Sunday, February 22, 2009

Now Presented in 3D!

I was walking home on friday and the UPS man drove up and stopped me in the street. "Hey are you that slackline guy?". I suppose that I am that slackline guy, at least as far as redheaded male slackliners go. Anyway it turns out that the UPS man for my neighborhood is also a 3D photographer and was down at the GoFast games last September taking 3D photos of the event. You can see his work here:


There are a bunch of cool 3D photos of the BASE Jumpers, the JetPack Pilot, and of course, the Highliners from the event. He (David Snow) hooked me up with a cool 3D photo of me walking the Royal Gorge slackline 1012 feet above the Arkansas river. Cool stuff! The photo in its 2D format is seen below.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

February Climbing

The weather has been fantastic lately, which is odd for February, but it has allowed for some great climbing days this week. I managed to get outside 5 out of the last 6 days and did a lot of trad, and some really fun bouldering as well. I sent in Eldo, Boulder Canyon, and finished off with a beautiful day in Carter Lake. I forgot how much I love climbing, I've been spending too much time falling and not stopping to enjoy the way up. I managed to lead a nice 5.10 on trad this week, so hopefully I can work from that base up to my goal of 5.11+ trad this year, eventually climbing the diamond on Longs with my newfound climbing ambition. Here are a few photos:

At a belay station in Boulder Canyon
Leading the first pitch of the Bastille in Eldorado Canyon

Said crushing a cool bouldering route at Carter Lake

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Life Changing Experiences: A Look Back at the Lost Arrow Spire

Everyone has that one thing in their life that molds them into the person that they are. Sure there are plenty of little elements in everyday life that affect the way we look at the world, and gradually show us our passions and things like that, but usually there is one big event in everyone's life that dictates who they are more than anything else. For me this event was going to the lost arrow spire in Yosemite, CA this last summer and spending a week out there. I was looking through my old photos in one of my spare hard drives just recently, and found a couple things that I had originally overlooked when I first did my trip report.

The best thing about the Lost Arrow Spire is that people hold it in such high regard. When things are sensationalized to great extent, it makes it even more rewarding to conquer them. Not for the reactions that other people have when you do something great, but for the self-empowerment that you feel after you do something incredible. We all have dreams, goals, idols, heroes, aspirations. These are the things that make us happy when we wake up in the morning, and they are things that help us sleep well at night. Dreaming big has always been fun for me, but it wasn't until the Lost Arrow Spire trip that I realized that dreams don't always have to be dreams. We put these things in such high regard that they seem almost unattainable, but in reality, they're not. Realizing that I actually could do anything that I dreamed of changed my life in the best way imaginable. This state of mind has allowed me to succeed at work, at school, with other passions such as climbing, skydiving and now BASE jumping. I guess you could say that this is the first time my eyes were opened to the power that humans have to do anything they dream of. The best part is, people grow in what they dream about, who they idolize, and what their goals are. My past heroes are now my friends, my past goals are now my accomplishments, and my future goals are so wonderfully complex that only I can understand them. It is this feeling, the churning in the stomach and the lightheaded anticipation, the numbness of your toes as adrenaline seeps in, the moment of clarity and love that accompanies the accomplishment of dreams, that makes life one of the most precious things that ever existed.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Kites are Beautiful

I love the way that kites cut through the air, nothing but nylon and string, they dance from treetop to treetop, and flirt with the clouds.

The wind fills the cells with air, creating a wing that creates lift, so you can actually fly away with the kite. We usually kite in North Boulder park. It is nice and wide open, lots of kiters, and it is right next to Boulder Hospital in case we eat it after a 20' high jump.

I love watching the kites fly back and forth through the sky. In a state of hypnosis and awe I guide the kite in dives, slices, loop d' loops, and lazy 8's. The fabric ripples as is silently soars in an 85 foot hemispherical enclosure. I slide around and let the kite take me wherever it wants to go. The five square meters of caged happiness dances around the sky, flocking with birds, and waving to airplanes higher up in the atmosphere.

But the caged kite is not happy. It wants to be let free. It tugs and pulls with all its might to be released from its dyneema fetters. Being attached to a human is its curse, and its blessing. For my kite would not fly without the chains that hold it back. The tension from the lines keeps the kite rigid, allowing it to create lift and waltz from south to north and back again. Without it, the kite would be lost, fluttering fabric spinning around like a white plastic bag caught in the smallest of tornadoes. So I let my kite out as often as I can, letting it taste the flight that it desires, though it never gets to experience the real thing.

One day I will set my kite free.


My little brother, Paul, just got his Eagle Scout, while simultaneously being accepted to West Point military academy. We had a little celebration for him. Here are some photos: