April 24, 2012

Props from Climbing Magazine


Check out the link to Climbing Magazine and learn more about my ascent of the Frank Zappa Appreciation Society.

Thanks to everyone that helped out!!

piz : )

April 20, 2012

Chainsaw Friday

I have been looking forward to this Friday for a little while. We have a big tree at the edge of the property that is ugly and falling apart with every big windstorm. So in order to make my and my neighbors yards safer, we are going to chop it down.

Unfortunately due to its shape, the angle of the terrain and the location of the house and the waterlines, we can not drop it in one piece. It will require taking it down little by little, branch by branch.
Either way at the end of the day I will have a safer yard and be able to provide a nice place for my boy to play.

My dad and I had to take down the dangerous trees that were near the house that I grew up in and after I learned how to do it, I used to go to the woods and find standing dead trees and chop them down with an axe. I was not allowed to use the chainsaw without supervision at that age, but I could use the axe anytime that I wanted. It was during those chopping sessions that I learned how to drop a tree where ever I wanted it to fall and where I got hit in the head from one of the branches that came down from over a hundred feet up. What a day that was as it split across my skull and knocked me to the ground. Not a large enough diameter to kill me or break my neck, but enough to lay me out on the forest floor.
Needless to say I won't have that problem this afternoon. This one is smaller and has more tiny branches than anything.

Cheers to John B at Sterling Ropes, I know he would want to chop this one up with me!
I will post some photos of the afternoon after we finish the job!

piz : )

April 19, 2012

Anchor Building Lessons

The other week I had a chance to work with some folks who wanted to learn how to build anchors for top roping. The three things that I wanted them to know about anchors is that
1 it should be simple
2 safe
3 easily inspected

If your partner can't identify how the anchor is built, its probably confusing and potentially risky.
If it's not simple then it can have many points of failure.
If it's not safe and equalized, your dead.

We focused on the figure 8 knot and making the anchor safe and equalized.
Here are some photos from our lesson.

 Make sure that you stop to smell the flowers, even if they are prickley!
piz : )

Rowan's first egg hunt

A few weekends ago we went to a friends house to celebrate plastic eggs with candy inside and food, some call it Easter. So, we made our pot luck meal and headed on over on a sunny sunday afternoon. Rowan enjoyed playing with all the other kids and was even able to crawl around the yard and get his own pastic eggs! He found two that we placed strategically just a few feet from him. After picked the egg up, he immediately tried eating it, as that is what babies do. To his surprise, when the egg opened there was kiddie cheesy puffs inside! He smiled and crammed them in his mouth. Some fel to the grass and he ate them anyway. It was a beautiful afternoon and the ham was delicious. We wore out Rowan and he slept very peacefully when we got home!

piz : )

ROBO Comp: Rock Out Black Out

The Western Colorado Climbers Coalition held their ROBO comp this past weekend. The competitions goal was to bring the community together for a fun night of bouldering, costumes and dancing to live music. The sponsors who participated gave everyone a great prizes through the raffle and for those that won their divisions. Folks that didn't show up regretted it because they say or heard how much fun everyone had and that the point of the day was not competing with others but having fun with others while climbing. There was no ego or chest puffing, just encouragement and smiles.
Climbing under the black lights made everything glow and the Grand Junction Climbing Center did an amazing job setting 80 boulder problems and turning the gym into a black light zone. I found that I lost my balance while trying to climb but that there was always someone there to spot me when I fell.
My wife and son (8 months old) and I had a blast checking out the costumes crawling and climbing the boulder problems.
Check out the pictures below and you will see what you missed!
 The WCCC booth!
 The costume party and awards
 The winner, He chose the STERLING ROPE Gift Card worth 200 bucks!
 Seond Place was the SCARPA shoe voucher.
 More gear from Arcteryx and CAMP!
 Rowan in the black light
 The routes and all the climbers.
piz : )

April 18, 2012

Frank Zappa Appreciation Society

So after months of trying, four to be specific, I finally finished (sent) my Escalante climbing project.

It's name as the title of this post is The Frank Zappa Appreciation Society. The climb is located in the middle of the Zappa Wall and is the most prominent overhanging feature of the wall. It was named that because we had the actual society at my high school, also because I ended up spending so much time on the route, I felt like I really was appreciating the wall and climb for what it really was. Historically, I was told it was called the cobra crack, but there are a million of them and since no one knows or has claimed aiding it first, I am gong to rename it to something that sets it a part from other climbs and something that is more personal to me.
It was unique and a challenge for me because it is short and bouldery, which are normally not the things I look for in a rock climb. I typically like climbs that are more suited towards endurance, but this one ended up consisting of two powerful crack sections. The first relied on under clinging crimp strength and core tension where the second relied on my ability to campus one finger ring locks and even more core tension.
After my first day on the route I couldn't do all the moves, but I knew deep down that the climb could be freed.
It took me ten attempts to really figure out how to do the upper crux and I still was not consistently climbing through the low crux. I was able to work the route one day over the weekend if the weather was good and we didn't have any family obligations. I ended up getting sick for three weeks, having to go to Vegas for the Red Rock Rendezvous and a number of other things prevented me from climbing on the route as much as I wanted. In the end it was a blessing in disguise because it turned out that had I been on the climb as much as I wanted that I would have destroyed my two pointer fingers from over stressing them. As of now they are both tweaked and I am in pain when I crimp. It was from the torque that came with the campusing ring lock sequence.
By the time I had gotten into the twenty attempts range my fingers were really feeling sore after each time on the route. But my strength training at the gym was paying off. I could now easily climb through the low crux and almost complete the upper crux going to the anchor. I could give the route multiple burns a day and come close each time. It kept me up at night just thinking about failing on it after being so close to sending.
I would have to say that without developing the specific strengths required to do the sequences on this route that I would have never been able to free it. I had serious weaknesses in my game and this route pulled them out of me and forced me to work on them through training. I am happy to see the growth of my own ability in addition to my head for sticking with the route.
I just wanted to thank everyone who came out to climb and trade belays with me. If it wasn't for you all, I would have never been able to give this thing a shot.
I am interested in seeing what others think of the grade. I have a feeling that for those strong at my weaknesses will think that over graded it and others will think it is right on. For my personal experience, once I reach 30 burns on a route (I include every single time that I climb on it) I know that it is past the easy 5.13 range and into the hard. At my best, I was able to send 13c in 4-5 tries and 13+ in 7-10. I have not been in that shape for a while, but at my current strength 30 goes on a crack project means hard 13 climbing.
In the end it doesn't really matter too much other than for campfire banter and pissing contests. I don't pay my mortgage from being a climber and for those that do, this route is too easy for them anyway. I am proud to say that I figured out how to climb it and that I stuck it out when the going go tough. Keep on the look out for images from the climb.

piz : )

April 11, 2012

Black Light Bouldering Competition This Sat Night!

Don't miss the Black Light Bouldering  ROBO Comp this Saturday afternoon in Grand Junction!

We have set tons of fun and exciting new boulder problems, painted holds for the black lights and
gotten ready for the band and gear swap.
Come on down for the fun!!!
Comp starts at 5-8, after party till midnight.

piz : )

April 4, 2012

Some Footage of Ben

Here is a short clip of Ben going for it.
The moves revolve around campusing .5 inch cams to a fingerlock/undercling.
Then you pull into the only foothold and drop your left knee hard.
After that you reach into a .75 inch ring lock.
Then you match ring locks and campus to another finger lock over the roof.
Two more moves will get you to the anchor.

piz : )

Tasting More Unaweep Granite

 Steph playing pass Rowan! ahh
 Illana playing pass Rowan.
 Jane climbing outside again! yeah!!!
 Grace easing up the arete in style.
 Jesse exploring unknown territory.
Eating lunch and letting Rowan sleep. the dogs and good friends made it a great day!
Get outside and have an adventure

piz : )

Another Day on the Project

 Brian getting after it on the warm up. He is leading again after destroying both ankles a few years ago. It's good to have him back and building up that pain threshold in his feet.
 Brian on the latter half of the warm up splitter.
 Brian giving the project a go on top rope. Final verdict, it is HARD!
 Me, giving an attentive belay and mentally preparing for another burn.
 After we could not pull anymore on the cracks, we found some new areas to play on. I think this will be my new bouldering spot. Steep and just enough holds to make it go! Yeah it's a little tall, but what are pads and spotters for? Brian is about  6 ft tall for scale!
Yeah like we had to be told that we could get naked here. Sorry it is tipped over but the computer is acting funny.
Get outside and have an adventure

piz : )

April 3, 2012

RRR Recap

Why attend the Red Rock Rendezvous in 2013?
I, Rob Pizem, had the wonderful opportunity to teach two clinics and be auctioned off by the American Alpine Club at this year’s RRR. Along with meeting great people, enjoying the sunny and sometimes windy Nevada weather and getting to go rock climbing I just wanted to let everyone know why the event kicks butt. Next year is the 10th annual and I know that it will be a special and amazing time for everyone involved. Special thanks to SCARPA for sending me to represent them at this event. As usual, it was an honor.

                This climbing festival is well planned and organized. With over 1000 people participating in clinics and no hiccups, this event runs smooth. Thanks to Paul Fish for having a great team of planners and a super team of volunteers to make the activities happen without a hitch.
                When I arrived I was able to sign in, find restrooms, camping and clinic locations without even having to sweat it. I had never been to the event and I immediately felt at home. There was a covered stage, rows of vendors and games, large tents, slack lines, green grass,  and caterers taking care of business all weekend. All clinics had clearly marked busses taking participants and instructors to and from their assigned locations.

                The RRR had plenty of things for folks to do including clinics from using GPS, biking, falling, leading, bigwalling, and bouldering. Pros were there to share insight and tips that will help everyone better enjoy their days outside. Other than the clinics, there are plenty of events during the evening and tons of free gear that is giving away. Finally, the psyche from all the participants which came from all over the US and even the world was contagious.

                You can literally get a clinic with a pro on just about any topic that you would want to learn more about in climbing.

Get out and climb!

 The traveling boy.
 Jane and Ben at Calico Basin.
 Ben, Rowan and I heading to find some boulders.
 Ben and the dyno with the Cassin crashpad keeping him safe.
 Mercedes and I at the SCARPA booth.
 The Festival
 My clients on saturday.
 My clients on sunday.
A super fan, Jared who spotted me in the parking lot! Thanks man for the props and thank you for coming out to the festival.

piz : )