October 28, 2009

Shark Fin

Here is what the steepest tower in the utah desert looks like.
Be sure to bring a helmet, bring your A-game and a little luck to be sure that all the holds stay on the wall as you attempt to free it! This is pitch 2 on the climb and its full of solution pockets, horizontal and vertical cracks and loose rock (but not that much, I cleaned most of it off). It's nice and pumpy and exposed as you can see. Andrew Burr photograph.
This is one of my favorite photos. On the last pitch crux of the route. One old pin out a roof between you and the anchor. Totem Pole off in the distance of Monument Valley and an eerie feeling like you are hanging off a cliff on Mars. Andrew Burr photograph.

October 26, 2009

Press News

The November 2009 Issue of Urban Climber Magazine is out!
Check out the issue for information on climbing gyms of the future, bouldering in France
and of climbing in Arizona. (there are many cool photos of me climbing on a variety of routes in Arizona from 2007.)

Plus keep your eyes peeled on the American Alpine Clubs trip report blog for a recap of my Green River canoe trip this past September, 2009.

October 21, 2009

Climbing Tip Number Two

Fall may be upon us and the temperatures may be getting cooler, but even though the outdoor conditions are getting better for sticking to the rock, they may become a bit more unstable.

My second tip involves reminding you that when it's tough to get outside and you find yourself pulling on plastic, there are a couple things you should remember:

1. Your outdoor shoe may not be the best for indoor climbing. (ask a gym/shop employee to recommend a shoe that will be better for the style of the gym or home wall that you are climbing on)

2. Make sure that you climb inside just like you climb outside. Repeat your outdoor habits indoors, so your body will remember what your supposed to do and not get mixed up. (example of what not to do: if you are a slow and thoughtful climber outside, don't practice climbing as fast as you can on toprope. (It doesn't help you improve your technique or muscle memory or heart rate; it just makes you tired and ingrains climbing fast which is not what you want.)

3.Use the gym to practice some of the skills/movements that you have trouble on outside. That way you will build a better base for growth and development of your skill set for the future. Practice those things that you are not good at and accept that you will fail at completing them at the beginning and have faith that you will master them in a few weeks/months.

October 20, 2009

More Norway Climbing Photos

Seaside climbing with beautiful views of the coast and sailboats.
We got rained out of the bigwall climbing on only two days, but the sport cragging was steep and well protected and just a short hike from the shore. I think it is around 2 am right now! Here Mike Brumbaugh gets it done on an unknown route.
The fish are dried on these racks and then shipped to places like Italy or South America. There was an awefull stink around while walking under these old wooded racks. I considered campusing the old wood but feared the smell of dead fish would never leave my hands!
A dried Cod from Norway. My hand for scale.
Each day the weather was good, we'd wake up from camp on the beach (whenever) and then climb as long as we wanted because there was never any darkness. Approaches were generally very short and well marked and the climbing was vertical to slabby granite crack with great gear and comfy belays.

October 16, 2009

Press Update

Check out the latest Deadpoint magazine online/print issue for a video and full page photo.
click here to view:

page 56 shows a video by Fryberger of me on my crack climb called Aqualung at Mt Evans
page 73 shows a Ladzinski photo of a route I established in Zion called Walking on Water

Get outside and climb!

October 13, 2009


This weekend was filled with a bunch of hard work at the Peacock boulders in southern Colorado. Dave, a buddy that I grew up in Ohio with, a fellow climber and who is now a first ascenionist, and I got inspired by the short and compact sandstone at the area and bolted some of the finer looking possibilities. In all we established 7 new sport climbs and one crack climb. Now the area boasts nearly 20 boulder problems and 8 short and powerful routes up to 35 feet tall. We currently have 1 5.9, 2 5.10's, 2 5.11's, 2 5.12's and 1 5.13. Not all the routes have been sent yet, but I am pretty confident of the grades. As the area gets more and more boulder problems and routes I will update the blog.

October 8, 2009

New climbing video coming out!

Continuum is a movie about rock and ice climbing.
Check out the trailer and then own the film!

I am climbing in Zion National Park, Utah on a route called Shake that Bear!
email chris at chris@alstrinfilms.com for a copy

Climbing Tip Number 1

Well, the temperaures are falling and everybody is getting excited.
Why you may ask? It is because as the temperatures cool, the rock cools too.
That combination will lead to you sweating less (due to you and the rock being cooler),
and you sticking to the holds better than on a sweaty summer day!
Take advantage of the cooler temperatures in the up coming weeks and hopefully you will find greater success on climbs that you may be trying to complete or even ones that you have already climbed without falling!
Routes with extremely small holds or crimps will be easier to grip and holds that require your whole hand and that are slopey will also feel way better to you. So get outside and climb!

October 1, 2009

Spearhead with Brian Kimball

One of the sweet snow/ice traverses. Those spires in the background are just below the summit of Longs Peak (the diamond)
Brian on the best pitch of the day!
Birds of Fire is somewhere up this nearly 1000 ft wall.
Not sure the bird but the camoflauge is amazing!
Brian on the way to the route.
Over the years I have been lucky enough to meet quite a few people worth spending time with. Unfortunately, as we all get busier and busier it becomes more difficult to spend time together. Well as the timing was perfect, Brian and I (who I haven't climbed with in a looong time) were able to make a last chance effort on a route he's wanted to climb all summer in Rocky Mountain National Park. It lies just west of Longs Peak and is on the northwest face of Chief's Head. The climb was supposed to be on of the best of its kind in the US, so I couldnt turn down the opportunity to hike up to the base without gear (since Brian had stashed it at the base back in June). To the base of the wall its about 6 miles up hill past mountain lakes of a glacially carved valley. You are constanly seeing wildlife, passing near waterfalls and watching fish jump or crossing high alpine meadows and boulder fields. It's an uplifting place that is for sure. We arrived at dawn and began the hike to the wall and chatted about whatever came to mind. It was my first time hiking with someone who had an i-pod playing the entire time and it was kinda cool to hear music on the trail and while on the wall. Well as the day was perfect and since there was no sign of bad weather coming something had to go wrong. The first thing was that Brian couldn't find his gear bag that he buried under rocks back in June. It took an hour of looking under every flat boulder before he found the two ropes and the rack of cams, draws, and nuts. We were lucky in that no animals did any chewing and all the equipment was in perfect condition. The next problem was that it had already started snowing at 13000+ feet and there was a lot of snow on the shady wall that we were going to climb. The high temperatures would have been around 35 degrees F where we were supposed to climb the route Birds of Prey. So after eating some crackers and peanut butter we buried our packs under some stones and headed up the wall that was in front of our face, Spearhead. Brian had climbed some routes on it before and spoke of a wonderful line called the Barb, so we started up the wall hoping to actually find it and climb the great alpine pitches. This however was more difficult than we expected due to the fact that we didn't have a map of the route or a description. To make a long cold story short, we wandered up various cracks with a climbing rack that was wayyyyy too small, crossed icy and snowy ledges without any gear, traversed way too many pitches and grabbed more loose flakes that I care to in my life. We did managed to find some perfect cracks with some great climbing on them. After topping out with our down jackets on, we rappelled the wall and humped it back to the truck another 6 miles and watched the moonrise as it was totally dark by the time we were 3 miles from the road. Our knees hurt, we didn't get to even try the route we wanted too but it still was a great day!

New Bouldering

playing on a new problem at the Peacock Boulders.
Just before I fell and landed on two crash pads (at separate times/that means I bounced off the first and flew onto the next one before rolling down the hillside in the pine needles)
Chuck in the worst light ever! These problems were sharper and more powerfull that we imagined.
Chuck at the base of the first wall we developed. I think the top out is nearly 20+ feet tall. I was nervous since I didn't have my highball bouldering head just yet. Chuck just looks bloated, he's not really that chubby!
View of Cuchara ski resort and the wonderful fall colors.

Once I recovered from the river trip it was time to get back to work.
Chuck and I headed south to a place near La Veta, Colorado to develop some Dakota sandstone boulders. Chuck makes movies, crushes rocks, drives a cool car and has turned into a genuinely nice guy. (it has taken years but it finally happened) Anyway, we were able to stay at my in-laws house right across the street and it's an awesome place with more knick-knacks on the walls and tables and everywhere, it really makes you feel like you are at home.
We got out there even though Chuck "forgot" his wallet and we headed up the hill to seek out dream boulders and new problems. Chuck was a bit skeptical about my description of the area but believed once we found some stone to play on. In all after two days of hiking, scrubbing, and falling we developed nearly 20 problems, left a ton of work and boulder problems to be climbed!
It was a perfect fall weekend, cool temperatures and beautiful scenery.
Some of the problems are pretty tall, some are crimpy and sharp and some are complete with huge hand holds. There is plenty to do for all abilities and so much more to go in. I will be heading back to eventually bolt some sport lines and do some more bouldering!