Julie Ellison working Make My Day (V4), Morrison, Co.
Here’s is a little tease from our trip to Bishop a few weeks back. I have been so
busy productive in the last few that I haven’t really gotten around to posting much from it. Some of the work is also being saved for spec stuff. This shot included. But I just couldn’t help myself from sharing!
Julie Ellison, Fly Boy Arete (V5), Bishop, Ca.
Julie Ellison, Self Service (V4), Joe’s Valley, Utah
Falling asleep last night concluded the end to a few special things. First off, it sealed the end of my 1st week in Boulder, Co. Secondly, it was the end of my 1st day working as the Art Intern for Climbing and Urban Climber Magazines. Something that I have wanted to do since the spring of 2008.
The last 7 days have been a whirlwind of acclimating, integrating and establishing myself in this new scene. The Boulder “bubble.” Which I have yet to really tap into nor see per se. I have missed flights, taken busses, skipped busses and blown threw a tire on my bike. Been social and anti-social. Explored and ventured into the Flatirons. Attempted to onsight solo the 1st Flatiron only to downclimb about 300ft of perfect sandstone. Bouldered without pads by myself and gone to movie premiers. I’ve flashed 5 spots at The Spot and enjoyed lunch at Moe’s Bagels. I’ve done more here in the last week then I would in a few weeks back home in Livermore.
But above all, I’m living the dream. I’m in BOULDER! What else would I rather be doing? We’ll maybe actually climbing.
When I left California, I left my safety net. I had friends, I had family and I had a steady job. Though I have found actual employment out here (unpaid intern) I have none of the previous. But this is alright. Because I now have something that I didn’t have back home. Freedom. To me having freedom is what life is about. Naturally one must be “tied down” by something. How else are we going to survive? But this new found freedom is something that I have never really experienced back home. It is different out here. It’s comforting yet scary at the same time. My days aren’t set in stone and I never know what will be happening in the next few hours.
I came here feeling strong and confident. Both about who I am and in my climbing abilities. I still feel pretty much the same but I will say that I also feel like I’m learning how to climb all over again. I’m sure after a while that will change too as I settle into this new life. It is still to soon to say if I like this town better then Bay. But it is growing on me. My heart will ALWAYS be in California. In the Sierra’s amongst the Jeffrey Pines. But, like I’ve already said, this place is growing on me.
Here’s to the next 3 months of totally new experiences and friendships. To say that I’m psyched is an understatement. Being psyched is a momentary feeling. Here, I feel it all the time. For everything is new and wild and crazy and fun and scary. Now I just need to get on real stone and a go A Muerte!
However, it needs to stop raining. So tonight I will go to the gym and climb. Where new friends await.
This past spring I spent quite a bit of time in Bishop. About 15 days in total over 4 trips to be exact. During those trips I primarily focused on shooting video. Which is something fairly new and very exciting for me. I love working with moving pictures. It’s such a different process then still imagery and an separate art of its own.
I did however manage to grab a few stills every now and then. I didn’t always bring out the strobes which is what I usually do and instead shot mostly by “natural” light. This forced me to break out of my comfort shell a little. Which is rather hilarious given its much more complicated to shoot with strobes. Especially climbing. But I find it very easy to hide behind flashes and burn the crap out of people’s retinas so a little “sun” is good for me.
Here are 3 images from a trip in March and April.
This climb (to my knowledge) was originally called Sun Catcher. Dan Mills did the FA about 2 months ago. On that first send he dabbed pretty big time. However he went back and did a proper ascent with no dab then changing the name. Word has it that Charlie Barrett did the 2nd ascent about a week before Eric did. This line is really amazing. Super hard pocket pulling with an aggressive low percentage crux move. This problem will be included in a soon to be released Bishop short film.
New Mortar Video!!
The first time that I saw this problem climbed was back in 2008. Eric Sanchez did the craziest way imaginable. That first open hand loose pinch was out of his reach from the ground so homie just dynoed to the right hand crimp. Pretty ridiculous. Odds are that at his height it was probably around V10ish but he logged it as a V9 on his 8a.
I remember looking at it and thinking good god. If I could climb this line some day that would be sick! Fast forward to 2011. End of January.
A few friends and I rolled out to Mortar. That day Eric did Stans into Going Blind which is an intense V11 that RARELY gets done. I focused in on Sunshine Eliminate. The sequence through the top out came rather easy buuut the top out itself is a different story. I thought I had the rig done. Beta refined. It was in the bag. Not.
The night before the send I was out way to late DD’in for some homies. I went to bed roughly around 5:30. Eric was to pick me up at 8am. I cant recall what came up at home but I ended up sleeping for only about an hour and a half. Not good to try and send near your limit. Good thing I hadnt been drinking or anything because I would have never gotten out of bed.
We got to Berkeley fairly early around 9am and warmed up slowly. I felt pretty good all things considered. I was expecting myself to get up to the top a time or two and then just sending it. Buuut. Nope. That wasn’t going to happen. For some reason I couldn’t do the top out sequence the same as I had been and I realized very quickly that there was no way I could piece this thing together from the ground.
Eric and I quickly started figuring out other beta options and that’s when the left hand thumb jug pinch was found. That is hand move #3. I also figured out that knee bars could be utilized to hold my fat ass up while getting the grips just right. I gave the problem a few SOLID red point burns but feel one or 2 moves from the top about 3 times. I was devastated. I had skipped out on class for nothing. Failure. I made Eric hit up the gas station for an extra Red Bull and a Snickers. Send fuel.
After consuming that crap and a good mental prep I said out loud, this is my last go. No matter what. If I fall, fuck it. It doesn’t matter.
I pulled on. The first hold felt the worst it had all day. I bared down and caught the right hand crimp. Perfect. That was a first for the day. The knee bar was next followed by the left hand pinch. Eric calmly said to me as I was placing the second knee bar, “C’mon dude, you got this shit.”
That kinda broke my concentrate but for the better. I said to myself. “Your damn right I got this shit.” I slapped out right to this good dish with a great thumb catch and focused in. I wanted it. The next few moves were some of the sketchiest yet solid I have ever climbed. They were all compression type slaps to decent holds but they are all facing the wrong ways. Not my strong suit. I was straight up falling out of every hold but I wanted it. With A LOT of grunting and rock humping I pulled through and got my right foot up in the good dish then stood up. It was over. This was the first thing harder then V7 that I had sent in roughly a year. And barely at that.
3 weeks later I did my first V10. Video and story to come VERY soon.