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Save Sandstone Festival This Weekend!

The dates for the Minnesota Climbers Association’s Save Sandstone Festival are fast approaching! This weekend(Oct. 19 & 20) climbers and outdoor enthusiasts will flock to Robinson Park in Sandstone, MN to help save a small piece of Minnesota bouldering. Information about the event can be found on the event page on Facebook as well as the story behind the land that we are trying to purchase. Organic Climbing has even created some awesome custom Chalk Buckets, Chalk Bags, and Slider Pads for this effort. You can buy these on the MCA’s website, all proceed go toward the Save Sandstone Fund!

It’s been great to see the Minnesota climbing community come together to get this thing going and hopefully all the hard work will be rewarded!

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Adam Ondra and Two V16s

This video has been making its way around the web, and I feel compelled to share it as well. Here we see something not done very often, not one, but two V16s climbed by Czech climbing phenom Adam Ondra. The first is Terranova in Adam’s homeland of Czech Republic, put up by Adam himself in 2011. The second is Gioia, in Varazza, Italy, which was first scent by Christian Gore in 2008. If watching Adam conquer these boulders doesn’t get you psyched to climb, I don’t know what will.

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Gov’t Shutdown Closes National Parks and the Climbing Within

Gov’t Shutdown Closes National Parks and the Climbing Within

Due to Congress’s inability to pass a spending bill, the US Government has shut down.  As a part of this all National Parks are closed to visitors.  Head over to the Access Fund and let your congressmen know how you feel about the situation.  As you may have heard Chris Sharma has joined forces with Tommy Caldwell, Kevin Jorgeson, and Jonathan Siegrist, to try to tackle the Dawn Wall in Yosemite this Fall, so we need the parks back open!

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Slippery When Wet: My First Fall Trips to Sawmill Creek Dome

Adam Wold on "Sticky Icky", Sawmill Creek Dome, MN
Adam Wold on “Sticky Icky”, Sawmill Creek Dome, MN (All rights reserved)

 

A couple weekends ago, route setter extraordinaire, Nick and I drove up to the North Shore of Lake Superior to pull down on the Anorthosite crags of Sawmill Creek Dome.  The night before Sawmill Creek Dome saw some showers, however, the forecast for the afternoon and next day offered dry conditions and temps in the high fifties, so hope was still alive.

We arrived at the Superior Hiking Trail parking lot before noon and strapped our pads together to make the hike up.  Once we made it to the boulders we spent some time warming up on the Lushes Lip Traverse and the stand starts to Lukewarm Persistence and Jaws.  We then proceeded to my project “Sticky Icky”, a crimpy V6/7 that climbs up a steep arete, into a “classic” top out.  Unfortunately for me, this day the top out was soaked.

I decided to practice the bottom moves and was able to make it past the cramp inducing heel-hook, used while bumping through the crux crimps, upward to the lip.  This left me with just the top out to solve, but after several tries, using a few different possibilities, I was still unsure of the solution.

The next day we came back to the problem, but at this point my fingers were too raw to do the bottom, and the top still eluded me and I left Sawmill without the send.

Fast forward one week, my buddy Bryan and I made our way to Sawmill for the day.  With even cooler temps than the weekend before and no rain in the forecast, the day was primed for sending. When I made my way over to “Stick Icky” I was surprised to see it cleaned and well chalked, and what was a moss stuffed crack the week before was now a clear pathway to the top of the boulder.

I first started from the lip, to make sure I could figure out the top out and with the new holds visible it went very quickly.  So I decided to go for the send.  It may have been the few degrees in temperature drop, or the good vibes from having easily done the top out that was so confusing just a week before, but sticking to the crux crimps felt easier than ever and I was able to make it to the top of the boulder on my second go!  I was really happy to get this send and am psyched to get back to Sawmill.  Woodpecker is next!

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Mario Richard Dies While Wingsuit Flying in Dolomites

Mario Richard Dies While Wingsuit Flying in Dolomites

An unfortunate accident, my thoughts go out to Steph Davis and Mario’s family/friends.  Stay safe friends.

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Daniel Woods on The Wheel of Life

Here’s the video by Beau Kahler of Daniels Woods sending the 60-move behemoth of a boulder problem in the Land Down Under. Brought to you by the fine crafters of crash pads, Organic Climbing .  Some words from Daniel on the send can be found in this previous post

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Dave Graham in Switzerland

Dave Graham in Switzerland(2008)

Head over to TheIsland.io to check out some great footage of Dave Graham and Jon Cardwell projecting new boulders in 2008.  I gotta say, I really would love to be friends with Dave Graham.  Also the music in this video is pretty rad!

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Daniel Woods sends “Wheel of LIfe” (V15)

Daniel Woods on Wheel of Life

From a post by Organic Climbing “In 2004, Japanese climber Dai Koyamada climbed the king line out of the Hollow Mountain cave; “The Wheel of Life.” The 60+ move monster links X-Treme Cool (7C), Sleepy Hallow (8A), Cave Man (7C), and Dead Can’t Dance (8A). Rests separate each boulder problem, but you are climbing out a horizontal ceiling, so it is impossible to stay “fully recovered” (unless your Alex Megos, he did not get pumped). This aspect of the climb was challenging for me. I have never completed a line of this style before. Usually after 30 moves I become fully loaded. Learning how to accomplish such a line was the main attraction along with the sheer beauty The Wheel of Life offered. Everything about the problem is perfect from holds to moves. I battled with poor conditions for the first few days but used this time to learn each section and build endurance. Instead of robotically moving between each hold, I learned how to flow and gain rhythm to conserve energy. The Wheel of life boils down to one low percentage move at the end. You have to place a right heel hook on a flat wall panel, keep tension and reach backward with your right hand to a sloping gaston pocket, pull into your shoulder and hope it doesn’t break, then get your left foot up next to your right and finish off on jugs. I would climb to the end several times, but did not have the mental capacity to keep going. This became a mind game, in which prevented me from sending. 3 days before my departure back to America, blue skies and a dry wind came through the cave. My friend Beau Kahler and 3 local Aussies were the only ones up there. I spent 20 minutes brushing each hold and going through the sections in my head. This was the first time I could visualize myself climbing the moves in a relaxed manor. I felt psyched and pulled on for my first attempt. I climbed all the way to the end but crumbled on the gaston move. After an hour off, I found myself back at the beginning staring back at the line. My stomach started to feel nauseas as I envisioned the process of getting through each section. I pulled on and set off. I had fun with the moves and developed a good flow. I arrived to the last boulder and just had 2 more moves remaining. I was able to turn my head off and climb through the gaston to the top. It felt incredible to be on top of the cave and overcome the mental challenge that this line presented. The Wheel of Life has always been a lifelong goal and now it is completed.” Daniel Woods.

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Petzl RocTrip: Dave Graham and Chris Sharma

Here’s a look at Dave Graham and Chris Sharma doing some sport climbing in France during a Petzl RocTrip earlier this year!

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Patagonia Legacy Collection

All-Wear Down Jacket

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a post and after a terrific experience with Patagonia today I felt compelled to exclaim my current enthusiasm for this company.

Today I finally went to the Patagonia store in St. Paul to see about getting my Down Sweater Hoody fixed.  The zipper had broken this Spring, and it had a few places that could use some patches.  After showing the delightful gentlemen who was helping me, the state of my jacket, he informed me that the zipper is covered under warranty, and they would be willing to replace the jacket, or repair it if I wished.  Hazah!  I certainly did not expect a free replacement.  So I’m pretty happy about that.

Also today I became aware of Patagonia’s upcoming legacy collection.  I have to admit that the retro gear featured in a vintage styled photo spread, really brings out the consumerist in me.  I think I’ll definitely be picking up the Diamond Quilt Snap-T Pullover. According to the online chat customer support extraordinaire, Willy,  The Legacy Collection will be available online starting August 30th.