Thursday, October 21

Straight outta Zachariah

I speak a lot about my affinity for the climbing community, and as I continue to travel, meet people and share psych, I am only more and more enthusiastic about our little tribe. We are a migratory group no doubt, and if you have ever been to the Red in October, you're well aware that this is unquestionably one of the annual meeting grounds for not only local, but also international rock climbers of all types. The Red is perhaps the greatest sport climbing destination we Americans can call our own (donate HERE), and the arrival of psyched individuals from all corners of the globe is a strong testament to this. Many people, including myself, make this tucked away Kentucky landscape their home for months every year. It's been fun to see old friends, meet new ones, and share the incredible experience that it is to be here and climb here. I love it.
here are a few rad shots below that
Simon Carter generously donated, of my 'Kaleidoscope' 13c onsight

With the arrival of cooler temperatures, the departure of my lingering sickness, and the influx of good friends, the last week has been looking up considerably. After three solid efforts on the 'Golden Ticket', I impulsively swapped projects. GT is a killer route - one of the best the Red has to offer, but a long/dyno move entering the crux was keeping me from generating too much psych on the route and one morning I randomly decided to try the neighboring project instead.

'The Honeycomb Project' climbs a steep section of clean rock through very difficult boulder problems on poor grips. I was immediately stoked on this climb - the movement, although very difficult, suited my style well - I was able to do all of the moves first try. Short, hard sections of climbing are separated by good rests.. until, on my second try, I completely destroyed one of those rests... perhaps the route's best hold, COMPLETELY gone. Now, two previously hard sections are stacked together, creating a lengthy and continuous mid-section. Sh*t just got serious and I'm very excited to put the pieces of this amazing climb together.

After a forced rest day due to entirely THRASHED skin, I'll have one more morning on the Honeycomb tomorrow before I take off back to Boulder to celebrate my good friends Matt Wilder and Sandy Rea's wedding and enjoy the company of my lovely girlfriend. I'll be back at the end of the month and my goals are simple: enjoy this incredible place, drink Ale8, climb the Honeycomb. STOKED.
The Gallery
I've been cleaning up a list of top quality routes I've made to keep me busy after my morning sessions on the project. It's been a real pleasure to hang out with friends, climb all day and sample some of the best 5.12s and 5.13s on the planet. My favorites from the last week include: onsighting the Buckeye Buttress, hosting killer routes like 'Stained' 12c, 'Golden Touch' 13b and 'Heart Shaped Box' 12c, along with the shockingly different and just plain FUN 'Swahili Slang' 12c. I also put down one of my favorites yet- 'No Redemption' 13b second try (I would NEVER recommend anyone try this in the sun, however) and onsighting the long and enjoyable 'Easy Rider' 13a. I got to check out the Gallery - a killer wall with great climbs. I onsighted 'Mosaic' 12c, the varied and very cool, 'Zen and the Art of Masturbation' 12d and the underrated 'Calm Like a Bomb' 13a. 'Hellraiser' 12c at the Purgatory proved to be one of the most challenging onsights I've managed yet - holy crap it's hard! Yesterday I enjoyed cleaning up the Dark Side, one of my favorite walls (anywhere), onsighting 'Big Burley' 13b, onsighting 'Straight out of Campton' 13a (awesome, kinda ridiculously hard for 13a), 'Shanghai' 12d and 'Tuskan Raider' 12d.
Calm Like a Bomb
Seth Lightning on Hellraiser
Zala loves the Red
At night we stay busy shooting the sh*t, playing games and drooling over the guide book. It's been a really enjoyable trip so far, and although I'm stoked to get home for a bit, I'm already thinking about November in the Red.
Kentucky Joe is always packing heat.. and laughs