Monday, July 28, 2008

A Day in the Park—RMNP

Lily Lake
Yesterday was my first trip to Rocky Mountain National Park this season and I had the privilege of bouldering with John Cardwell and Carlo Traversi. The temps were a little warm for hard sends and the mosquitos were starving, but it was gorgeous. So, I decided to soak it all in—with my camera.


John Cardwell explains what the hell is on his back to fellow hikers


There's no place like the park, there's no place like the park...

John Cardwell trying Nothing but Sunshine

Chad Greedy lapping Handicapps

Carlo Traversi with the moves


Lake Haiyaha

Also, I'd like to give the Strength and Honor Award to Andre Di Felice for doing Aslan and Aslan into The Marble—nice work!

there isn't anymore. you don't have to click this.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

IMPORTANT

Mike Hankins, an Oklahoma local, fell soloing in Eldo. He's in ICU in Denver. Thoughts, prayers, all that would be great.

News story about it.


Mountain project thread.

Mike is a kick ass guy so please support him.

there is not actually more.
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Photo Me!


Thanks to everyone who sent in photos for our little Photo Me contest sponsored by F-Stop. We had some great entries, but alas we can only have 3 winners. So stay tuned, we have picked the lucky 3 and will be posting the pics soon. For now, the Photo Me contest has halted. Thanks again to everyone who sent us stuff.

This was my own entry, but i disqualified it for two reasons. One, its really gay. Two, it would have won since I put the contest on.
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Hitchin' Up

I was poking around Facebook the other day and in those annoying little mini-feed was the most awesome picture I've ever seen in my entire life. I inspected a little further and discovered that Matt Bosley and teammate Charlotte Jouett got hitched! And look how badass she is! Climbing in a wedding dress? Awesome.

Anyway a big congratulations to two really excellent people and very talented climbers.

Oh and check out the photog that took the picture:
John Bamber with Bamber Photography
Oh and there's not actually more, but we can't get rid of that.
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Whiskey Wednesday



Merry Wednesday and Happy Mid-Week. Last night we celebrated the birth of Cassidy Hill in the People's Republic, by celebrate I mean we indulged in libations, many libations. So, I guess I jump started my Whiskey Wednesday festivities. My night ended by hugging Cass no less than 10 times and telling him "I love you man." Guess I get emotional when I drink. Anyhoo, on to hump-day heros...This Wednesday we acknowledge a powerful force in sport climbing. If you don't recognize the name Patxi, then emerge from your Platonic cave. This Basque national treasure has been exploding this year. World Cup Champion this, Mr. 5.15a that, I can onsight 5.14c! Could this little Basque boy be the greatest sport climber of all time? Time is telling, what's next for Mr. Patxi 9b? We shall see.
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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Anatomy of a Failure.

According to me, slab climbing means that my toes get pumped before my forearms. According to Rifle climbers, slab means that one's feet are never above ones head. According to Rifle locals, Beer Run is a slab route. To me, It's steep as shit-it overhangs probably 20 feet in 100. Regardless, Beer Run is a beautiful explosive confluence of crimpy, slopey, pumpy, hightstepping, flagging, backstepping circus trick awesomeness.

Beer Run is rated 13a, which means it will probably take me in the neighborhood of 15 solid tries, lots of soul searching, the perfect playlist and temps less than 75 degrees, humidity less than 12%, a rising barometric pressure of 34mm of mercury, and a perfect alignment of the stars. I have been on beer run MAYBE 4 solid times. I tried it last weekend at 95 degrees, 85% humidity, with a dropping barometric pressure and underneath stars that we about as out of alignment as a redneck's teeth. Basically, I had a better chance of getting rich in Vegas than of sending.

My thoughts:

Lacing up my shoes:
I'm awesome. I'm going to piss all over this route. Literally. I'll hang out in the crux, whip it out and bleed the lizard. That's how impervious I am to getting pumped. The cares of lactic acid are for Whole Foods eating douchbags, not me!!

Tying in: I am a baddass. Fuck humidity. Barometric what??

Bolt one: I'm smooth, I'm in control, I'm sending.

Bolt three: What the fuck is this sensation in my forearms???? Whatever. I am the shit!

Bolt four: Fuck the pump! I'm Awesome! I can crimp on a credit card!

Bolt five: (the bolt is at my knees) Why the fuck is the rope behind my leg? Why is this extdendo draw wrapping itself around my toes? Am I in a spiderweb?

“TAKE! TAKE! FOR THE LOVE OF JESUS, ZEUS AND ALL THAT HAS EVER BEEN HELD HOLY, TAKE GOD DAMN IT!”

McDonald's did this to me! I'm eating organic food from now on.

Hanging on bolt Five: I am a pussy. Why didn't I crimp harder?!? I wasn't even pumped. I'm a douchestick.

At the bar, four hours and six beers later: I could send beer run right now! Why did I think those holds we slick? They really have pretty good texture. Next time, I'll just put foot next to my ear, drop knee like I'm French, lock off on that sloper that's shiny enough to put on eyeshadow in front off, figure four off that mono pocket, and employ the dark arts to magically Zen myself to the chains!

I am awesome!


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new format

Yo everyone,

You're gonna have to deal with our new jump links. We are trying them out because they are snazzy. You'll see a little teaser, and then a [MORE!] link. Click that link to read the rest of the post. This will let you skip the shit you don't want to read more easily. Now you don't have to scroll through long posts of dribble you can't be bothered with. so it looks like this



And here is the rest of it.

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Newbie

Here's John P's latest Newbie comic. The rest after the jump!





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Monday, July 21, 2008

Shit you should see

Here's a recap of some recent stuff you need to know about.

[Photo: Outside.away.com]


Lisa Rands is crushing is South Africa [rockclimbing.com]

Patxi Usobiaga onsighted and almost onsighted some really REALLY nasty routes [Climbing.com]

Climbers are dying and for real it's a big bummer [Rock-and-Ice]

Bachar-Yerian without bolts! [ukclimbing.com]

Eldo climbers! Fixed gear apps are due. [mountainproject.com]
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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Friday Fight Night

I was inspired by Bronco's endorsement strategy for the president. Of course! Who would win in a fight? That's perfect! I thought maybe we should have a different sort of fight every week. Mine is a little more twisted it's less who wins in a fight and more who wins the most categories. To start I'm bringing two heavyweights to the ring to duke it out and determine who finally is the baddest ass of them all.


FINGER COUNT
Dean's 10 banana sized fingers v. Tommy's 9.5
Edge: Dean

FINGER USAGE
Dean climbs harder than most humans using 10 banana sized fingers v. Tommy climbs harder than most humans using 9.5
Edge: Tommy

BOULDERING HIGH BALLS
Dean's scary solos of boulders that are too tall to be considered boulders v. ...wait. Tommy and bouldering?
Edge: Dean

WOMEN
Steph Davis v. Beth Rodwell
Edge: both winners. You can't make me pick between those.
BIG WALLS
Tommy's Nose/Freerider ( 60+ pitches up to 5.14b) one day ascent v. Listen Dean, I'm sorry, but you lose the big wall category.
Edge: Tommy

MORE LIKELY TO GET INTO A CLUB
This v. This
Edge: Probably neither but we'll go with Dean.

DEATH WISH/INSANITY FACTOR
Well, Dean's got this, this, this, and this v. Tommy's got...this
Edge: Dean

Alright. Well by my count that's Dean 5, Tommy 3.
I'm certain there are more categories but frankly I'm tired of thinking about these two dudes. Add your own categories and answers in the comments.
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Friday, July 11, 2008

The Matt Segal Interview

   

Matt Segal made climbing history with his first free ascent of Iron Monkey, Eldo's hardest traditional route to date. Lately, Matt's been climbing up a storm, bringing fresh ambition to the trad world, plus a little attitude. We met up for a morning interview at the Trident, Boulder's favorite Buddhist-owned cafe/office. The next day he sent his project up at Independence Pass near Aspen. What's next? Only at P&C, this Miami compkid turned stonemonkey tradster comes clean about ethics, the Czech and his love life.  

 
 

C-note: Congrats on sending your project. What's it like?
Matt: It's pretty rad. It's a really varied roof crack that's got slopers, finger locks, fist jams, underclings, toe jams. And it's hard, which I like. The crux is the endurance factor and placing gear. I'd say it's 14 minus.

C-note: What are you gonna call it?
Matt: It was an old aid line, The Orangutang Roof, so for now, Orangutang...aka ADOO-ZEE.

C-note: What's next?
Matt: I'm leaving in a couple days to meet up with Ethan Pringle, teachin' homey how to trad climb! Eric Decaria taugh me how to trad climb, in his own unique way of teaching and not teaching. Now Ethan and I are gonna try The Path.

C-note: The Path?
Matt: Sonnie Trotter's route. He's like the Canadian poster boy for climbing.

C-note: Do you guys get along?
Matt: Yeah, we do for sure. We were wasted at like one in the afternoon the other day—me, him and Will Stanhope were bouldering and shit, soloing the buildings. It was like a reunion. Sonnie and I climb a bunch together.

C-note: I like Canadians.
Matt: I like Canada. Then I'm going to England with Kevin Jorgeson and Alex Honold. It's like Team America goes to England. Those two kids are really talented climbers. Alex freesoloes 5.12 plus big walls and Kevin boulders V14. It's like, who, those guys are bitchin'.

C-note: You've recently returned from the Czech Republic—it's pretty rugged there, no?
Matt: The Czech was one of the more different cragging experiences I've ever had. The most humbling but also odd. We just jumped into a climbing culture that entailed a lot of drinking and not a lot of climbing.  We all wondered what came first, the drinking or the scary climbing.



C-note: Why so scary?
Matt: No metal cams or nuts are allowed, so you tie knots in ropes and put them in cracks. 

C-note: Sketchy.
Matt: We didn't use chalk either. You're not allowed to use chalk on the rock. 

C-note: Why?
Matt: The no chalk thing is an aesthetic thing. People think it's abrasive to the eye. The no metal gear thing, I'm calling bullshit, they say the rock is too soft. I'm sure it has something to do with that, maybe Communism, too. 

C-note: How's that mesh with your sense of ethics?
Matt: It kinda flipped 'em all around. I mean the way old school ethic is to climb barefoot.

C-note: Damn hippies...
Matt: I look at climbing ethics more on a spectrum now. On one side you have barefoot, solo, ropeless and chalkless. On the other you have over-bolted, stealth rubber knee pad wearin', you know, the full on ordeal. 

C-note: Is it boring to talk about ethics?
Matt: It's hard to talk about 'cuz it's a gray area. The bottom line is how you walk up to a wall and climb it. I'm obviously not gonna manufacture any holds. But I still wanna climb hard. There are certain golden rules I follow. Every route deserves its own stylistic, ethical approach.
 


C-note: If you could chop the bolts on any climb, which would it be?
Matt: A lot of climbs in Boulder deserve chopping: China Doll, Deadline. I don't think there should be bolts on either of those routes.

C-note: Do you ever just climb and forget about the ethics of it all?
Matt: Yeah, it's called bouldering. Seriously, bouldering is really pure. You can just go climbing.

C-note: I LIIIIIIKE! What's it like to be a professional climber—you're living the dream!  
Matt: Ever since I started climbing when I was 14, I wanted to be a pro climber. Now that I've been given the opportunity to do it, it's pretty sick. Obviously, my sponsors make it happen and friends hook it up along the way. But it has its ups and downs. The ups are exceptional but the downs are like 'don't know if I can make it to tomorrow' kinda downs. 

C-note: I thought it was normal to feel like that...
Matt: For me, it's the ungroundedness of the lifestyle. I've always had something grounding me, whether it was school, a girlfriend, and not having that can be really hard. But being a pro climber doesn't mean I have to be on the road constantly. It's doing what inspires me and I can do that anywhere there's good climbing! I've just been keeping myself busy on the road. Sometimes that's the easiest way to deal—see ya I'm out!

C-note: Do you think climbing is selfish?
Matt: Climbing can be extremely selfish, being that it's purely motivated by your own ego in a lot of ways. We're selfish as climbers. We were just talking to a woman here who dated a climber and, you know, all climbers just wanna go climbing. I was in a relationship with a climber and it was like you go to your climbing area and I go to mine. 

C-note: Do you think it works with climbers and non-climbers?
Matt: I don't know, it's a catch-22. It doesn't really work with non-climbers. It's not like, oh, she doesn't climb, she's not cool. It's more like, I'm gonna travel to go climbing and you're not. If you're a non-climber, what are gonna do at climbing areas? Fuck bitches, climb rocks. I don't think you can quote that, that's bad.

C-note: No, we can definitely quote you. 
Matt: A lot of climbing couples make it work, like Tommy and Beth.

C-note: Puke.
Matt: I love those guys but they are like Team America at its finest. They own a house in Estes, a house in Yosemite, they're always happy and smiley. They're not in the dark clouds like the rest of us. I'd like to believe I could find a climbing girl and have a healthy relationship. Yeah. Positive thoughts. Not getting sucked into the dark hole again.

C-note: I'm all about the dark hole right now.
Matt: Yeah, I've been good about staying out of it the past few days. Climbing helps me stay out of the dark hole. Doing nothing, seeing ex girlfriends, this sort of stuff is very black hole-esque.

C-note: This interview?
Matt: No, this is pretty playful. No black holes in the interview. Have you seen Weeds?

C-note: A couple episodes of season 1. Why?
Matt: There's a line I really like in it, "thugs don't have to say sorry." I'm over tiptoeing around people at the moment. Like right now, I'm gonna go in the Trident and not tiptoe, I'm gonna
stomp and shit, make a point.





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Newbie the comic.

John Proctor was kind enough to start doing a comic for us. Hope you enjoy!








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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Style Points

Scope this video from Nelson Carayannis! I don't know Nelson, but this is Fucking Awesome! Completely our style. Enjoy.


matt lloyd from Nelson Carayannis on Vimeo.
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Whiskey Wednesday

This week's debacharous salute goes not to a single person, but to a single action. We've all done it, some more than others. It can be exhilarating, frustrating, mundane, and frightening. I've seen it done with grace and style, however, I've also seen it completed in the most unsightly fashion. You may know it as falling, taking a digger, or whipping.

I could tell you some lame story from my own vault of whipping history, but I choose to give you a brief story of whiptastic proportions.

The crag: Rock of Ages. The climbers: Arnold Braker/Maury Birdwell.

The boys objective for a fine July day was to inspect a route called The Wasp (5.13a Traditional). To make a long story short, I will tell you that the lad's warm-up for the day set the tone that would crescendo into digger history, at least for one of them. Let's just say that this warm-up involved a Factor 1.8 fall where climber ended up 15 below belayer. Yikes!

Feeling strong? the boys decided to test their traditional prowess on an even harder route! For the sake of saving time, I will let our Whippy Wednesday hero explain in his own words.

I led through to bottom section with little trouble, and took a while to figure out the crux - which entailed multiple 25 foot falls onto a green alien cam. No biggee. I lowered off, and after a good rest got through the crux. As I’d anticipated, there was a great rest after the crux; unfortunately, the bomber gear placements I’d thought would accompany this stance were missing. I managed to blindly shove a .5 camalot into a hole at my feet. Then a few more strenuous moves and I placed a black alien (the smallest they make) and took a quick hang. As I was pulling it off my rack I dropped my extra green alien, with the sickening feeling I would be needing it soon. I was right, as about ten feet later the only placement I could find was a perfect green alien slot - I forced a yellow alien partways in, knowing it was in no way sound.

At this point my only viable was to push on and get to the anchors (or the fixed pin five feet below them). I made it to the pin, barely, which was in the middle of another crux. As my left hand popped off I thought to myself, “Well, I was wondering if the last cam was any good.” It was not. Here’s a summary of my thought process:

Falling, rope starts to come taught on yellow alien, it pops out.

“Oh well, I was expecting that.”

Falling more, rope begins to tighten on black alien, it pops.

“Well crap, I thought that was good.”

Rope comes to on the .5 camalot, and it also pulls out.

“Sonofabitch!”

Nonetheless, that little green guy I’d been lobbing on before held fast, arresting me about 20 feet from the ground, mostly unharmed: I scraped up my arm a bit, got some rope burn, and tweaked my ankle. Feeling good now and ready to get back up there.
Mister Birdwell has since recovered from his 60+ foot lead fall on the now infamous green alien and is close to sending.

On another note, I just got word that Cassidy Hill DID send the Wasp today! Congrats Cass and Cheers to all who have and will Whip!

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New York Climbs

For the third time in the last month or so the new New York Times building was scaled. Last night some ridiculous protester climbed up to the fifth floor and put up a really insignificant little banner. He then climbed higher and just hung out for a while calling one of the daily newspapers to tell them stuff. Then he got arrested. I guess this is what you get when you design a building like a ladder which this lady Catherine Mathis must have failed to notice. Perhaps she's blind.

"We are trying to ascertain how he got up the building," said New York Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis.

Well Catherine I think it's obvious.
They should put me on CSI.

Last month Alain Robert climbed the whole building (52 stories) as a demonstration for the environment. A copy-cat climber pulled himself to the top that same day which I hear really pissed Alain off. I dunno about all this. The route to the top is probably a 5.3 MAYBE and you get a rest every so often because you can climb into the window sills.

Silliness. Awesome silliness, but silliness.
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Monday, July 7, 2008

Climber Dies In Mystery Crash on I-7o

In a tragic accident yesterday, climber Jeffrey Smith was killed in a mysterious crash while traveling on I-70 near Vail pass. The crash proved troubling to authorities because there were no other cars involved and they found zero evidence of drug or alcohol impairment. Officer Simon Gulch says the mystery was finally solved when an eyewitness came forward and described a surprising scenario. Joey Stiffler says he was a few car lengths behind the Subaru when I saw the driver wilding gesticulating. “At first I thought the driver and passenger were in a heated argument. It looked like they were close to fisticuffs. But then I realized he was pantomiming beta for Simply Read. That's when I got really worried because it was obvious he was in The Zone rehearsing the route and was more concerned with his beta than with the road.” Joe says that the victim was two moves away from a vicious kneebar crux when he began honking, trying to break Smith from his daydream. “I could see it all playing out before it actually happened. The poor guy- he had the route so wired. Throwing that kneebar into the steering wheel must have been pure instinct at that point. I don't think he ever realized what happened. He was clipping the anchors when I saw the car burst into flames.”

The parents of the victim have introduced a bill into the state senate which will ban climbers from discussing beta about any route while operating a motor vehicle. Says Jeffrey's parents, “It's a shame that there aren't laws to prevent tragedies like this. I really think that the ban will make the roads safer for all of us.”


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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Lucille Onsight!?


I don't know if offwidth climbing is pimpin or not, it's definitely not crimpin, but I couldn't let this report slide.

I typically see an OW (or offwidth for the layperson) and cringe. How and Why do people climb OWs? There are many things that I would rather do than climb OWs, the worst of which involves bells, whistles, whips, chains, yo-yos, a circus midget, my grandmother riding by on a unicycle giving me the finger, and a rubber duck. Entering into OW land is scary, at least for me. I have heavy foreign objects dangling from my harness, I move 3 inches and start breathing like I just ran 10 miles, there's always a lot of kicking and thrutching, and half the time I feel like I'm stuck. No FUN! But some people love OWs. They search out these gapping beasts with vim and vigor. Masochistic sons of bitches!

Anyway, when I saw this I was astonished and thought it desevered special attention. OW capital of the world starts with a V and ends with a woo or voo, I never know how to say it. One of the grandaddies or maybe grandmamas of offwidthing is a route called Lucille 12+. This route may have seen like 6 or 7 ascents, none by a woman and Pamela Varco walks up onsights the route! Sick! Go PAM! Keep on keeping on.
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Rifle Officially Declared a Chosspile by FEMA

Last week, the popular climbing area of Rifle Colorado was declared a Chosspile by FEMA director David Paulison. In a sweeping decision that will affect hundreds of climbers this weekend, Paulison declared the crag unfit for human crimping. Although the crag has been in use by the sport climbing subculture for over 20 years, sharp increases in popularity finally brought the crag onto FEMA radar. “We had heard reports expressing concern over the unstable nature of Rifle limestone” says Paulison, “but last week digital photos began filtering into our office. We saw how truly Chossy Rifle really was. We had to take action. So we closed the area. We really do care.” FEMA hopes to relocate the displaced Rifle climbers to safer and more aesthetic crags throughout Colorado. Although federal assistance is available, local 5.13 climber Dick Pertman says he's afraid to try other climbing crags because of “aggressive friction, simplistic beta and a lack of kneebars.” Over beers at the Glenwood brewpub, he opined to reporters: “I mean honestly, what the hell am I going to with all these specialized kneepads? I have over $900 worth. Somebody really should pay for this. Where am I supposed to go? Shelf fucking Road? That place is like climbing for retards. Crimp Crimp High Step Crimp. I don't know what I'm gonna do. Without kneebars, I probably can't climb 5.11. I might kill myself. That Paulison Fucker better pay for me to move to Rodellar.”


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Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July pimpers and crimpers!

Here's some Fourth of July video fun, guaranteed to nurse you off the couch and back to the bars just in time for Saturday night! Check out Boulder's favorite climbing prodigy, Daniel Woods, send Holloway's historic Trice—V12, and recreate a modern testpiece Apocalypse—first V13 on Flagstaff Mountain. (Apocalypse involves climbing the UnderCling Traverse backward into Trice.) CHECK IT!

video
Video courtesy of Chad Greedy at Hardclimbs.com
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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Whiskey Wednesday is Back Baby!

Wooooooo Hooooooo! We are back with some Jack Daniels or Early Times (depending on your budget) vengeance!!! It's been a while since the prestigious Wednesday debauchery award has been presented, but alas, we have returned and are psyched about this Week's hero!

Okay, so here is the situation. Most of you know that we have been Rifle bound the past 4 weekends in a row. We love Rifle and now that you know the "scene" in Rifle (thanks to A.B.) you may appreciate this scenario from the past weekend.

Friday afternoon, Arnold, Jen and I load up my rig with sleeping bags, climbing gear, dogs, Franzia, and Beer headed toward our weekend retreat, Rifle! On the way out Ms. Sauer and I begin the discussion on where we will lay our heads for the night. Two free camp sites are the topic, The Corral or The Meadow. We decide on my choice The Corral, but Jen keeps baiting me with how good the Meadow is, so I give in. As we turn off I-70 at New Castle we crack a beer and enjoy the 12 or so miles into the canyon. As we pass the familiar walls of Rifle Mountain Park and head up canyon to the free camping I get minutely psyched about camping in Aspens and cooler weather.

After a slight missed turn, we pull into The Meadow. We see one party and decide to park semi-close to their raging fire. As we step out of the truck we notice that the campfire is really bonfire and the vehicles that encompass the fire are all huge SUVs tha are blaring satellite hip-hop radio. Normally, we would be psyched, but tonight we are tired and want to get some rest for two days of climbing. If you know me, I sleep very well, anywhere, anytime, with anyone! I fall asleep, quick. Jen on the other hand is having some trouble. She decides in her hip-hop induced insomnia to politely ask our friends to turn their music down a little. She was faced with adversity, bitchy adversity at that. Evidently, this was what I refer to as a "Bachellorete Rager"! All women, all Rednecks, all Drunk!

What more can I say. So, the award goes to Jen for her actions the next morning. Like I said, I slept through the whole thing, as I am known to do. Jen however, did not. She was up and at'em around 6:30 or so. Waiting patiently for Arnold and I to rise for the morning. Her initial plan, play loud music, but she settled on honking my horn for 30 seconds or so and screaming at the top of her lungs, "GOOD MORNING!!! And then we left. Scared.

So, Jen Sauer gets Whiskey Wednesday for having the balls to stand up to Redneck Rifle Women, who probably have guns and probably know how to use them effectively.

Cheers Jen!
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New River Rendezvous

Your boy Wig got another little article on another website. Though it's not my best writing it's at least out there for the world to see. Oh by the way, if any of you get a chance to make it out to the NRR next year, GO. The event was amazing. I've never seen so many kegs of free beer in my whole life. for real.

See the article--->HERE
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