Monday, April 10, 2017

The blissful north Shore of Quebec

I went to the Quebec North Shore for the first time in July 2015. I was up there for work; we had a team of scientists and students collecting data concerning an invasive species, the spruce budworm. The spruce budworm is a bug that eats the needles and destroys most pine and spruce trees. The job was great as we spent our days outside and we moved around a lot to sample different parts of the forest. While driving along the ‘’Toulnustouc’’, a well-traveled logging road, I noticed the massive cliffs that were for the most part still unclimbed. These walls, to me, made most climbing areas established in Quebec look like nothing interesting. I had brought my gear and I got to climb a bit. But in the end I only climbed what was already established. Mostly we worked hard and spent our week-ends fishing.  At the end of the summer, I left the untouched rock as it was and set off from the north shore with this feeling of unfinished business.

The guys from the team called me again this year and asked if I was up for more work. I gladly accepted. The guys there are amazing people and I knew I was in it for some fun. They also told me that they had started climbing and wanted me to bring my trad rack. Hugues, the field manager, was especially keen on pushing his limits and trying something he had never done before. As the days passed we looked at every cliff trying to find a big project. We were looking to establish our first multi-pitch trad route. The cliff we chose sits next to the 37th km of the “Toulnoustouc” road. It is a slightly slabby face which stands 95 meters high. We took a few pictures from the road to help us pick out the perfect line. From there on we started putting our skills to the test. We spent days placing and taking out gear on single pitch routes, we went over our anchor building skills as well as bailing strategies. We expected the line to be fairly easy but we really had no idea if it would go smooth the whole way up.  For Hugues, it was going to be a first of many things. We had to go over a lot of big wall climbing knowledge to make sure everything we did was 100% safe. It didn’t matter how fast we were as long as we were in control. I felt a little nervous at the start of the summer, but as the days went on I became very confident we could pull it off.

On the morning of the 24Th we both had a big breakfast including eggs, bacon, potatoes and coffee.  I had chosen a special set of nuts from my dad’s old rack that I was ready to abandon up there in case of an emergency rap.  I threw them in the bottom of my backpack. We drove up the road with all the excitement in the world. It might not have been the most amazing line out there but it sure felt like it. We parked the car by the side of the road, racked up and started scrambling up the boulders towards the base of the wall. As I started up the crack we had chosen I felt confident and happy because the line felt just as easy and smooth as I expected it to be.  The only annoyance was the lichen that covered both sides of the fissure.  After about 30 meters of easy climbing we set up an anchor on a tiny ledge with a few trees growing on the bit of flat rock. From there we decided to modify the original idea and follow an attractive crack going leftwards. The challenge was the section between our anchor and the start of the crack. I placed only one little piece of gear and pushed through a good section of face climbing still comfortably under our limit. We judged it fine to run it out before placing my next piece. The crack itself was pretty similar to the one in the first pitch; covered in lichen, shallow and full of dirt, but at least the view was getting better. As I started to set up my anchor from the top of the 2nd pitch, Hugues told me his aunt named Muriel had passed away the previous morning. There was something special about what we were doing. We felt privileged to be up there with such a beautiful setting. We were alone surrounded by kilometers of forest. I am sure she would have been super happy to hear of our climb that day.

So as Hugues followed his way up I asked him; what do you think about naming the route after her. He smiled and said that was a great idea!
As we got up the top of the third pitch filled with pride we screamed our victory towards the valley in honour of Muriel!

It was the perfect project for the time and skills we had. I am looking forward to next year’s goals already. We graded the climb 5.7 and hope she will get a bit of traffic in the years to come.

Vincent Kneeshaw

Sunday, December 4, 2016

My trip to the greek paradise - Kalymnos

Arriving on the island
I didn’t have many expectations towards climbing in Greece. I surely didn’t think it was going to be as relaxing as it ended up being. For 20 euros a night, we found a luxurious studio by the sea, like all the other astounded rock-climbers. The accommodation also came with access to a nice roof-top pool. As if the sea wasn’t enough, our slice of paradise just happened to be located in front of what is probably the most photographed climbing crag in the world. We sat at the Grande Grotta’s feet.

On my third day, I was climbing a line that required my middle finger to pull through a perfectly shaped mono-pocket. As I thrusted myself upwards, I felt a sudden burn in my middle finger. My tendon had just ripped one of my pulleys.  Sadly that was it for projecting. On the other hand, I got to spend more time at the beach or walking around taking pictures. 

Climbers Hôtels and Studios
I discovered a welcoming Island with more climbing family’s than I had seen anywhere else. I took the time to appreciate every single sunset we were offered. By the way, the sunsets on Kalymnos are seriously mind-blowing. It feels like a dream, every time. We had a kitchen with some of the best olive oil. We cooked meals with a smile on our faces and ate the food like it was our last day on earth.

For me, Kalymnos is a lot more than climbing. It’s the land of blissfulness.
Here are a few pictures from the trip:
Panoramic view of Telmnos Island
Johanna Gagis-Pamula
Kristian Gagis
Roxanne Chenel
Roxanne nearing the Anchor
Daniel Norris

Roxanne Chenel
The view of the crags from the studios rooftop!
Me - Vincent
The famous grota
Here's a special thanks to the friends we made! (Daniel, Joanna, Kristian & Tadziu)
Vincent Kneeshaw

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Red River Gorgeous

Roxanne Chenel on Amarillo Sunset 5.11b Photo: Shaw Tron
The Red River Gorge is possibly the number one climbing destination on the entire east-coast of North-America. I had heard of how amazing the sport climbing was in the gorge. It's crazy jug-hauls and stunning scenery!  I soon realized that the thing about climbers in Kentucky, is that they've all been there before and they'll all be back again and again. I was shocked to realize that I was one of the only climbers visiting the Red for the first time. I was a rare bread . That, for me, was a clear message that the Red River Gorge has more than anyone could ever ask for. As my partner, Roxanne, and I spent our first days in the gorge we discovered something beautiful. We discovered the orange sandstone faces covered with natural Iron-oxide bands. The Iron formed the strangest mandala-type of rock art cemented deeply into the Kentucky cliffs. Our jaws dropped. It was like climbing in a dream, we pulled our bodies up into massive hueco's that where perfectly placed at mid height, between the ground and the anchors. We swung on overhanging roofs from a bucket-jug to another. 
Vincent wanting To defy laws of tradition 5.10a

Pocketed cliffs

As we arrived in the Red River Gorge, I was sure I'd be crushing all 5.11's and 5.12's in a matter of days. I was humbled to learn that my endurance level wasn't ready at all for this level f steepness. After a two month break from climbing, I got flash pumped on the easiest looking 5.10's. It took me a while to build up the energy to start climbing what I was expecting to climb! Its hard not to get frustrated at first. This is the reason guy's like Arno Ilgner teach us to climb without ego and without any expectations including grades! I guess, this is also one of the reasons why climbers keep returning.

Cyril working The Grim Reaper 5.12
Vincent's Onsight of Another Doug Reed Route 5.11b
The other reason why climbers are drawn back to the Gorge year after year, is the rapidity of the expanding crags. The route setters are unstoppable and the crag development is far from slowing down even after all these years. To this day, there are three hefty-sized guidebooks that cover climbing in the Red River Gorge. One guide is for the North, one is for for the south and another is for a brand-new sector called Millers fork. The Irony about Miller Fork, is that only 6 months after publishing the book. Most people are saying that the topos are already seriously outdated. There is just way to much climbing to be done in one trip.

Obviously, the Red is known to be a sport climbing destination above all. But that should not take anything away from some of the incredible trad routes to be found in the area. There are heaps of amazing traditional routes you can find amongst the kingdom of bolts. I recommend the northern book for all the tradies, but you will find some 5 star cracks in the southern gorge including Miller Fork.

''The Iron formed the strangest mandala-type of rock art''
Here is a Must do tick list for trad:

-  Bedtime For Bonzo 5.6 (North)
-  Roadside Attraction 5.7 (South)
-  Cheaper than a movie 5.8 (South)
-  Arachnid  5.8 (North)
-  Autumn    5.9  (North)
-  Pall Bearer 5.9 (Miller Fork)
-  Blue Runner 5.9 (North)
-  Rock Wars 5.10 (North)
-  B3     5.11 (North)
-  Rebar 5.11 (South)

Now for the sport climbing tick-list, it is a little harder to cut everything down to a handful of climbs. I remember saying ''this is the best climb we've done yet'' after almost every climb. My tip for you is to plan on spending a day per sector and bring a good car to manage the dirt roads that lead to most of the cliffs. Most sport climbers enjoy spending time in what is called the PMRP or the Motherload and Chocolate factory sector. The road is very steep to access the parking areas, so if you don't trust your car don't go down there! But don't worry there is a lifetime's worth of other climbs to try out

Here's a few sport climbs off the tip of my tongue:

Grim reaper 5.12b (Miller Fork)
Ro Shampo 5.12a (South)
Witness the citrus 5.11c (Miller Fork)
Amarillo Sunset 5.11b (South)
Fuzzy Undercling 5.11b (North)
Mona lisa overdrive 5.11b (South)
Breakfast Burrito 5.10d (South)
K.S.B. 5.10d  (South)
A brief history of climb 5.10b (South)

Roxanne on Fuzzy Undercling 5.11b

Roxanne chilling on Mona Lisa Overdrive 5.11b

Crit on Samurai 5.12b

Now for a place to stay; the cheapest, most obvious place to stay would be Miguel's Pizza/Campground.  They make delicious pizza and offer a 2$ a night stay! It's the perfect dirtbagger option. You can also stay at Lago linda's, It's a quieter more relaxed Hideaway. It's a great place for dogs to run around and great if you also want a Shower... Showers at Miguels also exist, it's just more of an adventure! Finally, there is also the Land of arches which is similar to Lago lindas. It's in a different location, depending on the areas you would want to go to!

Roxanne Flagging the shit out of Ro Shampo 5.12a

All in all, for me Kentucky was a lot of fun. The taste of the good bourbon we had down there is one of my fondest memories. The whiskey just makes it an ideal place for climbers! Again on the plus side, the good'ol Kentucky accent wont let any traveler down. It just makes me so happy when I get to chat with the locals!

Red River Gorge! I'll be back!

Vincent Kneeshaw
Rad Climbers

Monday, June 27, 2016

360° with Honnold on the Needles

This is so much fun!
Explore The Needles from your computer screen by clicking and dragging around this 360° video.
Are you ready for your first free solo?


Monday, June 6, 2016

Staying away from bunions!

I am not so much of a boulderer as I am of a route climber. I really enjoy climbing long trad  multi-pitch alpine style. I prefer the adventure over the 12 foot boulder problem. But, sometimes it helps to boulder a bit in order to get that extra power. Bouldering skills are essential to the ones who seek progression. So this is the story of how I got in to bouldering. That's also the story of how I got my bunions... Thanks a lot for the bumps on my toes you: Boulder Gym!

The story is simple. I trained in a boulder gym about 3 times a week. If you boulder indoors,you might have realized what I didn't. Most climbers you will notice just walk around the whole time in their climbing shoes. I mean most of them wont take them off period. I did the same, because I am just as lazy as every one else! I didn't have a reason to take them off. Id rather tolerate the pain. After a few weeks of consistently doing that, I started developing a tailor's bunion on my left foot. The tailors bunion is the bump that appears on your baby toe. Most people get it on their big toes. I need to mention that I was also wearing an aggressive tight pair of  shoes which is definitely not the same as your casual slipper shoes. Thus, I still think no matter which type of shoes you might be wearing, it is still really healthy to pull'em off between every problem so you let your feet breath.

Now, if you already have a bunion which was created by your own climbing snicks here are a few tips:

First, I recommend using bigger shoes or even cutting holes out of the edges of the climbing shoes. Make sure there isn't any pressure on the bump or the skin.

Second, try ordering a bunion protector gel online. You can get them for super cheap. They help mostly when your not climbing. I wouldn't wear them while climbing, but they help overall.

Third, what a great timing to start training on the campus wall while your feet heal slowly. But make sure you stretch you're arms properly to stay away from tendinitis. Nothing is worse than a chain of climbing injuries one after the other.
For better results, try stretches like pulling your toe outwards whenever you can and keeping it for 30 seconds 4-5 times a day if possible. It sure helped me get stronger toes.
I also recommend to apply an ice-pack on the bunion especially at night. It wont alleviate the pain but it will help reduce swelling.

Hopefully you will be back to crushing in no time.

Vincent Kneeshaw

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Free soloing the nose

I have never been a big Star Trek fan. But I might have become one after seeing this clip. I heard Alex Honnold talking about El cap. He mentioned that only person had the skills of free soloing El capitan and that would be Captain Kirk.
His comment made me laugh but than again, I'll lift my hat to Mr.kirk since he had the balls to actually try this risky ascent without a rope.

So there you go: Captain kirk, the only guy to ever free solo El capitan. Although he didn't make it to the top so... it's still up for grabs Mr. Honnold.

Vincent Kneeshaw

Alex Honnold Podcast

A few months ago we had a post where we shared a Paige Claasen podcast. The podcast was one of NausicaaCast's which you can listen to by clicking the link.

Here is another 50 minute podcast but this time in a completely different style. Alex Honnold meets with MtnMeister's host Ben Schenck.

Alex is the most known figure in rock-climbing today.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Ask Caldwell

Tommy challenged Mountain Project forum users to ask him "thought-provoking" questions, then he chose several to answer. His replies are pure gold.  

Here are the top 3 Posts :

 1) Matt Linesby

Your climbing accomplishments to this point are truly inspiring and have an unusually broad spectrum for any one individual: gymnastic difficulty/strength (eg Flex Luthor), Risk management/alpine suffering (eg Fitz traverse), and long term commitment/endurance (eg Dawn Wall). Do you consider yourself an outlier in terms of ability, motivation, and/or attitude? What is your greatest attribute that has allowed you to reach this level?

I like this question because it speaks to the heart of mastery, anyone looking to better themselves ponders these very questions. I believe that the successes I have had do not come primarily from natural ability. Of course I am genetically built to be a pretty good climber (scrawny). But there are thousands of climbers out there with far more natural talent than I will ever have. For me it is more motivation and attitude. I am a die-hard optimist; this means I learn to love what I know. I spend my life in the most beautiful places in the world surrounded by psyched people (my dad, Steve Hong, Chris Sharma) to name a few. That is the beauty of a life of a full time climber, a constant flow of inspiration. I have a deep curiosity to explore limits. But I think my greatest attribute comes from what my friend Jim Collins Calles the 20 mile march mentality. Every day I wake up with the same question, What can I do today to bring me a little closer to my gaol. The goal really is just a focal point and changes from time to time. I am addicted to the chase. My mental well being and general view of the world seem to be directly correspond with how vigorously I am perusing that next goal. All the climbs you mentioned were possible for me because of the cumulative time spent bettering myself as a climber.
Throughout the history of climbing there have been numerous quantum leap advancements: think sticky rubber, cams, form fitting shoes, legitimate belay techniques, dynamic ropes, fixed climbing protection, focus on free climbing, bouldering, sport climbing, climbing as an athletic sport as opposed to means to summit or to have an adventure, climbing as a career. What will it mean for your accomplishments if a substantial "advancement " allows the rest of us punters to run up the Dawn Wall before lunch?

Advances in technology constantly re-define the game allowing constant progression. There is nothing more motivating than that feeling of progression. But, it in no way takes away from the experience of the past. Do you look at Royal Robbins or Warren Harding and think to yourself, “those guys were so light duty”. I doubt it, if anything, the advances in technology serve only to create nostalgia and admiration for the people that managed to climb without that technology. Technology is the reason rock faces like El Cap has been able to constantly reinvent itself for each generation. First as a question of “is it possible to merely climb the thing using any means. To how fast, or how blank of a section of the wall, or can these routes go free. Who knows what the future will look like, but I am excited to see it go down.

Climbing has been accused at times of being a pointless and selfish endeavor, a means with no end. Occasional defenses of climbing involve abstracts such a facilitating self growth, learning about one self, inspiring the masses etc. What has climbing given/taught to you in life besides a career path and a decent living?

I once read a quote from Andrew Bisheret “Climbing is about deriving meaning from the meaningless”. Its true, on a practical level climbing is quite meaningless. But aren’t most endeavors. Like say, typing on a internet forum, or any sporting endeavor, or making money, or having kids. What is truly selfless. I am sure even Mother Teresa derived personal satisfaction from helping others. Having kids is a great example of what many call a selfless. I absolutely disagree. From a environmental standpoint, having kids must be about the worst thing you do. The media event surrounding climbing the Dawn Wall created the opportunity for me to help a bunch of charitable organizations by presenting at fundraisers, (about 25 last year) for now this seems to be the mot effective way for me to give back. Part of the reason I do this is to give back. But I also do it because it makes me feel good. So maybe I am dong it because I am selfish? As climbers, we may be more selfish than most, But I like to think that climbing fosters good things like a appreciation for our natural world (and a subsequent want to protect), comradery, love of life, love of people. To me, these are the beautiful things in life that we need more of. 

 2) Desert Rat

1) Years ago, when you cut off your finger, what were the psychological repurcussions? How long was it before you knew that it wouldn't affect your climbing at the harder levels?

Cutting off my finger had the psychological repercussion of making me realize how much I valued climbing (because I wondered if I would still be able live the life through climbing that I lived) It made me buckle down, train harder. I had to want it more so I wouldn’t loose it. Surprisingly, This became the biggest moment of growth in my climbing. It pushed me in the direction of El Cap and more adventurous forms of climbing (because I knew my fingers would never be as strong as they were for steep sport climbing and bouldering). It turns out I was much better at adventure climbing anyway. Its called Post traumatic growth, its actually pretty common.

2) Has your approach to risk changed since you became a father? When you go after projects like the Patagonia traverse, does thinking about Fitz play a role on the your level of acceptable risk, either consciously or subconsciously?

The big change that being a father had made in regards to risk is that I am much more thoughtful. I heavily consider the risks that I choose to take. It hasn’t really changed my day-to-day decisions though because I always chose to climb things I was relatively sure I would live through. I would say that I am more motivated by climbs that challenge Physical and psychological limits and less motivated by climbs that toy with the risk line. I won’t climb under hanging snow fields or in bad avalanche terrain. I rope up on glaciers; I look for big clean rock faces with little chance for rock fall. I admire hard work over boldness. But I still love a great adventure. Some of this might come from the fact that I am naturally relatively bold but weak. We tend to value the finite. The last thing I want to do as a father is to live in fear. I want to foster in my kids the ability to asses risk so that they will be prepared for a world where a certain amount of risk is inevitable. Climbing provides a great classroom for that.

3) Looking back on the time you were captured by rebel forces while on the wall in the middle east, do you find you have any PTSD left over from having to attempt to kill someone else in order to escape safely?

I will probably never fully understand the psychological effects of the events in Kyrgyzstan. What is PTSD anyway? I know that ever since that trip I have felt the need to live everyday to its fullest. I value family and friendship more now. I had a few nightmares in the months after the trip. My x-wifes Therapist blamed our divorce on a codependency issues that were a ripple effect from Kyrgyzstan. For the most part Kyrgyzstan was a coming of age moment that made the rest of life seem pretty mellow in comparison. It redefined suffering and stress and fear. I doubt I would be where I am today without that experience. 

3) John Sol.

With a career focused around a esoteric pasttime, do you ever feel that you could be doing something more important?

I vacillate between thinking what I do is super selfish and thinking that I am taking advantage of my only god given gift. When you think about it, most artistic pursuits could be put into a similar category. But what would the world look like without art or creativity? I love this question because it reminds me that we should strive to be less self-centered. (I am the first to admit that I am hugely self-centered)

This is not to belittle you or your achievements, but do you ever consider changing to a career that adds societal value?

For better or worse climbing is what I know and what I love. I don’t consider changing careers because I feel incredibly lucky to have the career that I have. With climbing get to be a explorer of sorts. I think anyone that has this opportunity in life should seize it.

What does it look like to you to have a meaningful impact as a climber?

What is meaningful impact anyway? I mean, Climbers aren’t saving the world. We are just doing the best we can with what we know. And it makes for a pretty great life. 

For more, check out the Moutanin Project : Ask Caldwell Forum

Monday, February 22, 2016

Said Belhaj - All in, all the time.

This is our first multi sensory post where you get to read, listen & dance all at the same time.

On a recent Episode of the Enormocast (Radclimbers favourite climbing podcast), we got to learn a little bit more about Swedish/Moroccan/Finnish climber, Said Belhaj. He is one of the most inspiring climbers & musician out there.

Podcast : Play in a new window

''After obsessively adventuring on nearby rocks and breaking into his grade school like a ninja to train, Said found sport climbing and his fate was set. He is a seeker and finds the meditative state in climbing to be as necessary as air and food. As an accomplished musician, Said travels the world sending hard routes and blowing minds with transcendental music. All in, all the time, Said Belhaj is a climber for the ages.'' Chris Kalous

Now close your eyes and listen to some of Said's Music.

Also check out: Said's website


Monday, February 15, 2016

Blood, Sweat & Tears

Blood, sweat and tears was Mike Libecki’s motto for the expedition. After 16 days on Poumaka—a jungle spire on the remote island of Ua Pu in French Polynesia—Libecki and his climbing partner Angie Payne experienced it all. They battled jungle, mud, horrendous choss, sometimes wearing crampons, and massive whippers to forge a new eight-pitch A4 up the 3,264-foot spire. They succeeded in the end, but got off to a rough start.

“It was a crazy first pitch,” Libecki told Rock and Ice. “I had just taken off my crampons and threw them down to Angie, as I had to front point and runout a small section of rock with moss and roots on it.

“I decked, but fortunately it was pretty jungly-soft so a somewhat mellow landing.” Libecki managed to climb the pitch on his second try, “with proper free shoes and protection with beaks. Needless to say, the first pitch was pretty interesting!”

Higher on the route, Libecki took whip number two when he tried to aid through “some overhanging, rotten coral…right off the anchor.” The nut popped and he went crashing into the rock just below the belay.

“My knee was worse than I let on at the moment,” he says. “Did not want to freak out Angie any more at that point, and knew I just needed to get back on lead right away. My sock and shoe were filled/caked with blood by the time I finished the pitch.”

Libecki took a third whip while trying to free an overhanging, expanding crack, but it wasn’t caught on camera. “Only the first cam blew when I fell,” he says. “Another exciting ride!

“Ha, what’s that saying? ‘Not whipping, not going for it!’ Something like that.

“It was a really strange climb…emotional and beautiful, and honestly, pretty challenging.”


Rad Climbers.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Climbing in turkey

We met in Istanbul. It was a cold but cheerful reunion. We hadn’t seen each other for months and we had planned this trip over two quick phone calls. Roxanne & I had come over from Myanmar.  We had decided together that Myanmar would be a spiritual trip, a trip to discover Buddhism at its fullest. Jonathan was working a nine to five job in Montreal and was more than stoked to quit when he heard that we were on our way to Turkey for a climbing trip. The three of us had climbed together in many places including Canada, China and Thailand. 

Roxanne and Joe are both very talented climbers, but beyond the talent they are the most amazing friends I have. It was pure joy for the three of us to regroup in such a blissful background. Istanbul Is for me a mix of flavors and colors. You can’t go wrong visiting this city. The oldest covered market in the world will hypnotize you with its array of spices. The Aya Sophia Mosque dating back to the 4th century gives you the impression you have teleported back in time. At night you can feel the streets transform. They become more alive than you would ever imagine. The Istanbullus sure love their drink! We sure loved to drink with them!
Some of the old greek ruins around Antalya!

The time spent in the capital felt short which surely confirmed the fun we had. But nothing could prepare us for our rock-climbing destination: Antalya! We took the shity night bus in order to save money from flying. Man, I couldn’t wait to get off that bus! Impatient to reach the cliffs as we arrived, we jumped right into a small dolmuch (local bus) heading towards the hills of Geyik Baiyiri 25 kilometers away. Since so few people travel through the villages, you need to hitch-hike the last portion of road up the hills. Surely, these small communities never would have thought they’d see a foreigner walk by until everything changed in 2001. A few climbers turned the place into a climbing wonder world.

From Kezbans camp
The area provides 4 different types of guest houses/ campgrounds for climbers only. We stayed at Kezban’s which is run by a friendly local and his girlfriend. In Geyik Bayiri, you can climb over 700 routes and there is still potential to develop many more! You can find routes from 4c to 8c on the same wall.The climbing is on superb limestone rock, with many features such as slabs and faces with small crimps to bomber overhanging tufas and roofs. A 70 meter rope is recommended for most climbs.

We spent a month living in our tent next to other climbers that were mostly French, Polish or Russian.  I always marvel at how strong the Europeans can climb. This one friend we made had cigarettes and beer as his main diet and still managed to climb 8b’s (5.13d). We climbed most week days. Sundays were the ideal rest days as it is market day in the neighbouring village. The majority of climbers hitch a ride down to stock up on food provisions for the week! The food is always awesome.

One of our favourite crags is called Trebena. This area is mostly sheltered from the rain and has some of the craziest rock formations. We all got to tick some projects there since it was always dry. My favourite route there was ‘’sucker punched’’ an awesome 7a (5.11d)  line that finishes in the 7c (5.12d) grade.


To get the real feel of climbing in Antalya its worth driving down the coast to Olympos. This is the real Turkish hippie town. Located near the ocean, Olympos has gorgeous beaches, ruins and tree houses to sleep in. One of the crags in this area bears the name of ‘’heaven’’ in turkish. It’s an amazing vertical slab with a few pockets placed perfectly as you make your way up. The routes there are all mostly in the 5.11/5.12 area which was perfect for us.

During our stay in Geyik there was an issue with some mining companies trying to get permission to dig up the crags. After heated discussions between climbers and miners, the climbers got the final word and saved Geyik! My concern is how long will it be until the mining industries come back. To anyone travelling to Turkey please try to get informed and make sure to offer a helping hand if needed. This place is truly beautiful and we want to make sure we keep it that way!

Lots of love,

Friday, January 22, 2016

Climbing in Colombia with Katie Lambert

As the spring season heated up, climbers head south in search of new destinations to build their strength and stamina. One rising destination in the Southern Hemisphere is the La Mojarra climbing area on the Mesa de los Santos next to the Chicamocha Canyon National Park in Columbia. Known for bullet-hard red sandstone, overhanging sport routes and surreal climbing above a picturesque valley, the zone has started drawing international climbers due to its growing reputation. 

Climbers Mason Earle and Katie Lambert journeyed to the area, staying at the climber epicenter of Refugio La Roca and tested their spring skills by sampling the hardest routes in La Mojarra’s 5.8 to 5.14a range. On down days, the team experienced the cultural travel aspects of a spot featuring stunning National Park vistas, thriving farmer’s markets and some of the best coffee in the world.

What an inspiring location this is!
See you all in Colombia,

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Stinger Low, Squamish

Michelle Yalowega on the ascent of Stinger Low V10, Squamish.

Michelle lives in Squamish, BC. She works as a high school science teacher. 
This is one of those videos we thought should be shared. 
What an awesome start to 2016.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Podcast with Paige Claassen

Here is a refreshing podcast from pro-climber Paige Claassen just for you. Claassen joins Pro Skier Hadley Hammer who has just launched NAUSICAA-CAST on december 7th this year. This is Nausicaa's 3rd episode yet. The podcasts aim at covering some of the worlds best female athletes. It's about those who have dedicated their lives to extreme sports.

Paige classen is very down to earth and fun to listen to. Her vision of the climbing industry is very interesting. She talks  about herself aswell as her goals such as bolting her first route. If you havent heard about Paige this is your chance to catch up on this amazingly talented climber. She has been crushing various hard 5.14 routes over the past years and will surely continue to inspire us over the comming year.

''I think a lot of people try to put on this face in the outdoor industry… that you have to be this perfect figure, this perfect athlete, always be psyched, always be happy…and that’s not realistic…and so to portray yourself as always psyched and always motivated-I don’t think that’s helpful for the community. So I’d rather portray a more realistic version of myself that people can actually relate to. It’s more fun for me, because I get to be myself. '' -Paige
Rad Climbers