REI Community

Member Since: Mar 19, 2007
Last Visit: Mar 19, 2007
Contact Mark Niles

Point Rank: # 13,184
Total Points: 25

6 Compliments
How do you get points?
Areas = 15
Routes = 10
Photos = 5
Approach Trails = 4
Page Improvements = 3

Where has Mark Niles been climbing?

Favorite Climbs: none specified
Other Interests: none specified
Personal/Favorite web site: none specified
Likes to climb: none specified
More information:

Photo Albums by Mark Niles    
Rock Climbing Photo: On the coastline of the Burren area of Ireland, th...

Free Soloing
5 photos
Out There
RECENT TICKS - Show on map
Recent Site Contributions View all 5 Contributions
I've been climbing with Michael for fifteen years and watched him solo some hard stuff, but when he told me about the Vampire (5.11a) at Tahquitz, CA, even I had a hitch in my throat. The route isn't physically hard for someone that trains for it, but is mentally intimidating because of the micro-crimps, thin smears, and exposed position on a headwall that can be seen for miles around. However, watching Michael solo through the crux, I truly understood that he solos for himself and no one else. He was <br />completely at ease with the exposure, making jokes and talking with me as if both of us were tied in. Since then, he's gone on to solo this as part of his circuit at Tahquitz. <br />  This is Michael Reardon soloing the second crux pitch of Romantic Warrior (V 5.12) at the Needles, CA. I'm not sure there is much more to say. Tremendous exposure with stout ratings and for the first time in my life, I told Michael that I needed to get in my own eight-foot eggshell, and that was while on the rope!  Michael and I went to the Grit in England last summer and landed in <br />the midst of a monsoon that blasted us every day we were there. However, the rain doesn't soak into the rock, instead it seeps off the top and when the winds kick in, dries almost immediately. Two days of playing in this area, and Michael started testing the sticky qualities of the rock, and before long, started pulling on slopers and getting higher off the ground. The Grit is some of the most stunning rock with enough routes to keep a climber happy for several lifetimes. <br />  The Burren in Ireland is 60 square miles of perfect limestone. Michael told me about this place repeatedly over the years, but it wasn't until I finally visited that I understood why he speaks so highly of the area. It is also a place where the ethics are of the highest standards, with no bolts allowed! Headpointing and natural gear is the style, though soloing and highballing are obviously allowed as Michael did more than 100 solos on this day alone. <br />  On the coastline of the Burren area of Ireland, the limestone is constantly washed by the Atlantic, with the water sometimes breaking over the top of the cliffs a hundred feet up! This cliffband in particular was stunning in its location, and the locals were not only very kind, but extremely talented as seen by routes here that rate up to 5.13, most of which had been done ground up with minimal gear. 

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · Contact · About