Living on the Flip Side

Fall is without question my favorite time of year. I’m not one to get hung up on complaining about “poor conditions” in the summer, but there is something magical about this time of year. The changing leaves that give each tree a glow that seems to come from within. The sun getting lower in the […]

Clinging to the Moment with an Open Heart

I have a heart condition. My aortic valve doesn’t close all the way, so blood flows back in the wrong direction between heartbeats. I’ve known about it for a few years, but open-heart surgery to replace the valve was said to be at least a decade off. However, the condition has worsened much faster than […]

Twenty Years Later

Twenty years ago, sometime in mid-August, I did my first multipitch climb: the Regular Route on Chapel Pond Slab, a 700-foot excursion up smeary anorthosite. My friend Peter and I were working at a summer camp in the Adirondacks of upstate New York, and the climbing instructor had promised to take us up this route […]

Love: A Subtle Key for Sending

Let’s face it. Those of us who enjoy difficult redpoint campaigns are basically married to our projects at any given time. We put in regular hours, we think of the beta while we’re away, and the relationship often begins with a sense of giddy excitement that fades into dull familiarity by the time we finally […]

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2014 Climbing Report

“See anything cool?” That’s the question I’m often asked when I tell people I’ve been at the Outdoor Retailer show. And my response is usually along the lines of, yeah, I saw some cool stuff, but nothing really groundbreaking. Most of the time, products get incremental upgrades, or offer solutions to problems that maybe aren’t […]

Feel the Fear, And Do It Anyway

“There are some secrets you will never learn, there are some joys you will never feel, there are heart thrills you can never experience, till… you leave the world, your recognized world, and plunge into the vast unknown” ~ Mary Warren We found ourselves perched on the third pitch of the East Buttress of Lower […]

Lover’s Leap, A Trad Paradise

“You came all the way from Carbondale for this? Have you heard of a little place down the road called Yosemite Valley?” Alex Honnold was giving me a hard time, as he casually waltzed his way up the first pitch of The Line, in approach shoes. I was making small talk at the base, and mentioned […]

A Rumble in the Black

Falling asleep, I still see the great orange spark and feel the dull, reverberating thud of the huge boulder striking the ledge below me in the dark. Hours before I sent that boulder crashing down, I was turning a question over in my mind. “How much risk is a climb worth?” I wondered as I […]

No One Cares That You Climb

You’ve just fallen off a climb well below your pay grade, a climb you’ve done a few times or even worse, your standard warm up. You hit a patch of high gravity and it feels as if forces beyond your control made you take that fall. You let your belayer know you’re climbing again and […]

Eight for Eight – Happy Anniversary to Us

While congratulating the Enormocast on their recent two year anniversary, it dawned on me that SplitterChoss is eight years old. Eight! That’s like 572 years in internet time. It’s been a grand adventure, and one that we are still on thanks to a fun crew on this side and a great group of fans on […]

5 Ways to Beat The Heat

I’m sitting here writing this in my upstairs office, without a shirt on. It’s hot, damn hot, and it’s been this way for a couple of weeks in the West. There is the promise of rain on the way this weekend, but here are some helpful tips for dealing with the heat should the waving […]

5 Climbing Towns Under 1000

Yeah, I know. Boulder (or Seattle, or Salt Lake City) is the best climbing town in the US of A. Any day of the week, I could climb classics of any grade, in any discipline of the sport. The best in the world come to climb and train there, and have for the past forty […]

Death Grip: A Climber’s Escape from Benzo Madness

His hammer swung wildly at the bolt. It was binding up in the hole, and he demonstrated little patience for the stubborn installation in the hard rock. I had first met Matt Samet a month earlier while developing a new crag outside Carbondale. His slovenly appearance didn’t seem to match his impressive record as a […]

Let the Adventures Begin!

It’s been a cold winter. There have been climbable days here and there, but for whatever reason, my schedule hasn’t lined up for me to take advantage of them, so I’ve been spending most of my time in the gym. It’s been great to focus on training, and getting better at climbing, but I didn’t […]

Does the Off Season Exist Anymore?

At first, I was surprised. What were so many people doing here on a Monday, during the first week of October? We were on a school trip to Indian Creek, and there were quite a few folks hanging out in the main campground. Don’t they know Creek season starts in November, when the climbing everywhere […]

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Locals Corner

Redstone Ice Conditions 1.8.14

The ice in Redstone is in great shape, with all the standards looking good and many other things to climb on as well. Here are the details: Banzai Pipeline – has ice on it, may be climbable but will be very hard. The bolted route to its right is doable. Avocado Gully – In typical […]

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