11 Awesome Benefits Of Rock Climbing, And 1 Very Important One

You rarely see a fat climber.

I don’t know if this is because they’ve tried to do it but found they can’t, or it’s because climbing makes you lose weight rapidly, but you rarely see an overweight person climbing up a wall, do you?

There are a whole lot of benefits to rock climbing as a hobby, and once my knee has fully healed, I’ll certainly be starting this sport more seriously. It’s such a fun thing to do, and learning about the health benefits, as well as the psychological and emotional ones too, you’ll want to start doing it too.

Rock climbing can be described as any situation where you’re ‘climbing’ up a rock. It could be at a climbing gym, a mountain side or a natural rock climbing location, or a ‘bouldering’ spot which is rock climbing, only it’s done sideways as opposed to climbing up. (It’s more focused on low to the ground movements). Anyway, let’s move on.

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Some benefits of rock climbing

There are many benefits of this sport, but they’re not all physical.

Some of the perks are actually emotional and psychological. I’ll explain them all so you can get a better understanding of why rock climbing is so good for you.

Physical benefits of rock climbing

Rock climbing is a difficult sport.

You’re required to use your strength to cling to the wall and often times you are holding most of your muscles in a static hold, constantly tensed. You should aim to be as relaxed as possible to get better at climbing, but sometimes you can’t and it’s very hard work. This is a good thing.

Here are some notable physical benefits..

  1. Stronger arms. Your arms will become stronger the more you climb, this is because your arms are used to traverse the climbing wall or face. Your grip strength will increase dramatically after just a few weeks of climbing.
  2. Shoulders. Of course your shoulders are part of your arms, but the strength you’ll gain in your shoulders is important. You’ll develop nice toned shoulders, as this muscle group is used to keep you stable on the wall.
  3. Thigh muscles. Your legs will become more toned, although this isn’t one of the main muscles that will become stronger. Your legs are used to push you up fro leg holds and further up the wall, but it’s not a ‘very strenuous’ workout for them.
  4. Back and neck. Your neck will develop stronger muscle groups around it because you’re always looking around you and up and down as you climb. The nature of the sport also means your back gets  nice workout too!
  5. Forearms. I had to mention this one, because I love this muscle! Forearms, specially on a man look great when they’re toned, and your strength here will increase a LOT.
  6. Cardio. Because it’s a low impact cardio exercise, your breathing and heart rate will improve as well as your stamina etc..

And every other muscle group (pretty much).

It’s a full body workout and can improve your strength, endurance and speed in most muscle groups on your body. The nature of the exercise forces you to use your entire body to climb the wall, not just your upper body. Many people think it’s just about having strength in your arms, but it’s not.

You don’t usually see a monkey climb with arms bent as if it’s doing a pullup, do you? They have straight arms because they know the most efficient way to climb is with straight arms and by using their whole body. they use momentum, legs and their core muscles to swing and propel themselves higher.

climbing monkey,rock climbing benefits

Oh, there are more benefits by the way..

Psychological/emotional benefits of rock climbing

Climbing is a full body workout, meaning your head as well.

It doesn’t just keep your muscles fit, but it also stimulates and improves your cognitive ability, problem solving, confidence etc. Let’s look at the mental benefits of rock climbing.

  1. Goal setting. To climb rocks you must set goals and move towards them. We’ve already talked about why that’s important in life.
  2. Being aware of yourself. It requires you to be more aware of the space around you, and how you’re moving your body through it.
  3. Relieve Stress. When you’re climbing, nothing else matters. It’s much the same effect that skydiving has on you, because you’re so focused on the moment and what you’re doing right now, you don’t have time to worry about things like work or bills. It’s an antistress device!
  4. Confidence. If you can climb up a mountain, you can do anything. Things that seemed like a big deal before, (public speaking, confrontation, job interviews) now don’t seem hardly as daunting.
  5. Perseverance. When you’re climbing you always want to get to the top, and you’ll keep trying to get there. That’s what makes it such a good sport because it teaches you life skills as well as giving you a workout.

There are a whole lot more benefits to rock climbing, but I’m just covering a few here. It’s sort of an introduction to the sport if you didn’t know about the benefits, and I’ll probably do a few more posts about the sport when I get back into it in the coming weeks. Oh, I almost forgot.

This is probably my favorite part about rock climbing (Apart from getting thick, strong forearms!)..

The very important reason! -It’s YOU vs YOURSELF..

Just like in other areas of life, often it’s just you vs yourself.

You’re the one who normally holds you back in most things, and learning that through rock climbing will show you that in other aspects of life, you can often remove limitations by just stepping outside of them.

I know that sounds like a weird idea, but stick around on the blog for long enough and you’ll understand what I’m trying to say here. The point is, rock climbing is about you challenging and pushing yourself, so it makes you stop thinking about competing and getting approval for others (Unless of course, you’re actually competing in a rock climbing competition!).

It pushes you and makes you want to achieve more, and that’s a skill that’s useful not only on the climbing wall, but in every aspect of your life.

Source

Rescuers Search for American Climbers Missing on Pakistan Mountain

They were last seen almost two weeks ago

Helicopters began searching on Saturday for two Americans who went missing while attempting to climb one of Pakistan’s highest peaks.

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Kyle Dempster, 33, and Scott Adamson, 34, began climbing the north face of Ogre II, near the Choktoi Glacier in northern Pakistan, on Aug. 21, according to a GoFundMe page established to support their rescue. The men, both from Utah, were last seen on Aug. 22, a day before a snow storm hit the mountain. Dempster and Adamson had originally planned on spending five days climbing and descending the mountain.

The search-and-rescue effort began on Sunday, but stormy weather made it impossible for Pakistani military helicopters to join the search until Saturday, CNN reported, citing a family spokesperson.

A U.S.-based rescue group also planned to send two helicopters to help with the search, NBC News reported.

The pair had tried climbing the same peak last year, but ended the trip after Adamson fell and broke his leg, according to CNN.

Source: TIME

Pakistan has more glaciers than almost anywhere on Earth. But they are at risk.

With its neat stone walls and paths, bountiful tomato and wheat fields and miniature sheep that graze right up to doorsteps, this picturesque village has an air of timelessness. But the 110 families who live here only have to glance out their doors to see that their irrigated idyll may not last forever.

For generations, the glacier clinging to Miragram Mountain, a peak that towers above the village, has served as a reservoir for locals and powered myriad streams throughout Pakistan’s scenic Chitral Valley. Now, though, the villagers say that their glacier — and their way of life — is in retreat.

“We worry it may even vanish and there will be no drinking water,” said Abdul Nasir, 60, pointing up at the 19,000-foot mountaintop streaked with thin, patchy snow. “Every year, it’s melting.”

With 7,253 known glaciers, including 543 in the Chitral Valley, there is more glacial ice in Pakistan than anywhere on Earth outside the polar regions, according to various studies. Those glaciers feed rivers that account for about 75 percent of the stored-water supply in the country of at least 180 million.

But as in many other parts of the world, researchers say, Pakistan’s glaciers are receding, especially those at lower elevations, including here in the Hindu Kush mountain range in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Among the causes cited by scientists: diminished snowfall, higher temperatures, heavier summer rainstorms and rampant deforestation.

To many, the 1,000-square-mile Chitral Valley has become a case study of what could await the rest of the world if climate change accelerates, turning life-supporting mountains into new markers of human misery.

“It’s already happening here, and my thinking is, in the coming years it will just go from bad to worse,” said Bashir Ahmed Wani, a Pakistani forestry specialist with the Asian Development Bank.

Over the past six years, the Chitral Valley has also experienced three major floods that many Pakistani scientists attribute to climate change. The floodwaters killed more than 50 people and stranded hundreds of thousands while undercutting a once-vibrant tourist industry still struggling to rebound after Sept. 11, 2001.

While climate change is a factor in the region’s calamities, the valley has also come to symbolize the way a poorly educated populace can make the situation worse, creating a cycle of hardship. Its glaciers offer a stark example.

The valley’s population has soared — from 106,000 in 1950 to 600,000 today — and most residents get just two to four hours of electricity a day. Without reliable refrigeration, residents turn to vendors hawking chunks of the valley’s shrinking snowpack.

Every day, they say, scores of these entrepreneurs drive five to seven hours to the mountain peaks, where they hack into the glaciers — or scoop up the pre-glacial snow — and load the haul into their jeeps and trucks. Back in the valley, they shovel the snow and ice into shopping bags and sell it for 50 cents a bag.

“There are no fans, no refrigerators working, so I will store this for cooler water and then use it for drinking,” said Ubaid Ureh, 46, as he held two dripping bags.

Hameed Ahmed Mir, a local biodiversity expert who has worked for the United Nations, said that one cubic yard of ice weighs almost a ton — enough to supply four to seven families with drinking water for several days — and one vehicle can carry three to four tons of snow or ice. “Then multiply that by 200 vehicles per day.”

Khalil Ahmed, a former project manager for the U.N.-supported Glacial Lake Outburst Floods Project, said Pakistani law does not make it clear whether the government or the public owns the country’s vast glacial reservoirs.

“We are trying to initiate a dialogue with the local people, but these are poor people,” he said, noting that glaciers in the neighboring territory of Gilgit-Baltistan are also being sold off.

Ghulam Rasul, head of the Pakistan Meteorological Department, said the country’s weather patterns have shifted dramatically over the past two decades.

When 30-year temperature averages from 1961 to 1990 are compared with those from 1981 to 2010, temperatures in the northern third of Pakistan, where the glaciers are located, increased by 1.2 degrees Celsius, Rasul said.

Summer snow lines on Pakistan’s mountains have also crept up an average of 3,395 feet since 1981, he added. And the number of glacial lakes — which form when melting ice gets locked up in or around a glacier — has jumped from 2,420 a decade ago to 3,044 today, according to a recent study.

[Life in a Pakistani village so remote, kings once banished prisoners to it]

Equally alarming, Rasul said, the annual South Asia monsoon is growing more dynamic as temperatures spike over land and clash with cooler ocean waters. Now, instead of the late summer monsoon affecting mainly southern and eastern Pakistan, it has also been pumping deluges over the mountains.

“I believe this is an impact of global warming,” Rasul said. “If this continues, the glaciers will be melting at a fast rate, producing glacial lakes — and the lakes will burst,” triggering disasters.

The weather changes have not seriously threatened the ice packs in Pakistan’s northernmost regions, where five of the world’s 14 highest peaks — all topping 26,000 feet — are located.

Nizam Uddim, about 52, points to the site of the house that he lost, along with his 4-year-old daughter, during flash floods in the Chitral Valley village of Reshun last year. (Insiya Syed /For The Washington Post)

Some researchers think that the glaciers in the Karakorum and Himalayan mountains in Gilgit-Baltistan may even expand as weather patterns shift and more precipitation falls over the highest peaks as snow. Many of Pakistan’s glaciers are also covered in silt and debris, which helps insulate them.

But farther south in the Chitral Valley, where most mountains are no higher than 22,000 feet, there is little doubt that the glaciers are under stress, researchers say.

In the village of Reshun last July, a 20-foot wall of water crashed over 126 houses and killed a 4-year-old girl “on a very hot day,” said Azmat, 19, who uses only one name.

“We resided here for at least the last 200 years, and we never faced any kind of flood like this,” said the girl’s father, Nizam Uddim, who estimates that he is 52.

Siraj ul-Mulk, the 71-year-old owner of the Hindu Kush Heights Hotel in Chitral, has been trekking in a different part of northern Chitral since he was a young man.

“It used to take me a whole day to cross the glacier,” he said. “Now, it will take me two hours.”

But just as in the broader global debate over climate change, some Pakistani researchers remain skeptical that warmer weather is causing Chitral’s glaciers to melt.

Arshad Abbasi, a water and energy expert, said Pakistanis alone are responsible for their plight.

He noted that tree roots stabilize the ground that the glaciers bind to — and that Pakistan has retained just 2 to 5 percent of its tree cover. Even worse, he said, goat herders, tourists and even the country’s army are allowed to trek over them.

“People say global warming, but in fact, it’s human activity” that most threatens the glaciers, said Abbasi, who has studied the effect of Pakistani and Indian military encampments on the shrinking Siachen Glacier in the Himalayan range near the disputed Kashmir region.

Local activists agree that lax environmental standards are magnifying the danger. Inayatullah Faizi, an expert on local culture, noted that much of Chitral’s garbage and sewage is dumped directly into streams and the Chitral River — another reason residents buy snow from the glacier.

Aisha Khan, head of the Islamabad-based Mountain and Glacier Protection Organization, said a huge conservation campaign is needed to combat public ignorance. She noted that many mountain-area families still try to make glaciers grow by “fertilizing them,” cutting ice from a dark, debris-clogged glacier (male) and setting it next to a clear one (female).

Still, there are signs that younger Pakistanis, even in remote places, are realizing what is at stake.

Beekeepers collect honey last month from hives they have set up by a roadside in the Chitral Valley. (Insiya Syed /For The Washington Post)

In Sonoghur, a small village north of Miragram that was devastated by a glacial lake flood in 2007, a middle-aged man began telling a reporter that India and Israel are responsible for glaciers melting because they don’t want overwhelmingly Muslim Pakistan “to grow and prosper.”

But Amir Shahzaib, 17, spoke up.

“We don’t believe that, and our new generation wants to take care of the earth,” he said, adding that he and his friends were trying to get older residents to stop throwing plastic bottles in waterways.

They can’t do it all, he added.

“We are just partly responsible for climate change,” Shahzaib said of his village. “Mostly, the city people are responsible.”

Aamir Iqbal in Peshawar contributed to this report.

Source: Washington Post

Nepal bans Pune police couple for 10 years over ‘fake’ Everest claims

Dinesh and Tarkeshwari Rathod, both serving constables with Pune police, announced they scaled Everest on May 23, becoming the first Indian couple to do so.

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THE Nepal government has imposed a 10-year ban on a police couple from Pune who had allegedly bluffed about scaling Mount Everest on May 23. Nepal officials have told Pune police a letter has been sent to inform them of the decision to bar the couple from entering Nepal for that period, Pune police commissioner Rashmi Shukla told The Indian Express Sunday.

“This means the probe ordered by Nepal government has confirmed the two had lied about scaling Everest… This is indeed shocking. The couple have tarnished the image not only of police force but of the whole country,” Shukla said.

Dinesh and Tarkeshwari Rathod, both 30 and serving constables with Pune police, held a press meet in Kathmandu on June 5 and announced they scaled Everest on May 23, becoming the first Indian couple to do so. The two are posted at Shivajinagar headquarters of Pune city police.

Shukhla said she will initiate “strong” action against the couple. Asked if they can be arrested, she said the action will be as per laid-down norms.

She said the couple have been absconding since the Pune police initiated a departmental inquiry against them. “The two have disappeared without a trace even as we were conducting the inquiry,” she said.

Senior officials added the couple might not be arrested, but could face demotion or have their annual increments stopped. Officials said by remaining out of bounds for the probe, the couple have “already confirmed they had done something wrong”.

Days after the couple’s press briefing, a group of mountaineers had approached Pune police alleging they had faked their expedition. Surendra Shelke, one of the complainants and secretary of a city-based mountaineering association, had alleged the couple had morphed pictures and there were discrepancies in their description of the summit. The Pune police probe followed.

A mountaineer from Kolkata had told this paper that he and another climber had scaled Everest on May 21 and their pictures were misused by the duo. “I had scaled Mt Everest along with another climber and two sherpas on May 21,” Satyrup Siddhantha, a software engineer working in Bangalore, had said. He said he had given his pictures to some people, including sherpas at the base camp.

“They had copied the pictures into their pen drives. They might have shared the pictures with other climbers,” he said. Siddhantha had uploaded his pictures onFacebook on June 2.

Mount Everest Climbers May One Day Climb Ice-Free

The Himalayan Mountains and Tibetan Plateau, dubbed the “Third Pole” for having the largest ice mass on Earth after the polar regions, are rapidly losing their glaciers. Eighteen percent of China’s glaciers have vanished in the past 50 years according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Air pollution and rising air temperatures are combining to increase glacial melt, threatening water supplies for one billion people.

Mount Everest is Earth’s highest mountain.

Glacial surfaces are vulnerable to the effects of black carbon. What, exactly, is black carbon? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines it as “the most strongly light-absorbing component of particulate matter (PM), and is formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels,biofuels and biomass.” Airborne black carbon absorbs sunlight, creating local atmospheric warming. Deposited on glaciers, it darkens the surface, allowing the sun to warm the snow and ice just as wearing dark clothing on a summer day can make you feel the heat.

Source: Nature Communications

It’s not just China’s famous pollution or fossil fuel burning that’s to blame. It’s also yak dung.

Traditional Tibetan use of biomass such as animal dung for cooking and heating, along with open burning of garbage and crop waste, was found to be a greater contributor to the creation of black carbon in certain areas of the Himalaya-Hindu-Kush and Tibetan Plateau than burning of fossil fuels. A new study published this week in Nature Communications concludes that “the results of this extensive observation-based source-diagnostic study provide strong isotope-based evidence that biomass-sourced BC [black carbon] plays a quantitatively more important role in TP [Tibetan Plateau] glacier melting than fossil fuel-sourced BC, especially in the inland TP, and presumably arises mainly from domestic sources.” The research was conducted by the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The mineral-rich lands of Tibet are a source of diamonds, gold, uranium and copper, bringing extractive industries to the region. China is the world’s fourth largest lithium producer, most of itcoming from the Chang Tang plain in Western Tibet.The Tibet Express stated, “Glacier-water mining has major environmental costs in terms of biodiversity loss, impairment of some ecosystem services due to insufficient runoff water, and potential depletion or degradation of glacial springs.”

Degrading glaciers threatens a critical Asian water source.

China, India and other countries surrounding the Tibetan Plateau have looked to it to supply growing water needs as populations increase and fresh-water sources suffer from industrial and human-waste pollution. China is also tapping the glaciers of the Himalaya’s to support its bottled-water market, the world largest. At least 30 companies have been granted licenses to tap Tibetan glaciers.

Fossil fuels are by no means blameless in the degradation of the Himalayan glaciers. In the Himalayas, the Chinese study found fossil fuels accounted for 46 percent of black carbon versus 54 percent for biomass burning. Fossil fuel sources ranged as high as 70 percent in the Langtang and Mustang Valleys, largely from sources in Kathmandu and Northern India. The study also saw seasonal variations. Biomass-sourced black carbon decreased during monsoon season, presumably because these particles are more efficiently flushed out by precipitation.

Most of the 5,500 glaciers in the Himalaya-Hindu-Kush region—home of Mount Everest—may vanish by the end of this century. The long history of climbing through the Khumbu Icefall and up the Lhotse Face may become a rock scramble instead.

Source: Eco Watch

Albuquerque boy chasing mountain climbing record

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He’s a little boy with a big dream.

The 9-year-old Albuquerque boy is on a mission to break a world record for being the youngest child to climb the 50 highest peaks in all 50 states. Turner Liotta is already well on his way to breaking the record, one mountain peak at a time.

“I get to hang out with my family and look at nature and I think it’s just fun to climb and I enjoy it,” he said.

The current world record was set by a 12-year-old with his dad six years ago, so Turner has a couple more years to reach his goal.

Turner — with the help of his dad, David — has already conquered nine of them. He will be at 13 by the end of this week, 20 by the end of the summer.

They’re not just climbing to beat a world record. They’re also doing it to raise money for cancer research.

“We are raising money to climb,” David said. “Climbing is logistically heavy and also very expensive to do so we do have a goal set so anything after that goal will go directly to leukemia and lymphoma society.”

It’s something near and dear to David’s heart.

“Eighteen months ago roughly, I was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer, and I had always been an alpine climber before but never the larger summits,” he said. “But this just gave me the opportunity to spend more time with my family.”

David beat cancer, so now he can focus on what really matters: spending time with his son and his family

Mountain climbing more dangerous due to climate change

Climbing in Bergen.
Credit: Image courtesy of Wageningen University and Research Centre
Climate change increases the danger of falling rocks in the Alps and other mountain regions, adding to existing risks for mountain climbers. This is the conclusion of a study by Arnaud Temme of Wageningen University using climbing guides written by mountaineers in the past.

Global warming causes thawing of permafrost and retreat of glaciers and snowfields. More rocks get exposed to the air, reducing their stability and increasing the chance of rolling or falling. After permafrost degrades, freezing and thawing in cracks and crevices start to alternate. Every time water freezes, it expands and lets the cracks grow slowly until the rock breaks. Higher temperatures lead to more instable rocks, increasing the risk of falling.

Old climbing guides

In his research Arnaud Temme of Wageningen University gathered information on safety of climbing routes from so called climbing guides. These guides are written by very experienced mountaineers that describe the climbing routes in a certain area, in this case the Bernese Alps in Switzerland.

In addition to climbing routes, information about risks of falling rocks is mentioned in the guides. For all routes, the type and orientation of the rock and an indication of all risks along the route are noted.

Until know there was little information available on the risks of falling rocks: the available data was on large, rare rock avalanches or for small slopes. However, in the climbing guides, multiple generations of climbers noted the climbing dangers for whole mountain ranges.

The oldest guide out of the dozens of guides used in the research was written 146 years ago. This allowed Temme to record the changes for a longer period and link these with climate change.

Forecast

Climate change does not enhance the risks in the mountains in an equal way, other factors play a role as well. Orientation of the slope is important to calculate the risks. East and west sides of a mountain appear to be more risky due to larger temperature swings. Risk also may be higher in places surrounded by rocks and on faces of granite and amphibolite.

This knowledge allows for forecasts: the properties of a specific area can give an indication of the risks involved. In the future, the collection of area properties can be processed into a map with high risk areas, even in mountain ranges where no research has been conducted. This way, historical knowledge contributes to forecasting of future risks in the mountains.


Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Wageningen University and Research Centre. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Arnaud J.A.M. Temme. Using Climber’s Guidebooks to Assess Rock Fall Patterns Over Large Spatial and Decadal Temporal Scales: An Example from the Swiss Alps. Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography, 2015; 97 (4): 793 DOI: 10.1111/geoa.12116

Mountain environments more vulnerable to climate change than previously reported

New research by University of Montana forest landscape ecology Professor Solomon Dobrowski shows that organisms will face more hardships as they relocate when climate change makes their current homes uninhabitable.

Dobrowski and co-author Sean Parks—a scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Aldo Leopold Research Institute and a UM alumnus—propose a new method to model how fast and where organisms will need to move to keep pace with .

Mountains support roughly a quarter of the globe’s , contain about a third of its protected areas and house nearly half of the world’s . One reason for this biodiversity is that complex topography within mountains creates diverse climates within close proximity to one another.

One way scientists measure how vulnerable a site is to climate change is to estimate how far organisms at that site need to move to maintain a consistent temperature as the Earth warms. The diversity of climates in mountain landscapes means that when temperatures rise, organisms might have to only move a short distance to get to a cooler home.

However, Dobrowksi and Parks show that measuring the0 distance from one area of suitable climate to the next doesn’t account for the resistance organisms will encounter as they traverse areas with very different climates, like a warm valley between two mountain peaks.

“It’s not enough to just measure how far an organism will have to move in order to keep up with climate change,” Dobrowski said. “We also need to look at how much organisms will be exposed to dissimilar climates along the way. Once we do that, we find that even short movements in mountainous areas expose to large climate differences. This may prevent plants and animals from being able to maintain a suitable climate as the earth warms.”

Dobrowski and Parks suggest that areas within mountains are more climatically isolated and thus more vulnerable to climate change than previously reported.

More information: Solomon Z. Dobrowski et al, Climate change velocity underestimates climate change exposure in mountainous regions, Nature Communications (2016). DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12349

Source: Physics.org