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Being Stealthy by Lisa Hathaway

Being Stealthy by Lisa Hathaway
May 07, 2010 -  Lisa Hathaway    

Québécois Jean-Pierre "Pee Wee" Ouellet is widely known for his forays on the rock, but his true talent lies in "Stealth Painting!"


Recently I had the pleasure of spending some time at my local crag (Mill Creek) with Québécois rock star and 5.10 athlete Jean-Pierre "Pee Wee" Ouellet (,, here in MoabLandia with his girlfriend and sweet dog on a quest to shred the local test-pieces. Normally, he seems to spend most of his time dispatching with his projjies at Indian Creek or on other crack climbs, but I was able to catch them on "rest days" at Mill Creek and Big Bend. The man is indefatigable—on his "active rest day" at Mill Creek he climbed about twice the pitches I normally do on a big day!

A smarter climber than I would have spent quality time studying his mad techniques and approach to seshing out the projects, but no … I was completely enthralled and inspired by something else … his lab-quality Stealth paint job. I could not peel my eyes from the perfection of his Stealth Paint application! I left the crag inspired—both to up the ante on the climbing days and to attempt to add to my shoes toe caps that matched, or at least emulated his works of art! As a proud owner of "Morton's Toe" and a larger left than right foot (as well as living in the land of cracks), I tend to wear out my left shoe faster than my right, so I've decided to cap most of my shoes to avoid damaging the upper.

Stupidly, I forgot to ask Pee Wee any special tricks he uses (both for sending and for stealth-ing) - maybe he will see this and comment?! (HINT—not so subtle.)

Here are some hints for Stealth Paint-ing success:

I had capped a shoe before, but this time I decided to do something novel: read the directions. Carefully. What a notion. And what a difference it makes! If you've not worked with Barge type glues before it is good to know that they are fussy and don't like things too hot or too cold. Last time I worked in the Moab summer sun. Not so smart. This time I glued-up in ideal conditions and the glue set up perfectly. I managed to miss the part about doing one shoe at a time—this also makes a big difference as the "paint" will get unruly if you let it set too long and clumps—thus not spreading well. I decided to go a little thick on this run (after all, we are in the land of cracks!) and GENTLY filed the residue with fine grit sand paper.

They look great! Not Pee Wee-perfection-great, but pretty good for me! So if you stuff your toes in cracks and crevices or do lots of toe scums or even just have a foot dragging habit (guilty!), give it a try. Even my pair that didn't look great worked well. I just want to be like Pee Wee … sigh … ;-)


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