Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pre-funemployment update

Alrighty here goes another update, is this rapid fire overwhelming? If so feel free to pace yourself as who knows when the next update is coming.

So, since my last update back in July I think some things have happened I will regurgitate some of them and have forgotten some of them so take this all with a grain of salt.

July was not super exciting so no worries there, there was occasional mountain bike rides (perhaps 3-4), free days were spent bolting new routes up on Independence Pass or equipping routes at Gold Butte with new hardware courtesy of the ASCA. When I was not doing any of the above I was working at the Ute (gear shop) or at Colorado Mountain College with the Extreme Sports Camp or various other groups that were psyched on getting out on the challenge course. There was very little down time which was something of a double edged sword but certainly made the month go by quickly.

August was marked by a surprise early return of my girlfriend which was needless to say delightful. Then my Grandma Mary passed away which was not so delightful. I was also working, bolting, climbing, mountain biking, tubing and going on other grand adventures before, during and after these other things. I was able to make my second attempt on a fourteener, this time shooting for Capitol with Taryn. Instead of looking at maps, making detailed plans and preparing super thoroughly I chose instead to put on my adventure pants and listen to my heart. As a result we narrowly missed the correct trail head and took another trail that sent us in the wrong direction leading to a ~16 mile scenic hike with great views of Capitol Peak as well as some alpine lakes and the Roaring Fork valley. I was also able to return to Rifle for some sportz climbing for the first time in a few months which was still humbling and awesome.

This month Nathan (my neighbor that I've been developing the new crag with) and I have finished development on the new crag (read: we ran out of bolts) and I have begun preparing for funemployment. Preparations include: picking up extra shifts (not sure why though), day dreaming about not being at work, day dreaming about the desert, stocking up on gear, fine tuning the van and getting my adventure pants ready. Sure I've been getting out mountain biking for some 20-30 mile rides and squeezing some climbing in before going into work so life's not all anguish and misery. Oh ya I said I'd do a little bragging about my mad skillz which is to say that I'm pscyhed to say that I've sent my hardest sport route to date a few weeks ago, which is clocking in at maybe 5.12 something, it's hard to say as it's a first ascent and there have not been many repeats to confirm the grade but maybe hard 5.12 who knows?

Here are a few pictures, I apologize for the lacking number as I seem to forget to take the camera out on all of the adventures I have.
A sunrise that was not fully captured by the camera

One of many fantastic views of Capitol Peak

Looking over the Roaring Fork Valley

The 'Well lets just go up there and turn around' spot.

Anaerobic Nightmare indeed. 

Aww, some nice flowers in September to greet the end of a rather long ride.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sketchy People

Alright so I think that I ought to preface this post with the statement that none of the following descriptions are enough to pass judgement on individuals, they're merely guidelines and suggestions on characteristics to be wary of.

In my experience the following are red flags that should encourage you from committing to any extreme adventures with the individual:

Brand spankin' new gear. If all of their gear is shiny and not scuffed up watch out. This can include climbing stuff, tents, stoves, paddling gear etc. This is a pretty sure indicator that either they've just won the lottery and have revamped their gear supply (Note: this is not very likely) or they have the money and decided that they're psyched enough to drop X dollars on said activity. These people may initially seem appealing as you get to use and abuse their nice new stuff, they might have massive amounts of stoke. However, you must consider their knowledge base, do they really know what they're doing or are they just name and phrase dropping stuff they got from wikipedia or the online forums? Have they set their stuff up mostly right but have done some quirky stuff that's not quite the norm? Are they taking an unusually long time to set up their tent with questions like 'wait why do I want my head facing up hill?' DANGER!

Dirty/unwashed.  This one is largely dependent on the venue. Exceptions might be considered in Camp 4, the greater Moab area, Colorado and anywhere else that attracts folks that raft, climb, bike, hike or camp in remote and hard to shower areas. However, if you're in an area that is close to or a real urban zone with plentiful showers, Starbucks (read: sink showers) and generous folks and you stumble across someone that isn't returning from a trip that smells like they are or has copious amounts of dirt smeared over them watch out! This individual may not be quite in touch with social norms, they may mooch excessively (particularly from the whiskey), they might not pick up on hints that it's time for a shower or simply time to move on. Have you ever wanted a friend that you despise? If so hang out with folks that fit these descriptions.

Guns. If a recent acquaintance is packing heat and psyched on applying this heat to their immediate surroundings consider this another red flag. This is by no means an complete deal breaker but if this one is in combination with some of these others then it's time to throw caution to the wind and find somewhere else to be quick especially when combined with the next topic.

Casual references to recent jail time. If your new friend starts talking about getting out of the slammer it's cool to ask what put them there. If it's something rad like inciting a riot, depantsing the governor etc. then you need not worry and in fact may consider more quickly befriending that individual. If instead they person responds with aggravated assault, theft, murder etc. then it's time to ask yourself if you really want to be associated with such an individual. Folks in this latter category might also begin issuing death threats or threats of bodily harm to individuals of their past, this is what I like to call a cherry on top that makes the decision to relocate easy. Consider though, before moving on is there a chance that you'll want a violent and seedy individual to get advice from or as a contact for the black market? If you answered yes maybe a loose connection and positive relationship with that person could be helpful. Just sayin'.

Male, Foreign, and traveling alone. Exceptions for this one definitely exist, however by and large these exceptions make the rule. If you want an epic twist in your trip (epic in this context is not a good thing) then get this person's story and a belay. However, if they've been in country for more than a few weeks an have been unable to hold down a consistent friend/partner there could be a reason for that. Feel free to ask me stories on these folks over a beer sometime, there are lots of lessons to be learned I'm just lacking the motivation to write that novel this morning.

When plans don't quite add up. When talking with a recent acquaintance and they being talking about their plans to climb the Nose solo and then start talking about the guy that taught them everything they know at their home gym and that they started climbing 8 months ago. Danger. This one can be especially emphasized by the shiny gear thing. Maybe this person is a natural badass and is capable of succeeding in this seemingly harebrained adventures, but they're probably not.

Well I'll try and do some more posting soon with the rest of the things I mentioned in the last post, but first I need to shower so I don't get lumped into some of the aforementioned categories.