There’s only one kitteh today, but it’s an agile one:
The photo and commentary come from Robert L. Peters:
Since I quite like both cats and climbing, re-posting this image (original source unknown) was a natural… as is this bouldering kitty. Note the fine technique—moving from a layback along the long vertical arête… to an under-cling… to delicate face moves. As with most climbing, however, the answer to the question “why” remains unclear…
“The ibex of Northern Italy don’t need to worry about equipment malfunctions, difficult-to-obtain life insurance, or their peers calling them foolhardy. They just do what they do, without ropes or inhibitions…” (from a link in today’s Alpine Club of Canada e-letter).
I’ve long marveled at the genetically hard-wired abilities of sheep and goats when it comes to rock climbing (and I’ve posted on this before, e.g. hereand here). Don’t underestimate the sure-footedness, balance, and sheer gumption of the mystical Ibex either (stambecco in Italian, Steinbock in German). These pictures speak for themselves (yes, the tiny specs in the lower photo are what you think)…
According to Rural Ramblings, which has additional photos, these animals are browsing on moss and lichen on the face of the Cingino dam in Italy, and licking salt off the wall:
The Alpine Ibex was long regarded as a mystical animal and almost all of body parts were sought after as ingredients for magical potions and to cure various illnesses. As a result, they were almost extinct because of very extensive hunting. However, in the 1850s King Emmanuel II of Italy created a game preserve in the Italian Alps for the Ibex. Today, about 4,000 Alpine Ibex roam the area of the king’s preserve, now the Gran Paradiso National Park.
n.b. to skeptics: These pictures are not Photoshopped. Here’s a movie of the ibexes browsing on the dam:
And thanks to Billy, who in the comments below added this amazing video of rock-climbing baboons: