Fearless fun with rock-climbing baby


I recently started rock-climbing and have been wanting to find a trainer. This one will do nicely.

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“Meru,” a new film on the quest to scale an “unclimbable“ mountain in India


For decades, the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru in Northern India was thought by most elite climbers to to unclimbable.

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WATCH: heart-pounding first free ascent of El Capitan's Dawn Wall


Earlier this month, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson made the first free ascent of El Capitan's 3,000-foot Dawn Wall at Yosemite. This dizzying footage is sure to have your palms sweating. Read the rest

Death on Mount Everest

Back in May, we linked you to the reporting of Outside's Grayson Schaffer, who was stationed in the base camps of Mount Everest, watching as the mountain's third deadliest spring in recorded history unfolded. Ten climbers died during April and May. But the question is, why?

From a technological standpoint, as Schaffer points out in a follow up piece, Everest ought to be safer these days. Since 1996 — the mountain's deadliest year, documented in John Krakauer's Into Thin Air — weather forecasts have improved (allowing climbers to avoid storms like the one responsible for many of the 1996 deaths), and new helicopters can reach stranded climbers at higher altitudes. But those things, Schaffer argues, are about reducing deaths related to disasters. This year, he writes, the deaths that happened on Everest weren't about freak occurrences of bad luck. It wasn't storms or avalanches that took those people down. It wasn't, in other words, about the random risks of nature.

This matters because it points to a new status quo on Everest: the routinization of high-altitude death. By and large, the people running the show these days on the south side of Everest—the professional guides, climbing Sherpas, and Nepali officials who control permits—do an excellent job of getting climbers to the top and down again. Indeed, a week after this year’s blowup, another hundred people summited on a single bluebird day, without a single death or serious injury.

But that doesn’t mean Everest is being run rationally. There are no prerequisites for how much experience would-be climbers must have and no rules to say who can be an outfitter.

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Four people dead on Mt. Everest, one still missing

A long line of climbers follow each other up Mt. Everest. Image: Ralf Dujmovits.

1996 was the deadliest year in the history of modern climbing on Mt. Everest. In one May weekend, eight people died when they were caught on the mountain in a storm. Over the course of the year, the death toll climbed to 15 total.

In the wake of that year, people tried to make sense of what had happened—particularly when it came to the May 10/11 deaths. All the reporting brought some internal mountaineering debates into the public eye in a big way for the first time. Is it really a good idea to treat Mt. Everest as an adventure-minded tourist attraction, suitable for anyone with a little climbing experience and enough money? What are the risks of having lots of inexperienced, guided trekkers up on the mountain at the same time? Do those climbers have enough climbing instincts to make the right decisions about going on or turning back when they're exhausted and under the influence of a low-oxygen environment? What can their guides do, under those circumstances, to force a right decision? Remember: This isn't a place where help is readily available if you get into trouble. Helicopters can only go so high up the mountain. And if you collapse, the chances of somebody else being able to carry you down are pretty slim.

These questions are likely to come back into the spotlight now. Between May 18th and 20th—last weekend—four people died on Mt. Read the rest

"French Spiderman" Scales Hotel in Bucharest (Big Photo Gallery, Not Safe for Acrophobics)

French urban climber Alain Robert, also known as the French Spiderman, climbs to the top floor of a 22-story hotel building in Bucharest October 14, 2011. Robert's climb was part of an advertising campaign for a local electronics retailer.

Robert first climbed a building at the age of 12 when he got locked out of his apartment and decided to mount the eight stories up to an open window. He has since climbed more than 80 buildings around the world including Chicago's Sears Tower and Taipei 101 in Taiwan.

More photos of his ascent follow, courtesy of Reuters.

(NB: I'd link to the man's website, but the front door is a horrible auto-audio-blasting Flash abomination which redirects to what looks like malware. Maybe he can take a look at that when he climbs back down to Earth.)

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