Westward Bound

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I finally left Atlanta a couple weeks ago. The trip to Colorado was a long solo drive but not too bad. I found XM’s comedy channels help make the time pass a bit faster!

Thanks to Wichita for the 1st Chipotle stop of the trip!

I stayed in Colorado for a few days and got a bit of climbing in but nothing too eventful. From there I headed on to Joe’s Valley, Utah. I’ve spent a few weeks here in the past but it’s been three years since my last visit. I’ve only been here for six days but it’s been a great trip so far. Joe’s Valley is a fantastic place to roadtrip! It’s free to camp, the weather is usually great, and there are no restrictions at all. It’s a great place to roam around looking for new boulders and climb the many established classics. There seems to be an abundance of proud lines here which gives me plenty to work on!

This is my Truck House aka the Big Rig. It’s on loan from my biggest sponsor, my dad. I picked up a nice camper top for it and threw a bed in the back. It works great as a road tripping vehicle, except for the gas mileage!

My Truck House

Truck House

After 4 days of climbing I have video of the following problems: Fiery Furnace v10, Poseidon v9, Battletoads v10, Playmate of the Year v9, Trent’s Mom v10, Gentleman’s Project v11, The Wind Below v8, Skeleton Key v11, Moment of Truth v9, Bring the Heat v8, and Worst Case Scenario v9. Most of these will show up in a short I’ll post in a few weeks!

I don’t have too many photos at the moment but I’ll try to grab a few from Axel soon. I’ll be in Joe’s Valley for a few more days before moving on to Yosemite!

Katinka sending her first v8, Bring the Heatwole

North Carolina Photos

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From Boone I drove over to Waynesville to hang out with my mom for a few days. She loves to hike so on Monday we went on an epic hike to Shining Rock. It was about ten miles total. It was beautiful and lucky for you I took photos so you can enjoy the scenery without walking 10 miles!

Morning fog at the cabin

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Boone Photos

Posted by | Boone | No Comments

Rami on Flagyl V10

I headed up to Boone two weeks ago to hang out at the triple crown event and enjoy some Boone bouldering. The event was great, I had fun helping out/being a judge, which is a lot less stressful than competing!

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Boonetastic!

Posted by | Boone | 6 Comments

 

I spent last week in Boone! Check out the sports action of Portobello, The Masochist, and Flagyl!

Music:
Skrein – Reach

A Note about Strong Tot Les

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Les sending Fake Pamplemousse 8a

Before we embarked on our 6+ month bouldering adventure, Leslie was climbing solid V9 and maybe a few V10s (although he denied that he had climbed V10 before). After the trip Leslie is now climbing solid V11 (at least on the international scale, I don’t know about southern 11s!). He sent a slew of V11s in one or two sessions in Switzerland and South Africa. It was pretty inspring to see the progression happen so fast. He is a very talented individual and also happens to be the most psyched person I’ve ever climbed with. It was good to have the optimist onboard to combat my pessimism throughout the trip!

If you feel like you’ve hit a plateau, maybe it’s time for an extended trip someplace new to get the motivation up and inspire yourself to try harder!

Les sending Rasta Roof 8a

Rocklands Wrap Up

Posted by | South Africa | 3 Comments

The view from upper Roadside. Photo by Les

The Rocklands video is coming along well. The good news is that it’s twice as long as the swizzy video, the bad news is that it takes twice as long to edit as the swizzy video. I can’t say when it’ll be done but I can say that it contains some of the most inspiring climbing footage you will see this year.

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Ticino: The Beta

Posted by | Switzerland | 3 Comments

Language:

There are four national languages in Switzerland: German, French, Italian, and Rumantsch. In Ticino, the Southern-most region of Switzerland, Italian is spoken. In Italian if a C is followed by an I or an E, it is pronounced like ‘CH’. Also, E’s and I’s are pronounced different than in English. For example, Ticino is pronounced ‘Tee-chee-no’ and Cresciano is pronounced ‘Cresh-ee-a-no’. This works the other way also, if there is a CH followed by an I or an E it is pronounced like a K. For example Chironico is pronounced ‘Kee-ro-nee-co’. Brione = ‘Bree-o-nay’. Vecchio Leone = ‘Veh-kee-o lay-o-nay’. Hopefully that makes sense!

Magic Wood is in the Graubünden region of Switzerland where German is spoken. I have no clue how to speak or pronounce German, good luck!

Chironico

Money:

Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in Europe. It is also one of the few countries that haven’t switched to the Euro; they use the Swiss franc which, as of this writing, is worth $1.04. One tip for saving money is to shop at Aldi, there is one near the onramp to the autostrada on the south side of Bellinzona. For Magic Wood, there is an Aldi in Thusis; get off the autostrada at the second Thusis exit, turn left, it’ll be on your left after a km. One other tip is to stop eating meat since it’ll quadruple your meal cost. We made a lot of lentil dishes when we were in Switzerland.

Swiss francs

Aldi

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Font: The Beta

Posted by | Fontainebleau | 3 Comments

 

A few tips for any of you thinking about going to Fontainebleau this year.

La Baleine 7a+

1.  Everything that you want can be found at Carrefour.  Imagine a Super Walmart on steriods.  If you stand on one end of the market and look down the center isle you cannot see the other end.  It too, like the endless boulders of the forest, is overwhelming.  If you don’t want to make a trip all the way to Carrefour then there is a nice little market in the middle of Font.

2.  Don’t think about camping.  It is not worth it, unless the weather is perfect (haha).  For around 10 Euro (as opposed to 7 Euro for camping) you can stay in a gite with electricity, a bed, a kitchen, a shower, cool wrapping paper covered walls, and more…  There is no question about what to do.  You do need 3-8 people to really make it cheap though, but you’ll make friends (unless you’re a jerk). To get a gite, contact the gite office in Font. The people are really nice, and most importantly they speak English. Contact info:  4 Rue Royale, 77300 Fontainebleau, France -01 60 74 99 99

3.  If you climb harder than 7a, get the 7+8 guidebook.  Get a fontainebleau map.  Without this, or someone to show you around, you’ll be lost.

4.  There is a sporting goods store next to Carrefour called Decathalon.  It carries climbing equipment like shoes, chalk, pads, and pretty much anything else you need.  Sweet.

5.  You should go to font.  This will help you get here:  Fontainebleau is only a click away.


The US Tour and a Feature Film

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As you may know, I am currently gearing up for a bouldering roadtrip in the good ol’ USA. I’ve climbed all over the states but never spent more than two weeks on the road here; needless to say, I’m excited! I have a very vague plan so far so if you have any destination suggestions, let me know!! My rough schedule for 2010 is to depart in the beginning of October, check out colorado for a week or two then head to Joes Valley for the rest of October before hitting Yosemite for the month of November. Then I’ll finish off the year in Hueco. In the spring/summer I want to check out the northwest including Squamish, Levenworth, and Goldbar. That’s the rough list so far, I’m sure I’ll make a lot of unplanned stops along the way which is the best part of traveling, the unexpected interactions with cool people and cool places.

The other big news is that I will be making a feature length climbing film during my travels in the US. I wish I could have made a DVD during my trip to Europe and South Africa but I didn’t feel like I was quite ready for the challenge. Now that I’ve spent more time filming & editing, I’m ready for the adventure. My latest release, Swanky Swizzy, has been met with rave reviews which gives me confidence that the community will enjoy watching my next creation.

My goal for the film is to capture climber’s emotions and to feature talented and inspiring individuals whom you may have never heard of, as well as world class climbing areas that fly under the radar such as Boone, Black Mountain, Tramway, Levenworth, Way Lake, etc.

One last thing, I’m excited to say that I am now sponsored by Evolv! I’ve used their shoes in the past with great success and I’m psyched to be wearing them again!

Me on Beyond Life in Joe's Valley circa 2007

Swanky Swizzy

Posted by | Switzerland | 22 Comments

 

During a four month stay in Europe this year, Les Warnock and Alex Savage lived in Bellinzona, Switzerland for five weeks to explore the bouldering of Ticino which is home to some of the finest granite blocs in the world. Check out our adventures as we see what the bouldering of Ticino is all about. This short film (16 min) features everything from 8B boulder problems to the tallest unguided bungee jump in the world! Hope you enjoy it and please let me know what you think!

The music in order of appearance is:
Dub Pistols – Running From the Thoughts
Dub Pistols – Open
Dub Pistols – Speed of Light
Aether – It Was
Aether – Makeshift Sanctuary

I’m BACK!

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After seven months bouldering overseas I’m finally back in the states! It feels good to be home. Sorry for the lack of updates but my computer crapped out a few weeks after we got to South Africa. It’s all fixed up now so I’m back to editing video full time. I’m home in Atlanta for a month before I head off for a big US roadtrip at the beginning of October. I’m currently shopping for a van and getting some much needed rest from climbing.

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Rocklands Photos

Posted by | South Africa | 2 Comments

It has been pretty hot the past couple of weeks so the sending has slowed down a bit for me. Les on the other hand has finally busted into the 8A’s sending Witness the Sickness and then a few days later dispatching his project Nutsa. I’ve been working on the Vice which is a hard 8B compression problem. I’m not close on it but it’s one of the few hard lines I’m really psyched on so I’ll keep hiking up to the Fortress to see if I can make some progress! Quite a few more folks have showed up in the past few weeks but it isn’t crowded by any means. There was a party at Alpha Farms the other night and Ian managed to drink enough brandy to provide a loss of balance while standing dangerously close to a river. He got completely soaked, it was awesome.

The Vice

Hacky sack skillz

Our House

Leslie working on Rasta Roof

The old campground