Sign In:

×

Last Step!

Please enter your public display name and a secure password.

Plan to post in the forums? Change your default forum handle here!

×
×

Video: A Gnarly First Ascent On An Ephemeral Colorado Ice Route

Ice climbing is a whole lot more than just swinging ice tools into frozen water: it’s a patient game of chess, waiting for elusive conditions, and then pouncing on an opportunity to climb dreamy (or nightmarish) routes. This fall, in an area high in the alpine in Rocky Mountain National Park outside Estes Park, CO, a small group of adventurous alpinists discovered all-time conditions on routes that had never been climbed before.

RELATED: Follow David Lama on His Most Ambitious Solo Climb Yet

How does one get a first ascent on area so close to civilization? Well, the answer is simple: the routes had simply never formed before. On Longs Peak’s East Face, under the famous wall of rock known as the Diamond, water trickles out of cracks in the rock, and if conditions are just right, it freezes into huge curtains of ice that just barely stick to the rock. For some a frightful nightmare, for others a dream come true.

After scouting conditions for several weeks, climbers Wesley Fowler and Tyler Kempney teamed up with local video wizard Drew Herder to attempt a new route. Climbing the face required some of the boldest climbing ever attempted: the ice was so thin it was unprotectable for long stretches at a time, and with each swing of an ice tool, the climbers risked shattering the whole route and falling off. 

Gnarly climb. Excellent video work!

Play
READ THE STORY
“Swiss Mishap” is the Most Terrifying Thing You’ve Seen In a While
Up Next Hang glide

“Swiss Mishap” is the Most Terrifying Thing You’ve Seen In a While

“Swiss Mishap” is the Most Terrifying Thing You’ve Seen In a While

If Chris Gurksy was searching for a thrill when he signed up for his first ever attempt at hang-gliding, he got exactly that. The Florida-based photographer was on holiday with his wife in Switzerland when he found himself some 4,000 feet in the air hanging on for dear life after the pilot he booked the flight with forgot to attach him to the glider.  Related: Jean-Baptiste Paragliding As Wild As Candide’s “One of Those Days” The footage is as amazing as it is terrifying, yet Chris seems

Play
READ THE STORY
Five Blind Veterans Complete the Ultimate Kayaking Trip Down The Grand Canyon
Up Next Kayak

Five Blind Veterans Complete the Ultimate Kayaking Trip Down The Grand Canyon

Five Blind Veterans Complete the Ultimate Kayaking Trip Down The Grand Canyon

Warning: This video will hit you right in the feels, but it's absolutely worth the watch. Travis Fugate had never met a blind person before he lost his vision fighting overseas. He was sure that extreme sports were over for him. But as Travis would learn, he was capable of kayaking down 226 miles of frothing whitewater through the Grand Canyon. Related: A Look At The Army’s Most Famous Group of Soldiers This Memorial Day Weekend Paired up with Team River Runner, this group of five sightless

Play
READ THE STORY
American Alpine Club to Introduce Outreach for Veterans and Active Duty Military
Up Next Rock climb

American Alpine Club to Introduce Outreach for Veterans and Active Duty Military

American Alpine Club to Introduce Outreach for Veterans and Active Duty Military

The American Alpine Club (AAC), is proud to be announcing new membership options and proactive outreach with active-duty military and veterans. Following the advocacy that began as far back as World War II, with the famed 10th Mountain Division, the nation’s oldest climbing non-profit has big plans for 2019. This will manifest itself through discounted club memberships for service members, veteran-focused climbing events, and the promotion of wellness through climbing. It’s an initiative that