Saturday, November 28, 2009


I've been kicking it in KY with the fam and climbing in the Red River Gorge for the past month. Now I'm headed to Colorado with Hayden to get our ice climb on! Then we are leaving December 14 for Patagonia, can't wait to wait around down there! Also got a new website in the works, let you know when I got it...

Nose, 7:59 9/09

Hayden and I took a couple days off and decided the logical thing to do next was trash our previous time of 12 hrs on the nose. We once again changed up our blocks to try a new strategy. As opposed to our 2 block strategy, we tried 4 blocks. hayden took us to dolt, I led to the boot, Hay-gro went to camp 5 and I took us to the top. This is a WAY BETTER strategy, the leader can leave more gear as we meet up more often and psyke levels remain higher as the blocks are shorter. We charged past the usual crowds down low super excited to be crushng el cap with a mini-rack, water and the shirts on our backs...actually I believe Hayden had no shirt on! We matched our previous record of 16 people passed but crushed our time and finished it in 7:59! Not much feels better than cruising El Cap and then hanging with your buddies bullshitting with daylight to spare!

Half Dome RNWF, 3:27, 9/09

Hayden and I once again roped up together for the reg on Half Dome in Septmeber. We were shooting for a time of 3:30 or less. This time we switched blocks to try something new and I led the first 17 pitches while Hayden simuled under me. He led the last 7 or so pitches shortfixing but we soon realized our rope was about 25 m long, a little too short. We got hung up in the zig zags unable to lead after fixing the rope due to our short rope. Oh well, we still smoked the route in the 3:27. everything went smoothly and we were back at the lodge spraying to our friends before 3 pm!

Bugaboos, 8/09

After attending the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show in Salt Lake City, I traveled to Canada's beautiful Bugaboos Provincial Park for the whole month of August. I managed to convince my bro Dave Turner to come along at the last second as I passed by his house in Sacramento. We flew into Calgary and were met by our friend Nathan who was giving us a ride to the park. He was also along to document some of our climbing for a film he is making about bold climbing.

We were surprised at how heinous the hike to Applebea Campground, especially with the 100+ lb loads we were both carrying. After the initial carry we only had to get 2 more loads from the car. Those were a little lighter! We then proceeded to post up in camp for the rest of the month.

The weather in the park is rumored to be horrible, also called the Poor Man's Patagonia. Much to our suprise it was super hot, almost 100 F when we arrived.

For this trip I was awarded a Mountain Fellowship grant from the American Alpine Club. These guys rock and are doing their best to put young aspiring alpinists such as myself in the mountains to gain experience. I strongly encourage you all to join the AAC not only for their grant program but because they are an awesome organization worthy of your support. I wrote a piece for their website about my Bugaboo trip, check it out...

El Cap/ Half Dome link up, 6/09

After a few more runs up the RNWF of Half Dome and the Nose on El Cap, I felt ready to go for the linkup in June. Only problem was I didn't have a partner!
Luckily the most psyked climber on the planet showed up in the valley fresh outta high school. Hayden Kennedy is an awesome partner. Always happy and motivated no matter the circumstances, crucial given how much suffering is involved in the linkup!
We started out at the base of Half Dome in the wee hours of the morning and started out simuling all the way to big sandy ledge, 17 pitches up. In these pitches Hayden placed one cam and often we were climbing, tied together, with no gear between us. Trust in your partner is of utmost importance when climbing in this style. We switched leaders at big sandy and I took over to the top, short fixing as I went. We climbed the route in 3:40 and brought 6 cams, 6 stoppers and 28 quickdraws and no water.
We ran down, running into Ben Van Der Klooster at the base of the cables, and kept running barefoot to the base of the route collecting our shoes and water. We motored down the slabs to our waiting bikes at mirror lake. We rode over to curry parking and Hayden's car to slam a sandwich and more water. We jammed over to el cap meadow listening to Andre Nicatina's "baddest bitches on the planet" and met Hayden's teachers and Spaz. They had lodge burritos for us but we declined as the same food derailed an attempt the year prior.
We started up a very crowded nose and began passing people on the first pitch. All told we passed 16 people on this route alone!!! Hayden led the first block to camp 4 super fast. We took a quick break here and I took over the lead. Almost instantly I got hit with the worst cramps I've ever experienced. As bad as mine were, they paled in comparison with Hayden's cramps. His stomach kept balling up and forcing him to scream and try to bend backwards to cure it. Gnarly and pretty scary 20 pitches up a wall! We topped out in the dark for a nose time of about 12 hrs. And a total time of 19 hrs from the base of HD to the summy of El Cap. What a day!!!

Mescalito, Solo, 5/09

So after 30 or so ascents of El Cap, I finally climbed Mescalito this spring. True to my style of making life hard on myself I blasted in a spring storm...Stupid idea! I spent four days in the ledge getting wet. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I positioned my portaledge in a watercourse. I managed to fix a few pitches off the ledge further committing myself to my soggy prison. After calling my cousin Matt in the meadow I decided to bail from pitch 5 to the ground as my 3 ropes would reach the ground, so I could return to my highpoint.

I came back a few days later and blasted for real this time. I spent 6 days on the wall and had a blast. Sick exposure, easy hauling, and awesome pitches make this a great wall. Some days I only climbed one pitch and just lounged in the ledge taking it all in while listening to gangsta rap. Other days I really motored and one day did 8 pitches, I went from below the molar to the bismark! On the bismark ledge about 20 pitches up I found a black stuff sack and some water. I definitely didn't need the water but the bottle of tequila and margarita mix was a welcome refreshment! After staying up and enjoying the margaritas I passed out on what may be one of El Cap's finest ledges.

When I topped out I was greeted by Althea and her empty pack ready to be filled with my wall gear. What a great friend! After hiiking down the East ledges I was greeted by Matt and spent the night watching the moonlight travel across the wall from El Cap meadow.