Big Four Bouldering

My friends and I took a few gopros up with us to the bouldering areas we’ve been developing up at Big Four/Ice Caves on Mountain Loop Hwy via Granite Falls, WA. We filmed our a few of our favorite lines in the Imagination Land area. Total there are 3 other areas that we know of so far, we’re still exploring… There are so many boulders in each area, and lots of cleaning so it’s been taking a while to develop everything. So if anyone local wants to help out, be our guest! This place needs more traffic and new routes cleaned off! Honestly it’s one of the most beautiful, super-easy access bouldering areas in WA in my opinion. Check it out!

Long time no see.

It’s been a while since I last blogged. Sorry about that. I’m lazy. The truth is, I post everything on facebook. So I will just transfer over what I put there, onto here. Here goes…


Grow Up? Never!
by me.

What do you want to be when you grow up? No doubt, most of us remember answering that question in school at one point or another. Or perhaps you never really thought about it until graduating/dropping out of high school, or college even. The fact of the matter is, we never really “grow up”, we just grow older and wiser. We also subconsciously never stop asking ourselves that same basic question. Try not to think of the words, but moreso the essence of the question. Is “What do I want to be when I grow up?” not essentially “Where do I see myself in a year; 5 years; 10 years?”

When you really stop to think about it, the term ‘when I grow up’ is a tad redundant; or vague. When exactly do we grow up? Is there a specific age when we’re supposed to be considered “grown ups”? I’m 26 years old now, and I’m still asking myself that same, illustrious question. If at 10 years old, I ran into my 26 year old self, I’m sure I would have considered that person to be a “grown up”.

Part of me feels as if it is unfair to be asked such a question when that young, like as if we were supposed to know what we wanted to do or achieve when we became adults. After all, I did a lot of “growing up” in the past 6 years in my early 20s. What I learned in those years, they didn’t teach in schools, at least not back then. A few days ago upon thinking about the question yet again, I’ve realized that I finally have a solid answer.

When I grow up, I just want to be an inspiration.


 

Me rapping down to scrub and clean a new highball at a new area/section of a new bouldering area 15 minutes from home! Wow! Such Beauty! Much Highball! So mountains!


 

Cheesin’ hard on the clip, because I just farted for like 6 seconds straight. It seems to be an on-going trend now. Every 12 I get on, makes me fart, because I get all excited and gassy. haha

Culture Shock 5.12

Culture Shock 5.12

Culter Shock 5.12

Culture Shock 5.12

Top of Culture Shock 5.12


 

Treehugger 5.12c, first go of the day.


 

And lastly there’s this video. Climbing stuff is near the end, I do other things too.

Anyway. That’s all I got. I need to take more photos and videos out climbing, because this is only but a fraction of what I’ve been doing lately. Trad stuff never gets any photos it seems.

 

 

 

 

 

Karma Can Be Pretty Cool.

hitchhiker-hippie-ap“I need to refuel before I forget,” I mentally noted as I flowed with the current of the weekday traffic. I was just entering Monroe, a ‘not-quite-small-town’ that everyone passes through or parks their car at in order to carpool when traveling East on Highway 2 for the day. “Stop by Safeway and pick up some coconut water - Dammit, I need to take a piss again? - I can’t believe I forgot my mp3 player!” I continued, mentally rattling off more thoughts to myself.

It was a long silent drive from my house to the Steven’s Pass Ski Resort, about 2 hours or so. There was no music in the car, some low-life stole my radio 2 years ago, but that didn’t seem to phase me. When you’ve made a long drive enough times, it starts to feel shorter after the 4th time or so. Its like my brain recognizes landmarks as I pass them, letting me know where I am, how much I’ve traveled, and how much further I’ve got to go. At least that’s what I feel is going on, because usually I arrive at the destination before I’ve even realized that hours have gone by.

I was almost all the way through Monroe when I decided to pull over for gas. As I turned into the gas station, I noticed a girl close by the bus stop bench with her thumb up in the air. “She must be out of bus money…” I thought to myself as I pulled along side the gas pump. But that’s as far as that thought had gone. I don’t normally pick up hitch hikers, I’ve heard too many stories. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever picked up a hitch hiker.

The cool chill of the fuel pump’s metal lever ran up the tips of my fingers, through my body, down to my feet, and back up my spine like a shockwave, leaving behind goosebumps and tingly-feelings. I shivered half involuntarily. With my back laid against the car, I patiently watched the pennies tick away at the pump, imagining the money in my checking account shrinking away with every drip. Before I knew it, I was day-dreaming, but not quite. It was the kind where you’re just blankly staring at nothing, almost as if you’re looking through everything, and you’re not really thinking about anything.

“Hey man -hey are you headed east?” a guy walked up to me and asked. I snapped out of my trance, “oh. hey. what was that?” I replied hastily. “Can you give me and my girlfriend a ride to Gold Bar man?” he asked. I hadn’t anticipated talking to anyone at the gas station, let-alone a hitch hiker. As quickly as I could, I went through a mental checklist. “I have room in my car, I AM headed east to Steven’s, these guys look to be around my age, huh… why not take a chance, they seem okay,” I thought to myself. So I answered, “yeah… yeah, sure, just let me finish pumping this up and we’ll be on our way.” He seemed pretty stoked.

As he swiftly walked away to flag his girl down to let her know they managed to get a ride, I thought to myself “wow, this is really happening. cool. I hope they’re cool”. The pump clicked, I took my receipt, and cleared the back and front seats of random junk and garbage, then we were on our way. We exchanged names and all that jazz. You know, the normal small talk type of bullshit that we do when we meet strangers. “Do you rock climb?”, the girl in the back asked. She must have seen the micro nuts I had dangling from my rear-view mirror, swinging from side to side with every turn. “Yeah, I do actually. For 2 years now”, I replied. The guy in front, Sam, seemed pretty psyched to hear it. “Really man? Me too, do you climb at Index?”, he asked. “Yeah dude! That is my absolute favorite place to climb, I LOVE that fucking place!” I announced enthusiastically.

We continued driving for another 15 minutes or so, exchanging stories about the routes that we’ve done there. From our racks to our projects, we talked about climbing the rest of the time. It was pretty rad. So it’s probably obvious to you what happened next. We exchanged numbers, and now I have a new climbing partner for Index that I can pick up in Gold Bar on the way there. Fucking awesome! What luck, right? I feel like this was the world’s quickest turnaround for karma. Fucking… Awesome.

Take what you want from that story. For me, it was a life lesson of some sort. I’m now less reluctant to pick up a hitch hiker. So long as they don’t look super sketchy that is.

Climbing at Index, WA tomorrow!!!

The beginning of each new year in Washington has always seemed to be rather, schizophrenic. In January, we got a few really nice weekends and I was able to go climb in Index in sunny, cold/crisp weather with some friends. Then the rain came back in February and we were stuck indoors yet again. Just a few weeks ago, mother nature decided to surprise us all with some late-season snow. Now that the snow has all melted away, the sun is back out and shining bright as ever; Spring has finally arrived, fashionably late. We’re experiencing an awesomely comfortable 55 degrees, and I can finally climb comfortably in a t-shirt! And on days where the sun is bearing down hard on the south-facing crags of Index, it’s not uncommon to see climbers at the lower walls on climbing without a shirt on… the conditions are phenomenal. It’s times like these that remind us why  we put up with all the rain and overcast that the Pacific Northwest is commonly known for.

I haven’t updated this blog in a long time, but I’ve been staying psyched. I’ve been having to juggle between focusing on school, work, and play. Now that I’m done with the Winter quarter, I’m taking the Spring quarter and Summer off as somewhat of a vacation for myself. It’s a relieving feeling, to say the least.

Lately, I’ve been chasing the dry weather whenever I have a free weekend, to climb outdoors. The weekend weather has been taking me to Leavenworth the past few times, and it’s been a blast! I’m getting stronger, I’m sending projects, and overall having more of an adventure every time I go out it seems. I love it!

Placing a nut in a tight spot. This crack was a 10a, but the first few moves were so weird for me, I made it harder than it should have been -Careno Crag

Past the early crux, painful leavenworth cruiser jamming the rest of the way up. I should have taped up…-Careno Crag

Ryan and I waiting for the other party to lower off the next pitch. -Castle Rock

Ryan & Alex cheezin’ -Castle Rock

Me, cruising through easy slab. -Castle Rock

Brought the Scarpas for the descent. -Castle Rock

Givin’ Ryan an onsight belay on Damnation Crack -Castle Rock

Damnation Crack (Old school 5.9) aka burly as fuck. Props to Ryan for leading that one. Starts up with perfect hands, then to fists, then arm bar off-width style or laybacking w/ some dihedral stemming where possible with some heel-toe’ing, to more dihedral face climbing to some slots to finger jam in order to transition out of the awkward dihedral/off-width climbing, then to a run-out chimney that gets your calves super pumped… I can’t believe they gave this route 2 stars, it was the best burly climb I’ve done ever so far! -Castle Rock

Alex rappin’ down. Early-season weather as you can see! -Castle Rock

Anyway, I’m off to Index to climb tomorrow, and I am PSYCHED!!!! Here’s the plan.

Ticklist:
1)Godzilla/City Park/Slow Children.
2)Rattletale 3 pitch link-up.
3)SS Ultrabrutal/Tunnel Vision link-up.
4)Climax Control redpoint.
5)Davis-Holland/Lovin’ Arms.

I hope we do at least 2 of those tomorrow (would be SO SICK to do them all in a day,) depends on time and route/crag traffic. Eatin’ a big dinner tonight and getting plenty of sleep. Pretty psyched. Gotta train for Red Rocks! Gotta practice being fast for The Warrior/Cactus Connection link-up!! Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that…

I’ll be in Red Rocks, NV April 4th through the 8th, climbing some multi-pitch stuff. The real deal, man… I can’t wait to be 2000′ up summiting the top of the various climbs we’re doing!!! Red Rock Rendezvous happens to be on the 5th-7th, but I hope we don’t get much traffic on our routes… regardless though…

I can’t wait for pitch 3, it won’t be my lead, but DAMN that rock looks beautiful, fucking amazing.

\(>_<)/ I’M SO PSYCHED!