'Hope' 13a, circa 2008, Mann photo
Andy and I shot together nearly everyday on that trip, capturing some great images of the Utah hills and surrounding areas. He experimented with off camera lighting, new photo techniques and jugging a line, meanwhile I had one of my first breakthrough climbing trips. Over the course of the week, I climbed 8 5.13s (mostly 13a's), which was at the time above and beyond the best performance I'd ever had. I remember the trip fondly.. late nights around the fire, long mornings beneath the blazing desert sun and tiresome climbing on impressive limestone.
radical movement on 'Planet Earth', Mann photo circa last week
Now, in a bustling Las Vegas coffee shop, I'm sharing a table with Andy and looking back at how far we've both come. My climbing has developed dramatically with every year and Andy's photos and video have taken amazing strides to stand out as some of the best work in the industry. Through the years we've worked side by side on countless projects and grown to become great friends. I'm stoked that he's hanging around Vegas for a while and in only a few days hard work we've already captured a variety of rad footage and images.. stay tuned!
In-between heinously hot days, I did manage to put down Randy Leavitt breathtaking classic, 'Planet Earth' 14a, one of the first 5.14s in the area and a hard one at that. The crew and I spent another long and amazing night on the town enjoying the unparalleled nightlife - can't be beat. I even did some bouldering (!) and put down the Red Rock classic sport climbs 'Sunsplash' 13b and 'Monster Skank' 13b - wicked, HARD, rock climbs. It felt like an eventful couple of days.
Speaking of events.... RED ROCK RENDEZVOUS is THIS WEEKEND!
Already the number of visitors is crazy.. it's easy to imagine this being the largest climbing festival in the country. I'll be teaching a Redpointing 101 clinic on both Saturday and Sunday. I'm stoked to get out at the crag, enjoy the sun and meet some new people. The weather looks great as well.. should be a rad weekend!