January 31, 2016

Alone on the Wall: Alex Honnold and the Ultimate Limits of Adventure

Alone on the Wall: Alex Honnold and the Ultimate Limits of AdventureToward’s the end of last year Alone on the Wall: Alex Honnold and the Ultimate Limits of Adventure was released. I had pre-ordered it and read it pretty quickly since I’ve always followed Alex Honnold’s exploits. As a climber I’m amazed by solo climbers, particularly the newer generation since they seem to be getting better at staying alive. Personally, I don’t plan to become a hard core soloist as I have no interest in causing myself death or serious injury any time soon. However, I don’t mind soloing something that is within my limits. What those limits are is continually changing as I improve my grade and climbing ability.

The inside cover of the book reads

Alex Honnold is thirty years old, and perhaps the world’s best ‘free-solo’ climber, scaling impossible rock faces without ropes, pitons or support of any kind. There is a purity to Alex’s climbs that is easy to comprehend, but impossible to fathom; in the last forty years, only a handful of climbers have pushed ‘free soloing’ to the razor-edge of risk.

Half of them are dead.

From Yosemite’s famous Half Dome to the frighteningly difficult El Sendero Luminoso in Mexico, Alone on the Wall is structured around Alex’s seven most extraordinary climbing achievements so far. These are tales to make your palms sweat and your feet curl from vertigo. Together, they get to the heart of how - and why - Alex does what he does. Exciting, uplifting and truly awe-inspiring, Alone on the Wall is a book about the essential truths of risk and reward, and the ability to maintain a singular focus, even in the face of extreme danger.

I really enjoyed this book as it’s a very easy read and I like the style in which it is written where sections are personally written by Alex himself. I knew plenty about Alex’s solo climbs in Yosemite but in the book he talks about his climb of El Sendero Luminoso in Mexico which is 2,500 feet high. It’s 11 pitches graded at 7a+ or harder, here’s the clip of this amazing send

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January 31, 2016

USA Climbing - Bouldering Open Nationals 2016 Winners

Watched The USA Climbing: Bouldering Open Nationals 2016 final yesterday and have to say it was an amazing competition, in particular the men’s was very closely contested and Daniel Woods was dethroned as reigning champion. Megan Mascarenas was the clear leader amongst the female competitors, however I was hoping Alex Puccio would take it and she left me on the edge of my seat on occasions when she fell off some of the problems.

Here’s the final standings: -

Women’s Podium

  1. Megan Mascarenas (18)
  2. Alex Puccio (26)
  3. Claire Buhrfeind (19)

Women’s Final Results

The USA Climbing: Bouldering Open Nationals 2016 Women's Podium

From Left to Right: Claire Buhrfeind, Megan Mascarenas, Alex Puccio

Men’s Podium

  1. Nathaniel Coleman (19)
  2. Jimmy Web (28)
  3. Carlo Traversi (28)

Men’s Final Results

The USA Climbing: Bouldering Open Nationals 2016 Men's Podium

From Left to Right: Carlo Traversi, Nathaniel Coleman, Jimmy Web

You can watch the finals below: -

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January 31, 2016

USA Climbing Bouldering National Championships 2016

It’s that time of the year again as the American Bouldering National Championships for 2016 are underway at Manona Terrace in Madison, Wisconsin. I watched some of qualifying last night and the end of semi finals on the live stream. The top 6 from the semi final round are going through and it’s going to be the following competitors

Men’s Finalist’s

  1. Nathaniel Coleman (19)
  2. Kai Lightner (16)
  3. Mohammad Jafari Mahmodabadi (32) - non US national
  4. Tyler Landman (25)
  5. Daniel Woods (24)
  6. Carlo Traversi (28)
  7. Jimmy Web (28)

Full Men’s Results

Men's Finalists for the USA Bouldering Nationals 2016

From Left to Right: Nathaniel Coleman, Kai Lightner, Mohammad Jafari Mahmodabadi, Tyler Landman, Daniel Woods, Carlo Traversi, Jimmy Web 

Woman’s Finalists

  1. Megan Mascarenas (18)
  2. Alex Puccio (26)
  3. Michaela Kiersch (21)
  4. Claire Buhrfeind (19)
  5. Meagan Martin (26)
  6. Sierra Blair-Coyle (22)

Full Women’s Results

Women's Finalists for the USA Bouldering Nationals 2016

From Left to Right: Alex Puccio, Megan Mascarenas, Michaela Kiersch, Meagan Martin, Sierra Blaire-Coyle

I’m particularly interested to see is how Alex Puccio and Daniel Woods do, they are both 9 times champions of this event and I’m hoping that they both win it for the 10th year in a row. In particular Alex Puccio has had to recover from injury as outlined in this short preview clip below

I was quite pleased to see what shoes Alex is wearing now, they are none other than the same shoe I wear for bouldering, namely the Scarpa Instinct VS

Alex Puccio in the Qualifying Round of the 2016 US National Bouldering Competition

Alex Puccio in the Qualifying Round of the 2016 US Nationals (Source: USA Climbing)

Daniel Woods in the Qualifying Round of the 2016 US National Bouldering Competition

Daniel Woods in the Qualifying Round of the 2016 US Nationals (Source: USA Climbing)

You can watch finals at the USA Climbings YouTube live stream which takes place at 7.45pm CST 30th January 2016

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