Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

How to retrieve stuck cams


Here is one special trick for retrieving those nice, shiny cams of yours that are hopelessly stuck behind a flake: expand the flake.

How? Flakes are very often not really solid rock. Even though they may not seem to yield to your banging and pulling, they usually do move a bit. If you can’t retrieve the cam because it’s retracted to its limit (i.e. over-cammed), the idea is to widen the crack behind the flake for a moment.By being smart, you can drastically increase your leverage on the flake:

  • Plug in another (smaller) cam behind the same flake just next to where the stuck cam is.
  • Clip the second cam to the belay loop on your harness using a quickdraw or a sling.
  • Apply your body weight on the second cam. The flake will expand, even if you don’t see it.
  • While still hanging on the cam, remove the stuck cam.
  • Obviously, retrieve the second cam too. Because you used a smaller size, it should come out easily.

Warning! Whatever you do, do not cause the flake to break and fall. You could injure or kill people below.


The Hubers are on fire


Alex and Thomas HuberAlex and Thomas Huber broke the 5-year-old speed record on the fabled line on El Capitan – The Nose. They were faster than Yuji Hirayama and Hans Florine by mere 20 seconds (!) and the new record ascent time was set to 2:48:35. They were plagued by Thomas dropping one aider on the Great Roof pitch who had to finish the route with the remaining aider in an atypical awkward style.

However, the Hubers still had more shots left. Four days later, on October 8th, the brothers were on The Nose again, to firm up the record and quiet all whiners. This time everything went fine until the Harding bolt ladder. Alex missed putting his foot into an aider and was left hanging on the sling by one arm only with an 80-foot slack running from his harness all the way to the belay. Yikes! When they finally touched the El Cap tree on the top, the clock showed – 2:45:45! Breaking their own record, they brought their 3-year-long efforts on the Nose to a wonderful finale. Well done.

Read more about their first and second record-breaking ascent.


Sretan put za Paklenicu!


In few hours, I am leaving for the long-expected and planned climbing trip to Paklenica, Croatia. Me, my sister and Lidač are going to challenge the 350 meters high north-western face of Anića Kuk. Our list includes:

  • Mosoraški, 5c – the classic of classics on the big wall.
  • Zgrešeni, 5b – a popular piece on the Debeli Kuk.
  • Domžalski, 6a – the majority of climbing pictures of Paklenica are taken from this one.
  • and plenty of other shorter routes in the Klanci sector.

After 2 seasons on the Gunks’ quartzite and its straightforward climbing on horizontal holds, this limestone canyon will put a question on the longevity of the acquired technique on the terrain where creativity means the difference between falling and cruising a route up.

Pictures from this adventure will follow.

Riši is not here yet


This place is destined to be the future of my current blog at

Update: Riši has come at last. My old blog will no longer be updated.

Tree Climbing


On Saturday I exchanged rock for wood and went to help my friend Marc with cleaning dead branches off the trees on his yard. Alex was my trustworthy belayer, albeit harnessless – he made a make-shift chest harness using the bowline knot. I climbed 4 trees with the difficulty ranging between 5.3 and 5.6, mostly steep, pumpy climbing on good holds (branches), occasional slopers (bumps on trees) and miserable friction. Most climbs were G rated with plenty of possibilities for placing solid pro on branches. Two times, a bare trunk needed to be slung for pro with questionable effectiveness (PG-R rated). The constant threat of being bruised added to the wonders of this sport. I experienced nice exposure on one semi-branchless tree and suffered numerous scratches. Handsaw hanging from my harness, and by a sad twist of fortune caught by a branch above my head, added even more excitement to the undertaking when in one bitter moment it fell on my nob thus bloodifying (= making it look bloody) it nicely.
I think I am quite ready to get back on rocks.
More pictures…