Feelings of Neglect?
I’ve been getting a substantial number of complaints about my blog neglect. I say “substantial” in a direct proportion to the number of followers, so that could be anywhere between 4 and 6 people upset and I think substantial is the appropriate word.
I fell off the map as far as writing anything goes, so many things took priority over shouting across cyberspace about my beliefs, thoughts, and endeavors. Here is an update starting with spring break and ending with Easter break and my near future.
March 3-11 Spring Break (click on all pictures to see a caption, and to see them bigger)
After a few months of planning, and a year of suspense, myself and local climbers: John Andersen, Logan DeBoer, and Jerra Olson headed south for a week of sport climbing, and bouldering. We met up with SDSU alumnus Ryan Steenson in Kentucky for a day of climbing in snow at the massively overhanging Miur Valley of Red River Gorge.
We then traveled south to get on my dream problem, White Noise V7 in Laurel Snow natural area near Dayton, TN.
After this we stopped in at the LRC, and met up with Eric Marshall (SHOUTOUT!!!) who graciously showed us around. What an amazing place, we had some serious discussion about making it our final destination but we had spent so long preparing for Horse Pens 40 that none of us wanted to bail on the mission. However, I will someday spend an extended period of time at LRC.
From Tennesee we drove to the ever-familiar state of Alabama where we spent the rest of the week at Horse Pens 40, a ridiculously condensed boulderfield of hand destruction. I had a blast!!! The problems there are like no where else. I could spend an hour on a V3, then walk 30 feet and get a V5 in two tries. They have everything there, but the one thing that is a constant, the holds feel like hard grit sandpaper, and your fingers are the wood.
We left a day earlier than expected and headed back to Kentucky for a trad route and some more sport routes before making the long and depressing trek back to South Dakota.
Taylor Lais and I had fully committed ourselves to climbing El Cap this May, and decided the two of us should go do some scary trad lines to keep our partnership strong before the big push.
Last year I went to Devil’s Tower for Easter Break and climbed in a rabbit costume and hid eggs on top. There was no way I was bailing on an Easter Bunny ascent again this year. I had my sights on the Cathedra Spires of the Black Hills. I left with John Andersen and climbed with good buddies Bryce Drefke, Mark Ellefson and newfound friend Elliot. We did a hard day of sport in Spearfish Canyon, a scary day of trad in The Needles where I lead the Needles Eye 5.10c with a 30 foot runout and scared the poop out of myself. I spent some quality time on some summits with Bryce and John and then we had a good night at the brewery.
On Easter day we took off into the Cathedral Spires where John, Myself and Bryce did an ascent of Spire 2, a fun, classic, adventurous 5.7. A 240 foot spire route, two pitches, I put in only 5 pieces. I was of course dressed like a bunny, had an Easter Basket and some eggs with Crabby Patties in them (which I’m certain are made of plastic and tar, but they taste amazing) and I hid the eggs all over the summit. So if you get a chance, get to Spire 2, you’ll have a treat.
Finally, on monday we concluded with a relaxing day behind Mount Rushmore where I taught Bryce and John a thing or two about multi pitch and how to use some gear and set up top belays. I finished the weekend soloing an easy 5.7 to a gorgeous summit.
I graduate from SDSU here in less than a month (May 5). I have a lot of big plans that I hope play out swell. My first big endeavor as a big boy is to climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park during the time I spend climbing in the valley (May 8-May 22). I then will move to Salt Lake City to work at a climbing gym for the summer and continue looking for a good Wildlife related job. I plan on being a weekend warrior with my brother and getting to know Utah a bit. I’ve got Burning Man over the summer, a lot of Moab adventures, a lot of climbing and a lot of dirtbagging. It seems like in a month my real life will start 🙂 Until then…..