Rock Climbing

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Classic Climbing in Big Cottonwood: Black Monday

This is my first post about a classic sport climb in Big Cottonwood, so we'll see how it goes. Black Monday is a near 4 star 5.11a sport route. The route starts off as a bit of a boulder problem. It becomes less than vertical and allows for a no hands rest before moving through a series of really cool moves and 3 bolts on a roof that you pull over onto some easier slab climbing to the top. This route was my first ... Read more

Mental Techniques and Trad Climbing

Climbing steep exposed ridges and rock faces is a counter-intuitive act. When I first began climbing over a year ago, I realized a few things about myself. I am afraid of heights. I am a cautious person. I enjoy calculated, precise risk. I am terrified of the unknown. And I have doubts about my own skills and ability. Stepping up and climbing something steep, exposed, and scary requires certain skills to overcome all of these mental barriers. This post is a ... Read more

Classic Climbing in Big Cottonwood: Outside Corner

When I finished leading all three pitches of Steort's Ridge in Big Cottonwood I wrote a post about it. I have now led all three pitches of Outside Corner and feel like I can present my full opinion of the route. I feel that it isn't until you have led the pitches of a route that you truly know it. It is hard to explain to someone who doesn't lead on gear, but when you lead a route you experience it ... Read more

Classic Climbing in Big Cottonwood: Steurt’s Ridge

In the spring of this year, I began rock climbing on gear. Mixed within the learning, the fear, and the failed attempts, I have been lucky enough to tick off quite a few classic Wasatch climbs. Steurt's Ridge is a sharp, north facing arete in Big Cottonwood Canyon. It is quartzite and provides 3 pitches of pretty awesome climbing. I have now gone up this route a few times. Originally, I followed behind a friend, but now have successfully led each pitch. ... Read more

The Upper Exum of the Grand Teton in a Day

We pulled into the Antelope Flats National Forest camping area at 7:30pm. Running a bit behind schedule, we'd still have about 3 hours of sleep if we set up camp and fell asleep immediately. The sky was clear despite the torrential downpour that occurred about an hour earlier as Wes and I sat eating breakfast for dinner in a small diner in Alpine, just outside of Jackson, WY. Fortunately, we left the clouds behind us as we began winding our way through ... Read more

Salewa Firetail GTX Approach Shoes

I don't get excited about shoes very often and this might be because I don't find an amazing pair very often. However, the Salewa Firetail GTX approach shoe is honestly the best shoe I have ever had. I am an avid runner, hiker, backpacker, mountaineer and rock climber living in Salt Lake City and for a while I was really on the fence about getting another pair of shoes, especially approach shoes. I have a good pair of  hiking boots and several ... Read more

Climbing the South Ridge of Mount Superior

The South Ridge of Superior is a fairly iconic ridge line in Little Cottonwood Canyon across from Snowbird and Alta Resorts. Since moving to Salt Lake I have been slowly ticking away at a number of peaks in the Wasatch, Mount Superior being one of them. The more peaks I have bagged and the more rock climbing I have started doing, the more I am realizing it is kind of about the route more than it is about the actual peak. It's ... Read more

Prepping for Spring and Summer Adventures with a New Volatile Skill Set

This winter has gone by pretty quickly, thanks to my new interest in indoor climbing that luckily happens to be next door to my work, basically. The ski touring season that I was planning on taking advantage of seems to keep slipping out of my reach, but because I have had much more luck finding friends with my same climbing goals, my focus has still been strongly on getting comfortable with my climbing skills to feel confident enough to climb above gear ... Read more

My Mount Olympus Alpine Climbing Project

This year has been a difficult one for me when it comes to creating goals for myself. I finally feel like I am crossing from one side of a fence to another when it comes to the sport of Alpinism as my rock climbing skills increase, but with that comes a lot of anxiety of possibly getting in over my head on a mountain. I feel like most of my goals and desires fall into the alpinism category of outdoor adventure.  Even ... Read more

Comparing Mountaineering with Rockclimbing After Experiencing My First Multi Pitch Trad Lead

I moved to Utah about 3 years ago. I grew up in Boise. There are mountains there, but compared to the Wasatch they are mostly foothills. I spent my youth backpacking some amazing Idaho ranges like the Sawtooths and White Clouds, but that was all I did: backpacked. The idea of "mountain climbing" was a bit abstract and foreign. I didn't realize that regular people climbed mountains everyday. I didn't realized that regular people jam their hands in to small cracks and ... Read more
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