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Dispatches : Climbing

Honnold and Florine Break Nose Record

Honnold practice run
Alex Honnold takes a practice run up El Cap. Photo: Tom Evans/El Cap Report

Alex Honnold and Hans Florine set a new speed record on the Nose of El Capitan on Sunday, climbing the 2,900-foot face in 2:23:51. The pair shattered the old record, set by Dean Potter and Sean Leary in November 2010, besting it by nearly 13 minutes.

In the days prior to their ascent, Honnold and Florine prepared by making several speed laps up the route together. In addition, Honnold notched two notable speed ascents of his own, climbing El Capitan, Mt. Watkins, and Half Dome free in a day with Tommy Caldwell on May 18 and 19, then returning two weeks later to repeat the linkup solo.

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Neal Grundy Wins 2012 Banff Mountain Photography Contest

Grundy_boulder_chimney_lBoulder Chimney, Eridge Green, Kent, U.K. © Neal Grundy

Photographer Neal Grundy took home the grand prize in the Banff Mountain Photography Competition for his series Night Climbing. The Brighton, U.K.-based lensman set long exposures to capture climbers with headlamps scaling routes in the Central Weald area of southeast England.

“By producing these images at night, I sought to recreate the juxtaposition of natural and man-made forms,” he says. “While the images were exposed, climbers ascended the route using head torches, rendering the climb significantly more difficult.”

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Summer Camp: Not Just for the Kids This Year

If you’re like most people, your summer strategy probably looks like this: Dispatch the kids to day camp while you spend the sweetest season behind your desk. But research shows that while children may be quicker studies, adults benefit hugely from learning new things, too. Good news: Now you can all go to summer camp together—and no, you won't be sleeping in bunks. Get ready to reclaim your summer with the top six learning adventures for rippers of all ages.

Sea Kayaking the San Juan Islands, Washington
On REI’s San Juan Family Adventure, families with kids eight and up explore the San Juan Islands’ cliffs, tide pools, and trails by kayak, bike, and foot. An overnight paddle to Jones Island State Park, where you’ll set up base camp, will satisfy your littlest wildlife junkies: Watch for porpoises, orcas, seals, and sea lions. During an afternoon at the University of Washington Labs, biologists will treat you to a private tour of the invertebrate touch tanks for an up-close look at the strange and fascinating life of the Salish Sea. Day hikes to lighthouses and island peaks, plus a visit to Friday Harbor’s whale museum, round out the six-day trip. Bonus: The San Juans sit in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, so summers there are typically dry and warm. From $2,299; kids under 17 receive a $200 discount; www.reiadventures.com.

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Sender Films Releases Raw Clip From Alex Honnold's Triple Crown

On June 5 and 6, 2012, Alex Honnold made the first solo link up of Yosemite's Mt. Watkins, El Capitan, and Half Dome, completing the Triple Crown in roughly 18 hours and 50 minutes. It's one of his biggest achievements in the last few years, even though he has pushed the limits on several climbs. As a result, Honnold has gained a higher level of fame than most climbers, appearing on 60 Minutes, the cover of National Geographic, and in Outside. The attention is one of the main reason's Sender Films is following him for Reel Rock 7. They recorded Honnold during his triple because they are working on a movie in which they want to answer one question: "How would fame and celebrity affect Alex in his pursuit of the world’s boldest free solos?"

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Alex Honnold Solos the Yosemite Triple

Alex Honnold Pancake Flake
Alex Honnold solos the Pancake Flake during a speed ascent of El Cap in 2010. Photo: Tom Evans/elcapreport.com

Just two weeks after free-climbing Yosemite's Triple Crown with Tommy Caldwell, Alex Honnold repeated the feat solo on Wednesday, blasting up three of the park's biggest walls alone in 19 hours. Beginning at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, the 26-year-old Californian climbed Mt. Watkins, El Capitan, and Half Dome, finishing at 10:45 a.m. the next morning. In an interview on The North Face's blog, Honnold estimated that he had free-soloed about 95 percent of the terrain.

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