To say I am 'stoked' would be a vastly inadequate statement. Go and check this issue out pronto!! Definitely one of UC's best (not just saying that) including tons of content from Andy Mann and I's road trip (my first authored article for a mag!), wicked photos, and cool features all around. The cover shot is one of my favorites from the trip- a completely authentic captured image of myself giving top effort to onsight 'Pornstar' 13d, only to fall on the final move. Support me and support UC - grab a copy!
Tuesday, September 29
I took a big juicy bite out of the big apple this past weekend and it has got me feeling a little hung over. As I've mentioned before, this city has a distinct feeling unlike any place I've ever been. A hustling intensity saturates nearly every part of your day, which many come to enjoy and even thrive on. For myself, this is a slow-soul-drainer. Naturally, when visiting old friends your days and nights are always packed, but being in the city I found myself with an underlying, subtle running stress level at all times. Riding a bike through Brooklyn- intense, driving through Manhattan- intense, walking through Times Square- intense, finding your favorite muffin at Whole Foods- intense, drinking and dancing and drinking- intense, and so on. A little stress is definitely fuel to some folks, and I honor you all with great awe. For me, I thrive on quiet when I sleep, riding my bike down empty roads and seeing a natural landscape over my shoulder.. but don't get me wrong, I had a BALL in the big apple. Everyone can use a couple long ass nights every once and a while, and there is no better place to do it than in Gotham City.
My long time best buddies took great care of me, and showed me an excellent time as to be expected. These dudes are not just like my family, they are my family. When we all get in the same room together it is obvious that we have created a relationship over the years that is beyond friendship, at times it even creeps others out.
Between big nights out in Brooklyn and Manhattan I had a couple sessions at a brand new climbing wall in Brooklyn called Brooklyn Boulders. I was very impressed with this facility and so stoked for the once S.O.L. urban climber in the city who had no place to call home. Well folks, this is your new house!! I'm going to put together an extended review from the perspective of a long time route setter and plastic rock climber within the next few days complete with beta and photos- stay tuned.
photos: chillaxin in Crown Heights. it called a jump shot and they're hilarious.
Tuesday, September 22
Fall colors at the Wild Iris were out of control!! We had no idea what we were in for, but this past weekend could have very well been peak for the area. On Friday night we immediately got started with the try-hard, as Paige Claassen and I both got inspired by this amazing boulder with bolts right in the camp ground called the 'White Buffalo' 13d. As the setting sun burnt a beautiful red horizon in the background I managed a headlamp assisted ascent of this delicate, incredible route (boulder) - my hardest headlamp ascent yet! Saturday turned out to be a warm day in the Wyoming semi-alpine and I was kicking myself for having forgotten shorts. Paige had one of the most inspiring days of climbing I've ever seen, meanwhile I was steady punting. She hammered out an on-sight on a truly awesome, short and difficult 13- called 'When I Was a Young Girl, I Had Me a Cowboy' and then after an afternoon bronzing she finished off her day with a send of 'White Buffalo'... completely sickening... Sunday I pulled it together and did a really cool one-of-a-kind route called 'Cowboy King' 13c that begins with an impossibly thin no-holds slab and ends with a giant horizontal roof of campus moves and deep pockets. I also fired through a couple easier 13's on the Erratic and the Rodeo Wave to top off a great day. We both left with rather large smiles- the temps and scenery were exceptional.
Back in Boulder now and the temps are frigid!! must be baking season already- I make a hell of a muffin. I'm headed out of town to visit some good buddies and check out a new climbing gym in Brooklyn on Thursday that I will be reporting on.. back to NYC for a few long nights of rump shaking. Maybe by the time I get back to the front range the temps will inspire some fall sending.
October 7! Mark that calender right here and now. Andy Mann and I are putting on a ridiculous slide-show at the Boulder Rock Club titled.. 'Colorado Burl and Beyond'. There will be free beer, a raffle, good times and oh yea KILLER IMAGES. more details to come.
Some people are simply crazy about electronic music. I am one of those 'some people'. If you're not the type then you could probably go without reading the following paragraph.. if you are however, you will surely be aware that DJ MAG's top 100 DJ's poll is almost closed! Voting ends Sept 23rd. This annual poll remains the gold standard upon which fans and enthusiasts can voice their experiences with the world's best DJ's and totally influence the coming years music scene. After hundreds of dollars spent buying and thousands of hours spent listening to this and that electronic I casted my top five votes last week with the groundbreaking Deadmau5 in my top spot, my long time favorite Sasha in second, Dubfire in 3rd- Deadmau5 has definitely had the most influence on my listening preferences over the past year and I am continually blown away by his consistent studio track quality. I've yet to see him in concert- but that's what Nov 4 at the Ogden is for.. While I'm spraying about minimal music I may as well express my sizable stoke level for my fresh set of headphones- I freakin went for it and bought some Audio-Technica ATH-ES7's and I can not seem to take them off (on my head right now). These things blow my Sony V700DJs out of the water, all day.
Okay, enough music spray.. aint this supposed to be a rock climbing web-site?!!?
Keep your eyes peeled for Urban Climber Issue #33 !!!! I'm beyond stoked.. stay tuned.
photos: The Iris... some call it 'toad in the hole' or 'eggie in the basket', I call it- breakfast of champions.
Friday, September 18
All of a sudden the Equinox appears on my calendar, just a few days ahead of me. Whoa. Come to think of it, I have been wearing a hoodie in the morning with my coffee, and I did hear a surprising number of 'it's chilly' comments last night while eating dinner outside at Sherpas. A few rogue leaves have made a color change and I can't quite comfortably sleep with all the windows in my house wide open any more.. I'm not ready to proclaim it fall quite yet, but I can feel the makings of it. You know what this means? Fellow rock climbers living in the northern hemisphere... soon.. soon it is our time to shine. Our beloved fall season is just around the corner, do you know where your power is?!?! I know school just started, and maybe work is bustin' your balls, but this is our time people! Whether you're a weekend warrior, an afterwork sessioner, a full-time climber or a once-a-month-if-I'm-lucky type.. let's freakin get after it! Our projects don't stand a chance in these conditions, and it's only getting better.
I'm hitting the road shortly and motoring northward to my second favorite foothills town.. Lander, Wyoming. I can't get enough! so much fun up there. Paige Claassen and I will be tearing it up, most likely at Wild Iris, for a couple days. Last weekend we all had a ball destroying the Killer Cave and enjoying some wicked sun shine. Everybody sent something and most of us shined, yeah! although my draws are still swinging in the breeze up there..
Speaking of (not) sending projects.. The Triple Crown Bouldering Series is about to kick off and this year LaSportiva is offering up tons of goodies (including 4 pr shoes!) to those who are willing to record their experiences at any of these three events and share them. I think this is a cool opportunity not only to potentially win some killer gear but also to share photos, laughs, successes and failures with fellow climbers. Go here to read more about it...
I've been putting together some promo material for an amazing slide-show that Andy Mann and I are putting on October 7th at the BRC. It's called Colorado Burl and Beyond and it will be a knee-slapping good time characterized by a couple of my stories and some breathtaking images from the MANN himself. Stay tuned for free beer, a dope raffle and two good looking gents getting all red in the face in front of lots of people!!!
I have more crap to spray about (I actually made a list.. such a dork I know) but right now I gotta pack the Subaru and hit the highway- mono's await!! Enjoy your weekend.
photos: the crew gears up for some Sinks A0 shit! Paige is a BOSS. I'm snacking Mac and Cheese out of a bag, who says climbers don't have class!?
Thursday, September 10
Some climbing days are simply brilliant. Everybody has their own definition of brilliant, but here is mine: Sun, clouds, solitude, a stout hike, good friends, remote setting, inspiring rock climbs. I've been lucky to have had a number of such days recently, but yesterday was simply over the top radical. I've been quoted stating that my favorite crag I have ever been to is the Monastery near Estes Park and days like yesterday reinforce this heart felt belief. Alone all day, under vibrant sunshine, my buddy Ben Randolph and I cranked at this world-class cliff. Despite spending many days projecting all the cliff's best routes over the years, I still love to return and enjoy the setting and climbs here. Yesterday I managed a repeat of the truly amazing 'Third Millennium' 13d (my first of the grade a few years back) sticking to the original beta moving directly through the 3rd to 4th bolt up a ladder of powerful, crimp gastons- unbelievably good rock climbing. I also did a couple repeats on 'The Quickening' 13c (my first ever 5.13) and also on possibly the states best 12d 'Psychotomic'. Even the brutal uphill slog at the end of the day could not wipe the smile off my face.
Tomorrow morning I'm off to catch a tan in Wyoming and get my pocket cranking fix- definitely another one of my favorite spots. I'll be seeing a number of you at the world premier of the Reel Rock Film Tour tonight I imagine! cheers.
photo: Keith Ladzinski shot me on the day I first did 'Third Millennium'- a serious breakthrough in my climbing life at the time and as you can tell by the photo.. a brilliant day of climbing as well.
Monday, September 7
Labor Day has come to pass, and I must say, I have been holding it down in the labor department. The past four days in a row I have put in work to finish up remaining routes and routes in need of attention at the Wizards Gate. After a very busy, albeit inspiring few weeks, I can proudly say that my work is done up there. My drill, bolting gear, static rope, a plethora of quickdraws and other random niceties are all here now, in the comfort of the Estes cabin. The stash is out, the routes are installed and the crag is wicked. I invested hundreds of dollars, 12-15 days of work and a whole lot of Justin's Nut Butter in this crag and I couldn't be more stoked on it (well... maybe..). My dad and I bolted over a dozen routes ranging from 5.9 to 5.14, including some wicked granite slabs and in my opinion two of the areas best 5.13+'s. It is definitely cooling off up in the high country, but pick a warm day and come sample this gem area before the season ends!!
I've got some Metolius bolt hangers and a bit of a battery charge left- guess I should find another cliff to develop, ASAP. And that is just my plan. I've got a few good hunches and plenty of leftover hardware to keep me busy.
If all goes as planned, the hyper strong Paige Claassen, Neely 'Killer' Quinn and I are heading to Lander, Wyoming for some delicious limestone pockets this weekend. I've got some unfinished business up there that needs to be executed, and Paige and Neely are in top shape to flash the whole Killer Cave. Should be fun.
If you don't already have an Urban Climber subscription, now is the time, cause the next issue features some outstanding Andy Mann photos and a feature article written by.. yours truly! On that note, if you don't already have tickets to this years Reel Rock Tour, now is the time-premier is thursday night at the Boulder Theatre.. Tommy on El Cap, K Jorg in Bishop, Sharma on Jumbo ??? dope. See you there.
photos: Andy Mann shoots magic of me on 'Cloak and Dagger'.. a busy day of sending at the Wizards Gate.