Rock climbing

Bad Decisions and the EDK

It is incredible that we are still referring to the Flat Overhand as the “EDK” let alone having Rock and Ice magazine tell people it is unsafe, should be thought of “like the 13th floor”, and not use it. Rock and Ice Article I just went to some continuing education at the American Mountain Guides Association’s annual conference where I sat in on a great talk by Silas Rossi on how as humans we just make bad decisions. This clinic was held at the Petzl institute about a half hour after some of the worlds most experienced guides tested the flat overhand for the millionth time. Now Silas,...

Read more...

Ground Up Bolting

Ground up bolting has been long thought to be the "Leave No Trace" way of bolting, and making the most ethical sense. As climbing continues to grow we are needing to think about our impacts to areas and also how we can accommodate more climbers at the crag. When climbs are bolted from the ground up, great adventure is had by the individuals opening the new ground. They sometimes are not sure if the route goes, bolts get placed where convenient, holes are not very round leaving spinning hangars and in some cases one has to place bolts to pull on or aid to move forward. While this provides the first...

Read more...

Deuter Guide Lite 32 Review

The Deuter Guide Lite 32 With summer season in full swing here at Fox Mountain Guides we are putting gear to the test. One piece of gear that our guides use daily is the Deuter Guide Lite 32+. This pack is a lighter version of the guide series packs due to the ripstop nylon and Duratex Lite fabrics that are used. This makes it a great pack to save weight for bigger climbs as well as keep your knees healthy all season long. I have personally put the pack to the test this season on the rock as well as skiing some volcanoes in the Northwest. The pack has held up exceptionally well and seems...

Read more...

Equivocation Hitch

The equivocation hitch, also known as the daisy of death, has been getting more mainstream use as of late in the guiding world. I went ahead and put together a tech tip for Fox Mountain Guides, and a few of us went out and "red-neck" tested it. The EQ hitch is useful in a few different situations; the main one being when the ends of the rope are not available. I find this happens when short-roping clients as well as cleaning a single pitch climb with a Gri-Gri counterbalance. The latter is usually less applicable since time is not much of an issue when working in single pitch terrain. It is also...

Read more...

Guiding’s Professional Problem… Follow up (2 trends that will kill crossfit)

Ok, so this article on Crossfit (pasted below as well) finally got me to write about a touchy subject in the guiding industry. It is amazing the parallels I see in these two industries’ problems. In the U.S., a guide or climbing instructor doesn’t need any training at all. Many folks just start a web page after a few years of climbing and proclaim themselves “mountain guides” and start taking people out on to the rock and into the mountains. Others, like myself and those that I am proud to work with, take the long path of years of personal climbing followed by spending tons of money...

Read more...

Packing A Back Pack

           

Read more...

Spain… in pictures.

Click on each picture to enlarge. For more info and the story click here: http://www.foxmountainguides.com/about/the-guides-blog/entry/the-white-coast                                                                                                   ...

Read more...

The Feeling of Sending, Falling, and that Moment in Between

I worked with a client the other day who has come a long way in her climbing. She is now leading 5.10 sport but still having trouble falling. She has taken Arno's Warriors Way clinics and said they helped but like anything that isn't practiced, it fades into the peripheries of our mind. We have all experienced fear before a fall as well as the defeat after, or as Arno puts it "the learning!" Paige also sent one of her hardest climbs in the last two days. It makes you proud as an instructor to see students send their projects and you get many of the same feelings you have yourself when completing...

Read more...

Added Friction for the GriGri

  Here is a belaying tech tip that I shot while in Thailand last month. I use this technique with smaller ropes to give more control without feathering the lever on the GriGri.     Improving GriGri Friction while lowering from karsten delap on Vimeo. Check out these other tech tips: Locking Quick Draw Carabiner Break Rappel Locking Munter Hitch   For more climbing instruction information visit: www.foxmountainguides.com

Read more...

The Locking Quick Draw

      After seeing several guides in the Tetons this summer using a locking quickdraw in various applications, I started testing it out for myself and have made a video showing its utility. I have found it to be not only extremely useful, but also a huge time-saver in several situations. For example, there are times when I prefer to extend the master point of my anchor to achieve some separation between the munter hitch I am belaying from and the clove hitch I am tied in with. Similarly, when I am doing a belayed rappel, I find it useful to have the rappel carabiner...

Read more...

Ibex Breakaway Hoodie

As fall approaches, temperatures get cooler, the leaves start to change, and we start to put on more clothing. I have been testing the Ibex Breakaway Hoody all year and it has finally come to the market! I love this piece for climbing as well as hanging out after a long day in the mountains. I started wearing this jacket during the ice season last year. It is great for ice climbing with its Schoeller® Wool stretch woven fabric and articulated elbows. The jacket also performed well in the Tetons during cool summer nights at high camp and frigid mornings heading up the Grand. The fabric held...

Read more...

Deuter Guide 35+ pack Review and Tips

The Deuter Guide 35+ pack has been a go-everywhere, hold-everything, take-anything-I put-it-through pack. Deuter has been making packs since the 1800's, and they are built German tough with nothing held back. I have used this pack for everything from guiding winter Sierra summits to putting up first ascents in Armenia to cragging in the Red River Gorge and just got off the Cathedral Traverse in the Tetons with it yesterday. Over 400 days of mountain use later, not a single thing has broken on this pack! The only thing that even had wear was a pull string for the lid, and all that happened there...

Read more...

The Same Playing Field

What would it be like to be in game seven of the World Series, bases loaded, down by 3, full count, Roger Clemens on the mound......and you're at bat! Many children (and some of us adults) dream of being up against some of the best players in the world just one time, just to know how they would do, what it would feel like. I played baseball for about 17 years. One of my fondest memories was running out to center field at the same stadium that Ken Griffey, Jr. played in. It was really the closest I ever came to facing the same perils and experiences that Ken Griffey, Jr. faced--not much different...

Read more...

Sizing for Climbing Shoes

"What size climbing shoes should I get?" "How should my climbing shoes fit?" "How do you size your approach shoes?" These are common questions about the sizing and fit of climbing shoes that I hear all the time. I put together a video answering some of these questions. Remember, climbing is supposed to be fun; pain isn't fun. Buy shoes that fit and feel good, and you WILL climb harder!  

Read more...

Inspirational Video

I needed something to do last week in the hospital. This kept me learning as well as it is good inspiration to get out there and go hard! Hope you enjoy!

Read more...

Carabiner Brake Rappel (Tech Tip)

Read more...

A Number in Mind

I sit here writing this post from the now world-famous Miguel's Pizza located in the Red River Gorge. It is amazing as it is a Wednesday morning and this place is swarming with climbers all talking about and getting ready to send their "proj." I have never really tried to climb hard - by this I mean putting a ton of effort into a single route so that every move is dialed, and when it all comes together, I can call it a "send." This year I picked a number and have been working towards it. I haven't hopped on a route that bears this number grade yet; maybe today will be the day. The Red is very specific...

Read more...

Muir Valley Trail Day

Muir Valley is located in the Red River Gorge near Slade, Kentucky. The amazing climbing destination is owned (but not kept a secret) by Rick and Liz Weber. These two folks have given this land up for use to anyone who likes the outdoors, but the land lends itself to rock climbing. They have spent the last eight years building trails, opening new ground, and maintaining the routes that have been established. This past weekend thirty volunteers showed up with the Access Fund Crew and did an amazing job fixing up a few trails as well as building a new one. Fox Mountain Guides gave a free anchor clinic...

Read more...

Locking Munter Hitch (Guide’s Tip)

Here is a guide's tip on the locking Munter hitch:

Read more...

The Solution

I have been climbing in the Red River Gorge for the last few days and have been noticing the humidity rising with the warmer temps. This equates to slimy holds, slick feet, and well... not sending. The solution: La Sportiva Solutions. Though marketed as a bouldering shoe, the Solution's sticky rubber wants to hold you onto the wall whether you are 10 feet off the ground or 50. I had worked a few 5.12s and was not having any luck fighting the pump on  the steep overhaning sandstone that the Red so readily throws in your face. So I threw on a pair of Solutions and onsited the very next climb. Today...

Read more...