Top Ten Videos of 2017
We’re glad that the classic vid of Lynn Hill on Midnight Lightning made it on, and hope it makes an appearance every year henceforth.
The most popular climbing videos of the year, by number of views on rockandice.com (not counting Weekend Whippers):
10. Pete Whittaker Solos El Cap in Under 24 Hours
On November the 11th and 12th 2016, Five Ten athlete Pete Whittaker became the first person to rope solo—all free—El Capitan in under 24 hours. He finished Freerider in 20 hours 6 minutes, making his ascent both the first of its kind and the first solo-free of El Cap in a day.
“The Problem is if Pete pulled it off, nobody would even get it, nobody would understand how hard it was … and to do it in a day, is totally insane”. – Andy Kirkpatrick
“The ascent made by Pete on Freerider to me is hopefully the dawn of a new style of big wall solo climbing, big wall solo climbing on El Capitan for many years was just aid climbing. Now Pete has proven that it’s possible to do that free climbing, but relatively fast” – Tom Randall
9. Lynn Hill on Midnight Lightning (V8), Camp 4, Yosemite
Lynn Hill climbs Midnight Lightning (V8) in Camp 4, Yosemite in May 1998 for its first female ascent.
8. The World’s Best Belayer and “The Art of the Belay”
Ray Verseau is recognized by many climbers as “the best belayer in the world”. For him, belaying is more than a skill, it is a lifestyle. We had the chance to meet this master and listen to his passion for “The Art of the Belay.”
“When he belayed me, and I sent my route, I actually broke down in tears […] I had never experienced anything like that, and it changed my life…” – Dave Graham
7. El Cap Rockfall
Video footage of the September 2017 rockfall from the Southeast Face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, California.
6. Forever – It Ain’t Over ’til It’s Over
Café Kraft Media House serves up a motivating video about the “coolest boulder group that ever entered our gym.” These four guys, Blondie, Rudi, Horst and Herwig, have over 300 years of life combined and are still climbing strong.
5. Mountain-Rescue Helicopter Crash on Austria’s Highest Peak
On August 1, 2017, a mountain-rescue helicopter attempted an extraction on the Adlersruhe (3,450 meters) below the summit of Großglockner (3,798 meters), Austria’s highest peak. Shortly after the helicopter picked up a patient, it lost control and crashed on the edge of the 300-meter cliff. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
According to local news sources, the pilot, flight technician, paramedic and patient survived the crash with only minor injuries. Toni Riepler, the hut warden at the nearby Erzherzog-Johann-Hütte who helped the patient into the heli, managed to escape the helicopter’s rotor.
In an interview with planetmountain.com, Vittorio Messini, a mountain guide and member of the Austrian Mountain Rescue Squad who was on scene, said, “It was absolutely incredible, just like a horror film. Those involved had THE luck of their lives and thank God we can say that in the end ‘nothing happened’.
“The patient needed to be flown down and so he was transported north of Adlersruhe, circa 50 vertical meters higher, and picked up about 30 minutes later by another helicopter. There’s a safer landing place up there, but quite far away…”
4. Ice Climbing Waterfall Collapse
Incredibly close call for these two unknown climbers. Video uploaded by Daniel Kollmann.
3. Margo Hayes Sends La Rambla (9a+/5.15a)
On February 26, Margo Hayes made history with her ascent of La Rambla in Siurana, Spain—she became the first woman to climb a confirmed 9a+/5.15a. The 19 year old from Boulder, Colorado spent seven days projecting the benchmark 5.15a climb. Here’s a teaser from her ascent. Stay tuned for the full film.
2. Jimmy Kimmel Live: Alex Honnold on Free Soloing El Capitan
“Rock climber/crazy person” Alex Honnold goes on Jimmy Kimmel Live to talk about his El Cap free solo.
1. How to Jump Off a Mountain Like a Badass
How to jump off a mountain like a badass (please don’t actually do this):
- Wear jeans and a leather bomber jacket without base layers, and keep jacket halfway unzipped.
- No helmet, because that would ruin the badassery.
- No Crampons either (necessary for bonus points, see below).
- But sunglasses are okay.
- Wear a harness waistbelt (without leg loops), backwards.
- Use technical ice tools, meant for dry tooling, and rack them backwards on backwards harness (so actually forwards).
- Coil rope on back in some mysterious, badass way.
- Backflip off cliff. You must backflip.
- Freefall for a badass amount of time, then swing tools into snow patch.
- When that doesn’t work, try swinging into water ice.
- When that doesn’t work, underhand swing into rock cave.
- Stick it.
- Hang for a moment, to let badassery sink in with buddies.
When you’ve already self arrested, but your army buddies are still watching, you might as well jump off again. This time, instead of a double tool self arrest, try using your rope and an ice tool as a grappling hook. Steps:
- Once suspense builds to badass level, swing to gain momentum and backflip again. You must backflip.
- While in air, rack one tool.
- While in air, clip second tool to biner on rope coil.
- Do a few badass spins to uncoil rope.
- Toss tool where it will stick.
- Don’t worry: Mysterious, badass rope coil will uncoil on its own, but don’t forget to grab hand loops at end.
- At the end of your rope, swing back and forth a few times and then jump onto nicely angled snow ramp, and boot glissade.
- When cliff band breaks, jump across.
- Speed scramble down cliff.
- Once at tree height, jump into branches.
- Spray buddies with snow.
Also watch Top Ten Weekend Whippers of 2017
Ryan Johnson, 34, died in the Mendenhall Towers, outside Juneau, Alaska, sometime in the days following March 5, 2018. He had just completed a first ascent on the North Face of the Main Tower with his partner, Marc-André Leclerc, who also died on the descent. Below, Samuel Johnson (unrelated) remembers his close friend and partner Ryan—his achievements, his passion, his warmth, his kindness.read more
Warm conditions put an interesting spin on the speed comp, but the 32 athletes at the Championships made the most of it.read more
“I was completely detached from the world below. There was nothing but climbing. No goal, no future, no past. I was climbing in the here and now. One swing of the ice axe after the other, one step after the other.”read more