Trad Climbing

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Finishing Up my Climbing Goals for 2018 and Starting New Goals for 2019

Every year, I try to set up a list of achievable climbing goals that will help me focus on improving the areas where I am the weakest. In 2017, my main focus was pushing grades. I focused on number grades as a benchmark for where I wanted to be as a climber. I didn't quite reach my goal, but I did notice big improvements in my redpointing and onsighting ability throughout the year. Here is where I got with my goals ... Read more

Climbing the Direct North Ridge of Mount Stuart in Washington (5.9+ | 2,900ft)

In the summer of last year (2017), we attempted the Direct North Ridge on Mount Stuart, but retreated once we reached the notch about 1,500ft up the route. Storm clouds had completely covered the peak above, and without sufficient rain gear, we were afraid we would become hypothermic if we got wet. We figured our best choice was to rappel and find shelter under some of the large boulders at the base of the route. We ended up "sleeping" on the ... Read more

Rock Climbing Around Tahoe, CA

Kim and I recently took a trip out to San Francisco to visit our friend Brent and see his new place. We didn't really have any plans to do any rock climbing, but inevitably it's what we always end up doing. After spending a few days in the city riding bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge and handing out with friends, we loaded up the car and drove up to North Tahoe to a climbing place called The Emeralds. This place ... Read more

Failing on Fine Jade

For some reason, we thought it would be fun to drive down to Moab and give the classic route Fine jade (.11a | 5 pitches) a try. It is a route that is a bit beyond our climbing ability, but we figured that we could just aid through any tough spots on the route. We started driving early Saturday morning around 5am. We were very surprised when we got to Moab that there was more snow on the ground than in Salt ... Read more

Climbing Lightbulb Tower (AKA James Tower) 5.10 | A1

Kirk and I recently took our first trip to The San Rafael Swell in southern Utah. On that trip we just cragged and found some awesome single pitch routes. However, we wanted to return and try out the more adventurous side of climbing in The Swell. We looked up a bunch of routes on Mountain Project and found a cool looking tower call the Lightbulb. It was 3 pitches rated 5.10 and A1. With that grade we'd be pushing our free ... Read more

Almost Free Soloing Standard Ridge (5.6 | 9 Pitches)

Kirk recently climbed Standard Ridge in Big Cottonwood with our friend Nathan. Not long after he suggested we solo it. After a few weeks, an opportune day arose and so we went for it. We brought our harness, a light twin rope, and a super small rack just in case we got intimidated. We scrambled up the chossy beginning of the route and made our way to a steep face that took us to the main exposed ridge. We followed this ... Read more

Ellingwood Ledges Direct Start (5.7) | Colorado Alpinism

We began our hike in around 4:00am and made our way to the base of the direct start of the Ellingwood Arete. With two teams of two, Martin and Brent started up the first, 5.5/5.6 pitch while Kim and I waited restlessly to begin. Kim and I started climbing once Brent had made some progress on the pitch. The route began on an insecure slab that traversed left into a large, low-angle dihedral, topping out on a large ledge with poor ... Read more

Climbing The North Chimney of Castleton Tower in Moab, UT (5.9 | 3 Pitches)

Castleton Tower is an iconic climbing destination for trad climbers all over the world. With two routes on it rated in the 5.9 range, it makes it one of the first towers that many climbers do. Because if this, the tower is popular and there are generally multiple parties on every route. We chose to do the North Chimney route on the tower because we heard it was cleaner and more aesthetic line. The 5.9- vs 5.9+ of Kor Ingalls also ... Read more

Climbing the Mountaineer’s Route on Elephant’s Perch (Video) | Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

A few weeks ago, my friend Kirk and I were trying to decide on an adventure. Being from Salt Lake, we had plans to go to Yosemite, but ended up not working out for the timeframe that we wanted. We did have a couple days to make something happen, so the Elephant's Perch stood out to us as a moderate climb, short drive and easy approach. We left Salt Lake around 10:00am on a Thursday and drove the 6 hours to the ... Read more

Climbing Horns of Satan (.10c | 8 Pitches) on Devil’s Castle at Alta, Utah

I had done a little bit of reading about Black Streak on Devil's Castle before my friend suggested the neighboring route "Horns of Satan." I am glad he did. The route is traditional protection, but because it is Limestone, it is mostly bolted and incredibly chossy. The harder sections are very well bolted and incredibly fun. Our adventure started around 7:00 or 8:00am when we parked at the upper parking lot near the campground. The hike to the base didn't take too ... Read more
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