Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Currently I'm in Israel. I've been climbing once already at a cool crag in the north called Gita, with a high concentration of hard routes, and will continue to explore more of the brilliant limestone that Israel has to offer,

Here is a crazy large praying mantis.

Here is a detail from a mosaic by one of Maya's distant relatives.

Here are cows, with the town of Gita in the background.

And here I am sending the easiest route at the Fuel Sector of Gita, "Super Fuel," 7a+/5.12a. My belayer is Ofer Blutrich, Israel's resident stongmo, who has been kind enough to kick off my Israeli climbing tour.

Stay tuned for more, the best pictures have yet to come.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Buttermilks, BISHOP

Jeff and I made our way from LA up to Bishop for a spectacular weekend. Up there we met up with longtime climbing buddy Patrick "Fish" Luther, who had a pretty decent Saturday to say the least. After a lengthy warm up session at the birthday boulders, we went up to Haroun and the Sea of Stories (v12) so Patrick could "send it real quick." In a display of pretty serious rock climbing prowess, he did indeed do it "real quick," first try of the day quick. Unfortunately, the lighting was so mixed over there I didn't take any photos. We vowed to be back at the end of the day for pics, but it did not happen.

Next was Xavier's Roof, which was on the top of my list of problems to do this trip. Since I saw the video over at Alex's site I have wanted to climb this line, and I had been obsessing for the last week. I said before the trip that I would be super psyched to send it on Saturday, and although with a bit of an epic two hour session and seven or so attempts, I did hold true to that goal. Although originally rated v12 and apparently considered v11 by many, my quick work of the problem, and its technical, 1-move crux convince me that it's more like a tricky 10. Here are some pics.

After FINALLY dropping the clutch and sending Xavier's, we made the serious trek over to the Bardini Boulders so Patrick could try to send A Maze of Death (v12), which he also impressively sent in short work. Here are some pics of that immaculate piece of stone and Patrick ascending it.

Our friend friend Jason, from back East, decided an attempt on This Side of Paradise seemed like a good idea. As much as I find it difficult to watch people climb stuff of this scale, it certainly is a striking line, and at least we had a bunch of pads for him.

Sunday was another good day out, though significantly colder.

After a warm up and some beta-gleaning attempts I finally sent Soulslinger, a project of mine from about 6 years ago.

Just 50 yards away, Lucas Ménégatti did The Buttermilker.

and later sent Saigon, which Jeff was agonizingly close to sending as well, having gotten past the "thank god it's over jug" and then taking an unexpected fall.

Lucas and Jeff on Saigon

It was windy as hell in the afternoon, which led us to believe it was time to leave.
In a crazy wind storm, we hustled back to the car and made the 4 hour drive back to LA.

Oh Bishop, how we'll miss you. Until next time.

Sunday, November 29, 2009