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.