Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gettin' back to it...

Well I finally feel like I'm back on form.  After a frustrating week I've been rewarded.  The Crown Of Aragorn went down.  I worked the climb a bit last season without much luck.  This year I went up to it, re-worked the moves and actually sent it first try from the start.  What a relief.  For me Crown is one of the best.  Some say its just a "traverse" but the real players know what's up.  

On the non-climbing side of things Hueco is getting busier day by day.  Lots of friends are arriving and it looks like new years is going to be great.  It's not often for me to have so many good friends all in the same place at once.  The festivities look to be prime this year.

I'll wrap it up and show off my latest success, 


video

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hueco...

Where else would you go during the wintery months other than “The” Hueco Tanks.   Nikki and I have been here for about a week.  Not much to report from me.  I’ve been getting used to the steep climbing and hope to hit a stride soon.  At least my queen is holding it down for us.  Nikki is getting back in the game.  After having a frustrating time in Bishop, Nikki is bringing her game to Hueco.  So far Nikki has gotten 2 v4’s and a bunch of V2’s under her belt. Including the classic, “Nobody Gets out of here Alive.”  All without much effort I might add.  As for me I’m hoping to finish off a few projects from last year.  That’s all I’ll say so I don’t punt myself by talking too much about what I want to do.

As most climbers go with the tougher option to camp out near the park.  Nikki and I have chosen the softer more expensive alternative, the hotel.  It makes the round trip drive to and from the park, a whopping 65+ miles.  But I’m so happy to be in a warm room with a nice TV.  Nikki is going home for the holidays while I’ll be here  in West Texas .  I’ll be sad with out her by my side but I’ll get through it.

So as I sign out before the holidays I wish everyone who has found there way to this blog a merry whatever you celebrate.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Rootz...

Everyone remembers their first's.  Maybe that first 5.10 or V4 whatever it was it will always be special to you.  When I started climbing bouldering was not as popular as today so I didn't start bouldering until I was climbing for a few years.  After I finally gave into bouldering 100% I needed to get strong and Indian Rock in the Berkley Hills was the place.  Indian Rock is less that a good place by todays standards but it was all that I had for outside climbing.  On top of the sharp rock, most of the problems are eliminates.  Either way Indian Rock tough me how to get strong on pure will.  

Below is a video of me climbing my first V5 called The Snatch.  It took me about a month to get the one move-er done.  The next one is the Super Snatch a V7, that one took me two summers to do.  And finally, Stone Face V7, which was my first V7 (at the time I thought it was V8 though), which I did on my last day in Cali for that year.  These problems are very special to me even if some of them are eliminates. 

 
video

Now Nikki and I are driving to Hueco.  We stopped in Redlands, Ca yesterday to say hello to the guys at Five Ten and check out the operation.  Isaac was really nice and gave us the grand tour, thanks Isaac for a great visit.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Tahoe....

Nikki and I have been in the Bay for a week now visiting my Dad and climbing a bit.  In my  last post I mentioned that I had a weird feeling in my pinky.  Sadly the feeling is still there so I've had to tape the whole finger (to the point where I can't bend it) every time I climb.  This might be my first finger injury.  I hate to admit this but I think its true.  The plus side is that it is just a pinky and I can still train and climb.  Now I just have to pay close attention to my finger.

The other day my friend Will, Nikki, and myself drove to Donner Summit to check out the Saddle Boulders.  I had been there before but not since 2001 so I was keen to see what new problems had been established.  The day was perfect, cold in the shade and kind of warm in the sun.  The rock was sticky as shit in a blanket and we all ended up having a nice day.  Will finished out the day by firing The Hobo (well done!) and the highlight for me was flashing this great V11 called Wik's Problem (or The Hobo Direct).  

Here is the video,


video

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Last day in the East Side (for now)...

Bishops' time is coming to an end.  The daytime high's have been in the mid 70's everyday.  Just not good enough!  There were 3 days of good conditions in the beginning.  Climbing hit a high point then.  Unfortunately for the last couple of weeks our days have been spent waiting for the end of the day in hopes of cold conditions.  We busted out the lanterns a few times without much luck.  All in all, holding out for the last hour of the day every day has left us unmotivated.  So the end result of all that banter is, The Swarm didn't go.  When it was cold I thought I might be able to lock it down but in the end I couldn't.  Next time.   I think The Swarm also hurt my right pinky finger.  It doesn't hurt too bad, just feels inflamed on the top side of the knuckle.  At least we've been chillin' with some cool peeps', Mark and Tilly from Down Unda.  Great job Tilly on the FFA of Stained Glass (with a nasty bloody split tip, respect).  And my homeboy from the Yay Area, Will.  

Nikki and are leaving for the Yay on Sunday.  We're planning on spending a couple of weeks, chillin' with family and friends, and training in the dungeon.  From there we're planning a return visit to Bishop then on to Hueco.

Here is a video of my best effort on The Swarm and my consolation prize, The Mystery.


video

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Split tips and bruised egos...




Its been hot to say the least here in bishop.  About 75 deg. every day which leaves us waiting for the sun to go under the mountains or lantern sessions at night has been our only salvation. Nikki has been working 3 very stunning lines and is going to wrap them up any time now. My mate Will has been climbing very well, sending the classic soul slinger and is close to the power test piece Center Direct.  As for me I've been puntin' it on The Swarm.  Its not that I can't do the moves or the problem is above my head, I just cant seam to get the 4th move on link.  The first 2 or 3 moves are, excuse me, piss.  I've done them many times from the start now but with this warm weather what can I expect.  In addition my left ring finger is so close to splitting that I'm going to have to take some time off it.  Supa Bummed....

Well now that I've cried out my sorrows here are a few pictures that nikki and I took of the last few days.









Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bishop...

We've been in Bishop for a week now and things are going fairly well.  The first couple days were hot!  Now temps have cooled off and the conditions are amazing. After getting settled I went straight to work on Direction.  For me this line climbs some of the best patina I have ever seen.  Direction isn't the purest line but it makes up for it with incredible  movement on nice holds.  I tried Direction last year so I knew what to do and hooked it up in a few sessions.  Since then I have been working on The Swarm.  What a stunning line!  I've climbed through the first two moves a good number of times now.  Hopefully my fingers stay strong and I'll satch it up.

Here is Direction...



video

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Still In SLC...

After my last post I figured my next one would be from Ibex or Bishop but no, we are still in SLC.  Nikki and I have been having a great time hanging with our friends and family.  We were dead set to leave on Sunday but the forecast for Monday looked fair and I wanted one more chance to climb my nemesis, Bully.  I've tried Bully many days on visits during the summer when temps were up in the 90's.  Dumb I know but the problem is so classic in my mind that I kept going back.  So to make a long and drawn out story about my time spent trying to climb this problem short, I'll break it down like this.  5 days over two summers enduring 90+ deg. heat plus two ok days this time around is what it took me to complete bully.  A huge weight is now off my back.

Here is the video of the ground breaking accent (hahaha).


video

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sittin in SLC

Nikki and I have been in Utah for the last 8 days.  The trip has been great except for the climbing side.  Nikki and I took some time getting into the style at Joe's and we fell short of our goals.  For me Black Out was my prime objective.  At first it was going well, I managed all the moves and started going from the start.  Shortly there after I split my left middle and ring finger tips at once.  Needless to say I was out, on Black Out.  Nikki is gunning for the V8 mark on this trip so feeling weak in Joes was a letdown for her. 

Now we are staying at my Uncle Carl's house in Salt Lake.  Nikki and I got a day at LCC and we had a nice time toughening up our tips for Bishop.  I put together a short video of Joes and one problem in LCC I hope ya'all  enjoy.



video

Monday, October 27, 2008

On the Road Again...

It’s been a few since my last post.  Lots to talk about.  The first thing is that Nikki and I have left Boulder, hopefully not forever.  Nikki and I truly felt at home in the bubble.  It may not be for everyone; drunken college kids, snobby yuppies, and a high price on everything make Boulder a hard place to settle down.   I know Nikki and I will be back some day.

So the last week, well two weeks I sent every climbing day trying to finish off the endurance problem that is Freaks of the Industry.  I had tried Freaks in the beginning of September and got close but then stepped away frustrated by my lack of endurance.  Since I had other problems in mind I didn’t much care for trying freaks anymore.  Then a month later I finished off my other problems and was then left with Freaks.  First day back I fell very, very close to the end and thought in was in the sach.  little did I know what I would be facing the next 4 or 5 days trying to finish it off.  Maybe my 3rd day I got to the very end again but couldn’t close the deal.  Next day back I didn’t even come close to my previous high point.  Motivation was nil.  I had lots of work to do packing up my entire life into my truck so I figured freaks would have to wait until I was back in CO. whenever that would be.

I had to bring some things to Estes Park that my friends are going to bring to me later in the fall so I knew I had one chance to finish freaks.  I headed up with Jason and Sander to what were arctic conditions.  It had to be sub 20 deg. with a fierce wind.  Warming up felt like I had a needle full of hot oil injected into my arms and fingers.  Things were not looking good.  First couple of tries were far less than sub-par.  I just figured to hell with it.  So I said “This I going to be my last try for ever.  Wouldn’t it be great if I could just pull it off right now.” (That was verbatim.)  So I pulled on and got through the technical beginning.  Set up for the big move out right, stuck it.  I set the heel hook and just started climbing faster.  Now I was at the infamous match, a hold bigger that a door jam that feels like crimping a glass table.  I got past that and thought, I will not get back here today if I fall, this was my last day in CO.  I had already fallen here three times before so now was my final chance.  I felt like I was falling off but sketched my way through the next moves and was looking at the final jug.  Normally and anyone who has ever tried freaks knows how easy this move is.  Well for me it felt like a V13 move by itself.  I reached my hand up for what felt like eternity and then felt the jug.  I had done it!!!

Now Nikki and I are in Joes.  The weather is perfect and hopefully I can manage an accent of Black Out.  It's a crimper problem on perfect rock.  Here is the video of Freaks, thanks to Jason for it.  I had given up and left my camera in the bag. 

video

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rainy Days



It's been raining for the last two days here in boulder, snowing in the higher elevations.  The end of the park season is near.  I headed up to Mt. Evans with some friends on friday.  It was cloudy and cold in boulder with a bit of rain as well.  But as we kept driving higher and higher the clouds turned into blue sky and I knew that we were going to have prime conditions.  I was planning on climbing Ode to the Modern Man but got shut down by a split tip within 30 minutes.  

So that was that for me on Ode.  I desperately hope to get another day on it before Nikki and I leave Boulder.  After getting shut down I decided to get as much mileage as I could.  I moved over to Clear Blue Sky, a outstanding crimper problem, which my friends were working on.  I had done Clear Blue earlier this summer and was pleased to get a repeat on it.  Sander also make quick work of it.  Nice job mate.  After Clear Blue I went down to this problem called Silverback.  Silverback is one of those slopey lip problems, definitely not my style but since I like to work my weaknesses it was on my list.  I had tried it my previous trip to Evans and after a few goes I was on the top.  The last problem I wanted to try was Guerillas in the Mist.  Its a bit lowball but has a cool feature.  Slopers and heel hooks is the key for it and again after a few goes figuring out the top moves I was standing on top.  All in all the day was great, cold and windy but that means that the snow is coming soon.  Hopefully not though.  Here is some footage from the day.


 
video

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Flagstaff

Nikki and I were bored to tears so we decided to kill some time up at Flagstaff Mt.  I was going to chill out while Nikki climbed.  We went to the monkey traverse which may be the worst piece of rock that one could climb.  I've even heard human feces was spread across it at one point in time.  Nikki knew better so she climbed on some other turds.
Caution the next paragraph may offend some readers.
  
I was on the phone with a friend trying to find a specific problem when I felt the urge to have a piss.  I stepped into the outhouse


and when I finished my business I dropped my phone in here.

There was obviously no retrieving the phone and now its gone for ever.  If any of my friend are reading give please give me a call so I can get your number.  After this experience I don't think I will ever go back to Flagstaff.  Crap rock, shitty problems and the loss of my phone are too much bare.

261 miles and running

And I'm not talking about my favorite Wale mixed tape song.  I've figured out that if I've climbed around 14.5 days a month for this '08 RMNP season so far, beginning the first week of June.  Now we are a week in to October, so than that would be about 4 months.  Then if you multiply that 14.5 days times 4 months you will get 58 days, which is a good estimate of how many days I've spent hiking up to the park.  Now for every trip to the park (lower or upper) I'll give a conservative estimate of 4.5 miles round trip.  That will give a total of 261 miles and counting that I've hiked this park season.  Not bad for someone who hates hiking.  I guess the rewards out weigh monotony.

Yesterday I headed up, again, to the park with some friends.  It was an amazing day clear, windy, and cool.  I hung out watching some sports action at the green 45 (nice work Mike.) Then around 4:30 I headed down to Freaks of the Industry.  I spent a bunch of days last month working it and came close twice.  Freaks is a power endurance problem that is around 20 moves of pure hell.  Each move couldn't be harder than v7 but one after another, after another has left me making slow progress.  Every high point for me has been getting to a move sooooo pumped that I can still hang on the the rock but can even think of moving.  I'm sure people out there can identify with that feeling.  After getting to that point twice on Freaks I took some time off it to climb on some other stuff.  Well now I finished off the other stuff and its back to Freaks.

So after three burns I got really close, but again to that point of not being able to do another move but still hanging on to the rock.  Here is a picture of my new high point and those that know this climb can agree that it's a real heart breaker of a move.  I'm sure I'll finish it up soon my only worry is the snow will shut me out.  I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

R.M.N.P

My first trip to Rocky Mountain National Park was in the summer 0f '01.  Much as changed since then but I still get the same feeling when I look up at Chaos Canyon.  Over the years my motivation for climbing has shifted from bouldering, trad climbing and sport climbing.  For the last year I've been bouldering most of the time.  I have managed a few routes but bouldering has been the frontrunner for me as of now.

So today much like most days this summer my girlfriend and I headed to the park for the afternoon.  The conditions were prime windy but not too cold.  The objective for me was to finish off the Automator which I did successfully.  
After The Automator Nikki, my girlfriend, decided to head over to this nice problem called Geeks of the Industry.  Nikki was looking good and she will probably do it soon.  I was lucky enough to get my send of The Automator on video and I'll have it uploaded as soon I can.  



Monday, October 6, 2008

My First Blog

For the last year my girlfriend and I have been living in the climbing town, Boulder CO. We've made the decision to move back to our wonderful state of Connecticut.  Since this is my first blog ever I'll give a lil' background information.  Nikki and I moved to boulder for one real reason, rock climbing, that was last June.  After living here for over a year it's time to move on, which was one of the hardest decisions to make.  Unfourtanitly living in boulder has limited our ability to travel.  So at the end of the month we will be moving back to the east coast.  But first we are headed west to California,  which is where my father lives.  On the way we will be stopping at some of best bouldering ares in the country.  It's going to be hard to leave all the great friendships that Nikki and I have made in Boulder.  

So enough of the sob story.  This blog will not be a place to shed tears, it will be a place to talk about the important things in my life, Rock Climbing and Traveling.  If all goes well I will be releasing climbing videos and pictures that I have been collecting for years.  So I hope you will find this blog an interesting place to check out climbing news from my trips and from my friends.