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.