Friday, December 28, 2007

Soluble Moral Fiber

All who have met my dog, Simone, have commented on her upstanding character. She has been widely held, by human and canine alike, as the paragon of virtue. But such qualities were apparently illusory. All notions of chastity and goodness have now evaporated because of a recent amorous transgression.

Simone got done.

Or more accurately, Simone got done and did some doing of her own. I'll spare everyone the nasty details. Suffice it to say that she and a young scrub named Drifter engaged in public coitus, much to the surprise and outrage of the human witnesses. Voyeurism, indecency, shame. Drifter, the despoiler, is ostensibly named after the famous boulder problem, High Plains Drifter (I understand there's also a lesser-known movie by the same title). However, we now know that he's actually named for his infamous "wham-bam thank you ma'am" disposition. Feigned proclamations of love, recently remembered early morning appointments, promises to call... you know the routine.

Simone -- love-lorn and abashed -- now spends her days wallowing in self-pity. She needs no external punishment. For my part, I'll travel the lecture circuit to promote abstinence-only education... for dogs. I've been much too liberal in my dog-rearing, and hope others will learn from my errors. As for Drifter, who knows? I suppose he'll tour all of the Southeastern bouldering areas, whittling away at his "tick list." It's a time of reckoning for naive, nubile dogs. Be wary.

Once virtuous, now sullied

For all who regularly visit this blog site (I think my viewership is up to about four people) I apologize for the rather domestic entries of late. Pleasant weather and time-off seem to have become misaligned, so I have fewer mediocre climbing pictures than usual. But with enough foot-stamping and teeth-gnashing, I'm sure Mother Nature will soon comply. Until then, you will know this: MY GARDEN IS FRUITLESS AND MY DOG IS A WHORE!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Awaiting Coronation

These are my broccoli plants. They won't crown. And, while I don't want to anthropomorphize too much, I must say that they don't appear eager to do much of anything. They seem quite content in their current state of torpor, and I guess I'll have to accept that for now. It is winter, after all.

But these cruciferous vegetables, upon becoming productive, will be the key to transcendent glory. They will unlock the doors to tireless physical strength, and boundless mental acumen. I will share my broccoli with you, and you will understand. This broccoli will be, in a word, healthy. Eat up.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Not winning any new climbing partners with this one...

This is an old photo of J. Fish, taken after he had a bit of a spill on Revenge, in Rocky Mountain National Park. Some might claim that he incurred the injury because of poor spotting and pad placement on my part. Others might contend that his refusal to wear steel body armor was an invitation to abrasion. While I tend to side with the latter group, I suppose there's a grain of truth in both arguments. Moreover, falls onto rock are always multi-factoral. And what did you do to prevent it? I guess in a way we're all to blame... Right?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rumbling Bald

Because it's one of the few bouldering areas within day-trip distance of Columbia, I will leave copious amounts of skin and self-respect at Rumbling Bald this season. Can't wait.

Here are a few shots of Brad on some classics in the main area.

Lewis Lunge

Kung Fu Grip

Everyone is eagerly awaiting the RB Guidebook publication, so that we can:

a) Find the purportedly established 800 or so problems that chumps like me know nothing about.

b) Have serious and important grade debates. Representatives from sanctioning bodies everywhere will convene in Japan for the 2008 V8 Summit.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


This past weekend, with my finger finally healed, I got to spend a couple of rapturously happy days at Rocktown. Save for the unnerving, soul-cleaving drive through the Atlanta metro area, this was one of the most satisfying climbing trips I've taken in a long time.

Upon arriving in the parking area on Sunday, I saddled up and started toward the sound of unbridled crushing. This led me, of course, to the Columbia crew, who were stopping through on their way home from Little Rock City. We all went over to the Dugout, where we sessioned mercilessly. Abraded fingers, bruised egos, profanity, ax battles -- it's all part of the Rocktown experience. I managed to eke out Tunnel Vision (v6), with a sphincter-clenching finish. Anthony graciously fed me beta to Splash Back (v6), another classic. I worked out all the moves and decided to save it for the next morning. Having taken so much time away from climbing lately, I feared my stamina would wane, and I didn't want to get bogged down. There is so much to climb at Rocktown.

We moved on to the Orb Area. I tried the Orb (v8), to which I know all the moves, but am unable to grunt my way through when trying it on-link. I gave it a couple of lame attempts and moved on, tail between legs. We moved over to Soap on a Rope, which holds the dubious position of "The Hardest v4 in the Universe." Really, it is. I managed to do it quickly, which was surprising given the amount of times it had thwarted me before. With that I bode the Columbia fellas farewell and went to camp.

I awoke the next morning to biting cold and a Mistral-style wind. Sending conditions! I went to Splash Back after warming up, and climbed it on my first try. I then moved over to Skin Graph (v6), which I had never tried before, and managed to dispatch it fairly quickly. Feeling good, I moved on to the Idiot Roof, where I worked on Inspired by an Idiot (v6), an almost perfectly horizontal, 15-foot roof climb. After a few minutes of sketching out the sequence, I sent. From here I went on to repeat Helicopter (v6), Center Comet (v4ish), and Nose Candy (v6). I have rarely had such a fulfilling day of climbing.

Below are some pictures of the Columbia guys on Sunday. The photos are kind of grainy, and generally poor looking. If you want better pictures, you'll have to subsidize my buying a new camera and formal photography training. Don't be a toothless complainy-pants. Make checks payable to Ryan Brazell.

John on Soap on a Rope

Dan on Double Trouble

Anthony on Splash Back