Saturday, January 5, 2013

Polar Opposite

I'm leaving for my next trip to Patagonia with a calm mind, and rejuvenated spirit. After living in a tent for seven months, Jess and I moved to the big city of Denver. It's completely opposite of what had become 'normal' in my life, and it has been a healthy experience.  

I can count on one hand the number of times I have gone climbing since I moved back to Colorado, and I can honestly say that I am happy about that. I worked extremely hard to get better at climbing in Yosemite, and taking this break is exactly what needed to happen. I get burnt out, I lose psyche, and I really dislike climbing at certain times. I'm learning that these are natural emotions for me, and I now listen to these feelings because I can't necessarily control them. 

Climb if you want to, do something else if you don't. Go out every day and do what ignites creativity and makes you smile. Enjoy the photos:  




Wrong Way




Jess checking out the new prints

That Smile





Seven hours to go on a drive to a crazy place where my friend Bud Miller farms ice in Ouray Colorado. A quick trip to sharpen my ice tools and get the groove of climbing ice just incase I encounter an unfortunate situation down in Patagonia. Last year I was glad to have the little experience that I did for the single dangerous mixed pitch that Scott and I came across while climbing The North Pillar Sit Start on Fitz Roy. It felt great to get out of the city and return to the simple life of 'eat, sleep, climb'.

Box Canyon

I ran across Nathan Smith who works over at Liberty Mountain. He was the first person to start supporting me as a climber, and that has opened up many opportunities for me. I was psyched to lead my first pitch of ice of the season so he could shoot a few photos. 

Tangled Up In Blue

Nathan Smith



Carbon Fiber

Homemade Pizza

Whisky Slaps


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Inside the Lens

"It doesn't count unless you got it on camera..." I jokingly say this, but it can be true.

Did Honnold really send the triple linkup in Yosemite?
Well, yes he did.. I was there filming him up on El Cap as he floated by.

The following information is about how I attempt to document my experiences, and the gear that it takes to do it. Sometimes I get caught up in the equipment, and don't focus enough on the story that's happening around me. When Jonny Copp filmed the 'alpine rockumentary' SPLITTER, it wasn't in HD, it didn't have animated motion graphics, and wasn't made with the highest quality equipment. He captured what it was really like to go alpine climbing, and made you laugh as you watched it.

I'm going down to South America next week, and I am going to do my best to accurately tell my story through my camera lens.

The 'Alpine Camera' comparison

Last year I took the S95 down to Patagonia, and every other climbing trip over the past few years. The image quality is great for such a small camera (Canon has now upgraded to the S100 and S110).

This year, I ended up with the Sony NEX-5N off ebay for about $420. It's an interchangeable lens camera, and I put the small 18mm prime lens on it. From what I have found, no existing camera has a better image quality to size ratio. It looks about as good as a Canon Rebel T1i. I found a case at REI that fit it perfectly, and then added a leash so you can't drop it while climbing. 

It seems insane to me that people take up massive cameras on huge objectives such as The Meru Shark's Fin. Maybe I'm not strong and fast enough to bring my DSLR into the mountains, but I am very excited to bring along my new little Sony. 

I'll also be taking my bigger DSLR down to Argentina, and I'll use it while I'm traveling and probably up at basecamp in the mountains.