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The Lone Black Stallion: Mount Hooker

The beginning of this entry loosely picks up where the last one left off: Yosemite Valley, after a successful albeit extremely grueling free ascent of El Corazon on El Capitan [full story here]. The wall tested me in every possible…

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Team Free: A Fool’s Errand on El Corazón

I can’t do this anymore. the thought played over and over in my head as my knees wobbled with every step, struggling not to cave under the heavy load. My pack was full of hundreds of feet of crusty old…

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The Crystal Dawn Wall

Greetings loved ones, let’s take a journey. The story I am about to tell began a long time ago in a faraway land… except it was just one year ago, and exactly where I am now: Las Vegas, Nevada. I…

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Lessons from the Dark Side

What follows is a few short (by my standard) stories detailing personally significant experiences from my fall season in Yosemite. While this spring I was a student of El Capitan and the sunnier east side of the Valley, this time…

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All That Glitters

“All that is gold does not glitter,Not all those who wander are lost;The old that is strong does not wither,Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken,A light from the darkness shall…

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The Index T-Shirt

In a cabinet next to the bed in my van lives a very small collection of books. The collection includes a rotating cast of crossword puzzles and journals, but for lack of space few have made the cut as long-term…

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The Salathé

The faint taste of peanut butter, the warmth of the early morning sun, the feeling of callused hands against my back as my partner Harrison kissed me goodbye on the 3rd of April, 2021. I had only been in Las…

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The Impossible Dream

Every fall I’ve developed something of an annual bad habit. I bee-line for the Creek with no plan for the Creek with no plan other than to stay there until winter manages to creep its icy tendrils so deep into…

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From Indian Creek, With Love

Climbing highlights from a long and fruitful season in Indian Creek I often tend to wax poetic when I talk about Indian Creek, telling romantic tales of this place’s immeasurable beauty, unmatched and endless crack climbing, unshakable community, or the…

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You’ll Never Be a Wrestler

Around 10pm I slipped away from the campfire to go watch a few office re-runs for the billionth time before bed. When there’s no service, you have to make do with whatever you downloaded on your last rest day… a…

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Dirtbag Date Night

There aren’t a lot of places where it can be eighty degrees one day and below twenty and snowing the next, but the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains is one of them. In a divergence from my usual summer…

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On The Run

“We’re on the run!” Wild eyed and grinning with adrenaline, N called to me out the window of his red Sienna minivan as we merged onto highway 211 leaving Creek Pasture. Snow flurries fell around our small caravan as we…

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The Desert Has Made Me: Stingray

Stingray and a season in Joshua Tree. Because the climb was more than just the climb, it was everything that happened in between burns. “Index isn’t known for splitters (perfect cracks). That’s okay, because I’m not much known for climbing…

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Closer to the Skin

The Life of a Hand Jammie “Closer to the skin is better,” my friend Nick teased on more than one occasion as I strapped on my rubber Ocun hand jammies (protective and grip enhancing crack climbing gloves) for another perfect…

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Loss, Recovery, and Doritos

“I try really hard to realize it when it’s amazing, and even when it’s not.” Driving south from Squamish I listened to those words from my favorite climbing video, ’35,’ as I had many, many times before. It was Thursday,…

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The Big Show

It’s called the Big Show for good reason. I so vividly remember the first time I laid eyes on it: a freshman in college visiting Canada for the first time and a gym climber who could count on one hand…

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Stargazing

On the eve of the summer solstice I redpointed a climb called North Star that sits on the highest point of the Strawamus Chief in Squamish. While there were few actual stars to be seen with the moon almost full…

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These Are Your People

When I was in high school, my mom decided that my sister Lindsey and I might like to throw a pool party for our friends one weekend, so she reserved the neighborhood pool and told us to rally the troops.…

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Quicksand

There’s a great line by comedian John Mulaney that goes: “Growing up, I always thought that quicksand was going to be a much bigger problem than it turned out to be.” It always makes me laugh because the statement is…

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Proper Nowhere

El Salto was the place where everything changed for me on my first trip south of the American border. One year ago I traveled here expecting the unexpected, but I never could have guessed how much it would change my…

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1000 Words for Rain

I awoke this morning, as I do most days, with my body a ticking time bomb. I stalled as long as possible in bed, listening to the light pitter-patter of rain on the roof of my car until it was…

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City Park

Deep in the forests of the Skykomish valley in Western Washington lies the tiny town of Index and behind it, hundreds of feet of sheer granite cliffs that are home to some of the finest trad and sport climbing on…

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Zombie Finger

I’ve considered Seattle home for a few years now, but when I returned in April after a month away, I somehow felt very much not at home in my own apartment, my climbing gym, and pretty much anywhere I went…

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Magnum Opus

“How many more bolts until the end of this thing?” my partner Mike asked as he powered past the crux of a climb. “You never really reach the end,” I replied sarcastically. “Greyhound stays with you forever; you’ll never be…

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Focus on Your Ability

[[On Sacrifice and Motivation]] A Wednesday night in February– “What time did you get here today?” The question came with a laugh; my friend already knew that my answer would be something absurd. It was 8:30 pm and the happy…

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Chasing Down a Feeling

I’ve long held the belief that I was in the climbing game to see how far I could go, and how fast I could get there. I’ve had goals, dreams, and fantasies about what was possible for me since I…

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Northwest Boulderfest 2016

Yesterday was the NorthwestBoulderfest: a competition I’ve done every year since its origin. I’ve been doing nothing but ropes for months and haven’t even bouldered in the gym in at least two weeks, so expectations were not exactly for it…

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Psycho…pathetic

[Author’s note: this was originally written in the summer of 2016. Basically an entire year passed between when I decided to start a blog, didn’t post anything, and then decided to write another post, which also remained in my drafts…

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