All About Climbing – Mountaineering – Rock Climbing
This blog is all about climbing, mountaineering, rock climbing, ice climbing, and how I stay in shape in order to be active all year round doing what I love to do: Climbing!
Next you will see a few videos where I demonstrate the different type of workouts that I do.
Video of the Day
This time we were in RMNP at the Hidden Falls icefall, where several years ago I had a close call on very thin ice and using mountaineering ice axes, instead of ice-climbing tools. Believe me, it makes a HUGE difference! I hope you enjoy this short video. And please, if you are interested in learning ice climbing, do not hesitate to contact us.
Hola amigos y amigas! I’m here to share with you this video of my last attempt to Longs Peak this past Saturday the 14th of January, 2017. Yes, I said, attempt. This mountain is not an easy one during the white season. This was only about the tenth time that I have to turned around on this mountain. However, when the conditions are right, and if you are in good shape and with the right mind-set, you can actually stand on it’s summit. I’ve done it several times during Winter. This time, the amount of snow slowed our progress and therefore we ran out of time. As you can see, we made it to the base of the crux and perhaps, if the snow conditions would’ve been better, we would’ve reached the summit. However, with unconsolidated snow up to our chest -as you can see on this video below- the summit stayed out of our reach. Enjoy this video and subscribe to my You Tube channel.
On December 04, 2016, during the Arctic cold that hit the state during those days, I went to Mount Bierstadt to test some gear that I have acquired recently for a potential expedition to Mt. Denali, which is considered the coldest mountain on Earth. That said, I went out and hiked up the peak. The cold was indeed pretty bitter, intensified by the strong winds near the summit, which brought down the numbers down to about -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Here is a video that I shot and edited about that trip. I hope you enjoy. Thanks for watching, and please subscribe to my You Tube channel.
A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Telemundo Denver to see if I could take them climbing and showing them what All Climbing Colorado does. So, I went out with Julio Poletti, the reporter, and Alejandro, the camera man, another man from Mexico. We had a blast and here is the video of our excursion to Golden.
It’s been already 3 weeks since we returned from climbing the 3rd and 8th highest peaks in north america, Citlaltepetl, better known as Pico de Orizaba, and Iztaccihuatl. Wendy and Eve had a blast and they both got to summit on both peaks. Fun? Oh yeah! Fun happened all the time… This was a very successful expedition and the clients had a total blast, which you can see in this video. Enjoy!
Joder! Como se pasa el tiempo tan rápido! It’s been over a month since the last time I updated this blog and several things have happened. Obviously, we’ve been busy guiding or teaching climbing.
Anyway, without more excuses, here is the latest video I just uploaded two days ago. This is about the breathing technique I use to be more efficient when I hike or climb in high altitude, meaning passed 12,000 ft. Anything below… there’s plenty of O2.
Oh! BTW, this is the Spanish version, but stay tuned because I also have the footage for the English version, but I just have to edit the video. I hope to have it sometime this week or during the weekend at the latest. So, don;t forget to come back, right here, amigos!
Aquí les comparto este video de la técnica que uso cuando subo a mas de 4000 mts. Es una técnica muy eficiente. A mí me ha ayudado a conseguir muy buenos records personales de asenso al Iztaccíhuatl, al Ajusco, a Longs Peak, Pikes Peak, y muchos picos mas aquí en Colorado. Espero que les guste y mas que nada, que lo pongan en práctica para que vean que sí funciona.
During these hot summer days in the United States, and other parts of the planet, nothing feels better than getting in a pool to refresh, and swimming is a great activity that helps you recover from injuries, at the same time that strengthens your shoulders, back, and all your torso. Also, swimming is a great way to practice breathing exercises and helps you stay focus on your breathing. In this video below you will also hear about how I manage to find times to exercise even when all life responsibilities seam to get in the way. Enjoy!
Sometimes you get to a climbing route only to realize that there’s no bolted anchors on top to set a TR; but then you find some cracks where you could place some cams to create and anchor. However, the cracks are too far from the top of the route you intend to climb so, what do you do? Well, that’s why it’s important to always have with you a decent length of static rope with you. 10 mm to 11 mm of diameter is the best, and 20 to 30 meters is usually more than enough. The method I teach in the following video is called the Joshua Tree System, and it’s my favorite method when I find myself in such a situation. The one I use in the video you’ll see below is a 10 mm static rope x 30 meters. Also, it’s important to have extra slings to do the anchors, although, you can also use the same rope to attach to the cams using a double bowline knot or a double figure eight knot on a bight, but you have to be proficient equalizing these knots to make sure your cams are loaded equally, and doing that can be a little meticulous. It’s worth noting that if you are not planning on going over the edge, but only working close to it, you can use a Prusik knot or a Klemheist knot to attach to the instructor’s tether.
Please enjoy this video and feel free to comment or ask questions.
Below these lines you’ll see my post about my last speed ascent to Longs Peak and the video I made about that. However, in that video I mention about demonstrating how to improvise your own harness, but it’s not shown in the video. I did not want to mix two things in one video, so I just created a different video to demonstrate how I improvised a harness and I actually rappelled down the north face of Longs. Here is the video, enjoy!
Today, after sleeping less than four hours, I woke up at 3 am and had a bowl of cereal, made a coffee, grabbed my pack, and drove from Denver to the TH of Longs Peak. By then, there were already like 50 cars or more. The parking lot was full and there were vehicles parked almost half way down towards the highway. I parked where I was able to and got ready for my big run. I walked 5 minutes to the TH and stretched my muscles for a few minutes. It was 6:07 when I started my stop watch and my big race against my pain tolerance and my own brain started. As I jogged and speed hiked towards the summit, I stopped a few times to shoot some video with my GoPro camera. My beverage was not very pleasant. I added some electrolytes to my water plus some salt and honey. It tasted like shit! But that’s what I had with me and I better drank it or else…
Two hours and forty three minutes later, I stepped on the summit of Longs Peak. Not my best time, but I was not planning to beat it, anyway. I knew that I am not in the same physical fitness as I was 7 or 8 years ago, when I set my personal record. Back them I was running two, three or four marathons per year and I mean, RUNNING! My best time back then was 2:53′ on the 26.2 mile race on not an easy route. So, my goal was to do my best and that’s what I did. Besides, this time I was carrying a rope and some gear to rappel down the north face on my way down and avoid the crowds.
Here is the video about my speed ascent to Longs Peak.
Last weekend, as I mentioned in a previous post, I spent three days shooting footage for several videos that now I’m trying to give shape to. And yesterday I finished another video that I published today on YouTube. This time I demonstrated how to do a safe load transfer from the Instructor Tether to the top rope system to perform a rappel or abseil. The most important thing is to make sure that once you rappel to the point where you are going to do the transfer, make sure that you back up your safety by using your personal anchor, the prusik cord, and a knot below your rappel device used on the Instructor Tether, as well as knots at the end of every end of the three rope lengths were you will be committing your weight.
So, check it out!
Yesterday I uploaded another cool video on YouTube. Now we’re getting into the more technical stuff.
Remember that these techniques can be very dangerous if performing them incorrectly. It takes years of training and supervision by others more experienced, before you want to go on your own to try any of these techniques. The reason I say this is because it’s detrimental to build the right eye to judge a good natural component, just as it is important to know very well how to recognize a damaged pice of equipment (attachments) or to know exactly how forces interact with artificial anchors, which are built with specific rock climbing gear, such as stoppers, hexes, cams, and pins. It is very important also to know how to place these pieces of equipment. And of course you can learn the most important things in a four day course, but nothing equals the experience built over the years to recognize all these things by heart. Thus, if you decide to try any of these techniques, I would recommend you to do it under the supervision of an expert. I hope you enjoy this video. Be safe!
I hope you have a chance to check out my training videos. As you can see, I am trying to cover different subjects, from working out for building upper body strength / endurance, to cardio / legs work, to climbing techniques, safety practices, building campfires, etc. Today I just uploaded a new video that I just finished editing and prepping for YouTube. Last weekend was a busy one. I went on Friday up into Boulder Canyon to one of the last crags, before getting to Nederland, and I shot lots of footage. Then I went camping into the Indian Peaks area (a secret spot) and shoot more during the following two days. Now I have lots of material like to build three or four more videos. Also, I just finished prepping one more video that will be aired tomorrow morning.
Enjoy this video, which is aimed for new climbers or wannabe climbers. And hit me up with an email if you have any questions. And please, SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel and if you think I’m doing a good job, like my videos. If you think they suck, then dislike them, that way I know where I can improve.
Workout of the day
Today I did the stairs workout. Watch my video Best Workout – Stay Fit for Mountaineering and Hiking However, the way I did the workout today was different than the way I did it on that video. Today I started from the bottom of the building -Level 1- wearing my 54-pounds backpack, and climbed two levels and came one down, the climb two and down one, and so on until I get to the Roof with no more floors to climb. Then I went down exactly the same way: down two, up one, down two, up one… until I got to Level 1. Then I climbed the entire building in one shot, skipping one step at every step. This way I extend my strike as if I were hiking on steep terrain. Then I walked down using every step, to avoid strong impact to my joints, and to recover from the climb. The following round I used every step both, in the way up and in the way down. And for the last lap, I put down the backpack, I walked for a minute, then I stretched for a couple of minutes while breathing very deep and hyperventilating, to fill up all my muscles’ cells with plenty of O2, and I sprinted the whole way up and down.
Once I ran a race up to the tallest building in Denver, and I remember finishing like in 22nd overall, out of over 2000 people who ran the race. And growing up in Mexico City, where earth tremors are not uncommon, you better be fast at going up, and especially down the buildings! Besides, it’s probably healthier running inside the building than on the smoke-polluted streets. That’s when I started doing this type of workouts.
Anyway, after finishing the training inside the building, I went for a walk around the block and then I stretched all my muscles. Tomorrow I look forward to go with my buddy, Diego, to a place called the Orange Theory to workout in the morning. I will let you know how it goes!…
So, after my experience at Orange Theory, I decided to apply the theory to my own exercises. As I had mentioned before, I am not that type of person that likes to go to gyms to lift weights. Besides, none of my daily activities have anything to do with lifting weights, so I don’t see the point on that. However, since I am a climber and a mountaineer, I rather do exercises that are similar in motion to those activities. Therefore I created my own ‘RTX”, although I created this gadget several years ago and it has many uses. Now, I can focus on cardio, as well as I can focus on building strength or endurance with my mini gym; it’s just a matter of doing things different. For example, when I focus on endurance, then I just hold the positions as long as possible using only my own body weight. When I want to focus on building muscle power -rarely ever, because my goal is not to build muscle, since big muscles require more oxygen and more energy, which is limited when mountaineering- and when I want to focus on cardio, then I do only a few reps, but I do each one of these exercises one after the other with no breaks in between, and once I finish one cycle, I start another one. I do three cycles, then I rest for 5 to 10 minutes, and then I do two more cycles. This routine really kicks my butt! Watch this video below to see the way I work out.
This has been a very tough year for the climbing and mountaineering world. Bt far the hardest hit so far came on the morning of April 25th, when I woke up and the first thing I did was to check my smart phone and look at the news -something that I never do. I never grab my smart phone first thing in the morning. Anyway, that day I did it, and I read about the 7.9 earthquake that had just hit western Nepal. Immediately I got up and stood in front of my computer, since I have a standing work station, and got into Facebook. I happened to have somebody who I consider a friend, giving his life-time shot to climb Everest. And sure enough, there was a post from him saying that there was a strong earthquake, and that he was “trapped” by the bad weather up in camp 1. He also mentioned that they heard on the radio that a big avalanche hit BC and that apparently there were some fatalities. No shit!!!
That was the beginning of a long weekend for me trying to find out what was going on in my beautiful Nepal. A country I have had a strong connection since I was a kid. A country in which amazing memories were implanted in my mind. A country where I met the woman that made me say out loud for the first time in my life: “If I ever have a family, it would had to be with this woman”, and 15 years later I’m still with her and we have two beautiful little daughters. So, I went and checked different news sources and the were all saying how bad the earthquake had damaged Kathmandu, the capital city. They all gave different numbers, but one thing was certain in my mind: The tragedy was very large. I had personally lived through a similar natural disaster when I was still a young teenager, when in 1985 a similar earthquake wiped out hundreds and hundreds of buildings and structures in Mexico City, leaving an unofficial death toll of several thousands of people, so I knew that was just the beginning of a hectic weekend for me, but a rough period for the people of Nepal and other citizens of the world, since a few hundreds of victims ought to be foreigners, due to the high rate of tourism in that country, at that time.
Today, almost two months after the earthquake in Nepal, I, like many others, have participated on fundraisers to help the relief efforts. Among other events, my wife and I, through her business, The Acupuncture Lounge, are offering a fundraising. and 100% of the profits will be donated to one of our dear friends’s organization. Such a dear friend is Karma Sherpa, a very humble and brilliant human being who has achieved so much in his life when he had next to nothing once upon a time.
Later, on the evening of Saturday, May 16th, Dean Potter, who was one of the greatest climbers, slack liner, BASE jumper, and all around BAD ASS, who inspired me and many others to live the life we love, performed his “final flight”. There are plenty of sources to read about the details about his life and about his last jump, and I just found this link with an obituary.
First things first
A little background is always good to know. Originally, rock climbing evolved from mountaineering – a sport in which its participants used rock climbing skills and techniques to reach the summits of mountains. As safety equipment was introduced and gradually evolved, and the climbing community started to evolve too, the sport began to gain popularity from the early 1900s onwards, although such popularity was really only among those rough and tough characters (mainly mountain guides) in France, Italy, and England. A combination of developments accelerated the growth of the sport during the 1960s, such as the introduction of lightweight climbing shoes, better equipment design and aid climbing artifacts (Journal Of Sport Behaviour, 1998).
In recent years, the sport of rock climbing has carved out a growing and significant niche within the realm of adventurous activities. The sport has not only become a popular recreational activity, but has also formed the main element of some people’s activity holidays. On a general note, changes in consumer behavior leading to more active lifestyles (hence increased participation in sports and the great outdoors) have undoubtedly had a positive impact on the growth of rock climbing.
However, needless to say, rock climbing is an activity in which the participants can get seriously injured or killed; therefore the importance of taking a course with a qualified instructor is a most. All Climbing Colorado provides small group courses in which the participants get the attention they need to operate within safe parameters and have lots of fun.
The courses aim to provide you with the skills and judgement needed to confidently become an independent climber. Your time will be spent with our rock team, qualified mountaineers who teach climbing regularly and have a passion for the activity. Whatever your level of experience it is our aim is to offer the next step.
Now, get psyched and go climb a rock!
Transferring Safely to a Rappel System
Rappelling off of a TR system can be a challenge. Using this technique it becomes smooth and easy, not to mention that you will be much safer!
Reaching the summit of Iztaccihuatl
Last summer of 2014 we summited the 7th (or so) highest point in north America once again. It was a beautiful day!
Training for Climbing
Staying in shape is a lifestyle, and adding this routine to your training program will help you achieve better results when you are either out on the rock or at the gym wall.