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Almost two years ago now (wow), Andrew and I were in the thick of a 6 month climbing trip.  The trip was great and all, but I want to talk about how it ended… We just kind-of got tired and went home.  Being on the road & climbing all the time is exhausting (physically and emotionally).  I missed Amy, missed the couch, missed the internet (ridiculous, I know).

I really haven’t climbed much since then.  Sure some in the gym, and I’d get dragged out on the occasional weekend trip, but REALLY climbed- It’s been a while.  And now I’m back, and it feels so good.

I used to think the quote “The best climber is the one having the most fun” was total B.S.- An excuse to fall, to not train, etc.  Now, back climbing three days a week, laughing, and pushing myself, seeing friends, falling, I see what they mean.

Coming back has been awesome on so many levels- There are no expectations, I’m reconnecting with friends, & having more fun than ever.

Tonight at the gym, so jokers actually started making fun of me.  Yeah, I was being a little loud as I cheered on my climbing partner- so what.  I just laughed it off, moved on to the next route, and kept smiling.


Ian - They can laugh all they want. You can warm up on their projects.February 28, 2012 – 9:24 pm

Doug - Welcome back Eli! I’ve climbed twice in the last 4 months since moving to Kearney. I think not being around it as much makes me appreciate the times I do climb all the more.

Looking forward to Shelf next month. It that Suspender Man in that picture?February 28, 2012 – 10:51 pm

Kate - Awesome- glad you’re enjoying it again. Tommy and I are making our comeback soon too! Going to get memberships this weekend- can’t wait!!!February 28, 2012 – 11:42 pm

Adam Scheer - Ha! I can picture that scene in the gym. Eli- we always love your enthusiasim. It’s gotten me through many a climb.

I remember a few years ago, everytime Eli would walk by a friend on a route, he’d yell “P.I.I.T.B (those in the know can fill in the acronym).” So one day I thought I’d return the favor. He was struggling on some hard climb toward the end of the night and I yelled up “P.I.I.T.B!” He immediately came off laughing. I felt justified.

It’s great to have you back on the rock, Eli. I hope we have many days of climbing together ahead of us!February 29, 2012 – 10:20 am

Eli - Ian- Yes, there’s definitely some validation in climbing hard. Doug- Looking forward to seeing you at Shelf, yeah that’s some old random shot of suspender man. Kate- See you in the gym. Adam- We’ll probably be in Cali in July, talk to you soon.

EFebruary 29, 2012 – 10:58 am

Andrew - I heard those guys in the gym while I was climbing! I just figured it was someone that we both knew!! Who would make fun of your partner encouraging you to do your best and push yourself? No one that I know.

Its been super fun climbing with you Eli! Climbing hard and having fun. Yes. Our trip was epic and it kinda just fizzled out from just being tired as you mentioned. However, I would do it again in a second. You have helped me get through this rough time in my life by getting after it and nudging me in the same direction. Lets keep it up and have some siiiiiiick adventures this spring, summer, and fall!!February 29, 2012 – 1:04 pm

Ron James Propri - Really great to see you back at it Eli. Also great to see that after so much time away, you’re not far away from where you left off. See you at the gym and can’t wait to get outside!February 29, 2012 – 1:21 pm

Chris - Welcome back bud. I’ll be in your area in a couple weeks and look forward to witnessing the comeback firsthand!February 29, 2012 – 7:26 pm

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Dost Mitra

The hike back to our first accent could easily be a destination in and of itself.  The sandstone monoliths reaching for the sky all around us were glowing brilliant reds, browns, and blacks in the rich morning sunlight.  I slowly hiked uphill behind my best friend and climbing partner, Eli Powell, trying to take it all in despite the growing anxiety of our chosen task.  

Morning Sun hitting the Canyon Walls


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Jon - No matter what you guys do, or how many more FAs you put up, you have more than made your mark on our community. Nice work!February 20, 2012 – 2:06 pm

Adam Scheer - This is a fantastic story and adventure. I admire your dedication and guts in establishing Dost Mitra on lead. For all the climbing I’ve done, I’ve yet to establish a new route, or even to truly consider the process. Your account is a much-appreciated description of the efforts required.

The photo of the overhung route from below really provides a nice perspective – 130 feet of endurance climbing! I also love the photo of the hangers and the description of the mental commitment needed to press on above the last established bolt.

I have to ask, not being a scholar, what is the meaning of “Dost Mitra?”

Congratulations on the new route. Now I suppose I should go climb it sometime!February 20, 2012 – 4:37 pm

Andrew - Thanks for the encouragement and praise. It was a great adventure and hope to set another route sometime! Dost Mitra means “My Friend” in Hindi. We wanted to name it in the same context as Namaste, which is the route directly to the right.

Any time you want to climb it, let me know and I will meet you there! All the routes in that canyon are amazing and not to be missed!February 20, 2012 – 4:46 pm

Becky - I am so proud of you. It was a great story and I liked the suspense. It was great to be reminded of the true nebraska way of road tripping to climb just a little. Thank you for igniting my loin cravings for the desert.February 20, 2012 – 9:38 pm

Chris - Such a cool achievement. I’ve been looking forward to this post for quite a while now, so thanks for sharing. Nice work, guys, on investing your time into giving a little back. Definately something we all can aspire to. (that and avoiding hanging prepositions)February 22, 2012 – 10:23 am

kris - I wanna climb it!February 23, 2012 – 4:48 pm

Emily - Congrats! What courage and brains you have :). I am always amazed by Climbing House blog posts and more importantly, I am always proud to be a part of the Nebraska climbing community. You guys started here in NE and then ventured out to carry on exciting lives. Whether the current NE climbing community folks decide to stay in NE or go where their hearts take them, it is always nice having someone to look up to. I am glad to know you all!!February 23, 2012 – 9:40 pm

Tommy O - That’s exactly the story I needed to read tonight. Had a nice dose of an asshole encounter at work and it was ruining my mojo bigtime. I feel like I am due a wholesome adventure outdoors and climbing with the people that matter most to me. Gonna fire the BRC membership up very soon, get back at it, and get back to the stuff that makes me happy. Friends, the calmness of nature, and rocks. Thanks for the post:)

Love you guys…you are both an inspiration to me.February 29, 2012 – 9:39 pm

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A Contribution to Climbing Magazine: Thumbs

The more I climb, the more I find myself using my thumbs. The first thumb technique most climbers learn is the crimp. By tossing the thumb over the index fingernail, the climber can enhance a small hold and stabilize pulling movement. But beyond that, a thumb is a fat, useless piece of flesh, like a bastard step uncle.

Climbing Magazine: December/January 2012

This thought prompted me to send a piece to Climbing Magazine on the ways in which the thumbs can be put to work for your send. You can read the full piece on Climbing’s website here. Keep reading to see the awesome illustration by Jamie Givens that accompanied the article.
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Doug - Looks like they misspelled “awkward” in the drawing’s caption. Regardless, nice little write-up, Adam. So how many published articles is that for you now?February 15, 2012 – 7:39 am

Adam Scheer - Actually, that was my error in writing this up! I rely on spell check like grandma relies on Muselex.

This is the third piece. I enjoy writing up these Tech Tips and obviously Climbing is a good forum. Eventually, maybe I’ll have an idea for a longer piece.February 15, 2012 – 9:10 am

E.F.R. - Nice work, Adam!February 15, 2012 – 10:30 am

Tyler - Congrats on another article, it’s always cool to see these.February 18, 2012 – 11:09 am

Chris - Yeah, man. Congratulations. I love seeing familiar faces in the climbing mags, especially when they’re fellow flatlanders (you’ll always be one, don’t deny it). I’d love to get together sometime and talk about this “longer piece” idea. I think may have some input…February 22, 2012 – 10:20 am

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Mickey Mouse’s Perversion

It’s been a winter full of afternoons holding weather that teeters just on the cold side of those sixty-degree sunny days that make thousands of Boulder-area climbs beg for ascents.  Andrew and I were lucky enough to find two beautiful Saturdays promising warm weather, and we headed outside to climb Bitty Buttress in Boulder Canyon, and Perversion, in Eldorado, two fantastic 5.9’s.

Waiting for the train to pass before going home.

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lizzil - Wow. I cried. I laughed. I grimaced at the naked mole rats. Very good writing and photos!February 12, 2012 – 3:04 pm

Doug - Nice trip report, Tyler. You had my attention with the naked mole rats but your buttery prose sealed the deal.February 12, 2012 – 4:53 pm

Ron James Propri - Great post! Looking forward to actual warm weather!February 12, 2012 – 7:28 pm

Adam Scheer - Cool post, Tyler. The last pitch of Perversion looks amazing. It’s good to know that the rest of it is excellent as well. I give this entry 19 naked mole rats out of 20. Why not 20/20? Not enough naked mole rats.February 13, 2012 – 9:20 am

Andrew - Tyler, I have been shaking with anticipation for this post since we finished the climb! Thanks for writing it up, I had a great time of both routes and Perversion is definitely in my top 5 routes ever! Nice job on the crux pitch lead, I would have probably been crying just slightly more then you were if I was on the sharp end.February 13, 2012 – 6:12 pm

E.F.R. - I like the new ranking rubric. That popular ranking system with numbers, decimals, and dubious letters from the alphabet, the one in all the books, just doesn’t make any sense (5.11c? – Whaaa?). Knowing a climb is ranked by naked mole rats is far more helpful and scientific. Right now, I’m a two naked mole rat climber, so I’ve got a lot to learn. Maybe someday I’ll reach for that fifth, golden ring sort of naked mole. Great post, Tyler. Good to see your writing “out there.”February 15, 2012 – 10:28 am

lauren - Exactly how have you be capable of create this kind of great audience of commenters to your site?April 8, 2013 – 10:01 pm

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New Contributers and a Note of Thanks

I’m excited about the future of ClimbingHouse. Two new contributors are coming aboard, Tyler Scheer and Will Oviatt. If you’ve followed our website, you are probably already familiar with both of them. I’ve completely overhauled the About page to introduce Tyler and Will, to reflect the current contributors and to tell the story of ClimbingHouse. Click the rightmost tab above or just click here to check it out.

The ride continues

I also want to take a moment to say thanks to you. Having this venue to share our adventures, aspirations and lives has been a constant positive force for us during the last several years. I hope you enjoy reading the stories, tips and techniques we share as well as the photography. Without your interest and support, ClimbingHouse would never have taken off in the first place. If you enjoy the site, feel free to share it with friends. We always love when new people discover our work!

Climb on,


Andrew - Adam! Good Work on the About page. I love Eli’s picture! Who is in the “flying” picture above?February 8, 2012 – 9:23 am

Adam - Judging by the silhouette, whoever it is has a shameful beard, stinks like sour dill pickles, shampoos with Vaseline and never remembers to scrub his bandt. I think it’s Andrew Kuklinski!February 8, 2012 – 7:38 pm

Andrew - I take offense to the comment “stinks like sour dill pickles”. Its more like a refreshing mixture of 8 year old climbing shoe funk and Yeti body odor with a splash of roses for good measure……February 9, 2012 – 1:26 pm

Adam - I see. Thanks for the clarification. I must not have a sufficiently sophisticated olfactory prowess. It’s much like being unable to distinguish a fine wine from vinegar.February 9, 2012 – 10:42 pm

E.F.R. - I love the photo of Eli … all I can think of is that trip to Shelf, and his “over drive ” nonsense.February 10, 2012 – 11:47 am

Kate - LOVE the about page! That was totally our life… too much fun packed in to too little time! Excited about the new contributors- can’t wait to hear what they have to say!February 10, 2012 – 11:27 pm

Chris - Man, oh, man. We’re, like, legit ‘n stuff. That about page it phenomenal. Thanks Adam! Definately inspires me to get off my butt and write something!February 21, 2012 – 9:32 pm

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Indian Rocks

We’ve been getting settled into our lives in the Bay Area. Check back soon for accounts of our new digs. Despite the business of moving and starting a new job, Lizz and I have made it out for a few days on the rock. I recently got a new camera, with some kind help from Charlie and Tyler – many thanks! I’m still learning how to use the bad boy.

California climbing - ready to roll.

Check out some photos from a recent day at Indian Rock at Castle Rock State Park and an afternoon at Indian/Mortar Rocks in Berkeley.
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kris - Hey Adam, sounds like you and Lizz are settling into Bay life well! Countless days and layers of skin have been shed at Mortar. The full value problem you need to check out is Nat’s Traverse, if you haven’t yet. We’ll be heading up to Yosemite soon – I’ll let you know.February 5, 2012 – 10:43 am

Tyler - I’m glad you guys are getting some rock in. Those boulders look pretty awesome – cool rock for sure.February 5, 2012 – 9:06 pm

Adam - Kris, a trip to Yosemite would be just what the doctor ordered.

The last couple weekends we’ve tried to devote one day to domestic/bureaucratic/apartment related stuff and the other to climbing. Hopefully we’ll be fully integrated here soon with no more books to shelve, plants to pot and furniture to buy.

Nat’s Traverse definitely looked amazing, as did a few of the shorter vertical problems (Mission Impossible etc.) Since we don’t have a crash pad yet, we were a bit at the mercy of the other boulderers there. I’m looking forward to returning soon fully equipped.February 5, 2012 – 9:40 pm

Doug - Adam, thanks for the write-up on your new local crag(s). The sandstone bouldering looks super cool. Hope everything is going well for you.February 6, 2012 – 9:13 am

Ian - It’s good to see that you’re killing it out there, Adam!February 6, 2012 – 11:04 am

Joe - Adam, great to hear you’re making it to the spots around here. For some good castle rock ghost footage, ask kris about his graveyard video.February 6, 2012 – 8:23 pm

Andrew - Good to see that you are getting out and exploring! Cant wait to get out there and see you guys and to climb on some of the rock you have been talking about. The ghost footage that Joe is talking about is pretty creepy…..February 7, 2012 – 10:30 pm

Ron James Propri - Looks like some really cool stuff out there. Hope it’s not too long before I can come and visit!February 8, 2012 – 12:05 pm

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