Monday, April 7, 2014

Clash for Cash

Clash for Cash
I am excited to be a part of this event. Bring your A game!

April 12, 2014 - 6pm, The Crag will be hosting “Clash for Cash” presented by Mountain High Outfitters, benefitting the American Alpine Club.

In addition to the $1000 purse, the event will feature a gear raffle with prizes from Granola, Metolius Climbing, Evolv, So iLL Holds, Arc'teryx, CAMP USA and others.

Prize Breakdown:
- Beginner (Male & Female): $50 Mountain High Outfitters Gift Card
- Intermediate (Male & Female): $100 Mountain High Outfitters Gift Card
- Advanced (Male & Female): $350 CASH MONEY

On-Sight/Finals. 6 Divisions: Male & Female Beginner, Male & Female Intermediate, Male and Female Advanced. 12 problems, set by 5.10 athlete and pro routesetter Tim Rose. 3 Beginner, 2 Intermediate and 1 Advanced problem. Climb your way through the ranks to win!

Registration: Opens March 12th
$25 ($15 for AAC members). AAC Members email Lisa Hummel ( for the discount code.
Registration is limited to 50 climbers, so register early!

Raffle Tickets:
- 1 Ticket for $5
- 5 Tickets for $20
- 5 Tickets when you join the AAC

Saturday, January 18, 2014

American Neenja!

Clips for American Ninja Warrior Tryout 2014 B'more from Tim Rose on Vimeo.

Putting together a vid for the 2014 American Ninja Warrior qualifier at Rash Field in Baltimore.

Friday, December 27, 2013


Photos By: GKWAN

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Another Brick in the Wall

Footage from early in 2013 on the FA of Nicodemus, Ivy Mill Rd, MD

Monday, November 18, 2013

Which came first, Russian or Vodka?

Vasya, Finals #2. Photo Gkwan
“Nope” my text response came as quickly as the google machine answered my question “how far is Newburyport MA from MD?” It popped back a comical 8hrs.  I love climbing and competitions are fun but a weekend trip, which includes 16rs in a car, did not seem to be the best use of my time.  “Well, you need to make it up for one of the Dark Horse comps”, Vasya’s text reply read clearly as I finished up a run and realized that it was a warm 60 degrees in November.  I wasn’t going to be able to skip out on the entire series this year.  Dark Horse is in its 5th season and I have managed to fill all my time during those parts of the year with outdoor adventure.  “I don’t really want to spend 8rhs each way in the car”, I felt this response best summed it up and left me open for a potential future bail if I found other plans closer.  “Its only 5.5 from DE” Vasya said.  “Damnit”, Ok I am in!  An understanding of why my teachers always scratched the box on every report card informing my parents I was completely incapable of using my time wisely… Oh well.  10hrs round trip seemed to be top value when compared to 16hrs…  Plus it was a trip to the northeast with good friends.

Nic Pic, Finals #3. Photo Gkwan
In the matter of a few hours I went from spending a few lazy days over the weekend spotting friends outside while they tried their projects to making a trip to Newburyport to compete in what was sure to be a very hard bouldering competition.  Friday night came quick and before I knew it Nic, Julian, Vasya and I were on our way from our rendezvous point in DE to NH.  5.5hrs seemed like nothing, we reached our destination around 12:30am.  To my surprise Vasya’s parents were up and had prepared an absolute feast for us upon arrival.  Traditional Russian soup and second course… pancakes!  I felt like baby Jesus arriving on earth to the warm reception of the three Wisemen, Marry and Joseph.  It was nothing less than the most hospitable greeting I have ever received at 12:30 in the morning.  After we managed to eat ourselves to sickness we decided it would be a formidable but necessary idea to turn in for the evening.  With our stomachs full and our psyche high we forced ourselves to bed.  I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve, my thoughts began to run wild just as my eyelids grew heavy and I slowly drifted into darkness.

Finals #2. Photo Gkwan
The next morning we made an early start.  An hour drive separated us from Newburyport so we didn’t stick around long before our departure.   The gym was packed and the music was bumping when we arrived.  I don’t have much to say about the comp itself other than you should have been there.  If you like great boulder problems, trying hard and having fun the Dark Horse is no brainer.  Josh Larson and Dave Wetmore put up amazing boulders for us in finals, and a HUGE THANK YOU for everyone’s hard work putting on an event like this.  I am really looking forward to the next one in December.

Mike O'Rourke, Finals #1.  Photo Vince Schaefer
What about Sunday??… After an amazing victory by Nic Pic and a great performance by Vasya placing them in 1st and 2nd respectively over all, we had another feast to celebrate of course!!  We celebrated with wine, authentic Russian cuisine, various cheeses, liquors, breads and desserts.  Before we knew it, it was 6am.  We had been up all night drinking and telling stories.  Vas and I had talked about hiking a mountain before leaving the area but with the comp taking priority it was better to leave it for another trip…  this is about the time when you have been up all night and perhaps have over indulged in several libations that nonsense begins to seem more sensible.  So we decided after being up for 48hrs, driving almost 6 hours and competing all day on saturday to go hike/run a mountain.  That’s what we did.  Nic and Julian reluctantly obliged to accompany us on our journey into the wilderness and they did awesome!!  Sure it was raining, we didn’t have warm jackets, we encountered ice and the wind was nonstop, none of us came prepared. “It’s good training” we said. To which Julian reminded us that he wasn’t training for anything and if he were, he would have come prepared and carried an 80lb backpack…  “We are half way, we cant turn around now.” my response was not greeted with enthusiasm.  Vasya turns around and says “vell, maybe not half…  two third.” When we summited I think the temperature was probably 20 degrees and 50mph winds made it difficult to stand.   “This will make great story nic” Vas said as we turned around and made our way back to the car.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Remember the time we almost got struck by lighting?

I prefer my coffee black, an unfiltered cigarette, a revolver, a shot of whiskey, a motorcycle, chewing tobacco and I'll wash it down with a steak and a side of shut up.  My Liberties over security and further more my freedom over idealism.  Two elk skulls sit outside our cabin..

We were at the mouth of the forest.  The service road that we had hiked went on but the forest came to an abrupt halt at the edge of a large reservoir.  Rain fell in white sheets obscuring our vision tracing a path in our wake as we sped across the open expanse.  The sky was ashen brown; lightning illuminated the darkness and a cacophony of discordant thunder rung in our ears.  Visibility was going from poor to naught quickly.  “We are completely exposed out here,” I said panting.  The only thing that stood between us and the car was a half mile jaunt across the top of a dam and a cascading deluge of water that covered our descent down the other side.  No trees, no buildings, no shelter, the car was tantamount to being in another state.   Lightning flashed again, closer.  Along with it came a crippling explosion of thunder.  It was a ground strike to our right. The hair on my arm rose and fell with the undulating charge filling the air; a thought manifested itself and a growing concern that we might be felled by lighting.  I broke out in a sprint. Another lightning strike, I could feel its discharge as it arced into the ground.  My eyes struggled to regain focus; I had lost contrast from over exposure to the searing white light; it seemed to be permanent.   My pace quickened and my mouth filled with the familiar taste of copper as my lungs struggled to maintain pace with the blood forcing its way outwards and the cool air forcing its way in.  I was not going to slow down.  Like the rain, I intensified my pursuit to the car.  My stride widened, I rounded the bottom of the hill forcing myself to take large gasps of air.  The silver car sat amongst the darkening evergreens and barely stood out in the dimming evening light obscured by the storm.  It was only a hundred yards ahead.  The headlights flashed, the car unlocked. I swung the passenger door open as the sky flashed and my surroundings were again thrown in stark relief.

That was day three of a four-day trip to the Quehanna wild area in NW PA, the area known as Elk.  The trip started off quite differently.  A balmy 75 degrees and sun greeted us as we pulled off the road and into the parking area for the cabin we would be residing at for the trip.  “It is perfect” we all exclaimed.  “Who would have guessed prior to this trip that we would go from struggling to find camping in this area to having a cabin to stay at within 5 minutes of climbing?” the rhetorical question came from Travis first.  It is amazing how things change in the matter of a few months.  We unpacked and made our way out to a climbing area to enjoy the last bit of daylight.  Unseasonable temperatures don’t lend themselves to great climbing conditions.  This is especially true when you are talking about heat and humidity on gritstone.  Grit can be very technical and require perfect conditions in order to hold “non holds” on predominantly gently overhanging, vertical and slabby terrain.  Conditions aside, we did have fun and we put up a new problem the first day.  Psyche was high.  The psyche got even higher when a friend of ours hiked up later that day, just before dark to meet us at the top of the mountain we were climbing and asked “Did y’all see that giant boulder in the gulley over there?”. Trevor pointed to his right to an area that we had never hiked up.  “No” we all said.  “Well, I figure it’s a pretty good looking boulder, maybe we should hike down over there on our way out?”  We all nodded in agreement feeling the energy of a new discovery come over us.  On our hike out at the end of the night, we made our way to the area that Trevor had pointed to and sure as shit he was spot on, a giant boulder sat amongst trees in a valley we had never explored.  Trevor’s genius idea to walk up the “less steep” section of the daunting hill we had been climbing led to one of the most enchanting, amazing looking boulders I had ever seen.  It’s absolutely breath taking.  Roughly 25ft at its apex it hosts a number of hard boulder problems on pristine rock.  The main attraction being a line up the belly of an overhanging double arĂȘte feature.  Pictures do not do it justice this boulder is king.  It was dark when we reached the car.  Day one felt great and according to the forecast prior to our arrival the rest of the trip was going to go one of two ways either perfect or rainy..  We had no cellphone reception or Internet access in the wilderness so it was impossible to see which way the weather was trending but we headed home with our hopes high banking on a rain free trip.

J and Gault looking happy despite the rain
The next morning we woke with the all too familiar sound of rain plinking off the tin roof.  We decided early that it would not stop us from at least exploring.  The rest of the day was spent hiking around looking for new boulders, only to return to the cabin later that evening soaked, head to toe.  It was a rewarding day.  We found a few new boulders and we were able to spend most of the day in the woods which is where I feel most at home.

The next day was much of the same, rain.  Mist floated down gently coating any surface exposed.  The morning progressed and the cool mist began to dissipate leaving behind a damp feeling but at last we would be able to enjoy a precipitation free trip into the woods.  We made a decision to head back to the Blush boulder and spend time cleaning and scrubbing obvious lines.  I spent roughly an hour working on a line that will trend up a blunt overhanging double arĂȘte feature right about the same time I finished cleaning we were stymied by a gentle rain that began to fall.   The rain began to fall faster and we made the obvious decision to head back to the car.  On our short walk back we discussed using the rest of our day to investigate some boulders that sat on top of a hill not far north from where we were.  It seemed like it would be the best use of our time seeing as by this time the rain had fully saturated the earth all hopes for climbing would have to wait until the next day.  This diversion into the unknown lasted the rest of the day and included a nearly class 5 ascent of a steep muddy slope.  Brian and I pushed forward as the path we hiked in on became a small strip of unclaimed earth barely bigger than a hair and almost invisible from our vantage on the hillside.  We found a few things but the hike wasn’t sure to bring us back anytime soon.  Our hike out on this uncharted terrain was just as challenging and the rain continued to fall.  This is where my story picked up, when we reached the opening of the forest.

Brian about to get FA of "Red Riding Hood"
Finally the last day we were greeted by sunshine in the morning.  The plan was to make the 3.5 mile hike to the upper golden sector of the golden boulders.  The walk is easy you follow a gold blazed trail to a beautiful stream, go across a wooden bridge then head upstream.  This area reminds me more of southern sandstone than any of the gritstone areas.  Typically grit is plagued with the common problem of being too clean with no holds.  This area is a contrast in the sense that you can find steep over hanging boulders that have amazing pinches, pockets, slopers and crimps.  They all exist at upper golden!  It was a great day of developing.  We all scrubbed boulders we were psyched on and managed to add a few new things to the field.  The last time I was at the golden boulders I put up a line called pressure drop that goes up a nearly vertical/ slightly slabby face that turned out to be pretty hard.  Not sure exactly on the grade but felt tough..  I did a similar problem on a slab this trip.  The problem looked so easy and straightforward but managed to thwart an ascent until I committed roughly 45min and a bit of skin.  It’s a few big moves on bad holds with no feet.  I called it martial law. felt hard to me.

Overhaning pinch problem at Upper Golden.
Although the trip was soggy and I managed to bitch up Travis’s car getting hit by a deer…  I had a great time.  Looking forward to my return and better conditions.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Rocktoberfest Wrap Up

8 am ..  #planB #1/36th irish
Have you ever traveled to Slade Kentucky?  An endless expanse of corroding steel pipes and smoke stacks protrude from the hillside as we crossed the bridge joining Kentucky to West Virginia.  Cool air washed over my face as the window droned and came to a close.   4 hours separate the town of Fayetteville WV and Slade KY, I closed my eyes and rubbed my face.  The mounting fatigue from our early departure was beginning to catch up with me.  The Cumberland region of the United States is steeped in history and is now the sarcophagus of a once thriving export driven economy.  At one point the area that stretches from KY up to WV and parts of PA contained the world’s largest coal and natural gas operations.   Remnants of this life still lie decaying along roads and in towns across the Mid-Atlantic.  It’s easy to forget where we came from with luxuries like smartphones and iPads, this thought occurred to me as I aimlessly browsed the interwebs on my iPhone.   We made a left at the next exit and sunlight bounced off the review mirror, temporarily blinding me.  I could tell from our previous vantage that our destination was not much farther.
Our first stop of many on the trip was Miguel’s, the always-active pizza and gear shop positioned not far from the interstate in the Red River Gorge.  Our stay was brief and we made our rounds introducing ourselves, shaking hands with new and old friends.  The aroma of fresh cooking filled the air, the indistinguishable smells of fresh vegetables, bread and pizza hung on every breath.  Cooking is the universal language of hospitality…  It’s easy to feel at home here.  As enticing as it was to post up and forget about the day, drifting into stories of adventure, our stay at Miguel’s needed to be brief. We had work to do.  After a run down on new 5.10 products for 2014 we packed up, only to return 4 days later for the RRG Rocktoberfest.

5.10 Demo, Urban Krag. Dayton OH
In the 4 days that followed we managed a tremendous amount of Demoing, Clinic-ing, talking, eating and driving.  The weather was warm as we made our way from Slade to Lexington and north to Cincinnati/Dayton OH where we Demoed shoes at Urban Krag and Quest climbing gyms among others.  A shout out to Kris and Annalissa, you guys are awesome!  They cooked us an amazing meal and put us up while we worked in the area.  Thursday evening rolled around and we headed south to Louisville and then back to Slade for the Rocktoberfest.

The Red is one of many spots in the region with amazing sandstone bluffs and caves intertwined with memories of industry.  It has a quiet beauty.  When you stand under a swooping overhang that’s 110 feet tall, it’s easy to see why the Red is one of the premiere climbing destinations in the country.

B. Dorough showing off...  new 2014 product

The RRGCC’s annual Rocktoberfest is geared at raising funds for climbing access and preservation in the gorge.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, as this was my first Rocktoberfest.  From the minute we set up shop on Friday Five Ten’s booth was rolling.  It was great to see all of the people show up for such a cool event that supports a great cause.  7am came early Saturday morning.  Demos kicked off on the bright and the day proved to be warm but great for climbing.  I was under a common misconception prior to Saturday, that you wouldn’t have much opportunity to climb with so many people at the event; I thought the cliff might be “crap” show.  I was wrong.  The Red is so vast that you can easily escape any crowd, no matter how large it is or if you are looking for a scene you could find that easily too.  We managed to get a little climbing in over the weekend and I was blown away by the generosity and hospitality of our hosts the RRGCC.   Thank you guys for putting on such an awesome event and doing what it takes to preserve climbing for future generations.

If you are unfamiliar with the RRGCC or the Rocktoberfest, I encourage you to check out their website.

We value rock climbing as a form of recreation that is good for both individuals and local communities. We also value the world class rock climbing opportunities found in and around Red River Gorge, Kentucky as a national treasure that are deserving of our best efforts to preserve for all Americans and for all climbers to enjoy, experience, and appreciate.

Our vision is to build an organization that provides the public service of securing and preserving the highest quality climbing opportunities and inspires climbers to become “Citizen Trustees of Climbing”—empowering ourselves through “ownership” (taking responsibility) and direct participation.

Our mission is to ensure open, public access to ample, quality outdoor rock climbing opportunities to meet the needs of current and future climbers and to encourage the conservation of the natural environment, on publicly managed and privately owned land by protecting, promoting, and ensuring responsible climbing.

Our strategy is to first responsibly secure the opportunity to climb, whether on public or private land, and then make climbing sustainable for climbers and the environment, and finally to make all climbing exemplary.