The Outside Blog

Skiing and Snowboarding : Jan 2012

A New Technique to Climb Everest


Along with my annual coverage of Everest, I always update information on the climbing routes on Everest. I am surprised that there is always something new. For Everest 2012 season, I want to discuss an acclimatization technique that is becoming more common on Nepal expeditions, the climb of nearby Lobuche Peak.

Lobuche Acclimatization

Everest from Lobuche

Everest from Lobuche

Lobuche is often classified as a Trekking peak due to the lack of technical difficulty and the relatively mild altitude; it is “only” 20,075ft/6119m . Teams like to use Lobuche for acclimatization because the summit is the same altitude as Camp 1 and it eliminates at least one trip through the dangerous Khumbu Icefall.

In 2011, I knew of at least two teams that used it in some form: International Mountain Guides (IMG) which was my team, and Himalayan Experience (Himex). Peak Freaks used Kala Patar for a similar purpose. In the IMG case, we made the 8 day trek from Lukla to Everest Base Camp proper at 17,500′, spent a few days then backtracked a full day to Lobuche. I understand that IMG will go directly to Lobuche in 2012 before arriving at EBC.

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Video: Jeb Corliss Crashes Into Table Mountain

After a jump from Cape Town's Table Mountain this morning, Jeb Corliss crashed and broke both his legs while filming for HBO. The 35-year-old fell roughly 200 feet, releasing his emergency chute just after hitting the side of the mountain called Africa Face. Reports from South Africa say that he has entered surgery.

To explain the incident, Outside's Grayson Schaffer called another experienced wingsuit pilot, Miles Daisher, at 41, the elder statesman of the Red Bull Air Force. Watch carefully in the video. The impact occurs right at 18 seconds. A split second later, you hear the cameraman shout "Whoa!"

Daisher: It looked to me like his foot or legs hit the rocks [of the intermediate ledge that he was trying to clear]. He skipped off the ledge and was thrown into a series of violent flips. And he just pulled [his chute] immediately. It's hard to tell from the video, but it looks like he managed to get a chute over his head. That's the most important thing you can do. I'm just glad to see he's alive. I know he was was planning some really gnarly stuff—and this might have actually saved him.

Jeb Corliss, Table Mountain

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Win a DreamBike from CrankBrothers

Tomac_01_2A few weeks ago I wrote about a handful of charities that give bicycles to those without. Now I've just learned that CrankBrothers is in the midst of a charity auction for Wheels For Life (WFL), one of those not-for-profits about which I wrote. As a quick memory-jog, WFL was founded by trials specialist Hans Rey to bring bicycles to people in remote regions who couldn't otherwise afford them so that they can travel to work or school. These bikes, which cost an estimated $100 each to deliver, are a means to livelihoods and opportunity.

Here's the deal: CrankBrothers has partnered with a bunch of great brands (Focus, Charge, GT, Ibis, Rotwild, Scott, Tomac, Turner, SRAM, Rock Shox, Avid, Fizik, and Continental Tires) to build 12 beautifully spec'd mountain bikes. They are auctioning off one of these bikes each week from now until Sea Otter Classic, and all proceeds will go to support Wheels For Life. Three bikes have already been sold, including an Ibis Mojo HD and an Ibis Tranny. The most recent auction was for a Scott Genius LT (Outside's 2011 Gear of the Year winning mountain bike, incidentally), a $5,000 value that someone scooped up for $3,200. On the block now is a Tomac Supermatic 120, another bike we tested and loved last year.

CrankBrothers hopes to raise $50,000 for Wheels For Life (enough for 500 bikes to donate), so don't be stingy with your bids. When else do you get the opportunity to buy dozens of bikes for the cost of one?

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Outdoor Retailer Preview: Adventure Ready Luggage

Is your old Samsonite looking a little dogeared? Are you ready to replace your black roller board with something that's easier to identify on the luggage carousel? We'll be checking out new luggage this week at the Outdoor Retailer show. Here's a preview of a few of the pieces we're most excited to see.

Ozone 22 Light Green

Osprey Ozone Series: If you're schlepping stuff around, it's hard to beat Osprey. We've been big fans of the company's technical packs and travel luggage for years. If you're looking to upgrade you current, old, and heavy roller, you might wan to hold out for Osprey's new Ozone series of luggage. Osprey says that the new bags, available in sizes suitable for carry-on or checking, are the lightest rolling luggage on the market. And Osprey didn't sacrifice features to keep the weight down—Ozone bags have plenty of organizer pockets inside and out. Available fall 2012, 

Gregory Border: Much like Osprey (above), Gregory also has a reputation as a purveyor of exceptional backpacks. In 2011, it introduced a new line of TSA-compatible travel packs. And now the company is building on the collection. The coolest thing about Gregory's Border travel pack is that it unzips to lay flat, so your computer can stay in the bag in airport security. The 18L size holds 13-inch laptops and tablet-sized devices. 25L and the 35L versions comfortably carry 15-inch

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Kid Vid: Freestyle Skiers Kelly & Henry Sildaru

A couple weeks ago on Raising Rippers, I wrestled with the dilemma we face when writing or posting about rad kids and their outdoor antics. Are we exploiting them for our own purposes or holding them up as inspiration to all? The answer is obvious when you watch this jaw-dropping video of nine-year-old Estonian freestyle skier Kelly Sildaru, posted this week on Adventure Journal and ESPN Action Sports. Sildaru started skiing when she was two and was named best up-and-comer at the International Freeskiing Film Festival in France last fall. Riding the rails and launching 360s against a bluebird sky, this pint-size girl wonder in an orange parka radiates a simple, childlike joy for her sport. May we all play with such ease, grace, and fearless enthusiasm. 


Kelly Sildaru / Wanted from Sildaru on Vimeo.

And her kid brother, Henry, can throw down some moves, too. 

Henry Sildaru 2011 from Sildaru on Vimeo.


 —Katie Arnold 


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