Joe’s Valley Bouldering Festival 2016 Recap

By | Bouldering, Climbing, Stuff We're Psyched On, Trip Journal | No Comments

WOW, we got so lucky with weather! Throughout the Fest, I was like a broken record. Memories of last year’s frigid fest were all too vivid. As a festival organizer, there are two hypotheticals that you are terrified of: no one shows up, or the weather is too bad to do any of the events you spent the last year coordinating. And, even though Fall is prime Joe’s Valley season, the desert is still unpredictable. Just the week before the Fest this year, there was a huge rain storm that caused moderate flooding. I imagined what kind of festival that would be… Well, I guess that’s not too far from last year’s fest… HA! Yea, the decision to move the fest to October was an easy one. The weather this year did not disappoint. It was sunny and dry during the day, and crisp and clear at night. Perfect outdoor festival temps. The first festival was so late in the year because the idea didn’t emerge until a few weeks beforehand. We didn’t want to stall the support and momentum we had locally, so we went forward with the festival despite having very little time to plan. It was a test run, and this year looked much more traditionally festival-like, but with a Emery County twist. 😉 Local Flavor So what’s the point of the Joe’s Valley Bouldering Festival? We want to introduce climbers to the towns that surround their beloved Joe’s Valley, and the people that make up Emery County. At the moment, the vast majority of climbers don’t go beyond the Food Ranch…

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Another Birthday, Another Challenge

By | Birthday Challenges, Stuff We're Psyched On, Trip Journal | 7 Comments

On July 15th, the earth will be in roughly the same place with respect to the sun as it was when I was born almost 32 years ago. I’m not sure why it felt necessary to say “I’m turning 32” in such a roundabout fashion. It’s not a good habit; the world is complex enough as it is without obfuscating writing about banal topics. It’s time for another Birthday Challenge. My introductory paragraph shows a glimpse of the inner turmoil of a mind clouded with complex thoughts. This morass of often incompatible ideas is not easy to wade through, and a desire for clarity is why I chose this challenge, and why I chose such a bloody simple one compared to the logistical and exhaustive clusterfuck I undertook when I turned 30. I’m going to attempt the WURL, and I hope to complete it in less than 32 hours. The WURL stands for “Wasatch Ultimate Ridge Linkup,” and in my own words, is a ridiculously cool but very long objective just outside of Salt Lake City, UT. It’s about 36 miles, and more or less follows a ridge all the way around Little Cottonwood Canyon, gaining about 18,000 feet as it passes through a couple of dozen peaks, many of them above 11,000 feet. As far as I can tell, the fastest time is Jared Campbell with an absurdly quick run of 16:44. Our friend Stacey, with partners Matt and Alexis, managed it in 26:25. Stacey, you may recall, kept…

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The Inaugural Joe’s Valley Bouldering Festival

By | Bouldering, Climbing, Stuff We're Psyched On, Trip Journal | No Comments

We over here at RV Project HQ (currently: Spenser’s Parents House, Berkeley, CA) are still beaming after an amazing weekend at the inaugural Joe’s Valley Bouldering Festival. It’s been a crazy couple weeks since the Fest, but now that we’ve got fast internet and cell phone reception, it’s time for a recap. I feel like there’s so much to talk about that it’s hard to figure out where to start. To me, the primary goal of this festival was said best by Steven Jeffery,   Even with the crappy audio, you can probably understand that we wanted to get climbers and local community members together, to just hang out together. And maybe we’d understand each other a bit better because, let’s be honest, us climbers don’t have much contact with the people of Orangeville or Castle Dale (except for the brief stops for sustenance – donuts & coffee – at the Food Ranch). The festival was based around bringing together bouldering, history, and community to highlight what makes Joe’s Valley such a special destination for climbers. Why in the heck do we love climbing those little rocks so much?! In the days leading up to the festival, the excitement from the local community felt pervasive. Firewood was delivered directly to our campsites, the Food Ranch made stickers specially for the event – the whole town seemed to be talking about this festival. This is primarily a photo essay of what made the Fest special for me – to check out the schedule in its entirety…

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The Millennium Way: An Interview with Alison Bagby

By | Guest Post, Stuff We're Psyched On, The Interior | No Comments

This post is only tangentially related to rock climbing. It has more to do with bragging about how awesome we must be, because the people discussed below consider us their friends. Alison and her husband Jeremy have appeared on this blog before, and it’s true that we are acquainted via the climbing gym. It’s true that they are both very strong climbers with impressive ticklists. But today, we’re going to talk about food, more specifically Millennium. Millennium is a vegan restaurant that serves incredible food and cocktails to match. Formerly located in the Tenderloin in San Francisco, they recently moved to a new location in Oakland, with much better street parking options. They’re open for dinner 7 days a week, and they’ve just started a Sunday brunch (and soon Saturday), as well as a weekday happy hour from 5:00-6:30. We wanted to know a few more details, so we asked…and then we typed it up. Enjoy! RVP: In a few words, what is Millennium? AB: Millennium is a globally inspired, upscale plant-based restaurant in Oakland, Ca. We work with small farms and change the menu constantly to showcase the finest local, sustainable, and organic produce at its peak. RVP: How long have you been involved with Millennium? How did you start out there? AB: I was hired as Assistant General Manager in January of 2007 after being persistent in response to a craigslist ad. RVP: When did you become a partner with Millennium? AB: I became a partner only in our new East Bay location. Chef Eric Tucker & I…

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Introducing the Conscious Climber Project

By | Bouldering, Climbing, Conscious Climber Project, Stuff We're Psyched On | 4 Comments

“Every calculation based on previous experience fails in New Mexico” – Lew A. Wallace, Governer of the New Mexican Territory (1878-1881) Exotic Locales, No Passport Required The days continue to march inexorably forward, like the thousands of Barbie dolls marching into an oven that are on display annually at Burning Man. Time might fly when you’re having fun, but it flies even faster if you simply let it slide. “Not much” or “nothing” is never the correct answer to “what’s going on?” Pausing often to reflect on things is the simplest way I’ve found to stretch out my time. Like a rubber band with an intricate drawing, I can only enjoy the rich tapestry of events, and feelings, and relationships that make up my life if I pull the ends apart and dive into the details. I’m suggesting that being aware and conscious is the secret to prolonging life. New Mexico is nicknamed The Land of Enchantment, and climbers may be familiar with a particular tower that fell under the spell. But aside from the remote and mysterious Enchanted Tower, and the fact that one must pass through during the annual Hueco migration, New Mexico is almost entirely off the itinerant climbers’ collective radar. Put simply, New Mexico is not on “the circuit.” That’s about to change. Roy and Not Roy Folks, if you’ve been down with The Proj for a long time, you may recall a post from Spring 2014 excitedly showing pictures from Roy and La Madera. In fact, if you…

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An Ode to our French Press

By | Musings, Stuff We're Psyched On | One Comment

The alarm goes off. My eyes open, but I see nothing. With a flip of my hand, my beanie is gone and I am immediately aware of three things: I have crust in my eyes; it is time to get up; and it is frigid. Ah, the trailer life. Today might be the day after a rest day, and the conditions are going to be perfect for boulder crushing. Today might be a filming day, and we’ll be humping cameras and gear around. Today might be one of those housekeeping days, which we’ll spend in a public library or café staring at screens. I don’t care what day it is. What in the world could ever get me to throw the covers aside and forsake the only parcel of three-dimensional space in the known vicinity that is above freezing? You might think that classic boulder problems are motivation enough. Not so. If you can remember back to high school chemistry, you may remember a concept called “activation energy.” Before a reaction can commence, there must be an initial energy input above a certain threshold. Put simply, a fire needs a spark. Every morning I wonder what on our solar system’s green Earth could coax me from the cozy down cocoon, where I cuddle a tiny heater I like to call Vikki. And every morning, I need only turn my head to the right to see the answer to this vital quandary. Shining bright like a diamond, it sits proudly upon…

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The Crag Dog Blog

By | Photo, Stuff We're Psyched On | 7 Comments

The hard-drives needed organizing. I needed a pick-me-up because it’s been raining for days. I love dogs and they make me happy. Spenser loves taking photos of them. I think that’s enough explanation.                                                                                

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My Friends Are Awesome

By | Musings, Stuff We're Psyched On | 3 Comments

I was once told that you are the average of your five best friends. It’s a cute saying and is probably quite accurate for most people, although it may speak more to humanity’s tendency to self-segregate. I’ve found that my friends tend to be on the more adventurous and quirky side, though to be honest I may have sought those friends so that I can be pulled up by the collective average. Over the course of our nearly three years on the road, we’ve encountered our fair share of adventurous spirits and inspiring figures. The ones that impress me the most, though, are the ones you and I have never read about. Sure, we expect the Wide Boyz to thrash themselves and then pull off a heroic ascent by the skin of their teeth, with much suffering along the way. But who wants to do all that without any sponsor dollars riding on it? Ryan Tetz does. He participated in an experimental bike race that had to be shortened mid-race so as not to kill all the riders (most of which dropped out anyway), and he was one of the only finishers. He’s currently in the middle of a 6-week hellstorm of hurt, 6 extreme endurance challenges in a row. He just finished pedaling his bike across Yosemite National Park, en route to Nevada from the Golden Gate Bridge. He started at 6:26 am in Marin, and reached the Nevada state line 27.5 hours later, braving, among other hardships, a nighttime descent of Tioga Pass with…

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Climbing to Repair a Child

By | Climbing, Stuff We're Psyched On | No Comments

People climb for many reasons, and there are so many appealing reasons to climb. It’s fun and satisfying. For the die-hards, it’s a way of life, a lens for examining philosophy, a medium of self-expression. I’ve always loved to climb, but there was something about it that grabbed me in a deeper way that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I think you climb, and therefore I think you know what I mean. On the front page of the SF Chronicle (April 29), I saw an article that hinted at exactly what I’m talking about. A therapist by the name of Dr. Clifton Hicks was having success treating children with PTSD by taking them rock climbing in Glen Canyon Park. I admit that part of me felt a bit of pride upon reading the headline, as though I were somehow ennobled by the therapeutic benefits of the sport I’ve chosen. But we know that – adventure-based therapy is not exactly new – but here was a psychotherapist running climbing-specific outings to treat a specific condition. I wanted to learn more about this utterly cool phenomenon. I was able to get Dr. Hicks on the phone. He was fascinating to talk to, and he’s the only person I’m aware of to write a dissertation about rock climbing. He explained that when a trauma occurs, it severely damages relationships in the child’s life that are critical to development. The child has been robbed of safety and security, and treatment involves reestablishing…

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Sh*t We Can’t Live Without: The Foam Roller

By | Staying Healthy, Stuff We're Psyched On, The Exterior | 14 Comments

I have a love/hate relationship with things (but who doesn’t?!). I gave up the majority of my belongings to move into our 10-foot home. Spenser did too, but let’s be honest- he had way less crap to begin with! Not that it made it made it any easier. Back on topic- Even though we’ve purged most of the extra weight, there are still material objects we can’t live without. They just have to fit in a 10×7 box! THE FOAM ROLLER I hope most of you know what this is. If you don’t, you will likely benefit from making it’s acquaintance. This is my single favorite piece of physical therapy equipment out there. I’ll need it because of what climbing does to my body. That sounded too dramatic. Let’s try again. The foam roller is the best at getting out my post-climbing kinks and tightness. A consistent foam roller and yoga/stretching routine were my main shoulder saviors when getting back into climbing this summer (post finger pulley popping), so I guess I’m in a bind of sorts. If I want to continue to climb (and I do)- I gotta keep it up.

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