Saturday, January 25

next up

I often feel like momentum can be one of our greatest assets as climbers. It's easy to let go after a big win. We all want to celebrate, and enjoy the feeling of success and accomplishment - especially after hard work - it's important to enjoy it. It's these moments that give our months of training, our hours in the gym and our determination purpose. But I try to keep it brief. I've noticed over the years that this feeling is also a very powerful motivator. You just sent. You're confident, you're strong, and your inspired. Use this energy and put it forward!
smarvs books some air miles on the classic 'Gift'
good people
I took my stoke from La Lune and aimed it directly towards another incredible project. It's at a seldom visited, but truly special limestone crag outside of Red Rocks called The Promised Land. Several amazing projects were left behind at this stunning, remote crag developed in the 90's. I've visited this crag over the last few years and always had it floating in the back of my mind to one day revisit and get stoked on. It seemed like a good time and I'm so, so glad to be back up there. I'm very excited about the climbing up there. 

Seth Lytton reviving and projecting another forgotten PL rig. 
A few days back I finally got all of the moves done on this amazing golden, blue, bullet rock, super thin, bouldery and puzzling project. Yesterday I made such promising links that I decided to rest today and go hard for a redpoint tomorrow and monday. YES!
Neely Quinn riding the radical stoke train on 'Day One' 13b
Hope everyone has a great weekend out there.

also, check out a fresh gear review on the Metolius Bravo Quickdraw... 

Monday, January 13

La Lune

Early last March I wrote this blog post. At the time of writing I didn't know it, but I was close to giving up. The heat soon became overwhelming and it was not long at all before my efforts were futile. I got a late start trying the route, I had a rough time finding a solid partner, and my stoke gradually declined as I found myself driving northbound on I-15 again and again, making the same hike, returning by headlamp and doing the same warm ups in escalating heat. Projecting can be mentally exhausting, and this (last year) was my second year returning again and again to Arrow Canyon.

I love the place. I've certainly spent a fair amount of time there. I've dragged so many friends in there to show off its unique beauty, mind bending potential and its amazing climbing. I trained pretty hard through this past December anticipating my return to Arrow along with my remaining list of goals for 2014. Maybe it was a renewed psych, much better temperatures or maybe it was the hours spent on the hangboard and countless laps in the gym -- but something worked. The route felt considerably easier from the beginning. I made some great links on day 1, by day 3 I had two back-to-back 1 hangs and last Friday I finally ended my journey with this climb. La Lune was born, and my multi-season campaign in Arrow Canyon, on 2 neighboring and absolutely stunning routes, came to a beautiful close. 

Obviously I feel elated. I invested so much in this route and spent so many hours in 2013 dreaming about it. It was very difficult for me to walk away without success last year. It feels strange to have it done now, especially considering how damn hard I thought it was after last season. Could I have improved this much? Maybe I was completely destroyed mentally and physically last season and all I needed was a fresh start? I'm really not sure to be honest, and after being prepared for war against this seemingly undefeatable opponent, to claim victory after such a short battle almost seems unfair; it's almost as though I wanted the process to last longer. 

Climbing is such an interesting and varied pursuit, and likewise my experience with every major project has been as unique as the routes themselves. La Lune [9a] is free now, and my time in Arrow canyon will become mostly a memory - which is both exciting and saddening. I'm very proud of this route, and stoked to share it with the community. It really is one of the best out there.

Thanks so much to everyone - all the amazing friends - that gave me support and belays over the years in Arrow, it's been an amazing pursuit! I really, really appreciate it. 

Plenty more to do around here... on to the next project! 

Sunday, January 5


2014. Damn. 

2013 ended well. Surrounded with great friends, many opportunities opening up and exciting things in my future. One thing that I've always worked towards in my life is having something rad on the horizon, something inspiring to look forward to and something challenging coming up to motivate growth.

Since I returned from Bali in late November I've been steadily looking ahead. For the first time in my climbing I've been working with a trainer, trying new things and changing my habits. My goals have evolved and in an effort to really improve I wanted to finally check out what I could have been missing. It has of course been difficult but also awesome and very inspirational for me. I truly feel like I'm improving which is an amazing feeling.

In December I met new friends, and I spent invaluable time with some of my oldest friends. I honed my discipline into a radically different training program. I set routes in New York, I set routes at the Boulder Rock Club and I even set routes at a brand new gym at CU Boulder. I started shaping a line of my own holds - a vision that I've had for many years - with master shaper Ian Powell and Kilter Holds. I've been writing a piece for the American Alpine Journal, and working on several other editorial pieces. It's been a very successful, stressful and also an exciting month.

As soon as the year wrapped up, I packed my truck again. Said goodbye to lovely Boulder, Co and drove westward. This is my 4th year in Las Vegas. I'm sure it's evident by now, but I really love this place - the climbing, the landscape, the people, the experience, the lifestyle. In the last several years I've spent more time in Vegas than anywhere else, including my home state Colorado. It really is starting to feel more and more like 'home'. Although the truck, and wherever Zeke dog sleeps remains my most reliable place of rest.

Yesterday I was back in Arrow Canyon. Starring at the same wall as I did last year, and the year before that. I left empty handed after my battle last year but I'm ambitious and hopeful that I can make it happen this time around. Le RĂªve's neighbor, 'La Lune' is my hardest project yet and one that I've been dreaming about all year. Wish me luck... and a very happy 2014 to everyone! Thanks for another year of support. Hope to see you guys out there...