Everest Update: IMG Team Heading Home, Climbing Season Over?

As I've mentioned before, the situation on Everest's South Side is very fluid at the moment, and things are definitely in a state of flux. But, it seems the situation took a major step towards resolving itself, as the IMG team, one of the largest on the mountain, has made the decision to go home. 

Alan Arnette broke the news a short time ago, and does a good job of explaining why this could be the definitive end of the season. Essentially, IMG, along with Himex, the Altitude Junkies, and a few other major teams, are the ones who handle the bulk of the work in fixing the ropes up the mountain. With this team now headed home, a major part of the work force for handling the high altitude rope-fixing is now gone. While that doesn't mean it'll be impossible for others to do the work, it does make things much more challenging.

The IMG statement reads in full as follows:
IMG leaders Greg Vernovage and Ang Jangbu Sherpa have been forced to end the expedition due to the perilous conditions resulting from the April 18 Icefall avalanche. After several days of intense meetings at Base Camp and in Kathmandu among climbers, sherpas, and representatives from the Ministry of Tourism, no agreement was reached on restarting the 2014 Everest climbing season. The Icefall route is currently unsafe for climbing without repairs by the Icefall doctors, who will not be able to resume their work this season. We have explored every option and can find no way to safely continue the expedition. 
The IMG team will be starting down valley in the next few days, with some trekking and some hitching rides by helicopter. They are joined by climbers from other expedition teams that had also been waiting at Base Camp and have also been forced to end their climbs. 
—Eric Simonson, IMG Partner
As Alan also points out, this isn't just about having the Sherpas there to help coordinate and support the climbs. With a week of no movement, most of the teams are now way behind in their acclimatization process. By now, most everyone would have made a rotation up to Camp 1 and 2, but as they sit in Base Camp, they are not preparing their bodies for the altitude challenges they would eventually face. There is no way to safely acculturate that process, and since there tends to be a rather narrow weather window for a summit attempt, it looks like things could get dicey in this regard as well. Again, the door isn't closed entirely, but it is slowly creeping in that direction.

More to follow soon.
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Bear (not so) Naked Ladies

Bear Mountain edit with Jamie Madrid, Sara Frutos, Veronika Perfilyeva, and Melissa Evans

The post Bear (not so) Naked Ladies appeared first on Transworld Snowboarding.

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Everest 2014: Another Team Leaves Base Camp, Tensions High On The Mountain

It has been another tumultuous 24 hours on Everest, where tension continues to run high amongst the Sherpas, who continue to mourn the loss of 16 of their companions in an avalanche last Friday. While the Government of Nepal has agreed to most of the terms set down by the mountain guides, there is still a level of distrust and uncertainty. Whether or not that gap can be bridged remains to be seen, and  while efforts are being made to do just that, the entire climbing season hangs in the balance.

Yesterday I reported that the Adventure Consultants had cancelled their expedition after losing three Sherpas in the accident. At the time, I speculated that other teams might make the same decision, and that prediction has proven accurate. The Alpine Ascents squad has also made the decision to go home. They lost 5 members of their team to the avalanche, and have been struggling with that loss ever since.

If you've been following this situation closely, Alan Arnette has two good posts that you'll definitely want to read. The first, is an update on the situation, with Alan's contacts in Base Camp providing him with a sense of the mood there. In short, those contacts report that things are extremely tense, and there is a great deal of anger in the Sherpa community. This is not unlike the emotion that was felt last year, when several Sherpas came to blows with western climbers. The local guides are feeling disrespected once again, but this time the anger is aimed at the Nepali government, and not so much the western climbers.

The second post you should read is Alan's account of his relationship with his Sherpa. It gives you a first hand account of how a climber interacts with the man who is there to help him reach the top. It is a good read, and gives readers personal insight into how the mountaineer and the Sherpa work together.

Meanwhile, the New York Times is reporting that a meeting took place in South Side Base Camp yesterday, with two-thirds of the Sherpas voting to end the season. If that number is accurate, it doesn't bode well for the climbers, and we could be looking at the end of the season by as soon as this Friday. The Times also says that two veteran Everest leaders flew to Kathmandu via helicopter in order to meet with officials from the government. The hope is that they can broker some kind of deal that will keep the mountain open.

Fox News is also weighing in on the topic, and they indicate that sources in Base Camp have told them that Sherpas have already begun to walk out. Indications are that these men are just the beginning, and that over the next few days, more will follow. CBS News is offering a similar account, going so far as to say that most of the Sherpas have already left BC.

That doesn't appear to be the case with the Peak Freaks however. Team leader Tim Rippel has indicated that he has offered his Sherpas full-pay, even if they decided to go home. They all have chosen to stay.

It seems that no matter what the government says, or the western climbing leaders, if the Sherpas make the decision to go, they will go. Anger, resentment and grief seem to be the emotions that are most prevalent in Base Camp at the moment, and only time is going to help heal those feelings. For now, we'll all just have to wait and see what happens.
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Wallpaper Wednesday: Lust for Powder

Bottom line, we all want more powder to ride. Check this week's Wallpaper for some motivation to keep searching for that powder day.

The post Wallpaper Wednesday: Lust for Powder appeared first on Transworld Snowboarding.

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Expedition 1000 Update: Atacama Whike Crossing Complete!

The latest leg of Dave Cornthwaite's Expedition 1000 project is complete. You may recall, Dave, and his two traveling companions,  Ned Aufenhast, and Jamie Fulbrook, set out from Santiago, Chile a few weeks back with the intention of crossing the Atacama Desert using a Whike – a specially designed bicycle that uses both the wind and pedals to propel itself along.

As with all previous legs of Expedition 1000, the crossing of the Atacama was completed using only non-motorized transportation, and covered a minimum of 1000 miles. It took Dave and company 19 days to wrap up the expedition, climbing more than 18,000 meters (59,055 feet) in the process.

According to Dave's Facebook page, they averaged 6.2 mph over the course of their journey, which may not sound like a lot, but when you consider how mountainous Chile can be, that is a fairly steady pace over a 19 day period. Their top speed was 39.3 mph, no doubt on the downside of one of the aforementioned mountains. Their longest climb in a single day was from sea level up to 2087 meters (6847 feet), which is an awful lot for the body to compensate for if you're not prepared for altitude. Over the course of the journey, they averaged nearly 9 hours per day on their Whikes.

The Atacama Desert is well known for being the driest place on Earth. Trapped between the Chile's Pacific Mountain Range on the west, and the Andes on the east, it falls into a rain shadow that is very difficult for storms to pass over. As a result, there are actually places in the Atacama that have not seen rainfall in recorded history. But the place has a stark beauty to it that can be breathtaking. It is, without a doubt, one of my favorite places that I have ever visited.

The boys will now rest for a few days before they launch the next leg of Expedition 1000. That journey will get underway on April 28, but what exactly it will be remains a mystery. Stay tuned for more!
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Save Getu

Bad news about potential future development in Getu, China, an area made famous in climbing circles by the 2011 Petzl Roc Trip:

Unfortunately the peaceful environment I recalled from my last visit in 2011 has been completely altered due to the construction of a huge parking lot and an elevator that will transport people from the parking lot to directly below the arch. I had heard about this from friends and had quietly accepted it as yet another example of how the local governments try to encourage tourism via huge building developments, yet this development is often too ephemeral for the villages in rural China and probably jeopardise forever a beautiful and complex natural environment.

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How to Find a Martial Arts Pressure Point

Martial Arts Pressure Points

Good goldurn morning!
Or evening,
or whenever it is!
But you know that whenever it is…
all you have to do is work out.
Work out,
and the mysteries of the universe
unfold before you.
such as…
pressure points.

karate training manualI had an email today,
in it was a question about pressure points,
and I get this question every once in a while,
when am I going to do a book/course on pressure points.

why write a whole book
when I can explain pressure points right here?

To understand pressure points
think electricity.

Points are like wall sockets,
for instance,
there is a pressure point
on the elbow.
It is called the funny bone,
but it’s not a bone,
its just where the nerves pass close to the surface,
and you can strike that point,
or grip it,
and cause some pain.

Then there are nerve clusters,
like switchboards.
For instance,
there is a cluster of nerves right near the armpit.
Stick a finger in there,
and you cause a severe reaction.

we could get into energy,
electricity is an analogy for electricity,
and where the lines of energy run,
and which way they go,
and so on and so on.

But you don’t need all that stuff.
if you think about energy the way I am describing it here,
and what I am going to tell you to do,
then you will learn about pressure points faster
and with better result
than if you spent twenty years
examining how the meridians effect the kidney
if you strike the second toe
of your left foot
twice at midnight.

You must learn to look with your hands.

I spent about three years at the Kang Duk Won,
and during that time I hit people,
and I got hit.
perfectly controlled strikes.
A few bruises,
a cut lip or a mouse,
generally speaking,
we were practicing pretty darned fine control.
we were learning to look through our fists.

if somebody gave you a box
and asked what was in it,
you might shake it.
You could tell if what is inside is hard or soft,
liquid or solid,
if you shook it long enough,
swear to god,
you could probably tell the color
of whatever is inside the box.

I know,
sounds weird.

But I kept hitting people,
like most,
I could tell when I was hitting bones or muscle,
soft tissue or hard,
and I could gauge the reaction of people to these strikes.
And I could tell by my reaction
when people struck me
what was inside the body.

It’s like radar.
consider this analogy…
You come up to a house and knock on the door,
you listen.
You can hear the echo of your knock
resounding through the house.
knock so that you get the best echo,
you get that really hollow pitch
that reaches all-l-l-l the way
through the house.
knock on your partner’s chest.
Listen to the reverberations.

Listen to the changes as you knock
on different parts of the body.
What does it sound like
listen to your fist
when you knock on a bone?
What do the lungs sound like?
it’s like a doctor’s stethoscope,
except that you are using your own enhanced senses.
And you can tell what is in the other person’s body.

it is just a quick jump to pressure points.
Take a look at this…

I am working a pressure point.
Now I don’t know where this point came from.
I’ve never studied pressure points,
but I find that I can feel the body
and the points are ALL over the place.
Almost anywhere you touch the body
you can cause a reaction.

So let me explain something.
I just touch the body,
using the ‘listening’ I learned to do with the fist.
I listen with my fingertips,
extend my senses inside his body,
touch with authority,
zingo bingo
we have a pressure point.

Is it a real pressure point?
I don’t know.
Doesn’t matter.
All that matters is this…
practice your techniques and listen with your fists.
Feel the effects as you strike your partner.
Be gentle,
for you can hear more if you are gentle
than if you are distracting yourself with a loud yell
or a huge force of radiating energy.

It’s a matter of focused awareness,
that is all…and nothing more.

But how do you focus your awareness?
Through control.
Through learning control.

sorry to say,
sorry if i step on toes here,
but not through boxing or MMA,
for the purpose in those sports
is to smash and destroy.

I love to watch MMA,
and there are instances of high control in some of those games
but they are the gladiatorial games of Rome
brought to modern times,
and they don’t teach pressure points
or how to increase your awareness.

Only the classical martial arts teach that,
and those only rarely,
because most of the stuff taught today
is not aligned.
Doesn’t make sense.
Are random sequences of techniques,
and not a step by step journey
to increased awareness.

And with increased awareness
comes a knowledge of pressure points.

So my advice
to anybody who wants to learn pressure points
is this.

Work out.
Do the classical.
Align the classical with matrixing,
so that you actually understand what you are doing
and are on a step by step procedure to awareness.

Do your forms and techniques,
do them with sincerity,
do them with lots of energy,
and do them silently,
learn to listen with your fists.

Do that
and you need no further instruction.
The secret isn’t a secret,
it is just a matter of your learning to focus awareness
in a rather unique manner.

if you are interested,
the video clip was from
Five Army Tai Chi Chuan.


but it doesn’t matter which course
you start your matrixing journey on,
all that matters is that you start,
and that you persist,
and that you learn to focus
the precise and exact awareness
that you are.

Have a great work out!


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Dye Precision 20 Year Anniversary DM14




Born in 1994 with one product and an athlete’s vision, DYE Precision, founded by Dave Youngblood, has grown and evolved over the past 20 years into an industry leading company with production, design, development, manufacturing and distribution facilities in 8 countries, on 3 continents.

Though in the beginning it was one man and a mission, DYE quickly evolved into an industry leader because it created products, developed by professionals, that people wanted to use. The best teams in paintball were soon wearing and shooting DYE products because they wanted to win, and they needed the best to make their paintball dreams a reality. The championships came and the product line expanded, but the principles behind the product have, and always will, remain the same.

Through trial and error, and tremendous amounts of work behind the scenes, DYE enlisted mechanical and materials engineers, with guidance from graphic designers, and massive input from casual players to the hardest of the hardcore professionals, to polish our designs over the years, creating the product line we now stand behind. Our global headquarters in San Diego connects all these different creative assets with cutting edge technologies creating a refined style, resulting in superior product for players of all levels.

Excellence is in our DNA, we strove at every turn during our 20-year history to inject Dye’s products with a style and functionality that makes our products game changers; we want them to be both workhorses and works of art. From the very beginning, the idea behind DYE was to make extraordinary products through extraordinary effort, in order to create usable tools that transcend appearances, because ultimately it’s about what works in the real world. Our products are created to magnify the on-field experience, to make pure and potent paintball experiences possible.

Dye has brought its creative might to bear to solve many problems facing players during its evolution so our customers can have the best experience possible out on the field. We’re proud our full line of products has been used by every type of paintball player all over the world, from first day recreational walk-ons, tactical fanatics, to dominant World Champions.

Today, the Matrix line of Markers is the pinnacle of performance and the XX Anniversary Dm14 is resetting that standard.


The longest running franchise in pro paintball, the L.A. Ironmen, sets their own high standards on the field and depends on the highest level equipment to take their game to the next level.  The Ironmen XX DM14 fulfills that need. “The Ironmen DM14 is the Ferrari of paintball guns. I couldn’t ask for a better shooting, better looking, or easier to maintain paintball gun. It has everything we need to bring home another championship title.” ~Marcello Margott





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Under Dawgs at Brighton: Wish This Wasn’t The End

Season ender edit from Brighton

The post Under Dawgs at Brighton: Wish This Wasn’t The End appeared first on Transworld Snowboarding.

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Mammoth Pond Skim 2014

One of the best things about spring at the Mountain's is the Pond Skims, and Mammoth Mountain's did not disappoint!

The post Mammoth Pond Skim 2014 appeared first on Transworld Snowboarding.

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