Friday, March 28, 2014

Building Your Own Sharp Stick

Without a doubt, my favorite "article" in all of Allez is Belt's "Detailed instructions for building your own sharp stick." The point being, as the great Todd Skinner said, "Never take climbing too seriously - have fun. Because no matter how much you train, and how long you climb, someday some kid you've never heard of is gonna show up and climb harder than you can imagine."

Friday, March 21, 2014

So Cal's Hardest (20 Years Ago)

By the third issue of Allez, we clearly didn't care if anyone else liked our style. I no longer remember the climb diagrammed on page 2, Steve? In contrast to American climbing magazines - which have a "What's the Best 5.10?" article every other issue - we did a write-up of the ten hardest climbs in Southern California. The hardest route on the list, G-String (14a) is still unrepeated; Scott Cosgrove is a total hero.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Let's Go Scrubbin'

I had completely forgotten the poem Todd Mei wrote for Allez's second issue; for most newcomers to the Owl Tor, it's as appropriate today as it was 20 years ago. I wish there was an equivalent to the "News" section; Climbing used to have a similar item for the major climbing areas, but I think that's been gone for a long time. It helped me identify who did the second ascent of Chips Ahoy: Ian Vickers. He and Paul Twomey were visiting from Scotland; they did a lot more drinking than climbing when they stayed with us. Ian had onsighted 13c at the time, so onsighting a 12d would have been a warm-up. My training article seems a bit erratic; but overall, the theories and principles haven't changed much. The addition of Belt as a writer for Allez was huge.

Friday, March 7, 2014


In June, 2013 I began a nearly impossible (for me) birthday challenge: campusing 1-5-8.5 on 1" rungs at Moon spacing (22 cm.) I also began exchanging emails regarding training advice with Steve, Micah, Will, Hans, and Normal Guy. Since tracking, discussing, and recording the logic behind various approaches to my workouts seemed like most of the work involved in writing a blog, I decided to restart this sucker. (I made 3 posts back in 2007.)