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Immoral Disapproval

Editors Note: This is a joint post, an alternating narrative, between Patrick and Chris. Patrick is standard font, Chris is in italics. We hope you enjoy the story told simultaneously from two perspectives.

The sandstone towers of the southwest US captured my imagination from the moment I first saw them in second-hand climbing magazines. Splitter cracks, demanding specific technique and gear to match, intimidated and intrigued me. The desert, serene yet severe, seemed like an alien world, so unlike the cornfields, prairies and urban sprawls of the Midwest: a wilderness playground from another planet. I now live out West, and I have found Albuquerque to be an excellent location for home base. A multitude of world class climbing destinations beckon from within a half-days drive. One of the few privileges of graduate school is the flexibility to determine my own schedule, so I have no problem planning to disappear from the lab when Chris calls to let me know he is going to be in the neighborhood.

As of late I have been faced with a double whammy of obstacles to climbing. First, as always, I am based in the Midwest, a condition that I no longer lament but embrace as part of my persona as a climber. Second, I am a father, a responsibility and privilege I cherish for its rewards. But for all of the positivity these bring to my life, they stand headlong in the way of my passion. So in a situation where climbing trips are infrequent, you capitalize on opportunities to mix in climbing days among “normal” vacations. This leads us to a trip to Gateway, CO with a goal to climb the Palisade by a relatively new and seldom-repeated route, Immoral Disproval. It will be a difficult climb for me, the hardest lead on gear I’ve attempted and begs the question: Is this another foolishly optimistic goal or a recipe for success and reward?

Route Marker

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Sara Konecky - I had fun reading this :)October 15, 2013 – 4:25 am

Ted B - I approve, awesome write up. Sounds like an awesome day! Stay rad.October 17, 2013 – 5:27 pm

Tyler - Nice job guys! Sounds like a great, ballsy kind of day. Great writing from both of you, thanks!October 25, 2013 – 10:39 am

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Thoughts on Why Yosemite is Off Tomorrow’s Map

*Editor’s Note: Climbers tend to stay out of politics. We rely on the Access Fund to do our dirty work to keep the areas we love open and climbing permitted. Yet right now all the national parks and the climbing and adventures they offer are off limits; the impasse representing one of the largest access denials in memory. Park closures are just one consequence of the government shutdown. As climbers we pride ourselves on being involved and informed. We look out for safety, teach Leave No Trace ethics and value our natural resources. So when something like the shutdown rolls around, how should we think about it? What should we do or say? The answers aren’t necessarily straightforward, but having the facts and understanding history are a good place to start. Here is my take on the politics of the current shutdown and how we got here. If you agree, disagree or just think I’m ugly, feel free to treat this as an open forum and leave a comment.

Politics has always been messy. But only rarely has the threat of a government shutdown been used as leverage and only during the last few years has the debt limit been considered a bargaining tool.


Because until recently virtually everyone has agreed that shutting down the government and defaulting on our debts is bad for the country. More importantly, it hurts individuals in little and big ways.

Right now my brother is in California and we had planned a trip to Yosemite. Because the national parks are casualties of the government shutdown we can forget about it. Last week, I talked to a close friend who is a postdoctoral researcher working for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He’s been furloughed since Tuesday. Many others are now, suddenly, out of work. These are real people with families who live paycheck to paycheck. There isn’t a single politician in the country who would tell you these are good things.

You are not allowed to go here tomorrow.

And yet here we are with both sides refusing to budge and negotiations on hold indefinitely. But these aren’t ordinary negotiations.

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Sara Konecky - Nice post, Adam!October 8, 2013 – 1:59 am

Kate - Well said! I agree– the one liner I always hear, that ‘the government is bad and inefficient,’ is a gross oversimplification. A one line response to a complicated question is dogma, not critical thinking. Thanks for your insight- always enjoy it!October 8, 2013 – 8:36 pm

John Scheer - I agree, Adam. Boehner’s bluster leads me to believe he’s not a very bright bulb. It would almost be funny if it wasn’t so dangerous. News story: 90% of EPA employees were furloughed. Fox Not the News interpretation: Only 1 in 10 EPA employees are necessary. Wow! Hope you and Tyler get some climbing in.October 9, 2013 – 9:21 am

Don Schuller - Adam, Very well written!! You hit the nail on the head. It does my heart good to hear a young man see so clearly this countries problem and be able to put it into words. Please run for President!! :-)October 9, 2013 – 9:08 pm

Tyler - Nice article. It’s so frustrating to see the ripple effects of the ACA hitting across the country, especially knowing that the act was passed, then deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court. This rule by the minority is awful.October 11, 2013 – 11:59 am

Tyler - *I should say, the ripple effects of the republican opposition to the ACA, not Obamacare itself.October 11, 2013 – 12:01 pm

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Way Lake and Shuteye Rain

California only ever seems to get bigger. Every time I think it’s time to narrow my focus and zone in on a particular locale, style or project, a friend calls me up stoked about an area I’ve never been to – or even heard of. So when Gabe suggested a trip to Way Lake and Hartley Springs, my total ignorance didn’t come as a surprise.

“Cool. Let’s do it. Where the hell is Way Lake?”

Conversations like this are the way most of my summer adventures have started.

Gabe setting up for a toss on Ugly Duckling (V9)

The bouldering at Way Lake near Mammoth will leave you breathless – figuratively and literally at 10,000 feet. For three days we had the serene scene nearly all to ourselves, only running into one other party.
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Smoke and Flare

Climbing successes give the feeling you can handle anything the rock gods throw at you. But inevitably these moments of triumph are followed by being thoroughly humbled. Sometimes both extremes can happen on the same route. That was the case when Luke and I returned to the Hulk with our eyes on an amazing linkup: Solar Burn (5.12b) to Solar Flare (5.12d).

The mediocre scenery on the hike to the Hulk

Check out some images from the route as well as a few of the Yosemite fire, captured over the weekend while climbing Fairview Dome classics in Tuolumne with David.
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Emily - Good read after my bipolar fit of weighing the options of climbing the first weekend into my last semester of nursing school or not. I vow to never be an Urrrrssaaaaalllllaaaa. Oh, and holy greatness! Nice work on your sends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You kick ass at climbing and your day job is pretty bad ass too. So good work Adam :)August 26, 2013 – 9:36 pm

Luke - Wahooo! Good stuff dude. Fun climbing with you!August 28, 2013 – 5:24 pm

Vitaliy - This Ursala person deserved a bitchslap…

Well done on your climbs! Enjoyed the report.August 28, 2013 – 7:19 pm

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Bathanging at Woodford’s

Bay Area climbers chase weather like a dog that just can’t catch his tail. In the Winter, Bishop and Jailhouse get plenty of sun and the cool, dry days mix with neurotic retentiveness to create perfect sending conditions. Fall and Spring bring the type 2 fun only the Valley can inspire. In Summer, the High Sierras, Tuolunme and Tahoe are perfect high altitude destinations for escaping the heat. My list of ‘must-do’ climbs and boulder problems has grown impossibly large.

Ben Taking a nap on Power Surge (5.12c)

I woke up Saturday next to a dirty buttress called Woodford’s in South Lake Tahoe where I was happy to join Jonathan, Casey and Ben for a weekend of adventurous climbing. Many of the routes in the area are trad lines established by Dan Osman and company in the late 80s but see relatively little traffic today. Ben and Casey spent half the day cleaning the second pitch of Power Surge, knocking off dust, pebbles and the occasional widow-maker. The reward for all the effort was a pristine upper pitch that is one of the wildest lines in the area. I caught some good shots of them working through the route. They were both making big strides and Ben had a quality attempt before river-cooled beer became the watermelon of our perception. Enjoy a few shots of the climb and a couple anecdotes from the weekend.

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Eli - This is awesome. Love that first photo, wow.August 19, 2013 – 8:56 pm

Tyler - Wow, that looks absolutely amazing. I love the Tahoe area, I wish I’d been able to climb more while I was out there.August 21, 2013 – 9:22 pm

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A Soggy Day in Eldo

Having an old friend in town is a great excuse to go climbing, weather be damned. Adam stretched out a layover at Denver International Airport long enough to hit the crag and catch up over some beers. Better still, our little crew had Rincon Wall and the entire West Ridge of Eldorado Canyon to ourselves- It’s amazing what a little rain in Boulder will do. Big ups to Tyler for leading Climb of the Century, and Nate for leading Wendego- I’m glad I was watching from a safe distance.  Here’s a few photos from the day…
clouds hanging above eldorado canyonwater droplets on leavesclimbers hiking through talus field in boulder coloradoinsect skins hanging on underside of treeclimber belaying in the rain outside of boulder coloradoclimber trying very hard on climb in eldorado springs canyon coloradoclimber climbing through the rain at Eldorado State Parkguy climbing in the rain with pine trees all aroundclimber at the belay in a rain stormtyler sheer climbing Climb of the Century in Eldorado State Parkclimbers lounging between climbs in boulder ColoradoNate climbing Wendego in Eldorado Springsrolling mountains outside of boulder colorado

Tyler - Holy crap, Eli, great pictures! Thanks for putting these up. I love the photo of Adam bearing down on foxtrot in the pouring rain. Hope to get out again soon.July 30, 2013 – 12:27 am

Chris - I just have one question. When did Adam move back to Boulder? :)

And, of course, great shots Eli.July 30, 2013 – 7:30 am

Adam - I moved back on Saturday night after 3 weeks in Spain, Switzerland and Germany – got settled in, bought a hamster and then was uprooted again on Tuesday morning.

Great post, Eli.July 30, 2013 – 3:01 pm

Jamie Richard - These are great!July 30, 2013 – 7:17 pm

Eli - Thanks guys. See you soon~EJuly 30, 2013 – 7:52 pm

Justin - Nice photos Eli! Its always great when you can beat the crowds out on the crag like that.August 1, 2013 – 9:51 am

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