Monday, December 21, 2015

Podcast with Paige Claassen

Here is a refreshing podcast from pro-climber Paige Claassen just for you. Claassen joins Pro Skier Hadley Hammer who has just launched NAUSICAA-CAST on december 7th this year. This is Nausicaa's 3rd episode yet. The podcasts aim at covering some of the worlds best female athletes. It's about those who have dedicated their lives to extreme sports.

Paige classen is very down to earth and fun to listen to. Her vision of the climbing industry is very interesting. She talks  about herself aswell as her goals such as bolting her first route. If you havent heard about Paige this is your chance to catch up on this amazingly talented climber. She has been crushing various hard 5.14 routes over the past years and will surely continue to inspire us over the comming year.

''I think a lot of people try to put on this face in the outdoor industry… that you have to be this perfect figure, this perfect athlete, always be psyched, always be happy…and that’s not realistic…and so to portray yourself as always psyched and always motivated-I don’t think that’s helpful for the community. So I’d rather portray a more realistic version of myself that people can actually relate to. It’s more fun for me, because I get to be myself. '' -Paige
Rad Climbers

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Alizée Dufraisse's trip to hampi

French climber Alizée Dufraisse tells us about her trip to Hampi, India.  
The article is presented in French & English for the enjoyement of everyone. The english is Alizée's own translation. It might be little hard to understand but we accept it as it is.
''Hampi is not a big city at all,  it is a small touristic village far from cities, where people are really hospitable, always motivated for climbing, discovering and share new things. Life in Hampi is quiet, relaxing, peaceful et we fell there, free to do what we truly want to do.  The keyword is be COOOOOL''

Friday, December 11, 2015

You never know when?

Back when I was in China, my partner and I biked out to the big banyan tree crag, just 4km outside Yangshuo. We left on an early Saturday morning for an attempt at what is said to be one of the best 5.12’s in the area. The route was called the ‘’Todd Skinner Line’’ graded 7b (5.12b). It was obviously one of the most popular routes at the crag. It is a very straight forward powerful climb. The guide book describes the route as a ‘’sustained pumpfest’’. As I was getting ready to climb, my partner obviously looking at my harness said: ‘’I can’t believe your still climbing with that old harness! Seriously, you should get a new one’’. I had a quick look at my harness and could only agree that she was right. ‘’I’ll buy one soon’’ I promised. She was right, but I loved my harness. It had followed me through thick and thin and I hated the idea of replacing it.

As I started to climb, I couldn’t help but notice the bolts looked out of shape. They were getting a little old and rusty. We should make sure this route gets rebolted I thought. On top of that, I was still thinking about my harness. I really needed to get a new one. Instead of acting smart, I don’t know why, I pushed on. I tried hard to swat these ideas out of my head. But the higher I got over that rusted bolt the lower my mental game was. My legs started shaking uncontrollably and my arms felt like someone was pouring hot Chinese tea onto them. I was pumped and I wasn’t even half way up yet. I pushed through and clipped the next bolt but as I got higher the inevitable happened. I took some airtime. It felt like the biggest whipper in my life, but in reality it was just an ordinary short & safe fall. If someone else had observed the scene he probably would have chuckled a bit at the sound of my scream. As I looked around, the bolt had held and so did my harness.  Why was I so freaked out?

Tod Skinner
Later, I thought of Todd Skinner and the legend he was. I read about his achievements and his death. It made me think about how illogical it was for someone like me with an old shitty harness to climb like it’s no big deal. Worst of all, is the fact that I mindlessly tempted faith by testing my ‘’shitty harness’’ on the Todd Skinner’s line.

Todd Skinner died on Yosemite’s leaning tower in 2006. He was killed when his worn belay loop broke while rappelling from Ahwahnee Ledge. He fell 500 feet to find his death at the base of the tower. Four days before the tragedy, Skinner’s partner, Jim Hewett, had noticed that his leg loops and belay loop appeared a little worn out.  “I very much stressed to him that that’s not good,” said Hewett.  Skinner answered that Hewett was right and that he had a new one on the way. The death of Todd Skinner could have been prevented easily had he backed up the loop with a cordelette or a sling. Belay loops are made to be as strong & durable as possible but they aren’t indestructible.

As climbers it is ingrained in us to push ourselves beyond the limits. The strongest climbers will talk about how important it is to turn your brain off and just go for it. At times, we need to be risk-takers to succeed but we also need to be smart ones. Gear isn’t cheap and it’s easier spending money on traveling and climbing than buying new stuff but I want to keep doing what I love. I want to keep others around me safe and I feel like in the end; it’s no big deal to be a little cautious and climb with proper gear. 
Todd Skinner, rest in Peace!

How to install a backup

Climb on & don't forget to check your gear! 
Vincent Kneeshaw 
Rad Climbers ©

Sunday, December 6, 2015

the pro climber vs the top model

So, how exactly do I write about a climber like Sierra Blair-Coyle without adding a picture? Well she isn’t the typical female climber out there. I mean, when I think of female climbers I think of rugged outcasts, tough gals with scruffy hair, strong shoulders and lots of callus on their hands or hands that are just completely ripped up. You know, the type of girl that is fearless and will happily take a shit in the woods and possibly fight a bear on her way back to camp. Yeah that kind of girl! I also think of people like Lynn Hill who wouldn’t mind sleeping in a tent on a porta-ledge for various days in order to free the nose of El Capitan!  I don’t really imagine a hot climbing babe in a bathing suit posing on a boulder. Well… except for, you know, in my private dreams…
Alright, meet the first ever pro-climber / top model in history. Sierra Blair-Coyle is the first actual pin-up pro climber.  How does she not bruise her body for the afternoon photo shoot? I seriously don’t have a clue. Perhaps this will be for a future article. I mean, yes she is pretty sexy and she’s climbed up some serious boulder problems, up to V13. It’s cool to have more women mediatized and recognized in the climbing world. I have the utmost respect for all the female crushers out there. But am I the only one that thinks this here is a little strange. Maybe, it’s because I am the son of a feminist mother. Maybe I’m just ranting for no good reason and I should shut-up. I’m just not sure what the focus is? It feels like the sexiness is gotten a little overboard.

Okay I really can’t do this without pictures. I just wonder how we got from this…

To this…

All right, maybe this is a bit of an exaggerated contrast and she’s definitely not the only climber who uses her personal image for profit. I can think of many more. But I feel like Sierra might be attracting the wrong kind of attention to the sport. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on just one person. Or maybe I should...
Just kidding.

Thinking of all the young beautiful sponsored female climbers that could easily act like Sierra frightens me a bit. Imagine Paige Claassen or worse, 14 year old Ashima Shiraishi competing in a bikini at nationals. I found out this is already happening. I fell onto one of Alex Johnson’s posts on Deadpoint Magazine. Here is what she had to say about the annual bouldering competition: 
‘’It was unbearably hot, as the desert usually is in August, and the scantily clad girls were out in full force. I understand how dreadful the summer heat can be, but some of the outfits are beginning to cross the line. It’s out of respect for my fellow female competitors, and the respect that I hope they have for themselves, that I wish for the provocative attire to be taken down a notch.’’

Well said Alex! I totally agree that climbers should be recognized for their abilities, their personalities, their morals and professionalism way before their body!

This is obviously a bit of a touchy subject. Best of reasons to talk about it! This might even be the reason why you found this website! It doesn't matter what you think, I’d be interested about what you’ve got to say? Do you believe this is the start of a pin-up era in the kingdom of rock-climbing? Be rad, please leave a comment!

Rad Climbers

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Fitz traverse

Tommy Caldwel & Alex Honnold achieved this year's most memorable climb.

Here is what Rolando Garriboti (Patagonia specialist) reported on Super Topo:

Rolando Garibotti
(Photo Doerte Pietron - courtesy of
''Between the 12th and 16th of February, Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold completed the first ascent of the much discussed “Fitz Traverse”, climbing across the iconic ridge-line of Cerro Fitz Roy and its satellite peaks in southern Patagonia.
This ridge-line involves climbing Aguja Guillaumet, Aguja Mermoz, Cerro Fitz Roy, Aguja Poincenot, Aguja Rafael Juárez, Aguja Saint-Exúpery and Aguja de l’S.
In all they climbed across over five kilometers of ridge line, covering close to 4000 meters of vertical gain with difficulties to 7a (5.11d) C1 65 degrees. They simul-climbed much of the climb, dispatching 20-pitch sections such as Pilar Goretta in a mere three pitches.''
Honnolds first time ever in Patagonia!