Thursday, January 7, 2010

Climbing Action! or lack of it

If you have been on the Front Range in the past three weeks, or even passing through, you will know what I am going to talk about. Snow. Snow that will not go away. Why? Because of cold that will not go away. This has seriously hampered even the most dedicated climbers around here from doing much of anything outside. This is not typical for Christmas break around here.

So what am I doing? Festering a bit as I try to rehab my elbow--a slow process with its ups and downs. But I'm also getting the chance to look over some great films and a new book by Dave MacLeod. I am hoping to get a look at even more video as Internet downloading becomes more and more the way to distribute it. If you are a film-maker and want me to review your work, let me know. I am especially interested in work that is innovative, aesthetically focused, and insightful regarding the environment and the inner life of climbers and climbing. The same criteria applies for other media, electronic or print, or whatever. With the magazines devoting less space than ever to reviews, blogs such as this one are becoming the best source for information about new books, periodicals, and films.

I am also working with the Alpinist on a short essay about the so-called "Golden Age" in American climbing and have some ideas for other pieces. Stay tuned

So things have been busy. Thanks to Jamie Emerson for including me on his top ten list for climbing sites for Elephant Journal. Jamie represents the straightforward and informative perspective that all media, electronic or traditional should have.

A good interview at FRB with Brent Apgar is here.


MK said...


I just stumbled across your blog a few days ago and have really enjoyed reading your well-written, thoughtful comments on climbing.

I'm currently dealing with some medial elbow tendonosis brought on by some overly enthusiastic days of bouldering outside in the cold and was wondering what you are doing for your rehab. I've been following Dave MacLeod's advice and doing hot/cold treatment and eccentric exercises. These injuries are stubborn.


Luke said...

Are you referring to Dave's new book 9/10 climbers make the same mistakes?

I've been wondering about how it is and have though about picking it up...

I assume you have seen his blog on Elbow Rehab?

Peter Beal said...

Hi Luke. Yes I am talking about the MacLeod book you mention. My first impression is that it is well worth 25 bucks (available at Amazon). I will post a full review shortly but I will say right now that I was already thinking differently about my climbing today having browsed it pretty thoroughly.

MK, I read Dave's blog regularly and his treatment regimen is very close to my own. Plenty of icing(at least once, preferably twice a day), alternating with heat seems very helpful. Watch the eccentric exercises carefully. Overloading can make things worse. I have had some myofascial release work done as well.

What is frustrating about lateral epicondylosis is how it applies to many regular daily motions and hence is easy to aggravate. Especially bad are pronated (palms down) pinch-grips. Lift with two hands or in a supinated position, i.e. palms up, and avoid sudden heavy grabs. Be careful using computer equipment, such as a mouse or laptop touchpad.

When climbing, use the open-hand grip as much as possible. Crimping and locking off aggravates tendinitis more. Warm up slowly and thoroughly and stay loose throughout the session. Again avoid hard pinch problems and always listen very carefully to yourself. If you say to yourself, "I wonder if I should try this move/problem/route" you probably shouldn't.

Elephant said...

Psyched to know about your site...I'd asked Jamie to put together his fave climbing sites on, and have loved reading yours. Look forward to working together any time you want us to crosspromote a post, we'd be happy to feature you and your site.

Keep up great work.