Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Check this out #8

I couldn't just leave without giving ya'll one more thing to check out.

A good friend opened my eyes to this marvel of movie magic, this stupendous scene of sound, this bodacious bag of buffalo--er--I'll just let you see for yourself.   There are four episodes, so don't quit after the first one!


And one of me doing a fun boulder problem with wet feet consequences my friend Benny Bills and I found at Hueco Tanks.  The music is actually my brother's original work and the video was produced and filmed by 'ole Benny himself:


Till next time,

Amanda and Joshua

Christmas 2011

Ever since skipping out on Christmas with my family a few years back for a climbing trip and being viciously rained out, I have corrected my ways by always making it a point to go see the family during the holiday season.  Tomorrow I will hit the road for central Illinois to make good on that.  It's been about six months since I've seen them and I miss them so much.

After spending a little more than a week at the Obed alone (man I love that place), making new friends and climbing new lines, I came back to Nashville to discover that Amanda misses life on the road.  I consider her fully converted to dirtbag now.  The plan worked perfectly.  More news on this later.

For now though, the blog will be put away, and our adventures on the Great Magnet will turn back in to obscurity for a while.  But who knows, someday a new adventure may fall into our laps and grace the screen of this humble blog.

Have a great end of 2011 everyone, thanks for reading, and be safe out there.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Back in the Southeast!

A great wind blew us back into the southeast and immediately upon arrival we went to bed.  But then we woke up the next day and went straight to the Obed for some bouldering.  Rains moved in and brought us back to Nashville for a couple of days.  Stopped by Climb Nashville for some hangin' out with some familiar faces--man the people there are the best!  If you live in Nashville and don't visit the gym you are missing out my friend!

Hopefully this weekend, the rain will clear and we will be back at the Obed.

We were led into the woods only to find this giant overhanging highball, going back to clean it this weekend.  Hopefully with an awesome crew, this beast will go down.  We named it the Tarzan in a Blender project.  More on this later!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Check this out #7

While at Hueco Tanks on a rest day, 'ole Benny Bills and I took our rope and draws into the park.

Enter Sea of Holes.

5.10a.  Two 150 foot pitches.  Pitch 1:  3 bolts.  Pitch 2:  4 bolts.

Needless to say, we crushed it.

That's me in the red backpack climbing up to meet Benny at the top of the first pitch at the belay station.  We swapped leads there.  This photo was taken through a pair of binoculars with an iphone by Amanda.

Hueco Tanks

Time is flying by!  Good feelings, friends, cheap burritos, oh and amazing climbing.  Enjoy some photos from the bouldering mecca that is the tanks.  More details later!

Super highball The Maiden.  Probably wouldn't have done it unless Andrew and Benny weren't so darn contagious.  Those guys are motivating!

Amanda on Sign of the Cross.  Classic.

Sign of the Cross again.

And again!

The Laughing Sutra.  The photo is taken through a hole at the top of the boulder.

Babyface.  Last trip to hueco I got shut down.  This time however...

Andrew's fingers in the Laughing Sutra.

...and those are Benny's sausage fingers.

Andrew on Double Vision.  Stiff V8.

Amanda floating the amazing Ghetto Simulator.

Ben tickling the topout on Ghetto Simulator.

At home on the endurance climbs...

Andrew happened to do this little line while he was in the Tanks.  Bloodline.

Back on the Ghetto Simulator.

Ever been stared down while wearing a fake mustache by a guy with a real mustache? I have.

I'm not kidding, the name of this problem is:  3 years dead and the bitch still bit me.  And it's rad!

New Religion.  Wow.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Priest Draw, Flagstaff, Arizona

Bouldering on overhanging limestone roofs with pockets.  What's not to like here?

We were fortunate to spend two days here in the amazing city of Flagstaff.  There are not a whole lot of problems at Priest Draw, but the quality is amazing--and luckily the snow didn't bother us or the top outs too much.

Amanda took a few really cool shots with her fish eye lens, so enjoy her exposures.

We are leaving tomorrow morning for Sedona where I will attempt Mission to Mars.  An 80 foot .12d sport route that I've wanted to do for a long time--and the last must do route of the trip.

Then--gasp--we will be heading down to El Paso to meet up with the lovely Annie Bills and her bearded wild man Benny for the culmination of our time on the road at the world famous Hueco Tanks.  Expect lots of photos...until then.

As my old boss would say:  "It's jug city, and I'm the mayor."

Onsighting Anorexic, V6.

Middle section of Twister, V5.

Inching closer to the unique topout of Twister.

This is how the top out of Twister starts.  Seriously feet first.

Floorpie--Vhard.  'Nuff Said.

What two guys are going to be hangin' out come Christmas mornin'?

These two guys!
Miss you bro, can't wait to spend some quality time together this holiday!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Joe's Valley, Orangeville, Utah

What has happened?

It used to be I was the one that gave Amanda beta (beta: secret movement to solve a rock climb).  Now I'm workin' the v6's while she is workin' the v9's!

Joe's Valley sandstone is world class, and Amanda is feeling the friction.  With an onsight of a v7 that I couldn't lift my can off the ground, and several v5 onsights, and rippin' highballs with no guff. The woman is tickin' boulder problems like she has been climbing her whole life.

Makes me proud to see her rip it up like this.  She has been climbing strong the whole trip, but ever since we got to Joe's, she has been climbing super strong.

I've been doing pretty well too, but that goes without saying...

Today we awoke to a light snow flurry, enjoyed it for a moment, then moved on to coffee and a library.  We are in Castledale right now, with a little wi-fi to put up a few photos.  Enjoy.

nice panoramic shot of the van--so spacey!

Lowtide, V7, down by the river...awesome line.

Team Effort V8.

Team Effort.

Bring the Heatwole, V7.  Really cool.

Amanda crushing the first moves of Heatwole.  Getting into the kneebar.

"I'm crushing your head"

Amanda on Arma, V7.

Another on Arma.

Another short of Lowtide.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Check this out #6

Here is a video of me onsighting "I Love Monkeys", all V3 of it!  Video taken by our new friend Arone, who also makes sick crashpads (www.stonelickclimbing.com).  Awesome problem with some consequences if you fall off the top!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kolob Canyon, Zion National Park

Today we woke up [kinda] early and left St. George for Kolob Canyon.

Kolob is a sector of Zion National Park that is accessed by Highway 15, a completely different entrance than the main Zion approach.

The south fork of Taylor Creek hosts some of the only sport climbs in Zion.  Indeed if you read the literature they give you when you arrive it will state that there are 'no sport climbs in Zion'.  Untrue.

There are not many, but there are a few of the most stunning lines I have ever climbed on.  And they're long.  Real long.  I took 18 draws with me and when Amanda lowered me, our 80 meter rope was completely taught and I was a good forty feet or so away from the wall.  Sick.

The routes were 130 to 150 feet long, I onsighted the five routes I tried within the three hours we were there.  I was so impressed by the quality of the stone and how fun they were to climb.  Lines of huecos led up the red sandstone cliff deep in the slot canyon.  Time sorta flew by--I love long routes.

Since it was just the two of us, we couldn't take photos of the climbing, but we did get a few descriptive shots of the action after the fact.

(Google image search Namaste 5.12a and Huecos Rancheros 5.12c at Kolob Canyon for other folks' shots of the routes in action.)

We're spending the night in Cedar City this evening and then will be heading on to Joe's Valley in the morning.

Weather is perfect and we are ready to rip it up.

We probably won't be able to post many more blog entries until we leave Joe's Valley, but we will try.

This is taken from the parking area of the South 'finger' of Kolob Canyon, notice how the canyon narrows toward the back--that is where we are headed.  Roughly a mile hike or so.

Gettin' closer to the action.  I've never heard echo's like the ones this canyon provided.

Rackin' up 16 draws for Namaste, 5.12a.  First route of the day.

Here is a nice detail of the giant pod-like hueco's that decorate the wall.  So much fun.

Another detail, the wall is a lot steeper than it seems.  Check out our neon blue 80 meter rope on the right, thats hangin' from the chains gettin' ready to be pulled through.  The route it's hanging from is Hueco's Rancheros.  About 150 feet tall.

And another detail shot.

Here is a detail of the ladder of jugs of Namaste, 5.12a.

One of the 'shorter' routes I'm cleaning.  Last route of the day.  Amanda is zoomed in for this shot by the way...

"Ah man I can't believe I just ripped all those routes like a total badass..." or Amanda telling me that my hair looks funny.  See how steep that wall is above me!?

And I said:  "Whats funny about this hair?"

She looks good doesn't she?

It was cold in the canyon.  Stone cold.

Magical approach trail.  Leaves fallen over red sand.

More trail, more magic.

On the way out of the slot canyon into the warm air.

So I says:  "Take a photo of that tree"  The only red leafed one we passed.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

How do you make beautiful scenery better?  Add twizzlers.

Her and I at the end of the day.