Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Couple Days of Ice Climbing at Governor Dodge State Park

In the last couple of weeks, I have managed to sneak down to Governor Dodge for some ice climbing a couple times since Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Day:

The second one is deliberately cheesy, but it was fun to make.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

WAGG Day 7 - Goes 22-24

I have been nursing a sore shoulder for a few weeks now, and I have not been resting it like I should. Today looked like it might be the last good rock climbing day for the year, so I had been planning all week to come up for the day. I had a good session on the hangboard on Thursday night, and planned on resting all day on Friday and Saturday to give the route one more solid effort before the season slipped away. Friday morning my dad called and asked me to help load a load of Christmas Trees at the family Christmas Tree Farm on much for resting. Sunday dawned, I was tired and sore, but I pointed the car north anyway and headed for one of the best routes in Wisconsin, if not the country.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Six Days in New Hampshire

I spent October 9th-14th in New Hampshire. It would be remiss of me to simply call it a climbing trip - it was much more than that. My friends Jay and Kayte not only showed me some of the best climbing New Hampshire has to offer, but also welcomed me into their home and introduced me to their beautiful new daughter, June, and loving pup, Topher.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Balanced Rock on an Autumn Evening

I walked out of work this afternoon and encountered perfect weather. I drove straight to the Lake so I could spend the perfect autumn evening doing a little climbing, here is a snippet of that perfect night.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

WAGG Day 6 - Goes 19-21

Originally I had planned on skipping climbing altogether this weekend since I had just returned from an all-out, six-day effort in New Hampshire - but, Saturday afternoon rolled around and the siren-song of Whiskey a Go-Go started calling me. I was sore, from an ill-advised campus session on Friday night, but the soreness felt good and I needed more. So I sent out a few texts, and even posted for partners on the end, my good friend Matthew came through and agreed to meet me at Necedah Sunday morning.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Living The Dream


In the weeks (almost months now) since Phil and I returned from the trip to the Bighorn Mountains for which we were awarded an American Alpine Club/The North Face - Live Your Dream (AAC/TNF - LYD) grant, I have been hemming and hawing about how to write a trip report without making it sound as though I am attempting to make something out of nothing. It is true that by the standards of summits reached, or routes climbed, we had little success...but judged by, at least what I consider, the more important standards of adventures shared, knowledge gained of self, partner and place, and the strengthening of an old friendship - we accomplished much. For those that are only interested in summits and routes completed here is the list:
  • In the Bighorns, we reached the summit of Buffalo Back (ca. 12,300') via the West Face Route (II 3rd)
  • Outside of the Bighorns, we  reached the summit of Devil's Tower (5,114') via the Durrance Route (II 5.7)
For the rest of you that are psyched to hear about the adventure and the knowledge we on!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Catching up...

I have been slacking...actually I have been working really hard on my AAC/TNF LYD trip report, and other than Whiskey a Go-Go updates I have not been keeping up with recent activities - so this will basically be a quick photo/video dump that I need to catch up on.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"Bell and Chain" Pull-Ups

This originally appeared on my Instagram feed, so the quality sucks (it is actually much better on Instagram - although still not HD by any means), but I thought it was worth a cross-post here. Anyway it's me doing hyper-gravity (weighted) pull-ups with a kettle bell and a chain. The chain keeps adding weight throughout the range of motion maxing out when you least want it to.

Monday, September 22, 2014

WAGG Day 4 - Goes 10-14

I spent another day on Whiskey yesterday. I can tell that I am getting stronger, but it feels a long way away...even a clean top rope ascent feels a long way away. I had the reserves for five goes today, which is a big improvement over the previous days where three was the limit.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

WAGG Day 3 - Goes 7-9

It was another gorgeous day at Necedah today, and I was lucky enough to get another three goes on Whiskey. I made a lot of progress today and I am thrilled by that. On my first go, I climbed to the crux section, and worked it for while. On my second I started from the block, and hauled myself up to the crux to start fresh there. I figured out the crux section move by move, and managed to do them all. On the third go my foot popped going for the sidepull just below the soapdish and I tore a massive flapper into my left index finger (pic below).

Friday, September 5, 2014

WAGG Day 2 - Goes 4-6

This is the first of many Whiskey a Go-Go projecting updates. I am going to use these as a journal, mainly to help me with the process, but maybe putting my process will be useful to some, or draw some constructive thoughts. To signify these posts (because some will find them boring), I will start them all with WAGG. These posts will include my beta as it evolves, so if you do not want it; do not read them.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Birth of an Obsession

I have been trying to become a better climber since I started climbing seventeen years ago. At times, when the circumstances of life have allowed, I have been very focused on this goal, and, at other times, when life's circumstances were not so generous I have been less focused. Recently, the circumstances of life have allowed me the opportunity to focus on climbing in a way that I have not been able to for over a decade - and I am grateful for that. Since February, I have been climbing, a lot and enjoying every minute of it. I have been pushing myself both on and off the rock, and the effort has rewarded me with regular PRs for a variety of climbing styles. Things have been going very well, and I am having a great time climbing, but my quest has been lacking one thing that I enjoy...a long-term project.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"Tickled" is the only way to describe it.

I have two-year old son, and one of my favorite things in this world is tickling him. His laugh is adorable, and the joy in his laughter is unmistakable. It is the kind of innocent, head-tossed-back, happy-to-be-alive-in-this-exact-time-and-place, sound that comes out of us with less and less frequency as we age. An "I-do-not-care-who-sees-or-hears" joy that cannot possibly be self-aware. I tell you this because as I briefly sat alone at the top of Gill's Buttress last night, the sun low on the western horizon, the valley below lit as if from within by the late-evening glow, I felt this feeling. I did not laugh out loud, but I felt tickled.

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Rad Weekend of Climbing in Wisconsin!

I had a great weekend climbing in Wisconsin this past weekend! It started on Saturday with a trip to Hillbilly Hollow. I met Justin, Matthew and Brittany in the parking lot and we headed back to the cliff.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fun little Tuesday night

Last night was the perfect way to ease back into the climbing saddle. The weather was perfect and I got to meet a pair of new friends from Connecticut. I pulled into the CCC lot, where Liz and Matt were waiting for me. They were up for a quick run on some of the local classic moderates.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I'm heading out to the Lake today to meet some visiting climbers from CT. Whenever people from out of the area post on that they're looking for a partner in the area I try to meet up with them and show them around. So far my policy has paid off pretty well and I've met a bunch of cool new folks, and I think those folks have gotten a good look at the Lake and had a good time as well. It's nice to climb with people from outside the DL bubble, and extending some hospitality is usually met with an offer to do the same - building the network I guess.

I'm extra psyched today because it's been a couple of weeks since I've been climbing. I decided I needed a little break after the Live Your Dream (thanks for the grant American Alpine Club and The North Face!) trip, but I'm chomping at the bit to get back on the stone. I'll get a summary and some more photos of that trip up soon, but I want to get my trip report in to the AAC before I post some long-winded account of the trip here. Here's a few photos from the trip to hold you over:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

New Project

One of my favorite crags in Wisconsin is Hillbilly Hollow. I fell in love with it back in college, when it was a regular haunt of the UW-Stevens Point climbing club. It is a hidden gem in Wisconsin, and home to some of the state's finest sport climbing. What it lacks in volume it more than makes up for in quality - boasting classic sport lines from 5.7 to 5.12 and even a stellar 5.10 trad line.

Friday, July 11, 2014


One of my best and oldest friends, Ole, and his new lady-friend Jess spent a couple nights with us this week on their way from Boston, MA to Fairbanks, AK. I took a day off work so we could hang out and maybe get a little climbing in. Ole and Jess aren't avid climber, but have both been climbing before, so I figured a quick run up the Wiessner Wall would be a fun little outing. We headed up the grueling West Bluff Trail, and despite the humidity made it to the top of the Wiessner Wall.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Independence Training

Phil and I are leaving for the Bighorns in a couple of weeks, so we decided to have a "dress rehearsal" over the long Independence Day weekend. On Friday we decided to do an ascent of Turk's Head Ridge (5.6 variation) in the gear we planned on climbing in out west. It was fun, and we made pretty quick work of it.
Phil on the third-to-last pitch of Turk's Head Ridge

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Chasing Fitness Part 2 - Basing and Nutrition

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, a nutritionist, or any other kind of expert so this is not professional advice - it is merely a record of what I did to lose some weight and gain a modicum of fitness. It worked for me, it might or might not work for you. Be safe, and check with a qualified professional before starting any diet or fitness program.

Originally I had planned on Part 2 of my Chasing Fitness series to be just about nutrition, but I feel that not discussing the base fitness I had accumulated prior to adjusting my diet and exercise plan would fail to tell the whole story and I want to give as complete of a picture as possible.

It should be said that my fitness program started back in the fall of 2013 when I volunteered to coach youth hockey for my local hockey club. Not wanting to be "that coach" I quit smoking so I could be a positive role model for my eleven and twelve year-old skaters. I had a good time coaching, the kids were great, and I was on the ice at least three times every week. I also got involved in the local adult pickup hockey games. Aside from that I did some cross-country skiing and easy ice-climbing in the area around my house. None of this was structured, and I did not lose any weight in that time, but I am convinced that I developed a cardiovascular base that made the transition into my structured program much easier. All told I was probably getting four to eight hours per week of low-intensity cardio and maybe an additional hour, or so, of high-intensity cardio mixed in.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Rest day, and last week!

Wow, it has been 10 days since my last post. I am sorry, I have been working on some longer posts that will be coming out when I have time, and on top of that, I have been climbing/ training a lot, so I have been too busy with that to devote an appropriate amount of time, again, I apologize.

Since the last update I have been pretty busy, starting out on Saturday, June 7th.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Catching Up

Sorry I have been lazy about keeping the blog up over the last week or so. I needed a rest week from training, climbing and, I guess from blogging too.

By my judgement I had a good May, at least in comparison to my climbing over the last decade. The days leading up to, and including, Memorial Day weekend were no exception to that trend. I kicked my Memorial Day weekend off on Wednesday with a top rope send of a long-standing nemesis of mine at Horse Rampart. I took Thursday off from climbing, so I could see the Doctor about the nagging pain in shoulder/neck. On Friday, Christina and I agreed to meet my friends Willie and Heather at the Lake for a little more climbing.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Nice little Wednesday at the Lake

An old friend of mine and his girlfriend are in the area, and were climbing at the Lake today. They were nice enough to invite me to join them after I was done with work. They were climbing at Horse Rampart, a place I have not been since the weekend after I got home from Joshua Tree. I was psyched to reacquaint with Willie, meet his girlfriend Heather, and to go back Horse Rampart, since I had some unfinished business with a route there called Plethora (5.11a).

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Weekend That Was 5/17-5/18 2014

My wife Christina is a runner, and by that I mean that she runs because she thinks it is fun to run. I run too, but I am not a runner. I do not run because I consider it fun (alright sometimes it is), but because it is one of the most efficient methods for training my cardiovascular system. I think running is hard and painful and would much rather be swimming or biking or anything else for that matter if I could get the same volume out of it. Anyway, I have been doing a lot of running lately (some outside observers might even be fitting me for a "runner" label) for training purposes, and my distances have been starting to approach the length that most folks would consider real distance running. So when Christina mentioned she was running a half-marathon on May 17th, I (for some unknown reason) committed to join her. More foolhardy than that, I said I thought we should push our nearly-two-year-old son, Hank, in his stroller and make a family event out of it...sometimes I wish that I thought more and spoke less.

Christina and me before the run
Once committed there was no turning back, so I worked hard to fit the half-marathon into my training plan. It is about 11.9 miles around our block, and you can tack another half-mile onto that if you start at our house and run the driveway both ways. That route also has the distinct advantage of having close to 900 feet of elevation gain in it. The elevation gain more than makes up for the 0.7 miles it is short of a half-marathon. So I commenced working my way up to running around the block. I finally ran every step last Wednesday, having run/walked or even been picked up short of the full block in the past. I was incredibly psyched when Saturday morning finally rolled around and we were packing up to leave the house! By the time we got to the starting line I decided I wanted

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Weekend That Was 5/10-5/11 2014


Phil had driven up Friday night again this week and we set our sights on heading back to Old Sandstone. A part of the Lake that I have always had a special affinity for. Phil had a score to settle there with Mammalary Magic (5.10a) from earlier in the season, and was planning on putting that score to bed. Our friends John, Paul and Justin were planning on meeting us up there, so we had breakfast and jumped in the car. The psych was palpable.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Fine Line Between “F” and “F-YEAH” Revisited

This is a rewritten version of a "Weekend That Was" post from May 20th, 2007 - the rewrite took place on May 12th, 2014 two days after repeating Pacific Ocean Wall (5.11d) and regaining that previous high point after nearly seven years in the doldrums of adulthood. Now that the past has been equaled, the future must be improvement. The rewrite is a sanitized and hopefully more mature version of the original - I updated the description of the beta as well.

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Weekend to Be 5/10-5/11 2014

This weekend's weather appears to be a little suspect, with calling for a 40% chance of rain tomorrow and a 100% chance on Sunday. That translates into a 60% chance of at-least one rain-free day, and a 0% chance of a rain-free weekend. However, all hope is not lost! If one drills-down to the hourly forecast, Intellicast tells a much more promising story; only calling for rain overnight - late Saturday into Sunday morning that will clear up providing a gorgeous afternoon on Sunday. You should be planning on a full weekend of climbing at the Lake! Just allow yourself a little time on Sunday morning for a nice brunch or the like, by noon conditions will be prime for climbing!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Weekend That Was 5/3-5/4 2014

Sorry it's so late, but here it is:

Phil came up this weekend for another session of preparing for our trip to the Bighorns in July. Because we have the generous support of the American Alpine Club and The North Face via a Live Your Dream Grant, we want to make sure we have all of the details well-ironed before the trip starts. All this planning means we spend a good portion of the weekend discussing mundane details about food, fuel, and shelter - but at least we get to do this at the crag while climbing.

My right shoulder has been giving me some issues since I was in Joshua Tree, I'm guessing my repeated goes on Saturday Night Live might have had something to do with it. The Doc said it was not my rotator cuff and that a couple weeks of taking it easy would probably have me back to full-speed. I took this as reasonably good news and actually enjoyed my visit with Dr. Furukawa - it is nice to have a doc that understands the needs of an individual training for an event.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Quick weekend to be weather update...

The weather for this weekend looks relatively rain-free, with Intellicast calling for only a 10% chance of precipitation on both Saturday and Sunday. This translates into a 99% of one rain-free day, and an 87% chance of both days being rain-free. Of the two days, Sunday looks better, with slightly lower highs, but more sunshine and less wind.

I will be out at the Lake, but taking it easy because the my shoulder is not quite right yet after the thrashing it took in Joshua Tree.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Chasing Fitness Part 1 - Overview

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, a nutritionist, or any other kind of expert so this is not professional advice - it is merely a record of what I did to lose some weight and gain a modicum of fitness. It worked for me, it might or might not work for you. Be safe, and check with a qualified professional before starting any diet or fitness program.

Back in January my friend Jay started suggesting that I join him on a climbing trip this spring. I was hesitant because Jay is an exceptionally strong climber, and even twelve years ago when I was at my fittest I could not keep up with him. In the time between, Jay has become stronger while I have lost some ground.

In February, Jay finally convinced me to pull the trigger on tickets to Palm Springs, California - Joshua Tree National Park would be the destination for our trip. I suddenly found myself with two months to prepare. A winter of cross-country skiing and coaching peewee hockey had left me with a reasonable cardiovascular base, but standing 6'3" and tipping the scale at 206# my body mass index (BMI) was still on the wrong side of twenty-five. BMI is not perfect, but it was pretty clear I was overweight. I needed to drop weight and get stronger and I needed to do both of them fast.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Joshua Tree 2014

I thought about writing a big, long article for this, but instead I think I will let the pictures do the talking, enjoy my first YouTube video:

I will follow this up with a posting of some of my favorite stills from the trip, and possibly a written trip report as well.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Weekend Report 4/26-4/27 2014

John and Paul came up to the house on Friday night so we could get an early start Saturday morning. Which would have worked, except we had a lot to catch up on and stayed up until the wee hours of the morning doing so. Somehow we managed to leave my place shortly after nine, and pulled into the South Shore parking lot at the Lake just before ten. Justin was already there waiting for us, and Matthew, Brittany and Katie had already started walking down the railroad tracks toward Horse Rampart. John, Paul, Justin and I quickly followed suit.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wednesday Night in the Rain and the Coming Weekend


I had the good fortune of getting a few hours of climbing in last night at the Lake with Jon and Liz. The weather was subpar, but not bad enough to turn us away. We headed to Many Pines and set up a few top ropes, but the rain kept us off the sharp end and the hard stuff. We had a good time and made it back to the cars in fading light around 8:00pm. And yes, I climbed Peter's...again - although I spiced up the rainy TR with a pair of flip-flops.

Monday, April 21, 2014

American Alpine Club/The North Face Live Your Dream Grant

Some of you may know that I spent the last nine days on a climbing trip to Joshua Tree National Park - an overwhelmingly awesome experience that I cannot wait to write about as soon as I collect all of the pictures. In the meantime I want to talk about one of the most exciting things to happen during the my time there despite it being only loosely connected to the J-Tree trip.

Last Wednesday, after three straight days of climbing, my climbing partner Jay and I headed into town for a rest day. Aside from showers and flush toilets, this meant access to cellular service and all its attendant modern-day e-goodies. Missed calls, missed texts, and full inboxes lit up our individual smart phones. Aside from the chance to talk with my wife and son, I was most excited about a waiting e-mail from the American Alpine Club (AAC) and a voice-mail from a Denver number.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wiedman Memorial Park, Rock Springs, WI

Check out the new boulder problems I have been working on a few minutes from my house.

Photo by Christina Schroeder

Wednesday Weather

The weather forecast for Baraboo this weekend is looking a little sketchy:
The weekend forecast from is calling for a 60% chance of rain on Saturday, and a 70% chance of rain on Sunday. Based on that there is still a 58% chance of having one rain-free day this weekend. So it is still a better bet than a coin-flip that you will get a good day of climbing in for the weekend if you plan on being at the Lake for the whole weekend! Ozark, IL looks much better, so some extra windshield time to Jackson Falls might be worth it. Regardless I will not be out this weekend, I have bigger fish to fry - have fun and be safe!
Today looks pretty stellar here in Baraboo, so I will probably end up at the park this afternoon for a bouldering session if anyone is interested. I plan on lugging a pad up to the Little Flatiron and giving it another go.
EDIT: I will not be heading up to the Little Flatiron today - have fun if you go.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Weekend Report for 4/5/14 - 4/6/14


If you read my post from late Saturday night, then you are probably under the correct assumption that I had a good weekend, but A Red Recollection was just a small part of it. I met my friend Justin by the horse-trailer lot at Governor Dodge State Park a little after 10am on Saturday morning. We headed up the Qual Wall for some sandstone sport climbing. We started out on Warm Up 1 and Warm Up 2. We both agreed that Warm Up 2 has gotten easier because a new hold has evolved over the winter - it is definitely the easier of the two warm ups now.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Photo from A Red Recollection

A photo of my ascent of A Red Recollection (5.11a).
You can read a written account here.
About to enter the meat of the route - Photo by Paul Campbell

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Red Recollection

I am psyched! I say that with the full knowledge that what I am psyched about means very little to very few, other than me. I onsighted a 5.11a sport climb today - which in the greater climbing community is about as noteworthy as me having successfully put my socks on this morning. Climbing a 5.11a sport climb is not easy, but it is not even remotely cutting edge, nor has it been for forty or fifty years. I will not be coming to the "Hot Flashes" section of a Climbing Magazine near you anytime soon.

My experience in climbing is that it vacillates between an intensely personal pursuit at the local cliff and a small team pursuit in the mountains - my accomplishment today was of the former sort. After over a decade of climbing taking a backseat to the rest of my life, I have entered a period of my life where it can be one of my top focuses - only my family being more important. As such, I have been faithfully counting calories and training for nearly two months in preparation for an upcoming climbing trip, and hopping on A Red Recollection today was meant to be a test of the effectiveness of that preparation (photo). I am exceedingly happy with the results. Today, at thirty-four, I led (in better style mind you) as hard of a sport route as I ever have in the past (and that was fourteen years ago when I was only twenty). To me this is a big deal, but more so because of the relative experience and the way it played out than the simple grade of the route. I have done harder and scarier things in the past, but this felt like a big step for me - today.

Cam Re-sling Review

I recently sent in a all of my cams and tri-cams to have the slings replaced; TCUs went to Metolius, Camalots to Black Diamond, and everything else to Mountain Tools. I just wanted to post a quick review, and my opinion of the service and value offered by each.

Metolius was the hands-down winner in my opinion. They were by far the cheapest, best, fastest and most-efficient of all three companies. If I ever have to buy new cams again, my experience with their sling replacement will be a factor in my decision. They went way above and beyond the call of duty by not just replacing the old slings, but deep-cleaning the TCUs and replacing trigger wires where necessary. They also sewed on labels with the year of service embroidered on them to help forgetful folks like me remember when they were serviced. I would not hesitate to send cams back here, and wish they would offer sling replacement on all brands. The cams looked and functioned like new when they came back in the mail - five stars out of four!
Metolius = Excellence

My Tips Don't Lie

After-work bouldering on April 2nd.

Can you beat this weather for April 2nd?

Of course I had to get out for a Wednesday night bouldering session with sunny 50's called for. I split from work shortly after 4pm and headed for the park. For some reason the CCC trail had a slightly malevolent feel to it. Maybe it was the lack of snow, or the huge tree that had fallen across the base of the trail since Saturday; regardless of the cause it had an odd feeling to it.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Weekend Report 03/29/14 - 03/30/14

What a rad weekend! My old friend Phil and his family came up to the house to visit my family and me. Phil and I are planning a big trip later in the summer, but this weekend was about reacquainting and spending some excellent time out on the rock at Devil's Lake. I wrote about some plans last Thursday, but they (as they always do) changed. This is how it actually shook out.

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Different Time

My friend Jay recently wrote a short blog post about an adventure we had many years ago. It was fueled by youthful exuberance and an inability to rationally calculate risk. I wrote a description of the same adventure as a part of a route description for Pause for a Whisper on Mountain Project a while back too.

It is interesting to see the different perspectives on a life-changing route. We were young, foolish, and proud back then; aging has only partially cured us of those adjectives, but we have both acquired enough marbles in life that playing for all of them sight-unseen no longer seems worthwhile. If either of us had been able to see past the horizon of our early twenties, and into the happy vista of our mid-thirties; we would not have put one in the cylinder, spun it and pulled the trigger like we did. Alas, such is the beauty and the curse of youth; too ignorant to know better, and so blinded by the moment that the future being risked does not matter.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hatching Weekend Plans

It is spring in Wisconsin, which means, among many other things, that most Wisconsin climbers are feeling a bit lethargic from winter's low-activity levels and compensatory over-indulgences. Which is of course the nice way of saying that a lot of us probably spent too much time on our couches while consuming too much cheese and too many beers. I was lucky enough back in early February to have a good friend talk me into a "spring break" a trip to Joshua Tree National Park and have been working a diet/workout plan hard since. I plan on posting the details of that system along with a trip report from J-Tree when I get back.

For the last six weeks or so I have been working the hangboard, pull-ups, push-ups, core-routine and cardio pretty hard. I have dropped 20 pounds and gotten stronger.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday Night Bouldering Club of One

One of my projects for the next few weeks (hopefully, months maybe) is to send the Little Flatiron. I began that process tonight with an hour or so after work playing around in the overcast, windy and cold conditions that were not forecast yesterday. Anyway, the sun came out as I was wrapping up and I think I got a decent pic of the route:
The Little Flatiron (V4)

Wednesday and the Weekend to be!

The forecast for this afternoon is looking great, and I'm grabbing my shoes, chalkbag and pad to head up to the Lake for an after work bouldering session. Today's big goal is the Little Flatiron and perhaps Martini Madness - but I am going to see how the afternoon is going before hopping on that.

As for the upcoming weekend, I am psyched! The weather looks genuinely good for the weekend, and it cannot come soon enough.

Saturday has a predicted high of 46 with a 10% chance of rain, and Sunday's high is called at 62 with a 10% chance of rain. That means a 99% of a good day this weekend, see you up there!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It Snowed Last Night in Sauk County

Man, waking up to an inch of fresh snow on March 25th is no fun, especially when the weekend plans call for rock climbing. The forecast for the weekend still looks great, but that blanket of white and temps in the teens make a bright outlook tough to maintain.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Two Stellar Saturdays

It is March, and in the Midwest that can mean unbelievably good conditions or unbelievably bad conditions - often within hours of each other. I have been itching to get out climbing since February, because I want to test out my new winter fitness program and get some mileage under my belt before an upcoming trip to Joshua Tree. The last two Saturdays have had decent, maybe even great by recent standards, conditions and called for some climbing. The difficulty lies in finding partners willing to chance bad conditions for the opportunity to luck out with great conditions. Luckily I managed and my friend Justin from Madison came up both Saturdays.

Reuniting with old friends - a day at Devil's Lake.

This post was started in 2009, it's finally finished below:

The compressed snow is solid underfoot - the repetitive cycles of thawing and freezing have left it more like concrete than ice. My pack is heavy, laden with a full rack, a rope, winter clothes and a thermos full of coffee. Like an older brother, the pack scolds me for my winter sloth. As the trail steepens the snow dissipates, no longer strong enough to fight the all-day sunlight on the southern aspect of the bluff. My heart-rate quickens, and every breath burns as the crisp morning air fills my lungs. I consider for a moment that, like the snow, perhaps I too have lost the strength to face my own challenges on this bluff.