Climbing in a Time of Coronavirus, vol. 10

Hello climbers!

Are you ready for the unofficial start to summer?

Not that it matters because, this being Arizona, summer is already here.
So we’re adding “stay cool” and “stay hydrated” to our hope that you’re staying healthy and sane.

Well, heat or no heat, now that the state has lifted most restrictions on mobility, people are out recreating and enjoying all of the great outdoors that Arizona has to offer. If you’ll be venturing out this weekend, Tonto National Forest has some favors to ask.

Honestly, we know we don’t have to remind you to #recreateresponsibly. Unfortunately, some people aren’t so clear on “Leave No Trace,” which is why Coconino National Forest has had to remind everyone to please (please!) take your trash with you when you leave.

Speaking of recreation, are you also feeling a little confused about what is and isn’t safe? NPR put together a useful assessment of the risk inherent in various activities. The New York Times also has a good article outlining the current understanding of the relative risk of various outdoor activities in relation to the novel coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the National Park Service put together this handy cheat-sheet on staying safe outdoors:

Not that we need to extoll the virtues of being outdoors to this crowd, but even small amounts of outdoor time can add up to real mental health benefits.

But do you know what isn’t good for your mental health outside? Rattlesnakes! That’s quite a shot of anxiety, plus a significant spike in heart rate while you scurry backwards from that tell-tale sound. Be prepared for trail safety around all things snake-related.

Okay, so being outdoors—and away from snakes—is good. Hiking seems pretty safe, but what if you really (really, really, really) want to go climbing? The latest on this topic come from UIAA, with all sorts of information about COVID-19 related initiatives, restrictions on climbing areas and much more.

If you do decide to go climbing, should you disinfect your climbing gear afterwards? Well, EDELRID determined that disinfecting their products with isopropanol did not decrease the breaking strength. However, Metolius is warning climbers specifically AGAINST cleaning and disinfecting climbing gear with anything other than mild soap. So… we’ll mark that as “still under debate.”

Do you use Mountain Project to research or track your climbs? Well, here’s some big news: after selling the online resource to REI in 2015, founder Nick Wilder has returned to again take control of the parent company, Adventure Projects, because REI has decided to scale down its operation in order to cope with the economic downturn.

We wonder if Melissa Le Neve was worried about COVID-19 when she recently became the first woman to send Action Direct in Frankenjura, Germany, which goes at a modest (ha!) 5.14d.

But why does it matter if this is a First Female Ascent? What’s that all about? Emily Downing provides an interesting take on how the media covers male and female accomplishments in the climbing realm.

Does any of this have you considering a career as a pro climber? Rock and Ice runs the numbers on various climbing-related occupations. Upside: 33 average working hours/week means plenty of time for climbing. Downside: average salary under $30,000/year.

Okay, so maybe we’ll keep our day jobs. But with an excessive heat warning in the forecast, can you blame us if we’re spending our lunch breaks daydreaming about adventuring in cooler climes? What about camping on a glacier? In Antarctica.

You know what else is awesome about glaciers? Glacier mice. Moving herds of fuzzy green glacier mice. Just read the article.

Maybe Antarctica isn’t in the cards, but if you’re planning on maintaining your isolation for a while longer, perhaps you want some inspiration from Liz Clark, who has been isolating on her sailboat… since 2005.

Another isolation-friendly activity is a virtual film fest. Mountainfilm is traditionally held in Telluride over Memorial Day Weekend, but has gone online this weekend. The line-up is still a great collection of films, presentations, and panel discussions. You can buy a pass for the whole shebang or just order one program at a time.

And the Vancouver International Film Festival has made Pete McBride’s epic Grand Canyon trek Into the Canyon available for streaming from May 29-31 for only $13.

Petzl Sport recently posted the 18-minute film Kuntur Sayana, which chronicles Charlotte Durif and Josh Larson’s work to climb and bolt the “perfect line” high in the Peruvian Andes.

You know how part of the beauty of climbing is in solving the problems along the way? This is not a climbing video, but it is some seriously beautiful problem solving a.k.a. The Miracle Sudoku.

Or, if you want some inspiration to improve your climbing fitness and skills, you could check out Patagonia’s film Rotpunkt, which profiles Alex Megos, whose simple goal is to be the best climber in the world. That’s all.

Oh, are we back to fitness again? Well, if you use Strava to track your workouts, there are changes coming that you might want to know about.

And Lattice Training has tips on how to ease back onto the rock when and if you’re ready.

Have you been back to your favorite climbing gym? Climbing’s Kevin Corrigan says he’s in no hurry.

If you’re also avoiding the gym, here’s inspiration for that home climbing wall.

How about getting your cardio in mountain bike style? We don’t have a specific training plan for that, other than just going out there and doing it!

And if you’re gearing up for your next wilderness adventure—or just avoiding grocery trips, maybe you now have the time to try dehydrating some of your own meals.

Of course we recommend keeping your adventure gear clean in between outings, but have we discussed how to clean GoreTex? Arcteryx has ideas—along with an enviable laundry set up.

But, as thrilling as laundry can be, we’re never going to dissuade anyone from just savoring some stillness.

Isolate On!

Ann & Andrea

Author: Andrea Galyean

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