Ecuador’s Multi-Pitch Mecca: Clipping bolts in Cojitambo

Shattered boulders litter Coji’s landscape. The town’s traditional occupation is shaping tiles from the rock long-scattered across its hillsides. It’s a bittersweet sight for boulderers in a sport climbing mecca, but the area’s most important faces remain intact. … More Ecuador’s Multi-Pitch Mecca: Clipping bolts in Cojitambo

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Reasons, promises, and Cuyuja climbing

I knew no one in this country. I had never lived more than 15 minutes from my parents, and my knowledge of Ecuador was limited to a vague mental image of an alpaca in a poncho. I had never even been to South America. So I understand why my presence here seems pretty random to taxi drivers, coworkers, and even fellow gringos. Maybe it seems more random when I tell them that I moved here for the climbing. … More Reasons, promises, and Cuyuja climbing

Rain and Ropes: A jungly affair at Santa Clara Alta

In the meantime, though, I have Santa Clara Alta. Its gray volcanic rock has little in common with that of the Canyon, with few roofs, thin cracks, and what I must describe as chunky slab. The approach, however, feels like I’m back in Alabama — if Alabaman forests were jungly Andean affairs, home to giant birds and (probably) baby dinosaurs. … More Rain and Ropes: A jungly affair at Santa Clara Alta

Second Impressions: La Perrera’s volcanic wonderland

I believe the first phrase I used to describe the boulders at La Perrera was “Cotopaxi’s dried-up lava barf.”

While these gray beauties are mementos of volcanic eruptions past, that description may not capture the magic of this place. In fact, after a weekend in the lush green playground of igneous rock and baby waterfalls, I still don’t think I’ve processed the wonder. … More Second Impressions: La Perrera’s volcanic wonderland

Ecua-Crag Introductions: Las Canteras, Sigsipamba, and La Perrera

The thing is, I haven’t been super motivated to climb recently. I sent my first two V6es the week before Peace Corps staging, and then I didn’t climb for two months. It sucks to feel how weak I’ve gotten so soon after that milestone, and I’ve had trouble dragging myself to the gym ‘cause I know how much bruising my ego will take once I get there. … More Ecua-Crag Introductions: Las Canteras, Sigsipamba, and La Perrera

Buttermilk & Ramen Noodles: First impressions of California

Have you ever noticed how many songs there are about the state of California? There is an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to them. Knowing how much music and poetry this state had inspired over the ages, I resolved as a child to one day visit the promised land and see its riches for myself. Well, … More Buttermilk & Ramen Noodles: First impressions of California