Sunday, December 23, 2012

Skiing Anvil Mtn.

Amanda and I went with a few friends up to Anvil Mtn. north of Silverton, this morning.  For 4 out of 5 of us it was our first turns of the winter.  A little thin in spots but it was great to be out!
Starting out.

Gretchen and Amanda loving the steep skin track.

Pete, Amanda, Gretchen, and Thad


Amanda has had enough of Thad's singing!

Anvil summit at 12,537'.

Headed back down to the skis.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Best of the Best in Moab Oct. 2012

October is a great time to climb in the Moab area.  The weather is generally good and the temps are perfect.  Unfortunately most of Colorado also knows this and heads for the desert every fall weekend.

I met Sean at a coffee shop on Monday morning and we decided to hike up to Castleton and climb the classic Kor-Ingalls route.  The last time I climbed Kor-Ingalls was 10 years ago with the woman I married.  Sean and I got to know each other as we hiked up the talus cone to the tower.  Four pitches of great climbing put us on the top of the tower, which was Sean's first desert tower.  The route was pretty much what I remembered although I remember the OW pitch feeling a little more runout.
The next day we climbed at Indian Creek which is the most famous crack climbing area in the world.  Known for it's clean parallel cracks, it's a great place to practice crack climbing technique, whether you climb 5.13 or 5.9.
On our last day we climbed the incredible Ancient Art, made famous by the Citi Bank commercial.  With a team of 3 in front of us and a team of 4 behind it was a little clustered.  At one point all 9 of us were on one belay ledge!
Sean it was great climbing with you!  Hope to see you soon!

Looking up at Kor-Ingalls.


Hot feet.



Back on the ground.

Chocolate Corner

Ansaid Tower

Generic Crack

Looking Glass Rappel

Ancient Art with Cottontail and Echo behind.

The summit corkscrew.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving in Vegas

The plan was to spend Thanksgiving in Vegas with some of Amanda's family but when I accidentally let slip that the campground we would be staying at is nicknamed 'Afghanistan' people decided that maybe that was not how they wanted to spend their holiday.  We stayed the course and met up with some friends for some climbing in an area called Red Rocks which is on the outskirts of Vegas.

Upon arriving in Vegas, Amanda got to check out Tuoro University (at the time a school with a potential PA program).  And in the process of finding the school (or not finding the school) Amanda decided once and for all that she NEEDED an iPhone.  From the school we headed straight to In-n-Out Burger, where we promptly gave ourselves tummy aches.

The climbing in Vegas was great as always.  Hanging out with friends was great as usual!  All in all a great way to spend a thanksgiving!  Oh yeah, and Amanda got to eat loads of sea food with her hands.
It's good, but it's still just fast food.

Red Rocks

Amanda and I w/ Mescalito in the background.

Bill on Y2K pitch 1.

Bill and Amanda on Y2K pitch 2.

Bill at the Gallery w/ some healthy snacks.



Headed to Unimpeachable Groping.

Hanging belay on Unimpeachable Groping.

Million Dollar Tower

You can always count on the old wise desert rats to know where the unclimbed towers are.

Jeff had climbed 'Million Dollar Baby' and noticed that what the guidebook called "a beautiful 200-foot pinnacle" right next to him still didn't have a route on it.

According to the guide book Mike Baker had been to the area in 1997 and put up the route Jeff had climbed.  Mike Baker's name is all over obscure desert routes, and there had to be a reason that he put up a route right next to the tower and didn't actually climb the tower.  We assumed the reason was that it required to many bolts.

Jeff insisted he had spotted a line so Jeff, Ian, Bill, Amanda and I headed to the desert with Ian's drill and a bunch of bolts.  Leaving Durango at 5:30am the temp was 15 degrees F, by the time we got to Bluff it was a balmy 29 degrees F.  I might also mention that Jeff was joining us with an arm in a sling from a recent bike accident he had commuting home from work.  As I led Amanda concluded that what I was doing more closely resembled construction work then climbing.  After placing 18 lead bolts and 2 anchor bolts.  I might have to agree with her.  When Ian pulled onto the top of the tower he informed me that the the others all agreed the route would be called "The Compressor Route", obviously inspired by the famous route on Cerro Torre in Patagonia that was littered with bolts.  Although I'd be surprised if Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk waste there time chopping this route.  Jeff crushed it of course and jugged the tower with one arm.

EDIT: We have since discovered that Jeff was keeping quiet about how many towers he had climbed.  Million Dollar Tower was Jeff's 100th tower!  Good work Jeff!

Jeff and Amanda

Maybe not such a good idea.

Hucking some rocks.

Yeah, I was climbing that fast.

Half way.

The farther you reach the fewer you have to place.

Million Dollar Tower

Amanda jugging.

Bill and Jeff on top!
On the hike out Bill, Ian and I headed over to 'The Bant' for a quick ascent.  A fun free pitch and a free hanging rappel makes for a great end to the day!

'The Bant'

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Behind the Rocks

I wake to my phone ringing and realize that the dream I had about turning my alarm clock off and going back to sleep was in fact, not a dream.   Bill is waiting in his truck out front wondering were I am.  You would think that after years of me giving people crap for being late, slow, and inefficient that when I mess up and am slowing down the show I would get it back in folds.  But Bill doesn't even have a sarcastic remark for me.  One of only three things can explain this 1) Bill only got two hours of sleep. 2) He realizes that I'm beating myself up already. 3) He's a better person then I am.  The truth is likely a combination of 1 and 3 but I like to think it is 2.
Packing for "Brad's Tower"  
It's getting light when we are driving past Cortez and I'm kicking myself for slowing down the show and wasting daylight.  We stop along the highway near a tower that Brad has been pointing out every time we drive by for years.  It's been dubbed "Brad's Tower".  The closer we get to the feature the less and less it looks less like a tower, until Bill and I stop walking.  We decide "Brad's Tower" is unworthy of our effort and head back to the car.
Unsure of what to do Bill drives north as I frantically flip through guidebooks offering suggestions.  I hear a quiet "I've been looking at that for years, we could do that."  Just of the road is a little spike of rock near the Behind the Rocks area.  It's not super proud but it will do.  Bill leads and I jug the line that Bill has fixed to a few bad pins and himself.  After a experience the night before Bill calls the tower "The College Girl" and names the route "Almost got Laid."
Bill, checking to see if there are signs of anchors. 

Bill, doing his happy dance.


The reason for Bill's 2 hours of sleep the night before.

Near by is another small feature that we decided to climb before heading home that we are calling, "Table Scraps."
Me on top of "Table Scraps".

"Table Scraps" on the hill and "The College Girl" in the lower right. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Bill, Matt and I climbed Astroman in the end of September.  Turns out the thing is classic for a reason!  Amazing climbing!  We started out behind a slow crew which was frustrating but they got turned around by the 'Harding Slot' and rappelled.
Bill walked the 'Boulder Problem' which had turned me away.
The 'Enduro' pitch was a little easier than expected with a few rests along the way. But still a great lead by Matt.
Matt yelled down from the top of the 'Harding Slot' after leading it, "I don't want to be cocky but I'm pretty sure that where we come from that was easy."
We topped out just before dark thirsty and happy.  We ran back down the North Dome Gully to our bags at the base and some extra water.
Bill on pitch 1.

Matt following pitch 2.

Checking out the Boulder Problem.  About to get shut down.

Bill knows that to send you must be one with the rock.

The ultimate crotch shot.  Matt on the Enduro pitch.

Ready for something.



Bill after the 'Changing Corners' pitch.