Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Cross One Off the List!

I love Thoroughfare, and I have loved it since the first time I climbed it on a top-rope close to a decade ago. At that time, if anyone would have asked if I would ever lead it, or any 5.11 trad route for that matter, I would have told them they were crazy! Even my considerably bolder early-twenties self would have thought leading 5.11 on gear was unlikely - I just did not have the mindset, commitment, or process that I do now. Latching the jug you see me holding in the picture below, is the result of over a year-and-a-half of hard work, dedication and commitment to a process. Two years ago this was an impossibility, and last night it became a reality - it won't land me in any of the mags next month and #Thoroughfare won't be trending on Twitter anytime soon, but I accomplished a goal I was not even aware that I had until recently and considered impossible up until a few months ago. There is no secret to doing this, and I really believe anyone can do it...set a goal, create a plan, and work the plan. It will take sacrifices along the way, but that moment, where you blow so far through any prior expectations you could have conceived of for yourself, is worth every bit of sacrifice along the way - the smile on my face speaks for itself.
James Schroeder, hitting the jug at the end of the difficulties on Thoroughfare (5.11a) at Devil's Lake - Jay Knower Photo

Thursday, June 11, 2015

WAGG Day 14 - Goes 40-41


It's been three weeks since the last time I was up at Necedah, and truth be told, I had pretty much written Whiskey off until the fall when conditions came back around. But when Charles texted me last Saturday to see if I'd meet him up there last night, I couldn't miss the opportunity. A couple days later Nate texted to see if I wanted to meet up and I told him to join Charles and me.

I'm on TV!

A few weeks back I helped my boss, Nick, at Devil's Lake Climbing Guides, out, by doing a TV spot for WGN. I have to admit that I look pretty silly in the few cameos I make and the speaking role I have at about 1:24..."I'm never more at home than when I'm right here in this place. [Unless of course I'm being filmed, then I'm not at home at all.]"
When I see myself in the WGN piece I can't help but think of this:

Friday, June 5, 2015


I was just looking over my last few posts, and there were a couple in a row there that might be taken as glorifying soloing, and maybe they do, but ultimately they should not. Soloing is a dangerous activity, with all, or virtually all, of the marbles on the line, mistakes can, and do, kill soloists. A quick perusal of the statistics section of the American Alpine Club's annual Accidents in North American Mountaineering (ANAM), will show you that the number one contributory cause to climbing accidents is "Climbing unroped" - climbing without a rope is dangerous.

The point is this; no one should climb without a rope, but people do, and sometimes they fall and die, or become vegetables, or quadriplegics - that is the reality of soloing. If you're even considering whether or not it's a good idea, I can tell you that it isn't. While it's not a good idea, people still continue to do it for any number of reasons, and on a wide variety of terrain - hopefully those people have carefully weighed the risk vs. reward and made their decisions based on years of experience.

If you're a new climber and soloing seems enticing, realize that you probably don't have the experience to make that judgement, or get yourself out of trouble if it arrives. If you're under 25, then you don't have a fully-developed capability for parsing risk vs. reward. In other words, if you're young and new to climbing you have absolutely no business soloing.

Okay, that's my two cents for the day...carry on.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Last Night

I had a great night last night! Spent a few hours teaching an awesome group of clients how to rappel, then got a few laps in on my Balanced Rock Wall circuit, and then met my buddy, Matt, in the CCC parking lot for a beer.

It was one of those amazing nights at DL as the video below will attest:

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Only Blasphemy

I don't normally like to poach and repost content, but this video has been out for a few years now, and the article it's based on was originally published over thirty years ago. I prefer the raw version of the original text (which can be found here), but Rock & Ice also published in print the more sanitized version (found here) used to narrate the short film embedded below.