Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's kind of funny

Sometimes, climbing trips and plans fall perfectly into place. Everything in perfect order, nothing to ever stress about.

I'm just going to rattle off most of the things that have slowed us down so far:
My mom had to drive me to boulder because I didn't have my car.. I woke up late for that (add 1 hour)
I put some bananas on the roof of our car for my breakfast and drove away (ok not that big of a deal..)
We forgot a bag of aid climbing gear that was in colorado springs (add 2 hours)
Took a 'detour' to get to i-70 from the springs (add 3 hours)
Colin got a speeding ticket (add 5 minutes and $169, the cop was unreasonably quick)
Ran out of gas in Nevada 1 mile from a gas station
Colin ran the mile to the gas station, the gas station was out of gas. Ok... what is going on here (add 1 hour)
Colin and I synchronized our sleeping schedules. We had to stop twice to pass out (add 3 hours)
     Normally we can make it the entire way without stopping
I realized I packed absolutely everything except climbing pants... we had to stop at an REI that didn't carry a SINGLE pair of pants suitable for climbing.
We finally got here, and it's snowing, hard. Have to set up a tent at 1am with 8 inches of snow on the ground.

Ok now it eases up now.
I slept great, only waking up once to put socks on and to go into mummy mode in my sleeping bag.
Colin woke me up with a nalgene full of hot chocolate, and gave me a ride to eat at the buffet in curry village with his parents.

After breakfast I dug Colin's car out of the snow with a mountaineering axe, and put his chains on. While Colin and his family went skiing for the day, I checked out the reason we came to this place, El Capitan.
I put my mountaineering boots and gaiters on. My rain jacket immediately got soaked from the wet, heavy snow, my glasses kept fogging up, and the fresh bear tracks made me turn off my ipod.
I hate being wet. I kept on hiking up the talus starting at the nose, all the way to zodiac.
I realized that being on the ground (even though I was nearly soaking), is going to be the most comfortable I am going to be for a while... assuming that everything goes accordingly and we can actually climb el cap.

Fresh tracks at the base of the captain. They're lurking. 

Dry and beautiful

I seem a little more negative than I mean to be in the video. I'm just really exhausted. I am very happy to be here.

It's funny... feeling miserable makes me feel better. To be honest, I didn't come on this trip to climb el cap. I didn't come on this trip to get better at rock climbing. I came because I'm able to catch a break from of all of my mental garbage.

zenyatta mondatta: Grade VI A4
This is one of two possible routes on el cap right now with the weather. We are planning to fix our ropes as high as we can and then blast off.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

This is the way of the future

Kurt (aka 'Bubbles') leading Rigid Designator (WI 5) in Vail

My first lead on some WI3. Psyched! 
I later led the first pitch of skylight. I placed two screws in bad ice, and slung two ice features.. none of which would have held a fall. Still psyched though! 

Making my way up pic o the vic 

One evidence of one of the many curtains of ice that fell. 

Kurt in action. Falling. 

Our little cabin that we stayed in for $38 a night. For a few nights we had seven people crammed in here.  This obviously is good because we all have to pay less money. 

Me on Troglodyte at the posers lounge off of camp bird road. This trip was my first time ever mixed climbing or dry tooling. Mixed climbing is where you are using your tools on both rock and ice. In the video, it is considered dry tooling, only rock.
It feels like climbing again for the first time.. weird!

Just getting home from a week long ice climbing trip in Ouray, CO, I know am about to leave again.
I'm leaving my house; safe place, comfort. Finely polished wood floors. Perfectly furnished and heated. Fridge and pantry full of food. Family of love and care.

I don't know if what I need right now is to stay home, rest, and recover. Rejuvenating my mind. 
What I feel like I need is to go and live as simple as possible, push my body to its limit, and strengthen my everything. 

Plans are slowly solidifying for yosemite. It looks like we are going to be climbing a steep route on el cap as a team of three with this cool guy Asa (spelling?). Pretty psyched.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tomorrow Will Be A Brighter Day

My mind orbits around relentless obsession. The never ending beating, pounding, excruciating firing of wrong chemicals and neurons. Again, and again, and again it races. It's as if I have am being crushed under the world; the world and life in which I am being dragged through.
I contain the tarnished beauty that cannot be seen no matter how loud I scream.
I'm right here, crying.
I count on tomorrow happening, the day after that happening, the day after that happening.

As I turn the page into a new chapter of my life, good times are going to come. I'm a hidden wreck on the inside. I've cried every single day this past week.
As unbelievably embarrassing it is, my blog is a documentation of my journey.

School is over.
     I can't celebrate because nothing matters.

          Hope is transparent.
               I've lost myself to this sickness. This heart break. This pain.

                    My bags are packed.
                         Tomorrow will be a brighter day.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Want to laugh?

5:00 AM, I woke up with an extremely swollen lip, and hives covering my entire body. Perfect, it's not like I don't have an insane amount of school work to do for the entire day..
A quick call to my Mom (who is a nurse), and I'm off to the ER, just to be safe. I switched to a different anxiety medication and it caused an allergic reaction. I guess it's extremely rare to have an allergy to valium, so I guess I'm special.

I looked in the mirror and laughed how ridiculous I looked. I had to get a few pics.

I know this really has nothing do with climbing, but it was definitely an experience.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Psyched.. what?!

Anyone that is a serious climber has had to deal with the problematic obsession with family and friends that don't really 'get it'. The reality is that climbing is more of lifestyle instead of just a sport... Personally it has aggravated the ending of two serious relationships, dropped my grades, and caused me to 'miss out' on various social gatherings.
Once in a while someone will ask me why I climb.... I pause, and can't give a legitimate answer. The only thing that runs through my head is... why would I do anything besides climb?
I don't fully understand how or why climbing inspires me.

My christmas break is coming up, which means a 3-4 week opportunity to do what I love most.
Loose plans with Colin quickly solidified. My relentless searching for used and 'cheap' gear has left me with everything necessary to climb ice. It has also left me with a large dent in my bank account.

First stop: Ouray, CO 17th-24th
Unlimited manufactured ice flows to get my feet wet with the upcoming ice/alpine climbing season.
That leaves about 3 days around christmas to be home with my family and wonderful girlfriend.

Second stop: Yosemite, CA 27th-whenever
From here.. it depends on the conditions. If they're good we'll be climbing, probably something very large. If the weather is not so good, we'll still probably be climbing.
 If the weather is shit, we'll climb somewhere else, wherever the hell we want, maybe joshua tree. Then we might drive back, and climb ice up in Cody, WY.

Before yesterday, there were only two people that weren't informed of my plans. My Mom had driven down to boulder to take me out to dinner. Nervous about telling her, I flinched, and did it.
"So... I'm going to be climbing most of christmas break, and will only be home the 24th and 25th..."
"Well, this is your life, and it's what you want to do, and I'm not going to stop you."
Wait... I thought.. so she's not mad? My parents are awesome. I'm lucky, their past of being surf-bums and traveling all over definitely helps them understand my ambition with climbing.

The second person I had to tell was my girlfriend, Jill. Again, I flinched, and told her.
"So.. I think I'm going to be gone most of break... are you mad?"
"Why would I be mad at you for doing something you love?"  
So... not only are my parents ok with it, but I have a supportive girlfriend. I love my life.
I am PSYCHED! If you have been following my blog you obviously know that being not being psyched has been a pretty big issue lately.
I just have to make it through one more week of school. I'm hopeful, I'm excited, I'm finally feeling some sort of relief.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Things changing

I'm going to try some new things. Next semester I'm going to go to school part time, and get a part time job. I am also going to start alpine climbing. I'm about to get gear for ice, I'm so psyched.

I'm going to start playing guitar for my brothers band. This kid is so talented. You can download some of his songs for free here.

Everything is hard right now, sorry for the lack of words.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Desert

Me on scarface. 

Beautiful skies, beautiful desert.. don't get too excited.

... then the weather got bad.

The crackhouse was the only option we had. 

I'm having a really hard time writing anything so I'll put words up when I can. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Relief and Sustain

I just went and got my second blood test today. I'm praying that they find something wrong. It seems like that would be an easy fix. The first test didn't reveal anything, but they are going to test my thyroid level again because of my lack of energy. I'm constantly exhausted. Constantly depressed, anxious, and stressed.

On the bright side, fall break starts tomorrow, and I'm leaving for indian creek after class.
I love the simplicity. Eat, sleep, climb. No schedule, no rules, no worrying (sort of.. that never really stops).
Over break I'm going to try and gain some control over my anxiety, and relax.

I'm realizing that I'm not like everyone else.. no matter how hard I try. I want so bad to be able to handle the stress of school. I want to take really hard classes, and be able to study really hard. I want to be normal. I don't want to be depressed, and I hate worrying so much about life.
I realize that I've been given this brain, and this body. I need to learn how to control it to its full potential.
This mental struggle has been the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my life. The persistent nagging  that grinds day after day in my head is unexplainable.

After working my ass off in school. My latest physics test result.. 38%. What the fuck is that?
I'm slowly realizing that what's going on with my isn't completely my fault. It's not because I think I'm really lazy. It's not because I don't try hard enough. It's not because I don't care about school enough to do better.

Yeah, I know I'll 'get better'. Yeah, I know this 'won't last forever'. It's hard to see it though. It's hard to believe it, while I'm in the middle everything.

I will get through this.

I'm sorry about all of the depressing posts. This is my life, and my struggle. I still censor some of the things I say, but I'm trying to keep my writing as close as possible to document an accurate picture of my life. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I still dream about the valley..

When I was in the valley this summer, Colin and I met this guy Mark Hudon. We first met him when we were doing our nose in a day ascent while he was doing his two week solo ascent of grape race to tribal right.
Right when we got up to the boot flake and king swing section, we chatted with him a little bit, and kept on climbing as fast as we could. (He was just hanging out, reading a book on his portaledge.)

Once we got done with NIAD, rested 3 days, climbed the salathe wall in 3 days, we met him on the way down the east ledges as he was carrying all of his gear down. Pretty funny, we climbed two el cap routes in the time he did one. At the same time...... it's not that big of a deal... my friend Scott Bennett climbed 5 routes, I think...

So it turns out that Mark had done the second ascent of the Phoenix in yosemite in the 80's. This was the first 5.13 EVER (the hardest route in the U.S.), which meant that Mark had been one of the best climbers at this time.

He is now over 50 years old, and may be the oldest person to solo el cap. He is still a badass. We got to hang out with him a lot while I was there, it was awesome.
He emailed me the other day just saying what's up, and if I had any other plans for the valley this summer. My obvious answer... yes.

He just done climbing the shield on el cap. For those of you who don't know anything about it, it's long, hard, and scary. Here are a two videos where he talks about our epic suffering on the nose.

As Tom Evans says, and I will never forget, "you may love the captain, but the captain doesn't give a shit about you."

Cheyne and Colin guts it out! from Mark Hudon on Vimeo.

Storm Bivy above the Triple Cracks from Mark Hudon on Vimeo.

Check out his other videos on the shield on his Vimeo page to see what camping in vertical is like.
Also check out his pictures.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


The more stress I have, the less I climb. This creates more stress, and causes me not to climb at all. This constant struggle is exhausting.
I made myself go solo the first flatiron yesterday. I felt good for part of it. Then everything came flooding in again. I feel like I'm drowning in my own anxiety.
I broke down last night. It was terrible. All I could do is hide in the comfort of my room. Blast the music that helps my head shut off a little bit.
I feel weak, pathetic.

I try to stay positive. Hoping that something will help me get out of this. I'm not giving up, but I'm nearly... hopeless. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Temperature falling, motivation rising

My latest interest, country club crack. A 5.11c splitter with cruxes at the very beginning and end. The actual 11c crux is the 3 bolts that protects the greasy slab right off the deck. This is HARD. I feel like I'm a pretty solid on slab and sport, but this thing is full value. 

Not getting distracted by the graffiti, and full of beta for the first moves, I got it first try (this wasn't my onsight attempt). I had tried the beginning a week prior and couldn't even get to the second bolt. I think this would be an extremely hard onsight because of how weird the moves are and specific the beta is.

I felt super solid and focused the all the way up until the last crux. I'm so psyched about this, I've been climbing like shit for months, finally starting to get my head back. I got pumped, scared, and lost focus. I insisted on placing a piece of gear one foot above my last solid #2 camalot. The large amount of rope drag from linking the two pitches drained my remaining energy trying to clip my piece. I yelled down to take. Mad at myself. It's ok. 

I think I can get it next time. That time might have been this past friday, but upon getting to the base of the route, unpacking all of my gear, I left my harness at home. Bummer. 

Colin's excellent photography. I think this picture is cool. 

A local bouldering gym, the spot, hosts a few climbing competitions. Psychedelia is one of them. I'm really not into bouldering or competing for that matter. That set aside, this was sick! 
I signed up for mens intermediate. I climbed a few routes, then switched over to trying the advanced routes. I flashed the 5 hardest routes in the advanced section, including one open route. No falls.  'Open' is the hardest category in the comp.

It's funny. The perception that I have of myself doesn't line up with my performance as a climber. I tell myself (and still think) I'm bad at bouldering, so I won't do well in the comp. I don't view myself as a good trad climber, and it inhibits me from being able to climb certain things. The diamond was one of them.
I'm trying to work through my unusually low self esteem. Logically it doesn't make any sense, but mentally something just isn't working. 

Everything is either painted with neon black light paint or tape. It was soo sick! It was a little difficult getting used to climbing in the dark, especially because I don't wear my glasses when I climb. I got used to it, and didn't notice after a little while.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Creek

Realizing that my crack addiction has been acting up, I got my priorities in order. Skipped class friday so I could spend 3 days climbing in the creek. The school had given the alpine club some money for 'travel expenses' so no one had to pay for gas. My entire weekend cost about $20 (which included eating out, twice). 
I've been unmotivated to write on my blog so this probably won't be very long

I love going on trips with the alpine club. Hanging out with my great friends doing what I love most brings more joy than I can explain. 

Ryder and I, chillin. 

Kurt (aka Bubbles) on fingers in a light socket (5.11d)

Me on way rambo (5.12a). Almost pulled it. Psyched that Colin got the send, and that I'm finally getting the hang of crack climbing. 

Way Rambo, in the ring lock section.

We ended the trip with some speed climbing on super crack. This was cool. The first time I went to the creek with my friend Scott Bennett, this was my second crack climb ever, took me about 20 minutes. Seriously, not exaggerating. 

I'll admit, crack climbing did not come naturally for me.. at all. Even spending my summer in yosemite, I still didn't feel solid! This was the first time that I actually felt fluid and confident. I'm slowly getting my head back into climbing. It's hard, climbing like shit, no matter how hard I try. 
I'm still being grasped by my depression, but I'm learning slowly how to deal with it. I wouldn't say that it's getting better, it's just changing. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Send. The Pigs.

Starting to feel a little better. Still really hard.

I sent Outer Space (5.10c R) in eldo a few days ago. I haven't led it before, and have wanted to for a long time. I just haven't been psyched. It's not technically an onsight because I followed the route two years ago, but it is to me because I didn't remember any of it.

I bootied a nut and my first cam! A decent red c3, sweet. On the downside, my friend Alex dropped one of my slings, and left a nut (which was super easy to get out). Sorry Alex, you just need a little practice cleaning gear, you owe me though.

I felt pretty good on the route, a little shaky getting into the dihedral, but solid.
I'm starting to get my lead head back, not being super scared, the anxiety is getting a little better.

When I topped out, I felt better than I have in months, it was great. Climbing this route gave me a little break from everything that's going on with me..

After a great day of climbing, the night didn't end too well. I had work painting with my dad planned early the next morning, so I wasn't going to go out and party. My friends convinced me to come out with them and I wasn't going to stay out late.

I stepped out of the loud apartment with my beer, and was first to witness the cops. The pigs instructed everyone to leave. As I left, they singled me out. I'm sure my big glasses and red shirt didn't help. When they knocked on the door they heard someone say 'the cops are here, don't open the door.' Assuming it was me.. wow.. I got a possession ticket, for ONE beer. It could have been avoided if the door was opened right away for the cops.

The cop asked how much I had to drink, I felt stupid because I knew he didn't believe me.
I realize that it is illegal, because I am not 21. But seriously.. out of everyone.. me?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kill the Wasp.

My head constantly races at a thousand miles an hour, never giving me a break. It's mentally and physically draining. Sometimes i wonder why my mind and sanity can't get along. 

I feel like I have holes in my eyelids and can’t sleep. This is another restless night. I'm completely aware of the irrational thoughts that incessantly flood my head, yet still somehow believe them.  
I'm in my own mental hell. 

Am I yelling down to take and lower? Or am I putting in a piece of protection that will save my mind and life. I feel pathetic for having to do this. I feel weak, and not strong enough to handle life on my own. 
Bottles of prescriptions to be normal, I hate this.

I know I will walk out of this stronger for life. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Barb, Spearhead, RMNP

After bailing on Colin's idea of pervertical sanctuary on the diamond, I finally agreed to climb in the park. I was (mostly) psyched! 
*Colin attempted pervertical two days in a row and I'm got pretty damn close to sending

2 a.m. saturday morning I get a call from Colin or Will (I can't remember) to make sure that I was up and ready to go. Because of long approaches and high risks of storms, you have to get an alpine start and get hiking early. We started the 5 mile approach around 3 a.m. This would double the amount of hiking I've ever done in a day haha. The most I had ever done was 4 miles. I just don't like hiking. It feels sort of like homework. 

The hike went easily. I sort of went into zombie mode because I was so tired and zoned out for most of it. We got there before the sun hit the rock. We had to wait around for over an hour for the sun to come up because it was too cold too climb. Will and Colin spooned, I sheepishly denied and did jumping jacks and pull ups instead. 

We were climbing as a party of 3, will has a set of double ropes so the second and third climber easily climbed simultaneously while the leader belayed with an atc guide. I've never really climbed as a party of three, it inspired more jokes and belaying wasn't as lonely. I think it would be really fun to do a big wall with 3 people. I think it would be a nice dynamic. Especially if it was Colin, Will, and I. Colin and I already climb very well together. Will has never done any wall stuff, but because of his guiding and overall climbing experience I he would do very well. 

Colin quickly leading

Will on the summit

Wow, what an incredible climb. Virgin alpine granite. The climbing wasn't too difficult, 5.10b or c I think. The slabby crux held me up a little bit. I was wearing my big comfy shoes and that didn't help. 

This place is insanely beautiful. Black lake offered a few really cool bivy spots. Backpacking up there would be awesome. 

I am still in the mental struggle that I have been dealing with since I got back from the valley. My confidence is still gone, I'm extremely timid, and just not psyched. I only led one out of the 7 or 8 pitches. It was an easy one that got us on the summit. I'm mad at myself for not wanting to lead the harder stuff. The other two guys were psyched, so they got to do it.

Along with missing out on climbing the diamond, Will and Colin went to the black canyon and sent the scenic cruise. I was asked to go also, but I just wasn't psyched. I'm so bummed about it :/

I'm making small steps towards getting better. They may seem insignificant, but at this point, everything good that happens is a big deal to me. I soloed the first flatiron and kept a good head the whole time. I lead werk supp (5.9+) and the first pitch of tagger (5.9+) in eldo the other day and felt pretty alright.
I have also started seeing a psych. I have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression. This has been the biggest struggle I have experienced.

Tomorrow, I will try and feel better than I did today.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A tough summit..

I have fallen in love with the freedom that I experience through the rocks I climb.
As I stumble deeper into my depression and anxiety, some of my most joyful thoughts are of the intense freedom of climbing walls. The days I spent climbing el cap, and the hours I spent day dreaming walking around the base of el cap.

I'm trying to figure out how to get through all of this. It's drastically effecting my climbing. That's not what is important to me right now though.

As life gets longer, awful feels softer. 
Well it feels pretty soft to me. 
And if it takes shit to make bliss, 
then I feel pretty blissfully. 

If life's not beautiful without the pain,
well I'd just rather never ever even see beauty again. 

The View - Modest Mouse

Maybe someday I'll be able to explain what I go through when I climb. It has never been about getting to the top, it's about how I'm changed getting there. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Boulder Baby

Moving out of my parents house back to boulder for my second year of school. 

These rocks are now in my backyard again. I'm thinking I'm going to do a solo link up of all 5 flatirons. That means I will have onsight soloed 4 out of 5 of them. I've only done the first 3 so far. I climbed the third by myself for my first time the day after christmas a year and a half ago. I was terribly off route, frozen cold, and scared myself pretty bad. 

None of them are very hard, the hardest being 5.6 or 5.7. I've soloed the first flatiron over 20 times. It's one of my favorite climbs ever. 1000 feet of greatness, looking over the entire world. 

P.S. training for next summer in yosemite starts now

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Memorable words.

Here is a recent short collection of things I've heard or read..

I don't train hard, I get drunk a lot.
Crazy John
(* he said this after team freeing free ryder on el cap)

I think Camels are the future.
(* we gave Amit shit because he was from israel, I guess they still actually use camels as transportation hahaha)

You may love the captain, but the captain doesn't give a shit about you.
Tom Evans
(*  Tom was talking to Alex Honnold on the bridge about when Ueli Steck took a huge fall on their speed ascent of the nose)

Once I ate fish and chips there times in one day.
British Mark
(* this guy was full of funny things to say, he said this the day after he got off mescalito on el cap using homemade portaledges) 

It's the most epic part of your life so far, make it count. Remember that you love approaches, love descents, love hauling, and love being hungry, tired and scared. 
(* He commented this on one of my blog posts when I was talking about being unmotivated. A pretty good testament to wall climbing)

It's the most epic part of your life so far, make it count.

Remember that you love approaches, love descents, love hauling, and love being hungry, tired and scared.

P: If you die we split your gear.
M: If I die, burry me with my gear... I hear there's brimstone in hell.

Big wall climbing consisted of hours and hours of boredom interrupted by moments of sheer terror.
Warren Harding

In his amazing account of life in Auschwitz "Man's Search for Meaning", Viktor Frankl describes finding purpose in life only after being stripped of everything and facing death daily. 
Gringo Nightmare

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A lesson harder than stone..

So to get psyched on climbing again, it only makes sense to climb the tallest object that I can think of. 
In this case: 500 foot radio tower. 

I packed my harness, two slings, and two locking biners into my pack and drove out to parker, the next town over from me. I waited until it got dark enough so I could duck into the shadows and climb this thing in stealth mode. 

After hopping one barbed wire fence, I got to the second and final obstacle. This sign was posted on the outside of it. I figured that they said it was dangerous just to scare people off. I hopped the 10ft. fence, heel hooking to mantle on top of it, of coarse, and I was in. 

Once I got next to the base of the tower, I heard a buzzing sound. I decided to lightly touch the metal supporting beam to make sure it wasn't electrified.  ZZAPP!!!!!! 
Sparks flew, and I could instantly smell my burnt hair and skin on my hand. I got the hell out of there as quick as I could. I had set an alarm off in the process of zapping the shit out of my hand. 

The backs of my fingers immediately began to blister, along with feeling like they were on fire. This picture was taken a few days after it happened. 

Yeah, yeah, I know... one of the stupidest thing's I have done so far. Hey.... at least I'm not trying to get high in new ways with drugs, only by climbing things. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I feel it..

It's slowly coming ok?? Just chill out, I'll be back before you know it.

This is me talking to.. whoever actually reads this thing....

(and myself)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dead desire.

Yea ok so.. I'm burnt out. I'm going to take a couple weeks off of climbing. Yea, this sucks. No mountain project, no campus board training, big wall diagrams, no girls (psyche!). I don't know what else to do to besides stepping back.. I have been trying to push through my lack of motivation, running laps top rope soloing, training on my campus board, endurance training.. It's not working. I'm very worried about loosing what I have gained this summer by not climbing. I've realized that you can't really 'loose' experience. Being psyched and determined has more power than the muscle I have..

My desire is dead, or hopefully just dormant.

I'm actually into other things also, not just climbing. I'm going to start playing/writing music with my brother Jordan more. I really miss it. Hopefully a sweet fixie will pop up on craig's list also so I can start riding again (I just sold mine, it was a little too small).


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Back in CO

It feels good to be back. Not quite as good as waking up every morning in the ditch, but still great. My first day climbing in CO was spent at the little eiger in clear creek canyon, Golden. They call that rock 'granite'. Sort of a joke.. when compared to what I have been living on. My first sport climbing in 6 months (okay maybe not that long). I still have my trad head on.. and really REALLY don't want to fall.. even though my last bolt is at my waist, the bolt before that is at my knees, and the bolt before that is at my feet. It was nice to spend a day climbing something that wasn't so serious.. we could retreat back to the car on a moments notice. 

The next day we went climbing at this place called Ra, in empire. I went with Mike, Chris, and two other ladies.. I don't remember their names. Chris and I had planned on climbing this 4 pitch 5.12b called windows of the world, or WOW. 

I'm still hung over from the exposure, the height, the scariness, the seriousness, the.... whatever.. I'm just not recovered mentally. So I let Chris lead every pitch. I followed every pitch, and was scared... yea.. I wasn't even leading and I was scared. That's how I know I'm not back to normal. He hung and yarded on every single shiny bolt. I got up the first 3 pitches without pulling on any draws, and only falling a few times. I had the most trouble on the 12b second pitch, I couldn't figure out one of the moves and fell several times. When we got to pitch 4 I was a baby and pulled on the second and third draw.... I'm mad at myself for doing that. 

Chris and I on WOW

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Posting my honest feelings is difficult for me. This is my journey, and I'm documenting my experiences.

I have slightly been struggling with coming back into reality. Some people have no problem with this, but for some reason I do. I have never felt like I have had to try this hard to talk to people. The other night I had a legitimate anxiety attack. That has never happened to me before. It was absolutely horrible, it lasted about an hour. I was helpless, and felt like my chest was caving in.

Hazy Malibu on my way out. Sorry I didn't get any better pictures that capture the beauty of the ocean.

Triple digits scorched me all the way from death valley, through nevada, until I got into utah. I watched my engine temperature gauge like a hawk, making sure my old jeep didn't overheat.

I'm home now, but still long for the exhausted and scared feeling that I came to know in yosemite. I left malibu yesterday and drove 1070 miles only stopping for gas. I left at 11am and got home at 2:30am. I was planning on pulling off to the side of the road somewhere in utah to sleep, but never really got tired. The last 100 miles were brutal but I made it.

It saddens me to think about how I'm going to have to wait an entire year to go back to yosemite. Next summer I will be ready to send much, much harder.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Leaving something to dream about.

Every single day my mental tick list of walls that I want to climb gets longer and longer. My motivation is getting lower and lower. The temperature is getting hotter and hotter.
I feel like I'm at the point where I'm making myself climb. It's not something I should push. I'm listening to myself now, I'm going to save some of my aspirations for next summer.
I think I'm going to leave for malibu and stay with my friend Brando. I miss my family and friends more than ever. I'm really excited to get back home. Even though my hometown cliffs seem insignificant compared to the rocks that tower over me here, I miss those also. No matter what I climb, nothing can replace the feeling of when it all started on the conglomerate rock of castlewood canyon.
I am going to miss the level of commitment here. Bailing on some of the routes would be a nightmare, so it's easier up than down. I like that kind of thing.
I'm satisfied with what I have accomplished so far. I've climbed 5 big walls and soloed two of them. I can now onsight most 5.10d climbs. Unless it's offwidth.. I can only climb 5.9. I have gotten pretty good at placing gear also. I'm pretty solid with aiding C2. Talk all the shit you want about aid climbing, it will make you way better at placing gear while free climbing. I don't know though.. I just feel like aiding is a dangerous puzzle that you have to figure out, it's cool.
Good bye beautiful, beautiful valley.

One last picture.. This is the bottom of my shoe, each one of those circles is less than a centimeter in diameter.