Valley of Giants

Dan Bates is a Connecticut crusher who has been travelling the world for the last few years.  Dan recently visited Oman with Phillippe Ribiere, Read Macadam, and Miguel Willis.  This crew found an amazing amount of rock and is putting together a film based on their experience.  Check out the trailer for Valley of Giants below.  The full series will be out in the fall, click here to check out the website for the latest.

Springtime in New England

Katie Lamb sending Mr. Natural, V10 at Pawtuckaway.  Kai Webler Screenshot.

Katie Lamb sending Mr. Natural, V10 at Pawtuckaway.  Kai Webler Screenshot.

Though it seems like we went straight from 3 feet of snow to 8o degrees and humid, Kai Webler captured some great footage from Farley, Great Barrington, and Pawtuckaway this spring.  Kai continues to put out no nonsense footage of great boulder problems all over in New England.  We are convinced his goal is to video every boulder problem in the Northeast!

Nina Williams Sends Speed of Life

Voted the best V10 in the Northeast, Speed of Life at Farley is the king of king lines at one of the best bouldering areas around.  First climbed by Dave Graham, the tall line with the stepped landing climbs a line of crimps up a beautiful overhanging wall of gneiss.  On Saturday, Nina Williams, on a trip back east from Boulder, made the first female ascent of Speed of Life after working the line for 6 years. On her Facebook page, Nina commented, "A dream beginning 2009, and realized yesterday. I was initially drawn to its aesthetic line, intimidating size, and crimpy style. I stuck with it because SOL is truly a New England 'king line' and represented everything I loved about my home area. I became emotionally attached and single-mindedly threw myself at it a year before I moved, and the years afterwards."

Nina Williams working Speed of Life in 2014.  Photograph by Jeff Domko from Nina's Facebook page.

Nina Williams working Speed of Life in 2014.  Photograph by Jeff Domko from Nina's Facebook page.

Adopt a Crag - Ragged Mountain and Chapel Ledge

On April 18, there will be two Access Fund Adopt a Crag events, one at Chapel Ledge in Massachusetts and one at Ragged Mountain in Connecticut, that climbers can volunteer their time at and show land managers that climbers are responsible stewards.  These events are fun and are a great way to show some love to our great climbing areas.

WhereChapel Ledge, MA
When:  Saturday, April 18
Hosted by:  Westfield State University
Details: Join the Westfield State University to help clean up Chapel Ledge! We will meet at 11:00am at the dirt parking lot at the base of Chapel Ledge. We will help to rebuild the trail leading up to the crag.

For more info, contact: 

WhereRagged Mountain, CT
When:  Saturday, April 18
Hosted by:  Ragged Mountain Foundation
Details:The RMF Conservation Crew is a new effort to put in serious time repairing and protecting our cliff bases in Connecticut. We are looking for leaders to help us work with local climbing groups, civic organizations, and outdoor clubs to protect the places we love to play. We will be starting with the Main Cliff at Ragged, and looking at many future projects from there.

Meet at the Plainville Starbucks parking area at 8am. Wear boots and bring layers.

Additional details can be found HERE or contact:


Rockspot Boston Boulder Brawl

On April 11, 2015, Rockspot will be hosting the Boston Boulder Brawl (B3) at their brand new facility in South Boston.  This unique "Last Man (and Woman) Standing" format promises  to be exciting and a true test of the areas' best boulderers.  With a $10,000 prize purse, the top 10 pros (both men and women) will go home with cash in their pockets and the Junior, Rec, and Advanced categories will take home great prizes from the comp sponsors.  Click here for details and check out the promo video below.

Iron Maiden - Everett

Continuing the success of last year's inaugural Iron Maiden bouldering comp (sorry boys, women only), MetroRock expanded this year's competition into two events.  This past Saturday, the Everett gym hosted the second event which was attended by over 75 women of all ages.  In the pro division, Lily Canavan took the top spot, with Bimini Horstmann in second and Mikalya Tougas in third.  Full results can be found here.  We expect there will be a highlight video shortly, and as always, you will be able to find it here.

ABS National Youth Championships

On the heels of the ABS National Championships and at the same venue in Madison, Wisconsin, USA Climbing held the ABS 16 National Youth Championships this past weekend.  Again, provided live coverage of the event.  You can check out the coverage by clicking here.  The Northeast was well represented with the following climbers finishing in the top 5 of their respective age groups.  Congrats to all the climbers who qualified as just making it to Nationals is a huge accomplishment at any age!

Zoe Steinberg, Philadelphia Rock Gym, 2nd place Female Junior (17)

Katherine Lamb, Team Central Rock East, 4th place Female Junior (17)

Lily Canavan, MetroRock, 4th place Female A (15)

Biminin Horstmann, MetroRock, 5th place Female A (15)

Ella Yolen, MetroRock, 5th place Female D (10 and younger)

Levi Tracy, Team Central Rock, 5th place Male A (15)

Innis Gallagher, Team Central Rock West, 1st place Male C (11)

Noah Wheeler, Philadelphia Rock Gym, 2nd place Male C *(11)

Lucas Oddi, Team Rock, 1st place Male D (10 and younger)

Brian Squire, Team Central Rock West, 5th place Male D (10 and younger)

The full results can be found by clicking here.

ABS 16 National Championships

This past weekend in Madison, Wisconsin, USA Climbing held the 16th ABS National Championships for bouldering.  Louder Than 11 provided live coverage on the web.  You can click here to see the full coverage of each round.  New England was well represented throughout with numerous competitors for both the men and women, Pete Ward as one of the live commentators, and Bryan Rafferty of Back Mattress Media as the event MC.

The live broadcast was really well done with great coverage of an exciting comp (they even had climbing commercials!).  On the women's side, it was clearly the Alex Puccio show.  Alex is on a completely different level than all the other U.S. women.  It will be interesting to see how Alex performs on the World Cup circuit as she seems to be the best U.S. hope for World Cup podium finishes on either side.  Alex dominated the women's finals with tops on all four problems with the exclamation point being the unneeded and only flash of Women's #4 (Alex had already wrapped up first after the first 3 problems).  This was Alex's ninth national championship, a mark that should stand for years to come.  Rounding out the podium were long-time competitors and clear crowd favorites Alex Johnson and Angie Payne.  Youth may be the future of the ABS comps, but on Saturday night it was one last hurrah for the old guard.

On the men's side, things were much less clear.  Daniel Woods had not been focusing on indoor climbing (he recently sent a new V16 in Bishop) and the semi-finals showed Daniel to be vulnerable in his quest for his ninth national championship.  For the locals, Josh Larson provided a cheering interest and did not disappoint.  For the overall comp, Mohammad Mahmodabadi took advantage of a new scoring system by being the only man to top out on problem #3 giving him the score he needed to win the overall comp.  Being an Iranian national, Mohammad was not eligible for the U.S. national championship.  Therefore, with his 2nd place overall, Daniel Woods was able to win his ninth national championship.  Michael O'Rourke was clearly the most powerful of all the male finalists but the technical nature of some of the problems cost him and he ended up third.  Josh Larson was the crowd favorite with all out efforts on all 4 problems and a near top on the 4th problem (he had one hand on the finishing hold but could not match) that might have won the day for him.  Being third American, Josh should be eligible to compete in the World Cup events.

Screenshot from the broadcast of Josh Larson in the finals at the ABS 16 National Championships.

Screenshot from the broadcast of Josh Larson in the finals at the ABS 16 National Championships.

Dark Horse Championship

On Saturday, some of the best boulderers in the U.S. were in Boston for the Dark Horse Series Championship.  In the women's Pro Division, Alex Puccio took first with Kyra Condie in 2nd, and Delaney Miller in 3rd.  For the men, it was Michael O'Rourke taking home the title with Rob D'Anastasio in 2nd and Mike Foley in 3rd.  Click here for the full resultsClick here to check out Garrick Kwan's photos from the event.

Louder than 11 has produced videos from the first 3 stops of the series and is working on a highlight reel of the final.  Here are the videos:

Pennsylvania Access Alert

Pennyslvania Access Fund Coordinator Bob Value sent us this alert to a threat to access for Pennsylvania climbing.  Please send an e-mail as outlined in Bob's message.  Thanks.

Pete Ziegenfuss on the Big Wednesday project at Haycock.   Photograph by Char Fetterolf.

Pete Ziegenfuss on the Big Wednesday project at Haycock.   Photograph by Char Fetterolf.

The vast majority of climbing in Pennsylvania is located on PA Game Lands, which hosts exceptional climbing opportunities at Haycock Mountain, Hunter's Rocks and Coll's Cove, to name just a few. The Pennsylvania Bureau of Wildlife Habitat Management is currently studying the feasibility of having the PA Game Commission implement a free permit system for secondary users of PA Game Lands—including climbers, hikers, and mountain bikers—who do not possess a hunting or furtaking (trapping) license. The permit system would allow the agency to disseminate educational and safety information and collect data from secondary users, but it would also close PA Game Lands to all secondary users, climbers included, for nearly six months during hunting seasons (except on Sundays).


Hunting seasons are defined as:

  • The last Saturday in September until the third Saturday in January
  • The second Saturday in April through the last Saturday in May

These proposed closure periods would prohibit climbing and other forms of outdoor recreation during some of the finest times to enjoy Pennsylvania’s Game Lands. While the Access Fund supports the goal of the permit system to disseminate educational materials so that climbers can safely coexist with hunters and help conserve the environment, a blanket closure during hunting seasons is unwarranted and unduly restricts a large group of PA Game Lands’ stakeholders. Across the country, there are many excellent examples of climbers, hikers, mountain bikers, paddlers, and equestrians coexisting with hunters during hunting seasons. And the free permit system also is an opportunity to incorporate secondary uses into Game Lands’ management decisions, and educate secondary users in a way that will preclude the need for closure periods.

We need your help to make climbers voices heard by Monday, January 26! The public is being asked to comment on the proposal, and you can submit your thoughts on this closure to the Pennsylvania Game Commission using our letter writing tool below. We have provided the following bullet points to guide your thoughts. In addition to personalizing the bullet points, tell the commission who you are, where you live, and why the game lands are an important resource. Finally, thank them for considering your comments.

  • I am supportive of the proposed free permits for Game Lands if they are accessible and easily obtainable by secondary users, and used by the commission to inform management decisions and educate secondary users on safely coexisting with hunters and trappers and protecting natural resources.
  • I do not support the extensive closure periods that are proposed for secondary users during hunting seasons. There are many excellent examples from across the country of state and federal game lands being successfully managed for multiple uses during hunting season.
  • Properly administered, a free permit system should effectively educate secondary users about safety and responsible use of game lands during hunting seasons, eliminating the need for a closure.
  • There are exceptional climbing resources on PA Game Lands, and rock climbers are important PA Game Lands stakeholders and provide economic benefits to local communities.
  • Rock climbers nationwide have proven to be responsible stewards of public lands, state and federal game lands, and are able to coexist with hunters.

Email BY end of Saturday to

Denise Strempzek on Ms. Shagwell at Haycock.  Photo by Char Fetterolf.

Denise Strempzek on Ms. Shagwell at Haycock.  Photo by Char Fetterolf.

V16 in Bishop

According to, Daniel Woods has completed a super project (or mega project) on the south face of the Grand Pa Peabody boulder in the Buttermilks in Bishop.  Woods has not given it a grade yet but it is suspected to be V16.  With this send and the finale of Caldwall and Jorgeson's work on the Dawn Wall, California has been the center of the climbing world lately.  Question is, could there ever be a V16 (or even a V15) in the Northeast?  Currently, we have three V14s.  Weigh in our message board by clicking here.