Friday, December 11, 2009

Flashback: Photos from Maple Canyon

While I was getting to wrestle with some cobbles in Maple Canyon's Pipe Dream cave I was able to hangout with some very cool Austrians. One of them is a great photographer and great climber named Jakob Schrödel. Jakob took a couple shots of me sending the routes 'Squeal Like a Pig 5.13c' & 'Sprout 5.13a'. Enjoy and I will post more news from the Red River Success learning how to rest and better yet stick to the wall on 'Squeal like a Pig'
The steepnessGorge soon. Entering the cave angle on 'Sprout'

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In the RED but seeing blue

The beautiful Drive-By amphitheater and a crazy project going through the roof in the right is reportedly the equivalent of 4 Esperanza's in a row. 4xV14=WOWA
Inequity 5.12b

I am still in the Red River Gorge, KY trying to work with the weather and get as much climbing in as possible. I am starting to get more comfortable on the rock here and find the sports climbing to be quite addictive. I was able to climb a really cool and powerful route called 'Shiva 5.13b' on my third try. The Shiva route is the motivation for this post title because Shiva is the deity of destruction and thus new beginnings in classic Hindu scripture and it is said that when people are under the influence of this spiritual figure their world is perceived through the color blue.
As long as the weather is somewhat cooperative than my dear friend Jason Grubbs and I will keep up our work here and when season eventually ends the migration to the boulders around Chattanooga will ensue.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Psssssssyched, JeaYeah Red River Gorge and the end of Joes

Ander giving 'Kaleidoscope 5.13c' a first try
Kaleidoscope 5.13c
Ander Flashing 5.12
More 5.12 flashing
Yet more 5.12 flashing

I now know why people(ie Sports Climbers) use terms of extreme excitement such as the ones used in the title. It's because sport climbing is so much FUN and paces like the RED make it even better. When you set off to climb you get to climb so so so so much and what's the only thing better than climbing? More CLIMBING!!!!
The RED offers great stone at a ridiculous quantity on every angle. I have been enjoying the battle to try and get 'fitness', as no single moves seems to stop me. It is also interesting to climb here because my personal climbing style revolves around my love of movement and I usually opt for deliberate and static climbing but this place requires the exact opposite. 'Run & Gun' seems to be the term that embodies the experience here, I feel always in a state of 'grab & go' which is a blast to try and adopt new climbing styles and just keeps adding to the rolodex of climbing experiences.
I have just been on the mission of onsighting or flashing as many 5.12's as possible and hopefully I can embrace a phase two soon, in which I can try some more involved harder lines. But either way it is just so much fun.
My five days in Joes Valley prior to my long drive to Kentucky was also a blast. It was a very introspective climbing experience but also spent with great friends. I was able to climb great boulder such as 'God Send V10' in a quick session, 'Playmate of the Year V9', 'Raiden V8', 'Taking the Stairs V8' 'Water Painting V7'.
More to come as I am just liking this sandstone more and more...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Contemplation, Joes Valley & the release of stress

The contemplative life seems to be the constant in my life and delivers me to interact with both reality and the absurd alike. As such taking an active agency in the world that I feel and experience is an important practice.
The last week(+) has had a great deal of stress and interesting situations. My dear friend Rocco and his great and now wife Mary had there wedding. This event came with many sides to it. It was my first wedding in a traditional sense and I was glad to have this first with a couple that actually meant something to me and thus avoided the 'going through the motions' vibe that an experience like this can conjure up.
By spending time in the city of SLC and away from the gypsy lifestyle different and intriguing experiences came about, which incited an interesting dimension to my own understanding of society and my interaction with the other beings that inhabit it. As such a few constants were understood. That being said I believe that the only constant is motion. This being said all we are in charge of is the interaction that we all personally have with our world and the 'other' is of concern but not control.
This is all to say that I have found myself in the sandy throws of central Utah and experience both boulders and myself in constant motion again and this appears to be where I am supposed to be, for now that is.

(+)the day after the wedding my friend and great photographer Craig Copelin and I got a tip on some new quartzite in central UT and we pursued and both established some nice new problems. Here are a few of Craig's iPhone pictures.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Photo Dump: Cont'd

The pups and subsequent van ride to Joe's Valley for Rocco's bachelor party
Workin' a project

Photo Dump: Last Frontier and the Lower 48

The following are pictures of the Alaska Range which houses some of the mos beautiful mountains including the giant, Denali.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Alaska & the Power of Mustaches(oh yeah and PUPPIES)

The very dangerous Ruckus in Joe's Valley
An Amazing new v3 called 'Cattle Guard'
Rocco and Asha reinacting the Lion King
Joes Vizzle!!!
Rocco on his FA of the 'Crackin v5'
Avoidance is perhaps one of the more perplexing yet interesting actions of the conscious rational human mind. We are intelligent enough to know that we can put off the inevitable but never release ourselves from the reality of our circumstantial lives. That being said in the last month plus I have been back home in Alaska for the first time in 2 whole years. There is more to the story than we need to go into now but the trip was a good one, full of work and the absorption the beauty that Alaska holds for me and the obvious beauty that exists in everybody's eyes.
I am now back in what Alaskans call the 'outside' which means the lower 48 states. I flew into Salt Lake City and have been getting into climbing shape again while spending good time with the SLC crew. The HQ for this little chapter is my good friend Rocco's house. Rocco and other good friend Mary are getting married and I have delayed my sport-climbing trip to the Red River Gorge a couple days in order to help them with pre-wedding goings-ons, plus to take part in the festivities in which climbers from both coasts will be converging for. I am also lucky enough to have the stars align so that my college roommates and bestest of buddies from Sweet Grass Productions premier their new ski film on Friday at Brewvies here in SLC.
As for the climbing I have been very very psyched but it was a little rough in the first day or so as I went Little Cottonwood Canyon(LCC) in the heat and only managed some moderate problems like 'Baldy v6'. I have total respect for the granite technical climbing and really love the movement that it creates.
Then it was off to Joe's Valley, a place I really love visiting but this trip was a quick 26 hours allowing for a couple short sessions. All the problems had to be done in a session and very quickly so we could keep seeing all the great new development, largely contributed by Rocco.
I climbed well but still felt a little shaky on my movements. I was able to ascend 'River Runs Through It v9', 'Blue Lambo v7ish', 'Cloak & the Dagger V6' a first ascent of 'In Vain v6' and a very exhausted 'Bow to the East v9'. It was a whirlwind kind of trip and an absolute blast to be rock-climbing again.
Last but not least the HQ has to new members, Ruckus & Asha, bothe six week old puppies. They have already been boulder hoping in Joe's and although they can/are a handful they're a wonderful addition to the crew.
Here are some pictures and I will post more very soon. All photos by friend Paul Nadler.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Learnin' to Crawl: Episode V: Squeal Like a Pig

Yesterday I was able to spend yet another great day at the Pipe Dream Cave in Maple Canyon. I climbed a really cool route called 'Squeal Like a Pig 5.13c'. I am very psyched about this and all of the other great routes I have been able to climb. I am finding Sport Climbing to be a great and totally different challenge than the boulders and I am brimming with psyche to be discovering a great new facet to the sport I love so much. Psyched!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A quick hit to Joes Valley

My Girl-Friend Diesel. And she even dresses like me
'Worm Turns'

Right after sending 'Sprout 5.13?' I rallied over the mountains the seperate Maple Canyon from Joes Valley, two of Utah's climbing meccas, to meet up with friends Rocco, Mary, and Brandon. I was pretty tired and the grueling drive through the dark exhausted me further. In the morning we headed out and warmed up on a great block on the river and climbed an interesting problem called 'Kelly's Arete V5'. My sport climbing buddy Brent rolled up and we went to a great problem that has hiding in plain sight called 'Bring the Heatwohl V8' of the Eden sector. I climbed this block on my second try and was pleased because I was feeling tired. Rocco toured us around some other great blocks that he has been finding and establishing.
I was able to try 'Worm Turns V11' and came pretty close despite the extreme summer heat which was exciting. Although it was an exhausting day from the beginning it was a pleasure to pebble wrestle again.

Learnin' to Crawl: Episode IV-Cobble Tugging

Portrait of Wal-MArt Parking Lot Life
A neato bug that was waiting for me when I giot back from the Pipe Dream
Since leaving SLC and before going back home in Alaska I have been exploring some more sport-climbing, this time in Maple Canyon, UT. It has a completely unique style due to the conglomerate nature of the rock. After two weeks in in SLC with no route climbing I have found that endurance can escape you quite quickly, but it return a little faster the second time.
After two days of retrieving my newly found endurance I was able to send 'Super Spunk 5.13a' and 'Sprout 5.13a/b?' quite quickly. I am having a blast with sport climbing. More to come.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Castle Rock'ed Cont'd

The universal expression of 'its too darn hot'
One of the many cool crimp lines on the Green Wall
Lockin' it off through the pain
So Idaho
The teams reaction to the camping fee
Fee break down
The new Team Shoe in action
The namesake 'Out of Africa V10' hold

Castle Rock'ed: A series of mini Epics

Rocco tryin' 'Jared Roof V11' which is an absolutely amazing problem of sculpted edges on a roof
More Jared's Roof
'Potato Famous'- 'nuff said
The G(ranite) Rydaz with dice and all!!
Diesel helping us pack up
On Wed my good friend Rocco and I went on a mission to Castle Rock, Idaho. The objective was to seek cooler temps than the 90+Degrees of Salt Lake City and enjoy some outdoor climbing. We brought Rocco's dog Diesel for some much needed outdoors action, to be honest I think Rocco and I needed the outdoors time just as much the pooch.
The plan was to re-con and climb a little during the day and then return for a night session. Upon our night arrival back in the famed Taco Cave, home of 'War Path V-Hard', the lighter was not in the lantern case. This was the arrival of Epic #1. After pondering as to whether climbing was even possible in the true darkness, we decided not and returned to the car to find a place to rest and return as the sun rose. Arrive Epic #2. The camping situation in Castle Rock is a pain to put it mildly. The only options are a twenty minute drive away in the City of Rocks and that camping run $21.20 a night!!!!What!!!! There is only one more option for camping, it is a not so signed area with no amenities for still $10 a night.
Arrive Epic #3. Upon waking in the morning we had realized that the stove regulator was not packed, which meant none of our food was available for eating...sigh. After a breakfast of dry oatmeal packets, some brownies that were in Rocco's truck and taco shells we were off to try some more rock scaling.
All in all we both topped out a few boulders and lost a tone of skin but it was a very high quality area. We just sampled the two classic boulders Taco Cave and Green Wall/Bag Piper Cave but I was very excited as the blend of Hueco-esque and Bishop-like climbing was great.