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. 

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.


Thursday, October 9, 2008


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


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.