Great spot?

I don’t need to explain the importance of having a good spotter while climbing / bouldering. Imagine if just for a split second the spotter was distracted by a bug or a car driving by – this climber could have been seriously injured.

The Best Yosemite Bouldering Video?

Park Life – Yosemite Bouldering is a film about 9 climbers who spend 2 weeks in the Holy Land for climbers, that is Yosemite Valley. This one might be one of the best – from the cinematography to the story telling, it’s extremely well done.

With Park Life, we strive to answer this age-old, omnipresent question: Why? By combining difficult climbing, captivating visuals, and engaging music under the all-encompassing umbrella of a professional production company, we hope to portray a unique lifestyle that has given us all a palpable sense of unwavering purpose. The long-lasting friendships, incessant failure and equally abundant success, reckless commitment and dedication driven to the point of complete and utter irresponsibility; it’s an eternal battle. We do it because we love it.

Best of all, if you enjoyed this film – it’s a free download at LT11.com. Save it to you’re iPad or Android phone for that long trip on a plane or when you’re bored in class. FYI – It’s about 775 mb.

What is a First Ascent?

Columbus, Magellan, Marco Polo, Neil Armstrong, Lewis & Clark — what do they all have in common? They’re famous explorers and credited with achieving a “first” in something. First to step on the moon, first to travel around the world, etc.

So when you’re walking to the boulders and you see a route, do you think to yourself — “I wonder if anyone’s climbed that route?” But ultimately you always end with “ahh, it’s probably been done before.”

That’s not always the case. There are thousands (perhaps millions) of routes out there just waiting to be ascended. I’ve never done it before, but I can imagine the excitement that must surround a person after becoming the first to climb a route that no one else could achieve. Sure you get to name the route, but that’s not the point. You’re the first.

At Adayak, we have a t-shirt just for climbers looking to one day make a first ascent.

First Ascent Bouldering T-Shirt

first ascent bouldering shirt

See the problem. Study the problem. Put on your Adayak bouldering t-shirt. And plan your route carefully, because you – my friend – are about to make a first ascent. Your reward? Admiration, and the rights to name the route. Choose wisely.

Priced at just $20, it’s made from 100% organic cotton – guaranteed to be the most comfortable shirt you’ve ever worn.

Bouldering in Le Bas-Cuvier

Le Bas-Cuvier is one of the most famous bouldering sites in Fontainebleau (a city just outside of Paris). Due to a remarkably good concentration of boulders, wide variety of problems of varying levels and relative closeness to the town it has become one of the first places that many climbers visit.

This is a video of a guy climbing Encore, 8B (V13). Try to focus on his technique and holds – not his Spartacus body.

Bouldering in Boone, NC

The western part of North Carolina has some great bouldering and rock climbing spots. The rugged Appalachian Mountains are old and weathered compared to the Sierra’s or the Rocky’s, but they are still home to rocks suitable for climbers of any skill level.

Check out this video of climbers conquering a couple V10s just outside of Boone, North Carolina.

Scared of Heights, But Want To Climb?

Are you scared of heights, but want to try rock climbing? Tackling a fear is all about mind over matter and desensitizing yourself to the fear. It can take a long time to be 100% rid of your fear of heights, but basically you need to start by thinking positive. Flood your mind with positive thoughts about what you’re doing – this is a strong rock, my footing is solid, I’m prepared for this, you’re doing well, etc. Don’t tell yourself “OMG this rock is going to crack!”

Once you have positive thinking down, it’s time to desensitize yourself to heights. Practice going just a little bit higher every time you’re out. Go slow and don’t try to rush anything. Just take one step upward each day and eventually you’ll reach the top.

Of course, if you want to be a climber and can’t rid yourself of a fear of heights, why not try bouldering? There are boulders for all different climbing skill levels and you can hang just a few feet off the ground.

Trail Talk: The Cold Weather One

Boy oh boy has it been awhile since we’ve posted a trail talk. It’s time to get back on the path and bring you guys some of the latest and best blog posts of the week. So much is happening in the world of the outdoors – let’s jump right to it.

In today’s edition of trail talk we have a first ascent bouldering video, a snow capped mountain in the Great Smokies, a memorable whitewater kayaking trip from this summer, awesome rock climbing pictures from the Alps and finally a trip report from Linville Gorge.

Chris Marley puts up a first ascent on War Tactics (V11/V12)NOLS Vimeo
Day Hiking in Cold WeatherHigh on LeConte
East Fork of the KaweahEGCreekin
Rock Guiding in the AlpsInto the Mountains
Table Rock and The Chimneys, Linville Gorge WildernessTwo Heel Drive

Hope everyone has a great weekend! The weather is getting cool so there’s no excuse not to get outdoors. Also, I want to send a reminder in case you’re blind to all the banners we have running – Adayak is giving away a free shirt every Friday in the month of October. Enter now.

As always, if you have something you’d like featured on Trail Talk then shoot us an email!

Bouldering in Silvretta, Austria

Can’t say I’ve ever been to Silvretta, Austria – or if I’ll ever make it there – but after watching this bouldering video I see it’s a beautiful place. Thankfully below the video description, which was written in German (I think), the creator also put an English description so we can tell where they are and what’s going on in this video.

Two climbers visited the bouldering area Silvapark in the Silvretta Mountains, Austria – located at 2,300 meters above sea level. They said “Bring lots of skin, as the rock is razor sharp.” Yikes!

Interview With Boulderer Scott Hall

A few days ago I had the pleasure of meeting Scott Hall online and he was nice enough to let me interview him about his love for bouldering. Scott is an established climber, even though it’s not something he picked up until he was in his 20s. I’ve got a great interview where Scott talks about him local bouldering spots, his toughest climbs, and how he gets out of “oh crap” situations. If you want more info, you can find Scott Hall on Vimeo tearing it up. I’m sure he’ll have more videos uploaded when he returns from a trip to Mt. Rainer this month.

Where are you from? Do you have any local bouldering spots that are home for you?
I grew up on a farm in eastern Washington just outside of the diminutive community of St. John (pop. 514). This region’s large fertile rolling hills were great for growing wheat, barely and lentils but lacked any significant geological features for rock climbing. However, this isn’t to say that Washington doesn’t have any rock; it’s just that I had to travel many hours to find it. The local bouldering spots for the state are Leavenworth, Goldbar and Index. I now live in Salt Lake City (because I can be bouldering w/n 20 minutes of my doorstep), but still try to get back to Washington to climb at least 3 times a year. In fact, in two weeks I will be climbing Mt. Rainier and then spending a week camping outside of Leavenworth.

How long have you been into bouldering and how did you get started? Was it something you picked up on your own or did your family get you started at a young age?
I have been bouldering now for about 7 years and started while I was attending college at Western Washington University. Growing up encircled by 100 miles of wheat fields meant that I wasn’t able to pursue the passion for climbing until I moved away to Bellingham, WA for college. My evolution through climbing disciplines has been fairly non-traditional as I started out mountaineering at the age of 20 on the volcanoes of the Cascade Mountain Range. It seems as though most people start climbing in the comfort of a gym, move outside to bouldering, progress to sport climbing, earn the knowledge needed to trad/aid climb and then finally combine these experiences in order to tackle large mountains. I reversed this order and found comfort in the simplicity of bouldering. Stripping away the compounding complexity of mountaineering allowed me to focus on the pure movement of rock climbing and my fascination with doing the most difficult singular moves possible (for me). In its simplest form, bouldering requires no gear.

Have you had any “oh crap” moments while climbing? Like maybe you put yourself into a bad situation and weren’t sure how you’d get out?
I have certainly had instances of “oh crap” while bouldering but they usually revolve around a moment of self doubt… high off the ground… when I’d prefer standing firmly below and looking up at someone else in my position. However, this typically means you need to get your “crap” together and just keep going. A good friend of mine who I started climbing with always used to say “you’ve got to move to climb”… and that is always what I think when have those moments of hesitation. Luckily, I’m kind of a sissy when it comes to really high bouldering so I’m usually pretty safe. I am not a climber that thrives on the thrill of heights… in fact, I’ve always been afraid of heights since I was a kid.

I saw a video of you doing Show of Hands V11. What’s the toughest boulder you’ve climbed? What grade was it?
Grades are an interesting subject in climbing and always a hot topic amongst the opinionated. I’ve found that grades are a good reference for locating problems within a certain difficulty that you’d like to try. Climbing has to be one of the most subjective sports around… a person’s height, ape index (wingspan), the temperature outside, humidity… so many of these factors can cause a problem to be feel +/- up to 3 grades. But grades also motivate and are great for goal setting. With that said, the hardest grade I have climbed is Escape Artist V12 at Moe’s Valley, but for me the toughest climb I have done is Bully V11 in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Do you have a dream rock or climbing destination out there?
The Mandala V12 out in Bishop, CA has always been a dream climb of mine. I remember watching a video of Chris Sharma getting the first ascent before I had even started climbing and feeling inspired. Years after I started climbing I still couldn’t even fathom doing the moves, but now, just being able to feel as though I could do it is such a victory. As for a dream climbing destination I would have to say I would love to go to South Africa… and hopefully I will be next summer!

Are you into any other outdoor sports like kayaking, hiking or snowboarding?
I am into most outdoor sports. I love mountain biking, hiking, fly fishing, snowshoeing, rafting etc. Growing up on a farm meant you spent nearly all your time outdoors… which means once you’ve grown up you do the same.

You post a lot of climbs on Vimeo. Do you have any particular interest in film or are you just a shoot and upload kind of guy?
I’m a shoot and upload type of guy. I just like the idea of sharing and inspiring others to climb certain boulder problems. I’ve always loved watching climbing videos because they motivate me to get out and climb. There is something very motivating about watching others succeed.

Ever been bitten by something while on a rock?
Uh, hunger. I have a soft spot in my heart for M&M doughnuts at the Food Ranch near Joe’s Valley, UT. When I boulder there sometimes they are all I can think of… I would say if I have a certain strength when it comes to climbing it is being able to eat doughnuts and cookies and still climb at my potential.

Now for some fun stuff: What’s your favorite movie, TV show and music group?
Movie: Big Trouble in Little China
TV Show: Arrested Development or Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Music Group: can’t name just one… maybe… Modest Mouse, Pink Floyd, Pinback, NOFX, Bruce Springsteen, or Willie Nelson.

What’s next for Scott Hall?
Going bouldering.

Here’s a video and some pictures of Scott in action. Definitely check him out bouldering in Joe’s Valley.

And some pictures:

Dirty Dude V11

Leggo My Eggo V7

Power of Silence V10

Turtle HEad V8