Last night I watched an episode of Charley Boorman's (idiot) Extreme Canada show on SBS. Boorman and his crew were flown into the base of a crumbling pile of limestone in the Rockies where Barry Blanchard (big nob climber) led them up a route which, in difficulty, appeared to approximate Caves Route on Tibrogargan or maybe Tiptoe Ridge at Arapiles. The climb culminated in a tremendous ridge leading to a spectacular summit setting. The real interest for me was not the climbing but Boorman's reaction to the climbing and the setting. He provided the funniest, most eloquent, affecting commentary on climbing that I have ever heard. Climbing films made by climbers ALWAYS end up either being either pretentiously high brow or foolishly grungy. Boorman's reactions were honest and in kilter with nearly everyones audible thoughts when confronted with the actuality of climbing. It was also interesting to see the relaxed attitude of Blanchard as he casually dragged the bumbling Borman across the final narrow ridge. Did anyone else see it?
Interesting to see them roped up on the narrow ridge. Is it a valid technique that if one falls, then the other jumps down the opposing side?
Later when he travelled further to the N of Canada... imagine the ice-bouldering inside that permafrost cellar!
I have heard of that shortroping technique for exposed ridge travel. Having slack might buy some time to enable the guide to step over the other side of the ridge. Could also help the bumbly psychologically so they don't sit down and start crying.
Short roping is standard guiding technique. Barry Blanchard is a pretty well-respected legendary dude in that part of the world.... he guides WI6 icefalls with the same relaxed attitude... just another day at work for him.
Looks like the show is a season of Tourism Canada promotion material.
That said, can't blame them, spent 6 weeks ice climbing there last year, and it's an amazing country!
If I was ever going to get someone to guide me up an ice or moutain route, BB would be near the top of my list. An absolute guru, and someone who has survived some absolutely outrageous stuff in the Himalaya. Have a read of Twight's Extreme Alpinism or Kiss or Kill to find out about some of the stories. I'd be just as happy to sit down with a carton of beer and talk crap with him too, to be honest.
On 24/05/2012 Wollemi wrote:
>Interesting to see them roped up on the narrow ridge. Is it a valid technique
>that if one falls, then the other jumps down the opposing side?
I believe that this one is fielded in joe simpson's touching the void. just before he did "it", they were on the ridge of the siula grande roped up. he said that this was kinda a theory, however due to the thick cloud/mist he was worried that he'd jump on the same side as the fallen climber....
(post edit... i'm quite sure that's what i read... but it's been a while!!)
On 25/05/2012 citationx wrote:
>On 24/05/2012 Wollemi wrote:
>>Interesting to see them roped up on the narrow ridge. Is it a valid
>>that if one falls, then the other jumps down the opposing side?
As a non guiding technique, roping together is common in the European Alps for ridge ascents. It all depends on some pretty quick reflexes though and if you get it wrong or are not quick enough then you both go over.