hating colorado is not cool

28 05 2008

we here at ICFTG rarely print retractions. this is largily because our editorial staff is flawles; we call it ‘fleditorialismlessness’.

but, on occasion, even the most fleditorialismless of editors finds themselves being – what’s the word? – incorrect.

in the previous post it seems i put forth some hatred towards colorado. this was not cool.

hating colorado is not cool.



bouldering season is over…baby

27 05 2008

tissue hucking a lap on Big Money Long (7A) in the sandy spring boulder field of Morehead, Kentucky

*note the hyper-green-boulder-wrecking forest in the background.  while i was able to send the semi-classic Big Money Long (7A) (with the help of an obnoxiously long tick mark), i was forced to do so on sandy crimps and mud-filled pockets.  lame.  lame.  lame.






<please ignore this post if you live in colorado or utah..  i hate you and your boulderings>

after months of semi-perfect fall-a-liciousness and a few weeks of decent spring weather, summertime hath finally landed.  yes, that’s right kids, the annual swarm of bugs and swampthang heat we call a season has arrived in the south.  now our otherwise high-friction sandstone and gneiss is temporarily shrouded in an impenetrable jungle of awfulness.  months of training and stoke-building are now beholden solely to the horrors of plastic crimps and dual colored tape.

guess i’ll start sport climbing again.  jug hauls and bugspray.  

at least PBR tastes the same.  


jim morrison was not a sport climber

21 05 2008

'i'm on belay brah'


In this episode of ICFTG i’m going to come clean: i like to drink beer, and while drinking said beer, i often like to smoke myself a cigarette…or 12. i, like my dead bro jim morrison, like to party.

freud would describe this as my (and jim’s, janice’s, and jimmy’s) ‘death drive’, or my (our) urge to not exist in a world bereft of experience. while i agree a world of (un)experience is a reality for many of my ‘human’ peeps, i am pretty sure i’m not not experiencing the world in a way that compels me to die sooner. i know this because i clip bolts and….um… sing along to musicals in my car (and your car if you’ll let me).  so i don’t smoke and drink to kill myself: freud was wrong. but what of the radical disjunct between my urge to ‘debauch’ (as in debauchery) and my climbing motivated urge to be ‘fit’? i mean, how does 12 pitches in the southern region translate to a 6 pack of PBR at Miguel’s?  more generally, (having seen the morrison-esque wreckage that is a comp party, a night at hp40, or a monday at miguel’s in may) how do we reconcile our partying and our training and climbing?



a drink to your health

15 05 2008

as a climber, i feel i often take for granted certain qualities bestowed upon me by climbing, that would i otherwise have received,  been quite grateful.  health and fitness primarily.  this most recent revelation was made apparent to myself this past weekend, not by some extreme showmanship of said health and fitness, but rather by the abject performance i gave all night friday when i was made to understand that i had gotten food poisoning.  words cannot describe the agony of discharging your entire system, in multiple modes, until 6 a.m.  words can describe however the most bitch’in-est ab workout i have ever gotten, ever.

what the hell?

i mean i was sore.  really sore.  and all i could think about was, damn, if i was as fat and out of shape as the rest of the population, this would suck even worse.  in fact, i attribute my two day comeback entirely to my rigid regime of beer and climbing, that without, would have made for a week long waylay.  and on the plus side, with my added ab strength, i can now fully utilize those no hands knee-bars i’ve been trying in futility to use on those routes i’ve been climbing.

its strange though that it was in my weakest moment, cursing myself for having too much pride to go to the hospital, that i reflected upon how strong i had become.  for at that moment i felt like a piece of ragged man-flesh, too sorry to even stand, much less survive at anything.  contrast this to the feeling of invincibility and feeling of being able to take on a small mountain lion or a 20 footer and the discrepancy becomes more clear.  climbing has built me into an invincible, boulder conquering machine.

but it can all be taken away in an instant with nothing more than a tainted piece of food, innocently slipped onto a rivals plate at a posh dinner or cocktail party.  so raise your drinks all around and toast- toast to your good health and infallible rock conquering skills!  drink to your health and your nemesis’ ineptitude and may you crush for 100 years!

-the architect

soul climbing versus grade chasing redux

10 05 2008

after some serious thought on this post, the issue of soul climbing versus grade chasing is a false binary. the crux of the matter comes down to time and memory i think. how have we spent our time and what moments do we recollect as signposts in spending it. do we remember a number? hell no. we remember good laughs and good times. we remember rained out boulders and campfire beers. we remember trying hard and sometimes we remember failing despite our best efforts.

most importantly, i think, our memory is tied to people. after months of climbing mostly alone I could attempt to offer up some sort of sage wisdom from my connection with the rock. to a certain degree there is something interesting about pulling motivation from yourself. all you have is that particular snippet of rock and your willingness to sort it out. and while its certainly cool to confirm that you can squeeze enough effort from yourself to come away with the big win, what really stands out is the importance of friends in the endeavor. it’s similar to the tree falling in the woods bit; what is success or failure in a void other than a hand slipping from a sliver of rock?

i guess what i’m trying to offer up is a third way for climbing truthiness. it’s about the grades inasmuch as we challenge ourselves. it’s about our connection to the rock inasmuch as we focus on the experience. but in the end – the third way – I think its about having rad people to climb with. the other two components are meaningless without a social milieu to compare them in. the import of grades or climbing alone requires an ‘other’ for them to be different in any meaningful way. in other words, finding inner strength in the solo is only awesome if there is some ‘not that’ to compare it to, just as climbing 7C requires there be a ‘consensus’ 7B+ we can do and a ‘consensus’ 7C+ that we cannot.

what does this have to do with a philosophic approach to climbing? simple. climb as hard and as focused as you can with people you like.  the rest is meaningless.

back in kentucky,