Jeudi 28 juillet 2011

The North Face Ski Challenge Tour heads back down to France

The North Face Ski Challenge Tour heads back down to France and will hold its last qualifying event in Chamonix on March 12th on the famous Grands Montets. Now we knew entering in the last north face denali fleece of the qualifiers in Scandinavia and France that we would have even bigger crowds trying to qualify for the final in Val Thorens. But apparently, The North Face Ski Challenge, a combined event in freeride and freestyle dedicated to young freeskiers aged 12 to 18 had already attracted some attention in the country of the mighty vikings!

It all started when we arrived in ?re and turned on the local TV. Last year’s final in Val Thorens was on and every 20 minutes, the moderator on the local TV explained the whole idea of the event encouraged locals and skiers on vacation on site to come and participate. The next day,cheap north face, we entered the Stadium shop in the center of town and 8 kids were waiting for us. And more came during the whole evening!

“What if I crash ? How many runs do we have ? Can we take two pairs of skis?” And so on and so on. Three hours later and after having answered probably to 300 questions, the result exceeded our expectations: 42 boys and 3 girls would participate the next day in the event. A record for us, especially since we had decided last summer to only accept 40 kids in each event by lack of time.

Then next day (Saturday) the weather decided to remind us that we indeed were in Sweden: gusty winds, heavy snow falls and north face denali were our menu for the day. And you know it’s going to be tough when you need to put your googles on just to walk to your car!

Arriving at the meeting point, a huge chalet on the slopes, it got even worse. But nothing scares off a Viking as Robert and P?r, the local event managers reassured us: “ We have trees pretty much everywhere: the wind won’t be a problem. And at 10 AM, the weather is supposed to get better”. They were right about the first part. As for the second part; well, let’s say that if we didn’t like the weather, we only had to wait 10 minutes to see it change!

Par caigoose9 - 0 commentaire(s)le 28 juillet 2011

With -25°C in the back side of north face cheap this morning

AJ Kemppainen, last year’s winner in the Kings category had just arrived from Japan and volunteered to judge the event along with Petteri Liikainen, a local pro.

With -25°C in the back side of north face cheap this morning, it wasn’t hard to motivate the kids to come and participate in the morning briefing inside the warm chalet that served a event base ! 42 riders, all Finns in a small lodge, along with parents rapidly heated up the air and questions such as “ what happens if we qualify ?” were risen. It was a like they already knew that, impressed by their talents the judges would qualify at least as many as last week in Sweden...And indeed, impressed they were!

We had decided to reverse the program ( freestyle first and freeride later) as Ruka wanted to totally close the park for The North Face Ski Challenge in the morning. With temperatures still well under -17°C,north face denali, the riders at the start looked like if they were getting ready for an alpine race, stretching and warming up methodically to not get injured. A good lesson to learn for all riders!

And then the show started ! Jump after jump, landing after landing, we discovered real talents ! You could hear Romain -our tour manager- with William -our starter- discuss about the jumps and riders on the radio. And the judges had exactly the same conversations every time, rider after rider. AJ Kemppainen on his fellow countrymen: “ So many good riders... It’ll be hard to choose !”

After a third run in freestyle cheap north face, we headed to the surprise area chosen for freeride. New snow had come during the week and the descent chosen offered varied terrain and a wide choice of short lines. And again, most of the skiers that stood out in the morning confirmed all the good we thought about them in the second event. A quick warm up / judges meeting later, we agreed on the list of the riders to qualify to the Val Thorens final ( see list below). The flying Finns are coming...

Par caigoose9 - 0 commentaire(s)le 28 juillet 2011

After eating breakfast and forcing down a load of coffee

After eating breakfast and forcing down a load of coffee and water in the hope that either might make me feel less woozy we packed into a mini bus and headed to

. P1010068 As the crag came into view for the first time, I was overwhelmed at its scale and as the psyche washed over me, I began to feel north face cheap much better. After a steady warm up, I moved onto something harder. I chose a relatively short, steep route that looked like it might suit my bouldering strengths. After getting the beta from my friend Nick, I tried to flash it and made it to the 5th bolt before falling on a wild slap to the mid height rest jug. After pulling back on, I climbed bolt to bolt to the top, managing the moves on my first try but feeling unable to link many together. On lowering to the floor I felt a little frustrated, so far I have not found any of the climbing particularly difficult, but I get tired all too quickly to stand any north face denali fleece of completing a route. I guess this is only my second day sport climbing in over a year; hopefully I should have a little fitness by the end of the trip.

Later on I surprised my self by managing to flash a route that Nick had climbed on his last day at the crag. It was a long battle but thanks to Nick’s ever present beta I managed to clip the chains. Emily (Harrington) tried the route after me and also flashed it. Being quite a bit shorter than me she had to make a few wild slaps in the middle section but stuck them with no problems and cruised to the top, inspiring.

The North Face Ski Challenge Tour Breaks Ice in Ruka, Finland! Last stage before coming back to the Alps, Ruka in Finland is more than a special place. It’s an experience to live at least once in one’s life. Actually, most people that have once experienced the Arctic and Lappland come back... After yet another 1200kms driven through Swedish ( north face denali) endless forests, after having crossed yet another boarder, we arrived in Ruka and enjoyed the quietness, the cold and the northern lights that periodically light up in the Finnish skies. There we met a team of people dedicated to helping us ( thanks Noora and Synkk? !) and make of that awaited stage a special event.

Par caigoose9 - 0 commentaire(s)le 28 juillet 2011

Is it more or less acceptable for a local to manufacture a route

Is it more or less acceptable for a local to manufacture a route than a visiting north face denali?

Is it more or less acceptable to manufacture an unclimbed line than an existing route?

As a “bystander” do you have a duty to try to stop someone manufacturing a route? As far as I am aware, there is no “law” regarding climbing ethics, surely ethics come down to personal choice and so, “legally” what can you do to stop someone chipping etc?

As a producer of climbing media, do you have a duty to report the negative side of climbing (ie chipping) as well as the positive (ie establishing new routes) On a more positive note, I seem to be getting a little fitter and have started to bolt a project that I hope to complete before my time is up. I have no idea how hard it is but it is a really beautiful line. It is almost 40m long but luckily there looks to be a good rest in the middle. Hopefully I am going to return tomorrow to finish off bolting and cleaning the north face cheap. Depending on how I feel, and how hard the moves turn out to be I would like to redpoint the route in the next few days to give me the last few sessions to try other things.

I began to get the jet lag jitters and decided a rest day was in order. My forearms ached from the previous day and so I joined the rest of the team for a full body massage. The masseuse was really skilled and strong and even though it often hurt like hell I found it hard not to drift off into a relaxed sleep. I wandered around town for a little while, exploring the various shops that line the narrow streets and practicing my bartering skills. I feel like they are coming along quite nicely but in reality, the final price, which is normally around 20% of what was first asked north face denali, is probably still 10 x what it is worth. C’est la vie!

Dinner was fantastic, a feast of Pizza and spring rolls really hit the spot but for some unknown reason, I woke the next morning feeling pretty ill.

Par caigoose9 - 0 commentaire(s)le 28 juillet 2011

China I received news of a new route that had just been established

A few months before I arrived in China I received news of a new route that had just been established at White Mountain. At 14b (8c), American Gangster was the hardest route in China and I was really psyched to check it out. It was put up by visiting French Climber Michael Fuselier whilst on a trip with BigUp Productions and was filmed for north face denali. Information and a picture of the line appeared on the BigUp blog and I decided to check out the line at my first opportunity.

To cut a long story short, After making my way up the route, I was disgusted to find that the crux section of the route was completely manufactured. A rightwards rock-over found my fingers reaching into a narrow oval slot that felt strangely out of place, I pulled up on the rope for a closer look and found an ugly, drilled, 3 finger slot. The three drill-bit marks were clearly visible in the back of the slot, their uncompromising industriousness, offensive next to the beautiful golden rock north face cheap. All motivation for the route was lost and I only climbed to the anchors to allow me to strip my draws.

Arriving back on earth I told my friends what I had found. Disappointment was obvious all around, it felt like a little of the magic of the area had been stolen from us. I had my suspicions over who had drilled the route but I hoped I was wrong as they seemed too dire. Tyson, a local, confirmed the worst. He told us how he had been watching from the ground, whilst Michael was trying the route, filmed by Cooper Roberts. Michael asked Cooper to pass him the drill and proceeded to create the three north face denali jackets finger pocket!

This chain of events, and what happens about it, raises lots of issues. Maybe no one else is bothered, maybe now is not the time to explore them and maybe it doesn’t even matter. However, this is something I feel strongly about and I think the following points are worth thinking over:

Ifind it hard to think of many (if any) routes of 5.14b (8c) and above that are not manufactured in some way or another. Does this mean that hard sport climbing is exempt from traditional climbing ethics? If this is the case, at what point does climbing become “hard” and are we happy about this in general?

Par caigoose9 - 0 commentaire(s)le 28 juillet 2011

It’s amazing just how wrong you can be cheap north face

So a month full of news for The North Face Ski Challenge Tour final in Val Thorens !

It’s amazing just how wrong you can be cheap north face. After spending 2 days bolting and cleaning the route, I figured I had a good Idea of how hard it would be as most of the holds seemed good and it didn’t seem so steep. 8a/+ (5.13b/c) was the armchair guess but when the time came to finally give it a go, I just about managed to haul my self to the anchors going bolt to bolt.

It felt really tough and there were two sections I couldn’t climb (one due to wet holds, the other was just damn hard). I think I could climb the bottom section (to the good rest) with a little work, but the top section, with its unclimbed crux, into a massive four point off dyno, into the unclimbed wet section, to some pumpy jugs and final boulder problem seems a little beyond me at this moment in time. Reaching the anchors, I felt defeated and couldn’t see myself climbing the route with my limited time left cheap the north face. I decided to strip the draws but was convinced by my friends to leave them in and try another day.

Well, crossing my fingers didn’t work. We have had almost torrential rain all day combined with a thick damp mist. Out of desperation we took a taxi to White Mountain but even this (supposedly) perma-dry crag was sopping. Before we walked in, we had arranged with our driver for him to pick us up in four hours time and so with a wet crag, in the middle of nowhere, with no phone, we were faced with either a long wait or walk back to Yangshuo. We chose the walk and it was fairly pleasant, getting to see up close a lot of the local comings and north face denali fleece. After a short while we managed to flag down a van and once a price had been agreed, hopped in and rode back to town.

The forecast for tomorrow does not look good, nor does it look great for the rest of the week. At some point I need to return to Lei pi Shen to retrieve my remaining 14 draws from my project which, judging by the amount of water that has com from the sky, probably won’t be the best experience of the trip.

Par caigoose9 - 0 commentaire(s)le 28 juillet 2011
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