the first ascent by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, fights broke out between three Western climbers and a group of sherpas, at around 7200m on Mount Everest. [more inside]
posted by daveje on Apr 30, 2013 - 47 comments

The Naked Edge

Layton Kor, one of the world's most prolific and admired rock climbers, has died. [more inside]
posted by gruchall on Apr 27, 2013 - 10 comments

“The important thing,” he said, “is moving.”

Becoming the All-Terrain Human: [New York Times]
"Kilian Jornet Burgada is the most dominating endurance athlete of his generation. In just eight years, Jornet has won more than 80 races, claimed some 16 titles and set at least a dozen speed records, many of them in distances that would require the rest of us to purchase an airplane ticket. He has run across entire landmasses­ (Corsica) and mountain ranges (the Pyrenees), nearly without pause. He regularly runs all day eating only wild berries and drinking only from streams."

posted by Fizz on Mar 23, 2013 - 24 comments

Skywalker

Mustang Wanted likes to climb tall things, walk on them and occasionally hang off them. (Also trains)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 22, 2013 - 25 comments

Because those giant turbine blades aren't gonna clean themselves

"Companies like Rope Partner exist because rope access is the cheapest way to maintain the surfaces of wind turbines." [more inside]
posted by Quietgal on Feb 21, 2013 - 19 comments

Are you crazy to follow your dreams?

Little Octopus Climbing Over That Rock! [slyt] [via]
posted by quin on Feb 8, 2013 - 29 comments

People must not create a myth, we're not different than other people

"Edlinger began to climb. As the last competitor, everyone at Snowbird knew how high he must get to beat his rivals and win the event. With apparent ease, he climbed past their high-points, until pausing beneath a huge overhang that had defeated all-comers. At that moment, a narrow shaft of sunlight pierced the cloud cover and illuminated Edlinger. When he completed the route, the only one from the world's best to do so, the crowd erupted. Until this point, American climbers had been unsure about competition climbing. After Edlinger, they were converted." - Patrick Edlinger, age 52, died on December 10, after years of battling depression following a near-death fall in the nineties that prevented him from climbing at the same level. [more inside]
posted by Riton on Dec 23, 2012 - 10 comments

I Remember Cold Steel Bars & an Inch of Hard Rubber Below As A Kid

MONSTRUM believes that playground design should be a reflection of the world surrounding us. We see the world as a place full of colour. We meet boys that like pink and girls that likes climbing trees. Why only play on a monky frame and a sandbox, when you can play in a moon crater or a submarine or a giant spider or an enormous snail or a Trojans horse or a rocket or an ant or a princess castle. The fantasy is infinite.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 7, 2012 - 38 comments

Nothing much happens, until it does.

This is a very very boring indoor climbing video, until 1'24" anyway.
posted by unSane on Nov 22, 2012 - 22 comments

Reinhold Messner

"Murdering the Impossible" - a 2006 National Geographic profile of Reinhold Messner, "the greatest climber in history". [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Nov 13, 2012 - 22 comments

Why climbing should be in the Olympics

Why climbing should be in the Olympics.
posted by shothotbot on Aug 21, 2012 - 42 comments

Reaching bottom at the top of the world

"As a climber goes up even higher in altitude, into the so-called death zone, the dangerously thin air above 26,000 feet, there is so little oxygen available that the body makes a desperate decision: it cuts off the digestive system. The body can no longer afford to direct oxygen to the stomach to help digest food because that would divert what precious little oxygen is available away from the brain. The body will retch back up anything the climber tries to eat, even if it’s as small as an M&M." -Excerpt from To the Last Breath: A Journey of Going to Extremes
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 7, 2012 - 39 comments

Petzl RocTrip China 2011

We speak the same language, which is climbing.
posted by shoesfullofdust on Jul 1, 2012 - 15 comments

Mount Everest Traffic Jam

A 73 year old returned, making it seem easy, yet increased traffic left four people dead this weekend. Traffic jams at Mount Everest. [more inside]
posted by bquarters on May 23, 2012 - 91 comments

“You will know how to deal with everything from a tension pneumothorax to torsion of the testes.”

First, Do A Little Less Harm: "As Mark Jenkins knows, wilderness first aid can hurt. (Just ask his patients.) So he finally did what everyone should do: he took a class from real experts." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 17, 2012 - 48 comments

"I think I just really wanted that last hold really bad"

Bouldering is a climbing sport that requires no rope, only grip strength, chalk, a crash mat, and nerve. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 24, 2012 - 25 comments

Rescue on the Big Stone

This week, an Austrian climber in Yosemite Valley took a fall on the granite monolith El Capitan. As he fell, his thumb caught in some climbing gear and was severed. Amazingly, the severed digit landed on the ledge beside the injured climber's partner, who retrieved it. Amazing helicopter rescue ensued. [more inside]
posted by tim_in_oz on Sep 30, 2011 - 42 comments

Cold Genius

John Cunningham Climbing Ben Nevis, 1976 (slyt, 8:09)
posted by villanelles at dawn on Sep 11, 2011 - 16 comments

"Seeing is more in your brain than in your eyes"

Erik Weihenmayer is a gay -- excuse me, I mean blind -- climber, mountaineer and author who counts the Seven Summits and the Nose of El Capitan among his accomplishments. Erik's recent efforts have been assisted by the Brainport, an experimental device that allows him to sense visual information via his tongue.
posted by Manjusri on May 19, 2011 - 11 comments

The elevator was too easy

Alain Robert has scaled Burj Khalifa in Dubai for a world record. If you are into people climbing skyscrapers, there's Robert in Abu Dhabi or Sao Paulo and other awesome stuff. (Very previously.)
posted by twoleftfeet on Mar 29, 2011 - 12 comments

"Yeah. That was a good moment."

The North Face of the Eiger has claimed the lives of at least 64 climbers attempting it since 1935. The first succesful attempt in 1938 took a team of four 3 and a half days. The first succesful solo climb in 1963 took 18 hours. In 2008, Swiss Climber Ueli Steck broke his own record by 1hr7, soloing the face in 2hr47.33. Watch him.
posted by protorp on Feb 20, 2011 - 46 comments

Barkour, and other stupid pet tricks

You've seen cat parkour, but have you seen dog parkour? How about monkey parkour? Squirrel parkour? [more inside]
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis on Oct 21, 2010 - 20 comments

These Wheels are Made for Walkin'

Towering over New Hampshire at a height of 6,288 feet, Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. It has been ascended by countless hikers from all walks of life, including (for the first time ever) a paralyzed dog. [more inside]
posted by dhammond on Sep 22, 2010 - 41 comments

Tree Climbing Snake Robot

Modular Snake Robot Climbs a Tree. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 5, 2010 - 54 comments

Boogie 'til you puke/poop

Boogie 'til you puke: Mountain Climber Jason Kruk got his knee stuck in a 5.11 offwidth called "Boogie 'til You Puke," and required a rescue. Luckily, it was caught on video. [more inside]
posted by spork on Aug 9, 2010 - 30 comments

Fallen Star

Free Solo climbing - climbing without a rope, partner or protection - is clearly the most dangerous form of rock climbing. When practiced at the highest level it demands peerless physical skill and stamina and unshakable nerves. Few climbers have ever taken soloing to the extremes that John Bachar did. [more inside]
posted by tim_in_oz on Jul 7, 2009 - 79 comments

Xstream(ing) videos . . .

Enjoy a wide selection of free extreme sports shorts [flash] in the "Sweetspots" section of the Nike ACG website. Includes further ridiculousness shot in the same location as this previous post
posted by protorp on Jan 29, 2009 - 4 comments

John Gill: Father of modern bouldering

John Gill is the father of modern bouldering. In the early 1960s, he took his gymnastics training in to the field and pioneered the use of chalk and dynamic moves in climbing. In 1961, he climbed the 30 foot height of The Thimble, widely considered to be the first 5.12 ascent in the world, and did so without a rope.

A devotee of body weight exercises, he could perform a one-arm front lever and several one-finger pull-ups. During his time as a gymnast he engaged in competitive rope climbing (formerly an Olympic sport), which is making a bit of a comeback in the Czech Republic (if you think it looks too easy, try it with one arm). [more inside]
posted by 0xFCAF on Dec 12, 2008 - 16 comments

"We were on our own resources and we knew it. And that's what this business is all about."

So you've finished hiking the Appalachian Trail, just came down from Mount Katahdin, and you're wondering what to do now. Well, there's always the International AT, which goes through the Chic-Choc Mountains on the Gaspé Peninsula before crossing over to Newfoundland. Then you'd have hiked the tallest mountains in Quebec, right? Wrong. 800 miles to the north, on the border of Quebec and Newfoundland, lie the Torngats. [more inside]
posted by A dead Quaker on Oct 14, 2008 - 10 comments

K2: "The night will be long but beautiful."

A few days ago on K2 in the Pakistani Karakoram mountains an icefall trapped climbers more than 8 kilometres above sea level. Eleven died, from the cold and lack of oxygen, from falling or being hit by debris. The expedition website of Nicholas Rice provides an intimate and compelling account of the entire season of activity on K2 and neighbouring Broad Peak.
posted by Flashman on Aug 6, 2008 - 19 comments

Magnificent Views and Vistas, Mountaineer's Climbs 1912 to 1916

"The object of this organization shall be to explore the mountains, forests and water courses of the Pacific Northwest, and to gather into permanent form the history and traditions of this region; to preserve, by protective legislation or otherwise, the natural beauty of the Northwest coast of America; to make frequent or periodical expeditions into these regions in fulfillment of the above purposes. Finally, and above all, to encourage and promote the spirit of good fellowship and camaraderie among the lovers of out-door life in the West." Thus reads the charter of the Mountaineers. Explore the Tacoma Public Library's online exhibit of the Mountaineer's early history, Magnificent Views and Vistas, Mountaineer's Climbs 1912 to 1916.
posted by maxwelton on Mar 27, 2008 - 5 comments

When we first saw this we thought "What the hell is going on here?"

Столбы (Stolby) Free soloing I climb. I've sky dived. But watching videos of people free soloing gives me vertigo. In the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia, however, there is a community for whom this is their bread and butter. And now, cats.
posted by vernondalhart on Sep 3, 2007 - 27 comments

Wondertwin powers, activate!

9 Superpowers made real. [Via Digg.]
posted by homunculus on Jul 20, 2007 - 33 comments

The Compressor Route

Cerro Torre is a magnificent, bleak shard of granite in Argentina's Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. In the Patagonian summer of early 1959, Cesare Maestri, Toni Egger, and Cesarino Fava began their attempt to be the first to climb the daunting face of Cerro Torre's northeast ridge. Halfway up the climb, at the Col of Conquest, Fava gave up and turned back, while Maestri and Egger forged on. Six days later, while packing to leave and despairing of ever seeing his friends alive again, Fava found a half-frozen Maestri wandering alone in the snow at the base of the east face. (more inside)
posted by the painkiller on Jan 3, 2007 - 20 comments

The Natural Arch and Bridge Society

The Natural Arch and Bridge Society has many, many interesting pictures and lots of info.
posted by mediareport on Dec 17, 2006 - 8 comments

At what cost?

Rescuers plan biggest search yet, using helicopters, a C-130 aircraft, infrared equipment, and scores of volunteers to search for 3 climbers trapped on Mt. Hood. But at what cost in dollars and lives? A 1998 rescue of two climbers on Mt. McKinley cost $221,818. And Mt. Hood is no stranger to climbing accidents: in 2002, an Air Force helicopter crashed [youtube] while trying to rescue nine climbers swept into a crevasse. Is it time to revisit the debate over who should pay for dangerous, high-profile mountain rescues? [More inside]
posted by googly on Dec 16, 2006 - 204 comments

Fallen Climbing Legend

Todd Skinner falls to his death Sport and free climbing pioneer/entrepreneur, Todd Skinner, died over the weekend in a 500-foot fall. Sadly, it appears that his death was from a "..very worn.." belay loop on his harness. I met Todd about 10 years ago, and was struck by his warmth and enthusiasm. He spent almost three hours at a dingy Seattle climbing gym with about 10 neophyte femail climbers. He helped us all climb better and have more fun. He was generous with his praise, and offered truly helpful instruction - his ego did not get in the way (unlike many climbing instructors/"stars"). He'll be missed.
posted by dbmcd on Oct 30, 2006 - 32 comments

A Delicate Situation

"What has our world come to if we cannot join nature by climbing one of nature's most beautiful features?" asks Dean Potter after he free-climbs Utah's Delicate Arch and pisses off the Park Service. Again.
posted by mr_crash_davis on May 9, 2006 - 87 comments

To think I can walk, but don't get up to change the channel

Wheelchair mountaineering: stunning ascents by the seemingly disabled.
posted by mek on Mar 2, 2006 - 13 comments

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