Saturday, February 4th, 2012
After coming back from the trade show in Salt Lake City I had two brief half days at Hueco Tanks and a dinner or two with the family. Katherine, our beloved old dog Pig, and I all packed up and headed up to Albuquerque for a slideshow and clinic at Stone Age Climbing Gym. Let me start off by saying that Stone age is the best climbing gym in New Mexico and has a very good vibe. I can remember climbing at Stone Age for one of my earliest climbing competitions and any time I was passing through. In fact, I met Jon Cardwell at this gym when we were both first getting into climbing. Needless to say it was very cool to give a slideshow and clinic at a place I had been aquainted with from the start of my dream-chasing that also has a strong New Mexican connection.
In between the slide show after the gym members’ Stone Cup comp and the climbing clinic a couple days later, I visited a few of my long time friends and even played a round of golf. It was actually my first round of golf ever, so of course I sucked but I had a blast smacking golf balls and tearing around on the golf cart ; ) I even managed to smack a golf ball into a water tower.
Beyond my golfing time I did get out for a little bouldering and sport climbing one afternoon. My buddy Eric and I headed down to Socorro Box Canyon on a perfect NM January day. We drove right up to the boulders and took a 5 minute walk down to the Fight Club boulder. I enjoyed climbing the classics on this boulder including, of course, the local testpiece Fight Club, a really great V10 established by my friend Jason Ploss. After bouldering a bit we headed over to the sport wall, only a 10 min walk away, and I did a fiesty little sport climb called The Demon, 5.13a. We then rounded up the day with a jaunt up to the Alf Rig boulders where I finished on a fun line called Slapping the Captain V10/11. Thanks to Eric for a great 505 day, and for shooting the quick video and photos below!
It was pretty great to be able to do both routes and fun boulders in the same day, and even the same area. Overall this was a pleasant change from the Hueco Tanks experience, being able to just get right out the car with dogs running along side us and stroll straight to the boulders. There were a few other climbers out, but as is usually the case in NM, they had a great attitude and were just out to enjoy the day. This all made me very happy and was further punctuated by a delicious calzone from Socorro Springs Brewery! After golfing the next day we headed over to Timy Fairfield‘s house. We had bumped in to him previously at the trade show and he extended the offer to us to stay at his place in Albuquerque. It was great to hang out more with Timy and get a mentorship of sorts in the business side of being a professional climber. Gotta hand it to Timy! He has been playing this game for quite sometime and is definitely succeeding at it. It is inspiring to see other pro climbers making a real long-term career out of their love for the sport and continuing to grow with it.
With that said, it was really awesome to have the opportunity to give a clinic/slideshow at Stone Age Climbing Gym. Thanks much to Lance Hadfield, Brian Pietta, and everybody who watched my slideshow and attended my clinic!