Sunday, September 14, 2014

Araphoe Pass

The past month I have been venturing into the unknown to an entirely new area called Arapahoe Pass.

Lee Payne, Nate, Wes Walker and I have been busy developing a few zones in this area. The area which we have dubbed "Yonder" hosts about 15 high quality boulder problems ranging from V0- V9.
Scoping new lines on the Wave

About to enter the Enchanted Forest

Nate crushing "Faceless" V6
Wes Walker photo!

The setting of Yonder is pretty incredible and the approach is unlike any alpine approaches I have done in Colorado. After hiking through the Enchanted Forest, you are deposited below a fair sized talus field where tree line essentially ends. After this there is only boulders and snow. Here is are a couple of short videos highlighting some of the boulders in the area, one from my friend and super talented photographer/videographer Wes Walker, and one from me. Enjoy!!!

Justin Jaeger - Wowza, flashing Pilot Wave, & first ascent of Rogue Wave ----- Arapaho Pass, CO from Wes Walker on Vimeo.

Arapahoe Pass from Stephen Palermo on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


After completing my summer class, I began to get outside as much as possible. Before the season began I had made a conscious decision to forgo long term projecting for the season and focus instead on checking out new areas and building a solid base of climbs. Although I love projecting, hiking to the same boulder day after day and failing wears on your confidence as well as your overall fitness. Since there are so many boulders I haven't tried, and areas I haven't yet been to I am psyched to continue climbing on new stuff and not getting attached to one line.

A few weeks back I made it up to Lincoln Lake for the first time this season for a quick morning session and managed to put down a cool climb called the Lonely Carpenter (V9). The video is below.

The Lonely Carpenter from Stephen Palermo on Vimeo.

Matt on the trek to Upper Upper Chaos Canyon

Early last month we ventured up to Rocky Mountain National Park to climb in Upper Upper Chaos Canyon. Although it is quite a trek, this zone boasts some very cool problems as well as plenty more potential. Our friend Tom has been putting up quite a few problems in Upper Upper and he took us up to two of his new problems Solaris, and L'Eclipse. Both of these are very cool, with L'Eclipse being tall and proud. I was able to put down Solaris, but had to leave L'Eclipse for next time.

Because it was my first time in this zone I zipped around as much as I could not trying anything too hard. Over the course of day I was able to put down Full Chaos (a boulder I had wanted to climb for a while), Contents Under Pressure as well as a medley of more moderate problems. I also came painfully close to completing Wet Rabbit falling at the last move... next time.
Phillip London crushing Easy on the Eyes

The next week, John and I hiked up to Area B of Mt. Evans to search out and clean new boulders. Unfortunately the weather was against us and it rained for the first part of the day.   However despite this we hiked around a huge part of the talus field and found many potential projects, cleaning and sending a few of them. I climbed a nice moderate which I dubbed "Cruise Control," and John was able to climb a cool crimpy line that goes at around V7 (not sure what he ended up calling that). I toured the area and found many more problems both established and new which I'm psyched to get back to.

John Gass on the prowl for new blocs in Area B
A new V6/7 that John put up at Area B

Next on my agenda was a weekend climbing and camping in Guanella Pass. Gaunella is somewhere I have spent a fair amount of time over the last year because of its easy  lack of an approach, and wide range of problems. I climbed on my new project Double Dutchez (V12) in the morning, but conditions were bad and I retreated to the main zone to train on easier climbs. After this I revisited a line I had cleaned on a previous trip and dubbed the Darkness project. After trying it for an few minutes I realized that doing the line from the start would be much harder than I had thought. I must return for this one as well.

Enjoy the rest of these photos, and be sure to "like" my Facebook athlete page and follow me on Instagram as I update both of these social media platforms VERY regularly!! (The links to these are on the right sidebar of this blog!)
The top  and bottom of the Darkness proj.

Camping in Guanella Pass


An early morning at Lincoln Lake

Sunday, June 8, 2014


Myself trying Sunseeker
 Photo: Wes Walker
I'm a creature of habit. I like to have the same coffee in the morning, taking the same route to work or the gym, climbing at the same areas. But I think to an extent, we all are this way. There's something comforting about knowing what to expect; what your coffee will taste like, what direction a hike goes, how a boulder climbs. But getting stuck in these habits limits growth. I spent the majority of last year shaking things up. I climbed at different areas, tried problems I'd never done, barley projecting anything. But my first alpine days this season have been back at Mt. Evans Area A.
Richie Hum climbing the Area A classic Timeline
Revisiting this area with no agenda other then to be there has been freeing and enlightening. I have yet to feel the weight of  projects, and have been able to observe my progression in an area I've climbed in for most of my career. I know where everything is, an have climbed just about every boulder (same three or four) at least once.
Jeff climbing Clear Blue Skies

I returned to area A today despite a poor forecast, and revisited problems I have not climbed in a while. It was a training day, but also climbing at its best and simplest. One pad, no crew, nothing I "had to send."
Max on Super Gui
As a long breakdown may be tedious, my day is briefly outlined below (x indicates laps):

Black Tornado; x3
V1 Gateway: x2
V6 Gateway: x2
Bierstadt: x1
Ludder's Pinch: x2
The Ladder: x4
Dali Stand; x2
Dali Sit: x2
Pat's Arete: x1

It was extremely inspiring to see my personal progress on lines I had climbed years back. The sit to the Dali gave me huge problems a couple of years ago, and I walked away empty handed at least once. Today, I was able to to it twice easily!

I also attempted Jimmy Webb's new boulder Bigfoot. This line is very cool (if lowball) and I will return for it. I tried my nemesis rig Tactical Error in a light drizzle and fell of again (huge props to TJ for putting this up). I've tried this nearly every day I've gone up and have yet to climb it. One day perhaps. Enjoy the rest of the photos and the short clip!

The view from Area B

No More Greener Grasses

Tactical Error

Mt. Evans Training Day from Stephen Palermo on Vimeo.