Monthly Archives

August 2012

Project Spray

By Bouldering, Climbing, Trip JournalNo Comments

We’ve now been in Fort Collins for a bit over two months. Where, indeed, has the time gone? In terms of climbing, it has gone to finding and working projects, while trying to sample as many easy and moderate classics as possible. If you take a peek at our Facebook photos, you’ll see some of the places we’ve visited during the summer. Mostly we go alpine bouldering due to the warm weather, though even at 10,000+ feet of elevation the temps have been quite warm, often reaching the mid 70s. Upper Chaos, Lower Chaos, Emerald Lake, Moraine Park, Lincoln Lake, Mt. Evans Area A, The Abyss…the list goes on. Yet we often do the bulk of our climbing in the warmer parts of the day, when the tips still slide around on edges and slopers stay slick. Since we haven’t had prime conditions, sending projects has been less of a priority. What we ought to do (or should’ve done two months ago) is invest in a couple of lanterns, so that we can stay past dark and exploit the chilly evenings. In other words, we should take a lesson from a particular blog title…but we have been fully enjoying our time meeting and climbing with new friends, exploring areas and shopping for projects. Bouldering at one’s limit requires several factors to align properly. One must be in good shape, with proper rest beforehand (the older I get, the more time off I need after training or climbing). One must be…

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The Game

By Road Trip Beta, Stuff We're Psyched On5 Comments

I have driven across the United States of America, around many of its cities and towns, and as of now, halfway back to California. Since buying Bert for the road trip in February of this year, we’ve put about 17,000 miles on him (our diesel fuel bill requires scientific notation). Since I do about 95% of the driving, I’ve spent a lot of time at the wheel. How much? Well, there is a lot of sitting in the car at stoplights, and an awful lot of cruising on the freeways at 55-60. Let’s just say it averages out to 40 MPH, which is probably nowhere near the actual figure. 17,000 miles ÷ 40 miles/hour = 425 hours Aside from callused buttcheeks, what those hours have given me is a lot of time to think, listen to various podcasts, surf country/Jesus radio stations, and contemplate vanishing points and how they relate to highway lines. The daily commuter probably spends even more time behind the wheel, unfortunately relegated to a similar or identical path dictated by expedience, rather than refreshed by ever-changing scenery. Unless navigating to a previously unvisited destination or jockeying with Boston cars, driving doesn’t take much mental exertion besides the minimum spatial awareness required to keep the wheels between the lines, the speedometer needle within acceptable bounds, and the vehicle away from obstacles. This leaves the real thinking structures of the brain free to design solutions to the world’s problems, play tricks with math, construct the perfect imaginary boulder,…

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Sometimes I Hate Climbers

By Stuff We're Psyched On4 Comments

I often wear cargo shorts (or cargo pants when it’s cold) to go climbing. This is fairly new for me. Besides the usefulness of always having chapstick at my fingertips, I find that wearing cargo pants makes me a better steward of the environment. Allow me to explain… Bouldering in Rocky Mountain National Park is, as I’ve mentioned before, beautiful and relatively remote. I still remember when the Druids in Bishop were too damn far away to bother with. Now, that 45-minute hike at 6,000 feet sounds like a rest day. Upper Chaos involves about 60 minutes of hiking (after 90 minutes of driving, if you live in the Front Range), with an elevation gain of about 800 feet, just to reach Lake Haiyaha. Then there’s half an hour of talus-hopping to get to your project. Suffice it to say, one does not simply saunter up for an evening session after a full day at the office. This is not your roadside crag like Santa Barbara’s Painted Cave or any of the Yosemite boulders that you can see from your car. The obvious benefit of this fairly rugged approach, besides stellar cardio conditioning, is that the bouldering areas are near-pristine. Marmots and pikas pop up like prairie dogs, and cavernous holes threaten to swallow brushes, shoes, and climbers. To the north and south are steep, streaked alpine walls containing thousands of unclimbed boulders, a glacier, and some crystal clear alpine lakes. Even without climbing in my life, Moraine Park, Chaos Canyon,…

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TNT: Bert Gets a Rump Remodel

By Road Trip Beta, Trip Journal4 Comments

While I’m here editing the next video, my man is in the backyard nailing and screwing. Don’t worry, I’m not jealous…he’s just putting the finishing touches on Bert’s new storage system. I really like handy organization products. I’ll admit, maybe a little too much. Spenser likes to be organized, just in a I-don’t-want-to-look-like-I’m-trying way, while I love gadgets and gizmos that makes me, I believe, super mega organized. Even though we differ in our modes of organization, Spenser and I could easily agree on this simple plywood storage system for the bed of his big red truck. Building a storage unit for the bed of the truck was the first step of us getting road-ready once again. I found this handy, albeit incredibly corny, video and all we had to do was adjust the measurements. An important thing they did not mention in the video is the thickness of the plywood they used. We ended up using 3/4-inch plywood for the frame – we wanted to make sure the frame would be sturdy enough to hold us  since we plan to use it as a bed (with crashpads on top, of course) whenever we will be unable to take the trailer with us. We are on a budget, so we figured we could save some cash and use 1/2-inch plywood for the drawers. A slight issue came up when we couldn’t use the screws we bought to fasten together the 1/2-inch plywood boxes. Spenser ended up cutting small squares from a piece of 2×2 [pictures…

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The New Hotness: The Abyss

By Bouldering, Local BetaNo Comments

On Sunday (8/12) we were lucky enough to get a tour of a new area up on Mt. Evans called The Abyss. Rachel, Jered, Adam, and Mordy cruised up the hill with Vikki and I to meet Jon Glassberg and some other climbers, and we hiked in to the boulders. The Abyss is named for Abyss Lake, which is near the peak of Mt. Evans and is visible from the talus field. Most of the problems are given a nautical themed name, and by Jon’s approximation there are 80 or so established boulders, all contenders for the highest altitude V_ in the country. I think you end up parking at around 13,000 feet. The best part is probably the hike. It’s a 20 minute flat (flat!) hike across some pleasant tundra to the top of the talus, and from there you choose your own level of involvement. A few established lines sit atop the hill, and they continue all the way down to the valley floor, where a Lincoln Lake-sized boulder field sits, apparently called The Winds (the hillside we were on is called The Bends). The potential for moderates is enormous, but the development has focused mostly on harder lines. We were able to put up three new problems in a casual afternoon. The rock is similar to Lincoln Lake, mostly solid with a bit of choss and exfoliation. As with most areas, more traffic will help it clean up. Jon was there filming for an upcoming movie that…

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Downsizing & Leaving Papi

By Stuff We're Psyched On, Trip Journal4 Comments

Today we leave Papi with heavy hearts. Okay, okay, we are moving only 5 miles away and we’re probably going to see our roommate, Adam Papilion, even more than we already do.  Nevertheless, we are a still a little dewy-eyed: the house on Constellation Drive was our first stationary digs since we left on the road trip over 5 months. And…moving is always a hassle. We ended our tenancy at Adam’s with a grilling feast, followed by a Breaking Bad marathon with pureed banana ice cream in hand (and mouth). It’s dairy-free and incredibly addictive. Like crack. Seriously, try it at your own risk and don’t blame me when you realize you have hit rock bottom after punching the white-haired elderly lady because she took the last bunch of overripe bananas from the sale section at King Soopers. So we packed up all our personal belongings (which we are very proud to admit fit nicely into the tiny new trailer) and moved into our good friend, and Adam’s heterosexual life-mate, Brad Jackson’s house. Thankfully, Brad has a nice dirt patch on his front lawn where the new trailer fits perfectly. As I briefly mentioned above, we found the perfect little 10′ trailer, hand-crafted by Bill, an animated tiny-house craftsman from Lafayette, Colorado. Bill was planning on keeping this gem to himself, but life circumstances prevented him from doing so. It’s exactly what we have been looking for, so thank you, Bill, for laying the groundwork for us (and building a way better trailer than…

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