Boulder, CO and Cowell catch-up

Sipping Earl Grey and doing some Joe’s Valley research. I found one Michael Sabatini movie that very handily shows some of the best v7s and v8s. My goal is to climb ten v8s and flash a v7. Drexel says this is ambitious. I figure “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”


We’re crashing on the floor of our friend Dan’s place in Boulder, CO. Everything about this city has been wonderful. It’s bike-friendly, there are plenty of jobs in the mental health field, healthy organic groceries are relatively cheap, and there’s sooo much yoga! Yesterday Dan and Kasey K convinced me to join their CorePower Yoga 2 class, which is a heated power yoga described as “rigorous… with demanding strength postures that will have you moving, breathing and sweating!” True to its word, I had never seen so much sweat accumulate on my legs, great beads of sweat glistening in the dimly-lit room lined by mirrors so we could look around and take comfort in everyone else’s bright-red sweaty faces. The movement and heat felt amazing, and my previously sore muscles from climbing feel limber and loose today. I feel like I could climb a v500. Note to self: incorporate more yoga into rest days instead of stiffly crouching over a glowing screen.

The weather is iffy, as are our plans for today. We’re hoping for a balance of productivity and sightseeing. There are people we’d like to see, but we also need to get ourselves prepared for Utah and Joe’s Valley. Our plan is to leave for Joe’s tomorrow morning. We have no idea what the scene will be out there in terms of internet, civilization proximity and climber culture, but we know there’s free camping, and that’s really all that’s important. The weather looks amazing for the next few weeks. We’re so lucky and I can’t stop grinning/wiggling.

The Arkansas climbing video is almost complete. We finally settled on music and titles (not as easy as it sounds), and it should be uploaded within the next hour. Apologies in advance for potentially distasteful music (this is to the moms).

Finishing the Arkansas video is like closing a chapter in our adventure book. We left only two days ago, and already it seems like a fading dream. We tried to drive the 12+ hours straight from Cowell to Boulder, but with all of our stops, it seemed wiser to cut the trip into two days. We were impatient to get to our destination, but it’s important to remember to enjoy the ride. So we stopped at the StoneWolf casino, where Drexel made $30 off of the free $10 credit they give first-time visitors. We were going to stop and ride the Kit County Carson Carousel, but alas, it was closed for the season. Kansas was otherwise flat and boring, but the Ender’s Game audiotape kept us riveted.

From $0 to $30 in 5 seconds.

The day before we left Cowell became our “last-day, best day”. We had been climbing with a really fun crew from Texas. After three progressively warmer/moister days, our last day was cool and dry. With the help of some chocolate covered coffee beans, I finally sent Campus Card II (v7). This might be the stoutest climb I’ve ever completed. Drexel sent Off the Rails (v10) on his second go. On his first go of the day, he made it to the top and fell from the mantel. So he spent a couple minutes figuring out just the mantel, rested for ten minutes, and then smashed it. Tactics. It’s all about tactics.

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The feeling of sending Off the Rails, v10.
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Cowell high-chairs are perfect for journalling about feelings.
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Nadia on the super stout, gorgeous Campus Card II, v7.
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