Yosemite has the most impressive and accessible granite big walls in the world. The rock is amazing. And because of that, it's been the mecca for climbing in the U.S. - and the world to a large degree - for all of climbing history. It's the place to test yourself against the historic routes of the past.
I have a journal of everything I've ever climbed since 2005. For the entry about free soloing Half Dome, I put a frowny face and added some little notes about what I should have done better, and then underlined it. Turns out that is one of my biggest climbing achievements.
A hangboard is a little piece of wood with edges, holes, and slopes. There's different strategies for different things - hanging, varying grips, adding weight. If I do a hard finger workout, I'm definitely sore.
My friends like to remind me that I have relatively weak fingers. Aerobic strength and general endurance have come easy, but finger strength has always been my biggest weakness.
I suppose being a bit of an antisocial weirdo definitely honed my skills as a soloist. It gave me a lot more opportunities to solo lots of easy routes, which in turn broadened my comfort zone quite a bit and has allowed me to climb the harder things without a rope that I've done now.
We are apes - we should be climbing.
I was 19 when my father died from a heart attack. He was a 55-year-old college professor and had led what was by all appearances a risk-free life. But he was overweight, and heart disease runs in our family.
I love red bell peppers. Bell peppers in general, really. I like to eat them like apples. They're so crunchy and delicious.
I've never really understood the criticism that climbing is inherently selfish, since it could equally be argued about virtually any other hobby or sport. Is gardening selfish?
I think it's great that so many people are enjoying climbing. I've always loved climbing; I don't see why other people wouldn't enjoy it just as much. As long as everyone does their best to respect the areas in which they're climbing, I don't see how the growth of the sport could be a bad thing.
I'm sponsored by the solar company Goal Zero, and they were gracious enough to install panels on my van and a nice battery system for the inside. I have lights and a fridge inside the van. And of course I had panels installed on my mom's house.
I live out of my van, which gives me a first-hand appreciation for power and lighting. A few years ago, I rebuilt the interior of my van to include solar panels and a battery that powers LEDs for lighting and allows me to charge my phone and laptop.
My sister does all this community-service type stuff in Portland that makes the world a much better place. And I make as much in a two-day commercial shoot as she does in five years, which is ridiculous.
I've done routes where I've climbed 200 feet off the ground and just been, like, 'What am I doing?' I then just climbed back down and went home. Discretion is the better part of valor. Some days are just not your day. That's the big thing with free soloing: when to call it.
If you're climbing big routes that'll take you 16 hours, or, like, El Capitan, you have to take something like a big, robust sandwich. Climbing isn't like running or triathlons, where you have to constantly be eating blocks, gels, and pure sugar. Climbing is relatively slow, so you can pretty much eat anything and digest it as you climb.
My comfort zone is like a little bubble around me, and I've pushed it in different directions and made it bigger and bigger until these objectives that seemed totally crazy eventually fall within the realm of the possible.
The diet for climbing all the time isn't really different from the diet for living. It's not like cardio sports where you're burning a bajillion calories every day.
Climbing is definitely very much strength-to-weight ratio. At the same time, I've never dieted or restricted calories. You're just sort of mindful about not getting plump.
For sure, Potrero Chico is a super nice winter vacation climbing area. It's really convenient to fly into Monterrey, one of the nicer cities in Mex, and get a taxi to Potero. Then you can just live in the camping area and walk everywhere. It's muy tranquilo, as they say there.
In a general sense, I think it's bad to bring too much money into climbing, since it takes away a little from the beauty of the mountains. But at the same time, I can't blame the Nepali government - or the Indian, Pakistani or Chinese, depending on where you're climbing - from wanting to capitalize on foreign climbers.