I thought about trying to catch up since my last blog post and the more I did that the more I procrastinized and the more daunting the task became. So forget about it. I'm going to try something new in an effort to stay up to date. Bullet point blog posts that take 5 minutes. I really like keeping this blog so I can look back and remember the cool stuff that happens around here and elsewhere but I've put too high a standard on what i post and it's caused me to fall behind and not do it at all so start to expect trash!
Recap: Last post was September something. Good weather came and climbing season happened. Overall it was a fairly unproductive season.
Mega Proj: Shut me down again. Year 3, 100 plus days. Seems to get harder as I get older. I had more hair when I started working this thing. Note the lack of bald spot year one.
I kind of lost mojo this season. I felt like the proj was holding me back from doing other routes in the prime season so I did a tour of the cumberland plateau. I spent some time at the red in the fall and did some cool stuff.
I got to spend some time with my friend Pete and Lidija and their dog Buster. They are from the Lake Tahoe area. I met them in Smith Rock a few years ago and they are amazing people. Pete has always been a world-class bad-ass climber. A few years ago he lost his leg when a piece of machinery fell on his foot at work. It hasn't slowed him down much and he's probably the strongest prosthetic leg climber in the country. Still climbing 5.13!
Here's Pete on Dogleg at the Red River Gorge.
And Lidija with Buster. She always looks like this. Always laughing uncontrollably. Great people.
Another friend I got to hang out with was Nick Duttle. Here he is during one of the most incredible redpoints of Kaleidoscope. About half way up he started to look like he would fall at every move. He just kept going. Everyone at the crag was simultaneously laughing and cheering. It was hilarious. He'd lunge and sag out, then reel it back in. Every move. Not a single person, Nick included, thought he'd clip the chains but he did!
After the Red, the weather moved in and I had to head south for warmer climates. I spent a few days climbing at Little River Canyon in Alabama. Great crag and great stone. The canyon is near Fort Smith, Alabama.
Fort Smith is known for two things: The Alabama Fan Club and Musuem and socks. Yes, they make socks in Fort Smith. I love America.
My partner for the Alabama trip was fellow Sprinter van dweller Ben Gilkison. Here he is on the highlight routes of the trip: Unshackled. One of the best 8a's in the south!
Bald eagles soar high above the canyon. We had one fly right over our heads at Unshackled one day. I took this picture of an eagle. It was sitting motionless behind the glass of a Park Service information board. This is a picture of a picture of a bald eagle that I took. National Geographic, here I come.
The conditions became frigid in Alabama and with no rock further south I had to head west to Arkansas. Jasper, Arkansas is in the heart of the Ozarks. This is one destination that has been on my hit list for quite some time.
A bit further south is the town of Cowell, home of Fontaine Red and Fred's Cave. This is Fred's cave.
I sent a problem! Tag my fist in the camera. Shikidang! How'd it feel?
Ironclad beta: Arkansas is a dry state. You heard me right, it's a dry state. There are some fringe counties at the edges that sell beer in select locations but for the most part consider it dry! Byob. We had to make a 120 mile beer run to Missouri. Don't be stupid like us. Bring beer!
No climbing trip to Arkansas is complete without a stop at the regionally famous Ozark Cafe. Kirk got the half-pound Ozark burger and I must say it makes our WV Long Haul burgers look like a mere morsel. Again: Shikidang.
Onward with the whirlwind tour....I headed back east just in time for Christmas with the Colley's. A good time to relax and regroup and a wonderful time overall. Then Elissa and I headed to the Obed for New Years. We met back up with Ben and his wife Tiff for some solid Farkle dice and champagne. Dude, we raged on New Years! A little dice game, a little drink, in bed by 10:00, just the way I like it!
January had me back home at the New to work on Max's remodel. Max the Road Warrior has been transformed. He is now, Max the Road Warrior version 2.0 Beyond Thunderhome. Expect a seperate blogpost on this when I get some pictures.
I headed back to the Obed for a short two day trip to meet up with Kirk who was returning from Red Rocks, Nevada. I knocked off the project I picked up at new years in short order and split back to the New where the weather has finally turned for the better.
The past week, Kirk and I have been hitting up the Lakebed, putting up new routes, and knocking them down. I bolted and sent a fine new 13a.