19 December 2013

Sandstone Holiday


Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Thomas Betterton and I took a trip through Utah and into Nevada. We had around 2 weeks of climbing and were fortunate enough to climb quite a few classic boulder problems in areas such as Joe's Valley, Moe's Valley, and Red Rocks.

Here are a few pictures from the trip ... and keep an eye out for a video in the not too distant future !!

photo - Wes Walker
photo - Wes Walker

- JG

14 December 2013

Holiday Buzz

The last few months have possibly been the busiest of my life... 

Right now I am in Atlanta, hanging out at my parents house and tomorrow I will catch a flight back to Denver. With a little down time it seems fit to write and let everyone in on what's been happening in my world.

In early September I began the ABS 15 season, not as a competitor but as a route setter.

Through working at the Denver Bouldering Club, I have found setting to be an avenue into which I can pour energy and creativity while at the same time become a better climber.

The great folks who run the gym have been gracious enough to allow flexibility in my schedule so that I can travel to competitions to learn from the other route setters and gain more knowledge and experience.

Fall and Winter Setting Schedule
ABS Comp at City Rock Gym, Colorado Springs, CO
ABS Comp at The Spot Gym SBS #1, Boulder, CO
Lakewood Link Comp #1, Lakewood, CO
The Spot Gym SBS #2, Boulder, CO
Lakewood Link Comp #2, Lakewood, CO
Lakewood Link Comp #3, Lakewood, CO
ABS Regionals, ABC Gym, Boulder, CO

I won't go through every comp in detail, but I can say that I have learned something unique at each event... setting at a new gym can be a learning experience in itself... getting to set with different people, holds, wall angles.. it really has helped me to become a more well rounded setter. It also allowed me to meet other setters and chat with them about why they enjoy what they do, which in turn gets me even more psyched to be a part of the world of setting. So many different perspectives being translated onto the wall, very cool to see.

As far as ABS Regionals goes, I knew everyone going into the event fairly well and I think that really showed. We all worked well independently, which really helped make the problems cool and all the problems had a nice variety in style. When it came down to fore running and tweaking, everyone was very professional and we worked well as a group. All in all it was a great learning experience. 

First hour, first day - Hanging Volumes
photo: Robyn Erbesfield-Raboutou

From left - John Gass, Kasia Pietras, Garrett Gregor, Kegan Minok, Paul Dusatko
photo: Paul Dusatko

Kegan running one of Kasia's problems for the Youth D Category

One of my problems, for the Youth D category. 

Garrett's beast of a Youth D boulder, with the large yellow holds and a slick volume for the feet

The competition was great. The kids climbed our problems, the parents were proud of their young ones, and of course those who qualified will be heading to Arizona in a few weeks to compete in the Divisional competition.

notes, notes, and more notes
I am very excited about my roll as a setter, both at the DBC and in future competitions. Great times to reflect on. I can only hope to continue to get the opportunities to further my skills.


08 September 2013

ABS 15 season - City Rock Comp

The kitchen had been my area of focus for the last 3 or 4 years, but I knew that I could no longer juggle my passion for cooking with my passion for climbing. All of my eggs needed to be in one basket.

So I put down the chef's knife, in a sense. It was more like I put down the pounds and pounds of shrimp I had to peel and devein everyday... and I started working at the Denver Bouldering Club.

It all started with wanting to improve my climbing and spend more time around people who shared the same passion for climbing as I did. That is where I still am today. Sure climbing can be seen as a job, or as an occupation,  or as a means of making money.. I see it as a lifestyle.


I had a great time setting for and attending the first ABS comp of the season at City Rock in Colorado Springs over the weekend.

Gina Kelble on one of the problems I helped set, Adv #1
Thomas Betterton on one of the problems I helped set, Open #1

A lot going on over the next few months. Keep an eye out for more updates coming soon!

28 January 2013

January 2013 - Bambi Roof, Red Rocks

After a nice trip back to the Southeast over the Christmas holiday, its back to the daily here in Denver. Almost a full month into the New Year and I gotta say I am pretty jazzed up about 2013. Work at the climbing gym has been great. I can't express how nice it is to walk into an atmosphere where everybody is psyched; the staff, the climbers - the general attitude of everyone there is great.

I also have been back at my project in Matthew-Winters Park which has become EPIC.
Falling at the pocket move, falling off the second move and the third move and the fifth move. WHY is bouldering so difficult. 

Concentrate, focus. Conditions are good, could be better. Stop. Focus. Breathe. Everything you got.
It will only come down to one or two minutes on one day. Then it will end, and the search will continue!

Aside from the usual I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to head out to Red Rocks with the DBC crew this past weekend. Like a mix between Hueco Tanks and Joe's Valley, the amount of sandstone boulders seems to be limitless. We climbed a lot of cool problems and made plans for a return trip in two weeks to finish off a few that were left undone.

Here is a video of some of the problems we climbed ...