Every year, after my winter backpacking trip, I start to yearn for rocks. In particular, me climbing them.
I guess some of that has to do with seeing rock faces along my backpacking and hiking trips. Part of the reason I like winter hiking is that, without foliage on the trees and bushes, you get to see boulders and cliffs that are otherwise obscured from view during the summer.
So I start reading a lot of climbing blogs and websites. And I find some cool stuff.
For instance, here’s a great story from UK Climbing about some mountaineers that ventured into Afghanistan to tackle one of the last unclimbed peaks. And that story makes me glad I chose a Black Diamond Half Dome helmet for my own climbing gear, because in the case of the Afghan expedition, it likely saved the life of one of the climbers.
When most of your friends and acquaintances are not avid outdoorsmen — or your climbing partners are separated from you by distance and their own careers — you start to ask yourself whether or not its possible to do solo top-roping when you can’t gather the buddies for a weekend.
According to Climbing magazine, there’s a self-belay system for solo top-roping (I figured there had to be). I’m a beginner climber, so I likely won’t try this until I become more skilled and receive added instruction in gear use. But it’s worth a read purely for the knowledge of the equipment and techniques involved.
And finally (at least for now), I leave you with a cool video from DPM Climbing about Tahoe’s “Crown Jewel.” Enjoy.