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…
For the second time, The RV Project (in this case just me, Spenser) has gotten the privilege of filming professional climbers alongside professional filmers. Last time was in Vedauwoo with Sender Films, shooting Brad Jackson, Adam Papillion, and Bob Scarpelli climbing offwidths for the Wide Boyz segment of Reel Rock 7. This time: Canada, with Hot Aches. The climb: Cobra Crack, 5.14a. The Cobra Crack will be featured in Wide Boyz 2.
It was a lot of fun, and not too different from filming friends at the boulders, except that everything is dialed up a notch: the gear, the need to capture the right moments, and of course the seriousness of the route. What I’ll remember most, though, is watching two consummate professionals do what they do best: bite off more than they can chew, and chew it anyway.
(If you haven’t seen First Ascent, you must…if for no other reason than to become familiar with the famous mono-undercling-fingerlock, or the “F-You” move.)
This post is much delayed. I’ve sat down four times now to try and capture in words what our time in Horse Pens was like. So far, my words have failed me. I’m taking a stab at it, and please forgive the length of this post.
And please enjoy our newest video! It’s of our last day in Hueco Tanks, where we climbed a bunch for ourselves. I got my hardest send, and Vikki cruised Orifice Affair. Also note the kung-fu yeti firing Smooth Move (V8). Then keep reading.
Looking back now, a week since our departure, Horse Pens 40 feels like a pleasant dinner with the Soprano family. Laughter, some great people, and good food, but just under the surface is some dark matter that doesn’t reveal itself until you’re more involved. Like anything in life – climbing, love, Mafia dramas, the Force – there’s a light side and a dark side. The best way to detect both is to let the guards down and let go of our San Francisco sensibilities. After all, we’re guests on this land.
We’re in the city lovingly referred to as Chatty, our final leg of the “True South” bouldering exploration. We had our first day of climbing at Stone Fort yesterday and it, yet again, lived up to all the hype. Met some locals, fell a lot, and even sent a little (highlighted by Byron’s first V6 of the trip, The Wave); we are incredibly psyched to get back on the gritty sandstone tomorrow (as long as the rain subsides). More on Chattanooga soon, but first…Episode 4 is ready for your viewing!
Our newest video is based on a conclusion we came to after leaving Hueco Tanks, Texas: every day in Hueco Tanks, someone you’ve never heard of does something impressive. There’s also usually someone hyper famous doing something along the same caliber, but that’s basic Hueco knowledge. This video is about Alban Besnier, mostly because he climbs strong, has a great attitude, and generally impressed us. The first day we climbed with Alban and his travel companion, Caroline, we went on a tour to East Mountain and he sent Liane, Sunshine, and Mojo – all in his signature shorts. He sent almost everything he touched that day, which was awesome to see, but what impacted the three of us the most was his spotting. Even though he climbed more than the rest of the climbers in the tour group combined, he was still an attentive and good spotter to each of us. That commitment blew us away and we each changed our spotting strategies because of his – you can read more about this in the Hueco Wrap Up blog post.
Without further ado, here is Alban from France crushing! And, after that, the story of how we got our groove. Oh yea.
We meant to start the road trip around January, peak season for climbing. For those of you who have kept up with the blog, you might remember the many setbacks we had before we even got on the road: finding a trailer, multiple car breakdowns, and then top it all off, I got sicker than I have been in many years. Needless to say, we got off to a rocky and late start. We were disappointed that we would not be in Hueco for the top climbing temps, but were excited that we would be there for the Hueco Rock Rodeo. Read more…
Fantasizing about going on a road trip across the country was easy. Planning for the road trip and getting ourselves to Hueco Tanks, Texas (our first stop) proved to be much more difficult. We knew it would be a lot of work, and we knew that we had to plan for the unexpected. We thought we knew a lot. Reality check: Byron, Spenser and I knew nothing…but we sure are learning!