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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Final Draft: 2009 Tick List

The final days of 2008 are among us and I am beyond PSYCHED to start the new year! I look forward to many amazing adventures and an all around awesome year. As always, check back throughout the year for exclusive blog posts regarding my travels and hopefully keeping on a steady pace of sending the craziest list i have ever come up with! Hopefully i will send all of these this year!!!

2009 list



Psychedelic, Saint George


Es Pontas, Mallorca


Breakin the Law, Saint George



The Present, Saint George



Rasta Man Vibration Sit (Project), buttermilks (all depending on ankle)


Satan I helvete assis, font-Long’s Vaux


From dirt grows the flowers, chironico
Brione “Bi polar Hi roller Project”, Brione


Gioia, Varazze



Suspension of Disbelief, Eldo


Gecko assis, font-Les Beaux Quartiers
Kheop’s Assis, font


Never Ending Story, Magic Wood (must have revenge!)
Dreamtime, Cresciano
Confessions, Cresciano


Bugeleisen, malltatal
Emotional landscapes, malltatal



Gecko, font-Les Beaux Quartiers
Fata morgana assis, font-Long’s Vaux
Satan I helvete, font-Long’s Vaux


Shadowfax, Chironico
La prue, Cresciano


Golden Gate, Silvretta



Total eclipse, font-Cul De Chien
Chaos, font-Rocher Gréau
Big Dragon, font-Petit Bois
Karma, Font
Partage, font


Kirk windstain, cresciano
Collateral, Chironico

But more than anything I look forward to going out and searching for projects around the world! I will continue to keep my eyes open for amazing new lines all over and see what i can find and hopefully climb!

Happy New Year! And good luck with all of your 2009 tick lists!

Friday, December 19, 2008

happy holidays

I have been walking now for a few mere weeks and my ankle seems to be responding super well. It has now been 2 months and 1 week since the injury occurred and it seems as if it shouldn’t be more than one more month before I will be able to wear both my climbing shoes again, on a rope of course.

I am unsure at the moment when I will be getting back to bouldering again but am hoping that with the physical therapy I am going to start in Boulder the healing should go by a lot faster. My psyche is very high and besides my endurance, I feel quite strong. I am really hoping that my return will yield some of the best climbing I have ever done.

I hope everyone has a great holiday season and an awesome 2009! Keep a look out for the final tick list for 2009 in the next week or so.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

preliminary draft: 2009 ticklist

So here it is. Unfortunately as many of you know my trip to Europe was cut short because of an unfortunate left ankle break in the middle of my trip. But now i am on the healing course and very much looking forward to the year 2009!!! I have below the preliminary list of boulders and routes (:gasp!!!:) that i would like to climb this upcoming year. First off i am sure that i will not only add to this within the next few weeks and will post a final before the end of the year but of course will ass to the last throughout 2009 as boulders get my attention from area to area. As for plans for 2009, I will be doing a semester at CU this Spring and then one month long semester known as "maymester" before yet again embarking on a 7 month journey, with hopefully no injuries or set backs this time around! And for Spring break it seems as if it may be spent rope climbing in St. George, Utah in an attempt to go for the firs repeat of Dave Graham's "Psychedelic," and hopefully squeezed in there a few days in Bishop if my ankle is ready for outdoor bouldering by then. As you can see on the list there is no real summer destination included. I have yet to determine where exactly i would like to go this summer, though i know it will be somewhere in the southern hemisphere, maybe South Africa again or possibly even an adventure down to South America! Anyway, as always feel free to comment on my list and of course if there are any climbs i am seemingly missing, please let me know!

2009 list



Psychedelic, Saint George
Es Pontas, Mallorca (yes!!! so very psyched for Mallorca!!!)


Breakin the Law, Saint George



Rasta Man Vibration Sit (Project), buttermilks (all depending on ankle)


Satan I helvete assis, font-Long’s Vaux


From dirt grows the flowers, chironico
Brione “Bi polar Hi roller Project”, Brione



Suspension of Disbelief, Eldo


Gecko assis, font-Les Beaux Quartiers


Never Ending Story, Magic Wood (must have revenge!)
Dreamtime, Cresciano
Confessions, Cresciano


Bugeleisen, malltatal
Emotional landscapes, malltatal



Gecko, font-Les Beaux Quartiers
Fata morgana assis, font-Long’s Vaux
Satan I helvete, font-Long’s Vaux


Shadowfax, Chironico
La prue, Cresciano


Golden Gate, Silvretta



Total eclipse, font-Cul De Chien
Chaos, font-Rocher Gréau
Big Dragon, font-Petit Bois
Karma, Font


Kirk windstain, cresciano
Collateral, Chironico

Rasta Man Sit, Bishop Photo: Jeff Sillcox

Friday, December 5, 2008

the docs

It has been getting harder and harder to sit through the beautiful fall/winter days that keep unfolding before me. But I know that with each passing day my ankle is slowly starting to make its way back to its previous state.

Today was my greatly anticipated doctor’s appointment. X-rays were taken and after what felt like days, the doctor came in to diagnose the healing effort. I was happy to hear that it has been healing very well and properly. I still am in my boot for one more month but am now able to weight the foot 100 percent all the time as well as begin some minor physical therapy exercises. It was a great feeling to be heading in the right direction again!

In one month I will be able to walk without the boot freely as I please and shortly after that I will be getting the screw removed from my ankle and I will be back climbing again in no time!!! The wait has definitely been very mind numbing and days have grown ever so long but it looks like I have gone over that final hump and the end is getting ever closer.

I head back to Boulder in little over one month to start up another semester at the University of Colorado. Until then I plan to continue the training I have been as well as start to gain the mobility and strength back into my left ankle.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

training training training

The healing process is going well and a few days ago was the first time that I was able to “climb” in over four weeks. I headed to my local climbing gym, Elite Climbing, to do some one footed top roping. Doing my workouts on my hang board have really paid off! I was a bit apprehensive on how I was going to climb but when I got on the wall, even though I couldn’t use my left foot, I felt pretty good. My endurance was not terrible and I felt like my finger strength was not completely gone. I think with the following weeks ahead of me I will be able to really work a lot of my weaknesses and continue to train on my hang board and go to the climbing gym to top rope before I am able to climb with both my feet again.

A few people have inquired about what I do on the hang board for my workouts. It pretty simple considering there is not too many extreme workouts you can perform on a hang board; use the picture below for reference. So here is a single workout I do (sometimes times a day). I start each workout by hanging on the upper jugs of the hang board for maybe 10-15 seconds or so. To continue the warm up I do 10 pullups on the lowest of pinches (very positive and not tweaky on the fingers at all).

Next it is one arm lock offs on the same pinches. I start with both hands on the pinches do a pull up and let go with my right hand first holding with my left arm in a locked off position for 10 seconds. I then do this with the right hand for 10 second and then again with the left for 10 seconds and then one last time with the right for 10 seconds. Without coming off I campus to the upper jugs do a pullup and bring my knees up into an L hang. I hold that for 10 seconds and then lower my arms to a 90 degree angle and hold for another 10 seconds before finally dropping off.

Next it is more L hangs. I grab the slopers directly below the jugsm do a pull up, hold an L hang for 10 seconds, bring my arms to 90 degrees hold it for ten seconds, and then repeat this 3 more times without leaving the L hang position or letting go of the slopers.

Then it is 10 pull ups on the smallest two finger pockets followed by 10 pullups on the bad pinches on either side of the board. Then I go to my other board and do 10 pullups on the smallest crimps, 10 pull ups on the biggest crimps, and 10 pullups in the middle slopers.

After this it is back to the blue board again. This is the most difficult part to explain so bear with me. I start with both hands on the good pinches down low. I campus first with my right hand to the crimp rail on the middle of the board then with my left hand to the jug at the top. Then right hand to the jug. Hang, then bring left hand to same crimp rail, campus back down into the pinches with both hands and repeat this 3 more times switching which hand goes to the crimp rail first. And then finally I do 10 pullups on the first good pinch and then campus to the jug and do 10 more pullups and by that time am pretty exhausted and can barely crutch back into the house!

If you have any questions regarding this or are completely confused feel free to comment and ill try and answer you the best I can.

I feel like the healing process is going great! My foot has more and more movement every day and I am able to start to put small amounts of weight down with my left foot while crutching around. I am hoping that my next doctor’s appointment on December 5th will end with some great news. But until then I will continue to do my workouts and top rope at the local climbing gym!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


The days have been going by and my ankle is feeling a great deal better. The pain has subsided greatly and the swelling has gone way down! I got my stitches out on Friday and have my next doctor's appointment in a few weeks.

The Garage has turned itself into a small training facility for myself. My dad put up another hangboard on the other side of the existing one. Its a huge one and made by Etch. I am now able to campus from one board to the other pretty easily and get in quite a good workout. The workouts have been pretty simple so far, just lots of pull ups on the crimps pockets and slopers that the boards have as well as L-hangs, one armed lock-offs, and of course a little bit of campusing from one board to the other.

I think that within the next few weeks i will be able to start top roping with one foot at the local climbing gym every once in a while. I need to make sure to not put any weight on my left leg during the beginning of the healing process. I am very much looking forward to the day that i will be able to lace up both of my climbing shoes again and enjoy a nice bouldering session with friends. Until then it is going to be a lot of training to hopefully make a comeback and be stronger than ever when that day eventually comes.

Thank you all again for all of the kind words and support, it is greatly appreciated!

The Riverbed from Garrett Koeppicus on Vimeo.

This was shot two days before i broke my ankle and two days afterward. crutching was so painful in the beginning. The riverbed is a phenomenal boulder in Magic wood and after having had fallen at the end of Never Ending Story the previous weeks, i thought it best to build ups some fitness on this before heading back to NES again. I hope you enjoy the film. Shot and edited by Garrett Koeppicus.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Training Begins

After sitting in bed for about 1.5 weeks i could not take the lazy life anymore. Since i am not allowed to put a single ounce on my left ankle my set up has to be very simple for a while. My dad and I picked up a hang board and he constructed me (Thank you!) a nice low to the ground set up to train on in the garage until i can start putting some weight on my left foot again.

The set up is very simple but it should do the trick. I don't think that it has been up for 12 hours yet and I have already done 3 intense sessions on it as well as my daily push up and sit up routines. Push ups are a bit harder when you can only use one foot. I am excited to build up my workouts on my hang board and look forward to possibly adding a board above it to start working on once my ankle starts to heal a bit and maybe some screw on crimps around it to campus around on. As for endurance, i think that once i am able to put a small amount of weight on my ankle in a few weeks, i will start roping up and climbing 1 footed. I hope in the next few weeks as well i can start to campus at my local climbing gym.

Here is what i have so far! yes, verrrrry simple but am very psyched to be back training again!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thank You All!

Hey everyone, thanks so much for the kind words at the end of my previous blog post. I am now currently back in New Jersey after a 9 hour plane ride from Hell. But the pain and suffering was definitely worth it to be back home with my family, in a comfortable, bed, and have home cooked meals all the time!

I am still unable to do any sort of physical activity due to my inability to move my leg what so ever without shooting pains coming directly from my ankle. I am hoping with in the next two weeks this may subside and i can start to do some push-ups, pull-ups, and maybe a small amount of campusing. But for now it is the bed for me :(. Lots of sitting around, sleeping, and just trying to pass the time until i will be able to start some physical activity again.

Unfortunately it has been quite an epic trying to find a foot specialist to see me after getting home. It has come to my attention that doctors don't really want to work on helping people get better if they did not originally do the surgery to begin with. It does make sense but unfortunately it has been quite a problem trying to get a good foot specialist to take over where the hospital in Switzerland left off. I believe that i may have an appointment tomorrow with one tomorrow in Philadelphia if the doctor ever ends up calling us back. I can only hope that they will!

Anyway, thanks again for all the kind words. they were greatly appreciated and have helped a ton! Hopefully my next post i will have done something besides laying in a bed all day. Until then, thanks for all the support out there!

Friday, October 17, 2008

bad news at the bruno bloc

It is quite crazy to think that you can be at the top of your game and in my case coming so very close to sending the never ending story and then only a few days later emerging from bed that I couldn’t physically get out of and not being able to make it to the door only 10 feet away on my crutches.

Let me recount the past couple of days. Tuesday October 14, 2008 I wake up at around the same time as any day in Claro and decide that I am psyched to climb in the Magic Wood today. Both my friends, Garrett and Ryan were psyched on a rest because their skin was shot from the day before. I was really psyched to get back on Never Ending Story having felt really good on it recently and with the power endurance up. We headed into Magic Wood and it was a bit warm so I just set up all the pads and waited for the cooler afternoon temps. When they arrived I was psyched! I warmed up quickly and gave my first attempt on my project for the day. First go was pretty crappy and I thought maybe today was not going to be the day since I didn’t get too much sleep the night before, unfortunately. But after a nice rest I felt good to give it another try, this try was different from my previous attempt, I did not feel tired, I fired through the crux and was staring at the finishing hold. Right as I was about to do the last v2 move to the final jug my heel hooked slipped out and I was on the ground in no more than a seconds time. I was bummed! I had just practically sent my project but for some reason was standing on the ground without any sense of accomplishment. So instead of getting all upset I told myself next go will be the one and continued to rest for 20 more minutes.

The time finally rolled around for another good go at the line. I chalked up and fired through the bottom and again, like my second go, made it through the whole crux not fatigued and was psyched that this could be the send go. As I neared the top again all felt great and I was psyched but again my foot slipped but this time it was fast and shot me down and to the right. The fall was much unexpected and as I hit the ground my left ankle rolled over top of itself and I knew at that moment something was wrong. I quickly tried to put weight on the injured foot and it just gave out with the weight. At that moment, it all hit me. The 3.5 month dream trip to Switzerland had come to its final halt and that would be that would be the last time I would be climbing for a while. I hobbled over to the river and dunked my ankle into the water while people quickly packed up my stuff and brought it out to the car for me. I would first like to thank an amazing Swedish couple, Micha and Carolina (I am so sorry if I spelled your names wrong! Please comment if I did) and two Englishmen whom I never caught their names. I was practically carried back to the car and from there Garrett, Ryan, and I drove to the closest hospital, Kantonsspital in Chur about 30 minutes away.

Once there it was straight to the ER. From there x-rays showed that yes I had broken my ankle (Tibia bone) and that I was going to need to go into surgery to put a screw into my ankle to connect the tibia and fibula bones together. I was knocked out for the surgery and woke up hours later in a hospital bed with a huge boot on my left foot in great pain. The next morning I woke up the doctor coming in and mentioning not only did I break my ankle but I also tore the ligaments in my ankle and that they had sewn them back together and that the healing was to begin now. After a few days in the hospital and an epic learning how to walk on crutches (They don’t use the armpit style ones here) I have been discharged and am beginning my recovery process! I have hopefully 6-8 weeks or so before my boot can come off and then the physical therapy will begin. It is unfortunate to have ended my trip this way but it is life and you just have to take the punches as they come even if it may be multiple in a single few days period. I know my blog won’t be as interesting as it was the past couple months but I will keep everyone informed with how the healing is going. I obviously don’t plan to stop training; I have never been a super powerful climber so I am psyched to start working on my campusing a lot, definitely very low to the ground of course! So for now I have a few months before ABS Nationals in February. My goal now is to be well enough to compete in this comp! I know my upper body will be ready with the tons of training I plan to be doing I can only hope my lower body will be able to pull through and let me compete on the tall walls of the Spot in February!

As for the healing process, I get my stitches out (10 on the inside and 6 on the outside of my ankle) in about 12 days. I am able to crutch what any healthy human being could walk in 30 seconds in about 10 minutes, and I am allowed to put about 15 pounds of weight on my ankle as I crutch along. I will be flying home within the next few days and have a couch at my parents house with my name written all over it!

Until the training begins, thanks to everyone that helped me out that day it was very greatly appreciated! If I ever see any of you four again I would love to buy you all dinner for the support that day. I look forward to the day I can hike back into Magic Wood using both my legs and show the “Never Ending Story” that I will not give up on it and that I will send it one day when I am all healed up!

Thanks so much to Ryan and Garrett for an awesome trip even though it was shorted!!

Goodbye Europe, the times have been great!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Project Day 2

Today was the true day one on my project. I made some really good progress from my few brief attempts earlier this week. The crux is a 3 move sequence that revolves around some really small crimps. I was able to stick the first of the 3 moves but the other two are so so so hard! I got kind of close to sticking both the other moves. They are both going to take a long time to do and to link them is going to be a whole different story! I am so psyched to keep working on this amazing line!

This project though quite amazing is very sharp! I think that after today’s effort I may have to take two rest days to heal my tips up before I am able to try the line again.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


The past few days have been nice climbing in Brione. It seems as if the days in Magic Wood are going to end soon with the snow coming in. The lower down areas are starting to get good but still are quite warm. hopefully within the next few weeks the temps down here will start to cool down as i am getting very psyched to start working "From Dirt Grows the Flowers" in Chironico.

Other than that i am in the search of a project to leave my mark on swiss bouldering. I think i have found a line that is going to be amazing and also very very hard! For now i will say it is very steep, 9 moves, very crimpy and a crux sequence that upon my first attempts will be two moves of around 8a+/b back to back! This thing is phenomenal. Though i was not able to complete either of the two crux moevs on my first day of effort, i do feel like some progress was made and i cant wait to head back up to it with some fresh skin! For now i have named it the "bipolar hi roller project"

Keep updated for more updates in regards to this amazing project! i will upload photos soon!

"Vecchio Leone"

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Romania and back

Just the other day I returned from my 5 day trip to Romania and the trip was a success. I competed in an annual bouldering competition in Bucharest, Romania known as Tottonne. The comp was in a park on 4 very nice recently made wooden walls. The walls were simple and the large features added a lot to the problems. This comp unlike ones in the United States, was a team competition. My team consisted of Matt Bosley, Charlotte Jouett, John Ene, and myself. The competition consisted of two rounds of 4 climbs. Each climb you were given twenty minutes on to work on as a team and then it was directly on to the next climb. I was the only one in the competition to finish all four problems in the qualifying round. After a few hours and some dinner it was on to finals at night. There were 17 teams that started the comp and 6 made it finals. Again, we had 4 climbs and our team killed it in finals! We came out of the competition in 1st place and it was a great time! This comp was definitely one of the best comps I have ever competed in! I loved the team concept as well as the comp setter was exceptional. The climbs were so well set and separated the field exceptionally.

Now I am back in Switzerland. Garrett and I picked up my good friend Ryan Sewell at the airport yesterday and today was our first day of climbing. Though it rained a good portion of the day we still got some good climbing in at Brione. I managed to get the 2nd? Ascent of “the cellar door,” a classic climb of Dave’s from Dosage 3. After that it continued to rain until night fell so not much more climbing went down. It seems as if it is going to continue to rain through tomorrow but then the next few days after Friday will be perfect!!!

Here are some pictures from my trip to Romania.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

3.5 hours 73 points

Today was just one of those days where i felt on. I woke up late (the perfect start to a morning), ate some choco krispies (another amazing addition to the morning), and drove up to the Magic Wood. I arrived around 2:30 pm and hung out until around 3:30 until the sun left "New Base Line" 8B+ and i got very psyched to try it! I did the line first go today and just decided to continue on with a rampage "a muerte" as the cool people now-a-days seem to say. I strolled down to "Deep Throat" 8B, nearly flashed it and sent the line second go. After that i headed up to "Steppenwolf" 8B, ate some lunch and in a half hours time was battling with the final mantle and luckily pulled it off for a send! After that it was off to the classic 7c with my friend Garrett, we both dispatched quickly and then it was off to "the arete" 8A+. I had tried this one the other day but had been extremely tired when trying it and got shut down quickly and gave up for the day. I felt good on it today and finished it up in a few mins. Getting tired and with the light fading i opted for one more climb, "free 4 all" 8A/8A+. It is given 8A+ in the guidebook but at the end of the day seemed a bit easy for the difficult grade of 8A+ and opted to downgrade it beacuse of this reason. Though it is not the most inspiring line i found the moves to be quite awesome and sent the line quickly.

AH!!! what a crazy day today! lot's of running around in only a very short amount of time, and now back at home i am sore and my tips kill!

I am hoping to climb tomorrow in the Magic Wood again, maybe i will get back on "the never ending story" again! We shall see! I leave for Romania on Friday to compete in acompetition over the weekend and will be back in Ticino, Switzerland on Tuesday. My good friend Ryan Sewell flies in on Weds and from there we will surely be getting back to the boulders aka the money.

Friday, September 19, 2008

exploration day one

Today I went exploring two valleys to the west of where I am living in Claro. I had heard about the possible potential for amazing unclimbed boulders in this region and was psyched to head out. I woke up, ate some breakfast, and hopped in the Peugot and drove up there. The day started off quite nicely, huge boulder everywhere along the river. I could barely keep my eyes on the road driving up this very steep and windy valley. As the road ended I turned around and started my day from working from the top down.

At the top of the valley I stumbled across this boulder pictured below.

I checked it out and there seems to be two really amazing lines up this slightly overhung boulder. The first of which is on the left and the second is the prow just out of the frame. Both of these lines look phenomenal! Though I know the picture does not give it any justice, you will have to trust me on this one! I am definitely psyched to come back to this problem later on in the trip.

After that we headed down valley and started to scope out some of the biggest river boulder I have ever seen! From a distance they looked amazing but with a closer look, they all were featureless. It was quite a shame to see this, but they were still super cool to look at and be beneath.

With my acquired knowledge of the day I have come to the conclusion that finding this amazing five star line might be a little more difficult than I had imagined. I do know that it is not going be by the river because I looked at pretty much every climbable boulder and nothing was featured enough to climb it. I think that my next visit to this amazing valley will be spent in the forests above the river below. The boulders above the river seem to be a lot more featured and may yield themselves to a higher probability of climbable surfaces. From the road and through the trees I could see boulders up on the hillsides. I think that with Fall coming and the leaves about to fall from the trees it will be easier to scope the boulders enclosed by the forests. I think that this is where the five star line will be sitting. It is not going to be easy to find but I am hoping that with a few more trips up this untapped valley I will stumble across what could be one of the most pure amazing boulder problems in the world. Switzerland definitely has the rock quality, its just finding the boulders that is hard!

Tomorrow it is back to Magic Wood! I have still yet to try New Base Line and I am getting super psyched! Maybe if it is colder tomorrow I will make the trek up the hill and give it an effort! We shall see, but my true heart is still in that valley only 50 kilometers away! I can’t wait to get back there and continue on with the exploration!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

in response to Anonymous Part 2

I just arrived home from a day of bouldering in the Magic Wood and was happy to see a bunch of comments on my blog as well as a very nice write up on about my blog. to clear a few things up really quickly, as i mentioned i have not tried story of two world but my first impressions was that the climb was not the most spectacular climb in the world. It seemed a bit dabby. no i am not taking this as a short cut out of trying it at all. i never have in my entire life made a short cut out of trying a boulder problem and never plan to ever do so. i truly do not think that this climb looks good at all... there are way too many climbs in ticino to climb on the ones that dont inspire you. plus why repeat when you can be finding some of the greatest FA's in the world!? I am heading up to ValleBavonne tommorrow and will take many pics on the hopefully amazing projects i stumble upon!!! Thanks for all the great comments!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

as the game once said, " i aint afraid of no ghosts"

Thanks all for the supportive comments. I have decided why not bring my thoughts to as Jamie pointed out. I don't want to look scared because i want to get the highest score on So i am bringing the down rating from my blog to 8a and onward. I will continue to give my reasons for my downrates on this site because 8a is just not he place for it. Thanks all for your support!!

Today was a fun day, did a few moderates and attempted the full "Never Ending Story." Today was my first real day on it and it felt really good. I fell off the scond part of "NES" and can't wait to hopefully finish it next time in it!

Oh and in regards to Magic Wood, i feel that the grades here have been a bit more on target. NES part 2 to me felt a good bit soft, but most things here to be about right, only a bit on the soft end. Though i do feel that Voigas could easily be 7c...

Photos: Garrett Koeppicus

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

as birdman once said, "get your shine on"

So the sun has finally decided to come out and the past few days have been awesome!!! Climbing in magic wood and Chironico has been such an adventure. The first sunny day I headed to Chironico and it was hot! But I was to put it briefly, extremely extremely psyched!

We warmed up at this nice little boulder with some nice edges. I knew that I was close to “The Great Shark Hunt” and was very psyched to see it. I walked up the hill found it and decided I would love to give it a try. Even though at the beginning of my trip, I really wanted to flash this climb I had been cooped up for so long I just wanted to climb on something cool! So I headed up there and did it in a few goes, probably around 10 minutes or so. I should have flashed it; I fell going to the final jug because of a foot slip and followed in suite doing it two tries later. I have decided for this trip I am not here to contradict any grades on my scorecard but rather will talk about it here on my blog where I feel a lot more comfortable. I hate downplaying others sends, getting criticized, etc for my beliefs on that website and have decided to mainly stay with the grade given the boulder in the guidebook. Here is my opinion on “The Great Shark Hunt,” it felt super casual. If this is V13 then “Nagual” would be V15. If I were to rate this climb I would have given it soft 8a+. Since it is my style to a T I feel that this is reasonable. Now on to “Schule des Lebens,” at first I thought my beta was good but after a little while of trying found new beta that made it a great deal easier. This climb yet again is definitely not V13. I mean it was 22 celcius, V13 is hard!! and it is hard to justify saying this is legit V13 on such a hot day because I don’t want to ever down play the grade of V13. V13 is “Nuthin but Sunshine,” “Spectre,” “Nagual,” and “Algerita.” So my guess on “Schule des Lebens” is hard V11. I am not trying down play anyone’s ascents of any climbs but rather give my honest opinion.

The other day as well as today was spent at the beautiful area of Magic Wood. On my attempt to climb a lot of amazing problems quickly I took full advantage of the day. Climbing from noon until night set in. I warmed up and flashed the famous “Jack’s Broken Heart.” A very nice campusy climb out this nice roof to a scary top out when you are pumped. I loved the climb and am psyched to have done it! Right next to “Jack’s” is “Octopussy.” I should have rested longer after doing the previous climb before my flash go on this one. I got pumped quickly and fell after the crux stupidly. Anyway I finished it off next go after a few minute rest. I was psyched to head up the hill after that to try this nice V12 called “High Spirits” that I had tried in the rain a few days before. To say the least it felt a lot easier! Today my tips hurt and I thought it was going to be a rest day but got roped in to trying the second section of the “never ending story.” Amazing line!!! I did it second go and did the crux of part one very quickly as well. I am psyched to try the full line soon! It should be quite interesting to link the two cruxes!!!

Tomorrow is up in the air, either my first attempts at “New Base Line” or an attempt at the full “Never ending Story.” We shall see! All I know now is that I am psyched and can’t wait to get out to Magic Wood tomorrow morning! Until the next update, keep the comments coming, I love reading them! I will try to post pictures as soon as I remember to bring my camera in from the car at night.

And until next time, download the song, “You Aint know” by Lil Wayne and Birdman. A classic! “I aint got a money printer, so for this paper chase I’m out runnin sprinters!”

Thursday, September 4, 2008

as lil wayne once said, "i make it rain"

Well so far my trip to switzerland can be summed up in one melancholy word, rain. I have yet to pull off the ground on anything because it has rained every day i have been here and looks to continue to until as far as the forecast reports. I am pretty sure i have some sort of bad weather spell just following me from climbing destination to climbing destination. If anyone is having a sever drought in their country, just buy me a plane ticket and im sure to bring some very wet weather. Until who knows when, i will continue to walk through the pouring rain looking at soaking wet boulders.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


It is less than 24 hours until i depart! All of my bags are pretty much packed and i am beyond psyched. I never thought the day would come and i would be so close to being able to go climb in Switzerland! I arrive in Zurich on the 2nd in the morning and will drive down with Garrett Koeppicus to my place of residence for the next several months, maybe even go check out a few of the boulders of Cresciano in the evening if we have time! Claro and the surrounding bouldering areas of Cresciano, Chironico, Brione, etc will be pretty warm during the beginning of the trip but it looks like the temps in Magic Wood should be perfect for the first month of our trip. After that the lower elevation areas including Font should be getting good and thats where the rest of our trip will be spent.

Thanks to everyone that has given me tips on traveling and climbing over there as well as the people who have offered to show me around some amazing bouldering areas! I feel psyched and there are a ton of amazing boulder problems that i sure would love to do before returning back to the United States in mid December.

Before my departure i was able to check out this little bouldering area close to my parents house in NJ. This single boulder was found by a friend of mine a few months ago and i was fortunate enough to check it out on a cool evening the other day. The boulder itself is very much like the rock of Rumney and the climbing is dynamic and quite fun. I managed to put up two really nice lines and below are some pictures from the day. Sorry for the bad quality, they were taken on a camera phone. But at least you can get an idea of the cool roof so close to my house (about a 30 minute drive).

"Sittin Sideways" FA 8a, Lone Pine

Stay tuned for up to date info on my upcoming trip to Switzerland! I will be sure to take tons of photos throughout my adventures!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Europe in 6 days

The past few weeks have been a complete whirl wind for me. After flying home from the tradeshow and being in NJ for a week i made a short trip out to Colorado to take care of a few things before leaving for Europe and get some amazing outdoor bouldering in. In the 6 days i was in Colorado i climbed 1 inside and 4 outside. In those four days i hiked a total of 34 miles and wow my legs are so tired! I did get to check out some amazing bouldering in the park and can't wait until next summer until i can yet again explore the high altitude bouldering areas of RMNP. Other than hiking a bunch i helped my girlfriend move into her dorm for her first semester at CU, hung out with a bunch of good friends, got an international driving license, and made sure i was fully ready for my trip to Europe.

Now i am back in the heat of NJ visiting my family for a few days before i depart on my 3.5 month adventure to the land of southern Switzerland! As of right now i am a bit nervous but extremely psyched! Pretty much i have no idea how to get around or where exactly i will be going... all i know is that i will be living in Claro with my good friend Garrett Koeppicus and going to be exploring all over the place. if anyone wants to give me a tour of magic wood, etc. in the beginning of my trip that would be phenomenal! Other than that I am just psyched to be about to start the adventure of a lifetime and can't wait to see the amazing bouldering that Switzerland has in store for me for the next couple of months!

I will update with some photos from my latest trip to Colorado once i upload them on my comp so stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

just a heads up

As Jamie mentions in his blog (
guidebook-2/#comments) this book is completely wrong! Check out Jamie's blog for a full write up of his 2 cents on the book itself.

Don't buy this guidebook! Falcon guides should have done a bit of research before publishing this terribly written guide to Colorado Bouldering.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Pictures from the end of the trip

I just got to Salt Lake City yesterday for the Outdoor Retail Show. The competition this year is going to be huge and i cant wait to compete in qualifiers this evening!

Here are some pictures from the end of my trip to Africa!

Sky! Best boulder ever!

the Tiida! she held strong!

nice sunset on the beach

bird island

the unrepeated "Oliphants Dawn"

Monday, August 4, 2008

home and very jet-lagged

The last few days of my trip were extremely productive and i was so psyched to finish off a bunch of the climbs that i had come close to earlier on in the trip! I went back and looked at my 2008 send list again that i had posted earlier this year ( and even though i did not look at it once during my trip to africa i climbed every single boulder problem on my list and am psyched to continue on with the rest of my year!!! The only boulers so far that i havent done that i definetely wont get to finish up this year are "rasta man sit" and "dominated" i was hoping to get a short trip to yosemite this spring but was unable to pull it off before the hot weather arrived. And well rasta man, that was an epic and will be saved for 2009! The biggest chunk of my list is still to come and that comes from all over Europe. I leave on September 1 and am already so psyched for the 3.5 month trip ahead of me!

I arrived home on the 31st and felt pretty fine the first day but the next morning when i woke up at 5 am i knew that jet lag had set in. Now it is monday morning at 8 am (the 4th) and i have already been awake for 2 hours. hopefully it will all subside soon. i have been frantically going to the climbing gym trying to get into some sort of decent indoor climbing shape before the big OR Competition this upcoming weekend. I pretty much feel like crap inside, right now im blaming it on the jet lag! Hopefully tonight in the gym will be a different story and i will feel at least a little bit stronger.

Wish me luck! I will try to post some pictures from the end of our trip later this week so stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

mooiste maise

The other day was a super fun day of climbing. Though i thought i was not going to try anything new before the end of the trip, after watching daniel attempting "Mooiste Maise" i could not refrain from trying the beautiful line. The first day on it was really crappy conditions and the slopers felt so bad. But the next day i came back to it and finished it up in a few tries. Below is a picture of me on the send.

Mooiste Maise, V14 Photo Andy Mann

Update: Beth has sent "Petit Hueco," V8 but claims that it only felt like 12b, all i have to say is what a beast! And Tommy has been continuing to kill it with great progress on an amazing project and sending "Black Shadow," V13 in a very short amount of time! Everyone else is continuing to send at an alarming pace and i don't think a day goes by without at least one person sending one of their projects. The trip is coming to a close shortly but hopefully not without some more amazing rock climbing before departure.

Hot weather is rolling in and we are all resting for the next two days, but with skin hopefully healing, hopefully more sending will be coming soon!

Right after sending Amandla

Friday, July 18, 2008

12 days left (an actual update)

The Rain has stopped and the climbing is going super well!!! The temps have been better, the rock has dried up, and the climbing days are getting better and better. People have left the house and more people have come. Tommy, Beth, and Courtney are the newest inhabitants and super fun to have around. Sarah left the other day but not without leaving a final amazing mark at the end of her trip by sending her 10 day project “Caroline” V10. This was the first of the grade for her and she was super psyched to leave the trip having sent her amazing project!

For the remainder of my trip, I told myself that there were 8 boulder problems that would be awesome to do before leaving. The list is as follows: Amandla V15, Madiba V14, Sky V14, The Power of One V13, The Vice V13, Green Mamba V13, Quintessential V13, and a project at the Fortress. So far in the last 3 days of climbing I have sent four of them and am super psyched to continue on with the rest as my trip winds to an end before the departure date of July 30th.

After the rain finally subsided, I was so psyched to get back to working on my projects again! The first day I gave my first attempts on “Quinntesential.” Though the rock was still a bit moist and it was near dark, I got very close and am very psyched to get back on it as soon as my tips heal enough to crimp on those sharp crimps again. The next day was dedicated to my project of choice, “Sky.” This line is absolutely amazing and climbs the underside of this amazing roof on huge moves between decent holds. I did the stand start but was so close, but still unable to link it from the bottom. I so psyched to try this one again. After a rest day it was up to “Madiba,” which on the first day of attempts felt extremely hard and maybe impossible for me. But today was different; I felt really good on it and sent on the 3rd go of the day. Madiba climbs out this amazing roof through 16 powerful moves. Daniel and I thought the boulder in our minds was a link crux that pieced out consisted of a V9 followed by a V12 followed by a V9/10 final redpoint crux. After this climb, we were both psyched and headed down to “Green Mamba.” This prob was not on my list at first, but after a few tries quickly hopped aboard. The conditions were not so prime the first day and I came back the next day and quickly finished it off in 2 goes.

Yet again another rest day which consisted of driving Sarah to Cape Town to catch her flight back to the US. It was a nice day away from the dirt roads and simple life of the rocklands, but as quickly as I was glad to get away, the boulders were calling me back for another day of climbing. I was psyched for “Quinntesential” but at the last second decided to go up to Road Crew for my first attempt on “Amandla” and “The Power of One.” “Power” went quickly, both Daniel and I sent it with quite differing beta. It was really cool to solve a boulder problem using the exact same handholds but completely different feet due to the differences in our styles. After sending this and realizing colder afternoon temps were coming in we quickly headed over to “Amandla.” At first I thought it looked sooo hard! I tried the top first; after a few falls off the top bit I had it pretty figured out, but knew the bottom was the crux. I tried the bottom bit a few tries and figures out some pretty good beta for myself. With a nice 10 minute rest I felt strong, stuck the crux move and climbed it to the top! What a great feeling it was to climb the most impressive and possibly the hardest line in the Rocklands in less than 2 hours on my first day of attempts. I will admit, the climb is my style to perfection and crimps up a 45 are what I love to climb on I may be a little biased in saying it was one of the most amazing climbs I have ever done. Big Up Productions was there to catch the send on film and will surely be a part of the Real Rock Tour this upcoming Fall. Daniel did most of the moves but was unable to do the crux bit. I am not sure on the grade at the moment, other than realllly really hard. I hope that he will send in the upcoming two weeks and we can talk about a consensus of how hard we think it is. But, for now I will say it is at least V14 and in my eyes a harder version of “The Swarm” in Bishop.

After topping it out I realized I had a quite heinous split on my left pointer finger, so the next few days will be used to heal it up in an attempt to finish the last four climbs I want to do on my list before leaving this amazing place on July 30th. All I can say is that there is a 100 percent chance that I am coming back next year! This place is just beyond comprehension and there will never be a shortage of hard amazing climbs to be done here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


It seems as if we may be able to climb tomorrow!!! Lately we have just been trying to pass the time, a few of us drove to Cape Town to enjoy a day of indoor climbing and to see the scenery of cape town in the pouring rain.

The climbing gym was fun! It was nice to climb after having not had for 3-4 days :(. the next day we went to the aquarium in cape town which was awesome! We walked through the whole place and saw some amazing creatures from under the sea. In about ten days i have to drop of my girl friend, Sarah off at the airport and me, tommy, and a few others are hoping to go cage diving with the great whites if all falls into place! Stay tuned for more info on that...

Anyway, we are now headed back to the rocklands to hopefully climb tomorrow.

UPDATE: we got to climb three amazing days! it has been so much fun and some amazing boulders got sent! I finally did "ray of light!" and did a joint fa with daniel "el corazon." hopefully the weather will remain good for the rest of the trip!!! Tomorrow will be a rest day for me and Sarah will be attempting her project, "Caroline." good luck to her on that!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

and even more rain...

yep it sucks. I feel as if my trip is getting completely shorted due to the lack of climbing we have been able to get done. Today marks the 6th straight day of rain in a row unfortunately. The forecast says that it will stop in 2 days and hopefully we will get to climb again soon.

As of now, i have a bunch of projects that i am really psyched on! especially this one roof called "madiba." it is a longer problem going out a huge roof about 9 feet off the ground. The boulder is approximately 15 moves and never eases up until you are topping out the boulder!

Hopefully more updates soon that actually relate to climbing... but until then we will continue to watch the rain fall.

Friday, June 20, 2008

more rain.

It has been continuously raining for a few days now unfortunately. Yesterday the rain cleared for a few hours and Daniel, Andy Mann, and myself headed out to this amazing roof compression boulder called "Black Shadow" 8B. I did all the moves very quickly and figured out a few linkages and sent the boulder in no time! Its such a good feeling to finish stuff off with a true sense of execution, just not getting in any sort of epic mode and just doing the boulder and moving on. PSYCHED! We will see what tomorrow brings but hopefully there is no more rain!

Yesterday we also went to the riverside boulders and saw the amazing "Oliphants Dawn" 8B and "Moistie Masie" 8B+. So psyched to go try them! Tomorrow, if the rain stops, wither monkey wedding or quintessential!!!

"Pinotage" = AMAZING

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Getting internet is harder than sending V15

So getting internet has been such a hectic mess! The photographer, Andy Mann, has not been able to send out any pictures to anyone, i have not been able to updaye the blog, and pretty much its mass confusion when trying to get internet in this country. We finally found a small cafe about 1 hour from our house where we can get some extremely slow internet! I am psyched to have now been here for one week and now am feeling like i am climbing up to par finally. Today it is raining and thats why we made the trek back to the main town. It is a small town called Clan William and is well... rustic. I dont really know how to explain it. The grocery store is nice but the rest of the town is pretty beat down and it definitely reminds you where you are every time you turn a corner.

Yesterday we climbed at a newer area known as the sassies! It was as usual really nice rock with jaw dropping views. Daniel and I quickly did the test piece of the area "Shoshalosa" originally graded 8B+, but we felt 8A+ was more appropriate with the two of us giving it no more than 10 goes total to send it. We then quickly dispatched a few other really nice lines including "paula abdul" 8a, "leap of faith" 8a, "unnamed" 8a, and flashing the probably best 7c+ in the world "pinotage."

Hopefully the rain will stop soon and we can continue climbing. Daniel and I are both very close to the unrepeated 8b+ "Monkey Wedding" at the roadside area!

Monkey Wedding 8b+

classic warmup!

More updates to come!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

south africa: the beginnings

I have finally made it! I have never been on a single airplane for this long in my life. I now fully understand the term jet lag! So after a super long plane ride, which was made a lot more enjoyable because of great friends sarah orens, daniel woods, and laura griffiths, we eventually found ourselves in the cape town international airport feeling quite distant from home, but extremely psyched for the over 50 day adventure ahead of us!!!

We quickly got our rental car and hit the streets! Wow, I would have never imagined how hard driving on the opposite side of the road would be! It is by far one of the most bizarre things to be thrown straight into the middle of, especially Cape Town rush hour traffic! So after some close calls and a few days, I am finally starting to become accustomed to their driving style and not being scared out of my mind every time I get behind the wheel. Other than that, the roads around the rocklands are heinous dirt roads and we already lost a rim, or possibly was stolen in Clan William.

After making the long trek to Clan William, we got groceries and headed out to our village in the middle of the rocklands. It is a nice house with a bunch of climbers and friends. I am very excited to be here! Along with daniel, laura, sarah, and myself is wills young, lisa rands, tony lamiche and his friends.

On our first day we headed up, in the evening, to a small bouldering area by the road a few miles from the house. It was small but had a few very nice moderates. This one in particular "pardon my french" 6c+ was a perfect climb to stretch out on after such a long plane ride. We all sent and continued on to a few harder climbs. Daniel and I both did this nice small arete called "tony problem #2" 7c+/8a very quickly despite the hot temps. After that I strolled up the hill to see another classic moderate and dispatched of it as the sun was setting.

We headed back to the house and continued to have a great night. With immense jetlag I was extremely tired and fell asleep at around 10 pm and did not awake until after 11 the next morning. The past few nights have all been this way, trying to get over the tiredness of traveling to the other side of the world.

The other day (6/13) was our first real climbing day! We headed to the "roadside area" which is a 35 minute hike from the car! Daniel was super psyched to show me a bunch of amazing lines that he had done, tried or seen his last trip here. It was a hot day and I was still very tired, but it was awesome to see some amazing lines for the upcoming weeks! They got us very psyched. Daniel and I warmed up and quickly dispatched a nice 8a called baboon master and 7c+ caroline. The girls worked caroline a bunch and will hopefully send it very soon!

As the sun set daniel and I did a obligatory lap on the classic highball "creeky heights" 7a. It is quite amazing! I can't wait to get back to the roadside area to try some of the harder lines!

Yesterday was third day on but I am finally getting accustomed to climbing here. Though it is still a bit hot, the weather should be cooling off in the next few days. So yesterday we went to the alpha farms, a small area located up a hillside from this guy’s house. To climb there you have to pay him 30 rand a person, about 4 USD. The bouldering up there is on some amazing rock! I worked on this amazing 8b, "ray of light" that I got really close to. Daniel was psyched to head up there because he had worked all of the moves out on his previous trip and was psyched to go for the send! He sent and it was super inspiring to watch. I can't wait to get back up there to hopefully send! After this climb, just around the corner, we stumbled upon an amazing 8a called "gliding through waves like dolphins" its pretty much a perfect pinch fest up an extremely overhung barrel! I sent in a few tries and am super psyched on the boulder.

Today is a rest day (6/15), we scoped out some boulders at a newer sector called "the 8 day rain" area. I am pretty psyched for this one boulder "quintessential." There is also this other area called the riverside which has some amazing hard lines and some great projects! More to come!!!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, June 9, 2008

the time has come

So i completed the World Cup and had a great time in my first ever world cup competition! I ended up placing third and was extremely happy about that! I know what to train for next time and how to do things a little differently to hopefully do even better the next time i compete.

Other than that in less than 12 hours i will be on my way to africa for almost two months! keep a look out on my site as well as the Five Ten website for write ups on how my trip is going etc!!!

Back to packing! Have a great summer everyone!!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


quick update! I made finals in 4th place!!!! so psyched right now. as i ended my climbing i thought there was no way i was gonna make it but did and am suppppperrr psyched for finals to come tonight!!!

Male Finalists -

1. Killian Fischuber
2. Gabriel Moroni
3. Ty Landman
4. Paul Robinson
5. Jerome Pouvre
6. Daniel Woods

Sorry i don't know the womens list. Team USA Representing!!! hopefully we can take this world cup down! Good Luck DW and the American women that made it to finals!

Friday, June 6, 2008

day one - Team USA represent!

Day one of the world cup has finally concluded. After having to sit in isolation for just about 6 hours i am now done my first ever qaulifying round of a world cup competition! I ended the day in 1st place. The problems were extremely hard and i only managed to get two top total! More info to come, hopefully good news!!

To keep my mind off of being nervoud i have been playing this game a bunch! A true classic. my high score is level 112!!! Post up a comment if you beat my score!

Congrats to everyone from USA that made it to the semis: Chris Sharma, Daniel Woods, Mark Hobson, Carlo Traversi, Kyle Owen, Alex Johnson, Tiffany Hensley Alex Puccio, Charlotte Jouett, Lisa Rands, and Lizzy Asher!!!!

Tomor should be exciting!

EDIT: Level 119! JYYEEAAAHHH hahaha. i think i may go professional in city jumper soon.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Time has come!

Wow! how time flies! There is only 2 days left until Dosage 5 premieres at the Boulder theater, only 4 days until the qualify round of the World Cup in Vail, and only 8 days until I leave for South Africa for almost 2 months!!! I am super psyched about all the awesome opportunities i will be having in the next week and can't wait to get to South Africa!

I have been continuing to train a lot over the course of the last few weeks and finally felt really good the other day while climbing at the Spot! The other day when talking with a friend about climbing we discussed reaching a new level in your own climbing fitness. I dunno if what we said really made any sense, but i feel like possibly it could have. We thought that you are more or less at a certain level. If you continue to climb you will hopefully break into a new level of climbing. But before you break into that new level you kinda suck for a short period of time. We felt that this was because your muscles and body are adapting to being at that new level and then after sucking for a little bit you are like at a new plateau, above the last and ready to continue on. I just felt super crappy the past few weeks and am starting to feel really good again. I truly hope i have reached the next level in my climbing growth especially since South Africa is right around the corner!!!

So I thought i was going to have a pro blog for Urban Climber, but i'm not sure what went down with that and haven't heard anything from anyone so i had this cool little section where i put down some of the more recent songs i have been listening to so people could go out and download them or whatever if they were psyched on the artist or genre of music. But none-the-less since that kinda fell through i guess ill update on here so hot JAMZ haha. Download, buy the cd, I dunno, do whatever you do to get your music, but these songs I think are really good so if your into hip-hop/rap then take a minute and check them out!

-Slim Thug off the album Already Platinum, “3 Kings”

Pretty much Slim Thug is amazing! Straight from Houston, Texas Slim Thug has some amazing beats and lyrics with a DJ that can chop and skrew to perfection. Pretty much his entire CD is great, definitely worth checking out! I mean who doesn’t love that Dirty South gangsta rap about sipping on that lean!?

-Notorious B.I.G. off the album Life after Death (Disc 1), “Kick in the Door”

Going old school on this one, but who doesn’t love Biggy. I had this song on my ipod for a while but was really bored one day on an airplane and was searching for new songs to listen to and stumbled across this Biggy masterpiece. “kick in the door, wave in the 44, all you heard was poppa don’t hit me no more.” Classic!

-Mobb Deep off the album Blood Money, “Capital P, Capital H”

I was in a record store a few months ago itching for some new music and stumbled upon this album. Though I am not usually a fan of G-unit or its affiliates, I decided why not give this cd a try since Mobb Deep had only recently been signed by g-unit records and hopefully would not be another CD for the infamous snitch, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, to show off his rapping “ability.” I was correct; there are only one or two songs with 50 and the rest of the album is pretty good with a few really good songs.
BTW: If you haven’t seen it yet check out the DVD “Stop Snitchin’ Stop Lyin’” produced by The Game, it’s a must see for all G-Unot fans and is absolutely hilarious!

I finally finished shaping my holds for Nicros and will be sending them off to them in the next few days. I hope they make a line out of them! I will be taking tons of pics in South Africa and will try to update as much as possible so stay tuned for some awesome adventures from my trip to the other side of the world!