Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New View

For the last couple of years, our views from have been limited.  Mostly of other RVs parked only feet away.  The views we craved came from crag hikes, cliff faces and road sides.

We have traded in our road life for something with more permanence.

New view from the 33rd floor
We look forward to sharing food, beverage and view with all!

New Mile High Stadium

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


So now that we are back in Denver, I get to start biking again.  Today was the first foray back to biking.  The result: OUCH! and I'm not fit for biking. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

College Memories

Thank you Ken for reciting this after many many brews.  It is unclear why the memory has stuck, but Gunga Din has been a hero.

Gunga Din by Rudyard Kipling
You may talk o' gin and beer
When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
But when it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
Now in Injia's sunny clime,
Where I used to spend my time
A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen,
Of all them blackfaced crew
The finest man I knew
Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.
He was "Din! Din! Din!
You limpin' lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din!
Hi! slippery hitherao!
Water, get it! Panee lao!
You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din."

The uniform 'e wore
Was nothin' much before,
An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind,
For a piece o' twisty rag
An' a goatskin water-bag
Was all the field-equipment 'e could find.
When the sweatin' troop-train lay
In a sidin' through the day,
Where the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl,
We shouted "Harry By!"
Till our throats were bricky-dry,
Then we wopped 'im 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been?
You put some juldee in it 
Or I'll marrow you this minute
If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!"

'E would dot an' carry one
Till the longest day was done;
An' 'e didn't seem to know the use o' fear.
If we charged or broke or cut,
You could bet your bloomin' nut,
'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear.
With 'is mussick on 'is back,
'E would skip with our attack,
An' watch us till the bugles made "Retire",
An' for all 'is dirty 'ide
'E was white, clear white, inside
When 'e went to tend the wounded under fire!
It was "Din! Din! Din!"
With the bullets kickin' dust-spots on the green.
When the cartridges ran out,
You could hear the front-files shout,
"Hi! ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!"

I shan't forgit the night
When I dropped be'ind the fight
With a bullet where my belt-plate should 'a' been.
I was chokin' mad with thirst,
An' the man that spied me first
Was our good old grinnin', gruntin' Gunga Din.
'E lifted up my 'ead,
An' he plugged me where I bled,
An' 'e guv me 'arf-a-pint o' water-green:
It was crawlin' and it stunk,
But of all the drinks I've drunk,
I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through 'is spleen;
'E's chawin' up the ground,
An' 'e's kickin' all around:
For Gawd's sake git the water, Gunga Din!"

'E carried me away
To where a dooli lay,
An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean.
'E put me safe inside,
An' just before 'e died,
"I 'ope you liked your drink", sez Gunga Din.
So I'll meet 'im later on
At the place where 'e is gone --
Where it's always double drill and no canteen;
'E'll be squattin' on the coals
Givin' drink to poor damned souls,
An' I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!
Yes, Din! Din! Din!
You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
Though I've belted you and flayed you,
By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Earlier this year, you sat with baited breath as I relayed my attempts on a 5.13b, LaConfienza, in Maple Canyon, UT. You sighed in disappointment when you read that I fell at the anchors. Now, you may smile for me.

Almost 8 years to the day since I sent Apocalypse '95 5.13b, I finally sent Vision Thing, my second 5.13b. It has been a long journey through injuries, both mine and Tony's.

Vision Thing is located in the Wasteland in Rifle Mountain Park and receives morning shade. We arrived in the park about 9:30am to warm up and give me plenty of cool morning temperature to climb. There was a line at the Meat Wall so we went to Ruckman Cave to start on Choss Family. Boy, it felt hard for a route that I've been doing since 1998. I did it twice and moved down the wall to Pinch Fest. While Pinch Fest is 5.12b, I have done it hundreds of times. It felt hard. I hit my elbow so hard that I broke skin through my SmartWool shirt. I fell.

I thought perhaps I could salvage the day, so we went across the road to the Meat Wall. 80 Feet of Meat felt better. It is a nice long route with no real hard moves. After some debate, I decided to give Vision Thing a go.

Some days earlier on redpoint, I had fallen making the last long move to the final bolt. I was so pumped, I couldn't close the fingers on my right hand onto the sloper intermediate. On my next run that day, I found a tiny, but super positive crimp to use instead of the sloper. I then climbed the last section a couple times to burn the moves into my mind.

We arrived in the Wasteland to find it deserted. I changed into shorts, tied in, pulled on double kneepads and slipped on the Solutions (shoes). A deep breath and I was off. The opening moves are long and powerful. Thankfully, I had these pretty well dialed because they felt harder than usual. After clipping the fourth bolt I secured the double kneebar and focused on slowing the heart rate. Behind me I heard someone else arrive to the wall and the dogs get all sorts of excited. Refocus and I launched into the middle boulder problem and secured the left kneebar for the next clip. I got it well enough to get a good shake before the big and powerful moves of the traverse. I launched for the good left crimp and only got three fingers on it and I think a foot slipped. I calmed my mind, moved the right foot, stabbed the left across to a high stem. I bore down hard on the left hand, tightened my core muscles and moved my right hand to the undercling. I was determined not to fall. Again, I relaxed my mind, readjusted the left hand, moved my right foot up and I knew I had it. I reached up to the pocket and moved across to the rest. "Sick!" said Kenny.

I counted, yes counted, to 330 forcing myself to fully recover before the upper boulder problem. I started climbing all the while keeping relaxed. It is about 10 feet of casual climbing before the business begins. I grabbed the left sidepull, got the hard dropknee and twisted through. I unwound and moved up and left to the left kneebar to make the next clip. It felt casual. I crunched my core and chalked up my hands. A little self motivational conversation and I moved. Placing the left foot well I moved the right foot up to the nub. Launch! I grabbed the left hold and tighted the core as my right foot swung off. After placing the right foot in a stable stem I clipped the quickddraw. I matched hands, moved my feet, grabbed that critical small crimp, readjusted the left hand. Launch! It felt easy! I calmed my mind, stepped up and got the left heel hook and clipped. After a short rest, I moved right and then up to the anchors. I had to fight just enough to make this an excellent redpoint.

Success! Finally! Now on to Cantina Boy, also 5.13b.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Too Creative to Keep to Myself

Ok.  I admit that I am an NPR junkie.  So if you listen to NPR you may have heard this joke.  In case you didn't I feel compelled to pass it along.  Sorry for not crediting the author.

Here it is:

I needed a new password that was eight characters long.  So I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

That rivals, "A baby seal walked into a club", for catchy joke of the year for me.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Cliff Lunches

A common struggle for the rock climber is unique food to fuel your day.  My bag often contains combinations of trail mix of various concoctions, a Clif-bar, sandwich and cheese with crackers.  Other items I regularly see pulled out of backpacks are tuna (stinky...esp if drained in dirt at the crag...don't do that!), other fish in a bag like salmon, fish in a can like sardines, fruit (apples, bananas, pears oh my) and last night's leftovers.

Most lunch and snack items are high in protein and low in carbs and fats.  My options do not always follow the prescription of the emaciated hardmen at the crag.  I go for taste and variety whenever possible to the expense of losing my buttery exterior layer.

With the cupboard relatively bare, my last lunch needed a slight spark; the standard peanut butter and jelly would not suffice.  As I stood over the counter staring at two blank bread slices of my muse struck like a sledgehammer to the thumb.  Lunch would be a special treat today.  Starting with two slices of whole wheat bread, I reached for the Nutella and carved a thin schmear on each slice.  Now for the secret ingredient: chocolate M&Ms.  A small handful of the M's were strategically placed to ensure at least one chocolaty crunch per delectable bite.

The resulting Olympic Gold Medal worthy sandwich was highly tasty and satisfying even if it lacked basic nutrition outside of the essential sugars.  Next time I may try adding peanut butter, pretzels (added just before eating to maintain the salty crunch) and possibly craisins--even replace the M&M's with a rich dark chocolate (68 to 85% cocoa).  Raising the nutritional punch of the dessert lunch still remains elusive but I am the man for the job!

Any suggestions for sandwich improvements or unique cliff lunch options?

(On a side note, google 'staring'.  The first result made me laugh.)


Nutella, peanut butter and pretzels produce a far superior sandwich to Nutella and M&M's.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Month of Maple

What is the cure for three weeks of sitting on one's duff gorging on chocolate, bon bons, peppermint patties and other various junk foods while the scale begins to groan when boarded?


The long routes, large holds and soft rock provide the perfect medium to melt the doughy soft lining that is now my waist, spare tire, love handles, etc.

The first order of the Month of Maple involved wiring down a warm-up which also equaled the first project. Groundwork (11c), a popular route at the Minimum crag, was the selection. The initial burn got me up about three bolts of the nine bolt route before the pump and extra gravity had me resting on the rope. SAD! Two more attempts yielded improvement but still no redpoint. Back the next day Groundwork was finally defeated as the ‘warm-up project’ of the day.

We climbed at many other walls in the canyon, but my projects seemed to always come from the Minimum crag. The long slightly overhanging routes fit my style which led to redpoints for 49 (12a), Lunchables (11d) and Functional Idiot (12b) over the following weeks. Each of these routes melted away at least a peppermint patty and built the fitness eroded over the extended break.

Moving into crux of Deliverance

These successes set me up to try harder projects and led me to Deliverance (12c) in the Pipedream cave. This route definitely did not favor my climbing style. The route contains easy-ish climbing to a pumpy/bouldery crux then on to easy climbing again. I put in many attempts but as the end of the month was approaching it became clear that I should make the tough decision to walk away from this route. It was easy for me to climb to the crux, fall off then finish the climb. The crux moves did not conform to my current level of flexibility and power. Moving on allowed me to onsight Excavation and Dry Spunk and redpoint Le Spunk in two attempts while opening up the canyon to a new project.

My choice for a final hard-for-me project was Spacelord (12c). When Peggy had worked this route, I attempted it and found the sequences nearly impossible—especially with her GIRL beta. The route broke down into three definite cruxes separated by decent rests and a punch to the anchors. Progress on this route was encouraging as each attempt either resulted in a new high-point or better sequences.
A new proposed grade?

Coming into the final three days of our stay, I was optimistic to redpoint.

Day 1

Two warm-ups, three burns on Spacelord (without success) and one cool down route—six routes for the day.

Day 2

Two warm-ups, one burn on Spacelord, a hike to Pipedream for an attempt on Dry Times and an unknown 11d then back to fail once more on Spacelord—failing going into the last crux. No more gas in the tank so the day ended bitterly. The 30 minute drive home spent wondering if there would be enough desire to go again tomorrow—12 routes for the two days of climbing.

Day 3

First mistake, it is never wise to think a third consecutive day of climbing will yield positive results. I went into the day with positive mental expectations of sending. Second mistake, started too early which put the cliff in the hot morning sun. So we changed gears allowing Peggy to put in an on-sight attempt on Popcorn at the Cragnmore Wall, a morning shade wall, while I waited for Spacelord to cool off. (Yeah, I know.  My wife onsights at my redpoint level.)  Even though it was her third day after many burns on La Confienza, Peggy dispatched Popcorn while placing the draws.

Now my turn. Four warm-ups—a couple of .10’s to get the blood flowing at the Zen Garden, then a couple burns on Groundworks to get in gear. It’s time to redpoint Spacelord. Feeling confident but tired I pulled through the first two cruxes without issue. The fatigue built as my right hand adjusted into the undercling. The left crimp was positive but my body is too far from the wall. A quick tightening of the core and move to the right hand cobble crimp, left hand up, left foot up, and the right foot starts to paddle for the press into the last move of the final of three distinct cruxes – not to say that it’s impossible to fail above this point but the trickiest stuff is over. Oops. My shoe grabs the rock right as the back, arms, hand and fingers fail. POP goes the Tony. This is particularly disheartening as this fall occurs after climbing about 75% of the 90 foot route. Time to rest for another attempt.

Remarkably confidence is still high for the send. With the encouragement of Peggy, Gordon and Mindy I strapped on the Testarossas for a final attempt. Contrary to each previous burn nervousness abandoned me allowing me to relax into each rest while visualizing the next sequence. Pulling to the last crux my body was drained and my forearms burned with lactic acid. Despite the fatigue and pump the final crux felt relatively easy leaving enough 'grrr' in reserve for the final push to the anchors. SUCCESS arrives as the 18th burn of a three day binge.

Sitting at the anchors I was physically and emotionally drained as it seems this success meant more than another simple redpoint. It’s a trip back to the high point of my climbing career in 2003 where I had ascents of hard for me routes like The Promise and The French are Here. It’s good to be back after a ‘season of injury’.

Hello Wyoming!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Park City Rides

The best summer activity around Park City, UT is mountain biking.  The trails are built for bikes so the switch-backs are wide, sweeping turns.  There are few if any unrideable sections.  The trails are will maintained and signed for easy of following your path.  If preferred you can just start riding and get lost in the trails and scenery.

From my short trip, here are a couple of excellent options:

We planned to get more riding in, but Mother Nature decided against that plan.

Rain all night soaking the trails :(

OK....So the sun came out and I exchanged my diaper some spandex man-pants then went for a super ride.

When you come to town be sure to pick up the Park City Trail Map available by donation to the Mountain Trails Foundation.  The Synderville Basin Special Recreation District has a list of trails here and a Google Docs of current trail conditions here.

Get out and ride!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Park City Wildflowers

Currently, it is beautiful and green around Park City, UT The scenery along the mountain bike trails has been fantastic. Here are some pictures from the ride on Monday when we rode the Glenwild loops.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Project Diary: Days 4, 5 & 6

Day 4: I was warmed up, I was focused and I maximized the rests. Per the previous day's finding I was able to get myself psyched up and got my 'grrr' on to leave the big cobble. A big yell and sideways move into the pocket. Tighten the core, heel hook next to the right hand and grab the slopping cobble. Stabilize, give a good grunt and grab the good part of the next cobble with the right hand. Keep the heel hook, flag the left foot and grab the next bad cobble with the left hand. Pull hard, keep the core tight and move the left foot into the pocket, right foot onto the spike by the last bolt. Keep it tight! Focus...grab the final hold with the left hand, really bear down and keep it tight, move the right foot into the pocket...miss. AAARRRGGH! Nothing but air. I fell with my hand on the final hold and missed the stab into the pocket with the right foot. Next time up, I fell leaving the big cobble because I was just spent from my first attempt. I did however, find an alternative foot from the pocket so I don't have to be so precise. After a rest day I will send!

Day 5: Yesterday was a rest day, so today should be good. Utter failure. For the life of me I cannot repeat my efforts from Tuesday. It is hot and I only gave it one attempt. I did however, feel that the next day would be better. We decided to wait until 2pm to start with the warm ups. This meant that we would arrive at the Pipedream after 4pm and hopefully it would be cooler.

Day 6: Excellent late start. I did two routes at the Minimum crag to start the warm up. When we arrive to the Pipedream, I did a nice little 5.11d, Excavation to finish the warm. Then I got in line for my route. My route, La Confienza shares the start with two other routes, plus many extensions. Plus, the anchors are share with a couple routes as well. This means that if the cave is busy, there is some line jockeying to ensure that those attempting to redpoint have a clear run to the anchors.

I felt pretty good, a little tired from the previous day, but a manageable tired. I felt good at the cobble, and got psyched. Set up, stab left for the pocket. Came up sort! Great anger and I am embarrassed to admit, profanity. Not a good thing. What had I done wrong! Why??? I was incredibly discouraged. I pulled up to the bolt and just hung there with tears threatening. All sorts of raw emotion were just boiling inside. I had sent the route just days earlier, but fell at the anchors (which of course doesn't count as a send!). I grabbed the big cobble, but something just didn't feel right. There had been a nagging thought just before I fell, that I wasn't set up right. Still, I Tony take and I hung some more contemplating the rock. I again grabbed the big cobble...oh my goodness! I had my hands position incorrectly putting my right hand to far right and making the move left to the pocket too long. What a stupid mistake! I pulled on and made all the moves to the anchor and lowered dejected.

I did give it another attempt, but fell low. I took the opportunity to finish the route, but take frequently to try some new beta and solidify the known beta. It is good to keep the mind open to changes and try new ways of doing a move. I will not come back to this route for until our next trip to Maple Canyon. This is OK as it was time to walk away for a bit and do some other climbs.

Epilogue: I finished the time here in Maple on a high note today. After some easy warm up routes to work out the soreness and exhaustion, we went to the Cragenmore wall. I onsighted 5.12c! A route named Popcorn. Today was our third day on and I had to dig pretty deep and am very happy.

We leave this canyon more fit and strong that we have been in some time. I may not have been able to claim a redpoint on La Confienza, but I am stronger and smarter as a result of my time on that route.

Now, for a few days of relaxing and mountain biking near Park City. Then onto limestone pocket pulling in Wyoming.The move left to the pocket that was giving me problems.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Project Diary: Day 3

Thank you Paul for taking photos!

Well, today I did 3 warm up routes and 2 burns on La Confienza. Both times I fell toward the top moving off the big cobble and going to the pocket. I'm very happy with how I felt and climbed today.

I remembered the sneaky kneescum beta down low to make a move easier and grab a quick shake. Big progress for me was to skip one of the clips in the bulge. It was committing, but I believe it saved me some energy. Plus the rope ran differently and it wasn't in my way when getting the left kneebar after the bulge.

After leaving the double kneebar, the route traverses for a few moves. I realized the second time on route that I wasn't moving efficiently and I felt more tired than I should have when reaching the big cobble. I need to remember to move quickly through that section.

The reason I fell moving off the big cobble is that I didn't have my 'grrr' on. When I fell the second time, I realized that I wasn't pulling in enough with my right arm as I stabbed to the pocket. I got back on and made a conscious effort to pull in and back to get my body closer to the rock. This proved successful and I made the last powerful moves to the anchor.

When we were leaving today, Livan made a comment about the route she had just fallen from. She said that she had to almost 'get angry' to power through some moves high on her route. It clicked with me that I was keeping myself too calm and relaxed before heading into the last moves. Tony also made similar statements to me and suggested that I need to determine how to get psyched to pull hard.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Project Diary: Days 1 & 2

This journey has had beneficial effects on my climbing. I have flashed 5.12c, onsighted 5.12b and returned to 5.13 by redpointing six 5.13a in the past year. My fitness continues to improve and I'm very pleased with how I am climbing. However, I am a bit frustrated because for a while now I've felt that I have landed on a plateau in my climbing. My plateau is at 5.13a. I know I am at a point in my fitness and strength that it is time to step up and do harder routes. However, it seems that I have given up too easily on routes because a move felt too hard or holds too horrible. Am I just selecting the wrong routes? Or am I walking away too soon? How do I get off this plateau and climb what I feel I am capable of? How do I get off this plateau without access to bouldering or a gym?

After some contemplation on the morning dog walk a few days ago, I made some decisions. First, select a 5.13b and get climbing. Second, give the route more than one attempt. Third, keep a diary of sorts to chronicle my step up and off the plateau. What follows is the first entry in that diary contemplating my progress.

Several other climbers in Maple Canyon have recommended to me a route called 'La Confienza' as a worthy 5.13b in the Pipedream cave. It was described to me as being big moves on good holds with a double kneebar. I am a sucker for such routes.

Day 1: I belayed our friend Jamie Gatchalian as he redpointed La Confienza Friday and a got good view of how the route went. He then gave me beta as I climbed through the moves. I made it to the anchors the first time on the route! The lower section of the route is about 5.12b with a few powerful moves over a small bulge to a left kneebar. While keeping the left kneebar, reach long left to an excellent hold and make a couple moves before getting a double kneebar. This is not a hands free affair, but it is pretty solid and it will allow me to get a decent recovery. From here traverse on good pockets to a gastone and cross through to the top of a big cobble. At this point there is a marginal left kneebar or a heel hook by the left hand. The kneebar felt like a waste of energy and the heel hook felt a bit funky. Now, there are 4 powerful, long moves to the final jug and a guarantee that my feet will cut loose.

I gave the route three attempts, each time finding more efficient ways to move through sections. I finally figured out the correct body position for the heel hook on the big cobble. From the cobble to the anchors is powerful, so efficient foot placement is going to be important.

I'm in love and psyched!

Day 2: It was Saturday and the cave was organized chaos. The good thing about this is that many people wanted to climb this route or one of the many branches. I saw some good beta for a kneescum to the first undercling on the low section. I did get this the first time on the route, but had forgotten about it. I need to remember this when I get on tomorrow. Also there is a left kneescum just two moves later to enable a better shake before moving into the little boulder problem at the bulge. Speaking of the bulge boulder problem, another woman, Maggie, had some less powerful moves that I like better than what I as doing.

I felt tired from the three runs on the route on Friday, so I spent my two times on the route really focusing on memorizing movement and learning more efficient foot placements. I practiced maximizing the rest at the double kneebar and at the big cobble heel hook. Moving of the heel hook has the potential to be a bit powerful. I need to be quick and efficient with both hands and feet. Then the move left to the good pocket is burly! It is going to be core intensive to keep myself on the rock. I think I'm at the point that I will begin redpoint attempts on Monday. Wow!

I ended the day by onsighting a fun 5.11c, Dry Spunk. This will make an excellent warm up in the future. It is fairly easy climbing for most of the route, it is long and there isn't a hard move on it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

On the road again and still

It is a very long trip.

Google Maps thought we had too many stops and would not allow all the stops on one map.  Here is an attempt to plot the rough course east and south on the first map, then our journey west and north on the second map.  More detail on each stop by clicking the link below either map.  (Forgive any zoom issues, these may be corrected with the map controls in the upper left corner.)

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

For all but the excursion to La Grande, OR, Blu has pulled our trailer to each of these stops and still going strong!  Here are some of the sites from along the way.

Dare to be different

Found these guy digging in the Mississippi muck

Not quite the Mason-Dixon line

Buffalo Trace Bourbon photo op

Kentucky road furniture

Ahhh....the sun

The road is not too wide in the Keys

Mexico Beach furniture

Coffee and Beignets at Cafe Du Monde
and GREAT mountain biking

Spray from Shoshone Falls
Happy trails!!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


When we arrived in Maple Canyon, UT a couple friends recommended that I should climb the route 'Sprout', rated 5.13a. This route is located in an area called the Pipedream Cave and can be reached after a long hike uphill. After 4 days of climbing less steep routes and building fitness, we decided to trudge up the hill to Pipedream.

My first trip up the route was a good run. I got good beta from our friend Blake and made it to the anchors. I was hooked. The lower wall is about 5.11c to a good knee bar rest. Then it is game on with long moves in good holds through a steep roof. This is followed by a pumpy head wall to the anchors. This route was really my style.

A few days ago, I spent some time on the lower section to ensure I was climbing it as efficiently as possible. The holds are a bit slopey and for some reason by the time I made it to the kneebar, I was very pumped. The rest isn't good enough to make a good recovery before launching into the roof section. By dialing this section I was able to reach the rest today without any pump.

As I started out the roof, I made an error in my sequence, but could reverse it back to the rest and start again. I returned to the kneebar, took a few deep, calming breaths and moved out to the roof. At one point, my foot slipped on a slick cobble and my feet cut loose. Thankfully, the holds at that point are great positive pockets and I easily swung my feet back to the rock. I moved strongly across the roof and made sure to be precise and relaxed.

I reached the crux kneebar and was able to relax a minute and slow my breathing enough to feel comfortable to continue. The traverse onto the headwall can be very pumpy. At each opportunity I took a moment to throw a heel hook, shake out and slow down. I did not want to fall at the top after climbing so far.

A few long moves later and I reached the last quickdraw. And, oh did my forearms begin to get pumped! I snuck a little knee scum to get a quick shake before punching it to the anchors. Just then Arlo the Beagle let out a celebratory howl. It made me laugh and gave me the encouragement to get to the anchors.

A 5.13a redpoint after only 6 attempts over 3 days. It was a good day. Thank you Tony for the great belay!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Climbing v. Office

The view from just above the Pipe Dream cave
Walking down from the Pipe Dream wall in Maple Canyon my body felt sore, depleted, bloody, insect bitten, raw and generally worn out.  It dawned on me that there is not much difference between an office job and rock climbing in that a day of doing either involves you:
  • Attempting to do your best 
  • Getting beat up for trying (There is no ‘try’ only  ‘do’ or ‘do not’ but don’t get me started)
  • Intermittent success and failure
  • Success only followed by dreaded feeling of ‘what now?’
  • Starting with optimism
  • Ending with a beat-up feeling with designs on tomorrow and dreams of tonight's martini.
The big difference is that a day at the office pays while a day at the crag costs.

With all these similarities and lack of pay why do I crave the drubbing, gobies, soreness, failure, pain, redpoints, etc that rock climbing provides and don’t miss the office.

Now HOW to make RV’ing, rock climbing and mountain biking pay…

A new level in climbing grades but 10e is as hard as 12c

Peggy viewing Shoshone Falls with high water

Artsy above the Buttermilks
I know you are checking out my sweet tushy, but peruse Peggy's chalk bags at