sono.tino

these are the words and photos that depict the world in which we live.


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A rough slideshow from our jaunt to Colorado…

The trip was fast and furious.  If there wasn’t weather striking, there was activity occurring.  PA met CO on many levels.  We saw old PA neighbors in Niwot, and old PA climbing bud in Estes, and we were hard-core chillaxin with good PA friends & climbin partner all while on the front range.  There was something really raw and wild about it all, perhaps the best way to celebrate the 4th of July.

Thed basics were:
– flight delayed from PHL to DEN due to thunderstorms (PHL couldn’t guide an iPod to a docking station on time)
– arrive at Paul & Johannas in Lafayette (it can’t be their house, where’s his truck?…Let’s call him…Yes, it is 1:30am…oh, you sold your truck)
– tasty brunch on Pearl Street before meeting Paul @ 12:30 to climb in Eldo (does anyone in CO work full-time?!)
– 3 Wind Tower routes with Paul & Julie (a quick 700 ft of climbing)
– a morning run up the first flat iron (climbing in my approach shoes informed me that my approach shoes were shot) – quick 1400ft of rock
– a run that afternoon in the Open Space behind Paul’s abode & dinner with Jo and our old PA neighbors, Josh, Amy & Lyla
– 5am rise to do Melvin’s Wheel on Lumpy’s Ridge and start up another route when the darkening storm hail-rained us off the cliff (450+ft)
– saw an old buddy, Mike Drinker from PA, at the base, who we inadvertent dropped a quickdraw on
– randomly decided to hike into a sport area named Ironclad or Ironsides on Rte 7 (great 100ft+ bolt lines and nary a soul with whom to contend) (quick 600ft of rock)
– rest day (some light sport climbing with Julie in Boulder Canyon & picked up a new pair of Approach shoes – Scarpa Crux rock!) (yes, there is poison ivy in Boulder Canyon, Julie’s face proves it)
– 4:30 rise and jet up to RMNP to hike into Hallett Peak and run up Culp-Bossier ***
– kind of anti-climactic climbing up the second buttress – we did it in 5 200ft pitches (quick 1000ft of rock)
– run back to get a bivy permit for Upper Glacier Gorge (score!)
– Happy Hour at the Rock Inn with wheat ales and burgers (why yes, I will take a free beer, thank you)
– Hike out to Spearhead in UGG (wrong turn added 2 miles onto a 6+mi hike) – 10pm and delirious is a great time to stop hiking…Paul. Stop.
– Hiked past dark, past a huge Elk and bivied on a slab with cold Taco Bell in our pillows….here bear, bear, bear…Volcano Burrito, Mr Bear….
– 5am rise to tackle Syke’s Sickle on Spearhead (am I awake or am I dreaming)
– In a delirious state, from the first pitch I dropped a quickdraw and 4 nuts on the glacier and Paul ran around to grab it all (mountain mangoat)
– stellar climbing & a crux pitch to not be forgotten
– double fist jams and a stem with lots of air below the knuts, protected out the wazoo
– tagged the summit and descended in anticipation of 40 marmots partying with the apple fritter I accidentally left in the top of my pack
– miraculously, no marmots and an intact pack (and used wag bag for carryout…taco hell)                                – Burgers, margharitas, tequila and Upslope beer feed the alpine soul quite well
– 4th of July held the summiting of South Arapahoe Peak (~13,800ft) – the highest Julie has ever been!
– Trail run down to a shower and a ‘pool party’ with new and old friends

Thank you mountains, thank you friends and thank you weather for cooperating.

Not too shabby…me likes Colorado

Colorado2013-Select


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news from the mogotes

so now we are two.  starting as a group of six strong, going to eight and then to five and now to two.  we remain to tie up loose ends, give off the items brought to donate to those who need and see a few last sites.  baseball gloves, insoles, soccer balls, toothbrushes, pens, paper, carabiners, powdered milk, sugar and plastic containers.  everything must stay with those who need.  then the climbing gear is given to a trusted local source who can give it to he and she who needs and deserves it.

other news is that the project went.  for days i could feel the soreness in my left shoulder from the multiple large gaston moves, especially the one in the last boulder problem.  in reality, i should have sent the climb my third go and changed my foot beta just a hair, but enough to guarantee a victory, clipping the chains just an hour before the guy who bolted the route, Yarobys, clipped the same chains.  The name is Huracan (hurricane) and I think it goes at 13a.  Definitely agreat route, with three boulder problem cruxes and a mean core tensions sequency crux at the top.  my favorite route in two years, as it is rare that I get the moves of a climb stuck in my head so that I can´t think of anything but it.

Tomorrow we are going to a new crag to bolt a couple of routes to prepare for the national competition.  Normally Cuban climbers don´t climb really strong on average, so these routes will hopefully become classics and be enjoyable for many as time passes and more people come here to clip bolts and crank on the limestone of the mogotes.   The best Cuban climbers are in the mid 5.13 range, but the majority are breaking into 5.12.

As my language gets better I feel a hurdle with three languages.  You start to think about a word and end up referencing all three when you should be able to go and focus solely on one.  maybe once I break through this hurdle will I ultimately understand more about languages, or at least more than I already do.  Such a determinable link to culture and the people, expressions and intonation alone mean so much.

The people become more and more like family, playing a nd joking and giving signs of affection that we normally do not see in the US with people other than close friends and family that you´ve known fo ra long time.  It is such a nice feeling that a sense of community gives.

The day I sent the project I traveled out to the crag with Yarobys on a Guagua, one of the local Cuban buses.  It was so chill and talk about economical.  I don´t know why we have taken so many taxis when it is completely convenient to take the local travel methods and thus pay local prices.  Ten cents for a ride instead of six bucks.  I know how that sounds on the absolute scale, but on the relative scale it is much more astronomical.  and as for convenience, it is only a limited factor as some friends of ours took a taxi, paid for half of the ride and then the  guy never came back for them.  after walking five dark miles on Cuban roads did they find a place with a phone where they worked their Spanish and called a taxi.  luckily by that point our friend, Raytheon, knew something was wrong and asked our host to go and get them.  Thus we could all eat a fine meal together and laugh about the incident.  Oddly enough it was the day I took the local hitchhike and bus option.

So I stare here at the two holes on the sides of my finger that are the remnants of my work on the project.  my sequence included a solid five feet or so of pulling on a mono with my right hand as I pull into the clip, lock off, clip and pull a few more feet to a sloper.  When such work culminates in a victory you often have no more than the vestigial feeling of elation, a few photos and perhaps some worn down skin.  It all grows back and then you are left with a memory.  How does this end up changing us in the end. That for a small period of time we are infatuated, fully in love and head over heels for this climb and think and dream about it like a stranded castaway dreams of water, friends and comfort food.  Then after this zealous fit of emotion it is gone.  Does this make us callus to intense emotion after a while, knowing that we will be changed just for period of time and then life as usual goes on?  Hmmm.

In the end, I sit here with less skin then yesterday, four minutes left on my tarjeta, and thoughts of family and of the political discourses that separate such incredible places that have so much in common, and only 90 miles of water between their secured borders.

When will our governments see the light, that we are all brothers and sisters under the same sun with the same passions and family that resides on both sides of the line.  How much it would benefit both parties for us to open borders.

Anywho…it is time to go as the seconds tick by on this card and it will probably take all 56 seconds for this blog to load.

Saludos


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Cancun to Habana

So I’m sitting here in Cancun after having navigated the whole no American dollars changing hands so as to not support any regime that doesn’t coincide with medieval political views. I’ve been slammed on my bags twice for having brought too much gear, at least a third of which being donated items to leave with people who have literally no access whatsoever to a market of high-quality first world good. I don’t mean anything like Dolce & Gabbana. No, I mean like Gilette, Colgate and MLB.

Some toothbrushes and toothpaste, a couple of baseball mitts with balls, powdered milk and thread. Basic life necessities that are just plain difficult to find. It also seems that American companies are often psyched to be able to donate to a cause as venerable as this. One day and one day soon will we have free trade again with our closest Caribbean neighbor.

So, sitting here on a marble floor watching tourists buy straw hats and little wooden musical instruments painted in vivid prime colors, I find myself so freakin excited.

I get to go to one of the most beautiful countries in the world with a group of great people to do the thing I love most in the world: rockclimb. And even chronicle it for my own sake and for the stories and great things I can share.

Visas taken care, bags checked and a yen for friend plantains like no other, we get to Habana tonight and should be in Vinales in the morning. Hopefully within twenty four hours I will have tasted limestone yet again and have met some great new folks.

Here we go again.