Monday, October 12, 2015

Real Life Stuff

It's been a long time since my last post.  Time flies.  Super busy at work, so I didn't really get to climb outside all that much.  Been training in the gym a fair bit though.  I also got  puppy!!  Little sweet baby Juniper Grace.  She's pretty great; so much energy!  Unfortunately, she's pretty much the worst crag dog ever..  We're working on that.. 

It's pretty tough to remember everything that's happened over the past 6 months, and I didn't really get to take any photos or shoot any video..  A brief synopsis will have to do:
Me, Brother, and Juniper!! Katy pic creds.
My brother and his wife came to visit me and see all of the Alaska.  Unfortunately, my phone was stolen, so most of my pics are gone as well.  We had a good time, did a lot of traveling, did a lot of drinking, etc.  Unfortunately, I got called back into work for 4th of July weekend (sad face) and missed some hanging out time.  They took my car and drove down to Seward while I was at work (sad face) and did a glacier cruise.  It looked really great; I wish I had some of the pictures of it to post.  I'll work on that.  Here's a few I stole from Katy's Facebook (subsequently I don't really have any pictures with Katy in them.. Sorry):
Me, Becca, Ralph, and Juniper!! Katy pic creds.

In Talkeetna with Me, Becca, Brother, and Ralph..  Katy pic creds.

Anchorage Brewing Co!! Katy pic creds.

I really miss hanging out with my family, so it was awesome of them to come up here and hang out with me.
Me, Erich, and Juniper out in Eagle River.  Maggie pic creds.
My good friends Erich and Maggie also came to visit me in July!  It was a good month.  I hadn't seen either of them for... years??  But it honestly didn't feel that way when they got here.  We managed to do a bit of climbing out at Hatcher's, did a lot of traveling, and did a lot of drinking, etc.  We drove up to Talkeetna, drove down to Seward, did some hiking, and saw a bunch of cool wildlife everywhere in between.  Another great week for me; I'm super glad to have friends willing to make the trip up here to kick it and see Alaska.

I caught some silver salmon out of Ship Creek right in downtown Anchorage..
My first salmon ever!  Pretty sweet
Climbed outside a little bit; managed to get out to Hatcher Pass a couple times and finish off some new climbs:

I did a pretty sweet crimp line called Honky Tonk Badonka Donk.  It goes at V10, which seemed valid to me.  I haven't crimped that hard in a long time; things got a little bloody.  Fortunately I was able finish it pretty quickly. 

I also did a V10 called Bear King.  It's a pretty sweet feature, but the crux really just revolves around the first move.  Not even the first move; I'd say getting your feet off the ground is the real crux.  After that, it's not so bad. 

I ticked a few V9s off my list recently as well.  I finally took down Heartbreaker, which has given me more trouble than anything else I've tried in Alaska.  So glad I don't have to go back to that one..
Muffin Man boulder.  My new phone takes some pretty good shots.
Muffin Man Sit is one that went up recently.  I managed a second ascent after a few goes.  It consists of some powerful undercling movements into the stand of Muffin Man.
Breakdown Sit was another second ascent for me.  Some techy footwork and sharp holds into a sweet topout. 

Unfortunately, that's pretty much it.  It's been raining for the past month, but maybe it will clear up before the snow sets in.  The final goal of the season is to go out and take down Mr. Universe.  It's supposed to go at V12.  I've spent one day on it before and managed to do all the moves.  Putting it all together would be pretty tough, but I may be able to give it some good goes if it's dry enough.

Oh yeah, I also went up to Wasilla for their climbing comp.  It was pretty fun.  Unfortunately it was a 4-way tie for first, so it all came down to who had more flashes.  I flashed 3 of the top 5 problems, and my buddy Hunter won out with 4 flashes.  Better luck next time maybe.  On a side note, Alaska has got to be the worst state I've ever seen for competition climbing.  It blows my mind.  Can't wait to get back to the lower 48 for some real climbing/comps!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

We never go out of style

Shout out to Tay Tay.   The weather is starting to shift in favor of the climbers here in AK.  It was a weak sauce winter with minimal snowfall.  Pretty sure Boone, NC got as much, if not more snow.  Fortunately, this has led to a pretty early season for outdoor climbing.  The higher elevations are still inaccessible, but we have been able to escape to the south over the past couple weekends for a bit of good fun. 
Byron Glacier has some great lines and impressive boulders.  We were able to get on a few hard lines before the limited daylight passed us by.  We started at a fun/sharp compression line called Shere Khan.  I botched the flash, but managed a second go send.  This climb led to one of the worst flappers I've ever seen.  Lots of skin missing.  Blood everywhere.

Falling Up is a 2 move wonder on a pretty steep face.  I worked some sneaky heel hook beta and managed to fire it fairly quickly before moving on to an unrepeated Todd Helgeson line called Frog People.  Apparently Todd flashed it for the first ascent and gave it v9.  Some of the strong climbers here contend that it may well be v10.  Who knows.  I feel like I very nearly flashed it, but then it took a few more goes to actually send.  Hunter pulled it out just before me for the 2nd ascent, and I settled for 3rd.  Good problem to go sit under if you have limited pads to work with.  We didn't get to climb on anything else, but there are a lot of great lines to get back out to. 
The past 2 weekends, I've been going out to a recently developed boulder down the Seward Highway.  The SCAR boulder sits down by the mud flats and is very tide-dependent.  David Funatake and Todd Helgeson developed this boulder a few weeks ago and put up some good lines, including a v10 link-up called Crouching Shark, Hidden Octopus.  Me and Hunter were super psyched to get out to try and repeat this thing.  Our first trip out proved unsuccessful, but we figured out some of the subtleties of the movement.  Last weekend we made it back out and we both managed the send.  This time I got the 2nd ascent, with Hunter sending a few goes later for the 3rd.
And here's the vid of all that shite. 

AK Pt. III from Brian Clevenger on Vimeo.


Some extremely old stuff here.  I had a massive backlog of photos from my journey up to AK.  Largely from passing through Yellowstone and whatnot.  I also have a pile of photos from the airshow up here in AK.  So, long story short, here's actually a small percentage of that..