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Winning Streak

Bear with me for a second-

It’s been a good season, but now, as the daylight gets scarce and the rock doesn’t warm up so much, I’m feeling kind of worked, run down, and unmotivated. Which is kind of ironic, because, yeah, it’s been a good season, my best few months of climbing ever, in fact.

This isn’t meant to be a spray down. As tempting as it is to go down the list of routes I’ve sent this fall, I’m not doing it (unless asked, at which point, I’ll give you move-by-move beta on each one and enumerate with excruciating detail how I trained to accomplish them). And honestly, even with accomplishing lifetime goals, the point isn’t how rad it was. Really, I feel incredible fortunate to have had so many days with good people who helped me climb with everything I’ve got. Add to that the last month I spent with my wife traveling and climbing in Patagonia, life has seemed a bit surreal recently.


Especially in the dark demotivation of winter, it’s helpful to take a moment to look back and feel proud and show appreciation because winning streaks don’t come all the time and who knows how many seasons of training, getting stronger, climbing harder we get before life throws greater concerns in the way or our connective tissue throws its hands up and walks out of the room. After sending China Doll, my buddy Alex said, “Enjoy this, because it’s last time you’ll climb a new number.” While one of the beauties of climbing is that there’s always a new challenge, a next level, we all know somewhere out there, we’ll cross the ultimate peak and begin the descent. And for that reason, we celebrate each summit along the way.

The thing is, all this hard rock climbing and personal summits means a lot to me, but it’s pretty insignificant. Anyone who’s heard me rant about climbing has probably heard me say, “Rock climbing is great, but we’re not curing cancer.” I’ve probably even written here before. I still believe that, despite how much I care and invest in my own climbing. Which is why the thing I’m most appreciative of right now is my other project, HMI Gap.

My wife and I started working on the concept for this program years ago, and this fall the High Mountain Institute hired us to actually make it happen. We wrote our dream job description, and HMI hired us to do it. I won’t go into too much detail about the program here because there is plenty more information on the website: HMI Gap. In short, the program is a 12-week course for high school graduates in climbing, wilderness, and conservation. Students will climbing and explore the American West, mainly around Moab, and central Patagonia (hence, the recent month I spent there).

Here’s how I see. I love climbing and the climbing community, yet I have no pretense that I will somehow make some grand contribution to that world through my own climbing. But I think HMI Gap could be a great contribution. Climbing has been the lens and vehicle through which I’ve learned about the world and who I am, and now I hope to share that experience with other young people, which is definitely an opportunity worthy of a lot of grace and appreciation. So there you go. Now that I got that out of the way, here’s a sweet climbing video about HMI Gap.

Marcus Garcia Brings Youth Mixed Climbing Competition to North America


Trango athlete Marcus Garcia is bringing competitive youth mixed climbing to North America on December 30-31, 2014. North America’s first-ever UIAA-style youth mixed competition will take place in Durango, CO and will include both speed and lead categories for competitors from 15 – 20 years old.

A competitive climber himself, Garcia recently competed in the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup during the annual Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival. As a longtime climber, coach, and now the owner of Durango’s Rock Lounge climbing gym, he enjoys the instructional aspect of climbing as well.

“Climbing really helps me escape from my daily life challenges for a moment of relief. It recharges my soul and body. Also, I find tons of satisfaction when one of my climbing students obtains their goals as a climber”, says Garcia, who is the current coach of the USA Youth Indoor Climbing Team.

Marcus Garcia 1

To pull off the upcoming competition, Garcia will construct a 32-foot climbing structure in his hometown of Durango. He hopes to use this competition as an opportunity to grow the sport of mixed climbing in North America and to share his passion of climbing with others.

“I enjoy teaching others what climbing can really give to a single person or to a whole family. Climbing is a lifelong adventure that can be shared with others for years”, says Garcia.

For more information on the competition, visit:

Another Training Cycle for Dan aka Nothing But Water for a Month?

One thing that I know about myself is that I have a pretty addictive personality.  I’m not sure if that’s exactly right, but I know that I’m the kind of person that has to either day something 100 percent or not at all.

For me – drinking diet whatevers has always been a huge problem of mine – whether is be Coke 0 or Zero Sugar Red Bull or lately Diet Peach Tea and Coffee with artificial sugar.  I think one of the major contributing factors to me gaining weight is going nutso with the diet drinks and since I started drinking coffee and diet tea, my weight has slowly crept from 155 to 160 lbs (163 on a bad day!)  That is really bad for me!  So the plan is – nothing liquid but water for the month and see if I drop the weight.  I probably will anyways because of the gym but it can’t hurt right?

For me, I am super focused and hardcore during my Strength Phase (hangboarding) which is by nature, very regimented.  Though once I get to my power phase and I start climbing outside, I start to slack on my diet.  My goal for this training phase is to be more regimented with my power phase and try to make significant gains on it.  I definitely noticed how much my “half ass” power phase helped me out this season.  I was pretty good with it for half a dozen workouts which put me right into my performance phase.

On a side note, my fishing goal this year is to become a better fisherman with lipless crank baits and to learn how to catch Smallmouth Bass using the “Dropshot” technique with which I am completely unfamiliar.

Instead of running this winter which I find it harder and harder to motivate, I bit the bullet taking my friend’s advice and joined the Anytime Fitness Gym near me.  Instead of running, I am doing the “bike” in the mornings and evenings with the goal of – of course, losing weight.

I am kind of curious to see where my finger strength is since my last strength phase this summer.  I feel freaking great as far as finger strength.


Mike Anderson to host the Reel Rock Tour in Denver, CO!

I’m excited to announce that I will be hosting the Reel Rock Tour on Friday, September 26th at the Wildlife Experience in Denver, Colorado:

Reel Rock 2014

Reel Rock 2014

For those not familiar, the Reel Rock Tour is a travelling showcase of the year’s best climbing films, all in one event (for one low price :) ). This will be an awesome venue to watch the show with their “EXTREME SCREEN” (!!!)

This event next week was organized by Climbing for Life, which is a great organization that uses climbing to inspire young people (check out their site for some inspiration). This is their annual fundraiser, and they will have all kinds of goodies up for silent auction, and yummy food and drink.
Here is the trailer for the head-lining film Valley Uprising:

It looks fantastic, especially if you love climbing history, like I do!

There will be several other short films in addition to this, and I will be telling stories about my personal journey in climbing that I hope will inspire these kids (and anyone else in the audience) to reach for their dreams. I’ll also be signing books in case you don’t have yours yet, or you accidentally bought an un-signed version :)

Finally, my awesome sponsor, Trango, has kicked in some free schwag to share with the crowd, so come ready to answer some climbing history trivia.

The theater only holds abut 300 people, so arrive early, or buy your tickets online in advance.

If you’re near the Front Range, please come out to support a great cause, and have a great time doing it!

I hope to see you Friday!

- Mike

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