I have been kinda busy lately…

This school year is flying by and between my obligations as a teacher and parent and climber and coach I have not felt like I have had a moment to sit still. In a way I love it that way and in a way I feel like I still come up short with accomplishing some of my goals.

For example, I have had a hole in my bathroom ceiling since July that is only partially fixed, I need to insulate my duct work under the house for winter, I need to get some more yard worh done and the list goes on.

What is the point of my ramble? It is easy to set goals and much more difficult to follow through with them. Make sure your climbing goals can be followed through all the way otherwise you will not see the gains and make the accomplishments that you have been planning on.

I have decided that house work can wait : )



Climbing and Training

The Grand Valley Climbing Gym is a great place to meet up and climb or boulder or train.

But for me it is just a place and just a tool for me to utilize in order to get in shape for my outdoor challenges.

I have been able to be outside as the season changes on hikes and on a couple climbing days and here is what they have looked like.


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Two Slide Shows Coming Up

Oct 15

I will be presenting a desert climbing slide show at the Colorado Mesa Univeristy.

It is part of their Wednesday Night Wandering Series.

Come and join be for a fun night and maybe even get some gear!

Check the school website for the time and location.


Oct 24

I will be at the Leadville campus of the Colorado Mountain College

My presentation is still to be determined but it will be a great night none the less.

Come and join in the fun.

Time and location TBD.


Get outside and have an adventure.

If you are interested in having me speak at your event. Contact me and we can work something out!

piz : )



More Goal Setting

IMG_1873 IMG_1881 IMG_1888I recently completed an 8 week training cycle of Treadwalling, Fingerboarding and Circuit training and I was looking for a short-term goal to determine my fitness level. I choose a route that included an hour hike, higher temperatures and a very techy style. I wanted to see how my crimp training on the treadwall and fingerboard had paid off. It turned out that I was unable to replicate the tiny crimps on the route. This meant that I had the ability to hang on and use them effectively, but that I did not have the skin to try to use them too many times. This was a problem as I gave myself 1-2 days to complete the route.

My first burn took quite a while after I fell at the low crux while attempting to onsight the route. After that I slowly and methodically worked out each sequence finding the most efficient manner to move up the wall to the anchor. After a rest and my partners burn on the route, I gave it a top rope burn to solidify my efforts. I was excited to see that it had paid off and I fell just two moves from the finish of the route. The problem was my skin. I was through the layers and knew that with one more attempt on the route that I would be bleeding through. Even though I still gave it one more try shortly after and realized that I was more fatigued than I expected.

The next day (one week later) I was pleased with my efforts. The route came together and I was able to onsight the rest of the pitches of the climb. I did fall on my first attempt of the day due to not getting warmed up properly after the pitch but that is ok.

What does all this mean and how does it relate to goal setting? Well, due to a busy schedule and having to plan out climbing days months in advance, I have created a hit list of short and challenging but attainable goals for me to work towards over the next few months. Any of the climbs are doable over a long period of time, but that is a luxury that I do not have nor do I want to spend weeks and months on one single route. I have added the deadline of time to my projects and new routes. This is a bit more fun and will help train me to climbing harder climbs more quickly.

What I have learned through my training is that any route is achievable over time. For me, spending years on a climb to complete it is noble yet a waste. At some point you know that you physically fit enough and it’s just a matter of time and at that point why not move on? Also, in all that time that you have spent, think about the long list of other climbs that you could have accomplished. It is a double-edged sword that I feel it only worthy on a first ascent.

Anyway, choose goals that meet your schedule half way. Make sure that you love the route that you choose because you may be spending a lot of time on it, thinking about it and training for it. Choose routes that are assessable for you and your partners and that are not temperature dependant. finally, choose lines that are important to you and only you. If you are climbing it for anyone else, your heart won’t be in it and it will feel like a job more than your passion.


Get outside and have an adventure!

Challenge yourself


piz : )


Grand Valley Climbing Gym: Focus


The gym is full of boulder problems, lead climbing and toproping for all abilities. What I like about it most is that there is a designated place for getting specific about training. Since most people call training going out and climbing, at the GVC know better. It is about identifying your weaknesses and then getting specific about addressing them in a systematic manner. We have the tools to do that and with the help of our staff, we will help all climbers who want to move forward make the right training decisions!

There is plenty of space and equipment for everyone who wants to improve their hand strength, technique, power, core and mental game!

It all comes down to focus. One of my high school students has reminded me that you must first learn how to focus in order to address your goals and even complete simple tasks.

Focusing involves the following:

  1. Look at the big picture. In order to solve a problem or strengthen a weakness you must be able to see the whole and then break it into its parts.
  2. Be specific. Identify specific testable causes of the weakness. If you do that you can then reassess at the end of your training to determine the gains from your efforts.
  3. Be systematic. Come up with a plan and then follow it to the best of your ability. Once you start to stray from your plan, there will be no way to identify whether or not your strategies have been successful.

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )