Category archives for Climbing

You probably remember UK-based climber Hazel Findlay from our recent National Geographic magazine story, Impossible Rock, where a team of climbers went to Oman to test the country’s deepwater soloing. Some of the photos from that assignment, captured by Jimmy Chin, became instant classics. You may also have seen Findlay featured in the Reel Rock film…

“I was amazed when I hit 40, and now I’m starring down the barrel of 50. Making it this far is a surprise to many, including me.” Will Gadd, 47, has long been known for pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in ice climbing—as well as paragliding and kayaking. Most recently he and Sarah Hueniken…

Last night Meru, the new film sharing the story of Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk’s quest for one of alpinism’s great prizes, won the U.S. Documentary Audience Award at Sundance Film Festival. Mount Meru is located in the Indian Himalaya at the sacred headwaters of the Ganges. The 21,000-foot peak, considered to be the center of…

In the new feature documentary Meru, which premiered last Friday at the Sundance Film Festival, climbers Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk share the story of making the coveted first ascent of the Shark’s Fin route on Mount Meru. The 21,000-foot peak in northern India, considered the center of the universe in Hindu cosmology, had seen more…

Last night the highly anticipated film Meru, featuring the ascent by Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk—all longtime members of the National Geographic family and grantees—premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The film tells the story of the team’s historic first ascent of the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru in the…

Prior to venturing into the realm of ice climbing, the only thing I knew about Ouray, Colorado, was that it was the setting for Anne Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged. Apart from that, the small Victorian mountain town may be most known to climbers for the annual Ouray Ice Festival. This year marked the 20th anniversary. Ouray…

Yosemite Valley captured the attention of the world yesterday as Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson completed the spectacular first free ascent of the Dawn Wall on El Capitan, bringing interest in climbing in the valley to a fever pitch. This flame of Yosemite climbing enthusiasm sparked last fall with the release of Sender Films’s Valley Uprising (read about the…

To take climbing to the next level, you have to innovate, which is just what Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson did to complete one of the most significant ascents in climbing history. The achievement represents the realization of Caldwell’s vision to find a way to free climb the Dawn Wall—widely considered too steep and too difficult for…

See more photos like this in our Extreme Photo of the Week gallery. “Like climbing icebergs in an ocean of sand” is how ice climber and consummate adventurer Will Gadd described ascending the melting glaciers on 19,341-foot Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest peak, in late October 2014. “The ice is really old, so it fractures very dynamically and easily—it’s…

While rock climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson take a rest day on their attempt to make the first free ascent of Yosemite’s Dawn Wall route on El Capitan (they are now in day 16 on 3,000-foot granite monolith), here’s a look at a completely different and spectacular adventure recently completed by Tommy and fellow ace climber Alex Honnold—the first…

Read our profile of Tommy Caldwell, “Climber on Historic Yosemite Attempt Faces Yet Another Fateful Choice,” and see photos and video from this climb. Even the grip of a professional world-class rock climber sometimes isn’t enough to hold onto an iPhone. This week, Tommy Caldwell, one of the two climbers currently vying to complete the first…

As we eagerly watch and wait to see what happens on the upper reaches of El Capitan as Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson work through their attempt to make the first free ascent of the Dawn Wall, here’s a fantastic bonus scene from Sender Films’ Valley Uprising, the multi-award-winning feature film on the history of rock…

Oh snap. The hardest pitch got sent by both of us tonight. I might be in a little shock right now. The route is taking a toll on our fingertips as we are now both climbing with taped up fingertips, but it doesn’t seem to be slowing us down too much. Oh yeah!!!! Phot by…

Climbing Beyond Cartels

How rock climbing is saving youth from gangs and drug cartels in Mexico Imagine as a kid never having been told that he or she could become something in life. Then add extreme poverty, domestic abuse, gang violence, and drug cartels to your experience of everyday life. Now try to imagine where you would have ended…

Opinion: Rethinking Risk

In an era in which athletes are willing to take increasingly greater risks in front of the camera, is it ethical for brands to promote and benefit from this willingness? Clif Bar says no for its company. Is this an insult to the athletes, or are they onto something? Professional climber, free-soloist, BASE jumper, and…

Myanmar Climb: Coda – Dispatch #12

After 8 brutally cold and windy days attempting to climb Hkakabo Razi on the Myanmar/Tibet border, the team finally called it quits and is happy to be safely back down enjoying the comforts of basecamp. Here, @renan_ozturk carefully navigates the exposed snow ridge back to high camp above the clouds. Renan, along with @coryrichards and…

Full moon reflections from 11.7. The clouds swirled and danced around the glowing rock in the sky, but never fully revealed it. #MyanmarClimb @camp4collective @thenorthface @natgeo A photo posted by taylorfreesolo (@taylorfreesolo) on Nov 11, 2014 at 11:05pm PST   Mountaineering is indubitably an unhealthy, sometimes even deadly, disease. Like malaria, once you get it,…

Read all the Myanmar Climb dispatches. Trust. More than any other sport on the planet, climbing is founded on trust. There are two reasons for this: first, consequences are life or death; second, you’re always tied to your partner. If your tennis partner blows the volley, who cares. If the tight end misses the quarterback’s…

EDITOR’S NOTE: To read Hilaree O’Neill’s first-person account of the same period of time described below, read the November 11 entry on The North Face’s expedition blog. Another one from #MyanmarClimb. Me approaching the ridge to high camp. Thanks @hilareeoneill for the photo. Still decompressing and recovering but on our way down and warmer thicker…

Photo by @renan_ozturk @camp4collective // #onassignment for the #MyanmarClimb. In the morning we set out to climb from Camp II to Camp III, an exploration into the unknown more than we expected. We ended up taking a wrong turn, which cost us 3 hours of route finding in unprotected snow and loose rock. Plan C…

Basecamp Dispatches #3: The team is sending and slept last night at Camp II. It started dumping snow today but they are climbing along the west ridge, and spirits are high. Here in BC, I tried to spend more time with our Rawang cooks even though it’s hard to communicate without words. They make fried…

Yesterday morning, the team awoke pre-dawn to gather Juniper and assemble a small Puja ceremony. A few hours later, they embarked – crossing up and over the ridge behind these prayer flags and on to Camp 1 (15,888 ft). #MyanmarClimb A photo posted by taylorfreesolo (@taylorfreesolo) on Nov 11, 2014 at 6:38pm PDT Read all the…

I wasn’t sure if it was relief to get through the jungle, or rather a new sense of intimidation and fear to see the convoluted ridge route leading up to the summit of Hkakabo Razi. The last two days the team has emerged from the palm leaves jungle, through the pine forest, and now into…

Photo @coryrichards The rugged topography of northern Myanmar has yielded a month of crushing overland travel just to arrive at basecamp. Over 30 porters have aided us in the approach to Hkakabo Razi. Today is our last day before setting up our basecamp and moving on to the next phase of this journey. On assignment…

Follow our National Geographic-The North Face team on a seven-week expedition in Myanmar (Burma) to attempt to determine the tallest peak in Southeast Asia. The adventure will take them overland by plane, train, bus, and motorbike to begin a 300-mile round-trip jungle trek across tiger reserves, into plunging gorges, over raging rivers, and through cultural…