May 25, 2011

New River Rendezvous 2011

Me, Brooks, and Natalie decided to wait around last weekend and leave for the New River Gorge (NRG) after the local indoor bouldering comp at Alabama Outdoors. It's held once a year with always great prizes and a somewhat different style comp. We figured for the small entrance fee we were almost guaranteed to walk out with a hand full of prizes, most of which would be used for Beg, Borrow, and Steel in July or to be sold off and used for money for Beg, Borrow, and Steel.

I emphasize this as we were there for our unselfish act of indoor rock climbing at an outdoor store and not driving to West Virginia (9 hours) at a reasonable hour. . .

Me and Nat walked away with first place and took home some great prizes. I took a $200 dollar crash pad and countless other things, like a Chris Sharma rasta shirt. That one, im keeping.

An atypical drive for most seems to be common for us as we drove through the night only to stop at every Loves gas station looking at the same convenience store show room stock. 3 jugs of chocolate milk and an Egerit later (electronic cigarette) we arrived at Fayetville WV at 3:00 A.M. central time. We drove through the town looking for any signs of life and the thought of spending the whole week here made me forget about the 9 hour haul we executed.

After realizing Fayetville isn't one of those early bird towns and all the local restaurants didn't open till after 7:30, we decided to catch some z's at the local camping area, Wal-Mart. My 5'10" stature didn't hold up to the front seat of Brook's Prius. So for the next 4 hours I tossed and turned hoping to try and slide my whole body onto the seat that I had been tossing and turning in for 9 hours. . . Not the best rest.

We finally had enough when the last of the sleeping truckers pumped their air brakes and drove off hitting every gear with the jake break engaged. . . We hit the little prius button to no avail. The battery was dead. After contemplating how a car that mainly uses battery could die after such a short period of time without a known source of drainage determined... we asked the local skoal spitting redneck to give us a jump. Of course he had a truck that you have to jump in and out and his wife was pointing to the little car with confusion as he rolled up next to us revving his flowmasters and showing what that 5.7L can do. A quick jump and a thank ya sur we were on our way, ready for coffee and a chance to climb on the immaculate stone the NRG has to offer.
Let me stop here and say that Fayetville may have some of the worst service of any city, but it has the most unique places to eat, all of them are local, none of which are that pricey.... It's great.

From this moment in the story until now, it's all a big blur. It's a lot of walking, climbing, drinking, eating, climbing, more walking, rain, stair racing, more drinking, equestrian hunting, house shopping good time. I know, it's a lot.

I've never been one to spray, especially on the blog piece, a place where spraying is about as except-able as having an 8a account in the south. But for the jeopardy of my post I will do a little for everyone.

I really just want to document the week... It was a shit ton of fun, and it's kinda fun to think about it and then put it into words.

Lets see, first things first, we drove straight from breakfast to the Cirque. What seems to be the prize crag for the NRG (until you go to Central Endless) I found out that Proper Soul was not only fit for me but it was soaking wet at the top. The last boulder problem running to the chains was so wet the famous Brent Perkins couldn't take it down in the water. . . Bummer, such an amazing route. We all three got the beat down on the smeary feat and never positive holds. I somehow OS the 12b/c on the far right and then we decided to head for steeper more "comfortable rock".

Natalie had talked with Matt Stark, owner of Dead Point Magazine, about us staying with them during the duration of our trip. A full week. We all had met Matt in the past but who hasn't? We drove up to his house, a familiar place since we stayed with DPM editor and guide book writer Mikey Williams house last year (they are neighbors), and walked to the door with a little hesitation. Of course to no surprise Matt probably didn't tell his wife Megan we were coming, but they were excited to see some new faces and made us feel right at home...

I don't think Matt and Megan get the credit they deserve, so for all 3 of my blog readers out there. I'm gonna give them some credit. These guys work HARD! Matt was always the last one to go to bed and the first one up. He constantly stayed in his office piecing together footage and updating his facebook with You tube videos. Seriously, they do a ton. Megan is lucky enough to handle all of the volunteers for the Rendezvous scheduling hours and places for everyone to be. Matt on the other hand had to write a guide for the bouldering comp (Hawks Nest) that was completely submerged under water... On top of that DPM was hosting a water balloon shoot that would raise money for the Access Fund. If you hit a target you win a prize, but you have to pay to play. 2 days before the event the park service let us know that on page 36,882 sector b, paragraph m, it stated that there are no water balloons inside the national park. . . Perfect.

We went on, drawing the sponsors onto the plywood targets and setting them up for something to get shot with. Megan comes back with the Nerf Ball launcher. Less messy than the water balloons and still crowd pleaser.

I digress, throughout the week we checked out some areas as in the Cirque, Colosseum, Central Endless, and Beauty Mountain. I'm not sure exactly what the team rallied and did but I know Brooks sent Apollo Reed (12d/13a), The Pod (13a/b), and countless other 5.11 pitches. Natalie somehow got to the top of Apollo which is probably v6 between each bolt for her. I was really surprised and psyched. Big moves on that rig for sure.

I did an amazing route B/C (surprisingly 13b/c) that has a great intro boulder problem to no hands to a climaxing finish. I fell going to the anchor clipping jug 5 times in the same day. Next was Super Mario (13a) and the classic Pocket Route (13a). When you go to the New River you can expect to get shut down on anything 5 letter grades below your hardest OS. Oh yea, this shit is rough. Countless other "sampling pitches" left our bones aching. Plus the hikes in and out all though flat, whooped our asses. Here in Bama you usually worry about running into or off of the cliff you park so close.

An awful video of me failing at the last move on B/C.

We finished out the week with the final event The New River Rendezvous. A STELLAR event that went flawlessly. I cannot express how much fun this event is. It's 1000 people that all love climbing, partying at the same place. It's sad that more people from the south don't show up. We pretty much steal all our ideas off this event for Beg, Borrow, and Steel. So all you guys who have showed up to our event x that by 900 people.

I want to thank Matt and Megan for letting us occupy there time and house for an entire week. Odub for emceeing and hyping up the crowds, and all the sponsors for making this party what it is. Also a big thank you goes out to the park service, for finding a reason not to raise money for the Access Fund, even though we did!!!

Hope to see everyone next year!

May 9, 2011

BB&S 2011

Wow, my last post was just before school started... Tomorrow is my last final. Shows how busy I have been.

School has been great. It takes up more time than I had hoped, so my climbing days have diminished to 1-2 week gaps in between my days outside. My motivation in the gym has never been much but deff has been real low lately. It's been good to have some off time, but I deff have been getting the "ohhhh my god pump" lately.

I'm leaving for West Virginia on Saturday to stay the week and hopefully get some dry weather in for the New River Rendezvous!! An excellent event I haven't missed since I started climbing 4 years ago.

The Rendezvous is what sparked the idea for Beg Borrow and Steele. The local fundraiser that is put on by Me, Brooks, and Natalie. This is our 3rd year with BB&S and it is going to be bigger and better than ever.

BB&S was originally money raised for Steele, Alabama in 2009. When the SCC had first purchased the land we realized Birmingham needed to step it up and have some fundraisers. So we bought some kegs, borrowed some speakers, got some BBQ cooked, and made a facebook page. $1400 later, we were planning for next year. 2010 led to around $2200 with added good people IPA, closing in a cave to make the climbers dream dance floor, and a few shoe demos.

This year we drop the E in steelE and now raising money for hardware... Steel.

Bolting and re bolting has been at the top of my list for a long time now. I have not even come close to putting the time in to call my self an activist in sport climbing. But my time being limited to weekends, it's hard to bolt anything. But we can raise the money for bolts, hangers, and drill bits. This will stop the excuse of expensive hardware and hopefully revolutionize the community in the southeast.

We will be supplying bolts, hangers, and drill bits to people who will putting routes up in public areas and to re bolt routes in public areas. Our first goal with the proposed money is to re bolt concave and fix it with same color slings throughout. Concave is the closest crag to Birmingham that gets the most traffic, so that is first. Next the deep geeks will be buzzing around like bees and the hive will be Deep Creek in Chattanooga. Cody Averback (the queen) has purchased a large portion of land and is opening it up to the public for everyone to enjoy. I feel confident it will one of the most populated crags in the south.

I really hope everyone comes down this year to Beg Borrow and Steel 2011. It is July 16th at Adam Henry's private crag. For more details check out

For any questions or concerns about the event please feel free to email me and

January 3, 2011

1 minute

Since my last update many things have happened. I actually got to rock climb.

I spent my Thanksgiving holidays at the Red River Gorge climbing through 6 inches of snow and ice guarding the chains on lots of routes. It was an excellent trip, but with the bad weather comes a lack of partners. I only found a few people that would get out, and most of them scattered when the first cloud hit.

After my 3 week trip I felt stronger than ever and excited to put down a few routes that had been spitting me off. I have fallen grabbing the last jug on Southern Comfort for about 12 tries now. I have put about 10 days playing on the route and after my 3rd day I realized it would go. Now it's the mental game of not falling off the last v7 throw.

The snow decided to follow me down from Kentucky and it has been below 45 ever since. This week was the first time it wasn't freezing since turkey day, so my chances have been slim to get back on the route.

It has given me a chance to get into the bouldering game for a little while. I'm actually coming around a little bit with bouldering. I might even say I like it. Not love though. . . .

With the new year here the clean slate feeling is in. School starts in a week, the weather is beautiful and I am gonna work at the gym for a while. I'm not able to keep my job now due to school taking up so much time. Hopefully the gym will keep me sane during nursing school.

November 5, 2010

Little Bit

With the weight of nursing school off of my shoulders, I decided to take a little trip before I have to buckle down in January. I have orientation November 16th. I am leaving the next morning for the Red. I plan on staying there till it gets to cold. Probably around December 15 or so.

4 weeks would be great. If your a weekend warrior, having a month to climb is around 8 days. If the weather is perfect both days, and believing there will be nothing in the way. Now take the same weekend warrior and take away their job and put them in the best sport area in the states.... That is like a 4 month jump start comparing the the 8 days the normal weekend guy gets.

Once I get back, I don't believe I can continue working at my job. I plan on helping the Birmingham climbing gym out, first avenue rocks , a few days a week. I'm gonna try and transfer my love for climbing over to school... well a little bit of it.

I hope to see you guys at the RED!

Vote NOW!!

This will raise 250,000 for the SCC. Vote on here, then text 104071 to pepsi (73774). We are 23rd!!! in the race. Unreal. Help make this happen.

October 26, 2010


I was scared to death. Imagine yourself looking at the next sequence, excessively chalking and slapping your legs. The chalk doesn't seem to be sticking like it does off the ground, you focus on your heart rate lowering which makes your heart beat faster. You question your breathing, is it to hard, to slow... You know the next moves better than anyone as your way to get to sleep is imagining the sequence in your head over and over. Your skin hurts, but you don't feel ready to leave the rest. Then with a little hesitation you go, almost in autopilot, and start climbing.

That is exactly how I felt when I got home from a weekend in Little River and found a letter from my school. It wasn't suppose to be here for another 3 weeks, and it caught me off guard. I slowly opened the sticky envelope not knowing what words I was hoping to read. They read accepted!!! I was accepted into nursing school. A feat that wasn't hard a few years ago, has become very competitive. Especially in community colleges that have an over run campus anyway. The slow economy brought back many unemployed and it seems like everyone you run into is going into the nursing profession.

I never expected to go to college as my parents own a sign company installing and servicing commercial signs. I had worked there for 2 years out of high school and made a deal with my mom. I would go to school if I could have a 2 month leave and go to the Red River Gorge. I had been climbing for almost a year, and wanted to get out and see life on my own terms. I quickly realized I wanted a career, not a job. Nursing seemed to be the most applicable profession after meeting people from all over having time off, with a sustainable bank account. I'm close to my dirt bagging roots as we all are, but I don't want to wake up in a van in 10 years out of obligation, but by choice.

Now I have been in college for 3 semesters doing all of my pre recs for nursing and taking care of all the classes I need to graduate. Last semester I heard they had over 600 apply and only took around 100. I have been thinking about the 1 in 6 odds since, with very little confidence, I turned in my application. Receiving that letter was a feeling that no route or boulder has given me. I start school in January.

October 11, 2010

Too legit to quit

Fall hasn't fell as we are still breaking record highs for October in Alabama. Sick. Not only did we have the wettest season last year and the hottest summer I have ever imagined, the shit weather has yet to let up. Just like my psyche!!!

I have not stopped all summer and the progress is slowly coming together and not just with my climbing. I have some things that I hope get supported starting this year. I don't have a name for it yet, or even any dates set for events. My plan is for no one in the southeast to pay for bolts or hangers for NEW development ever again...

To my knowledge the SCC will supply you with bolts, hangers, and anchors to certain people and only for re-bolting of existing routes. While existing routes should never be forgotten about as I have been re bolting and replacing rings this summer, new development is also something I have been playing with and I have learned a lot.

I have learned that bolting routes (especially new ones) is amazingly hard on steep routes. The investment of a drill just to begin the bolting is very expensive. The bolts and hangers average around 8 bolts, 8 hangers and 2 anchors.. Depending on your hook up, it's average of $55-65 per route. Now throw in drill bit's. The quick trip to Lowes will leave you $8.00 short of what you came in with, just to be dull and praying after a dozen holes are drilled that the bolt will still fit. That's $75.00 a route. . .Finally if you add in the price you pay of being a weekend warrior and spending the only time you have to climb bolting.... It's freaking epic.

It's epic enough just to be rapping off or bolting on lead. Fighting off all the critters who hide on the untouched stone. Carrying an extra 30 pounds of gear. Dealing with a harness the amount of time typical to a normal month. More importantly finding someone to go out and belay with the ground up ethics. Ripping off loose blocks. Getting way more tired than your hardest day of climbing. .... ... the list goes on and on.
Joe Kinder doing it proper as always.

I live in an area that has very little possibilities for new development. However our close friend Chattanooga has ample and a hand full of really psyched guys out busting their balls. Very few bham climbers know how to turn a wrench, but they do know how to party.

Every event I host will have a large percentage going towards bolts and hangers to people who are developing. Including small parties that will raise enough to get those guys the most help that bham can do. I fully believe within the next two years we will have enough to supply towards no one going out of pocket to bolt a route. If anything, I want to take away the excuse from lots of people not bolting because it is expensive.

It will be more legit in the up coming months, I will make it legit with a name, pay pall account to donate to, and a bolt count of how many has been bought. For now, that is enough rambling to make the Allman Brothers turn a head.