Climbing News: A Roundup of What’s Happening Out There

Climbing News is a series where we bring you an assortment of stories within the community. We explore what’s happening, where it’s going down, and why it’s important. Have other news to share? Leave it in the comments.


Story 1: Canada’s 150th birthday means free admission to National Parks and more

In celebration of its 150th birthday, Canada is offering free admission to all National Parks, National Marine Conservation Areas, and National Historic Sites. You can get your own free 2017 Discovery Pass here!

Story 2: Alex Honnold pays tribute to Dan Osman in Lover’s Leap speed free solo

The 1997 film Masters of Stone IV featured legendary climber Dan Osman speed free soloing at Lover’s Leap in California’s Tahoe area. Accompanied by a heavy metal soundtrack, Osman sprinted up the 400-foot long Bear’s Reach (5.7) in 4 minutes and 25 seconds. At one point, Osman makes an all-points-off dyno, hundreds of feet off the ground.

Osman was a prominent free soloist, making ropeless ascents of numerous testpiece climbs in the Sierra Nevadas. He died tragically in 1998 when his rope failed while making a roped jump from Leaning Tower in Yosemite.

In a loving tribute to Dan Osman, Alex Honnold recreated his speed solo of Bear’s Reach. Sporting a mullet and staying true to the original with a heavy metal soundtrack, Alex raced up in 4 minutes and 15 seconds. While Alex may have set a new record, he opted not to repeat Osman’s all-points-off dyno. Needless to say, both the new video and the original are impressive feats of soloing.

While you or I may not be able to set a speed record, Outdoor Research presents an opportunity. Setting a fastest known time demands skill, planning, judgment, and a certain tolerance of risk. Instead, aim for the fastest known time you know, which requires nothing but ignorance! By the time this article is published, I’ll be making my own attempt for the FKTIK on Mt. Whitney’s East Buttress. I’d love to hear any other FKTIKs for the route, so long as they are a leisurely 3 days or longer!

Story 3: A win for climbing access in Texas

All states in the country have recreation use statutes, which limit the liability of landowners who open their property for public recreational activity. Unfortunately, climbing is only explicitly named in the statutes of 5 states.

State Representative Ryan Guillen filed a bill in the Texas House of Representatives to add rock climbing to the list of defined activities in the state’s recreation use statutes. If passed, dozens of closed crags on private land throughout the state may be reopened for public use.

Read more about this win for climbing access in Texas at the Access Fund website.

Notable ascents around the globe

Tom Bollard and Marcin Tomaszewski establish Titanic (A3/M5/5.10c 2000m) on the North Face of the Eiger.

GoPro released a video from Tim Emmett and Klemen Premrl’s first ascent of Interstellar Spice (WI12). It is claimed to be the hardest ice climb in the world.

Mirror Wall documents the first ascent of Greenland’s biggest wall via Reflections (5.12c A3+ 1200m).

Petzl released this film documenting Nina Caprez and Cedric Lachat’s ascent of one of the hardest multi pitch routes in the world, Orbayu (5.14b).


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