November 5, 2010
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!
October 26, 2010
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
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.
July 3, 2010
I drove in just in time to meet up with my buddy Matt Ginley at the Terminal, a local brewhouse that serves one of the best IPA's I have ever let my taste buds mingle with.
The next morning we decided to get our route climbing on in Chatt as we are waiting on Matt's car to get tuned up. Turned out to be a fantastic day with great people. Love checking out all these new areas around TN there is just so much rock, and plenty of motivated people to tend to it.
After the shit show of waiting around the next morning to get the dealership to call us. We were packed and on the road for the High Country. On our way to Banner Elk staying with a local Pat Goodman. We got there just in time to meet Pat and get some mexican. Two pitchers of SUGAR margaritas and I was dreaming all night of the infamous NC bouldering.
We loaded the van with unlikely July 1st gear. Bouldering pads, chalk buckets, and jackets. It was 55 degrees and windy. It was a mighty big difference the morning before with temps in the 90's around AL and TN. We parked off the side of 221 to see how "splitter" the conditions were gonna be. In the back of our minds, knowing it's July, it can't be that good. But it was. Completely dry and kinda crisp. My excuse list started diminishing.
The day was brutal, filling our tips with some of the best stone in the South East. The soft skin from plastic pulling just wasn't up for the task on this sharp stone. These routes don't have many tricks to them, just straight pulling. We finished the day with a GIANT sirloin and a ton of sauteed vegetables. Not to mention great beer. By the way, Pat almost burnt the house down using "white gas". A little more flammable than the standard lighter fluid.
The next morning I woke up almost 11 hours after I had been to sleep. In a bouldering coma I guess, very VERY unlike me to sleep in. It really didn't matter as we all rolled out of bed a little late, we all decided we were out of shape for bouldering. Skin hurt, shoulders, back... well everything hurt. But the unreal temps were still here and a trip to Grandmothers was in need.
Warming up nice and slow, we started jumping around from problem to problem. More unique than the last. EVERY problem in NC looks easier than it is, don't let that fool you. It was such a good change to jump into the bouldering game 3 months earlier than I ever expected. The companionship you get from people you have known for minutes is unreal and some thing that is truly hard to beat.
"Have guns will travel" Grandmother Mountain
After a long day at Grandmother. We set at the highest point (kinda) and looked off at one of the best views I have ever seen. Drank a beer and headed out for another night of sitting on the porch telling stories and drinking PBR. Making yard art after every can.
Wrecked after 4 days of climbing. We went back to the brutal 221 circuit. This time we headed for the dump. After the dump we checked out a problem Pat put up about 6 or 7 years ago called bedaphile. 3 or 4 moves out the roof to a weird clam shell hold. Matching that as an undercling and throwing down and out a roof... odd. The jug you throw to isn't so juggy. After countless attempts of throwing my beaten body and tips, we left with something to come back to in the fall.
One more night on the porch, another case of PBR, and more BBQ. We felt more American than ever with a full belly and fire works lighting the sky up all around us. Since we were on the mountain it wasn't hard to see.
Monday morning waking up, feeling like a 90 year old man after a triathlon. Me and Ginnley went to the long wall at Lower Grandmother. A great warm up wall with plenty of nice holds to hop around on. The skin couldn't take much more as we walked around and dreamed of feeling fresh. We closed the day down at the Mad Hatter, and decided to head back to Chatty.
Recap on North Carolina Bouldering.
The shit is hard. No doubt.
Top outs seem to all be scary and dirty.
People are great and the locals have all the party tricks in the field.
Lowes has the best pre made sandwiches on the planet.
Masochist and instinct are two of the most impressive boulders I have seen.
Pat's home wall is better than most peoples dream wall. . . Un real.
Wearing a jacket in July is a new experience to me. Traditions start this way.
I can't roll a cigarette even if I wanted to. I don't smoke but every man should know how to roll.
PBR isn't that bad after all.
Thanks Matt for the trip and Pat for the tour!!
I love NC.... Going back in September.
June 27, 2010
April 26, 2010
Last Saturday, April 17th a good friend of mine, Mike Tucker, took a terrible fall while climbing in the Red River Gorge. Mike was helivaced out of the Gorge and was in ICU for 7 days. Mike passed away on Saturday, April 24.
I was with Mike when he fell, and was by his side until we put him into the ambulance. This experience shook me up enough to question allot of my ethics. Climbing has exploded in the past few years and the need to enforce safety and evacuation plans are at an all time high. I would like to schedule a sport climbing "refresher" course. People get to comfortable on a rope and we are all guilty for not taking it seriously.
I drove Mike's car from the accident to the place where he was camping. When I got into the car the cd he was listening to was Bon Iver. He had the song "Skinny Love" playing and this was the last song Mike listened to. I drove the thirty minutes playing this song over and over. I think everyone should hear it.
Keep your thoughts and prayers with Mike's family. Not only did we lose a great climber we lost a great friend. He will be dearly missed.
March 15, 2010
This is the first year to do any competing. It's been a change that I really like. I was very skeptical towards the comps until I went to Triple Crown. Some of my funniest times carrying a boulder pad around. I'm still in the mid range of Advanced and Open range, so maybe next year I hold a chance to place.
This is the first year to climb in a gym. First Avenue Rocks opened late this summer and has changed the climbing scene in Birmingham. People are getting to know each other, hanging out outside of the boulders and crags.
This is the first year to have a camper to travel in. The ability to have a good nights sleep and good food is easy to do. No more excuses for not climbing my projects.
This is the first but not the last. I can't wait for the many other firsts to come.
The Red River Gorge's steep lines full of perfect pockets is only 3 days away. I will get there the 18th and come home the 28th. A spring break trip like this is huge for me, I will be able to kick off the route climbing game and really get back into my fitness. I'm anxious to see what the power from hard bouldering has done once my endurance comes back. No better place to get fit besides the Red.
To get fit I have come up with a must do circuit. A circuit that I believe will be used for the next 2 years by pretty much everyone. It's the 2012 circuit. I am planning on doing 20 new 5.12's during my stay at the Red. It will not be my main focus as there are plenty of hard routes to be done in my grasp. But just so I don't get sucked into the project mode, I will have to get the mileage in on 20 new 12's. I don't know what my rules are yet, but I would like to on sight at least half of the circuit. Throw this in on every route climbing trip, and guarantee some good endurance when you leave. You can also use this as a weekend warrior for the month or even for the year. I think making goals is a huge part of any success.
Hope everyone has a good spring break!
March 9, 2010
Can't wait till next year.
February 28, 2010
Moss Rock preserve is a little boulder field in Hoover, Alabama. Located about 25 minutes from my house it's an easy after work/school destination. I have been probably 10 times in the past year or so, since the weather has been so bad, HP40 is only 25 minutes past that, and I really don't have the feelings for bouldering as I do roping up.
February 24, 2010
January 23, 2010
January 11, 2010
I am in NO way a good writer, even a decent one. I don't take pictures, video's, or even think of different posts to write for my blog. I will every now and then have something that strikes up a question or point that I would like to see answered or noted. Not a serious blogger...
My last post was not read in the same text as I intended. Ironically, it was written as a motivator.
I got fired up to write about dragon slayers while I was on a hunt for climbing videos. What I quickly realized is there are no "new" video's surfing the web, from anyone around our area. But a lot of them where climbing in "our" area's.
Now, you wouldn't believe the amount of NEGATIVE feedback I received for the past post. I left for the weekend with out checking any of the comments and had my phone turned off. When I turned my phone on Sunday night, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I honestly thought people had read the wrong thing.
Quickly clear up some points about Slaying Dragons.
When I talk about Birmingham, I am talking about me as well.
I will be the first to help a new climber out. Show them beta, cheer them on, spot, what ever. Might be bad form to some southerners, but if your passionate about something, thats motivating to me.
You don't have to be flashing v13 for me to want to climb with you, or even want to know you for that matter. With out question, a majority of the people enjoy setting goals and trying to achieve those goals. If that goal is to regress, thats your goal. My goals are to progress in the sport. With out that, these beautiful places we all climb out would not be developed.
I hear about people climbing things the "LOGICAL" way. Well logically climbing things and not using the giant holds to the left or right isn't logical. . . This is a dictionary long topic that will be frowned upon more than politics and religion.
So we are all clear... I have never been judgemental towards anyone because of how hard you climb.