RunOut #18: Old Skool Chipping Dust-up.

In the world of Rock Climbing, few actions are more socially taboo than manufacturing holds – except, of course, wearing man-pris.

And yet, if you climb limestone sport routes, your chubby digits have likely dry-fired off chipped, glued, or comfortized holds more times than you realize or are willing to admit.

Yes, chipping is sport climbing’s dirty open secret. Really, more like privileged information or flat out denial.

Yet, when does it go too far? Becoming wholesale manufacturing paraded in front of us like a gaudy Mardis Gras float of ego and bad judgement?

A recent open letter to the climbing community was published by local developers from  Tensleep, Wyoming decrying and pulling the veil off routes, cliffs, and whole areas of completely and blatantly manufactured outdoor climbs. The authors’ collective outrage prompted this manifesto against the offending developers and asked others to sign on in protest. The fury of the internet ensued.

An open letter in the digital age felt old skool, and since we are, too, Andrew and I felt compelled to discuss the grey area in the subject of chipping. We asked questions you should be asking yourself if you sport climb outdoors: is chipping ever ok? Does climbing on chipped holds tacitly condone the practice? And should there be a background check to buy a Hilti or Bosch?

I’m Chris Kalous with Andrew Bisharat, and you are listening to the RunOut.

Original Letter Post at Facebook

The Letter thread at Mountain Project

The Letter thread at Supertopo

RunOut #17: EPIC Michigan Ice Fest

Here are some fun facts about Michigan that you may not know. It is home to the world’s largest limestone quarry, the largest deposit of native copper, the largest cement plant, the largest crucifix, the largest bronze horse sculpture, the largest manufacturer of magic supplies, and the largest ice climbing festival in the world.

OK, that last one might not technically be true. But the Michigan Ice Fest is certainly on its way to becoming one of the biggest and best ice climbing festivals in the country.

Our bold co-host and roving gonzo podcaster Chris Kalous braved epic winter conditions to make it to the Upper Peninsula for a weekend of drinking beers and screaming barfies, swinging tools and putting crampon holes in his $500 Gore-tex pants. He made it home, weary and battered, with a cold, thousand-yard stare in his eyes and million dollar smile across his face.

This is Andrew Bisharat and I’m here as always with Chris Kalous, and you’re listening to The Run Out.

RunOut #5 Michael Kennedy and the North Ridge of Latok I

In July of 1978, after climbing all but a few hundred feet of the 8000-foot-tall North Ridge of Latok I in Pakistan, Michael Kennedy, Jim Donini, George Lowe, and a fatefully ill Jeff Lowe chose to descend shy of the unclimbed summit. What was subsequently dubbed the “magnificent failure” was soon held up as a futuristic alpine climb done in the best possible style. The mountain itself was climbed a year later via the south face in antiquated siege style.

The North Ridge repelled more than 30 attempts over the next 40 years by some of the best in the business.

This summer, 2018, two important developments – one tragic and one triumphant – may have left the quest for the North Ridge all but satiated.

Michael Kennedy joins us today to reflect on his ascent in 1978 and discuss the climbs this summer of both the North Ridge and the second ascent of the mountain. I’m Chris Kalous with Andrew Bisharat, and you are listening to the Runout.

And if because of technical problems, I sound like I’m stuck in a well, be assured that Michael Kennedy does most of the talking and the rumble of his baritone is like listening to the North Ridge itself speak from the heights.

RunOut #4: Wales, not Whales.

We all know about whales. Sperm whales. Humpback whales. Blue whales. Killer whales. Just kidding, those are dolphins. But what about Wales the country? What’s going on there? The Run Out had to go find out for itself.