Seeking Life After DeathFOUR YEARS AFTER Dean Potter made the first free ascent of the immaculately cleaved Epitaph (5.13) just outside Moab, Utah, Brian Kimball sacked up f...
FOUR YEARS AFTER Dean Potter made the first free ascent of the immaculately cleaved Epitaph (5.13+) just outside Moab, Utah, Brian Kimball sacked up for the second. Kimball, 29, of Westminster, Colorado, also became the first person to free all three pitches of the pumpy 420-foot route in one day, on December 16.
Kimball spent last summer season at Rifle, redpointing about 17 5.13s and two 5.14a’s, including a one-day ascent of Mr. T. A wet fall season sent Kimball, who works as a concert production rigger, to Indian Creek, an unlikely location for someone who hadn’t crack climbed in six years, and “had never, in my 20 years of climbing, fallen on trad gear.” Climbing with friends Steph Davis-Potter (who followed Epitaph all free) and Nathanial Walker, Kimball became comfortable with desert crack climbing, sending about five hard 5.12s, and even taking his first trad falls, on Black Corner (5.11b), and later on Ruby’s Café, “5.12c/d or 5.13a, depending on who you ask.”
On December 16, with Matt Lloyd, Kimball returned to redpoint all three pitches of Epitaph in one day.
“It had been so long, I wasn’t sure how it would go,” says Kimball. “But I managed to climb the so-called 5.13c/d pitch without much effort. For me, it feels more like 5.13b. People with big fingers might say it feels harder, but I think a good place to start a consensus on this route would be 5.13b.”
The first developers of Spearfish Canyon were sworn to secrecy. No one was to know that Spearfish Canyon, South Dakota, held a wealth of steep, beautiful, bomber lines—over 800 limestone routes, twice as many, for example, as in Rifle, Colorado, would eventually appear here.read more
As the car approached the top of the hill, it came into sight—a magnificent rock forest. Everything I had heard was true.read more
Stretching 3,000 miles from British Columbia to New Mexico, the Rocky Mountains are a geological wonder and a climber’s best friend. Here you’ll find every rock type imaginable, and in any size or style you may desire. Whatever your pleasure, the Rockies deliver.
What better place, then, to spend your summer? For this year’s Road Trip we ride the Rockies and sample some of the best they have to offer. Travel with us—the leg-work is already done. Just fill you chalk bag, gas the tank and hit the road.read more