The RV Project

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Archive for the category “Climbing”

Greasy Guardian Angels

Big Bert on a bigger truck. This is bad news.

Big Bert on a bigger truck. This is bad news.

The holiday season is a time for reflection, and for appreciating the gifts that we have. It was in this spirit that we drove back from a wonderful, warm winter day at Rumbling Bald, to our lovely little 70 ft^2 home parked at the Walmart. Our good friend Will, an Asheville native, had just arrived, and a feeling of generalized happiness and bonhomie was felt by all.

In particular, Vikki and I had been thinking back to the beginning of the trip, when a fiasco of strep throat, transmission failure, and weekend business closings left us stranded in a hotel parking lot and made us question the wisdom of leaving the real world in the first place. But the next months – nay, years – proved to us that shit happens, and if you can weather a shitstorm, there’s sunshine and lollipops on the horizon. Indeed, and by way of foreshadowing, we hadn’t had a major issue with Bert since then. Read more…

The Fuzz and the Pomodoro Technique

WTF is “The Fuzz”? I’ll have anatomy whiz Gil Hedley explain… (hint: it has nothing to do with law enforcement)

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Local Zones 101: Zahnd

Niko looks at the ultra-classic V8 Harvest Moon. This problem is worth the drive itself.

Niko looks at the ultra-classic V8 Harvest Moon. This problem is worth the drive itself.

Zahnd is an area that we had heard of in passing. Normally, when one hears of a place with boulders (assuming that person enjoys climbing on them), it causes an immediate increase in blood pressure. However, when Zahnd was first mentioned, it was during our first week in Chattanooga, and we’d already left projects behind in five other nearby zones. Adding to our list of places to check out didn’t seem like a high priority at the time.

A few days later, we were taking a rest day at Mean Mug Coffeehouse when I overheard the barista say “Zahnd.” Niko and I immediately went up to the register and got the lowdown from a very psyched Sam. That weekend, Niko and I decided to hike around Zahnd and see what all the fuss was about. I’m glad we did.

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Local Zones 101: Hospital Boulders

Cody Roney grapples with a southern topout while Spenser provides the southern spot.

Cody Roney grapples with a southern topout while Spenser provides the southern spot.

Big news! My ass is better, and I can climb again. All it took was a trip to the Hospital…boulders, that is. They’re in northern Alabama, by the town of Gadsden, a short hop down the freeway from HP40. The stone is good, with a handful of very fun problems in every grade and projects galore. The best part is that we own it. Let me explain… Read more…

Thanks

Our usual Thanksgiving in Bishop. We're missing it this year, but there is much more to be thankful for.

Our usual Thanksgiving in Bishop: Chris and Kat making miracles happen in the Pit.

With us nearing 2 years on the road (February 24th, to be exact), we’re incredibly thankful for continuing to be able to live the life that we want to live. To our family and friends who supported us from the beginning…and even now, when a year has turned into indefinitely. [It’s kept us on the road.] To all the new friends we’ve met on the road the past year and 9 months: the kindness we’ve encountered along our exploration continues to surpass what we thought was possible. 

To climbing. Oh, climbing. The love of our lives. The Stone Mind puts it perfectly. Thanks, Justin Roth.

I guess today’s that day- where saying what you’re thankful for is virtually required. I do hope we all think about what we’re thankful for more than just one day per year. Just a thought…

Let’s start with present thanks. Zack Macfarlane is on a flight to Asheville, NC at this very moment. To visit us. That’s something to be thankful for. Also, he changed his ticket last night so that he wouldn’t fly into Charleston, WV since, due to an abrupt downturn in weather conditions, that would involve us driving through a snowstorm (and possibly dying) to pick him up. Super mega thanks to Cody Roney & Greg Ward for housing us this past week and now allowing us to crash your Thanksgiving last minute. Oh and letting ol’ man Zack stay at your place. The trust these climbers have! 😉

To Jessa and Pat, for inviting us to Thanksgiving and then letting us cancel. And of course, to Kat and Chris, whom we also canceled with, for every Thanksgiving before this for five? six? years. We’ll raise a glass of bourbon and a turkey drumstick to you.

Last but not least, thanks to everyone we’ve ever met in passing, everyone who has spent a few minutes reading what we write or watching what we film, or who is out there doing cool things and letting the rest of us live vicariously through you. Thanks for the inspiration.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Highball Video is Here

The crew at No Excuse for Porn Hair

The crew at No Excuse for Porn Hair

Recently I talked about our summer fun in Squamish, and hinted at a Highball Day video. Well, here it is, as promised!  Read more…

My Ache-y Breaky Ass

Walker Kearny climbing some amazing holds that probably won't break. The Brain, V6(?)

Walker Kearny climbing some amazing holds that probably won’t break. The Brain, V6(?)

Eleven months and seven days ago I did something unwise that prevented me from doing what I left “default” life to do. Life in a boot meant time for reflection, and it was fairly easy to assess what went wrong on Saigon Direct that put me on crutches for 6 weeks.

Yesterday I did something that is preventing me from taking advantage of the best conditions we’ve had since we arrived in the south. In fact, the weather is just getting more and more sendy as the days go by, but I’m worried that I won’t be climbing anything for a while.

On Tuesday, Vikki, Niko, Katie, Walker, Hammie, Greg and I all went to the Apartment Boulders so that Niko and I could finish up a cool little compression problem that we’d tried a few days before. Walker was just in town from Sweden, and we hadn’t climbed together in about 6 years. Greg is just another local crusher, the kind you hate because they’re stronger than you and (seemingly) care about half as much. I was psyched. It was cold, the compression thing was going down for sure, and then there was the gorgeous creekside boulder that we were going to finally bring enough pads to try. Read more…

Squamish Wrap-Up and Videos

Another crappy problem in Squamish...

Another crappy problem in Squamish…

Yes, it’s November, and we’re still talking Squamish. I guess we liked the place. [Click “Read More” and scroll to the videos if you want to skip the ramblin’.]

It’s been about six weeks since we uprooted the trailer and left the forest nymphs in our wake, with Bert’s steely grille pointed at the rising sun. A junk-food-fueled drive across three time zones brought us, via the homes of many generous friends, to Boone, NC and now Chattanooga, TN. I’ve got a whole post about the South upcoming, but this is a retrospective. Read more…

Five Ten Vs La Sportiva: The Battle for Shoepremacy

You probably didn’t hear about The Brawl. The media kept it under wraps, and the organizers of the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City performed a behind-the-scenes cover-up the likes of which we haven’t seen since Princess Diana was abducted by those aliens.

Nobody is quite sure how it started. Some reports indicate that the Five Ten reps had a slingshot hidden behind their display that was used to launch Arrowheads at the La Sportivans. Another witness alleged that Tommy Caldwell started it when he threatened to start chopping off fingers to “even the playing field.” Thankfully, the altercation was broken up before anyone was injured. The rival companies decided to settle it once and for all, away from the hubbub of the convention center and the public eye.

Earlier this spring, Five Ten Athlete Flannery Shay-Nemirow and La Sportiva Athlete Shannon Joslin met on the field of battle. We were there to capture it on camera. The result? A fast-paced, hard-hitting, suspenseful drama of epic proportions. This is a peek behind the scenes of the climbing shoe wars. Are you ready?

Birthday Blunder

The first problem of the day: Bob Barker Cut My Dog's Nuts Off (V1). Seemed like a good place to start? ;) [All non-Polaroid photos by Quinn Dannies]The first problem of the day: Bob Barker Cut My Dog's Nuts Off (V1). Seemed like a good place to start? ;) [All non-Polaroid photos by Quinn Dannies]The first problem of the day: Bob Barker Cut My Dog's Nuts Off (V1). Seemed like a good place to start? ;) [All non-Polaroid photos by Quinn Dannies]

My first problem of the day: Bob Barker Cut My Dog’s Nuts Off. Sure the name is a bit long, but I liked that it was an easy problem (that I hadn’t done) and was tall enough to screw my head on straight for the rest of the day. All non-Polaroids by Quinn Dannies.

I am finally sitting down to finish digesting my 27th birthday challenge that was over a month ago (ahem, September 13th). What the heck took me so long?!

Thinking back, I definitely needed about 2 days to recover post-challenge (mentally & physically). Then, the rain came and we booked it out of Squamish and begin our charge across the US, seeing who and what we could, but mostly just driving.

What was the rush? I had a date I couldn’t miss: meeting five of my best college girlfriends in Charleston, SC for a reunion weekend. I’m officially back and settled in Boone, NC, nestled between two tabby cats-who-act-like-dogs (my favorite). After reading the latest The Morning Fresh post today, I realized I was out of excuses so here it goes!

The Challenge:

27 kilometer bike ride. 27 (all new) V-points. 27 Polaroids.

For this post, I was planning on taking a cue from my dear friend Alana and get straight to the good stuff: Highs, Lows, & Heroes. Bam. Then, as I was re-writing my ticklist into this post, I realized something that I thought was impossible: I only did 26 V-points. I read my notes over and over again and, sure enough, there was 1 point missing… I ran (seriously) out to the trailer and asked Spenser if I was crazy. How could I have F-d up the counting? Even more silly, I clearly remember Sloppy Poppy bringing my V-point count up to 13 (a memorable number). This means I messed up the count in the beginning of the day, before I was even mentally exhausted enough to have an excuse! Also of note, I’m pretty proud of my math capabilities, so this counting blunder hit me pretty hard.

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