Ted Ligety’s training tips
Posted by sibylle in utah, skiing, Europe (Saturday February 16, 2013 at 8:38 am)

Now that Ted’s won Three gold medals in the 2013 Ski world championships, I’m certainly interested in his summer training program.

Here’s his training, at Park City Utah:

Squat jumps -Ted jumps, with weighted squat bar - I struggle in static squats!

Box jumps - jump onto a box

Glute side band walks   - put an exercise band around your legs, and walk sideways. This is  also a stabilizer exercise.

2 sets of 20 yards

Split squats  - get both strength and a stretch with this exercise

4 sets of 10 reps, with or without weights

Glute- hamstring raises - helps prevent ACL injuries by strengthening the hamstrings. Or do Swiss Ball hamstring curls.

3 sets of five

Back extension holds- for endurance of the back muscles

Overhead medicine ball throws

So, if you’re  serious about skiing better this winter or next, try some of these exercises!

Ligety wins third gold medal
Posted by sibylle in skiing, Europe (Friday February 15, 2013 at 8:25 pm)

Ted Ligety won the GS by a huge margin - a 1.31 second lead in the first run - in a race more usually won by tenths, or even hundredths, of a second.

Ligety, who skied a near-perfect run,  is the first man in 45 years to win three golds in a world championships  since Killy in 1968.

His competitors were impressed with his form and technique - so far, he’s been close to unbeatable in his best event, the giant slalom (GS).
ligety GS.jpg

Ligety’s amazing form, that allowed him to win 3 golds

file photo from mail.com

Ligety wins World Championship golds
Posted by sibylle in skiing, Europe (Monday February 11, 2013 at 3:46 pm)

Ted Ligety has already won two gold medals in the skiing world championships - and that’s before competing in his best event, the Giant Slalom.

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Ted Ligety - file photo

First he won the SuperG in Schladming, Austria, - his first win in any super-G.  France’s De Tessieres  placed second, and Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, who won three of the four World Cup super-Gs this season, was in third place.

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Ligety in super-G

Next, he won the super combined - an event in which the racer’s times in the downhill and a slalom race (two widely disparate events) are added. Croatia’s  Kostelic  finished second, 1.15 seconds behind, and Austrian Baumann placed third.

Ligety, who won four of the five World Cup races in Giant Slalom s this season, is the  favorite for a third gold medal in Friday’s GS.

Posted by sibylle in skiing, Colorado (Saturday December 1, 2012 at 9:06 pm)

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View of the Beaver Creek finish area

We sat in the first row of bleachers, which gave us a good view of the bottom section of the race course, and of the large-screen video of the races.

The first racer,  Stephan Keppler, crashed and slid  a long distance into the B-net - not the most auspicious  start.

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Keppler’s crash on the screen

Keppler limped away from his crash. The next few racers completed the course, with last year’s overall WC champion, Marcel Hirscher, skiing conservatively after seeing Keppler’s crash.

Then, skiing 10th, Max Franz crashed — and was knocked unconscious, and brought down by ski patrol.

Depsite the two wipeouts, Matteo Marsaglia, skiing 12th, only two runs after Franz’s crash, went all out. He said that “I tried to push  … I had nothing to lose.”

Hirscher, reigning World champion,  whose best event is the GS (to come Sunday) did not ski as aggressively- risking all– and came in over 2 seconds behind Marsaglia.

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close-up of crash - does not look fun

Video of the crash on YouTube - he’s trying to slow down, after he falls, while sliding down the course.
One of my colleagues at Beaver Creek, a race coach, commented that 17 racers out is almost 25% of the field and indicates that something might have been wrong. 

I’m curious to hear if they conclude that there was a problem with the course. Other conditions were ideal –  blue sky, sunshine, good visibility, good surface.

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2012/12/01/4300206/marsaglia-of-italy-captures-1st.html#storylink=cpy
Ligety wins season’s 1st GS race by a huge margin
Posted by sibylle in Spain (Sunday October 28, 2012 at 3:15 pm)

Ligety.jpg

Ted Ligety blows away competition in season’s 1st GS race
Ted Ligety won the 2012/13  first Giant Slalom World Cup race in Soelden. Manfred Moelgg and Marcel Hirscher came 2nd and 3rd. Ligety’s time of 2:36.02, beat  Moelgg by 2.75 seconds and local Hirscher by 3.12 seconds.

“I didn’t think this was possible,” Ligety said. This is an unbelievable gap, a once-in-a-career margin.”

“That’s probably a once in a career achievement,”  said Ligety,  surprised about his outstanding performance on his new skis.

The time difference between the winner and the runner-up in a World Cup GS has only been bigger six times previousl —  in the 1970s.

Squamish- Right Wing, Slhany (the Squaw)
Posted by sibylle in Canada and PNW (Monday September 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm)

RW wall 1.jpg

Right Wing ascends the obvious dihedral in the middle;

the right-hand, lower, corner is Great Game

Photos by Andy Cairns

When we climbed Right Wing this August, it was the most strenuous and exhausting climb I’d done at Squamish.

RW p1.jpg

Pitch 1 finger / hand crack

The climb starts with an easy one (or two) pitch finger and hand crack, a climb of its own called ‘Eagles Domain’. Ironically, I couldn’t find the bolted belay at the top of this pitch - I looked right, I climbed up further, and then back down, looking for it, and finally belayed on a spacious ledge. After Andy climbed halfway up, I spied the anchors over to the left.

RW p2.jpg

Pitch 2, a fingery 10c sport pitch -

Coming off a good foothold, I couldn’t reach the best finger hold. I’m not that short - 5′7″,  so a short leader without fingers of steel may struggle here.  this pitch ended on a comfortable ledge — our last good rest for a while!

R wing p4.jpg

P3 - the long ‘Filibuster’ pitch

From this ledge, we embarked on the endless layback — move after move of pulling on burning arms, with hands about to go numb.

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A climber on the first half of the ‘Filibuster’ pitch - pitch 3

Pitch 3 has  now been divided into two pitches, both very strenuous and demanding. I could not have done the two as one long pitch — not enough endurance.

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Looking up at pitch 4 toward Godforsaken Land

When I thought I couldn’t go any further, the belay appeared — a  (very slippery) wooden plank, hanging from bolts like a swing.

Our next pitch - #4 - was no relief — but more laybacking,  with some chimney moves I thought I’d fall out of, as the crack leans so much.

RW : GFL 6.jpg

P5 - the last pitch of Godforsaken land

We opted to finish on the final pitch of Godforsaken land -   at 10c, a little less strenuous than the 10d pitch on Right Wing  - and, less overhanging. Still, it was strenuous. But it’s got a really cool move - you’re stemming between the corner and an arete, and then grab a small finger hold, let go of the corner, and lean right to move onto the arete. After that, it just remains pumpy.

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Last pitch - a steep hand traverse

I struggled on that last hand traverse — not much left in the fingers. I’ve concluded that I need to go sport climbing to improve my finger strength. so many of the Squamish climbs feature long, steep laybacks — and strong sport climbers can layback pretty well.  there’s not as many pure crack climbs here as in Yosemite, or the Sierra; the Squamish cracks tend more toward seams and layback.

Rock On, North Gully, Squamish
Posted by sibylle in Canada and PNW (Tuesday August 28, 2012 at 4:51 pm)

Rock On p4.jpg

Rock On,  pitch 4

photo by Andy Cairns

Pitch 4  requires more technique and also a bit more pulling than the other 4 pitches of Rock On.

Above, I’ve passed the difficult first few layback moves –  a fingertip layback in small, widely-spaced  tiny pockets spaced at intervals that felt entirely too long.

After those first few fingertip layback moves, the corner steps back to merely steep, or vertical, instead of overhanging, which permitted me to stem to the side on decent footholds, taking some weight off my fingers.

This pitch, in my opinion, is one reason Rock On merits the “Top 100″ climbs designation.  It’s exciting, in a beautiful corner, and the belayer gets to watch form a spacious ledge.

Furthermore, you can choose to rappel the entire climb and hike back down the North Gully, should you not wish to continue to the summit via Squamish Buttress or the Ultimate Everything.

Tenaya Peak, Tuolumne Meadow, Yosemite
Posted by sibylle in Yosemite, California (Monday August 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm)

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Our “lunch” stop on Tenaya Peak

This past July Hal and I romped up Tenaya Peak. I hadn’t climbed for many months,  and felt too out of shape to climb any truly strenuous or difficult routes; so climbing the  long, easy  ridge of Tenaya Peak seemed like a good way to get in shape.

We hiked around Tenaya Lake to  the stream, which we crossed on  alog near the lake.  Head toward the Peak until you reach the trail, and turn left (east).  Follow the hiker’s trail until you see a big cairn, and then turn right, uphill, toward the ridge of Tenaya Peak.

The trail weaves back and forth through the manzanita shrubs toward the peak, staying near the right edge  of the bushes. When the slabs looked reasonable ( this will vary according to personal reference), traverse right and continue up slabs.

If you’re comfortable on friction, the slabs are easier and quicker than slogging through the shrubbery. We continued up slabs to the high spot in the photo, above  - a very large, flattish slab of rock that provides a cozy lunch ‘table’.

After eating a quick snack here, we roped up, and belayed the next (crux) pitch. here one has various option - head up the break between arches, or head up a layback and crack  to the left of this break. If there are several climbers on the route, the left-hand version, perhaps technically moe difficult, provides a nice way to avoid a traffic jam.

From here, I traversed far left, and then various options allow one to reach the summit. We belayed only for these last three pitches, the second of which comprises an easy 5th class traverse.

Tenaya - Summit.jpg

View towards Mathes Crest from Tenaya Peak

Area 44, Squamish
Posted by sibylle in Canada and PNW (Sunday August 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm)

A 44.jpg

The climb, “Flight Deck”, at Area 44

Photo by Andy Cairns
We recently visited Area 44 to climb several of the newly cleaned and  bolted sport routes found here. We’d hoped that it would be quiet on a weekend, and instead were surprised to find many large groups of UBC students with ropes rigged on all the easier routes.

We opted to climb the only route in sight without a rope (or several climbers) on it  -  “Flight Deck”, rated 5.10b.

After struggling on the steeper parts of our “warm-up”, we went on to the easier climbs — Nuts and Bolts (5.6), Nuts and Raisins (5.7), and I’m Not Against It (5.8),  to 5.10b (Monkey Barrel). Both of us found Nuts and Raisins (5.7) to be easier than Nuts and Bolts (5.6). Nuts and Bolts is very easy  for most of the route, but has one technical move that’s quite thin, and a beginner may struggle on this move.
Next , we hiked  up around the corner to the Top 100 Rocky Horror (5.10 a). This climb is truly fun — it combines face climbing with jams, underclings, laybacks, stemming, and  a large variety of movement to keep every foot up interesting. It’s well worth the steep, scree-filled hike in (or out).

area 44.jpg

Merci Me, Squamish Chief
Posted by sibylle in Canada and PNW (Friday August 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm)

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The run-out pitch 1 of Merci Me

photos by Andy Cairns
In the heat spell last week, we opted to climb in the shade, which, in the morning, includes most of Squamish Chief.

Andy suggested Merci Me, one of the approaches to the epic Grand Wall,  which I quickly agreed sounded good.

Pitch 1 of Merci Me is rated 5.7 in one of the guidebooks, with the first bolt 30 feet above the belay ledge. The new Squamish Select guide rates it 5.8, which is more how it felt to this visitor, climbing the pitch on sight.

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Belay at top of pitch 1

The climb follows a prominent dike for two pitches, and diagonals left to end below a large roof. The second pitch of Merci Me also starts the approach to the infamous Grand Wall — about half-way up the pitch, instead of follwing the dike left, instead, head up and then right to the small roof below the Split Pillar.

merci p2.jpg

Pitch 2 of Merci Me

While I’ve led runout friction pitches on the Glacier Point Apron, and in Tuolumne, this presents a different type of climb. It’s much steeper, and not smearing on friction, but face climbing on flakes and edges formed by the dike.

Equipment is simple:

3 bolts on pitch one

4 bolts on pitch 2.

Not much gear to carry for this climb!

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