Climbing in a Time of Coronavirus, vol. 4

Clove with climbing rope

Lisa Ruggiero hasn’t been using her rope, so Clove repurposed it. As a pillow.

Hello all!

Wow, look at that. You’re right where we left you. Go figure.

Well, by this point, we’re thinking you’ve probably already cleaned your tent, washed your sleeping bag, organized and inspected all of your climbing gear (if not, see this post for some tips), and now you’re wondering what else you could tidy up. So we ask: How often do you clean your hydration bladder? (Please don’t say “never.”) REI has an effective method (it involves a kitchen whisk, so you know it’s gonna be good).

And after that, you can borrow one of Andrea’s favorite organizational strategies and alphabetize your spice drawer. (It goes from Allspice to Wasabi. So satisfying.)

If you’re looking for more entertainment (not that there’s anything more entertaining than cleaning a hydration bladder), all sorts of climbing films are being made available online—many at no cost. Honestly, there are almost too many to keep up with, so let us know if we missed anything good!

Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival has put even more new films online for free.

Not free, but a great option for this weekend: the No Mans Land Film Festival, celebrating women in the outdoors, is screening their Virtual Flagship Film Festival right now. A film festival IN YOUR OWN HOME! (Granted, the novelty of IN YOUR OWN HOME may be wearing off.)

For more inspiring women, check out Pretty Strong, which was just released on Vimeo and follows eight badass female climbers as they push boundaries around the world.

Also on the film festival front, if you missed Reel Rock 14 this year, it’s now available for digital download or streaming on Vimeo for $19.99.

Explorer’s Web has pulled together a list of 100 adventure films to stream for free. 100 films. Way to overachieve, Explorer’s Web.

Outdoor Research has also assembled an impressive list of 50 outdoor adventure films, although not all of these are free.

The Panthan Project documents the first ascent of a big wall in Pakistan by a group of Belgian, French, and Argentinian climbers. Filmmaker Guillaume Broust has made the film available for free streaming until April 15. You might want to turn on subtitles. And you’ll definitely want french fries.

For a (super) short film, you can’t beat Alex Honnold’s Fast Free-Solo attempt to beat Dan Osman’s time on his 1990’s-era speed climb up Bear’s Reach.

But the prize for this week’s most creative Climbing-at-Home Video (that’s a genre now) probably goes to Swiss photographer and climber Dave Longbottom, who may be getting a little stir-crazy. We say that only because he later recreated the Matterhorn in his living room.

We’re sure we aren’t the only ones currently plotting our next climbing projects, but have you ever asked yourself why do climbing grades matter anyway? Why can’t we just sort them into “” or “5.hard”?

And, while we’re on the topic, what do you suppose this climb should be rated?

In other news, Ann’s ongoing attempt to turn us all into Canadian mountaineers continues. (Note from Ann: Is this a problem? I don’t see this as a problem.) This week she found a pretty great educational opportunity: a free MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) called Mountains 101 offered by the University of Alberta, where they do know a thing or two about impressive geography.

If you love snow (regardless of its nationality), you should probably read this New Yorker story about the history of avalanche control.

Or, if you’re ready to dig in to some longer reads, Mountaineers Books has created a Climber’s Book Club on Facebook. The first book is Pete Whittaker’s Crack Climbing: A Definitive Guide, which is just a great book anyway. And, right now The Mountaineers are offering a 25% discount off all books. Discount code is TIMETOREAD. It’s true! This is a great time to read.

Need more reading suggestions? Osprey has a community-built list of ideas for how outdoor-lovers can stay busy at home, including books, podcasts, and movies (we think we’ve got a better list of fitness options though!).

And yes, from the Department of Staying Fit (you knew it was coming), we have a certain Ms. Lynn Hill posting near-daily videos on her Instagram page featuring simple movements and exercises to build and maintain strength in climbing-specific ways.

Anna Pfaff offers up her routine of bodyweight exercises for alpinists waiting out the weather… or a pandemic.

Meanwhile, local climber and co-founder of Arizona Women’s Climbing Coalition, Laura Schmidt has designed a 30-minute home workout for climbers.

This seems like a good time to ask: What’s the best hangboard for at-home training? Outdoor Gear Lab tested a bunch and has opinions.

And if you like the idea of a home workout routine, but haven’t gotten yourself past the idea stage, Outside’s Brad Stuhlberg presents six rules for staying active during a pandemic.

Finally, are you wondering how the professionals are coping right now? Cooking and core exercises is the answer for Ashima Shiraishi.

And alpinist Graham Zimmerman has a pleasantly positive take on social isolation. (Bath bombs help, evidently.)

We’re excited to hear what you’ve been doing this week. (Month? Eon?) Whatever time frame we’re measuring in now, tell us what you’re doing with it.

Isolate on!

Ann and Andrea

Author: Andrea Galyean

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