February 10th, nearly 100 climbers descended on the Santee boulder field in East County San Diego for a major paint removal. I had managed to pull together help from Mesa Rim Climbing and Fitness Center, the Allied Climbers of San Diego, the University of San Diego, the city of Santee, and most importantly scores of community volunteers to eradicate as much graffiti as possible in a single day. More »
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At the end of July, we got sick of the heat and humidity of Padova and boarded Enrico’s old motorhome for a trip to France. First stop was the famed crag of Ceuse, home of Biographie and other famous test pieces. Patrick Edlinger (RIP) didn’t have any money when he developed the crag; the result, highly technical and pumpy climbing on bullet-proof limestone and really spaced out bolts. Nothing like cruxing out way out from the last bolt, racing the pump clock to no avail… we gradually got used to the whippers and simply enjoyed the air time. More »
One evening at the gym, Josh approached me excited about some crazy trip he wanted to go on. Apparently, all his usual climbing partners were otherwise engaged, and he realized that I, being a grad student, was infinitely available to drop everything, and disappear into the backcountry for over a week. On top of that, he knew I had recently finished my first 50 mile running race, so he assumed I was up to suffer. It didn’t hurt that I apparently have a reputation for smiling a lot: I smile constantly when I’m uncomfortable, and I’m always uncomfortable at the gym because there’s a crazy group of guys, running around in colorful spandex, groping each other. So, given my perceived ability to suffer with a smile, Josh was convinced I would be a good partner. I tentatively agreed to go, and Josh emailed me a writeup by Galen Rowell describing our climbing objective. “Netherworld”? Ok, I was in.
With the recent Thanksgiving holiday and the impending winter holidays, the time for reflection on the prior year is upon us. I’ve been wanting to write this for a few weeks now but have had mixed emotions since this has been simultaneously the most memorable and volatile year of my life. This year I bagged my dream job, met a wonderful woman, and finally graduated school before I turned 30, probably the most significant thing I will do with my life. Sadly, this year we also lost our friends Ben and Gil to their passion while in Peru. I miss them and think about them often, although I am even more saddened to say I never got to know Gil as well I could have. This year I also was diagnosed with bladder cancer. On my 30th birthday. I was rather shocked and disappointed.
This post is an update about the forthcoming Pullharder.org marathon. As you may, or may not, know this year’s race will be held in memory of our friends Ben Horne and Gil Weiss. In this post I am including two things, first is a video of with images sampled from the internet as a tribute to Ben and Gil; Second, is all the pertinent information that you will need for this race. More »