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Sharma Fails Drug Test And Other News

Chris Sharma has just been stripped of his recent World Cup title because of traces of marijuana were found in a urine sample. He can appeal the case to the International Council for Competition Climbing (ICC), however, he has been removed from the rankings and will have to hand over the trophy and prize money to Spaniard Daniel Andrada who placed second.

Read more about this story at the Rock and Ice.

Way To Go Stevie!!

Steve Schneider has just summited the three Towers of Paine in Patagonia in a single 51 hour push. He spent 45 minutes on the Monzino Route on the North Tower. This is about ten minutes slower than his previous record ascent of 35 minutes. Then on the Middle Tower, he chose the Bonnington Route, which took him 7.5 hours. Finally he spent 9.5 hours climbing the South Tower. The route on the South Tower is not know but, it was an onsight for the South Tower!

Details From Steve Schneider

“On February 16, 2002, I awoke in Campamento Japanese at 2:00AM, got caffeinated, and departed camp at 3:00AM. I was intending to make a solo traverse of the Towers of Paine. With just over a week to go before my departure to home in California, I knew this would be my final try. It was my intention to climb all three towers by their normal routes in as continous a push as possible. I started climbing up the North Tower via the Monzino route at 8:30AM and summitted at 9:11AM for a time of 41 minutes(two weeks earlier I had made the climb in 35 minutes). I roped up only for the initial seventy meters of the route.After descending the North Tower, I begin climbing the Central Tower via the Bonington-Whillans route at 9:55AM, and summitted at 5:14PM for a time of 7:19 on that climb. On the start of the summit ridge, I encountered newlyweds Mike and Alison Pennings, who were on their way down after summiting a few minutes earlier. Mike was the first person to climb the tower entirely free, leading every pitch onsight with no falls and reckoning the difficulties at about 5.11b. Alison seems to be the first woman to climb the Central Tower via any route.

A brief weather check on the summit revealed completely clear skies with a view to the Pacific Ocean, so I initiated the committing rappels down the South Face of the Central Tower. A two thousand foot descent down the Grupo Ragni route with 16 rappels and some downscrambling landed me on the big walkway that goes across the West face of the Central Tower at about 10:30PM. I hunkered down for the night in just my clothes. I do not think I slept, but I got some much needed rest.

At 7:00AM on February 17, I got moving again amid perfect skies. I continued my descent, pioneering a way down another 400 foot face that landed me in the large couloir between the Central and South Towers.

At 10:25AM I started up the Asti route and summitted the South Tower at 7:50PM for a climbing time of 9:25. After fifteen minutes on top, with the weather still holding, I began my descent and arrived at the bottom six hours later at about 2:00AM. Four hours later I staggered back into Campamento Japanese at 6:00AM for a round trip time of 51 hours from basecamp to basecamp.

This was my fifth attempt to make the Tower Traverse. Along the way i climbed the North Tower four times, the Central Tower twice, and the South Tower once. I also endured three open bivoaucs, two full blown epic retreats from near the Central Towers summit, one life threatening rockfall, and an emotional rollercoaster of a ride. it is the first traverse of the Tower of Paine, solo or otherwise.”

Steve Schneider, Puerto Natales, Chili, February 24, 2002

Read More About the 2002 Patagonian Climbing Season:

Camp 4 Listed With National Register of Historic Places:

Camp 4 (the real one – not this web site silly!), the walk-in campground in Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, was listed with the National Register of Historic Places on February 21, 2003. This campground, traditionally used by climbers, has been instrumental in the development of rock climbing as a sport. This marks a successful collaboration between the National Park Service and the climbing community who have worked together for this designation. In the nomination to the National Register, Camp 4’s eligibility for listing is at the national level under Criterion A in the area of Recreation/Entertainment for its significant association with the growth and development of rock climbing in the Yosemite Valley during the “golden years” of pioneer mountaineering. During the period 1947 to 1970, the Yosemite Valley region was an exceptionally important center of rock climbing activity. Activities and technological advancements and skills developed here made significant contributions at the regional, national and international level within the sport. World-renowned climbers such as Tom Frost, Royal Robbins, and Yvon Chouinard, were among the pioneers of this sport who developed equipment, techniques, and forged new routes in Yosemite, considered a mecca for rock climbers. They used Camp 4 as a base camp.

Camp 4 was a pivotal element within mountaineering and rock climbing activity in the park. Within the mountaineering community knowledge, skills, and philosophical concepts were largely passed on through word of mouth and hands-on climbing activity among active participants. Few if any documented manuals or written guidebooks were available to guide early aspiring climbers. As a result, the campgrounds and base camps at important climbing locations achieved important roles beyond just the provision of overnight accommodations. They served as vital meeting grounds for participants and significant focal points for training activities, ascent planning, distribution of information and equipment, and the comradeship and esprit-de-corps that defined the early days and history of the movement. Camp 4 remains significant in the context of modern mountaineering and rock climbing. “What makes this dusty little campground so historic and unique is its freewheeling, dynamic spirit and the people drawn to it over the decades. Camp 4’s spirit epitomizes the spirit of the American West–restless, unconventional, inventive, and filled with hope.

Yosemite continues to offer new frontiers for the pioneers and explorers of its vertical walls,” said Linda McMillan, Vice President of the American Alpine Club. The designation grew out of a partnership that was developed between the American Alpine Club, representing rock climbers, and Yosemite National Park. Climbers were concerned with National Park Service plans to construct employee housing lost in the 1997 Flood in Camp 4 and the vicinity. The climbing community argued that Camp 4 had historic significance.”The nomination of Camp 4 evolved into a cooperative effort between the climbing community and the National Park Service,” said Russell Galipeau, Chief of Resource Management for Yosemite National Park. ” It was the climbing community that mobilized and helped the National Park Service see the history and significance of climbing and Camp 4 in Yosemite National Park.”

Yosemite National Park and the American Alpine Club have worked together to understand each other and find solutions that meet mutual needs.”The entry of Camp 4 to the National Register of Historic Places will stand as an enduring testament to the power of public/private partnerships,” said McMillan. ” It’s an extraordinary example of what people with very different perspectives can achieve by using a process dedicated to respect and mutual success. Contention gave way to collaboration, and a treasured relationship was forged.”

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