May 30, 2011

24 Hours of Gunnison Glory

This Memorial day weekend I was convinced to compete in the 24 hour climbing competition at Hartman Rocks in Gunnison, Colorado. My friend Jesse and I were going to try our best to climb as many routes and boulders as we could in 24 long hours.
Neither of us had ever climbed at the granite area and we thought that it would be fun to get out and thrash ourselves and get a taste of the local climbs.
The competition included bouldering and route climbing. We could put in gear, clip bolts or throw down crash pads to rack up points.
Since we had never done anything like this before, we climbed routes until we got tired and then bouldered and then went back to routes and then bouldered some more.
The day began at 10 in the morning and ended 24 hours later. There was a strong wind that blew all day long. At times it was so strong that it blew me off a delicate move or two! I had to re lead those climbs in order to get any points for those routes that I fell on.
At times the routes were pretty straight forward, while other climbs were very complicated and sequential.
Jesse wanted to make it to 24 climbs during the competition because he was still recovering from a separated shoulder. He sucked it up and was able to do it. It was totally inspiring.
It was a weird comp because everyone was so split up at Hartman Rocks.
The area is so big that we had to drive to and from the boulders and the routes.
We were lucky to have some support from my wife Jane and her brother Matt. They hung out and climbed a little with us and just tried not to blow away in the strong winds.
One of the toughest parts of the comp was keeping the skin on my fingers. The granite that we climbed on was sharp and could destroy your skin in just a matter of a few climbs. I learned to climb delicately as the hours passed. Even though, I still was bleeding by the last routes of the comp.
During the night, the comp provided us with great music to listen to and even fed us burgers and burritos. The wind died down just a little so we took shelter on the walls opposite the wind. We choose to climb easier routes with our headlamps during the darkest hours.
It was near the end of the comp that I had a bad session of stomach pains and spent some time in a porto-let. I was damaged goods after that and my pace slowed down significantly.
Even still Jesse and I were able to climb a lot of routes and boulders.
Thanks so much for hosting the 24 Hours of Gunnison Glory. To all the volunteers and sponsors. It was a great comp and a great time.
Thanks to my sponsors too! CAMP draws kicked butt! My Arcteryx harness and clothes kept me warm all day and night, My SCARPA Instincts were the perfect slipper for the granite and of course my STERLING rope kept on cooking throughout the comp! My new found favorite piece is my WIND -XTREME neck gator. It was perfect for blocking the wind and sun from my neck and kept the my body heat in during the wee hours of the night.
Get out and climb!!!!
piz : )

May 23, 2011

desert climbing

Kissing Couple in the Monument

Jesse getting his aide on! Turned out to be freeable. I was able to link the moves with a one hang and will go back to free it sometime this year!

Jesse seconding the first pitch.

The blank and thin second pitch crux.

The tower itself. It is about 300+ feet tall and full of desert sandstone goodness.

Get outside!

piz : )



We went out after the rains to scout new walls for climbing and to check out the local waterfalls!

Jesse taking it all in.

Almost there.
Get outside and have some fun!

May 20, 2011

Liberty Cap Hike

Me on top!

Jane goofing off.

The trailhead.

Jane and her bump.

Leaving the car.
We beat the rain on this one and had lots of fun.

Get outside and play!

piz : )

May 18, 2011

Jane getting her climb on at Rifle. She is just top roping some easier routes, but loves being back on the rock after a little break for long distance trail running competitions.

Jane and Lulu (the dog) and Tracee. Lulu has an under bite and is kind of funny looking but the sweetest little pup. Jane was in love : )

There was supposed to be a crack in this roof, At least that is what I was told by a local kid. Jane and I hiked out here to this overhang to look around and only found a perfectly smooth underside. Oh well, I will keep searching for more local roof cracks in the sandstone.

Spring time in Grand Junction!

Jane and I over the Gunnison River on a hike after school. We climbed down to the railroad tracks and the river below and explored the Old Spanish Trail. She has been carrying that bump around for a little while now.
Get outside!

piz : )

May 10, 2011

standing rock

It's another world down here.

Chris heading up the line so he could shoot some top down video of the climb!

Mike and I at the top.

Just me and the summit.

Mike joining me after I put in many pieces.

Get out and have some fun!

piz : )

standing rock

Mike joining me high on the tower. The shadow of the tower makes you worry about it's stability.

Me heading out on pitch 2.

Mike heading up pitch one. The rock was really good the whole way up and I was surprised to find that there wasn't any choss. It was pretty bomber and clean the whole way up. I would say that the climb is as good as anything in Castle Valley with a long bumpy drive.

The view from the floor of the basin.

A little bit of the scrambling down the hillside to get to the climb!

Get out and climb.

piz : )

Standing Rock

Heading down the rope to enter into the Monument Basin. Mike and Chris are passing packs down to me.

Mike on the rim heading to Standing Rock.

Monument Basin in all of it's glory and choss! The right tower is Shark Fin and the left is Standing Rock.

I stop here everytime that I head out on the white rim!

Chris getting ready to film!
Get out and have fun!

piz : )

May 9, 2011

long weekend and more fun!

Jane climbing at Rifle!

Jane and I working at the Grand Junction Community Gardens. We were planting and weeding and working on the soil!

Saturday night we watched some weird dance/slide show that celebrated Mother Earth. It was odd.

Jane at the Jazz and Art Festival this weekend.

The Jazz festival stage was at the end of the street in downtown Grand Junction.
Lot's to do in the spring time here on the western slope of Colorado!

Get out and have some fun.

piz : )

weekend fun

On Friday we went to Gunnison to visit Janes grandparents. After our visit we went hiking. Here is Jane and Matt hiking outside of Gunnison this past weekend. It was so windy that our hats were blowing off our heads while scrambling on the rock piles!

Jane and her brother Matt. Lil piz is sticking out just a little from Janes jacket.

The trailhead in Gunnison.

Meanwhile on Thursday, I went to Rifle to climb with John and Daniel, a couple of Grand Junction college students. Temps were great as we all got sunburn in the canyon.

Doing his preroute smack talk!

piz : )