• Life is an Inherently Dangerous Sport

    Been a while since I’ve posted here, but this is a piece I’m particularly proud of from my main blog Dreaming of Gnar:   Once again I find myself out visiting my favorite routes, enjoying the day, cranking the tunes through my earbuds, occasionally singing along out of tune to the amusement or dismay of those nearby, when someone suddenly yells at me “Get down from there! You have so much to live for!” Yes, I know. I’m doing it right now. I am a free soloist, and I’m not the only one. Climbing is inherently dangerous. We mentally hit “I accept” every time we see the big red warning in a guidebook or climbing gym, but it never feels Read More

  • Climbing Coaching Catching Up

    I sparked a conversation with some local climbers about the strong youth climbers coming out of the Midwest. As many online forum conversations often go, this one took a slight turn in a different direction, to coaching (or sometimes lack thereof). In that exchange I received this very solid quote from one of the strongest climbers out of Minnesota, Nic Oklobzija. The First Ascentionist of The Raven (V12) and co-author of the upcoming Midwest Bouldering Guide. “The only things holding [climbers] back in the Midwest are that our facilities are ill equipped to train at the same level as our counterparts out west and our coaching. I think the coaching is more a national level problem not just the Midwest. Read More

  • 1 Comment »

    The Mangrove Tree

    A while back, likely last March based on the date stamp, I read a blog post from Sean McColl about a French Training Camp he participated in. Right away I was intrigued by one of the activities he described as “Mangrove Power” or as my poor French translating from the diagram to the right, “The Mangrove Tree”. At the time I was guest routesetting at a local Lifetime Fitness climbing wall. This wall is actually pretty decent compared to other fitness center walls I’ve seen. They had 9 top-rope set-ups and some pretty good variety of angles. I thought of using this Mangrove Tree concept at that wall for 2 reasons. First, to increase the volume and variety of routes Read More

  • Lessons Learned: Routesetters Clinic

    A month ago, I was invited to participate in a 3-week routesetting clinic for prospective new routesetters at our local Climbing Gym Franchise. It was a tremendous experience. I learned a ton about movement, mindset, and my own climbing. There are lessons to be learned in every experience and in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” And so is born the first in series of posts, Lessons Learned. Lesson from Week #1 – K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple Setters What I learned first is that not every route/boulder needs to be comp style or gimmicky. My personality tends toward the analytical side (as if you haven’t picked up on that already). When I look at Read More

  • 2012 Hit List – The Year in Review

    Well, another year has come and gone, which means another Hit List has drawn to a close. This was the second time I’ve put my year-long goals out there in cyber space (for 2011 Hit List click here), and once again, it was a wild ride, with plenty of bumps (and bruises) along the way! After an unexpected injury started the year off on the “wrong foot” (sorry, couldn’t help myself…), I found a lot of my mental battles this year revolved around fear. Fear in trusting my ankle again, fear in getting my lead head back, along with an unexpected one that kept creeping up – fear of failure. I mentioned it in a previous post, but I learned Read More

  • A Reluctant Competitor

    I can’t climb just a little. I need to crank like a bastard. –Klem Loskot     I competed in the Carolina Crush Competition at the University of South Carolina on Saturday. I’ve been climbing for nearly four years but I’ve never entered or attended a comp. Before entering, I had few minor objections to the idea of competitive climbing. Fine for other people; not my thing. I’ve always believed that climbing is deeply personal and more about pushing my own limits–both physically and mentally–than trying to climb better than someone else. I write a lot about climbing, but it’s never a tick-list or shoe review. I’m always searching for the deeper meaning, for the mind-body or emotional-spiritual connection of Read More

  • North Carolina eye candy.

      I have been daydreaming about the goods of the High Country lately. So I dug up a small collection of images from my time climbing in the area. For me, WNC without a doubt, has pound for pound some of the best climbing in the US! Read More

  • Climbing holds…

    I’ve been making climbing holds on and off for the past ?6 years now.  You could replace “climbing holds” in that past statement with a lot of things and take that direct quote right out of a rehab clinic somewhere.  That’s what it feels like.  Making climbing holds is expensive, is time consuming and if done correctly, gives you serious buzz.  I miss every single brain cell I lost in that basement those 3 months during college.  That was back when I was using Polyester instead of Polyurethane (just urethane for short but same thing I think?  I’m not a chemical engineer.) I’m back on the wagon and probably have spent $2000 making climbing holds over the past year.  Though Read More

  • World Cup Update

    Every climb in every Cup from Canada to Sheffield has taught me something about how to and what to do in Cup situation from the warm up to the five second count down before go time each Cup has been a learning experience. All this experience has brought me closer and closer to one day standing with the best of the best. With only one comp left for me in the tour I am getting psyched to preform at the best of my ability in the Arco World Championships. I need to give a big big thanks to Jes/love of my life for helping me every step of the way making sure I have the logistics all worked out, and Read More