Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Smooth Moves With The Gentleman - Weird Dude Nude

The time has arrived for the second installment in "Smooth Moves With The Gentleman".  Mr. Aaron has given us here at the Gnar a wonderful piece filled with enlightenment, joy and prosperous hope....and weird old dudes prancing around in the buff.  Enjoy.

Ouch My Eyes

A social commentary by The Gentleman

Mr. Steven Schultz has graciously allowed me the use of his blog a pulpit from which to enumerate my views of an egregious social wrong. What wrong? The awkwardness perpetrated by creepy middle-aged to elder men once they enter a gym locker room. 

Fortunately for most of us, the majority of climbing gyms don’t have separate locker room/changing rooms for men and women. Subsequently there are significantly less incidences of what I like to term “weird-dude nude”. However, for those of us who like to cross-train, and find themselves doing so in a public facility, most likely have been exposed to this vile blight on the eyes of social behavior. 

I’ve belonged to a gym most of my adult life, and I have never, for the life of me, felt the need to do my calisthenics in the locker room, which are typically pretty confined quarters, and never even would’ve considered doing them sans clothes and way too close to the guys around me. Weird dudes. WTF. Seriously. Is there any reason to bust out straight leg bent-over-toe-touching maneuvers with your posterior pointed directly at the guy next to you trying to put on his shoes and get the F away from you? No, there isn’t. 

Or you, yes, you, the bald guy standing in the middle of the walk way, 100% nekked, using the complimentary blow dryer to dry that wool sweater of chest hair. For real, who does that? Oh, don’t let me forget about you, Mr. Jack Lelane-wannabe! You’re like a hundred. Why are you at the gym? Who are you kidding? Being alive is too much enough exercise for you. How did you even manage to get that leprosy ravaged thing you call a leg up onto the bench next that poor b*stard playing with his Ipod and what the hell are you doing throwing out a few lunges in his direction? 

I’ve discussed this disturbing phenomenon with women I know that also frequent gyms and they have confirmed the existence of a female sub-set of creeps, who I can only label as weird-chick-nudes and I have been told that their locker-room conduct is no less “biz-turbing” (yes, I invented a word to capture this experience as it is both bizarre and disturbing). I was provided several examples of the lady-creeper moves, like the dental-floss dry-off…. No one should abuse a towel like that. Not ever. And to do so in front of people, like some horrific spectacle… Not. Acceptable. 

I have only recently come upon a hypothetical origin for these yahoos. They have to be an evolution of the swimsuit kids. You know, the ones who always wore swimsuits, like everywhere, even at home, in the shower. It may be that all the repression exploded in a mushroom cloud of creepy once they hit middle-age. But it’s just a hypothesis… for now. 

I’d like to thank Steve for letting me shed light on these social-misfits and they’re abhorrent behavior. Although the best bet to scour this vile scourge from the Earth is to avoid gym locker rooms entirely that may not be a realistic goal, especially given how narcissistic we are (well, at least in my case). At least getting the word out about these locker room terrorists may prepare people more properly for some of the shocking sh&t this sub-class of creep-nazis do when they’re in the buck and behind a locker room door.

Monday, March 29, 2010


So we've got a crash pad with a piece of cake on it. It's sweet. It looks like this:

Katie kicks ass and made me a cake that looks like a crash pad with a slice of cake on it. It was yum:

RV and Sofie came over on Saturday night after the weary and helped our cause. They also helped me down a bit of the Scotch they gave me. Also very good. I'm a fan.

On to the rocks though. RV, Katie and I had a nice relaxed afternoon on Friday up at the north shore. It was nice. We just kept on pulling the pads around to different moderate highballs and goofed off. I ran multiple laps on everything and had a blast. It was great.

Aside from scaring both of them with a sketch high heel 20 feet up on some random problem it was pretty relaxed and uneventful. Well, that and my totally sick n rad gnar filled double dyno on the Vb slab. That was good too.

We drove up Saturday with Dave, Geoff and Zach for another day of radness. Sofie and Dave earned employees of the day awards. Sofie showed absolutely zero fear on the tall warmups at the North Shore and actually said that climbing at Boulders was scarier. For having never really climbed outside it was fun to see her so comfortable on the high stuff.

We spent a bit of time at the North Shore before heading up to Moj and Jenga. We set the pads up and I ran to the top of the boulder to try and get a different perspective for some pics. Laying down up top was sketchier than I'd like to admit but I'm pretty happy with how the shots turned out.

Like I said earlier, Dave earned points for doing Jenga super fast. Under 10 tries maybe? It was quick though and only with one dry fire/punt on the last move. Nice work.

We moved down the hill and RV set a pad below Moj and I started trying the Seam Project. Another day, another fail. I felt way more comfy on the move but couldn't reel the swing in. I only had 10 tries or so before i crimped a bit too hard and the cuticle on my left index finger blew up and sprayed blood on the rest of my fingers. I could feel it pop mid move. Kinda disgusting.

After last weeks exam RV brought a rubber glove up to spot me on the Seam....I made Dave spot me.  Super creepy...

It's doing much better now though. I only gave it a handful of more attempts before I stopped. Such an odd little project.

In the meantime RV and Dave worked the piss out of Moj. Geoff and Zach also tried it off and on. RV started to feel the move and was getting close. He vowed to come back soon and I think he's heading up tomorrow to try it again. Hope it goes soon for him as it's very much his anti style and would be a step forward for him.

We all walked down to Anchorpoint after a bit of time and ran laps on the classics there. Such a good little spot to take people who've never bouldered at the lake. Super fun problems of all grades. Dave, Geoff and Zach quickly did the little corner problem and RV repeated it again. Dave pulled one pad over to Anchorpoint and we set up the rest on Recreational Vehicle. I kept watching as everyone made attempts at the pumpy line and spent the afternoon snapping pictures.

Geoff on the corner problem.

After seeing one too many butt dabs on the crux move I threw the pad to the side and Geoff and I moved the offending boulder. I'm planning on going up and filling in some holes to make it a bit better soon. Even with that one gone the crux move is way easier to execute and a bit less lowball.

Katie and Dave finished up the line and then out of nowhere Katie decided to try it in her sneakers and pumped off of the last move. Nice.

Katie being rad.

Sofie coming SO CLOSE on the  crux move!!

Dave being Dave.

RV set about trying to repeat it in the absolute hardest possible way solely to tire himself out. Musta been a 6 or 7 the way he was doing it. Funny boy.

RV and his wonky betas.

After that Dave pulled another pad over to Anchorpoint and with a bit of beta sent easily. Fantastic.

Congrats go out to Dobbe who sent Perfect Medium and to Ryan who sent Venus Rising! NICE WORK!! Now you can both go and do other shit at other areas!!!

Also, nice job to sweaty who apparently finally sent Body Karate. Good job. If anyone else sent shit let me know! Weather's been good!

Friday, March 26, 2010


Everyone here should know by now that I love a lot.  Some may call it an obsession, I'm not so sure.  I just think it's really tasty.

Katie is making my Birthday Cake this morning.  I have no idea what it's going to turn out as. She made me wait in the car as she bought the frosting supplies so I wouldn't know what it was.

On top of that she baked it last night and made three mini cakes that are apparently accessories and decoration. I don't really know what to expect.

Last year she made this:

And two years ago she made this:

That last one might be the best cake ever made. It's amazing.

Not sure what this year will hold but you'll know soon.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Top Five

So I'm kinda curious what everyone's Top Five problems at the lake are? Which problems stick out?

Nic and I got to talking about the best problems this past sunday and the conversation of Beautiful Soup Direct came up. I genuinely think that the stand start direct version could possibly be the best problem at the lake. Decent landing, obvious start, cool crux sequences and a high topout on jugs.

What does everyone think? What's classic?

Here's my list of problems I've done:

1 - Slope of Dadaism - Simply amazing wall

Photo: Remo

2 - Big Bud Arete - Again, just an amazing feature

3 - Jenga - Such a good problem, classic in every sense

4 - Flatiron - History, holds, position, movement all make this a must do

5 - Moj - mainly for sentimental reasons for me

And my list of what I consider THE classic problems at DL, whether or not I've done them:

1 - Keymaker - Possibly the most imposing wall at DL
2 - Slope of Dadaism - I personally think this would hold the 'classic' label no matter where you put it
3 - Alpine Club - One of the most "Pure" lines at DL on some of the best rock in the world
4 - Big Bud Arete - Again, this would be classic anywhere
5 - Jenga - Perfect start holds, amazing movement and a perfect thank god jug

Runner Ups in my eyes would be (in no particular order) Smooth Operator, Flatiron, Greatest Show (might have to go on the list after it cleans up a bit), Burma Warmup, Super Slab, Pete's Pebble, Sex and Chocolate with a Cherry on Top, Moj, Pinball Arete (might be stretching it to call it classic but it holds an aura for sure), Starfish, Ejaculator and the Tombstone problems.

Those are just some of my favorites.

Very curious to hear what everyone else thinks.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Down And Dirty

Big weekend for the lake methinks.  Here's a problem by problem recap.


RV, Katie and I went up on Friday hoping to get some time in before the rain/snow started up.  RV made quick work of this fantastic problem with nary a punt.  Although he did almost bite it on the topout.  How, I'm not sure since it's all jugs but there was a quick hearstopper of a moment as he rolled over muttering "I'm not done yet guys...kinda skeered...".  Awesome.

Katie had an absolutely awesome day out there getting all but the last move on the rig.  She got the crux move with a bit of work and shortly thereafter linked up to the final throw to the jug but jumped off.  Punt?

Either way we were all very psyched for her.  It was a really strong effort and she had it pegged for a multiple day project just to get the crux move.  Well done!!

This was made only more impressive when we went to the doctor later that day and got her cough checked out.  She's got the Pneumonia.  We laughed at the fact that if she'd have sent today she could have had the FFPA (First Female Pneumonia Ascent) of Jenga.

A cool sequence of RV on the first move of Jenga

Seam Project:

I was relatively excited on the Seam Project.  Really it just comes down to an odd jump move.  After a slight rectal exam at the hands of RV's spotting skillz I got a bit more comfy with the move.  It's really weird.  The swing feels huge and at first I was having trouble concentrating cause I was on the wall for such a short amount of time.  

After a while though I calmed myself down and got rather close.  Should go next time I hope.  Kind of a fun move.  Thanks to Katie for taking some pics to get people psyched.  There is a left hand start that would add two to three moves and could be quite hard.  Might try it.  Not sure.

A sequence of my best go on the Seam Project

Greatest Show:

Met up with Nic on Sunday to clean off the Greatest Show....Finally.  Nic went down and did a basic cleaning and I followed with another round.  Shit was duuurrty!!!   Wow.  Got it to a climbable state at least.  He tried a couple times from the ground then before going back up on a rope to figure out the crux move, which he did after a bit of work.

On TR...

We took a break from that thing and walked up to see how Remo and crew were doing up at Sex and Chocolate.  About halfway up we heard a yell and figured Remo sent the direct, which he did.  Fucking nice job!

We sat around up there for a little bit and then walked back to Greatest Show with pads where Nic promptly fired it first go.  Done and done.

Sequence of the send

Sex And Chocolate:

Like I said above Remo sent the Direct early in the day but Nic wanted to make a return trip to make a flash attempt.  Well, he punted.  Should have flashed it but his fingers were rolling off of the chip.  He did it quickly on his third go though.  He traversed over and looked at the direct but decided to drop off in favor of other things.

Perfect Medium:

We'd spent a day on this thing in the middle of summer and Nic had a good deal of contempt for it.  Wanting to just finish it off we dropped a pad below it and after about 15 minutes of work he sent, nearly punting well after hitting the jug.  The temper tantrum woulda been so good.

What the send probably looked like

And that's about it!  I had a really lazy day on Sunday opting to spot and just play around.  Just wasn't feeling it.  It was really nice just to be out.

I'm continually surprised that we're not seeing more people out right now.  We're seeing some of the best conditions I've ever seen at the lake.  It's been amazingly crisp!  GET OUT THERE!!!

Also, Nic had the quote of the weekend by calling Katie the "Runnells of being sick".  Fantastic.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Karma Cup

One of my roommates in Mammoth, Blu (He used to say he rode so fast the 'e' fell off.  Funny dude.), used to talk a lot about his Karma Cup.  You do something bad and it emptied out.  As long as you kept it full good things came to you. 

I always liked the expression for some reason.  Just seemed funny to me.

Recently while doing my daily internet searching I came across Vikki Weldon's Blog.  She had an interesting post about Mad Rock and Climb X.  In short, Joe G. formerly from Mad Rock split off and made his own company called Climb X.  He made a reasonably big deal of it, as did Mad Rock, and they both had press releases about it.

For a while though nothing really came of it.  Then the Climb X website appeared.

Look at this.

Then look at this.

Kinda funny.  I've never seen anything to this level of copying.  Two things hit me.

First, it seriously looks like they've just photoshopped the Climb X logo over the Mad Rock one.  Hilarious.

Second, and my personal favorite, is that they're making identical copies of some of the absolute lowest quality products to ever hit the climbing world.  And I'm not just talking to you shoes, I'm talking to you Pads, Harnesses, Biners, Rope Bags and "Industrial Gear".  You suck too.

More than anything I think it's damn funny.  I also like that many of the products are the same damn thing just 5-10 dollars less with Climb X.  I don't even want to imagine those margins.

I truly enjoy the backstabbing involved here.  A good story of betrayal and behind the backerry is pretty fun to watch.  This is no different.

Rumors have it that Mad Rock was founded on the successes and stolen ideas of Five Ten, just with horrid quality standards and materials.  That's plainly evident in the Flash, a poor man's Anasazi Velcro, and the Maniac, a poor man's Mocassym.  

Now in a fairly obvious twist of irony Climb X has both of those styles with names like Redpoint instead of Flash and Rad Moc instead of the Maniac.  I like the latter as it's a nice dig on both Mad rock and Five Ten.  At least he's got a sense of humor, right?

Apparently when you pass along that type of heritage it bites you back a bit.  Should be fun to follow along with this one.

A couple Karma Cups have emptied recently.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One Punt, Two Punt

Katie, RV and myself all took a half day up at DL yesterday. First things first. Conditions are PERFECT! Get up there!! Rock is dry and there is only a little bit of snow left. Do it!!

We ended up deciding on a casual day up at the North Shore and Monolith areas and brought Moose with us as such. We needed to tire her out and did it work!!! Haven't seen her that wore out in a while. Good for a good nights sleep at least.

We pulled into the parking lot and Moose promptly threw up on RV. Apparently the curvy roads didn't agree with her. She also ended up throwing up on his Jet 7's. We all had a good laugh and renamed them the Vomit 7's, or V7's.

A very tired Moose after the drive up.

I stopped to put a little love note on Remo's car and then we had a nice warmup on the classics. I do love those problems.

Love ya Remo.

Meanwhile a very excited Remo came up with Vince in tow. They'd already had a good day and Remo sent the Wave Catcher project, aptly naming it 'The Wave Catcher'. Nice work. He also resent Sex and Chocolate but backed off of the direct.

Good day.

After warming up we hiked our tired legs up to Monolith where Katie started trying Bark Biter again. It's kind of a mind game with her on this problem. She hiked the crux last fall but didn't commit to the topout. It's on her list this year (more on that soon) so we went back to it.

RV apparently has it out for me though. We were stacking the pads so she could reach the start holds and he threw his big one over to us and I got jacked in the forehead by one of his buckles. Thanks bud.

Hate ya RV.

She quickly made it to the crux but didn't feel secure on the move to the jug. A couple times she downclimbed the tree but she eventually got psyched enough and really went for it.

Pop goes the Katie.

She took a nice, scary fall and smoked the tree and fell to the right of the pads. RV and I thought she hit her head but it turns out she was ok. Just shaken up. In the process I stuck my arm between her and the tree and my right index finger and forearm are a bit bruised today.

She took a break and RV decided he wanted to try and flash it. He saw and an anonymous strong climber flail on it a couple years ago and was super nervous. Said climber sketched their way up making it look much scarier than it should have been.

I gave him some beta and he promptly flashed it with some heavy breathing on the topout. It was a nice send and he was pretty happy.

Katie got back on once more to get it out of her head but downclimbed before committing. Leave it for another day.

Then it happened. RV said "I just want to try Venus Rising a couple times to see how it feels.". Let the saga begin. He tried it a couple times and fell off at the top. I look forward to him getting more and more frustrated as time goes on and eventually he'll begin his yearly ritual of taking a month and a half to repeat this problem.

"And it begins..."

We all also decided that the arete to the left of Venus Rising should be called Penis Rising. Just so ya know.

With that we moved around to Sex and Chocolate. The holds didn't feel quite as great as last time but both RV and I had one go each where we got super close. Unfortunately my foot cut just as I was jumping and I came screaming and swearing down the arete. I actually left chunks of rubber down the arete and on the foothold. Entertaining.

RV punted even harder than I though. He stood up one go and airballed the hold by about 4 inches to the right. He had the height but had the aim of a skinny little white boy. Not sure what's up there. That was his best go by far and he couldn't find the mojo again.

Katie also had some strong efforts on the rig and got to the crux, surprising herself.

Afterwards I made RV pose for some interesting pictures. That boy needs some brighter shirts...

I also got one more of him, well, you know....

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Am Not A Biker

Katie and I had a crazy couple of days this past weekend. Rutabaga put on Canoecopia and Budget put on Bike-O-Rama. Both events are right next door to each other and combined they generate a staggering number of sales. Like usual traffic backed up on the beltline because of the event.

What it meant for us though was a tiring four days of work. Here's a quick recap of my Canoecopia experience. Fun, right?

Day 1 - Grab the first of many rides with Katie so I don't have to ride my bike, haul shit, setup shit, drink, setup more, whiskey, whiskey, Beer Cheese Pretzels, Matilda, Fish N Chips, Lion Stout, Gin n Tonic, bike home drunk and happy that my legs aren't burning, sleep.

Day 2 - Wake up still sorta drunk, bike in with burning legs due to being way outta shape, setup more, stock, drink a bit more, sell lots of stuff, make fun of guy next to our booth that looks like Fabio, cop a ride home with Katie cause I'm too tired/lazy to bike home, drink whiskey, pass out.

Day 3 - Wake up and watch Katie go to work at 7:30 AM(13 hour day for her and she's already getting sick), bike to the show in a drenching mist/rain, almost pass out and tip over cause I'm fat and outta shape, eat many donuts (thanks pete), sell shit, eat first pretzel, sell shit, visit Katie next door, happily take 3 mini bags of swedish fish, eat 3 mini bags of swedish fish, sell more shit, eat second pretzel, discuss new sport that pete's developing of "Fast and light hunting..just combine trail running and hunting....and shorty shorts." nice pete, have a nice chat with Fabio and find out that he has the same old ass flip phone as i do....mine has a dinosaur sticker though, try not to keel over on the bike home, curse a lot, drink whiskey, yell at pup for biting me, eat entire box of Mac n Cheese, pass out.

Day 4 - Avoid riding in and cop another ride with Katie, almost have a seizure from the short 1 minute ride to the back of the alliant and realize that I will never EVER ride bikes for fun, scam a shot of coffee from the kinetic coffee booth, sell even more shit, eat first pretzel, eat a sub (thanks Milio's), eat second pretzel, wait for 5:00, pack up shit we couldn't sell, almost die as an 8 foot chunk of slatwall attached to rolling 4 x 4's tips over, almost die once more loading said slatwall into u-haul, huff and puff my way over to the office to unload everything, cop a ride to Jamerica with Janice, Optimator, Jerk Chicken, Hoppalicious, more Optimator, ride home in a headwind....once again totally drunk, inexplicably eat yet another entire box of Mac n Cheese, pass out.

It was fun hanging out all weekend with Josh, Amanda and Andrew from Sea to Summit. Lots of shit was talked and they do know how to drink. Quote of the weekend was from Josh though. About 2:00 on Saturday he took a huge swig of water, looked straight at me and said "Christ, think I'm still drunk." and walked away.


Back to climbing soon. What did you guys get on this weekend? I wanna know. Nic, did you go up to sawmill? Remo, did you go up to the lake? Anyone else go up??? I'm curious how conditions are!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

First Day Back

An unnamed snowman guarding the North Shore parking lot...He was later defeated...

It's always good to be back in the game at a local area, no matter where it is.

Katie, RV and I made the first trip up to DL for the year with promises of mid 40's and sunny. We were not disappointed. Warm temps and very bright sun greeted us as we pulled into the north shore.

On the hike to the East Bluff Woods Trail we decided to detour over to the Greatest Show as it might be climbable. The hike was fine for most of the way but as we got closer we had to detour and posthole to our knees to get over to the face. When we were almost there Katie stepped through a chunk of icy snow and twisted her ankle badly.

There we were, 20 yards from the first boulder of the year and we were already injured. Damn.

After the initial pain subsided Katie decided that she could wobble onward. Fucking trooper! RV and I both admitted that we'd have cried our way back to the car.

She decided it was easier to tow it through the snow.

So there we sat, under the Greatest show. Snow guarding the topout and both of our pads on the giant green tarp that Katie was smart enough to bring. We played around on the first couple of moves knowing we wouldn't commit to more for fear of careening off the face and soaking our shoes in the snow. It was really fun to be back and all three of us are looking forward spending a bit of time in good conditions out there.

Another quick hike, and more postholing, brought us to the base of Sex and Chocolate. RV and I had only worked this problem in the worst of temps and were curious how it'd feel in good conditions. We both remarked how much shorter the problem felt on top of a couple feet of snow. Fun.

After a frustrating start we quickly made great progress and were starting to stand on the shitty left foot without trouble. It felt easy actually. Minds were blown.

Sadly our skin made a pretty valient effort to stop us. I crimped hard enough to make my cuticles bleed on my middle finger and RV was getting close to a split on his right index finger.

Then, RV decided to sack up. He said he was gonna just do it. He got all sorts of psyched and inspired and stood tall on the shit foot. Fully extended, he reached up for the finish hold with his tips coming just shy! He tried with all his might to reel in the hold but couldn't extend anymore!! He tried one final time and got his tips around the hold. I thought he was done but his foot thought otherwise and popped off. He was back on the ground with me. Confused.


We both cursed a bit and each sacked up for one last go. I applied some war paint hoping it'd help but it didn't. I came up short on the big dyno. RV stepped on and nearly castrated himself when he foot popped unexpectedly. He slid down the arete and decided to stop for the day.

The unhelpful warpaint on our valiant hero.

Back to the car we went.

On Saturday we all met up with Chris, Sarah, Kelly and one other guy. Not sure of his name though. The plan was the Flatiron and The Zipper. The hike up was nice, although tiring. Sadly the Zipper was a bit wet from all the melting snow. The Flatiron was in GREAT shape though, so we all booted up for that. It felt really good to pull on the warm crimps again.

I do love that problem.

Chris did it very quickly and then promptly couldn't repeat it for beta. It took him a bunch more tries to repeat it than it did the first time. Plus he did it with two totally different methods. Hilarious.

RV had a phenomenal flash go but fell off right before stepping up on his left foot. He then spent a solid hour and a half trying to do the damn thing. After finally taking my advice on beta he did the problem and quickly repeated it two more times.

Trying not to punt.

Sarah trying to mono the crimp.

Chris approves!!!

We moved up above that problem and tried Martini Madness a bit, which is fucking hard by the way, and then packed up our stuff.

I think the most impressive thing of the weekend was watching Katie absolutely piss on the lower moves of Flatiron with a bum left ankle. She continually made it to the big flat right hand edge but didn't want to commit to the last dyno with a bad ankle. Very very impressive. She put all of us to shame.

So, who else got out??? It was good!!

I want to also mention Nic's send of his new problem, The Raven. Knowing how much he put into the problem and how much it means to him only makes it that much more special. I'm glad that he did it and that it's over for him now.

We had a fun little experience when we came into the gym after climbing on Saturday. Jeff, who nearly did Keymaker last fall, and Kelly McBride were in town for a couple days. It was a nice surprise and totally unexpected. I called up Nic and found out he sent and then passed my phone off to Kelly and Jeff to say their congrats.

It's always fantastic to finish off a project and it's especially fantastic when it means something to you. No matter if it's V2 or V12, it's great to see.

Nice job bud.

Also, I can't forget my never ending quest to get as many pictures of RV's back while he pees. It's just too much fun. The little bugger has gotten smarter though! It's been tough going so far. That said, I still got two this past weekend. It's like catching the rare magenta spotted koala. Too funny.