January 30, 2011

Living in Grand Junction

Snow shoeing up on the Grand Mesa. Jane took this nice photo as I stepped out onto a frozen lake. We went in the afternoon and the temperature was really comfortable. I made sure not to eat any yellow snow.
Jane and I met a friend while on our hike. His name was Frosty and he didn't mind if we took a photo with him.
Me hanging at the end of the roof of my new route.
piz : )

January 28, 2011


Natural anchors on a desert splitter.
Jesse is moving rocks cause, he grew bored from the mega long belay session that he had graciously just given me! Thanks man.
Hey George! Mt. Rushmore rocks.
The needles of South Dakota. Ah yeah.
The rock in the Mt. Rushmore is so varied. Tiny crystals to ones as large as a fist. Flaky, junky rock to perfect granite. Smooth as a babies bottom and rough as sandpaper. What a place to loose skin at!

The weather is getting better here in Grand Junction. We had a few weeks of wicked cold and crappy outdoor rock climbing conditions. I have been training indoors (strength and conditioning), running and trying to be ready for when things look better. I climbed a little tower yesterday after work and hope to play on another this weekend. First free ascent maybe? Who knows, if we are lucky. It is great living here on the western slope because there is so much rock that hasn't been climbed and because the adventure level is so high. There is always a little spice involved in any route. Not so much as to get hurt on but just enough to get you thinking and make you slow down.
piz : )

January 24, 2011

Trade Show Wintertime

I stayed with Andy Burr and his wife Laurel and Kia their beautiful 2 year old daughter.
Sandy, Laurel and Kia full of chocolate sauce!
The Camp booth at the OR show.
Jeff Lowe and me at OR.
My partner Chris Alstrin of Alstrin Films getting ready to enter the Outdoor Retailer.

piz : )

January 18, 2011

Ouray Ice Festival

One of the really cool ice sculptures that was at the Festival. It was about 6 feet tall!
Chris, Jen(on the right) and Majka(on the left). Three great all around climbers.
Slacklining at the festival.
More ice sculptures.
The park filled with ice climbers.

piz : )

January 13, 2011

More Ouray

What the ice looks like on the Killer Pillar, a mixed route that we climbed after the Skylight. This route is only one pitch tall and pretty exciting. In mixed climbing, you have to use the ice and the rock with your crampons and ice axes. Ice screws are still used but cams and nuts are also placed in the rock just like traditional climbing.
Chris at the top of the Killer Pillar. Notice that he is standing on the rock on either side of the ice.
Some the the other ice routes in Ouray. As you hike up the road the waterfalls are within a few feet from the side.
Chris and I at the top of the waterfall. We rappelled off the pine tree in the picture.
The top of the Skylight. I am deep inside that crevice. The ice was really solid and easy to climb. If you got tired you could just lean on the walls because it was so narrow. We use two ropes in ice climbing in case one rope gets cut by a crampon or ice axe or falling ice. The two colors help remind the climbers which one is set for pulling while on rappel.
What normally happens when you ice climb is that your hands begin to freeze after 30-40 feet. then you try to rest and shake and get the blood flowing again. After you begin climbing again, your hands warm up and the rest of the route is quite nice to climb. If it is really cold out, your hands will be cold the whole way and then after you stop the blood will return and a feeling a great pain blasts through your hands as they warm up.
piz : )

Ouray Ice Festival 2011

For those of you who have never seen an ice screw in the ice. There is a carbiner attached to the screw and the rope to that. You just turn it like a crank and it bites into the ice. The trick is to pick a nice solid section as you head up the waterfall!
Chris Alstrin on lead on the route called Skylight. It is a two pitch ice climb. You can see the think ribbon of ice that we climbed on the next pitch. We hiked from the car up a well packed road to these ice falls located just a few feet off the road. The views were great and the weather was not too cold. Actually, when the sun came out and we were finished climbing we just wore light jackets. It felt like it was in the 40's!
Me sporting my borrowed ice axes and warm Arcteryx winter gear!
Chris in front of the route and right off the road that we hiked up on.
As usual, our shenanigans before dawn in downtown Ouray. Chris helping adjust my crampons since I was borrowing gear that he had set up for his boots.
The Ouray Ice Festival was a blast after we finished climbing some routes in the morning. More pictures in the next post!
piz : )

January 5, 2011

The other half of break

Andi from Austria on the left and THE ANDY Reather on the right. We are at Red Rocks just outside Vegas and going to put some gear in the cracks! Andi was my main climbing partner while I lived in Salzburg, Austria a few years back. He is on the road living the dream and it was great to have a day cragging with him. Andy Reather is a good buddy and I wanted to visit him this winter. By the way Andy R still crushes rocks. That is all that I have to say about that.
Me on something fun and pumpy at the end of the day.
Andy R onsighting a sketchy 5.12 gear route. I was proud. My little Andy is growing up and plugging the gear into the rock with great skill and confidence! Kim is on the belay his wonderful lady!
Andi, Kim and Andy. It was a little nippy, but we survived, made it to three crags in one day and then destroyed some amazing pizza in town in the evening!
Andi from Austria taking care of business on some fun arete. This was the last route of the day and we were so tired from all the pitches and battling the cold.

piz : )

January 2, 2011

Winter Break 2

Jane and I on Christmas morning. Yes, my hands are that big!
Our nephews getting jiggy with it.
The feast. Jane and I made my mom's homemade spaghetti sauce with homemade meatballs for this one. It was great until I started puking in the middle of the night. (no one else got sick, I had the flu by then)
The nasty fog at Jane's sisters house in Colorado Springs the day before Christmas. Ice covered everything and we were stuck in this immobile fog. It was beautiful to see everything including the cars covered in thick and cold ice.
We also managed an afternoon at the the downtown climbing gym. It has huge walls, a great paint job and plenty of room for training, bouldering and slack lining. We enjoyed the few routes that we climbed and even got to visit with Chris Alstrin of Alstrin Films (higher ground and the continuum project along with other great videos).

piz : )

Winter Break 2010

So we drove to Denver and were able to visit with Jane's parents and aunt while seeing her older brother graduate with a masters degree from the University of Colorado. It was a great all you can eat buffet breakfast the morning after the graduation meal at Maggianos! I gained some weight in those two days.
Happy Jane : )
Jane's brother and her awesome parents!
The rest of the family drove up from Colorado Springs to celebrate with us after the graduation. Jane's sisters three little boys were excited and always able to find a little adventure no matter where we ended up!
As usual we spent plenty of time behind the wheel! Then it was off to Colorado Springs for more family time, a little cold, some vomiting, awesome food and Jane's amazing dessert cake, Christmas morning and heavy fog!
piz : )