In my last post, a little over a year ago, I had just gotten off a spectacular road trip that went on for almost a year. Since then I haven’t really taken any long trips. Life has been fun and exciting but I’ve sort of taken a break from the climbing bum life style that I had been living since 2008. Early 2014 was somewhat boring. I lived in Huntington Beach trying to figure out what I was going to do with myself for the next year. By the end of April I had decided to move back to Boulder which has become somewhat of a home base in the last few years. I had spent two winters there but had never experienced the place in the warmer unfrozen months of summer. It turned out to be a good decision. Every single day I was able to get off work at 4 and go climb in Eldo or Flations until it got dark. And when I say every day I mean it. Obviously the days were warm, but more often than not, scattered afternoon rain clouds would come in and cool things off. I was living in this rad house up in Boulder Canyon with Scott Bennett. I could literally walk out the door and be at a climbing area in minutes. Almost every day last summer was a day well spent.
Scott and I have this cool speed climbing rivalry going with these two local dudes: Jason Wells and Stephan Griebel. It proved to be the highlight of the summer. For two years now we’ve been fighting for the fastest bridge to bridge time on The Naked Edge in Eldo. Scott and I have climbed it so many times this summer I lost count, but The Edge is an incredible climb you can do over and over again and it never seems to get old. I feel comfortable soloing the route so I would often get off work and go run a lap or two on it. I would even sprint up and down the approach a few times to get it ingrained into my head. Scott and I are the current record holders with a time of 24 minutes and 57 seconds bridge to bridge. It’s an exhausting challenge but extremely enjoyable. I think our record is safe for the rest of the winter but I’m sure that when spring rolls around Jason and Stephan will retake it and the rivalry will continue. Is a sub 20 minute time possible? Probably not…. But maybe.
After leaving Boulder in November I went to Moab for a bit then drove down to Joshua Tree to take a AMGA rock instructor course. The course was pretty rad. I learned a lot of new ways to climb safely, but efficiently. Hopefully now I’m on my way to becoming a rock guide. I’d like to take the advanced rock course right away but I think I might try and save up money first and then take it next year. Those courses are expensive! The hardcore dirtbag climber inside of me wants to blow everything off and just go on another long climbing trip this next year. Strategizing a plan to living a more sustainable lifestyle has been the crux of this last year. I feel like I might have somewhat of a game plan for this next year and if things go well I’ll be able to make more money but still be able to climb almost full time.
I’ll be spending the winter living in Las Vegas. I’m really excited because I’ll be living with some really awesome friends and we have a place lined up that’s only fifteen minutes from Red Rocks! I haven’t climbed a whole lot in that area but it seems like there’s endless adventure to be had on all those massive sandstone walls. My Red Rocks ticklist is huge! I want to focus on improving my all day endurance while I’m there so I’ll be ready for the Yosemite spring season. I haven’t been back to the Valley since getting kicked out during the park closures. My psych for that place is so huge and I’m sure as winter continues it’ll only grow stronger.
I haven’t been posting too much in the last couple years and I realize that my writing is kind of vague and uninteresting. I think I might try and post more often about specific climbs while the memory of that adventure is fresh in my head. Hopefully these photos will make this post a little less dull.
After work I would often head out to Eldo and climb out the rest of the day. Some times I would rope up and climb rad linkups with friends. My favorite was probably The Wisdom to Jules Verne to The Naked Edge. I climbed that linkup five times this summer. On other days I would go out by myself and solo a bunch of classic easier routes. This photo was taken by Scott Bennett.
Exciting run-out climbs became somewhat of a theme this summer and fall. In the photo above I'm climbing the route Back In Black on gear. A couple weeks later Scott Bennett referred me to Hairstyle and Attitudes on the Bastille. He had sent the route a few year prior skipping the bolts and placing all gear. A tipped out #6 Camelot protects the run-out crux! Other exciting sends included To RP Or Not To Be, The Spice Tour, Night, Much Slater and a couple nasty climbs on The Rotwand Wall (for some reason). The photo was taken by the talented Rob Kepley
I managed a few visits up into Rocky Mountain NP in July and August. In this photo I'm climbing Hearts and Arrows on The Diamond with Jesse Huey.
The day was very cold and a little wet. A few weeks later Jesse and I went out to The Black Canyon and climbed this gnarly route called Shadow Boxing. The climb was similar to our Diamond experience but I think it's safe to say that we got our asses kicked a little harder. Type two fun at it's finest.
Maury Birdwell and I made a fun link-up of The Yellow Wall and D7. The day was mostly warm and beautiful.
I'm excited for my winter in Vegas but I can't wait for the spring.