3 days ago

I've met a lot of cats in my life and few I didn't like. Agent Orange here was by far my favorite. He behaved like a dog. He was aggressively affectionate. If I didn't pick him up soon enough when he was a kitten, he would stretch his front paws up towards me like a baby wanting to be held. If that didn't do the trick, he would start climbing up my leg with his claws. He would saunter into my room, flop on the floor and roll around, then jump into my lap, head-butt me and purr with ecstasy. Total love cat. The first thing my mom told me when she picked me up from the airport upon my return was that he'd disappeared about a month ago while I was in Greenland, probably taken by coyotes. Our house is at the edge of the neighborhood next to a lot of beautiful open space and cats vanishing is not unsusual. The possibility that it would happen to one of ours was always in the back of my mind, I just never thought it actually would. I'm searching for a silver lining here as we humans have been trained to do. Is there really a bright side to the passing of a being you adore? The joy I feel recalling memories of him, at least right now, is far outweighed by the sadness that erupts from knowing I'll never see him again. But, I've come to know over the last few years that the type of sadness that comes with being forced to accept the impermanence of life is the kind that opens me the most. I guess that's the silver lining here if there is one- that feeling true sadness pierces my heart to an uncommon and mostly unexplored depth, but simultaneously a white burning light rushes in to fill the space, and then that space feels as big as the universe. Maybe the definition is different for everyone but for me, it's what I call "love". I miss you my fuzzy little prince. I'll carry a piece of you with me as long as I can. πŸ…πŸΎπŸŒŒ

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6 days ago

More boat times from the edge of the earth. We saw some truly epic landscapes and I love me a good panorama. Scroll through and enjoy! Pano one is of our boatman Hans cleaning the seal he had just hunted a few miles south of an incredible looking formation @mikelibecki climbed with his brother two years ago called the Polar Bear Fang (it can be seen in photo five). In pano two @connor_seybert surveys the scene during our second day in a row of being completely stuck in the sea ice, just around the corner from the entrance to the fjords that would set us free from our frosty prison. But it was so beautiful that it was hard to be too upset. We had @tommycaldwell's amazing, honest and heartfelt book The Push that kept the three of us that read it on the edge off our seats, a slew of movies and TV shows and some candies with a kick to keep us occupied. I also had a little workout regimen of push-ups, planks and weighted pull-ups to keep the stagnation at bay. K, the squad (minus @mikelibecki. God speed father Mike!) is departing Iceland now for the final stretch of travel home. Haggard. Buzzing. Worked. Stocked full of memories that will have us randomly laughing in line at the grocery store for the rest of our lives... One more thing, thanks for the pizza video love y'all. Tryin'a make it on late night tv, naw-mean?!? πŸ€‘

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8 days ago

I must interrupt my regularly scheduled broadcasting to show you a clip of the coolest thing I've probably ever done: ride an inflatable slice of pizza down a massive iceberg. When I first learned @mikelibecki brought an inflatable pizza to Greenland to float down the river on, I knew I wouldn't be able to leave the country with my head held high unless I sacked up and rode the thing off a berg. On our second to last day on the boat headed back to civilization we came across the perfect iceberg- a big ole mother with a long, perfectly angled slope that led to a 20 foot drop off. Well I'm here to tell you folks, pizzas can fly and dreams do come true. Thanks for capturing this unforgettable moment @ladzinski, @andy_mann and @connor_seybert, and thanks for always believing in and supporting my dreams @mikelibecki. You are true friends! #senditfortheboys @dell @mountainhardwear @alpineshartfoods

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8 days ago

Phase one: motor boating. Seven men, 40 bags, over 400 miles of sea travel, one 50' long boat- the Vega Kuummiut. There was something new and amazing to look at every moment on the boat: stunning rocky coastline, beautiful weather, icebergs as big as city blocks, sea ice we got stuck in for days that was so thick you can jump from one piece to the next for miles, a polar bear, seals, FUCKING SICK MOUNTAINS of ROCK! Pic 1: @milelibecki welcomes you to the Vega Kuummiut. Pic 2: the boys were so psyched @andy_mann didn't have time to button up his pants. Pic 3: capturing some drinking water from a berg. Pic 4: Yours truly SUPing in a sweet little lagoon. Pic 5: having cold hands and a really scraggly beard. Pic 6: post glacier river plunge in me undies. It was the first time we'd stepped foot on land in days. For some reason if it's sunny and I'm near beautiful cold water, I can't help myself. Pic 7: we found this cuddly lil cutie. Pic 8: our Captain Siggi's boatman, an Inuit named Hans, was a real badass. He's obviously spent decades on these waters and has an intimate connection with the territory. His ancestors have been living off this land for many generations. We watched in awe as he hunted a seal and then proceeded to clean it right on a big flat berg. Siggi cooked up the meat and we all had some. It's gamey but pretty flavorful. I thought I would be more horrified by the whole affair but I wasn't. Pic 9: we also feasted on some fresh Arctic Char. I don't know what kind of oil and spices they cooked it in but it was the most delicious fish I've ever tasted. Pic 10: some really old, rusted out oil barrels at an abandoned settlement at the entrance of the Fjord we would camp and climb in during the next three weeks. Stay tuned for more! @mountainhardwear @dell @alpinestartfoods Pics 4-7 taken by the master @ladzinski

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9 days ago

What an epic adventure that was. So much has happened in the last month that I don't really know where to begin, so here's a #Repost from Andy. The interweb connection here is slower than the glaciers are receding so heftier posts will probably have to wait until I get home but for now I'll just say, I'm so grateful to have this amazing life I have and to share it with the people I get to share it with. Thank you. ・・・ Pure exhaustion. // Touching into service now for the first time in 6 weeks and I'm glad to see the world is still spinning (though I haven't confirmed that yet through my news feed.) I'm so excited to share the details and stories of this unforgettable expedition here over the next few weeks. After many harsh setbacks, we banded together and arrived at the summit of a first ascent on a steep granite tower near Thor's Land, Greenland. The new route, lead by @ethan_pringle and followed by @mikelibecki most likely involves the most technically difficult rock climbing in Greenland. @ladzinski and I were there to capture the experience. Here, the two take a brief rest after a summit push that went well into the night. Faint northern lights tickle the horizon. Thanks @mikelibecki for another unforgettable adventure! And thanks to @dell @mountainhardwear @reddigitalcinema for the support and belief in this project. I'm ready to be home with the fam now @orienstar #josiejune // @connor_seybert @3stringsproductions // Shot on #A9 @sonyalpha #alphacollective

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1 month ago

The crew arrived in Kulusuk yesterday to bluebird skies and it might have been the most beautiful and epic plane landing I've ever seen! πŸ—»πŸ‘€ Wish I'd turned my phone on a lil earlier. We're doing some last minute preparing now in Tasiilaq before hoping on the boat and heading south. This could be my last IG post for a month but maybe I can bribe @ladzinski to borrow his phone/data for fixing lines and repeating pitches. πŸ˜‰So stoked! #greenland2017 #yearofthecockexpeditions

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2 months ago

Here's a mini-edit thrown together here at the Reykjavik airport by lensman @ladzinski from the video "Three Whole Days" of our climb in Greenland five years ago. Link in prof! @mikelibecki was showing us some photos I hadn't seen yet of some of the walls in the area where we're going and, ERMAGHERD they look SICK! I'm sofa king psyched to see them up close! The imagination is swirling. First though we have the flight there, last minute prep in Tasiilaq, and then a wet and wild boat trip looking for bears and whales. All in good time! @mountainhardwear #greenland2017 #yearofthecock

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2 months ago

38 checked bags between the five of us. 38!!! And about 9 more carry-ons. Is this some kind of record? Lots of camera gear. Pack rafts. An SUP. Climbing gear. Clothes. Footwear for every occasion. Tents and sleeping bags. FOOD. The kitchen sink. Layover in Iceland (aka @chrisburkard-land). We're tired but psyched. #greenland2017 and again I ask, #whyrationpacking??

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2 months ago

SFO>Toronto>Iceland>GREENLAND. I'm currently on a BART (Bay Area rapid transit) train towards the airport because fighting traffic across the bridge would have been far more stressful. You know how we do in the bay- we take public transit to start off our trips, even when they're to one of the most remote places on earth! This photo captured @mikelibecki and I on top of the Gnarwall after our 60ish hour push to establish Built Fjord Tough- 5.12/A2. What you can't see in the photo is the mile of knife-blade ridge and melting, boulder-pelted glacier behind the camera we had to navigate down to get safely back to "flat" ground. Can't wait for more epics like that one! 😬 and damn, we look like real mountaineers! #whyrationpacking #thetimeisthen #bitternessoflife #prejoy #letsgo #senddudes #sendbears #greenland2017 @mountainhardwear

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2 months ago

And we're out! I really fell in love with The Needles. It's so damn beautiful!!! The rock formations, the stunning lines, the exposure, the forest. Can't wait to return. It was great to meet so many new friends during our six days there. Another perk of the place: no cell reception. Here's some pics of (B)Romantic Warrior with @rdpascoe. Such a classic!!! Imagining scrambling it though... whoa.

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2 months ago

THE NEEDLES!!! I've been hearing about this mythical place for years and it lives up to the hype! Staggering exposure, stunning summits, steep splitters and stiff grades. @rdpascoe and I climbed Don Juan Wall on day one. On day two I onsighted the incredible Davey Jones Locker (5.12-, picture 1), placing about 2 pieces in the first 50 feet and then quested up a 12c next to it called Pieces of Eight (picture 2) that I was immediately inspired by the look of. P.o.8 turned out to be pretty gripping with some spicy run outs on easier terrain at the bottom followed by some really pumpy sequences up high. I tried my ass off but whipped onto an ancient bolt at the crux. I ended up red-pointing the overhung 120' long pitch yesterday and even skipped the bolt, protecting the crux with a hard to place but bomber blue TCU. Granted I didn't have the beta totally dialed but it still felt every bit of 5.13-. Either way, an epic pitch which deserves more attention and new anchor bolts/chains! I wonder how many ascents this obscurity has. Serious props to a young Randy Leavitt and Tony Yaniro for having the vision, skill and confidence to do these rigs in the early 80s! Like, wow! It was a different time then. I also managed to onsight Ankles Away which again felt more like 12- than it's given 5.11 but maybe onsigting hard trad will just always be kinda scary. All this hiking, scrambling and climbing takes its toll but feels like good last-minute training for Greenland. Resting today, Romantic Warrior tomorrow! Yew!!!

2k 26
2 months ago

In less than two weeks I'm finally returning to the wonderland of water (both ice and liquid), rocks (both solid and loose) and unimaginable beauty- GREENLAND! AAAAAGGGGHH!!! And with the all star crew of @ladzinski @andy_mann and the legend himself @mikelibecki! The 2012 @mountainhardwear expedition I took there with Mike, Keith and @angelajpayne was nothing short of epic. When people ask what the proudest FA of my climbing career is, what usually comes to mind first is the 3000' long route that Mike and I climbed on the biggest, steepest tower in the cirque- Built Fjord Tough 5.12-/A2. Maybe we'll find an equally badass line this time around! Even if we don't, I'm sure we'll find some really bad-ass stuff. Icebergs, isolation and polar-bears, oh my!!! The psyched is high! And norther lights! Photos by Keith. The tower hosting BFT is in the background of the boulder I'm on in photo #3.

2k 23
2 months ago

Not quite the full dangle on Great White (5.12b/c) at the promontory a few weeks ago, shot by @ksuh24 for @madrockclimbing. I guess I haven't been doing a ton of steep sport climbing in the last few years because my #bathanggame is off! Gotta get my shins back in shape.πŸ¦‡ What a fun weekend that was! This heat in the Bay Area has me fantasizing of a return trip. Possible hard lines I scoped with @dflemingphoto are burning a hole in my imagination. Would I be cooler if I'd rotated this photo?

1k 7
2 months ago

Community! It's the best thing about living here. I'm hella thankful to be a part of it. πŸ™πŸΌ Great session with the city crushers last night at @dogpatchboulders. Right before I pulled onto Vitaly's blue V11 he said, "I'll give you ten bucks if you flash this. No, I'll buy you dinner!" Apparently he thought I looked tired and dejected. I was psyched though and woulda tried it anyway! But maybe not as hard. I guess food is my greatest motivator πŸ˜”. Thanks for din din vittles!

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2 months ago

Hey east bay climbers with "rope climbing" aspirations! I'm doing a clinic called "pushing your limits on lead" at @berkeleyironworks this Friday the 16th at 6pm. If pushing your limits on lead is something that you're trying to get better at, well, sign up! If it's not but you just want to become a better boulderer, well first, that's sad to me but second, sign up anyway! It'll help your bouldering. If the thought of pushing you limits on lead makes you queasy and want to vomit, you should DEFINITELY sign up. Cuz face your fears right? If spots run out immediately because so many people who are just AMED to push their limits on lead sign up right now πŸ˜‰ I'm doing another two clinics at 4 and 6:30 the following Friday (the 23rd) at @missioncliffs so not all is lost. It's gonna be fun, I'm hella psyched!!! #Repost @berkeleyironworks with @repostapp ・・・ YO PEOPLE! Our very own @ethan_pringle is dropping by on Friday at 6pm to teach his very popular 'Pushing Your Limits on Lead'. This class gets you to the next step of your lead climbing through tips and tricks that Ethan has used to climb some of the hardest routes in the world. There are only six spots ($45 for members, $70 for non-members). Sign up online!

1k 11
3 months ago

I still get a little gripped leading 5.10 in Yosemite. The thought of being ropeless on many different points on Freerider makes my heart hammer. β€’β€’β€’ Something truly epic happened on this mountain today. Something that will echo through the climbing universe for as long as humans will climb rocks. You know what I speak of. HUGE congrats to @alexhonnold for his sub four hour free solo of Freerider. The grade 13a simply does not do the difficulty and magnitude of this climb justice. To me what is so inspiring is his ability to focus, relax, be present and, let's just say "block out" possible negative outcomes, in a world in which so many people are crippled and controlled by fear. πŸ™ŒπŸ» β€’β€’β€’ We were lucky enough to glimpse the man himself through our shitty little binoculars racing up the top half of the wall this morning. I don't know if it was the binos or not but the dude looked ten feet tall. I could tell he had the route dialed and was moving with confidence from my vantage point several miles away. I couldn't breathe or relinquish control of the binos while he climbed the Huber boulder problem, while hundreds of tourists stopped (or didn't) to take pictures of the most famous rock in the world, oblivious to historical event unfolding before them. Oh @yosemitenps, you kill me! β€’β€’β€’ Picture above by @bprodgers of me without a #4 but still very roped up on Moby Dick, 10a.

2k 16
3 months ago

Had an awesome weekend with the @madrockclimbing crew (@matt_fultz @dflemingphoto @ksuh24 and @jess_etel) up in beautiful Klamath, CA. Hell, I love my job!!! Here's Fultz clippin' bolts on the amazing 12c arΓͺte "Reality Check", at one of my favorite crags in Cali, The Promontory (home of the seasonally seepy Blackbeard's Tears). Can't wait to come back and do a little developing. I think there could be another 5.14 or two here. Dean and I did some serious fantasizing and ogling under one steep wall... #ilovemyjob #madfam

1k 17
3 months ago

Here's a little mid-week psyche for everyone: the Jumbo Love send footage is online! It took a couple years but we thought it would be better aged like a fine wine. 🍷 The raw, uncut version is free! So you can enjoy watching one of the most transcendental moments of my life like a fly on the wall. If you want a little something extra- for a easy one-time payment of $3 you can see the "commentary version": a conversation between @thervproject's Spenser Tang-Smith and I about everything from the beta, the breakdown of the difficulty and my inner monologue while on the route to thoughts and musings about long-term projects in general! Plus a little post- climb interview with @smashits on top of the wall and what must be one of the biggest victory whippers ever caught on film. If you're a climbing media fiend like I am, I think (hope!) you'll like it! And you can support two of the hardest working filmmakers in our industry. 🀘🏻link in Bio! Free copy of the commentary version for whoever can accurately guess the number of times I say the word "like." JK. But it's a lot. Even after Spenser painstakingly removed many. πŸ˜”

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