Sunday, November 13, 2011

More Moab

The temps are getting cooler here in Moab, and the sends are heating up. In-between short periods of rain and snow I have been getting out climbing with various friends.

Crack climbing does not promote bone health. Photo- Florian Herla

Last week I lured le crack maitre Peewee to go check out a beautiful 5.13 finger crack near town. The Hidden Gem was first sent by my good friend Adam Ferro this past spring. Its a 70' pitch, overhanging from the ground to the anchor, going from tight fingers to thumbstacks. Without thinking, we decided to head up to this north facing wall on an arctic day. The rock was very cold, and after 25' of climbing, my fingers were completely numb. I continued climbing, blindly trusting each lock- I have never done so many moves in row with numb fingers. The most painful fit of screaming barfies ensued as my lifeless digits warmed back up- definitely one of my proudest onsights. Much respect to Adam for sending the FA.

 The Hidden Gem. Photo Jean-Pierre Ouellete

Several days ago I was lucky enough to rope up with "wide boyz" Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker- the two brits who have been murdering the US's hardest offwidths, and establishing even harder ones. We went down to the White Rim in Canyonlands to a 50' roof crack they had found a week prior. It ended up being quite burly, as a 50' roof should, requiring some advanced chicken winging and arm bars to get thru the flaring wideness. One of the #6 camalots was so tipped that it rattled out of the crack as I nudged it with my foot. Spooky! After Pete flashed the first ascent (very impressive effort!), Tom and I both sent after a couple tries. Witness the Wideness checks in at around 12d/13a, and cost us a $75 parking ticket. 


Tom Randall on Witness the Wideness

Bursting blood vessels in my head. Photo Pete Whittaker

Its raining now. Back to the White Rim soon...

m


Monday, October 24, 2011

The Desert

I've been In Moab for 3 days now. The weather is beyond perfect, and new routes are already getting put down. I came out here with my Belgian friend Nico, and his girlfriend Argyro. After a quick stop in Vegas for sushi, and a few pitches at the VRG, we landed in Moab.

Yesterday, after changing my oil, we put up a beautiful new route at the Town Wall- Going to Hollywood 5.13-. The 35m pitch begins with a 5.11 corner, and after pulling a small roof, a flawless splitter continues for 40 feet. When the crack gets too small to fit fingers into, you bust right onto some bouldery face climbing for the final 15 feet.

All photos by Florian Herla

This is man work!

On the hunt
The splitter

Nico is a euro sport climber

But he can also crack climb

More FAs today...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Victory

A big thanks to everyone who voted for our Venezuela expedition in the Berghaus Adventure Challenge- this recent victory will greatly help us fund the trip!

I'm in Yosemite Valley now, and have been getting out climbing in between short thunderstorms.  Several days ago a few friends and I went up to climb Heaven; a stunning 12d roof crack way up on glacier point. Heaven sits perched atop 3000 feet of slab, overlooking Vernal and Nevada falls, as well as Liberty Cap, Half Dome, Mt. Watkins, Washington Column, and the Royal Arches. Its a nice view

               Chugging my way to the top second go. photo- Pete Rhodes

   This is my friend Alex. He flashed it... without a rope.  photo- Mason Earle


In the next few weeks, Brad Gobright and I will head back up onto the Heart Route- making what will hopefully be our final bid to free climb the entire wall. We have been working on free-climbing the Heart Route for two years now, and have done all but one move- a massive 8 foot downward dyno. Most El Cap free routes seem to involve some monster dyno, but it may be possible to bypass the leap by tiptoeing thru some truly improbable micro edging. Time will tell.

            Free climbing on El Cap often requires Xtreme shenanigans

Monday, September 19, 2011

VOTE TODAY!!

So I'm back in Yosemite, doing some training. Since I left Squamish, I soloed the RNWF of Half Dome in 4+ hours, climbed the Nose in 4+, and flailed up freerider in 10+. Its been good training for the bigger projects to come this fall. More importantly tho, I'm planning an expedition to venezuela this fall with some friends, and if you go to this website:

 http://www.berghaus.com/en/adventure-challenge/shortlists

you can vote for our expedition to receive some funding. Voting ends tomorrow, and although we are kicking ass in the lead at the moment, it is by no means a sure victory.

We want to go climb this....


Friday, August 12, 2011

Squamish

The past month I have been in Squamish. I believe Jim Bridwell or someone once said that Yosemite was the "training grounds" for the greater ranges. Well, Squamish is sort of like the training grounds for Yosemite. In the same day one can climb big long free routes, go climb steep sport routes, and then have an evening of bouldering. There is an amazing amount of high quality, and accessible rock climbing to do here- great for getting fit. Lately I've been doing a lot of sport climbing, in an attempt to actually become a stronger climber, and managed to tick "Patience," a route the guidebook called 5.14a.
                                                The Chief

Earlier today Alex Honnold and I set a new speed record for the Grand Wall, climbing from the base to the top of the Roman Chimneys in 59 minutes and 30 seconds- beating our good friends Will Stanhope and Jason Kruk's impressive record of 1 hour and 13 minutes.

I have also been working hard on trying to finish up the Cobra Crack. Yesterday I came stupidly close to sending, falling off the final move of the crux.


Falling off the Cobra from Mason Earle on Vimeo.

Thats about it.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Nose solo

After a few weeks of rain and snow in Yosemite this spring, It was time to destroy some rock and do something sick. El Cap is by far the most bitch'n thing in the valley, but after all the precip, free climbing was temporarily out of the question. With various partners over the years I've climbed  the Nose several times, and always thought it would be fun to try to solo it in a day. In high school, I watched the MoS segment of Dean Potter blazing up the nose in 12 hours a hundred or so times, and have since had it in my head that that was the pinnacle of sickness.

                                     Late May in Yosemite

I first did a run up to dolt tower, and quickly realized how much work soloing entailed. What usually took under two hours, became a five hour pain in the ass. I gave up on the idea until resident wall ninja Aaron Jones lent me his rope soloing cord and a few pitches with the new rope had me re-psyched on the mission.

The day started with me trying to go to sleep at around 9. For whatever reason I couldn't fall alseep, and the time on my cell phone went from 10 to 11 to 2:30 until 3:30 when my alarm went off. Not stoked about not sleeping, I got up anyways and headed for the base of El Cap. I started climbing at 4:30, and a mixture of rope soloing, free soloing and "mega death looping" got me to dolt in 3:50. Psyched on a sub 16 hour pace, I kept raging, passing 6 parties. By Camp 5 I was starting to get pretty tired, but kept moving, and a few pitches from the top I realized I might top out before dark. I flipped the anger switch and started motoring, racing the sun. At the final bolt ladder, I threw the rope on my back and charged up the bolts to the rim as the sun set. I checked the watch at the tree that marks the top of the route: I had been climbing for 15:55. I believe i'm the 7th or 8th person to solo the Nose in a day.  After a moment's contemplation on the summit, I made my way down the east ledges descent and went straight to bed.

                    Approaching the Boot flake party. Tom Evans Photo

                      Partying alone on Camp 5. Tom Evans Photo


More pics to come...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hot Pork Sunday

Hot Pork Sunday is an amazing two pitch splitter on Second Meat wall, in Indian Creek. The route was first climbed by Matt Lisenby, but to my knowledge the 40 meter second pitch was never freed. Swedish crack master Petter Restorp and I decided to check out the monster pitch this spring, and quickly realized it was quite difficult. The marathon pitch culminates with a wicked left leaning narrowing finger splitter. the featureless left wall further increases the desperate nature of the climb, forcing you to smear your left foot  above your waist. Before he could send, Petter had to leave for Sweden, and tore off a huge chunk of his knuckle on his final go. I kept at it, falling off of the final move 3 consecutive times before finally sketching my way to the top. A big thanks to Sender Films for the rad pics!


                                       Burt Bronson at the belay
                                         entering the crux
                                                   ttssaahh!


Some rest day rope jumping



Jumping off Cliffs in Utah from Mason Earle on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rage

After a winter of skiing, swinging hammers and swilli'n whisky, I find myself back in the Moab desert. I flew into Durango two weeks ago to climb with old friends and get my car- since then its been full throttle raging.


The past week I've been down in the creek with a good crew. Yesterday my good friend from Sweden, Petter Restorp and I went up to a project on Second meat wall- a beautifull arching off-hands off-fingers splitter. We gave it a pretty good effort, deciding it was probably the hardest crack either of us had tried in the creek. As soon as our fingers heal, we'll have another bash at it, and hopfully get some better pics of the destruction.

                       An enthusiastic Petter jugs the first pitch on... The Proj


                               Todays activity  Photo by Thomas Sloss


                         Jan with the ball 'n chain leash

Meanwhile, check out SoCal hardman Brad Gobright's blog here

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Skiing

  I've been super stoked the past few days to be skiing up at Alta in Salt Lake City with my friend Holly. A storm rolled thru here monday, and we got about 16 inches of new snow- the makings for a pretty epic Tuesday. I've realized that skiing is a lot more fun, and much easier than rock climbing. Im not sure what this means, but here are a couple short clips of the shredding.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

More Utah shots

Here are a few awesome shots of the price of evil taken by the legendary Heinz Zak.





                                          Bellyful of Bad Berries

Thanks Heinz!            Check out  www.heinzzak.com

Here in Massachusetts, things are smaller and not quite as exciting...
Unless you try to go skiing...
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