It’s finally here: a new Simply Adventure bouldering video, “Western Sandstone”

About 8 months ago, Niko and I made our first attempt at creating a climbing video. Armed with a homemade steady cam and as much patience as we could muster, we created this video about one of my all-time favorite boulder problems, Super Mario at Stone Fort in Tennessee. It wasn’t bad, but we quickly realized how much we had to learn about the process of putting together a quality video.

Fast-forward a bit, and Niko was determined to capture our experience climbing the stunning red rocks of the west. He lugged the tri-pod out to boulder fields, made me climb the same moves dozens of times to get the perfect shot, and slaved over the editing for weeks. We shot our favorite climbs at Joe’s Valley, Kraft Boulders in Red Rocks, and Moe’s Valley.

Note: Do yourself a favor, and watch this in HD at full-screen size to get the full effect! 

Without further adieu, enjoy:

For me, the best part of the video is the scene with me climbing Kill By Numbers. Not because I look pretty bad ass, but because of the story behind the climb. I had spent the better part of a week focusing on nothing but sending that rig. It tortured me, haunted me, destroyed my hamstrings, and beat me into a pulp. One morning, after two days of rest, I returned to the boulder determined to send it. Niko sat poised ready to film, and on my ‘warm-up’ attempt, I told him he should just start getting footage since I never wanted to climb that line again after the send. And then I day-flashed it. (And it’s all on film!)

I hope you all enjoy the video, and can’t wait to get to work editing new stuff to share with y’all. Let me know your thoughts, what you’d like to see more of, what we can improve on, etc. Thanks for the continuous love and support!

Road Trip America – Hiking and Exploring in Arches National Park in Utah

We awoke in Moab to a dreary day that promised a lack of good climbs, and plenty of rain. Refusing to waste an entire day because of the weather, our road trip crew decided to check out the nearby Arches National Park for some wet hiking.

We passed through the park gates, thanks to my wonderful National Parks Pass (thanks Dad!), and drove up winding roads past the throngs of cheesy tourists in rented RVs and tour buses. Our ultimate destination was Devil’s Garden. The beginning of the hike saw heavy spurts of rain, and I almost ran back to the car to tuck my camera away – thankfully I decided to keep it, because the rain quickly ended and left us with a day of sunshine.

The day’s explorations taught me a lesson in exertion. The hiking wasn’t anything too grueling, but my knee pains flared up with a vengeance and left me hobbling all over the rocks while the boys pranced around like children. There were multiple times I had to lag behind while the crew scampered up skinny slabs and clamored all over towering boulders. Not to mention my resurfacing fear of heights.

I can’t believe I had never visited this National Park before. It easily ranks as one of my favorite park visits, and I can’t wait to return with the rest of the Boue clan. There were easy trails with solid paths, slightly more challenging areas that required mild rock scrambles, and then the “primitive trails” with difficult hiking. Naturally, the boys insisted that we veer of the nice path in favor of the sand, sloped trails. My knee was screaming in agony, but the photos I snagged of the arches were worth the pain.

The arches were surprisingly difficult to photograph. They’re simply too large, too impressive to capture in a single snapshot. I really had to get creative to get good angles, and often times the desert landscape blocked my views. I was ultimately pretty pleased with the final shots, and will leave you with a cute photo of a lizard who wore beautiful Moab-style patterns on his skin.

Arches National Park is a fantastic destination if you’re in the Moab, Utah area. We spent the entire day exploring Devil’s Garden, and that was only the tip of the park’s iceberg. I’d love to return one day to discover everything else that Arches has to offer. My only complaint is the tourists, but after spending time in Yosemite, I’ve learned that tourists are simply a part of life in National Parks. You’ve just got to learn how to tune them out.