Outdoor Retailer Winter 2015 Climbing Report

Two days before I was supposed to head to the Winter OR Show, I was NOT feeling well. I’d taken a group out skiing on a 13,000’ peak that morning and the seemingly insignificant cold I had been dealing with seemed to take advantage of the altitude to sucker punch me when I wasn’t looking. […]

Aging with Grace

Every year I set out to make this climbing season the best. Until now, there’s been no question that next season will be the best. At 32 years old, though, I’m quite aware that the steady upward trend I’ve enjoyed since I started climbing at age 11 is on borrowed time. There was a day […]

Looking Back, Looking Forward

I always enjoy this time of year, when we take a moment to reflect on the year that was, and look ahead to what might be. Looking back, it was an interesting year for me, one of two distinct and contrasting halves. The first part of 2014 was filled with numerous outdoor climbing adventures, and […]

Glimpses of Grace

Glimpses of Grace

Now that winter is here and the year is drawing to an end, I find myself thinking back on the time that was. There is a day from the summer that stands out in my mind in particular. We ended up having a big crew, and somehow had a popular wall in Rifle all to […]

Shine A Light

“You don’t seem that surprised,” she said. “I don’t know what to say. This is the fourth person we’ve known this year that has taken their own life.” It had been a glorious weekend, the kind I hadn’t experienced in quite some time. Good friends, great climbs, beautiful scenery. We watched a sunset from the […]

A Moment of Transcendence

My first trip to Indian Creek was in the spring of 2002. A relative newcomer on the scene compared to many, but it’s starting to feel like a little while twelve years later. I’m not particularly talented at crack climbing, but I love it with a passion that is not often there for me with […]

An Aspiring Hardman

“Hardman” – what does it take to be one? That fabled term has been thrown around by climbers since before I was born, and ever since I started reading the history and lore at age 11, I knew I wanted to be a Hardman. At first it was my understanding that a hardman was among […]

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 […]

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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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