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Old 05-04-06, 09:33 AM   #1
valygrl
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Any other big wall climbers?

I just noticed a weird similarity in the two sports... and I was wondering if anyone else who is a tourist is also a big wall climber.

Here's the thought process: pick a sport - climbing or cycling. The most common way to practice the sport is to go out for a few hours or all day, carrying as little weight as possible, going as fast and as far as possible (pitches or miles), and having as much fun as possible. You try really really hard not to be out at night. The sport has a huge contingent of weight weenies and gear geeks. You weigh gear in grams. You try to be as skinny as possible, to improve your performance. You don't go out if the weather is bad.

Now do it "loaded." Do the sport for a long long distance. Go out for multiple days. You spend the night out on purpose. You carry all your camping supplies with you. You move slowly under the weight of all your stuff, ofen suffering under the weight. You collect huge amounts of gear, and spend inordinate amounts of time thinking and talking about it: you even make some of it yourself. You go to unbelievably rad places under your own power. Sometimes it's hard, scary and dangerous, and you can't just go home. You have a fantastic story to tell at the end. It's ok if you weigh a few extra pounds, because hauling all that gear around is easier if you are a bigger person. You try to go out when the weather is good, but if it goes bad, you just suck it up and keep on going.

Anyone else, or is it just me? And WHY?

Anna
In Yosemite, getting ready to climb the walls again.
Yosemite is the valley in "valygrl"
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Old 05-04-06, 09:54 AM   #2
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Any other big wall climbers?
And here I thought this thread was going to be about 22 X 34 granny gears...
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Old 05-04-06, 10:19 AM   #3
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And here I thought this thread was going to be about 22 X 34 granny gears...

Hahaha best gears EVER!!!!
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Old 05-04-06, 12:59 PM   #4
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I'll bite, valygrl. I'm not a big wall climber (although I alpine climb), but I appreciate the connections you've made between big wall and touring. I do other long haul activities that are in the same vein--backcountry ski touring, backpacking, and llama packing. They're all kind of the same thing for me as bike touring--take everything you need and go places people can't go unless they're doing likewise. Bike touring is a little different since I tend to stick to roads and well-travelled routes, so I'm not really going anyplace remote. The experience *feels* remote, though. When I do any of these activities half the journey is where I'm going, but the other half of the journey is where I go inside of myself. That's the remote destination for me. I tour, I ski, and I hike--all to get away from the normal trapping of life and get in touch with a deeper part of myself. This sustains me for a month or two, and then I have to go out and find it again.
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Old 05-04-06, 02:43 PM   #5
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There aren't any big walls aroung here but I did a fair bit of every other form of climbing, when I was younger. If you take the Yosemite style of big wall vs climbing big walls in other environments where porta ledges and hauling aren't required, then one way it is different is that kind of climbing is incredibly laborious, you are carrying all your water, food, toilet and even your own flat ground. Alpine, multi day is more comparable to what I do.
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Old 05-04-06, 03:37 PM   #6
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Climbing, hiking and biking attract I think the same kinds of followers. Many I believe are folks whose sense of personal accomplishment doesnt need to be fed on the adulation of a watching crowd, bike racers are a diff breed and I won't group them here. But I believe many of us derive the personal satisfaction of just doing.I don't have the patience to watch TV, but I can sit on a bike for hours and watch what ever passes and be entertained

I don't do walls,but I do like peak bagging.Nothing,for me, can compare to standing on the top of a big one and looking for miles and telling myself I did it. Unfortunately the downside is hitting the bottom and the acomplishment is finished, and then sets in the feeling that all is finished until the next one, and thats the bad part, having to wait till the next one, same thing with a really great bike ride, my mind is a pumped as is my body, then the let down at the finish. Must be the mental"endorphines.

I can rarely sleep the night before I take off on another trip. My mind is already on the way.

2 years ago I headed to Europe for several months, to ride Paris to Paris and 3500 KMs inbetween.Didn't sleep on the flight over, got there at 2PM and was so mentally pumped I rode till midnite, when the trip ended in Sept, I loaded my bikes in my truk and took off for SF, rode there for a week then headed down the PCH to Malibu, It seemed as if my legs had minds of their own and just didn't want to stop

Climbing the same continual rush.
Went to Africa for a month last Sept, climbed Kili, did safafi, and Zanzibar, got home in Oct and headed west to colorado did a peak with a bud then did Shasta and Hood. Leaving here end of month to head west and do more
Standing at the top of KILI was like nothing one can imagine

I read recently of a guy from Britain or Ireland who last year became the first to do the PCT the Appalachian, and one the extends from east to west coasts, all in the same year.I can't imagine what his mind was like after he finished, accomplishment for sure, but OMG what will he do next?. Maybe Alaska to Patagonia.
I had a prof in college, he was 92 when I took the course,and decades before he and his new wife set off from Argentina walked thru western SO America thru Central America to Austin Tx where he was taken on as a full prof.His adventures were many times more interesting that the texts we had to study.

Much like the endless stories all of us encounter while out there
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Old 05-05-06, 07:04 AM   #7
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Nice pictures on the topic for you from Polar Ural.
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Old 05-05-06, 07:50 AM   #8
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Goran Kropp, may he rest in peace, rode his bike from Sweden to Mount Everest wth all his gear, bagged the peak, and rode back to Sweden.

His friend, Erden Eruc, in his Around-n-Over expedition series, has already ridden his bicycle from Seattle to Denali in Alaska with all his gear, bagged it, and returned by bike to Seattle. He is now preparing to row to Aconcagua in South America with his bike and gear on board, climb and bag the tallest peak in SA and return by bike and boat.


I'm more of a ski mountaineer/ long distance high country wanderer myself. Still dialing in a system that allows me to ride my bicycle to the snow with skis, ski and return on a weekend tour. Here's my Long Haul Trucker wishing I had brought some mountaineering equipment or skis on a tour two weekends ago in Washington state.
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Old 05-05-06, 09:01 AM   #9
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As a climber(sport/trad) not big wall I find the 2 sports almost opposite. Touring/biking I am constantly day dreaming, climbing I am totally focused on the wall/climb; muscle groups needed are different: big quads are a waste climbing but desired for biking, muscular arms and hands are preferred for climbing and not needed biking. Biking is aerobic, climbing is not. perhaps big wall has a lot more similarities to touring as you stated. The thing I like about both sports is the "total" body workout I get. I don't think you can combine 2 other sports and get a better workout, maybe Xcountry skiing (but only in winter) and climbing. I have given this some thought, but only when I 'm biking Charlie
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Old 05-05-06, 12:24 PM   #10
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maybe your climbing isnt aerobic.

No big walls yet, being cursed with a southeast(coastal) upbringing I actually didnt climb on rock untill this past winter in hawaii, soloing over deep water which is amazing. I'm hoping to go up to squamish in late july for some wall action though. assuming I can get there.
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Old 05-05-06, 02:31 PM   #11
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I like climbing too.
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Old 05-05-06, 05:08 PM   #12
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sport climber, road biker.

go figure..
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Old 05-08-06, 10:48 PM   #13
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As a longtime climber (admittedly not big wall- just sport/trad < 4 pitches) and occasional cycle tourer, I have seen almost no similarities between the two sports.

To me, cycle touring is like camping but with a bike. Gear doesn't really matter. Weight isn't any more an issue than with camping in general. It's a slow, peaceful process that requires no mental focus (save when I accidentally found myself on the M4 off Heathrow airport- that was scary). Even fitness isn't an issue- it will come after a couple of weeks in the saddle).

Climbing is the opposite. Weight is important. Physical condition is critical. Focus is key. The only people I know who have climbed big walls take this to mental and physical levels past what I have ever attained.

So beyond both being outdoor recreational activities, I don't see much of a similarity. Interesting concept, though.
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Old 05-10-06, 04:12 AM   #14
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To me, cycle touring is like camping but with a bike. Gear doesn't really matter. Weight isn't any more an issue than with camping in general. It's a slow, peaceful process that requires no mental focus (save when I accidentally found myself on the M4 off Heathrow airport- that was scary). Even fitness isn't an issue- it will come after a couple of weeks in the saddle).
You are right. But unsupported, of many days cycle touring is the sport to some people. Of course, this is not professional sport. This kind of cycle touring is popular in Russia as well. I donít know about any analogy abroad, but our championship is based on the complicated rules system. The route difficulty, the distance and time are taken into account. Competition is not being carried out at the same time and on the same route. Judges determine the winner team afterwards. So, fitness and equipment level are critical in this case.
Bike touring sportsmen encourage me to be in good physical condition. They are good testers of the "high end" camping outfit.

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Old 05-10-06, 05:08 AM   #15
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never been a big wall climber. used to rock climb. still into alpine climbing and long distance hiking.

my daughter and i last year and last week we traversed the peak behind us.
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Old 05-10-06, 09:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotBoi
maybe your climbing isnt aerobic.

No big walls yet, being cursed with a southeast(coastal) upbringing I actually didnt climb on rock untill this past winter in hawaii, soloing over deep water which is amazing. I'm hoping to go up to squamish in late july for some wall action though. assuming I can get there.
No it's not. nor is yours. Read the definition of aerobic exercises and you'll see why. Climbing is closer to anerobic than aerobic exercise, at least bouldering is.
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Old 05-11-06, 09:09 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
.... Here's my Long Haul Trucker wishing I had brought some mountaineering equipment or skis on a tour two weekends ago in Washington state.
what's the peak in the background?
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Old 05-11-06, 11:43 PM   #18
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Big 4 Mountain, minor peak, 6500 ft m/l, off a 2,000 ft base where the pic is at, in Washington state's central Cascade range, near the Monte Cristo group and the Glacier Peak wilderness. About an 80 mile ride from downtown Seattle.

I think big wall seige climbing is in a league of its own. the aerobic rigors of wilderness mountaineering is a bit closer to bicycling than big wallin' it. Although many participants of both big wall climbs and bike touring have a tendency to pack a lot of comfort items, maybe thats one of the parallels...

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Old 05-12-06, 12:20 AM   #19
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I equate backpacking to touring on a bike. You get loaded down and go for miles for 6-8 days; carrying your beast of burden on your own two feet or pushing two wheels. And in the end you have this glorious experience that you have lived and earned.
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