Monday, July 29, 2013


So for this installment of the van life tips and insights (I think that's what these are) I thought I'd touch on a near and dear subject that my cousin has labeled 'freeganism'. Basically, freeganism is a compulsion or motivation to accept and collect free things in order to better or maintain one's standard of living. This can range from a pair of shoes found alongside the interstate, a meal offered by friends, family or strangers, a hand out from work etc.

I'm sure you can all think back fondly on a time when you got a sweet hand-me-down sweater or found a soda in a vending machine that you snagged. This does not make you a freegan. If, however, those both happened in the last week and you have also chosen a profession you know you'll get free samples from, you visit Costco specifically when you're hungry, you choose to use library internet rather than getting your own or, the thought of a new pair of shoes for free makes you giddy and giggly...then you may indeed be a freegan.

This is a perfectly acceptable way to cut down on costs while continuing to do what you like to do. However, I'm afraid that there is a dark side to freeganism that I only recently became aware of. It is possible to become addicted and blind to the fact that you can collect too much stuff. Eight pairs of free shoes may be too many, a full wardrobe of shirts that you didn't pay for but received fairly, daily trips to the supermarket dumpster for expired veggies and cookies may all be indicators of a freegan overload.

The good news is there is a quick and easy fix! You now have the power to enable and encourage other freegans with your excess. Feel free to gift on some of those things you don't really need. Donate to a local thrift shop (not quite a freegan move but close enough for me to allow it). Ask among your friends to see if any of them are freegans or know one and earn some of those good karma points. A sweet side effect of giving your excess (but usable) stuff away is the awesome feeling of doing good while streamlining your life. Those of you that have done this know what I'm talking about. Those that don't well hop on board and give it a go.
Hat, Free. Vest, Free. Shoes, Free. Pure joy, Free. 

A likely bunch of candidates for freeganism.

You can have fun with free stuff and what better way to not waste a 5lb bag of spinach than with a spinach eating contest.

Photos by Kayla Watson.

Friday, July 5, 2013

New Craggin'

So this will be a brief update as my life continues to be largely dominated by work.

However, when I have had time off of work or before going in to work I've spent much of it on Independence Pass, a mountain pass just outside of Aspen, CO that is stacked with alpine granite. I was lucky enough to be tipped off on an untouched chuck of rock that is/was prime for development by a local sales rep. Over the past month I have established several slab climbs, a sport climb and a half (that still need to be finished/climbed) and a few trad climbs with the help of several of my co-workers. Yesterday was one of the most productive days up there as I got to climb with a friend and we established two new trad climbs (one of which being his first first ascent) and got to top rope a number of the slabs and I got to work on the finished sport climb that I think will clock in in the 5.12 range. Needless to say stoke is high.

If any of you reading this are climbers and are psyched to donate hardware or a Bosch cordless hammer drill you're welcome to get in contact!

If anyone has any route name suggestions or crag names feel free to give me a shout as I have not yet decided on anything.

Here are a couple of pictures of the crag and various phases of it being developed.
The upper crag

5 minutes to drill a hole and place a bolt.

5.9+ hand crack.

1 hour to drill a hole and place a bolt haha.

5.8 wide crack