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Send Footage: Ethan Pringle on La Reina Mora (14d)

After a month-long battle of hope, frustration, failure, emotion, and eventual success, Ethan Pringle sent the Spanish test-piece, La Reina Mora (14d).

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“Well, I really couldn’t have imagined a better last day in Siurana. For the first time in over a week I felt only love instead of frustration and anger. With a wide open heart full of excitement and happiness, though not really caring how I did, I finally climbed to the top of La Reina Mora and clipped the anchor in a swell of emotion. It’s been a wild ride, and the process of projecting this climb and putting everything I had into it taught me more about life and compassion (especially for myself) than I could have thought possible…” – Ethan Pringle post-send

Ethan Pringle and La Reina Mora (5.14d) from The RV Project on Vimeo.

After sending La Reina Mora, Ethan went on to polish off his long-standing project and North America’s hardest sport route, Jumbo Love (15b).

2016: What’s in Store

In a follow up to our final post of 2015, we asked our athlete team what they’re most proud of from 2015 and what they hope to accomplish in 2016.

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Erik Eisele

I have two favorite memories from climbing in 2015. One is in an arena I have limited experience in—bouldering—and the other is in the mountains.

This spring I was spending a lot of time wandering through the New England woods with a pad, shoes and no idea what I was climbing, where I was going. But I was finding boulders. Grades didn’t matter; I was just climbing whatever I came upon. I would throw myself at problems until exhausted or I stood on top of them, no numbers, no ego. It was like rediscovering climbing, that version back before redpoints and onsights and grades and ethics and all that other nonsense. It was amazing.

Then a few months later that same spirit came to life again in the Caucus Mountains of Georgia. I was there on a climber exchange through the AAC, and we had very little information about what we were looking at. They were 13,000 to 16,000-foot summits streaked in rock and snow, but that was all we knew. Unpainted canvas. I was with Americans, Armenians and Iranians, and we just threw ourselves at climbs, exploring blindly. I soloed a 2,500-foot snow line to a summit on the Russian border and amid swirling fog climbed a scrappy exposed face to a knife-edged peak I didn’t know the name of. It was raw exploration, a chance to fall into the unknown without pretense. It was awesome.

That is what I’ll be looking for in 2016—chance discoveries, adventures that remind me climbing isn’t about numbers or ego, but about the unknown, about practicing for all the other unknowns to come. Walking towards each mystery with openness and curiosity. Seeing perfection in the movement, not the outcome. The outcome will always only be the same.

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Delaney Miller

Favorite 2015 accomplishment:

Making it in the top 15 in my first complete World Cup circuit. It was a long, exhausting season, but It was also one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I’m excited to do it all over again (and hopefully do it better!) in 2016. I plan on focusing more on my training this year as well as perfecting my routine.

Resolutions for 2016: 

  • Make it back to finals in a lead World Cup and Not skip any clips! (as I unfortunately did in Briancon)
  • Finish academic career at CSU
  • Coffee, books, music

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Mike Anderson

2015 was a banner year for my climbing, so it’s hard to decide. I had an incredible trip to Spain, did my first 13c On-sight, and developed the Trango Forge hangboard, but the highlight was definitely sending Mission Impossible, my hardest yet, at 14c/d. I was also super stoked to hear about all the breakthroughs people made, pros and novices alike, after reading our book, The Rock Climber’s Training Manual.  It was also an incredible experience taking over as coach of the City Rock Youth Team with Janelle, and watching those passionate, hard working kids exceed their goals.

In 2016 I want to help more people reach their goals by furthering my research on climbing training, developing new products with Trango, and coaching.   I have a couple climbing goals too, but I never talk about a deal before it’s signed :).

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Chris Barlow

Favorite 2015 Accomplishment:

This is sort of a weird one, but I’m proud of failing a lot. I put a lot of effort and time into goals that I didn’t achieve, ones that I’ll have to continue working toward, which is motivating. I even spent the final days of the year attempting a first ascent on El Mocho in the Torre group of El Chalten and never climbed more than two pitches off the ground!

2016 Goals:

I want to work on my mental toughness and improve my ability to climb well even when I’m exhausted, scared, and dealing with poor conditions.

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Janelle Anderson

There’s no way to pinpoint a favorite memory or even a specific accomplishment in 2015. What I am most proud of is finding BALANCE in my life that keeps our family going strong. Between personal bests in training, outdoor adventures, climbing, volunteering at the school, training, sharing Trango love, climbing, eating delicious tacos, training, work functions,  climbing, selling the Rock Climbers Training Manual, training, landscaping, climbing,  baking cookies, training,  managing rental properties, climbing, traveling to Spain, training, coaching youth climbing team, climbing, being a kickass wife, training, spending time with family & friends, climbing and being a cooler-than-ever Mom…I’ve somehow found BALANCE in all these moving parts!

2016 goals:

#1. Continue to find BALANCE in my busy, crazy life.

#2. Continue to push myself as a climber; tackling weaknesses, gaining confidence in strengths and widdlingdown the mental barriers that can be so destructive.

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Drew Ruana

One of my biggest accomplishments in 2015 was finally winning youth nationals for sport climbing. For the past 5 years I had come in second place and last year I was finally able to clinch the win. I had trained really hard all year for it and my hard work paid off. My coaches and I had planned out detailed training programs and I put in work to make it a reality. I was really stoked!

My second accomplishment happened on the last day of 2015. I climbed a v14. I had trained for a couple months to get as strong as possible to boulder hard and I accomplished my goal of climbing v13 or harder on the last day of the year.

A 2016 resolution of mine is to boulder outdoors as much as possible. Last year, I went for a trip to bishop over new year’s (2014/15 and 2015/16),  and a one day bouldering session in October. I feel like I need to start putting more effort into getting outdoors more in order to progress my climbing, both indoors and outdoors. Once I get my driver’s license hopefully this will become easier!

2015 in Review: What We’re Proud of

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Ethan Pringle

Favorite Memory from 2015:

Ok so my fondest memory/most meaningful accomplishment of 2015 is predictably, redpointing Jumbo Love… Kind of anticlimactic, but it really was like, the highlight of my climbing career. It was just a perfect day with good friends, and the culmination of an eight year dream/nightmare. A close second was redpointing La Reina Mora in Siurana on my last day in Spain. That was one that I really suffered for, and tortured myself over.

Resolution for 2016:

A few New Year’s resolutions (that I’m willing to share with a public audience) are, to write (a lot) more, and waste less time staring at my phone. And eat less sugar. And drink less alcohol. And watch less… never mind.

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Mark Anderson

Favorite Memory from 2015:

Not a single thing, but the the fact that I did 24 first ascents/first free ascents in 2015, and I bolted 44 more routes (that I haven’t had a chance to try yet).

Resolution for 2016:

Obviously for next year the resolution is to finish what I started and send those 44 routes!

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Skiy DeTray

Favorite Memory from 2015:

My favorite memory of 2015 is of standing on the summit plateau of the unclimbed 6500 meter North Buttress of Taboche in the Khumbu region of Nepal. My partner Justin Griffin and I had battled cold temperatures and serious technical climbing over the course of five consecutive days.  It felt amazing to set such a hard and challenging goal and than through training, hard work, and perseverance accomplish the goal!

Resolution for 2016:

In 2016 my three major goals are to have fun, train every day,  and climb over 7,000 meters on a highly technical face in Nepal!

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Dan Brayack

Favorite Memory from 2015:

Seeing the benefits of training apply to bouldering here at the New River Gorge. I’m mostly a route climber, but took a break from that this year to wrestle some pebbles. I pushed new boundaries both in highball and in difficulty (for me.)

2016 Resolution:

My resolution for this year is to stretch more; to be more flexible. Also, to train harder and push through both bouldering and route plateaus as well as finishing up the Rumbling Bald guidebook that I’m publishing.

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Erica Lineberry

Favorite Memory from 2015:

My main goal for 2015 was training for a 10 day family climbing trip to Wyoming this summer. My goal was to send as many classic 5.12’s as possible, and I surpassed all of my expectations by walking away with 10. (FYI the Rock Prodigy Training Method works!!!) My favorite moment of the trip was completing a “birthday challenge” on our last day in Ten Sleep – ticking my 35th lifetime 5.12 on my 35th birthday.

2016 Resolution:
I’ve got several routes on the tick list for 2016. Some are routes I’m looking forward to trying for the first time (Orange Juice 12c at the Red), others are routes that were left undone in 2015 (Jesus and Tequila 12b at the New). Regardless of what gets sent or not though, the main goal as always is to log as much family climb time as possible at our favorite crags.

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Jason Haas

Favorite Memory from 2015:

2015 will be a year to remember for me. I took training seriously for the first time and saw the tremendous benefit of it on my trip to Yosemite. While weather prevented us from freeing El Capitan, it was quite special to be one of the last (maybe the last?) to do the Regular Route on Northwest Face of Half Dome before a major portion of it collapsed. On that trip, we also spent about a week in the Needles of California and I have never experienced a higher concentration of classic routes. Every time we tied in, that route or the next pitch became my favorite and I thought it couldn’t be topped. But with each subsequent pitch, each route that followed, spanning all grades, the next favorite just kept coming. If you’ve never been there, put it on your bucket list for sure.

Several proud sends occurred and many more climbing trips ensued throughout 2015, including another trip over Labor Day weekend that will become an all time favorite when we took our three-year old son and nine month old daughter to Vedauwoo for four days with four other couples that had similarly aged children. It’s become a whole new adventure trying to share this lifestyle with our kids and it’s been an incredible experience as we stumble along learning how to get all our gear to the crag, how to car camp in a very different way and so on.

But then in the fall, when conditions were best and psych and fitness was the highest, and I was ready to dispatch project after project, life took a very unexpected turn. After experiencing a mini-stroke while mowing the lawn landed me in the ER, an onslaught of tests began. The next several months became quite introspective and difficult as the doctors told me to “get my affairs in order.” Things didn’t look good and my wife and I had to seriously think about what the future would look like without me in it. I tried to maintain some semblance of normalcy during that period and was able to get out a few times during those months to rock climb but had difficulty with dizziness. I had to take or grab gear/draws unexpectedly at times when my head became to spin and I even took a massive fall off a boulder while hiking along a trail when I became disoriented. I resigned to toproping, and then, not climbing at all.

Resolution for 2016:

Now, as 2016 looms overhead, the dark cloud has dissipated and I am proud to say I will be a part of it. Even 2017 for that matter. I still have a long road ahead and my diagnosis has not been pinpointed, but it has no longer been classified as terminal and the cocktail of medications has allowed me to climb again. I even started ice climbing after a nine-year hiatus. Exercise seems to help more than the meds so my wife and I are working on creating a training schedule that works well with our lives and the kids lives and will be sustainable with family and adult life. I’m excited about some prospective trips in 2016 and hope to write a very different write up for next year’s blog – one with never ending stoke and a long list of sends, family adventures, and incredible memories.

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Alex Johnson

Favorite Memory from 2015:

Branching out more into other elements of the sport.

Resolutions for 2016:

Not becoming complacent!

Team Trango Welcomes Erik Eisele

Trango is proud to announce the addition of Erik Eisele to Team Trango. Erik works as a writer and guide based out of North Conway, New Hampshire. He spends most of his time filling the pages of his well-worn passport by chasing newspaper stories (his day job) and writing from the road. When not on the road, Erik can be found on mixed, ice and sport climbs in his back yard. Welcome to the team, Eric!

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Partner Spotlight: Flatirons Climbing Council

For the final week of our 2015 Season of Giving, we are giving some love to our neighbors at the Flatirons Climbing Council. Boulder’s Flatirons boast some of our favorite climbing and the FCC is working behind the scenes to maintain trails, develop new routes, and replace bolts as needed.

Jonathan Siegrist on The Horn 5.13d

What is the Flatirons Climbing Council (FCC)?

The FCC is a local climbing organization in Boulder, Colorado, dedicated to preserving and expanding climbing access on City of Boulder public lands. Our specific priorities are to conserve climbing resources through trail building and stewardship projects, facilitate new route development and bolt replacement, and advocate for climbers. More information about the FCC can be found here.

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Trail Projects and Stewardship

Every year the FCC funds and completes numerous trail restoration and stewardship projects in the Flatirons.

Flagstaff Mountain Trail Work: The FCC has been working with the City of Boulder to construct sustainable trails and climbing access throughout Flagstaff Mountain including Crown Rock, Cloud Shadow, and the Upper Great Ridge. These are some of the most popular bouldering areas on the mountain and were in serious need of care. More information on the most recent Cloud Shadow trail day is here.

New Trail to Seal Rock: In 2014, the FCC partnered with the City of Boulder to build a new trail to the south face of Seal Rock, one of the premier sport crags in the Flatirons. By building the trail, the City agreed to lift the cap on route development on the south face. Given the incredible potential on the south face, lifting the route cap was a big success in access. The new trail is far more sustainable, scenic, and pleasant than the former trail that went straight up the hillside causing extensive erosion. More info on the trail is here.

Trash Bash: In September the FCC celebrated its 15th annual Trash Bash. Since 2000, the FCC has hosted this event, which has resulted in hundreds of bags of garbage and recyclables collected and has helped protect our climbing and natural resources. The event is also a major community collaboration among the FCC, land managers, local climbing organizations, local businesses, and climbers. This collaboration helps the FCC preserve and expand climbing access. This year’s Trash Bash was a big success, with more than 70 volunteers collecting garbage across Flagstaff.

The FCC’s commitment to stewardship has helped persuade the City to allow new route development on some of the most prized formations in the Flatirons.

New Route Development and Bolt Replacement

Since 2003, an agreement between the FCC and the City of Boulder’s Open Space department has established a program allowing for the replacement of existing hardware and the placement of new fixed hardware in the Flatirons. This has allowed for the updating—to safe, modern stainless-steel hardware—of dozens of classic climbs, as well as the installation of a “new wave” of rock climbs, ranging in difficulty from 5.9 to 5.14, that have been well received by the climbing community. Starting with a successful pilot project covering a few crags in the Dinosaur Mountain area, the program has expanded to open multiple other crags for bolting. As of 2015, 40 routes have been established, which collectively have transformed rock climbing in the Flatirons into a world-class destination. Some of the more popular routes that have been developed through the program include Tracks are for Kids, Box of Rain, The Shaft, Hasta La Hueco, Ultrasaurus, Honey Badger, Choose Life, Thunder Muscle, and others can be found in our guidebook of installed climbs. In 2014 and 2015, 13 new routes were installed, with many more on the way.

Installation of New Climb on the Sacred Cliffs

The FCC recently started subsidizing hardware for Flatirons route developers. We provide routes developers with 1/2″ stainless bolts, hangers, and anchors at wholesale prices.

The FCC is preparing to renegotiate our list of open formations in early 2016. We hope to be able to expand permitted bolting to new crags such as the Devil’s Advocate, Mickey Mouse Wall, the Flying Flatiron, and many others.

Advocating for Climbers

The FCC has developed a very productive relationship with the City of Boulder and our partners including the Access Fund, the Action Committee for Eldorado Canyon, and the Boulder Climbing Community. The City has recognized the FCC as the organization through which the concerns of the climbing public can be raised. We regularly participate in various community meetings and events to advocate for climbers’ interests and help ensure our access is preserved.

Give Back

Trango is donating 10% of all purchases at www.trango.com to the FCC from December 13-19.

Introducing the Rock Prodigy Timer App

This winter, we are excited to launch the newest addition to the Rock Prodigy Training line – the Rock Prodigy Timer App. One of the major tenets of periodized training (like the regiment outlined in the Rock Climber’s Training Manual) is the ability to track progress over time and this app provides the tools necessary to do that. The app comes with pre-loaded workouts and allows for customization of each. The photos in the app mirror the Rock Prodigy Training Center and are labeled by finger, making it easy to understand and apply as you progress through your workouts. We are proud to continue creating tools to help climbers maximize training time (and hopefully climb a grade harder!). The app is now available in the Google Play Store.

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Partner Spotlight: NRAC

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Trango is proud to donate 10% of all purchases from December 6-12 to NRAC in order to support ongoing trail building, access and stewardship efforts spearheaded by this group of dedicated local climbers. Join us in supporting NRAC by purchasing your holiday gifts at www.trango.com through Saturday.

NRAC: the Early Days

In the early 1980s, you could count the number of climbers who even knew about the New River Gorge on your fingers and toes. Today, it’s an international destination and world-class climbing area with thousands of traditional and sport climbs, and a rapidly expanding selection of equally world-class bouldering areas. Ask almost any climber in America if they’ve heard of “the New,” and odds are they’ll say, “Of course!” Many of them will have climbed here before and almost all of them will at least know somebody who has. The sandstone here is unlike anyplace else in the country. It’s bullet hard and seems almost tailor made for a variety of technical, gymnastic and thought-provoking rock climbing.

Led by guys like Rick Thompson, those 20-odd climbers from 30-odd years ago recognized the potential the region had to attract attention, so they began to think of ways to make it positive in nature. In the early days, they organized for garbage clean ups, and such projects laid the ground work for a productive and positive relationship between rock climbers and the National Park Service. Eventually, Thompson left to work with the Access Fund, a fledgling climbers’ advocacy organization that has since become a world leader in conserving natural resources AND climbing access.

Becoming NRAC

However, Rico left behind a legacy of service and cooperation that thrives in the New River Gorge still. In the mid 1990s the focus of climber-organized service projects shifted to trail building and physical access. Soon enough, the Park began work on a sweeping climbing management plan. Recognizing that having a unified voice in CMP discussions was vital to climber interests, locals and climbers from surrounding metro areas banded together to form a non-profit, the New River Alliance of Climbers.

NRAC Today and Beyond

Thanks to NRAC, climbers at the New today enjoy the fruit of an almost unprecedented productive relationship with Park management. We have a standing permit to repair and replace old fixed anchors as we see fit, and to date, we have replaced thousands of those.

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Climbing advocacy in America is evolving from a reactionary model toward one that is more proactive in terms of securing access for climbers in the long term. As that landscape changes, so will NRAC. Now that the re-bolting effort has years of momentum, we will also work to ensure that our history of mostly unfettered access to area crags is also our future.

Support NRAC

To support NRAC’s ongoing access, stewardship, and community efforts, click here.

Spotlight: RRG Climbers Coalition

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About the RRGCC

The Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition (RRGCC) is an organization operating in Kentucky’s famed Red River Gorge. The RRGCC is dedicated to ensuring climbing in the Red, known for its steep, pocketed cliffs, stays open for climbers from around the world to enjoy.

What They Do

This is done in several ways, most notably by the purchase of large tracts of land. The RRGCC, on behalf of climbers everywhere, own two fantastic climbing areas; the Pendergrass Murray Recreational Preserve (PMRP) and Miller Fork Recreational Preserve (MFRP), with hundreds of routes on each and more being established regularly. The PMRP was paid off in 2013, making it the largest land purchase in history by a local climbing organization. The RRGCC is currently working to pay off the MFRP, raising money to pay down their $30,000/year mortgage made possible through the Access Fund’s Conservation Loan Program.

RRGCC Events

The RRGCC and its supporters host many trail days and fundraisers throughout the year, including the Johnny and Alex Trail Day each summer and Rocktoberfest every October.

Support RRGCC

If you’d like to know more or donate money, goods or services, please visit www.rrgcc.org for more information.

Partner Spotlight: Southeastern Climbers Coalition

From November 22-28, Trango is donating 10% of all purchases at www.trango.com to the Southeastern Climbers Coalition. To support the SCC, simply purchase Trango products or become a member of the SCC (link below).

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About the Southeastern Climbers Coalition:

The SCC’s mission is to protect climbing areas for generations to come.  This happens in a variety of ways for us, but the biggest being that we BUY climbing areas!  The SCC currently owns 8 areas and each of these will remain open to the public for free forever! We also help manage over 30 climbing areas across the southeast.  We do this through maintaining relationships with private and public land owners and managers and doing trail days and clean ups.

The SCC in Action:

We host between 20-30 trail days and clean ups each year.  One big initiative we’ve got going this year (thanks to a Cornerstone Conservation grant from The American Alpine Club) is graffiti removal! Here’s a sweet video the Access Fund Conservation team put together at one of our trail days: https://www.facebook.com/ConservationTeam/videos/796687960441660/

What’s New at the SCC?

Another initiative we’re working on is called our Conservation Legacy Program.  A program for large donors ($500-1,000+) in which every penny goes into a fund for future climbing area purchases!!  Our goal is to get 20 CLP donors a year, so we have $20k to put towards new climbing purchases every year!  This will help us pay off areas in no time…which means we can move on to buying more!

Here’s more info on that: http://www.seclimbers.org/uploads/Conservation%20Legacy%20Program.pdf

Get Involved:

To join the SCC, click here.

Trango Announces Season of Giving

Each week during the 2015 holiday season Trango is donating 10% of purchases to a different climbing organization. These organizations have been selected based on their positive impacts on local climbing areas, stewardship of climbing access and contributions to the climbing community at large. During this season of giving, Trango would like to support these organizations of dedicated climbers that give so much to some of our favorite climbing destinations throughout the year. Please join us in supporting these local organizations throughout the holiday season.

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2015 Season of Giving Partners:

All orders over $99 at www.trango.com ship free (including the Crag Pack!)

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