7 KEY STEPS TO SUREFIRE SENDING THE CLASSIC PLUS WHY DOWNRATING SUCKS AMERICA’S BEST BOULDER PROBLEMS HOW HATING ON COMPS HOLDS BACK THE SPORT WHEN SPORT CLIMBING GOT STEEP Ultralight Master Cams Award Winning Ultralight Master Cams 100% Made in the U.S.A. Sizes #00 - 8 www.metoliusclimbing.com EXHALE E N GAG E FO C U S FIRE Maestro Mid Eco A trad shoe that is anything but traditional SCARPA Athlete: Madaleine Sorkin | South Platte, CO | Photo: Henna Taylor CONTENTS ed note basecamp onsight talk of the crag the place unsent that one time peaches preaches players skills faces essentials cragsters CHRIS BEH ON HIS FLATIRONS, COLORADO, INSTA - CLASSIC WHIPPED CREAM ( 5.13A ) , THE SLAB. 5 6 10 14 22 24 26 28 30 33 38 76 80 PHOTO BY ROB KEPLEY FEATURES 44 56 68 FROZEN IN TIME THE CLASSIC 25 IT BEGINS AT IMPOSSIBLE A look at the new-school sport climbs of the Flatirons, Colorado. Presenting America’s best boulder problems. American Fork Canyon, Utah, and the birth of America’s steep revolution. Issue 361. Climbing (USPS No. 0919-220, ISSN No. 0045-7159) is published six times a year with combined issues in Aug/Sep and Dec/Jan for six issues (March, May, July, August/September, November, December/January) by Cruz Bay Publishing, an Active Interest Media company. The known office of publication is at 5720 Flatiron Parkway, Boulder, CO 80301. Periodicals postage paid at Boulder, CO, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Climbing, PO Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235. Canada Post publications agreement No. 40008153. Subscription rates are $29.97 for one year of postal delivery in the United States. Add $15 per year for Canada and $20 per year for surface postage to other foreign countries. To remove your name from promotional lists, write to: Climbing Subscription Services, PO Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32124-0235. Postmaster: Please send all UAA to CFS. List Rental: Contact Kerry Fischette at American List Counsel, 609-580-2875, firstname.lastname@example.org. COVER: Chris Schulte grapples with his legendary compression highball Airwolf (V7), Indian Creek, Utah. Photo: Andrew Burr CLIMBING.COM 3 LEADING SINCE 1970 EDITORIAL Editor MATT SAMET Art Director CLAIRE ECKSTROM Associate Editor JAMES LUCAS Digital Editor KEVIN CORRIGAN Editor at Large JULIE ELLISON Senior Contributing Photographer NONENDEMIC SALES Eastern Account Director JOANN MARTIN JOANNMARTIN@AIMMEDIA.COM Midwest Account Manager STEFANIE LUCIANO SLUCIANO@AIMMEDIA.COM Western Account Manager ALLEN CROLIUS ACROLIUS@AIMMEDIA.COM Marketing Director AMY LEWIS ANDREW BURR Contributing Editors KATIE LAMBERT, ANDREW TOWER Interns BAILEY BATCHELOR, JEFF CHAPMAN BUSINESS Group Publisher SHARON HOUGHTON, SHOUGHTON@AIMMEDIA.COM Account Manager ELIZABETH PECKNOLD, EPECKNOLD@AIMMEDIA.COM Midwest Account Manager CHARLOTTE SIBBING, CSIBBING@AIMMEDIA.COM Eastern Account Manager LESLI KRISHNAIAH LKRISHNAIAH@AIMMEDIA.COM Western Account Manager TANYA FOSTER, TFOSTER@AIMMEDIA.COM Marketing & Business Development Director COURTNEY MATTHEWS CMATTHEWS@AIMMEDIA.COM Marketing Manager TINA ROLF Strategic Campaign Manager LESLIE BARRETT Advertising Manager LORI OSTROW Advertising Coordinator CAITLIN O’CONNOR Prepress Manager JOY KELLEY Prepress Specialist IDANIA MENTANA Prepress Specialist GALEN NATHANSON Circulation Director JENNY DESJEAN Circulation Assistant LARA GRANT-WAGGLE Single Sales Copy Manager NPS President & CEO ANDREW W. CLURMAN Senior Vice President, CFO, & Treasurer MICHAEL HENRY Chief Innovation Ofﬁcer JONATHAN DORN Vice President of Audience Development TOM MASTERSON Vice President, Controller JOSEPH COHEN CLIMBING MAGAZINE 5720 Flatiron Parkway Boulder, CO 80301 Phone: (303) 253-6301 Subscriber Services: Within U.S.: (800) 829-5895 Canada and Foreign: (386) 447-6318 Subscriber Service Email: email@example.com Contributors: Visit climbing.com/contribute Retailers: To sell CLIMBING in your retail store, call MagDogs at (800) 365-5548. Logo Licensing, Reprints, and Permissions: Contact Brett Petillo, Wright’s Media, 1-877652-5295, firstname.lastname@example.org MOST OF THE ACTIVITIES DEPICTED HEREIN CARRY A SIGNIFICANT RISK OF PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH. Rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and all other outdoor activities are inherently dangerous. The owners, staff, and management of CLIMBING do not recommend that anyone participate in these activities unless they are experts, seek qualiﬁed professional instruction and/or guidance, are knowledgeable about the risks involved, and are willing to personally assume all responsibility associated with those risks. ©2018. The contents of this magazine may not be reproduced in whole or in part without consent of the copyright owner. The views herein are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of CLIMBING’s ownership, staff, or management. MANAGED BY: A C T I V E I N T E R E S T M E D I A’ S O U T D O O R G R O U P Managing Director SHARON HOUGHTON Group Production Director BARBARA VAN SICKLE Vice President of People and Places JOANN THOMAS Facilities TONY WILHELMS AIM Board Chair EFREM ZIMBALIST III OUT WITH THE OLD? ED NOTE MEGAN WALSH ON THE CLASSIC JUG ROMP LICENSE TO THRILL ( 5.11C ) , MEMBRANE, AMERICAN FORK, UTAH. I n 1990, I belayed Boone Speed on the FA of I’ll Take Black, a 5.12c on the Malvado Wall at the Hell area in American Fork (AF), Utah. Speed was a founding B Y M AT T S A M E T father at AF and later became the ﬁrst American to establish 5.14b. We were in the early years of sport climbing, when clipping bolts was still fresh and exciting, like opening the biggest box under the Christmas tree. Some of my ﬁrst road trips, to areas like Smith Rock and AF, brought me face-to-face with the pioneers of that pivotal era. At AF, I watched as the rockstars—people like Speed, whom I’d only seen before in magazines— ﬂung themselves at the steeps. A revolution was happening, and I feel lucky to have witnessed it. Of course, much has changed since then, and the growth of sport climbing is but one thread in the ever-expanding tapestry of our sport. Life is change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse— and most of it out of our hands thanks to the random workings of the universe. Climbing is no diferent; magazines must always be reinventing themselves, evolving to reﬂect the times. Thus for our July 2018 issue, we’re excited to announce a couple of big changes: an increase in paper quality and a front-to-back redesign. CLIMBING AND THE INEVITABILITY OF CHANGE In an era when print has to compete with the clamor of digital media, we wanted to give the magazine a weightier, more archival feel—something to read, keep, collect, and revisit. This begins with the improved paper, which will let us better showcase our amazing photography, storytelling, and art. We’ve also rethought our departments to make them shorter, newsier, and more easily approached, from the Place (p.22) to Skills (p.33) to Talk of the Crag (p.14). Meanwhile, we’re reintroducing Players (p.30), about key personalities in the sport or industry; and Quick Clips (p.37), reader-submitted crag hacks. We’re also proud to roll out Faces (p.38), a long-form Q&A in which you’ll meet the top guns to learn their stories, processes, and methods (we launch with Barbara Zangerl). Plus, we’ve changed up the overall look, fonts, and color palette. We hope you like the new feel—holler at us at email@example.com. Finally, this issue presents historical features on two of the oldest sport-climbing areas in America: the aforementioned American Fork (p.68) and the Flatirons, Colorado (p.44). The Flatirons, in particular, are close to my heart—I ﬁrst climbed here in summer 1989, just after a bolting ban descended that would, for the next 14 years, keep the area frozen in time. Since 2003, we have been fortunate to be able to establish Flatirons routes again on a permit system—it is change, but on a more considered, cautious scale, one that lets us momentarily imagine we might control life’s chaos. PHOTO BY JOHN EVANS CONTRIBUTORS PETER BEAL MEGAN WALSH JARED VAGY Peter Beal (“The Classic 25,” detailing America’s top boulder problems, p.56) ﬁrst bouldered on the Maine coast years ago. From Peak District gritstone to Front Range sandstone, he’s enjoyed the sport and published extensively on it, including a 2011 how-to with The Mountaineers Books. After a few years in the travel industry, Megan Walsh (“It Starts at Impossible,” a history of American Fork Canyon, Utah, p.68) shifted her focus to her true passion: the outdoors. She now works for The Dyrt, a camping-app startup. As a rule, she prefers whiskey to box wine. Dr. Jared Vagy (“Prep Wrists and Fingers to Send,” p.34), a doctor of physical therapy and an experienced climber, has devoted his career to climbing-related injury prevention, orthopedics, and movement science. He authored the Amazon bestseller Climb Injury-Free. CLIMBING.COM 5 BASECAMP Rock Art INBOX FEELING THE PAIN I was excited to read about Hazel Findlay’s experience with persistent shoulder pain in No. 360. As a longtime climber and a physician assistant in Michigan with a history of persistent pain, my professional passion is teaching people about pain and helping them reduce their own suffering. As many as one in three people suffer from persistent pain, and there is so much groundbreaking research about how to help. Unfortunately, the US medical-industrial complex is badly mismanaging pain. The only way I see to effect change is to educate people on a grassroots level. LIZ PEPPIN, PA - C, VIA EMAIL WOMEN CRUSHING I’ve been climbing for about 10 years and ﬁghting male dominance the whole time. Robert Branch (Unsolicited Beta, No. 360) just gave me the single greatest motivation to f*cking crush it. Women may be the statistical minority, but that doesn’t warrant exclusion. Thanks, Climbing, for not giving way to this crap. SASHA BACCA, VIA EMAIL ELITISM? I am trying to decide if I should renew. I have been a subscriber since the 1970s, but I am seeing a disheartening trend. I just got my latest issue and it is basically worthless. Most of the mag is about 5.14-and-up climbs, which I will never do. Most of the geographic areas are places like China, where I will never go. Your mag is falling into the same trap I have seen other mags and even climbing gyms fall into. You are catering to the elite 1 percent. I would like the article distribution to match the reader demographic. If 90 percent of your subscribers climb 5.9, then the mag should reﬂect that. DAVID ALEXANDER, VIA EMAIL Correction: In No. 360, we reported that the JetBoil Flash was a 4,500 BTU/h stove with a 2.5-minute boiling time. It actually has a 9,000 BTU/h burner and a 100-second boiling time. /climbingmagazine 6 JULY 2018 @climbingmagazine “Creating art has always been my passion, and it was just a matter of time before climbing made its way into my work,” says the 33-year-old Russia native and now Bay Area resident Eric Digilov, who started climbing six years ago when his then girlfriend (now wife) took him to a Los Angeles rock gym. He soon climbed outdoors at Stoney Point, Horse Flats, and Red Rock, falling in love with the culture. An IT worker by trade, Digilov uses climbing photos to inspire his artwork. “I try to capture that moment when you’re climbing and you’re at peace with the world,” said Digilov. “Still looking for the best way to represent my love for climbing culture in my art, but I think I’m on the right track.” FOLLOW @DIGILOV3 AND CHECK OUT HIS ILLUSTRATIONS AT EDIGSART.TUMBLR.COM/ @climbingmag firstname.lastname@example.org RE - GRAM Deep-Water Soloing Matthias Gabbalier on Blasphemy, Hawaii 5-0 Wall. Matthias climbed this 5.11 39 times during his time on Cat Ba, Vietnam. LUCA DE GIORGI Colm Shannon making the first ascent of The Jelly Situation (5.13a/b or S1/2) at Ailladie on the west coast of Ireland. JOSH WILLETT Katrina Wan-Zaid hanging from the last move of a 5.9 at the Becket Quarry in Western Massachusetts. BRIAN LEWIS The funniest part of soloing off Mallorca’s Punta des Jonc was the tourists staring in puzzlement as we walked off the cliff edge. KATE KELLEGHAN This Tenerife blowhole is only climbable on calm days—otherwise, you can get swallowed if you don’t get through it quickly enough. The water beneath Jakub was choppy and the rocks were sharp, but he held on with a smile. THOMAS RUFFIE Danny Latulippe escaping the spider crabs below by climbing a 50-foot 5.11b on Hawaii’s big island. ZAC IMHOOF CATHERINE LEVESQUE The beginning of this 5.10 requires tech movement on crimp rails that elevates your heartbeat at the thought of pitching. Bulgaria’s Black Sea is not a calm sea. Often, we climb in weather that is dangerous, and getting out can be a nightmare. SAVOEUN HEANG VLADIMIR PEKOV CLIMBING.COM 7 BASECAMP THE BIG QUESTION TAKE THE FIRST ASCENTIONIST’S GRADE ON YOUR 8A.NU SCORECARD, BUT CALL IT “SOFTER THAN CHARMIN” EVERYWHERE ELSE 80.5% 6.3% You’ve just made the second ascent of a difficult climb. Do you:* 5% 2.6% DOWNRATE A FULL NUMBER AND CALL IT “ATHLETIC FOR THE GRADE” UPGRADE TO FILL OUT THE TOP OF THE PYRAMID ON YOUR 8A.NU SCORECARD 6.6% Other (E.g., “Upgrade it and submit a picture of myself on the route to Climbing”) *Based on 379 responses “Everyone has their own reasons for the grade they take. For me, wanting to lead by example for women, I would rather grade as honestly as possible! This is also why I don’t chase climbs with big numbers that just suit my style. I actually seek out the ‘reachy’ and tall-people climbs even if they have a lower grade.” —ALEX PUCCIO 8 JULY 2018 “I compare to other routes of the same proposed grade and a grade easier/ harder in the same area. The most important piece is to try to keep grades within a given area consistent. I also consider my personal state of fitness and how much time and effort the route required.” — JONATHAN SIEGRIST “The most common motivation behind downrating is protection of the downrater’s self-image. Avoid the ridicule of having one’s climb downrated. Downrate first and be safe. This type of game causes its most dedicated players to fool even themselves.” —THE LATE JIM BRIDWELL (“THE INNOCENT, THE IGNORANT, AND THE INSECURE,” ASCENT, 1973) STORIES FROM THE DIRT This highlight reel of life and adventure from the legendary Stonemaster John Long offers unshackled tales too good to be fiction, including yarns of BASE-jumping, bull riding, and remote cave exploration. With his lively, humorous prose, there’s a reason Largo has been called the Mark Twain of adventure literature. $19, FALCON.COM YVON CHOUINARD : GOING HIS WAY “Climbing and surﬁng are the perfect examples of the art of the useless,” Yvon Chouinard says in this engaging, personal biography by friend Bill Stratton. But the founder of Patagonia has been anything but useless. Stratton lays out Chouinard’s life, including tales of surﬁng massive waves in Cali and scaling mountains in Patagonia together. Chouinard, clearly, has pushed in climbing and business with the mantra “You better learn how to get what you like before you learn to like what you get.” $26, HOMESTEADPUBLISHING. NET CLIMB INJURY -FREE Dr. Jared Vagy’s Climb InjuryFree is a deep, thorough, necessary guide. Combining text, photos, and illos, it highlights science- and anatomy-backed methods for climbing safely and strengthening the body against common injuries. Vagy outlines eight chapters, starting with proper warm-ups and moving through rehab, including dirtbag-friendly subs for the props. $29, THE CLIMBINGDOCTOR.COM FROM LEFT: JOEL ZERR; COURTESY; DEAN FIDELMAN FULFILL YOUR MORAL OBLIGATION AND RATE THE CLIMB AS ACCURATELY AS POSSIBLE Mini Reviews PHOTO BY TK ONSIGHT 10 J ULY 2018 PHOTO BY TK Skyland, near Crested Butte, Colorado, is bouldering heaven: a tumble of giant volcanic blocks so fused they look like granite. Joint Rock is the showcase boulder, sitting at the edge of an aspen grove with a high, striking, radically overhanging north face. Beelining up the right-center of the face is Shuhari, put up by Will Anglin in October 2015 after eight years of on-and-off effort. Wicked compression leads to heel- and toe-hooking jessery on opposing pinches then big punches to ﬂat holds before the climb moves right to join the arête of Filth Pig (V6). Here, Sebastian Infantes moves into the business. “Sebastian, with a valiant try, could not take down the crux,” writes the photographer Coleman Becker. “But he gets closer after each attempt.” For more of America’s best bouldering, turn to “The Classic 25” on page 56. COLEMAN BECKER CLIMBING.COM 11 ONSIGHT On March 5, Joe Kinder established a rare American 5.15 with his 70-foot Life of Villains in the Hurricave in Hurricane, Utah. The climb, says Kinder, is “physical and continuous, with poor footholds and a horrid boulder problem at the end.” Kinder, who has established over 100 routes, including four 5.14d’s in Riﬂe and around St. George, bolted the line in 2012. He believes LoV is signiﬁcantly harder than anything he’s done, joining the US’s short list of 5.15s that includes Jumbo Love (5.15b), Jaws II (5.15a), and Flex Luthor (5.15a). “The USA can yield amazing hard climbs, but it either takes hiking, seeing the line that’s barely there, or sending a project that’s been bolted,” says Kinder. “There are many routes just waiting for that special someone, and that special someone in the USA is pretty limited.” JOE SEGRETI 12 J ULY 2018 BOREO Enhanced protection for the vertical world Durable and versatile, the BOREO helmet is destined for climbing, caving, via ferrata, and canyoneering. TOP AND SIDE PROTECTION technology provides enhanced shock absorption from side, front, and rear impacts. The slim proﬁle on the head combined with the large ventilation slots provide an extremely comfortable helmet for a wide variety of activities. www.petzl.com TALK OF THE CRAG ADAM ONDRA GIVING IT HIS ALL TO FLASH SUPERCRACKINETTE ( 5.15A ) , FRANCE. W ith an onsight or a ﬂash, one slip of the foot or botched sequence and it’s over. You have to climb with conﬁdence. And if it’s a ﬂash, with beta from another B Y M AT T S A M E T climber, then you need to make sure the sequencing suits your body. It’s a precision performance at any level, from 5.10 to 5.15. On February 10, the Czech Adam Ondra, 25, became the ﬁrst climber to ﬂash 5.15, ﬁring the 9a+/5.15a Supercrackinette at Saint-Léger, France. The 65-foot route is a ﬂurry of power-endurance “micro” management, a 28-move sprint followed by eight easier moves. The route was equipped by the French climber Quentin Chastagnier, and freed in October 2016 by Alex Megos. Ondra belayed Chastagnier twice to watch the moves, quizzing Chastagnier about each grip, then cast of ADAM ONDRA AND THE ROAD TO THE FIRST- EVER 5.15A FLASH 14 JULY 2018 on its incut crimps and tiny pockets. Ondra has been trying to ﬂash 5.15a for years. The ﬁrst in his sites was Biographie/Realization (5.15a) at Céüse, France, a route he held in reserve for some time. In a 2012 interview with planetmountain .com, Ondra said he was ﬁnally spurred to try it while chucking a lap on the 5.15a Papichulo in Oliana, Spain, in 2012, a route he’d sent previously: “It was the end of the day and I didn’t remember much of the beta; nonetheless I did it with a couple of falls and I felt as if, had I known the perfect beta, it would have been possible to ﬂash. It was then that I decided to try and ﬂash Biographie.” On June 8, 2012, before onlookers, after soaking up beta by watching videos, Ondra tried Biographie. He ﬁred the 5.14c bottom half only to fall at the infamous upper crux, a stab to a thin pocket. “But I was far from being close,” Ondra said. “I was way too pumped to stick the move.” That October, Ondra ﬂashed Southern Smoke Direct, then given 5.15a, at the Red River Gorge, Kentucky, though he downgraded it to PHOTO BY BERNARDO GIMENEZ Flash Dance You Had Me at Monday. The outdoor industry is seeking professional women with a passion for the outdoors. That’s where you come in. CamberOutdoors.org/jobs TALK OF THE CRAG 5.14d. Then, in 2014, he tried Selección Anal (5.15a) in Santa Linya, Spain, but pumped out. “Flashing 9a+ [5.15a] is important for me because it’s a logical step in progression in climbing,” Ondra said in an EpicTV interview. After these two climbs, he “pretty much ran out of convenient routes” of the grade to ﬂash, despite nabbing three 5.14d onsights (see sidebar for the world’s top onsights). In 2017, Ondra FA’ed the world’s ﬁrst 5.15d, Silence, in Norway. To prep, he trained six days a week, up to ﬁve hours a day, cultivating a super-ﬁtness that helped on Supercrackinette. But, adds Ondra, “I think Silence helped me most of all mentally. Sending 9c helped me build the conﬁdence that a 9a+ ﬂash would be possible.” (To up your ﬂash game, Ondra advises climbing as many routes as possible in diferent areas and practicing visualization, even on gym routes. “Visualization should help you to feel that you have it wired,” he says.) But really, it began when Ondra was a kid who’d spend hours coaching himself in the gym. As Ondra told Climbing, “When I was eight, I thought climbing was the best thing ever. That’s when I decided that’s what I wanted to be [a climber], and ever since then I’ve done everything I can possibly do to follow that dream.” On Supercrackinette, as he approached the last difficult move—a big move from a two-ﬁnger crimp to another crimp—en route to realizing a lifetime goal, Ondra felt nervous. “The ﬁnal, last hard move was heartbreaking, but in the end, I had a tiny margin and did not let go,” he says. The Big 5 Onsights MARCH 2013: Alex Megos, Estado Critico (5.14d), Spain JULY 2013: Adam Ondra, Cabane au Canada (5.14d), Switzerland MAY 2014: Ondra, Il Domani (5.14d), Basque JULY 2014: Ondra, TCT (5.14d), Gravere, Italy MAY 2017: Megos, TCT (5.14d), Gravere, Italy Climbing Out of a Hurricane 16 JULY 2018 ner. Through their company, Moca Climbing + Coaching, Vidal and Taraborrelli have spent two years guiding clients around the island’s half-dozen sport crags, jungle canyons, and caves. While most Red Cross crews performed bulk distributions, the “mountain-climber teams” hit the back roads. “Our motto was always to go to the very, very end,” says Vidal. Often that meant clearing roads with chainsaws and rigging Tyrolean traverses across otherwise impassable rivers. They distributed food and water, water-puriﬁcation systems, solar panels and lanterns, and small generators on an island where almost a third of the 3.4 million residents still POST- MARIA, LOCAL CLIMBER USAMA HAMID NUMAN WORKS TO FREE A SUPPLY TRUCK IN THE ADJUNTAS REGION. PHOTO BY NICOLE VIDAL I n October 2017, Leandro Taraborrelli gave the most important belay of his life. The Red Cross Team leader was standing on a washed-out bridge over Puerto B Y M AT T M I N I C H Rico’s Arecibo River, using a rope to belay 20 doctors and pharmacists up a rickety ladder. In the riverbed below, a team of fellow climbers guided the volunteers, who’d come to help Puerto Rico rebuild after the devastation wrought in September 2017 by Hurricane Maria. A pipe had ruptured upstream, contaminating the river with sewage. Their goal was Río Abajo, a neighborhood in Puerto Rico’s mountainous Utuado region. Sixty miles from San Juan, the community had been isolated for weeks after the category 4 hurricane, going so long without aid that its residents had come to call it El Campamento del los Olvidados: “The Camp of the Forgotten.” In the months since Maria, Taraborrelli and other Puerto Rican climbers have worked full-time to bring aid to the remote corners of the island—to places like Rio Abajo. “We’ve been in those areas climbing and canyoneering,” says Nicole Vidal, another team leader, who worked alongside Taraborrelli and local boulderer Carlos Salinas and who is also Taraborrelli's wife and business part- HOW CLIMBERS ARE BRINGING BACK PUERTO RICO PASSI ON TO PRO F E SSI ON WO M E N I N T H E O U T D O O R I N D U S T RY WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PERK OF WORKING FOR BURTON? There are so many! I love getting outside and snowboarding. If we get two feet of snow, the ofﬁce shuts down. I’ve gotten to travel the world for my job and I’ve learned so much about other cultures. Burton is big enough that we have a global impact, but also small enough that if you have a big idea and if you’re passionate enough and build a solid case, we can do it. That perfectly aligns with my personality. WHAT’S YOUR ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR WOMEN SEEKING A CAREER IN THE OUTDOOR INDUSTRY? Find a company that mirrors your values, then get your foot in the door. I came in as a ﬁnancial analyst, making less money than I was coaching hockey, and that’s OK. I worked and put my head down and built trust. A lot of young people are taught to “follow their passion,” and that’s bad advice. When you start out, you’re not going to feel like you’ve found your passion because part of that is being a contributor. You must work at it. If you work hard and you’re a critical thinker and build solutions, you’re going to work your way up in the company, and that’s how you ﬁnd your passion. Ali Kenney VP OF GLOBAL STR ATEGY AND INSIGHTS, BURTON SNOWBOARDS Ali Kenney jokes that she has “a lot of commas” in her job. She watches trends in the global market, engages consumers on climate change issues, crafts Burton’s sustainability goals, audits manufacturers for sustainability, human rights, and fair labor practices, and more. Kenney is widely respected in the outdoor industry for the environmental strides Burton has made under her leadership. We caught up with her to ﬁnd out how she got where she is. BY KASSONDRA CLOOS WHAT’S YOUR FIRST OR MOST FAVORITE OUTDOOR MEMORY? When I was a young kid, I was always outside playing games and sports. I grew up in the middle of nowhere on a dead-end, dirt road in Vermont. We spent every day outside. I had a foundation of wanting to be outside and a love for fresh air. Now, my wife and I bike commute every day, and we got into backpacking four years ago. Every vacation, we go backpacking. That’s how we refresh. We don’t use watches or phones. We go by sunrise and sunset. WHAT DROVE YOU TO SEEK A CAREER IN THE OUTDOOR INDUSTRY? When I’m snowboarding or doing something else physical, there’s no other thought in my mind. I’m focused on the moment and the terrain. Working for a company where that’s what we do, the connection to nature is one of the biggest drivers for me. I don’t want to work for a company where we make widgets. Even on the most stressful days, it’s OK because then we can all go snowboarding together. I bring my whole self to work. WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE? I want to have given back more to the world than I’ve taken from it. With all the food and resources and all the other stuff I consume, I want to have somehow made the world better in a higher level of magnitude. To have an overall positive impact. FLASH ROUND What’s your super power? My can-do attitude. I believe anything is possible. Outdoor adventure of choice for daily release? Biking to work, in any season. What’s in your thermos? Water, kombucha, or dirty chai If you had an intro song, what would it be? “Scarlet Begonias,” by Grateful Dead Your number one outdoor hack? Bring blocks of Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar while backpacking. To find your next job, visit us at: jobs.camberoutdoors.org You can also read Ali’s extended interview here. TALK OF THE CRAG lack power and tens of thousands lack running water. Before the storm, Vidal and Taraborrelli were among about a dozen guides working on Puerto Rico. Faced with a sharp dip in tourism, many guides have hung up their climbing shoes to ﬁnd work elsewhere. “For our adventure tours, our canyon tours, our caving tours,” says Rossano Boscarino, co-owner of outﬁtter and guide service Aventuras PR and godfather of Puerto Rico’s climbing scene, “we just don’t have the people. Tourism has been hurt really bad.” In partnership with his wife, Edda Jimenez, the late Colorado legend Craig Luebben, and local hardman Jorge Rodriguez, Boscarino developed the majority of Puerto Rico’s sport routes. He did so despite conﬂicts with landowners, jungle vegetation, government bureaucrats, and Africanized bees, the latter of which once stung Rodriguez more than 500 times as he cleared vegetation from a Bayamón clif, nearly killing him. Over a hundred climbers reside on the island, where they enjoy the drippy limestone on gymnastic single-pitch routes or multi-pitch romps like Lizard the Wizard (5.11c) near the mountains around Cayey. But many Puerto Rican climbers are on unsure footing. Ten years into a recession and faced with $123 billion of debt, Puerto Rico declared a form of bankruptcy last March. That deal came with strict austerity measures, which were forecast even before the storm to send the island’s economy into a full-blown depression. Faced with a slow recovery and robbed of a proﬁtable tourist season, many locals have exhausted their savings. “I know three or four climbers who left because they don’t have jobs anymore,” says Rodriguez, who lost his own income when the senior partner of his ﬁnancial-services business left after the storm. Rodriguez is considering a move to the mainland, but for now he’s still a ﬁxture at Nuevo Bayamón, a collection of about 100 short sport routes just outside San Juan. “For me, it’s like a therapy,” he says. “When I go climbing, I just focus on climbing and forget about everything else.” For the most part, Puerto Rico’s tourist amenities are open. Major roads are clear, and hotels and restaurants operate as before the storm. The climbing community, armed with arborist gear, has reopened crag access and approved the safety of the bolts post-storm. The routes themselves are cleaner than ever, power-washed by the storm, with excess foliage removed. Local climbers have already repopulated the clifs, and have even established a few new routes in Ciales and Cayey. “The climbing is ready to go,” says Boscarino. “We just need the people.” “But they aren’t real climbers…” I n the US where the dirtbag culture is still espoused as an ideal, comp climbing’s perceived glitz and glamor can seem like anathema. Comments like “No comp climber will ever send the Dawn Wall,” as I heard in B Y E D D I E F OW K E Boulder, Colorado—just prior to comp climber Adam Ondra’s fast repeat of the VI 5.14d in November 2016—perpetuate the myth that comps, with their live streams, big crowds, and strange, gymnastic moves up giant blobs, have nothing to do with “real climbing.” Nonetheless, comp climbing has been around in a formal context since 1947, when the USSR, to celebrate its 30th anniversary, held an event on clifs in the Kavkaz region. (It was a speed event based on the combined time it took a climber to climb up and down a 30-meter clif [roped], and then complete a 30-meter traverse in both directions.) In the mid-1980s, difficulty competitions began appearing in Europe, the ﬁrst being Sportroccia in 1985, on the limestone of Bardonecchia, Italy. 1991 saw the birth of the UIAA World Cup circuit. Over the last couple of decades, comp climbing has grown. With the gym boom and attendant youth teams, our sport reaches a broader audience than ever, with climbers being exposed to it at younger ages and with climbing making its ﬁrst appearance as an Olympic event in Tokyo in 2020. To dismiss competition climbing is to dismiss how much it’s advanced our sport. Take Ondra’s FA of the 5.15d Silence in 2017, Angy Eiter’s repeat of the 5.15b La Planta de Shiva that same year, and in 2016 Nalle Hukkataival’s FA of the V17 Burden of Dreams. All of these climbers com- ERASING THE STIGMA OF COMPETITION CLIMBING 18 JULY 2018 peted: Ondra is the defending Lead World Champion, was Boulder World Champion in 2014, and has 14 World Cup wins. Eiter was fourtime Lead World Champion and has 25 World Cup victories. And Hukkataival was on the Boulder circuit from 2004 to 2011. Many recent advancements made by top climbers can be traced back to their working with coaches to a degree previously unheard of—and even those not working with coaches are beneﬁtting from developments in sport science. Watching Silence, the documentary about Ondra’s tick of his 5.15d, we see just how closely he collaborated with Austrian team physiotherapist Klaus Isele, who helped Ondra not only maintain ﬁtness and recover, but also deconstruct the climb’s futuristic sequencing. Each advancement we are seeing today comes from climbers who are either in the comp system or have been there previously, building their training foundation. And every elite competitor is a climbing addict—to be a top competitor means you have to eat, sleep, and breathe climbing. Indeed, on the comp circuit, you’ll ﬁnd a twenty-ﬁrst century version of dirtbagging, with climbers sharing hotel rooms, campgrounds, and apartment ﬂoors and working long hours during the of-season to scrimp together funds. After the Vail Bouldering World Cup in 2016, climbers from Russia, Israel, Slovenia, Italy, Korea, and Canada converged on a grotty hotel in Estes Park so they could climb together in Rocky Mountain National Park. That trip saw the ﬁrst repeat of Hypnotized Minds (V16) by Rustam Gelmanov of Russia, a repeat of Jade (V14) by Jongwon Chon of South Korea, and many other hard sends. It’s time to say goodbye to any stigma around comp climbing and instead welcome it as the incubator of our sport’s top talent. (For a longer essay on the subject, visit climbing.com/compsandrock.) ALIEN REVOLUTION The Mother of Modern Cams FIXEhardware Made In Spain ATHLETE TESTED EXPEDITION PROVEN ANNA PFAFF & CAROLINE CIAVALDINI RAID WITH A CAMEL 450M 7a WADI RUM PRESERVE JORDAN TIM KEMPLE PHOTOGRAPHY THE PL ACE B Y B R O O K E JAC K S O N Access Fund (AF) has been lobbying for access since 1991. Starting this issue, we’ve teamed up with them to present key victories and threats. Visit acessfund.org for more. 22 JULY 2018 W IG IN S Kicking Access! Private landowners, county ofﬁcials, states, and nonproﬁts are seeing the economic and health beneﬁts of climbing and are actively seeking to open their properties to the public. Examples include The Rock Domain in RRG, Mad River Gorge in Ohio, and Old Wauhatchie Boulders in Chattanooga. Studies have shown the beneﬁts to local economies. AF and Climbing Resource Group of PHOTOS BY BROOKE JACKSON ( 2 ) HOW CLIMBERS HELPED SAVE THE MADRONE WALL FROM QUARRYING B PORTLAND’S “ROCKBELLION” L ess than 20 miles southeast of Portland hides a treasure trove of rock amongst swaying madrone trees: the 1,000-foot-long, 80-foot-tall Madrone Wall, with 100-plus sport, trad, and mixed lines from 5.7 to 5.12 on 660,000-year-old igneous basalt. The Clackamas River bubbles below, while farmland and forest stretch to the horizon. It’s a perfect spot for a day trip or after-work cragging. However, the Madrone Wall was also closed for the past 20 years under the threat of development, including quarrying, a serious blow to a city full of avid climbers who have minimal high-quality rock nearby. Says Keith Dallenbach, a Portland native who reconsulting firm ECONorthwest, discovered that turned to the area in 1997, “Climbing at Madrone a hard-rock quarry was not economically feasible Wall for the ﬁrst time on a weekday after work [in due to the site’s small size (<44 acres), of which 1997] conﬁrmed why I moved back home.” only half was suitable for quarrying. The county In 1937, Clackamas County purchased the 44 accepted this study and dropped their plans, but acres of farmland surrounding the Madrone Wall began to consider selling the property either for for $2,000 from Anna S. Robertson and opened a private quarry, housing, or logging—despite the access to the public. Climbing started in the 1970s, MWPC’s ongoing objections. Finally, in 2006–‘07, with mixed and crack routes. The late 1980s and the county acquiesced and the site was evaluated early ‘90s saw the most classic lines established, as a park. with Wayne Wallace and Robert McGown’s stout The county created a checklist of nearly three doz5.11d sport route Where the Wild Things Roam and en prerequisites for reopening the Madrone Wall, Wallace’s Shining Wall—both done in 1989—and including installation of parking, access roads, and Tim Olson and McGown’s 1990 Red Sun Rising, public restrooms. Finding the funding for these a 5.10b trad line. Local climbers informally mainimprovements, which cost over $100,000, was a tained the area, and all was going well until autumn challenge. The Mazamas, Access Fund, American 1997 when the county closed the wall. The county Alpine Club, REI, and Patagonia added to Clackawished to pursue a permit for a hard-rock quarry, mas County Parks’ funds, with the Access Fund and which would involve blowing up the clif to make Mazamas helping with call-to-action emails that crushed aggregate. brought in over 500 pro-climbing, pro-public-park Shortly thereafter, Dallenbach and other locals communications. Additionally, two private donors formed the Madrone Wall Preservation Commitand Clackamas County Tourism and Cultural Afairs tee (MWPC). Over the next 20 years, Dallenbach, established large capital-matching grants. Other locurrent MWPC President Kellie Rice, and past cal businesses and organizations as well as Oregon MWPC President Ian Caldwell fought the counpoliticians like U.S. senators Ron Wyden and Jef ty’s decision. The team handed out flyers around Merkley, and U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Portland and nearby Damascus to alert citizens of provided support. the quarry plans, fundraised for research studies, The MWPC then partnered with the Oregon and filed a Freedom of Information Act for pubArmy National Guard for a vital piece of the delic documents about the county commissioners’ velopment. Each summer as a training exercise, plans. Further, when a commissioner appraised the guard assists with pro bono public projects for the property at $10 million, the MWPC raised two weeks. In August 2016, with capital funding funds to bring in an outside appraiser, who valued established, the Guard created the quarter-mile the property at a few hundred thousand. Next, aggregate access road and parking for 20 vehicles. the MWPC partnered with Clackamas County to “Working with the Oregon Army National Guard fund a joint study of the quarry’s economic valwas one of the most enjoyable aspects in two deue. Bob Whelan, an economic geologist from the 1 2 1. Nathan Ball on Firing Line (5.11a), Shining Wall, at the newly saved Madrone Crag outside Portland, Oregon. D FL A GS Vermont (CRAG-VT) partnered to buy Bolton Dome, a schist area featuring high-quality crack and sport climbs. The crag is slated to open this fall (cragvt.org/ boltondomeproject/ ). RE 2. Home to one of America’s largest urban forest reserves, Portland has a history of natural conservation. Here, Theresa Silverya jogs along the iconic Wildwood Trail. The Trump Administration released troubling new policies for BLM lands, home to ~12 percent of US climbing. The policies fast-track energy development and make environmental reviews and stakeholder input optional. The most immediate threat cades of advocacy,” says Dallenbach. “They were so gung ho.” That November, the MWPC, the Mazamas, Trailkeepers of Oregon, Portland Mountain Rescue, and 120 volunteers spent 6 days and 750 hours to build 500 yards of new trails and install 270 rock steps. On October 21, 2017, Madrone Wall Park opened its gates. Dallenbach and his family were among the ﬁrst to hike the newly established trails. With public access granted once again, climbers can now appreciate a short approach to quality rock and classic lines while hanging in the shade of swaying madrone trees. Meanwhile, the climbing community remains invested in the area. The Portland local Micah Klesick received funding from the American Safe Climbing Association and replaced nearly 300 bolts, anchors, and rap rings. Klesick also developed Madrone & Carver Clifs, an updated guidebook on the Rakkup app. Additional local climbers like Nate Ball and Alex Sklar continue to work on rebolting, while the MWPC will soon become the Friends of Madrone Wall Park, which will work for park advocacy and stewardship. Dallenbach says this success story was thanks to “not one person, but many.” With metro areas expanding worldwide, it’s more important than ever to preserve local crags and green spaces like Madrone. As the MWPC promoted on its site, “In the last 20 years, the Metro region (of Portland) has lost an average of over 2300 acres of open space each year … It was imperative that this site be protected from rapid future development and preserved for future generations.” is to Bears Ears (Indian Creek, Harts Draw, Valley of the Gods, Texas/Arch Canyon), much of which is no longer protected by the National Monument status (pending AF’s lawsuit). Budget cuts may loom for the federal funding program the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). LWCF has been used to protect many areas—e.g., Sam’s Throne and Index. CLIMBING.COM 23 UNSENT << FIRST | < PREVIOUS | SHOW ALL | NEXT > | L AST >> Wow. Just watched Adam Ondra’s Silence vid. Maybe Ondra didn’t scream on the route, but Mother Nature sure did—that line clearly takes gear and yet Ondra placed bolts. That’s bullshit. I, CrustyTradDad 58, am chopping those bolts and here’s why: YOU DON’T BOLT CRACKS Back in my day—the 1980s, out at Apricot Dome (it’s not in any guidebooks, but I can Xerox a topo for you)—we had an unwritten rule: You bolt a crack, we slash your tires. You do it again, maybe we lug a sack of potatoes to the crag and play “Hit the Target” while you’re on the sharp end. The point is: You knew there’d be consequences. Today, you get to livestream the video premier of your crimes while the world applauds. What the hell happened to climbing? Ondra keeps calling Silence a “sport route,” and yet he describes the crux as a V15 crack. INTERESTING. I see a clear No. 1 cam placement in the same slot where Ondra jams his foot after inverting, which is followed by two feet of bomber .5 placements. But instead, the crux has as many bolts as me and old Rowdy McRipperpants (RIP) used on Low-Angle Direct—three—and that puppy’s 2,000 feet. Ondra better keep an eye on his tires, is all I’m saying. 1 C R U S T Y T RA D DA D 5 8 ( A K A K E V I N CO R R I G A N ) 2/ 23/ 18 AT 2 : 0 8 A . M . P S T IT’S OVERBOLTED Look, I get it. Some rock can’t even be protected with Ballnuts or taped-on skyhooks; bolts are the only option. But I count at least 12 bolts in 150 feet in the Silence video. If Ondra can climb the V15 crux, he should’ve had no problem running out the first 80 feet of 5.13d. Would Ondra like a Starbucks at the nohands rest as well? Why not just domesticate the fucker like Half Dome: put in handrails and charge tourists $5 a pop? Ondra’s bolting lowers the route to his level, which, mentally, is the level of my two-year-old kid with my fifth wife. Forget if it’s a boy or not cause the hair’s all long, but I think we named it Rainbow. Anyway … as the homemade bumper sticker on my ‘78 VW bus says, “Keep Flatanger Bold.” 2 BIO The “Mayor of Apricot Dome.” I never leave the ground without a double rack up to No. 6, and I always run it out. Lead 5.6, follow 5.8. Sport climbing is neither, gym climbing is neither, and bouldering also sucks. 24 JULY 2018 ONDRA AIDED THE ROUTE Ondra had to rest in a kneebar for “five to six minutes” in order to complete the route. He wore sticky-rubber kneepads—an artificial climbing aid—in order to do this. Hey, buddy, if your knees hurt, how about I lend you my Carrharts, or perhaps you’d prefer etriers next time? 5.15d? More like 5.13d A0. 3 IT WASN'T CLIMBED GROUND- UP I don’t know when climbers decided that the laws of gravity don’t apply, but that sure as shit has never been the way out at Apricot. You think Layton Kor inspected The Owl (5.7+) in Boulder Canyon before his FA? LOLZ. “Climbing” means starting from the bottom and then going to the top. But Ondra started that no-star turd pile by figuring out the middle then working his way down. What’s next, a scissorlift up to the middle of El Cap so he can “work” the Great Roof? Perhaps he should pay someone to climb for him, since he doesn’t seem interested in doing it himself. 4 SILENCE IS CONTRIVED I watched Ondra’s little film and the whole time I was thinking, “This is dumb and that route is bullshit, but it must have a pretty boss view from up top since he’s putting so many years into it.” No, sir! Silence doesn’t even top out. It stops at an arbitrary spot in the middle of the ceiling. Did Ondra get lost? Did his bolt gun run out of batteries? Where is he trying to go? It’s like driving halfway to the 7-Eleven and then turning around before you can even smell the taquitos. Next time I can get up the scratch to hop a plane up to Norge, I’m chopping those bolts then doing that route right. I’ll skol a few Scandinavian King Cobras and belt out some Steely Dan to get in the zone, then throw on my shoulder sling and climb until I run out of mountain. Then I’ll howl at the midnight sun, rap down, and celebrate restoring Silence to its rightful state: an X-rated trad route nobody will ever repeat. 5 POST A REPLY REPORT SPAM PHOTO BY SHUTTERSTOCK Silence: A Tragedy RETURN TO FORUM GOLFED! THAT ONE TIME I n 1994, I bought the only new car I’ve ever purchased, a gray VW Golf, using a bit of inheritance money my grandfather had left me. Day one, some spiteful asshole snapped the antenna of in an Albuquerque, New Mexico, parking lot. Being a skinﬂint climber, I didn’t pony up the $70 to replace it. And so emerged a pattern of cheapness and neglect that deﬁned how I treated the car. I drove the Golf across the West, along the backwater dirt roads of New Mexico and the Colorado alpine, A CLIMBER CAR’S where its low-slung chassis slammed into potholes, ground up slabs, and scraped over rocks. At 5’6”, I SHORT, BRUTAL, could sleep diagonally in the hatchback, which I did during Riﬂe summers until the “Golf Cart’s” interior TRAUMATIC LIFE took on a gamey odor. I pushed the Golf way past its limits, treating the poor, little city car like a combinaB Y M AT T S A M E T tion RV/ofroad vehicle. I L LU S T R AT I O N B Y There were foibles; there were shenanigans. Once, in August 1995, in the sweltering salt ﬂats near Ibex, DAV I D C A M P O Utah, crossing the country with an Italian girlfriend, Chiara, who’d fallen asleep in the passenger seat after an all-night drive, I made the impromptu decision to go “mudding” on a dry lakebed beside the highway. The car bogged down after 20 this time backing onto then high-centering on a lone, cofee-tafeet in a puddle, sloshing to a stop. Chiara woke up, stared out at all ble-sized rock at the edge of the vast lakebed. Fortunately, another that great, white nothingness, and said, “You eeedeeeyot.” In 1999, at climber soon came along. “Boy, you pad people sure are stupid,” he Hueco Pete’s at Hueco Tanks, Texas, during a DIY tire rotation in the said, hooking a cable from his Jeep to the Golf. “This wasn’t even the parking lot, I “forgot” to put cinderblocks under the front axle on the ﬁrst time I’ve had to pull one of you out of here .…” driver side as I moved the wheels around. When I removed the rear Flash-forward to 2006. By then the Golf had so many dings, rust wheel on that same side, the car promptly levered into the dirt. As my spots, crumpled panels, and windshield cracks that cops tailed me friend Jonathan stood by and laughed uproariously, I used an ice axe whenever I was within 500 miles of an elementary school. After to excavate a trench for the jack—problem solved! hundreds of stanky bivvies and 160K punishing climber miles, my You’d think I’d have learned to take better care of the Golf, but I Golf had become a hoopty. I sold it as-is to a mechanic in Glenwood never did. And so, in 2001 back at Ibex while pebble-wrestling at the Springs, Colorado, who needed a cheap family car. The price? $300— Red Monster boulder with my friend Josh, I got the Golf stuck again, or roughly the cost of four brand-new antennas. 26 JULY 2018 RISE UP WITH USA CLIMBING Become a 2017–18 SEASON MEMBER at usaclimbing.org and compete with the best Membership types: Competitor <> Coach <> Routesetter <> Collegiate <> Adaptive usaclimbing.org NOTHING TASTES LIKE SENDING FEELS PEACHES PREACHES CONFESSIONS OF A WEIGHT- OBSESSED CLIMBER B Y JA M E S LU C A S JAMES LUCAS is a writer and climber based out of the ﬁtness-focused city of Boulder, Colorado. Some pro climbers consider him to be a pretty good “lifestyle” climber. 28 JULY 2018 I n summer 2006, after a long day of climbing at the high-elevation Tioga Clif near Yosemite, I’d worked up a massive appetite. On the hike out, I stufed cheese pufs by the handful into my mouth as my partner, El Capitan free-climbing veteran Rob Miller, poured a few macadamia nuts into his hand, looked at them, and then returned three to the bag. “How many macadamias do you eat?” I asked Rob, bits of cheese puf hanging from my lips. “Well, I eat 10,” the buf climber said. “But since you’re a little”—his cheeks ballooned—“you’d want 7.” I grew up on the East Coast as one of six kids. Our parents fed us economy-style, favoring quantity over quality. At dinner, I crammed ﬁsh sticks into my gob, competing with ﬁve other hungry mouths. In middle school, my mom told me I had “broad shoulders” and took me shopping in the Husky department at JCPenney. Throughout high school, I played football and cross-country skied. I began climbing in 1998 in Vermont, becoming more athletic though still bulky. I’d been trying for years, I took a similar approach. As I progressed through the grades, from leading When I ﬁnally sent, in 2017, I could lock of harder my ﬁrst 5.6 trad pitch on Manure Pile to free climband felt lighter, making the placements easier. ing El Cap in a day, I grew skinnier. The correlation So how skinny do I—or any of us—really need to was obvious: In our constant-ﬁght-against-gravibe to crush? Where do you draw the line between ty sport, the better your strength-to-weight ratio, strategic dieting and an unhealthy eating disorder? the harder you climb. In winter 2003 while I sold “Well, one particular answer from our data comes overpriced alpine jackets at a Santa Cruz outdoor in the form of ‘lighter does not equal better grades,’” store and saved money for my next climbing trip, I says climbing trainer Tom Randall, who has tested ate NutterButter cookies by the package, apathetic hundreds of climbers through his Lattice Training to the hydrogenated fat. My climbing took a noseprogram. “But being in approximately 20 BMI is dive. Then I traveled to Indian Creek and got lean. best for healthy, long-term climbers.” Body-mass My friends and I survived of eggs we’d scavenged index measures your height-to-weight ratio. While from behind a Moab grocery store. When one of our many climbers favor calculating body-fat percentcrew got food poisoning, we just shrugged and kept age, calculating BMI is easier given the difficuleating the eggs. Later that summer in Squamish, I ties of measuring body fat accurately. In The Rock spent two months camping in a cave, eating peanut Climber’s Training Manual, the Anderson brothers butter and jelly sandwiches. Once a week, I spent a recommend that climbers be generally ﬁt, with 10 loonie on deli-meat ends. Poverty had shrunken my percent body fat for men and 20 percent for women. stomach, but it also made me climb harder. At 5’7” and 158 pounds, the upper end of a healthy ver the years as my career as a freelance writBMI, I’d need to drop 28 pounds, or roughly 18 perer took of, my income expanded and so did cent of my body weight, to get close to a 20 BMI. my waistline. After so much time on a survivI like broccoli and chicken as much as the next al diet, perhaps my metabolism had slowed. guy, but weeks on end of such fare seems unmainAlso, I could ﬁnally aford good food. Around me, tainable. Perhaps I could close the gap by campusother climbers were more weight conscious. A scale ing, hangboarding, and pounding iron. sat on the campground table for morning weigh-ins trength training is cumulative over your at Riﬂe; in Squamish, a sweet-toothed friend ablifetime,” write the Anderson brothers. stained from sugar for a month; and after one friend “Weight loss is not.” They explain that the contracted giardia, she crushed a long-time boul10 pounds you lose post-breakup won’t dering project she couldn’t repeat after she regained afect your performance a decade later; however, weight. After a bout of food poisoning in Riﬂe in those six months of angsty deadhanging might. 2013, I ﬂoated through the crux of my project, Hang There are countless articles about how to increase ‘Em High (5.12c). I bought a scale and kept it in my ﬁnger strength, how to break boards on your abs, van for morning weigh-ins. When I moved to Bouland how to do ﬁngertip pushups. But sustained der in 2016 to work at Climbing, the scale came into weight loss can be more challenging than the latest my cubicle. Eva Lopez contrasting deadhangs program because Climbers have even been known to fast, as unstrength building comes through changing your healthy as this can be. In Jerry Mofatt’s autobiogexercise program, while long-term weight loss reraphy, Revelations, he confesses that prior to his quires changing your life. FA of Yosemite’s notorious V12 the Dominator, he “Long-term weight loss (or weight maintenance) barely ate for days, passing the time hiking the Yodoesn’t come about through short-term ﬁxes; it’s semite Falls Trail. He attributes his send to his lightthe culmination of building long-term, healthy er weight. On Cosmic Debris, a 5.13b ﬁnger crack O “S dietary habits,” writes Brian Rigby in “Losing Weight II: Food & Diet Attitudes” at climbingnutri tion.com. Losing weight requires a thousand micro decisions that combine over time to make a macro diference. For me, carrots and celery would need to replace potato chips, while seven macadamias would replace cheese pufs. And I’d need to change my emotional-eating habits. Instead of downing a calorie-ﬁlled beer and pounding nachos when I couldn’t deal with work deadlines, I’d need to guzzle LaCroix and rage-eat almond slivers. Go too far, however, and I risked succumbing to orthorexia, an obsession with maintaining a perfect diet rather than an ideal weight. Think no sugar, no gluten, no fun … but lots of sending! Eating disorders are the third rail in performance climbing—nobody wants to talk about them, but to climb 5.13 and beyond, it helps to be lean and light. For most climbers, acknowledging they have an eating disorder means putting on weight, which in turn translates to a worse strength-to-weight ratio and thus less sending. It’s a ﬁne balance to maintain an ideal climbing weight and still stay healthy. “It’s a lot easier to lose ﬁve pounds than it is to get ﬁve pounds stronger,” says the pro climber Jonathan Siegrist. In 2015 in Spain, while he worked La Rambla (5.15a), Siegrist methodically prepared his food, staying light for his project. But extended calorie restriction can—among myriad issues—cause reduced brain volume, according to a May 2010 study in the International Journal of Eating Disorders. “Starving is bad for your brain,” says Siegrist. “I’ve noticed it change people’s behavior.” Siegrist believes that it’s better to focus on other facets of performance climbing, like cleaning the holds on the MoonBoard. (“Brush the holds; they don’t come down that often,” he says.) When he’s not in send mode, Siegrist gains a few pounds, drinking a nightly beer and maintaining a healthy weight. “I’d much rather resist developing an eating disorder than send half a letter grade harder,” he. As the pro climber Emily Harrington puts it, “The harsh reality is that [climbing is] a gravity-based sport, and if you want to climb hard it helps to be a few pounds lighter.” In 2005, Harrington trained in Europe, honing down to 100 pounds. The weight loss turbo-charged her performance, and she placed second in the lead world championships. In 2007, when I met her at Jailhouse, she sent Burning Down the House (5.14b). However, Harrington struggled with the demands of constantly being that thin, and eventually gained 20 pounds. When she did, her climbing sufered. Then she learned to train properly and better use her strength, going on, at her current healthy weight, to send Golden Gate (VI 5.13b) on El Capitan in 2015 and Fish Eye (5.14b) at Oliana in 2017. Like all the best things in life, climbing revolves around struggle—the give-and-take between what we want to achieve and what we’re willing to do to get there. Sacriﬁce too much and you risk your health. But ignore the role of nutrition in climbing and you might not realize your goals. If I want to improve in climbing, one area is my weight—but it’s just one area. I can also improve ﬁnger strength, ﬂexibility, and power. Each morning, I stare at the scale in my cubicle. Our relationship has had its ups and downs, but lately we’ve been on good terms, as I’ve learned how to balance my weight, climbing, and a happy life. Someday soon, I hope, we’ll no longer need each other. EATING DISORDERS ARE THE THIRD RAIL IN PEFORMANCE CLIMBING— NOBODY WANTS TO TALK ABOUT THEM, BUT TO CLIMB 5.13 AND BEYOND, IT HELPS TO BE LEAN AND LIGHT. THE AUTHOR WEIGHS HIS OPTIONS AT JOE’S VALLEY, UTAH. CLIMBING.COM 29 PL AYERS 30 JULY 2018 G raduate early from DePaul University with a degree in bio-science, coach a youth climbing team 20 hours a week, drive 14 hours round-trip to the Red River Gorge each weekend to send 5.14c—most people would be crushed. But not Michaela Kiersch, 23, of Chicago, who in January 2018 made the ﬁrst female ascent of the ﬁendishly thin Necessary Evil (5.14c) in the Virgin RivB Y JA M E S LU C A S er Gorge, Arizona. Kiersch grew up in Bridgeport, a working-class community in Chicago, surrounded by her nuclear family in a two-ﬂat house: her mother, Joanne, who over 15 years transitioned from receptionist to CFO at a nonproﬁt; her father, Bil, a former Chicago elementary-school science teacher and now credit manager; and her twin sister, Kristina. Meanwhile, her grandmother, Dorothy, a trucking-company secretary who’d been a single mom in the 1960s, lived on the ground-ﬂoor unit. Kiersch was drawn to the vertical from an early age, recalling, “I was the type of kid who climbed up anything I could get my hands on”—whether it was trees, playground equipment, or buildings. (Kristina, meanwhile, pursued her own passion for horses.) In 2002, her parents found an outlet for Kiersch at the Climb On gym in Homewood, in the Chicago suburbs. At 9, Kiersch entered her ﬁrst competition and placed second, just behind the only other girl who entered. At 10, she moved to Hidden Peak Climbing Gym to work with Dave Hudson’s youth team, climbing with other strong Chicago kids like Isabelle Faus and Michael O’Rourke. At 12, she began coaching other youth climbers in recreational classes and slow- THE REMARKABLE ENERGY AND DRIVE OF MICHAELA KIERSCH PHOTO BY JAMES LUCAS TURBO CHARGED MICHAELA KIERSCH FLASHING DIOPHANOUS SEA ( V11 ) , HUECO TANKS, TX. ly transitioned this into a paid position. She stayed with coaching until she graduated from college, reinforcing the skills she’d learned by teaching others. In 2010, when Kiersch was 15, her mother died from lung cancer. Though Kiersch competed in the world championships only two weeks later, her climbing slumped. She soon found support in the tight-knit Chicago climbing community—workers and “real people with real jobs,” who ofered her rides to the gym, lent her chalk, and provided a stable environment after school. As time passed and Kiersch processed her grief, she resumed climbing with vigor. As a comp climber, Kiersch has entered 30 national championships, making the US team in all three disciplines (lead, bouldering, and speed) and placing fourth at bouldering nationals in 2016 and 2017 as well as third at the USAC Sport Open National Championship in 2012 and 2016. Her outdoor achievements speak well of her ability to translate plastic to rock, from her ﬁrst 5.13 in 2009—Hell in American Fork, Utah—to 2017, when she sent three 5.14c’s at the Red: Fifty Words for Pump, Southern Smoke, and 24 Karats. She’s also pursued hard bouldering. In December 2017 at Hueco Tanks, Texas, she sent Crown of Aragorn (V13) and ﬂashed Diaphanous Sea (V11). In February 2018 in Bishop, California, she met her friend Nina Williams and dispatched Maze of Death (V12) in ﬁve tries and completed the long Haroun and the Sea of Stories (V11). With so many big ticks already and her superhuman energy and drive, Kiersch, it seems, is just warming up. 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Michaela Kiersch She loves Chicagostyle hot dogs with Vienna beef and poppy-seed buns. She knows all the choreography to the 2008 Wing Chun martial-arts film Ip Man. One of the best days of her life was sitting with her grandma, eating pancakes and watching Shark Tank. After watching Sister Act 1 and 2 with her mom as a kid, she knows all the words to “Oh Maria,” which she’ll proudly belt out if the volume is high enough to drown out her voice. Her fellow climbers at Hidden Peak call her “Big Mic” due to her ability to climb tall despite having never surpassed the 5’1” height she reached at 13. Q+A HOW HAS IT BEEN HAVING MORE FREEDOM AFTER YOU GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE? Initially, it was difficult. I was agitated and stressed over things I didn’t need to stress over because I didn’t know what to do with all the extra time and energy. Now I’ve refocused it into training and climbing outside. I’ve been writing training plans and goals, and doing double sessions a lot of the time. HAS IT PAID OFF? Since I’ve graduated, I’ve ticked three life goals: a hard first ascent at the RRG (Goldilocks [5.14b] at the Gold Coast), V13 (Crown of Aragorn in the East Spur at Hueco), and Necessary Evil [5.14c]—so that’s awesome. YOU PLAN ON RETURNING TO SCHOOL TO OBTAIN A DOCTORATE IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY. WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE PROFESSION? My mom and grandma worked with occupational therapists. Occupational therapy is helping people with fundamental tasks like cooking if they’ve lost function in some part of their body. It’s a lot of one-on-one time. I want to be able to help people improve their lives—to impact their lives in a positive way. And I love working with people. more SAFETY more comfort prevent k belayer’s nec Distributed by Liberty Mountain Call 800-366-2666 for a retailer near you Climbing Gyms: Contact us to learn more about our Demo Program! Climb a Grade Harder: 5.9 to 5.11 WANT TO BE A BETTER CLIMBER? Professional climbing coach Justen “The Sensei” Sjong and Climbing teamed up to create a 9-week online program designed especially for the 5.9 to 5.11 climber. Dedicate yourself to the training, and you’ll climb an entire grade harder. Get started at aimadventureu.com get $ 25 OFF with code CLMAG SKILLS LEVEL 1 STEVE BECHTEL CAN YOU WALK TO THE CLIFF? NO 7 1 TRAIN YOUR CARDIO SYSTEM START REDPOINTING YES YES 2 NO CAN YOU HOLD ALL HOLDS ON YOUR PROJECT? YES GET ON THE HANGBOARD NO CAN YOU GIVE IT SEVERAL TRIES PER DAY? 3 NO WORK ON LIMIT BOULDERING NO CAN YOU MOVE BETWEEN THEM? 4 6 TRAIN YOUR CAPACITY YES WORK ON ROUTE-SPECIFIC INTERVALS NO CAN YOU CLIMB THE SECTIONS BETWEEN RESTS? YES ARE YOU AFRAID? 5 YES HTFU E veryone wants to send, but ﬁguring out precisely how—amidst the many training approaches out there—is challenging. However, what you should focus on is maximizing efort—in the appropriate way, relative to where you’re at on your project. I developed the above ﬂow chart, with suggestions, to show you an easily customizable path to redpointing your hardest. TRAIN YOUR CARDIOVAS1 CULAR SYSTEM Most climbers have plenty of cardio capacity. However, if approaches wear you out, you might need basic conditioning—walking with a pack, hiking, or doing easy multipitch climbs. Aim for 30-plus minutes per day, every day. ON THE HANGBOARD 2 IfGET you can’t hang the holds, get on a hangboard. Debating protocols is like arguing over which vegetable is better: Any vegetable is a good start. Figure out which holds challenge you, and train those. More work per session is not better; instead, do more sessions. WORK ON LIMIT 3 BOULDERING If you can hang the holds but can’t do the moves, then limit bouldering is the key. Work supermaximal problems, trying two to three over a series of sessions. While sending is OK, focus on performing harder moves. Think of yourself as a musician trying to learn a difficult piece. If you can play it well during the ﬁrst practice, you’re not really expanding your capabilities. 4 WORK ON ROUTESPECIFIC INTERVALS Now that you can do the moves, the next step is linkage. Set up circuits that mimic the an- gle, style, and difficulty of your project. As you progress, keep the difficulty relatively equal to the various sections on the proj, and whittle away at the rest periods between them. Picture your outdoor project: First you hang on every bolt, then you link sections, and then you send. You’re slowly decreasing resting periods. Do the same with intervals. THE FUCK UP 5 (HARDEN HTFU) If you’re freaking out about being above your gear, stop. Letting fear run roughshod over you limits your options. We’re all afraid—it’s just whether we let it ruin us or not. You have a choice. Once you care more about sending than comfort, you’re set. TRAIN YOUR CAPACITY 6 Many climbers are incapable of trying a project-level route more than once or twice a day. This is unacceptable. You have limited years to climb, so maximize your time. If you lack capacity for several hard goes per day, back of for a month or two and focus on sending more sub-limit routes per session. Sure, 5.11c doesn’t thrill like 5.12a, but if you’re going to own a grade, you need a base. A typical capacity day addresses mileage near threshold. These are routes on which you try medium-hard (slightly above onsight level). Give three to five good redpoint efforts per day. Climbing just below your pump or anaerobic threshold will slowly increase the number of good goes per day on your project. START REDPOINTING 7 No more excuses—it’s time get on the proj and give it your all. S T E V E B EC HT E L is the founder of the training website ClimbStrong .com, cofounder of the Performance Climbing Coach seminar series, and founder of Lander’s Elemental Performance + Fitness. CLIMBING.COM 33 SKILLS LEVEL 2 Prep Wrists and Fingers to Send DR. JARED VAGY, DPT WRIST MOBILITY INSTRUCTIONS A. Begin with your elbows bent and wrists flexed. B. Extend your elbows and wrists down simultaneously. WHAT IT DOES In the starting position, the tendons at the wrist lengthen, while the tendons at the elbow shorten; in the finishing position, the reverse occurs. This dynamic movement allows the tendons to B glide safely and therapeutically, prepping the muscles and tendons to shorten and lengthen across the elbow and wrist with minimal strain. (This is opposed to static stretching, in which the muscles and tendons lengthen across both the elbow and wrist.) Start by performing the tendon glides at your side, and then, if you wish, at varying angles or in a similar sequence to your project. M ost climbers know better than just to jump on their project cold. A thorough warm-up increases blood ﬂow, muscle ﬂexibility, and body control. (E.g., a 2016 study of handball players by Andersson et al. showed that a comprehensive warm-up program can decrease injury rates by up to 28 percent.) In climbing, a complete warm-up includes four components, best performed in succession: Increase blood ﬂow, improve mobility, target stability, and begin climbing. INSTRUCTIONS Loop a resistance band around both hands, with your elbows at your sides bent to 90 degrees. Keeping one wrist stable, perform small clockwise and counterclock- wise rotations with your opposite wrist. WHAT IT DOES Strengthens wrist extensor muscles to stabilize the wrist, taking stress off flexors. IMPROVE MOBILITY Dynamic stretching—smoothly moving through a full range of motion, spending equal time in each phase—helps improve mobility prior to climbing. Perform the wrist and ﬁnger exercises on these pages for 6 minutes, alternating in 30-second blocks between the two stretches in each section above. INCREASE BLOOD FLOW Mobility Versus Stability Perform 5–10 minutes of aerobic exercise ( jumping jacks, a run, exercise bike, the approach hike, etc.) to elevate your deep-muscle temperature, which makes muscles more adaptable and less likely to strain or tear. A simple guideline is once you start sweating, your body is warmed up. If you want to be scientiﬁc, warm up with a target heart rate of 50 percent of your max—subtract your age from 220 and divide by two. Mobility is the ability to move within a range of motion, while stability is the ability to control that movement. Climbers need both. A 2000 study by Doran et al. identified that over 40 percent of climbing injuries occur in the wrist and fingers. Thus, a proper warm-up will target mobility and stability in both areas. 34 JULY 2018 PHOTOS BY STEPHEN GROSS AND ARI KIRSCH A WRIST STABILITY FINGER MOBILITY FINGER STABILITY A B C D INSTRUCTIONS Perform the following hand positions in a rhythmic sequence. A. Straight Fingers: Straighten your hand. B. Hook Fist: Crimp your fingers down, keeping your knuckles aligned with your wrist. C. Full Fist: Roll your fingers downward. D. Flat Fist: Press your fingers into your palm. DR. JARED VAGY (the climbingdoctor.com) is a doctor of physical therapy, a professor at USC, and the author of Climb Injury-Free. He also teaches our new AIM Adventure U course Strength Training for Injury Prevention (climb ing.com/injuryprevention). WHAT IT DOES Increases flexibility of the finger muscles and tendons through a complete range of motion—the more dexterous, flexible, and prepared your fingers are, the more easily you can grasp tiny holds. If you want, progress the exercise into more complex movement patterns, like sequencing your project. This will help build muscle memory while you warm up. INSTRUCTIONS Place a rubber band around your fingertips while maintaining a straight wrist. Spread your fingers without bending your wrist. Hold, then let your fingers collapse. You can perform isometric holds at various angles to mimic different grips. Your hold times during the 30 seconds will vary based on your preferred style—they should be roughSTYLE ly the same duration you grip holds on rock (see chart). WHAT IT DOES This exercise activates the extensor muscles in the fingers. These muscles support the finger flexors, which are overused during climbing. The increased activation and support from the extensors can help prevent flexor overuse injuries by more evenly distributing the load. ISOMETRIC HOLD TIME REPS TOTAL TIME Bouldering 5 seconds 6 30 seconds Sport 6 seconds 5 30 seconds Trad Up to 10 seconds 3 30 seconds TARGET STABILITY BEGIN CLIMBING The forearm and ﬁngers contain two types of major muscle groups: Flexors on the palm side, and extensors on the back. Climbing overdevelops the ﬂexors, which can lead to overuse injuries and weakness of the extensors, which help to stabilize the wrist and ﬁngers. Given this imbalance, it’s important that we activate the extensors prior to climbing. To activate a muscle, you need to maintain a sustained pressure against light resistance. This encourages a brain-body connection to “wake up” the targeted muscle. (Note: You can also customize time spent on either Mobility or Stability. E.g., if you have stif muscles and limited ﬂexibility, do 4 minutes of mobility stretches and 2 minutes of stability exercises—or vice versa if you have loose joints and excessive ﬂexibility.) After you complete the ﬁrst three steps of your warm-up, begin climbing gradually, with “high volume/low intensity,” and progress into “low volume/high intensity”—this lets the muscles, tendons, and nervous system adapt to the progressive demands of climbing harder. I recommend starting with two to three (high volume) easier climbs three numbers below your consistent upper grade (low intensity). For example, if you climb 5.11, warm-up on 5.8s; if you boulder V5, warm-up on V2s. This is also a great time to focus on technique. Hone your footwork, limit the tendency to overgrip, and focus on ﬂuid body movement. Slowly begin to decrease the volume to one to two climbs of slightly higher intensity until you’re ready to hop on your project. CLIMBING.COM 35 SKILLS LEVEL 3 Three DIY Bouldering Workouts BY JULIE ELLISON W hether you’re a bolt-clipper, gearplugger, or pebble-wrestler, bouldering is one of the best ways to get good. It builds power, reﬁnes technique, and improves your ability to decipher tricky sequences. The following three bouldering-speciﬁc drills distill bouldering’s most beneﬁcial aspects into focused workouts. If you’re a roped climber, add one into your routine once a week, rotating through each; if you’re a boulderer, do all three once per week during a power-building phase. LIMIT BOULDERING In bouldering, after you’ve reached a baseline strength, you won’t see improvements unless you try things at or above your personal threshold. With limit bouldering, you create your own mini-sequences (versus pre-set problems, which tend to have greater variance in Solo Bouldering Tips To keep psych high while bouldering by yourself in the gym: Set up a reward system—e.g., for every 30 minutes you’re pushing at the gym, that’s one Netflix episode you get to watch that night. Wear headphones and keep your favorite tunes cranked while climbing. Watch Ondra/Puccio/Megos/ Ashima videos during your 2- to 3minute rests. They didn’t skimp on training. If it starts to feel tempting to cut your session short, picture your project and how it feels to fall off the crux … again. Bring a book or magazine to read during rest breaks. move difficulty), letting you train hard, technical movement while also focusing on power. To begin, warm up on easy terrain for 15 minutes, priming your shoulders, making large and small shoulder circles (both directions) or working with a band when you step of the wall to rest. Now invent a bouldering sequence. It should be three to seven difficult moves. The goal is to do repeated powerful (quick, dynamic) movements that force you to deadpoint to poor holds. If you complete it on the ﬁrst try, it’s too easy. If you fall of the ﬁrst move, consider that one attempt. Rest two to three minutes before trying again, focusing on form, power, and precision. Aim for ﬁve attempts total per sequence, and move on to the next if you complete the sequence in fewer than ﬁve tries. (This drill is great for a home wall, where you move the holds infrequently and can keep a few sequences as benchmarks.) REPS: 4–5 SEQUENCES, MAX 5 ATTEMPTS PER SEQUENCE; REST 5 MINUTES BETWEEN SEQUENCES DURATION: 30–60 MINUTES LOCKOFFS Lockofs—static moves in which you pull down until one arm is bent, then hold that engaged position to grasp the next hold with your other arm—are essential in bouldering: The better your lockof strength, the farther you can reach, which is especially important for shorter climbers. Once you’ve warmed up, ﬁnd a boulder problem you can do consistently—usually a few grades below your max level. As you climb, lock of every move, holding the reaching hand just below the next hold for three seconds. This will force you to focus on maintaining a near-perfect body position to execute efficiently. If you didn’t have to try hard, downclimb in the same fashion, pausing the hand that’s reaching down to the next hold. REPS: 5 PROBLEMS TOTAL, RESTING 2–3 MINUTES BETWEEN EACH DURATION: 30 MINUTES 4X4s Sometimes it’s not a route’s moves that are difficult, but linking them. That’s where power-endurance—or the ability to do multiple hard moves in a row—comes in. 4x4s are a great power-endurance tool. To start, warm up on easy terrain for 15 minutes. To complete a 4x4, pick four boulder problems three grades below your limit (50–80 percent of your max). Climb the ﬁrst problem four times, dropping of between goes and repeating it immediately or downclimbing an easy route back to the start. Rest two minutes, then climb the next problem the same way until you’ve done all four problems four times each. REPS: THREE SETS TOTAL, RESTING 5 MINUTES BETWEEN SETS DURATION: 2 HOURS This is an excerpt from Climbing’s new book, C L I M B T O F I T N E S S : T H E U LT I M AT E G U I D E T O C U S T O M I Z I N G A P OW E R F U L WO R K O U T O N T H E WA L L (Falcon, April 2018), which features dozens of workouts geared toward beginners and experienced climbers alike, and includes supplementary training (campus, hangboard, etc.), cross-training, and fullbody workouts. Visit climbing.com/climbtofitness for more. 36 JULY 2018 QUICK CLIPS QUICK FIXES FOR COMMON CLIMBER PROBLEMS CO M P I L E D B Y M AT T S A M E T When I need a quick “clip-meup” but don’t want to drag up a full-sized rig, I’ll MacGyver it: duct-tape an electrolyte-tab bottle to a Kong Panic, insert a selfie stick in the bottle, clip up with the Panic, then retract the selfie stick. (Here, the USB cable is the “rope.”) 25th th anniversary celebration! celebration Julyy 11-15th 11-15th Lander WY —JOSH WHARTON I use bowling-shoe covers to keep my rockshoe soles clean at the gym. They let me move quickly onto a climb so no one has to wait for me to lace up. Bonus: Wear them into the bathroom! —KENNETH SMITH ON A LONG TRAD LEAD, TO SORT MULTIPLE PIECES OF THE SAME SIZE, CLIP ANY ADDITIONAL PIECES ONTO THE BINER OF THE FIRST PIECE: I.E., CLIP THAT ORANGE TCU TO YOUR GEAR LOOP, THEN, USING RACKING BINERS OF THEIR OWN, CLIP THE OTHER ORANGE TCUs DIRECTLY ONTO THE FIRST TCU’s BINER. —KEVIN CORRIGAN To organize my slings on a trad lead, I’ll sling double-length runners over one shoulder first, attaching the two ends with a carabiner, then throw single-length slings over the other shoulder. When I need a single sling, I simply pull off the top sling; for a double, I unclip the carabiner from one side and pull the sling off my shoulder. For easy ID, buy singles in one color and doubles in another. — MICHAEL PARKER You know the old, blown-out ropes that gyms keep in rotation despite them being impossible to push into a tube-style device? My 12-year-old daughter figured out a simple solution: Clip your device to your harness sans rope, then feed the rope end manually into the tube, around the biner, and back out the tube. Genius! —JAMIE CAMPBELL »TICKETS $75 IF PURCHASED BEFORE JUNE 1 »TICKETS $90 IF PURCHASED AFTER JUNE 1 OR AT THE EVENT, »REGISTRATION BAG NOT GUARUNTEED With Tickets purchased after June 1 +comps +prizes +climbing +people +music see the full schedule and get your tickets now! www.climbersfestival.org G OT AN AMAZI N G QU IC K C L IP FOR U S? Send it our way at letters@ climbing.com; the best tip as selected by us in the next issue will win a pair of Belay Glasses from Belay Optics! CLIMBING.COM 37 FACES THE CLIMBING Q&A The Austrian Barbara “Babsi” Zangerl has ticked V13, 5.14c sport, 5.14 trad, the Alpine Trilogy of 5.14-, multi-pitch, high-altitude free climbs, and some of the hardest free routes on El Capitan. At only 30 years old, Zangerl is one of the best, most versatile climbers in the world. BY JULIE ELLISON / ILLUSTRATION BY DONGYUN LEE CLIMBING.COM 39 FACES W 40 JULY 2018 few months of, return to bouldering, experience another setback, and need more time of. Eventually, she realized she needed to stop bouldering altogether. She started roped climbing as therapy, entranced by the plethora of high-quality sport areas near her home. After two years, she was able to boulder again, but the pursuit now paled compared to taller objectives. In 2011 at Vorarlberg, she sent Reifeprüfung (8b+/5.14a), then a month later took down Erntezeit, her ﬁrst 8c/5.14b. The next year, she ventured to Spain and the Red River Gorge. Shortly after that, she had her ﬁrst multi-pitch experience on Acacia, a nine-pitch 5.13a on Switzerland’s Rätikon, a massive limestone face known for its runouts. This alpine sport climbing presented a new style: slabby, intricate, technical movement. “I had to work on every single pitch even if it was 7a [5.11d]. I invested a lot of time,” she says. “For me, it was just cool to climb the crux pitches, the top pitches, and then connect everything from the ground up. It was like big-wall bouldering.” CLIMBING: So you were getting into these big objectives—what did you do next? BARBARA ZANGERL: I was in Sardinia in 2009, and we went into the Gola di Gorropu gorge on a rest day. I saw this 11-pitch route— super-overhanging and a completely diferent style than Rätikon. I thought, “Wow, someday I really want to try this route.” Two years later, I came back to try Hotel Supramonte (5.13d) with no expectations. My partner [the Austrian Marco Köb] and I did it in one week, which was a big surprise. At that time, I didn’t know about the ethics of alpine sport climbing. I thought I had to take every quickdraw down for each try for the redpoint. That was a hard challenge! Then Nina [Caprez] told me, “Oh, Babsi! You are so stupid! You can just leave the quickdraws.” CLIMBING: When did you transition to trad climbing? ZANGERL: My ﬁrst trad route was Super Crill (5.13b) in Ticino, Switzerland, in 2012. The nine-pitch route is a combination of face and crack climbing with bolts, but you have to use [removable] protection on the crux. It’s double splitter cracks with no footholds, and I tried to layback the whole thing without jamming. It felt more like 8b than 8a, but I had no idea how to climb a proper ﬁnger crack. I tried to put my PHOTO BY FRANÇOIS LEBEAU hile Barbara Zangerl is a household name in the European climbing scene, unless you pay close attention to international climbing news, you’ve likely not heard of this Austrian allaround badass. A decade ago, she burst onto the bouldering scene with a tick of Pura Vida (V12/13) in Switzerland’s Magic Wood, the hardest bouldering ascent by a woman at the time. She’s since parlayed that into an amazing list of cutting-edge ascents. Babsi is one of only four climbers to have completed the Alpine Trilogy: redpoint ascents of the 5.14a Alps “sport” routes Des Kaisers neue Kleider, Silbergeier, and End of Silence. These runout, technical, multi-pitch climbs are known 1 for their thin, nails-hard cruxes on stormthrashed limestone walls at altitude. In 2017, she and the pro climber Jacopo Larcher (who’s also her boyfriend) established the 5.14b R trad climb Gondo Crack in Switzerland after leading it on bolts, and the pair has ticked three of El Capitan’s toughest free routes in three consecutive years: El Niño (VI 5.13c A0) in 2015, Zodiac (VI 5.13d) in 2016, and the long-awaited second free ascent of Magic Mushroom (VI 5.14a) in 2017. Zangerl lives in the mountain town of Bludenz, Austria, in the Vorarlberg region, making her living as a pro climber and part-time radiology assistant in a local hospital. The early days of Zangerl’s climbing life unfolded, like so many others of her generation, at the local gym: When she was 14, her older brother, Udo, took her and her 16-year-old sister, Claudia, to the gym in the village of Flirsch am Arlberg, 10 minutes from their hometown of Strengen. Babsi was addicted immediately, heading to the gym three times a week, improving quickly. Meanwhile, she and Claudia developed a playful sense of competition to ﬁgure out beta and push each other to improve. Soon, fellow Austrian Bernd Zangerl (no relation) began to show Babsi and Claudia around Austria’s bouldering areas, and then Italy and Switzerland. Being away from home and visiting these cool places excited the teenage girls. Their parents had been taking the ﬁve Zangerl children hiking and skiing in the mountains from an early age, so it was natural to connect with outdoor climbing. As she improved, Babsi dabbled in the competition bouldering scene in Innsbruck, entering a handful of national comps, but pulling plastic never captivated her like rock. After only four years, she had sent V11/12; two years later, in 2008, she ticked Pura Vida. At that time, Magic Wood was still relatively quiet, with untapped potential in the boulder-ﬁlled forest. Babsi, Bernd, and Thomas Steinbrugger had found the moss-covered block that houses Pura Vida, and she spotted and supported Bernd on his ﬁrst ascent. Fascinated by the small pocket at the end of the problem, she found the moves beautiful but seemingly above her level. Two years later, she did a few moves on Pura Vida to warm up for another problem, and the crimpy style hooked her. She spent 15 to 20 days projecting it before the send. However, years of bouldering and falling of highballs had caused the L5-S1 disc in Babsi’s lower back to herniate. A few months afterward, she could no longer boulder without pain. The injury was slow to develop, and the recovery process was even slower. She would take a “I LIKE TO TRY ROUTES GROUND-UP. THEN I HAVE MY ATTENTION ON WHAT’S IN FRONT OF ME.” 2 1. Barbara Zangerl on the 5.14a twenty-second pitch of Magic Mushroom ( VI 5.14a), El Capitan, Yosemite, California. 3 CLIMBING: How do you deal with fear—in particular of falling—on these difficult big-wall free climbs? ZANGERL: When I switched from bouldering to sport climbing, I always worried about falling. But over time, I experienced a lot of diferent climbs and got more used to the exposure and less scared with how many days I spent out in the mountains. But it’s still a challenge when I try a new wall or a new route. On the ﬁrst days, I normally feel pretty scared, but with taking the falls it usually gets better. That works pretty well for me, but the most important thing is to trust your partner. I have to be sure my partner can give a soft catch; otherwise, I won’t fall. CLIMBING: On these long, difficult routes, how do you stay focused on the moves right in front of you? ZANGERL: At the beginning, I never think about it. I always think every route I try is too hard for me, so everything feels like a surprise when I can do the single pitches. This [mentality] helps a lot; I never put pressure on myself. It’s more like I want to see how it feels and how far I can get. I like to try routes ground-up and not check out higher pitches. Then I have all my attention on what’s right in front of me. Like on Magic Mushroom, on pitch 27 there were two meters where I couldn’t do the moves. [Zangerl and Larcher made the second free ascent of the 5.14a on Yosemite’s El Capitan in December 2017.] I’m sure if I had rapped down to check it out ﬁrst, then I wouldn’t have sent. When you reach this point ground-up, when you have done everything before, you have so much more motivation. When you rap down ﬁrst, you might try the hard section for a few days, then think you can’t do it—and maybe you don’t even try. 2. Hanging but happy ona Unendliche Geschichte (5.14a), Rätikon, Switzerland. 3. Taking the ride on Bella Vista (5.14b), Cima Ovest, Dolomites, Italy, with Jacopo Larcher on belay. FROM TOP : ROBERT BÖSCH; THOMAS SENF was hard to feel comfortable while climbing. When you fall, you have to jumar up to get back to the wall. I was super scared. I had to turn around a few times, but when I would get on the ground, I would ask myself, “Why didn’t you try it?” hands and feet in, but it didn’t work, so I used the small footholds next to the crack. A few years ago, I got back on the route and climbed it diferently. It felt much easier, and I really had to laugh that I’d climbed it in such a complicated way in 2012. CLIMBING: How did you transition into mountain routes? ZANGERL: Wanting more alpine, I went to the Dolomites [in Italy], which is not great climbing. The rock is really bad, and much of the routes are protected with old pitons. I tried Bella Vista, a 10-pitch route on the north face of Cima Ovest. It’s the scariest route I have ever tried, with this big roof, but the line and the tower are so impressive—with such dramatic exposure up there that it CLIMBING: What were your ﬁrst experiences with Yosemite? ZANGERL: I had read all these Yosemite books when I was a boulderer. It was motivating to see the big walls, and 2010 was my ﬁrst time there, with Hansjörg Auer. Our ﬁrst climb was Generator Crack [a 5.10 single-pitch ofwidth]. It took me three hours, and I couldn’t do half the route. The dream of climbing El Cap was far away, but we went there and tried Secret Passage [a 5.13+]. Hans was a really experienced soloist and alpinist, but there was a problem when he used a non-locking carabiner while hauling. It opened and he fell six meters onto his backup protection, which was also not solid. It was our second day on the wall, and our El Cap experience was over. Then we climbed on Washington Column, the Rostrum, CLIMBING.COM 41 FACES CLIMBING: In 2015, you and Jacopo freed El Niño, in 2016 Zodiac, and in 2017 Magic Mushroom. What keeps you coming back to El Cap? ZANGERL: Looking down to the Valley is the best—when you wake up in the morning and 2 you see the shadow down there. It looks super-cold and frozen, but you’re up in the sun when it ﬁrst arrives on the wall. CLIMBING: On Magic Mushroom, you spent almost 30 days on the wall, battling stomach illness, cold weather, and hard climbing. You ﬁnally reached the last hard move on the route [just before the anchor on pitch 27, the last 5.14a pitch], but kept falling. ZANGERL: I was super happy to be there and thought, “OK, now we are here. Now it’s ﬁnished.” But then I worked this pitch for four days. I could do the moves, but I couldn’t connect the crack sequence. This was the problem. I never had so much pressure as on Magic Mushroom, because this crux is only 40 meters from the top. I tried and tried to ﬁnd a new solution. In the end, I ﬁgured out that I had to press my head against the rock be- 42 JULY 2018 CLIMBING: You do a lot of your big ascents with Jacopo, who is also your boyfriend. What’s it like in these intense situations together? ZANGERL: We had met and talked a few times in the past, but his German was really bad [Larcher is Italian] so I didn’t know him well. The ﬁrst time we really met and climbed together was at the Melloblocco competition in Italy. We really talked there, and then started to climb together. One of our ﬁrst dates was on the south face of the Marmolada in the Dolomites. We wanted to climb an easy route, but with 30 pitches, it ended up being the ﬁrst test of our relationship. We got lost because the runouts are really big, so on one of the last pitches we were in the wrong place. It got dark and we couldn’t reach the top, and with these alpine routes it’s not a good idea to rap because the anchors are bad, with rusty pitons. But it was too cold to 1 1. Zangerl (front) at age 6 on top of the Ochsenkopf (3,360 feet), Bavaria, Germany, with her mother, Evi; sister Claudia; and a family friend. 2. Silbergeier (5.14a), Rätikon, Switzerland, here on the crux, fifth pitch of this route in the Alpine Trilogy. LEFT: BARBARA ZANGERL COLLECTION; BELOW: HANNES MAIR CLIMBING: Were you nervous returning to the Valley in 2015? ZANGERL: By then I had learned to crack climb at Indian Creek, and I had plenty of alpine multi-pitch experience, having climbed the Alpine Trilogy, Delicatessen (5.13d, 5 pitches) in Corsica, and Bella Vista (5.14b, 10 pitches) in the Dolomites. [Jacopo and I] also did single hard pitches in the beginning. For us, planning the organization was hard. Food, how many days up on the wall, hauling, etc.—it was completely new. We struggled a lot with hauling; it was a nightmare. It would take us 20 minutes to climb a single pitch but two hours to haul it. For El Niño in 2015, the ﬁrst ﬁve pitches are the hardest so we would work those, then rap down. We did that for a few days before climbing the whole route ground-up. We planned on being on the wall for ﬁve days but we were up there for eight, and we ran out of food. It was really hard to sleep because we were so hungry. We almost failed at the end because one pitch was really wet. I tried it 20 times before I succeeded. low my elbow so I could bring my left foot higher. I found that solution, rested the next day, and then started the next morning at 4 a.m. I warmed up on the pitch, and then sent it ﬁrst go. PHOTO BY TK and all these diferent shorter routes. We couldn’t do a single one, but we tried. On Washington Column’s Quantum Mechanics (5.13a, 15 pitches), Hans didn’t want to bring the big Camalots for weight. He ended up taking a big fall on a hard ofwidth sequence, about 25 meters, the biggest fall I have ever belayed. He broke his wrist. It took us until midnight to get down, then we drove to the hospital and the whole trip was ﬁnished. 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Barbara Zangerl WHAT IS YOUR TRAINING REGIMEN? In winter, I train five days a week, doing a combination of bouldering, Beastmaker hangboard workouts, system-board circuits, and general fitness. I focus on power for 10 weeks and then do two weeks of endurance and sportclimbing training at the end of the two months. Then I climb outside the rest of the year. 7 ONE THING YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT ON A WALL? Airwaves Cool Cassis gum. 1 FAVORITE MUSIC? Lumineers, Cake, Florence and the Machine. PHOTOS : COURTESY OF TESCO ( AIRWAVES GUM ) , DEPOSIT ( XRAY ) , BEASTMAKER ( HANGBOARD ) 2 OR DOGS? 3 CATS I have had a cat, never a dog—but I’m a dog person. SUPERSTITIONS? I always tie my knot on the left side of my belay loop. 4 FAVE FOOD? Thai food and sushi. I love fish, but we don’t have good fish in Austria—never eat fish in Austria. 5 AND APE 6 HEIGHT INDEX? 1 m, 62 cm ( just under 5’4”), -2 cm (-.78”) IF YOU DIDN’T CLIMB, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR FREE TIME? I’ve always wanted to try surfing and diving. 8 NON - CLIMBING OBSESSION? I’ll lie on my couch at night watching TV and movies. City of God and American Beauty are two of my favorite films. 9 ANY THING ELSE? I also work as a radiographer, reading X-rays and MRIs in a hospital. The schedule is really flexible: two night shifts during the week and then a 24-hour shift on the weekend, and that’s it for the month. 10 sleep, so we rapped all night. The whole climb and descent took 25 hours, and at the end it was hard to have a conversation. I didn’t understand him anymore—he was too tired to speak German, and I don’t speak Italian. Still, somehow we stayed calm and didn’t ﬁght—that’s why we kept on doing things like this. That was ﬁve years ago, and since that experience was the worst, it’s just gotten better. Plus, he speaks German now. CLIMBING: How would you describe the American versus Austrian climbing scenes? ZANGERL: In Austria in the winter, the climbing gym is full of people, but in the summer, nobody goes to the gym. Everyone who is a climber climbs outside on real rock. In the US, it seems like many people go to the gym for ﬁtness. In Austria, it’s more related to climbing. For the most part, climbers are the same all over the world—simple and open people—but Austrian culture in general is more closed. It can be hard to ﬁnd friends. Americans are open; everybody talks to everybody, even when you don’t know each other. You don’t have this in Austria. When you don’t know somebody, it’s hard to get in a conversation. CLIMBING: Which climbers inspire you? ZANGERL: Lynn Hill, who freed the Nose in 1993. It was graded 8a [5.13b], and now it’s graded 8b+ [5.14a]—most times routes get easier, but that one got harder. That is really impressive. Freeing the Nose has always been a big dream of mine, and that was the goal last year, but when we went in October there was no chance. It was too crowded, with 20 parties. It’s not fun to try a route like that. I’m also inspired by Sílvia Vidal. I don’t want to do things like she does, but it’s crazy the expeditions she does alone, these ﬁrst ascents. Also Beat Kammerlander, who has established a lot of cool routes in Rätikon. CLIMBING: Did Beat’s ground-up, trad ethics inspire you for your greenpoint (no-bolts ascent) of Gondo Crack? And do you and he ever climb together? ZANGERL: I often meet Beat in his local crag of Voralpsee—it’s fun to climb with such a legend! I am impressed with how he opened his routes in the Rätikon, always ground-up with long runouts, and bolts only when they are needed. This seems the logical way, I think. For the climbers who repeat those routes, it ofers a greater adventure because you have to climb hard sequences to reach the next bolt. There is no other way—no aid style or grabbing quickdraws. I try to respect the ethics of the ﬁrst ascensionists, and I think ethics are important in climbing. I love to go to the UK for trad climbing; they have their own strong ethic, which you have to respect. Nobody would bolt a route there if it’s possible to climb it with trad gear, so that ofers a great mental game and a more intense experience. In Ossola where Gondo is located, people bolted all those cracks, but you can climb most of them without using the bolts. If this area was in Britain or the US, there wouldn’t be a single bolt, but since it’s in the middle of Europe, the trad climber’s eye might water at the sight of beautiful cracks with shiny bolts. For Gondo Crack, it made more sense to us to climb it with trad gear. It’s a logical line that doesn’t need bolts. Doing it this way requires more efort, but it also provides far stronger emotions. CLIMBING.COM 43 FROZ Z EN IN TIME MAIDEN VOYAGE (5.12C), THE MAIDEN PHOTO BY ROB KEPLEY Climber: Ian Cavanaugh First ascent: Matt Wilder; 2012 A look at the new-school sport climbs of the Flatirons, Colorado By Matt Samet This double-overhanging arête departs from the legendary Crow’s Nest, a tiny perch below the Maiden’s beastly summit overhang that has 100-plus feet of exposure plunging to either side. The climb begins on the “5.9” pitch of the West Overhang, then moves right across an improbable traverse before punching up the arête on forearm-blasting laybacks and slopers. I’ve only been on this route twice—once on a ﬂash attempt (nearly pissed my pants), and then on redpoint. Both burns, I felt like I was going to throw up from the exposure. Moreover, you can only get back to the Crow’s Nest through logistical ninjutsu— ﬁtting, as the ﬁrst ascentionist, Matt Wilder, is a frequent competitor on American Ninja Warrior. A direct start has yet to be redpointed. If V14 bouldering ten million feet above the ground is your thing, then have a go! CLIMBING.COM 45 FROZEN IN TIME I 46 JULY 2018 THUNDER MUSCLE (5.14A), SEAL ROCK Climber: Isabelle Faus First ascent: Matt Samet, Ted Lanzano; 2013 In 1989, Chris Beh, Chip Ruckgaber, and Colin Lantz installed anchors atop this route with every intention of returning to bolt it, but then the hardware ban was imposed days later. The trio certainly had an eye for a line—Thunder Muscle feels like a limestone tufa route from Spain or Kalymnos transposed onto Flatirons sandstone. While the moves are bouldery and fierce, the route has two good rests: one at the “heart” at one-third height, and the other a no-hands before the upper 5.12c funkfest. In 2016, Daniel Woods flashed the line, giving it French 8b on his Facebook page—ooh-la-la, eez nice to be zo strong! PHOTO BY JAMES LUCAS n 2011, the Boulder, Colorado–based climber Matt Segal swam his way up crimps and sloping huecos on a black streak on Seal Rock’s south face, 15 feet above a nest of cams in the fused Fountain sandstone. His target, just above, was a pre-placed Big Bro tipped diagonally between a jug and a small lip. A fall before the tube chock would launch him toward a giant boulder in the gully below. Segal had no bolts to protect him on the climb, Primate, as it had been established—headpoint-style, without bolts—in 2000, squarely amidst a bolting moratorium. Though Primate has since been bolted to be a “sensible-enough” mixed lead, for years it and the other climbs on this wall sat idle, victims of the moratorium and their own lack of natural protection. FROZEN IN TIME THE YELLOW DOOR (5.13A/B), SEAL ROCK Climbers: Phil Gruber and Lynn Hill First ascent: Phil Gruber; 2017 The north face of Seal Rock is special—perched high on the southern flanks of Bear Canyon, it’s the last piece of Flatirons rock to catch the setting sun. From town, the 300-foot wall lights up with yellow, black, and red hues, fading as the sun drops behind the Rockies. For a long time, there were only two routes here: the three-pitch Archaeopteryx (5.11d X), known for its long runouts, lichen, and shaky pro, and its neighbor, Sea of Joy (5.13a), an all-bolt counterpoint with a tech-nine third pitch. In 2017, the Boulder hardman Phil Gruber equipped and freed a line that follows the right-leaning tilt of the wall: his brilliant, two-pitch The Yellow Door (5.12b, 5.13a/b). On the sustained second pitch, you cross Sea of Joy (you can link into its crux at 5.13b) and finish on Archaeopteryx. Or you can do the first two pitches of Sea of Joy, then halfway up the third pitch cut right onto The Yellow Door for a threepitch 5.12, Sea Bird. Confused? Guess you’ll just have to hike up there and see for yourself! 48 JULY 2018 PHOTO BY CAROLINE TREADWAY PHOTO BY TK FROZEN IN TIME A CHOOSE LIFE (5.13+), SEAL ROCK PHOTO BY JAMES LUCAS Climber: Chris Taylor First ascent: Matt Samet, Ted Lanzano; 2012 The mega-popular Choose Life was sussed out on toprope for its lead potential during the ban but then abandoned as being total death as a gear lead—hence the name. Opening the south face of Seal Rock, one of Boulder’s premier walls, to bolting involved seven years of negotiations with OSMP, but the wait was worth it. The wall now has eight sport climbs from 5.11b to 5.14b. Best of all, OSMP and the FCC teamed up to build an amazing trail up the final, steep approach grade. Choose Life follows water-fused stone up a wide black streak on ribs, flanges, mini-pockets, and pebbles, with an airy crux passing the next-to-last bolt. “Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking, big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin can openers …. ” Irvine Welsh wrote in Trainspotting. Or you could choose to hang on for dear life, avoiding the infamous crux whipper. s of press time, Primate is one of 54 new routes to go up since 2003 on these massive formations, which tilt out of the ponderosacloaked ridges and canyons of the Boulder Mountains. That year, the local climber organization the Flatirons Climbing Council (FCC) came to an agreement with Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) and the City of Boulder to lift a ban on all bolting, including updating old hardware, originally imposed in 1989. It all began with a pilot area—speciﬁc formations on Dinosaur Mountain, one of the densest clusters of climbable rock—and later expanded to include formations across the sevenmile breadth of the range. Today, dozens of formations are approved for new-routing on a permit process overseen by the FCC’s Fixed Hardware Review Committee (FHRC). The FHRC meets three times a year and can approve three new routes per cycle. During the hiatus, climbing activity essentially “froze” in the Flatirons, making them a living museum that escaped some of the worst excesses of the 1990s, when gluing, chipping, and grid-bolting were often part of the sport-climbing experimentation process. Sport climbing had come into existence in America in the mid-1980s. It was a turbulent time marked by clashes over ethics, in which former friends got into ﬁstﬁghts in parking lots over the legitimacy, or lack thereof, of rap bolting. The Flatirons remained a relative backwater compared to mega-destinations like Smith Rock and the New River Gorge, and so had only a few ﬂare-ups of controversy. The long approaches (a grueling mile-plus) and geographic separation of the formations kept a concentration of climbs from emerging except in a few key areas, like Dinosaur Mountain, Bear Canyon, and Fern Canyon. As a result, the Flatirons were more of a locals’ area, though in climber-centric Boulder that still meant constant activity. In keeping with the 1980s vert-slab sport ethos, the early Flatirons sport routes were thin and blank. Take the six-bolt Cornucopia (5.13a) on the Box high on Dinosaur Mountain. This very ﬁrst Flatirons sport climb, put up in 1986 by Dale Goddard, is a bright-orange scooped face that has no holds bigger than a half-pad crimp, with a ﬂurry of sloping, unhelpful pebbles. It would probably be easier to redpoint in a pair of board-stiff Megas—the cutting-edge rock shoe of the 1980s—than any of today’s softer, more downturned offerings. As the 1980s wore on, dozens of sport climbs went in and the cliffs hummed with activity. Then, in 1989, Boulder Mountain Parks (BMP), OSMP’s precursor, shut the party down. It was not any one thing; mountain biking had been the ﬁrst to go a few years earlier when complaints about the new-fangled trail bikes breezing by and alarming hikers reached the city council. And then, it was climbing’s turn. While the Flatirons have a rich climbing history reaching back to the late 1800s, most of that activity had been quiet, tweedy, and traditional—well-behaved people discreetly clambering up the moderate east faces, with the odd 1970s or 1980s crack climb thrown in. (The Flatirons are largely crackless, and so steep, hard trad climbs are rare.) But now, suddenly, the whirring of power drills echoed off the canyon walls, while the new-school climbers wore bright, obnoxious Lycra and screamed obscenities when they fell. Some birders, hikers, and conservationists hated it. In 1989, BMP imposed its bolting moratorium and even threatened to remove trailside climbs like Colin Lantz’s Superfresh (5.12d) and The Mentor (5.12b), both in Fern Canyon. Though nothing came of the threats, climbers formed the Colorado Climbers Coalition to ﬁght the changing rules here and in Eldorado Canyon, just to the south, which was experiencing similar growing pains. All this was happening right as climbers ﬁnally began to develop an eye for the steep lines—the money pitches. It was a paradigm shift led by the likes of Dan Michael, with his 1987 5.13b Slave to the Rhythm, a wildly overhanging pebble-and-crimp line on the back of the East Ironing Board, and Lantz, who just before the ban ﬁnished off the 80-foot Honemaster Lambada (5.14a) next to Slave as well as his unrepeated arête The Violator (5.13c) in Fern Canyon. In other words, just as climbers clued into the interesting, wavy, hueco’ed overhanging south, north, and west facets of the Flatirons, sport climbing was shut down. A case in CLIMBING.COM 51 FROZEN IN TIME HASTA LA HUECO (5.13B; THREE PITCHES), THE MAIDEN PHOTO BY CRAIG HOFFMAN Climbers: Steve Annecone and Mark Roth First ascent: Bret Ruckman, Steve Annecone (P1 and P2: 2013; P3: 2016) From the west, the Maiden resembles a cobra head rearing to strike; from the north, a broad, rampy face; from the east, a sinuous sidewalk in the sky; and from the south, a broad, scooped amphitheater, bulging and wild and peppered with huecos and incipient cracks. In the middle of the south face, a brilliant panel of flat, whitewashed rock leads to a wavy brown headwall. Hasta la Hueco climbs this. A pitch of scruffy 5.9+ trad leads to the comfy Stone Oven Belay. The second pitch (5.12d) begins with jug huecos; while the pockets all look good from below, they become ever more slopey and distant as you climb. After much sussing, Bret Ruckman and Steve Annecone freed the third pitch at 5.13b in 2016. Three bolts of crux lead to sustained 5.12, then some 5.10/5.11 as the angle eases. That same year, Phil Gruber and Lynn Hill linked the second pitch into the third for a 160-foot mega-excursion. With an hour-plus approach, the Maiden sees more wild turkeys than climbers, part of the quiet appeal of this remote, untrammeled zone. CLIMBING.COM 53 FROZEN IN TIME Matt Samet is the editor of Climbing. For more with Flatirons sport-climbing pioneers Colin Lantz, Bob Horan, Paul Glover, and Dan Michael, visit climbing.com/flatirons. 54 JULY 2018 THULSA DOOM (5.12C/D), OVERHANG ROCK, BEAR CANYON Climber: Matt Reeser First ascent: Chandler Van Schaack, Shaun Reed; 2016 The name Overhang Rock will at ﬁrst be puzzling to anyone who climbs on its west face, a broad vertical panel that looks like an oversized drive-in-movie screen. Here, the style is crimpy, techy, and old-school—the “overhang” is instead on the east face. City planner Chandler Van Schaack has been a driving force at Overhang Rock, adding three mega lines—Thulsa Doom, Honey Badger (5.13a), and Ouroboros (5.12d)—all rope-stretchers ﬁlling in the blanks around the wall’s OG long sport climb, Snake Watching (5.13a), put up in 1989 by Jim Surette. Thulsa Doom climbs the airy left arête, with a roof crux down low followed by consistent action. Like all the routes on this wall, the holds are tiny but positive—you just have to keep your shit together for a long, long, long, long time. PHOTO BY ROB KEPLEY point would be Thunder Muscle, a 13-bolt 5.14a up Spanish-style sandstone ﬂutings and tufas on the overhanging south face of Seal Rock. Lantz, Chip Ruckgraber, and Chris Beh installed anchors atop the route in 1989, but then the ban descended days later before they could return. The route sat idle until 2013, when Ted Lanzano and I bolted it, replacing the rusting 24-year-old anchor with half-inch stainless-steel hardware and equipping the rest of the line. Next to Thunder Muscle is Primate (5.13b), one of a handful of headpoint-style lines put up during the no-bolt era. While it’s now a mixed line with six bolts supplemented by cam placements, it was originally led on gear at 5.13 X in 2001. (To test the key Big Bro placement during the ﬁrst ascent, I threw a haulbag full of rocks onto it—and it held.) Similarly, Thunder Muscle’s neighbor is the much-sought-after Choose Life (5.13d), originally toproped in 2002 but never led. The hardest Flatirons headpoint is Matt Wilder’s 2009 Cheating Reality, a 5.14- R up the tilted west overhang of the Devil’s Thumb, a sinister spire an hour-plus uphill in remote Shadow Canyon. With a dynamic V7 ﬁnal crux ﬁve feet above marginal gear, and with your next reliable pro seven feet below that, Cheating Reality has seen only two repeats, by Joe Mills and Brad Gobright. The 14-year moratorium was just long enough for many of the OG sport routes, equipped with the usual 1980s hodgepodge of disreputable hardware-store bolts, homemade hangers, and sketchy Euro ring bolts, to fall into disrepair, though there were no failures. Until the FCC, formed in 1997 by a crew of dedicated Front Range climbers, struck its 2003 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)—an agreement about how climbing would be carried out in the mountain parks—with OSMP, the sport routes faded from favor. Climbers would go up there occasionally, but the bolts became less trustworthy, the climbs less chalky, the coating of pine needles and lichen on the holds ever thicker. The ﬁrst new climb to go in under the MOU was Chris Archer and crew’s excellent Hell Freezes Over, an airy two-pitch 5.12a on the Red Devil on Dinosaur Mountain. The name referenced a comment a BMP employee made about the timeframe for allowing bolting again in the Boulder Mountains—i.e., never. More routes followed, with a surge in activity around 2007 when Beh helped rekindle interest in the Slab, a broad parallelogram of rock guarding the mouth to Fern Canyon. As activity has ramped up, the three slots for each FHRC cycle are usually full. The new climbs range from 5.10 jug romps, like those on the shady west face of Der Zerkle; to thin 5.12 pebble and face climbs, like that on the north side of the Matron; to gymnastic 5.13/5.14 tufa, hueco, and pocket hauls, like those on the southwest arête of the Maiden and the south face of Seal Rock, currently home to the Flatirons’ hardest, the 35-meter Jonathan Siegrist route I Am the Walrus (5.14b). Meanwhile, a huge percentage of the 1980s sport climbs have been resurrected with half-inch stainless hardware and bomber chain anchors, and they’re popular anew. People climb here again, and it’s been great to see. As OSMP ranger Rick Hatﬁeld, the liaison to climbers, puts it, “Climbing is one of our biggest success stories.” Moreover, with the renewal of the MOU every ﬁve years, the pilot area has expanded to include a good chunk of formations of interest, with potential for dozens more climbs in the “new-school” vein. Everything is now above board and legit, and the handful of active Flatirons ﬁrst ascentionists have happily complied with the rules. In a way, the permitting process has been a boon, keeping development to a modest pace that has helped the Flatirons avoid some of the overbolting and overcrowding issues manifesting in nearby Boulder Canyon. Yes, it can be a slow and sometimes labyrinthine process to put up a route in the Flatirons, but as the high quality of these new lines attests, it’s been worth the wait. A lot can happen in 14 years. Then again, things can also stay the same. The resource is what we make of it, and sometimes a slow, considered pace of development can save us from our own worst instincts. PHOTO BY TK ES ER The Classic PR OB S 25 M PR ’ S B E ST B O U E R I CA LD LE E NT M GA IN BY PET ER BEAL H umans have been exploring boulders in America for hundreds of years, going back to the Native Americans who lived in and around many of today’s bouldering areas. In the 1950s and ‘60s, John Gill began taking gymnastics to the rocks, seeking challenges on small cliffs and boulders from Illinois to the Tetons to the Black Hills to Colorado. But he was largely alone until well into the 1970s and ‘80s, when bouldering started to become seen as a pursuit in its own right. Given the size and geological diversity of the US, we may very well have the most—and most varied—bouldering in the world. We also have an extraordinary legacy of classic problems from V0 to V16, with seemingly endless potential left. To list the 25 best problems in America is a challenge. 7S[LEXHI½RIWEGPEWWMG#8LIFIWXTVSFPIQWEVIWMRKYPEVPMRIWMR beautiful settings. The features connect with original and compelling QSZIQIRX8LIVSGOJIIPWWSPMHERHWIGYVI%RH½REPP]XLIFSYPHIV comes with a history. Besides Gill and his foundational problems, there are other, more local personalities like Bob Murray and Jim Holloway renowned for their strength and tenacity. Holloway singlehandedly established V12 in Colorado before V9 was even a thing and was rumored to have been able to hold a front lever for half a minute while holding a conversation; the reclusive Murray was famed for his barefoot wizardry, eventually pulling a tendon in his big toe, an injury probably unrepeated in climbing. John Long and John Bachar blurred the lines between bouldering and soloing, leaving a legacy of serious “problems” that are more PMOIHMJ½GYPXJVIIWSPSIWEWXSV]GYPQMREXMRKMR(ERMIP;SSHW´W testpiece The Process at the Buttermilks, basically an unroped 5.15. Each era was marked by the establishment of lines that tested nerves and strength—and a fair number of these problems made our list. We set out to represent America’s various geographic regions as well as a wide spread of grades, to create dialogue and psyche. Whether you’re pebble-wrestling on a forested hillside, in a stark high-desert can]SRSVMREREPTMRIXEPYW½IPHERH[LIXLIV]SY´VIXMGOMRK:WGLMWXGVEGOW in New England, V11 roofs in Hueco, V8 sandstone sloperfests down South, or V3 granite highballs in Colorado, American bouldering delivers. 56 JULY 2018 PHOTO BY ANTHONY LAMPOMARDO TH E C L A S SIC 25 NICCOLÒ CERIA CLIMBS ON THE CLASSIC PATINA CRIMPS OF THE MANDALA (V12), BISHOP, C ALIFORNIA. CA L IFORNIA CALIFORNIA Inhabited by Native Americans long before the Gold Rush brought European settlers, the Sierra Nevada and other California areas have been an integral part of American climbing history. California granite, at its best, is bone-white or ash-gray, minimally featured, tall, and impressive. THE MANDALA (V12), BUTTERMILKS, BISHOP, CALIFORNIA THRILLER (V10), YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK When Chris Sharma crimped up the overhanging patina-edge prow of The Mandala in early 2000, he kick-started modern American bouldering. According to Wills Young’s excellent 2010 Bishop Bouldering guide, the late John Bachar, in the late 1970s, told Ron Kauk that “perhaps, long into the future, John Gill’s great-grandson might climb the line.” A tick demands a clear understanding of the start holds: a jump or stacked pads to begin on a right-hand incut and a left hand undercling/ sidepull. You can also tack on EHMVIGXWXEVXERH½RMWLXSEHH two V-grades. Seated in the venerable Camp 4, this problem features a desperate match, a hard move to the “snowcone,” and sustained crimping to the top. Shaded by an enormous oak tree, this 1984 Ron Kauk testpiece (climbed sans pads) is still sought after to this day. Next door is the 1991 classic The Force (originally V11 but today done with a V9 start), a problem that helped push American standards but EPWSVI¾IGXIHGSRXVSZIVW]EW glue-reinforced key holds at the GVY\[IVITVMIHSJJEJXIVXLI½VWX ascent. Nearby classics: Saigon (V6), High Plains Drifter (V7) Nearby classics: Midnight Lightning (V8), Yabo Roof (V12), Dominator (V12) SLASHFACE (V3), JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA SOUTHWEST AR Ê TE (V0) OF GRANDMA PEABODY, BUTTERMILKS, BISHOP CALIFORNIA Joshua Tree has long been a GIRXIVSJHMJ½GYPXVSTIPIWW climbing, especially since the heady days of the 1970s when the Stonemasters made it a winter hang. Stonemaster John Bachar crimped his way up the gorgeous 25-foot face of Slashface, connecting thin diagonal breaks and a compelling but moderate ½RMWLMRKQERXIPLMKLEFSZIXLI Seussian desert landscape. Bishop bouldering dates back at least to the Paiute people who called the Owens River Valley home and left rock art in the Volcanic Tablelands. Though serious bouldering at the ‘Milks didn’t begin until the mid-1970s, the 50-foot Southwest Arête of Grandma Peabody had already been climbed—it’s too obvious to ignore. It’s best considered a 5.9 solo, with the crux 15 feet up and a dicey slab transition higher. Nearby classics: Stem Gem (V4), Pinched Loaf (V6), All Washed Up (V6) Nearby classics: Pope's Prow (V5), Green Wall Center (V6), Evilution (V11) 58 JULY 2018 TH E C L A S SIC 25 MATUS SOBOLIC WANDERS UP THE HORIZONTALS OF JOSHUA TREE’S SLASHFACE (V3). CA L IFORNIA THE CASCADES Washington’s Cascades provide everything from glaciated alpine treks to multi-pitch traditional crack climbing. In the past decade, amazing bouldering has emerged as well, especially in the vicinity of Stevens Pass, with Index and Goldbar to the west and Leavenworth to the east. TH E C L A S SIC 25 BRETT OWENS SLAB-DYNOS ON INDEX, WASHINGTON’S THE ENGINEER (V9). THE CASCADE S PHOTOLEFT: FROM BY TK ANTHONY LAMPOMARDO; TRUC ALLEN SLEEPING LADY (V2), ICICLE CANYON, LEAVENWORTH THE ENGINEER (V9), INDEX, WASHINGTON Just outside the Bavarianthemed tourist town of Leavenworth runs Icicle Creek, whose headwaters are at pristine Josephine Lake, near the Cascades’ crest. The river’s cold waters surge through the REVVS[FSYPHIV½PPIH-GMGPI Canyon, including under Sleeping Lady, a steep jug haul over raging rapids where sending is your best, if not only, option. With the unpleasant distinction of being on the wet side of Stevens Pass, Index receives 93 inches of rain per year. Due to all the precipitation, some of the US’ best granite is cloaked in foliage, but in the woods FIPS[XLI8S[R;EPPW]SY´PP½RH The Engineer, a bold, steep slab with minimal features. Classic in appearance and committing, MXI\IQTPM½IWXLIRI[[EZISJ Washington bouldering. Nearby classics: Feel the Pinch (V4), Pimp Squeak (V7) Nearby classics: The Architect (V11) CLIMBING.COM 59 NEW PAIR OF GLASSES (V7), SHAWANGUNKS, NEW YORK Dollar Problem (V5), The Gill Egg (V4) The Gunks was at the forefront of high-end free-climbing until the early 1980s, and attracted strong climbers like Gill and the local Rich Goldstone. Right on the Carriage Road, the 30-foot New Pair of Glasses stand-starts with high holds. The low crux leads to a high but manageable exit on the Gunks’ famous horizontals. FAist Ivan Greene bestowed the name to point out how a new vision was all that was needed to see the area’s abundant bouldering potential. POUND CRACK (V1), RUMNEY, NEW HAMPSHIRE Nearby classics: The Million TH Rumney is known for its punchy, bouldery routes, among the most famous being The Fly (5.14d or V14). Below all the desperates EXXLIXLIQEMRGPMJJ]SY´PP½RH amazing moderates, especially Pound Crack, an 18-foot splitter with a jug in the middle—perfect recreation on an autumn day. Nearby classics: Blackjack Crack (V2), Umbrella Traverse (V2), Satan on a Halfshell (V10) E C L A S SIC 25 SHANE MESSNER TAKES ON CONFIDENT MAN (V11) IN THE PAWTUCKAWAY FOREST, NEW HAMPSHIRE. TH E N O RT H E A S T THE NORTHEAST CONFIDENT MAN (V11), PAWTUCKAWAY, NEW HAMPSHIRE The center of New England bouldering, the granite blocks in the New Hampshire forest have allowed top climbers like Dave Graham to cut their teeth on savage crimps. At Pawtuckaway, Tim Kemple claimed one of 60 JULY 2018 the best double-digit lines in the Northeast, an overhanging series of moves with a committing exit. It’s a must-do at the grade—assuming the W[EVQWSJFPEGO¾MIWHSR´X GEVV]]SYE[E]½VWX Nearby classics: Overlooked (V4), Ride the Lightning (V6), Dopeman (V8) FROM LEFT: JOEL ZERR; ANDREW KORNYLAK There are countless boulders hidden in the trees of New England. Granite forms the majority of the rock here, though the Gunks features quartzite and Rumney hosts a peculiar schist. The climate can be tricky, so catch the cool crisp temps of fall, avoid the deluge in spring, and check the forecast in winter, when it can be either crispy or heinous. SOUTHERN SANDSTONE (V5), Sherman Photo Roof (V7), Golden Harvest (V10) Southern sandstone would be bouldering nirvana if it wasn’t for the frictiondestroying summer heat. The rest of the year, however, it’s pure bliss. The woods in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Southern Illinois, and Tennessee contain endless cliffbands and boulders of tight-grained sandstone, featured with baby-butt slopers, jug horns, huecos, pockets, and classic micro-crimps. Some of the proudest, most singular lines in the world can be found here, problems that make you go, “I want to climb that,” even if your pay grade doesn’t match the V-grade. THE ORB (V8), ROCKTOWN, GEORGIA Perhaps the most famous Southern problem, this oft- photographed traverse moves along a UFO-shaped boulder on bulbous slopers. More remote than HP40 or Stone Fort, Rocktown has the classic features XLEXHI½RI7SYXLIVRWERHWXSRI all on a pristine, forested plateau. Nearby classics: Golden Shower THE SHIELD (V12), STONE FORT, TENNESSEE LISA RANDS STARES DOWN THE SLOPING BLOBS ON THE ORB (V8) ROCKTOWN, GEORGIA. UT HER T N SA N D S The 20-foot, smooth, steep arête of Mortal Kombat is a rare American bouldering feature—one that climbs as good as it looks. Tall and spooky, with a bad landing that merits a slew of pads, this problem requires moving with conviction to the scoop at the top. The privately owned Horse Pens 40, situated on a mountaintop in northeast Alabama, might be one of the best moderate zones in the US. Nearby classics: Millipede (V6), Moon Arête (V6) E C L A S SIC 25 TH SO MORTAL KOMBAT (V4), HORSE PENS 40, ALABAMA ON E On a golf course above Chattanooga, Tennessee, there’s a lightning-bolt seam that strikes though immaculate sandstone: The Shield. First climbed by the French boulderer Tony Lamiche in 2006, the problem starts on a pair of jugs under a bulge and then climbs a smooth, overhanging wall of seams to top out 18 feet above the loamy soil. Nearby classics: The Wave (V6), Celestial Mechanics (V7) FIN DIESEL (V4), HURRICANE, ARKANSAS As Cole Fennel hilariously notes in his awesome new guidebook Arkansas Bouldering, the striking, semi-highball arête/blade of Fin Diesel at the Hurricane Boulders is “better than the entire Fast and Furious collection combined.” Things can be a little moist and shady here, but the bullet gray stone is reminiscent of the best of Fontainebleau and well worth a visit, especially with the new, improved approach beta. Nearby Classics: Lost and Found (V2), Totem Pole (V6), Buzz Saw (V7) CLIMBING.COM 61 HUECO TANKS, TEXAS Perhaps no other area in the world has as many problems per square yard as Hueco Tanks State Park outside El Paso, Texas. While accessing these three jumbled mountains of porphyritic syenite might seem daunting—with mandatory reservations and tours (for two of the mountains), and a limited number of visitors per day—if you can get through the red tape, this is bouldering heaven. TH E C L A S SIC 25 SEE SPOT RUN (V6) Nearby classics: Nobody Here Gets Out Alive (V2), Hundred Proof Roof (V3), Baby Face (V7) 62 JULY 2018 CORRINE B ARIL TAKES A STROLL ON THE QUINTESSENTIAL HUECO JUG HAUL, THE MELON PATCH (V0), NORTH MOUNTAIN. HU THE MELON PATCH (V0) .com/wanker101). This vertical wall with deep, juggy huecos below the looming Indecent Exposure Buttress takes you way off the deck to EGVIEO]½RMWLEXJIIX8LMW photogenic problem may whet your appetite for the Wanker 101, a compilation of 101 “easy” problems around Hueco Tanks’ North Mountain that will thrash you by day’s end (see climbing Nearby classics: Epilady (V1), Shaved Pits (V2), T-Bone 7LYJ¾I(V4) DIAPHANOUS SEA (V11) This climb exemplifies the iron-rock-crimping style so prevalent at Hueco. A sitstart on a low flake leads to a lunge to a good flake, and EC EX O TA NKS, T AS then the exit on an ironrock face. If you’ve been putting your time in on the MoonBoard, Diaphanous Sea could go down quickly. It’s one of a number of doubledigit classics put up in Hueco by the bouldering legend Fred Nicole. Nearby classics: Sign of the Cross (V3), Choir Boys (V7), Power of Silence (V10) PHOTO BY KEITH ALLEN PETERS “A desperate start to a mortifying topout,” writes John Sherman in the Hueco Tanks Climbing and Bouldering Guide. This highball experience (20-plus feet) follows ironrock crimps up the Big Show Boulder’s chocolate stone to a long punch to the lip—or a long drop to the pads. Sherman climbed it in the late 1980s sans pads, writing of his experience, “I descend with the best case of adrenaline shakes I’ve ever had. The [spotters] haven’t budged—they’re in shock” (“Texas Tall Tales,” Climbing No. 116, Oct/Nov 1989). TH E C L A S SIC 25 MEAGAN MARTIN READIES HERSELF FOR THE LIP ENCOUNTER ON GERM-FREE ADOLESCENCE (V5), ELDORADO C ANYON STATE PARK. CO LOR A DO ROCK IE S COLORADO ROCKIES Nearby classics: Autobot (V5), Potato Chip (V7), Whispers of Wisdom (V10) The Rockies offer jagged peaks, alpine walls, and massive boulders—plus endless bouldering in the foothills and the highest concentration of problems above V12 in the US. High-altitude bouldering in Rocky Mountain National Park started in earnest in the late 1990s with Jim Belcer, Dean Potter, and Tommy Caldwell, but in the early 2000s Dave Graham radically changed the game with his powerful, über-technical lines. PHOTO BY CAROLINE TREADWAY GERM-FREE ADOLESCENCE (V5), ELDORADO CANYON STATE PARK %RSXSVMSYWWERHFEK½VWX climbed by the equally notorious boulderer/bouldering historian (read Stone Crusade!) John Sherman in the mid-1980s, this behemoth overhang reels SYXENYK¾EOIXSEXIVVMJ]MRK crimp-mantel lip encounter at 15 feet. Many climbers bring half a dozen pads, even strapping one to the pine tree nearby to pinball off. Or, you could forego the pads like on XLI½VWXEWGIRX2ESQM+Y] threw down the gauntlet by doing this in 2003 in a billowing LSSTWOMVXJSVXLIGPEWWMG½PQ Front Range Freaks. Nearby classics: Milton (V4), Resonated (V7), Never Say Never (V9) TOMMY’S AR Ê TE (V7), ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK Located at nearly 10,000 feet at Lake Haiyaha, this pit sit-start problem follows engaging and sustained movement on gneiss to a committing crux at 15 feet. American climbing legend Tommy Caldwell, going off a report from his dad about huge boulders around Lake Haiyaha, picked this plum in 1999, helping kick off the boom in RMNP bouldering. It will leave you breathless—literally—if not for the altitude then for its scary talus landing, 45-minute and 885-foot-elevation-gain approach, or situation next to the postcard-perfect blue-green waters of the lake. JAWS (V3), INDEPENDENCE PASS “We, Bachar and I, used to climb this baby unroped,” wrote John Long on Mountain Project of this aptly named great-white-sharklooking blade of tight-grained granite. This old-school classic on Independence Pass above Aspen tackles a 20-foot arête, with a distinctive roof in the middle and a crimp crux surmounting it. Sandwiched between Highway 82 and the Roaring Fork River in a forest at 9,000 feet, it’s an easy crawl back to the car if you fall and break your leg, as the editor of this magazine did in 2004 when he slipped from dewcovered holds and landed on tree roots at the base. Nearby classics: The Ineditable (V6), The Vampire (V7) CLIMBING.COM 63 TH E C L A S SIC 25 DAN BRAYACK WITH HIS FEET TO THE FLAMES ON WILLS AFIRE (V6), LEFT FORK, JOE’S VALLEY, UTAH. U TA H D E S E RT (V2), They Call Him Jordan (V8), Beyond Life (V10/12) HUNTSMAN GRAFFITI (V5), MOE’S VALLEY Moe’s Valley, near St. George in southern Utah, has become a bouldering pitstop. When snow covers areas farther north, Moe’s provides warm, sunny sandstone. Tackling a line of crimps next XSMXWREQIWEOIKVEJ½XMSRXLI Sentinel Boulder, this problem features enjoyable moves above E¾EXPERHMRK-X´WXLITIVJIGX gateway drug to Moe’s Valley. Nearby classics: Shot Hole (V6), Israil (V6), Gription (V9) UTAH DESERT AIRWOLF (V7), INDIAN CREEK The most famous of the newwave problems coming out of Indian Creek ascends a wolf-shaped tower below the Sparks Wall. This Chris Schulte compression line tops out at 25 feet, and most people will want to bring a rope and harness to rap instead of dropping back to the pads. Schulte describes it as “One of the proudest things I’ve ever seen.” Alternating heel hooks and 64 JULY 2018 slaps take you off the deck—keep the compression and the head steady, lest the Airwolf pounce. Nearby classics: The Split Boulder (V6) at Indian Creek, Chaos (V8) at the Big Bend Boulders WILLS AFIRE (V6), JOE’S VALLEY In 1998, Wills Young got lost looking for Steven Jeffery in Joe’s Valley’s Left Fork, but he found a classic instead. ;MPPW%½VI follows a 30-degree overhang on seams, edges, and pockets, GYPQMREXMRKMRE½RKIVPSGOSV gaston move to a high-enoughto-be-memorable lip encounter. Excited, Young told his thencoworkers at Climbing about ½RHMRKSRISJXLIGSYRXV]´WFIWX problems. But the staff was too busy skiing to report his ascent. Jeffery loved Wills’s enthusiasm and started calling the problem ;MPPW%½VI The name stuck. Nearby classics: The Angler PHOTOLEFT: FROM BY TK DAN BRAYACK; NATHANIEL DAVISON From the remote, windswept boulders of Ibex, to the expansive talus fields of Joe’s Valley, to the smooth, urban granite of Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah offers bouldering in a variety of landscapes, with many of the hardest lines established by longtime heroes like Ben Moon, Boone Speed, and Steven Jeffery. Utah bouldering is an ever-changing mix of styles, rock types, and environments. DESERT SOUTHWEST With its vast, open landscape of flat desert, cactuscovered hills, and hot temps, the Desert Southwest can feel forbidding. But amidst this arid region there are pockets of excellent stone—limestone, sandstone, quartzite, and volcanic rock—many in forested, higher-elevation locations like Flagstaff, the Ortega Mountains, and Roy. First explored in depth by Southwest bouldering legend Bob Murray, this region is home to any number of strong darkhorse locals like Timy Fairfield and Matt Gentile. BOTTLE ROCKET (V12), THE RENEGADE ROOF, FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA Located in the Woody Mountain Road sector near Flagstaff, the Kaibab limestone here is featured with honeycomb pockets and wide pinches through a 25-foot HIEHLSVM^SRXEPTERIP8LI½VWX ascentionist, Matt Gentile, has called Bottle Rocket the best problem in Arizona. Body tension and precise footwork are a must—along with 10 crashpads. Nearby classics: Escape from the Blobs (V3), Legends Never Die (V6), Choss Origins (V8), Kudos (V8) TOO GOOD TO BE AMERICAN (V3), ORTEGA MOUNTAINS, NEW MEXICO This perfectly cut 90-degree corner in the Nosos area of New Mexico’s remote Ortega Mountains can be climbed as a slab or dihedral, with or without the arête. First ascentionist Tom Ellis named the bloc thusly because the white quartzite seemed more akin to the bullet stone of Brione, Switzerland, than any rock in the US. Nearby classics: Two Stroke (V3), Super Moto (V4), Ripple Wall (V9) TH E C L A S SIC 25 MATT GENTILE RIDES A BOTTLE ROCKET (V12) NEAR FLAGSTAFF—WHAT HE C ALLS THE “BEST BOULDER PROBLEM IN ARIZONA.” DE SER T S O U T HW E ST TH E C L A S SIC 25 RO CK E C A N Y O N, N VA RED ROCK CANYON, NEVADA In the past few decades, Red Rock Canyon, once known mainly for its sport climbing and multi-pitch trad, has become one of the most popular bouldering venues in the country. In the deep sandstone canyons, the huge walls have shed gigantic boulders, creating a playground of epic proportions in the gullies and washes below. Sculpted from unfathomably deep beds of Aztec sandstone, the boulders have an infinite variety of shapes, features, and colors, varnished to perfection by the desert elements and of bright, technicolor hues that must be seen to be believed. Enticing lines from V0 to V15 exist, luring climbers of every level to test themselves in the Nevada desert. 66 JULY 2018 FEAR OF A BLACK HAT (V9) Dominating Calico Basin’s famous Kraft Boulders, the Cube features four facets of classic climbing—even the V1 downclimb gets four stars. Fear of a Black Hat tackles the arête on the south face, starting on a big hueco and requiring the ability to stay calm on the balancey topout. John Bachar was one of the original suitors until a broken hold dropped him on his back, scaring off later attempts. Red PHOTO BY ANDREW KORNYLAK RE D DA COOPER ROBERTS CLIMBS FOR THE CROWD ON FEAR OF A BLACK HAT (V9) AT THE KRAFT BOULDERS NEAR LAS VEGAS, NEVADA. READY FOR SOME PEBBLE-WRESTLING? Rock guidebook author Jared 1G1MPPIRWGSSTIHXLI½VWX ascent, retaining the name bestowed by Colorado local Brian Kimball, who’d cleaned the line for safer attempts. Nearby classics: The Pearl (V5), Monkey Bar Direct (V8), Clockwork Orange (V12) NATASHA’S HIGHBALL (V2) Most climbers make the 30-minute hike into Red Rock’s Black Velvet Canyon for the long trad routes, but pebble wrestlers will stop at the canyon mouth to sample a cluster of a dozen classic lines. With a few hard crimp moves, a pull off a mono, and then glorious, albeit high jugs XS½RMWL)XLER4VMRKPI´WNatasha’s Highball is not only photogenic but a standard Red Rock tick. Nearby classics: Wet Dream (V12), Atlas Shrugged (V12) Colorado-based boulderer and art-history professor Peter Beal is the author of Bouldering: Movement, Tactics, and Problem Solving. Learn how to boulder with our fourpart online Intro to Bouldering class, with tips on key equipment, bouldering and spotting safety, and technique from pro boulderer Nina Williams (climbing.com/introtoboulder ing, $45). Take your bouldering to the next level with pro boulderer Nina Williams in our 8-part course Boulder Harder, featuring techniques, training, best practices, and tips to make you a problem-crushing machine (climbing.com/boulderharder, $149). CLIMBING.COM 67 LIZZY ELLISON TAKES A BEELINE ( 5.12B ) , THE BILLBOARD, AMERICAN FORK CANYON, UTAH. American Fork Canyon, Utah, and the birth of America’s steep revolution By Megan Walsh / Photos by John Evans It Starts at Impossible In winter 1988, Bill Boyle, Boone Speed, and Jeff Pedersen hiked 40 minutes up the steep northern slopes of American Fork Canyon, just south of Salt Lake City, through a foot of snow. Their goal was a south-facing limestone wall—a new training ground they were developing—that today hosts 20 classic lines from 5.11 to 5.14a. (It would later be known as the Billboard.) Up at the cliff, Pedersen gathered downed trees for firewood, made a small campfire, and boiled water for hot chocolate. While white flakes fell in the canyon, the men huddled in a small cave in the left-hand side of the cliff. Just big enough to fit the men, their gear, and a fire, the hollow provided shelter while they scurried out to the rock to try a new project. W hile smoke wafted out of the cave, the three dedicated climbers established Gorillas in the Snow (5.12b), redpointing what would become a classic, iconic, pumpy line at one of the ﬁrst limestone sport areas in the US. Overlooked by developers for years due to the sheer volume of choss and “demolition work” (read: rock scaling) it would take to develop, American Fork (AF) had stayed almost entirely of climbers’ radar. Deep in the Wasatch Range 33 miles south of Salt Lake City, the American Fork River carves out its namesake canyon. On the south side of the 20-mile canyon, Mt. Timpanogos (11,752 feet) peeks over the ridgeline. In the 1860s, the United States Army sent troops into the canyons of Utah Valley in hopes of ﬁnding gold, silver, and lead, with the simultaneous goal of diminishing Mormon inﬂuence. While neither efort panned out, modern-day climbers have had better luck. In AF, beginning with the ﬁrst sport climb (Black Magic, 5.12d) in 1987, climbers have established nearly 500 routes from 5.3 to 5.14c on the 350-million-year-old Mississippian limestone. The climbs, with few exceptions, are just minutes from the gravel pullouts that line the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway, State Route 92, which heads through the Uinta National Forest, past the trailhead for Mt. Timpanogos, and out Provo Canyon. The seven-mile, clif-ﬁlled section of forest service land that begins just a quarter-mile beyond the Timpanogos Cave National Monument visitor 70 JULY 2018 center provided a blank canvas in the late 1980s and early ‘90s. It was here, to a large extent, that America’s steep-rock revolution and concurrent embrace of chossy stone began. Until then, almost universally, the style for sportclimbing worldwide had been clean faces that were technical, vertical, and crimpy, a template set by the smooth gray limestone walls of France’s Verdon Gorge. In the 1980s, climbing hard meant crimping down. Alan Watts, the visionary who brought European techniques to his home crag, Smith Rock, was working on To Bolt or Not to Be (5.14a), a 140-foot vertical face at the Dihedrals, eventually freed in 1986 by the Frenchman JB Tribout. In America, radically overhanging sport climbs were an anomaly—you could almost count them on one hand, from Todd Skinner’s 1987 When Legends Die (5.13b) in Hueco Tanks, to late-‘80s areas like the Enchanted Tower near Datil, New Mexico, to the occasional steep route at Smith Rock like Rude Boys (5.13b/c). Overhanging climbing, especially on broken rock, was barely a thing. It was all about the slab. Take Pederson and Speed’s earliest ﬁrst-ascent eforts, in 1986 in Rock Canyon near Provo: “We were just bending our ﬁngers back on small edges. We were literally inventing these contrived routes, usually on toprope, in between natural lines,” says Pedersen. “We wanted to climb new stuf, and we wanted it to be hard. But it didn’t exist.” The prevailing wisdom then in Utah was that you couldn’t establish harder lines due to the choss factor on the state’s rock. In American Fork, a shallow inland sea during the Mississippian geologic era, roughly 340 million years ago, had created the porous limestone, leaving rock that crumbled at the touch. Beyond the consideration of rock quality, few climbers had ever bolted radically overhanging routes like the potential lines on AF’s many tilted walls, scoops, and caves—there was no protocol for installing the hardware. “You have to walk up to a clif that’s really shitty,” says Pedersen, “with no instructions, no owner’s manual, and just stand there, little you, with your little drill.” Bolting new lines in TOP LEFT: CHRISTINE BAILEY SPEED Left to right: American Fork pioneers Boone Speed, Bill Boyle, and Jeff Pedersen. DALTON BUNKER GETS INVERTED ON CANNIBALS DIRECT ( 5.14A ) , HELL CAVE. It Starts at Impossible American Fork seemed unreasonable, a Herculean task. Enter Bill Boyle. Born in Kentucky, Boyle started climbing in the Wasatch in the late 1970s while taking classes at Utah State University. A decade later, he joined the City of Rocks, Idaho, bolting crew, putting up early classics there like The Drilling Fields (5.11a) and Tunnel Vision (5.12). From 1986 to 1988, Boyle honed his boltcraft, which he then brought to Rock Canyon, where he took Speed and Pedersen under his wing. “The energy between the three of us was really good,” says Boyle. The trio shared a passion for development. While Pedersen focused on steep, athletic lines, Boyle aimed to ferret out every possibility at a wall. For Speed, the focus was aesthetic lines that pushed him to his athletic limit. This unique combination of energy and vision catapulted the men into undertaking those key ﬁrst steps on the forbidding rock of American Fork. “There are stepping stones and mental and geographical barriers that need to be broken down in order to make incremental steps,” says Speed. In 1987, Steve Gibb, a local high school student, along with a few friends, skipped class and discovered the gently overhanging black streak that would become Black Magic (5.12d). After trying the climb on toprope, they encouraged Speed, Pedersen, and Boyle to bolt it. At the time, the trio lacked a power drill, and looked to Chris Laycock, a local who’d developed Cambrian Grey (5.10c) and Playground (5.5) in Rock Canyon, for his drill and expertise. To this day, ﬁnding Black Magic perhaps requires more efort than merely bolting it did, what with the river crossing, choss scrambling, and steep, nasty approach trail. RITA YOUNG SHIN COPS A SHAKE ON LICENSE TO THRILL ( 5.11C ) , THE MEMBRANE. “Black Magic is a no-brainer,” says Pedersen. The 50-foot pocket route is a clean, obvious line on climbable rock. “We would never have gone immediately to the Membrane,” says Pedersen, talking about the now über-popular riverside area that has more broken-looking rock, “because it looked horrible to us initially.” With the help of Laycock, the trio bolted Black Magic, then moved a few hundred feet west to Unknown Pleasures, a mostly shaded, north-facing wall, and then across the road near the Timpanogos Cave National Monument to the dead-vertical dihedral routes of the Red Corners, “because that was kind of the next step in smooth-looking limestone,” says Pedersen. Instead of waiting out the winter to continue bolting, the three traveled ﬁve hours south to Red Rock, Nevada, and established new routes. While bolting at the Wall of Confusion, they unearthed Fear and Loathing (5.12a), an “absolute world-class, six-star route,” says Speed. At the time, nothing as steep had been attempted at Red Rock. “You had to engineer it,” says Speed. “There were no directions or Google searching or YouTube—no ‘How to Grid-Bolt.’” So they bolted anchors, sussed the route on TR, and rap-bolted, down-drilling as they went. The 30-degree-overhanging Fear and Loathing redeﬁned what was possible for establishing overhanging routes. If they could bolt this, what else could they unlock? T he trio returned to American Fork Canyon in spring 1988 and continued drilling sunny crags like Red Corners, where they bolted the beautiful corner Book of Condolences (5.12b), the roof of Xcess (5.12b), and the difficult dihedral and arête of X (5.13a). Speed, who worked as a graphic designer at the Bronze Foundry in Lehi, less than 10 miles from the canyon, and Boyle, who worked alongside people with disabilities at the Developmental Center, at the mouth of the canyon, started meeting during lunch breaks to bolt. These 30-minute breaks quickly turned into three-hour office hiatuses, and the quiet walls of American Fork transformed into an afternoon construction zone as Speed and Boyle cleaned and drilled. “There’s never been anyone like Bill,” says Pedersen. At any new clif, Boyle would grab the classics. “If Bill got to [the crag] ﬁrst, there wouldn’t just be a couple of anchors; there would be a lot, like seven or eight,” says Pedersen. As long as a line looked THE POWERFUL POCKETS OF THE BLUE MASK ( 5.13C ) , THE BILLBOARD, AS DEMOED BY BUNKER. like it could go after minor demolition, he’d reach for the drill. It was thanks to this unwavering determination that some of the canyon’s longest, pumpiest, and most classic lines came to be, like If I Only Had a Brain (5.12b) at the Bingo Baby Wall and Division (5.11d) at the Division Wall. Beyond going on to establish over a hundred routes in AF, Boyle traipsed up and down the talus slopes and gullies in search of untouched limestone. His searching proved fruitful, and in an ode to Boyle’s tireless searching, the canyon’s premiere crag, the Billboard, was named after him. Where others saw shitty rock, Boyle saw possibility. While Boyle focused primarily on volume, Speed and Pedersen vied for lines that tested their physical ﬁnesse. “Boone and Jef were bolting the hardest thing they could ﬁnd,” says Boyle. For Pedersen that meant lines like The Blue Mask (5.13c; FA: 1989), which climbs out the bowels of the main cave at the Billboard and involves a lunge crux and a mantel ﬁnish. For Speed it looked more like The Shining (5.13c; FA: 1989), pumpy climbing out the same cave to a mono-pull boulder problem. The pioneering trio progressed through the Membrane, Cannabis, and Division walls before being drawn, in 1988, into the ﬁre-blackened walls of the Hell Cave. Prior to its development, the locals knew this grotto as “Dance Hall Cave”—a popular place for high school kids to come on weekends, start a bonﬁre, and dance without parental supervision. When you enter from the west, the temperature quickly drops a few degrees, and when belaying a partner on the classic Burning (5.13b), you need only to look out, and not up, for the roof is merely a few degrees above your line of sight. With little natural light, it’s easy to lose track of time. Eventually, there would be ten 30- to 75-foot routes in the cave proper (part of the 40 total climbs in the overall Hell area), and nothing easier than 5.13a. (The hardest route, I Scream, is a 50foot 5.14c Speed established in 1997.) But ﬁrst, it needed to be bolted and cleaned. Armed with extension ladders and power drills, the climbers ventured onto the wildly steep stone. “It wasn’t like you go from the slabs of Little Cottonwood straight to the Hell Cave,” says Speed. However, their success with Fear and Loathing in Red Rock gave them the conﬁdence they needed. They propped their ladders against the rock, switched on their drills, and started bolting. Preparing the broken rock of the Hell Cave required determination and methods some found questionable. Pedersen explains that their philosophy was simple: Use these practices or forgo AF’s potential altogether. So, the crew would use crowbars and hammers to scale away the outer layer of choss and reach better rock beneath. If a hold, deemed essential, broke of during cleaning, the bolter might choose to “reinstall” it with Sika glue. If another essential hold looked like it might break, the bolter might choose to reinforce it. While hardliners judged this as cheating, the routesmiths wanted to make the most of what was available. Had it not been for these experimental methods, certain climbs at the Division Wall, Membrane, and Hell Cave would not exist. “It’s not taboo,” Pedersen says. “It was all fun, all part of a learning experience.” In March 1988, Boyle put up and sent the ﬁrst route in the Hell Cave, Wasatch Reality (5.12a), a wide crack along the back of the cave. Pedersen then bolted the king line of Burning (5.13b), a left-to-right traverse on big, blocky, widely spaced holds, later sent by Todd Skinner. And Speed set his sights on Wizards (5.13b), a series of pods out the right side of the cave. “I gravitated toward Wizards,” says Speed, “because it looks like the coolest route in there.” Later, a more direct boulder problem into the knuckle-busting pods would yield the cave’s ﬁrst 5.14a (later downrated to 5.13d), Cannibals. W hen the International Sport Climbing Competition made its 1988 American debut at Snowbird Resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon, “Every climber in the magazines came to American Fork,” Speed says. “Until then, we didn’t think we had steep limestone in America.” Top climbers like Didier Raboutou and JB Tribout visited the canyon, along with Scott Frye and Dale Goddard. When the World Cup returned to Utah the next year, American Fork had grown exponentially, with over 100 new routes. A second wave of local climbers, including Mike Call and Merrill Bitter, FA’ed routes like Perfect Drug (5.13c; Call) at Cannabis Wall and Blue Typhoon (5.13a/b; Bitter) at the Hideaway, both quintessential, hard AF climbs. By that time, Boone, Boyle, and Pedersen had developed the Red Corners, the Membrane, CLIMBING.COM 73 NATASHA HODGES ON THE ATYPICALLY VERTICAL REACHING FOR RAZORS ( 5.11D ) , JUST OUTSIDE HELL CAVE. It Starts at Impossible American Fork Logistics SEASON: April– GETTING THERE: November. While temperatures can skyrocket in the valley, AF generally stays in the 80s or cooler. You can also chase shade from one side of the canyon to the other. From I-15, take exit 284 and head east on Timpanogos Highway. This will take you straight into the canyon. Continue past Timpanogos Cave National Monument to your desired pullout. CAMPING: Little Mill Campground is closest to the crags, with Division Wall located directly above campsite No. 64. Arrive Friday night to ensure a site. You can also find free primitive camping in the upper half of the canyon. CLASSICS: Caress of Steel (5.10a), License to Thrill (5.11c), Division (5.11d), Unknown Pleasures (5.12a/b), If I Only Had a Brain (5.12b), The Abyss (5.12c/d), Malvado (5.13a), Burning (5.13b), The Blue Mask (5.13c), The Shining (5.13c) GUIDEBOOK: There remains only one guidebook: Climber’s Guide to American Fork Canyon/Rock Canyon, by Bret and Stuart Ruckman (Falcon Press, 1994). It contains good information, but some routes—the newer ones—you’ll only be able to find on Mountain Project. The book is available at IME in Salt Lake City or Mountainworks in Provo. Cannabis, and the Billboard. “We had a very inclusive vibe, it was a peaceful place,” says Speed, “There wasn’t ﬁghting. We were all on the same page, just trying to advance the sport.” Climbers continued to visit, and wondered about the similarly steep or “chossy-looking” rock in their own backyards. After a trip to AF in 1990, Southern climber Porter Jarrard took the process home to Kentucky, and bolted 30 new sport routes, many of them radically overhanging, at the Red River Gorge. In 1991, the ﬁrst main wave of sport climbs cropped up in Riﬂe Mountain Park, Colorado, an ice-climbing area whose rock had been previously dismissed as “too chossy.” (Though Riﬂe local Mark Tarrant installed anchors for and toproped the canyon’s premier vertical line, The Eighth Day, a 160-foot blue streak, in 1985.) And Scott Frye came to AF and progressed to his own steep oferings at Riﬂe and in the Bay Area. “[The steep revolution] started at American Fork, and then all of a sudden, the cat was out of the bag and all these other places got developed,” says Speed. “It opened everyone’s eyes to possibility.” From 1989–1994, climbers ﬂocked to AF to test their power and endurance on the overhanging limestone of Hell Cave and the Billboard, like Scott Franklin, who FA’ed the über-bouldery Hell route Dead Souls (5.14a) in 1989. Speed graced the January 1991 cover of Climbing Magazine, climbing Fryeing (5.13c) in the Hell Cave, a huge loop of slack in his hand (above, right). The development of AF and the concurrent World Cup events helped put Utah on the map. When athletes and professionals found the immense recreational opportunities along the Wasatch Front, companies like Black Diamond, Petzl, and Liberty Mountain set up shop, giving local climbers a way to make a living and drawing new climbers to the area. After three years of intensive, focused bolting, and a few sporadic years thereafter, American Fork’s potential seemed to be tapped. While Speed thinks there’s always something to ferret out, Pedersen believes the lowest-hanging fruit has been picked—it is, after all, a limited geographic area. Nonetheless, climbers continue to ﬁnd gems— like Serenity Wall and Eavesdown Docks near Little Mill Campground, hosting an array of routes from 5.8 to 5.11c—but it’s nothing like the energy of AF at its height. Boone Speed on Fryeing (5.13c), Climbing No. 123, December 1990/January 1991. Pedersen, Speed, and Boyle eventually went on, separately, to develop other areas, like the Virgin River Gorge, Maple Canyon, and Santaquin Canyon. “Probably the most natural evolution of the sport,” says Speed, “is to seek out new areas and develop them thoughtfully and share them with the world. That’s the pinnacle of the sport, right?” Each continued to leave his mark, with Speed becoming the ﬁrst American to establish 5.14b with his 1994 ascent of Super Tweek at Logan Canyon’s China Wall, Pedersen opening a series of Momentum climbing gyms in Utah and Texas (with Washington on the horizon), and Boyle still developing crags to this day. Today, more folks head up the multi-use canyon to relax at Tibble Fork Reservoir or catch the sunrise at Mt. Timpanogos than to climb. The last golden light of the sun over the Wasatch snakes its way through the coniferous forest, and during peak runof the mountain-fed river drowns out all sound. Yes, American Fork is not as popular as it once was with climbers, but the routes Speed, Pedersen, Boyle, and others left behind speak across the decades. When Boyle was asked if climbers today can experience that same pure energy of crag development, his reply was, “It’s gotta exist. I still do it.” Freelance writer Megan Walsh works for The Dyrt, a campingapp start-up. CLIMBING.COM 75 ESSENTIALS “A fter 10 hours of rope-soloing the Kingﬁsher in the Fisher Towers, Utah, the Sticky Stones felt plenty comfortable and supportive,” said our tester of Garmont’s new lightweight (2 pounds for US size 9) approach shoes. “I spent a half hour on the summit and didn’t even think to pop the shoes of.” Built on the foothugging erGo last that, rock-shoe-like, mimics the human foot, the Sticky Stones were designed for carrying light loads and bouldery, scrambly approach terrain. They feature the Double Damper impact system (EVA midsole to soften forefoot impact and an internal EVA layer to dampen heel strik- 76 JULY 2018 aggressive last and bilateral tension rands. I noticed relliable performance on heel hooks, heel-toes, and toe scumming, despite a bit of bagginess on the gridded friction strips over the toebox that in the end didn’t afect performance; perhaps having more material there to deform while scumming was the intention. The Engineered Knit tongue, microﬁber uppers, molded rubber, and printed rubber—all black—make them form-ﬁtting, light, and aesthetic. The one Achilles heel is that they’re so soft that for edging and facier terrain as encountered, they may roll. Still, for extreme steeps, the Shadows are a total beast. MATT SAMET ing), a PU footbed, Gore-Tex lining, 1.5mm suede and mesh uppers, and a deeply treaded Vibram Megagrip sole. Our tester used them approaching and climbing at local Front Range crags as well as in the Fishers, and gave top marks in the comfort and support categories—“Seriously, the most comfortable approach shoes I’ve worn,” he said. He remarked that the treads are deep for an approach shoe, but noted a decline in performance only on low-angle and smeary terrain as a result. The Sticky Stones, he said, were overall stif, making them best suited for edging, wide cracks, hiking, and aiding. He noted that the gap between the tread at the arch was the exact width of his etrier rungs—great for long days aiding, with the webbing sometimes actually getting lodged and needing to be unstuck. The shoes did great on icy, slushy terrain, and kept his feet warm and dry in shallow snow thanks to the waterproof lining. “These have sincerely become my go-to approach/hiking shoe when I’m not wearing my stretchy sendin’ jeans!” our tester said. His only dings were that the supplied laces seemed overly long, and that after a month’s use, he’s noticed some thread popping on one shoe and a bit of rand peelage from the toebox top on the other. MATT SAMET GARMONT STICKY STONE GTX $190, GARMONTNORTHAMERICA.COM BLACK DIAMOND SHADOW $180, BLACKDIAMOND.COM A s per BD’s literature, the new Shadow is designed for rock so steep it casts shadows. Take this at face value: These light (16 ounces for size 10), super-soft, super-grabby, downturned bad boys are a specialist’s shoe that excels at the way-beyond-vertical. I sized the Shadow the same as my street shoe, and noted a tight, sock-like ﬁt that has loosened a quarter size—i.e., not much. The shoes run small compared to BD’s other offerings, so be prepared to take them of between problems during break-in. Double pull tabs and a supple, mid-cut heel let you slip in and out relatively easily, and the single Velcro closure over the tongue gives good control and range. The big news was the Shadow’s amazing sensitivity: With a 4.3mm printed outsole and a barely there midsole, you feel every hold, from the sparest ripple to a pea-sized pebble to a micro-spike jib—it’s so notable, you need to recalibrate your footwork. The shoes are super-grippy, most notably on smears and smear-edges (smedges). They just glom on. My ﬁrst impression, and one that’s remained while testing in the gym, on the overhanging gneiss of Clear Creek, and on the sandstone conglomerate of Castlewood Canyon, is that the Shadows are fun—they have a light, sporty, precise feel with mad power and big-toe precision thanks to the TRIPLE AUGHT DESIGN BASTION HOODIE $400, TRIPLEAUGHTDESIGN.COM Rack-o-mended T here are lots of cozy, warm performance hoodies on the market—this much we know— which makes it hard to stand out. The Bastion Hoodie does so on the merits of style alone. It’s a high-end, fashionable hoodie—with a two-tone pattern, slim, bomber-jacket-like ﬁt, and gobs of zipper pockets—that also happens to be way functional for cold weather and the alpine. In other words, it’s a core, light (26.5 ounces) piece of outdoor gear you can also wear around town and not look like just another wayward climber. The jacket is a nylon shell insulated with Polartec Power Fill, a hollow-ﬁber polyester that gives the Bastion a soft, down-like feel while also trapping mad heat. You get reinforced hood, shoulder, biceps, and forearms panels, and a DWR coating to keep out precip. I wore the Bastion around Steamboat Springs, Colorado (elevation 6,700 feet) in snowy January, when highs barely busted out of the teens, and found myself sweating during a vigorous walk on a cold, sunny day. I also took it around the Front Range for winter cragging, when the Chinook winds blast of the Divide, mountain-wave clouds block the sun, and you battle to stay warm between pitches. In all cases, the jacket was aces at trapping body heat and blocking wind—zip the chest high, cinch the hood with the easy-pull drawstrings, cinch the two hem toggles, and you’re enveloped in warmth. Snow and spindrift, meanwhile, slid right of. There are some cool bells and whistles—two deep, zippered hand pockets, matching zippered bicep pockets, a wallet-sized interior chest pocket, and in back a hunter’s pocket for carrying sundries and/or to stuf the jacket into when carrying it (it compresses to the size of an airline pillow). But let’s get back to style: The Bastion, with its slim cut and simple hues, looks good, and whether you’re wearing the Canopy or Gunship version, you’re going to look more Blue Steel than Vagabond. Bonus: Made in the USA. M AT T S A M E T THAT’S IT FRUIT BARS AND TRUFFLES These tasty bars are only fruit, with combos like apple + cherries. The truffles are mega crag-fare, with the same fruit blends covered in dark chocolate. $9 (5 bars) or $14 (6 truffle pouches), thatsitfruit.com CRUSH BRUSH This soft-bristled brush is designed for plastic, especially slopers and volumes. It handily removed caked-on chalk—we created a white cloud—making sloper problems wayyy more sendable. $20, crushbrush.net RED CHILI FUSION VCR “They’re really good for smearing,” said our tester of these double-Velcro-closure shoes. The Fusion’s ability to conform to small rugosities comes from the sticky Vibram XS Grip and wide toe box. A semi-flat last and mild asymmetry make these ideal for long days. $150, redchiliclimbing.com NECTAR POLARIZED TR90 // ZIG The Zig is a great, simple, light, affordable pair of shades, with polarized, impact-resistant 1.1mm polycarbonate lenses and 100 percent UV protection. $45, nectarsunglasses.com BELAY OPTICS If you’ve ever had to choose between being able to see with sunglasses/prescription glasses or saving your neck, here is your hack: Belay Optics belay glasses. These adjustable clip-on specs are sturdy, with effective clear, prismatic imaging. $75, belayoptics.com BOBO’S STUFF’D BARS Stuff’d bars are one of the tastiest bar-shaped foods ever. We loved the soft-baked consistency, and recommend Peanut-Butter Chocolate Chip, because chocolate. $3.50, eatbobos.com YETI CAMINO CARRYALL 35 This burly waterproof carrier lets you haul food or drinks to the crag, or load up muddy shoes or rain-soaked clothing on the way home. Its wide mouth and EVA molded base let it double as a topple-proof ropebag. $150, yeti.com CLIMBING.COM 77 TESTOSTERONE PATCHES (843) 492-5011 studies show testosterone supplementation (journal american college of cardiology muscular develpment may 2016) studies show hgh supplement (muscle & fitness 2016) www.hghformen.com www.antiagingpatch.com www.womanstestosterone.com growth hormone patches SUCCESS DOESN’T JUST HAPPEN Train hard. Develop leadership skills. Set major goals. Inspire your partners. Succeed repeatedly. TO ADVERTISE IN MARKETPLACE & ADVENTURES CONTACT Elizabeth Pecknold email@example.com American Alpine Institute Excellence is our goal. Technical & leadership training are our means. Programs in 6 states & 16 countries From the basics to masters’ level ALL PROGRAMS = 100% CARBON NEUTRAL CRAGSTERS The Pebble Wrestler TEXT AND ILLUSTRATION BY ADAM NAWROT aving distilled climbing into a purely kinesthetic practice, the Pebble Wrestler insists that he has a unique, poetic relationship with the stone, one quickly belied by his bluetooth speakers, constant lamenting that all sends are “invalid salad” without “uncut footy,” and an endless compulsion to compare ape indexes with his bros. He’ll obsess for years on two 6 mm crimps and pass more time staring at ﬁngertip skin, fretting over conditions, and brushing $30/ounce chalk of the holds than actually climbing. Unable to aford ropes and bored by belaying, Pebble Wrestlers tend to be of the younger variety. Although unfazed by sleeping on crashpads and sit-start groveling in the dirt, his patience for explaining to hikers why he’s carrying a “mattress” has drawn thin, so don’t even ask. His head might explode inside his beanie. H Crashpad inside crashpad Stick brush Another crashpad Crashpad Beanie Dreams of: Low humidity and 40-degree temps Lifetime chalk sponsorship Not having to choose between fitting friends or pads in the car WiFi at the proj No shirt Downturned shoes Stomping Grounds: Hueco Tanks, Texas Chattanooga, Tennessee Joe’s Valley, Utah Horse Pens 40, Alabama Bishop, California RMNP, Colorado Baggy pants Lingo: Crashpad V-Scale Boar’s hair toothbrush Assis Dab Power-spot Chalk bucket 80 JULY 2018 Highball Ape index Conditions “Career-ending” flapper “Mom, gimme a ride to the boulders!” Chalk bucket Skate shoes THE RIGHT GEAR GETS YOU HOME. Shop Sterling climbing ropes, like the Nano IX,™ at your local climb shop or SterlingRope.com/climb © 2018 Sterling Rope Company, Inc. SterlingRope.com/FreedomToFocus Kevin Jorgeson | Valhalla (5.12+) | East Animas, Durango, CO | Photo: Randy Gaetano PURE FOCUS TAKES YOU TO GREAT HEIGHTS. SHADOW The dream shoe for steep, aggressive climbing, the Shadow is a downturned Velcro shoe built for pulling HARD. Featuring our extra-sticky molded rubber with added friction strips for better toe-hooking, and a durable microfiber upper combined with our Engineered Knit Technology tongue, the Shadow is ready to send your project.