Saturday, May 28

ready and psyched

The last couple weeks have been busy - I've been pacing myself to be productive while trying to set aside plenty of time for training. Every now and then, whilst lugging a filled box out to my pick-up I'm suddenly struck by the reality of this change - I've been living here in Boulder for almost 17 years, here in my condo for over 4 of those. As my first step into my new life approaches, I'm overwhelmed with excitement for this change, and happy that I finally feel prepared to take a break from my life here in Boulder. Not being completely sure of what might lay ahead is an empowering thought for me. I've stacked up a great calendar - extending all the way into next March! - but who knows how it will all actually play out... psyched regardless.

For now, I'm off to Smith Rock, Oregon, to try and put down one of the country's original test pieces, catch up with some friends and spend a little more time at one of my favorite crags. Hopefully the weather around Seattle will clear up shortly after for some potential new route action just a short drive from Sea Town... fingers crossed.
'welcome back to Smith, Jonathan' -harmless snake
Most of my training recently has been power based, and I'm psyched to say that I've made some awesome progress developing this weakness over the last month. I've known for some time that this discipline was severely lacking in my tool box - and that the next step for my climbing would unquestionably be attacking this head on. I've done a few days of routes here and there to check in on my fitness, but mostly I've been bouldering, trail running, doing some cross-fit and even a little yoga.. I did my first actual class this morning with yoga master and oldschool honemaster Dan Michael!
feeling powerful back in '09 on the amazing 'Out of Africa' v10 MANN PHOTO
I'll be putting my running skills to the test this monday (hopefully not shaming my Arcteryx team mate and badass Adam Campbell) in the legendary Bolder Boulder 10k. This race is always a good time, and I'm really pleased that I'll be here to participate this year.

I checked out an inspirational art opening with my girlfriend Marisa last weekend - she's an artist herself and a writer. She interviewed the featured artist and I tagged along to take some photos. Check out my photos and her interview here for a little something different...
Back on the road this Tuesday... can not wait!

Wednesday, May 18

rainy days

An extra rainy spring here in Boulder has been keeping me indoors over the last week or so. Usually I might be bummed, but after a few months of hanging out in the desert some back-to-back days of rain feels amazing. Days of route setting, training hard inside and preparing for my move has been my top priority... that, and enjoying the many fine offerings of this lovely town as well - the company, eating, drinking and trails around Boulder are kick ass.
In an attempt to get my power up I've been bouldering more and more. I'm really liking the Spot recently - spending about half my time training over there. This gym has perhaps the highest concentration of difficulty of any gym I've ever visited - it's easy for me to find problems that suit my climbing style and problems that really challenge me. One great thing about having an outstanding weakness is that you can see gains almost immediately - and I'm really starting to feel like my bouldering sessions are paying off.

a night out for Marisa's birthday..
in 3-D!!
The Tacoma is now almost totally weatherproof - a huge improvement - and one that I'll certainly put to the test in a few weeks when I'm in Seattle. Before I make my way to Sea-Town, I'm going to stop off at one of my favorite crags, Smith Rock, to try and enjoy their unseasonably cool late spring and get some hard climbs done. This will give the seeping Seattle area a little more time to dry out as well.

Monday, May 9

Trucks and stuff

I've been fortunate to travel a lot during my lifetime; I've lived in Asia and Europe, I've visited nearly 30 countries and driven all over the US - travel has been a passion of mine since long before I started climbing. The perspective and education I've gained from said experiences is invaluable. Nearing the end of every trip I'm always excited to return to the comfort of a place I call home - something about familiarity has always been easing after the rush and uncertainty of an adventure. I've always looked forward to coming home to Boulder, at times I literally couldn't wait.

pimpin' the new Tacoma! Andy Mann photo

For years a certain part of me has been afraid that I could never totally leave the comfort of this place.. that every adventure would start and end from here. Something changed last month when I was packing up to leave Vegas. I thought to myself, 'you know, I could be psyched to just keep going.. just drive to the next spot... and just keep going.' For the first time in my adult life I feel prepared to escape from a fixed address and have an extended adventure. Not a couple months, not half a year, but an extended adventure. In this spirit I'm preparing to make some bold changes and dive into this next phase of my life. I bought a truck, I'm moving out of my place, and filling my calendar, preparing to hit the road on June 1st!

spring in Estes

In the meantime I've been steady training indoors, enjoying some bouldering at the Spot and some burly routes at the BRC. I've been running in the mountains, setting routes and organizing my life as well as working on my new TRD Tacoma!... getting it prepared for many nights on the road. I spent a few days last week up in Estes Park plugging gear and putting down a Lumpy Ridge classic that I've wanted to climb for a long while , 'El Camino Real' 12c, a burly layback that stood as one of the last aid climbs until it was freed by none other than Bernard Gillett in '92... rad climb!

I'm psyched on the arrival of the new issue of Urban Climber featuring an article I wrote about climbing in Las Vegas - have a look and please tell me what you think! Also Maxim ropes will be releasing an exclusive video that Andy Mann and I put together about Vegas and the VRG, including some rad footage of Necessary Evil, Planet Earth and Horse Latitudes - should be out this week on their brand new website.