Since returning from Europe in the beginning of August, I have been in Colorado having enjoyed the Summer that has now turned to Fall with even a little taste of Winter. Early on, I spent a few days hiking my ass up to the Fortress of Solitude to try Flex Luther, but after dealing with wasps (spraying wasp poison into my eye), birds (shit, and being bombarded), and the worst rock (shedding a couple hundred pounds without even trying, nearly killing Emily), I decided 3 things – 1) This was no longer the route that Tommy Caldwell did, and 2) This wasn’t a route worth doing, and 3) I’d rather spend my time and energy elsewhere. So – to Rifle. I promptly began bolting a permit that was approved by the Rifle Climber’s Coalition and the City of Rifle in early June. It is just up canyon of the upper Ice Cave, on a wall that is now called The Enchanted Forest. It could eventually host a few more routes, maybe 5 or 6 or 7 total. This being the first, I went ground-up, and it was unpleasant. In addition, the rock on the first 30 feet it horrible. All-in-all, it proved to be quite the working and learning process, but I eventually succeeded. I sent the route – Magic Owl – on Sept 30th, and it might be 5.14b. While working on this route, I was trying Waka Flocka Flame, as well as an extension to a Smarmicus Maximus in the Arsenal that Dave Pegg bolted, but abandoned. I was fortunate to get the 2nd ascent of Waka Flocka Flame, and the FA of Dave’s route that he dubbed Fool’s Gold after cleaning and moving some bolts. Waka Flocka Flame seems to be 14c, and Fool’s Gold might be 14a. It has been a busy and productive season in the canyon – lots of new routes, lots of sending, lots of motivation, as well as the standard shit – everything that makes Rifle what it is – lovers, haters, new-comers, has-beens, weekend warriors, regulars, pros, semi-pros, gumbies, media peeps, townies, spectators, cowboys, families, dogs, drunks. I hate it and love it all, including myself at times.
Sept 15 – 19, Emily and I went to NYC to see a Matthew Barney exhibition opening, as well as some of my close family. It was all awesome –
NYC – walking around, taking the subway, staying up late
Hanging out with my aunt and 2 cousins
Hanging out with good friend Boone Speed that just happened to be in town
Hanging out with Matthew, dinner at his house, the exhibition opening, and dinner after
All of it … except the part where some fucking crackhead broke into my aunt’s apartment through the window from the fire escape, on Saturday, between noon and 4…(who does that?)…and stole my aunt’s briefcase and Ipod, my mac, Emily’s mac and Ipod Shuffle, and some cords – That was lame. I hope that you got your fix, you fucker, selling our shit for pennies on the dollar. I would have paid you a shitload more, just to have our stuff back…
Anyways, back here on the Western Slope of CO, I got a project and 3 more new route permit applications in the queue. Fall is back in effect for the week, but Winter reared it’s bitch ass last week, and I can tell it’s ready to pounce. Might not get to finish any of ’em. One way or another though, I’ll be climbing … it just might be time to pull out the ice axes… Here’s some pics. Until next time,