Saturday, December 25, 2010

Heathrow Shutdown = Christmas in London

So if you're my friend on Facebook, perhaps you saw this article about the recent failure on the part of the Heathrow International management to at all adequately prepare for even a mild winter storm. Basically, they didn't have enough snow plows to handle 5 inches (max) of snow nor enough de-icing fluid to clear the gates after they did eventually get one runway clear.

My flight back to LA was canceled on Saturday and then AGAIN on Sunday. Of course they kept our bags overnight on Saturday so I was forced to go back on Sunday anyway.
Also, the tube was closed, so affordable transportation back to civilization was not an option on Saturday at all, and was severely delayed on Sunday.

This is merely hundreds of the tens of thousands of people that were trapped at LHR

As a result of Air Canada not being able to re-book me until the 27th, I am spending Christmas in London, which is very bizarre experience. My fellow Americans in the flat and I keep making Vanilla Sky references. Everything is shut down, including ALL public transit. This is something, I have declared, that would never be tolerated in America ... at least not in New York or LA.

We're having a jolly Christmas drinking caucasians, "The Dude's" favorite, and being merry. Best wishes and holiday cheer to all of you out there. Or as Ivan Greene once put it, "SHOUT OUT TO ALL MY HUECO CAMPERS OUT THERE IN THE DESERT!"

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

As I've mentioned previously, I see this guy's work all over Hackney. Apparently he goes by Stick. As creative as that name is, I still really like his stuff.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Today is my birthday! I'm a quarter century today ... not that that means anything, other than the fact that 25 is a cooler number than 24.

Last night Maya brought home this delicious cake.

And so the work day begins.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Inspiration Post: Action Directe

Maybe I missed the boat by a year, but I just found this awesome, inspirational video of Rich Simpson on the world's most famous sport climb, Action Directe, in the Frankenjura, Germany. It's kind of long at 26 minutes, but worth the watch, and does a great job communicating the level of obsession we climbers tend go through with our personal projects.

Watch it at Chris Doyle's vimeo page here:

UPDATE: Apparently, many of Simpson's accomplishments have come under scrutiny lately.
He certainly looks strong enough to send in the Vid. I for one hope he sent. The video is super inspiring. We may never know the truth.

Some iconic images of the famous line:

Wolfgang Gullich

Rich Simpson

Gabriele Moroni

Adam Ondra

Killian Fishhuber

Monday, October 18, 2010

SIBL Round 1

Yesterday was the first round of the Southern Indoor Bouldering League (SIBL) competition series at the Mile End Climbing Wall, the local gym I've started to train at. I helped set for the comp two mornings last week and took photos during the day of. Spending the day at a friendly competition (mixed youth and adult open) reminded me of when I used to do JCCA/USCCA/USAC junior comps back in the day. Like back before you'd even HEARD of Daniel Woods. (I jest, but seriously.) Here are just a few snaps of the action.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Things I Like About London: Mile End Climbing Wall

The other cool gym in my area is Mile End Climbing Wall.

Mile End is actually a not-for-profit, so it runs a little differently than most gyms I've visited. According to Alex, head route setter, it's THE place to train in London, so I'm psyched that he is able to have me on as a setter there. Maybe I can finally get/stay in shape.

The "Approach"

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Some photos from the last week

Hyde Park

Jean Nouvel Serpentine Gallery Pavillion

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Yesterday I went climbing with Audrey, whom I mentioned in my post about The Castle, and Saoirse, another girl who works there, down on a little Island (I guess technically a peninsula due to the land bridge not much wider than the road that connects it to the mainland) on the southern coast of England. The area is called Portland, within the county of Dorset, which is where one finds, apparently, some of the best limestone in the UK.

Portland, Dorset

The drive from London was brutal. Due to good weather it seemed as if the entire city was getting out for one last nice summery weekend, but it was well worth the four hour drive.

We did a few moderates, culminating with a nice old school "high in the grade" 7a (5.11d) named "Strobolising Scyphostoma," that felt every bit of 5.12 to me.

All in all, I'd call it a perfect day.

The village, for context, as seen from the cliff top.

The hike in

Wild blackberries grow all along the hillside

Audrey onsighting "Buoys will be Buoys," 6b+

Me warming up on "No Man is an Island," 6c (5.11b)

Saoirse (pronounce Sersha) Harris on a 5.10 at Blacknor Far South

Beautiful limestone "flowstone" tufas

Monday, September 13, 2010

Things I like about London: The Castle Climbing Center

This morning I headed up to The Castle Climbing Center to check out the local training facility. The first really cool thing about The Castle is the building, which actually does look like an old castle. It's actually an old water pumping station (it's next to a reservoir)but has been a climbing gym for a while now. The other cool thing about The Castle is that they are working to be completely sustainable by 2012 ... but actually doing things to accomplish that goal.

The view from the bus stop

These photos don't really do the interior justice, as I was preoccupied chatting with Audrey, a fellow Team Evolvy who runs the gym, and getting in a short bouldering session.

In summary, The Castle is an awesome gym and I look forward to returning soon.