Corner Pocket

By Mark Anderson The small town of Ouray, in southwest Colorado, is one of my family’s favorite places to visit. The town has everything we look for in a vacation spot—good climbing, endless rest-day activities, and a place for the kids to swim. With extra sweeteners like a great bakery, plentiful ice cream, the best…

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Slice of Time—New Eldo 5.14b

By Mark Anderson Injuries suck. Last October I (partially) tore my forearm flexor muscle. At first the injury was relatively minor, but like a climber, I kept climbing and training hard on it for several weeks, and so it evolved into something more troublesome. I spent the next five months or so rehabbing the muscle,…

Walk Tall Or Not At All

By Mark Anderson Once I finished up the Switchblade projects, the next objective on my list was a massive fin of granite called “Sidewalk in the Sky.” This formation is about 100 meters wide, and rises a good 70 meters from the ground. It peters at the summit to a narrow strip of dizzying granite,…

Aggro Diablo: New Hard Lines at Devil’s Head

By Mark Anderson In 2015 I crossed paths with prolific route-developer Tod Anderson (no relation). Tod has been a major player in Front Range route development for decades, but he is probably best known as the Devil’s Head crag patron—discovering countless crags, opening hundreds of routes, establishing positive relationships with land managers, replacing old hardware,…

40 Climbing Lessons

by Mark Anderson A few years ago Steve Bechtel gave me an article called “40 Years of Insight” by strength Coach Dan John.  The article is a list of 40 lessons Dan learned in his 40 years of coaching strength athletes. I liked it so much, I keep it on my nightstand and re-read it…

Aftermath

by Mark Anderson Fall 2016 probably would have won the title “Best Season Ever” even if it ended after the third day (the day I finished off my year-long bout with Shadowboxing). After that send I spent a night celebrating, which for me entails eating a bunch of food I normally wouldn’t, in this case a greasy…

Training for 9a – Preface

by Mark Anderson This is the first in a multi-part series about how I prepared and trained for my ascent of Shadowboxing in Rifle Colorado. For background on the route and details of my ascent, please read here. The decision to embark on a multi-season redpoint campaign should not be taken lightly. It’s a huge…

Iontophoresis Part II

[*Editor’s Note: This blog post was updated on October 22, 2018 to correct the proper polarity for the “1-Tin Method”] by Mark Anderson This is Part II in a two-part series.  Check out Part I, especially the many warnings and disclaimers, here. While the “standard method” of Iontophoresis was working well for me, I found it…

Witchcraft for Perfect Skin

by Mark Anderson For many performance-oriented climbers, finger skin durability is a limiting factor. Repeatedly reefing on small, sharp holds can do significant damage, resulting in debilitating skin injuries like bloody flappers, splits, blisters, or simply thin skin that oozes sweat. Through trial and error, climbers have devised various methods to maximize skin toughness and…