Sunday, August 28

Birthday in the Park

I always seem to end up hanging in Estes Park for my birthday - which is yet to let me down. Yesterday (my *gasp* 26th birthday) was a pretty kick ass day no doubt. After sharing breakfast with my family I hiked up to the Wizards Gate for a few laps at one of my favorite training crags - that night I shared beers with a bunch of friends and family, giving a slide-show just before an inspirational presentation by one of my foremost role models, Tommy Caldwell.
growing up in the mountains
Thanks to the Colorado Mountain School, and of course all of the event attendees and volunteers, the Rocky Mountain Rendezvous went of really well - people were psyched and the turn out was great. I showed slides from my beginnings as a climber, and highlighted a few of my breakthroughs over the years. Tommy presented a little bit of the same theme, finishing of course with his on going battle for the Dawn Wall on El Cap. It was an honor to present with Tommy, and it was an empowering process to look over my accomplishments throughout the years.
I rarely take the time to recognize and reflect on my success - always obsessing about the next goal - but when I do I mostly feel gratitude for all of my supportive family and peers, and these incredible places we get to climb. I'm proud of what I've accomplished, but listening to Tommy really helps me put my experience as a climber in perspective. I'm still very much a rookie, I have much room to grow and I have many more (hopefully) fruitful years as an athlete. Psyched for the next step... and the next step.... and the next step.... and so on.
Nick puts down Weeping Willow

Back when I was 25 (Friday), my buddy Nick Duttle convinced me to check out this cool sport route on the Hallet Boulder, and maybe even try some boulder problems as well. I happily agreed, making it my second day ever bouldering in the Park (RMNP). Despite a pretty rainy day, we managed to get some great climbing done. I did a nice little power endurance traverse 'Keepin it Rail' v11, a short and punchy 'Fireball' v10, and a really cool and long 'Weeping Willow' v10. I even brought my harness along and flashed 'The End of the Beginning' 5.13, a really steep, kick ass sport climb on the tall side of the Hallet Boulder. The day got me pretty fired up to do some more bouldering in the Park and elsewhere - I'm even toying with the idea of making a bouldering only trip in my future!
Now I'm off to the western slope, where I'll be spending most of the next month and a half hanging out, bolting new routes and trying some old ones. With September just days away, fall is right there... let's get psyched people!!!