The last few weeks have been intense! From pure joy and excitement to complete discouragement. In the last 2 weeks I have gone from not knowing anyone and being a loner to having a few new friends and people to climb with. All in all, I’m in the “bubble” now and Living the Dream.
I have fully settled into my internship with Climbing and Urban Climber. It’s been great. I have been sifting through hundreds of archived images, scanning things, shooting shoes and even people climbing!
Last week we sent out the 300th issue of Climbing. What a treat it was to work on this issue. So much awesome history. I had to shoot various old spreads for use as retrospectives and gather old Greg Epperson covers to be scanned. The time I spent looking through old back issues was not taken lightly as I will not really have that same kind of opportunity.
At the end of the issue I also got to be a part of and learn the professional pre-flight/proof process. That was very interesting to see and the differences from my experience back at the Express Newspaper and Naked Magazine are huge. The pre-flight process is relatively the same. Except that we do it through Adobe Acrobat instead of out of inDesign. For proofing, we print our own proofs in office and then ship them out. But instead of cheesy fax proofs they are nice Epson printer proofs full on with color bars. Pretty cool.
In continuation of my “learning,” I have had a few chances to get out and shoot for Urban Climber. The first was shooting finger cracks for some technique based writing. Second was some product photography. Which I absolutely love. I got to shoot the newish Evolv shoe, The Shaman. There is a fairly well equipped photo studio here at the office and I sure made full use of it for this shoot.
Here’s the shoe suspended in space. I did a 5 light set up. 2 lights crossed and snooted, another from the ground up with a 20 degree grid and a fourth backlight and highlighting the heel cup with a 30 degree grid. The 5th light was a ring light on camera for some mellow fill and a litte ommpff. Stay tuned for the November issue of Urban Climber for the final images.
Annnd now the fun schtuff! CLIMBING!!
I have had a few chances lately to get out on some real rock and it has KICKED ASS! 2 weeks ago my super good friend Tamara came out to visit. She had just started climbing again after breaking her wrist. She spent a little bit of time at Valley Rock in Livermore training and it paid off. On her last full day here, we racked up and headed for the 3rd Flatiron.
This was her first multi-pitch and being as Yvon Chounaird once called the Direct East Face the “best beginers route in the country” I thought it would be well suited. After an odd 1st pitch (went off route doohh!) we were cruising. The climbing was classic and the position fantastic. I had always dreamed of a multi pitch face route and this was just that. After 7 pitches, 3 raps and 2 PBR’s we were walking back to the car with just enough light to not strap on the headlamp. Such a good day!
And lastly I finally got out to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP, The Park) last weekend for some classic alpine bouldering. Super rad day! A whole new group of friends with LOTS of psyche!! I cant wait to get out and pull down with this crew again.
We headed out to Emerald Lake for quiet and pristine climbing amongst the blocks and the walls. Situated below Chaos Canyon, the approach is super casual and just long enough for a solid cardio warm up.
After the climbing warm-up, we hit up this great block called The Cube, situated on the edge of a mid sized pond. I proceeded to flash the V5 arete and onsight the V6 sloper to crimper face. This got my really psyched as I had now done 4 problems in the park and hadn’t fallen yet!
From there we hoped over to a HUGE wave overhang where this classic V5 called The Kind sat. Perfect big moves up large edges with heelhooks. I was psyched. I found out the sit start went at V7 and had a pinch with a long reach to a sloper. I thought to myself, hmm, lets keep the flash train going. After watching others work the top moves I turned on my camera (thanks Nicole for loaning me your battery) set up and fired! BOOM! I almost came off at the top but beared down and pulled the lip. What a great start to my RMNP tick list!
A few of our crew left shortly after and those of us that remained went and set up on Whispers of Wisdom (V10). Upon first site I fell in love. Upon reading online after blood started gushing from underneath my fingernails I became more in love. And then! I realized Urban Climber listed it as #8 in the top 100 problems in North America. Guess I have good taste.
Anyways, I felt solid enough in the 15 mins of working it to want to go back. Hopefully this weekend. We’ll see. For now, I’m out!!
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.