This is what happens at 30,ooo feet over Nebraska with airline radio after I have some Coke (cola!) and Christine has a bottle of wine. Yes, we are dorks and i'm sure you had to be there. 10 days of really bad British accents, none stop climbing action, and lots of "donking" (cameo of the Donk at the end of the clip) may have contributed to our madness. I do feel sorry for the people who sat near us on the flight from Ohio to Utah.
April 26, 2009
We also got to know some of the locals and a few of the area guides. Rumors of out of towners sending many of the difficult routes was fueled by our screams of desperation ringing through the trees as we fought with the routes and encouraged each other. One local guide said that "those screams" were all his clients could talk about all day and they too became fueled with motivation to try hard.
We climbed some pretty amazing routes. My favorite route was the 5.4 notch to south summit. Nathan and I first down climbed this fin after photographing a route on the Green Wall. We were both so inspired by it that we went up the next day and I cilmbed it again and then down climbed it. I also sampled the local project that was equipped two decades ago and found it to be steep and hard! We climbed a beautiful powerful and very overhung 5.11 thin crack and i even flashed a steep and pumpy 5.11cX route then finished up with another 5.12a flash late in the day. I'm pretty excited about this as i'm now just starting to feel like i have gained some fitness from a long climbing dry spell during the winter.
April 22, 2009
The Red River Gorge is pretty darn amazing! The climbing is some of the best power endurance i've experienced. The climbers here try hard... damn hard and only give up when gravity becomes more than they have in fitness to battle it. I was inspired by both the men and women who where pushing, fighting, and flying up and off of routes. I can see how comfortable i have become saying "take" when things feel too hard and the outcome of success is uncertain. The power of others trying hard found it's way to me and despite the possibility of hitting a very large boulder, i continued fall 20 ft, swinging wildly close to a large leg breaking boulder, yet still didn't send the rig. Oh well, it was a cool route anyway! I'll come back someday and hopefully be a bit more fit than i am now.
The "Welcome to Seneca Rocks" sign!
We arrived at Seneca Rocks in West Virginia late last night. This place is pretty cool. We've explored some of the local flavor while resting and waiting for better weather. It was actually snowing here. The weather does look better tomorrow and through the rest of the week. It may even be too hot by Saturday. That would almost be a welcome change from the constant freezing days and nights we've had this trip.
We've been burning down the days from both ends with copious amounts of energy drinks, hard climbing, social hours post climbing, and long talks about life, love, and tragedies. I've reflected a lot on my past and continue to see the future with clarity. I love and miss my wife, Heather and value the freedom and trust she gives me to be who i am. She, like me, lives without fear or a need to control someones actions or desires. In return it keeps me coming home to a happy and healthy relationship. Our time together is wonderful and those times we are able to travel with others, keeps the love and respect between us very much alive. I am a lucky man.
April 18, 2009
The hub of Red River Climbing
Christine on a route at the Motherload
April 15, 2009
My uber RAD wife on The Devil Drives a Deere 5.13a
April 11, 2009
Warm up exercises
Flashing a really cool V5 highball called Twilight
Matt working on a different kind of Dyno start!
A fast and fun filled four days of bouldering in Joe's Valley, Utah. We drove in at 2 a.m. on Tuesday and headed for home early, early this morning. I learned a lot about bouldering and will definitely go back for more. I've got some things i want to finish up down there and i'm sure there are many other beautiful problems to check out also.
It was fun to road trip with Hanamaikai again. We seem to work well together on the road and both share a passion for exploration and rock climbing. She keeps me in balance nearly as well as my wife! She's been really sick for a long time and spent a lot of time dealing with debilitating symptoms all winter. She is just getting fit again and as always full of motivation to try even highballs with scary landings! Nice work Hanamaikia!!
I made some new friends and got more acquainted with some of the guys from Idaho Falls that i don't know that well. I've always been impressed with Chad, Blake, Matt and that whole crew of talented boulderer's. I felt instantly accepted and was motivated by their kindness. Bouldering is fun with these guys and i look forward to climbing with them again in the future. I'm gonna work on my rock throwin', leg humpin', and off the wall dyno's so next time i'll feel comfortable enough to join in!
Christine and her friend Ian were also in Joe's. It was fun hanging out with those guys too. In just a few short days, Christine and i will be on the red-eye out of SLC - headed for Kentucky and West Virginia until the 26th! YEEEHAAAA!
April 09, 2009
April 08, 2009
H. Hanamaikai working a problem on the UMWA Boulder in Joes Valley. This picture may seem a bit washed out but is in fact taken during perfect sending conditions which means a full on white out blizzard. SICK....
Wednesday nights at the Star offers an amazing old time country band of locals who rip it up and sing as good as Jonny Cash. Bring some extra cash for a tip as you will feel inclined to keep them coming back again and again.
I'll post again in a few days. Hopefully the weather will be a bit nicer tomorrow.