Just little clips of little rocks, beautiful places, good company and flowing movement.
Some of my favorite sessions this summer were indoors! I hit the gyms in Burlington and NYC a few times each as I passed in and out of the towns. One of the best parts has been seeing old friends from non-climbing land get stoked and strong.
In NYC, I went to Brooklyn Boulders once every pass-through, to meet up with Fenoglio for a catch-up-&-crush session. I knew Sarah when she was in high school, then hair school, like ’03-’05. When she started bouldering a few years ago we picked up our friendship over our newly mutual passion. This pic is from the beginning of the summer when I was first in town. We went to BKB again when I was on my way back down to Texas from South Africa. Her technique and confidence had undergone a massive shift between our visits. She’s come full force into that special place in the bouldering process where you can do all the V4s in the gym, and like, none of the 5s. I told her “The 5s will always be kinda hard, and some will always be impossible, so you might as well start falling off of 9s now too just to mix it up.” Lord knows that’s been my method. My dream of dreams is that Fenoglio and I get to climb outside together this year.
In Burlington I spent rainy days at Petra Cliffs. The pun of the name didn’t hit me for a few weeks. When I returned from the Rocklands my aunt introduced me to Annabelle, who along with her friend Sophie, was just getting into climbing and absolutely loving it. The girls (both 12) and I went to PC a couple times together for a basic “real bouldering” session. I taught them how you have to start with both hands on the “V” hold, feet and butt off the ground, or it “doesn’t count.” They were hilarious, and started to develop these powerful personal styles right in front of me. Sophie could balance for a year with a jib and a sloper on a face, and Annabelle curled up like a bat then blasted to full extension between jugs. Climbing with them, and listening to myself explain little climbing-isms to them, made me realize how far I’ve come in this game, and how that whole “give it away to keep it” contributes to my personal happiness and satisfaction.
Also in NYC, I went to Chelsea Piers, the weirdly-negative-reputation sport climbing zone in Manhattan. For some reason there’s a lot of anti-CP sentiment among the northeastern climbers I know. I guess because it’s expensive, rarely reset and limited (only like 20 sport routes on one wall). I can see that, but I loved it anyway. The Chelsea Piers wall is enormously tall, with fun juggy routes out a pretty long roof section. I had a blast climbing there with Emilia and her NYC friends Igor, Mikhail, and Sylvia. Of course it was so much fun connecting with E over her first love, sports action. There are lots of noob folks taking lessons and getting their first exposure to climbing, and the vibe is fitness rather than culture-oriented, humble and awesome. I’d take an afternoon clipping bolts at Chelsea Piers over a DJ’d disco bouldering world cup format systems training series pretty much anytime.
So that was some good times on the plastics. Jeeze louise my life is awesome. I feel very grateful and psyched going through these pictures.
Last week, maybe on Monday, I woke up early from a warm, humid night in the el Rav, rented a bright red futon from the Liquid Dreams, and ran out into the ocean near York, Maine. It was a long, calm morning with a constant feed of slow, small waves and warmish water. I tested out my little Kodak’s water-proofability, and made this profoundly deep, abstract film about my experience in the ocean.
Ugh, that title is suppose to be like, ‘I’m in the northeast and it’s a feast of boulders and fun with friends” but I think it’s kind of not working. Hi!!
I’ve been back in New England for a little over two weeks, mostly in Vermont but traveling a bit to see friends and climb. I’ve been lots of places and have lots to tell, to the point where it’s kind of overwhelming. I went to Maine, where I sport climbed and surfed. I’ve been bouldering at the Burlington gym Petra Cliffs a few times with these two 12-year old girls who are super psyched, and I just got back from a visit to French Canadia to see Ashley Veevers and the Montreal crue, so I guess I’ll start there.
Ashley had never been to Smugglers Notch, so we took an afternoon to go down and I gave her the tour, as far as I was able. We took tons of pictures. I’m trying to earn the new dslr I’m hoping to buy by committing to taking lots of pictures with my crappy kodak that everyone thinks is a phone but is actually so much worse at taking stills than a phone. Some kind of ‘if you wanted pictures so bad you’d take them with whatever you had’ kinda idea. Pretty bad tho :o. But our Smuggs afternoon was amazing, I did a few lines I hadn’t tried on my last trip, and redid my favorite problem in the region, ‘Primate 2001 (V3)’ a few more times. So good that thing.
After climbing we went to Pie in the Sky pizza and came up with the most amazing toppings combo: feta, banana peppers, and bacon. It was like a greek cob salad on pizza.
So that was one wonderful part of the northeastern trip. More to come!!
Today I’m trying to decide if I want to go down to the southern Adirondacks and try to find Nine Corners Lake or Snowy Mountain bouldering zones, or just chillax in Burlington for a day. Either way, I’m heading out for family visits this week/end, then short stops to climb with southerners on my way down to Houston, where I’m planning to give my climbing bones an extended rest while I focus on antagonistic muscle conditioning, general physical and spiritual fitness, and mend all my crash pads and clothes for the fall!
I saw this tiny bit of info on mountainproject about some boulders in Ethan Allen Park, in north Burlington. I’m staying in Shelburne, just south of Burlington, working on farms and gardens until my flight to South Africa leaves, and since my weeding gig was postponed today, I decided to check ’em out.
Following the mproj directions, I found the boulders easily. There’s lots of HUGE scary tall crumbling stuff I stayed away from, and a few fun lines on the lower side of the trail. I brushed off a couple of obvious aretes and managed to get a good afternoon pump.
I’ve been playing with my new video camera, watching myself and trying to develop a more technical, graceful climbing style while documenting this strange little trip to New England. My camera (kodak playsport xiz3 or something, it’s white and waterproof) seems to make pretty low quality reels, but it’s neat to learn to work with clips. Hopefully I’ll get a handle on FCP basics soon and show you something that MOVES! For now, here are some stills from my Ethan Allen exploration.
Real quick, since I know we haven’t talked in forever, I wanted to point out that I have a couple of affiliate ads up around here. This is how that works: If you click on something on sendann, for example this little rei thing:
Or that backcountry.com ad over there with the crashpadgirl, then they’ll know that you came from here, and if you buy anything that time (or anytime in the next few days I think) it gives me a few percent off the top, which I will funnel directly back into this blog in the way of candy, mastodon rent, and thrift store patagonia. Same thing for Aubrey Organics (the only things that touch my freaking hair), and ShindaggerGear, although actually not really in that particular instance.
Hi! I’d say I’ve been lazy, but it would be a lie. I’ll explain later?
Spent this week exploring the Mackenzie Pond boulders near Lakes Placid and Saranac in the Adirondacks with Veevers. What a treat to spend time together outside of the Hueco season! I went to college kind of close to here in Vermont, where I’ve also been bouldering while I work in gardens and wait for my flight to South Africa to leave from NYC. It’s felt eye opening and wonderful to come back with a thirst for boulders. The bouldering I’ve done has a super local feel, small zones with concentrations of classics and lots of warm ups. I’m feeling psyched to explore mostly on my own, doing lots of circuits, getting bold for higher moderate lines, and getting lost (for an hour alone omg it was awful). More about the trip later. Heeeeere’s Ashley!