Everest Anniversary 2013

Wow, its been quite a while since we’ve posted on here! Guess that’s what you get for being a busy bee!
But we thought we would come back here to help celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Everest.

Everest Anniversary 2013:

Can anyone believe its been 60 years since Sir Edmund Hilary and his team conquered one of the most awe-inspiring mountains in the world?

Summit of Mount Everest

Summit of Mount Everest

Tenzing, part of the team who climbed Everest, marking his ground on the summit.

So we thought we would supply a few interesting facts about this beloved mountain.

Mount Everest Factfile:
1. Everest is 8848 meters high – a number that we take pride with on many of our clothing items…
8848, Summit of Mount Everest

2. The summit is the border of Nepal to the south and China or Tibet on the north

3. The rocky summit is covered with deep snow all year long – yes, the weather must be even colder over there than it is the the rainy UK!

4. The Mountain was named in honour of George Everest in 1865

5. Everest is called Sagarmatha in Nepal. It means “Goddess of the Sky”
Goddess of the Sky

6. The first summit was on May 29, 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa from Nepal.

7. The first woman to summit Everest was Junko Tabei of Japan in 1975

8. The oldest person to summit was Nepalese Min Bahadur Sherchan, age 76 on May 26, 2008

9. Apa Sherpa holds the record for most summits with 21, the most recent one in 2011

10. About 3,425 climbers have summited Everest once and another 2,220 have summited multiple times totaling 5,652 summits of Everest as of June 2011

11.223 people have died trying to climb Everest. Almost all are still on the mountain.

Climber’s deaths cast shadow over celebrations:
This last fact brings us up-to-date with the upsetting news of the 3 climbers who died whilst out climbing. Confirmation of the deaths came on the eve of the 60th anniversary of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary reaching the summit of Mount Everest.

Our sport is dangerous and extreme, our thoughts are with those family and friends who are affected.
All those who have had the courage to take on our mountains will be in our thoughts today also.

Extreme Walkway

So we love the mountains, the climb, the adrenaline rush.
But this pathway that stretches alongside the mountains has caught our eye. It is one extreme walkway and is known as the world’s most dangerous path – meet El Caminito del Rey

Extreme Walkway

The English translation for this Spanish 110 year old dilapidated walkway which lies over 330 feet above the ground in El Chorro is the “King’s Pathway“. This was after King Alfonso XIII crossed the extreme walkway in 1921.

Extreme Walkway
Originally created in 1901 to create a pathway for workers at two hydroelectric plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitenejo Falls the walkway provided transport for materials. Construction of the path took four years and was eventually finished in 1905.

 

Extreme Walkway
The walkway is one metre (3 feet and 3 inches) in width, and rises over 100 metres (350 feet) above the river below. Constructed of concrete resting on steel rails supported by stanchions at around 45 degrees into the rock face, it is currently in a highly deteriorated state and there are numerous sections where part or all of the concrete top has collapsed. The result is large open air gaps that are bridged only by narrow steel beams or other support fixtures. Very few of the original handrails exist but a safety-wire runs the length of the path.

 

Extreme Walkway – El Chorro Spain
To view an extreme video footage of someone walking the path, check out the link above – it is worth a look!

 

There have been a few fatal accidents on the pathway in 1999 and 2000 and this has resulted in a planned restoration project worth $8.3million by the government. However this has created a frenzy of thrill seekers who want to walk the dangerous path before the project goes ahead.
So would you take the challenge and take on this extreme walkway?

Extreme Walkway

 

Product Review

In extreme environments you learn quickly that something failing because it’s not good quality could really be the end of the your world, so we became obsessed with quality, and we still are.

C2 Summit Review

C2 Summit Product Review

 

The lessons we learnt playing in the most extreme mountains, cliffs, chasms and climbing grounds still fire our obsession with quality: we choose the best materials, we test our stuff to destruction and we’re not afraid to say that it’s better made and better designed than other brands you might find out there.

 

So…

“Quality, quality, quality – this is our mantra.” 

You’ve heard us state, claim and even brag about our clothes. The style, the fit, the quality. Even if our own comments haven’t managed to convince you yet we’ve now got back up to prove it. We recently supplied C2 Summit Adventures with a few sample products including the Ranulph Hood and our favourite Laurie Tee and they took our clothes with them as they travelled to Mont Blanc and Chamonix. Much to our delight, they loved our clothes! (Should we be surprised?!) And have written this great Product Review for us.

So now we have a review to back our own opinions up…

“The quality of these Stone Monkey items are second to none with a tremendous effort put into the overall construction using the most durable and soft materials.”

C2 Summit Review - Mont Blanc/Chamonix

C2 Summit Product Review – Mont Blanc/Chamonix

“Stone Monkey themselves admit their clothes aren’t for ‘Climbing Everest’ which is obvious but at the end of a days skiing relaxing in an Alpine hut or finishing at the crag they’re perfect!!”

C2 Summit Product Review

C2 Summit Product Review

“My personal favourite is the Ranulph Hood which I’ve been wearing regularly since coming home, especially now with the cold snap hitting. I’ve taken it to the Alps, surfing on the North Coast of Ireland, climbing days, stuffed it into several kit bags and washed it loads……it still looks like new.”

C2 Summit Product Review

C2 Summit Product Review

If you want to see more of the review by Richard Franklyn and with fellow climbing partner and photographer Steven Carmichael (and you should!) then click here…

Still not convinced? Why not check out our website and sample a few clothes for yourself. We do have a refunds policy… But we don’t think you’ll need to use it!

2013 Wish List

I know we are a bit late off the New Years mark but we decided to create a list of the top 5 places we want to climb. They might be ambitious and they might never happen … but we can always dream right?

Favourite places to climb, our 2013 wish list…

From the National Geographic book The 10 Best of Everything

1. Mount Khuiten, Mongolia
In Mongolia, it’s easy for a traveler to be quickly swept away by the endless green steppes, the heartiness of the Kazakh nomads, and the rolling landscapes that define the Altai Mountains. This makes the trek to Mount Khuiten as enjoyable and scenic as the climb itself.
The mountain straddles the corners of Russia, China, and Mongolia. To reach it, trekkers must cross a golden, vast, and barren landscape that is one of the last remote regions on Earth. This remarkable journey is enhanced by the gentle hospitality of the Kazakh nomads.

2013 Wish List

2. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Flat-topped Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain. Located on Tanzania’s northern border with Kenya, the mountain is made up of three extinct volcanoes, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. The highest peak, Uhuru, is 19,340 feet (5,899 meters) high.
Reaching the top of Kilimanjaro is exhilarating. Take the Machame Route up so you can see the region’s wonderful animals and birds. Then you’ll begin the trek across the Shira Plateau through the Grand Barranco Canyon and on to the top. If all goes as planned, you’ll reach Stella Point with a chance to continue around Kibo’s rim to Uhuru.

2013 Wish List

3. The Andes, Peru
The Inca Trail is an in-depth journey through a variety of ecosystems, from plains to desert to tropical cloud forests. You’ll pass views of snowcapped mountains and rushing rivers. The highlight is Machu Picchu, the famed lost city of the Inca that was discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. Then continue your trek to what was the heart and soul of the Inca Empire, Cusco.

2013 Wish List

4. Mount Everest, Nepal
Rising 29,035 feet (8,856 meters) above sea level, Everest is the highest mountain on Earth. For decades, reaching the top of this giant has been considered one of the greatest mountaineering achievements. Sir Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay accomplished this feat in 1953 when they approached the peak along the South Col route. Since then, more than 2,000 others have made ascents through South Col. It is, by far, the most successfully climbed route on the mountain.

2013 Wish List

5. The Matterhorn, Switzerland
Nestled in the Swiss Alps, the Matterhorn is the most recognized mountain on the European continent. In the shape of a roughly chiseled rock pyramid, this peak serves as a defining geographical landmark. For many climbers, ascending the Matterhorn, the birthplace of the sport of mountaineering, represents a return to the purist traditions of climbing.

2013 Wish List

 

So which one would you put on your wish list?

We are also taking inspiration from mountaineer Lori Schneider.
She was diagnosed with MS in 1999 and she spent 16 years trying to accomplish the goal of all 7 summits.

“With each climb, I am amazed at what our human bodies can do when pushed to the limits.”

Lori, Seven Summits

“Over the past ten years, mountain climbing has given me back my strength, both mentally and physically.”

Lori, Seven Summits

See a great interview with Lori and Women’s Adventure Magazine

So who is your inspiration?
Are there any mountains that you are attempting to climb soon?
Get in touch!

Ski Season 2012

Wouldn’t you want to be in his shoes … or skis!!

This was mainly filmed “while skiing in Les Arcs France … at Arcs 1800 in the forest and in the snow park.”

So with the ski season approaching, where are you heading off to? I’m lucky enough to be able to go on a small trip to Val Thornes over the Christmas holidays – what a great present that is! So keep an eye out for some Stone Monkey photos on the ski slope – matching our clothing to the extreme, stylish and cool elements of this outdoor mountain sport.

Val Thornes, “Ski Season 2012”

But for all those who are contemplating where to go and where the best skiing/snowboarding takes place then here is a list of the top ski resorts for the 2012 ski season.

#1 Deer Valley

Deer Valley, “Ski Season 2012”

Deer Valley UTAH is known throughout the USA as an exclusive ski resort with exceptional customer service and perfection to detail both on and off the slopes. Deer Valley is a ski resort only – snowboarding is not permitted.

#2 Vail Colorado

Vail Colorado, “Ski Season 2012”

The mountain, of course, is perfect—and enormous—just the way it is. — Deborah Williams

#3 Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia

Whistler, “Ski Season 2012”

Big, dazzling, daunting, popular. It’s the Paris of North American skiing. “This place is a game changer!” Oh, yes. — Susan Reifer

For more of the top ski resorts, click here

And with all this excitement circling the new ski season we thought we would finish with a video that showcases the highlights of this extreme, mountain sport – The snow, the blue skies, the slopes. The trees, the tricks, the trips!

With over 13 feet of snow falling on Beaver Creek ski resort these are some incredible clips.

So who is excited for the Ski Season 2012?

Young Climber Ellie Rymer

“Young Climber Ellie Rymer!”
– it even has a good ring to it don’t you think?

“Sleep, climb, eat, repeat. Wannabe monkey and professional chocolate eater” – Ellie Rymer

Well, this ‘wannabe monkey’ has certainly caught our attention at Stone Monkey HQ! Not only has this girl been scaling the heights of national success with two super podium finishes over the space of a fortnight (back in August). She finished second in the Youth A section of the British Youth Climbing Series final at the EICA in Edinburgh, the world’s largest indoor climbing arena. Two weeks later, Ellie reached the final in the British Bouldering Championships, finishing second against Great Britain team members.

Ellie, who trains at Harrogate Climbing Centre has clearly made her mark as one of the most consistent junior competition climbers in the country under coaches Ellie Howard and Dave Barrans. But still she has a dream to reach further and climb higher …

“My dream is to get into the British team and compete in the World Youth Climbing Championships”
Watch the video of Ellie as she states her hopes and aspirations to become one of the best climbers

So who is this girl who is climbing her way to the top?
Who is Ellie Rymer?
Ellie is a 16 year old girl who is a keen rock climber and competes regularly in local and
national events…

Ellie recently contacted us to update us with her climbing progress and we were delighted to hear of her achievements. Despite not doing as well as hoped Ellie placed 5th overall in the British Lead Climbing Championships that took place up in Edinburgh the other weekend. She only narrowly missed out on a place in the finals – it was by just half a point! In addition to this achievement Ellie also ventured further and competed in a senior competition. As this was her first at the standard we a thoroughly chuffed for her that she managed to achieve 11th place.
But this girl isn’t all work and no climbing play. Ellie also informed us that she took part in a speed climbing competition (persuaded by her friends!) and even managed to come 3rd in the junior girls place!
This young climbing star will now be training in preparation for two Open Youth comps in December, where we are sure her hard work, dedication and natural skill will pay off.

So where do we fit in?
After Ellie won some clothing from us at a small competition she couldn’t help but research our company and she loved what she saw…
“[Stone Monkey]sums up many of my thoughts about adventure sports, mainly the trust we must put into
our equipment, be that a harness or the clothing we wear. I loved that Stone
Monkey was so unique with some great ideas.”

Now, can you really argue with that?! See more of our thoughts here – you might even want to check out our clothes too… after all Ellie Rymer loved them!!

Ellie Rymer – keep climbing!

Climbing Too Extreme?

Mental, crazy, heading for a death wish!

We hear you loud and clear – sometimes the feats that climbers attempt are one scary challenge.

We all know that climbing in itself can be scary for some (especially because of heights!) but still we keep going. It’s the adrenaline rush that pushes us forward. It keeps us reaching for new heights, stretching and holding on through the pain and provides us that satisfying sense of accomplishment when we stand at the top and look back and see how far we have come.

But do some climbers take the risks too far?

Is it always worth that extra push to complete a death-defying adventure?

Considering many of the recent accidents that have taken place on a few of the most famous mountains such as the avalanche on Mount Blanc which claimed the lives of 9 climbers.

“Officials say they believe the avalanche, around 13,000 feet, started when a nearly 16-inch-thick sheath of ice broke off and slid down the northern face of Mont Maudit, which abuts Mont Blanc.”

…and there are ones that are renowned for the catastrophe they caused such as the tragedy of K2 which is regarded as one of the worst climbing diasters to date … It can be hard to understand why, sometimes, climbers wish to increase the risks to their safety. Is it always worth it? Is climbing too extreme?

Recently we heard of Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki attempting Everest alone and without oxygen! Last we heard he was safe and sound and had actually made it up to base camp 2 and is just waiting to head over to camp 3 in order to get in position for his summit bid

and then the accomplishment of German climber and skier Benedikt Böhm caught our attention. He summited and skied down the world’s eighth highest peak without the use of supplemental oxygen in less than 24 hours! An amazing achievement to say the least, but this was only a week after a deadly avalanche claimed the lives of at least 11 people on Manaslu.

“The decision to try for the summit after such a tragedy was a difficult one, but ultimately I decided to climb in their honour and it also helped me cope with the emotional challenges I was also going through from being first on-scene to such a tragedy,” Böhm said in a press release.

Although we cannot criticise their amazing efforts, we sometimes wonder whether the risks were worth it, especially after such disastrous epidemics.

What do you think,

…can climbing be too extreme? Are some climbers just plain stupid? Or should we all be willing to push the boundaries and take some risks?

Kilian Jornet Summit of My Life

“Our steps follow our instinct and take us into the unknown.
We no longer see the obstacles behind us, but look forward to the ones ahead.”


Kilian Jornet Runs Courmayeur to Mont Blanc to Chamonix in 8h 40.

Kilian Jornet one of the worlds most renowned extreme sports persona in mountainering (check out his list of accomplishments here!) is about to embark on some colossal personal challenges. These challenges will ultimately test his fitness and skills far beyond what he has managed to achieve so far – even more than running Courmayeur to Mont Blanc to Chamonix in under 9 hours!
Killian seeks to undertake a number of feats throughout the coming years that combine his physical endurance and passion for the mountain environment, most that stand to change our view on the capabilities and perceptions of humans.

This is the “Summits of My Life”

The multiple record holder and 3-time winner of the Mont Blanc ultra trail will bring together the sports of ski alpinsim and ultra running as he attempts a series of mountain routes in ground-breaking style – several of them never attempted previously. He will also change the definition of traveling light as he is keeping his technical equipment to a bare minimum. Perhaps he is seeking to follow this with a future in solo-climbing?! Whatever the case, this project is set to be massive.

The project begins this summer in the Mont Blanc massif, where Kilian will traverse the massif from east to west (Champex to les Contamines) on skis, and then from south to north (Courmayeur to Chamonix) climbing and running. Neither of these routes have been attempted in previously. The project will continue into the coming years, with record attempts planned on Mount Elbrus, the Matterhorn, a speed attempt of Mont Blanc, Mount Mckinley, Aconcagua, and all culminating in an exciting expedition to the roof of the world, Mount Everest.

Montaz-Rosset film are delighted to be part of this incredible project – follow the action on theproject website

“It’s not about being the fastest, the strongest or the biggest.
It’s about being ourselves.”
by Kilian Jornet on the “Summit of My Life”

 

Via Ferrata is a mountain route which is equipped with fixed cables, iron rungs and ladders. That is the reason why it is called the “iron road” as it is a bridge that runs between the mountain ranges.

A via ferrata is mainly used to allow access to otherwise dangerous climbing routes and is especially helpful for those of us who are just beginners. Since the bridge caters for various climbing abilities walkers and climbers can follow the via ferrata without needing to use their own ropes and belays and more importantly without the risks associated with unprotected scrambling and climbing.

These simple protected paths, with ladders and basic protection aids, have probably existed in the Alps for centuries. Yet these paths which were once used to help connect villages to their high pastures have now been developed in recent years. This is because their popularity has grown and the tourism benefits have become recognised. This development is believed to have mainly occurred during the nineteenth century due to the growth of Alpine exploration and tourism.
These new routes were mostly developed by the climbing community often with active involvement of one of the relevant Alpine Clubs. In the 1990s and 2000s, development became more commercial and involved more organisations: via ferratas began to be seen as a useful way to encourage tourism and increase the range of activities available to visitors, and so new routes have been developed by local communtities, outdoor activity centres, cable car companies, mountain refuges and others, as well as continuing involvement by the Alpine clubs.

The majority are found in the Alps, others in European contries and a few elsewhere in America and Canada. The largest via ferrata in Canada can be found on Mt. Nimbus in the Columbia Mountains. Operated by Canadian Mountain Holidays, this via ferrata is accessible only by helicopter from the Bobbie Burns Lodge, 35 km south of Golden B.C.

“Traversing the knife-edged ridges, straddling the tiny summits, and walking across the airy suspension bridge was exciting enough while tethered into a bombproof harness and cable. Building the thing must have been outrageous.”

But, how safe can these bridges actually be?
An interview with British Columbia native and mountain guide Carl Trescher who, after experimenting with a small via ferrata on Mt. Syphax, went to learn from the masters.
We use expansion bolts to build our anchoring systems for the bridge. These systems are theoretically capable of holding around 100 to 135 Kilonewtons. (The force of over 13,000kg.) Should be strong enough!!!” Carl Trescher.
To read more on this interview, click here

So who wants to have a go?! Tackle the heights, see some outrageously wild places and find an adventure.

Have you done the Mt. Nimbus Via Ferrata? Did it feel strong enough to you?

K2 Summit Climbing Disaster

K2, is the true climber’s mountain, more challenging and dangerous than Everest
The world learned this August, when 11 climbers perished within a span of 30 hours. This was classed as one of the worst disasters in the history of mountaineering.

Facts and Figures:
– K2 is nicknamed the “Savage Mountain” for its severe weather.
– Located in Pakistan/China
– Elevation of 28,253 feet (8,612 meters)
– The world’s second-highest summit
– First Ascent was in 1954 by Italian climbers Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli
Read more

Eleven mountaineers from international expeditions died on K2 whilst three others were left injured. The climbing season at K2 lasts from June to August, but in 2008 adverse weather prevented any groups from summiting during June and July. With the end of July approaching and weather forecasts indicating improvements several groups had arrived at Camp in preparation to try the summit as soon as weather would permit.
But confusion, accidents and disaster struck during both the ascents and descents … For more detailed, day-by-day information click here

This has been named as not only one of the worst climbing disasters, but perhaps one of the most stupid due to claims of the climbers being ill-equipped. One survivor, Confortola,  says the expedition was plagued by inexperience and poor equipment as some ropes and spikes easily broke. He also told a scientific research group of feeling helpless when he and others made a futile attempt to rescue the three Koreans dangling from a rope.

Now, Nick Ryan has created a feature length documentary about the deadliest day in modern mountain climbing history – The Summit

It will world premiere at the London Film Festival this October and been chosen to screen as part of the official competition for a London Film Festival Grierson Award for Best Documentary.
Once again this film will highlight the challenges, fear and terror faced by the climbers back in 2008 and will reflect the K2 Summit Climbing Disaster.
We hope that this film will be able to answer secrets, highlight the dangers of climbing but more importantly be deliacte enough for the friends and families of those effected.
It may end up becoming a Hollywood movie for the masses, but it was reality for a small few.

K2.
This mountain will always be remembered as one of the most deadly.