Monthly Archives

July 2012

Alpine Stylee- Colorado So Far

By Bouldering, Local BetaNo Comments

Edit: The V7 corner thingy that I couldn’t recall the name of at Guanella Pass is called “Corner Matters.” Four stars, BTW. Also, the arete Alana is pictured on is called the Aspen Arete. The heat and visual homogeneity of the midwest drives one to seek satisfaction in overindulgence. The endorphin junkie must get a fix, but exercise is too sweaty, or inconvenient, or expensive. The only recourse is stretch receptor activation, an ancient technique that I believe dates back to our hunter-gatherer days wherein one adds as much calorie-dense food to their abdomen as possible without literally busting a gut. The midwest is where dreams of climbing go to shrivel, fester, or immolate (depending on the particular type of scorching heat one encounters). Colorado, then, is where your psyche actually has trouble keeping up. Do you see all the boulders in Chaos Canyon? Now count them. I’ll wait. Coming from a chosspile like Santa Barbara – where we would climb every section of rock possible and then some out of sheer boredom – one arrives in Rocky Mountain National Park and gets totally overwhelmed by…well, take your pick: the beauty of the scenery, the length and brutality of the hikes, the stunning nature of the lines, the amount of unexplored wilderness, the amount of unclimbed rock in well-established areas, the altitude, the sheer difficulty of so many of the boulders… And I haven’t even mentioned the Front Range bouldering that sits at the far west end of the Great…

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A Bit of Catch-Up

By Trip JournalNo Comments

I started this post on Sunday. It was Spenser’s birthday and we were both catatonic from stress, unable to celebrate as we should be. Birthdays are difficult, I find you often end up doing what everyone else wants to do rather than what you want to do. Yes, it’s your birthday and you can cry if you want to, but you are essentially bringing everyone down with you when you do. So, forget it. Spenser had tweaked his neck bouldering last week and was not in the mood to celebrate. Neither of us were in the mood to start dealing with all the nagging pieces we still have left over from the original RV Project: mostly, selling Ernie and finding our new home. The trailer is on Craigslist and RV Trader, no bites so far and it’s exactly half way through the month of July…but I don’t really want to start thinking about that yet. I decided to go back in time and debrief about our long, straight, and steamy road to Colorado (and not steamy in a good way). Alright, forget about Colorado for a second and back to New York we go… During our time at the Gunks, I climbed higher and got more exposure than I ever thought I would be comfortable with. Despite all this, living in the back of the truck with thunderstorms taking us off the rocks every afternoon and the chigger larvae infestation under my skin had started to get the best of me. I needed a…

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An Interview With Shadow Ayala, and the First Ascent of Banksy

By Bolt Clipping, Road Trip Beta25 Comments

I first met Shadow Ayala at Black Sheep Coffee in Bishop, CA a couple of seasons ago. I would see him occasionally, either working on his computer or climbing on my computer in one of his many Dead Point Magazine videos. I was curious as to what this character’s story might be. At the same time, I was apprehensive due to the fact that he, apparently voluntarily, had removed his eyebrows and replaced them with blue flames. I suspect that my initial reaction to Shadow – a blend of curiosity and judgmental uneasiness– is similar to that of many other people. By the end of our stay in the Red I would learn that, in a beautifully unscripted manner, Shadow wants it that way. As I began to spend more time in Bishop, we would cross paths more often and eventually begin to chat. I learned that he was psyched on first ascents, and rarely bouldered on anything in a guidebook. His Pretty Lights-laced movies catalogue many days spent searching out new stone in the Tablelands, and speak to his drive to explore his world further and deeper than most are willing to go. When I last saw him at Black Sheep, he was showing me photos of gargantuan virgin boulders in the White Mountains, across the Owens River Valley from the more popular Buttermilks. Fast forward to May 2012. Vikki and I run into Shadow on a warm Saturday at Drive-By Crag in the Red River Gorge, KY. He…

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Just Like The Pros- On Set With Bob Scarpelli and Peter Mortimer

By Climbing, Stuff We're Psyched On, Trip Journal10 Comments

[I’m trying something new, posting the photos at the end of the article. Check-m-out.] I’m not going to start this blog post by apologizing for not updating. We’ve been busy with logistics and if you have a problem with that then we can fight to the death by the fires of Colorado. Which is where we are, and where we will be for several weeks. We even moved into a house! The RV (Residential Versatility) Project continues, and despite the record highs in Fort Collins, we couldn’t be happier to be in the epicenter of USA Climbing, which everyone knows is not Capen Park, Missouri. The Front Range is to the climbing scene what Hollywood is for the celebrity rehab scene. Case in point: We dropped the trailer in Brad’s driveway on Saturday. (Remember Brad, the chiseled hand-stand-walking offwidth master with laser-eyes, whom we met in Hueco?) On Sunday morning, we drove an hour north to Vedauwoo, WY to meet Pete, Bob, Nick and Becca. Pete is Peter Mortimer, who, along with Nick Rosen, runs Sender Films. Becca is a Sender employee until the fall semester at USC rolls around. The three Sender folks were filming for this year’s Reel Rock tour, specifically for a segment about off-width climbing. Brad had told them about the RV Project crew, and luckily for us, Sender was happy to have us along. Bob is Bob Scarpelli. We met him in the parking lot. He is 63, and conjures up a shorn version of…

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