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Old & Cold

I turned 25 over the weekend- No climbing, but a good time with friends. It was 5 degrees last night when I went to the climbing gym. My only motivation was knowing the place would be empty.

I always thought I was shy, that’s why I wouldn’t talk to that dude at the gym. Turns out I’m a bit of a snob. All those shiny carabiners on his harness made me raise my nose.*I’m working on changing this*
Doug sent me some pictures from warmer times…

Coming off the crux of Challenges of Leisure

Upper 5.12 Crux of Challenges of Leisure

Some 5.12 on Oceanic wall, Upper Dram Canyon

kris - Buddy, happy birthday!January 28, 2009 – 7:26 pm

Eli Powell - Thanks!January 29, 2009 – 10:00 am

Adaminium - I couldn’t even do those moves!February 2, 2009 – 6:57 pm

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A Note on Nuts

On Brand

Many climbing equipment manufacturer’s make nuts. They’re all pretty similar. I use Metolius nuts. I have these because I got ’em cheap, but if I had to buy new I would get Black Diamond or Frost (if I could find ’em). The curved shape of the Metoilus nuts tends to get stuck more offend than the simpler taper of most nuts.

On Racking

An interesting idea is to rack a mixture of large and small nuts on two biners, so if one is dropped, there is redundancy. I don’t do this, but I might if I had a really minimal rack (read: alpine).

I rack RPs on one biner and large nuts on another. This is the quickest way to get to the right gear. I don’t use oval carabiners because the symmetry makes it harder to tell which side opens, and ovals are heavy and bulky.

If I’m using a gear sling, I usually still keep nuts on my harness. This gives quick access, and reduces overall bulk.


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Value Engineering

There is this thing called Value Engineering (VE). Basically, it’s when you design something, and then have to change it to make it cheaper.
I tried to mount a hangboard above a door in my apartment recently. After about 20 exploratory holes, I found the studs above my door were VE’d out of the design.

If you’re looking for some good resources for hangboard workouts, check out this list.

kris - He he… coincidence, I just hung ours yesterday. I had some trouble finding the studs too, but I shrugged it off to our complex being built in the 50’s(?). Anyhow, 7 of the 10 screws struck gold.January 25, 2009 – 11:58 pm

Eli Powell - Funny. Now you’re going to have chalk all over the apartment.January 26, 2009 – 9:05 am

Gargantuan Vermillion - I just took mine down, and have stud holes all over the wall.January 28, 2009 – 3:16 pm

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Land Grab

A recent trend in climbing access is the purchase of climbing areas by climbing organizations ( re: Laurel Knob, Unaweep Canyon). These organizations are supported by members and corporate donations, but I’m still waiting for climbing companies to really step up.

I propose climbing companies buy climbing areas and open them to the public for free. Imagine Horseshoe Canyon Ranch becoming the Petzl Spirit Canyon, with free camping and climbing. Next, Horse Pens 40 could be The Drop Zone presented by Black Diamond— Sick! No more access problems, just plain commercialism. Logos could be spray painted at the start of every route.

Chris Rollings on the soon to be renamed Clip or Die, Petzl Sprit Canyon, AR. Photo Lucas Marshall.

Although actual climbing areas are as-of-yet not commercialized much of the rest of the climbing world is. Every magazine is supported by advertisers (not the $20 buck you give them for postage). If you think this doesn’t alter the content, you are mistaken.

An article in the current issue of Rock and Ice underscores where the money’s at. Professional climbers, writers, and many more Outdoor Industry professionals make a fraction of Outdoor Sales Representatives.

I guess this is no surprise, but it just reinforces the importance of non commercial climbing resources; here are a few of my favorites…

Eric Horst Training (Check out the Euro Finger Rolls)

Mountain Project

The Lucas Photo

Peter Beal

kris - Yeah, why stop at spray paint at the start of the routes? Let’s mark all the key holds. Then they’ll be fun.

Speaking of land grabs, don’t know if you heard the latest on the lands around Moab. By judge order this issue is getting more consideration. : )
NY Times
Salt Lake Tribune
Deseret NewsJanuary 22, 2009 – 2:17 pm

Eli Powell - Thanks for links Kris!January 23, 2009 – 7:40 am

Andrew - Speaking of “marking every hold” i just watched the climbing movie “The Sharp End”. There is this area in Europe where the use of metal protection and chalk are prohibitated (read: no cams, nuts, very few bolts, and no chalk marks. the only pro; lengths of knotted rope and other miscallaneous feed throughs and looped chicken heads..) Whoa.January 23, 2009 – 7:56 am

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Cool little tripod

I recently purchased a digital camera, and have been having fun taking pictures. I also bought this little tripod- a Gorillapod by Joby (available at REI). These little toys make it really easy to set up a shot. They quickly adjust to uneven ground, and can even attached to tree branches (or blueprints).

That is all.

Andrew - Did you take the pictures of your new digital camera with your new digital camera?!January 21, 2009 – 8:18 am

kris - Andrew, six words: portable wristband timepiece with alarm clock.January 22, 2009 – 2:44 pm

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Coming Down

I got out a lot last weekend… I think that’s the problem. Sometimes it hits on the drive home, or maybe the next day at work, but I sure get a case of the blues after a great weekend climbing. Like “This is the ‘real world’ ?” I think the term ‘real world’ is a myth that allows people to lower their expectations for life.

If you get down back in the real world: Plan your next trip, train ’til your mind turns off, or look through some sweet climbing pics.

Last weekend was 60-70 degrees and sunny. I love Colorado. We had some friends here from Nebraska. We got out to Wendell Spire at Castlewood Canyon on Saturday, and Plotinus Wall in Boulder Canyon on Sunday. Click on the picture for more from last weekend.

Andrew - Im right there with you. I know exactly how you feel. Its funny that you mentioned this because just the other day I had an epiphany about the “Real World”. The real world is what you make of it. If your not happy with something then change it because its not going to get better if you dont do something about it. If the change is in progress then the best way that i have found to deal with the blues is to think of my close freinds. Of all the good times that were enjoyed in the past and all the great times that will be in the future. Best friends and good times always bring a smile to my face and fend off the down days with a big ugly stick!January 20, 2009 – 8:55 pm

Eli Powell - True That.January 21, 2009 – 7:54 am

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