Thursday, October 17, 2013

Desert life

I forgot what it felt like to have sand caked in my hair, resting in my ears, and stuck underneath my contacts. It wasn't until I got back home, took a shower, and was still finding sand, that I realized I missed the desert. Heavy loads and long approaches, hot days and freezing nights, and some of the longest burliest sandbagged routes anywhere. Moab will destroy you. 
Last weekend I spent three days in the Moab area, I was very nervous about not having enough endurance for the long vertical offwidth routes, all the offwidths in Vedauwoo are around 30 feet, in Moab it's more like 150 feet. 
Day one we went to a vertical offwidth called "Offwidths Are Beautiful", it's a Craig Luebben route so disregard whatever difficulty grade he gave it and get ready to suffer, the route goes through about every size of offwidth in about 150 feet. 
The route felt very comfortable, it's slightly less than vertical and offers many nice rest, although repelling down the route I realized that none of my cams were any good, they were more than tipped out, and acting more like stoppers, my two big bros were the only good pieces I had placed. 
On the second day we went to Indian creek and climbed a line called David, it's completely vertical and zig zags all over. It was a really beautiful line! 
Day three Pam took me up to a line called "Slither And Scream", this was by far the hardest line I climbed in my short trip, after 100 feet of painful bad knee locks it flares to a squeeze chimney then tightens up through a roof, I literally did slither then scream like a banshee moving out of the roof on a desperate double fist jam, the route ends with 25 feet of tipped out number 6 cams. 
It was a great trip and my back really hurts! I made some new friends, saw some amazing landscapes, and onsite all three climbs. 
              (Messa and Guy) 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Jaws of Flesh

After seven days, and around 20 attempts, I finally finished the project. 

Something really strange happened this time, It was at the crux, and I couldn't get my right foot to feel comfortable enough to take my body weight, after what seemed like an eternity struggling, I lost hope and gave up. 
Pulling my fist stack out of the crack, I looked at the ground, preparing for the head first whipper I'm all too comfortable with. But I didn't, my foot got horribly stuck and I was left dangling off a single foot. 
Last time I got my foot stuck over my head, it was on a boulder called Razzmatazz and all that jazz, I was by myself (bad decision) and it took me several minutes to untie my shoe and get my foot out. It was one of the most terrifying things I've ever encountered.
         (Razzmatazz and all that Jazz)
And now it's happened again! But something changed inside of me, on Razzmatazz I really thought I was going to die, but I believe it was that experience that prepared me. I became calm, closed my eyes, and took a deep breath. I remember thinking that it was a blessing, because now I could make the next move. I sat up, threw everything into pivoting right side up, and it all just came together. 
Yes, getting your foot stuck over your head is a blessing in disguise. 
I'm calling it "Jaws of Flesh" 5.12;)

I'm excited to see other people get on it! It's in Little Cottonwood Canyon, at the waterfront area, start on Jay Anderson's "on the waterfront" but instead of climbing out the hand crack, continue straight in the offwidth through and out the roof, takes fours to sixes, and ANCHOR YOUR BELAYER! There's some seriously decking potential.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Vedauwoo

I've spent about half my summer so far in Vedauwoo, a wide crack Mecca between  Laramie and Cheyenne, Wyoming. 
Aside from what I consider the best climbing anywhere, the place is incredibly scenic. Here's a few of the pictures I've taken throughout the summer 
            Big Cams and Tape!

          There are moose everywhere!


Ahhhhh yeah! 

Project

     I'm getting back on the project tomorrow! I've spent six days working on it, with about four to five tries per day. Is seven my lucky number? 
The climb is overhanging fours to sixes, with a wicked flare. The sides are offset making it incredibly difficult to get into the crack. The crux move is about ten feet from the chains, it's a heinous pivot to an over hanging arm bar. Yuck! 
So how hard is it? The real answer is, I have no idea!!! The bottom section feels like Trench Warfare's crux (start), and the crux feels like the pivot on The Forever War (Pamela Packs 13+R), but considering I still haven't red pointed Bob Scarpelli, and Jay Anderson's "Big Pink" 11b, who really knows what it could be! 
All I know is the fall is terrifying, if you don't anchor your belay, you may deck. And if you whip too hard, there's a good chance you'll pendulum head first into the back wall. Haha...
Wish me luck! 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Why Offwidths?

When I started climbing I wanted to be a boulderer, I think I was attracted to the power involved in it, I set a goal to move up a V grade every month, and I did, but then I discovered a rope, and forgot completely what a boulder was. Climbing was now about getting scared, big falls, and onsite attempts. The higher off the ground the better, one year from starting climbing I bought a trad rack, and became obsessed with the art of crack climbing. 
One day I set out with a friend to climb a route called "fire starter" it was an "offwidth" or wide crack, I chose the route because I had just bought a large tri cam protection device, that would work in a six inch crack. I placed my new piece from the ground, got in the crack and started. I crammed my arm deep in the crack, and twisted my hips until they stuck, I clawed at the rock with my free hand and kicked at the wall beneath me. The crack never seemed to end, and my body quickly gave out. I let myself sink out of the crack, waiting for the rope to take my weight, but before it could, I was standing back on the ground. I had never  actually made any upward progress. How had this stupid 5.9+ embarrassed me so badly? 
I became obsessed, climbing every wide crack I could, and watching every video available. And that's when I found it, a video of roof offwidth, "Trench Warfare" the hardest offwidth in northern Utah, right across the canyon from my nemesis  Fire Starter. The climb was the scariest thing I had ever witnessed, upside down in a cave, with boulders to smash into if you fall in the wrong place. It was then that I knew I wanted to climb offwidths. 
(Chicken Winging "Firestarter" photo: Jonathan Vickers)
("Firestarter" photo Jonathan Vickers)
("Trench Warfare" photo Dakota Robbins)
(Photo Dakota Robbins)


Intro

Hello everyone, welcome to my blog. 
My name is Danny, I like to climb rocks, and take pictures. Pretty Simple stuff! 
My work allows me to travel a lot, and so I do! Wherever there's a sweet crack you'll find me! 
(Climbing done lubbin, belay; Jay Anderson, photo; Pamela Pack)