The 5 Biggest Stories In Climbing This Week (15-21/06/2015)

Chris Sharma Climbed A Giant Redwood

1. Chris Sharma Climbed A Giant Redwood

As if to prove that there’s nothing he can’t make instantly cool with his climber’s Midas touch, Chris Sharma magically turned tree climbing, usually the preserve of arborists and small children, into something everyone suddenly wanted to try.

You can check out the video here.

Photo © Keith Ladzinski/Red Bull Content Pool

2. The Arc’teryx Alpine Academy Turned 4

For those with loftier climbing goals than the height of an (admittedly quite large) tree, there was the Arc’teryx Alpine Academy which last weekend celebrated its fourth year. Hundreds of climbers descended on Chamonix for climbing clinics, workshops, talks and films, all lead by some of the most experienced climbers around. Our very own Climbing Daily team was on the ground, talking to everyone from professional climbers and organisers through to those taking the classes.

3. Everyone Got A Swift Lesson In Bad Belay Technique

The boom in popularity of climbing filming has ushered in a lot of changes for our sport, but perhaps one of the most important is that accidents now get caught on camera to be shared and analysed later. Kieran Duncan who shot this video of his friend Calum taking a holiday-ending fall on ‘Omiros’ (7b) in Kalymnos was initially unsure whether to share the event with the world, but stated when he shared the link on Reddit that: “…I figured it's best that people learn from our mistakes.

The three biggest learning points Kieran raised were that:

1.      The belayer gives a tight catch, rather than belaying dynamically. This caused the fall to be more violent and is part of the reason why the climber collides with the ledge rather than falling clear of it. Learn more about dynamic belay technique here.

2.      The climber’s leg slips behind the rope. It’s a tired point with sport climbing, but it bears repeating. Never allow your leg to pass behind the rope, it will cause you to invert in a fall.

3.      Because inversion (not to mention rock fall) is an overlooked risk in sport climbing, never assume that it’s safe to climb without a helmet. Wearing a helmet is a personal choice, but videos like this prove that accidents can and will happen. If the climber had hit his head rather than his back in this fall, a helmet could have made all the difference.

Can you spot anything else that went wrong? Let us know in the comments.

4. Ben Moon Redpointed Rainshadow (9a/5.14d) 

On June 8th, just five days before his 49th birthday, British climber Ben Moon made the fourth ascent of Steve McClure’s Mallham test-piece ‘Rainshadow.’ Ben released the footage of the ascent this week along with an interview where he talked about the climb. In typically modest fashion, Ben explains that he had expected a successful redpoint to be a lot longer in coming, but proving that age is definitely no barrier to climbing ability he made a relatively swift ascent. For those of you wondering what Ben’s up to next, apparently he plans to tackle another Steve McClure line and old project, ‘Northern Lights (9a/5.14d) at Kilnsey, North Yorkshire.

5. Tom Randall Launched A New Brush Company via Kickstarter

When we saw that Tom Randall and Ransom Allison were launching a new climbing brush design, we have to admit that we were ready to write it off as an over-engineered novelty in an already swamped market. However, having checked out the background to the brush’s design on the pair’s Kickstarter campaign, we have to admit that it looks like a quality product. Clearly the climbing community agrees and the project has already been funded twice over. At the time of publishing, the campaign still has 22 days left to run, so if you’re interested in getting one of these brushes for yourself, there’s still plenty of time to get involved.

If Tom’s presentation wasn’t enough to convince you, maybe you’ll be won over when you check out one of the brush's other features that was quickly spotted by an eagle/bleary-eyed climber.

There you have it. The five biggest things in climbing this week. Check back next week when we'll once again be bringing you all of the best goings on from the vertical world in one easy article.

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