Sunday, December 02, 2012

It's Official: Spain is a Go!

El Chorro

I've been waiting for "KITT" to buy his ticket before posting this, but it's official now: he'll be in Andalusia, Spain over the New Year with me and "Lady" to head out climbing. I'll be in the area for about 3.5 weeks visiting "Lady" during that time, too. We may hit a few different areas in Andalusia, but we're really gearing up for El Chorro.

More photos:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Big Wall Trip Report by Mark Hudon

This is such a great photo trip report by Mark Hudon that I wanted to share it. Amazing photos of three walls over a three-week period.

I've always appreciated his trip reports.

Three walls, three partners, three weeks

Friday, September 21, 2012


Hi folks,

I recently did a write-up about Red Rocks on Tribesports, which is a social media site for those who are physically active. You can check it out here: Vegas Lights and Red Rocks Delights.

I'm pretty sure you'll all agree with my feelings that Vegas just isn't a boring party town, but that the allure of Red Rocks makes it one of the top climbing destinations in the Americas.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Running in Place?

Well, I haven't been out climbing in months. There was some hope that I'd get out last weekend, but it never materialized. I can blame a lot of things on why I haven't been out, but really, it's all on me. I've been so focused on my art that I haven't had time. I think it's worked out, though. I recently had my first exhibition and I sold four paintings and earned my first commission.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Argument Against Aid Climbing

"We have a confirmed A5 pitch, here's the corpse - go..." - Chris Kalous

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Climbing R-rated Routes

For some reason there has been a fair amount of talk regarding falling on gear, and it isn't just about falling on gear but more about how n00bs learn how to trust gear. Of course, there is a lot of information and advice out there that people can sift through, and some of that advice is pretty good. However, sorting through the crap and the good advice is difficult, especially for a beginning trad leader.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Life in the Hamster Tube

Another post from Ethiopia from my friend Nico, who is living, working, and apparently bagging a few climbs along the way. But the biggest question is, did the dog run away for good, or is there more to the story than a load of bird shit at the bottom of a chimney?

Life in the Hamster Tube

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Wild Country Crack School

This is a series of great instructional videos put out by Wild Country to help beginners learn to climb crack. They're short, but they offer some decent advice on strategy and technique. The videos start with the thinnest cracks (fingers) and go to the widest (offwidths) before ending with how to protect cracks.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Well, not much to write, except that I FINALLY got out climbing yesterday. Made it out to Anhagava with "Lost", "Rookie", and "Thunder" and everyone had a good day. It was the first time "Thunder" had made it to the top of an outdoor climb, and he did it twice, battling the voices in his head from the ground up without ever backing down. "Rookie" led another climb after having not led in several months, and "Lost" worked his way to the top of the most difficult climb that he and I attempted all day. I got that difficult climb clean, too, which surprised me considering the combination of long my lay-off and the fact that I hung about 20 times on the same route the last time I was on it.

The weather wasn't spot-on all day, as it sprayed a bit of rain on us from time to time, but really, the temps were perfect and the yellow light of the sun through the clouds made me wish I had brought my camera. I was fascinated by how the green of the vegetation sparkled in the valley below us and how the rock turned into a deep yellow just as the sun set behind us. The wall of fog that oscillated back and forth around the mountain often had wrapped our minds into nothing but the climbs above us. Not very crowded there, either, which is always nice for me.

We hiked out in the dark once the sun set. Short days here in South America now, and the night is much colder than the day without the sun's warmth. Only three climbs, but after two months, who can complain with such a nice day out?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Realities of What?

It's been a while since I've posted my last trip report, but that's because I haven't been getting out very much. And it's official: I'm back to stinking up the joint. In another lifetime I was cranking four to five days per week as a normal, card-carrying member of the legit workforce. Forty-plus hours per week plus gym time and the weekend ritual of sitting in traffic, bagging 20 pitches in a weekend, and returning with more weekend traffic suited me just fine until I got bored with my life in corporate healthcare finance. Now I'm teaching English in Brasil, making a shade less per hour than I was before in the U.S., and working significantly fewer hours. I should be climbing more, right? It turns out the answer is no, so what gives?

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Climbing in Ethiopia

Nico helped me out a lot when I was in Chile, so I think it's only fitting to give him a shout-out now that he's living and climbing in Ethiopia. Here is his latest blog post: Horizon Ethiopique. It's more than just climbing. Instead it tells a little bit of history and culture, too, as he and a bunch of French climbers get at it setting new routes in the Adwa Mountains, which are nestled in the northern region of Tigray.