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Archive for July 16th, 2014

The Best Rock Climbing Spots in North America

Posted on: July 16th, 2014 by Quik Shade

Best Rock Climbing Spots – North America 

Rock climbing is a fun and adventurous sport that does more than just keep you fit; it tests strength, resolve, endurance, and courage. Although climbing indoors can keep you fit and train you for getting outdoors, the best experiences are climbing some of the best rock formations in North America.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite is a great place for rock climbing. It has two famous locations, El Capitan and Half Dome. El Capitan is a 3,000-foot vertical rock formation known colloquially as El Cap. Located in Yosemite National Park, people once considered scaling it impossible. However, now big-wall enthusiasts enjoy climbing one of the two main faces, either the Southwest or Southeast. There are more than a dozen routes one can take, the most famous being the Nose. Half Dome is the most recognized climbing site in Yosemite and is more than 4,737 feet high. It features over a dozen rock climbing routes, in addition to the trail and cable route erected in 1919 for those not looking to scale the face.

Rocky Mountain National Park

The Rocky Mountains offer numerous climbs within their many peaks. The best peak is Longs Peak, which offers routes for a variety of skill levels. Some of the most popular routes on Longs Peak are the East Face, Keyhole Route, and the Diamond. During the winter season, special climbing equipment is necessary due to ice and snow. Another great area to climb on the Rockies is the Flatirons in Boulder, Colorado. It also has routes for all skill levels, especially fro beginners.

Moab, Utah

Many people enjoy climbing the rocks and sandstone towers in Moab, especially those who enjoy desert climbing. There are a variety of climbs suitable for all skill level from beginners to masters.

Smith Rock, Oregon

Smith Rock in Oregon offers more than a thousand routes. Many of the best climbers come to Smith Rock for the challenging climbs, and many consider it the birthplace of the modern sport.

Devil’s Tower, Wyoming

Devil’s Tower offers sheer rock walls with vertical cracks and columns for climbing routes for every skill level, from easy to some of the hardest in the world. There are over 150 different established routes, ranging from 500 to 600 feet.

Denali National Park, Alaska

The highest mountain in North America is Mount McKinley, which is known as Mount Denali to climbers and locals. The alpine conditions can be hazardous, so it is best for those with experience. Only about half of those climbing the West Buttress route actually make it to the summit.

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park in Maine offers solid granite rock formations perfect for climbing. The best spots are the Otter Cliffs, which are located on the southeastern side of the Mount Desert Island. These cliffs rise 60 feet out of the water. Climbers also enjoy the Precipice, which offers easy routes fro beginners.

Zion National Park

Zion National Park in Utah, made up of Zion Canyon and Kolob Canyons, feature big wall challenges best for those with experience. The best climb is most likely Moonlight Buttress, although climbers also enjoy Angels Landing’s Prodigal Sun.

Hueco Tanks State Park, Texas

Hueco Tanks State Park, near El Paso in Texas, offers climbers an incredible bouldering site. It does have limited access in order to preserve the formations, so most climbers have to join a guided group. North Mountain is available for unguided climbs.

This list is by no means definitive. North America offers numerous places to enjoy rock climbing, whether you are a beginner or a master. Some locations may just feature one main formation, while others have enough trails that you could spend a lifetime trying them all. 

photo credit: Markus_76

10 Greatest World Cup Hosts Of All Time

Posted on: July 16th, 2014 by Quik Shade

 FIFA World Cup 2014

The 2014 World Cup has ended, with the world congratulating Germany on its victory, the first European nation to win a World Cup title in the Americas. With World Cup fever beginning to abate and fans already anticipating the next cup in Russia in 2018, it is time to rank the 10 greatest World Cup hosts since its official beginning in 1930.

South Africa 2010

The 2010 World Cup took place in South Africa, making it the first time that the event took place on African soil. That alone makes the South Africa games memorable, but the culture and beautiful backdrops to the game intensified the experience for those who enjoyed the experience in person and on television. The games also introduced the world to the Vuvuzela, to much controversy.

USA 1994

In 1994, the United States played host to the World Cup, even though there was not a large population of soccer fans in the country. However, an average attendance of 69,000 set a new record, with a total attendance of 3.6 million that remains the highest. The games were played in nine cities across the country, showcasing soccer to Americans around the country. The tournament helped to bring professional football to America, and in 1996 Major League Soccer was established.

Korea and Japan 2002

In 2002, the World Cup made its way to Asia for the first time. Additionally, these games produced another first: tow countries hosting the event together. The event was held in venues that had scintillating perspectives, especially in Japan. The attendance was low, but it still ranks as a success for opening up the event into Asia, and for showing how two countries can successfully share hosting duties.

France 1998

In 1998, the World Cup expanded to featuring 32 national squads for the first time. Additionally, Japan and South Africa qualified for the first time, leading the way to their hosting the cup in the future. France not only hosted the games, they also took home the trophy.

England 1966

England last hosted the games in 1966, with the third most attended game with over 51,000 fans for each match. These games also are the last time England won the trophy. The games took place in many of the famous stadia around England still in use today.

Switzerland 1954

The 1954 games in Switzerland had the highest number of goals scored, with an average of 5.38 per game. For a game known for minimal scored games, these games must have been exciting for fans to experience.

Chile 1962

When the games returned to South America in 1962, it was to the victor Chile, who won hosting duties over Argentina and Germany. In 1960, a devastating earthquake hit Chile, making FIFA consider changing the event location. However, Chile’s FA president appealed saying, “We have nothing, that is why we must have the World Cup.” FIFA proceeded as planned, and the games successfully took place on two impressive stadia.

Germany 2006

In 2006, Germany hosted the games in twelve of its UEFA five-star rating stadia that had at least 40,000 seats for the matches. Visitors and natives enjoyed themselves during the games. The fans’ areas created an atmosphere for colorful congregations, providing a fun atmosphere to the games.

Italy 1934

In 1934, Benito Mussolini saw the potential of using such an international event for propaganda and hosted the World Cup with relish. Italy also brought home the trophy.

Brazil 2014

There are mixed reviews about the success of the 2014 World Cup games, but it deserves a place on this list for its news-worthy events, including the record-breaking, upsetting defeat of the host country in the semi-finals, the infamous biting incident, and more. About 3.5 million people attended the event, with an average 53,000 per match.

photo credit: Claudio Lara