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No Pain, No Gain…No, Really.

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

Again, I’ve made the mistake of ignoring the nagging feeling in the back of my mind, that feeling that something is just not right with my body. The first time was when I ended up getting diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Not sure why I didn’t learn my lesson the first time… I was in physical therapy before leaving on this road trip for recurring shoulder pain. I made some minimal changes, but overall I didn’t trust my physical therapist. I thought she was full of it. Ok, just partially full of it. She assigned a few back exercises and stretches and sternly told me that I needed to climb less frequently for a while. Whenever I asked for an explanation, she gave me a half-ass response. Whenever I asked a follow-up question, she dismissed me. She was scatterbrained and always in a rush and I didn’t like that about her mode of therapy. So I only half listened to her. I was so busy with work and leaving my life in SF (renting out my apartment, packing up, etc.) that I barely had time to climb anyway – I was focused on getting out of the Bay Area and on the road. I changed up my daily habits a bit, things that were obvious to me, such as not holding the phone between my shoulder and head while typing and carrying an ergonomic backpack during my daily walks to/form the BART station. My shoulder pain went away without me doing…

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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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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 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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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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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 (check this original site) and if you have a problem with that then we can fight to the death by the fires of Colorado. Click here to find the best lawyer to fight for your cause. 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…

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5.10×10 and Hunter’s Rocks, PA

By Bouldering, Climbing, Trip Journal3 Comments

Watch out Alex Honnold. The new speed-climbing trad-masters are in town, and your reign on top shall not last long. In a remarkable display of endurance, guts, and athleticism, two relatively unknown climbers managed a feat heretofore unimagined at the Shawangunks. “We used to joke about how someday, Wolfgang Gullich’s grandson would be able to climb ten 5.10 routes in a day at the Trapps,” says guidebook author and Gunks veteran Dick Williams. “What these two did will inspire generations of future climbers.” Okay, so Dick Williams didn’t really say that, or at least not in reference to us. Here’s what really happened in our last few days at the Gunks. Also, mega-congratulations to Alex and Hans, for making the old Nose record look foolish. Vikki picked up a shift on Sunday, June 10, so we spent the day working at Bacchus, a pub with internet and hundreds of beers to choose from. While there, I saw on Facebook that Murph had a list of 3-star 5.10s he wanted to tick, and a few messages later we had a plan: Tackle ten 5.10s in the Trapps (the main cliff of the Gunks) the very next day. In contrast to the rain and humidity we’d been having, Monday turned out to be perfect. Temps were in the 60s, a breeze was blowing, the sun was kept at bay by the stratus layer, and it was dry. We met at the Bistro Mountain Store for coffee at 8:45, had breakfast, and headed…

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HP40 II!! and Getting Traditional in the Gunks

By Climbing2 Comments

Finally! It’s up! Please enjoy, like, share, etc. etc. etc. Also, we finally did it. The social media trifecta has been completed, and we now have a Twitter account. Follow us at @thervproject, or else… Looking down the list of posts, it’s been a while since we updated you on the whats and wheres of our trip. In the spirit of keeping an online, public diary, let’s lightning-round our way through the past two weeks. Vikki and I departed Farley and drove to Providence. We met my parents, my grandfather and his wife, and my brother on Friday afternoon for the first in a series of massive, delicious meals. Throughout the weekend I indulged in many mortal sins, including gluttony, lust (college campus, nuff said), and envy. This was the second graduation in two weeks for us. We are a few years out of the college scene, and it was interesting to think back on my own college years and imagine the sense of infinite potential, of a whole world ahead that was dark and mysterious, like the part of the Starcraft map you haven’t explored yet. We saw students excited about the future, nervous about the future, and students who totally deny that the future even exists. I can relate: I never ever wanted to leave college, and I will probably go back to school when this road trip ends!

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Farley Ledges

By Climbing, Local Beta7 Comments

Vikki and I spent the weekend in Boston watching Alec graduate and eating way too much food. There’s nothing like a Chinese family celebrating the success of its offspring to stop your diet plans in their tracks (we’ve been striding towards eating only plant-based foods). We did manage to visit Rock Spot Boston and drop off samples for Kevin, the retail manager. While there, we happened to meet Metro Rock gym manager John, who was at Rock Spot because he was avoiding the crowds! Apparently, MR is gigantic, but much more of a “scene.” After the weekend, we drove out to Farley. Vikki picked up a shift along the way, so we didn’t get there until Wednesday afternoon. A hilarious thing happened while hunting around for a place to stay, but I’ll relate that story later. The denouement is that we didn’t actually make it to climb until Thursday morning.

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