The last week and a half of east side life has been pure, dirtbag bliss. The car camping, boulder pad hotel crashing, sent projects and shared laughs with friends have been unstained joy. The music blasting as I propelled myself South toward the playgrounds of the Sierras, the long days of absolute smiles and the overabundance of stellar climbing will be thoroughly missed. I now embark on my next adventure with my great friend and climbing partner, Philabot, to the crags of all crags.. Yosemite Valley. If weather permits we plan to climb two classics, Nutcracker and After six, along with a couple more unknown objectives. With the car packed to head back to Sacramento, a heart full of excitement and a pocket full of unpaid wages collected from a former employer, I’m ready for the next three weeks of greatness before the big trip to Spain.
It feels as if the experiences and events of the last six months have been warped through the 4th dimension, spun through a teleporter and thrown across the timescale. Half of a year full of amazing days climbing, laughing and living has passed right before my feet. An infinite ridgeline crossed and looked back upon with nothing but a smile in my eye and two hands thrown into the blue sky above. This life that has been laid before my feet has certainly given me a great stride and wonderful pace for the next decade of my life. It really couldn’t be possible without the help of my wonderful family, the amazing friends I’ve gained and retained, and a never ending stoke on life.
The last two months have been littered with unexpected opportunities. The snowless year in the Sierras drove me from the ski instructor life in Mammoth, back home to my former life in Sacramento. I knew that some home cooked meals and little R&R would do my wallet some good. Before I had more than a few days to relax, an opportunity as a rope access technician came about my way. The job was to take place 300ft above the streets of Houston, washing the top of the reliant stadium. The catch was washing a football stadium with nothing but garden hoses, a small bottle of cleaning solution and plenty of laughs and stories to take the load off. We decided that co-workers wasn’t quite the right title for our crew, but co-sufferers. Although it was a task of grunt work, the light mood and attitude of everyone made it all worth while. It also gave me the ability to gather all the necessary gear for a summer of dirtbagging, Spanish climbing, and guiding.
My dedication to training before my first time guiding professionally and the Yosemite climbing season has paid off more than I could’ve imagined. I’ve finally gained my endurance on the rope back after the many months of bouldering, and have started developing my mental fortitude for the hard sierra trad climbs. I have made alot of progress since the elvis leg of Snake Dike. I have finally started ticking off classic moderates of the Sierras and have readied myself for a summer on the sharp end. To kick off the beginning of hard trad climbs, I recently stepped up to Feudal Beerlords in Owens River Gorge. An awkward 5.10d finger crack that sucks up gear nicely and offers a variety of footholds on the face. The goal I have set for myself by the end of summer is to be confidently onsighting 5.10 on trad and working up to 5.11. Although ambitious, I have become more psyched and motivated than ever. With the necessary tools, confidence and stoke, I hope to be knocking down some hard trad lines in the valley and start my AMGA rock courses in the coming winter.
But first, a Whitney adventure with my good buddies Kris and Pete for a ski descent of the mountaineers route, a rock climb up the east ridge and a high sierra 5.10 up the mithral dihedral on Russell. Rock climbing up to 14,000 sure will be quite the adventure.
After 9 months of technical climbing and training, crossing miles of glaciated terrain, climbing thousands of vertical feet, this is what I’ve put together to share with everyone. Take a gander. Cheers
Another excellent month of excitement for the rouge adventurer. A fantastic cragging trip to the infamous Red Rocks of Nevada. Towers of burgundy sandstone crowd the empty desert, choking the arid breathe from the rolling landscape. The sky, illuminated by the casino twilight, clouds your vision with Vegas smog, cigarette smoke and regret. It travels both high and low for 30 miles over the breathless desert to obscure the natural starlight above. The question of whether the sun is on the rise or about to set is constantly of question as you peak your curious nose out of your sleeping bag to the silhouette of the emerging cliff bands.
~ 11.b rebel without a pause (redpoint)
~ 11.d pockets full of dirt (redpoint)
~ 2 pitch 5.7
As I returned from the wild blood rocks, my alpine partner called me for a last minute objective of an alpine ice couloir in the Sierras. We would make a late night approach to basecamp after I made the 5 hour journey home. However, the severe drought, later than late season and bad timing made the plan suspect. He called me about an hour before my arrival to mammoth saying that the gullies are dry and not worth the effort and danger. He did say, however, that roadside ice in June Lake was in thick and had accessible top rope anchors. I rushed inside my apartment, scrambled about gathering gear and slammed north toward June. The ice was thick with a beautiful blue tone, but the top rope was not as accessible as we thought. It was either a WI3 lead on secure ice, or a 5.8 iced over scramble up loose choss. Neither of us being waterfall leaders made us desperate for a low consequence top rope anchor. I soon realize that the loose, unprotected rock climb had much more potential for a bad situation than a low angle ice lead. I looked at my partner and said, “fuck it I’ll lead it.” Before I even contemplated the situation, I roped up and began placing pro. I got up to a thick section of the waterfall and built a 3 point anchor comprised of black diamond 20cm express screws. The day ended great with my first waterfall lead, a safe return and plenty of laps on top rope.
I have now embarked on my next mini adventure in the bbq loving, y’all using, southern state of texas as a rope access technician. Cheers from the lone star state
Another really great trip to the training ground of bishop. Sent a long time nemesis, camped and dirt bagged it in my car for 3 days, and solo’d the incredible and iconic 50ft arete via the Southwest 5.9 on the Grandma P-Body boulder. Looking up at such an enormous boulder that shouts “God no” to the normal human being, just appeals so highly to the adventure climber.
Oh, and my 600 Black Diamond order has arrived. Pine creek and little egypt here i come:)
My quest for mountainous life, adventure and bliss has landed me in the mecca of the Eastern Sierras. An endless plateau of desert, extending far past the realms of possibility, spied upon by enormous ridge tops, rock faces, gullies and couloirs of the Sierras. The vastness has no curtains, no privacy, drawing your eyes to gaze toward the horizon, and challenge your reality. The greatness of these skylines brings you through metamorphosis, turning your once significant self into a single celled microbial in the shadow of the world. It’s a wonder how humbling and soul enriching a 40 min drive twice a week on the 395 is,
My place of residence and refuge from cities has landed me in Mammoth Lakes, CA. A beautiful oasis of hot springs, big mountains, climbing and easy living. I moved up here as a ski instructor, as ironic as that seems with almost no snow pack, the resort empty and an already broken wallet. I’ve made due, thanks to much help from a very supportive and rad family and great collection of close friends. But hell, I never came to the mountains to strike oil or find a buried chest of jewels. However, the treasure hunt for life experience, brilliant days of climbing and getting high up in the sierras is perfectly in order.
I’ve made some great progress with my personal climbing development since my last blog post. Finally after much diet and training, my strength on the rock has reappeared. When I first returned from Patagonia, I struggled my way up routes, flailed on low to moderate grades, and possessed almost no confidence. I’ve changed myself back to the climber I once was. Strong, confident and clean. Onsighting a couple v4’s, redpointing v5’s and working through v6’s, my body is feeling lean and fit. My confidence as traditional leader as well as improved since the start of my course. Recently I accomplished my first big lead climb of the Yosemite Valley on its most famous rock formations, half dome. My partner Pete and I set out the day after thanksgiving to climb one of the classic moderates of the valley on half dome, Snake Dike. A 5.7 rated R beaut. A year ago, I never could’ve imagined dealing with the first 40 feet of soloing with no pro, 80 foot run outs and featureless and exposed friction climbing where one bad foot placements is all that is in order to take a really bad fall and potential injury. A great stepping stone to more adventurous leads in my life.
The next objective for this month is the North Couloir of North peak. About 4 to 5 pitches of low angle alpine ice up a narrow chute of the 12,242ft peak, this will certainly be a great intro to Sierra alpine mountaineering and future climbs.
Home sweet home on the west coast. It’s been difficult, yet very easy coming back to my roots. After almost a year of traveling and climbing the world, it’s a nice feeling to return and take a fresh breath of Sierra air. I’ve been back almost 4 weeks on Californian soil. A short time compared to my previous nomadic life of 9 months, the four weeks have still felt like an eternity. Thank god for how beautiful and amazing California is for a hungry 20 year old climber. I don’t want to brag anymore than I already have, but did I mention its mid October and I get to rock climb shirtless. Hello Californian sunshine!
Besides the small day trips to the local crags in tahoe, I’ve made two awesome climbing adventures in the Sierras so far. Not a bad start to the time I’m off course.
I attempted to climb Mt. Sill (14,154’ feet (4,314 m) with two partners that I met online on climbfind. We struggled through waist deep snow on the glacier and moraine. The simple 2 hour approach took us a terrible 5 hours. We reached the base of the climb with snow falling on us, the route being whited out and possible avalanche conditions on the couloir of ascent. We decided better luck next time. Mt. Sill 1 Us 0. Still a wonderful hike, adventure and view. Not to mention a gain of two solid partners and friends for the next visit. Thanks Kris and Pete for being rad.
Bouldering, Hotsprings, car camping, Hantavirus, Whaaaaa? back to bishop boyz. Getting shut down on V3’s, beautiful alpine glow, beer and bouldering. My 2nd trip to bishop to boulder. Wow am I out of shape or what?? Still an awesome experience, with plenty of motivation to go get strong before Spain. thanks to the touchstone route setters for a great time, some beer, Josh for the ride and Ryan Galliger for making me google Hantavirus for like 2 days after I got back. Note to self, do not boulder in mice ridden caves.
"Nobody eats last years backstrap after a fresh kill" "DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE OOH LA LA CAFE IS??" "Do you happen to have any smokables by chance?"