Category: Climbing

Open Your Eyes and Climb

Ty Fairbairn pulls up into a Donner Summit sunset. Sometimes all it takes for progression is good vision. In the summer of 2006, Truckee rock climbers Ty Fairbairn, Dustin Sabo, Brian Sweeney and Scott Thelen opened their eyes to the obvious while driving along Interstate 80 and discovered one of the best new Tahoe rock climbing developments in recent years – the Castle Peak boulders.

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Catch That Shot!

Skier Chris Davenport climbs and skis the Mountaineer’s Route on Mt. Whitney, spring 2008. Do you ever wish your camera had an auto setting labeled ‘Amazing Action Shot’? You’re not alone. Despite how easy it is to flip your camera to the ‘sports’ setting and hit the shutter button as your buddy blows past you skiing, biking, or paddling, it’s surprisingly hard to come away from the moment with a stellar image of the action. Whether the shot is well–framed but blurry or focused but missing half a head, there are a lot of ways a one-chance shot can be flubbed.

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Eastside Lowdown

To be frank, I thought about starting this story with an epic. Some hanging on the thin edge thing: frozen fingers grasping for a nub, a hair-raiser of a lightning storm scrubbing the inside of your helmet, being skinned alive by a fall on run-out slab. It sells magazines and stokes campfires, not to mention touches the void that is eg

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Kickin’ Axe in California

Nearly 40 winters ago, Yvon Chouinard and Doug Robinson scaled the Main Wall ice route in Lee Vining Canyon, off Highway 120 east of Tioga Pass. A near vertical frozen waterfall, the climb was likely a good opportunity to test some new ice climbing tools Chouinard was developing at the time, including an ice axe with a shortened shaft and a curved pick angle. His innovations helped push the sport past its roots as a subset of mountaineering to become a worthwhile winter pursuit in its own right. Since then, the sport has surged in popularity.

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Winter Mountaineering: Getting Out in the “Off” Season

Don’t put your summit fever away for the year. Once temperatures drop and snow falls, your climbing rack can be put to good use aiming for the cold-capped peaks of winter. Sure, winter in the mountain ranges of California can be cold and stormy but winter mountaineering provides the chance to explore the state’s peaks at a time when few folks reach them.

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