After leaving Maple, I made my way back up to Salt Lake despite some sweltering temps to try and get out and grip some limestone. Day one, Lauren Lee, Keith Ladzinski, Randyl Nielson and I got motivated to check out American Fork canyon and try and get some shooting done. The day turned out to be overcast which made the temperatures tolerable albeit not prime. Despite the certain lack of sending temps, we did manage to get some sending done. American Fork is about 40 minutes south of Salt Lake and offers a plethora of diverse limestone crags. Hell and the El Diablo wall are perhaps the best known, for their short, finger intensive boulder problems that have been protected with bolts (joking. although the routes are very short and intense and a number of them have been bouldered out). Regardless, it was a shocking change from the endless horizontal jugs of Maple- and I was feeling kinda stoked on it. I dispatched the super cool, power endurance route, 'Body Count' 13d and flashed the seriously amazing 'Malvado' 13a. Randyl and Keith fired off some impressive photos. Sometime in the middle of the day Jacinda Hunter and her husband Mike arrived to hang out.. J.C. freaking owns AF, and you can tell by her wealth of accomplishments (and beta) in the area. She just recently established a 14b called Fantasy Island in the canyon- all the while having a family (a big one at that). Unfortunately I was unable to check out her new route, but I'd guess I should wait for better temps anyways. They are both awesome individuals and were stoked to see us out pulling at AF regardless of the heat.
Nielson Photos of 'Body Count'
Next day I returned with my hosts and good friends Leif and Lindsey Gasch. I warmed up and got psyched to try the classic burl route, 'Dead Souls' 14a. Leif got stoked next door on the super hard 13b, Inferno. We both suffered.. although he had the excuse of having just taken a month off.. I was excuse-less, so I decided to take it easy and support Lindsey across the river on 'Jug Abuse' 13c. She made rad progress, I hung out with the dogs, and we went home a happy little unit of non-senders.
Leif non-sending. whatever though he fired it the next day!.. 'Little G' 13c
Next morning we returned and I meant business cause I was planning on taking off to rifle the following day. I felt a bit torn up from my three days in Maple and then two at AF with only one day of kinda rest inbetween, but I happily managed to fire Dead Souls first try, and later in the day, put 'San Miguel' 13c to rest with hardly any fuel left. I was actually very excited to have done DS, partially cause it felt so hard at first, but also cause it's a route I had heard about and recognized as a canyon classic. We tore up some super duty Margs and whatnot at the Mexican food spot to celebrate our day at El Diablo.
Ladzinski image. Sickness.
Hanging in Salt Lake for a couple days was rad. I could see myself living there at some point- the people are super cool, the access to climbing is year round and hard to beat (other than Boulder, only cause our climbing is so damn close) and the city has a lot going on. I always enjoy heading there a couple times a year. Maybe if I'm really psyched I can strap some skis on my feet at the 2011 winter OR.
The next day I got in the studio with a photographer and great friend of mine, Dan Morris. His studio photography is truly some of the best I've seen. We knew each other through his brothers guiding business in Northern Thailand, where he's done a bunch of awesome work in and around South East Asia. We shot some randomly inspired studio stuff that turned out pretty damn cool- have a look at a couple here. More images should be up soon.
That night I took off for a couple days in Rifle, an area I'm slowly getting more and more interested in. It was a killer couple days, and some rad stuff went down.. stay tuned for the next installation!