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November 2012

A Review of Liquid Grip, The New Liquid Chalk

By Road Trip Beta, The Exterior3 Comments

Like every climber ever to grace this earth, I suffer from non-optimal skin. It sweats too much, it’s too thin, it’s cracked, it’s split, it just hurts. I’ve tried damn near every chalk there is. So far, the best I’ve been able to figure is Antihydral about once a week and plain old block chalk before every go. Recently I was reading Dave Macleod’s Online Climbing Coach blog and saw a review for Liquid Grip. I’ve tried Liquid Chalk and I like it, but it requires reapplication and is otherwise a pain in the butt for me. Liquid Grip is supposed to be an “apply and forget” sort of product, which would solve my main complaint with liquid chalk, so I figured it was worth a try. The company gives the somewhat dubious claim that the product adheres to the amino acids in your skin and will not transfer to other surfaces. Of course I perked up when Dave gave it a positive review, but I grimaced when I read that “there is a small amount of Rosin (less than 5%) in the product and they reassure that there is no transference to surfaces although didn’t say how this was tested.” I sent away to Liquid Grip for a few samples. On one hand, LG could very well be a manna for los manos. On the other, I’m very concerned about rosin being used on rock, because over time it forms a slick coating to the rock and destroys the friction…

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The Essential Guide to Joe’s Valley Living

By Local Beta8 Comments

Updates (as of 12/2/2017): There are TWO new & permanent pit toilets! Locations are shown below in the Pooping section 🙂 Food & Showering options have also been updated below. PLEASE do not just camp anywhere! Joe’s Valley has far surpassed its carrying capacity for primitive camping, and creating “new” campsites is a huge threat to access. Please camp in demarcated sites only! Thanks! If you’ve been to Joe’s before, you’ll notice some changes in where you can camp. Erosion and water contamination via human waste are the biggest issues we face – read more about it via the Access Fund. The Access Fund conservation team was working on trails this past October & November – hooray!  Another must-read about how bouldering has changed Joe’s is this piece from Climbing Magazine. And…what about that new guidebook?! Follow us on Instagram / Facebook, or join our mailing list for the latest updates. Estimated release is Spring 2018. I apologize for not being able to respond to each message about the guidebook individually, but rest assured all updates will be shared via social media and the email list. Click here for the PDF guide to some of the newer boulders in Joe’s Valley – The Flu, Hidden Dragon & The Rastafarian. (Working with sodapdf format allows professionals to edit, share, collaborate and ensure the security of the content within digital documents) Having spent quite a few months in Joe’s Valley over the past 5 years, and by helping to organize the Joe’s…

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Back in Bishop

By ClimbingNo Comments

The past week has been a blur. We left Joe’s Valley last Tuesday afternoon and Spenser drove us straight to Bishop. Leaving our amazing campsite at Joe’s was the most difficult part – we will likely never find a better fire pit, but it will be there waiting for us when we return! After an 13-hour drive with a quick stop at a barbeque joint, we were back in the Pit. As we drove in around 3am on Wednesday morning, as suspected, the Pit was FULL. Since we were the first of our group to arrive, we grabbed one of the only open campsites we could find and passed out. Thankfully by the time we had woken up, there were multiple open campsites. As we waffled about saving site #15 for our friends (a prime spot with tons of flat real estate for cars & tents), Spenser ran into Jenn Zecchin, who we know from the Bay. Jenn was on her own this Thanksgiving and was driving around the Pit looking for a campsite. Perfect timing as she was able to park in site 15 and save it for the rest of our group. A benefit to all since we didn’t have to feel guilty about saving a site with just our crash pads, as we know many groups in Bishop are in the same boat. Wednesday was a rest and get ready for the gang to arrive day. While I’ve only been to Bishop a handful of times and…

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Get Ready for BishGNAR!

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

The past few days at Joe’s have been a whirlwind of falls, sends, laughs, and campfires. Thankfully, no tears. Our final days were rounded out with my send of Big Cheesy and Spenser crushing many of his projects: Worm Turns, Ghost King, Playmate of the Year, and Lactation Station! Still, we are leaving with many projects left unticked, but are incredibly happy to reunite with our Bishop crew for another Thanksgiving. This year, Thanksgiving will be different. This year, BishGNAR is coming to town. First things first, if you haven’t seen the original G.N.A.R., get on it. You can watch the trailer below, or the entire movie (highly recommended) here. We are bringing the competition to Bishop. It will take place on the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving, the exact date is TBD as of now. We have the list of rules (climbing related, if you haven’t caught on yet) and they are going to knock your socks off, literally. If you want in, let us know! The more the merrier. We will have the rules printed out by Thanksgiving Day, so come find us if you want to prepare ahead of time. We’ll either be climbing at the Buttermilks or camped in the Pit. Just look for the big red truck. Want the title (trophy included) of GNARliest dude or dudette in Bishop? Then it’s time to sack up and prove it! Love, The RV Project

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Cast Iron Chaos and the Lessons Learned

By Road Trip Beta, Trip Journal8 Comments

When we were preparing for The RV Project part deux, Spenser and I decided to downsize. Goodbye 30 foot trailer, hello little just-big-enough-for-two 10 footer. Going from a house to a bedroom meant downsizing everything, including our cookware. We decided we only needed one pan to cook with and, more significantly, we were going to be all hippy about it and forgo the Teflon. You really want something non-stick when on the road, so cast iron seemed like the best choice. I did some minimal research about how to season a cast iron pan (make it non-stick) and, at a quick glance, it seemed pretty simple. Neither of us had owned cast iron cookware before, but how hard could it be? Boy, was I wrong. Spenser came home with a brand-new Lodge Logic cast iron pan from Jax Outdoor Gear, very reasonably priced at around $25. It came pre-seasoned per the label, but the saleslady at Jax told Spenser to at least season it once more before using it. The saleslady had instructed Spenser to rub the pan down with oil and then run it through the ‘clean’ cycle on the oven. Naturally, the clean function did not work on Brad’s oven, so I sat down to do my own research on how to season the pan. Down the Google bunny hole I went. Apparently, everyone on the internet has an opinion on the best way to season a cast iron pan. There’s this guy: He thinks he’s got the answer, but…

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Surprise Surprise

By Trip JournalNo Comments

We saw our families. On Thursday, November 8, Vikki’s father turned 60 years old, and we flew back to the Bay Area to pop in and surprise him. Vikki and her mom conspired very cleverly, and when we showed up on Thursday morning he was utterly shocked. We spent the day eating gluten-free pizza, then driving to San Francisco for a fancy dinner. On Friday, November 9, our good friend and CEO of Groopt Patrick Allen turned 27. We went over to the Groopt house to surprise him. We spent the night partying with our favorite entrepreneurs, sharing stories of triumph, and sake-bombing. The rest of the weekend was a relaxing break from constant dust and cold nights, as we spent time with our families and friends. Since we’ll be spending Thanksgiving in Bishop this year (as per the usual), it was a perfect opportunity to get some quality family time in before we revel in turkey with our other family, the climbing family. We hung out and ate good food with Zack and Dan, whom you might recall from previous episodes, as well as our friends Chris, Sofie, Wendy, Drew, and Glenn. As I type this, I’m squished into a seat on Southwest flight 868 en route to Salt Lake City. Our friend Scott was nice enough to drive us to the airport, and we left Bert sitting outside of his house. We’ll reunite with Bert, and spend the next week hopefully wrapping up some projects in Joe’s Valley….

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Crash Pads- A Review of What We Have

By Bouldering, Climbing, Road Trip Beta4 Comments

I’ve been bouldering for about 8 years now. Shortly after starting to explore the Santa Barbara mountains with Chris Yorks and Dan Kovner, I invested in my first crashpad, a Franklin Dropzone. Since then I’ve had a multitude of foam, nearly all of which we’ve somehow brought along on the RV Project. We’ve got a good variety, and in going through them I see there are plusses and minuses to each. If you’re thinking of buying a new pad (or searching for a used one), think first about what you’ll mostly be using it for and what you might already have. Mammut Soho The goods 120 x 100 x 9 (cm) or about 48″ x 39″ x 3.5″ It’s blue Three hooking metal buckles…weird closure system I got this one as a freebie from a then-road-tripping Alex Johnson who didn’t have space in her car (that was bought from car dealership near me) for this one. I can understand why. It has two taco folds instead of the usual one, and it folds into a triangle. This makes it, as far as I’m aware, the only crash pad that gets bigger when folded up. Two straps keep the sides together, and then a big diaper flap comes up from the bottom and attaches to the top, making for a big storage pouch. The flap also can be used to protect the shoulder straps from the dirt when the pad is in use. The unique bi-fold design has major advantages. As…

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Are Piercings Worth the Price?

By Climbing, Staying Healthy, The Exterior, The Interior, Training, Trip Journal8 Comments

As Spenser said in the last post, we have arrived to sandstone heaven. I could not be happier. Colorado has beautiful stone and a multitude of great climbs, but Joe’s Valley is just easy. Especially after a summer consisting of driving an hour and a half, hiking another hour a half, climbing, hiking over talus for a half hour, climbing, and repeating. Free camping, boulders everywhere, and a town with everything you need just a short ride away. It’s been effortless getting used to life at Joe’s. But I’m getting carried away. The point of this post is to talk about piercings! Let’s go back to where my curiosity with this began. Towards the end of our first climbing day at Left Fork, we met Mina Leslie-Wujastyk and David Mason. Mina and I started talking about physical therapy and the recurrent shoulder/neck injury she used to struggle with. Mina’s shoulder would act up, especially during training, much like my injury (similar neck pain with numbness down the arm). She went to a chiropractor in Britain that was more on the alternative side of things and he told her that her piercings could be hindering her recovery. Piercings? Really? Her chiropractor explained that because of the repetitive stress on her body from traveling, climbing hard, training, and so on, her immune system was already working overtime. To add the piercings on top of all that was possibly the straw that broke the camel’s back, in a way. Since her immune system…

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