Sunday, June 8, 2014


Myself trying Sunseeker
 Photo: Wes Walker
I'm a creature of habit. I like to have the same coffee in the morning, taking the same route to work or the gym, climbing at the same areas. But I think to an extent, we all are this way. There's something comforting about knowing what to expect; what your coffee will taste like, what direction a hike goes, how a boulder climbs. But getting stuck in these habits limits growth. I spent the majority of last year shaking things up. I climbed at different areas, tried problems I'd never done, barley projecting anything. But my first alpine days this season have been back at Mt. Evans Area A.
Richie Hum climbing the Area A classic Timeline
Revisiting this area with no agenda other then to be there has been freeing and enlightening. I have yet to feel the weight of  projects, and have been able to observe my progression in an area I've climbed in for most of my career. I know where everything is, an have climbed just about every boulder (same three or four) at least once.
Jeff climbing Clear Blue Skies

I returned to area A today despite a poor forecast, and revisited problems I have not climbed in a while. It was a training day, but also climbing at its best and simplest. One pad, no crew, nothing I "had to send."
Max on Super Gui
As a long breakdown may be tedious, my day is briefly outlined below (x indicates laps):

Black Tornado; x3
V1 Gateway: x2
V6 Gateway: x2
Bierstadt: x1
Ludder's Pinch: x2
The Ladder: x4
Dali Stand; x2
Dali Sit: x2
Pat's Arete: x1

It was extremely inspiring to see my personal progress on lines I had climbed years back. The sit to the Dali gave me huge problems a couple of years ago, and I walked away empty handed at least once. Today, I was able to to it twice easily!

I also attempted Jimmy Webb's new boulder Bigfoot. This line is very cool (if lowball) and I will return for it. I tried my nemesis rig Tactical Error in a light drizzle and fell of again (huge props to TJ for putting this up). I've tried this nearly every day I've gone up and have yet to climb it. One day perhaps. Enjoy the rest of the photos and the short clip!

The view from Area B

No More Greener Grasses

Tactical Error

Mt. Evans Training Day from Stephen Palermo on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Recent Happenings

I returned from my most recent trip to Italy early last week and struggled to get back into the swing of things.
Italy is one of my favorite places and I love catching up with my family and wandering around exploring that amazing country.
Bongo V? (photo thanks to Nik)

Upon my return I immediately kicked my training into overdrive which, after two solid weeks of no climbing, was not easy. However, my strength returned relatively quickly and I was able to take advantage of the spring weather here in Colorado and venture outside. A couple weeks ago I made the short trip up to Boulder to coach the Lakewood Climbing team though their second SCS competition of the season at the Boulder Rock Club. The kids preformed fantastically which was great to see. After this, I wandered over to the Satellite Boulders located just below the Flatirons to try out a few area classics which I had never been on.
Climbing on Stanley Kubrick Sit (8A/+)

First on this list was Flesh Fest, a striking blunt arete just of the trail. I quickly pieced together the moves up the bloc but did not commit to the send because of its height and landing. I next directed my attention to Tuning Point, a classic problem on top of the Flesh Fest boulder. After brushing the holds, I managed to walk away with a flash of this sick line! As the light began to fade, I walked down to try Captain Hook and was quickly able to piece it together and send.
Flesh Fest 7C+
This past weekend I ventured back up to Boulder for an early morning session climbing on the Burgandy Boulder and Bongo! Alpine season is rapidly approaching so stay tuned for that, but for now enjoy these photos from my recent trip!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

ABS Nationals

I cruised down to Colorado Springs early to watch my friends who were competing in the women's qualification round in the morning. Wandering from the parking lot into the auditorium, a feeling of nervousness began to well up. The women's problems looked really cool, very aesthetic and fun to climb on, but hard... if these looked as hard as they did, how hard would the mens be? I shook the thought from my mind and focused on supporting my friends on the wall and relaxing with those watching with me.

After checking into isolation at the neighboring City Rock at around 2pm, my nerves started to subside. I didn't climb until 4:30 so I had a few hours to warm up and mentally prepare for the event. I climbed around on the systems board and relaxed with my music blaring in my ears trying to strike the right balance between warming up enough and tiring myself prematurely.

As the hours wore on, I began to get antsy, finally feeling mentally ready and not wanting to wait any longer. A few minutes before my climb time, I was walked around the building and behind the competition wall, where I waited before moving into the front.

Turning around, I was faced with a powerful slab (perhaps V7/8) with four minutes to climb it. After a few attempts I was able to make it about halfway, before deciding to save my energy for the harder climbs ahead.
Men's Qualifier 1

Again I turned my back to the wall and waited for a few minutes. The second problem was much more my style with bigger moves on fairly good holds (clocking in at V9ish) and I was to get 3/4 of the way up by my second try. Unfortunately, I could not top this and again rested.

Qualifier 3 was significantly harder(V11/12). It began with a big dyno to a pinch on a volume, after this, you did a heel hook and moved out into to good pockets before firing into a series of bad Entrepries holds and a ridiculous top. I was able to make the 3/4 mark again with relative ease but was stymied by the upper section. 
Men's Qualifier 3
 The fourth problem was flat out hard (read V12). Poor holds and awful feet. Daniel got the furthest, and was still unable to top it. I was unable to even control the volumes which were fairly low on the route.
Men's Qualifier 5
 The last qualifier was shockingly easy (V5/6) consisting of a S-shape of good pinches with no feet. However, after the previous 4 problems, I only had one quality effort before becoming too pumped to match my highpoint.

Unfortunately, I was unable to make it into semi-finals, but I had an amazing time hanging out with my friends and watching semis and finals. I think this was an great experience and I am eager to repeat it! This competition certainly ignited a new desire to train harder and do better next year in Madison, WI!!!!

Thanks for all of the photos Michelle!