Category Archives: General

Common Climbing Mistakes

I have no doubt that experience is the best teacher.  I’ve taken many a lesson to heart after I’ve made boneheaded mistakes.  For example I have tied into an anchor with a girth hitch instead of a clove hitch.  That was a mistake that I took to heart and ended up writing this post.  Another prime example is when I forgot my goggles during a winter ascent of Mt Washington that featured 100 mph gusts of wind loaded with spindrift.  My glacier glasses were worthless in those conditions and I was basically climbing blind.  Or there was the time that Ben and I got delayed at Laurel Knob and made a 1,000 foot traversing rappel on a near moonless night with one tiny e+lite headlamp.  Thankfully we had that one ounce life saver with us.

I have been lucky enough to survive the early stages of my climbing career without any major accidents.  When you’re new you don’t even know how dangerous what you’re doing is and in this case ignorance isn’t bliss. has a very good article about 50 common mistakes.  It is a good read and worth the few minutes to potentially avoid “building character” through a nasty accident.

50 Common Mistakes

16th Annual International Climbers’ Festival – Lander, WY

I received an email about the 16th Annual International Climber’s Festival in Lander, WY.  Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it but it looks like a cool event to meet some other climbers.  Also, it is under three hours to the Tetons from Lander so you might as well hit some big mountains while you’re out there.


The International Climbers’ Festival is back for a 16th straight year! The 2009 Festival will be held this July 8th – 12th in Lander, Wyoming.

The festival is a non-profit and is connected to three local Lander climbing initiatives: the Jim Ratz Memorial Scholarship, the Todd Skinner Foundation and BARF (the local Bolt and Anchor Replacement Fund).

2009 highlights include:

• Superstar climber, Joe Kinder, will be giving the featured Friday night slideshow dubbed “One Year Past” and running a “redpointing tactics” clinic up at Wild Iris.

• The Telluride Mountainfilm film festival returns showing more of their amazing inspirational outdoor short films on Saturday night.

• Dave Anderson, just back from his “Mugs Stump Award” supported trip to Pirate Valley, Argentina, will give a slideshow on Wednesday night.

• Free climbing clinics by Arno Ilgner, Ally Rainey, Wendy Davis, Kris “Odub” Hampton, Joe Kinder and the Jackson Hole Mountain Guides.

• Climbing trainers, Steve Bechtel and Eric Horst, will be offering a new seven-hour climbing seminar dubbed “Climb Strong!” on Saturday aimed at covering all the bases for improving rock climbing performance.

• Rocking music from reggae artist Dan Sherrill and climber/rappers ODub & Misty Murphy.

• Slackline comp, dyno comp pull-up comp and the infamous crate-stacking comp

• 5K, 10K & 20K trail races at the Wild Iris climbing area.

• Saturday morning pancake breakfast, Saturday night pizza & beer and Sunday morning breakfast burritos!

• Awesome gear giveaways from our wonderful festival partners.

International Climbers’ Festival tickets are $40 if you buy online before June 1st.  After June 1st they will rise to $45. All tickets include a festival t-shirt and entry to all events (except the Climb Strong seminar).

To purchase a ticket and find out more specifics about festival events, history, area lodging and our amazing festival partners please visit

American Alpine Club Membership

Today I renewed my American Alpine Club membership.  If you’re not a member it is definitely worth looking in to. Not only do you get Accidents in North American Mountaineering and American Alpine Journal but you also get a bit of medical evacuation coverage from Global Rescue.

All that is fine and dandy in my book but the real reason I renewed is because for those under 28 years old it is only $40 and I actually get to support something I believe in.  After spending a long day in a muted gray cubical, it feels nice to contribute to something that makes the world a better place.

In short – join.

Benefits of joining (link)