A few weeks back I ventured out to Redstone, Colorado for the Rock and Ice Photo Camp, along with my girlfriend, Mary Mecklenburg (who would be shooting on behalf of Adidas during the course of the week.) It was my 3rd time attending the camp as an athlete and I had a wonderful time. The people at Rock and Ice are some of the most talented, “core” climbers I have ever met and it’s always a pleasure to work with them. It was also great to work with the talented photographer David Clifford and the other teachers of the workshop. The crew of athletes was super strong this year and included a mix of people who I climb with more regularly and also people I’ve never had the opportunity to share a rope. Overall I had a blast climbing with everyone including Jon Cardwell, Ian Dory, Sonnie Trotter, Mayan Smith-Gobat, Ben Rueck, and Delaney Miller.
While we were confined to one cliff for most of the week, it was all fairly new routes on a huge variety of terrain. Red sandstone mixed with cobbles, blank slabs, stunning arêtes, and edgy overhangs barely begins to describe the character of the multi-pitch cliff dubbed Redstein.
Day 1 we started off on the lowest band of rock. It was uncharacteristically warm, so I waited to climb until the wall moved into the shade around 1 o’clock. The crew made quick work of the majority of the routes up to 13a. I warmed up and was immediately taken by a 13c in the center of a huge overhang that hadn’t seen a second ascent (after it’s first ascent by Duane Raleigh nearly 20 years ago.) I was able to solve the intricate crux sequence by skipping it with a huge all points off dyno and I managed the second ascent on my second try. I can honestly say that I’ve never done such a massive dyno on a rope before. It was a terrifying, yet exhilarating experience!
After a bit of rest on my part, the crew moved down to the right side of the cliff and started to work on a difficult arête and a newly bolted project on a beautiful face. I gave an effort on the arête and waited for the temps to lower for the project, but it would have to wait for another day.
Day 2 we hiked up to the 2nd cliff band and I immediately jumped on the stunning arête called The Anvil. It ended up being a highlight climb of the week with a perfect variety of pocket pulling, technical slopes, and airy slab. I also managed to make the 1st Ascent of the extension to the route, which ups the difficulty of the climbing to around 13a for the full pitch.
The next two days I woke up around 5:30am to try the potential 5.14 project on the slightly overhung face of the 1st band. I got close on a few tries, greasing off on the upper section of the wall. It was motivating to have inspiring, proud projects to climb on and a big thanks goes to Duane Raleigh and Jeff Jackson for their work in establishing new lines.
Overall it was a great week in Redstone filled with good energy, great people, and awesome climbing. Thanks again to Five Ten and adidas Outdoor for their support during the week.