Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New List and New Assignment

Howdy Kids!

New list for you Squamish rock feigns to devour. The Squamish Terrors list was a huge hit. Exactly one person attempted it. So I thought I'd kick it up a notch with an even harder meaner list.

Say Hello to "The Impossible 7"

  • Square Cut Low
  • Quick Stick
  • Sniper
  • Vitamin D
  • Shakedown Sit-down
  • University Crawl
  • Pat's Problem up and left of Mr. Bigglesworth
I would love to hear about anyone who does these 7 problems in a day. You'd be the man! Or Woman! The challenge has been thrown down. Can anyone pick up the gauntlet?

Oh and in other news I'm heading up to the Yukon tomorrow for some travel, laughs and maybe a bit of bouldering along the way. Squamish Climbing Magazine asked me to do a trip report of the bouldering in Ibex. So I hope to get some good photos and interesting stories.

Till next time.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Are you a climber?

So here I am just minutes from midnight doing what I do most...

No not that!

Ok fine, doing what I do second most,


Anyways, I was thinking what it took to be considered a climber. And what defines a climber. Sorry, but grades don't really imply here. I was thinking about being a climber -- I mean a real climber, not that guy you meet at a party that inevitably says he's a climber too when your introduced as one. You know who I'm talking about. The guy who's done a few top ropes at the gym, 3 times tops. That guy isn't a climber.

Sorry, but he isn't. Now if he top ropes at the gym all the time and is passionate about it then fine he can be a climber.

But the guy I always meet is just some dude who wants talk about being extreme. Climbing isn't extreme!

Ok fine, Dean Potter you're extreme and like three other guys who are more crazy than anything.

Anyways back to the topic at hand.

Passion. Being a climber is about passion. To love something so much that it becomes all consuming. Here is an example; you have every holiday for the next year booked on a climbing trips. Then you're a climber. Or you drive across town in 40 below to climb at the local gym because you got stay in shape for climbing season. Then you're a climber and a nut job.

I climbed two years before I really thought of myself as a climber and less of a poser loser. Which I sometimes fall back into.

Now I'm not saying I didn't have passion, no far from it. I went a little over board when I first started climbing. I climbed one day at Flemming Beach in Victoria then went on a week long climbing trip to Squamish. Came back to Victoria packed up my stuff and moved to Squamish and climbed the next 32 days in a row.

For the record I didn't know you were supposed to take rest days. I got invited on a road trip to Smith Rocks with the two guys who talked me into climbing for the first time. They thought I'd gone off the deep end.

But still I wasn't a climber, not by my strict sense of what a climber is. I don't know what it was but when I looked at the other guys I climbed with I didn't feel I was one of them yet.

Yes I wore a toque even in the summer, yes I started skipping showers, yes I started neglecting the opposite sex. Hell I even contemplated moving into a van, but I still didn't make the cut.

So what made me a climber?

Janelle and I decided to go on a two month climbing trip to France. We set up our tent in Font and didn't move it the entire time. We climbed like crazy, I finally picked up some foot work, but I wasn't a climber when we got home but I felt myself getting close.

The day I became a climber I remember very well. Because I remember thinking this is it; no longer a poser. I sent my project which I had worked for a full year. And it wasn't the send, it was the glowing feeling of success that I got from it. Something I'd yet to experience to that extent. It was my passion rewarding me for my hard work.

Being a climber is taking the disappointment of not sending and still climbing. Being a climber is obsessing about something so completely that you can't sleep because you're thinking about it. Being a climber is finally succeeding.

I'm interested in what other people think of this. Throw it back at me if you think I'm wrong.

Because I believe being a climber means you've joined an exclusive club where you had to earn your way in.

Anyways hope to see you in the boulders tomorrow.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Quitting Climbing!


No, not really.

I just finished reading the latest Gripped magazine with the article about Thomosina Canada's top female boulderer. Pretty good article with photos from my good buddy/snake Mike Chapman.

(I won't get into the snake part... but Chapman's projects will be available with topo's and directions upon request.)

Anyways, where was I?

Oh yes quitting climbing.

In the article Thomo talks about getting so frustrated that she often quits climbing. Only to come to her senses, usually this realization takes about five minutes.

Well this got me thinking. Why do people quit climbing? I mean there are legit reasons: legs fall off, move to place with no rock or gym, die, plenty of reasonable reasons. Why is it I know five dudes that were sitting on the winning lottery tickets and never cashed in.

Jordan Wright -- a friend of mine -- who just gave up a sport. He was in the one percentile. Here's some facts. He climbed 5.14c, bouldered V13 and won the National championships. A few weeks back after not climbing for a full year climbed Viper with no warm up.

Now I know what your thinking; Big deal Viper! I mean phish that's like V5 whoopie do! Stop, and think about this. Could you go home now sit on your couch for a year, not climbing ever, no hangs, no pullups, then have a friend call you up to hang out. So you bring your brand new super down turned shoes you haven't yet broke in. Then just jump on Viper and climb it with relative ease?

I don't think so fatty!

Vince Chung, campusing climber extraordinaire, just up and quit climbing. Here's a guy that could do everyone of the hard problems I've done in ten years probably in his first few weeks of his climbing. I have no doubt I could call up Vince and he could climb them all in a day or two if he wanted now without climbing for like two years.

Nick Gibbs, Squamish powerhouse, and early developer. This guy was climbing harder than just about everyone is now. And he was doing it as the big fish with no one else to climb with. He up and quit. I hear legends about him doing one arm pull ups on crimps I can't even hold with two feet on.

I met a guy the other day, Mitch. He stopped climbing when he was climbing double digits regularly. I was like what the hell? I'd kill to climb hard.

Oh and it doesn't work drinking the blood of other strong climbers. It doesn't make you stronger. Sorry Vince. Lesson learned.

Stu Worrall, strong climber, major Squamish developer, has just cashed in his chips. Don't know who he is? Pick up your guide book look up the classics and you'll find his name.

So what makes some dudes quit?

Is there chance I can out wait everyone and be the best? I mean that's my only chance.

I'm competitive I'll admit it. I'm also not delusional to think that my pullups and crunches are going to make me the best. I mean I did do like ten this week... combined... with breaks... over a couple of days.

But I might be able to be the best in my catagory. 6'3, 200 pound guys from the Yukon, in Squamish. Maybe just maybe I won't have to quit climbing like those other guys. And I can hang on because I love this sport and not worry about what others are climbing.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Squamish Climbing Magazine!

Check out the brand spanking new Squamish Climbing Magazine.

My boy Bubbles has worked his butt off to put together a stunning new piece of work.