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THE WALKER SPURR
by Rob Powell

First Published in: The Journal of the Mountain Club of South Africa ‘To call this a “classic” is almost to do it a disservice – this is THE classic hard Chamonix route! Cams and modern rockboots mean that the route can be climbed faster than it used to be but, even in the 21st Century, ticking the Walker Spur is still a major achievement.’  - Rockfax Chamonix guidebook. ‘The route is rarely dry enough to be climbed in rockboots but it needs to be if it is to bear any resemblance to this description. If you climb it in mixed conditions it will be hard and (even more) time consuming so it is best to wait (even if takes a...

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Rainy Days and Soggy Belays

Longs Peak, Colorado. The Athlete: Amity Warme The Project: Gambler's Fallacy - 9 pitches (5.13b) up the face of the Diamond on Longs Peak This summer, our July was largely focused around missions on the Diamond. Connor and I spent many days up there - getting in shape for the altitude, re-familiarizing ourselves with the style of climbing, and dialing in efficiencies - all with the goal of sending Gambler’s Fallacy (5.13b, 9 pitches). ⁣ ⁣ The first day on the route, I attempted it ground up but it quickly became apparent that I needed time to learn the beta and figure out the finicky gear on the upper crux pitches. So, we spent two days working the top four...

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International Friendship Highlight - story provided by Alan Arnette

We wouldn’t be who we are today without the support of our teachers and training partners. The people that we meet in the wild spaces around the world give us new perspectives and make us better people.  Friendship Highlight - story provided by Alan Arnette The first time I met Kami Sherpa, there was an immediate bond. Now almost 10 years later, that connection is stronger than ever. There’s something captivating about this Sherpa husband, father and grandfather who has 17 summits of Everest plus another 27 on other big peaks. His full name was Kami Tshering (Ang Chhiring) Sherpa – Pangboche). His mother changed it to Kami after an infant illness believing the illness would not return if she...

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Climbing Grades

By Rob Powell First Published in:  The Journal of the Mountain Club of South Africa What are all these funky climbing grades about? Because humans like making things difficult, we have a variety of Alpine climbing grading systems applicable in the to different mediums and climbing styles. Let me try to explain. Alpine Climbing – This is based on the French system and has become the most common system used worldwide. In a nutshell, it’s a severity scale. The grade can be supplemented with a ‘+’ to indicate a higher level of difficulty. •   F: Facile / Easy – Technically a doddle, may be on glaciated terrain which means a rope may be necessary. If not glaciated, most alpinists...

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3 Sisters on 7 Summits

Rolwaling, Northeast Nepal. Rolwaling is a rural valley village surrounded by mountains in Northeast Nepal. It sits at an elevation of 4,200m (13,779ft) and is surrounded by steep cliffs that are both stunning and brutal. These geographic features help to shape the people that live there, and may have contributed to its legacy status in the mountaineering community. This small farming community of Rolwaling is home to 15 Certified IFMGA guides and 60 Everest summiteers - a high count even among Sherpa communities in Nepal.  Rinzin Doma Sherpa (mom) & Jangmu in the background Even among Rolwaling families, there is one set of siblings that stands out in terms of their accomplishments, their ambition, and their love of their community....

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