Friday, December 30, 2011

8 Blue Nyla

Photo: Michelle Eckert (Bitches get stitches v9)

Photo: Pat Goodman (Slab Project)
On December 17th we traveled from CO to WV to escape snow and climb on some New River sandstone.  We only had 4 short days to spend with friends before returning to MD and PA for the Holidays.  Our first day was BRISK with highs in the 30's.  The rock felt like velcro and as we hiked through the expanse of rock excitement set in.  Boulders everywhere you looked, anything you wanted to climb from v0-project, 10ft to 50ft tall.  Nic had a project that he was very close on so that is where we headed first.  The project went up a proud sandstone face across rounded jugs and crimps with a crux move 15ft off the deck. The crux is a precise move to an incut crimp over a small bulge in the face so seeing what you were going for was almost impossible.  The project went down with some work and clocks in at v9.  We then made our way up towards the cliff line to try another project.  The second line that we got on was an arete on the main cliff line trail and is about 30ft tall.  It has a crux dyno to a a perfect mail slot jug and has a proud finish up a face with an exposed slab move towards the top of the boulder.  We got a full day of climbing in on our first day and it felt good to be with friends.  I was battling a sickness across the country and after our first day in the cold I quickly went down hill so the next few days were spent recuperating.  We managed one more day of climbing before we had to leave but rain set in and we had to cut the trip a day short.  The allure of great rock and open projects is calling me back to the New.  Its only a matter of time before I go back.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wild West

Baseline Rd, Boulder CO
I landed in Denver yesterday..  It feels great to be back in Colorado.   I can see myself spending more time here.  Each town on the front range has something different to offer and I have great friends across the state and in Wyoming that I am hoping to spend time with before we leave.  I have one week in Colorado and then we are making a road trip east.  Our plan is to stop in So Ill, possible stop in Chatty, Asheville and the NRG before coming home for the holidays.  

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hunting Season

just another gritstone beauty
December has been mild for much of Pennsylvania.  Its not often we have days that get into the 60's this late into the season.  To be honest I cannot remember a time until now that I have been able to make a journey north west to Elk this late in the year without encountering 6 or more inches of snow.  Typically any amount of snow means that the roads around Elk are impassible due to the steep terrain causing most of the roads to receive little or no sunshine.  The roads remain closed until spring when the temperatures get warm enough to melt the thick ice that develops over the winter.
photo: Mike Stewart (amazing arete)
I got a call from Brian on Friday afternoon about making a trip to Elk to get one last session in before winter set in.  Our plan would be to meet Saturday morning and head north to Snow Shoe where we would rendezvous with Trevor.  We didn't have a specific area in mind when we set off, each area had projects and classics to climb but seeing new rock would be nice so we got directions to an area that Mike Stewart and a crew of guys found a few years ago that looked intriguing in photos.   Neither Brian, Trevor or I had been to the area known as Q3.1 but we had a picture to go off of (photo to the right..  Climber: Ryan Shipp, Photo: Mike Stewart) and some solid directions so we journeyed into the unknown.  We managed to find the parking and the access trail with no problem.  From there it was a 20min hike to the boulders.  20min came and went and still no signs of rock...  The trail was flat but challenging due to all the rocks that were covered by damp leaves and moss.  We kept hiking, we were already committed at this point and turning around wasn't an option.  We were gonna find some rock.  We started to have doubts when we approached the 1hr marker and still didn't see any signs of the boulders in the pictures.  At this point in the journey we are so far in that we were going to find something to climb or we would have a great day of hiking through the woods during deer season.  It was decided that we would continue for another 15min or so and if we didn't find anything we would circle back and try again.  No more than 5 min later I heard Brian yell from up ahead, he found it!  Sure enough the trail took us straight to the boulder just like the directions said.  It only took about 45min longer than we expected, it was worth it.  The area was amazing.  There wasn't a significant amount of rock but the stuff that was there was good and the setting is beautiful.  We explored the area, warmed up and got to work scrubbing and climbing lines. 
I did an overhanging problem that is completely unlike anything I had seen before.  Its a tooth looking boulder that is steep and angled out of the ground at 45 degrees or so.  I am not sure if it had been done before but either way it was really fun.  You start on a good side pull and the arete, do some challenging moves under the boulder to gain the lip to an easy mantle.  It was surprising how much more difficult it was than expected.  That seems to be a theme for gritstone.
Daylight was starting to come to an end so we headed up the hill to try the arete in the photo above.  The line was a little green so we went to work cleaning the holds and picking out beta.  It was much more thoughtful than most aretes I had climbed before.  It had a complete lack of holds at the crux and was quite a reach to anything usable.  I was able to come up with solid beta that got me through the crux but no sends that day.  I didnt have enough time to put it all together before dark set in.  We knew that it would be a good hour to get out of the woods and neither of us had brought a head lamp so we packed up and hiked out to moon light.  Thankfully the moon was very bright and we cast shadows on the trail as we walked.  It was satisfying getting to see new rock and know that there is still so much room for development at Elk.
Sunday we woke early.  We got directions to another area known as Q3.  Mike and some other guys found this area nearly a decade ago but none of our crew had ever been.  Bowers and Sam met us for breakfast, there is nothing like a greasy spoon diner breakfast to get you ready for a long day in the cold.  The directions Stewart gave us were straight forward and we made it to the trail head without a problem  From there the hike is roughly a mile and some change on flat terrain and is marked well near the boulders.  We managed the hike in about 25-30 min.  Q3 is another beautiful area that is settled in a valley equipped with water falls, ferns and house size boulders..  pretty much magical...  The weather was a little warmer but still crisp and when we finally made it to the boulders we were warmed up from the hike and ready to climb.  I would say Q3 has a lot to offer but only has a handful of boulders.  We scrubbed and climbed some new lines and repeated a pocket problem that Joel T had done back in 2003.  One of the boulders that we climbed on consisted of water runnels that formed underclings all over the wall.  The boulder had some height to it too so the underclings near the top made for an exciting exit with a proper mantel at the top.. or you can grab a savior root at the top and thank Jesus for not letting you fall 25 feet to the ground. 
Joel T's pocket problem
Some of the formations of the boulders at Q3 are incredible.  They remind me of something you would see at Font or a southern area but the rock is still pa gritstone.  You have large wave shapped boulders to smaller boulders that are perfect geometric shapes.  The same curse applies to Q3 as with other areas at Elk, the quality of the rock can be so good that no weaknesses appear in the rock.  For instance, on any given trip you to any given area you will see handfuls of house size boulders with huge gorgeous walls but no holds.  Often times you find yourself having to adopt a new style of climbing for each area that combines feature climbing, extremely technical and burly moves.  
 Sunday went by fast and it was nice to see new rock in an area that I have been climbing at for years.  Exploring for rocks and new problems is still my passion.  Thank you Mike and everyone else who have put in some seriously hard work finding and developing these areas.  The Pennsylvania climbing scene is lucky to have developers like you guys!  I am still wondering how you all are able to find some of the areas that you do.  
Brian on the undercling boulder


Thursday, December 1, 2011


I've been on a roll out here on the east coast.  I am pretty sure I could write a lifetime movie or a hit country single documenting the crazy BS that I have gotten into over the past 2months.  To preface, I have gone through a few car repairs, a new car, being stuck in Clarksburg WV for 4days, getting involved with the Russian mob, end of times rain, poor climbing conditions, the demise of my new car, not to mention a life changing decision to continue my education and return to school for my graduate degree.
Everything started on my first trip to the NRG.  Nearly half way into the trip my battery light went on to which Kyle replied from the passenger seat with "yep...., that's your alternator".  The good news was that we could keep driving in the hopes that we would make it to the nearest town which was probably 45min away, the bad news was that we were 45min away and in the middle of back woods west virginyeee.  About 16miles from Morgantown my VW decided to crap out.  Every garage we talked to said "we dont work on those fancy foreign cars" or gave us a turnaround time of 2days and about $800.  Nothing was gonna keep us from our destiny so we decided to call around and see if we could do the repair ourselves.  My good friend Amanda (known as Amber Dean in those parts) was kind enough to pick our sad arses up and give us a ride into town where we bought a new battery, alternator and all the tools we would need to repair the car ourselves.  We proceeded to install said products into my vehicle while along side the road.  Kyles prowess under the hood of a car was impressive and thank God Trevor was along for the ride, his superhuman crimp strength saved the day getting the alternator wheel off the old alternator and onto installing it on the new alternator.  From start to finish the repair took an hour.  Finally we were on our way.  Upon arriving at the NRG I split two tips in 45min and Trevor managed to sustain a pretty serious muscle injury while warming up.  We finished out the weekend in style with our friends and managed some sends and a few FA's.  Just when we thought the trip was over and we were at the tail end of the journey my car decided that being fixed was no longer an option and the timing belt broke on my car about 100 yards from our destination and .5miles from the VW dealership.  $1800 and all my climbing equipment being stolen while it was being repaired at the VW dealership later I got my car back.
Everything was smooth for the next two weeks and my life continued as I looked for work and waited for my next climbing adventure back to the NRG for Thanksgiving.  Bri came to town as planned and we packed up and made the trip from PA to WV only for my my bastard car to yet again leave us hanging.  This time was different, the transmission was shot and I wasnt getting it fixed.  Off to the junkyard with my car and we pitched up in Morgantown with my good friends Mike and Jackie to find a new car.  Mother nature was kind enough to smite any possible drought or risk of forest fire by dumping thousands of gallons of rain on Morgantown at precisely the same time so Bri and I both felt safe wearing extremely flammable clothing near hot surfaces and flushing after #1 and #2.  This is also the time we ran into the Russian mob.... Who would have guessed WV?  They tried to sell us what I am sure was a get away vehicle, murder or crack car but we decided to pass.  There is an old saying about doing business or buying a car from someone out of the back seat of another car.  Now, when we are standing around the fire I can say "Remember the time we ran into the Russian mob in West Virginia and Bri almost stabbed a guy in the neck with a bic pen"?
 I did find a car eventually and thanks to all my friends, Bri, Bri's family and Barry(our car salesman) we managed to find a great car at a great price.  My new whip was unfortunately the last in affected in the string bad luck as it had a faulty water pump fan and needed repaired as soon as I got it home....  Sheesh...  God has smiled upon me however; my car is fixed, climbing continues, I don't have any physical ailments or diseases(that i know of), my harvest will be bountiful in the spring and I will be traveling back to Boulder for a short stay before the holidays.  While I am in Boulder I plan on seeing some friends in FoCo, Estes and Wyoming, climb some new rigs all before I make a road trip back to MD with Bri.
Our current plan is to stop in SoIll climb for a day or two then continue south and east to Chatty.  After Chatty, we are headed north to MD for the holidays.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Competition Climbing

This is the time of year when all the competitions start up.  I have never been a competitive climber at heart.  Competitions are great and I always have a blast participating in a comp but when it really comes down to why I climb its to be outside, enjoy my friends, meet new people and see amazing new boulders and routes.  Those are all the things that drive and motivate me.  This weekend is a little different, I am headed to Delaware to climb in their annual competition.  I am psyched to pull on some new problems and rep for PA.  I hope to be back outside this week or the following weekend to see some amazing new routes at one of our local western pa crags.  Here are some through backs from Elk.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

FA - Bubba Ho Tep

Here is some footage that Kyle Adams got from our weekend at NRG.  Thanks Kyle.

Bubba Hotep V10 FA - NRG from Kyle Adams on Vimeo.


October on the east coast marks the start of climbing season.  The mountains are painted by the changing of the leaves and temperatures are prime for firing projects.  Conditions on the east coast vary so much through the year from frigid winters to hot and humid summers that fall is a welcomed change.  One of my favorite places to spend fall climbing is the New River Gorge WV.
Its gorgeous at the New this time of year.  All of the trees are in full color and the views from the bridge are incredible.  This weekend the weather looked great so we decided to head down to check out some of the new development being done. NRG has some of the cleanest sandstone boulders that I have seen, sometimes 30-60ft sandstone blocks sitting in the forest with no holds.  Other boulders are more appealing in the sense that they do have holds and are in a good height category that falls into my comfort zone.  The rock is different from southern sandstone, it has a glassy feel from being water polished and the rock formed under different pressures so it lends itself to a slightly different climbing style then southern rock.  Maybe the best way to explain it is a combination of grit stone techniques along with gymnastic movement.  To top off the unique quality of the rock look no farther the quantity of rock.  I think it can be summed up like this, NRG is stacked with stone.
We arrived in Fayetteville late Friday night and met up with Nic Spruill to do some night bouldering.  Nic took took us to the Ali Bubba roof at Beauty Mt.  to try some fun established climbs and show us some projects.  We warmed up and quickly dispatched some lines and started working on a project towards the far left of the roof.  It went down quickly once we figured out the beta and we called it Bubba Ho Tep v10.  After our night adventure we headed back to Nic's place to kip for the night.  We woke up bright and early the next morning and headed back to the Ali Bubba roof to warm up and so Nic could fire Bubba Ho Tep.  Nic sent Ali Bubba and came damn close to firing Bubba Ho Tep.  I put up another new line on the farthest end of the roof and called Prince Ali v11. Ryan Scrufield joined us half way through the day and I showed him the new lines and sprayed him with beta.  He managed to do Bubba Ho Tep quickly and found new betta on different holds for prince Ali that clocks in at about v9.  The new beta uses some extra holds out right that for some reason i just didnt consider using. Nice work!  We finished up the day by hiking around looking at boulders and ended up at Pat Goodman and Jessa's house to have a cook out.
Sunday we woke up early again to capitalize on the cool morning temps and fire the Mellifluous project at fern.  Ryan dispatched in about 15 minutes or so and named the line Master of Manipulation.  I put up another new line to the right on the same boulder and it clocks in at around v9.
Every trip I make to the new reminds me of how much we have on the east coast.  Its different in many ways than other places that I have climbed in the sense that you definitely need to be up for an adventure in order to climb.  The rock is very inspiring too.  Some of the prettiest formations I have seen are on sandstone and the new river sandstone is no exception.  Our trip was good and I learned a lot.  I cannot wait to get back down to the New River and put in some more time developing such a great area.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New River Bound

Its been decided, a crew is headed to the new to throw down this weekend.  I am planning on leaving tomorrow or early friday morning.  See you all down there!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Minotaur v11 Johnstown PA
This past weekend I traveled to another Pennsylvania grit stone area to snag the third ascent of Minotaur.  This line follows pinches, pockets, slopers and crimps to a proud mantle at roughly 18ft.  Trevor (FA'd the line) was nice enough to give me the run down on beta however; I decided to use a slightly different version of moves to send.  This line is an instant classic anywhere and is just another testament to the quality of Pennsylvania bouldering.  Its good to be home on the east coast.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Newness in PA

I have been back on the east coast for almost 6 days and I have managed to get out climbing 3 of those days and train one day in the gym.  Thursday a crew went out to Elk to check out some new boulders that Trevor found the end of last season and we never made it to.  I met up with Travis and Quentin in central PA early on Thursday morning and we headed north to meet Mike, Josh and Trevor.  We weren't sure exactly how much climbing was going to be done but the prospects of new rock, high quality grit stone and seeing good friends was enough to get us all to be psyched.  We were all surprised at how quickly we made it to the new boulders as Elk is notorious for having very long steep approaches that turn most climbers away to more accessible areas.  
The new boulders turned out to be amazing and 3 unclimbed projects remain with one line definitely in the (v14+) range while the others went completely untried but seem to have the potential to be equally as difficult.  Travis and I each put up a new line at the new area, both are really cool.  Helke Arete v7 and Travis's line which is probably close to v6 or v7 too.   
As the sun started to head west and our desire to climb on familiar turf grew we headed to the boulder garden across the road.  I managed  to get the second ascent of a great line "weasels ate my flesh" with slightly different beta than which it was established with. I added a new line at boulder garden its probably in the v8 or 9 range and called it "tragedy".  Mike managed to snag the FA of a new slab which I am not sure of grade or name but it was really fun.
Elk still manages to completely shatter my ideas of hard rock climbing as I cannot think of another area on the east coast with more unclimbed v13+ projects on clean rock that require extreme technical prowess and power.
I was able to make another western PA craig visit in the past 6 days and managed the third ascent of Minotaur v11 and I put up a new line Gorilla Warfare v10.  The weather has been pretty warm but we have been managing and its only going to get better for sending.  Its been bitter sweet leaving Colorado and the wild west but I am having fun and trying to climb as much as I can before the weather turns cold.

Monday, October 3, 2011


In my last post about the frontier of bouldering I started by saying that Wyoming is the next great frontier for new development.  Two days after my first visit to Bennett Peak WY I made a second trip back to Laramie to hook up with Bryan and Davin to explore another area of rock.  Both Bryan and Davin raved about the area known as Neverland saying that the quantity of rock was double or more what I had seen at Bennett Peak and the quality was unmatched.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't skeptical about what I was hearing.  First, what I saw at Bennett was incredible and I couldn't believe that even more rock like that existed almost completely untapped.  Second, I have heard about areas in Wyoming before from friends and about new development that has been happening all over Wyoming.  Most reviews have been excellent however mixed opinions do exists in the climbing community.  So I was definitely a little hesitant but I had to see this area before I left CO.  Once again my views on the potential development in Wyoming have changed.  
(Arial view from Bing Maps of a small section of Bennett Peak)
Crossing the river to what are known as the Rose Boulders..

Bennett Peak is around 1hr and 20min west of Laramie Wyoming.  To get there you have to travel over the Snowy Range which limits travel in the winter.  Once the pass is closed bouldering at Bennett Peak is improbable.  Based on Davin's feedback the pass stays open anywhere from mid November - late December but after the first heavy snow you are locked out until late spring.  The season for climbing at Bennett Peak would be anywhere from April - November with the prime conditions being early April/May and Late Sep - November.  The arial shot from above shows just a small section of rock from the entire mountain.  Access can range from no approach to 1hr 45min depending on where you want to go on the mountain.  We spent our day at an area that was never explored before and required us to cross a river.  I was up to my arse in water at some points and had to do the river crossing bare foot because I didn't come prepared but it was totally worth it.  We managed to put up some great new lines from v2 - v11.  
FA Southern Drawl v9/10
One line in particular is an amazing seam feature that goes out a steep roof and is in the v7 range with the crux move at the top around the 18ft mark.  Climbing up to the crux on is somewhere in the v3 range and is everything you could ask for.  Its not taxing but it makes you think and requires good foot work and a clear mind as the ground gently slopes away from the climb as you enter the crux of the climb and the most exposed section too.  I managed the FA on the seam and named it Faust and put up two more classics lines before the day was over Southern Drawl v9 or 10 and Metamorphosis v11ish.  Southern Drawl goes up an overhanging face on some amazing slopers to the crux move on some poor crimps.  Metamorphosis is a low roof with very gymnastic climbing to a large move to the lip of the boulder on a heel hook and a toe hook.
I am so grateful for the tour of Bennett and I am excited to get back to some of the other areas on the mountain to develop more of the amazing rock there.  

"Crazy in the Ocean" extension project
Neverland is an endless expansion gneiss very similar to RMNP.  Neverland is just another area of amazing rock that is within a 1hr 30min radius of Laramie.  
I traditionally find myself wanting to do my own thing and find my own way and I find a great deal of pleasure in developing new areas.  Exploration and adventure have always been a driving force and motivation for me. When Davin told me about Neverland I was psyched and made a trip back to Laramie to see what the fuss was about.  Thursday morning I met Bryan, Davin and Justin at the coffee shop in Laramie and we headed out.  We drove through so much rock before we reached our destination that I couldn't even comment, I just sat in the back seat and watched project after project roll by.  Our final stop was a wall at the top of a hill called the wood grain wall.  Davin put up a v10 called Crazy in the Ocean and wanted to show Justin and I the line and see if we could repeat and possibly link the line into a project on the same wall.  Both Justin and I managed repeats on the Crazy in the Ocean and started working on the extension project.  Both of these lines are incredible.  No one managed a send on the extension but we did work out the link and started putting pieces together quickly.
Wyoming is definitely not for the weak spirited or the for someone looking for the comforts of society however; if you are looking for adventure, high quality bouldering and more rock than you can climb in your lifetime than Wyoming is for you.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bouldering - the new frontier

Two days ago I made a trip to Laramie WY to meet some friends and go on a tour of Wyoming bouldering.  I was blown away at the quantity and quality of rock that exists in just the small section within a 1hr 30min of Laramie.  Its surprising that with a place like Boulder CO, only 1hr and 45min from Laramie that more climbers wouldnt be up here projecting and developing this world class rock.  I guess its all preference...?  I will have a full post about my adventure in the next two days.  I am headed back to develop more tomorrow.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Poudre Canyon

Last weekend Bri and I made a trip to Poudre Canyon to check out the 420 boulders (around 1hr 45min north west of Fort Collins).  I have spent the past 5 or so weeks in CO and so far the Poudre may be one of my favorite places I have visited.  The vibe is great, house size granite boulders scattered through the forest with the most enjoyable approach... if you are into hiking for about 10min on a large flat trail otherwise not so much.  The rock quality is incredible and it offers grades from v0 - v13 with the mass quantity of the problems landing somewhere in between those two marks.  To top it off there is a free guide online compliments of the NOCO website.  (NOCO does an amazing job at organizing events, driving new development in colorado as well as managing relationships between climbers and other organizations to secure future climbing at established areas, so check them out.)

At first we were skeptical  about how much climbing was actually going to be done because rain had filled the canyon on our trip up to the 420's but by the time we reached the gate to the access road the sun was out, the wind picked up and the temps were around 56..  PERFECT!   We started off at the Hanks boulder and I managed to do pretty much everything on it quickly.  My favorite by far being Hanks Lunge v5*** on the back side of the boulder.  I managed to do a v11 2nd try called Private Property.  Bri and were both psyched to see more, so we headed back to the main concentration of boulders and began to climb anything that caught our eye.  At this point in the day it was getting very late as earlier we waited at a Shell gas station for awhile to see if the rain would break.  Time was against us.   Bri managed to do some quality lines and really push herself on her new project Scarface v6.  I am sure it will go down the next time we are out.  
I got on so many classic lines and looked at so many more that I didn't have a chance to get on.  I cant wait to get back out and climb in the Poudre.  A must go if you are in northern CO.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Another reason to stay in CO

I have changed my plans more times than I can count over the past month.  First weather impaired our climbing with rain and warmer than expected conditions and I ended up moving my flight out of Denver from the 12th to the 19th.  Since I am here and conditions just continue to improve daily and I have decided to yet again make a small change to my plans.  I will now be leaving on October 3rd for the east coast and will unfortunately not be attending the Nor'Easter in Vermont on the 23rd and 24th.  It is probably for the best as I injured my oblique about a week ago training for the comp and I am still in a lot of pain when I do large moves.  On a positive note I am close on 3 or so projects at RMNP that I am sure will go down the next time I am there... hopefully on Saturday.  Here is a picture of me feeling up The Game like a cheap trick. Just kidding, this rig looks sick and has one of the worst landings I have seen.  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Training and Fitness

I have been reading a lot of information about strength training and how it can be applied to climbing. Recently I have been discussing training routines with friends and how gains can be made in climbing.  Several schools of thought exist  in the climbing community based on training and how it quantifies as climbing improvements.  I am not out to disprove or prove anything about training and how it affects individual improvements and gains in climbing rather, this will be an attempt to explain my views on climbing and strength training, how I have improved my own climbing, what I have learned from others and good practices.  These are just my views and what I believe to have helped me get to where I am today.
Climbers are not unlike other none team athletes such as tennis players, weight lifters, golfers, pro skaters, surfers etc.  All of these sports including climbing require a great deal of skill that can be gained by experience and careful strengthening of targeted muscle groups associated to the specific sport.  It is also important to note that some of the strongest athletes also spend a great deal of time cross training opposing muscle groups not used in their sports to maintain balance, promote fitness and prevent injury. General fitness and strength gain have always been my goal.  I believe that the stronger you are as an athlete the stronger you are as an individual.  To quote a good friend of mine "If you are not strong, you are weak".  If a training routine is planned and executed correctly, the result of a systematic exercise is improvement of the athlete's physical fitness, particularly strength, as the body adapts to physical load.  In a broad sense, adaptation or the adjustment of an organism to its environment. If the environment changes the organism changes to better survive in the new conditions. "Science and Practice of Strength Training" Vladimir M Zatsiorsky, William J. Kraemer  
Climbing is a unique sport because it doesn't require you to be any particular body type and no baseline fitness level exists to be an amazing athlete.  Take for instance the following well known professional climbers Chris Sharma, Daniel Woods, Paul Robinson and Fred Nicole.  All of the climbers that I listed have entirely different body types but all are incredible athletes pushing the limits in the sport.  I am not nearly as strong as those people but I use their achievements as motivation as to what is possible.
When I train I look at several things, first what are my goals for training.  If I have a general goal such as lock off strength I warm up and then spend 10 - 20min working on that specific skill.   In the example I gave I would spend time on my fingerboard practicing lock offs until failure on several different holds on each arm.  If I have a more specific goal such as a particular route or boulder problem that I need strength for, I will find out what I need to do to train those weakness so that I can successfully complete the route or boulder problem.   Second and for me the most important... maybe this should be number one?  When do I plan on climbing and projecting? When it comes down to it thats what I love to do and why I am training in the first place.  Once I figure out what the weather is going to do for the week I make my schedule and begin my routine.  I haven't really subscribed to any set days of climbing and training but I do have good friends that do have schedules and they seem to work for them.  For example, some of my friends will climb two days on one day rest with a day of training mixed in.  Others have a one day on and one day off schedule.  I like to keep each week slightly different and really listen to how hard I am pushing myself so that I don't get a negative response, over-train and end up with an injury.  I mix up routines on rings, push exercises and lifting, sprints, climbing and body weight exercises.  I wish I had a magic equation to share but honestly my training changes every week and I try and change it as much as possible.
Nutrition is inevitably brought up at some point in conversation about training and as I have no college degree in nutrition only practical application and experience my ranting is pretty much just a look at how I plan my meals.  Several of my close friends are very health conscious and watch what they eat very carefully.  Others are exactly opposite and eat whatever whenever with no regard to basic nutrition principles that we all learned in grade school.  I fall somewhere in between these two tribes.  I am a strong believer in moderation.  Balances exist in nature all around us and are create harmony for creatures that live and thrive in them.  I try and balance my diet with plenty of vegetables, fruit, meats and some dairy.  I try and stay away from sugar as much as possible but anyone who knows me and has seen me house an entire bag of swedish fish or gummy worms can attest that I am full of crap.  In any case I feel pretty good about staying aware of what I am consuming because after all, we are what we eat.
My motivation comes from multiple sources and I try to stay psyched, motivated and maintain a desire to succeed.  I have seen it first hand in my own climbing and in others, its not just enough to have a goal and develop a program to reach your goal because before you know it you will have succeeded or stopped training because some goals were to ambitious.  This is where I believe that motivation and direction from a coach can help to improve gains.  I subscribe to an overall desire to have fun and better myself and that is really what its about for me.  I am not the strongest climber on the field but I love to climb and I love seeing people get psyched about climbing.  I enjoy sharing my passion for the sport and I hope that everyone can experience the same joy I get out of it.  One thing is certain, I have a long way to go at becoming the best that I can be and I am psyched about the journey.

I have been spending the past month training with some of the strongest athletes in the country and Summit Strength has been helping me make gains in climbing and maintaining a balance so that I do not get injured.  If you are looking for additional training information or training direction check out Summit Strength Training.    Brad of Summit Strength is a training consultant for climbers all across the country and develops programs that increase strength and promote general fitness.  If you are a climber or athlete looking to make strength gains with a direction and emphasis on climbing you should talk to Brad.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Scene

Chuck Fryberger's new film The Scene was playing in Fort Collins last night so we decided to check it out.  It was awesome seeing so many people from all over show up to see the film.  The Northern Colorado Climbers Coalition put on a great event.  The film shows some of the best climbers in the world doing what they do best.  There are segments from Moab, Bishop, The New River Gorge, Joes Valley, Innsbruck, Spain and other climbing meccas.  The film was killer, check it out!


Last week in Colorado

Its my last week in Colorado.  My trip has been amazing. I have met some great new friends and climbed some amazing boulders.  It is sad that I have to go at the end of the week but I know that I will be back soon.  I have a trip back to the east coast for the Nor'Easter comp on September 23rd and 24th then to the Rumney for a couple of days and followed by a trip to the New River for a much needed does of sandstone.

Ben on the crux of Potato Chip 

Upper chaos canyon at dusk

Secret Splendor 

Soap on a rope

Sunday, August 28, 2011


A short week after my first trip to the Rockies the opportunity came to make another trip back to CO. Weather in the east has been sketchy with rain and wind so timing was perfect for this second trip. It has been warm with a lot more rain than usual for September. The park weather has been hot during the day with temperatures reaching the mid 80’s but cooling off in the evenings so we have been looking for other options to keep us busy. Most of our time is spent hiking and swimming at the reservoir and making trips to other climbing areas near Fort Collins.

This past weekend we went to Wyoming for a throw at some offwidth and crack climbing in Vedauwoo. Vedauwoo is an amazing area with pink granite littered with large feldspar crystals.

Predominantly crack climbing, Vedauwoo offers large flaring cracks with small feet on amazing rock. I am not a great crack or offwidth climber so after I got seriously shut down hard on some local warm ups I started looking for potential lines that fit my style a little more. I was shocked at the potential that still remains at such an established climbing area. I spied no less than 5 hard double digit projects in the very first area that we climbed at about 100ft from the parking area. One project in particular that I put some effort into could easily go at v14/15 on a gently overhanging face with small patina crimps. I put time into another line that I was able to FA and called it The Republic. This line climbs out an overhanging arete with small crimps and a large span move that I was able to stick close to my max extension. I feel honored to add my vision of climbing to a list of classic hard lines in the area. Vedauwoo is a place where I could easily spend decades of time exploring and pushing my limits.

I have extended my stay to the 12th to capitalize on some good weather headed for CO this week. I hope to have the opportunity to climb at as many areas as possible before I leave. Photos and video to come soon.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

More From KAdams


The east coast is an amazing place to live with a beauty that changes with each season. I am always amazed each fall at the shift in color, temperature, smell and landscape that comes with the changing of the seasons. Winters are cold and Springs are short but offer a new look with a vibrant palate of greens, reds, yellows and blues with every tint and shade in between. Summer is hot and humid its the perfect time to have a beer and relax with friends. This summer however; I have had the opportunity to make several great climbing trips. One trip that I have been looking forward to more than others has been to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

Littered with granite cliffs and boulders that attract climbers, hikers and nature enthusiasts from all over, RMNP is a destination anytime of the year but as a climber it offers an escape from the heat and humidity that settles in the east from May - September.

This journey marked my first trip to Colorado. I had been told about the rock, the culture, hiking, climbing and mountaineering that the Rockies offered. I was completely blown away when I finally made it to FoCo, Boulder and Estes and met some amazing new friends that continued to get my psych up to climb.
It takes roughly 30 minutes to get to chaos canyon and the lower bouldering areas. 15 - 20 feet of snow lay on the ground peppered with car and house size granite boulders and surround a beautiful snow melt lake. “This place is amazing” is all I could say. Temps in the 70 - 80’s during the day with no humidity and dropped to a cool 50 in the evenings.

We had perfect conditions on my trip and with the cooperation of the weather I was able to put down so many classic boulder problems and a couple traditional routes too. I feel comfortable giving this summation or advice to climbers planning a trip to the park, work on crimp strength, cardio for your hikes and power because you will need them all or at least I did.

It made me sad knowing that this place was only a destination for me and that I wasn’t calling it home. In my mind I knew that I would eventually have to leave but only for a short while.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


1 Week into my trip to the New. It has been an amazing journey coming from a tweaked finger with absolutely no rope endurance to where i am today. I have managed several warm up onsights that boosted my spirits but when it has come to my projects i havent managed to snag any of them yet.
My focus has shifted from my long endurance sport climbing goal of Proper Soul to an amazing bolted prow feature on the meadow river that is (as of this post) still a project.

Ryan, Micah and I will be headed out for one last attempt at sending before i have to leave.

Monday, July 11, 2011

New River Booger Heat

I am staying in the New at the Rocky Top Retreat aka. Rogers. I got down here over the weekend and had planned on staying until I leave for CO but with heat in the 90's for the next 5 days I am thinking swimming is in my future not much climbing. I spent today deep water soloing and cross training trying to escape the heat but nothing seems to be helping. Headed for the Hole to keep in shape on some classics. Fall cant get here soon enough.