Sunday, January 10, 2010

ISRAEL (is real)

WOW. Israel was amazing. I already wish I was still there. The limestone truly is world class. It is unfortunate that while the rock is amazing, climbers only legally have the right to climb in a few specific nature reserves. Fortunately, the Israel Alpine Club is working hard to open up new crags. The areas they've got stand on their own with amazing features, tufas and pockets abound, and beautiful scenery (you can't beat the Mediterranean). I took LOTS of photos of Ofer Blutrich, Elad Omer, and others on killer routes, and here are a few half decent shots.

Ofer Blutrich on his "Jekyll and Hyde," 8a+/8b

Ofer pulling through one of the many cruxes of "Madness," 8c, another of his hard FAs.

Ofer pulling onto the upper headwall of "Madness," 8c

Rest days in Tel Aviv are a nice distraction from the aching tendons and sore muscles. Luckily I have great people to spend my time with there.

A view of Tel Aviv from the old city of Jaffa (Yafo)

Shawarma humus plate in old city Jaffa. Pretty much heaven.

Our last day climbing was Friday, and I didn't really take climbing photos, as I had captured more than enough on previous days. Here is a photo Maya took of me on Ofer's "Hyper Fuel," 8a/+(5.13b/c) just moments before losing hope of sending it this trip and taking yet another huge whipper. Because of the angle, looking straight up at the steep overhang, to the left you can see most of the super classic "Ali Baba," a bouldery 5.12c/7b+, and the hardest climb I actually sent of the trip.

Elad Omer belaying jovially.

Ofer Blutrich and Inbal Katzanelson at Gita.

I was convinced that my experience of the "scene" wouldn't be complete without a tour of the "LULE" or chicken coop-turned-bouldering-gym, just outside of Haifa. They were right. It's the shit.



Ofer and I standing under the 60 degree wall, deciphering a difficult move.

Myself, really pulling Hard.

Saturday, our last day in Israel, was no longer for climbing, but for family ... Maya's mother's side, specifically. We met in Ceasariya for lunch at a pretty great restaurant. Maya's cousins on that side all have kids, who make great models. This day is highly abridged out of necessity.
Here is Bar, posing in her "boots with the fur."

Here is Bar with her older cousin Noah, Maya is sitting in the background.

After lunch, Maya, her parents, and I went into the old city of Ceasariya, which is actually a national park of ancient Roman, Byzantine, and Crusader period ruins, right on the sea.
This used to be a moat.

How many places can you just go playing on top of ruins like this?

Or go swimming out on top of ruins like this?

The power plant at Ceasariya, just south of the old city's Roman theater, is its darker side. It just doesn't feel like it belongs.

Maya being pretty.

This morning, we flew from Tel Aviv to London, where Maya and I will be staying for three days with very distant relatives of hers, both of whom are artists, so I feel right at home. Well, almost. I don't foresee myself getting used to English expressions any time soon.

Here is the view from our window on Oakfield, looking an awful lot like Brooklyn does this time of year.

We are here so Maya can check out the AA (Architecture Association), which is one of her top choices for graduate school, so I may have to get used to this weather again.

More perhaps when we return stateside.


  1. Wow. Color me green, mister jet-setter. Looks like an awesome trip.

  2. hi man nice photos :)
    hope you are all good back in l.a

    we are missing you back here