Sunday, December 27, 2009

LRC Today, HP40 Tomorrow

That's right folks, been at LRC today enjoying the perfect winter temps. I quickly dispatched Reflections (v10), a boulder I would not exactly suggest, and moved on to the projects. Tall Tee in particular had me psyched and Jimmy and I both had our best goes yet - hit the hold, stick, foot cut, hold for an instant, fail. Neither of us managed it though and after 4 or 5 days of effort on the single move without success I would say that this one might be the hardest in the South. I think it will go though - today I saw the light!

We moved on to a cool dyno project which king of dynos climbed quickly and which I would love to go back and try. It has a scary landing on a boulder which may have discouraged others but it wasn't half bad. In the end we decided to call it Watch Your Back. As for the grade, somewheres in the v11 range seems good. Nice work Jimmy!


Yeah, so LRC today and tomorrow headin' to the Pens. Mostly syked on Genetic, Landslide, and Skeletor. I'll let ya know how it goes.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Trip Footage

Here are a couple videos of our recent trip to AR and TX - thanks jimmy.

- Brion

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Home for the Holidays

I'm back in Chattanooga for a few days spending Christmas with family. I'm not sure what my plans are afterwards but I think a return trip to Arkansas may be in order. Top of my list there are Lost in the Hood, Wood Grain Grippin', Loved by Few Hated by Many, and the Zone.

As for the end of my Hueco trip, I finished Full Throttle. Being mostly pinches and compression I would not consider this problem in my style and completing it, I feel I've reached a new level. This problem also highlighted a slight shift in my climbing style from fingery crimp problems to power and compression. Don't get me wrong, I still love a good crimp line but I feel that I'm a more well-rounded climber. This is one reason I love returning to Hueco every season - it allows me to measure progress and changes in my climbing which I may not have noticed otherwise. I can't wait to get back to try Esperanza (v14), which I made some good links on, and Slashface (v13).

That being said, here are a few photos from the past week. Still to come is footage of Diabolique, El Techo, One Inch Pinch and a bunch of others.

Getting into the business on Diabolique


Jimmy on the last move of Diabolique

John climbing See Spot Run


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Trip Report

So I have been on the road for the past couple weeks. First it was Arkansas and now Hueco. I'll be heading home in a few days and hopefully will be able to get up some media and go in to more detail about the trip. For now I just wanted to throw up a quick update.

Arkansas was cold as balls - the first day was even too cold to climb. Afterwards though it warmed up and I was able to do a few things on my list including Flash Gordon (v9), One Inch Pinch (v12), Moondie (v9), Glass Bowl (v10), and Bloody Knuckles (v11). Brad Weaver unlocked bomber knee bar beta on Anti-Hero which makes the boulder easier despite the recently broken hold and then it started raining. We left a day early.

Hueco has been nice though - the land of never ending sunshine. I have been happy with my climbing here. Jimmy and I were able to quickly dispatch El Techo (v11) on our first day in the park and by day two I was able to climb Diabolique (v13). I have spent a couple days trying Full Throttle (v13) and yesterday fell from the last move 5 times. I'm heading back in the morning to try and finish it. Can't wait!

I guess that's all for now,


Monday, November 30, 2009

Boone Vid

Here is the video of me climbing On Any Sunday in Boone a week or so ago:

I spent this weekend in Miami - more like driving to Miami - and my skin is finally healed from a solid week of climbing outdoors. J Gass and I spent Wednesday climbing on some cool local problems and he was able to quickly dispatch a couple of classics. I repeated a few things and found this cool sit start to an existing v7. After working out some beta I'm very psyched to return with fresh skin. New problem!

John and I also spent a little time at LRC on Thursday before gorging on Thanksgiving feasts. I managed to repeat King James second go but then fell apart completely. It was quite a fun week though and it was good having johnny around to provide some new syke! Now it's raining again and Triple Crown is coming up. Time to hit the gym! Again....



Tuesday, November 24, 2009


What the hell is confidence anyway? Seemingly, it is only a perception of reality. Whether this perception is correct or incorrect, whether confidence is real or imaginary, outcomes often remain unchanged. The power of confidence is in this deception, and it is not therefore merely a perception of reality, but a reality itself. It is this obstacle which I find myself pitted against time and time again. Boulders become hurtles on the road to confidence and self-assurance.

The Southeast, I have found, is one of the most difficult places to build confidence in the U.S. Rain, heat, humidity, and hard low-grade boulder problems combined with a very short list of high-grade ones makes this place a confidence destroyer. Perhaps this is one reason the Southeast receives so little recognition from professional athletes and climbing publications. Instead, areas in Colorado housing easier higher grade boulders are recognized as the best climbing areas in the country.

On a completely unrelated subject, I spent Saturday in Boone with Nate, Brian, Rami and Jo Beth. After warming up at Lost Cove I tried Kratos (v12) a little - no dice. It's quite difficult and I must say, no fun at all. The holds are sharp, the moves are awkward, the line is uninspiring. We quickly moved on to a cool gently overhanging face climb called On Any Sunday (v10). I was able to send in a few tries and decided I might as well try the sit start. After quite a few greasy efforts, I was able to cool my skin and link it together. 2nd ascent maybe? Anyway, Nate came desperately close and returned to finish it the next day.

We also spent some time trying Don Johnson (v11) but I still couldn't manage the sloper dyno move. This thing is hard! Walking up on it it looks like v6 or something, but trying it is totally different. It starts low in a verticle crack, climb 3 feet to the top of the crack and the problem gets hard. A high left foot and a right hand lock-off allow you grab a small side-pull crimp. Then smear the right in the crack and jump to a bad sloper at the lip. From there the problem is like a really fun v5. Anyway, I'm gonna climb this one someday. It was getting dark at this point and with rain in the forecast for Sunday we decided to head for home.

I spent Monday climbing as well. It was mostly wet but I tried Grand Papa (v9) and failed, some v9 face and failed, Master Beta (v9) and failed. I got close on everything but my skin and the grimy rock were not getting along and at the end of the day I managed to punch 3 holes in 3 different tips. I always bleed!

Then Yesterday Jimmy, John, Brad and I decided to head out to LRC. I taped up 7 of 8 tips warmed up and was ready to go. I got super close to repeating Dragon Slayer - just bobbled to hold a couple times. Then Jimmy, Brad, and I were all able to climb Biggie Shortie but not Electric Boogaloo. Then, with literally no skin and on wet holds I got fairly close to repeating the Law.

Good times in Tennessee despite the crappy humidity.

More later,


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Between the Trees

So I just got finished watching Between the Trees and I have to say that I am syked! The climbing, the music, the filming, the personality in that video was unlike anything I've seen. Maybe that's because it was a British film, I don't know. If you haven't seen it, Between the Trees now comes highly recommended by me.

I was in Fontainbleu about 4 years ago (I was 17) on a trip with my high school. Of the 10 day trip we traveled 2, climbed 6, and spent 2 in Paris. I spent two days trying to climb Eclipse, the 7c finish to Total Eclipse, a problem featured in Dosage 2 (I think), but failed. Highlights from that trip include flashing Le Toit du Cul de Chien (footage on Modump here) and French pastries.

I can't wait to get back now that I'm a little older, a little wiser, and a little stronger to climb some of the classics in this video (Karma!).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


So the weather in Chattanooga is still not quite there. We have had a few nice days but rain and warm weather have been the norm. Mostly I have just been training for my upcoming trips to Arkansas and Hueco. I also seem to have developed a small tweak in my left ring finger. I'm resting it now and if nothing goes horribly wrong it should be o.k. by the time we leave.

Here is a video Jimmy shot last week. Enjoy.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Horse Pens

For me, the dreaded second leg of the triple crown, Horse Pens is an area known for downgrades. Years ago, I climbed my first v5 there, a problem called Bum Boy, now, with a broken start hold and a polish suitable for a Ferrari, it receives the measly grade of v2/3. On top of that the place is chock full of slopers... not my strong suit.
All this was going through my head Friday afternoon as Jo Beth and I made the 2 hour drive from Chattanooga.

After two days rest I was feeling anxious and energetic and for the first time in weeks my skin felt solid - almost like it could take an entire day of abuse. But it was warm. Even after sun set there was no need for more than a light jacket. I set about planning the coming day, wondering which problems would be easiest on a 70+ degree day. I circled them in the back of the guide book and went to bed.

The sun rises early in Alabama and I was up with it. I ate a small breakfast, drank a red bull and I was ready to go. Jimmy and I started at No Tranquility (v9). My troubles started here. The sun was already blasting the sloping edges and after quite a few tries I gave up. The next problem on my list was God Module (v11) and after only a few tries I managed it quite easily. I'd climbed this problem once before, 3 years ago and in the cold. It felt good to repeat it, it showed me just how far I've come. Anyway, after trying Slider sit (v10) a few times and failing I thought it might be easier to climb the longer version, Super Slider (v10). After falling on the last move of slider twice I managed this one as well. But 2 problems in I was already tired. Even so I was still able to climb Balrog (v10) and Hot and Tot (v10) before loosing it completely.

After failing on a Cadillac Thrills (v9), Five-0 (v9), and Pegmodo (v9), the rest of my day was spent ticking v8s, 6 of them to be exact. And the shorter the better. They included Odd Job, Megatron, American Pie, Thugs and Bitches, Hugs and Kisses, and Waterloo.

I was dead and so happy to be finished. After one of the most difficult and mentally grueling days of my climbing career I came out in 4th place behind Jimmy, Jeremy, and Carlo. I guess that means I'm going into Little Rock City in second place overall. And out of the three comps, home field advantage applies most here.



Thursday, November 5, 2009


I went back to LRC yesterday and finished off Odyssey. I'm quite happy about it as I never thought I would see the top of this boulder. It is my most difficult climb at this angle and a power slab if there ever was one. Here are some pictures Tim Hink took of me on it:

Here are some more pics of me messing around on some dynos:



Monday, November 2, 2009

My Topoutless Day

I made it out to LRC yesterday With Jimmy and Nate. Jimmy and I were psyched to try the Tall Tee project some more but neither of us managed to stick the crux move. Oh and I split two tips on the micro edges. So began my topoutless day. Afterwards we dumped our stuff below the v9 slab Odyssey.

I figured out beta pretty quick - grab the only hold on the problem, a left hand sidepull pocket, use some of the worst smears ever and to gain a small left hand sidepull. Pull left around the bulging arete and paste a left foot on another terrible smear, turn a left thumb down in the pocket, stand on the smear, move up left hand to a non-existent sloper and jack a right foot into the pocket. For a slab, this one is super physical and it wore me down quick. Oh and split another tip.

Nate meanwhile crushed Tennessee Thong aka Tiny Tee and Jimmy climbed Jut left - another one I didn't see the top of. It was not a productive day but I felt strong and I feel that I have made gains through my training. The weather this week looks good and I can't wait to get out again on Tuesday to finish Odyssey and take some photos before the leaves fall.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

LRC Projects

Jimmy and I have been trying some projects lately; haven't done any, but have tried many. The coolest of them climbs right of the v7 Tennessee Thong. From that problem's start you move left hand to the first good edge and bump right hand out to a micro edge just under the first tier of the roof. Perching on your right foot, your left hand floats up to another micro edge just above the second tier. The next move is quite a large, difficult move to a sloping pinch on the right arete. From there it's probably v6 to the top. Check it out if you are in the area and psyched on some small holds!

There is also an amazing slab project across from the v2 crack Mouse Trap still awaiting an ascent. So far, I have put three days into this one and have made absolutely no progress. I'm not even sure if this one goes but it is one of the most beautiful and distinct lines at LRC.

If you know anything at all about LRC projects you are probably wondering about the Barn Door Project. Well it's still a project. I'm super psyched to start trying this one once the temps drop a little more.

Oh, and here is a vid jimmy put together of me climbing The Power of Amida (v10) yesterday. Thanks buddy.



Sunday, October 25, 2009

Arkansas and Horse Pens Pics

Yesterday Jimmy, Kasia, Nate, Jo Beth and I were at Horse Pens. I hadn't been there is over a year and I was psyched to check out some stuff. After a warm up I was able to climb Odd Job, a tough little v8. Check Jimmy's video:

After watching Nate and Kasia on The Flow for a bit Jimmy and I were psyched to give some efforts on Genetic, the unrepeated James Litz v10. It remains unrepeated but we both came quite close. Since its first ascent, this one move boulder has been bumped to v11 but Jimmy and I agree that it may be even harder. Here are a few photos of us trying:

And here is one of Kasia on The Flow:

Jimmy and I also climbed Balrog (v10) and I was able to do Hot n Tot (v10) also. We finished up the day trying a cool project that traverses into Stingray (v9) from the right and may weigh in at around v11.

As promised, here are some pics from our trip to Arkansas last week.

Jimmy on Buddy

Jimmy on The Zone

Kasia on Fred's Cave

Me on 1 Inch Pinch

That's all for now,


Friday, October 23, 2009


So Arkansas was cool. Lots of climbing and a couple days of good weather. We spent the first day at Fred's Cave where Jimmy and I quickly did Buddy (v10). I was also able to do Chunk Up the Deuce (v12) and Jimmy finished off One Inch Pinch (v12). I tried One Inch Pinch and fell off the last move about 5 times ripping flappers on my left index and middle fingers. The next morning I woke up to stinging skin and decided to take it easy. The same day Nate and Kasia both completed Numerical Methods (v8) a cool arete on amazing rock.

My skin was still hurting the next day when we headed out for the Zone (v12). After 2 hours spent stomping down the Arkansas wilderness Jimmy and I finally found the problem. Jimmy was psyched, me, not so much. I think my morning redbull was wearing off. Anyway, after trying to warm up and climbing a v7 roof climb I decided to call it. Jimmy crushed the Zone, a power boulder that must have been made for him, and we hiked back to the ranch. Check the vid:

My skin was feeling slightly better the next morning. On our way out of town we decided to swing by Fred's Cave so I could try to finish off One Inch Pinch. No dice. The morning air was humid and I couldn't manage the send. Can't wait to go back and complete this one. The same day Jimmy and I did a cool line called Center Spooge (v10) which climbs the center of a tall face at Fontain Red. The boulder was a bit contrived and I think a little soft for v10 but it climbs well and it's very prominent. I was also able to do Fred's Cave which people still call v11. After falling off the last move on the flash and finishing second go, I would say v10 is more appropriate. Jimmy also did the PCP traverse and a line called Broken Earth. Meanwhile my skin failed completely.

I have a lot to get back to in Arkansas. One Inch Pinch, The Zone, Anti-hero, Loved By Few Hated by Many, and Glass Bowl are at the top of my list. I also have some photos from the trip to post later this week.



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More Rain, More Training

It's training time in Chattanooga a.k.a. it's raining again. It's been raining all week, and I've spent a lot of time indoors training. Since I'm always interested in how other climbers train, I thought it might be interesting to post my recent training regimen. I am by no means an expert on the subject so feel free to make comments and suggestions. Also, training for climbing is still quite a new concept and we could all really use feedback.

1. Running - Nothing too serious here. I have been doing 30 minutes or 3.5 miles which ever comes first. I like to keep the pace slow and steady for a long period of time to get my heart rate up without building leg muscle.
Frequency: every other day, 3 times a week.

2. Stretching - Definitely an area I don't know much about. I usually just do a little bit of everything but nothing in particular. Any suggestions?
Frequency: every day.

3. Hangs - I like to do about 20 minutes a day. 3 8-12 second hangs per hold type (ex. small pinches, wide pinches, small crimps, big crimps, slopers) and usually in the range of 5-7 hold types. 1 minute timed rests between hangs. I think it's important to pick holds you typically struggle with. For instance, if you are better at crimps, concentrate on slopers or pinches. Be sure to take this into account when purchasing a hangboard or other training devices. I just got a new one, the Etch Motherboard, check it out:

Frequency: every day.

4. Ab Ripper X - Look it up on Google videos. 11 sets, 25 reps, 16 minutes - the ultimate ab workout.
Frequency: every other day.

5. Bouldering for power - The fun stuff. I typically do a couple hours of power intensive bouldering whenever my body is feeling up to it. Again, I don't have a prescribed amount and sometimes I get carried away. I've found that the amount of power training you do simply depends on how you feel.
Frequency: whenever it suits me.

6. Endurance - Again, I am definitely not an expert. The frequency and intensity of an endurance workout, for me at least, differs from day to day. Because I'm not crazy about getting mad pumped, this has always been a difficult area for me to find motivation to train. I've found that endurance comes quickly when I'm psyched on a route or long boulder outside. Also, excess power seems to make up for a lack of endurance.
Frequency: whenever it suits me.

7. Upper Body - I have recently started doing a little more upper body work. After tearing his ACL, Ronnie Jenkins and I have been doing a pull up intensive workout that makes you wish you were dead. Start with 3 sets of 12 pull ups, resting only long enough for a partner to go. Continue with 3 sets of 3 frenchies. 1 frenchie is actually a set of 3 full pull ups... pull up, hold at full lock off for 5 sec., lower, pull up, lower until your arms are bent at 90 degrees, hold for 5 sec., lower, pull up, lower until your arms are only slightly bent, hold for 5 sec., lower. We continue with 3 sets of 1 one-arm frenchies (hold each position for 2 seconds). Then its L-hangs. We have been doing 3 sets of 3 pull-ups while holding the L-hang position and waiting 8 seconds between pulls. That's a total of 3 pull ups and 40 seconds in the L-hang position. And if we aren't completely dead by then, 3 sets of 5 second front levers finishes the job.
Frequency: every other day.

In other news, I'm on fall break now and Jimmy, Kasia, Nate, and I are heading to Arkansas this weekend to get out of the rain. It's a new area with new boulders and I am psyched! The weather looks bomber too! Check back next week for an update on that one.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Pictures

Here are some pictures from the last week or so:

Running Train on Incredarete (v2) at LRC

Nate Drolet on Celestial Mechanics (v7)

Kasia on the Wave (v6)

John on Room With A View (v10)

John on Room With A View

Jason Cassel on Chapter 13 (v7/8)


Monday, October 5, 2009

Hound Ears

The Triple Crown Bouldering Series kicked off this weekend at Hound Ears and, as always, it attracted quite a crowd. Tents and cars were already packed into the Grandfather Mountain Campground when we rolled in at 6 p.m. It was drizzling rain and after experiencing some disappointing weather in the past, I was worried. But the sky cleared, the boulders dried, and Saturday was one of the most beautiful days I've seen there.

After the quick morning bus ride, warm-up hike, and a small amount of scheming, 10 boulder problems didn't seem like such a difficult goal. Now, if I could just get warmed up... Warming up in a boulder field with hundreds of other excited competitors is nearly impossible though. Instead, I jumped in line behind Phil Schaal, Dave Wetmore, Jimmy Webb, and Max Zolotukhin on the traditional first problem of the open circuit, Mr. Thick. Then it was on to Pit bull, The Crusher, a project, Stupid Human, Rapid Fire, The Blunted extended start, Pimp Trick Gangsta Click, The Brady Problem, Oral Resume, and The Tourist.

Unexpectedly, I was able to climb a project which starts on The Crusher, a classic v10, and climbs left into Flash or Trash (v5). It took a few efforts and after some deliberation I chose to name it 1/2 Price Pornos. As for the grade, I think it's somewhere in the v11 range.

1/2 Price Pornos

The rest of the day was smooth sailing and I enjoyed climbing with good friends Jimmy Webb and John Gass. As always though, the best part is the end, sitting with friends, totaling your score, joking, eating.

By the end of it all I found myself in second place, in front of Max Zolotukhin and behind Jimmy Webb. Good job fellas!

Oh, and the after party didn't disappoint either!



Friday, October 2, 2009

We Made It

Summer has finally ended. In a single day temps dropped almost 20 degrees, setting us up for some fun first days outside. On Monday, Jimmy and I did an advanced circuit at Little Rock City. Check out the video he put together.

Tuesday I was psyched to go out to Pep Boys/Cumberland to climb a problem called Gross's Roof (v11). I first saw this problem last spring but a finger injury prevented me from actually trying it. This time it went quickly. Jimmy put together a video of the send.

Also, check out Colorado Glow a video featuring many friends: Jon glassberg, Nate Draughn, Ryan Olson, Carlo Traversi, and Alex Puccio. The full video should be availible October 15 but here is a short teaser.

I guess that's all for now,


Monday, September 21, 2009

The Flood


It's been raining for about a week straight now. Needless to say, I haven't been climbing outside. But I don't really care - it's still hot and rain murders my psyche. It's just so hard to care when the sky has been gray for a week. Seems like my bed is a better place to spend time than the gym. I have still been climbing indoors quite a bit though. Gotta get in shape for the Triple Crown - gotta earn that monaaaaayyy!

Anyway. I'm going to be in Atlanta this weekend for Adrenaline gym's 5 year anniversary comp. It's a weird format - both bouldering and route climbing - and I'm not entirely sure what to expect. Also, there is a party at TBA this Saturday the 26. It will resemble the TBA parties of old with a DJ, black lights, and, I'm sure, plenty to drink. COME OUT!



Friday, September 11, 2009


The Triple Crown Beta video that I shot last month with Andrew Kornylak is here! Thanks to Andrew and the TC for including me! CHECK IT:


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Air? Water? What's the Difference?

It was my birthday Friday. Another year ticked - the big 21/my climbing lifetime shortened by yet another year. I was happy to spend the day hanging out with Jo Beth in Knoxville while resting up for a long weekend in Boone.

We were expecting good conditions (70 degrees!). That was dumb! Climbing in Boone was like climbing in a cloud. Every problem had at least one wet hold, and the air was so thick you could drink it. After 3 hours of driving, though, we were sure going to do some climbing!

It turned out to be an alright day. After meeting up at Quiznos we all headed out to M1, a small area on 221 and warmed up on an amazing v5. Jimmy quickly dispatched Instinctual (v10), a problem I did back in March, and we moved around the corner to climb Don Johnson (v11). Soaked! We chalked the shiz out of it and gave some attempts. Neither of us could even do the moves.

Jimmy on Instinctual

So, in an attempt to find some dry rock, we drove over to Blowing Rock. It was only slightly better. After a second warm-up, Jimmy and I both climbed a low roof problem called Room With A View (v10). It was weirdish. Jimmy put together a video:

Clouds were already rolling in as we ate burritos at Black Cat and we unanimously decided to head for home. It was a late night and I'm sure DQ in Johnson City saved my life.

We are heading for the Concave tomorrow and I can't wait for another attempt on Southern Comfort!

Wish me luck,


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My Life is a Training Session

I live in between training sessions. That's when I eat, when I go to class, when I shower, Facebook, sleep. Actually, there isn't much sleep involved. Only about once a week do Jimmy, Kasia, and I get psyched enough to face the heat and drive down to the Concave. Then, after three pitches of warm up, assessing the miniscule details of heat and humidity, and one burn on Southern Comfort, we pile back into the car and head to the gym. That's how it went down on Monday at least.

In a typical fashion, we hit every gas station between Chattanooga and Fort Payne, AL (Jimmy needs his Subway and Red Bull).

And we roll into the parking lot at about 1... Ok, but who really cares about the blow by blow?! Jimmy and I both reached high points on the route and we took some cool photos; we went bouldering at the Citadel and took some cool photos; we went to the gym but didn't take any photos. Then it was bed time. THE END.

Here are the photos:

Photo: Jimmy Webb

Photo: Jimmy Webb

Photo: Jimmy Webb

Also, here is a video of me climbing Riddles in the Park (v12). I waited until the last day of my trip to try this one. I'm glad I pulled through - it's a good one. Check it out! Thanks to Jimmy for the edit.

Off to the gym,


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Freshly Squeezed

Jon edited the footage of me climbing Freshly Squeezed (v12) this summer in RMNP. Nate showed up with the video camera just in time to catch the send. Here it is:

Also, keep an eye out the next week or so for the new Triple Crown Beta video!

That's all for now,


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

and Continues...

School started last week which means I'm now waking up at 7 AM to get to class instead of 10 to go climbing. It also means many more gym sessions. But I've still been getting out quite a bit. For the past couple weeks, Jweb and I have been psyched on a route at Little River Canyon called Southern Comfort. At 5.14a, and climbing through the tallest, steepest part of the Concave, SoCo is definitely the most difficult thing I've ever tried on a rope. Really, the route can separated into 4 separate boulder problems ranging from v6-v8 with only one rest near the bottom. After a couple attempts it's obvious that my endurance needs some serious work. Still, I'm psyched to put in some good efforts and once it gets a little cooler I think it will go.

Southern Comfort

In other Brion Voges news, I was busy this past Saturday with Chad Wykle and photographer Andrew Kornylak, hammering out a Beta video for the Triple Crown Bouldering Series. We filmed two problems at Little Rock City, Human Hand Grenade (v6) and Instinct (v7). So stay tuned for some beta. The video was also promoting the new Team 5.10 shoe (see my earlier blogpost "The Trade of Showing") which is scheduled for release tomorrow. Also, check out Andrew's website and blog to see some of his incredible work. Oh and by the way, there is a similar Hound Ears Beta video on Deadpoint, Triple Crown, and Andrew's blog.

On Sunday, Jimmy, Kasia, and I were at the Obed to knock out a route I tried a couple times last August called Roughin' Up the Suspect (5.13b/c). After a beta run and a little rest that's just what I did.

Anyway, now it's time for class. I'll catch ya later.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Continues

Recently, Squamish, BC has been experiencing a heat wave and the climbing world has been bombarded with complaints. Compared with the Southeast's 5 month summer, three hot weeks in Squamish is a joke. So, if you Canadians were wondering how to survive summer, here are a few pointers:
  1. Lower your expectations. Unless you are a climbing god, you can't climb 5.14 in 90 degree weather with 70% humidity.
  2. Climb only in areas with easy access to swimming (don't forget sunscreen).
  3. Before climbing, move slowly to reduce sweat. While climbing, move quickly.
  4. Drink plenty of water. You might gain a pound or two (thank God your harness only weighs and ounce and your quickdraws are light as air), but you won't be dizzy either.
  5. Watch your skin and don't be afraid to tape. Remember, tape doesn't sweat.
  6. Bring along your Ipod. Those little suckers can turn even the sweatiest times into parties.
  7. Hit up Sonic on the return trip for a Route 44 - the biggest, coldest drink on earth - or ice cream.
  8. The gym is your friend. Go train indoors and enjoy the AC.
In other news, Jgass and I were at North Chickamauga Creek Saturday climbing boulders. There are two big boulders housing 15 or so problems. They are mostly tall moderates, 15ft and somewhere in the v5 range. Landings are horrible, sometimes no more than a few inches of water over the rocky creek bed. Even the padded landings there are dangerous. The problems, though, are amazing! There are even a couple projects that could be somewhere in the v12 range.

John and I really enjoyed ourselves, climbing nearly every problem the boulders had to offer and cooling off in the water when necessary. The psyche rolls on!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Home Again

I'm home a couple of days early, and, for now, I'm happy to be among friends and family. Soon enough I will be missing the cool air, afternoon thunderstorms, laughter and friendships this summer has provided. I have been gone for over 2 months, making this trip, by far, my longest. It was also my most productive. I climbed 26 double-digit problems and countless others. Strangely, my success has inspired a lot of thought about failure.

I hate failure, the mental torture it provokes, the self-questioning. Before climbing on a project or before a flash attempt I often experience a kind of performance anxiety. I find myself thinking, "I really don't want to fall," rather than, "I'm going to try my hardest." I have come to understand, though, that progress can only be made through failure. Those rare successes merely bolster confidence, making future failure tolerable.

I have witnessed many impressive failures this summer. I have failed countless times myself. These failures, and the incredible climbs which produce them, serve as my inspiration. This is why I train, this is why I try hard. It seems that those of us rock climbers who can tolerate the greatest failures achieve the greatest successes.

As for me, I finished up my season in Rock Mountain National Park climbing Bush Pilot (v11), Sunspot (v10) and Riddles in the Park (v12), three problems on my list from the start. I'm psyched!

This summer has been great. Thanks to my parents and my girl for helping me get there and back (literally)!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Trade of Showing

I'm back from Salt Lake City. Mostly it was hot. I was there. So were Jon and Olson. And Olson's Prius. Oh, and there was a comp. I feel like I did well in my first ever climbing competition - I placed 18th.

Also, comps are fun! I really enjoyed my 25 minutes of climbing and I'm looking forward to competing more often this year.

But the comp was just a bonus - the real reason we drove 8 hours through the Wyoming countryside was to meet and greet at the Outdoor Retailers Trade Show. The thing was huge. Needless to say there was a lot of wandering around. I found that I kept retracing my steps from the 5.10 booth, to the Verve booth and the Organic Booth, and back to 5.10.
Speaking of 5.10, they have some rad new product coming out soon. Check out the Team 5.10s and the Chase. There will also be some older shoe models in new colors. And the Five Tennie is coming back. Oh, and jeans!

In the end I found my two days at the show to be quite productive. I'll be back next year.

Also, according to John Dorough, Ronnie Jenkins put up quite a hard route back home. I don't know anything about it, I don't even know exactly it is, but I'm excited to try it soon! Nice work Jenkins!


Friday, July 24, 2009

The Grand Teton National Park

I was in Jackson, Wyoming last week with Jo Beth. Did I mention that the Tetons are beautiful?

So was the girl I was with.

We didn't do a whole lot - a little hiking but not much else. I really enjoyed myself. For a few days I had nowhere to be and no boulders to climb. I've found that if I push myself too hard and for too long my motivation fails completely. Even a few days away goes a long way toward rebuilding psyche.

A moose


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Need A Break

I'm leaving tomorrow for the Grand Teton with Jo Beth and her family. I'm excited to have a little break from climbing, my body is exhausted. Then it's on to Salt Lake City for the trade show and comp. I don't really know what to expect but I'm excited to be involved.

Also, Nate put together some of that footage I promised. Still to come is video of me climbing Freshly Squeezed (v12). Stay tuned...


Friday, July 10, 2009

Doin' Work

It's 90 degrees in Boulder today, 88 in our house. We have a small fan and one window AC unit. If the AC and the dishwasher are running simultaneously, the breaker trips and our power goes out. Breakfast is the best meal of the day.

On rest days we will do anything to get out of the house and into an air-conditioned building. Lately that has meant the Boulder Public Library. I haven't been resting too much though - there is too much climbing to do and too many new areas to be seen. Last week we visited an area called Guanella Pass. Its a small area, comparable to the Citadel or Zahnd back home, but the climbing was definitely worth the two hour drive from Boulder. I was extremely happy to climb the incredible Mind Matters (v12).

Here are some pictures of the day:

Bessie (v10)

Mind Matters (v12)

After our day at Guanella Pass, temps dropped, setting us up for some great days at the park. Sending time! In two days I was able to climb Freshly Squeezed (v12), Blood Money (v12), Skipper Roof Left (v11), Marble Direct (v10), Skipper Roof Right (v10), Far Left El Jorge (v9) and Teradacyl (v9).

Blood Money

Skipper Roof Left

Nate was also able to finish off some projects. He sent Eternia (v11), Skipper Roof Left (v11) and his first v12, Wildcat.

Skipper Roof Left


Also check out this video from Jimmy. In it I climb Skipper D (v8), an amazing problem in Upper Chaos.


Oh, and stay tuned the next couple days for some video of the sending spree!