Archive | March, 2011

Stuck at the Train Tracks, Perfect.

I’ve waited years for this moment, and here I finally am: stopped by one of my train buddies waiting to cross the tracks before the rock gym. A silly thing to be thrilled about, but this moment is unlike any other of my day. I see trains roll by on a daily basis while I’m climbing at Tally Rock Gym, but I’ve never been fortunate enough to hit one on the road.

The train halts everything – or everyone trying to pass at least. You’re just sitting idly, with no where to go and nothing to do but watch the giant toy train screech and sputter by. It’s undeniably peaceful – I highly recommend the experience. You have no choice but to relax and enjoy the dull rumble of the chugging locomotive. I just wish I had my camera.

My favorite compartments belong to CSX and Union Pacific. Next time you encounter a train, keep an eye out for art along the sides of the compartments. The two best I’ve seen thus far are a giant ‘Seasons Greetings’ mural that encompassed an entire compartment, and an enormous beluga whale painting that was on the bottom half of a CSX segment. Life is just full of little surprises, eh?

On a serious note: I vow to recover from this writing hiatus I seem to have taken. Expect an exciting post from my trip to the Everglades, where I learned how to cook alligator tail from a lovely lady named Kay. And hello, Richard Stanley! Mikey says you’re a fan, I appreciate the readership.


Official Results and Photos from Tally Rock Gym’s Save the South Competition!

I’ve kept you waiting long enough, it’s time to unveil the complete score listings and a few of my favorite shots from Tally Rock Gym’s phenomenal Save the South benefit competition for the Southeastern Climbers Coalition. It was a great event, and between all our entry fees, raffle ticket sales and other donations, we raised over $1,600 for the SCC! I am proud to have been a part of the competition. Everyone climbed hard, and we even had a collection of climbers travel to Tallahassee just for the event.

Our swag table stood impressively next to the registration counter, and we outdid our expectations for raffle sales thanks to our eager competitors who all wanted a shot at our giveaways, which included: a free shoe certificate from Evolv, complimentary stay vouchers from The Crash Pad of Chattanooga, guidebooks from Greener Grass Publishing, tasty certificates from VooDoo Dog and Bagel Heads, a free hold set from So iLL, and a load of swag from Pusher/Revolution, Mountain Khakis, Rock Candy and Kendal Jackson Bags.

The actual competition went swimmingly, with many climbers racking up impressive scores and hardcore sends. I must give a big shout out to Louie, Usman and Mike Stanton, who traveled from out of town to climb at TRG. Coming from huge gyms with impressive setups, it was a big compliment when the boys spoke highly of our walls, routes, community and the great time they had at our gym.

Enough talkin’ – here are a few of my favorite photos from the event. Check Facebook tomorrow for a complete posting of all the photography. Scroll past the photos to view the complete score listing (of competitors who turned in their score sheets, many did not).

Read More…

A Sneak Peek at TRG’s Save the South Event: Stripping, Setting and Sweet Treats

Do you smell that in the air? It’s the wonderful scent of chalky hands, red velvet cupcakes and climbing! Tomorrow is the big day – Tally Rock Gym’s “Save the South” competition will commence with registration at 1:00 PM, and climbing from 2:00-6:00 PM.

We’ve been slaving away at the gym since last night. First, every hold and skinny strip of colored tape had to be removed from the bouldering walls. Everything was haphazardly scattered in the rubber gravel flooring, so I spent the next 12 hours organizing all the holds and picking up tape confetti while the boys began setting new routes. Yes, I’m a little OCD – but tell me that’s not pretty.

When I last left the rock gym, the walls were  dotted with the initial batch of routes for the competition. I have never been so impressed with the setters of TRG; these problems are high quality routes with beautiful beta and smart movements. We’ve got everything from the most intimiating V2 I’ve ever seen to a fluid V6-7 that was inspired during the crew’s recent trip to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Arkansas (yes, the trip I bailed on).

I’m about to return to the gym for another session of comp preparations, but first I baked a couple dozen cupcake treats in three different varieties: red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, coffee crumble cupcakes, and funfetti cupcakes with chocolate icing and sprinkles.

The best part? During the competition, will have a special sponsored route. The first five people to send the problem will get an extra special baked good: red velvet cupcakes topped with crispy, salty bacon. Oh yes, Erick Delgado, you better get this! VooDoo Dog will also have a sponsored route, where the first three ascents will earn themselves a $10.00 gift certificate to the best hot dog eatery in town.

Rest well, climbers. Tomorrow brings a sunny day of hardcore climbing, stellar prize giveaways and a great afternoon spent at Railroad Square. Did I mention that the Cravings Truck will be in parked in the square all day for the Spring Day Festival for Autism Awareness?

Two days until Save the South – all our swag is in, and we’ve been featured in today’s Tallahassee Democrat!

The back room of the spare warehouse at the Tally Rock Gym is stacked with boxes from all our fantastic sponsors – our collection of giveaway swag is officially complete. If contributing to a good cause isn’t enough motivation to get you out to TRG’s Save the South climbing competition on Saturday, then our exhaustive list of prizes will certainly inspire you to chalk up.

We’ve been blessed with an amazing sponsorship line-up: The Crash Pad, Pusher/Revolution, Rock Candy, Kendal Jackson Bags, Greener Grass Publishing, VooDoo Dog, Bagel Heads, Evolv, Mountain Khaki, Momo’s, So iLL holds and of course, yours truly, – have I mentioned that we’re the official sponsor of the event scores? This is the only place you’ll be able to see a complete score listing.

A special thanks goes out to the Tallahassee based Ramba Consulting group for generously donating $500 directly to the Southeastern Climbers Coalition.

The most exciting news of the day comes from our local newspaper, the Tallahassee Democrat. Fellow climber Alice Hafer wrote a preview piece about the competition, and you can check it out here. For those of you fortunate enough to have a paper copy of today’s edition, you can find the article on page 4 of the Local section! Here’s a little preview from the piece, which she kindly interviewed me for:

“The SCC is a great organization not just for climbers, but for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. They establish a lot of hiking trails and clean-up days. If you appreciate Mother Nature, then you can appreciate the SCC,” Katie Boue, volunteer coordinator of the event, said.

This event is going to be the best comp yet, and I can’t wait to see how everyone performs. Tonight and Friday will be spent furiously stripping and setting at the gym, and climbers are reminded that Tally Rock Gym will be closed on Friday & Saturday for the competition! Keep yourselves busy on Friday as we give the gym a route make-over in preparation for Saturday’s event.

Check out my story from the Grand Tetons on!

I’ll admit it – I let spring break get the best of my productivity. Sunbathing had become a priority, but this morning I received a pleasant reminder to keep up my hard work. I returned from a mini-vacation in Islamorada to a notification that the piece I wrote for the illustrious was published on their site this morning!

Here’s a snippet:

“During the peak of July’s sweltering heat, I abandoned my day job to live in a dirty Jeep with three wild boys, including my beau Niko. We spent two few weeks traversing the American Midwest, in search of good climbing and even better food. Armed with two cameras, high spirits and an arsenal of disinfecting wipes, I eagerly headed off on my first extended climbing trip.

The tales I collected during my travels could fill a novel. There were the bed bugs I picked up in an abandoned fraternity house in Tulsa, the stunning community gardens and colossal burritos in Denver, and the time we lost all our gear during a wind storm in Kansas, and that’s just to name a few.

Sifting through the stories, there is one adventure that outweighs all the rest: the time the boys tried to summit the Grand Teton in Wyoming. It was the climax of the trip, the epic event that was to define our entire journey – and I wanted nothing to do with it.”

In the Grand Teton National ParkFollow the link to check out the rest of “Summiting the Grand Teton in Wyoming – or not” on!

Stay tuned for updates on my plans to move to Boulder, my chaotic decision ditch the climbing trip to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch and more.

Monday Motivation – Get outta that funk!

Marianne’s weekly inspirational quote really struck a chord with me. Unfortunately, I’m the one in the funk – but I reckon that an afternoon lunch and pina coladas with my lady climber pal Ashley will pick me right up. That, and a little road trip for one to do a bit of soul searching.

“Pick someone up this week. If they are being negative, or in a funk, be the positive energy they need to pull them out of it. At that point, you are truly living. It’s when we get outside ourselves that life becomes a beautiful thing.” – Marianne Curtis


If you find yourself in a funk like mine, you need to get yourself out of your negative environment and discover what is going to make (and keep) you happy. You know what my advice will always be: GET OUTSIDE! Whether you’re climbing or sunbathing, fresh air and nature will always cure your blues. Enjoy your spring break, readers!

You’re invited to come Save the South with Tallahassee Rock Gym and the SCC on March 19th

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the official flyer for the Tallahassee Rock Gym‘s March 19th “Save the South” fundraiser competition. If you’re a climber in the Tallahassee area, you absolutely cannot miss this great event. All proceeds will be donated directly to the Southeastern Climbers Coalition, and I’ve rounded up a collection of excellent sponsors including big names like Pusher/Revolution, Evolv and Greener Grass Publishing. This means great door prizes and awesome raffle giveaways.

This spring break leaves no time for lazy days – it’s training time, baby! Whether you’re headed up north for some outdoor climbing or are stickin’ close to home near your local indoor gym, it’s time to prepare yourself for the upcoming competition. The ladies are going to be where my attention is focused; we’ve got a killer group of strong women that are all climbing around the same level, so this will be a great chance to see who places first.

Why should you keep your eyes on The Morning Fresh throughout the event? is the only place you’ll be able to check out the complete scores listing for the competition. We’ll be posting the results after the competition, so everyone can see where they stand amongst their fellow climbers.

Save the date, and don’t miss out on your chance to help Save the South!

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