Scroll the list below or use the navigation tool on the left side of each page to find stories and interviews from all of your favorite Athletes on the La Sportiva Climbing Teams.
“When did y’all arrive?” “Y’all staying at Miguel’s or Linda’s?” “How long are y’all here?” “Where y’all climbing today?” The barrage of questions begins immediately when you are recognized as a rock climber in the Red River Gorge.
Ouray is often called the Switzerland of Colorado. Tucked away in a deep valley, surrounded by 14ers and high mountain passes, this quiet, winter town comes alive during one of the darkest time of the year to celebrate the sport of ice climbing.
For 18 years, Bozeman has been host to one of the best Ice Climbing Festivals in North America. This year, with the support of the UIAA and dozens of sponsors, the Bozeman Ice Festival was an unprecedented success. Demos, clinics, raffles, slideshows and an international ice climbing competition took place between downtown Bozeman and Hyalite Canyon.
December is here. The leaves have fallen and in many places have been raked up and discarded or covered under a bed of fresh snow. Many people begin to think about skiing, winter mountaineering, or ice climbing as the temperatures drop and a new medium covers the landscape. But at Lake Lure, just outside Asheville, NC, rock climbers are taking off their jackets and getting psyched up for the final leg of the 2014 Triple Crown of Bouldering – Rumbling Bald!
We had seen the icicle last year when we made the first ascent of Silhouette (M9, WI6+), and the line had haunted me for the past year. In early October, when we made the first ascent of Shooting Star (M9, WI7), we had hoped to find the icicle etched in our memories to be in shape, but we arrived to find the entire lip of the roof laced with a broad chaotic chandelier of thin, unclimbable icicles...
“Try pulling with your heel. Like, really put all your weight over it”, Angie Payne coached me. I had tried River Dance, a V9 in Dayton Pocket, Tennessee a few days prior, but could hardly pull off the ground. It seemed impossible to squeeze that hard, I just didn’t feel that my chest and shoulders had that kind of strength. That is, until I watched Angie river dance her way up.
Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and on top of Alabama’s Chandler Mountain, lies what climbers have referred to as “the south’s best kept secret.” Horse Pens 40, a majestic land that looks like it’s been imported from over seas, or from another planet, is a privately owned paradise with a human history stemming back to primitive times.
It’s not often that 400 climbers storm the gates of a golf course and take over the grounds for a full Saturday of uninterrupted bouldering with no complaints from the business owners and no police action from authorities. What’s less frequent still, is the fact that this exact scenario takes place every year, and not only is it legal, it is a cordial partnership between climbers and the Montlake Golf and Country Club to bring the Triple Crown of Bouldering to the Stone Fort outside Chattanooga, TN for the 2nd leg of its four part series.
"Swamptoberfest: Where all your Wet Dreams Come True" read the sign in front of the big white circus tent that marks vendor central of this year’s Rocktoberfest event in the Red River Gorge. The forecast had been calling for rain all weekend and on Friday, when climbers began to gather at the Natural Bridge campground for the weekend’s festivities, rain it did.
The leaves are changing. The temperature is dropping. Your flight to Atlanta leaves in a week or it’s your last chance to catch a ride with your friends before they leave town for the big trip. It must be fall and it must be time for the Triple Crown!
It’s Saturday morning in early September in Rifle Mountain Park. Hundreds of climbers from all across the country, and the world, have flocked to this sport climbing mecca in western Colorado ready to attack the burly and often cerebral routes the narrow limestone canyon has to offer.
I first met JC at a La Sportiva photo shoot during the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow. I knew of her amazing climbing accomplishments, with a handful of 5.14's under her belt. But what struck me was how kind and down to earth she was. There was this tall, beautiful, strong woman who was an incredible climber, and mom to four kids….something you don't hear about everyday.
Every July, the Squamish Mountain Festival brings the rock climbing community together to celebrate the sport, promote its growth and throw an almost week long party for its participants. With presentations from climbing’s top athletes, multiple days of amazing films, a vendor fair featuring products and gear from the best outdoor brands, and perhaps one of the best venues for bouldering, trad, and sport climbing in North America, it can be a bit overwhelming to take advantage of all of the attractions at the Squamish Mountain Festival. Here’s a day-by-day “how to” for getting the most out of your Festival weekend.
As I got ready for the Alps I inquired to some friends who were already there as to what boots would be appropriate for the conditions this season.
The Lander International Climber’s Festival turned 21 years old this year and quite possibly, had the best birthday party yet! Situated in the small town of Lander, WY, the festival erupts upon a town that seems to have been otherwise forgotten by the rest of the world.
I’m staring down the barrel of the long sideways move out left, the intro to the crux. I guess I’ll take a moment to assess the conditions, even though my training barks “focus only on the task at hand”. The air is warm – too warm. Where was that unnerving wind, the one that twisted all my quickdraws around the bolts, blew my hair in my eyes, and made that distracting noise as it whipped around the arête to my right, yet kept me on the wall. Now, not even a hint of breeze graces the warm red rock. No one is cheering anymore. I’m all alone up here.
In April, Courtney and I took a trip to Spain. Our objective was to immerse ourselves in the iconic limestone and see what cool sends we could achieve.
I’m circumnavigating a remote sea stack in the Andaman Sea by kayak searching for stunning lines to climb. No guide, no grades, no chalk – just spectacular limestone walls begging to be climbed. It’s up to me to judge whether the rock is solid, the landing is safe, the crux too high, and my ability satisfactory. To me, finding rocks that haven’t been climbed before is the ultimate adventure.
We are excited to report on another successful Red Rock Rendezvous from Las Vegas, NV! La Sportiva has been a long-time supporter of the event and we have watched it grow, morph, and evolve in many different ways over the years. One thing that has never changed is the great people that come together to make it happen and the amazing rock climbing that can be found in the surrounding area.
I recently returned back from a two and a half week trip to Red Rock, NV. Our objective was to check out Paul Robinson’s aesthetic test piece, “Meadowlark Lemon (v15),” as well as the multitude of classics and undone projects that Red Rock has to offer. My previous trips to Red Rock involved participating in the classic event known as the Red Rock Rendezvous. I had yet to sample the mysterious Grade A sandstone that this area presented. Welcome to the desert!
I'd thought about onsight soloing it for a long time, basically since 2008 when I soloed Moonlight Buttress. It seemed to represent an ideal challenge - a secure style of climbing, difficult but not really cutting edge, and a manageable size - something I could get my head around.
What I realized after introspection gained from visiting the various climbing areas is that the routes I remembered the most weren’t the hardest. They were the moderate, long, and exposed routes that brought me directly to a beautiful summit. Here is a list of three of the most enjoyable and classic routes I have done, where the lack of hard grades puts me at ease and I can just climb for the pure joy of it.
I always was under the assumption that climbing first ascents was harder than doing a repeat, but little did I know how much harder it truly was.
On Lhotse's summit, on May 26, three of us jointly became what are believed to be the first climbers to summit three 8,000 meter peaks in three weeks...
Finals iso didn't even open until 2 in the afternoon so we spent the morning in our hotel. I woke up just after 9 to get the complementary breakfast and had a few hours to kill before needing to get to the gym. I figured what better way to kill some time than to play video games, so I broke out my laptop and played Starcraft II for a few hours.
After long flights, I arrived on the bus in all the sunny glory that is lusted after in El Chalten. We rolled in on the evening of January first. The other climbers and I were totally stressed, ogling the sunny peaks, knowing our partners were climbing. I had been checking the weather multiple times a day already, and knew I was totally blowing it, showing up right in the middle of a perfect window.
Here is what you need: Luck, a plane ticket to El Calafate, some pointy things, good boots, insulation, and really good wind protection. Some people even claim that you need a t-shirt for when it is so hot, you can climb Fitz Roy in your short sleeves: I have yet to see the day.
Because what you really need is good weather! This was my fourth season attempting to climb down there, and the first where the weather, stars, health and frosty mountains all conspired for real success.
Warpath lies in Castle Rocks, Idaho beneath the infamous Comp Wall, which has many classic Tony Yaniro routes from back in the day. The scenery consists of big snow capped mountains in the background, with giant, egg-shaped, white granite boulders in the foreground. Surrounding these boulders is sand, pine trees, and cacti. This area resembles Bishop and Hueco all in one.
The plan was to spend time in the Ticino region of Switzerland repeating classic boulder problems I’d seen in various videos. I was also hoping to potentially add a few new lines. As the days counted down to the start of the trip, I found myself obsessively checking the weather forecast for the region. A week before I was due to leave, the long-range forecast looked clear and I was psyched for a killer stretch of weather. Then things started to go wrong.
On my first trip to the desert my senses were dull and oversaturated by the convoluted style of city life. It would take quite a bit of time and awareness to fully appreciate the wonders of Southwest Utah. Over the next decade I gradually came to understand this foreign environment in all its majesty and to eventually call it home. It calls to me, drawing me ever nearer to the roots of my existence and the quiet within.
The weather was perfect. We landed on the glacier and the next morning
we made a huge breakfast and packed for four days. We walked out on to
the glacier. Mt. Tiedemann, 3838 m (12592 ft) one of the high peaks in
British Columbia's Coast range. This became the object of Julia Niles
and my desire a mere six days before standing before it.
Jen Olsen, Ines Papert and myself recently returned from Nepal with cold toes and a C+ grade in Alpinism.
Like the changing phases of the moon, everything in life waxes and wanes. While you will likely improve as a climber for many years to come, there will come a day when your physical skills begin to wane.
The void drops away beneath me for hundreds of feet, the wind teases my balance. I shift my weight onto a rounded knob, look back at the giant arc of rope between Bridget and myself, and laugh. This is no epic, if fact it’s the antithesis of epic.
I climbed the Crucifix in Yosemite Valley, CA for the first time in the spring of 2009 with my good friend Jon Gleason. Even before we'd climbed it, the idea of soling it had crossed my mind. It's a natural step up from Astroman or the Rostrum: about the same size but slightly harder and more physical.
Most climbers would agree that the words “road trip” and “freedom” typically mean one in the same. I had never experienced the significance of this synonymous connection until I hit the road for six weeks on a trip to the Pacific Northwest.
In North America, most of today’s climbing youth approach the mountains with a degree of respect that borders on trepidation – first spending the obligatory seasons in Yosemite and Indian Creek, learning to ice climb in Colorado or New Hampshire before venturing into serious alpine terrain. Not so Colin Haley.
Hi, Beth! Thanks for sitting down with me today to talk about what’s been going on lately. It’s probably news to some people that you’ve been on the Injured List for a while. What happened?
We returned to our winter hub in Hurricane, Utah for the third year in a row. I was psyched to have bought a new drill over Christmas and could not wait to use it. Doors opened to new cliffs, new routes went up, and the area’s growth was added to. The most empowering and satisfying endeavor I have been a part of in the last year has been putting up
You just put up one of the hardest if not the hardest boulder problem in the world! How long did it take to work it out?
I first saw Lauren Lee in a bouldering video on Climb-X Media when I started climbing in 2001. But it wasn’t until the summer of 2008, when we traveled for a month together in southern France for a Rock and Ice story on the Verdon Gorge—the grand canyon of Europe—that I got to see the other side of Lee outside of the limelight of the climbing “pro” media.
La Sportiva catches up with Pro Climbing Athlete Sean McColl to talk about the traveling climber's life and the World Cup circuit.
Gazing up from the base of this playground, a beautiful, blue streaked, French slab of limestone, I wonder how I could ever have hated the feel of natural rock on my hands. I look back to the years I began climbing and see the gangly gym rat who spent hours training in the gym with her Dad, never to see her effort pay off on the cliff.
Nobody wants to face the facts when it comes to an injury, but when I injured my knee last January in Hueco Tanks, Texas, I new I would be taking the entire spring season off. This is hard to take for anyone, let alone an athlete. We make a living with our bodies and in turn our bodies thrive off the activity. Coming to terms with that fact is only half the battle and not only will the body need mending, but the mind too.
Once you get off the airplane in Windhoek, going climbing in Namibia is easy; the people are friendly, the food great, and there is plenty of exploring and new routing to be done. Aside from the fact that your body will have atrophied by the time you get to the crag and your bags could be lost, Namibian granite is a perfect climbing destination.