Archive for the ‘Climbing’ Category

A story I didn’t write but always enjoy….

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

An American tourist was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.

Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The tourist complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.”

The tourist then asked, “Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?”

The Mexican said, “With this I have more than enough to support my family’s needs.”

The tourist then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life.”

The tourist scoffed, ” I can help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor; eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You could leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York where you could run your ever-expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

The tourist replied, “15 to 20 years.”

“But what then?” asked the Mexican.

The tourist laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions?…Then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

| Posted in Climbing | 3 Comments »


Thursday, February 28th, 2013

I’m at the airport right now for an Ontario slide show tour and I’m feeling the need for quality crack.  So, since spring is coming and I have 10 minutes, I thought I’d compose a new blog post. IT’S ALMOST MARCH AND IT’S TIME TO MAKE YOURSELF INTO A CRACK MACHINE!

Last summer while living in Squamish, I built a portable crack machine (photo below, not above).  I needed it to be something I could take with me to the crag (as it was a crack climbing workshop after all) but could still demonstrate the full range of crack sizes.  It was a very simple design, relatively lightweight, took me 10 minutes to build, and it got the job done.  It now lives in my friend Jamie Selda’s garage.

Summer is coming again and it’s time to build yours.  Like everything, there are MANY ways of building crack machines, and for a variety of different reasons.  It all comes down to what you want.  Some people want to learn how to crack climb, some want to improve,  and some want to train for the prize project at their local crag.  Some have portability issues, size restraints, angle and depth preferences, etc…so think about your needs, take notes from others and draw up some plans and bob’s your uncle.

Building a crack machine is a lot cheaper than you think, and often, depending on your lifestyle, cheaper than spending a month in Indian Creek.  But unfortunately, not nearly as much fun:)  Below are just a few different ideas floating around on the wide world of web.  Some great pictures, ideas and inspiration.  I love this stuff, so I’m sharing other peoples ideas and vision and hard work.  So, Thanks and enjoy.

| Posted in Climbing | 3 Comments »

The elusive V-BOARD

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Hey All  -  I just updated my V-Board page for anyone interested in finger training.  I have about 20 left for sale, click on the image below for more details.  Cheers.

| Posted in Climbing | 8 Comments »

A couple of links for you…

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

If you’re bored, here’s a few words I wrote about my last year living in a van with my wife, and what we learned, click on the image to read the full story.


And again, some words and text about our drive up the Northern California Coast to explore lost rocks, click on the image to see more.

| Posted in Climbing | 1 Comment »

Mosquito Creek

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

If Banff and Canmore are too busy and hectic for you, try Mosquito Creek.  It’s got no cell service, no indoor plumbing and no electricity, but what it lacks in luxuries, it makes up for in mountains and simplicity.  It’s really not a terrible place to go outside when it’s minus 25 and if you work for 3 hours a day, you can stay for free,  talk to Roger the manager:)

Mosquito Creek is a rustic Hostel located only 25 minutes North of Lake Louise, Alberta.   It grants you instant access to some of the Rockies most sought after ski touring.   Here’s just a few pictures of our time spent up there.  Sadly, we only stayed for two days, but it felt like a week.  ABSOLUTELY going back.  I have never liked winter so much.

| Posted in Climbing | 3 Comments »

Off the Wagon

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Happy Belated Holidays.

Lets all raise a glass of the good stuff to longer days and shorter nights coming fourth.

So, I just spent 10 days with my family, from Kelowna, BC to Toronto, Ontario.  Great times.  My nieces and nephews are at that oh so special age where they actually think I’m cool and fun to be with.  I love it. I wouldn’t trade a minute for anything in the world.  But then I get back to Canmore and realize I haven’t climbed in over 2 weeks.  Crazy.  So I get on the ol’ V-board again, and my fingers hurt and tire quickly, my arms ache a bit and (like a sissy) I let go before falling off.

I was feeling strong and confident before I left.  So what gives?

Then, I open my online banking account to pay this months rent, and realize how much I actually spent over the Holidays, and let me say, it’s looking pretty bleak – from coffee shops and plane tickets to Christmas presents and ski passes.  Where did it all go, and more importantly, how did it go so quickly?

It occurred to me at that moment, how much harder it is to build something than it is to maintain it.

For example, I’ve been saving up for Christmas for a while now, nearly 3 months, and I spent the money in 2 weeks.  Similarly, I spent two months gym climbing and hangboarding again, doing more core workouts and even hitting the weights, you know, trying to be more like Sean McColl the plastic prince, and less like Sonnie Trotter the moss scrubber.  It’s been hard work getting my contact strength and overall fitness to a pretty acceptable level again after a summer of guiding, low angle granite tech/crack climbing and new route development.

So, why are the things like fitness, power and money, so hard to build and so easy to destroy?  I suppose that’s just another life lesson I can add to my list.  It takes months or years to build a house and only one day to tear it down.

But they say the best way to get in shape is to stay in shape.  So, after two weeks of some R and R, it’s time to get back on the wagon and whip myself into shape.  It’s a new year after all, a fresh start to an old routine, train in the winter so we can crush in the summer.  May the days ahead be painful, exciting and inspiring.  On that note:  Here’s an awesome video of Jan Hojer climbing “Off the Wagon”, V-hard.

| Posted in Climbing | 1 Comment »

I try to support local breweries!

Friday, December 14th, 2012

| Posted in Climbing | 2 Comments »

Through Thick and Thin.

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Here in Canmore, we just got a foot of snow.  It’s definitely beautiful.  It’s cold.  It’s icy.  There’s certainly something special about cold dry winters, no doubt about it, walking in weightless white fluff, the kind of snow that you can barely feel when you walk, but you can hear it squeak under your feet with each step.  The air is definitely much thinner here than I am used to in Squamish, and there’s a lot more red noses too.  I might even say the air is more “energetic” than our thicker coastal kinfolk.  But also, there’s a comfort I find in BC that I can’t get in Alberta. A grounding of sorts.  We are lucky to have such easy access to these diverse climates.  The temperature is supposed to drop to minus 16 tonight, and I found myself looking at old pictures.  Below is a collection of pictures I took on one single day in Squamish.  It was winter, and the fog created a natural diffusion of light, it seems everywhere I looked, I saw something beautiful.  Yes, even a pick up truck looked worthy of a picture to me.  Sorry there’s no rocks,  or climbing, but I hope you enjoy them nonetheless.


| Posted in Climbing | 2 Comments »


Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

Well, if you ‘d like to read something other than Adam Ondra’s absolutely mind boggling trip to the Red River Gorge,  check out a little bit I wrote about the amazing 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell.  You can find it over at the patagonia blog,  The Cleanest Line.  Below is a fun little homepage picture from the site, showing off van living at it’s finest.  In this shot, Ben Moon captured us waiting out a pretty heavy snow storm at Jen’s place while during a trip to Joshua Tree, California.  Traveling sucks:)

| Posted in Climbing | 4 Comments »

24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

I just got back from the amazing festival known as the 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell.  This is without question the best climbing event I have ever been to, and it gets better with age.  Most of the charm comes from the fact that it’s small,  this year there was a 250 participant cut off, so it ‘s got a small town feeling, another reason is because it’s a partnership oriented event, you have to climb with a partner who you get along with, because you’ll be swapping leads for 24 hours straight, that’s a big part of it, finding someone you respect, that you’re compatible with, someone that you’re going to push and who’s going to push you back, having a belay slave at this event is lame, it’s about partnership in my eyes.  The third reason that I love it so much is that there is no cash prizes,  it means if you go, it’s because you really want to be there and you really love climbing rocks.  And the last reason I love it, is because the rock climbing is just so damn good.  I can’t think of anywhere else in the world where I could climb for 24 hours and not be completely slashed up.  I mean, the body takes a beating for sure, and the hands burn for days afterwards, but the soft high quality sandstone just doesn’t rip you up like most other sport climbing areas.  It’s absolutely incredible.  The event is more like a small burning man festival, and if you go next year,  bring your spirit with you.    I’ll upload some more pics later, but here’s a few teasers.  Peace.

| Posted in Climbing | 4 Comments »