climbing is overrated

31 03 2008

for my follow up and less verbose second post, i have to share a revelation with all of you. -you being the community of people i probably already know and most likely shared this experience with, seeing that as a guest poster, i’m privy to the number of hits this blog gets.

climbing is overrated.

i say this because i ventured outside of the garage and went “climbing” today, and by climbing i mean that i put on a rope twice and did one and a half pitches. this is worth mentioning in of itself seeing that i’ve only roped up once or twice in the past three years or so. but what is really interesting, is that if i had actually paid for most of my gear, each one of those days would have been valued at approximately $248.73, once you add up all the capital necessary to partake in such an endeavor like roped climbing.

now after all that, what was the most memorable experience? well apart from the usual grossly inappropriate, twisted and dark humor, and completely unprovoked aggressive comments usually directed towards any passing individual’s girlfriend, it involved the indomitable reverend of the bassett house discovering a bee crawling on the ground and preceding to shout at it, “HEY BEE. MAKE SOME HONEY!” in the same voice you would expect out of grover from sesame street if he couldn’t control the level of his voice and consequently was drunk from depression.

with these preceding tabulations and observations i came to the following revelations:

  1. if i could make ever sentence i uttered rhyme like mohammad ali, i totally would.
  2. for $248.73 i probably could have bought some damn good drugs for the reverend and expected even more bizarre exhortations, although the unexpectedness of the outburst was really what made the occasion.
  3. with the above mentioned amount i could have made made 79% of a round trip road trip to hueco (at the going gas rate) or 72% of a round trip road trip to salt lake city and the surrounding meccas of climbing, by myself, with no one to split gas with.
  4. one low-to-mid-priced clown or magician for about an hour.

really the choice is pretty clear to me if the decision is mine, and for $248.73 per hour, that magician better damn well show me a good time.

-the architect

hate nature locally

27 03 2008

want to make the vast majority of your friends salivate over your bulging back muscles as you regale them with stories of your sordid conquest of v10? don’t want to drive 4 hours to do it? afraid it might rain?

the answer: the Cove. dry, close, and according to jemerson “a powerband with lots of potential for hard problems”. blam.

directions: drive 0.6 miles from the Nada tunnel past a steep, right hairpin turn and look for a pulloff on the right. cross the road and follow the obvious trail up to the first cliff then traverse left along the trail. eventually the trail heads uphill again to the right and ends at The Cove.

for more information grab the guidebook from the bottom of the bookshelf in my living room.

for more awesome video action of jemerson crushing stuff globally goto b3 bouldering.

to sort out how to climb v10 goto Neil Gresham’s training site.

fat people and nihilists: the spectacle of climbing philosophy

26 03 2008


We’ve all been there. After building a solid “hey-i’ve-read-all-the- climbing-training-books” route pyramid we finally cross a plateau that has stared us in the face for weeks, months, or even years. We clip the chains. Our friends cheer. Confetti fills the sky. And the credits begin to roll. That’s right people, we have jumped up a grade in rock climbing uber-leetness.

There are two primary ways in which to read this event: 1) It might be interpreted as the culmination of many hours of garage/gym enthusiasm. We did X number of one arm pull ups so that Y route could be manhandled by our inspiring industrial strength grip. We ran 5 times a week for three months. We stopped drinking beer. All of this so that we could jump a grade in our personal quest to become absolutely ridiculous. 2) It could also be said that this sort of goal oriented approach is quite sad. With all the focus on the arrival, people miss the trip, the process, the ‘becoming’ strong. All we get is our three seconds of glory when we clip the chains and then we’re back to square one: the next grade. Add to this that grades are largely speculative, and what you get is a ton of people focusing on a reductive representation of climbing that obscures the true beauty of the sport.

Two sides. Two philosophies if you will. Grade Chasers and Soul Climbers.

Fortunately for you, we here at It Came From the Garage have the answer to this perplexing binary. By uncovering how these philosophies might approach key nodes in climbing ideology we can begin to uncoil the most truest true truthed form of rock climbing.

Nature: First of all, grade chasers hate nature. I think Darwin said it best when he said “Rock climbers who care about grades hate nature.” (Origin of Species, 172) And of course, everybody knows that rock climbing naturally requires a stern indifference to the notions of quality and quantity related through the relationship between 0 and 1; an indifference not present in nature-hating grade enthusiasts, but fully constituted in the Zen-like flowiness of soul climbers. See a forest burning? It wasn’t lightning my friend, it was a dude with an 8a account.

Body: Soul climbers are fat. Fat fatty fat fats. They don’t care about climbing hard because they can’t. Rather than hit the gym, these rasta vibin’ bros hide their fat rolls behind their avowed spiritual relationship with the rock. Of course, we all know this is hocus-pocus ‘i-left-that-shit-on-dead-tour’ crap. When they say things like “the rock speaks to me”, the keen observer should read this as “please ignore the fact that I suck at rock climbing.” Sorry ‘brah’, but we can’t; your “suck speaks to us”.

Fat People vs. Quantitative Nihilists? Which is the most truest-ish?


-tissue tendons


the anatomy of a garage problem as seen through the eyes of the architect

24 03 2008


in the midst of this gloriously relaxing evening, while contemplating the nature of my first guest quip, i decided that i would expound upon that which i am most familiar and qualified to expound upon; namely the art of setting that which we treasure most: the garage problem. for without this simple pleasure bestowed upon us by those most highly esteemed individuals to whom homage should be payed, our lives would be a little more empty. i feel it is one of the few arts to which i have a unique insight and understanding, and frankly, one of the few things i am truly passionate about. furthermore, i feel it is my solemn duty to share this divine knowledge of mine in order that others may benefit from it’s truth and beauty, and render their world just a tad closer to thearchitecturality- that utopian, perfectly set garage society to which we all strive.

but first, in order to understand the anatomy of a garage problem, we must first understand the setter and his process.

the day starts with me entering the garage which is that garage that does not belong to tissue tendons, and the one which i am only partially responsible for creating. lets say on this particular day i am climbing alone, again. i begin to warm up on the same problems that have been on the wall for months utilizing the same holds that have been on the wall for years, reflecting upon the intransient nature of my setting and how it reflects the intransient nature of my climbing ability. i put on the same cd that has been in the cd player for the entire season and pretend that it makes me want to climb instead of play guitar hero and/or cathartically destroy the cd player. i slowly warm up.

as my brain is slowly able to convince my fingers that they’re going to do some climbing whether they wanted to or not, and they submit to the tyranny of my traverses, i start to feel like i can begin to attempt to climb hard despite the utter lack of motivation that is creeping like a pump into my bloodstream. i search for some new problem that i can latch onto with a misguided belief that it will fulfill me in some way, but settle instead on an unfinished line from the last session. i try it and fail on it again mostly due to the lack of a disproportionately large wingspan.

with my demotivation building more, it’s at that moment that i spy a new problem on the far wall, and a contemplation of the meaning of this garage climbing is briefly averted. i try it with fresh enthusiasm and fail on it mostly due to the lack of a disproportionately large wingspan. i look around at the empty garage and begin to ask myself what i am doing here and whether i really believe this is fun- but in the process, again, spy a new problem, poorly taped, starting in the corner. desperately seeking affirmation, i try the problem and fail on it mostly due to the lack of a disproportionately long torso and legs.

it is at this point that i go into a sort of knee jerk reaction mode. it is not so important that you utilize my same methods for arrival at this point, only that you too get to this feeling of aggravated dejection and use it as the motivation for your garage problems.

the trick now is to visualize all the climbers you know failing miserably, and to channel that into your problem. mentally note the moves where they always seem to have trouble, get frustrated on, or fail at, and consciously make note to include those in your creation. think about their body type and imagine what would give it trouble. analyze their strengths and play to their weaknesses. but most importantly set the very epitome of a problem they would hate.

however, the trick now is to get them to try the problem. and this is where the real genious comes in. for unless you have mastered the art of setting, all your scheming will have been in vain.

it begins with the line. nothing- nothing, is as important as the line. it is that which always catches our eye first and beckons us with it’s sirens song. it is the sacred geometry of the wall that jumps out at us and yells in our faces like a drunk disgruntled walrus telling us, oh yes, this is where the route shall go. you must find this line. it is your destiny.

next comes the holds. you must use the best, most dope holds available. and you must establish early that those holds are yours and not to be used otherwise in the creation of some bastard child route of satan. the late, great hunter s. thompson once wrote: “you can establish the right reputation in this regard- you might, right in the middle of conversation, just swat some motherfucker across the room. make his blood shoot out in big spurts.” hunter s. thompson was one of the best setters.

and finally comes the movement. the visualization of failure mentioned above is utilized here. make the route as utterly scrunched as possible. force a heel hook over their head on a sloper so it pulls their shoe off. force that high step that is all but impossible for anyone else. but most importantly make it suit you to a ‘t’. this becomes important later when you will be running laps on it to show everyone that “it’s not that bad.” finally, tell everyone about your route, and how you specifically set it for them, and how they have to try it.

assuming you have carried out these instructions within reasonable accuracy you should be well on your way to creating the kind of discord necessary to foster a healthy climbing posse. at the very least, you should feel better about yourself having crushed everyone else’s egos and dreams of being the strongest garage climber. they will have to bow down to your pwnage and accept that they just cannot seem to climb your uber-problems; that the moves don’t fit their body type at all, yet somehow, they just have to keep trying them. no need to thank me though. i am but one humble man, earnestly seeking that righteous path towards thearchitecturality.

-the architect

hueco + tissue tendons = cursed

19 03 2008


since moving to the desert I have climbed alot of the rocks that are not made of plastic. being 5 hours from hueco, one would imagine i have been a climber alot there. i haven’t. it’s not because i suck or am afraid of rock climbing in places that are not garages, it’s because god hates me.

as many of you might recall, god is the white guy with the beard who made bouldering possible vis a vis making boulders. i know, i know, you ‘SCIENCE’ people are all like “nah man, chemical weathering and deposition made boulders”. if that’s true then how did this happen? if you think the name is an accident you are going to hell. to recap: god made up bouldering and he hates me.

why? i dunno. i wanna say its because of my devout atheism, but am starting to think he has bias against super-awesomeness. though i remain uncertain as to why, i am positive of HOW he hates me:

1) hueco in january: was going to go, but sublaxed my shoulder in Arkansas (where a weird temperature inversion left the entire boulderfield wet(tened) from the inside… further proof of god’s infinite disdain for tissue tendons). my shoulders are super-strong from climbing in the garages that are not hueco. it would clearly take an act of god to sublaxe them.

2) hueco in february: broke ass. not that i ‘broke my ass’, but that my ‘ass was broke’. i had no money. was supposed to goto the rock rodeo but almost died of the flu. really. almost died. god?

3) hueco in march: FUCKKK!!!!! (re)injured a pulley trying to get a tucson project of mine sent before driving to hueco.

here’s looking forward to april and thousands of things having something to with this.

do you find yourself cursed by god? have a great story about getting f*&ked by a deity?