These are our last couple of days here in Chattanooga before we head to Colorado for Christmas. This stint of our trip has been awesome and I am glad things finally came together in terms of the amount of climbing and weather. I have gotten out more than I was expecting and accomplished most of my goals so that’s a win-win situation. Great times have been spent with Whitney Boland, Matt Ballard, Colette, and Dave G even made it down for a day of climbing. It always seems like you are the strongest when you leave, right? Every end of a trip is the time you are climbing best. On to the next chapter and this is my life.
Matt Ballard and Whitney Boland are great friends that have been nothing but generous with us staying at their house. It’s been the perfect setting for me to edit my vids, sleep the usual 10 hours a night, and drink a lot of wine. For creative projects we are shooting another Sterling Rope Vid on Whitney as she is a new (and once again) Sterling athlete. She has a pretty interesting story as well so stand by for this one. I think it will capture a lot of people and women primarily. I have known Whitney for years and even lived with her in the past, she is a total sweetheart and strong.
We shot her at the Concave Wall in Little River Canyon, Alabama. This is an AWESOME area with some of the most consistently steep sport climbing. A couple of years ago I did the second ascent of Southern Comfort 8b+ and we spent a grip of time at this cliff in freezing rain, snow, and any other hideous condition. Those were times to remember… yeah right. This day however was warm, and humid. Typical southern conditions. Moisture is always a factor in the south and in the cold it is usually a good thing.
They Dayton Roof has been my playground and man… There has been more time spent there than ANY other place and I am not kidding. I think as of now we have gone to three other areas out of the 2 weeks we have been here. HA! I love roof climbing and I love that cave. With link-ups, different endings, a sit start, and another couple of endings this place keeps you busy. Roof climbing is the angle I am most comfortable on. It’s where I feel the most strength and it suits my climbing style. The Dayton Roof is all power-endurance boulder problems all the way up to V13 or so. I took down multiple V11′s and one V12 with a sit start. It’s not always about the King Lines man… but don’t get me wrong I like them too… this cave is as good as it gets. Sculpted holds, toe-hooks, f**ked up moves, pump, and a perfect landing. Its the “laboratory of hard movements” in Tennessee! Till next time Dayton Roof. I had some of the best climbing days there.
Yesterday Matt Ballard took me to The Mill. This is a quiet joint way off the beaten trail with more roofs. We were there alone the entire day and it was a Sunday so that goes to show this place is special. NO one showed up and it was probably the first time I felt complete solitude since climbing in Rifle at the end of the season. The rock is literally as good as it gets and the style is the usual powerful-multi-move-mini-routes. The day for me was a NO Fall day that totally kept a smile on my face and had my spirits high. I flashed everything up to V10 and we kept joking how I was going to “check” The Mill off after this day. Like DUNZO!!
The last problem was the hardest established one as far as we know. This is another mini-route on small crimps and major pump. After another flash on Thugg Life V10? (sure!) we checked out Luminous Transformation V11. This was kind of ditch effort as the sun was setting, we were hungry, and wanted to go the Mall for a sesh, and the energy was getting low. I gave it a flash go and screwed my “No Fall Day” on the crux. With a sh*t ton of sampling and working the crux I came up with a solution (see vid below) and worked the ending. The end is no joke on its own honestly. After the first section the pump is high and the ending takes a lot of care being so technical. I gave it another go, fell in the crux. Ghetto. I rested with sweaty hands and gave another attempt and punted in the bottom. Well there are some things you lose in the game of climbing and I have learned to accept it sometimes. It always sucks when you don’t finalize. It was near pitch-black-dark and Matt suggested I go for it one last time on the real. “F**k it why not?”, I kept saying… With zero energy and that die hard effort we all know, I satched it up and got through the crux. Small little razor holds and junk feet with sweaty hands is a lame combination. The end bit was really dark and I think I opperated on feel more than anything. I was pumped and had no core left but, I managed to some how in the world of climbing not fall off!! The top out was sloppy and I could give a sh*t really. I got up it and I LOVE those moments.
We walked out in total darkness, met up with the girls and drank beer at the pub until late night. Man… the past two days climbing have surely been some of my best days in a while. I needed that.
Our time here has been awesome and it will be time to go damn soon. But then again… there is always next year. We go from one place to the next place to the next and then to Spain and then to here and there and we are always going someplace. DAMN… I never know where I am when I wake up. But I love it. HA!! Thanks for checking in everyone. Have a great week.