Sunday, June 29, 2008

Red Wing Sunday

Big WR turnout on Sunday. Great weather with low humidity and few bugs. Lisa started out IMG_5585leading "Cardiac Standstill" which is a tough climb - hard to clip and with a blank and slippery face. Aaron had 3 new onsights, Rackie and John had some new leads for them and I struggled part way up "Eggs and Darts" a new climb for me. Lisa tried running out her lead by skipping a bolt on "B.F. Bugs" and took an amazingly long fall. (It took so much time, I got out one of my books and reviewed the chapter on how to catch a big fall.)  And she dusted herself off and finished the lead. Way to be.

no gay baby


She's definitely not a gay baby . 


We saw Mike, who gave us the up-nod greeting and then never spoke to us again.

Beautiful day at RW

Finally I beat the A team to blogging about today.
Weather was perfect and the only crowd encountered was the WR-A team. Their a nice group. They saved my warm for me. Not sure what the A team did but Sunbeam got to start out on the sharp end to get her day rev'd up (unlike what I let her do)........
The weather was perfect and only crowd was the WR group and a number of families.
A great kick off to the 4th week.
Send on!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Report from WR Team Colorado! -Finally.

Well, friday mike, jake, ryan and I set off to the lower twin owls, a very popular climbing spot 5 minutes from me. We did our two mile aproach to get to the bottom of lower organ pipes. Mike trad led up to the top of the pitch while I collected gear on my way up. On the top of the "first pitch" We figured out that it was the top of the second pitch. Which makes sense because it was around a 200 foot pitch. The second pitch was around 20 feet where we saw jake and ryans heads peak over because they did the walk up around. At the top of that was a large platform which stood the ultra classic "wolfs tooth" Mike got up one clip and figured that the guide book was right when it said you need a rack up to a 4 friend cam. Which we did not have. We will climb it someday though! Mom and emily are coming out august 11-17th to estes park. Warped tour is tomorow at mile high and I am pumped. Seeyou guys!

Help This Guy Raise Funds for His Trips

Just like Lisa, Yvon Chouinard (founder of Patagonia) has a secret climbing spot. And he says in this video " me that's the answer to a lot of the world's problems, to get away from this high technology, complex world and get back to a simple lifestyle."

Let's help him raise funds to do that by buying more of his expensive Patagonia brand things. (Of course, it's possible we'd have more money to travel, if we didn't spend so much on the stuff he's selling.)

Maybe the Best Reason to Get Married

"After Tracy and I got married, we realized our combined racks gave us close to 80 cams."

OK, there might be other good reasons for marriage, but this is a real doozy of one.

"There's two kinds of climbing, first ascents and everything else."

That quote is in this article about one of the pioneer rock climbers in the US. As well as:

image"Carter refuses to accept many modern climbing practices.  He climbs with a simple rope around his waist instead of a harness. He won't use chalk to improve his grip."





Seems to me it would be a lot easier for us to do first ascents if that guy hadn't hogged so many himself.

Climbing at Red Wing after Saturday morning crowd, anyone?

I'm hoping to go to Red Wing tomorrow afternoon after the morning crowd, if it doesn't rain. Meeting in St Paul at my house around 2.30 or 3.00 and heading down. Anyone want to come or meet there?

Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm Gonna Do This to Get Attention

Next time I think my belayer isn't paying attention, I'm gonna do what she did here to get attention.

Friday Climbing-I came so close and there is still hope.

Between the weather and QD doing odd jobs for gas money and Le Rocher being consulted on business challenges and the sun peeking out enough to make Carl want to go to the lake, I haven't climbed yet. But the day is still "on" and I hold out hope.

Sitting in my kayak (her name is Gladys) I was thinking. Fishing is kinda like lead belaying. You let the line out... and pull it in... and be alert for some big lunker to tug on the line!

I have to admit, that the way I fish is more like fish teasing. I use a lure so big they all come over to see who the new guy is!

I'm somebody! I'm somebody!

I finally got a rope and some draws. Let me know what's up for next week, so I can test out my new gear! Now I have to go be somebody else...camping with kids at Willow River. Happy weekend!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What's Going On In Colorado?

Levi? Jake? What're you doin' out there?

I'm Sorry, But I'm Going to Have to Report This

 IMG_5514 We made reservations to climb at Red Wing Thursday morning starting at 8AM. So we get there, and there're two other climbers. I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to report this to the authorities. That's just rude. Plus, we had it reserved until 11AM and guess what? At 10:30 two more climbers come prancing up as if they owned the place. The nerve! Lisa, Dr. P., John, Buddy, Buster and I should have had it all to ourselves. BTW, it was hot, humid and buggy. And in a limited amount of time - 'cuz everyone had other things to do - we did a lot of climbs, almost all on the east end. And Lisa led "Year of the Ankle" for the first time. And was happy about it.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday at Red Wing

Quite the crew, Red Wing Ron, Johnnie Mack and Dr. P. & I got there early to beat the heat. And we did beat it by about 15 minutes.




Dr. P. pulling the moves on Frequent Flatulence






John on Dr. Rock









Red Wing Ron leading Dr. Rock





Friday Climbing

Who's in for Friday? Depending on the weather, start 11ish at RW.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Secret Place Recon

Mel says...
As for Stillwater my thoughts are:
Overall IF it were good rock, I would say it would be worth a little cleanup. Good location, pretty easy to access BUT because the sandstone was falling off in heaps and sandbars, I don't know if it would be worth any effort.The anchors looked old but some of the bolts looked like they might hold. Iwant to say it has potential but...By the way where did you put your hold you pulled off, Lisa?You could have taken a photo of it for the blog.
Lisa says...Sorry about the dead batteries in my camera, you could have seen some cute pitures of little Sammy our hiking buddy in Mel's back pack and the chipmonk that I cornered in a cave. What a pretty day! The St. Croix steals my heart everytime I see it, but I didn't cry this time and I didn't tell Mel.
Ok..Beta! It's bolted alright, I thought the protection looked fine. The first routes you come to are not the best ones. 2o feet tall, if holds exist, they are slopey. The sandstone is... what I would call blank,granular, choss. a half inch deep on all 3 ledges. It would be good to bring a wisk broom. After that, you carefully pass by a nice healthy crop of poison ivy. Then the routes get better, higher, more holds as you walk further up river. Did I mention the whole thing is overhung? I said to my partner" Looky here! This is a mighty fine hold!" and the the whole thing which had looked pretty solid 4" by 8" ledge came off in my hand. There are probably 30 bolted routes 20-35 ft high. The father you go, the better the condition of the rock. Did I mention it is all overhung? On the way back we notice a boulder with black spray paint on it that said "No Rock Climbing" But it also said "The bitch you are rolling is the bitch that I am" and "Are you drunk yet?" So I don't know how reliable that sign was. It's a great place to visit. I don't know if I am will to belay there. Could be combined with PJ Asch Indoor Climbing in the Grain Elevator, a burger at The Mad Capper and Wine tasting on Northern Vineyards Deck. Now we are talking a worthwhile trip. I don't feel right revealing the location to the world but I will tell you by email.

Climbing Wednesday at Our Local Rocamador,

We won't be going to France Wednesday morning, but 3-4 of us will be at Red Wing which is our local Rocamador. (See, the French don't have everything that's cool. We have our own stuff. Like Velveeta and Spam and Red Wing. C'est la vie.)

Where Climbers Should Go to Retire

Even though I had seen a lot of pictures of Rocamador, it still caused me to gasp. Just think, every day you could climb from your house to the shops, then up to the castle and all the way up to the church. Then if you wanted to do some climbing, you could hike over to the crags on the other side of the gorge. You could get beta by looking out the window.

I Think I'm A Little Like These Pigs

I guess I've been raised in a conventional style, not a more natural style:

..."pigs in the wild spend much time searching for food and eat little and often, the preferred feeding regime for conventional raised pigs is three meals a day."

Perfect for Lisa's Recon of Stillwater

This would allow her to get down into the river and check out the cliffs along the St Croix. This might work for access to Taylors Falls climbs also.

Ward and Spearfish Canyon

Ward won't post this, so I will. He and his team climbed in Spearfish Canyon, SD 10 days ago. I know he went here and here. Don't know which climbs he did. It's on a need-to-know basis.


Monday, June 23, 2008


Rumor has it that there is a super secret climbing place, north of Stillwater. I have the directions and I want to go scope it out. I would love to have company. Would anyone like like to accompany me? And someone else needs to stand by to bail me out of jail. It takes a village, people.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Read This Book

Hey WR crew I just finished reading a great book about a moutaineer who attemped to climb K2 and ended up with the more daunting task of building schools in Pakistan. It's quite the adventure tale. I have a copy if you would like to borrow it. But better yet, go buy a copy, 7% of the proceed benefit the cause. Education is the best way to fight terrorism. Really, it is.
He's a Minnesotan, raised in Kenya, lives in Bozeman. Gosh do I know him? I guess I would like to but he is probably too busy to climb with me. Seriously, for more info go to

I'm not sure what happened... I was consentrating.

Wow, there was a whole lot going on today, I only remember bits and pieces since the grad party I went to afterwards. Let's see Aaron got new gear for some reason, I guess it means he's not through climbing with us. Grant did some great work in the green magic shoes. Then Aaron shot to the top of a 5.12z, Dr. Limit. Mel led Sunburst, I think she flashed it.

QD was climbing up effortlessly 3 fat chicks on a world tour and talking me through my mental breakdown on Vertical Vice on the way down. I never did see the Warden again after I asked him to belay. I should have known better. But we were all excited on arrival and he was just standing there! Sorry Ward. Mike was climbing with his wife/daughter/mom Megan. John was toproping something monsterous. I have no idea what Kyle the rocket was up to. Todd was there too! No pictures, too busy. What a great day on the Rock. Thanks everybody.

We've Got Two New Rope Guns Now

On Sunday, not only was numero uno rope gun Mike at Red Wing gunning ropes, but Lisa and Mel-lo inaugurated their new role as rope gunners.

Good job.




No need to use this rope gun to get a tennis ball with rope attached, over a tree. Just give the rope to the GPT (Girl Power Team) and they'll shoot it to the top.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Try to take this the right way.....

Mel-lo and Sunbeam have known for sometime that we lacked the lead climbing skills to venture to Red Wing on our own. Today that all changed. Nora joined in for Women's Lead Day. We lead climbs on Goofed on Skunk Weed, Jenna's Chimney and Right Hand Jam. Then I was nice enough to belay Red Wing Ron on Dr. Rock so he could retrieve his gear, then as my reward he let me use his rope to climb it myself. Mike and Ward were there and they were nice enough to put up a rope on Left Lane for us to climb but sadly we ran out of time.

Do you know what this means?! Well, it means that we climb with you guys because we WANT to, not because we NEED to. Which I would think you would like better. Freeing, isn't it!

I'm not sure what Mike and Ward were up to at the Manly Fest. They did stop to visit now and then. Those two are nice guys, and easy on the eyes too. Maybe they will post a blog about it. Just in case you were wondering Mike used his yellow and black rope today, not the black and yellow one.

Rats With Wings

Well almost. There were so many bald eagles at the lake where we stayed, it was almost as though they were rats with wings. After we cleaned the fish, the birds would swoop in and grab the bones and the skin. It was something to watch a bird that big land so close to us and stare.


Jurassic Park

So this is where the Colorado WRers are climbing.  What climbs did you guys do?


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday, My Shoes Took a Lickin'

Mel-lo, Mike and Sunbeam headed out to Red Wing on Wednesday, mostly to help Mike burn his vacation day before he lost it. We are nice like that. Mike lead climbs, we topped them. You know how I have to lead right away but I didn't! Dang me. Mel wanted to lead but we ran out of time! Well we had a good time and climbed some routes that we hadn't before, Mike was swell about getting the rope up for us. He is clearly too easy on us gals but I'm sure all that will end when he reads this post. Really Mike, I had a great time, it was fun! I will lead them next time, I swear. These are the routes we did, I think we did a lot of 'em! The Prow, Left Lane, Danger High Boltage, Too Low for Zero and Year of the Ankle. Let's go again on Friday, all are welcome. I can be there about 11:00 a.m.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jurrasic Park!

So the other day we went to the gym and we asked the man at the desk :"Where are some good sport routes in the area?" . He told us a spot near twin sisters was a good sport spot. Twin sisters is one of the second highest peaks in estes park besides longs peak. So after dinner we got to lilly lake and hiked the steep aproach to jurasic park, no dinosaurs though. I lead first on a 95 foot sport lead. It was really easy and very fun and I think we found our new sports spot! Jake will post some photos later! We bought a video camera by the way mom. haha

Respect the Willow!

Mel found this story on WCCO. They have no idea what else goes on in this place. ssshhh.

Mel says "Next he'll be swinging over the falls like some crazy people I know!!"

Sunday, June 15, 2008

This Week, Wednesday at Red Wing

Looks like a few of the crew are headed south to climb a bit on Wednesday afternoon. if you would like to come along. Please contact Lisa.

Here are a couple of interesting climbing pictures from our trip to France for your amusement.

The time on the blog below is one hour late

Beating Richards alltime earlyiest blog post!

I cant sleep right now and I have been up since 4 so I decided to post a blog. Happy fathers day every one!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wednesdays Rocks dot Blogspot dot Com Is A Mouthful

So we're migrating over to Either one works. seems easier to remember and find.

So Many People Have Told Me to Beat It

dragon boats 

I decided to become a drummer on one of Lisa's Dragon Boats. She's got a whole gallery of photos of  that event here.

Hey Peeps, Post Your Climbing Schedule Here

Lisa & I climbed with Flash today and he said he's got time during the week to climb. Particularly interested in climbing outside. We've tried keeping a calendar on the side panel. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Occasionally people will put something in the comments section about when they can climb. But that section isn't always read by others. So don't hesitate to just post when you want to climb and where right here on the front page.

From my admittedly weak memory, Aaron 2 (Flash) said he could climb next Tuesday morning 'til 2ish, Thursday the same and most of next Friday. Aaron, is that right? Update from Aaron:

"I am free on tuesdays and fridays from the early am until 3 or so. and thursdays between 10am and 3, roughly."

Lisa will email all of the WRers each other's email so you can get hold of anyone else to climb.

I'll Be Off The Grid

Until next Thursday evening. I'm going to this island:


Which is a 30 minute boat ride from the nearest small town called Sioux Lookout in Ontario. (About 4 hours from International Falls.) The island with its 2 cabins is for sale and you can read about it here. It's on the old inland waterway for the fur traders who paddled thru this lake to travel to Winnipeg from Lake Superior.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Marking Routes

There's a rather rancorous discussion about a tradition in Moab area for the first ascensionist to leave a rock with the name of the route carved into it at the base of a climb. It looks rather cool, I think. Here's one:




Website discussion is here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Got Home Past My Curfew

So I can't post much tonight. Tuesday, Ron, Nora, Lisa, Aaron, Ward and I climbed everything at Red Wing that wasn't nailed down. We got The Warden locking up a new 5.12, Ron leading some manky 5.11, Aaron leading a godawful hard-to-clip-5.11T ("T" for Tuff), Nora leading one of her favorites and Sunbeam leading the hard "Perfect Crimb" which involved every sort of technique except using a ladder. (Which our Climbing Concierge had available if she needed.) She also did many other climbs which I didn't witness.

A1 did another trad lead on a chossy crack full of funkness. And I fell on every climb I tried. What a good time.

Here's Ward going over the roof on "Advanced Birding." He also had an onsight at "Roof Burner." But some chossheads had his favorite climb "Cyclops" locked up so he couldn't do his regular last climb of the day on it. 


Monday, June 9, 2008

I Think I Might Be A Nomadic Tribesman

Finally figured out how ADHD is an advantage for nomadic tribesmen. I'm sure I belong to that tribe.

Red Wing Monday

Nora leading

Nora, Lisa A1 and I showed up and heated up the rocks so they'd be dry for climbing on Tuesday. Lisa had her first 3-outdoor-lead day. (Including one with a high reach that she had to down climb and then re-climb a different way so she could do it. Way to be Sunbeam.)

Nora - on the right near the top - did two leads on her new rope with her brand spanking new pink quick draws. (I gotta get me some of those pink quick draws so they match my camera case. Maybe I'll get a pink rope! Then I could get girls to climb with me. The boys would shun me, but they're no fun.)

Aaron had his first two trad-lead day. Aaron said, "It feels about 20 degrees warmer when you're trad leading." (Good thing to keep in mind for winter, huh?)




Aaron trad leading at RW





Sunday, June 8, 2008

More Colorado Curves

Yesterday we went back to lumpy ridge with the exchange dudes from Hong Kong, Andrew and CK. we also did some free solo climbing on the side of the road on a pillar which was intense because it was super windy. We also bouldered this intense 2 part bouldering route where you had to lean back off a crack and walk up the boulder next to it, then climb up a fin and lean over and get your hands on the next rock and JUMP! cheech and chong seemed to enjoy watching us.

Red Wing Climbing Monday & Tuesday

We're thinking early afternoons - arriving 1:30ish. Be there or be square (see below for photos of someone who wouldn't climb with us.)

Weather Babies

You know who you are, so don't ask. Anyway, don't be one of these:

gay baby

French Signage

This sign means that there are 50 milllion slugs in the country of France. We saw about 1.2 million of them, they were orange and about 5 inches long

The 2nd Day I was still thinking about climbing

Here's a couple of climbing pictures from my hiking trip. In one I'm just working through the beta with myself. Little did I know at that point, this whole ridge is newly bolted! We chatted (kinda) with 3 climbers we saw up there.

In the next picture, we are up there. The wall that was millions of years old was very overhung, so I opted for wall that was that was only thousands of years old.

Looks Like Lisa's in Danger

When you see a sign about rockfall, don't stand under the cliff. It's probably because the sign's in French.


This Would Be A Great Place to Visit

They only allow 20 people per day to hike in here. And, for Lisa's sake, you can speak English when visiting, oui.


Some climbs are harder than they look

We found these routes on a WWI Memorial in Toulouse.

We think the first one is probaly a 5.7 lots of holds but they are all the same. They looked pretty good. War looks hard though.

Now, the second one is different. I know all you guys think this one looks easy, BUT the holds are big and slope-y. We figured that even the French can't figure out just the right sequence of moves. We decided that because of the lack of chalk on this route. I really think that this one is about a 5.12 but you can go ahead and try it if you want to. You always do.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Enders' Set New Routes in France

We discovered this climb on the side of a country road on the way to Martel. We call it "Love Shack du jour" I got first ascent. Carl flashed it. It's probably a 5.6 but it's in France so we gave it a 5.8.

Inflatable Cars of the Future

This is cool:

"Inflatable electric cars could have 2500 mile range using a single hot-swap XPack Multi-CoreTM Battery/Fuel Cell power plant. The inflatable cars could be flat shipped like furniture from Ikea."


Friday, June 6, 2008

Batman and Robin

The climb Levi is talking about (I think) is here in Estes Park just outside Rocky Mountain National Park.

Sounds like a great area to practice multi-pitch.

the other climbers involved at batman pinnacle.

While Levi and Mike trad climbed the pinnacle, me and ryan
found our own way up. There was plenty of places to wedge 
your feet and work your way up a boulder at a time. it was
about 25 percent walking, 75 percent bouldering.

plenty of caverns, caves, crevasses, etc. it was a 
blast! the rock is pretty rough on the hands out
here. I also went to the doctor today because I
am allergic to something but i dont know what,
but they put me on a prescription, 
hopefully it works.

Batman and Robin

So today did not go as planned. The first thing to go wrong was forgetting the guide book. We woke up around 9 oclock on friday morning and I went and got a hair cut. We set out for the route around 11 oclock and it was about a two mile hike in. The hike consisted of very steep switch backs and scetchy trails. Since we did not have the guide book we were not sure which climb was ours. So . . . we guessed. After two pitches we reached the top of what we thought was our climb but could not have been because our climb was supposed to be 5 pitches. Either way it was really fun and my friend mike taught me alot about trad lead and multipitch climbing. here are some pictures.