Looking at the calendar and realizing I haven’t posted in a while, I figured in true blogging form I’d post something random. The fact that I haven’t posted in three weeks isn’t because I’m not writing, quite the opposite I’ve been working hard on the “The Climbing Zine, Volume 3”.
I’ll start there. “The Climbing Zine Volume 3” will be quite different than the previous editions. It will be at least twice as long. The writing is exclusively from yours truly, and we’re producing two different versions: a printed version with a color cover and a free online version accompanied by many photographs. I’m collaborating with fellow climber Mallory Logan, and she is doing all the graphic design work for the zine. She also had the idea to include some more photography from another climber, Zane Groves, so we’ll feature a bunch of his photos in the online version.
Fans of the Climbing Zine who enjoy other authors that contribute to the zine need not worry; “The Climbing Zine Volume 4” will be another collaborative effort. Be sure to contact me if you are interested in contributing stories or photos (or art).
I’ve just been producing so much writing lately that I decided to go ahead and write the thing myself. Look for another blog post in the near future with an excerpt from the feature piece of the zine called, “Go West Young Man, In the Freedom Mobile.”
Another piece will be about my best friend, Two Tent Timmy. Tim and I spent some time climbing together this winter, and it was reunion of sorts. Tim has been out of the climbing game for a while and returned with a vengeance after a four year hiatus.
We got to climb several days in the Durango area, and also made it out to Indian Creek for a bunch of winter climbing and camping. One of our most memorable climbs was a first ascent on the Broken Tooth wall.
I’d eyed the line on a previous trip, and took several photographs from afar to see if the route had any signs of anchors and previous travel. Back at home I zoomed in on the photos and sure enough there was no evidence of anchors.
Establishing the route went relatively well. I took a conservative approach for the beginning of the climb, hanging on pieces when necessary, and cleaning up loose holds. After a funky .75 (Camalot) section I reached a chimney off-width section that I couldn’t simply hangdog. I found it very difficult and loose and that part took everything I had in me (including placing all the off-width gear we had with us). Finally reaching the top after nearly two hour lead I felt exhausted and dreading the fact that I had to hand drill anchors in the route. It wasn’t the classic that I hoped it would be, but it was still fun.
I’d originally intended to name the route Gold Tooth Timmy, in honor of Tim (he has a gold tooth), but it was just too chossy. After a night of joking what we should call it, we eventually came up with Snaggle Tooth, and I think that’s appropriate. The route is on the far right side of the Broken Tooth buttress. At camp, over the days that followed we made a plaque that I plan to place at the base of the route. (That may have been the most enjoyable part of the new route experience.)
That desert trip ended with a lap up Castleton tower, in the Castle Valley. Tim and I had done the Kor-Ingalls route together ten years ago, and it was fun to revisit old memories. I remember being scared out of my mind on the tower previously, and it was interesting to compare how I feel about climbing now, compared to then.
I couldn’t help but think of these lines from the Pink Floyd song Dark Side of the Moon, “You are young and life is long, and there is time to kill today. And then one day you find. Ten years have got behind you.” The way time passes is incredible, but up on that tower and chillin’ with Tim in camp I feel I’m spending my life exactly how I want to.
Hope ya’ll enjoy these photos with the piece, and stay tuned as “The Climbing Zine Volume 3” comes together. I’m more excited about this project than anything I’ve ever done.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
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