Monthly Archives: July 2013

Raining but ‘Climb On’

Sad, but kinda True

It was nice outside all during the work week… and then it rained on Saturday.  I had made plans for Saturday with several climbing friends three whole weeks in advance.  But worry not, our plans were not foiled by the rain.

Backstory: I met a group of climbers at the climbing wall of our local YMCA.  It’s no climbing gym, but is is well kept, and the Wednesday Night Adult Climb attracts a loyal crew of great climbers and above all great people.  I got to know them just a bit this winter as I would utilize the wall for some of my endurance workouts.  Many times the the topic of my Homewall would come up.  And many times we discussed that we should all get together and climb at my house.  So we made it happen.

As often is the case for climbers in the ‘Real World’, lining up schedules is often a challenge.  I often have a hard enough time lining up schedules with just my wife and two sons.  So to arrange for several families, we had to start early.  Three weeks in advance.  When we approached the 1-week mark, I was pleasantly surprised how many RSVP’d to attend.


Grillin’ & Climin’

I did  tell them that I would grill for them.  They all brought snacks, I fired up the grill and charred some meat product and we all had a great time.  Even though it was cloudy and rainy most of the day.

The morals of the story are:

(1) Plan Ahead… WAY Ahead!!!

(2) Good people = Good times!!!

(3) Climbing is a very social activity and we feed off of the energy of those we climb with.

~ Climb 4 Real ~


Climbing Website Defibrillator

Shameless Futurama Reference

Shameless Futurama Reference

There’s something you need to know about me…

I am a reformed Lurker… Climbing Website Lurker, that is.  I’m all over the InterWebz, ‘sprunging’ for information pertaining to this amazing Sport/Activity/Recreation/Pastime we call Climbing.  But I am a changed man.  I’ve learned my lesson.

Hindsight 20/20As we all know, hindsight is 20/20.  I’ve really gotten attached to certain climbing blogs and have appreciated the insight they offer.  I’ve noticed that several of my favorites have been posting a lot less frequently or even stopped posting all together.  Now that I have been blogging for a little while now, I feel that I have experienced just a bit of the inside perspective that I was missing before.  I now experience the challenge of keeping the creative juices flowing.  I now understand the discipline it takes to post on a regular basis.  I now feel the desire for interaction and collaboration.

As a reader only, I jumped in, scanned quickly for something of interest, gleaned what I could, and I was out of there.  I utilized climbing blogs like a book or magazine; a one-sided medium.  But like the climbing community as a whole, most blogs are designed to share and interact.  When an author feels no one is getting value from their work, they tend to be demotivated to continue.  The interesting thing is, I really was enjoying the content.  I just didn’t know the value of my interaction until I was in their climbing shoes.

Zap Some Life Back In

So lets give the online climbing community a JOLT and bring back to life some real gems.  I propose that we ALL follow these 3 easy steps:

(1) Visit some of these blogs.

(2) Find a post or more that we TRULY appreciated and “Like” itShare it with our climbing buddies. Post a comment.  (all these things are likely to trigger an e-mail to the author, with the goal of re-igniting the flame)

(3) Share your  favorite climbing related blogs in the comments section below so we all can enjoy what you found was valuable.  Then we all can repeat steps 1 & 2 for your favorites.
(please note: I will moderate the links posted to keep them on topic)

My favorites that could use some LOVE:

So remember Steps 1, 2, & 3 above.  And don’t forget to do step 2 for

~ Climb 4 Real ~

The ‘What If ???’ Game – Episode 1

It’s time to use our imaginations.  Pull out all the stops.  Special Notice: This post will only be fun with your participation.  I call this the What If??? Game.  Here’s how it works: I will set you up with the ‘What If’ scenario and you will let your imagination take over.  Anything goes! (family friendly content, of course)

Please DO share in the comments what your IDEAL scenario would look like.  This blog gets readers from all across the world, so I’m certain that we can share some AMAZING ideas with each other.

So here we go…

You have:

3 Months ~ 13 Weeks ~ 90 Days

And enough:

Fuel and Money

And one of these bad boys:

Where will you go climbing first?
Who will you bring with you?
What dream routes/boulders will you climb?
How long will you stay and then where will you go next?

Re-cap:  You have 3 months to go climbing anywhere you can drive to.   You have enough fuel and money to live comfortably in your Sprinter RV.

Dream BIG and share with the rest of us.  (bookmark & return if you need more time)

~ Climb 4 Real ~

Shoutout to the Obscure States

Being a climber from Minnesota, I’ve often been asked in disbelieving or even sarcastic tones, “What is there to climb in MN?”

It’s quite obvious we are not a mountain state. But be ye forewarned, these “flat” states in the midsection of the United States are producing some of the best up and coming climbers. If the U.S. were a rock climber, we’d have great CORE strength.

Over the celebration of our country’s Independence and through that weekend, the nations youth competition climbers put all their skills to the test at the SCS Youth Nationals. The top competitors from this competition would go on to represent the U.S. on the International level. So of course, we can count on there being really tough climbers coming out of states in the Rockies or Appalachians.

But how about these kids pulling hard right smack dab in the middle. Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas.

Team Texas represented really well. In the female categories, five Texas climbers got invites for the U.S. National Team including first place finishes by Claire Buhrfeind in Youth B and Delaney Miller in Juniors. Two male climbers from Texas also made the team.

Minnesota climbers Kyra Condie and Noah Ridge also received invites to the U.S. National Team in their respective categories. Check out this awesome interview with Youth A 1st place finisher, Kyra Condie on JustClimbMN.

And I came across this News Piece from Channel 4 in Oklahoma City. Youth C Champion Chloe Massenet comes from one of the flattest states in the country.

I’m proud of the entire country and all the youth giving it everything they’ve got. See all of the results at  Go get ’em on the World Stage!!!

~ Climb 4 Real ~

Sneaky Skate Shop Solution

So the story goes like this: I was in our local skate shop picking up an addition for my Garage Climbing Wall. … Wait a sec, I was where??? Yes, you read correctly. My latest upgrade to the garage wall was found at a Skate Shop. I went there on a mission for a roll of … Grip Tape. Let me show you the reason behind the madness.

Skateboard Grip Tape

Skateboard Grip Tape

7' x 9" of Textured Goodness

7′ x 9″ of Textured Goodness

I took the roll home and I rolled it out. It comes 9″ wide and pretty much any length you want. I asked for 8 ft., but upon measuring I found I got 7 ft. I am totally cool with this since the employee was giving me a deal anyway and making sure it landed on exactly $25 to fit my gift card.

In thirds and ready to cut

In thirds and ready to cut

Cut and ready for the wall

Cut and ready for the wall

I marked it on the back in 3″ increments. And then I cut it. All the way down the length, three strips at 3″ wide. Scissors worked better than a razor blade but I’m positive they are less sharp now than before I began.

My next step was adhering the strips to the aretes of the wall. So far I have strips up on both sides of the 45* wall and a little bit in an odd crease between my 23* and transition walls (one more to go on my far right 23* arete). They work great for bumping up the arete and liebacking. Adding just enough texture without ripping the skin.

Left side of the 45

Left side of the 45

Right Side of the 45

Right Side of the 45

And that is my Sneaky Skate Shop Solution. What unusual climbing solutions have you come up with???

~ Climb 4 Real ~

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