Tuesday, January 25


Straight from the crag last thursday, I drove late into the night to Salt Lake City. The ever welcoming Leif and Lindsay Gasch put me up once again and for the next couple days I enjoyed my biannual SLC visit, complete with Liberty Park runs, Sushi, dogs, trade-show happenings and enjoying the company of friends. I finally had a chance to check out Utah's answer to The Spot; The Front Bouldering Gym - which, as I expected, exhibited sound problems and was good for a ass kicking workout. I planned a longer stay and had convinced myself that I'd be able to enjoy some outdoor climbing in the area during this time, however, it quickly became clear that if I was to stick around I would be mostly gym bound... thus I pulled the cord and finished of the drive home after the weekend with a smile ear-to-ear knowing that the Green Bay Packers are headed to the Superbowl.

Zeke made some friends in SLC too
gettin my slide-show on at the Outdoor Retailer last week

Now I'm three days deep into a brutal self induced training schedule that will hopefully be just the right medicine for my ambitions back in the desert. Many of my peers insist that it is purely mental, but I've found that even just a few short weeks of training can make a big difference for my climbing. In that spirit, I'm making the best of my time home before moving out to Las Vegas for the remainder of the season - could not be more stoked!

Just before I left Nevada, I did an interview with my buddy Chris Weidner for his rock climbing column, Wicked Gravity, in the Daily Camera Newspaper - have a look at the interview here. Today I spent the entire morning preparing my slide-show for tomorrow night.. it's coming together really nicely and I'm stoked to share some images and stories from my year of climbing in 2010! I've got a healthy box of Arcteryx, Sportiva, BRC and BCA goodies to raffle out (all raffle benefits will be donated) and there will be free Avery beer while it lasts. See you there!

Wednesday, January 19

Dawn til Dusk

It's fascinating; the contrast that exists here in Las Vegas. Just minutes from the bright lights, zooming traffic and endless tarmac you'll turn a corner to find yourself lost in a desert landscape, complete with towering limestone walls or waves of beautiful sandstone. The lifestyle mirrors this same degree of contrast - you can be in complete solitude by day and then surrounded by thousands at night. Even on a bland, stay-at-home-movie-night, just being in Vegas is strangely invigorating.
another headlamp descent from Potosi...
I've had a pretty solid Vegas sampler thus far.. climbing long days at a few different cliffs, seeing the truly stunning Phantom of the Opera, watching a friend loose $40 in less than a minute and sharing many-a-beers over laughter and good food. I had no idea how much rock climbing exists within a couple hours of Sin City - the opportunity here is amazing - especially now, when most of the country is lacing up snow boots and wrapping up in scarfs, here we are.. hiking to the crag in shorts sans T-shirt. No wonder so many climbers have relocated here, even from such climbing havens as Boulder and Salt Lake City. In-fact, I've already planned my own extended stay - beginning next month I'll be living in Vegas until late spring.. Psyched!
Chris Weidner is... THE CZAR!
We've been making the best of an unusually wet Potosi, an area just outside Vegas with a reputation for burly routes (and manufactured holds). Neither of which I usually seek out, but the hang and temps at this scenic crag are to die for. Perfectly shaded climbs with a sunny belay and a breathtaking view of the expansive desert (not a highway or casino in sight). This cliff was made popular a little over ten years ago by the likes of Dan Meyers, a young Chris Lindner and Joe Brooks among others. The climbs are nauseatingly steep and gymnastic, featuring often huge moves between decent holds. The climbing has definitely challenged a weakness of mine - roof climbing, and super powerful movement - but it's been good for me.

Our first day out there I managed an awesome power endurance route called 'Mon Pote Assis' 14a that battles through a ~50 degree angle roof for a short 45 ft. I surprised myself by doing it on my third try, and immediately moved next door to check out 'Hold Your Fire' 14b. I onsighted the first half entitled 'Ray of Light' 13a on my way to have a look at the upper section, which is complete with a wild two finger pocket campus sequence and a burly finish without rest. A final, reachy, awkward cross move would prove to be a battle for me. I finished the day with a hard little 13a called 'Captain Crunch'.
Heather has all the betaz
Zeke confirms that the Solutions are indeed super comfortable
they call it the beach..
Clear Light Cave
Over the next couple days I found myself climbing to the finish on Hold Your Fire and struggling with the exiting move - it was super frustrating, but a good challenge.. I finally put it to rest yesterday. Then, after watching and belaying Chris and Heather a number of times on the classic, 'Power Windows' 13d, I thought it'd be good to have a proper flash go. I strapped up my knee pads, got the full spray down, and went for it. This short and cryptic climb begins with a powerful roof section and finishes with a thrutchy, lower angle top out. I made my way to the upper section feeling in control and prepared for what I heard was the redpoint crux. However despite the duct tape and a ear full of beta, I totally fumbled a double knee bar rest and finally decided to screw it and just keep climbing. Thankfully the top section suited my style and before long I was clipping chains. Psyched! I finished the day with a quick lap on 'The Natural' 12d. With the full moon overhead, we descended back towards the city lights, psyched on another great day out.
Today we went out to one of the most impressive walls at Red Rocks - the Gallery. I was super excited to have a go at some of this wall's ultra classic test-pieces, however the blazing hot sun and 70 degree temps were worrisome.. shockingly warm for January, but a sporadic breeze and a little convincing made it all okay. I began the day with the warm ups - 'Yaak Crack' 11d and 'Minstrel' 12b. First point of business was to try and onsight the 'Sissy Traverse' 13b, a stout traversing line that climbs the entire length of the wall. Nice little crimp cruxes are separated by rests and a hard boulder problem awaits you at the end - a super nice route. I then jumped on 'Nothing Shocking' 13a and the mega classic (albeit my least favorite on the wall) 'The Gift' 12d, followed by 'Where the Down Boys Go' 12d and 'Who Made Who' 12d. As the heat finally started catching up with me (and my skin), I onsighted 'The Glitch' 12c, finishing off the Gallery.. such a killer wall covered in great climbs - it rejuvenated my desire to climb at Red Rocks.
seriously... January?!?!
Tomorrow will be my last day before heading north to snowy Salt Lake for the Winter OR Trade Show, where I'll be doing a presentation in the Rock & Ice Climbing Zone on climbing in Kentucky on Friday January 21st at 2pm.. LaSportiva gear give-away!
I'm hanging in SLC for a few days before jetting back to Boulder for another slide-show presentation I'm doing at the Boulder Rock Club on January 26 - please come and check it out! I'll be showing a collection of slides from 2010, including a couple short videos and tons of stories. Entry is free for everyone and there will be Avery Beer available while it lasts plus some rad free gear! Hope to see you guys and gals out there!!

Wednesday, January 12


After a heinous drive through seemingly countless hours of snow and ice, I finally arrived in the sunny Nevada desert. Our plans changed on the fly due to some unpredicted weather, and thus I wound up in Las Vegas. Cresting the final desert hill at night, and seeing the brilliant lights of this wild spot for the first time was some kind of invigorating. Complete with excessive gambling, an obvious lack of environmental sustainability and a good amount of grit, Vegas is everything I thought it might be - but strangely, there is an allure.. bright lights, a fast pace scene and of course the surrounding mountains have certainly made me rethink my position on Sin City.
Chris Weidner, Zeke and I are posted up at a good friend's house, the amazing Heather Robinson, within a 15 minute drive of Red Rock Canyon. I had my first taste of this well traveled area on Monday, in some unfortunately bitter temps, but it was fun none the less. We checked out some warm ups on the Sweet Pain wall and finished the day at the Tsunami. I must admit that, while the landscape is truly incredible, the short and crumbling routes did not excite me too much. Regardless, my favorites were 'S.O.S.' 13a, 'Man Overboard!' 12d and 'Aftershock' 12b.
chasin' rabbits all day
Zeke and I explored the maze of sandstone boulders and cliffs for hours on Tuesday, I took a few pictures and we found all kinds of interesting treasures buried in the amazing landscape.. it's a total playground out there. The lack of any sunshine and a frigid breeze drove me into the local gym, the Red Rock Climbing Center - a great little spot if you're ever in town and need an escape from the elements. Today I got out to support the team on a rest day and snap some photos of Heather attempting 'Nothing Shocking' 13a and Chris finishing 'Resin Rose'. The sun liberally poured onto the red stone, making sunglasses a necessity and smiling easy. As soon as the wind picks up however, you're brutally reminded that it is indeed, January.
Chris sends the gnarly 11+ offwidth, 'Resin Rose' ... hilarious video here.
Heather Robinson.. one move away from 'Nothing Shocking' 13a
At night, a good sized crew of Vegas folk are always meeting up somewhere and having a drink - the scene here is very inviting, and the locals are rad. Climbing by day, a night life unrivaled and a solid community makes it easy to be psyched in Vegas. In the next couple days we plan to check out Mt Potosi, an area I know very little about, but the locals seem to love. One of my long time heros, Bill Ramsey will be joining us and hopefully spraying me down with betas.

I'm so stoked to out and about.. new areas, great new people and fresh landscape. It's a great way to begin the year and I'm hopeful to keep it this way!

Thursday, January 6

2011 & 24KARATS

I've been training overtime since I got back from the Midwest in preparation for 2011, and thankfully the 'no rest for the wicked' attitude has seemingly paid off.. I'm feeling prepared to welcome in this amazing new year, get on the road and take down some rock climbs!
party bus to Denver with an all-star crew - great New Years Eve
I've been leveling out my (lack of) power with some great bouldering sessions at the Spot here in Boulder, which truly is one of the nation's very best indoor bouldering facilities. This, coupled with tireless rope sessions at the BRC and trying my best to keep the dog tired has been exhausting.
... a little different than Kentucky..
I'll be setting for the final installation of the Boulder Rock Club's BCS rope comp tomorrow before packing up and heading west this weekend. Some adverse weather has shifted my plans, but I'm confident that some dry stone and good times await. Teaming up with the unstoppable Chris Weidner and of course, Zeke the power puppy, will certainly lead to some trouble making. Stay tuned!
Lastly, this fall I opened a new route titled, 'Twenty Four Karats' at the incredible Gold Coast, Red River Gorge. This is unquestionably one of my favorite routes that I've ever done, worthy of every star I could ever award. I thoroughly enjoyed climbing this route and am stoked to announce the arrival of the video, presented by ARCTERYX - put together by one of the hardest working dudes in the industry, Keith Ladzinski.