Thursday, February 11

that time of year

Colorado to Las Vegas.

I trip that I've made now every winter for the last 6 years. Vegas represents so many things to me. Friends, training, new routes, long nights, ambition, sunlight, blue sky. My attitude and experience of this place has changed over the years but my enthusiasm for Vegas remains strong.

I've truly lived here more than anywhere since 2010, so in many ways it does feel like home. I have many friends here, I know my way around, I have my favorite restaurants and my favorite parks. I know the weather and the crags, I know my little spots and my favorite things to do and see. Every year as my stoke shifts, I still find things to explore and excite me here. It's a very dynamic place.

I'm really stoked to be back. Maybe this year I will learn a thing or two about the bouldering that everyone keeps talking about. Since my bouldering month back in Rocky Mountain I have been looking forward to diving in again. I think it did help improve my route climbing in Oliana which was the real goal. The side-effects include me actually enjoying bouldering though which was awesome. The conditions here are incredibly dry which can be super tough for me on slippery boulders (I have very very dry skin) but the lines are beautiful and the tough-guy-crew has been establishing hard rigs like crazy over the past few years. I'm pretty fired up to check them out. First though, there's a bouldering spot in California that I've never been too... might be time for a visit...

Tara Reynvaan photo. 

For now training is the priority but soon I'll shift to bouldering mode and I'm really looking forward to it... in the meantime, check out this video from the super talented Tara Reynvaan of my 'Power Inverter' 15a send back in December. It was super cool to work with Tara, she has been a friend for many years and her photography has always been super inspiring to me (check out her instagram page) but just recently she decided to quit her real job and go 100 for a career in film and photos. I'm really excited to see her work over the next few years and I think you will be too!... cheers everyone!

Tuesday, January 26


Well damn. Another incredible trip is all but over. Some weeks in paradise. Some weeks in project mode. Some weeks wandering and some weeks in-between. All in all about 12 weeks and I learned from every one of them.

USA. Quite a difference in the pace of life here. Strange to drive a full size pickup truck on wide lane streets after squeezing a little Fiat through cobbled tight corners. Convenience is back. Shops are open. Internet works. Groceries are expensive.

Today was day one of this next training cycle. Driving towards something new for this year and ambitious to get after it. It's hard to explain the feeling I have when I return to my training notebook, when I settle into the weight room and I start to dream about a new objective. So motivating to have success behind me and be just a little more confident that I know what it takes to improve. I will try to make it all work for me once again. It feels rad to be back at it. Wish me luck!

Friday, January 15

holiday mode

It took me about, well, ten years of climbing to realize that I couldn't climb my best all the time. When I changed my attitude towards climbing and training to a periodized approach this fact became even more evident. I was a totally junkie for volume in every sense. Never rest. Climb and train until you're utterly exhausted, always. Vacation? Never.

Since I left Oliana my 'pure climbing' trip mostly desolved and I let some other important things enter my daily life. Some random climbing days in there, exploring new cities, hiking, enormous holiday meals, even a few days of snowboarding.

My girlfriend would probably disagree but I feel like I can actually take a 'vacation' now.. I think. Two years ago I went to Bali and Singapore for surfing and R & R. I did again last year. This season I'm taking a little break in the Canary Islands, which, after only 3 days is clearly a perfect choice.

Despite being brief, a little break gives me the foundation for the next cycle, and a fresh start of stoke. It's so incredibly hard to let go because climbing and improving is truly my driving passion, but for every day I let it go it becomes easier. Meanwhile my motivation for the next project builds.

This 'vacation' however, I did bring my Testarossas. There are a handful of crags on the Island here - the one we've seen was pretty damn fun actually. A new one tomorrow. Stay tuned for photos and my thoughts on this beautiful place.

In the meantime have a watch of this short film that I made with Keith Ladzinski back in November. It shows off one of my favorite crags and undeniably one of the most beautiful places in Europe... the Verdon.