The RV Project

"There Are No Wrong Roads to Anywhere"

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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Wide Boyz II Slender Men- The Cobra Crack

IMG_6083LRFor 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.)

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Sewing Seeds of Change

Our new home.

We’ve relocated from one magical forest to another. Hello, Portland. Thank you to the lovely Ashley for housing us while I make some much-needed cash before heading to the Southeast! Read: Canada is expensive.

Every time we get to a new destination, I am reminded how awesome the climbing community truly is.

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Getting Thunderballed, and What To Do About It

"Anyone can cut and run, but it takes a very special person to stay with something that is stupid and harmful." - George Carlin

“Anyone can cut and run, but it takes a very special person to stay with something that is stupid and harmful.” – George Carlin

Bouldering at one’s limit involves suspension of disbelief. At first the holds seem unmanageable, the sequence too cryptic, the moves too big. With enough hubris, confidence, or simple hard work, the climb begins to open up. Suddenly, one has completed a brand new set of moves. One has proven oneself equal to the challenge provided by nature and a first ascentionist. One has earned another tick in the guidebook.

Great climbing literature is based on this titanic struggle of human flesh upon unfeeling, unflinching stone. In The Boulder: A Philosophy for Bouldering, Francis Sanzano correctly states that

…one can learn all one needs to know about another by watching them boulder. We can discern if they are a fighter, if they make good decisions, if they are good under pressure…as if the skirt of consciousness has been lifted and they remain in the act, struggling like death before us.

Boulders are the canvases upon which we may paint moments of greatness. But that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the opposite. I want to talk about what happens when an easy-looking boulder problem turns you around, yanks your pants down to your knees, and spanks you…or as I like to call it, “getting Thunderballed.” Read more…

The Power of The ‘Book

Marissa Land leading an impromptu yoga class after the showers stopped.

Marissa Land leading an impromptu yoga class after the showers stopped.

The clouds have parted and a heatwave has now hit Squamish. But, hey, we’ll take that over the rain.

We’ve lost a lot of good folks the past week due to the sub-optimal weather conditions and it simply being the “time to go.” There’s a small contingent of us left, but the season for tent villages in the Chief campground is over. I think most of us have stopped checking the weather report- we now understand we are living in a temperate rainforest and the rain gods will do what they please, without warning and for-better-or-worse.

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How to Climb in Squamish

Marissa Land proving that meat wraps aren't just for dudes.

Marissa Land proving that meat wraps aren’t just for dudes.

When people come to Squamish for summer bouldering (and many, many people do), they often get bouted by climbs that, numerically speaking, are well within their abilities. I experienced it, and I think most people have the same feeling to some extent or another. People blame poor feet, cryptic granite, painful crystals, and humid conditions, but the real story here is that the climbing in Squamish is Yosemite-style technical, and quite varied; it requires a break-in period of several sessions. Read more…

Summer Lovin’ – Slug Style

At first, the two slugs seemed to just be hanging out on a tree, one following the other. Slowly but surely, the spotted slug started turning around towards the unicolored one forming a "P" shape.

At first, the two slugs seemed to just be hanging out on a tree, one following the other. Slowly but surely, the spotted slug started turning around towards the unicolored one forming a “P” shape.

Last night, as Spenser was walking back from the toilet to our trailer, a pair of inconspicuous slugs caught his eye. As we sat mesmerized, we were not prepared for the other-wordly experience we were in for… This further confirms our supposition that Squamish is undoubtedly a magical forest.

Enjoy the weirdness of nature- you just can’t make this sh*t up! 🙂

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29 Celebrations

[vimeo 70693850 w=700 h=394]

On July 15, I turned 29. I normally do a Birthday Challenge on these occasions, of varying levels of involvement (click to read about years 24 and 26). This year I wasn’t sure what Squamish would be like, and I procrastinated mightily in the planning. But after a few days enjoying the boulders in the magical forest, it seemed that nothing could be better than trying to do 29 of the “Top 100” boulder problems the guidebook has to offer.

Full disclosure: apparently these are the "Top 100 plus", meaning plus the best highballs.

Full disclosure: apparently these are the “Top 100 plus”, meaning plus the best highballs.

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Totally Squasome

I’m in the Chief Stawamus Municipal Campground in Squamish, British Columbia, sitting underneath a large redwood, the thick branches obscuring most of the sky directly above. Thanks to their cover, I’m able to type this blog post outside during a rain shower, while boulderers stream back to the campground for shelter. In front of me is a beautiful mural painted on the side of the trailer, an inquisitive elephant gazing out through a drippy, bright, scribbled jungle of color. Just beyond our trailer I can see the end of Lord Howe Sound, where kiteboarders are zipping about and leaving fleeting white trails of wake. The waters, multicolored from two rivers meeting the ocean, are contained by forested slopes with granite outcrops that peak at thousands of feet, a vaguely fjord-ish juxtaposition that reminds us of the glacial past.

My view while typing. Thanks to Nate Ethington for painting this amazing piece while the trailer was parked in Portland. Please visit nateethington.com for more of his work.

My view while typing. Thanks to Nate Ethington for painting this amazing piece while the trailer was parked in Portland. Please visit nateethington.com for more.

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