Rock Climbing in Southern Illinois – Jackson Falls

April 27, 2012

True Adventures trip to Southern Illinois last weekend.  Eight people’s worth of fun and awesomeness. Miranda led the trip and did a fabulous job as always.  It’s maybe six hours south of Chicago, and totally worth the drive.  Hundreds of sport climbs and trad climbs.  All in a gorgeous canyon, terrific hiking, a pretty waterfall, and free camping.  Which is very cool.  Make sure you bring your own water for camping as there isn’t any there, aside from the little creek if you’d like to filter your own.  They’ve recently put up some more signs to make it much easier to find the camping.  Climbs range from 5.6 to 5.13.  So happy.  Such a great, relaxing, excellent climbing spot and place to experience nature.  Have any questions about where are the best spots to climb?  Feel free to email me.  I can give some pointers on how to get into the canyon and where to go once you’re in.


Joe rocks his first lead, a 5.9 no less. Near Munchkin.


Why'd I skip the first bolt I wonder? Or did it come unclipped...


The westy performs flawlessly, what a machine.



Red River Gorge

November 3, 2007

Climbed again today – and ouch.  Got on Eye of the Needle at Funk Rock City, an 11b I believe.  My body is not in shape or not built for so many days of climbing in a row.  My elbow tendons got really bad today, causing me pain for probably 30 minutes after the climb.  Ouch!  Tried ‘Hardcore Jollies’ but backed off, pain.  Looked at ‘Prime Directive’, what a gorgeous line that is, big pointed overhanging arete with a very heady move near the top with a giant potential fall out into space.  Very cool.  My friend Peter gave “Oragnge Juice” (12c) a solid shot but no success, it’ll be there next year.  My climbing interest doesn’t take me a full week, I don’t totally lose interest, but 2 or 3 days is enough for me.  I like too many varied activities.  If we could throw in hiking, mountaineering, mountain biking, or something that’d break things up.  So many people love love climbing, and I’ve met some great folks at the crags and at Miguels, plus the five guys I’m with.  It’s been a very cool experience climbing for 7 days straight, and I’m glad I did it.  Doubt I will do it again however, or at least I will be in far better shape before I show up.  I sure would have loved to put up another 12, a good friend of mine Dustin got his first 12 yesterday, ‘Wild, Yet Tasty’, and he got it in an smooth controlled way, was great to watch him.  It was fun as he was there for my first (and only) 5.12 send of my favorite ‘Velvet Green’.

Sailing Adventure Story, Map Room Chicago, 5.12 Whipper

August 8, 2007

So I’ve written a few stories.  Check out

I’ve also written some other stories, I’ll throw those up a few at a time.

I need to get a trip planned – a bunch of buddies are going to Argentina next week to ski – I’m just not in the mood to ski in the summer – it sounds sort of cool… but not really.  I’m in beach and sail mode.  Plenty of time to ski this winter.

Taught climbing at the gym Monday – no takers!  Zero customers, oh well – I need to bang out another twelve to be a slightly more legit twelve climber – however I’m in shape to climb like 10a right now, maybe this fall I’ll take some trips and work on it.  Southern Illinois – Cranial Implosion is on my list, soft 12 some say, I’d still like to get it.  Velvet Green was my first and only 5.12 to date.  What a beautiful climb – two heel hooks and a single finger pocket going to the fourth clip.  Got it after probably twenty goes over a period of 9 months I’d say.  Took one particularly nasty fall where I caught the rope, flipped, and slammed into the wall – ow.  Nothing broken and no blood, was bruised for a week.  My belayer girl, Kristen, was a little rusty – at the one-finger crux I said “watch me” – which she interpreted as “keep me tight” – thus yanking the rope in tight when I was extremely precariously balanced, 40 feet off the deck.  The slightest pressure would have pulled me off, she essentially yanked me off and down I went.  Should not have had my foot over the rope either, got a nice rope burn along my leg, yowch.

Last night I went into a bar for the birthday party of my best bud from college, Dave.   I had biked down to the lake and gone swimming in Lake Michigan, and had left my ID in my swimsuit.  The bouncer was adamant about not letting me in (I’m 37) which is fairly ridiculous and then treated me like a criminal, making me stand outside and not letting me tell my bud.  It used to be one of my favorite bars, the Map Room here in Chicago.  The guy was such a jerk on a power trip and really got me angry – I get mad so rarely, it takes a special person and this guy pulled it off.  Anyways, on account of that the party left the bar and moved on to another place – pretty cool of everybody.  My fault for not having an ID but it could have been handled far, far better.  I doubt I’ll ever go back unfortunately.

Wednesday sailing beer can races called off tonight… what to do with the evening…