Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chosshua......I mean Joshua Tree

After a non-Christmas in Pie Town (we boycotted the holiday) we drove to Joshua Tree. Prairie and myself both had negative views of the area after our previous visits. It's a beautiful place that is enjoyable for that reason but the rock is decomposing choss for the most part. We figured we'd give it a second chance and try to keep our negative attitudes from rubbing off on Martin.
While Martin shared our sentiments on the poor rock quality, we still managed to have a blast. We filled 3 days sampling some classics, seeking the gems, and hiking one and a half hours to the one place in Josh with decent stone, the Underground.

Flying backmeat under the desert sun.

Martin sampling choss.


Prairie on Scatter Brain

Desert landscape


Seeing as Martin is from a freedom-hating socialist country we thought we'd make an effort to give him a taste of freedom by sharing some of the finer parts of American culture. We could have never anticipated the magnitude at which Martin has embraced the American lifestyle and are reeling at the monster we have created. He now insists on driving everywhere regardless of distance and has taken to fast-food 3 meals a day. His accent is reminiscent of southern rednecks and he ends every sentence with "tell you what". He's selling his camera equipment so he can add to his gun collection.
God Bless America

Chris explains the benefits of massive burrito consumption. This is before the transformation.

Skeptical at first, Martin would soon fall in love with swill malt beverages of the 40 oz flavor.

Martin's meals for the next day.

"Tell you what"

We've created a monster.

Monday, December 22, 2008

More Hueco Pics

Hueco Tanks is getting busy as Christmas breakers escape their snowed in college towns and shun family to grapple rocks in the desert. The worst part about the Tanks is dealing with the restrictions when it gets busy.
We're off to Pie Town for a few days and after......we'll see where the wind (and the weather) takes us. Here's a couple more pics from the Tanks.

Some kid with a sweet headband on Baby Face

Martin not really trying on See Spot Run

Chris on Sign of the Chalk

Beasty on Alien Baby

Ancient graffiti

Hueco Pics

The highs are around 15 degrees Celsius and the nights get down to around 3 degrees Celsius. It's hard to beat the Tanks this time of year. Unfortunately all I have left in the Tanks are projects and obscurities. I wish I was climbing better but I still manage to find new things to climb on. Here's some pics.

Chris on Best of the Best

Dan "the beard" on New Religion

Chris fondles slopers on The Long Haul

Mike on The Long Haul

Martin on The Power of Landager

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I'm trying to give Martin some special only-in-America experiences. That said we swung by an In-N-Out burger ("those are good burgers") and while Martin was wolfing down his burger he got to see another uniquely American sight, crazy religious hippie vans damning you to hell for all the ungodly things you do. GBA


For a quick bible lesson read the rainbow bus


Our two days in the Buttermilks were cold and windy but Martin had improved and his motivation was at record levels. It was nice being back in Bishop as I ran into old friends and was reminded of what an incredible place it is. Unfortunately the forecast predicted gloom and doom so we hopped ship and heading for the greener pastures of Hueco Tanks.
Here's a few pics from Bishop.

Little boulders

Martin on Soul Slinger

Josh on High Plain's Drifter

My mornings in Bishop

Camping in the Pit

Friday, December 12, 2008


Both my road-trip partners are sick. Martin has developed a nasty head cold and my van has sprung a coolant leak. Martin spends most of his time sniffing and feeling miserable while my van requires frequent stops and a constant eye on the temperature gauge. Residual neglect did Martin in as I should have fed him better; climbing everyday and eating next to nothing isn't the best way to fight off sickness. He seems to be be improving and I hope he feels better soon. As for the van, a bottle of inta-fix seems to have sealed things up but I'll have to be vigilant.

Here's a few more pics from the Valley.

Van camping

Bruce Lee

The Diamond

The El Cap boulder

Leaving the Valley

We made the decision to leave Yosemite a day early as Martin has been feeling under the weather and the forecast was looking grim. It would have been nice for Martin to get another shot at Midnight Lightning but from the looks of him not much climbing will be done. There is always next time.
While Martin got the short end of the stick I left the Valley quite content. I climbed 7 out of 8 days and I managed to send the majority of my A-list problems, even scraping up two of Camp 4's most beautiful lines on my last morning (Bruce Lee and King Cobra) . There's still heaps to go back to and Yosemite is officially my new favorite place. With any luck I'll convince Lina to move there for a season as the place needs some more development.

Martin feels worse than he looks

Climbing 7 of 8 days. And this is my good hand

Greg on the El Cap boulder

Geg on King Cobra

King Cobra

Thursday, December 11, 2008


No trip report of Yosemite would be complete without some pics of Midnight Lightning.

Martin takes a ride on the dyno

Mike tries the Moffat start

Unsightly graffiti mars the boulder

The incredible King Cobra

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Pretty Good Off-day

The force went down first go the day after the mini-epic. I then send midnight lightning in a couple tries and was happy to see Martin actually get motivated. Mind you a motivated Martin is indiscernible from an unmotivated Martin. "I'm so psyched," he said in a monotone voice with no signs of any emotion whatsoever. I'll have to take his word for it. He did try quite a bit and is dreading the infamous mantel at the top. Hopefully today is the day.
Yesterday was supposed to be an off-day but I decided only climbing on two problems almost counts as not climbing, especially since I'd almost sent both the day before. Leroy and 6 Degrees both went down first try and very little skin was wasted. It was a pretty good off-day.

Here's a little vid of the force. We plan to put it up on crimp.se in a few day but until then....

Sunday, December 7, 2008

May the Force be with you

Saturday was spent wandering around to different areas, gazing at the many gems and willing our skin to grow.
Sunday was spent epicing as my battle with "the force" took up the majority of our day (thanks to Martin, Greg, and Tim for their patience and support). After falling past the crux over and over again I walked away with hopes that I'll send first thing today. So much for preserving skin as my tips are still screaming. We'll see how it goes.

The Force

Greg on a sloppy arete

Martin on the slopy arete

Friday, December 5, 2008

Life in the Valley

Despite being dinged for $20 on a failed attempt at free camping I'm still in high spirits. The bouldering here is incredible and I'm destroyed after two days of flogging myself. Sooooo many good lines. I'm anticipating the confused looks I'll get when I say I went to Yosemite for bouldering. So it goes.

The nights are below freezing but it warms up nice and they forecast perfect temps for the foreseeable future. It's quiet here and our little 4 man crew (Martin, Greg, Tim, and myself) pretty much has the place to ourselves, but it's the weekend now so we expect an influx of pad people for the next couple days.

I don't know the names of most of the problems we've climbed but they have been of the highest quality. I've already collected a grip of problems to go back to or try for the first time. Whether or not my skin/body will hold up is yet to be seen. Life is good.

Martin on his way to the boulders

A sweet seam.


More Martin

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Lina has left and been replaced with Martin. No offense to Martin but that is a raw deal. So while Lina works feverishly for the next few months, Martin and I plan on sampling some of the USA's finer bouldering areas (speaking of raw deals...).
Our first stop is Yosemite since favorable weather made this climbing mecca a possibility. Seems odd coming to ground zero of the climbing world and not putting on a rope, but the bouldering here is pretty spectacular.

Martin has the first of many "taco wagon" experiences

The Valley

Greg on a sweet arete

Martin on Thriller

Greg on Thriller