Carlo Traversi’s Birthday Challenge- Insane

By | Birthday Challenges, Climbing, Exclude From Site, Film | No Comments

Folks, I’ve done some bouldering, and I’ve pushed my limits. I’ve even done a few harder problems, up to V11. I’ve also done literally hundreds of boulder problems in a day. I’ve been at it long enough to genuinely surprise myself from time to time. What I have no freaking chance of ever doing is doing a fraction of the hard climbing that Carlo Traversi does for his 26th Birthday Challenge. Attempting 26 boulder problems V5 or harder in Colorado meant doing an awful lot of harder climbs, since the bouldering skews in favor of the higher grades there. This is partly why his ticklist (below) is so totally absurd. Plus, I think Carlo just enjoys climbing hard climbs and making it appear effortless. Of course, it’s not all good…anyone who’s bouldered knows how important it is to have skin in order to complete a problem. And guess what happens to your skin after a dozen hard climbs? Will he complete his challenge? Press play to find out… 1. The Kind V5 2. Mr. Wimpy V7 3. The Kind Traverse V11 4. Crack Line V7 5. Whispers Of Wisdom V10 6. Storm Shadow Stand V10 7. Unnamed V6 (Cube Boulder) 8. Unnamed V5 (Cube Boulder) 9. Unnamed V6 (Cube Boulder) 10. Real Large V9 11. Hi Fi V11 12. Arete V8 13. Tommy’s (Other) Arete V8 14. The Donut Thief V9 15. Veritas Assis V11 16. Stripes V8 17. Menwax V7 18. Bulgin’ Out V8 19. Child Of God V10 20. Suzuki Boulder V5…

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Birthday Challenge Episode 1: Alex Johnson

By | Birthday Challenges, Bolt Clipping, Bouldering, Film | 2 Comments

EpicTV’s newest series, Birthday Challenge, went live today! Episode one follows Alex Johnson as she hits the quarter-century milestone with grace, humor, and optimism. She also manages to climb 25 routes and enough boulder problems to amass 25 stars in Las Vegas’ incredible Red Rock Canyon. Check it out below, and share with your friends, because we want as many people doing birthday challenges as possible this year! (Speaking of which, if you have done, or are going to do a birthday challenge, let us know! Also, there’s a BDC group on Facebook you should probably join.) We mentioned earlier that this year was going to be quite an adventure…all of a sudden we are making films…professionally! We dove into this one. Drove across the country to one of our least favorite cities (Las Vegas), and spent a couple of days filming Alex, interviewing her and her awesome mom Trish, and gathering some ridiculously cute footage of Fritz. When it came time to edit, we wanted to tell a story. We wanted to inspire. We wanted to give you Alex in the raw. Several long nights yielded a great 8-minute film we were proud of, and better still, that Alex was psyched on. We sent it off to EpicTV. EpicTV responded that they wanted something a bit more “action-packed.” So it was back to the editing station to chop it up again. The result is a totally awesome 4 minute video showing some of the gorgeous sport climbing in Red Rock, classic boulder problems from…

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Turning 30 Starts Now

By | Film, Trip Journal | 5 Comments

I told you. This year’s theme is Shit Or Get Off The Pot. This year is going to be an adventure. Here’s why: We’re proud to announce that we are filming a series for EpicTV called Birthday Challenge. We are seeking out the most masochistic climbers we can think of, and asking them to let us film while they put themselves through the circles of Hell to celebrate their arrival into this world. If we’re being honest, we are equal parts excited and terrified by this opportunity. Until now, most of our films have been “for fun.” I think of them as learning projects, as well as opportunities to tell stories that wouldn’t otherwise be told. But now we have deadlines, targets, contracts. It’s scary, but it’s what we wanted. If we don’t have deadlines, we dilly-dally. And we’re getting too old for that shit. Speaking of getting old, I’m turning 30 this summer. I should be in much better shape. I’ve given myself plenty of excuses (and injuries) during the past two years, but I would hate to tell people about our roadtrip and have to explain why I didn’t climb harder, or higher, or faster. Instead, I want to tell people some cool shit that I did as I grew out of my 20s. This year for my Birthday Challenge, I’m going all out. And I’m going to film it. I know, surprise surprise. Cuz I didn’t film the last one or anything. In all seriousness, last year’s was fun,…

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Squamish Wrap-Up and Videos

By | Bouldering, Climbing, Film | 3 Comments

Yes, it’s November, and we’re still talking Squamish. I guess we liked the place. [Click “Read More” and scroll to the videos if you want to skip the ramblin’.] It’s been about six weeks since we uprooted the trailer and left the forest nymphs in our wake, with Bert’s steely grille pointed at the rising sun. A junk-food-fueled drive across three time zones brought us, via the homes of many generous friends, to Boone, NC and now Chattanooga, TN. I’ve got a whole post about the South upcoming, but this is a retrospective.

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Wide Boyz II Slender Men- The Cobra Crack

By | Film | 7 Comments

For the second time, The RV Project (in this case just me, Spenser) has gotten the privilege of filming professional climbers alongside professional filmers. Last time was in Vedauwoo with Sender Films, shooting Brad Jackson, Adam Papillion, and Bob Scarpelli climbing offwidths for the Wide Boyz segment of Reel Rock 7. This time: Canada, with Hot Aches. The climb: Cobra Crack, 5.14a. The Cobra Crack will be featured in Wide Boyz 2. It was a lot of fun, and not too different from filming friends at the boulders, except that everything is dialed up a notch: the gear, the need to capture the right moments, and of course the seriousness of the route. What I’ll remember most, though, is watching two consummate professionals do what they do best: bite off more than they can chew, and chew it anyway. (If you haven’t seen First Ascent, you must…if for no other reason than to become familiar with the famous mono-undercling-fingerlock, or the “F-You” move.)

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What Do Horse Pens 40 and The Force Have In Common?

By | Bouldering, Film, Trip Journal | 11 Comments

This post is much delayed. I’ve sat down four times now to try and capture in words what our time in Horse Pens was like. So far, my words have failed me. I’m taking a stab at it, and please forgive the length of this post. And please enjoy our newest video! It’s of our last day in Hueco Tanks, where we climbed a bunch for ourselves. I got my hardest send, and Vikki cruised Orifice Affair. Also note the kung-fu yeti firing Smooth Move (V8). Then keep reading. Looking back now, a week since our departure, Horse Pens 40 feels like a pleasant dinner with the Soprano family. Laughter, some great people, and good food, but just under the surface is some dark matter that doesn’t reveal itself until you’re more involved. Like anything in life – climbing, love, Mafia dramas, the Force – there’s a light side and a dark side. The best way to detect both is to let the guards down and let go of our San Francisco sensibilities. After all, we’re guests on this land.

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Alban the Annihilator and How We Found Our Groove

By | Bouldering, Film, Trip Journal | No Comments

We’re in the city lovingly referred to as Chatty, our final leg of the “True South” bouldering exploration. We had our first day of climbing at Stone Fort yesterday and it, yet again, lived up to all the hype. Met some locals, fell a lot, and even sent a little (highlighted by Byron’s first V6 of the trip, The Wave); we are incredibly psyched to get back on the gritty sandstone tomorrow (as long as the rain subsides). More on Chattanooga soon, but first…Episode 4 is ready for your viewing! Our newest video is based on a conclusion we came to after leaving Hueco Tanks, Texas: every day in Hueco Tanks, someone you’ve never heard of does something impressive. There’s also usually someone hyper famous doing something along the same caliber, but that’s basic Hueco knowledge. This video is about Alban Besnier, mostly because he climbs strong, has a great attitude, and generally impressed us. The first day we climbed with Alban and his travel companion, Caroline, we went on a tour to East Mountain and he sent Liane, Sunshine, and Mojo – all in his signature shorts. He sent almost everything he touched that day, which was awesome to see, but what impacted the three of us the most was his spotting. Even though he climbed more than the rest of the climbers in the tour group combined, he was still an attentive and good spotter to each of us. That commitment blew us away and we each changed our…

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We’ve Got Video

By | Bouldering, Film, Trip Journal | 4 Comments

Fantasizing about going on a road trip across the country was easy. Planning for the road trip and getting ourselves to Hueco Tanks, Texas (our first stop) proved to be much more difficult. We knew it would be a lot of work, and we knew that we had to plan for the unexpected. We thought we knew a lot. Reality check: Byron, Spenser and I knew nothing…but we sure are learning!

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