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Video: Drew Ruana Establishes 14d at Smith Rock

On February 13, 2016, Drew Ruana made the first ascent of "Assassin" (14d). "Assassin" toppled the classic "Just Do It" (14c) and the unrepeated "Shock and Awe" (14c) as the toughest route at Smith Rock. The first ascent of the Aggro Gully…
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Alex Johnson on Projecting, Sending, and Lessons Learned

So much of climbing, especially projecting, is puzzle piecing. It isn’t whether or not you’re strong enough to do the climb, or do each individual move on the climb, but figuring out how to do each move, and configuring the most efficient…
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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).   "Well, I really couldn’t have imagined a better last day in Siurana. For…
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Spain Part 2: Cobblestones & Milestones at Montserrat

****************************************************************************************************************************** Barcelona! What an incredible city full of life, people, culture, food, history and so much more. It has to be one of my new favorite cities of all time and we just scratched the surface. We will get into Barcelona highlights in a future post, right now I want to focus on climbing. First, I want…
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Pata-pnemonia

Fitz Roy in early morning from Niponino camp. Sunny.  Warm.  Breezy. Chalten, Argentina. Still coughing, been a week.  It is not awful but it is not desirable. Jon Schaffer, Clay Kennedy and I hiked up to Niponino Thursday amidst ha...
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Woes of Failure.

Levitating up Levitation and Eagle Dance

Failure.  

ARG!

I suck with failure!!!


I find sometimes I am avoiding moments where failure is the most likely outcome.  


Following the crux on Cloud Tower
I don’t project rock climbs.  I on-sight.  If I don’t think I can on-sight it I shy the lead away.  
Its not even that I fear falling.  I don’t fully commit to friends, relationships, plans....because what if it doesn’t work out.  It is better to be illusive.  


HA!  I fear failure.  It isn’t really working out any more, this fear of failure thing.  

I turned to Justin Dubois this spring when I was having a little head epic in the Valley.  In one week last April I climbed three big walls in a day in Zion, climbed to Dolt Tower and had my first run up the Regular Route on Half Dome.  All-in-all, 10,000 feet of climbing in 6 days.  Yet, I was frustrated with my progress in mid- May.  My intended objective was pushed out of sight by partner miscommunication and sickness. 
I emailed Justin, “am I a sissy if I bail?”

He sent back something short...probably not knowing that I really needed advice, an outside voice.  

“No, crazy...settle down!”  

This fall again Justin’s words ring around the vast space between my ears.  

Settle down. 
Baxter and Andrew on top of Mt. Wilson--Red Rocks

Ironic as Justin drops me a note today, 
“I think I have your disease...I can’t seem to take a rest day!”

Yup.  It is a disease and it is catching up with me hardcore.  
I feel that I have been battling it, so quickly moving on to the next project...the next adventure that I might not be enjoying the present moment.  





Cory Jammin up the last pitch of Cloud Tower
The pain of my stubby right toe jammed into the one inch crack 600 feet off the deck.  

The grunting exhale that escapes my lips as I shove my left index finger in the space between the parallel sandstone.

The tingling sensation as my hand cranks, forearm burning, pulsing.  Breath labored.
Mind twirling, eyes darting.  '

Finding comfort in the uncomfortable.
Taking control or just taking.

Maybe falling.  
Hopefully sending.  
Whatever it may be, pushing because that is what we do it for. 

I backed off a lead today, because my shoulders hurt.  Because my right elbow aches.  Because my shoes are all blown out.  Because I was afraid of not sending.  

Afraid of Failing.
  
My ego hurts as does my body.  I had a great time in Vegas last week.  Trying hard, succeeding.  Clay suggests that I may be too hard on myself.  
It allows me success, but it hinders the smile.  
It fogs the sunset, slogs the movement, mutters the conversations between friends. 


.........and this is how it is now.  
Clinging to a pin scar on the first crux of Rainbow Wall.  

Red Rock Routes

Resolution Arete 5.10--11 hours C-T-C
Cloud Tower 5.12a
Rainbow Wall 5.12 
Levitation 29 and Eagle Dance Link-up 7 hours C-T-C
Rock Warrior, Dream of Wild Turkeys and Prince of Darkness link-up
Some cragging at Brass Wall, Gallery, and others

Zion Routes

Moonlight Free Attempt 5.12d (did not complete)
Sheer Lunacy 3 1/2 hours on route
Force Boyle 5.11
Bits and Pieces 5.11
Monkey Finger 5.12
some cragging at Touchstone Base and Kung Fu Theater, and others



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Canadian Tour

Pitch 1 on East Colombian Indirect 5.12+, Tom Egan Wall-- Snowpatch Spire Q.B leading up the Endless Struggle Pitch, Snowpatch SpireWhen you type in your Google search bar "genuine, good-spirited, ego-less hard mutherF#^&ing crankers," I am po...
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Resilience

Base Camp.  Barnes wall right of sunlight.Greenland was a bittersweet adventure!  I have been home for 8 days.  As I write, I realize that reflection occurs only now, simultaneous with the blinking of my eyes.  Nestled in our craggy...
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Tips to Hips

LobotomyOn the road. One new adorable nephew, Henry.  Congrats to my brother and sister-in-law.  One lost wallet scare...luckily just called the restaurant in Sedona where I left it.   One snowy bivy near Flagstaff and Ton...
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Paradox Sports

Twenty-three and a half hours!  I think that is when all three of us finally stood atop El Capitan.  It was October 3rd, 2012, another bluebird California fall day preceding a warm star filled evening.  The last time I had climbed The No...