Tuesday, September 1, 2009

2009 Horsetooth Hang - 80's Lycra Revival

The 14th annual Neptune Mountaineering Horsetooth Hang climbing festival is scheduled for October 3rd and will be the culmination of a years worth of work from the local non-profit group The Northern Colorado Climber’s Coalition. Having worked closely with Larimer County Parks and Open Lands, headed by Mark Caughlan, a portion of Larimer County’s Great Outdoors Colorado Grant (GOCO) was set aside for trail work at one of Horsetooth Reservoir’s popular destinations, Rotary Park.

With three weekend volunteer trail days leading up to the second largest Access Fund Adopt A Crag event, the NC3 and Larimer County are looking forward to presenting a new and improved trail system at Rotary Park, while people of all ages enjoy a day outdoors on the world famous sandstone boulders.

Keeping the mission of the NC3 at the heart of the 2009 Horsetooth Hang’s festivities and competition—promoting and preserving climbing in Northern Colorado—the NC3 will again host a trash clean-up, which yearly averages in 300 pounds of trash being removed from this beautiful natural area.

After a day of climbing, cleaning, and community involvement, the NC3 will be hosting an after party at Hodi’s Halfnote, with free beer donated from New Belgium Brewing, pizza from Uncle’s Pizzeria, a mountain of prizes to raffle off to climbers and volunteers, and a slideshow presented by friends of Craig Luebben, celebrating his life.

In the wake of the recent, tragic loss of Craig Luebben, Front Range resident, world renound climber, and founder of the Horsetooth Hang, this year’s festival will be dedicated to the memory of this inspiring man who touched countless lives. A silent auction will be held in memory of Craig with proceeds being donated to his 6 year old daughter Giuli.

The three days of volunteer work leading up to the Horsetooth Hang will be Saturday the 12th, 19th and 26th in September.

For more information or to sign up as a volunteer or climber for the Horsetooth Hang, please visit www.horsetoothhang.net.

To volunteer for trail work or donate to the Craig Luebben Memorial Fund, please contact Cameron Cross at horsetoothhang@yahoo.com.

For more information on the NC3 visit www.nococlimbing.org.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Long overdue

The past couple of months have been interesting, and thus, this post is long overdue.

Rasto starting Moon Arete

To quickly catch everyone up to speed, I've recently found a new musician worthy of mention who made me wish that it would rain. Now that everything's turning green I'm starting to question my wishes. Oh, well.

Rasto making the grab.

It has still been a spring to remember, as far as my climbing has been going. I sent my first V8, Powerglide, only after a crazy strong Czech climber flashed it in-front of me. Now, I'm not saying I wanted to rip my heart out, but it did teach me a lot about humility. Still, my heart was singing when I sent, even though I knew I was just chasing a grade.

Rasto hits the crimp.

That day, I watched Rasto flash Powerglide (V8), Talent Scout Roof (V6-7), Cornerlock (v4-5), Mental Block Standard (V4), and Pinch Overhang (V5). He did THC (Tiny Heinous Crimps - V10) on his second attempt. The day previous, he apparently sent Cheathook (V8) and Left Eliminator (V5). I managed to grab some pictures of him on his send of Moon Arete (V10) and Mammen Traverse (V9). Needless to say Rasto was incredible to watch.

Sticks the crimp. Spotting face helps.

I have since not been back to Horsetooth with any particular interests, although I am sensing the need to start working Moon and would love to get closer to the Revenge of the Nerds dyno. Rather, whether it has been because of the weather, I've been traveling up into the Poudre Canyon to try and put some rock under my feet at the 420's. The Poudre currently hosts a number of climbs that are A) aesthetically interesting to me and B) are either within my current levels or are hard enough to push me. Plus I love granite.

Post Send Smiles

On my first trip to the Poudre this Spring, I put away two awaited sends; having snagged Perch (V6) last Fall, I had my sights set on Scuba Steve (V7) and the Puffing Stone (V5). Both problems easily fell into both A and B categories; beautiful and just a little more than what I was capable of.

Scuba Steve HD from Richard Newman on Vimeo.

Alex Manikowski is the first climber, with some crazy, double dyno beta. I'm climbing second, sending standard. And Will Becker is third, sending with the heal hook beta. It was a good crew that day with Paul Nadler "resting" his finger (he was climbing a little!).

Puffing Stone HD from Richard Newman on Vimeo.

This is me on Puffing Stone. Great moves, but a little hard for the grade (in my opinion). The next time I headed up the canyon, I added Tsunami to my list. While I've heard it's gotten easier since the pinch/gaston on the arete broke, creating a crimp, I felt like it was still quite stout, though probably not the often referred to grade of V7.

Scarface from Richard Newman on Vimeo.

One of the cleanest lines I've climbed in the Poudre (which isn't saying much . . . I guess) is Scarface. I sent this problem last year and was glad to get a repeat last time I was up with Alexis, who is extremely close to holding the sloper (he doesn't like the crimp either). I can't wait to get out again . . . as soon as work is done. Simple, Mr. Harry, Tilt . . . you're next.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pennies are in the Air

Okay, change in general is in the air. There are several reasons for this; some unique to me and others that affect people on a much broader scope. Let's start big.

It's Spring! The calls of birds are becoming more colorful as the wildlife is starting to emerge from our Winter, though I still prefer to refer to it as snow-Fall. The bees are out, prepared to pollinate. The bunnies are out, preparing to do . . . well, what bunnies do best. Life is grand during Spring and it truly, in my opinion, optimizes change.

Last evening, the Larimer County Parks and Open Lands held a meeting in conjunction with the NC3 and local climbers concerning Rotary Park. I've regurgitated enough information concerning this that I feel no need to be redundant. Needless to say, progress is being made, our concerns are being heard, and Phase 1 of work at Rotary to guarantee its existence, beauty, and continued climbing area is looking like it will have a significant impact. Change at Rotary is here, and we are ready for it to have a lasting impact.

I guess that's the "broad" change I was talking about. Personally, a lot has been happening in my own life that has brought, and is going to bring about, change. Of course, my nifty new spectacles make me look a little more "with the program" (obviously the lack of tape holding them together helps). That, coupled with a new hair-cut (it's been over a year) should allow me to fit in with the "working class" as I start my new job at the Crown Club--the golf course off of Horsetooth and Lemay--on Friday.

Hopefully I will still have pleanty of time to play, as I have had two project days on "Powerglide" at Rotary and am millimeters away from linking it all up for the beautiful send. I currently feel like I'm floating on Cloud 9 and, while I'm always ready for the substance of my magic carpate to disintigrate at any given moment, I'm thoroughly enjoying the fabric of my feelings today.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Rotary Park Trail Improvement Project w/Larimer County Parks and Open Lands


The Larimer County Parks and Open Lands has received a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado and is seeking the input of local climbers as to how it would be best allocated at Rotary Park.

In the NC3's general meeting with climber's last week, it was clear that our initial focus at Rotary Park needs to be on the erosion (specifically along the ridge line) and the amount of social trailing that has occurred (around the boulders and down to the beach).

Larimer County Parks and Open Lands will be guiding this discussion, including their summary of the Rotary Trail Improvement Project. They will then be guiding a discussion of climber concerns directly pertaining to the improvement project which will include trail work solutions and signage development associated with the GOCO Grant Project.

It is important that the climbing community is present, to share their input as we are fortunate to have Larimer County looking to us as a source of knowledge. Please do your part to help establish a strong, lasting connection with these important land owners so that Rotary can be enjoyed for generations to come!

Please be at the Fort Collins Senior Center (1200 Raintree Drive, Fort Collins, CO - Drake and Shields) at 6:00 if you're passionate about preserving this historical climbing area!

Here is the official press release from Larimer County.

NEWS RELEASE

FROM: Sue Burke, Department of Natural Resources, (970) 679-4566

CONTACT: Mark Caughlan, Horsetooth District Manager, Department of Natural Resources,
(970) 498-5600

DATE: April 1, 2009

SUBJECT: Input from Rock Climbing Community Sought by Larimer County


For Immediate Release:

The Larimer County Department of Natural Resources has scheduled a public meeting April 7, 2009, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Fort Collins Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Drive, Fort Collins, to seek input from the rock climbing community on improvements to the trails and information signs for the Rotary Park area of Horsetooth Reservoir. The Department is implementing the Parks Master Plan which calls for redesigning the trails around the climbing areas at Rotary and providing an informational climbing sign.

Call (970) 498-5600 with questions.

For more information about Larimer County’s parks and open spaces,
go to www.larimer.org/naturalresources/park_areas.htm

Sunday, April 5, 2009

"It's a Big-Land-Ia, After All"

Sometimes it all comes together, and even when it falls apart, it only appears that way.

Aspiring for a climbing day before the forecasted storm, Ashley and David (who coincidentally had Friday off due to the last clip of snow) were planning on meeting Alexis and I in Eldo. And, once again, the Eldo plans that were, proved not to be.

Sweet New NC3 Membership Shirts

Heading down from Fort Collins, Ashley called to say that the storm looked like it had already settled in behind Boulder and that they were heading for Carter Lake. Another call was in order, due to wind, and the new destination turned out to be Biglandia. Never one to be timid in respect to dirt burglers (if you happen to read this Cam), Alexis and I were game.

Always Smilin'

Meeting David and Ashley at the Rotund Boulder, I couldn't help but note the magical qualities of Carter Lake. If the weather is rolling into the Front Range, head to Carter and you'll most likely be blessed with a beautiful day. Perhaps my luck has been greater than most, but I have only run into unfavorable weather at Carter once.

Ashley working out "The Rotund"

Warming up near the finish of David and Ashley's project, The Rotund, Alexis was quick to dispatch an unamed sit start with a licheny top-out. David was the first to attempt The Rotund, much to the dismay of Ashley. "Did you just try to snake the send from me?" She asked bitterly. Of course David had.

Alexis on top of the unnamed problem.

In between Ashley and David's attempts, all four of us were playing around on Ponts De Lyon, a sit down start with some fairly asthetic moves. The crux of this problem comes with a dynamic, large movement out right to a deep crimp. Focusing my energy on this problem, I felt smooth everytime I did the lower moves, yet always seemed to overshoot/undershoot/or just plain miss the deep crimp. After a small tick, I fired the problem and felt it had been in a very clean style, dead-pointing into the crimp without loosing any feet.

David Getting At It On "The Rotund"

With Ashley and I happy from our sends, and everyone's fingertips a bit sore, we began to pack to head down to the Big Betty Boulder when the homeowner in the valley decided to come say hello. I had met Jeff and his dog previously and again enjoyed conversing with him. I was very happy to hear that he has never run into any problems with any of the climbers at Biglandia. He is a down-to-earth individual that has a very carefree attitude and it's a pleasure to share our boulders with his backyard peacefully.

David on the Slab Problem

Down at the Big Betty Boulder, with the wind picking up, we all warmed down on the fun slab problem and had a good time playing on the traverse. Hiking out, still surrounded by the ominous signs of a storm, we had spent the entire day without a worry of any percipitation and, at one point in time, considered it too warm! Thanks for hosting another beautiful day Carter!

David, ushering in the wind that eventually drove us out.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Roundtable Rotary Discussion

Tonight, the NC3 held a general meeting with the climbing public from Northern Colorado to discuss current issues at Rotary Park. With Larimer County receiving a substantial grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), the climbing population in Northern Colorado is very fortunate to have a portion of these funds allocated for use at Rotary Park.


Aside from the simple fact that climbers constitute the largest user group at Rotary Park, many climbers have been acutely aware of the developing problems at Rotary Park and, therefore, are seen as valuable sources of information regarding not only problems, but also solutions that will affect the area.


Focusing on a broad list of topics from erosion, social trailing, and vegetation destruction to trash, social group conflicts, and other points of interest, community members contributed valuable insight as to what Rotary Park’s priority problems are. Of the several problems discussed, the priority issues that the climbing public would like to see addressed are erosion and social trailing.


Concerning erosion, two points of interest were brought to mention throughout the evening’s discussion. First, the erosion around the ridge-line has become moderate to severe in many areas, with the area above the Ship’s Prow showing some of the most dominant signs of use. Second, several landing areas that have seen considerable erosion were mentioned, such as Talent Scout, Meditation, Penny Pitch, and Mental Block.


Of the two main focuses of erosion, the community tonight appeared to be in consensus that the current erosion of the ridgeline is the priority. In attempting to bring about a solution to the amount of traffic that this area sees, Mark Willford mentioned the establishment of two separate trails; one for “climber use” and one for “beach access.” With both of these designated trails circumventing the main ridgeline, and the erection of a sturdy fencing (such as the one that can be found at the Piano Ridge Boulders), climbers tonight felt that it would significantly affect the amount of erosion the area is currently undergoing.


The issue of social trailing was also a main concern for those in attendance this evening. With the knowledge that Larimer County intends to have only one beach access trail, the discussion of which trail sees the most beach access arose. Also, social trailing around the boulders was mentioned as a substantial aspect of the social trailing problem.


Having assumed that, should there be only two trail heads leading from the parking lot—in an attempt to deal with erosion—social trailing above the ridgeline would essentially be taken care of. Knowing this, those in attendance tonight sought to solve the problem of social trailing around the boulders and leading to beach access.


It was wonderful watching the climbing community come together tonight, providing us with their valuable input. We are thoroughly looking forward to our continued work with Larimer County and its residence!


If you were unable to be in attendance this evening, please support your climbing community next Tuesday, April 7th at 6:30 at the Fort Collins Senior Center (address below). A summary of the Rotary Park Trail Improvements Meeting (With Larimer County Parks) is provided below. We hope to see you there!


When: Tuesday, April 7th (6:00pm)
What: Rotary Park Trail Improvements Meeting (With Larimer County Parks)
General Agenda: (exact agenda to be posted at a later date)

  • Summary of Rotary Trail Improvement Project
  • Guided Discussion on climber concerns directly pertaining to improvement project (no discussion of user fees, or non-GOCO project related topics)
  • Guided discussion of trail work solutions and signage development associated with GOCO grant project


Where:

Fort Collins Senior Center
1200 Raintree Dr
Fort Collins, CO 80526

(970) 221-6644
www.fcgov.com

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Plastic Abides

With a consistent week of inconsistent weather post last week's snow, the plastic at the gym has been eating away at my hands but causing soreness in my muscles . . . kind of a lose-win situation. In light of this rather unfortunate news, I'm taking the time to put up my HD (oooh . . . aaaahhh . . . but only at Vimeo.com :( ) video of Talent Scout Roof at Rotary Park. I'm also going to tell you to come to the NC3's meeting tomorrow to discuss problems and actions that need to be addressed.

Talent Scout Roof HD from Richard Newman on Vimeo.

This is also a shameless promotion of my new glasses. I've waited close to two months for these and my overzealousness is very well justifyed in my book.

OGA Morel's wooden temple frame. Sick.

I guess for s's and g's, I'll put my vimeo hosting of Kahuna Roof too. Wow, I feel like a woman on Colfax right now.


Kahuna Roof HD from Richard Newman on Vimeo.

I'm hoping to get out with the Lloyd's on Friday, hopefully I will have more to appease the minimal masses.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Rather Inter-webbed

I returned from a weekend bachelor party with some of my best, long time friends to find that the website the NC3 has been working on for quite some time is finally online! Big thanks go out to Jesse Levine and Reel Motion Media, Charly Clifford, who did a lot of the graphics, Kai Staats, for our sever needs, and all the members of the coalition who's countless hours have provided us with a fantastic looking website. Without further ado: www.nococlimbing.org.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Repairing Rotary Part Deuce

So . . . with the random, freak snowstorm after such a mild winter (I can't say we don't need the moisture . . . Colorado's drier than the 9th layer of hell right now) the NC3 postponed the community meeting for the following Thursday, April 2nd. I have no interesting news to report, or exciting pictures (aside from Rotary devastation) so this post is just a lame repeat of the previous info--dates changed, of course. We, still, hope to see you there!

I am writing to urge all local climbers to join the NC3 as we discuss the current situation at Rotary Park, Horsetooth Reservoir, and possible/plausible solutions to the main issues we encounter. This meeting will be next Thursday, April 2nd @ 6:30 and is currently scheduled to take place at the Mountain Shop.

This is our chance to attain Larimer County's attention, concerning a historical climbing area that is quickly showing signs of abundant use, coupled with absent care. While the NC3 is hoping to have our website online within the next few days, and we are also hoping to provide the ability to recieve climber feedback, if this does not occur and you are unable to attend our first meeting, I will gladly accept your issues and solution suggestions if you ask for my e-mail.


Again, I strongly urge you to give us a voice in this issue of protecting a historical climbing area and treasure to Fort Collins and Larimer County. Together we can change Rotary, giving its user groups today, a more beautiful area to play in that will be sustained for generations to come.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Repairing Rotary

I am writing to urge all local climbers to join the NC3 as we discuss the current situation at Rotary Park, Horsetooth Reservoir, and possible/plausible solutions to the main issues we encounter. This meeting will be next Thursday, March 26th @ 6:30 and is currently scheduled to take place at the Mountain Shop.

This is our chance to attain Larimer County's attention, concerning a historical climbing area that is quickly showing signs of abundant use, coupled with absent care. While the NC3 is hoping to have our website online within the next few days, and we are also hoping to provide the ability to recieve climber feedback, if this does not occur and you are unable to attend our first meeting, I will gladly accept your issues and solution suggestions if you ask for my e-mail.


Again, I strongly urge you to give us a voice in this issue of protecting a historical climbing area and treasure to Fort Collins and Larimer County. Together we can change Rotary, giving its user groups today, a more beautiful area to play in that will be sustained for generations to come.

Friday, March 13, 2009

4 Fs in 2 D

This isn't about academic testing or anything sexually related . . . unless you love climbing. I headed down to Boulder on Wednesday night to see the newest films in the Stone Alliance Tour. Thursday, the NC3 hosted the film, Pure. These movies were inspirational, as you will come to find out.

The Stone Alliance tour started with a snippet of the video, Masters Of Stone VI, the sixth video in a series of serious climbing footage. Initially, I was taken back by the obvious choice to continue editing in the "80's style" that dominated the previous 5 videos in the series. But, as anyone who appreciates literature understands, the obvious choice to pay homage to the longest running climbing video series garned props from me. The section showcased featured the speed record on the Nose (El Capitan, Yosemite) and was incredible to watch.

The second video was Herakleia, featuring bouldering in Turkey's city Herakleia. With cleaver editing and a vast expance of incredible bouldering potential, this video was a sure hit. With colors similar to the Rocklands of South Africa and a group of climbers willing to push the boundries, I had to wipe my hand off on my jeans a few times during this film.

The third video featured was called, The Players and features many of todays up and coming, as well as seasoned veteran, climbers. With an in your face soundtrack, adaptive editing and shooting, and an incredible cast of climbers, this movie is guaranteed to be a thrill ride, when it is released on DVD. Currently, pre-orders are available at the Stone Alliance tour, while I'm not certain of pre-order availability online.

Tonight, my second night of climbing video bliss, was the NC3's premier of the newest Chuck Fryberger Film, Pure. Hearing about the movie since it premiered in Boulder just a few weeks ago, I've been amped to see this new bouldering film. The wait was well worth the reward.

Traveling across the globe, Chuck captured some of todays strongest climbers; not only in terms of their mental and physical strenths, but also with their abilities to progress this "sport" through their truly unique and innovate eyes. I honestly couldn't highlight one specific aspect of the movie that appeared better than another.

Capturing beautiful landsapes in conjunction with the climbers and the problems they were concuring was certainly a highlight. Throughout this movie, Chuck maintained audience attention through a perfect combination of beautiful climbs, asthetic areas, an up-beat soundtrack, short interviews, and a wide array of creative editing. Sweaty hands did most certainly abide as there was not a dull moment throughout the video. If you have the ability to see this movie, do so.

Aside from the premier, tonight was Fort Collins first glance at the trailer for Rocky Mountain Highball, a film project that has been a long time coming and will certainly garner tons of attention world-wide. With a local cast of superstars and many legends (John Gill, Lynn Hill, John Sherman, to name a few) and featuring a plethora of scary, proud lines across Colorado, this is not a film to miss. The Boulder premier date is set for April 27th, at the Boulder Theater. Keep your eyes and ears open for the trailor, when it is released online through Yama Studio.

The NC3 also has a big announcement and that is that our website is being finalized and is set to go online this upcoming Monday. You can visit the website at www.nococlimbing.org. More on that to come!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gravity wins . . . almost . . . but then.

I met up with my buddy, Jordan, on Monday at Carter with the intentions of getting Kahuna Roof, the latest of my projects that I sent, on video and working out a few of the moves on Dough Boy, an intimidating tall compression line.

After initially snagging the send, I was dismayed that my batteries had run low on my camcorder and it turned off just prior to the send. With fresh batteries I hopped back onto the Front Range Classic. Both Jordan and I were surprised when, after taking a fall due to my right hand slipping off the side-pull, I was uninjured, though shaken up. I grabbed the send on my next attempt and put together this little video, available in high def.

The next day, though i was sore, was all too beautiful to pass up. In the late afternoon I headed up to Rotary and hopped on the Bolt Wall to warm up, put down Mental Block Standard on my first try and turned my focus to Cornerlock, a problem I've "had wired" on several different occasions though I can never seem to send it first go.

Moving off the left hand gaston into the seam, I thought I had done everthing right . . . until my right hand popped out and sent me spinning downwards. Missing the pad with all but my ankles, my hip seemed to adequately find the peak of an embedded rock giving me a beautiful baseball sized bruise on my ass that seems to only be increasing in size and colorful spleandor. Fortunate for me, though, is the fact that I didn't break my hand/wrist when I came thrutching down towards the ground.

I guess it was my body's (or gravity's, for that matter) way of telling me to take a break, considering I didn't listen at Kahuna. I look forward to returning fresh, healthy, and looking forward to a full spring!

Pure Bouldering in Fort Collins

The Northern Colorado Climber's Coalition has been fortunate to get a showing of Pure, a Bouldering Flick by Chuck Fryberger, to be shown here, in Fort Collins Colorado. The film will be shown at the Colorado State University's Lory Student Center's auditorium on March 12th. Tickets will be available through a number of retailers, including the Mountain Shop, CSU Tix, Jax and REI.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Helldorado Brings . . . the Pain


Yet another beautiful January day for some outdoor climbing. I'm starting to feel spoiled! Anticipating at least a semi-muddy day after our recent accumulation of precipitation, I was surprised to find, after a drive to Eldo in clear-blue skys, that dry conditions prevailed. On the way to meet David and Ashley, driving south on I-25 with John, I couldn't help but think about the upcoming season and the treasures that lie in wait while whizzing past signs pointing to Rocky Mountain National Park (if I can give my body adequate time to heal!).

The often heard, and rarely seen Climbqwatchly

With intentions on at least touching "Elegant Universe" and running late, as usual, I was content to see Ashley, David, Autumn, and Sierra next to the Keg Boulders. Having never been to Eldo, I was excited and ready to climb anything (I hadn't yet taken a gander at the Gill Boulder). Unfortunately, David and Ashley's plans weren't spoiled due to a "flexible" schedule, but because on their initial hike up, Autumn tripped and bumped her head pretty hard on a rock, creating a fairly deep gash.

A couple of stitches and another hike, and this is what Autumn looked like. Ah, the resiliency of children. I only wish my tips could withstand pain like Autumn's forehead!

David and Ashley were busy working on the Keg Traverse, while John and I fooled around on some of the "easier" lines, eager to eat our skin. David was diligently putting his time into the "V5" while Ashley wasn't at all intimidated by David's suggestion that "because she had done every other line on the Keg Boulders, Ashley should lap the Keg Traverse." Sandbagging is harder to take when you're the one being sandbagged.

David, working the Keg Traverse
Giving it the evil eye
Ashley "floating" through her laps.

Mid break, David pointed out a Bald Eagle that was taking advantage of the strong winds flowing through the valley, reminding me of my fascination with birds of prey dating all the way back to 3rd grade. While I've seen a lot of wildlife in the 25 years I've lived in Colorado, this is perhaps only the second time I have been granted the opportunity to watch a wild Bald Eagle in flight. In fact, the only other time I can think of seeing a Bald Eagle in the wild was . . . climbing in Red Feather! What wonderful opportunities this activity bestows its participants.


We finished out the day on Chip's Arete with a fun/committing top out.
John working it out.
Having managed to climb a few of the problems, John and I packed up as the wind attempted to usher in our departure. Hiking out, looking forward to dipping our sore hands in the cold water of the stream, John's keen eye picked out this little "gem" of a rock.

I wonder if this could truly be the Volcom stone?

I'll definitely be heading down to Eldo again in the future, though I may be unable to parade past the Gill Boulder, which I had to check out prior to our return to Fort Collins. Some beautiful lines are waiting for my skin upon my return.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Carter Era, Revisited

So, I snapped video of Mark on the highball, Dough Boy, but hadn't had a chance to edit/upload it yet. Here it is for all to gander.

video

Monday, January 19, 2009

Welcome Black Carter Pt. Deuce

A Classic Kahuna Sunset

What an amazing day. What started as the usual, chaotic, planned trip to climb ended in pure euphoria after experiencing an amazing experience. While it is no mystery that the activity in which I, and many of you who are/should be reading this participate in, is not one of glamor, glitz, or fame, but rather an activity of self-indulgent progression, it was a refreshing reminder to be reminded of that fact today.
Mark, inspecting a next-generation climb.

As I mentioned in my last post, I wanted the Front Range Classic, Kahuna Roof . . . bad. Very bad. I hadn't put a full effort into the problem until my last session, with David Lloyd, but after that day I had been dying to get back to Carter . . . dying. I had attempted to make several plans to get down to Carter since my last visit, all to no avail. Planning on meeting up with my buddy Jordan after several failed attempts, I managed to get a hold of a few friends on the way out of town and the carpool was underway . . . until Mark got a hold of me.
Mark, post proud send.

Dropped off at my car, I quickly described the sketchy directions to Carter for a first-timer (Matt made it!) and went to pick up Mark. Running late, as usual, the journey was finally underway. Not able to get Kahuna out of my head, my quick conversation with Jordan left little hope for a consistent spot on his project as my aspirations for a send were high.
Matt, Tim, and Oscar finishing the day.

Hiking in from the South lot, I was surprised (and winded) when, upon reaching the Kahuna Boulder, I came across around ten climbers. Moments (literally seconds) later, several more people showed up. The debauchery that followed is best described in the photo below. With Ken Gibson, Jamie Emmerson, Andre Di Felice, Sean Drolet, Brian Capps, and several other strong climbers showing up, the action was on!Kahuna Chaos

Back to progression. Perspective is all about relative conceptions. From my own perspective, I worked my ass off to do a problem I saw several people send without hesitation, reluctance, or any percievable effort. Litterally (I'm talking about the ass part). As I sit here writing this, contemplating a tip-devistating day at Arthur's Rock, my muscles cry for me to consider otherwise. But, before I digress to far, I made progress. I worked for a send that, for others may have not been worth the bat of an eyelid, but for me was a collection of swears, sweat, and smiles. To me, this is what climbing is all about; pushing it to the next level, even if it is just your level.
Andre Di Felice pushing progression.

From another perspective, I had the humbling pleasure of watching some of the Front Range's best climbers push their own levels of progression on a project, right next to the climb I was attempting. Sure, it wasn't anywhere near the grade that I had been working, but the progression was there. A climb has existed, a mere 5 feet away from a 20+ year established Front Range classic, that has been simply waiting for the right breed of progression, and still is.
Jamie Emmerson on the project.

We all have our limits. Unfortunately, in a world in which our successess and triumphs are measured agains those of other individuals, it can sometimes be difficult to remind ourselves that life is not a competition to get ahead of the rest of the pack but a challenge to constently progress ourselves; mentally, spritually, physically. Steven Hawking and Albert Einstein probably couldn't hold a conversation with me. Ghandi, Jesus, Buddah, Confuscious, and Mother Teresa, all have evaded me spiritually. And I couldn't even begin to compare my climbing skills with an entire group of people, now extinct, the Anasazi.
Sean Drolet, hanging out.

But, to me, today, it doesn't matter. I progressed myself mentally. Eventhough I was the only one still working on my "project" I stayed dedicated and commited to finishing the problem eventhough mentally I had my doubts (Thanks for the reassuring "just go for it!" Ken!). Physically, I pushed myself and commited to moves that, just a year prior, felt impossible. Spiritually, well, the sunset was simply breathtaking and I couldn't crack the euphoric smile I had plastered across my face.
Mark, enjoying the last moments of sunlight.

Mark had an amazing, proud send as well. Dough Boy (video to come!) What a proud line! Nice send Mark!