Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Some Ink

Skyler Weekes got some ink recently in Denver Magazine. They also ran a video grab from Pure. Skyler and I are going out tomorrow to check out some new stuff around Boulder. Stay tuned.


Some day I will be this awesome:

Monday, October 27, 2008

No Effing Way

On my last trip back from Switzerland, United Airlines managed to lose one of my bags. Today, I received a check from United in the amount of 857.70, which is the majority of the amount I had claimed. United is not liable for loss of certain materials, so that meant they paid slightly less than I claimed, but I'm overally quite satisfied with their response.
I had basically written all that stuff off as gone, but now I'm back in business. I'm going back to Switzerland on the 12th of November. The cost of that ticket? $842.50. No Effing Way.

Trip to Utah

On Friday morning, Sarah's brother Bill and sister-in-law Angie came by and picked us up for a weekend in the Utah desert. We drove to Green River and checked out the local melons which look very delicious. We then had some mexican food.
On saturday we hiked down a slot canyon called Little Blue John. This connects with Blue John canyon, and we hiked down this dry streambed as it connected with other drainages. At the bottom of the drainage, there is another slot called The Narrows, made famous by Aaron Ralston because this is the place where he pinned his hand under a small rock and had to cut off his lower arm to escape.
The Narrows ends with a dramatic rappel into the top of Horseshoe Canyon, and from there we hiked about 9 miles down the canyon to where we had staged a car. At this point it was well after dark and we were quite excited about not having to hike through loose river sand any more.
I had heard about Aaron Ralston's epic with subsequent TV appearances and book deals and I have to say that after visiting the site of the accident I am a little disappointed about the obviously over-hyped nature of his accident. Once he freed himself he was only about 5 minutes from the rappel and then after that he just had to walk on a gentle down-hill for a couple hours where he met up with some tourists who gave him water and helped him get out of the canyon. I'm not sure how you could get a book out of the ordeal because it could easily be summed up in a few pages.
The highlight of the day was visiting the Great Gallery, a mysterious collection of very large pictographs. Some of them resemble the Talaloc (sp?) men in Hueco Tanks, which are part of the Jornada-Mogillon culture. I'm not sure if there was any cross-pollenation between these areas but the paintings definitely seemed similar. One of the paintings had the color green, which I understand is quite rare in pictographs.

There was another collection of pictographs that was even more grand than the Great Gallery, but it was submerged when Lake Powell was filled. This is so depressing on so many levels I don't even want to think about it. Just imagine these symbols of an ancient culture slowly peeling off the walls of the rock, even as the bottom of the lake fills with silt and discarded beer bottles from houseboats full of bloated tourists.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Yesterday, this happened.

Dont forget to vote. And remember, always vote republican. If hard-working Americans like George Bush can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and achieve success, so can anyone. I mean think about it, one minute he was a normal kid, and just a few short years later he was snorting cocaine off hookers.
You know my friend down the street, Exxon? He was finally able to report a 4-Billion dollar profit last quarter. But what happened? Big government wanted to place a tax burden on him. Now he cant even afford to feed his family. It's just so hard to make ends meet these days.
I worked hard to pull myself up by my bootstraps by having my parents pay for my college education. Now why doesn't everyone just use their bootstraps and get a college education? Why should hard-working americans like me be burdened with big-government to pay for programs to support lazy people who cant even be bothered to have their parents pay for their education?
Always vote republican, that's basically the point.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Check out the VC

MomentumVM now has my video from the VC up. If you haven't been to MVM lately you might not know that it's all free all the time, just register and log in and you can see all the current videos plus the whole archives.

I'm psyched with how the video turned out and I hope it inspires people to go check out the area.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My office

My friend Eric snapped this photo of me getting ready to shoot Luke on the route 'Chemical Wire' on Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. I have to say, jugging is probably my least favourite part of the job. Not that it's super hard, but it's just really really lame. That pretty much sums it up. It's just kinda lame. It's like something aid climbers would do, and nobody wants to be a part of that.

Anyways, today I'm back in Colorado. Time to get the Cloudveil videos in top shape and get them sent off to the mothership in Jackson.

Have a great day!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Luke Kretschmar

Well the Cloudveil project is officially shot. Yesterday I filmed Luke sending some hard trad lines near Mount Rushmore. He had to do a difficult lay-back sequence four times for my cameras. This morning he reports that he's a little tired... I have no idea why.

I'm pretty beat too, as these long filming days have very little rest built in. It's not like taking hard burns on routes all day, but you wind up doing a lot of work over the course of the day.

Next week I'll put together rough edits on the videos we shot here, and I'm also going to see about releasing some of the footage from the new limestone area 'the VC' onto momentum video magazine. I need Cloudveil's permission to do this but my guess is they'll be cool with it.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


So I haven't climbed routes since last September, when I went deep-water soloing in Mallorca. Yet here in South Dakota I'm finding that I'm able to give pretty good flash burns on 5.13, and I'm sending .13+ in a couple tries.

Soft grades? Not quite.

Is it possible that you dont have to climb very many routes in order to be a good route climber? Well that's kind of what I'm thinking now. Today I did several hard routes, with sustained sections of hard climbing. It wasn't 'bouldering on a rope', it was good, long, overhanging sport routes. Full pitches, overhanging about 20 degrees.

The only endurance training I have done since Mallorca is Dave Wahl's circuit program, the 'hour of power', which doesn't exactly simulate route climbing, but in terms of the overall work output involved in completing the hour of power workout, most hard redpoints are not too different. I honestly think that if you combine a circuit training program for overall fitness (emphasizing power-based activities with little or no rest between sets) with a basic program of grip strength training, such as campusing or 4x4 bouldering you can pretty much show up at any crag and expect to give any 5.13 in the house a pretty good run for its money.

The really handy part about training in a no-rest circuit is that it trains you to be able to fully recover in a very short amount of time. It's not exactly cheating, but certainly feels weired to be topping out 80-foot, sustained 5.13's without any route training at all in the last 18 months or so.

Thanks for the feedback

Every day I get e-mails through my web site that go something like this:

What up Chuck? I was just lettin you know that the new vid was DOPE! I love the editing style..... real unique. Keep it up man. Peace

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who supports my work. I'm really blessed to be able to have the opportunity to travel and film the sport I love, and when I hear back from folks that they're 'picking up what I'm putting down' it honestly makes me feel awesome.

Okay, on to the next post.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The VC, South Dakota

Yesterday I drove up to Rapid City, South Dakota to meet up with Luke Kretschmar, former pro snowboarder-turned-sick-rock-climber. I will be here for a few days shooting the fourth segment for the Coudveil Spring / Summer catalog. I got my car up to 115 (inches per minute, if you are part of the law-enforcement community) in Wyoming, a new record that I'm not sure I want to beat. Maybe on the way home I'll hit the big 120 IPM but I'm not sure.

Anyways, today we went out to an area called the VC that Luke and a few other Rapid City locals such as Mike Cronin (the guy who did Super Pin in Friction Addiction) have been developing. I was amazed at the quality of the rock here, much better than Spearfish... all the blocky goodness of Rifle without any of the glue or big egos to go along with it. The canyon does not have a road going through it, so climbing there is peaceful and serene.

Luke had bolted a project and he let me get on it and I wound up doing it today. I think its somewhere in the mid 5.13 area. Most of the difficulty is from the short crux section which is basically a four-move V8 boulder problem on small crimps. Luke took some footage from his camera phone.. check out the low-res first ascent:

Today was a perfect day. I made good footage, and I climbed good rock.

Here's a video link of Luke when he used to snowboard. He has seven screws in his body which is four more than me so he gets respect:

Also on the screws front, Holly Terry has broken her Talus and has had some hardware installed, and recently Paul Robinson fell from the top of The Never Ending Story in Magic Wood and broke his ankle. He is currently in Switzerland with one screw in his ankle, awaiting a flight home to recover.

Long story short... WTF? Why so many screws in so many ankles? WTF???

Friday, October 10, 2008

This is totally my scene.

Recently I shot a music video for a local band called the Streets on Fire. It was a pretty fun day, we had cloud cover all day so we got to do a lot with artificial light. We did essentially two setups during the day, and shot each one several times with three HD cameras.
The top three photos above are from the last shot of the day, where all the party people shot condoms at the camera. Of course the camera was on a dolly, moving towards the party people, so of course I had to ride on the dolly and pull focus during the move. I can honestly say I've never been in contact with that many prophylactics at one time. Two of the condoms actually collided in mid-air and then momentarily stuck to the lens of my camera.
Wait for it...
Wait for it...
that's a wrap.
A fun shoot overall though and I cant wait to see how the final cut of the video looks.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sam Jurekovic

Yesterday I went down to Colorado Springs and filmed olympian-in-training Sam Jurekovic on a local circuit of trails he uses to stay sharp. I had some doubts about how fun it would be to film a pro mountain biker because the few times I've hung out with pro bikers I have not left with the best impressions of their character. Sam is a different story. He is training for a go at the 2012 and 2016 olympics. He currently lives in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs so he can have easy access to all the facilities there.
He doesn't own a car. Even when we were going from one location to another, he would ride... often exceeding the speed limit.... on uphills.
More filming is on the agenda today, and the weather looks good so I cant wait to get out the door and roll camera.
Have a good day wherever you are!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Skyler Weeks - Zion

Today I had the opportunity to film the current dyno world record holder Skyler Weeks as he put in day #76 on an insane dyno project in Clear Creek Canyon. He felt good today and after about 10 tries he was able to land the difficult left-right double clutch at the lip of the problem. He called it 'Zion'.
Zion is about 8.5 feet from jug to jug, and the footholds are in awkward positions and a bit lower than is ideal for a big dyno.
Skyler has taken dyno climbing somewhere it hasn't been before... to him it's not really a party trick for gym sessions or for laughs. Get this: He trains alongside the Denver Nuggets. His vertical leap is over 30" which is pretty good even by NBA standards... click here if you don't believe me:
As far as a grade for the problem... obviously it's difficult to slap a grade on something that is as body-specific as a pure jug-to-jug dyno. If we assume White Men Cant Jump (at Morrison) is a consensus V10, then I think proposing V13 for Zion is not out of the question. "But he's like six feet tall" some will say. Well I might say this: It's possible that other high-end climbers also have certain genetic advantages that give them physical attributes better suited to high-grade climbing as well. Tendons that dont break, sweat glands that are less active, fast-twitch muscles, even the shape of joints and the natural variations in where muscles contact bone can vary from individual to individual, and these physical attributes may also allow people to climb high-difficulty problems.
Anyways, Skyler's technique is really fun to watch... he builds up momentum and then explodes upwards. It's very athletic, very cool to watch a climber cover so much ground so quickly.