Back in the Gym

This video isn’t mine but it brings back great memories of our Mt. Eolus climb last year. The Catwalk was the part that I anticipated and sort of feared the most but it was an absolute blast.

No new climbs are scheduled at the moment but I will think about that early next year. In the meantime, I’ve managed to deal with a pretty painful problem with a tendon in my left foot and get back in the gym. I’m not sprinting up 100 stories of stairs three times per week right now but I’m putting in a solid hour five days per week. I’ll be adding another 30 minutes of cardio to each workout next week.

Video: Mt. Belford and Mt. Oxford Summits

This video was shot by a guy who climbed Belford a couple of weeks after I did last year. It doesn’t look like he had much more snow to contend with but the wind sounds worse – and it definitely looks colder. We had awesome weather with only a few heavy gusts in the last few hundred feet.

Video: An Interview with Climber Joe Brown

More on Mr. Brown from Wikipedia:

Brown is widely regarded as the outstanding pioneering English rock climber of the 1950s and early 1960s. He established an unprecedented number of classic new routes (especially in Snowdonia and the Peak District); that were at the leading edge of the hardest grades. Examples on Dinas Cromlech in the Llanberis Pass include “Cenotaph Corner” (1952, E1, with Doug Belshaw) and “Cemetery Gates” (1951, E1, with Don Whillans). As well as creating pioneering routes, he often helped create new types of “protection” to improve safety on climbs, and is acknowledged to have created some of the first “nuts” by drilling the thread out of nuts and threading the centre with a sling. So famous was he that the Post Office would often deliver letters simply addressed to “The Human Fly, UK”.

In this context, Brown’s mountaineering achievements in the Alps and Himalaya have often been overlooked: he made many significant ascents in the Alps in the 1950s with Don Whillans and other members of the Rock and Ice climbing club and, in 1955, the first ascent of the third highest mountain in the world, Kangchenjunga in the Nepalese Himalaya, with George Band. In 1956 he made the first ascent of the west summit of the Mustagh Tower in the Karakoram with Ian McNaught-Davis. The other members of the team, John Hartog and Tom Patey, reaching the main summit the next day.

Apart from his numerous classic rock climbs in Britain, and his considerable mountaineering achievements abroad, Joe is remembered for televised rock climbs in the 1960s, three in Snowdonia, and then, in 1967, of a spectacular new route on the Old Man of Hoy, a Scottish sea stack, with luminaries of the climbing world Ian McNaught-Davis and Sir Chris Bonington. Fifteen years later Brown repeated the climb on the Old Man on a popular TV documentary with his second daughter Zoe. Her bubbly personality led her to being chosen as a presenter on the children’s TV show Tiswas.

Video: Matt Climbs Blanca Peak

A really impressive video for an impressive first 14er summit:

Blanca Peak is the fourth highest summit in Colorado and highest in the Sangre de Cristo Range. It is most easily accessed via Lake Como trail, a.k.a. the “Trail of Tears” by the King family. Most of this video was shot in September of 2009, though there are shots of Blanca’s east face from the Huerfano River side shot in June of that year and a nice time lapse shot from companion peak Little Bear in 2007. This was brother Matt’s first 14er summit; a worthy accomplishment coming from Lincoln, NE. Look for very cool time lapse of Little Bear as seen from Blanca.

There’s more on Blanca over at

Hiking Huntsville State Park

This is just a short series of clips shot on a recent 15 mile training hike around Huntsville State Park.

The park is pleasant enough but these hikes are really just endurance workouts. We load up the packs, I carry about 30 pounds, and knock out some miles and about 600′ of elevation gain. It’s not real challenging but challenging terrain isn’t easy to find near Houston.