lying about climbing

30 04 2008

i do it all the time. i mean, how else am I supposed to appear strong with zero effort? sure it’s dishonest. but if the goal is getting to the top and I can do it without climbing then it seems I am a better climber than the idiots who work tirelessly to do the exact same thing. the key, for me at least, is to set up my “big day” with a lot of “almost days” and “prep days” before dumping my spray load on everyone:

“so I got on Slider and it felt hard, but totally doable… ya know, I just need to train harder”: this is to let your friends know that you’re going to do it, but not without an appropriate level of work.

“dude i’ve been training really hard”: this lets them know you’ve put in some work.

“SO CLOSE ON SLIDER!!! WOOOOT!!!!11111”: this lets them know your work, well, worked. it also let’s them know you sometimes release the shift key at the end of long exclamations.

“Slider – 7C – Redpoint – Horsepens 40 – Three days of effort. Classic southern line. Must do! ***”
: this lets everyone on 8a know how badass you are. notice, however, the marked nonchalance of this victory post; crucial to covering up your weaksauce lying ass.

of course, if you’re out there NOT crushing hard lines in popular areas you run a chance of being seen NOT doing them. as an alternative you might try doing first ascents instead. then nobody can ever take away your glory that didn’t happen. personally, i prefer to post a bunch of “virtual” ascents of popular problems, so I can save the bigger numbered problems that I’m not going to do (or that don’t even exist) for FA spray.

but to each his/her own I guess.

i banged your mom,


your favorite gym sucks

26 04 2008

ten reasons why all the other gyms have gotten it wrong…how to capitalize where others have failed…the best $100k investment you’ll ever make…understanding what makes bouldering fun…why i’m an infinitely better setter than you…a blueprint for a new paradigm

allow me to begin this tirade and verbal abuse against all that is holy by presenting my credentials. my name is the architect; that should be enough. but if it isn’t, consider this: i have been climbing for approximately six years. i have been setting for approximately five and a half years. i have been employed at two different gyms. i have set for more comps than i can count. i have designed and built one garage wall. i have designed and built half of another. i am experienced in designing and manufacturing modular features also know as volumes. i have tried my hand at shaping. oh, and i’m a recently accredited mechanical engineer with a little over a year of experience working in a manufacturing environment.

you could say that i know my shit.

while far from as globetrotting as the pros, i’ve experienced my fair share of bouldering destinations as well. these include, in no particular order: morehead, little rock city, rumbling bald, horse pens 40, rocktown, lilly, boone, hound ears, sandrock, little cotton wood canyon, ibex, joe’s valley, and big bend. you will agree that these destinations have exposed me not only to diametrically different styles but also the near full gamut of rock types. i have climbed on the unforgiving sandstone of the south and the quixotic quartz monzonite of the west.

in addition to these most admirable destinations, i have also experienced my fair share of climbing gyms, although the list is apt to be less impressive or as long. the only one worth mentioning however, would be the front in salt lake city, which i have proclaimed as the best gym in the u.s., full aware of other such destinations like the spot. but while this gym came the absolute closest to getting it right, it failed to capitalize on a few things that could put it on par with what i will soon describe in great detail. but before i get into that, now is the appropriate time to discuss what makes a gym fun and ultimately, successful. so we have to examine what it is that pulls people to the gym in the first place.

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what’s your stylee?: gruntasmagoria

22 04 2008

to start, it’s important we mention that a ‘stylee’ is just a really cool way to say “style”. of particular interest is the extra ‘e’, as it sometimes allows the speaker the extra time required to finish a sentence with the quite remarkable ‘double peace sign‘.

as in: “whoa dude… peep the style (insert hand gesture here) e.” the extra oomph! provided by this conversational assemblage should be self-evident.

with nomenclature out of the way, i am happy to introduce It Came from the Garage’s first thematic repeating post: what’s your stylee? this series is (and ostensibly will be) devoted to letting readers sound off about their particular “style” of doing things in climbing. for instance, do you dig a hole before you poo in the woods or do you just cover it in at-the-ready leaves? this would be an example of your “poo-stylee”. for the first week, however, i want to turn our focus from fecal matters to the more pressing issue of grunting. so, without further ado:

what’s your stylee?: gruntasmagoria Read the rest of this entry »

the compromises we make

15 04 2008

the ultimate stick brushin a little less than eleven hours, i am going to wake up at 4:00 a.m. i will then proceed to gather my bouldering bag, my chalkpot, the best bouldering stick-brush ever made (see left), and my two crashpads to meet patrick in my parking lot. over the next four to five hours we will drive down i-65 to chattanooga and deposit ourselves at our local boulderfield, little rock city. having gotten there at approximately 9:00 a.m., we will then have around eight hours to pull down, before getting back in the car and driving another four to five hours back to lexington, so that patrick can get up early for work on monday morning.

sometimes people ask me what it’s like to be a climber in kentucky.

i usually restrain the urge to ask them what it’s like to a climber with no talent- but the question remains. and further still, what is it that compels us chosen few (we rock wranglers who have answered the call to fame, fortune and immense driving distances) to continue to pursue our quest of rock climbing adventure at the expense of a traditional lifestyle? what has turned me from a mild mannered mahout to a shifty-eyed sheik that eyes passing dark clouds with so much disdain and contempt? how did i come to this place, and more importantly, why do i stay?

i don’t think it’s the money. or the girls. and i don’t think as a heterosexual individual i can say that it is the guys. but they’re usually pretty cool, in a heterosexual way. like as friends, and shit.

i’m not gay.

it could be as simple as allowing me the chance to complete a problem in front of a bunch of people i don’t know so that i can exclaim in a loud voice:

“now that’s what i call rockclimbing!”

or introducing myself to more strangers in such a manner as:

“hi, i’m dave stumblefoot mc mudbutted bedwetting manpants- but you can call me the hamburglar.”

but i think it is more than this.

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my mandala

12 04 2008

since moving to arizona for a temporary academic gig/climbing trip I have been exposed to a different sort of climbing landscape than what we tend to see in kentucky and the southeast. aside from the obvious differences (i.e. plants, animals, rock type), what really stands out is the history involved with bouldering in the West. while i’m sure there were some pebble wrestlers hitting up the rock in Chattanooga in the late 1980’s, the southwest had what we might call a full-fledged climbing ‘scene’ at that time. it’s odd to find yourself on a problem put up 30 years ago when much of the bouldering we routinely encounter in the US has been put up in the last decade.  i find it sorta neat in some respects to (re)walk john sherman’s ‘stone crusade‘.

that said, there is something odd about this historical climbing landscape; boulder problems in the southwest u.s. (in my experience) tend to be left almost nameless. in the late 80’s and 90’s a bunch of strong dudes rolled through much of arizona, new mexico, and texas putting up boulders with names such as: The Flake, The Rails, The Arete, and Lunge Left. descriptive as they were, these titles are a far aesthetic cry from the names of modern problems such as God Module, Mandala, Terremer, and Something from Nothing.

my core question for this post is why? would research show that there was a threshold in climbing history when boulder problems appeared important enough to be named thoughtfully? was there simply not enough people to make naming necessary?

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