Thursday, February 26, 2009


          Been climbing outside a lot recently.  The theme has been exploration and I have put a number of off trail miles on my Freerunners. I am continually impressed at how comfortable and versatile this shoe is.  I can do everything from long trail hikes, to tricky talus jumping, to warming up in them.  The difficulty of much of Southern Colorado is getting close enough to a boulder to actually be able to see it.  Much of the time, the forest hides even the largest of blocks and it is very energy consuming chasing every potential lead you think you might see.  Byron, Brian Rhodes and I went to Elevenmile on Sunday to do a bit of exploration and cleaning.  We brushed up a large 15 footer that I found last week and climbed two lines to the lip but no one had it in them to turn the lip with the horrid landing.  With a few more pads it should go and you can expect a media update when it does.
          Then on Tuesday, Tim and I went to Garden of the Gods to try Triple Exposure.  Neither one of us had been on it and were both eager to see what it was like.  The first pitch was not quiet as chossy and everyone had said and the second pitch was perfect, powerful fingers.  I would like to avoid the hanging belay between the two pitches and do the route in the style that Brian did this summer, which goes at 5.13a.  Here is a photo of Brian on it, courtesy of Keith Ladzinski's website.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Link

Check out the new link I have added on the right.  It is to my buddy Dave Jones' (aka Lordscience) website.  He is an awesome artist and super psyched climber.  Check it!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Crack Boulder

A bit further down canyon from the new 45 line I found is this boulder.  Its about a 10 foot tall crack.  The first 5 feet are tight hands then it moves to bad fingers at the back of a wide offwidth that one must grovel to the top of to get another reasonable hand jam before moving left onto some faces holds to pull your body out of the depths of the crack.  Cool moves on a few painful locks.  FA goes to Tim Gibson at around V5.

Chill Style Left

Nathan finished off Chill Style Left on Friday also.  He used very different beta from how I did it and eliminated a number of hard moves.  We thought it was around V8.

Smoke Signals

Both Nathan and Tim sent Smoke Signals (V7) at Elevenmile quickly on Friday.  Nathan used the standard beta of throwing to the lip off of the last reasonable sloper with your feet low while Tim came up with some crack technique to static through the crux.  With the thin (and painful) handjams, Tim said it felt around V4.

Updated: Elevenmile Project

Byron, Brian and I went back to this guy on Sunday afternoon.  It was the third time I have looked at it but I still have not tried it.  It is eight feet of 45 to 6 more of vert on small incuts. Based on established things I have seen of a similar angle and hold size, this one has to be at least V12 or V13.   If anyone is interested I will take you to this guy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Yesterday Byron and I went up to Elevenmile with the intent on exploring a bit.  The warm weather has not allowed the normal ice bridges over the river to form and therefore changed our plans.  We went up this not so promising hillside and ended up finding a number of reasonable blocks.  The rock quality varied from good quality to normal crumbly splatte rock.  I did find one particularly nice line up a swooping wall that changed angles from 45 to about 15 degrees.  The block is about 12 feet tall and climbs on small incuts.  It probably clocks in somewhere in the V10 range.  After telling Byron about it, we tried to head back only to get disoriented.  We walked in circles for a while but never located it again.  I plan on returning soon to climb on this guy, hopefully with better luck finding it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hueco Rock Rodeo

Having not been to Hueco for two years it was super sweet to return, even if it was only for a long weekend.  The Hueco Rock Rodeo is coming up in two weekends and, as usual, should be lots of fun.  I climbed in the Rock Rodeo four years ago and had a great time and plan on heading down for a three day weekend to participate again this year.  There will be lots of great climbing to be had, sweet Five Ten shoe demos, and of corse a rocking after-party.  Hope to see you all there.

Hueco Tanks Continued

Since it was everyone but my first time to Hueco Tanks, we toured all of the classic stuff in the first couple days.  I had not climbed in two weeks and both my knee and pinkie were usable for the first time in a while, which was very exciting for me.  My trip consisted of repeating a lot of classics I had already done and trying a lot of the cool hard lines I have always looked at.  I got on Right Martini, Chablanke, Diaphanous Sea, Power of Landjager, Full Monty and Dark Age all for the first time.  I did not send any of them but it felt good to get on hard climbs again and make progress on them. Below is me on Baby Martini.  I have done the line before but fell matching the finishing jug on this trip at the end of the day.  Shortly after this my camera ran out of battery and I was not able to get any more photos. 

See Spot Run

We had an excellent crew of dudes on our Block Break from school this last five days.  Nathan Tim and I headed out and picked up Dane in Albuquerque then Blake at the El Paso airport.  We spent our first day on North Mountain.  The highlights of the day was Dane sending his first V5, Lobster Claw, Nathan's flash of See Spot Run, and my blind football throw and Tim's subsequent catch between two corridors where we could not see each other.  Shown below is Tim working the moves out of See Spot Run.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Sorry I have not posted too much recently.  Between my pinkie and knee, climbing has not been a great option.  Tonight I leave for 10 days in Hawaii for my Volcanology class.  We will be on the Big Island, mostly around Volcano National Park, but should get to see a good chunk of the island.  I return next Wednesday and immediately head down to Hueco for five days.  It will be the first time I have climbed on problems not graded by myself or others I climb with and I am very curious to see how things feel.  My knee should be better by then and I will also be able to use my left pinkie again.  I will post a bunch upon returning to the Springs.