Friday, November 19, 2010

Castle Rock State Park

Color that will soon be missing from the Valley

Yesterday I made an unusual decision. I passed on an opportunity to go to Yosemite and opted for nearby Castle Rock instead!? Crazy, I know. There was some reasoning behind this madness though, first of all I'm going to Fontainebleau in the middle of February and Castle is just about the best simulation of Font sandstone around (so I'm told) so this was first of many acclimation trips I plan on making to the area. Second, I'm still nursing my finger injury though it is finally improving. Castle has a bunch of nice friendly slopers and I figured it would be good therapy for my weak link. Thirdly, there was(is) an ass-ton of weather on the horizon that would have made the chances of climbing two days in the Valley less than optimal to warrant the drive.

Turns out I feel like I made a fine choice. My good buddy Skippy and I had a great day with prime conditions at Castle yesterday. I managed to do three new-to-me problems that were all high quality, the "Nature Nazi Arete", "Groundation", and "Egghead Arete".

Here a video of Skippy on "Groundation". I think I'm going to teach a clinic on iphone videos soon because I'm basically a pro.

Groundation from Princess on Vimeo.

There has been some notable activity going on in the Valley worth mentioning. Currently Tommy and Kevin are on their first push effort to climb the Dawn Wall project. Unfortunately this weather pattern doesn't bode well for them. I hope they succeed but their safety is more important to me.

Elsewhere in the Valley, my friend Thomasina Pidgeon made the first female ascent of "Drive On" yesterday. This is proud tick indeed and one I'd like to climb as well, if I can ever crimp again...

About a week ago Randy and I climbed a couple of new problems. The first was the old project on the King Boulder at the Cathedrals. This problem is just right of "The Stamp" and just left of "So Good". The problem is tall, beautiful, climbs up perfect rock, and has some really unique moves. The name of this soon to be classic is "Old Dog, New Tricks". The second problem we did is a line I scoped out and cleaned last spring but was unable to unlock. Randy figured out the beta for the distinct crux on this one and I followed up shortly thereafter. Here's a picture of the line that makes it look a lot shorter than it is.

We dubbed this line "Iwo Jima"

Thursday, October 28, 2010

State of Affairs

The short version of the story goes like this:

Working more climbing less
Injured finger equals regress

Often wanting to get out of this place
At least I have the Giants World Series chase

Ta-da! I'm a poet. That took me all of a minute to think up and I bet you couldn't tell. The longer version of the story includes my computer being in the shop with a potentially deadly (to the computer) and expensive problem. There is also the mysterious emergence of a finger injury whose origins and exact ramifications remain unknown. All in all I've been a bit down in the dumps lately, and for that I'm sorry to those of you I may have inadvertently brought down with me (especially Becky, she has enough on her plate). I'm trying to look at the long term picture not just the next two months, but that has been and continues to be a major adjustment for me.

On the Brighter side...The Giants are in the World Series and have already taken a 1-0 series lead. I'm incredibly stoked and grateful for the opportunity to be at the game tonight with my family. The last time I was at a World Series game with my Dad and my sister it was 1989 and it didn't go so well for the City or the Giants.

On the climbing front, though I've basically scrapped any attempt at training, I've been able to find and clean an amazing project in Yosemite that doesn't seem to require much out of my middle finger. The crux is actually a one-legged squat off of a dicey heel hook. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and I'll be able to finish it off soon.

So that is the state of affairs in my world.

Oh, this looks cool too.

Smitten Teaser from Smitten the movie on Vimeo.

Friday, September 17, 2010


"The Shampoo Squeeze"

If you know me well at all, you know that I hate my birthday. I'm not so fond of the whole aging thing. I'm particularly concerned with how aging will negatively affect my climbing.

Bearing this in mind I thought maybe if I went bouldering with a bunch of old dudes I'd feel better about myself. It sort of worked until Noah pointed out the inverse relationship between the respective ages of the climbers present and their climbing abilities. Bugger, this only reaffirmed my fears.

Despite the looming cloud of misery I dragged around all day I managed to have a good time and climb a few problems. I even snagged a first ascent! The legendary Dave Hatchett was kind enough to show me around Sugar Pine 3, where he has put in a ton of work cleaning and climbing new lines. At the end of the day he took us over to one he'd tried the previous year but never finished, and after a few attempts I got to the top. Dave and Noah both followed suit soon after. I called the problem the "The Shampoo Squeeze" (there a story behind it) and it was the last thing I climbed in my twenties.

Two other climbing highlights included Charlie Barrett's "Space Balls" and Joel Zerr's "Freeloader".

Freeloader from Princess on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Here's another iphone video, this time from Becky. We spent a week in Mammoth early last month. I only climbed two days though, the bugs sucked the motivation right out of me.

Way Lake 2010 from Becky Trafecanty on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dog Days

It is officially summer and I'm not so psyched on the weather, the driving, or pretty much anything other than chilling out. Actually, I'm pretty happy with my new iphone! Check out the video I shot with it. Pretty damn good quality for fucking phone!

Mosquito Season from Princess on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Work and Climb

The theme for the past few weeks has been 'no rest for the wicked'. This is a good thing. I've been occupied with climbing, hiking, Adam's version of cross-fit (tree work) and not much else. The only downside is how tired I've been in the evenings (and mornings) as a result. I've even fallen asleep while talking to Becky on video chat.

Just about every climber I talked to about tree work warned me of the debilitating fatigue I'd suffer from. They all said every climber that does construction or some other type of manual labor for a living is always too tired to climb. In response I've tried to keep a positive outlook by thinking of all the burly climbers that manage to make the combination work, guys like Jesse Bonin, Adam Strong, and Ramon Julian Puigblanque.

Though the fatigue is definitely there, I feel like my body has adapted pretty well and I've managed to get up a couple of really cool boulder problems. This Wednesday was a perfect example of a very exhausting, but satisfying day. Woke up at 7am, at work by 8am. Work ended a little early around 3pm so I headed back to the house to run Turtle. Bolted from there to the grocery store for food and then drove up to the Rocky Mountain National Park to meet up with my friend Herm. Finally, we headed up the trail to Chaos Canyon around 5:45pm (approximately 1,500' elevation gain). Arrived to the 'Green 45' boulder in Chaos to find some cold dry conditions. Barely managed to warm-up and snuck in an ascent of an outstanding boulder problem called "Wildcat" before heading back down to the cars after 8pm. Got back to the house around 9:20pm, which left me just enough time to eat and video chat with Becky briefly before going to bed.

Its a good feeling being tired for the reasons that I'm tired.

I think I could get used to this lifestyle.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Brief Update for Estes Park

The weather here has been rapidly improving for climbing (today's freakish mid-day cold spell aside). I've managed to do most of the early season problems on my list now, and I'm basically chomping at the bit to get up to Chaos Canyon. Unfortunately there is still a ton of snow up there and it will take a lot of work and sunshine to get things climbable.

No new media on my part, but fortunately Becky was nice enough to put together a little video of my ascent of "Shadow Warrior" in Yosemite a few weeks ago.

Shadow Warrior (V12) from Becky Trafecanty on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Getting Close to Summer

Yesterday Estes was hit with a spat of late season weather and work was canceled before it even began. Unfortunately the shit weather wouldn't allow for climbing either. To salvage the day I headed down to Boulder to check out some of the local wet granite and to hang out with Robin and Theo. The Shed, their home wall is amazing I was psyched to climb on it. In fact, I think the prospect of having a home wall like The Shed is the primary motivating factor in my own hopes to someday be a home owner. I could train in the shed forever and never go to a gym again! Sick! The picture above doesn't do the place justice, that's basically 1/2 of the climbing terrain. If the weather is crap again tomorrow I'm definitely headed down for more.

Speaking of the weather...I awoke this morning to a winter wonderland. There are exactly 40 days till summer and this is what we encountered on our hike today.

Snow day!

Melissa and dogs.

Psyched Turtle

Psyched Cassidy

More psyched Turtle

Monday, May 10, 2010

First Week

Turtle and I are making ourselves right at home

We've been away from Oakland a week now and we're starting to settle in. After a brief stop in Salt Lake City where we stayed with friends Chris and Emily Craft, Turtle and I arrived in Estes Park Wednesday evening at the home of my very good (and generous) friends Adam and Melissa Strong. They've set me up in my own room and I couldn't be more comfortable. They have a big fenced in yard too so Turtle is stoked.

On Thursday I went right to work for Adam's Tree Service. I had hoped to climb after work but some late season snow showers made the rock a bit too damp. The highlight on Friday was going for Turtle's first Colorado hike. We didn't see anyone else and it was lovely.

On Saturday, Robin Puro came up from Boulder and we went out to try the problem 'Veritas' in Rocky Mountain National Park (a.k.a. RMNP or 'the Park'). Unfortunately, I was feeling the altitude and pumped out at the top, which was pretty funny to me because its only about 8 or so moves to that point. It was really fun climbing with Robin none the less, and we were both glad just to be out climbing on good rock.

Saturday was spent climbing again in the Park, but this time with Adam and his friend Bryce (Melissa hiked up with us but had to leave for work). We got on two more great problems, 'Whispers of Wisdom' and 'Storm Shadow'. I had a similar experience on 'Whispers' as I did the day before on 'Veritas,' and again it was okay because I had a blast climbing on these classics. I'll be back to all three of these problems soon and hopefully I'll be able to complete one or two of them.

Bryce warming up at the Emerald Lake boulders.

For anyone in CO interested in Emerald conditions there was a lot more snow than we anticipated. Adam said there was less when he was there five weeks ago. 'Whispers' and 'Storm Shadow' where fine but 'The Kind Traverse' was wet at the beginning and the end. There was some light snow today in Estes and more in the forecast for the next three so we'll see how conditions hold out.

Adam whacked his finger on a boulder. It bled.

Till next time...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Next Little While

I just got back home to Oakland a few hours ago after an abbreviated trip to Yosemite. This was my last trip for the season and although it was a bummer to leave early it was the reasonable thing to do because Becky is feeling really under the weather. Fortunately for me on Saturday I was able to send my project 'The Shadow Warrior'. I had tried this a few times in the past but never put much effort into because it just felt too hard, but this spring Scott was psyched so I went with him to try it out. Randy came with us that first day, which was a good thing for me because he gave me all the beta he used on the second ascent!

After that first session I knew I could do it, and that it was just a matter of time. Last weekend I went back to it on two different days and I came painfully close both literally and figuratively. I fell several times with the good hold (that marks the end of hard climbing) in my grasp only to have my feet cut before I was settled. To make the matter more frustrating I was disturbed to realize my old bicep pains would flare up to the point of having difficulty speaking after each attempt. This Saturday I knew would be my last chance of the season. The weather was cooler than on the previous weekend, but it is forecast to be heating up from here on out and furthermore, I'm leaving for Colorado on Tuesday! Thankfully, after taking it relatively easy most of the day I was able to send on my first try of the day in the cool hour just before dark.

I owe several people some major thank you's for their role in this ascent, Scott for getting me motivated, Randy for the crucial shortie/kneepadless beta, and Becky for being a trooper for going up there with me on four different occasions (not to mention sitting around in the dark waiting for me to just get it over with).

Becky got some footage too so look for that in the near future.

Next time I blog I'll be in Estes Park, CO where I'll be climbing and working for the next month or so! Until then...Ciao.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dr. Topo

I'm up way too late re-watching old Dr. Topo videos. The Doc closed up shop not too long ago but his vids live on in youtube. By today's standards the footage is crap, but holy shit these little flicks had my palms sweating so many times. I think my personal vision for climbing was largely influenced by these gems. I doubt if many people watch them anymore but its worth your time if you've got it.

Night night.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010


Another competition video from Berkeley Ironworks. I arrived about 2 1/2 hours late due to having attended the Giants home opener, which went into extra innings, so I didn't have high expectations of what I could produce. I think under the circumstances it turned out pretty well.

TRS 4 Berkeley Ironworks from Princess on Vimeo.

Spent this past weekend in Yosemite and despite feeling very lethargic all weekend I managed to have a good time. Randy, Scott, and I sessioned on 'Shadow Warrior' Sunday evening and have a renewed psyche for the problem as a result. Randy showed me the beta he used on the second ascent and it worked brilliantly, plus I don't use a knee pad anymore! I also figured out a way to do the first move finally. Now to the business of putting it all together. Hopefully Scott and I will get back to it fresh next weekend, he just needs one good attempt and it'll be in the bag.

The most exciting news of the weekend is courtesy of Mr. Barraza (duh). He managed to send the steep project at the Ahwahnee boulders on Saturday night, TWICE! On the first send he felt that his foot may have skimmed the pads with his foot. I didn't even realize there was an issue until I rounded the corner to see him top out again! The new line is called 'El Ray'. Good job Paul!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Home Again

The last few days in Joe's were a bit disappointing. The weather crapped out on us and I was unable to finish off any more of the problems on my tick list. Before the weather arrived I managed to make an ascent of the mega-classic "Trent's Mom". This problem has a reputation as being one of the best problems in the country and after climbing it I can't argue with that.

On the way home I made a brief stop at one of my favorite places to visit, Ibex. Ibex is a trip, and I always want to spend more time there but for some reason never make it happen.

Here a simple video of the problem "Big Gulp". Turn your volume up and see if you can hear the echos on the two attempts when I yell a little, the sound really emphasises how alone you are out there.

Big Gulp from Princess on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More From Joe's

On Monday, Becky caught a plane in SLC and headed home to Oakland for another semester of school. On Tuesday, Matt and Sandy hoped into the RV and headed east back to Boulder, CO. Today, the last of the devoted (Siemay, Noah, and I) took a rest day and got showers at the Emery county pool center, who knew this gem was here the whole time?

Becky has whipped out the video for the Joe's trip and I have to say she did a great job with all the footage.

I've got a few more things I'd like to climb in the next week with "Trent's Mom" and "Kill List" chief among them, then I'll be back home in time for a little Yosemite climbing before possibly relocating for the late spring and summer months.

Joe's Valley 2010 from Becky Trafecanty on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Utah Update

We're taking another rest day tomorrow, Friday, so we've gotten a hotel room in Price for a shower and night out of the cold.

The trip has been going fantastic. Its been great hanging out with Noah, Matt and Sandy; meeting and getting to know Becky's old friends Chris and Emily and of course spending time with my ladies Becky and Turtle.

On the climbing front, the trip is going well too. I've had the chance to climb on a bunch of beautiful new (at least to me) problems. I've even managed to get to the top of a few boulders. The highlights so far have been "Dance With the Devil" a highball on perfect black rock and "The Ghost King" a challenging problem 'discovered' last year right beside one of Joe's Valley's most popular areas. Becky has also been sending. She climbed "Chips" utilizing a tricky toe hook and over the last two days she climbed "Sunshine Daydream" and "G2-07" in a single session each!

No new media from me of course, but since I forgot to post it before here's Becky's video from Red Rocks.

Red Rocks 2010 from Becky Trafecanty on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Look What Becky Made

We're in Price doing laundry...very exciting. I'm going to clean a project I found later today, it is very pretty. I almost never take pictures or video when Becky is around because she always has her camera out. Here is the result of her efforts with the camera and my efforts at Moe's Valley in St. George, UT.

Moe's Valley 2010 from Becky Trafecanty on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


The fantasy continues! For how long? Who knows? I'm delaying the inevitable, as any reasonable person would, by road tripping. Over the past two weeks one would have found me on the eastern side of the Sierras. I spent most of the time in Bishop climbing on only the finest lines, except when foul weather forced me to the Tablelands.

In the middle of the trip I departed Inyo county for the northern Nevada mecca of climbing, Minden! Minden has a couple of things going for it that other northern Nevada towns do not: First rate tacos, a really nice cafe with food more reminiscent of the Bay Area, and most importantly Noah and Siemay's woody!

Noah's woody with 50% real rock holds!

Staying with Noah and Siemay not only gave me the opportunity to shower, but also to check out one of Jessie Bonin's creations in Hope Valley, 'The Future Present'. This line is not exactly a winter problem, but I had brought my snow shoes and shovel so I went ahead and put them to work. The problem was well worth the effort and I'm psyched to go back for the sit, which I nearly did, only falling on the last easy move due to a wet hold that succumbed to the snow that had been falling all day long.

Minden was followed by a second visit to Bishop. This time Becky escaped from her studies to join me and enjoy Bishop for one last time this season. She climbed really well too, doing two of her long time projects quickly and dispatching another easier but steep line (not her strength) very quickly. Her send of 'The Ruckus' was the highlight for me because it really stands out as a quality rock climb with a quintessential last move dyno. Good job Honey!

Relishing the post-send double flappers

Up next for the traveling hobo adventure...Utah! Becky wants to go to Joe's Valley for her spring break so I've broken down and agreed to go too (note heavy serving of sarcasm). We may stop in Ibex for a few days too, but as long as the snow doesn't force us south to Moe's we'll spend the majority of our time on the black and tan goodness.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hueco Video

Huceo and Wagon Wheel Ranch from Princess on Vimeo.

Finally finished the video. Its not greatest quality or anything near it, but there are a lot of cool problems and a lot of cool people in it. If I were to categorize this flick I would probably put in amongst these lowly brethren and not these elitist punks.

This season was a lot of fun for me and that was in large part due to all of the great people I was surrounded by. Here are just a few of the super sweetums that I spent my time with.

Adam and Kevin (Melissa's Picture)

Norwegians Stefan, Torstein, and Knut


Ceder and Tomasina


Let's do it again next year m'kay?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Deadpoint Magazine

In mid December of last year Deadpoint Magazine released an article about new bouldering in Yosemite. The article was lacking much in the way of content, which is often the norm in climbing journalism, and I felt compelled to write a letter to the editor about it. The resulting dialogue was ultimately very unproductive and basically a waste of my time. I nearly posted the back-and-forth emails but decided against it because doing so would only prolong the bitter taste it left in my mouth...that is until now. Deadpoint's newest issue has my first email printed in the letters to the editor (Matt Stark) section but with a minor edit and with a totally different, although equally snarky, response.

Here are the full emails, I've put Matt Stark's in bold to make distinguishing them a bit easier.

First of all I want to say that I enjoy your website very much. The videos in particular keep me coming back. The magazine often leaves something to be desired (content) but that seems to be the standard these days with all of the climbing rags, and yours seems to improve with each new issue. Typically when a new issue comes out I'll flip threw it online or at the gym and move on, sometimes I might point out a particularly good photo to a friend but that's it. Today I had a different experience. Reading the Yosemite article by Anthony Lapomardo left a really bad taste in my mouth. First of all neither Anthony nor a singe person pictured in the article has ever done a first ascent in the Valley. Not one of them has put forth the time and effort to find, clean or climb a single problem there. This guy is capitalizing on the hard work of others and doesn't even mention any of the names of those that did put in their time, nor does he mention the website from which he's gathered most of his beta,

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy seeing stories about get climbing areas, but I prefer them to be written by people who actually know what they're talking about. I assume this is the case when I read the Cooper's Rock article, HP40 article, ect. ect. but I'm not a local at either of those areas so I have no way to know. This is not the case for the Yosemite article. My hope is this is just a one time oversight but my fear is that your magazine may be inadvertently endorsing this kind of 'journalism' on a regular basis. This type of article only gives those that put forth the effort of cleaning and discovering new boulders cause for keeping quiet about their new discoveries. I think we can agree that is something most of us would like to avoid.

Thank you for your time. I still look forward to reading your magazine in the future.


We appreciate your input and would love to know how you feel we can improve our publication. Your opinion definitely does not fall on deaf ears. We are constantly striving to improve our platform and opinions like yours help us to mold a better product.
One thing I will say is I fail to see how "not doing a first ascent" disqualifies anyone to write about an area they frequent. Anthony's article was a short piece not intended to show historical perspective. It was just a "blip" to say new things were happening in the massive labyrinth of talus beneath the monolithic walls of Yosemite. I understand you feel your blog and long list of first ascents entitles you to be the one of the few people that has the right and privilege to talk about new bouldering activity in Yosemite, but we take a less elitist attitude. Anthony was psyched to write about Yosemite bouldering.Had you contacted us, we would have been just as psyched-maybe more so. My question is, so what if he only climbs established lines? Who cares that he doesn't have a BlogSpot or climbs v10? He sent us a query and some good photos and his article served the purpose we were looking for. We didn't want an elitist pro-centric article of "look what I did" or I'm the big man in Yosemite" we wanted something that was more relevant for climbers of all grades, but that just offered enough information to spark curiosity. Ultimately, that curiosity will lead them to your blog. I don't think anyone should feel threatened by what Anthony wrote. Let's face it, we all climb small rocks. Having a pissing contest about who did what first is silly. Maybe in the future we will do a more comprehensive article on Yosemite at which time we may solicit your help, but for this issue, we needed exactly what Anthony sent us.

Well, where to begin? First of all, I'm immediately struck by a tone of defensiveness in your response. I get it, this magazine is your baby and its hard to hear criticism. Just know that I wrote in the first place because I'm genuinely interested in the quality of the product you produce. I love climbing and I love high-quality climbing media. I'm also not the type of climbing media junkie that is unwilling to pay for my climbing media, if its good enough.

Second, I never said, "'not doing a first ascent' disqualifies anyone to write about an area they frequent." But if they are writing about doing first ascents, it would seem appropriate for the writer to know something about the subject. "So what if he only climbs established lines?" It would be as if someone who exclusively boulders wrote about big wall free climbing, it would ring a little hollow. The exception to this general rule (write what you know) is when the writer freely admits to being a novice and seeks the input of those with some expertise. Taking the big waller example a little further, you might read something in the article along the lines of, 'I asked Tommy Caldwell how he scopes out new free climbing projects."

I'll grant that the article is a short fluff piece and not a historical perspective so a detailed account of who FA'd, when was it done, and how many points do I get to put on my scorecard if I do it, would be unwarranted. A simple mention of some of the people involved would have gone a long way to make the article more substantial and meaningful. I wasn't looking for my name in there (I couldn't care less), but there are a few people that Anthony is acquainted with that have been putting up first ascents for years that deserve some gratitude, Paul Barraza, Randy Puro, Tim Medina to name a few. These guys will never read Deadpoint and they would never ask to be mentioned in it so printing their names isn't about feeding their egos either. It's about providing the reader with something of substance, not the crap we're asked to digest from Urban Climber.

Also, I never said anything about his climbing ability having anything to do with his ability to write this article. My complaint with the article has nothing to do with elitism, its about good journalism. Just for the record, I have nothing against Anthony.

"He sent us a query and some good photos and his article served the purpose we were looking for. We didn't want an elitist pro-centric article of "look what I did" or I'm the big man in Yosemite" we wanted something that was more relevant for climbers of all grades, but that just offered enough information to spark curiosity." Terrific, sounds like a great idea. I've only met Anthony once and he seemed like a friendly intelligent guy. As far as I know Anthony is not a journalist, but despite this his writing style is more than up to the task of handling a climbing article. Maybe he just needed the help of a good editor? Someone to provide a little direction.

"Maybe in the future we will do a more comprehensive article on Yosemite [...] but for this issue, we needed exactly what Anthony sent us." Hmmm, I don't think any journalistic magazine worth its salt would publish something exactly as it was sent. Every writer needs an editor.

Anyway its not just "climb[ing] small rocks." Anyone that puts countless hours of effort, countless hard earned weekends, and unbridled passion into anything knows that that pursuit more valuable than the sum of its parts. This is why artists name their paintings and climbers name their climbs, but I'm sure you already know this.

Best of luck,


If my tone came across as defensive, I truly missed the mark. I thought saying, "We appreciate your input and would love to know how you feel we can improve our publication. Your opinion definitely does not fall on deaf ears. We are constantly striving to improve our platform and opinions like yours help us to mold a better product." would encourage something more than what amounts to hate mail. Since that is not forthcoming, Unfortunately your points, although potentially valid, are somewhat lost in your hostility.
I know Anthony cares immensely about the boulders in Yosemite, and although he may have never have established a quiver of FA's,(neither one of us knows this for sure) he certainly is aware of the resurgence in development that has occurred in recent years. I can understand your desire to see more substance in an article about Yosemite, but like we have said, this article served its purpose. A feature on Yosemite bouldering could and should dive more into the history and give homage to those who conceived certain lines, but that is to be left for a feature.
I'll be sure to let Anthony know how you feel.
Thanks again for your input.

And he did in fact let Anthony know how I felt and Anthony sent me a message on Facebook. Our discourse was strange but a lot more civil.

Any thoughts people?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sub Zero

Here's a clip that won't make the cut for the Hueco movie I'm putting together. The quality sucks even for my camera, but its worth seeing for the historical value ;)

Now, without further adieu, here is Randy Puro making the first ascent of 'Sub Zero'. The line is in the corridor between 'Nagual' and 'Glas Roof' at the East Spur Maze.

Sub Zero from Princess on Vimeo.

Off I go to Bishop!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What Next?

First of all, I did not climb 'A Single Word'. I could make a lot of excuses, but that would be a waste of time. Its an awesome boulder problem and I'll be excited to go back to it on a future trip.

Second, I'm putting together a short video of some of the climbing from the trip but I left my camera in Hueco and I'm waiting for Kevin to return with it (and a few more clips) before I finish the editing.

Third, I'm planning on visiting Bishop this coming weekend, which should be swell.

Fourth, there really is no fourth, but I'll make up for it with a few pictures courtesy of Melissa Strong, may her forthcoming ascent of the 'Butterpumper' be everything she hopes it to be and more.

The sit start to 'Sarah'


Sunday, January 31, 2010

Extending My Trip!

That's right, I've decided to stay in Hueco longer then I originally planned. After being encouraged to do so by just about everyone here (especially Melissa) and getting the thumbs up from Becky, I've made the big decision. Today I called my boss and quit my job, found someone to sublet my apartment, and sold my rack and rope to finance this extension.

Phew! What a weight off my chest. What does this mean for the future? Well, tomorrow I'm going out once again to try 'A Single Word'. I tried it on Friday with Randy and the Norwegians, but left without the ascent. I did refine my beta though, and I climbed it in two overlapping sections so I'm still optimistic.

No matter what the result is tomorrow, on Tuesday I will begin the drive home (insert wry grin).

This year my intentions were to focus on climbing diverse objectives with a priority on having a good time with friends. I did not want to get caught up too heavily in any particular project this season, I've done enough of that over the past year or two. As I sit here now typing on what was supposed to be my last day of climbing I can confidently declare that I've met my goal, and then some!

I think a lot of factors played into my success this season, not the least of which was my mental approach. Good weather, good company, training, and experience all played vital roles too. Still, the lure of a good project is there, and it's pull is mighty. Tomorrow will be my fourth day trying 'A Single Word,' double the amount of time I've spent on anything else this season. I'm going back because I'm just to damn close to walk away without another shot, but I'm only going back for one more day to assure I don't get too caught up in the success/failure aspect of it all. Either way its one of the best problems I've climbed on in Hueco. Our relationship has be brief yet rewarding.

That's all for now, see all you Californians soon! Thanks for the great trip Hueco!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tick List of One

The one problem I most want to do before leaving, 'A Single Word'. Sooo good.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Robert Sapolsky

This man authored my favorite book, 'A Primate's Memoir'. I recommend watching the whole speech because it's very interesting, humorous and ends with a great message. Climbers may find the section beginning at 26:30, particularly interesting as it pertains to one of our sources of motivation.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Halfway Point

Our 'Guardian Angel', she brings us good luck on climbing days

Yesterday I passed the halfway point on my trip, and if the second half is anything like the first I'll be one content little climbing bum. No big news to report other than a few more friends on their way out of town. Theo Merrin was only here for a few days but it was great to see him, and Herm and Melissa were here just a bit longer but we had blast hanging and climbing with both of them too. Hopefully I'll be seeing more of all of them in the near future...

A couple of pictures Melissa Strong took of us climbing on 'Whispers of Mortality'.

Adam Strong

Herman Feissner

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Natural Disaster

Another blissful rest day that has so far consisted of a short round of desert golf, lounging in the sun, and Internet time at Primos coffee shop, oh and Turtle went on a vision quest for 2 and 1/2 hours this morning meaning she's happy to be fully recovered from her Fall health crisis.

As promised, here are a few photos courtesy of young Keenan one of three Davis, CA youths to be hanging out here in west Texas. The other two, Charlie and Alex were once on a junior climbing team that I coached. Its really cool to see them out on real rock now being psyched little goofballs. They are here for 11 days or so and by the end will have only rested twice. Classic. I took a little video yesterday, but was again plagued by shitty batteries. I'll be compiling what footage I get into a single video, so that will have to wait until latter.

For now, here are some sequence shots from my ascent of a great problem called 'Natural Disaster'. This problem has it all, a tricky roof section, a challenging lip encounter, technical face moves, and a dyno finish! Sick!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Motivation is (a) High

Apologies for the lack of media. I've either been engaged in climbing, menaced with battery issues, or my camera was eaten by a Chupacabra. One or more of these reasons has kept me from taking pictures or video I swear.

An unfortunate update: Peter's wrist was not happy with him climbing yesterday and so he made the decision to head home early. Leaving under the cover of darkness in the early morning hours saved him from an uncomfortably tight hug goodbye, but will probably allow him to make it back home late tonight.

Personally I'm really excited about climbing right now. Admittedly, I was in a bit of a lull climbing-wise after my near misses in South Africa. Maybe its all the new climbs I get to try here, perhaps its the day to day routine I enjoy, or maybe I'm getting high on the fumes emanating from one of the many meth labs nearby? Regardless, I'm psyched. I haven't really been projecting per se, just getting on a bunch of cool shit and seeing what happens. Yesterday, however, I did try a problem I'm feeling inclined to project (though maybe it won't take that long). 'A Single Word' was established last year by either Jason Kehl or GP Salvo and is basically a sloper climb on a roof. Its totally tubular. Hopefully soon we'll get some more cold (but not too cold) days like yesterday so we can try again.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Different Kind of Cold

Today is another rest day and another very cold day. Apparently the local meteorologists have been talking about this day for weeks. I find that kind of funny for some reason, one monumental day of cold being predicted for weeks...and the locals here have a hard time accepting years worth of predictions for global warming, but I digress.

Yesterday we had our first day out at North Mountain. We got on with little to no fuss but we paid for it with frigid toes and fingers. Kevin and I got up a classic neither of us had done before called 'Roughage'. We also tried our luck against 'El Techo de los Tres B'. I nearly did it, but couldn't hang on long enough for the final match. Hopefully I'll try it sometime soon in temperatures more accommodating to strenuous physical activity.

Peter attempted to get revenge against a dyno problem he tried two years ago called 'Smooth Move'. Its a big jump, I can't get anywhere close to the top (big surprise I know). Anyway, Peter had given himself a giant flapper the last time he tried it so this time he taped up before he began jumping. Alas, when we folded up the pads he was the proud owner of two new flappers on the SAME finger, and his wrist had started to bother him. CRAP! He came ridiculously close though, a couple of times I thought for sure he had it. He was pretty bummed, which I can completely understand.

Tomorrow is another day though and its all good as long as we're rock grappling.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sick and Sore

Just about to head to the airport where I'll be dropping Becky off for her flight back to Oakland. She leaves without being able to climb the last few days due to coming down with a cold. Now I have it and I feel like poo. I was able to have a couple of nice climbing days though, before succumbing to the illness. Hopefully it won't last long and I won't pass it on to anyone else.

Hopefully I'll be able to climb tomorrow.