A Crash Course in Confidence

The re-entry into trad climbing was a little rugged. Right off the belay on the second pitch, I was thrutching up a squeeze chimney with no gear for a ways. The climbing wasn’t hard, but I’ve never loved chimneys, some think they feel secure but I often feel like I could slip out at any […]

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2016 Climbing Report

The Outdoor Retailer show can be overwhelming, especially the first couple times you go. Walking around the massive Salt Palace Convention Center with its endless booths and hustle of people, it feels like some kind of giant music festival, minus the hippies selling veggie burritos. Even after almost 30 trips to Salt Lake for this […]

Going With the Flow

I’ve been really digging this summer. Maybe because winter was so long this year, every warm day feels like such a gift. I love the simplicity of going out with nothing but shorts and a t-shirt, and maybe a light rain jacket in the pack. The ease of access into the mountains is wonderful, you […]

Confessions of a Tight Shoe Addict

Hello, my name is BJ and I am a recovering tight shoe addict. When I first moved to Colorado 15 years ago, I fell in with a crew that encouraged me to get my shoes really tight. So my first pair of Miura’s were 42s (I have a size 12/46 street shoe). This went on […]

The Real Problem with Bolts in America

And what can be done about it. There’s been a lot of press over the last couple of years given to the state of bolts in the United States, specifically in regards to how many of the first sport climbing areas are reaching that point where the original bolts are nearing the end of their […]

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 […]

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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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