Wednesday, July 15

Estes Life

Much in the same schedule as last year, I set aside a good chunk of my summer months to be in the Colorado alpine. Estes Park is one of many places around the globe that I feel blessed to call home. Every August since I was born my family and I have taken a road trip - some longer than others as we moved around the country - to visit and enjoy Estes Park. Finally, some seven years ago, my parents pulled the trigger and bought a small cabin just a few miles from the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. Since then this early 20th century cabin has been the jump off spot for Diamond missions, days of bolting, mountain runs and any other exhausting endeavor we can get into up here.

Somehow, despite the huge rise in popularity over the last several years I barely even thought of bouldering in the Alpine. The taller objectives have always been my primary motivation, but I knew that one day, when it felt right (or I was kind of forced into it) I would dive into the awesome bouldering resource that is here in RMNP.

A way above average snow pack made me double guess my original summer plans... but... well.. maybe it was time to give this bouldering thing a shot.

I rarely tie in when I'm climbing indoors but realistically I've only clocked a handful of bouldering days outside a year for the last... eight years? And by todays standard I have never bouldered anything hard. Plus, with strength and power being my distinct weakness, maybe a summer of bouldering would be a perfect alternative. So there it is.

Week before last I got out as much as I could. Alone, with my Dad, or with who ever I met at the boulders. It was rad. I climbed 'Automater' v13, 'Element of Surprise' v12, 'Nothin but Sunshine' v13 and 'Centaur' v12. Probably more hard boulders in a handful of climbing days than I have done in my entire 11 years of climbing beforehand. It was very motivating and encouraged me to stick with it at least until the snow melts. The last two weeks I wrapped up a training cycle in Boulder and took a quick trip up to Squamish for the Arcteryx Climbing Academy.

Isabelle Faus agonizingly close on Centaur. 
She is a bone crusher, and I would plan to see a lot more of this girl. Very inspiring to climb with her this day. 

The Academy was awesome. I lined up with many of the other North American Arc Athletes -- we talked products, we shared stories, we gave our feedback and we celebrated together. This group, along with the whole Arcteryx family are so varied, talented and simply rad. It's an easy group to hang out with, get along with, and dream with. The actual event was hosted at a stunning venue - the atop the new Sea to Sky Gondola. We shared beers overlooking ridiculous sunsets with speakers and films playing through the evening. During the day I taught a sport climbing clinic with a crew of super motivated and strong climbers. After just 4 days I'm back at our little cabin in Estes, motivated and hopeful to get the most out of the next 3 weeks of pure bouldering!

If you missed it, several of the videos from my trip to Europe have emerged, with a few more still to release. Have a watch below for some sports action at Ceuse and Siurana. Enjoy! And while you're at it, click over to the brand new Bear Cam Media site for your visual pleasure!

---------Life Beyond Walls--------