Monday, February 5, 2018

Collaboration with Catalyst Productions (Element Climbing)

  2017 was an extremely productive year for me in regards to climbing hold design and climbing hold production work for various companies.  Asana Climbing and their owner Jamey Sproull finally gave me an opportunity to shape some new sets for them and what started out small scale in the preliminary stages quickly grew as more sets were being requested.  Altogether, I was fortunate enough to shape the following sets for Asana Climbing as well as produce the silicone molds for their production company, Catalyst Productions:

  • the Jabbas Family  (35 dual textured jugs and 10 dual textured crimps):

  • the Pongos Family (7 multi-tex slopers and 7 identical slopers without the texture application)

  • the Lobos Family (40 flat edge holds from small to XXXL)

  After completing the design and molding work for Asana Climbing, the owner of Catalyst Productions, David Filkins had requested that I make my way down to their warehouse in Jasper, GA so I could work side by side with his molding specialist and hold pouring team to learn some of their proprietary secrets and skills that they have developed over the past few years in the industry.  I was able to spend a handful of days down there with their team back in late November.  As a result of the trip, Catalyst Productions is going to slowly bring me onto their team to work remotely here from New York as one of their molding specialists for some of the various companies that they produce silicone molds for and pour the climbing holds for.  I am super excited and anxious to see where all of this can lead me in the near future.  2018, here I come!!!  

Monday, December 18, 2017

Lobos "Plate" Series for Asana Climbing

  Here is another hold series that I shaped for Asana Climbing this past fall.  The owner of Asana; Jamey Sproull approached me with the set concept and then he and I worked together via facetime chats, phone calls, and text messages to help us finalize all of the fine details for the entire set.  Keep your eye on their website, because this set should be available for purchase soon!


Sunday, October 22, 2017

The BEST Slab Boulder Problem in the Adirondacks?

  In a recent post I mentioned a stellar slab problem that was recently established at the Snowy Mountain Boulders by Neil Schoppman.  I don't personally know Neil but was familiar with his problem because a mutual climbing friend had shown me pictures from this past spring when Neil began cleaning and attempting the slab on toprope.  When I revisited the boulders in early October, I was blown away at how awesome the slab looked in it's clean and chalked up state.  A few days prior to my visit, Neil had succeeded in grabbing the first ascent of what I would argue is the best slab boulder problem in the Adirondack Park.  If you thought that Giant Sucker (V2) at McKenzie Pond was difficult or scary or that Samurai Slab (V6) at Snowy Mountain was difficult, then you are in for a treat with this new problem which has been named Sexual Nightmares (V6) by Schoppman. 

  Altogether it took me two sessions to complete this problem for the second ascent.  Those two sessions involved a bunch of falls high off of the deck (15-20 ft) on what I consider to be the crux moves.  I also spend a fair amount of time rope soloing the upper moves to help gain a level of confidence on the crux moves seeing as I was bouldering alone without any spotters and an ankle or leg injury could have proved to be troublesome alone in the woods.

  I hope my video does this problem truly is a stellar boulder problem.  Great vision and great addition to the Adirondack Bouldering scene Mr. Schoppman!  Good on ya

Media Update:

Saturday, October 21, 2017

New Adk Boulder Development

  Earlier this year (January/February 2017), a climbing friend and Caroga Lake local informed me about a pretty interesting looking boulder that he found while deer hunting last fall.  Ken Murphy and I ventured into the boulder in late winter to check out the potential for climbs/problems and we were both convinced that the boulder had all of the right ingredients to produce some quality climbs. 

  For whatever reason, maybe the fact that cleaning and prepping an untouched boulder takes a lot of time and effort, this new boulder sat there dormant until earlier September.  As I continued to let my injured finger heal, I decided to head back into the woods to begin cleaning this boulder for some climbing.  Altogether, I spent three separate six hour days cleaning the boulder followed by two separate bouldering sessions to establish some of the easier problems since my finger injury was still limiting me on how hard I could pull with my right hand; especially on smaller holds and crimps.  

  Here is the boulders evolution along with a short video highlighting some of the established problems thus far.  I hope you enjoy and happy climbing! 

Media Update:

February 2017:  First visit to the boulder 

September 2017:  Boulder after three cleaning/prepping sessions

October 2017:  First handful of established problems

Monday, October 16, 2017

Post Finger Injury: Fall 2017 session at Snowy Mountain

  As some of you may be aware, I suffered a pretty nasty finger injury to my right middle finger as the summer was coming to an end.  I partially tore my A2 pulley in my middle finger while bouldering on a hot and humid day in August up at my local stomping grounds; Nine Corner Lake in Caroga Lake, New York.  Looking back at my video footage from that day trying to analyze exactly how the injury happened it quickly became apparent that repetitive "dry firing" off of a right hand closed crimp as I made the last hard move to the lip on Thorazine (V8) was definitely the culprit.  Because I have literally climbed this problem over 100 times in the past, I was becoming frustrated as I continued to fall on the last move so instead of resting properly...I proceeded to keep rapid firing attempts on the problem resulting in my injury.  10 weeks later and still experiencing lingering pain and the inability to crimp with my right hand I strongly believe that I have learned my lesson from this self induced experience.   

  Here is a short video clip from a recent bouldering session at Snowy Mountain in Indian Lake, New York.  I strategically chose this bouldering location because of the abundance of open handed holds and numerous slabs.  Throughout the day I found myself having to alter which holds I used on climbs that I have done repetitively in the past as well as the way that I was accustomed to grabbing the holds.  These slight alterations were to ensure that I did not re-aggravate my injured finger.  All in all the session was a complete success.  I actually surprised myself by repeating some problems that I didn't think I stood a chance on.  The biggest bonus of the day was seeing that a new slab problem had been fully cleaned on the Never Boulder.  It is tall, has technical footwork, and ends with a thrilling move high off of the ground.  I was not able to send the problem during this session (I actually took 6-7 big falls on the hard move high off of the ground).  But, upon returning home I was informed by a close friend Andrew Cieply that his friend Neil Schoppmann had cleaned and got the first ascent of this slab and named it Sexual Nightmares and gave it a tentative V6 rating (video below of the first ascent as caught on an iphone). 

  Fall is moving in quickly...I hope everyone is able to sneak into the woods to enjoy the crisp conditions and send hard!!!

Media Update:

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Summer Bouldering Session at Nine Corner Lake

  It has been a very tough summer, weather-wise that is.  The northeast has been riddled with lingering rain showers, high humidity, high heat, and for whatever reason a continued bug nuisance well past their usual annoyance.  To keep a level of sanity and to keep up with my climbing conditioning, I have been dedicating a couple of days a week (2 minimum, 4 maximum) to indoor climbing sessions on my home wall, hangboard sessions, weight lifting, and cardiovascular conditioning.  The latter just commenced this past week in an effort to initiate some weight loss and toning for the fast approaching and long awaiting fall climbing season here in the Adirondacks.  I am so psyched for this fall!!!

  So back in April when I had my road trip out to Joe's Valley, UT I was able to get myself back down to a body weight of 165-170 pounds.  This weight feels ideal for rock climbing for me.  Currently I am coming off of a weight lifting/bulking training split where I successfully increased my body weight from 170 lbs. to 185 lbs.  With the additional weight, I was also rewarded with massive increases in strength and power.  Despite being "heavier" lately, I am successfully climbing all of my indoor home wall problems that I was able to do back in April when I was much lighter and I am routinely sending V7's and V8's when I session outdoors.  This is the first time that I have been able to actually climb at a decent level while cycling through aweight training/bulking cycle.  Needless to say, I am super anxious to see what happens when I am able to trim away some of the excess body weight!  

  Here is a short video clip from a recent bouldering session at my local hotspot, Nine Corner Lake.  There is a new problem in this video that is on the Wall Boulder that I established back in the spring with Tayor Treadgold.  I thought it was a solid V7, but we will need some more sends for a consensus on the grade.  I also have been working on the reverse traverse on the Cave Boulder, Zub Zero (V9) and Psychosomatic Disorder (V9).  I am agonizingly close to sending both variations and am optimistic that it could happen for me in the next week or so...

Media Update: 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Gunks Apps: McKenzie Pond Bouldering

  I am pleased to announce that I have recently teamed up with the guys over at Gunks Apps and we will be releasing apps for some of the various Adirondack Park Bouldering areas through their growing digital collection.  Climbing apps are something entirely new to me and I am hoping that this will help spread the climbing information to a much larger audience.  

  The first Adirondack Park area released is McKenzie Pond and can be purchased here: .  Thank you everyone for your continued support and encouragement!

Happy climbing and training!!!