Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Blog Is Moving

WOW! It's has been a loooooooong time since I last posted here. To tell you the truth, I've lost most of my blogging zeal. When I started this blog 4 years ago I was 19 years old; a lot has changed since then. I'm now only a single day away from college grad status and I'll be getting married in January. In the mean time I've grown tired of writing (and reading) meaningless climbing jibber jabber. I want to hear about real climbers doing really cool stuff. Having said that, I've decided to move my blog. You can find the new one here: The new blog will focus on photos and videos. Hopefully I'll be able to update it more often as well.

I hope you enjoy it,


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Triple Crown 2011: Hound Ears

Ok you've probably read nineteen other accounts of how the Hound Ears comp went down. Rain and snow. Cold. Delays. Blah blah blah. The real story at this event has little to do with climbing or weather and more to do with camaraderie among climbers. This is the real value of the Triple Crown - the sense of community that it creates among varied individuals.

 Nate Draughn on Kratos (v12)

Rami Annab on Random Man (v11)

For the first year in several I was freed from the bonds of the competition itself, loosed from the shackles that constrain my perception and distort my reasoning. For the first year in several I was able to stop and take a look around. What I noticed was that in spite of the cold, in spite of bleeding fingers, in spite of crowed boulders, climbers were determined to enjoy the 1 in 365 days/year that bouldering is allowed at Hound Ears. Jimmy Webb and I were both excited to check out some projects that aren't on the comp circuit.

What we found was astonishing! As it turns out climbers haven't focused much attention at establishing difficult boulders at Hound Ears. After all, trying a project on comp day means that if you don't send you'll have to wait another year before trying again. Luckily Jimmy and I were able to clean and climb two amazing projects. The first I named Subject to Change (v11) and the second Jimmy dubbed Projections (v12). We captured both boulders (second ascents) on film along with my ascent of Kratos the previous day. I can't wait to get back to Hound Ears to check out more of the potential there.

For full competition results click here. The Triple Crown Stone Fort competition is coming up on Saturday. I wonder if competitors will get enough rest. See everyone there!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

2nd Annual Stone Summit Crushville Competition

If you live in Atlanta, or any other big city for that matter, you're familiar with traffic. Mathematicians may explain it using Chaos Theory, civil engineers attempt to minimize it, and average humans may recognize its variety of forms. They range from simple congestion to a complete standstill and somewhere in between is the traffic variety termed slow-and-go. The same term could be used to describe Saturday's competition at Stone Summit.

I admit, I'm not an avid competition climber  and I also admit that I am not the foremost expert on rules and proceedings at ABS, SCS, or other events; but I did recognize a serious flaw in the competition's format. With nearly 200 registered competitors and only one climber allowed per 10-20 horizontal feet of wall, huge lines formed. If you didn't flash the boulder the wait time to try again could be 15-20 minutes. It made for a seriouw flash pump and quite a bit of stress. In the comp's 4 hours, I only made it on the wall 15 times. That's less than 4 times an hour! You can check out results here.

Not resting, just waiting

 My favorite comp boulder

I would like to draw your attention to several other things as well.

1. Outside Magazine ranked Chattanooga, TN the best city to live in. See the October issue for more details.


2. Urban Climber Magazine has ventured a guess at the 100 best boulder problems in the USA. The Shield at Little Rock City tops the list at number 1. It seems that the folks at UCM got this one right - The Shield, no doubt, earns the title "best boulder in America." Other boulders in the Southeast made the cut as well including Golden Harvest and Crocbloc at Rocktown and Millipede, God Module, and Slider at Horse Pens 40.

3. The annual Hound Ears competition and the first leg of the Triple Crown Bouldering Series is coming up this weekend. If you haven't seen the weather forecast take a look! I can't wait to climb on real rocks for the first time in months!

See you out there!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Beta - Hole 18

After 9 consecutive years, the Triple Crown Bouldering Series is throwing a couple change-ups. If you haven't already noticed, the competitions at Hound Ears, Stone Fort (Little Rock City), and Horse Pens will be taking place on October 1st, October 7th, and November 5th respectively. In previous years each of the three competitions has occupied the first weekend of each month from October to December. Now, with only a week or two between competitions, competitors already faced with the daunting task of climbing 10 boulder problems at their limit will have to do so on consecutive weekends. The other primary difference this year will be the closure of Montlake Golf Club on October 7th for the Stone Fort competition.

Not only does this closure mean that climbers will be able to drive to and park at the Montlake Golf Club but it also means that boulders along the 18th fairway, normally off-limits, will be fair game. For competitors, this will mean more boulders to choose from and even first ascent potential. Check out the video Andrew Kronylak shot to promote the event.

The relationship between climbers, golfers, and landowners at Stone Fort/LRC has been a real success story thanks to the hard work of many at the SCC and in the local climbing community. As for me, I won't be competing in this year's Triple Crown but I will be around. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Nature of a Boulder

Today is the second day in the fifth week of my last semester of school. Most days my mind functions like a huge clock moving continuously and forcefully toward the time of my release. From this torturous tic-toc I have few escapes. An hour here, a few hours there, time for a little rest, a meal, time for a quick session at TBA. This is what I live for.

My body has neglected to cooperate fully with my demanding schedule and the heart of its resistance is located in the tissue of my fingers where several tweaks and strains have manifested themselves. Some days the pain seems to pin me to the ground, my motivation fails, and I retreat feeling broken. Most days are still good though. On the weekends I find my rest bumbling around the hills of Tennessee in search of new boulders. Sometimes I even find one.

It was just a couple weeks ago that Nate Draughn and I climbed a new boulder at Deep Creek. I decided to call it Lost in the Mourning in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 (the day we climbed it). The boulder itself is a triangle shaped protrusion not unlike the shape of a nose. All in all the climb consists of about 7 compression moves on slopers and pinches along the bottom of the feature. I can honestly say that this is a GREAT boulder and that climbing it felt quite like a gift.

To me this is the nature of boulders: they are small gifts of the earth which a climber may claim only for only a brief moment. I have heard several times that climbing new boulders/routes is like a form of art. I disagree. Climbing a new piece of rock is not an act of creation, merely an expression of something already created. Whether climbed or not boulders remain unchanged and will remain thus long after our own departures. Here is a photo albeit a poor one.

 Nate on Lost in the Mourning

It's worth mentioning that Deep Creek (yes, the sport climbing area) has some potential for boulder development as well. If you are feeling adventurous take a little hike - you don't need to go far.

That being said, I would like to draw your attention to a couple other things.

1. Joe Kinder, Andrew Bisharat, and Whitney Boland have all written reviews of A Fine Line. I'm stoked on the feedback and I can't wait for everyone to see the movie! The premier will be in Atlanta at Patagonia on October 6th. It will be screened again at Montlake Golf Club on October 7th after the Triple Crown competition. See Andrew Kornylak's blog for more info. A screen shot from the vid:

2. Several Chattanooga hard men have been busy bolting new routes at the local crag, Deep Creek. And, while I'm not going to name names, these guys deserve some serious props for all their work. Thank you!

3. Stone Summit is hosting a competition this Saturday (September 24th). It should be a fun time! Click here for the comp details.

If this post is any indication, I'm going to try out a new format on the blog. It will be more centered on reporting regional climbing activity (first ascents, repeats, access, etc.) in order to present climbers in the Southeast a clear picture of what is going on. I'm looking forward to a little change-up - I have to admit I'm extremely bored of the traditional blog format which involves relating incredibly boring days for the sake of spraying about some insignificant send.

I hope everyone enjoys and if you have any suggestions please feel free to contact me.