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climberism APRIL 2014 | ISSUE #22


u g e n z i m o D & s y e r Humph l on BEACH POND!

i, pernatura s s o i G go su

Born in the Canadian Coast Mountain wilderness, Arc’teryx is built on the principle of obsessive, precise design and production. CONCEPTION/FABRICATION Unrivaled performance at theARTISANALE/PERFORMANCE point of extreme need.


climberism | MAGAZINE

climberism | MAGAZINE


Seriously? Nico Favresse eyeballs another oncoming wave of foul weather while Sean Villanueva lashes himself to the rigging during the first ascent of the South Pillar of Kyzyl Asker. The team spent 15 days on the wall navigating heavy storms, -15ºC temps, and “a whole bunch of fantastic rock.“ See the video, hear the babble, watch the send. PHOTO: EVRARD WENDENBAUM

Š 2014 Patagonia, Inc.

Contents APRIL | 2014

14 16 18 20 24 30

EDITOR’S NOTE // by David Crothers NORTHEAST NEWSWIRE // by David Crothers LOCAL LEGEND // Tim Keenan by David Crothers FEATURE // The Irish and Their Gold by Justin Sanford Gear // Bolting: Tools of the Trade by David Crothers LAST MOVE // Book Review: Bouldering Essentials by Mike Bowsher

David Buzzelli working on a project at Nine Corners Lake in Ny. Justin Sanford later sent the line and named it The Legend of D.B. in honor of Buzzelli’s effort. It is a proud V9 that is still unrepeated.

[Photo] Justin Sanford


climberism | MAGAZINE

climberism | MAGAZINE



climberism | MAGAZINE







Adam Howard

David Crothers Mike Lorenz HEADQUARTERS

60 Main St., Jeffersonville, VT CONTACT US

ON THE COVER: Matt Giossi taking down Work of Man (V12) at Lincoln Woods in Rhode Island. It took him six sessions and nearly 20 hours to establish the boulder problem. Photo [Chris Motta]

Most of the activities depicted in this magazine carry significant amounts of risk with the potential for serious injury or death. We do not recommend you try or participate in any of the activities depicted within this publication. Seek professional guidance or help from someone of expertise. You assume all risks associated with your decision. Copyright Climberism. All Rights Reserved. No material in this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent.

Contributors Ryan Stefiuk is a climbing guide residing in Northampton, Massachusetts. The consumate tinkerer and gearhead, Ryan can be found tweaking websites, Android devices, and climbing gear in his spare time. He is the owner of Valley Vertical Adventures and blogs regularly at

Before he had spent a rain-soaked spring in Vermont, Taylor VanRoekel lovingly considered New England to be some sort of Shangri-La. Wide-eyed and hopeful, he moved to the Green Mountains in the summer of ’12 with a car full of skis and shelves. Three jobs and four Craigslist rentals later, he can still be found hoofing around north of I-89 with his friends who sometimes call him to go rock climbing.

Andrew Koff and his climbing partner walk through the woods on their way to Deadwater in the Adirondacks for some spring climbing. [Photo] David Crothers

climberism | MAGAZINE


Alden Pellett and Tim Farr wishing they had wheels. [Photo] David Crothers


climberism | MAGAZINE

climberism | MAGAZINE


Nyle Baker climbing one of Nine Corner Lake’s highball test pieces, Moving Meditation (V7) at the outdoor competition that was held during the 2011 Southern Adirondack Climbing Festival. Nobody had repeated the line, but it saw a handful of sends on the day of the comp. [Photo] Justin Sanford


climberism | MAGAZINE

climberism | MAGAZINE



The editor himself poaching a couch and taking a brake from living in his truck camper. [Photo] Alden Pellett

“I AM SO PUMPED!” MY COWORKER Shey Kiester shouted down to me, barely halfway through an afternoon climb this spring. She huffed through the crux, laughing, “I am so out of rock climbing shape.” Shey and I had snuck out of work early, finally getting back on rock during one of the nicest afternoons of the season. Sadly for us, we had both spent our winter picking ice lines, far from the plastic of a gym, and our forearms were less than impressed with our antics. It happens every winter. When the ice is in, I’m climbing, and when the snow is good, I hit the backcountry and make some turns—rock climbing is the last thing on my mind. I forget about the effort it takes to get back into rock shape until it abruptly hits me in the face after the ice has melted and I am wheezing my way up the first pitch of the spring season. But lately I’ve been reminiscing on the days when climbing hard wasn’t even on my radar and the amount of gear I had dangling behind me didn’t matter. I can remember being completely satisfied setting up a top rope on something I didn’t even know the grade of just to gumby my way up it. Despite my lack of real knowledge, I would still manage to struggle my way up routes that would be difficult for me even today. Take my first 5.10 for example—a short sport climb following a finger crack out a roof. A strong looking climber who 14

climberism | MAGAZINE

watched me top rope the route pensively commented that you would have be a solid 5.10 climber in order to lead the climb. I mulled his comment over, and a few weeks later I went for it. To my surprise, I climbed the route without any issues. Since then, I’ve revisited the same climb a handful of times with an increased sense of grades and their importance, but each time I struggled or got scared. The point I am trying to make is that every season rock climbing hits me pretty hard. When I realize that I’m not climbing at the level I want to be off the couch, I lose motivation, a situation which can easily turn into a dangerous snowball. But this spring as Shey and I laughed at the bottom of a climb we both should have been able to send easily, we spent our time grinning and enjoying the nice weather, not once mentioning the grade of the route. And I thought fondly of the time when the gear and the grades didn’t matter, which ironically was the time I was climbing my best because I was having the most fun. So this spring, forget about the gear, forget about the grades and just go climb something that looks fun, even if you fall, flail or fail. Don’t worry about it. Let your partner tie in and give it a go. Because that is why we all start climbing in the first place. Am I wrong?—DC


BRYCE VIOLA DOING WHAT HE DOES BEST Bryce Viola has been on a rampage the last few years, ticking off some of the Northeast’s hardest bouldering problems. He recently released a short video of himself topping out Waiting for the Messiah Sit (V12), and Euphoria Sit (V12) in the Gunks.

[Photo] Chris Motta

GIOSSI, HUMPHREYS, TROOB & DOMINGUEZ KNOCKOUT BEACH POND In early April, reported that a new V12 was established in Rhode Island at the Beach Pond area by Matt Giossi, who dubbed the climb Work of Man. It is currently Giossi’s hardest boulder problem to date. “I first saw it two years ago, but this year I was finally able to put it all together,” Giossi recalls. “I probably gave it six sessions and around 20 hours of work.” Giossi builds custom furniture at a shop in the Providence area. “I work a block away from Lincoln Woods,” Giossi says. “So I get out of work and run into the woods. It’s where I spend most of my time, if not in Arcadia, R.I.” Shortly after Giossi established Work of Man, Lucy Humphreys put up Super Normal, a V11 in the same area. The same day, Marc Troob sent Pucker Punch, a highball V3, and Rockspot’s head routesetter, Mike Dominguez, pulled through a cool-looking V8 he’s dubbed Belly of the Beast. Height Films was on the ground capturing footage which should be out sometime soon. Until then, you can watch a video of Humphreys sending Hueco Nightmares, a V10 that broke and that she’s now graded a V11, on


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NINA WILLIAMS’ EASTBOUND TAKEDOWN In early March, Nina Williams made her way back home for a quick visit. In that time she managed to put to bed a few of her long-standing projects, Barbed Wire (V9) and Shoot the Maim (V9) at Lincoln Woods in Rhode Island.


Photo Š

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Photo by Hillary Guzik Interview by: David Crothers



Age Years in it Hometown Occupation Films Famous For Hobbies Ticklist


Wouldn’t you like to know 13 Rosendale, Ny. Petzl Rep at Sky Ambitions Frost Ginas Climbing with Alex Honnold Playing Magic Nightmare Feast (V11), Casio Electric Piano (5.11c R)

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YOU COULD SPEND ALL DAY TALKING ABOUT Tim Keenan’s dashing good looks, humorous personality or his great taste in music, but that would only be the tip of the iceberg that is Keenan. By day, the Northeast climber works with Sky Ambitions as a Product Rep for Petzl—a job which allows him the luxurious freedom to climb whenever he feels like it. Keenan co-penned West Virginia’s Coopers Rock Bouldering Guide and is currently working on an exhaustive bouldering guide to the Gunks. He also received the Access Fund’s Sharp End Award for his work with the Gunks Climbers’ Coalition.

[Photo] A screenshot taken from a film that made Keenan famous, and that caught him sending Nightmare Feast (V11).

Growing up in Ohio, Keenan spent most of his time far from rock, mountain biking and earning money at a bike shop. “I climbed during a Boy Scout trip to a climbing gym, but I didn’t have a lot of money for rock climbing gear,” Keenan recalls. “I was more focused on mountain biking and racing at the time, so that’s where my money went.” During Keenan’s time at West Virginia University however, the school built a climbing wall. “At that point, all I needed was some shoes and chalk. I started going five days a week. I couldn’t get enough,” Keenan says. “I got really psyched on bouldering because as a cheap college student that’s the easiest way to get involved. And then a friend took me outside.” The rest is history. Keenan’s climbing addiction grew into much more than just topping out boulder problems, as he became increasingly involved with the community. While I was in school I began putting up a bunch of cool problems around West Virginia,” Keenan says. “At the time there wasn’t any kind of climbing organization, so a group of climbers and I started the Coopers Rock Regional Climbers’ Coalition.” His work with climbing conservation continued when he moved to the Gunks area in 2005. Keenan jumped on board with the Gunks Climbers’ Coalition, becoming a huge asset to the group. “We’ve had a lot of successes, made some great changes, opened areas and did a lot of good things,”

Keenan recalls. “Up until about three months ago I was a co-chair, but now I am a board member at large. Sometimes, in order to continue helping, you need to take a step back. I am still very involved, though.” It isn’t all about the serious stuff for Keenan, a well-known DJ in the climbing community. “It’s been an interesting ride,” Keenan laughs, “I’ve been involved with music for as long as I can remember and one of the things I always noticed at climbing comps was that the music was really bad. There is nothing worse than climbing in finals while a DJ plays a slow song. I was just tired of it and started DJing.” And thus, DJ Mon Voyage Neon was born. He now spins records for the Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest, New River Rendezvous, ABS competitions and some local New Paltz dives as well. Aside from Keenan’s involvement in the climbing community, he is a serious Magic: The Gathering player, a card game known for its cult following. “It’s fun to hangout with climbing buddies, drink beer and talk about climbing, but we wanted something else to do,” Keenan explains. “We bought a bunch of cards on Ebay, and I ended up getting super involved in it. I play two or three times a week, go to big national competitions and now I probably own more in Magic cards than I do in climbing gear. Sometimes it’s just good to have something else to do other than climbing and talking about grades. Sometimes I want to talk about lightning bolts and wizards.” z climberism | MAGAZINE


Caroga Lake: The Irish and Their Gold BOULDERING FOR ME HAS ALWAYS involved some level of development. When I was first introduced to the sport in 2004, there were only a handful of guys that were actively bouldering locally in the southern portion of the Adirondack State Park in upstate New York. At the time I was not part of their efforts and was completely unaware of the larger movement of the sport. My weekends were spent aimlessly

exploring the woods around Caroga Lake in search of rock that was climbable until I eventually befriended some of the guys who were making significant advancements in Adirondack bouldering and the neighboring New England areas. They helped open my eyes to what was possible and my conception of what was physically possible expanded exponentially during that early learning curve. —Justin Sanford


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Left: Ken Murphy claimed the first ascent of Luck of the Irish (V7/8) on the Prison Boulder back in 2009. Murphy also established the unrepeated sit start into the stand start and named the climb Pot of Gold (V11/12). Photo [Justin Sanford]


side from following these dedicated locals into the night. Naturally, the easiest boulder problems around to their established areas and trywere established first, but everyone had their sights set ing to repeat climbs that they had already on a beautiful traverse that started on the right arête done, I constantly had that urge to seek and trended across the slightly overhanging face, endout new and undone boulder problems. It ing with a dynamic move high off of the deck. It is difwas the solitude of being alone at the base ficult to put a number on how many falls were taken on of an untouched glacial erratic and trying that last difficult move, but each failed attempt gave us to solve the problem from the bottom to the top. This more and more confidence. I came excruciatingly close desire to find and establish new problems has led me to claiming the first ascent of that traverse but slightly all over the Adirondack State Park. missed the jug on the last dynamic move There have been numerous times and ripped three flappers on my hand. Everyone who was when a single object on Bing Maps would look like it could be rock. I I had to retire for the night due to the there that night was would then go hunt it down and go excessive bleeding, but I was able to filled with elation as he miles off of established trails to see continue spotting as my close friend, Ken topped out the massive Murphy, finally linked the boulder problem what the unknown would reveal. Sometimes these outings paid off from start to finish and dubbed it Luck of block by headlamp. It and new rock was discovered, but the Irish (V7/8). Everyone who was there more often the excursions resulted in was a rush unlike any of that night was filled with elation as he a good workout but no new climbable us had ever felt. topped out the massive block by headrock, or I would discover the rock lamp. It was a rush unlike any of us had was on private property. ever felt. He would later eastablish a sit start into Luck of the Irish and call it Pot of Gold (V11/12). Nearly five years ago, one of my excursions brought me to the base of a massive block—now known as the PrisThe following week, we all returned, and I was able to on Boulder—that stood about 25 feet tall, had a slightly accomplish my own ascent. I remember lucidly getoverhanging face on its tallest side and had a relatively ting to that last difficult move, high off of the deck and level landing, especially when compared to other local hesitating slightly as I remembered coming so close areas. I instantly knew that I had found something spethe week prior but coming up just shy. On this atcial and returned the next day with a rope and harness tempt I generated as much momentum as I could and so I could lower over the steep side of the boulder to lunged for the good hold. In the process of making the see if there were enough holds to produce a boulder dynamic move, I accidentally slammed my forehead problem. The initial inspection was turning great results into the boulder but was able to maintain composure with edges, incuts, pinches, slopers; everything was and complete the rock climb. It was truly one of those spaced just close enough so that the holds could be sends that I’ll never forget, not only because of the reached. After confirming what I had expected the day epic nature of my send but because of the experience prior, I returned home to contact some of my closest that I got to share with close friends as we unearthed climbing friends and spread the good news. yet another Adirondack boulder, working through the intricate sequences and moves to solve the problem I’ll never forget that first week of climbing on that boul- together. We still seek out new problems and areas der. Everyone would rush home after work to retrieve together, but for some reason, that boulder and espetheir bouldering gear, along with headlamps and lancially that problem will forever have a lasting impact on terns to help us extend the bouldering sessions deep my life as a boulderer.

climberism | MAGAZINE




P Tools of the Trade: Establishing a new route is time consuming, dirty and hard work—you have to scrub, scrape, drill and sometimes trundle rocks in order to reveal your masterpiece. And even after you’ve cleaned the route, you



Bolting Gear

still don’t know where you’re going to place your bolts. How you determine that—whether on lead or rappelling—is up to you. We looked at a few tools of the trade and a few alternative options to consider.







7. MISC.



Wave bolts


S.S. bolts


Bit, Tube, brush $15.95

There are much lighter drills out there than Bosch’s 36v Rotary Hammer, but none that’ll equip a full route and anchors on a single fullycharged battery. At nine pounds, you’re carrying a little extra fluff, but you’ll sink your bolts in minutes.

You can use pretty much any hammer; in the past I’ve used the back of an ice axe. If you’re looking to get a hammer specifically designed for aid or bolting, the Tam Tam will be the economical choice. The head is a little light but gets the job done.

Wave Bolts, when placed correctly, are much stronger than expansion bolts. They are made from a single piece of steel and waves are bent into them to increase their pull-out strength. Ideal for the Northeast where rock quality can vary.

Clipping a bolt is probably one of the best feelings in the world when you’re pumping out mid-route. Take a breather and shake out. Metolius’ Stainless Steel Hangers can accommodate two ‘biners and will fit 3/8” bolts or 1/2” bolts.

Fixe’s Wedge Bolts are specifically designed for rock climbing. With safety on their mind, the Wedge is made out of Stainless Steel and the threads are stamped rather than milled, for the highest possible amount of strength.

Powers’ AC100 Gold Epoxy is suitable for anchoring gluein bolts. It only comes with one mixing nozzle so you should buy more. Carry a cloth when you’re placing glue-ins, you’ll likely get some seepage that will need to be cleaned.

Alternatives: Hilti TE 7-A 36v ($1,000.00), Makita HRH01 36v ($799.95), Ryobi P221 SDS 18v ($149.95)

Alternatives: Black Diamond Yosemite Hammer ($99.95), Omega Pacific Wall Hammer ($95.95)

Alternatives: Fixe SS Glue-In Bolts ($6.75), Twisted Leg GlueIn Bolts ($4.75), [pricing dependant on length]

Alternatives: Fixe Stainless Steel Hanger ($3.00), Mad Rock Sentinel Hanger ($2.95)

Alternatives: Petzl Coeur GouJon (bolt and hanger $8.95), ClimbTech PowerBolt ($6.95)

Alternatives: Hilti HIT-RE 500 Anchoring Epoxy ($28.95), Simpson Two-Part Anchoring Epoxy ($23.95)




climberism | MAGAZINE





Like every hobby, there are miscellaneous items you’ll need to complete a kit. In terms of a bolting kit, you’ll need a drill bit, a small tube to blow out the hole you’ve drilled, a brush to clean the hole and other items to complete the project (not pictured), like a crowbar, a wire brush, etc.

h 1

h 2

h 3


h 7


h 4

h 5

climberism | MAGAZINE


Elevate Your Experience. Athletes like Chris Sharma use Sterling ropes to undertake some of the most astonishing and challenging adventures on the planet. Because every climbing experience is different, we strive to make ropes that perform flawlessly under any conditions. We have the world’s most well respected climbers using and evaluating our products. We review the data and listen to our testers, getting them involved to gain better insight on how our ropes perform. That’s why Sterling developed Better Braid Technology™. This multi-level process involves the highest quality fibers state-of-the-art equipment, , innovative engineering, continual testing and improvement, and a certified quality control system. We do this as part of our ongoing quest to make rope and cord products that meet the highest standards. Better Braid Technology™ is one way our products elevate your experience. Where you choose to take them is up to you.

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Chris Sharma sending The Groove Train (33, 5.14b), Taipan Wall, Grampians, Victoria, Australia. Photo: Simon Carter 1-800-788-7673


Written by Mike Bowsher



BOULDERING ESSENTIALS: The Complete Guide to Bouldering lays down everything that a novice climber would need to know to become more acquainted with the sport of bouldering. The author, David Flanagan, gives you a detailed introduction to the sport while offering advice on approaches to bouldering and what to expect when making the transition from the gym to the crag. As an experienced rock climber and boulderer, I learned most of the covered concepts over several years of climbing and from other experienced climbers. A novice would benefit greatly by learning these concepts in a much shorter period of time or if they did not have any climbing mentors. While the book caters mostly to rookie boulderers, there are some parts that will benefit an intermediate skill level as well. I was most interested in the chapter on training. It does a very good job of providing intermediate-level boulderers with ways to advance their skill, technique and strength with using specific exercises such as front levers, hangboard exercises, and the graphs

Cost: $23.99

inside the book that explain optimal training patterns are very helpful. Although not overly detailed with illustrated exercises, this chapter provides enough information to get you started and training effectively. Even an advanced boulderer could benefit from some of the information in this chapter. The book does a great job introducing the world of bouldering to the reader, however, there is no book that can give you climbing experience. The experience has to be gained through trials on the rocks. The Bouldering Essentials guidebook would be a great supplement for a climber to learn the climbing terminology, basic safety and training and what to expect in outdoor climbing environments. Overall, the images and attention to detail in the layout really show the author’s passion for the sport. The clean and minimalist design really draws the reader in. I would go as far as saying it could be a dual-purpose book: coffee table browsing or used to study up on some of the essentials. climberism | MAGAZINE




Jonathan Siegrist climbs the Third Millenium (14a) at the Monastery, Colorado. Photo by: Keith Ladzinski

Profile for Climberism Magazine

Climberism Magazine - Issue #22  

DEPARTMENTS Local Legend // Tim Keenan Gear // Bolting: Tools of the Trade Last Move: Bouldering Essentials FEATURES Caroga Lake: The Irish...

Climberism Magazine - Issue #22  

DEPARTMENTS Local Legend // Tim Keenan Gear // Bolting: Tools of the Trade Last Move: Bouldering Essentials FEATURES Caroga Lake: The Irish...