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!!!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Dual Texture Jugs for Asana Climbing

  Right before I left for my Joe's Valley, UT trip back in April I mailed out a complete set of dual texture jugs (35 total) down to a hold production company (Catalyst Production) for Asana Climbing.  Below you will see the largest of the hold set, the (5) XXL jugs.  I cannot wait to get this entire line up on my home wall for some quality jug hauling!!!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Birthday Bouldering Challenge

  So this past week was my birthday and as reluctant as I am to admit it...I am getting old and feeble!  In an effort to fight the affects of turning yet another year older I had the bright idea of mimicking a bouldering challenge that I saw before that some strong climbers out of Massachusetts attempted and completed.  The objective was pretty simple and straight forward:

  • Climb 300 V-Points in a single day  
  • 100 V-Points at (3) separate bouldering areas
  • Areas chosen in order of climbing was McKenzie Pond, Snowy Mountain, and finally Nine Corner Lake
  • All problems counted towards the total point value with the exception of no repeating problems and either the stand or sit start could be climbed but not both...
  Let me just get right to the point and admit that this challenge was not successfully completed.  In total, my day (co piloted the entire time by Ken Murphy) consisted of 21 hours total from leaving my house at 5:00 am and returning home at 1:00 am, 300 miles in the car, 64 boulder problems, 265 V-Points, 8 split finger tips, and basically every muscle in the body was beyond exhaustion.  Case in point; this challenge is no joke and would be a serious accomplishment by anyone who is able to successfully complete it.  In my opinion, my limiting factor was my skin.  I ended up splitting my right index finger while sending Flux Capacitor (V8) at McKenzie Pond within the first two hours of the challenge.  This made for a very long day of taping and struggling with right hand crimps.

  Despite not reaching my 300 V-Point goal for the day, I did reach a personal best with 64 boulder problems in a day, 265 V-Points, and even though I have been climbing in the Adirondacks for over a decade...this is the first time that I bouldered at 3 separate areas in the same day.  

  Throughout the entire challenge, Ken Muprhy and I were extremely fortunate to be accompanied by many climbing friends.  Kyle Biel, Jay Shultis, and Jamie (James) Frazier were with us right from the very start at McKenzie Pond.  At the second stop of the day, Snowy Mountain we were joined by Tim Poulterer, Mitch Hoffman, JP Cashiola, Emily, and JP's friend.  This dedicated crew then stuck it out to the bitter end with us well into the darkness of the night at Nine Corner Lake.  James Frazier did a tremendous job photographing the entire challenge from start to finish.  I would like to personally thank him for documenting all of this and all of the images below are from his collection from this past Saturday.  This guy has some serious talent with the camera!   

McKenzie Pond:  (photo credit:  James Frazier)

Snowy Mountain:  (photo credit:  James Frazier)

Nine Corner Lake:  (photo credit:  James Frazier)