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Rehab Time

By ClimbingNo Comments

It seems like a lot has changed in the realm of Pacific Ridge : rehab since I last got serious about the topic, which would’ve been around winter/spring 2013. Say goodbye, they say, to lotsa lightweight reverse wrist curls, and toss that twisty rubber bar thing aside. Graston? Gone. When you absolutely need to safely stimulate and strengthen your connective stuff, it’s time for some isometrics. Isometrics: The art of trying really hard and not moving. You could think of a yoga pose as a full-body isometric, but in my case the target is the elbow that recently got jabbed with a needle. Isometrics are the best way to rebuild the connective tissue around my medial epicondyle, according to Dr. Tyler Nelson, my trusted physical therapy doc in Salt Lake City (we do our sessions remotely). I won’t recap the science here, as I suggest taking a look at the Camp 4 Human Performance blog if this stuff is relevant for you. I also received valuable input and support from two other awesome climber/PTs, Drs Natasha Barnes and Carrie Cooper. Anyway, it’s a little more than 5 weeks post-op, and I have 3+ weeks of isometric pullups under my belt. At first, holding a 2-arm lockoff on a pullup bar with elbow at 140° for 30 seconds was excruciatingly hard, but it quickly felt easier and after 2 weeks I was adding 30-50 pounds. The elbow feels pretty good overall, but it sometimes will ache and feel stiff. I’m pretty…

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As the sun sets on the volcanic tablelands, the sun shall also set on an inherently unjust system of economics

Massage Guns and End-Stage Capitalism

By ClimbingNo Comments

I am somewhat happy because I’ve started rehabbing the elbow. Now it feels like I’m Doing Something, instead of actively trying not to while watching my arms wither away like the delicate flower petals they are…Like I said, I’ll have a more detailed post about the rehab soon, but right now I want to indulge in a little bit of ranting. First: How do you feel about Bernie Sanders? (What about #berniesenders?) Does the word “socialist” scare you? Remember that the news you read probably comes to you via social media, and is published by one of a handful of Very Big Corporations which, thanks to Citizens United, get unlimited say in our political machinations, and thanks to Corporate Personhood, get access to an unnecessarily robust set of protections. None of those big corporations are going to “want” to spread the good word about wealth redistribution. It’s much easier and more beneficial to allow the intellectually vacuous voices of the punditry to make unchallenged false equivalencies (looking at you, David Brooks). “Socialism and Stalin are synonymous,” they disingenuously say. I don’t know if there is a difference between “democratic socialism” and well-regulated capitalism with a strong safety net. I do know that whatever world Amazon seems to be ushering in is utterly terrible…The warehouse jobs would make Upton Sinclair despair, and the fact that it’s painfully difficult to know who you’re actually buying something from robs everyone of the human connection that used to be an inherent part of exchange….

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I Got An Elbow Tenotomy

By Climbing, Staying Healthy, The Interior, Trip JournalOne Comment

This won’t be a very involved or long post, because typing is really awkward. I just got out of my very minor elbow surgery, and I’m not supposed to really do anything for the next week or so with my right hand. It was performed by Dr. Chad Roghair with Cal Sports Sports and Orthopaedic Institute. Both my mom and brother have had their shoulders put back together at their office, so they come with plenty of trustworthy testimonials. The procedure went as well as can be, and in a week I can start what will hopefully be a pretty quick and aggressive rehab. Right now, it’s a little achey and sore, and I’ve got a sling to remind me not to do anything with it. Not doing anything totally sucks, but it’s quite precisely what the doctor ordered… I hadn’t really thought about the implications of a bum arm. I’ve broken my right hand a few times, so I’m pretty accustomed to brushing my teeth, in case of any dental issues you can also find this to maintain oral health. You can also check out https://alluredental.com/tmj-migrene/ this link if you need the best dental services, too! And wiping my butt with ol’ Lefty, but I didn’t really think about the fact that I can’t really wash dishes, or drive a stickshift. I guess I’ll be doing a lot of abs. As I heal from the surgery, I’ll start gathering some of the resources I’ve been looking at to gain…

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The Souls Linger at Soul Slinger

By Bouldering, Musings, Trip JournalOne Comment

It’s the year 2020, and I still can’t do Soulslinger. I’ve waged war on that thing, with fresh skin and good conditions, many more times than I can count. I’ve heard it called “soft” or “easy” 3 times for every time someone said they found it hard. It was my buddy Dan Kovner’s first V9, and he said he did it in 4 tries. I just learned it was Ethan Pringle’s first V9, and he only needed 2 attempts. I am certain that there is no climb V9 or below that I’ve tried as many times as Soulslinger without success. I won’t complain, because we’ve been resting our heads at an off-grid cabin near Mono Lake. The place belongs to a photographer friend who works almost exclusively from a small airplane, making beautiful and thought-provoking images of the American southwest. His name is Mike Light, and I owe him thanks for much more than a stay at the cabin. During a previous visit to the cabin, I grabbed one of the photography books off the shelf. It happened to be called Invisible: Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes by Trevor Paglen, and its pages depicted that which we–civilians–are not supposed to see: “black sites” in the desert, spy satellites in the night sky, and documents pertaining to CIA shell corporations. Mike told me that Trevor had used this very cabin to take images of the night sky for the book. It’s the year 2020, and it’s an election year. It’s the…

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John Sherman. Midnight Lightning. And me.

Hello Again

By Climbing, Trip JournalNo Comments

I don’t really know what to say here these days. It’s been so long since we regularly updated, and it seems like so much has been happening that even the thought of sitting down to write about it feels like a distraction. I’ve also fallen out of practice when it comes to writing, which makes this here blog editor a downright daunting place. So I’m writing this post for the sake of writing a post, and I don’t really know where I’m headed. When I feel like I’m done writing, I’ll throw a few pictures in or something. Let’s see, I’m back to climbing again. The elbow is still quite limiting, and I have finally made an appointment to have it looked at with imaging and all. While I can climb most things that I could a year ago without really noticing any pain, certain pinches and narrow compression moves can really piss it off. While I’m happy to be climbing again, it’s been a long time since I could train power at 100%, and I’m not really enjoying the long plateau. That said, since we’ve been in the Bay Area for a while now, we have sort of embraced the weekend warrior culture and gone on little weekend jaunts to Yosemite and Kings Canyon. Some cool climbing-related things: Verm was back in the Valley trying Midnight Lightning again, this time coming back from a torn Achilles. It’s impossible to overstate what a dream it is to be invited to…

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35th Birthday- Marking a Challenging Year

By ClimbingOne Comment

I’m at the age where it’s weird to talk about birthdays. When I’d say “I’m going to turn 35 soon,” people would get caught between saying something congratulatory and something lamenting, usually opting for the non-committal “that’s, um, a big one…” It’s the age when our friends are having kids, our parents are having health problems, and we’ve hopefully figured out what matters to us. Back at the start of April, my dad, who is a 72-year-old Masters swimmer and avid hiker, suddenly started suffering from debilitating back pain. X-rays and MRIs were negative, and drugs provided no relief. After several weeks and multiple hospital stays, there were no answers, and my dad was virtually bed-ridden because of his drug addiction at this young age.Hence, I would always suggest people to consult experts from drug rehab melbourne as they can help people to overcome drug addiction. In the meantime I was in Joe’s Valley, growing concerned with the reports from home. I was also obsessed with climbing an arete on a small piece of sandstone, which revolves around a deep lockoff using a wide right-hand pinch. My elbow, suffice it to say, did not appreciate how the move made it feel, but I tried real hard and did the second ascent of Blue Collar Criminal (V8). A few days later, on April 29th, I flew to Oakland to help my parents. I arrived in the Bay Area and promptly spent the next 24 hours in the ER. It would be…

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Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work they go...

Sloughing the Slumber

By Birthday Challenges, Climbing, Trip JournalOne Comment

It’s July. It was April when we last checked in. How’s it going?  Today is Decaf: Day 2 (or rather, it was when this was originally written), because my birthday challenge this year includes a “dry July” and no caffeine, so I’m a little out of it. Mostly I’m wondering what the hell it is that people do when they get out of bed in the morning, if coffee isn’t part of that routine.  Life took one of those turns for us, and we now are settled in the Bay Area for the rest of the summer. I may get into that story, but it’s a long one, and doesn’t yet have a conclusion. At least things are stable for now, and we’re slowly but surely getting back into the groove. We left Utah at the start of May. A week later, Vikki was flying to South Korea to film for Arc’teryx (film should be complete in the next few weeks, stay tuned folks). At the end of May, I flew to SLC to read a teleprompter for UTopia, and then drove the truck from Castle Dale back to California. The purpose of the trip was to retrieve our hard drives, clothes, climbing gear, and computer. I ended up driving 950+ miles in a 14-hour push, making a slight detour near Ely to check out Lamoille Canyon. The Summer Outlook The first thing you should know is that my elbow is a bit of a mess. I knew that the…

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In, and On, UTopia

By ClimbingOne Comment

I’m On TV, And It Isn’t The Local News! In case you don’t follow us on Instagram, we are no longer in Texas. We hoisted sail in early March and left Gleatherland’s safe harbor in our wake. Despite headwinds, doldrums, and a few groundings, we made it to the California territory in time to enjoy a sample of the soggy spring they had. I raced in a race in Santa Barbara, then Vikki and I parted ways as she drove to Los Angeles and then Bishop (Women’s Climbing Festival) for work.  I drove the truck and the dog back to Utah, because I had to host a TV show. That feels weird to say. Let me try to explain. It ain’t a secret that we are fond of Joe’s Valley. Through the years of coordinating the Festival here, we’ve had the benefit of getting to know a lot of the locals. One of those locals is the mayor of Castle Dale, Danny Van Waggoner.  One night in December I get a text message from Danny, who says he’s sitting with Erik, the producer of UTopia TV. He says Erik’s looking to replace broadcasting legend Jim Kelly with a team of younger co-hosts. Danny says I’d be perfect, and I should give Erik a call. So I do. UTopia- Inspiring Conservation Through Recreation UTopia is a 1/2-hour, weekly program that highlights Utah’s incredible outdoor recreation options, while informing viewers about conservation-related projects and politics. They’ve made episodes about climbing in Big…

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Emergency Bouldering

By ClimbingNo Comments

The line to get into Hueco Tanks’ self-guided area was a long one today. Actually, it still is. As I write these words into a notebook (for later transcription), the afternoon drags on, and despite the 35 mph wind gusts, not many folk seem to be leaving the park. So here we sit, myself and 5 other cars. Vikki is in Arizona, shooting a cycling race as a hired gun. So, somewhat absurdly, I sit alone in the cab of a big red truck, hoping to get a few climbs in before the gate closes at 6pm. I was hoping the wait wouldn’t be too bad today. The Rock Rodeo is tomorrow, and I’m not expecting to climb because I’m a volunteer photographer. The idea was that folks would be resting today for the competition tomorrow. I guess lots of other people had that idea. To make things extra absurd, the President is trying to tell me there’s a national emergency here in Borderland. Having been in and around El Paso since early December, I can report having had friendly conversations with locals at grocery stores, auto care centers, and the YMCA. As far as I can tell, I’ve had no contact with any invaders, drugs, caravans, or sneaky middle eastern terrorists. Politicians, generically speaking, are lambasted for changing a position. John Kerry flip flopped, and it cost him a very important election. We ought to be unsurprised, then, that a far-from-trivial number of Americans are proud that this President…

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My Friends Were Violently Assaulted by Illegal Drugs and All I Got Was Free Entry Into a National Park

By ClimbingOne Comment

…which helps zero, because A) we already have an annual pass, and B) Hueco Tanks is a Texas State Park. So here we are, just closing out our first full month here at the border crisis Hueco Tanks. Equally famous for bouldering (the art of movement, the “poetry of mountaineering”) and pictographs (the art of the ancient and less-ancient cultures that passed through this place), Hueco Tanks State Historic Park packs a lifetime’s worth of both into a wee little postage stamp section of map roughly a square mile in size. The climbing is unforgiving. If the hold isn’t sharp, it’s slick. If you have glaring holes in your climbing, the boulder problems in Hueco Tanks will expose them. I fucking love this place. More than 6 years have elapsed since our only previous trip here, which was also the very first stop on The RV Project’s Magical Mystery Tour. Virtually everything interesting that’s happened to us since then has stemmed in some way from those three weeks back in Spring 2012. We can trace a lot of our close climbing connections to people we met at the Rock Ranch and in the park. And just like last time, Dan Kovner came for a visit and climbed some famous things with big numbers, only this time the numbers got bigger. Beyond fond memories, our first time in Hueco gave us a few little jumpstarts. We met, for example, a crew of Colorado crack climbing enthusiasts, made a video with them,…

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