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John Gill invented the modern sport of bouldering. His 1961 ropeless ascent of the north face of the Thimble in the Needles of South Dakota, not rehearsed with a toprope, was the first 5.12c in the world (excluding some much harder short boulder problems Gill had done in the Tetons a few years earlier), at least a decade before the first "official" 5.12. (The picture is John Sherman during his 1991 ascent. Not only did Gill not use a crash pad, which wouldn't matter much jumping from 25 feet, but the wooden railings,now removed, then extended almost to either side of Sherman's pad, adding a bit more excitement to the experience.) If it was done as a first ascent now, it would have five protection bolts, placed on rappel, after toproping the route until it was wired. It's also worth noting that the shoes Gill climbed in had a coefficient of friction closer to that of Teflon than to that of modern climbing shoes. Climbers used to C4 would find that wearing Zillertals or Kronhofers would raise the grade considerably. We also have him to thank for introducing the use of gymnastic chalk to climbing. Gill is still climbing and still comtemplating climbing and life. Visit his site and learn.

The original "guru" of fitness, Jack LaLanne, continues to innovate into the new Millennium. Now in his 90s, he is a role model for us all.

If you are seriously into strength, & not just "bodybuilding", Milo is the magazine for you. Its parent company IronMind also sells a variety of aids to heavy training.

Want to know how your bench press compares with the best? Or are you looking for a schedule of upcoming competitions? Check out

If your local news doesn't bring you the latest sumo results, the best place to find them is Nihon Sumo Kyokai Official Grand Sumo Home Page. It was completely remodeled in October 2013 and it won't be clear until the upcoming Aki Basho whether or not it's an improvement. At first sight, it appears to be slicker but harder to navigate than the old site. Updates coming soon.

Need more flexibility? Check out Brad Appleton's Stretching & Flexibility: Everything you never wanted to know. The only reference that's even close is Tom Kurz's book Stretching Scientifically: a guide to flexibility training, available from his website,, which has other useful stuff, some of it free. This book is one of Appleton's primary references.

Climber/entrepeneur John Middendorf's site. Much useful info, good writing, & good links.

Inventor of Friends®, sailor, hangglider, long distance hiker, & a man who would never engage in self-promotion ;) - Ray Jardine. But as they say, it's not bragging if it's true.

No rocks or climbing gyms nearby . . . what to do? Try looking at the local architecture. For an introduction to the ancient art of buildering, check out Janet Wells' article on Santa Rosa buildering.

If you want to find out more about the purest form of climbing, The Bouldering Domain should help.

The place to go to resole your climbing shoes or hiking boots and to find information about climbing in the high desert east of Yosemite is The Rubber Room, formerly Wilson's Eastside Sports, formerly Wheeler and Wilson's, in business for over twenty years.

Richard Sorin was the first person to close one of Warren Tetting's Super Heavy grippers (now, through Randy Strossen's marketing efforts, known as the IronMind #3 gripper, though this seems to be easier to close than Tetting's version). His web site lists the heavy-duty equipment he sells. Be sure to check out his training tips.


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