On June 3rd, 2017, Alex Honnold did the impossible. Alex free-soloed the 3,000 foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Free-soloing is the climbing of a rock-face without the use of any safety equipment. Alex had no harness, no safety net, nothing to catch him if he were to fall.
Such a feat seems nigh-impossible. To climb 3,000 feet into the air without safety equipment makes my mind hurt. It may make yours as well.
Photo: Free Solo
Having a passion for ice climbing, Free Solo caught my attention because of the high-risk behavior and the excitement of someone doing the impossible. Knowing there are people out there who are willing to risk life and limb to do what no other person is willing to do fascinates me. Read more...
Everyone wants to live a life worth living. So few people actually feel like they accomplished this goal.
They, instead, live a life of mediocrity. They punch the time clock and go about their daily activities. By the end of the day, they no longer have the energy to make something out of their lives.
Photo by Bruno Van Der Kraan
Have you been there? Do you ever feel this way?
I have… Even recently.
We all have these feelings of inferiority or our lives don’t matter. These are mental battles we have to fight on a daily basis. The battles telling us we don’t matter and we’re wasting our lives.
Fight The Battle
You’ve got to pick up your weapons if you want to win the battle of your mind. If you truly want to transform your life. Read more...
Longtime readers of my website know I have a love of ice climbing. Attempting to climb frozen waterfalls on a chilly day, what could be better? Nothing, in my opinion but yours may differ.
Image by Rick Elrod
I’ve been climbing every year for the last 6 years. Every year, I feel challenged and invigorated. This year was a little different.
Meet The Experienced Climbers
That’d be me. And a guy named Jason. We’ve been on multiple ice climbing trips over the years. Every year we see improvement in our climbing.
We’ll try to tackle climbs that are 60, 100, or 150 feet high. Vertical, inverted, traversing… We’ll try them and typically conquer them.
The challenge of climbing these ice formations are a blast. They also take a toll. Especially as we get older. Read more...
Whenever I think of winters in Michigan, I think of the great times I’ve had ice climbing. From the guys to the weather to the climbing, everything falls into place perfectly.
We leave early in the morning and drive for hours. We arrive at our cabin and unpack. Then we decide whether or not to hit a climb the first day.
Image by Freddy Bahena
Most days we choose to get in at least a couple of hours of climbing. One person is climbing, another person is belaying the climber.
What Is Belaying?
Belaying is a term often used in ice climbing or rock climbing. When someone is belaying another climber, they’re the one holding another person’s life in their hands.
The climber has a rope attached to their harness. This is usually done through a figure 8 knot. The person belaying the climber has a belay device attached to their harness and the climbing rope runs through the belay device. Read more...
Every year I look forward to ice climbing in February. Every year I remember how much fun I had climbing frozen waterfalls in Munising and the camaraderie of my ice climbing buddies. I also remember how easy ice climbing came to me my first year.
Image by Freddy Bahena
Yet when I get back on the ice, the first day or two is horrendous. My ice climbing technique has digressed to a mess and I struggle to reach the top of a fun, yet easy climb called Dryer Hose. I wonder what happened. I question whether or not I had actually climbed well in prior years.
Then on day three or four, something magical happens. I begin to climb like I remembered. The skills I had honed over the years come back like they had never left.
But what happened? Why did I climb poorly the first day or two? Read more...