The Outside Blog

Athletes : Feb 2011

Enzo Oddo Climbs Sixty-Foot Highball

Fifteen-year-old French climber Enzo Oddo has made the fourth ascent of Kevin Jorgeson's massive highball problem Ambrosia in Bishop, California, reports the Bishop Bouldering Blog

Ambrosia is Oddo's headiest send so far, a 60-foot-high line that climbs a granite boulder in Bishop, California's Buttermilks. The climb goes at V11 as a bouldering problem or in the 5.13/5.14 range if considered a free solo. Oddo reportedly worked out the upper moves on toprope before sending it on Monday.

Check out the video below for footage of Oddo's ascent.

--Adam Roy



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Field Tested: Tough Winter Cycling Gear

In our March 2011 issue, writer Tom Vanderbilt analyzes the hostile relationship between cyclists and drivers. If you're a year-round city rider, you know it's hard enough to navigate erratic cars, deceiving potholes, and zoned-out pedestrians without worrying about what you're wearing. Urban riding demands apparel that functions beautifully in the saddle and wherever it is you're headed: the office, a restaurant, your girlfriend's apartment -- anywhere you wouldn't show up in DayGlo spandex. Wintertime is especially challenging, what with dirty slush and icy headwinds. The gear below marries life both on and off the bike, giving you fewer excuses not to ride though the winter—especially a winter as brutal as this one.
-- Jennifer L. Schwartz

Outlier Outlier Winterweight OG Pants  
I could wear these pants every day. And last winter, while splitting time between Boston and New York, I often did. The Winterweight OG's stretchy, weather-wicking material works flawlessly but doesn't scream "performance fabric," and the flattering style even elicited compliments from non-cycling friends. Though these thinly fleece-lined trousers kept me warm, dry and clean while riding though nasty New England weather, they also proved their worth off the bike while snowshoeing in Tahoe and barhopping in Cambridge. They cost as much as premium denim, but if you get half as much use out of these pants as I have, they'll be worth the investment. Major bummer: Outlier doesn't currently make a women's version of the Winterweight OG. For the ladies, the Daily Riding Pant offers similar performance, sans fleece. $188; $180 for Women's Daily Riding Pant;

33511 Merino Wool Buff
Forget the traditional balaclava. To skip the ninja look, try the Wool Buff -- a long, merino wool tube that can be worn in a number of ways. They come in 24 colors and patterns. I chose the neutral "stone," which I wore scrunched around my neck in lieu of a scarf. But when the temps plunged, I tucked it over my earlobes and nose. Breathing heavily though the merino didn't make it damp and chilly. After removing your helmet, gather and push the material over your head to convert the Buff into a chic headband/ear warmer. From $27;

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Stuff You Should Click On: Week of February 18

With this Monday being Presidents' Day, many of you are likely headed to slopes for a long ski weekend. Below, a few clips, galleries, and other assortments to get you in the mood. And if skiing's not your thing, well, we've got you covered, too. Here's the stuff you should click on this week.

Start Off Your Long Ski Weekend Right:

(Hat tip to The Adventure Blog and

A New Take on Nordic Skiing:

A Better Take:

But Nothing Can Beat These:
The Nine Best Ski Movies of All Time (SkiNet)

And if Skiing's Not Your Jam:
9 Ultra Secretive and Exclusive Places You'll Probably Never See (NileGuide)

What You Were Really Thinking Last Monday:
Valentine's Day Cards for The Rest of Us... (The Verteblog)

And Today's Lesson OR George Bluth on Aron Ralston:
Leaving A Note and Hiking (

--Michael Webster

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Jimmy Button Rides "Miles for Miracles" Coast to Coast


In 2000, former professional motocross rider Jimmy Button suffered a freak crash that instantly paralyzed him from the neck down. Eleven years later, the rehabilitated 37-year-old is hopping on his bicycle for a two-month, 2,428-mile Miles for Miracles ride from San Diego, California to Daytona, Florida, averaging 60 miles a day to raise money for spinal cord research. He pedals out from Qualcomm Stadium—the site of his accident—on Sunday, following the San Diego Supercross race. I got a hold of him to get the lowdown on the big ride and his long process of recovery. 

--Nick Davidson

What happened at Qualcomm?
It was just a small crash in the big scheme of things. We were in the third round of the Supercross series, and it was our second practice of the day. They gave us the green flag, and I was just cruising around the track really slowly, just a couple of miles per hour, looking at the track and doing a lap before we really started picking up the pace. And I just hit a hole the wrong way. The front end got away from me, and I didn't get my hands out. I landed on my head and wrenched my neck so far backwards that it ripped all the ligaments off my spine and pinched my spinal cord. The second I hit the ground, I went cold and numb. Instant, one-hundred percent paralysis from the neck down.

How long were you paralyzed?
It was a couple of months before anything started to work. The first thing was the index finger on my left hand. I just stared at it, stared at it, stared at it. It may have been hours. I got a finger to move, and the next day I got a little bit more to work. Slowly and eventually the movement started to go across the rest of my body. Months later, I was able to walk on my own. It wasn't a pretty sight in the beginning.

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Slippery When Wet: Evan Garcia

Slippery When Wet: Evan Garcia from Shon Bollock on Vimeo.

Shasta Boyz Productions has released the first in a series of seven trailers to plug it's new project Slippery When Wet. We picked the first one up off a facebook post from Chris Korbulic, a kayaker who will be featured in an upcoming trailer. The Shasta Boyz are an extreme kayaking production crew all about the huck, as you can see from the bio pages of their web site, which include fields exploring their motivations like Why do you huck? and Summary of your huckings. Their previous film, Wet Dreams, can be viewed for $4.95 on the appropriately named,

The first trailer in Slippery When Wet focuses on 21-year-old phenom Evan Garcia, and comes stocked with waterfall porn shot from every angle. After a brief introduction to Garcia, the trailer chronicles the risks he's willing to take—again, and again, and again. If it piques your interest in Garcia, then his blog at deserves a visit. He puts everything out in the open. His posts come packed with kayaking lingo (Mocking off the lip with Devilish speed Jared sailed a boof of amazing proportions! Like a bird he flew and exploded upon entry with the pool. But what the hell sometimes when your running the stouts shit hits the fan.), epic shots of big drops and injuries from his latest expeditions, and musings and rants on the latest kayaking articles and cliques.

Funny thing last night I read a very nice "anonymous later to the editor" about egcreekin in The Banks Mag. It said something along the lines of "the words I write on egcreekin are about as deep as the San Joaquin river when it reaches the ocean."

If you know what river that is, you know that it never reaches the ocean. Along with that he called kayakers out as the most egotistical and lame extreme sports athletes. Don't really care, but this guy sat down and spent some serious time on this article. I don't know what we did wrong? Maybe there's people out there that just think I'm a cocky ass hole, but it's not true.

I'm a kayaker...what does that mean? I spend most my time hiking around the woods in terrible smelling gear taking pictures of other stinky guys, to then put on the internet for people to see. Yes it's true! We live an extravagant lifestyle of sleeping in parking lots and eating ham and cheese sandwiches everyday. However, I would have it no other way.

If you want to see more of the trailers coming out from Shasta Boyz, pay attenton to Shon Bollock's vimeo page or Oh, and here's a kayaking glossary, just in case you're struggling through the "boofs" and "beatdowns" throughout the posts.   

--Joe Spring

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