bouldering

My Outdoor Traditions

I had a whole blog post in the works, but my niece is in town, I have client deadlines to meet, a Mammoth trip I need to finish packing for, and not enough time to properly edit everything I want to say. Even though I don’t have any witty prose to accompany these photos, I hope you enjoy this handful of snaps from some climbing trips over the past few months with Outdoor Traditions and friends. Check out the photos and then check out their 40% sale before your favorite designs are gone.

PS. I’m also going to include the link to Angel’s Climbing Tattoo Special. You know… just in case you are thinking about getting a nature tattoo that also gives back to the community and outdoor spaces that shape us as climbers.

Enjoy the photos!

Moments

There's a feeling I get while on the road that's hard to explain. It's not a unique feeling; poems, songs and entire novels have been written about it.  It's the sensation when the sun is out, the windows are down, the radio is up and the past and future cease to exist. It's the act of fully enjoying that very moment, somehow both excited to be moving and content with where you are at the same time.

It's taken me a while to post this particular journal entry. I had a whole piece written out about my experiences over the past several months that have taken too long to write and even longer to decide not to post. But you're not here to read my life story, and truthfully I'm not brave enough to share it (sorry Alexis and Joseph). All you need to know is that it's been a rough few months for me lately, which is how I found myself loading my dog and my crashpad into my car and taking the familiar twists and turns of the 330 towards Big Bear.  As I drove, I could feel my spirit rising with the elevation.

Fresh pine, mountain air, a roll of film and the warm embrace of old friends is the best remedy for any existential crisis that I know of. Recently my life has been full of constant reminders that whether good or bad, nothing in this life is ever permanent.

Here are a few moments I particularly enjoyed from last weekend. Some are captured digitally and some are captured on 10+ year old 35mm film.

Stars, Strobes, and Spiders

I wanted to venture someplace new last weekend, so I asked my former-Gaucho friend Hunter to be our fearless leader/climbing guide for his old stomping grounds in Santa Barbara. After several long road-rage and reggae filled hours on the 5 freeway we finally found ourselves winding up the beautiful 5N12 with a car full of camera equipment, climbing gear, and Trader Joe's snacks (and by snacks I mean peanut butter pretzels and hard root beer). If people would only learn how to drive better in North County/Orange County/Los Angeles we may have been able to actually climb more on Saturday, but we did manage to make it to the Lizard's Mouth just in time for some spectacular sunset bouldering. Since the approach was fairly low key,  I brought my portable strobe along to play with when I wasn't climbing. We spent most of Saturday night around the Lizard's Mouth area making our way up fun and mellow sandstone problems while trying to avoid all the crane flies, centipedes, and spiders that kept trying to crash our climbing party. We ended the night by watching the moon rise above the clouds with a little bit of Led Zeppelin courtesy of Alexis and her guitar before crawling into our sleeping bags and snoring. Our Sunday started bright and early thanks to the local gun range and some early morning shotgun enthusiasts.  Not wanting to waste daylight, we made our way down to the Brickyard where I spent most of the day climbing and befriending lizards rather than photographing. It was a short but fun weekend with friends at one of the most beautiful crags I've had the pleasure of climbing at. 

A big 'Thank You' is owed to Hunter for showing us around his local college crag, and another major thanks to both Alexis and Hunter for agreeing to climb in the pitch dark so I could get the right long exposures. You guys rock.