Rock On!

"There have been joys too great to be described in words, and there have been griefs upon which I have not dared to dwell; and with these in mind I say: Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end."

Edward Whymper, "Scrambles Amongst the Alps"

The Access Fund

I have been climbing for almost ten years now, leading trad routes for more than half of that time. In the beginning, it was the toproping crags of Maryland and the mighty Seneca Rocks in West Virginia. Now I'm out in Colorado and have taken on the granite canyons of the Front Range, the Flatirons, Lumpy Ridge, Vedauwoo, and more. My favorite style of climbing is long, moderate (5.7) trad routes with route-finding and adventure aspects. On the other hand, there's something adictively satisfying about cranking hard (5.10) toprope problems.

Now that I've moved to Colorado and bought an ice axe, I've made the logical jump to mountaineering. So far, I've completed a dozen or so technical and semi-technical big-mountain routes involving snow, ice, and rock. I've only done a few technical ice climbs so far, but find it lots of fun. I lack the patience or funds to get really into it, but it has provided a new perspective.

Many many thanks to Mark "Indy" Kochte who first got me hooked on multipitch trad climbing and Ian Turnbull who taught me almost everything I know about rock craft. Additional thanks to patient teachers and competent, steadfast belayers George "Mosca" Chapman, Merle Reinhardt, Steve Kaufmann, Justin and Kristie van Voorst, Fabio Somenzi, Andy Leach, Eric Burgh, Chris Gerber, Joe Collins, and everyone else with whom I have had the pleasure of climbing and learning.

  • Climbing Route Log -- brief notes on climbs I've done
  • Trip Report Library -- more verbose trip reports, photos and so forth.
    The Pink Tri-Cam Appreciation Page!

    Gear!: While I enjoy sport climbing and feel that climbing in the gym is better than a kick in the head, the best assault on gravity involves a stout rope and a whole lot of clinking metal trad gear. Or maybe it's just the gadget-freak in me... YMMV. To this effect, I assembled a
    small web-page on cams a few years back when I was in the market for my first active gear. I also have archived a couple of discussions from wreck.climbing on how to sling Hexcentrics, and the pros and cons of Tricams. Finally, let us all gather 'round and sing the praises of the Pink Tricam!


    Stupid Seneca Tricks
    You may be amused to hear that the stunt that won the [Stupid Seneca Tricks] bottle of wine this year involved a generator, 500 feet of electrical cable, a nighttime ascent and a traffic light. Yes, a fully functional traffic light with changes from green to yellow to red and back to green was placed on the climb "Traffic Jam".
    In Memorium:

    Ethan Solomon

    Ethan Solomon, aged 28, met with an accident at Seneca Rocks on the morning May 23rd and, suffering from internal bleeding, fractured skull, intercranial edema and crushed vertebrae, passed away at 4pm on Monday, May 24th. We who knew Ethan are left wondering exactly what happened. He was a skilled, careful climber not known for taking unneccessary risks. He had been climbing by himself on Ecstacy (5.7) at the South End of Seneca. While the exact details of the accident are unknown, it is presumed that he either rappelled off the end of his rope (concidered unlikely by those who knew him well) or slipped on the wet rock while downclimbing. It is a tragedy whatever the circumstances and Ethan will be dearly missed by the climbing community of which he was an active and vocal member.
    In Memorium:

    Mike Sofranko

    Mike Sofranko fell to his death on February 3, 2002 at Boulder Canyon, CO. I don't know all the details, but he reportedly fell 160' during a rappelling accident. I did not know Mike well. We met at Seneca Rocks, WV, in late September, 2001, through our mutual friend Mark 'Aqua' Neubauer. In the short time I knew Mike, I was impressed not only by his superb climbing ability, but by his gracious, easy-going attitude and quick sense of camraderie. My thoughts go out to Mike's family and friends. He will certainly be missed.

    Charles Danforth / # / Last Updated 9-24-03