Sunday, December 21, 2008

My despair knows many names...

And today it hails as "Kansas." The mind-numbing traverse across this government-subsidized expanse of land is not fun. Quite the antithesis of fun, actually. If only the scenery was as sweet as the high-fructose corn syrup that has its provenance in the petrochemical laden soils here. If only the views were as rich as the feedlot beef that are tenderly fattened on the delectable edibles (read: raw materials) reaped from these monocultural acres. Then Kansas would be a sight to behold -- a veritable paradise. Instead, it's a big, gray eye-sore, through which I reluctantly trudge. In fact, the only two factors allowing me to persevere, rather than abort my mission, are: 1) I know that great Southern sandstone and motivated partners lie on the other side, and 2) I have been assured by knowledgeable Kansans (via billboard) that abortion will lead to my inexorable damnation. So I choose life instead.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Joe's Valley

Last week, I spent four days climbing in Joe's Valley, where I was reminded -- as if I could ever forget -- how much I like sandstone. I was also reminded that static climbing has its limitations, and if I'm ever to be a more versatile boulderer, I must overcome my aversion to dynamic movement. Indeed, nearly every classic line that I attempted in Joe's involves a difficult throw or deadpoint. This style of climbing is not within my skill-set, but I wish it was. So I'll be heading back to Joe's in two weeks, with hopes of learning a thing or two about the biomechanics of huck (or, failing that, I'll find out where all the static, lock-off problems reside).  

Justin warming up on the Angler.

Big Joe

They Call Him Jordan. They call me a goddamn chump who couldn't jump if his life depended on it. And one day it might. Who knows?

Simone is an honest dog, who doesn't feign motivation when tired. Instead, she rests her ragged paws and worn muscles, and laughs at the cavalier conceits of her human companions who refuse to do the same.

Justin executing "the move" on Maxipad.

Team Effort

See? Team Effort.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Last Friday, Justin and I found ourselves at Mt. Evans again, on what was so far the chilliest morning of the season.  On previous trips, Justin was charitable enough to allow me to climb on Bierstadt early in the day, with favorable conditions.  By the time we would walk over to his project, Seurat, it would be baking in the sun, slick as marble. This day, however, we headed straight for the merciless crack, with the sun still sequestered to nether regions of the horizon.  After just a few attempts, Justin climbed Seurat, executing with style and grace (and animated facial expressions, as illustrated below). Well done, sir. Well done.

Justin explores the interface between anguish and euphoria on Seurat.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


SENT!!! YES!!!

*All-caps and exclamation points are useful in conveying the full thrust of my excitement, wouldn't you say? Oh, and I nearly forget:  SO PSYCHED!!! 

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mt. Evans

Justin Fish warming up on the Ladder.  This climb is arguably one of the finest warmups on the planet, depending on your perspective, of course.  A lot of my projects make good warmups for the tough kids.

Justin warming his head up on Timeline. 

Far too many photos of Bierstadt, a problem I've yet to complete.  After a few days of work on it, I've managed to link it from the bottom to the top, where I've fallen off several times now. This Monday will be the day of reckoning (or, failing a send, Wednesday). My skin is conditioned, my muscle memory is intact, and I am so psyched I can barely sit still to type this. The celebratory beverage sits chilling in the refrigerator. Good thing I don't believe in "jinxes."

Justin brings his newly honed trad skills to bear on Seurat.  Just wait until he brings his refreshed bouldering skills to bear on trad climbing.  CRUSH!!! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Great Picture Purge (Or: Here's What I've Been Up To, Sort Of)

Over the past couple of months, the energy that I once devoted to rock climbing (and occasionally posting pictures and videos thereof) has been directed elsewhere, and spread pretty thin.  The hiatus has been good for me in many ways, but I'm now ready to renew my obsession.  And just in time:  The alpine areas have melted, and are ready to be flailed upon by yours truly.  By the time I get my mojo back (to the extent that I ever had it), the temps should be crisp and the friction extraordinary.  Hopefully I'll see some of you out there.

In the mean time, here are some photos of recent trips I've taken.  I hope you enjoy.

The Olympic Peninsula 

Nationalistic shenanigans, eh?  Canada Day in Victoria, BC. 

Fresh forage in Vancouver.

The summit of the Chief at Squamish, BC.

Bobcat near the summit of the Chief.  Look toward the center of the photo, just under the splintered log.


Another slug.  I promise it was a really exciting trip to the Pacific Northwest.

Even on vacation, I can't forget about my projects at home.

With a little agricultural TLC and viticultural intervention, these grapes too will one day get me drunk.

Mitch imbibes, albeit grudgingly.  Touring wineries is such a chore.

See... It's a total chore.

Shaggy Parasol mushroom.

Katie and Simone on Mt. Yale.

Bernholtz Arete at the Skyland Boulders in Crested Butte. 

Atomic (aka Tick Fever)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Designed to Placate

Blog post as mitigation.  Here you go...

Jason Pinto on Veritas.  We've been spending a great deal of time at this boulder recently. Mostly under it. Rarely atop. We hope to favorably alter the ratio of these prepositions soon. I did manage to climb to the top from the original stand-start last week, but the sit-start still eludes me, so my work here is not quite finished. 

Lauren ekes out a reluctant smile despite rainy/snowy Memorial Day conditions. The technicolored raincoat amplifies her intrinsic cheer. (Note the aspens, which had not even started to bud. It was evidently a long winter for chumps in the high country).

Simone and Russ most certainly misbehavin'

The aftermath of debauchery at Camp Dick.  The restaurant crew wanted to go on a backpacking trip, so I very carefully coerced them into going to Camp Dick, where I had an unfinished project (Put Some Hair Around It). It was an altogether successful trip, culminating in the construction of the "perfect smore," a virtuous sort of outdoorsy drunkenness, and an ascent of the boulder problem that has spit me off for two years. I can't wait to convince these non-climbing friends that Mt. Evans is a really scenic place to camp.   

Mt. Meeker and Long's Peak.