This is a short promotional piece I made for Paradox Sports (paradoxsports.org).
Paradox Sports is a wonderful organization that provides inspiration,
opportunities, and adaptive equipment to the disabled community,
empowering their pursuit of a life of excellence through human powered
outdoor sports. This video showcases a Paradox Sports ice climbing
event in Ouray, Colorado and demonstrates the ingenuity and tenacity of
the Paradox Sports founders, volunteers, and participants.
Rois and I have released a greatest hits album with nine Christmas songs compiled from our two previous Christmas albums. If you haven't heard any of the songs, here's the scoop: We recorded the songs primarily as "one-takes," pushing the record button and hoping for the best. What we ended up with was a parody - reinterpreted holiday songs of incongruous melodies and keys teetering on the edge of awesome and ridiculous. I am aware that the holiday season is over, but don't fret because other than some fragmented Christmas and Honukkah lyrics, these songs barely resemble their ubiquitous influences. However, if you're hoping to continue the holiday cheer, this album may just do the trick. The nine song album is available here for only $5.50 as a digital download.
Check out The Access Fund's 20th anniversary T-shirt. I did the illustration and Prana did an amazing job - the silk-screen quality is superb! If you're wondering, it's an illustration of "The Diamond" on Longs Peak.
Here's a video I put together for Girls Education International (GEI), a wonderful organization started by Heidi Wirtz and Lizzy Scully which serves to expand and support educational opportunities for underserved females in remote and undeveloped regions of the world. Please enjoy and check out www.girlsed.org
Biking and climbing - Two of my passions. This is a preview for a video in-progress about biking to access climbing around Boulder, Colorado - something which is quite convenient but under utilized. The rules: pick a challenging climb near Boulder, bike to it, and "project" it. This video is not about cutting edge "projecting;" Instead, it's about the visceral human experience of climbing, and accentuating the process and accomplishment by biking to it. As with much of my work, I attempt to highlight a sense of place, the human experience, and a passion for art and adventure. In this teaser I attempted to showcase some of the intimate, expressionistic sides of climbing as well as its nuances: preparing food and gear, thinking about the climb, and climbing as artistic inspiration. As with most of my work, I've written and recorded all the music. The final video will include additional footage of my friends working on their own "projects," and additional original music with found sounds from bicycles, rocks, and climbing gear. In the finished video, I want the term "project" to serve as more than a term for frequenting a climbing route, but instead as a metaphor for the merging of climbing, biking, music, and art into a collaborative pursuit.
Cleaning the groover is not a coveted undertaking. However, last Easter three students on a NOLS course I taught kept a great attitude during their first groover cleaning. This video proves that one can laugh, smile and have quite a memorable experience during what is usually perceived as a despicable task.
I recently received excellent feedback on one of my videos that read like this: "I really enjoyed this video. It's one that starts with a message as simple as " 'what we did today,'" and transforms it into something that stirs deeply within all of us. Makes us ask ourselves deep questions and remember why we are compelled to search for that transcendent experience in the mountains."
I am not always sure what compels me to create art - this misunderstanding may be what I enjoy most. However, I value other interpretations of my art as much as my own. I really appreciated this feedback. It provokes self reflection and provides as much clarity as I could - maybe more. While I am not capturing cutting edge climbers on first ascents - I am trying to share a little bit of myself and the connections between my adventures and the emotional responses elicited - maybe the same internal experience many other climbers have. Utilizing my own music and drawings assists in the depiction of the human experience.
I am prideful towards Boulder, CO. The luxury of biking to multiple climbing areas from my house is occasionally taken for granted. Warm up on the bike, climb, and finally enjoy the wind in my hair on the way home - what a great day! This is a video of my friend Jake and I climbing "The Naked Edge," 5.11c in Elderado Canayon. Such an excellent climb that I had to do it twice that week!
Sometimes the weather makes a story. During my first ice climbing excursion of the season; persistent spindrift, sluffing, and wind produced quite an compelling experience on a very moderate route. Spindrift blew so violently into the snow-choked gully that breathing was challenging. While the ice was mediocre and the weather uncooperative, we savored the exquisite scenery and terrain indicative of Chasm Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, returning to the car without frostbite and only minor wind-burn. On the Fun Scale, I gave this day a "2" - which means "not fun now but fun later." This rating seems commonplace within the fun-scale rating of outdoor adventure. Maybe the ubiquitous "feeling alive" is most easily appreciated with hindsight when we're dry and warm.
As my climbing partner and I drive towards the invisible canyon rim, the precipitous gorge of the mysterious Black Canyon of The Gunnison seemed incongruous in the flat scrub oak and juniper high plains. We knew it was going to be hot, but we drove six hours to do one of the most coveted climbs in Colorado, and we were determined to make it happen.
"The Scenic Cruise," 5.10d ascends the North Chasm View Wall in the Black Canyon (The Black) of The Gunnison. This route is sort of an anomaly because unlike many of the climbs in The Black, which are described as adventurous with poor-quality rock, "Scenic Cruise" is characterized by exquisite rock with comparatively straight-forward climbing.
Considering we climbed the second half of the 1700 foot route under the sweltering sun, our decision to climb with two liters of water each seemed prudent. We topped-out on the canyon rim in good spirits with only minor dehydration and heat exhaustion.
It had been raining every morning and evening in the front range of Colorado causing flooding in Denver and other towns. Climbing seemed unrealistic. The weather kept other climbers at home, but we decided to take our chances, and we were able to find a small window of fair weather to "thread the needle" in between storms and make an ascent of "Pervertical Sanctuary," 5.11a in Rocky Mountain National Park on the "Diamond" of Longs Peak.
This video is a celebration of the Diamond, which is in my opinion one of the most exquisite rock features in the United States. From the approach hike, hunkering under boulders, avoiding lightening, deterring marmots from chewing on our gear, swimming in ice-cold lakes, to climbing one of the greatest routes in Colorado, this video highlights the entire process of climbing at 14,000 feet on the diamond. Together, the video, animation, and unique music all created by the climbers produce a diary exemplifying the passion of two climbers playing in the mountains.
I am the latest featured photographer for the Access Fund's Vertical Times publication. The Vertical Times is published three times a year and each issue features a photographer/artist. In this issue, you can see a series of my photos and drawings. This link will take you to the downloadable pdf on the Access Fund's website. http://www.accessfund.org/site/c.tmL5KhNWLrH/b.4992351/k.9093/Vertical_Times.htm
This is a stop-animation drawing I did of "The Diamond." "The Diamond" is a prodigious 1500 foot face on Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO. This precipitous, rock wall is a magical place both for sightseers and especially for climbers. The wall features a generous selection of high quality crack climbs of moderate to expert ratings, both free-climbing and aide climbing. What makes this face so unique is it's quality of climbs at such a high altitude - up to 14,000ft. This drawing video was influenced by a recent climb I did with my friend Tim Davis. We climbed"Pervertical Sanctuary" 5.lla, one of the highest quality climbs I've ever done. I'm currently collaborating with Tim on a video of the entire trip which will include parts of this animation. The imagery at the end of the video is clouds and rain devouring "The Diamond" which was indicative of the day we climbed and thus the inspiration for the title, "Threading the Needle," finding some good weather in between persistent afternoon thunderstorms. After a wonderful day of climbing alone on the Diamond - something which rarely happens - we finished our final two rappels in hail and rain and dodged lightening on our hike out. Oh yah, the song is a cover of Elvis' "Love Me Tender" played by myself and Colin Frazer.
Hey Folks. This is my latest album I recently wrote and recorded for a High Contrast Review - an online arts and culture magazine where I serve as an editor. I wrote and recorded all the songs during the winter and spring of 2010. The album will be included in a book High Contrast Review is in the process of publishing for $20. The album is also for sale here as a digital download for $7.50. If you want, I can send you a hand printed CD for $12.00. The album includes 13 songs, all instruments and voices played and recorded by myself with a couple guest voices including Kari Treadwell and Tina Celis.
I'm regularly asked what type of music I play. This question challenges me because I have trouble categorizing my sound. I've found that the easiest way to do so is to ask my friends how they would characterize my sound. Many of my friends describe my music as a mixture of Neil Young and Built To Spill, merging honest lyrics with both melodic and unpredictable instrumentals. I've put a lot of work into this album and I'm pleased with the results. I'm offering this album on this new blog which I created yesterday, 8/4/2010 in an ongoing lifelong goal to merge my passion for outdoor adventure and the arts. While this album is not directly about climbing - none of my music is - I find that my artistic and outdoor pursuits merge by way of their ability to provide me consistent emotional connections to my surroundings. Click HERE to hear a sample. I hope you enjoy!