Thursday, January 15, 2009


For me, bouldering is about going out and convening with nature. It's about energetic sessions with friends. It's about a goal-oriented sort of physical training. It's about puzzle-solving, and mind games. It's about reduction and expansion, deconstruction and reconstruction. It's about sex, booze, and cash-money...

Sometimes, for me, bouldering is also about success -- the feeling of unqualified achievement that's all too rare. And luckily, two days ago, I was able to bask in the momentary glory of success by climbing my ultimate project, Slider.  It's truly a rock climbing masterpiece, with classic moves on impeccable stone. I've been incessantly daydreaming about it since first examining it last year, and I am SO HAPPY to add it to my tick list. 

One of the things I love about climbing in the Southeast is that -- in a wonderful union of geological and biological morphology -- many of the boulder problems here fit me. Slider is just one case in point. To be sure, this region holds a high concentration of problems between V5 and V10, which helps. There's a lot for me to choose from. But beyond grades, I find the holds and moves on many problems here to be especially accommodating to my style. I seem to have fewer of the pitched battles that characterize my time in Colorado, and I actually get to the top every now and again. Climbing here is the height of hedonism in an already self-indulgent activity. It's been a great trip. I will miss this place sorely.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, here is my ascent of Slider (V9) at Horse Pens 40, Alabama. After having read the rhapsodic prose about my experience on southeastern sandstone, you might be surprised to see such an ungainly oaf clambering his way to the top of this gem. However, I assure you that this has nothing to do with my climbing style and everything to do with the cinematographic quality of the clip. Enjoy! 

UPDATE: For much better footage of Slider, as well as a few other SE sandstone classics, see Scotty Gross' blog.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Rumbling Bald

I left Colorado over two weeks ago with the intention of climbing in the Southeast for a month. So far, I've only logged in six days of climbing, and have spent the rest of the time schmoozing with friends and family. Now that I'm finally regaining my curmudgeonly composure and swearing off all social interactions that aren't directly related to climbing, I find myself beset by bad weather. Karma? Nonsense. Go to hell.*

Anyway, here are some photos that I snapped on the East Side of Rumbling Bald.  


Anthony on Pit BBQ

Anthony on Brackish Water

Danielle on the Uplifter

A couple of moves through Panhandler

Finishing out the day on the North Carolinian

*You all know that I'm joking, right? Please call. I'm ever so lonely...