Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dream as you'll live forever, Live as you'll die today

In my dreams I think of flying, of soaring to the sun. The wind whispers through my hair as I rocket towards nothingness. Then I spread my wings, and doubled nylon lifts me higher. I swoop around a cloud, lightly brushing the curious cumulus structure. Whisps of smoke rise as I sear through the saturated mass of air, and my hands trail vapor as I fly faster. I need not breathe, as the oxygen permeates me completely, through osmosis I am alive. My eyes close, taking in the feelings of flight. The tingling in my arms, the rippling of my skin, the flapping of my wings. I circle around the mountains that were my home, but now my home is the sky.

The perfect curvature of the earth seems so small. I am rising, rising, soaring into the stratosphere. Higher I go without pause, the pace quickens, soon I am above the whole rockies, and higher still. The majestic mountains and golden plains fall before me. I fall faster and faster away from the earth. A swap in physics as you know it causes me to depart from this planet, into space. Still I fly, higher, dancing with satellites, a ballet no one can see. Dodging meteors and asteroids, I fly, faster. Sound has already left, and now the red and the blue are shifting into a tighter and tighter ball of light as I achieve Einstein's symphony in C.

A massive, soundless expansion of matter ensues. At the beginning of time I soar around newborn nebulae and birthing stars. I fly through colorful clouds of matter a million miles wide, and, within seconds, reach the other side. I cruise from galaxy to galaxy, and they follow in my wake. Two collide and I fly right towards the center, accelerating and accelerating. I reach the singularity faster than light, happier than light, and I am expelled out of the other side. Dark matter drips from my fingers and toes, sucked back into the vacuum of nothingness. I pick a star and head straight for it, bringing with me the matter and the life I have collected from around the forming universe. My wings still taking me through the most beautiful constellations I have ever seen.

I find my star and circle it, flying around and around, depositing matter as I go. I swoop through solar flares and loop through the expunged radiation. As I fly, the matter conglomerates back into planets, and recognizable forms of life. I fly towards the third closest one, beginning to slow in my approach, with arms stretched out, embracing the warmest and most welcoming region of space. As I slow down, bombarding the particulates of the atmosphere, my spirit slows as well, the further I get from the flight that I know, the more I fade. I deploy my parachute, and descend towards the solid ground that I left so long ago. I look up to the stars, cutting brightly through the young, blue sky, vowing to return. And as my feet touch the ground, I finally expire...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lodi / San Francisco

I took a spontaneous trip to California this weekend, I figured with the long weekend and all, and the amazing weather, it would be fun to go hang out in the bay and maybe do a bit of skydiving. I met up with Andy and Libby, and after hanging out in San Francisco for a little while (In and Out burgers, checking out Damian's new and almost complete climbing gym, teaching Andy how to pack his parachute) we headed out to Lodi, CA. Lodi is the most rockin drop zone I've been to yet. With $13 jumps from 13k feet and $5 jumps from 3k feet, it is the cheapest skydiving in the world, and as such is pretty crowded, even in January.

I was able to touch up my tracking and belly jumping, and managed to get 11 jumps in over the course of 2 days, not too shabby. Donning my tracking pants, (which have vents that take in air and inflate creating more surface area, I was able to do a 90 second freefall! That's 90 seconds of falling (instead of a normal average of 60 seconds) just by flattening my body and flying forward through the air. Instead of falling downward at 120 miles per hour, I was able to shape my body like a wing and reduce my downward speed to 80 miles per hour while consequentially having a forward speed of around 60 miles per hour (I was able to track about 1.6 miles horizontally during the dive). I'm pretty stoked on my tracking progress and am excited to transpose this skill into the language of wingsuit.

I also did a bunch of jumps with Andy, and one really fun High Pull with Andy and Libby. Libby just finished her AFF and is doing great. Its fun to be able to jump with such good friends and such good people. Andy did have a reserve ride though, as his main didn't deploy properly during one of his jumps. But all was well. We did a great jump right before leaving to go back to the Bay. It was just a belly jump, but Andy's altimeter ran out of batteries in the aircraft so he didn't have an altimeter! After doing several flips out of the plane, Andy and I came in to a dock so he could read the altitude off my wrist until it was time to pull. It was pretty fun. He had an excellent landing too! despite the fact that he didn't have an altimiter to guide him through the landing pattern.

We also hung out for a bit in San Francisco, and I had the opportunity to check out the Golden Gate Bridge, and do a little wire walking around that area. It was a good trip, and I'm glad I went. I got some good skydiving in, and got to hang out with some really good people. I can't wait to go back in March for Spring Break!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The List

I've got my eye on some killer routes for the spring climbing season, here's what I'm hoping to send before the summer sun heats up the rock:

Eldo Canyon:
Bastille Crack - 5.7
Yellow Spur - 5.9
Naked Edge - 5.11a
Diving Board - 5.11a
(and many other classic trad routes in this area)

Boulder Canyon:
Standard Route (Elephant Buttress) 5.8
Cozyhang w/ 5.10 finish (The Dome) 5.7-5.10b
Dementia (Repeat at Happyhour) 5.10a
Hot Flyer (Upper Security Risk) 5.12a sport
Empire of the Fenceless (Easter Rock) 5.12a sport
Bailey's Overhang (Castle Rock) 5.8

The Park:
Culp Bossier (Hallet Peak) 5.8 III
Casual Route (Longs Peak ) 5.10 IV
Pervertical Sanctuary (Longs Peak) 5.11 IV
North Ridge (Spearhead) 5.6 II

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


We got asked to rig a highline and do a cool highline demo down at the Ouray Ice Festival this last weekend, and it was a lot of fun. Friends and pro slackers flew in from all over the country to participate in the festival and to walk the line and climb some amazing ice.

There were also a lot of really amazing ice climbers there, but that wasn't the main reason we were participating.

After the Slackline Brothers Tent was all set up, we got to rigging the line. It took several hours after we got the go ahead for the anchors, and it took a couple extra tries to re-tension the line to the best walking tension. We got it to just the right tension and then had plenty of walking fun for the weekend.

Here are a few photos:

There was also a killer after party on saturday night and we all danced it up and had a good time. I won a dance/limbo contest and got a free $400 Arc'Teryx jacket, so I'm pretty stoked about that. All in all, it was an amazing weekend, with some amazing friends and I had a great time displaying the art of highline to the Ouray, Colorado crowd.

Also, we got a little screen time in the local press for our funambilist feats:

Denver Post
Telluride Daily Planet

New Resolutions

2009 is going to be full of surprises, good surprises I hope. But while there will be spontaneous and surprising adventures, there are also a few things that I would like to accomplish this year. I guess I'll be unoriginal and make a list:

  1. Finally graduate and move on from CU. I've got so much on my plate that it almost seems as if school is holding me back.
  2. Launch the big project in March (secret secret)
  3. Make a few more highlining trips out to Moab
  4. Reach 250 skydives and get my skydiving coach rating.
  5. Rig some highlines in Mallorca this summer.
  6. Walk a slackline more than 100 meters in length.
  7. Knock out my Alpine Trad ticklist (now that I'm done with those boring 14ers)
  8. Send 5.11 trad (5.10 was my highest this last year)
  9. Reach 50 BASE jumps
  10. Spend more time away from the computer and enjoying beautiful Boulder.
  11. Climb V8
  12. Eat Healthier
  13. Exercise more often
  14. Smile more frequently
  15. I'll come up with some new stuff as the year goes on, but pretty much my main priority is to continue loving life and living it to the fullest.
*edit 16. Help my not so old man in his quest to climb all of the 14ers.*