Monday, March 30

Spring Break is OVER

Spring Break typically marks the beginning to my year end, academic-enthusiasm-downfall. This year it marks a very special downfall in that it will be my last (at least for a while). Thus I am giving a little extra effort to really give up on my school work, and damn, it feels great!! Of course, it would help if the weather was a bit more inspiring, but my recent acquisition of the classic, unrivaled video gaming system, a Nintendo 64, has helped with the evaporation of my inside time.. 

Okay, Ha ha ha. I'm only (half) kidding. I have got quite a load of school work to finish up here in my final month of college (whoa, dude). And although my enthusiasm is waining, my excitement for the undergraduate finish line will no doubt get me through.

I refuse to give total credit to the BLIZZARD of MARCH 09 for ruining my spring break.. as I mentioned before, Sinks Canyon was awesome- and our 2 days there were killer (no pun intended). My buddies Dan and Seth (Lightning!) and I did up a rad Flagstaff session before the storm followed us and dumped on Boulder. We both quickly did the ultra classic Hollows Way, for the first time, as well as re-opening an excellent V9 on the Capstone Boulder, the Oxman Arete. After the storm hit, we switched our pursuit and choice of outerwear for some extreme Tequila induced night sledding (see attached picture of Dan and Marisa) and also ripped up the BRC. So spring break was not a total failure by any means. However, I did not get my fix for real stone grabbing, and I am left egger to travel this upcoming weekend, assuming that the month of April brings some heat!

In other news.. Make sure and have a look at the awesome Rocky Mountain Highball website- and buy tickets to the premier!!! of course. Plus, stroll into Neptune and flip through the brand new Flatirons Climbing Guide by Sharp End Publishing - an area that I have always loved finally gets a very worthy full color guide book.

Tuesday, March 24

Wyoming Blizzard / Spring Break '09

....Friday night we arrived in Lander, Wy. With such beautiful views in Sinks Canyon and great evening weather I was stoked to cruise up to the walls as the sun set and examine the cliffs. Immediately I was impressed with the Addiction Wall, the White Wave Wall and of course the monstrous Killer Cave. The camping was fantastic; right next to the Popo Agie with all the extras. Our good friends Seth Lytton and Neely Quinn (plus our furry friends Zala and Samson) arrived later that night and we motored up to the crags on Saturday with the blazing sun on our backs and clear blue skies above. It proved to be a hot, but incredible day of cragging. Seth and I both quickly dispatched the excellent 'Pretty Hate Machine' and onsighted the classic 'Addiction'. I was stoked to also onsight the crimpy, cool, 'Dogs of War'. Everybody loved the cliffs and we hit the town for beer and eats at the homely Gannett Grill that night to celebrate. 

Day two: The Killer Cave is dope. period. Its sweeping walls streaked with white, black and orange are featured with endless, arm swallowing pockets and the occasional crimp. The routes are long, varied and of super high quality. This is an incredible wall. I can not wait to return.. Seth and I both ticked the O-Box on the amazing 'Nirvana' and I did an awesome linkup from the classic route, 'Killer' into the finish of Mr. Majestic. Everybody was just beginning to feel at home amongst super nice locals at this sweet crag- even Marisa was unlocking forgotten skills from a 6 month break from outdoor climbing.. when.... 

Yesterday morning I awoke, and immediately noticed the tent was pitch black. Could it still be the middle of the night? It took a moment for me to realize that it was not just an especially dark morning, but that in-fact the tent was covered in 10 inches of fully saturated, unforgiving snow. Enter the state-wide, spring break destroying, ultra-pow Wyoming Blizzard of 2009. Our dreams of 30 meter forearm pumping routes, pockets and crimps for breakfast, lunch and dinner all week were destroyed while skiers far and wide rejoiced the over night dump-a-thon and the 100% chance of precip. Long story short, we desperately packed (now including Seth and all his gear 'cause Neely had to bail the previous night) my Subaru and made tracks out of the deserted camp-site. Luckily I-80 opened up minutes before we cruised through and we narrowly escaped back to Boulder.

So we are back! Looking statewide for clear conditions although it seems it may not exist. Spring Break continues and we search for more dry stone, with memories of Sinks Canyon held close to our hearts.. it really is that good. 

Friday, March 20

Lander and UC

Stoked. Very stoked. Andy Mann's awesome front range road trippin' shot made the COVER of the 2009 Urban Climber Gear Guide. I am VERY excited for this exposure and again proud to work with the talent of the Mann. Check for this issue, available this week. 

Otherwise, I am heading out of town, and up to the wild west of Lander, Wyoming. I would be even more excited about this trip if I hadn't been suffering a terrible cold the last few days (and right now as well), but I'm going for it- wish me luck. I will do my best to update the blog from outer space- this is Jstar in Orbit, right!? 
Stay tuned and Happy Spring!!!

Monday, March 16

Countdown to Spring

Just a few days from spring.. don't believe me? I suggest you check your watch when the sun sets and don't bother with wearing long sleeves, or for anyone else that needs convincing, check your calendar 'cause this Friday (the 20th) is the first day of spring. I could not be more excited. Marisa and I, along with a gang of hard-cores and friends from all over are heading up to the dolomite haven of Sinks Canyon. I have never been, but it has been a destination near the top of my list for a while now. Besides terrifying rumors of a mass rattle snake migration that is reminiscent of a ophiophobia's worst ever conceived nightmare, this area sounds fantastic. I am super excited about enjoying 9 days out of town, with good friends, camp fires, cheap wine, filthy dogs and pocket pulling- want to join us?!

'Round the front range, some exciting sh#t has been going down. On a quick trip, Kevin Jorgenson established a fantastic looking new V12 in Eldo called the Heist that is 2o some steep power moves with a slab following behind you for what is probably the safest thing he has ever done. Matt Samet and Ted Lanzano have been busy working up new routes and applying for older ones in the beautiful Flatirons. Remember applications for bolting deadline is march 15 - oh crap that was yesterday!! well I guess its June 15th then. Either way, stay in the loop for the voting and approval process. 

Lastly, Boulder film maker and photographer Brian Solano, along with Eric Perlman and Mike Call all premiered their new films last week at the Stone Alliance Tour. My quick review... Masters of Stone VI: Definitely interesting to see something fresh in a movie like this (speed climbing the Nose) although I would not toss in this movie to get stoked, it was different and cool. I can't believe Eric is still making films!! Herakleia: Mike Call takes us to Turkey and one of the bigger boulder fields (in the world?) for some hot (literally) action on fresh boulders. Nothing extra ordinary in this- other than the new landscape, but enjoyable. The Players: Brian Solano does skate-movie style mini-sections on a number of da ballers in the game (Sorry I had to do it- it is a little cheesy at times). I like the idea, and the footage is unique- except Kryptonite, I hadn't seen these climbs in a film. I imagine the full version is rad (these were just short versions of all the movies). Anyways- all films are worth checking out. 

Photo: Ben Randolph on 'Dakota' at Lumpy Ridge

Tuesday, March 10

The Dark Knight!

If you missed the BCS finale comp on friday I'm sorry to say you missed the exposed identity of one of humanities greatest super heros. Enter my alter-ego: the esteemed, Batman. Yes, the secret is out and I am beginning to fear greatly for Marisa's (my girlfriend) safety.

Typically, when fighting crime in the back alleys and rooftops of Gotham City I require an insulating technical suit for proper comfort and maneuverability. Unfortunately, after all the hot climbing comp action on friday, the BRC was a little balmy to say the the least and the suit proved... well, I was overdressed.. 

But not even an extra layer of lycra could hold back the Dark Knight from dominating the field!! While this previous statement is totally false, I was able to win the hearts of the crowd and encourage positive spirits upon my loyal following citizens. Batman rides on!!!
So, needless to say, the comp went off really well and in true BCS fashion was a super fun community event amongst a great crowd. Props to Paul Robinson for entering, and winning, this roped comp, as well as a DOPE performance from Paige Claassen, who took the women's title. The Dark Knight salutes you!
In retrospect, I think I will keep my alter-ego, Batman, fighting crime and Jstar, crushing rock climbs. On that note, take a moment and check out my photographer buddy Nathan Welton's new site- there is an AMAZING photo of Vogue and some great shots from Button Rock on there that we took together. 

Lastly, I have been riding a bunch recently, and loving it. If you ride and you live in Boulder I highly suggest checking out the brand spanking new trail out of the Doudy Draw area (by the Industrial Wall approach, on the road into Eldo). There is a fantastic new single track loop out there and many link-ups and loops can be done including the older community ditch trail and the marshal mesa area. HUGE props to OSMP and for being involved in this project and finally opening up more mountain biker friendly territory close to Boulder. 

If Batman's popularity continues amongst the climbing crowd perhaps I will begin a website for him too.. Hope everybody had a great weekend. 

Thursday, March 5


The super-successful BCS (Boulder Climbing Series) 08/09 season is coming to a close Friday night. This will be the 5th and final event of the season. Friday night will consist of two separate events- from 5-8pm will be the last BCS citizens competition in the same format as before (redpoint; take as many burns as you want, your hardest 3 routes count) and everyone is invited and encouraged to check it out- regardless of your participation or attendance to the earlier comps. There will also be a special invitational comp starting at 8pm featuring some local rock stars pulling hard in an on-sight style back-to-back route battle. 

My Dad will no doubt be crushing his way through the citizens comp, destroying the 50+ age category, and I will be trying hard to the grave yard in an effort to hold down my local territory in the invitational comp- my second competition ever! 

No more excuses. This is the last event like it this season.. In the unlikely event that you have a really good excuse not to come have fun and compete in the citizens comp (broken legs, for instance) then at the least come through, check the invitational comp and cheer me on! Kynan Waggoner and Chris Danielson are serving up some burly routes to test local hardmen Paul Robinson, Taylor Roy, Steve and Matty Hong, Dan Mirsky, Mark 'Cookie' Hobson, myself and others. The Women's field is stacked as well with plastic goddesses Emily Harrington, Paige Classsen, Kara Caputo and many others all gunning for top BRC crushin' lady status! Don't miss it. Details Here

Tuesday, March 3

Who Ridin?!

Long before I fell in love with climbing, I was a die hard mountain bike rider. Nothing quite compares with the rush of steep, rolling singletrack and the sound of a howling Chris King freewheel... AHHhhh. Throughout the winter I normally force myself to take a break from the bike, and surrender to running as a form of cross training (cause riding in the cold / ice / snow is brutal), but the brilliant temps on the front range and the fact that March (what? Seriously?) is here has inspired the annual spring tune up and my stoke for riding is back in full effect. I spent all day yesterday building up a new cross country rig and all day today looking for new parts to complete my freeride rig.. stoked. You riding? Give me a shout!

This past weekend I had a couple really nice days down at Shelf Road with some fresh faces. Weather was great and although gravity seemed at a high level, we all had a blast climbing and getting our bronze on a bit. I'm heading to the rock gym to try and get some last minute plastic fitness for this friday's BCS Invitational Finale and Citizen Comp at the BRC- I will post more details soon.. 

Enjoy this posted photo of me hugging a 12 pack, cruising to camp on my once beloved Rocky Mountain Pipeline, somewhere around Moab from back in the day.. Cheers!