On the road to Ouray: "Octopussy" twenty years laterA small handful of members from Team Petzl, led by a certain Ueli Steck in "well-earned vacation" mode, was in Colorado for the Ouray Ice Festival. Not far away there were at least two good reasons to face off with the most famous octopod of the Rocky Mountains. Number one was to pay a friendly visit to the first ascensionist, who lives in Boulder, and number two was to climb the legendary route... Guillaume Vallot reports --
Glacial moulins: caving deep inside Switzerland's glaciersIn 2012, a team of caver-mountaineers went on a series of expeditions to the glacial moulins of the Gorner Glacier in Switzerland. Serge Caillault talks about both planning the expeditions and the magical world they discovered. A short tale that sheds a little light on the daily "grind" of this extraordinary adventure…
10 Tips for Climbing and Skiing Ecuador's VolcanoesPetzl supported professional big mountain skier Caroline Gleich and climber and guide Nate Smith on their recent trip to Ecuador. The two learned a lot on their travels and condensed some of their wisdom into the following blog post.
VIDEO: "China on Ice," an enchanting valley, surreal iceIn 2013, a small group of Team Petzl members went on an ice climbing trip to explore the Siguniang Mountains in China. Inside the national park of the same name, Erwan Le Lann, Mathieu Maynadier, Marcos Costa, Audrey Sniezek and Takako Hoshi followed in the crampon steps of "Rastafar'Ice," establishing a few new lines of mixed climbing among an infinite number of possibilities up and down the enchanting valley covered in surreal-looking ice. An adventure revealed in Guillaume Vallot and Raphael Lassablière's new movie, "China on Ice."
Jason Nelson on the FA of West Mendenhall Tower's south faceOn September 14th, 2013, Petzl regional ambassador Jason Nelson and partners Gabe Hayden and Ryan Johnson made the first ascent of the south face of the West Mendenhall Tower in Alaska. They named the route Balancing Act (5.11c, 1,400’). Following is Jason’s trip report.
Gabe Hayden counting calories as camp.
Philippe Batoux in Yosemite: Plan BGeneva International Airport, October 2013. Philippe Batoux, along with a few members of the FFME national mountaineering team (France), takes off for Yosemite. The goal of their trip is to perfect technique for placing nuts and cams, as well as to gain aid-climbing experience. This will prepare them for a future expedition up a highly technical route on a 6000m high peak in either China or Alaska in 2015. The very full schedule in California includes trying to free a route on the legendary El Capitan, to climb an aid route, and to link the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome and the Nose in a day. Unfortunately their original plan is derailed by the closing of all national parks due to the government shutdown. Philippe Batoux talks about the ascents from their plan b.
Lessons from the Ice Knife: Daniel Woods on pushing limitsDave Graham, Jimmy Webb, Jamie Emerson, and I went hiking two years ago in Guanella Pass, Colorado. Our goal was to find new boulders. Towards the end of the day, Jimmy and I got separated from Dave and Jamie. When we met back at the car, Dave explained that he had found a worthy boulder with a few potential lines on it, the main line being this prominent prow with just enough holds to make it possible.
New route on the South Face of Gaurishankar: "Voyage au bout de la peine"On October 23, 2013, French mountaineers Pierre Labbre, Mathieu Maynadier, Jérôme Parar and Mathieu Detrie established a new impressive line on the South Face of Gaurishankar called, "Voyage au bout de la peine," (in English, "Going through all the trouble"). Now back in France, they took the time to tell to us about the expedition prior to the release this winter of the film about their adventure.
Ueli Steck: historic solo of Annapurna’s South FaceA few years ago, when Ueli Steck became a member of Team Petzl, he shared with us his personal motto, "Everything I can imagine is possible." On October 10, 2013, he made mountaineering history by soloing Annapurna’s South Face in a record 28 hours. What he had imagined became a reality; an extraordinary feat indeed.
Today, Ueli Steck tells us about the ascent and shares his own personal approach to the mountains.