How to keep the hands warm in winter-climbing

Image:Gloves for winter activity

Extremities or fingers sometimes get cold during winter climbing. The inevitable requirement in winter-climbing of dexterity with hands does not go well with your wish to keep them warm. Winter climbers somehow must find a solution, which works for you, keeping a good balance in between.

Here I am explaining the principle and theory behind it and the practical tips I have found over the years, which have been either deduced from or backed up with the theory. Have functional hands even in cold, and enjoy glorious winter-climbing!


AlphaGo—Marvels of Artificial Intelligence for go


A stage during the fifth match of Lee Sedol vs AlphaGo

Very recently a shocking news hit the headline: one of the best go players in the world lost by 1-4 against a go-playing software. Here is the related history and what I thought of about it.

History of artificial intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has been in people's imagination for ages. One of the most famous and first AIs in novels is HAL 9000 in Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey series, starting from 2001: A Space Odyssey.





ごく最近、人類最高の囲碁棋士の一人が、囲碁対戦ソフトウェアに5番勝負で 1勝4敗で破れる、という事件がありました。 衝撃的なニュースでした……。 その背景、そして私の思うところをまとめます。


一般に、人間の思考に近いことを計算機(コンピューター)にさせる場合、それを人工知能(AI: Artificial Intelligence)と呼びます。人工知能の概念自体は、古くからありました。たとえば、鉄腕アトムは、人工知能そのものです。あるいは、アーサー・C・クラークの古典SF『2001年宇宙の旅』では、人工知能ハルが登場します。








ここに二つの風船があります。 それぞれを異なる大きさに膨らませます — 小さい方と大きい方とに。 さて、この二つの風船の口をつなげると、何が起こるでしょうか? 考えてみて下さい!

Schematic view of the two-balloon experiment quiz.

これは、比較的有名な問題で、「二つの風船の実験」と呼ばれます。 結果は、実は直感に反するものになります。

本稿では、何が起きて、そしてなぜそうなるかを解説します。 第2章では、古典物理の法則を用いて性質を導き出します。 第3章では、方程式を使うことなく直感的な解説をしてみます。



Two-balloon experiment explained

There are two balloons. You inflate them to different sizes, bigger and smaller. Now, what will happen if you connect the mouths of those two balloons? Guess!

Schematic view of the two-balloon experiment quiz.

This is a relatively famous problem called ``Two-balloon experiment''. The result is actually a little counter-intuitive.

In this article I explain what happens and why, first based on the law of physics in Section 2, and then present more intuitive interpretation without using equations in Section 3.

I have found a few related documents about this problem over the Internet in English (and Japanese), but none of them was satisfactory to me. So, here you go. Enjoy!


Required strength of belay anchors

A rigging example by Nick Bullock [©Will Sim (2014)]

There was a fatal accident in Yosemite — the circumstantial evidence implies the party placed 4 pieces of gear for the belay, then the leader took a factor-2 fall on the belay, all the gear of which ripped, and as a result the entire party was perished. In that particular case, clearly the belay was not strong enough despite 4 pieces of gear…


Force and gravity

Ruler.  (Cropped from the original image by Ejay in . License: CC Share Alike 3.0)

In this world, the unit is often the source of confusion. Climbing is no exception. As an example, here is an extract from Andy Kirkpatrick's solo attempt in Troll Wall, where he had a hard time as vividly described in his own words:

[After hand-drilling a hole to place a bolt:]

I slid the bolt onto the hanger, then pushed it into the hole, but found it was a little too big to fit easily, so tapped it in with my hammer. I felt it trying to resist, but eventually felt it begin to give way. Then, after only a centimetre, it started to bend.


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