A whole bunch of life has taken place since I last updated.. firstly- BOOM! new website. But I'll back track a little and get into the happenings of the last two weeks, which, due to current time restraints, will have to be cut into sections- it's like three posts for the price of one!!
Paige and I ripped up I-70 in the WRX after a day in Rifle to explore the Summer Outdoor Retailer Trade Show and hang with some of our good friends in Salt Lake. Despite what many people openly express about OR, I typically have a good time there. Thankfully I've nothing too unbelievably important going on (that's likely the reason why it's fun) and there's always a gaggle of friends around to chat with - frequently too many for just a few days actually. First off, I finally got to meet the super cool and talented Boone Speed during a Sportiva photo shoot and hang with the Sportiva alpinist crew, including my buddy Steve House. We had a bunch of laughs and consumed copious amounts of pizza. Over at the trade show, all of my sponsors exhibited rad new products for 2011.. Arcteryx is releasing the new Phase base layering system which is nothing short of awesome. Metolius has a new line of crash pads featuring some killer graphics and a built in carpet. Sportiva has a couple flashy new running shoes and a new climbing shoe that is a cross between a Solution and a Cobra (I know.. you're stoked) and Sterling has remade the Ion 9.5 (now 9.4) with a better weave and some new colors.
And, if you were wondering, my favorite two dogs ever, Amico and Bodhi (pictured above), well, they're pretty much doing the same old shit for 2011- which brings me to my next topic.. Our good friends Leif and Lindsey put us up and showed us a great time around SLC. Shortly after the show we shot down to Maple Canyon to sample the mind cobbling boggles I have heard so much about.
Ally climbs out the 'Great Feast'
It was our first time there, and given the amount of spray, I think we expected a lot. The camping was top notch, the landscape was totally spectacular, and the climbing was.. alright. I don't think either Paige nor I are super stoked on roof climbing, but we had a killer time none the less. The Pipe Dream is mega. It's an upside down sea of cobbles fixed by a sometimes questionable matrix and a heap of Sika. The climbing is very unique and physical- mostly jugs, close to zero technical ability needed through giant roofs with the occasional knee-bar. It's not my preferred style, or my strength, but it was a shoulder busting, arm swelling good time no doubt. At the end of the first day, my biceps were on fire! It was as though I had lifted crates of heavy bricks for hours (a.k.a. route setting).. thankfully my forearms seemed to be alright so naturally I was prepared for another day of hard work.
We stayed for a total of three days, climbing throughout. Day one I onsighted the classic entry-level burl route, 'Sprout' 13a and nearly flashed the literally more-than-horizontal, 'Millennium' 13d, which I excitedly fired second try. Day two I got through my favorite Maple route - 'Wyoming Sheep Shagger' 13d, second try and then carried on to finish up the T-Rex extension making 'Mutton Bustin' 5.14 a/b (everything at the Pipe Dream has an extension, alternative ending, a link-up or a sissy version- there is no lack of options) I followed up with a lap on 'Toxic Turkey' 13c (?) second try and returned to the campsite with whimpering biceps. Day three we checked out the Compound - a really cool crag up the road from the camping that features more textured cobbles and shorter, more bouldery climbs. I warmed up and did 'Ballocks' 13a before Paige and our friend Ally Dorey had to bail back towards Colorado. Alone, and in search of a proper pump, I wandered up to the Pipe Dream to belay Spencer McCroskey as he killed 'Whole Shot' 13d and his triumph inspired me to do 'Mexican Rodeo' 13d first try. That night I shared drinks and laughs with the always welcoming Seattle crew before taking off for Salt Lake the following morning.
Myself, lost in a sea of cobbles on 'Muttin Bustin'
On my way out I stopped and snapped a few quick photos of the turkey ranch right outside Maple. This was just days after I had started exploring the possibilities of eating meat again (I've been a vegetarian for 4 years).. and being so brutally reminded of the conditions millions of animals suffer to become our food quickly repressed any desire for a burger I had been having. There were probably 2 dozen of these facilities. Yummy!
no really! we're totally comfortable
the second installment will be up shortly.. until then, have a look around the new super fly website! Thanks to Andy Mann for use of his images for the site.