Monthly Archives

September 2012

Pre-nostalgia

By Trip JournalNo Comments

Oh man, it’s the end of September. We’ve been living in Fort Collins for nearly three months. Here’s a quick recap, and a look forward to the last ~2 weeks of our stay, before we chase the sunset toward the good ol’ Sierras. When we first got here, hiking sucked. Now it is awesome. I chalk this up to conditioning. Did we mention we’re staying with Brad, who has a gym in his house and a fitness company? Through that, we’ve both improved our fitness remarkably, benefitting from various passers-thru. A few weeks ago Tim Rose, Fernando Jimenez, Travis Gault, and Jen Burger stopped by for a couple of weeks to pull down on the RMNP gneiss and Mt. Evans granite. They are all personal trainers, gym managers, and/or super strong climbers. The restiest rest day involved a hike and some light bouldering in the front country. Other days were spent sharing training tips, putting each other through hard workouts, and eating healthy food. Of course we had an unreasonable number of goals for Colorado before we came, and of course many of those have been more or less forgotten. These wayside goals include a lot of filming (we’ve gotten into photography a bit more), climbing in Wyoming more than thrice, climbing the Diamond, and visiting all the Boulder gyms. Oh, and getting famous. That hasn’t been realized either, though we did get to hang out with Alex Honnold that one time. But the main goals have been achieved, namely,…

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TNT: A Perfect Rest (Sun)Day in Fort Collins

By Local Beta, Trip JournalNo Comments

Since Spenser and I are on a budget, we have rarely been patrons of the local breweries or restaurants, even though Fort Collins is full of them. Then, Zack Macfarlane said he was coming for a visit. We were psyched. This gave us a reason to explore FoCo in a way we haven’t yet. Zack loves booze, broads, and beers. Yes, I know the booze includes beer. It was for emphasis. And, okay, Zack was also here for some climbing. Lucky enough, Fort Collins has all of the above to offer. We picked him up at the Denver Airport bright and early Saturday morning and headed straight for Guanella Pass, after a quick pit-stop at a local breakfast joint. Zack ate biscuits and gravy with a side of chicken fried steak, Spenser a carnitas benedict, and I polished off a plate of gluten-free Johnny cakes. Needless to say, it was not going to be a serious climbing day, but it was going to be a blast! Guanella Pass provided us an excellent try-hard-enough day, so we decided to take a rest day and give Zack a tour of Fort Collins on Sunday. Another love of Zack’s that Spenser and I both share is ribs. We have had infamous feasts of homemade chai-spiced (oh yea, that’s right) ribs back home in the Bay Area. Sometimes we yearn for those nights. After working up an appetite climbing, we stopped by Smokin’ Yard BBQ on our way through Idaho Springs. Spenser’s face probably gives…

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Reel Rock Tour 7 Review

By Stuff We're Psyched OnNo Comments

In two words: Good Times. Two more? As Expected. The premiere of Reel Rock 7 was held at the Chautauqua Theater in Boulder, a lovely wooden auditorium at the base of the Flatirons. The sold-out crowd of about 1,300 people struggled for seats, as many sections had large wooden support beams obstructing the view. Many ended up sitting in the aisles or standing in the back. The show opened with the usual thanks to the sponsors, and with Peter Mortimer asking everyone to stand up for a Facebook photo. On another cool note, Peter also asked everyone who’s birthday it was to join him up on stage. It happened to be his daughter’s second birthday, and also Vikki’s 26th, and the entire crowd sang Happy Birthday to the dozen or so people. Pretty cool. Then the films. The first bit was La Dura Dura, about Chris Sharma and Adam Ondra vying to establish the first 5.15c sport climb in Spain. The footage was, as per the usual, spectacular. I believe it was the Lowell brothers’ work filming, and they used a perpendicular version of the NFL’s above-the-field-on-cables camera to smoothly follow the climbers up steep terrain. The result is unbelievably smooth, and so much better than the previous generation of climbing film’s prodigious use of shaky hand-held footage shot by someone on rappel. Sasha DiGiulian and Daila Ojeda were also featured, leading the charge of female climbers knocking on the door of 5.15. The film was as much about the route as…

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Reel High Psyche

By Stuff We're Psyched OnNo Comments

It’s hard to believe that, like the long summer itself, our stay in Colorado is entering its autumn phase. As I type, Vikki is making her way to the San Francisco airport to come back home to the Front Range. That sentence right there would’ve been written backward 8 months ago…and soon we’ll be moving on, once again to join the ranks of those without mailing addresses, bathroom sinks, or rent. Our very first full day in Colorado saw us driving up to Vedauwoo with Brad and Adam to meet up with Pete Mortimer and Nick Rosen of Sender Films. They were there to gather the last bits of footage needed for their Reel Rock segment about offwidth climbing. If we needed a reminder that we were in climbing’s Hollywood state, this was it. If we had forgotten the lesson, we were reminded later on when Sender asked us to help film a short, comical bit with Alex Honnold for the PGA tour. In between all the star-gazing, there’s been plenty of training, bits of working, and a lot of climbing outside with new and old friends. And now everything is coming full circle! We cannot frickin’ wait for Thursday, September 13th, when Reel Rock 7 premieres at the Chautauqua Auditorium. As always, it promises to be an incredible show. Sharma vs. Ondra, The Shark’s Fin with Renan Ozturk and friends, and of course, Honnold defying odds and gravity. But this year’s special. Not only might (and I repeat: might) there…

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Gym Round-up

By Gym Climbing, Stuff We're Psyched OnOne Comment

You’ve probably heard of Boulder, epicenter of the US climbing scene, as well as Movement, The Spot, CATS, and the Boulder Rock Club. All four gyms are located within a very small area, yet they thrive. We actually haven’t been to any of them yet. Travel north along the Front Range and you’ll come to Fort Collins. There is a climbing community here, but not quite so big as in Boulder. There are three climbing gyms: Inner Strength, Miramont, and the CSU climbing wall. We haven’t been to the last one, but the other two are quite frequently visited. I know, I know…we left on an epic roadtrip and now we’re pulling plastic? To be honest, it’s a lot cheaper than the $50 in gas it takes to get to RMNP. So here’s a quick comparison of the two indoor crags we’ve been to in FoCo. Inner Strength Inner Strength was opened 18 years ago by Mike Hickey, and features topropes, lead walls, and two bouldering areas. Overall it’s a fairly small space, but it does have a fairly steep lead cave. I’ve been volunteer-setting the bouldering there for most of the summer, and have met some awesome people there. It’s also quite close to home, which makes it a convenient stop-off for a quick burn. The cons: there are no, I repeat, no supplemental equipment to train on, except for hangboards. No weights, pullup bars, bands, or even a stretching area. Also, they have one of those featured walls that…

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Time to Try Hard

By Climbing, Staying Healthy, The Exterior, Training, Trip Journal4 Comments

I’ve just fallen in love with the concept of training. I don’t enjoy training…yet. And yikes, if you know me, you know that’s a crazy sentence. Like Spenser mentioned in the last post, we’ve been in Colorado over two months. Since being in Colorado, Spenser and I have kicked up our training several notches. Through this, I’ve realized that my quit threshold is extremely low… What is a quit threshold, you ask? I see it as the moment you lose your “grrr,” when you stop trying hard. It’s completely psychological. You could do one, two, or even three more push-ups/crunches/squats, but you choose not to. You essentially give up. You know that the extra effort won’t kill you, so why do you stop? The negative impact is not solely felt in your training, this attitude will eventually permeate throughout all your actions. It could mean that you will not make that last move on the climb you’ve been projecting, or that you will lack the mental gumption to study hard for class that you need to excel in. So here we are. In Colorado, surrounded by ridiculously strong climbers. Living with Brad Jackson, a training master. He knows how to train smart, not just hard. So…exactly why are we not taking FULL advantage of this? When this realization finally hit me, I felt like quite a bonehead. The past 2 months have been the most active months in my entire life. Hiking to and from Rocky Mountain National Park, at high altitude, training hard…but…

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