Juneau climbers Ryan
Johnson and Samuel Johnson will attempt Mount Hayes, Alaska. Photo: Glacier Fed/Flickr
The Alpinist and their partners announced the winners of the 2013 Mugs Stump Awards today, offering up $33,500 in grants to nine teams pursuing climbing objectives that exemplify light, fast, and clean alpinism. A quick breakdown of the expeditions is included below, as taken from the Alpinist announcement. We'll cover some of these expeditions as they occur through our "Expedition Watch" posts.
On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, Shane Dorian paddled into a monster swell at Jaws and ended up surfing the best wave of his life. He flew down the face, over an air bubble that almost knocked him down, and raised his arms in triumph once in the barrel—until he realized he had a lot more surfing to do. Eventually, he emerged from the wave's spray standing up and soon garnered an early entry into the 2013 Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards.
The science of barefoot running form hit the ground somewhat simply at first. In a January, 2010, Nature article, “Foot Strike Patterns and Collision Forces in Habitually Barefoot Versus Shod Runners," Harvard evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman and colleagues said that traditionally unshod populations likely ran with a soft forefoot or midfoot strike. They said that rearfoot strikes, or heel strikes, involved higher collision forces that could lead to repetitive stress injuries over time. Since staying healthy was important for survival, and survival for early humans may have included running long distances to forage or hunt, they hypothesized that forefoot or midfoot strikes were probably more common for barefoot runners. They also said that forefoot or midfoot strikes might protect today's runners, who often heel strike, against a high degree of impact-related injuries.
The scientific debate about running form picked up, with a lot of back and forth about the economy, injury rates, and performance benefits of foot strike patterns and running. Lieberman and co. added traction to their theory in 2012 when they published a study that said college cross-country runners with rearfoot strikes had a higher rate of repetitive stress injuries than those with midfoot and forefoot strikes. A 2012 lawsuit brought against Vibram for deceptive advertising about the supposed health benefits of their shoes added attention and debate. The science about foot strike patterns and barefoot running is young and far from conclusive.
This month, things got more convoluted. Lieberman's 2010 Nature study, which found a high rate of forefoot strike among traditionally barefooted runners, focused on one particular group of people, the Kalenjin of Kenya. A January study published in the journal PLOS One, “Variation in Foot Strike Patterns During Running Among Habitually Barefoot Populations,” looked at another group of traditionally unshod runners—the Daasanach of northern Kenya—and found they favored rearfoot striking.
Kevin Hatala of George Washington University and colleagues tested the footstrike patterns of 38 traditionally barefoot Daasanach adults and found that the majority ran with a rearfoot strike at endurance speeds. They impacted the earth with some part of their heels 72 percent of the time, a midfoot strike in 24 percent of trials, and forefoot strike four percent of the time. "We were surprised to see that the majority of Daasanach people ran by landing on their heels first and few landed on their forefoot,” Hatala said in a press release. “This contradicts the hypothesis that a forefoot strike characterizes the 'typical' running gait of habitually barefoot people."
Yes, this video of climber Dean Potter walking a highline at Cathedral Peak as the sun sets and the moon rises is old. It originally appeared as part of "The Man Who Can Fly," a National Geographic special. But the full clip was just released on Vimeo two weeks ago, a teaser for the re-airing of the special on Friday, January 11, at 5 p.m. EST. Filmmaker Michael Schaefer shot the scene from more than a mile away using an 800mm lens with a 2x lens converter.
“We are all going to make mistakes. It’s truly learning from them that
makes life really sweet,” says skier, climber, and parent Roger Strong in the video embedded above.
On April 6, 2011, Strong took off on his favorite backcountry run in Snowqualmie Pass, Washington, and was picked up by an avalanche and thrown into a tree. His tibias were ripped from his femurs and his ligaments were shredded. "His knees
were literally hanging by just skin," says filmmaker Fitz Cahall. "The connective tissue and bone
connections were gone."
Cahall joined Strong a year after the accident as the pair returned to the tree where Strong almost died. The resulting film, Strong, chronicles how the skier's life has changed since the incident.