Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mark Givens Supercanaleta images

Rarely seen view up the Supercanaleta compliments of Rolo.

Looking down.

Before the storm.

Wings are used by aspiring mushroom climbers to gain purchase in the vertical coolwhip.

The crew in Nipo.

February found us shifting from the Torre Valley to the East side of the Range. The weather was marginal and we spent days in Niponino high camp pondering the next move. Meanwhile, Ace and Gary found everything they came for and then some on the Supercanaleta (supercoulour).

Dreams of Patagonia

Alpine ice high on the Whillians route, Aguja Poincenot.

Looking at the East side of Aguja Rafiel (right) and St. Exupery (left). Neil and I rappeled off the face on Exupery with the horizontal ledges and wrapped around to lookers left and into the darkness after climbing Last Gringos Standing.

Gary dislplays his girlfriends panties. This only begins to explain the nickname...

On the approach to the Whillians via passo superior.

The striking Aguja Pallone.

Mark Givens recently shared some rarely seen images of the East Side of the Fitz Roy Group. Mark and his climbing partner Gary provided some much needed comical relief as our three months in Chalten wound down. Everyone gets nicknames in Chalten. Neil and I are known as Los Hermanos Kauffman. Mark and Gary were known as Ace and Gary after the Mad TV skit...

New Route in Death Canyon

Looking at the Snaz from the Alien wall.

The 5.6 ramp that is shared with the Predator.

Sappy! Check out what my tether is girth hitched onto. The tree was bigger than forearm at the point at which the achor is attached.

Mark Givens and I recently joined forces in the Tetons. Our intention was the Predator in Death Canyon, an unrepeated Tackle-Donini route put up in 1987. However, upon closer ispection the said "left facing corner" was actually a seriously dirty and overhanging right facing corner in which the first ascentionists resorted to aid.

Mark and I decided to head left into free-climbing terrain and were rewarded by a highly featured gneiss face with good protection. For more info check out

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I LOVE Indian Creek!!

Indian Creek is a very special place to many people who have spent time there and awaits discovery for many more. As the fall season rolls around, I'm psyched to return to "The Creek" to see my friends and meet many new ones, not to mention climb the SICKEST CRACKS IN THE WORLD!!

I'm thinking about the future of "the Creek", we all love it for the free spirit of this amazing desert landscape, one of the last free climbing areas in the States. Let's keep it that way! If you haven't read the Access Fund's comments on the BLM Management Plan, please do it. It's our responsibility as "locals" to know the rules and inform others. If we don't treat this place right, we'll be paying fees for toilets and packed into designated BLM campgrounds!

Consider joing the Access Fund and Friends of Indian Creek, they are both committed to keeping the Creek free.

Basically the BLM is running a trial period to test whether we can handle the freedom from fees and more regulations. We need to strictly adhere to "Leave No Trace" ethics: Pack out ALL your shit, including all your shit! Wag bags are available, or you can use plastic bags pretty easily (ewwww!....get over it). Cat holes and the "shit-put" are no longer acceptable! Tread lightly on sensitive areas by using established trails and avoiding crytobiotic soil at all costs ("Dont Bust the Crust"...I'm a soil ambassador). Leave your dogs if possible, they don't understand how to protect the fragile desert. If you must bring your pet, keep it under control at all times and clean up its shit; keep it on trails and off the crypto. (Don't make Alf shoot your dog!) We need to re-evaluate the campfire scene: it's pretty great to have the warmth and spirit of a fire on those cold desert nights. However, gathering firewood at the Creek has a huge impact and is definately against the rules. Bringing wood from outside the area and limiting wood consumption are the best solutions. We need to preserve and protect Indian Creek so we can happily climb there forever!!

See y'all there in November!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Kings Canyon Park

This is the lightest-colored Sierra Yellow-Legged Frog I've seen

Great frog lakes;
storm's a brewin'

Heinous 'schwackin

This is one of the biggest...78 grams!
The Sierra Crest

Mt Darwin and Mt Mendel

Upper Evolution Canyon
Max and I have just emerged from the backcountry of Kings Canyon National Park after a six day froggin' trip through some of the High Sierra's trademark terrain along the John Muir/Pacific Crest Trail. Our mission was to visit sites that have not yet shown positive infections of the deadly amphibian chytrid fungus. The trip was eye-opening; there were thousands of adult frogs all over these lakes, too many to count! This was but a snapshot of the days before trout and chytrid invaded the frog havens of the Sierra, damn shame...