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Spenser

Cruise Control Killed My Transmission, or So You’re Thinking Of Towing

By Road Trip Beta2 Comments

Last week Jeline Guiles talked about how to plan a climbing trip. For a weekend, it’s no big deal. Strap pads to the roof of your Honda Accord or throw ’em in the back of the Subaru…a cooler for perishables and beer…sleeping bag. But for something of greater magnitude, like a week-, month-, or year-long trip, you’re going to need a more sustainable way of hauling yourself and your stuff, without having to pitch a tent every night. So maybe you want to do a long, misguided-adventure-filled deal like us, or maybe you want a lifestyle like couple named Ken and Jobi whom we met at the Red River Gorge. They work for a few months, then jump in their van and hit the road for the rest of the year. Either way, you might be considering a trailer. If you are, let me give you a quick taste of a beginning trailer driver. If you’re considering an RV, please reconsider. Please. How Big and What Kind? What’s your tow vehicle? You can pull with anything…Civics and U-hauls, for example. But if you want something you can live in, you’ll likely need something bigger. SUVs and pickups are your go-tos. Pickups will allow you to go with a 5th-wheel, which is advantageous for larger trailers as they reduce the overall length and improve maneuverability. On the other hand, 5th-wheels disallow you to have a camper shell, and reduce your storage for trips to/from the crag or into town. Check out tent-trailers….

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TNT: A Beginner’s Guide to Planning a Climbing Trip

By Climbing8 Comments

Today’s post is from Climb On! Sister blog editor-in-chief and fellow Primo Chalk athlete, Jeline Guiles. As a bouldering dynamo and outdoor climbing aficionado, we thought Jeline could give us the lowdown on how to plan a successful climbing trip for all you outdoor virgins, or those who just need a refresher. Here’s a video from her February trip to Red Rocks in Nevada to get you psyched on getting outside! ________________________________________________________________________ So you’ve talked to some climbing buddies at the gym and are ready to plan your first climbing trip of the season (or first trip…ever), but don’t know where to get started? Planning your first climbing trip can easily become a daunting task without the right resources. There are a lot of questions you need to ask yourself: what gear do I need to bring? Where do I stay during my trip? What will the weather be like? How will I get around the area without a guide? And the list goes on. To make the planning process a little easier on you, I’ve created a mini-guide of things you should do/know in order to prepare yourself for your upcoming epic trip. The Climbing Area: Before making a decision on what climbing area you want to travel to, make sure to do some research. Talk to the climbers at your gym about any crags they suggest checking out. You want to choose an area that caters to the type of climbing you’ll be doing and the grades you’re…

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RV Project Episode 6: Horse Pens 40 Bouldering

By BoulderingNo Comments

The new video is up! The first Horse Pens 40 Bouldering episode features some footage from our time in New Orleans, introduces the Schultz family and Kenny, and finishes with some gorgeous night climbing captured with the crane. We hope you like it, as it’s Vikki and I’s first stab at editing footage on our own. Let us know what you think, either here or on our Facebook page. Problems in the film: Bum Boy, Centerpede, Millipede, Hammerhead, Orchid, Hercules The RV Project spent the weekend in Bloomington, IN, the hometown of such RVP characters as the Byronian Yeti, Neal “1-Arm on Whateva” Sipahimalani, Matt “Gimp Stylez” Morse (who just sent Jesus Wept (.12d) with a bum ankle), Pat “Bionic” Lafree, and a whole lot of dogs. Indeed, the Wolter household is open, friendly, and full of golden cheer. If you ever wondered why Grumpy Golden appears at the start of our vids, wonder no more: Vikki and I will be dropping the trailer off for repairs in Edinburgh, then cruising Eastward towards the New River Gorge, then Duke, DC, New Haven, and finally Boston for my little cousin’s college graduation. Bloomington is a fun little town, and we look forward to returning in a couple of weeks, after all of our social obligations have been fulfilled. We got the Rebel T3i and will bring you photos and such from the long drive. Cheers til next time!

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Never Stop Trying Hard

By Climbing8 Comments

Our time at the Red is winding down. Only two more days before we drive to Bloomington to visit Neal, Matt, Byron and the fam, and our new homie Patrick. We’ve been cranking hard on the HP40 videos, which will ultimately be two episodes. Episode one is looking awesome, and we are just waiting to get some solid internet to upload the beast (it’s kinda big…). Editing video means chopping out A LOT of very good footage. As they say, a museum is only as good as the stuff that isn’t on the walls (to spell it out for you, you must curate). Here’s a quick clip that didn’t fit in the Horse Pens episodes but is good enough for publishing. It’s one of those magic moments that was luckily caught on film (thanks to Kenny). This won’t be on the next Dosage, but it remains one of my favorite clips that we’ve shot. I wrote a bit last post about how trying hard is pretty much all I would ask of anyone out there climbing. This clip gets me as psyched to climb as any Dave Graham 5.15 FA in rural Switzerland. The story behind the video is that we were there in the canyon with lanterns and a whole gaggle of Louisianians, including Hudson, Sawyer, Blair and Ryan Terrill, and several other folks. There was a noob who’s name I can’t recall, but who embodied the spirit of try-hard. It was his first time ever climbing outside, and I…

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TNT: For All Those Confused 20-Somethings

By Road Trip BetaNo Comments

The reasons behind us three 20-somethings going on a road trip across the United States were complicated. We were uncertain about where our lives were headed and we felt suffocated by the constraints of city life. Our conclusion was to go on this road trip because what we did know was we wanted to climb as much as our bodies could handle, discover what the rest of the United States had to offer, and make a difference by being positive forces in the climbing community and beyond through the connections we made in person, or through our blog and videos. After a little over 2 months of being on the road, we are having difficulty doing everything we wanted. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to write meaningful blog posts, make professional-grade videos, climb until our fingers falls off, meet all of the interesting people around us and then still watch an episode of the Sopranos at the end of it all. We realize the Sopranos are going to have to go (sorry, Tony) but we still feel that we need to reassess our priorities in order to make this trip as successful as it can be. We came on the road because we didn’t know where our lives were heading, but now we we’re not quite sure where this road trip is heading. We each have a lot of thinking to do…what exactly do we each want out of this? We’ll get back to you on the…

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Yes, The Red Is As Good As They Say It Is

By ClimbingNo Comments

We have been at Miguel’s at the Red River Gorge for a little over two weeks now. The first thing that comes to mind is that the weather is a little bit like Tony Soprano’s behavior towards Anthony Jr.: totally unpredictable. It’s usually pretty warm, occasionally fair, but it can turn dark and stormy at the drop of a quickdraw. A hot, humid morning may turn into a breezy, cool afternoon. A chilly, dry morning might become a hot, muggy day. Quite often, the sky turns on the smackdown around 11pm, as bolts of lightning rip the clouds open and the rain threatens to drown the grass. Thankfully this is the sport of Sport Climbing, which requires much less by way of “good temps.” On top of that, most of the good lines are steep enough to stay dry during inclement weather. Poor Vikki has been nursing a hurt ribcage due to a fall that I made her take. Though her form was perfect, she ended up falling past a little roof and swinging in, hitting her side against the corner. She’s been climbing minimally, but has been maximally psyched. I gotta say, this girl doesn’t complain much and is really good about having the right attitude about things. If you can, find a travel companion like her. The rhythm of Miguel’s in early May is interesting, reminiscent of the Hueco Rock Ranch in early March. As in Hueco, we’re a little bit late for the season, so while we…

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Ups and Downs: A Case of the Mondays

By Bolt Clipping, Musings, Trip JournalNo Comments

Sunday was awesome. After abnormally minimal debauchery on Saturday night, we all arrived at the Purgatory wall. Matt Morse and a French guy named Thierry had trundled off early to the Motherlode region, while fellow Primo Chalk athlete Neal Sipahimalani and his girlfriend Chelsea Sommer came with us in Bert to Purgatory with the main goal of ticking Lucifer, a heinously thin 5.14c that Neal’s been working on for a long time. After a warm-up, we watched Adam Taylor run a casual lap on Neal’s project. It was badass. Neal was unpsyched due to the heat but I think watching Adam got his heart racing, and he tied his 115-pound frame into the sharp end and climbed easily through the bottom section, falling two hard moves from the good rest in the middle. So close! Byron took off with his parents to spend some time at home in Bloomington, and we had to drop Neal and Chelsea off at the Motherlode parking lot so they could go home with Thierry and Matt. Since it was still early and I still had more juice in my forearms, I dragged Vikki up to the ‘Lode to check out this supposed insanity. I should mention that Vikki is currently in non-climbing mode because of a bruised rib. (I made her take a lead fall to get rid of the heebie-jeebies, and she got injured by irony, and a ledge.)

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From Pebbles to Cliffs- AL to KY

By Bouldering, Trip JournalNo Comments

On Saturday, April 14, we unplugged our trailer, disconnected the water hose, wound up the jacks and hitched the Pilgrim up to Bert. We said our goodbyes to Anthony (who had chosen to take the day off of manual labor), Jeremy (who was dutifully tending the store, as usual), and of course, the ubiquitous Kenny (Kinny). The sun was shining as we slowly pulled out of Horse Pens 40 and eased down the curves of Chandler Mountain. After a quick detour to Mi Casita in the dinky town of Henagar, AL, we drove up to Chester Frost campground just north of Chattanooga, TN. Here were more hookups, which allowed us to get some editing done on the Alban video and relax with always-flowing water. Our neighbors were many and festive, par for the course on a Saturday night in a trailer park in the South. Weary were we, and anxious to check out the fabled Stone Fort AKA Little Rock City, so we headed to bed after the requisite Sopranos mini-marathon. We are addicted to the show and may require an intervention. (“Whatsa matta wi’you?”)

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What Do Horse Pens 40 and The Force Have In Common?

By Bouldering, Film, Trip Journal11 Comments

This post is much delayed. I’ve sat down four times now to try and capture in words what our time in Horse Pens was like. So far, my words have failed me. I’m taking a stab at it, and please forgive the length of this post. And please enjoy our newest video! It’s of our last day in Hueco Tanks, where we climbed a bunch for ourselves. I got my hardest send, and Vikki cruised Orifice Affair. Also note the kung-fu yeti firing Smooth Move (V8). Then keep reading. Looking back now, a week since our departure, Horse Pens 40 feels like a pleasant dinner with the Soprano family. Laughter, some great people, and good food, but just under the surface is some dark matter that doesn’t reveal itself until you’re more involved. Like anything in life – climbing, love, Mafia dramas, the Force – there’s a light side and a dark side. The best way to detect both is to let the guards down and let go of our San Francisco sensibilities. After all, we’re guests on this land.

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Anatomy of a Punt

By Bouldering, Musings, The InteriorNo Comments

What causes a climber to punt? What leads to the sudden and drastic failure of someone for whom success had seemed assured? The RV Project science team has just returned from the laboratory having analyzed, scanned, measured and weighed several punt samples. The following series of photos is a dissection of a recent punt, and should shed some light on this tragic disease that affects us all.

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