May 18, 2012

Rowan Time

piz : )

Janes Race (1/2 Marathon)

 The prerace check in. We were both sleepy that Saturday morning. It was chilly in Palisade with the cool morning breeze coming down the side of the Grand Mesa into town and crossing over the Colorado.
 Jane getting a few more minutes with her favorite man! This was Rowans first race and Jane's first of 2012. She wasn't really training for this one, just some longer races later in the year but thought that this would be a fun one to do since it was so close to home.
 Our happy boy doing his thing at the starting area.
 Jane just before the race. She always wears that purple shirt on races. She loves it but I don't like purple, I must say that it is easy to see her when everyone takes off cause everyone else likes to wear other colors.
 The mass of half marathoners heading out of the gates at the starting line. Jane is in the back sizing up her competition.
 At the end of the half, only one woman passed through the finish line before Jane. YEAH SECOND PLACE!!!! Not her best time but with a mean hill on this course it was pretty good! Way to go love!
 Jane's giant trophy.
 Jane's favorite trophy!
Post race stretch.

What did Rowan and I do while Jane was working hard on the course, we ate cheese danish and hung out with friends. It was a great day!
piz : )

May 17, 2012

One More Week Until Summer Break!

I have to admit that there are many reasons that people become teachers. You enjoy teaching, you enjoy working with students, you are creative or outgoing, or because you love summer vacation and holidays.

I happen to have done my time in the real world working in engineering right after a month long trip to Mexico that began the day after I graduated from the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. I secured my career before I had graduated and went for one "last" road trip. It was on that road trip that I met my climbing inspiration Tommy Caldwell and many other climbers whom I have become good friends with over the years. Although, Tommy probably doesn't remember our meeting, it was one that changed my climbing. I actually spoke with his father Mike more than Tommy and what I found out back in 1999 was that Tommy became the great climber that he is through discipline, hard work and specific training.

Very few climbers are so gifted out of the box that they climb v-hard or 5.umpteen in their first weeks. I was a gumby with a lot of try hard and hard earned endurance who wanted to get better, but was unsure how to really excell. After talking with Mike and seeing the results in his son, I knew the answer.

So as I began my career as a geotechnical engineer, I began to train and take climbing seriously. Although I trained in some ways efficiently, I also got it wrong in others. The beauty of a real year round job is the consistantcy in your schedule. If you are single, in a relationship or married, you have some regular plan that you follow. The great thing about it is that you can train, see growth and then test your growth on your weekend adventures or projects.

I am the kind of guy that needs goals and projects to be training for and if I don't have one I loose the ability to want to try hard at training. With no try hard in training, I often ask myself, why train? It is those times that I have to find some climb that I am passionate about and focus all energy on training for that climb.

So why did I begin talking about summer vacation? Well, its just about time to stop the training and start applying all of those skills that I have been working on. It is time to achieve some goals, have some successes and have some failures. With each one, I find new aspects of my game to work on and find even more projects to aspire to complete.

J. Watt Photo
Being fit is cool, but using your fitness to achieve something is way cooler. See you all outside this summer, let me hear your best try hard!

piz : )

May 11, 2012

Ups and Downs

This week has been one that has thrown me some twists and turns. All of that goes in to what is life, a systematic journey of ups and downs.

Jane and I installed our first ceiling fan this week!
Maybe we will eventually hang some stuff on the walls too.
I did not have the best week of training because I lost a bit of motivation early on. It took all the folks that I train on Tuesdays and Thursday to get me out of my funk. When we get together in the dark and dank basement of the gym to torture ourselves and are having a blast laughing and trying hard, it is enough to put anyone in a good mood. I don't know what we were laughing about, but it was all smiles and by the end no matter how it went, we were all happy, especially me. Add that to a phone call from one of my best friends who ALWAYS has as funny story, my life is back on the up swing. You can thank the hatchet story for making me laugh till I cried from Dave of the Kirtlands.

I look forward to a nice Saturday watching Jane crush in a half marathon and hanging out followed by a Sunday of getting nervous, pissed off and scared in the Black Canyon with Mike B.

What will come of the rest of the year, who knows? I am sure that I will have more of those days. Some will be higher and some lower, but I must not forget that things are good.

Cheers to 8 more days with students and summer vacation!

Get outside and have an adventure.

piz : )

May 8, 2012

Attempting a New Route

This past weekend I planned on doing a new multipitch climb on a 800ft tall piece of stone.
The goal was to open up a new route that was in the 5.9 range, so that many people would be able to climb this feature.
Chris and I started around 9:30 am and were on our way climbing on unclimbed stone when the property owner yelled up at us and asked us to come on down.
You see the guide book had made a note that the landowner did not mind if people climbed on his property and had it been the same property owner as when the book was written all would have been well. BUT, 7 years ago someone else bought the land and choose to not allow climbers on it.
So we chatted with him a bit and apologized and told him that we would make sure to spread the word that he didn't want climbers on the rock.
We ended up getting two pitches off the deck (about a third of the way to the top) and had to come down.
It was interesting because we encountered some of the chossiest rock that we had ever seen and some of the hardest rock that we had ever drilled into for anchors. It would have been a nice route with plenty of adventure on it, but that will have to wait until another person buys the land. Until then, there is a ton of rock to play on and that is what we will do!
Enjoy the photos or our short day.

Since there was plenty of daylight left we climbed Chris's new route up Sunday Wall, called The Steeple 5.12- and enjoy the great rock and exposure of the route!

 The Thimble in Unaweep Canyon. No climbing on this one, it is on private property.
 Chris starting on the first pitch.
 You can see the shadow that the wall made over Chris' truck down below.
 Lot's of untouched granite to choose your own adventure on.
 Huge quartz crystals!
 My anchor in a zone of bad rock.
 The view from our new route and Chris getting ready to place an anchor bolt in the hardest stone that we have ever drilled through! We went down after that cause the landowner came out and requested us not to climb on the wall. According to the guide book, the owner said it was ok but we didn't know that the ownership changed and the new owner does not want climbers on his land. It worked out but we were bummed.
 So we switched gears and headed up Chris' new climb the Steeple on Sunday Wall. A great 5.12- minus that is a mixed bolts and gear route! It was amazing!
 The double crack slapping crux!
 Enjoying the wind and shade in the afternoon.
 Chris coming up pitch two.
 Chris firing his crux.
 Doing the last pitch next to the mega project. The splitters to the right are the ones that I originally wanted to climb when I established my own route last year to the right of this one. I rapped and looked over the moves and knew that is was barely possible if possible at all. Chris came to the same conclusion, it might go but it will be 5.14 for sure! I didn't want to work a pitch that long so I passed. But now that I looked at it again, maybe, just maybe I will be back!
Chris coming up the final pitch to the nice ledge belay.
Get outside and have an adventure and if it goes wrong make the best of the day!
piz : )

May 7, 2012

Road Biking Colorado National Monument

This past weekend I got to take my first road bicycle ride. Mike B, his wife Jennifer and Jane and I rode from our house in Grand Junction to the park and back to the house. It was just under a 40 mile road ride and one of the best! There is a 3000ft elevation gain but it didn't feel that bad at all. Next time, I might figure out how to drag Rowan behind us as we pedal our way through the beautifully sculpted park. Towering sandstone walls, steep cliffs and blossoming flowers greeted us every mile of the trip. The best part was reaching the high point of the ride and being able to coast for miles back to our house.
I expected to have a sore butt for sitting in the saddle for that long but I felt pretty good the days following the ride. Thanks to Mike for lettign us ride his rental bikes from Venture Sports in Avon, Colorado.

Enjoy the photos!
piz : )

May 1, 2012

Slide Show in October 2012, Gunnison, Colorado

The Western State Adventure Film Festival will be coming to the Gunnison, Colorado campus next semester from October 24-26th.

I will be hosting and presenting  a slide show on October 25 on the climbing night.
We will see climbing slides and video from some of my adventures and films from the Reel Rock Tour. What a great night come out and support the school and see some great climbing.

Mark it on your calender.

piz : )