March 31, 2011

Slide Show Photo's Grand Junction Climbing Center

The winner of a pair of SCARPA shoes! After the slide show he was able to answer the final question for the grand prize!
The winner of the 50$ off coupon for a new Sterling Rope! Lucky man.
Some of the folks from the slide show at the Grand Junction Climbing Center on March 30, 2011.
piz : )

SCARPA Shoe Demo and Slide Show Photos

Trying on some SCARPA Feroce's. Their built in toe cup gives the foot a more aggressive action that "grabs" the footholds for you!
Climbers talking about the great SCARPA shoes that they are getting to try out!
Getting some edging on with the Instinct lace up!
Instinct lace ups, fitting so nicely.
Jesse and I manning the booth of SCARPA shoes.
piz : )

March 25, 2011

The Scootch

piz : )


On Saturday, April 2 I will be giving a kick butt slide show in Moab, Utah.
Expect world class photography, me sharing some stories of past climbing adventures and a good time.
CAMP-USA will be sponsoring the event, so come ready to potentially earn some goodies from the Italian company that makes the lightest and best climbing and outdoor goods!
piz : )


The SCARPA demo fleet just arrived and they look pretty sweet.
Don't forget about the shoe demo at the Grand Junction Climbing Center and Rob Pizem slide show next Wednesday.
Demo from 5-7, slide show with raffle from 7-8.
Demo is free with membership or day pass to the gym,
Slide show is a $5 donation to the Western Colorado Climbers...' Coalition.See More

piz : )

More Zion

Looking down the canyon from the Angels Landing trail.
Jane's mom scootching down the steep parts!
The family at the head of the Zion Narrows! High water levels kept us out this cool spring weekend.
Thank goodness for the chains to help get us down the trail!
Jane and I.
I love being outside!!!
piz : )

March 24, 2011

More Break Pictures (again)

The view of the top of the Angels Landing hike. You have to cross the ridge and head up the steep part to the summit. There are steps carved into the sandstone and chains to grab hold of if you get nervous.
Jane and I and her mother at the top!

All of us heading up the first set of chains!
Jane's mom at the beginning of Walter's Wiggles, a series of steep switchbacks up the mountain.
Jane and her mom heading up the first hill of the trail to the top of Angel's Landing.

piz : )

More Break Pictures

Jane and her parents in Zion with Angels Landing in the background.
The feast before the hike.
Jane at Red Rocks running to the first pulloff.
Jane getting in the miles. Running with a baby inside is a little slower, I can usually win these days!
Another one from the cave to let you see how big the formations were!
piz : )

Break Pictures

Some shield features in the Lehman Cave, Great Basin National Park.
Cool stalactites in the cave.

Cave map at the park.
Outside the cave on a nature hike!
Jane looking for the bathroom! hehehe
piz : )

March 22, 2011

Getting Tired

Two weekends ago was the beginning of my spring break.

The plan was to climb Rainbow Wall in Red Rocks and then a big wall in Zion and then some more granite climbing in Unaweep Canyon outside of Grand Junction. Little did I know that we would get pretty tired doing all that.

It kinda was a blast back to the old days, when I would try to do a lot a climbing and drive a lot too. Kind of a dumb combination, but you have to go to where the climbs are and sometimes they are far apart.

Anyway, Friday night we hopped in the car after work and headed to Vegas from Junction. We made good time because we forgot about the time change (in our favor) and slept at a friends parents house. I hadn't seen them in years and it was good to get back in touch. Oh yeah, I was surprised due to the fact that they had 12 cats! wow was all that I could say.

After not the best nights sleep, we entered the park seconds after it opened and hiked the 2 hour slog to the base. To our surprise we were the third party at the base. One had started, another was about to and we were in between. The two parties had spent the night and were amazed that we had hiked in that morning. We were lucky enough to pass the first party on the route and be back on the ground a little after noon.

The Rainbow wall was a wonderful experience. I had wanted to climb that route for a long time and was happy not to fall on any of the pitches. I was kind of bummed that it wasn't a bit harder but it is a great climb never the less. As with all long routes there is a couple hundred feet of junky ledges in the middle, but the long uninterrupted dihedrals full of bolts and good gear placements were super fun to climb. I only found the route to have a few technical moves and the rest was plug and chug fun climbing.

We arrived back to the car and stopped for a pizza in Vegas before we drove to St. George for our Zion adventure. My old roommates house was where we were crashing and it was a blast. With five kids, there is always a great energy in the house and lots of life!

We woke up early again and drove into Zion and headed up a route called Silverback. It is next to Monkey Finger and is a bit harder with a 12+ crux at the top.

All that I can say is that it is one of the modern day classics and one of the best climbs in the park. It has chimney, overhangs, off width, fingers, hands and face climbing. One of the best climbs I have done in a long time. The crux pitches are at the end of the route and I suggest that if you can climb 5.11 to climb up to the hands pitch at mid height for one of the best crack pitches in Utah! Yes, it is that good. My partner said that he didn't believe me as I was proclaiming the pitches greatness but after he began the perfect hands of the pitch, he was a believer!

Anyway, we struggled up the rest of the route and came down in the dark under a partial moon reflecting on the days movements, excitement and effort.

After some food we headed back to Grand Junction arriving early in the am. We managed a tired day of climbing at Unaweep on Monday and called it a successful trip. Ah to the weekend warrior in you!

Photo's to come.

piz : )

March 9, 2011

What makes a great climbing day?

mike b and piz in sweden 2007
The boys standing under Monster Tower/Washer Woman in Canyonlands National Park (mike b logan, adam, jonas, brian, piz 2010)
piz 2011! Jesse Zacher photo

Time is tight for this puppy and having to fit everything in is pretty tough. So I ask myself, what makes a great climbing day? I don't think that it is an easy answer to nail down. It is often hard to make sure that you have enough time for family, friends and fun. And a great climbing day will provide memories of a lifetime. After some thought, I realized that a great day climbing can manifest itself in a variety of ways.
  1. For some folks and even me, a day where you send the project is the best day on the planet. All the work and time and effort come together for you to rise from the head games, weather and fitness issues to complete a route. Chances are that you are with one of your climbing partners that you trust and always have a good time with and you are where you want to be. Those are great days.
  2. Finding a new route can also meet the criteria for making a great climbing day. When you are alone scoping cliff lines, rappelling walls or rubbernecking from the car and finally see the line that you have been seeking, that is a great day. If your lucky, you hike out to it, look at the line, the holds, the potential cruxes and even the rock quality and begin to imagine what it will be like to link moves, clip bolts, or plug in gear, that is a great day. If you have time, you may then rap or aid or try to climb the line depending on the circumstances and you really figure out what it will take to ascend it, that is a really great day climbing.
  3. Another version of a great day climbing is the first time that you actually get to try the route. The new movement, the new sequences, the new pump the freshness of holds all makes the experience wonderful. That is a great day.
  4. For me there is one more kind of great day of climbing. It is when you get out and climb! Whether you fall, hang, or succeed or fail on the route, a great day includes just being outside with your partner(s) climbing single or multi pitch routes, boulders or even on chipped outdoor playgrounds it's all good.

My last great day of climbing was a number 4. I did not send, I did not find a new route, and it wasn't the first time on the route either, but I was with a good friend, on a cloudy, cold and windy day. We were hanging on the wall trying hard not to freeze. I slipped and cut my hand in a sharp jam, there was a lot of moisture in the air and I fell on a slopey mantel move and I missed the deadpoint at the end of the route, but dang it was fun!

Cheers to having more great days climbing!

piz : )