Friday, October 7, 2016

Owltoberfest 2015 & 2016 and other stuff

Sorry for the delay in writing this up, my excuse: 2016 sucks...

Owltoberfest 2015 almost didn't happen.The night before, rains made the road impassable. I notified everyone I could about the situation; but, undeterred, I drove up Saturday morning, as planned, and by the time I got there, the river was significantly reduced. There's no cell service at the Owl Tor, but I learned that if you drive east on highway 166 past the usual turnout about 3 miles, there is a spot with very good cell reception. So I went there and notified everyone I could that the event was back on. Still, this significantly affected turnout.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Moderates for Owltoberfest!

Santa Maria is not known for its moderate climbs. There is one 5.11a at the Owl Tor (the left-most route), but then the climbing jumps to stiff 5.11d. What most people do not know is that about 20 years ago we did put moderates up at the back area, a.k.a. Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong. These routes were never given the love and attention that routes in the area need and thus fell into obscurity. But thanks to some elbow grease and a little teamwork, they have been revitalized and are better than ever. There are 14 routes (and counting) between 5.8 and 5.11d and here is your guide to them.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Owltoberfest 2015 & Tarantula Hawk Wasps

The third annual Owltoberfest will be this October 17 & 18. Saturday we'll be at the Owl Tor, camp that night, and climb at Mr. Lee's Sunday. Six great companies have sponsored the event:
Maxim Ropes
Fixe Hardware
Misty Mountain
Kilter Climbing Grips
Santa Barbara Rock Gym
So we'll have a good prize for...

Monday, February 2, 2015

Owltoberfest 2014

Redpoints, redpoint failures, perfect temps, friends old and new, a good cause, and, of course, the Lord of the Forest: we had all the necessary ingredients for a great event. We also raised $750 towards Scott Cosgrove's recovery — get well soon my friend! Many local (and pseudo-local) regulars were in attendance, as were crankenfranks Steve & Dee Lapen from LA, and the legendary Randy Leavitt. Hopefully his presence will convince more climbers to pay Santa Maria a visit.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Santa Barbara's Hardest

One of the most popular articles in Allez was Steve Edward's "Southern Cal's Hardest" in issue #3. That was written in 1995 — before sport climbing died. Fortunately, there are a handful people refusing to acquiesce and just go bouldering like everyone else. Bouldering is more convenient, social, and (most would say) fun; but I believe sport climbing still offers many things that bouldering cannot. So, because history is important, and maybe some readers will take up the sport climbing torch, I'm writing an updated version of Steve's article.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ratings & Difficulty: Appendix

In my last article, I tried to take an objective look at ratings. By far my most popular post ever, it was also, mostly well received. There were several good questions and comments that I will now address.