Sunday, June 19, 2011

Photo Update

Well I don't have a whole lot to say but I do have quite a few photos of things we have been trying lately.

Me on Little House on the Prairie
photo: Nate Drolet

Brad on Little House
photo: Nate Drolet

Preston on Little House (check out that try hard face!?)
photo: Nate Drolet

What are you doing Brad????
photo: Nate Drolet

The first grip on the Honey Badger

Uncovering The Mote In God's Eye
photo: Brad Weaver

Brad on Mote In God's Eye

Brad on Mote in God's Eye

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mt. Evans Update

I feel very lucky. Almost everyday for 3 weeks now I have been fortunate enough to enjoy the beautiful scenery, incredible boulder problems, and the company of good friends at Mt. Evans. On top of that I have been climbing very well which is always nice. I'm feeling worn out now and today is the first of 2 well deserved rest days, but I'm still hoping to scrape out a couple more boulders while I'm here. Here are a couple shots John got of me on things I've been trying:

Big Worm (v14)

Me on Vanilla Sky (v13)

Friends have been climbing well too. Here are some photos I took:

Preston on the Great War for Civilisation (v13)

Brad on Phobos (v10)

Also, here is a super nice shot that Ivo Penchev took of me on To You Scattered Bodies Go. You can check out Ivo's awesome website for more.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Moving Forward

Well I'm up at 5 am because my skin is on fire. It's really incredible that this is the first time in 3 weeks of intense bouldering that my skin has given me any trouble. I'll probably be taking a couple days off to heal it up before heading back out to the boulders. I think I need a couple days to recover mentally as well. I've found that trying boulders at my personal limit is more exhausting mentally than physically, and recently I've been feeling a little under the weather in this respect. I've also been thinking of home more and more. I am not one of those guys that can just live for months and months on the road. I need a home, a place to stretch my legs, and something apart from climbing to focus on.

More than climbing in Colorado, the future of climbing in the South is the subject of this blog post. I would speculate that the next few years are going to be a renaissance for climbing there. By comparison, the South is behind in terms of popularity of the sport and in terms of climbing difficulty (the two are probably highly correlated). Of course, access issues have always stunted the growth of climbing there, but gyms like Stone Summit in Atlanta and TBA, the local gym in Chattanooga, (among other organizations and businesses) are attempting to advance climbing throughout the region. Youth programs are growing, outdoor sports are gaining acceptance, and a motivated group of climbers is bringing the area out of it's self-imposed dark-age and into the mainstream. Climbers in the region are strictly divided on whether this movement is good or bad.

It certainly means more people at climbing areas, and again, access is a huge concern. Also at stake though is the old school feeling - peace, solitude, and friendship. I've had extended contact with both sides. My first climbing experiences were filled with secrecy, intrigue, and close friends. I remember sneaking in to Little Rock City when I was 15 and I remember the great days I had at the satellite areas around Chattanooga in complete solitude. I've also experienced several alpine seasons in Colorado, competitions, sponsorships, and new school gyms. Whatever happens in the next few years will be O.K. with me - I'm not fighting anything - I'm just excited about some new boulders. Jimmy Webb and I have a couple good leads and there I feel strong enough now to really push difficulty in the region.

I have another week in Denver before heading to Rifle for a couple days and then back to Chattanooga.

Hope to see you out there,


Monday, June 6, 2011

Back in Colorado

Well there has been a lot going on lately and I haven't been posting much. I did do several posts on the 5.10 blog as Ronnie Jenkins and I traveled around doing shoe demos and such. You can check them out here if you feel so inclined. Now I'm in Denver hanging out with John Gass. We have been climbing almost every day for a week now and I'm very pleased with how it's been going. Thus far, most of our time has been spent at Lincoln Lake enjoying the boulders established by Dave Graham and Daniel Woods last summer. Here are a couple photos that John took of me:

We Can Build You (v14)

The Exfoliator (v12)

We've also spent some time cleaning some new boulders. One in particular is really nice. The boulder is slightly less than vertical with a line of crystal holds leading to the top. We decided to call it Another Tomorrow (v5).

Another Tomorrow (v5)

Tangerine Man (v8)

We will be heading back tomorrow and I'm already excited about it - I love alpine bouldering!