Letter to the Newbs

After spending some time in Red Rocks this spring, I saw a lot of newer climbers struggling to find crags, climbs, etc. And while newbs are often the target of criticism by more experienced climbers, I thought I send some encouragement out to those who are just getting started. Dear newbs, Welcome to rock climbing! […]

You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby

As many locals know, the new guidebook is finally here! I dug out the original Western Sloper for comparison, which Dave Pegg wrote back in 2002. It covered Rifle, The Fortress, No Name, the Puoux and the Redstone boulders, and was 72 pages. Fourteen years later, what was one, small book is now two volumes, […]

The Best Days are Rest Days?

My friend Bobby and I have a thing with rest days on climbing trips, in that our “rest” days tend to be more active than our climbing days. Generally it goes something like this: We are taking Wednesday off, what’s the coolest/biggest/most outrageous adventure we can go on that day? One time it was scrambling […]

Remember When You Were That Stoked?

Driving the loop road in Red Rocks a couple weeks ago, I couldn’t help but notice all the people climbing in the direct sun. It was 80 degrees out and all the popular spots were surprisingly crowded for how “bad” the conditions were. My initial reaction was wow, those people are insane, it must be […]

Setting the Bar High

Starting your season in Indian Creek can be a daunting proposition. I love the climbing there, but the physical and punishing nature of it can be a lot to swallow when you haven’t climbed on real rock in a couple months. Still, we had some good friends we wanted to see, so off we went. […]

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2016 Climbing Report

I only had a short window to get up to the Winter OR show this year, but it was a good trip, and I got to check out much of the new stuff that’ll be coming out next fall/winter. A few observations that stood out from this show: Breathable insulation is now mainstream, with Black […]

The Making of a Leader

On a good day, my wife might lead a short pitch of 5.8 trad or a 5.10 sport climb. However, she almost never has to do anything she doesn’t want to when we go climbing, be it leading or even finishing a pitch to clean the anchors. That’s because I can almost always take care […]

Back in the Trad

A couple weeks ago, Tracy and I went and did a “short” and “easy” climb in the Black Canyon. It was one we had done before, something we knew would be fun and we could take our time on, enjoying a perfect fall day. After a year of mostly sport climbing, several things really stood […]

Meet Ze Sharp, Svelt Permadraw!

Allo. I am ze Permadraw – a quickdraw zat never leaves ze bolt on which it hangs. I am here to serve you on ze project as best I can. Ah, but befor’ we get started, you need to know something about my past. I am varee old, perhaps older zan you. Wait! I do […]

Limitation Creates Value

Now that the guidebook project is coming to a close, I’ve had a chance to take a deep breath and look around. The school year has started back up, which means less time at the crags, and more time in the gym. I love training, but I’m a little homesick for the summer days spent […]

The Most Useful Useless Thing

Hi, I’m a harness bag. You know – one of those thin, mesh bags with a zipper or Velcro that package new harnesses at the store. I realize I seem quite useless, and perhaps even a waste, but it’s exactly that sense of guilt over waste that has helped me change the scene at the […]

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2015 Climbing Report

As usual, the Summer Outdoor Retailer show was packed with new gear. This year there were some truly innovative products, like cams that use dyneema instead of steel to cut weight, and an assisted braking device that doesn’t require you learn how to belay all over again. Comfort and versatility were common trends, as were […]

Learning New Tricks from an Old Dog

My dog taught me something this morning when I tried to teach her a new trick with a piece of fresh-fried bacon: it’s possible to want something too badly, to try too hard and miss a key opportunity. Take redpoint jitters, for example. Two weeks ago, I climbed through the main crux of a 5.13a […]

Muscles Are Still Weak: Mental Sending Tips, Part 2

Learning to climb a route that is at the edge of your abilities or beyond is a huge mental game. A lot of your potential success depends on how you approach the challenge. If you’re like me, a typical climbing season goes like this: I take a short rest at the end of the previous […]

Work Yo Weakness!

“Digging around a place like Indian Creek to find your “first 5.12″ that suits your hands/fingers/style is misguided and cutting corners. If it’s perfect hands or fingers for you, then it’s not 5.12 no matter what the book says and you ain’t learning shit. Find a line that inspires you, is hard for you regardless […]

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Locals Corner

When Tomorrow Never Comes

I can only imagine how excited you were, hiking up to the base in the crisp, pre-dawn air. You’d probably been watching this thing grow, knowing it doesn’t come in often. The day before you died, I noticed the same line and thought of you, even though we hadn’t climbed together in a while. You […]

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