Wednesday, February 17, 2016


Though day trips have been a plenty, a full weekend trip had been a long time coming. I have missed those compounding aches, pains and sunburns that only multiple days on can offer. Not to mention stargazing, which I regard as the cure to the common lack of perspective. Cody and I drove through the night and awoke beneath Mount Tom and Basin as Eden and Jovanna hit the road out to Bishop. It was our first trip back in nearly a year, and my fingers were nervous thinking of all of the small abrasive crimps that the milks have to offer. Though it was crowded and warm as hell (is it really February?), we still managed to get on enough climbs to be properly humbled. 

Eden, dunking the "thank god" jug to finish off the amazing Xavier's Roof (V11).
Cody, figuring out how Gastonia (V8) got its name.
Not a bad view from the tent.
We thrashed ourselves all weekend on ambitious projects and, as always, have a lot to come back to. It's always difficult to leave a place of such austere beauty, especially when your car has a flat tire.
Till next time, Bishop.

- Itai

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Underground

We awoke after a short sleep in what must have been the last camping spot in the whole park and headed down the dirt road to Queen Mountain pullout. Cody, Eden and I had discussed hiking out to the underground for several months, and today was finally the day. The infamous approach deters most, but we felt up for the challenge and the opportunity to escape the crowds. 

You're only half way there.
You can spot the giant ravine from about a mile away, an imposing thousand feet of elevation gain and plenty of chances to get lost lay ahead. We followed the cairns as best we could and made it to the secluded plateau of The Underground in just under two hours. We had plenty of great climbs to get on, Dark Matter being the best of the lot.  

Eden on Dark Matter (V9/10).
Itai putting down Blood Drive (V11)
Itai sending Black Feet (V11)
Eden on the impeccable Nicole Face (V4).
Cody and Itai on the warm down slab
Cody on a physical V6

Cody on a fun moderate at the end of the day.
Eden on the same problem.
A great view of seemingly endless potential
Though we may not be eager to do that hike again, I know we will be back. The climbing there is just too good to pass up.

- Itai 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Potter's Point

Last weekend I headed out to Potter's Point with Itai and Cody in order to explore a new area and meet up with Joe. Unfortunately we got lost on the way in, and spent an extra hour in the car fighting off feelings of frustration and motion sickness. After our prolonged tour of the Santa Barbara hills we managed to locate the crag with enough time for a solid half day of climbing. 

The area classic, Debra (V8), turned out to be very enjoyable. The line features fun movement, a committing crux, and a proud topout. Itai and I managed to put it down in a couple of goes, and Cody got agonizingly close.

Cody working out the moves on Debra


After our session on Debra, we headed toward The Brute (V9). Joe, Itai, and I were able to snag the stand, and began unlocking the beta for the sit. Unfortunately no one got the send, but I have a feeling we will be back shortly!

Working The Brute Sit (V11)

- Eden

Monday, January 18, 2016

J Tree Farewell

Bad weather has never deterred us, (though perhaps it should,) so Cody and I decided to roll the dice and venture out to Joshua Tree despite the stormy forecast. Thankfully, after a slight morning mist/sprinkle, the clouds around Intersection Rock began to clear. Isaac and Alexandra, who were destined to leave California behind for the 'Rado within days, arrived at the parking lot just minutes behind us. This was sadly their last chance to shred some gnar gnar and skin on the oh so sharp J Tree crystals before moving. Wait, what's a crystal?

The Bong in all its glory.
After getting our tranquil warm-up sesh dude-man-bro bombed by a large group of climbers, we knew our only option was to pretend we could feel our fingers and hop on the Joshua Tree crimp test-piece, Bittersweet.

Itai, on a padless send of Bittersweet (V9). Just kidding, this was a photo op. 
The gang made quick work of the bottom crimpers but encountered some trouble at the lip. After scoping out and chalking up the damp top out holds, I was able to press out the mantle and finish the climb, though not without giving my spotters, Isaac and Cody a mini panic attack. Next, Isaac, who has been determined to improve his finger strength, continued his crimpscapade by flashing the classic Thin Lizzy. Bravo!

Isaac, locking things down on Thin Lizzy (V8).
Cody, discovering a new problem just around the corner. 
To finish off the day, we hiked out to the elusive Scorpion Roof, where Isaac demonstrated his horizontal climbing skillz, though once again the top out caused some nerves. It was getting too cold and too dark for any more burns, plus we had all earned ourselves a burger and beer back in town. 

I'm glad we squeezed in that last farewell trip. Best of luck to Isaac and Alexandra in their new adventures! California will certainly miss those lightning bolt IP routes.

- Itai

Monday, December 28, 2015


Itai and I headed out to Red Rocks over the holiday break for a nice weekend in the desert. 

On our first day out we pulled into the Kraft/Gateway parking lot and immediately ran into Vitaly, our climbing friend. The three of us spent the day jumping on various hard problems along the canyon. 
However, no one whipped out a camera so the lack of progress went undocumented. 

Unfortunately, the next day was a bit too windy to climb, so Itai and I decided to explore instead. We spent the better half of the morning running around looking for a Paul Robinson climb called "Power Slave". After some frustrating searching we finally found it, but had to leave it for another trip due to conditions. In the afternoon we headed back to town for a relaxing evening. 

Itai looking down into the canyon

On our third and final day at Red Rocks we ventured out to Black Velvet Canyon with Vitaly. Again, we got to sample some of the area's classic hard lines. Itai managed sends of The Fountainhead and Natasha's Highball before we headed back home, but the trip was otherwise fruitless. 

Vitaly checks out the frozen river.
Natasha's Highball
Eden on the The Fountainhead (V9)
Eden on the The Fountainhead (V9)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Joshua Tree

Over the past few weeks, Eden and I have made some trips out towards the beautiful desert east of Los Angeles. Joshua Tree hosts some impressive granite peaks and boulders with equally impressive views. It's been great to get out there with friends and explore some of the classics. Here are some pictures from the last few trips:

Eden, on the small crimps of Vicarious, V10
The classic Undertow, V3
Cody, laying back the crack.
Eden, stemming the gem.
Cody, eyeing the next hold on the tricky Scatterbrain (V6).
The gang, relaxing and enjoying the view after a day of climbing.
The morning light on Intersection Rock.
It's always hard to leave this place, no matter how tired and dirty you are at the end of the trip. We all left plenty of climbs undone, so a return trip is a must.

- Itai

The Creamery

This fall, Eden and I made a quick trip out to Santa Barbara. We explored the area known as The Creamery that sits just bellow the Brickyard and Lizard's Mouth. Our primary goal for the trip was the area test-piece, First Come First Served. This gem of a problem was put up by SB local strong man, Thomas Townsend. Here are some photos from the quick trip:

Eden, sending First Come First Served (V10).
A move with a view.
Itai, topping out the area test-piece.
Itai, warming down in the sun.