the collective

climbing and bouldering and everything else

Back whips and a time out

The 80 year old came out of me this week. Rather the 99 year old. But to be honest, I haven’t met many 99 year olds, so I guess I haven’t really a fair comparison. There is one lady that I remember distinctly though. She was a retired ‘sister’ and lived in a retirement home in Melbourne, Australia where all the other retired sisters and fathers lived of that particular sect. It was.. Read More

Ibex Addict

GW on The Bone Collector V11, Ibex, UT

“In our ever more crowded world, what the pioneers once despised has turned out to be, by virtue of the very fact that it was shunned and therefore lightly settled, our last refuge for quiet and contemplation.  So it is that deserts are refuges not by choice but by default, as if driven out of cathedrals we were forced to hold services on beds of nails.  But on the positive side, what are cathedrals.. Read More

Sendero Luminoso Partly Free

Nik trying not to punt on the 5.14a crux

Lisiniopril reduces hypertension and cardiac workload.  Aluminum Hydroxide neutralizes stomach acid. Salmeterol prevents something.  I stared at 160 drug flash cards for hours.  I kept Nostalgia Coffee Shop in business studying the absurd names for my pharmacology final.   Between studying, I dreamed of climbing.  I stared at Instagram pictures of thin alpine cracks.  I remembered an August trip to Mount Hooker four years ago.   Seven inches of snow and frigid temps kept.. Read More

Seek and You Shall Find


The sun beats against the white lacquered walls of the Tuolumne Meadows store as the grease sizzling in the grill filters out the door. A breeze rattles the notes, flyers and pictures tacked to the cork board out front; climber partner wanted, gear for sale, looking for a ride, missing persons – it’s always the same year after year, week after week yet checking the board, scanning the names, looking for some bit.. Read More

The obsession begins. The final. For reals.

It’s strange to write about a problem that I haven’t yet sent. Perhaps even crazier the number of days spent on it, not only in a row, but thinking and pondering about while the rains fall and dampen its holds. But this story isn’t so much about the problem; it’s about an idea turned obsession. Perhaps a story from which one could draw advice from on how to NOT send ones project. Upon.. Read More

Magical Magic. Part two

It must have been the influence of Squamish that built up the endurance in me to stay throughout the rains. The granite was similar, talused, sloping with crimps situated randomly. The dense forest surrounding the boulders was tall, green and hid us from the outside world. Even the water from the old wooden bathtub with a sign above it saying non-potable, tasted just as good as the water springing from any of the.. Read More

magical magic part one

Wendy welcomed us on our first day of arrival in Magic Woods. We pulled in to find her sitting on her crash pad in all the glory of the sun. Her long hair was tied back in a bun with a pencil keeping it together. She was hard at work in the middle of a dirt parking lot surrounded by tents, live-in vans and gigantic evergreens towering on every side. My psych was.. Read More

Chasing chickens and plastic

By the end of the Scandinavian adventure and Leonard Cohen date there were 4 weeks left to prepare for the Munich boulder World Cup. Four weeks didn’t seem like a whole lot but it felt enough as I used my time efficiently and well with the training know how’s that I learnt after the end of the last comp in Innsbruck. The first week was unplanned and spent in the hot summer’s heat.. Read More

Swedish bonbons

Norway revived my spirit enough that i broke the vow i made after my visit to magic woods: that I would never go to a climbing area solo again. Although staying solo in Norway didn’t entice me, Walker had said enough good things about Sweden’s rock and in an exaggerated sort of sense, it was on the way south so, why not. Sweden was similar to Norway in that masses of coastline remained.. Read More


A 30 hour drive and a ferry ride for nine days in a land where fairies and trolls dance together between granite boulders situated along the North Atlantic Ocean. I was finally among the company of old friends rested between a thousand midges. It was the longest I have ever driven for such a short trip but i didn’t care. It had been so long since a road trip beckoned that I couldn’t.. Read More