Pick up any publication pertaining to the sport of rock climbing, and chances are, you will see a smattering of descriptive chronicles highlighting the travels and adventures of the prolific scribe Abbey Smith. A climber and writer for over 10 years, Abbey travels extensively, financing her jet set lifestyle though her writing, allowing her more opportunities to pursue her love of adventure. Abbey has reported on a myriad of topics. From the exclusive hobby of vintage motor racing, to sassy, healthy-savvy posts on BeThree.com, to being on the editorial staff of the independent green publication elephant journal, a quarterly magazine devoted to living the "mindful life" through conscious consumerism, sustainability, eco-fashion and non new-aged spirituality.
Abbey's energy for writing is ravenous. When she speaks of it, her article ideas roll out of mouth in constant barrage without commas, periods, or other punctuation, but when placed in front of a computer, the word stream subsides into descriptive prose reminiscent of Joanne Harris. Dead Point Magazine is privileged to have her as a contributing blogger.
I've now been living the rural, domestic, midwestern life in Southern Illinois (De Soto to be exact) for the last month. My days consist of waking up at 7 am to dark roast french press coffee and working at my laptop until I'm drained of creativity and can no longer sit on the hard wooden chair staring at text on my glowing screen. With only four decent restaurants 20 minutes or more away, I've been forced to tap into my domestic side--brewing coffee, baking cornbread, cooking Asian food and walking the dog. Dave and Jamie Chancellor, the newly weds, have become my new roommates and their house across from JB's strip club, my mobile workstation and onsite climbing gym. The temporary homestead is situated 30 minutes to 1.5 hours from mind blowing amounts of premier sandstone bouldering nestled in the wild backwoods. The rumors were true--the sandstone is some of the best around. However, this fall has been warmer than usual, the chigger infested woods were drenched in poison ivy and the slopey features felt slimy. I hear you stick like velcro on crisp 45 degree days. When the conditions were too hot and humid, the next best way to spend sunday brunch is at Blue Sky winery sippin' on sangria.
To prepare for the cold weather, I've been climbing outside as much as possible to master the sandstone style and training inside to stay in shape. It's easy to stay fit in Boulder with all the hiking and other exercize-a-holics, but being on the road often leads to junk food diets and a recession in my exercise regime. Even though climbing outside is my primary focus, weather, motivation and work schedules sometimes interfere. For me, I've always found climbing to be the best training for climbing and prefer power-packed evening gym sessions multiple days per week and following an afternoon outside over pumping iron. Consistent push-ups and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ij2dVBOd8Wk) ">circus abs routine adds to general fitness, stability and core tension. All it takes is http://web.mac.com/tadiohead/3015/3015_Sessions/3015_Sessions.html)">good tunes and motivating energy.
In order to stay on the road, detached from conventional 9-5 job strains, to chase good climbing and write about it, I've pulled together my mobile assault kit. Everything fits in one bag, and I can escape in a moments notice. Compact, wireless, Mac-operated. This is all I need to get job done.
With only a week remaining, the temps have finally dropped, and the seemingly impossible holds and archaic movement are beginning click in perfect synchronicity. The training has paid off, my finger is getting stronger (although still crooked), and my motivation is high. Three lines in three different areas have caught my eye--Trillium, Guns & Roses and Zig Zag. The struggle: strategizing which project to try with minimal rest. Each problem taps into a different power source. Trillium--relentless squeezing up a blunt arete with a crimpy top out that's no joke. Guns & Roses--20+ foot face with big, powerful crimp moves and technical feet. Zig Zag--combination of all sandstone styles: sharp iron pinches to shallow sandstone gastons to a slippery, slopey rail. I know what to do--all three could go down. It's time to get serious. On shot, one kill!