When I close my eyes I see granite. Gray-white blocks angle sharply beneath my feet, plunging downward past my rubber-tipped toes. I press my back against a wall of rock as if I could somehow dissolve myself into the mountain. Everything feels like it’s moving—the rock, the ground, the air—all conspiring together, pushing me toward that void (more…)
Posted in Climbing | 5 Comments
Matt DiPietro’s blog, sierrajournal.com has debuted a new look and added functionality. Sierra Journal started as primarily a backcountry skiing website, but has grown nicely into a source of broad news and features on the Sierra year-round. And of course, you’ll also find regular inspiring reports from yet another cool climbing or skiing trip that Matt has failed to invite me to join.
Matt’s goal with the new design is to emphasize community building. Sierra Journal adds a new forum space, plus other interactive goodies intended to get visitors involved in the site’s evolution. For more info, see Matt’s latest webcast, which walks you through the highlights.
Posted in Internet | 2 Comments
As of August 2009, Sigg has revealed that the secret ingredient in their top-secret formula was, in fact, BPA. SierraDescents’ position on BPA in water bottles has (hopefully) been clear: since good alternatives exist, I see no reason to use containers where BPA is present, and no need to get into endless arguments about just how dangerous (or not) BPA actually is (more…)
Posted in Gear | 5 Comments
Mount Whitney’s East Face is perhaps the classic Alpine climbing route in the Sierra, featuring an otherworldly mix of moderate climbing and breathtaking exposure. I had wanted to climb the East Face from the moment I first summited Whitney—but at the time it seemed like a dream that would permanently remain unfulfilled. Last weekend, I got the chance to give it a try with help from Kurt Wedberg of Sierra Mountaineering International. The experience was extraordinary. For the full report see: climbing Whitney’s East Face.
This also happens to be the first trip where I carried an HD video camera (actually two), so I’m working on a bottom-to-top video of the climb. While you’re waiting for that, here’s a taste of one of the climb’s most famous segments…the ‘Fresh Air’ Traverse.
As you may be guessing, switching from SD to HD video has proven to be a total trip down the rabbit hole. Basically every downstream software/device/system I owned had to be replaced to cope with the file size, plus there’s literally a graduate degree’s worth of standards and compatibility info to learn. So, I’m beat and my operating budget for the rest of the year has been annihilated. But it’s hard to argue with the end result.
Posted in video | 8 Comments
Off to Whitney to try to redo a climb that got canceled last June when a surprise snowstorm blew in over the Sierra. This time looks like a go. I’ll be carrying a record number of cameras for the trip, including two HD video cams (three if you count my new D5000), so I hope to be able to put together the most media-rich trip report ever when I get back. If all goes well. No updates ’till next week, so have a great weekend.
Posted in Climbing | 2 Comments
The New Yorker has a fascinating piece on SPF ratings in suntan lotion. Looks like I may have to rethink my standard SPF 50…
Posted in Health | 0 Comments