ALL CAPS | a first ascent story

The past couple of years I’ve done a lot of searching for and climbing on boulders that presumably haven’t been climbed on before. This is certainly the best I’ve done. But it all has me thinking a lot about the rules of the game we play, and what it all means. Do first ascents carry some inherent importance beyond just climbing something?
This video doesn’t have many answers for anyone but myself, but it may raise questions. I’d love to hear your thoughts.


That video is so butter!

You really whipped up a slice of nice verse pie on the voice over.

That boulder is so nasty it’s probably somewhat of a travesty if no one has climbed that before. Would have been cool if you hit on the first try but I’m glad you kept your battery charged to get it done.

In all seriousness, I always enjoy the musings about the more absurd aspects of climbing. I especially like the idea of thinking of the names as nicknames. Now if we can only get people to stop losing their minds if a name changes.

Anyway, ALL CAPS when you spell the man name


@Kris Have you read ‘The Boulder’ by Francis Sanzaro? A lot of the themes you discuss are similar to the stuff in the book.

Thank you for creating and adding thoughtful content to chew on.

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I haven’t. I’ll look into it!

@Kris this is pure poetry. Poetry of voice, of video, of movement. This video was inspiring, thought-provoking, cogent, and curiously provocative. The boulder is amazing. The line is superb. The name is neat (curious what brought it about). But the video on the whole… a masterpiece. Seriously. Ten minutes worth watching more than once. Not for the climbing (though that helps). Not for the poetry—also helps. Not for the videography and editing. No one of these parts alone makes this video the slice of genius pie I believe it to be. But the whole package (the shadow dancing, the overlays, the subtle, daunting musical beat underneath) is unadulterated magic. Thank you for posting this.

Also, I couldn’t agree more with @florianm

And particularly the way you said it’s how we refer to the ones we love, the ones who teach us, etc. I love that approach.


Thanks @spagel ! I had to find some way to express the complicated thoughts I was having, and it turned out to be relatively simple when I started making it a little more tangible.

Makes sense to me! You did a great job at articulating it and making it tangible in an artistic way!

I’m of the opinion that the way you managed to incorporate the MF DOOM mask was exceptionally tasteful. Even at the play-button, being a frequent podcast listener and knowing something of your music taste, I was curious to see if this was going to relate back to the song and I for one enjoyed the “reveal” (not that I’m suggesting it was a secret).


This video is really done, that boulder is beautiful and the message definitely resonates with me.

I really like the idea of thinking of names as nick names. I’ve been climbing a lot at small spot that has been climbed for a really long time but doesn’t necessarily have established climbs and lends itself well to link ups and eliminates. We name the stuff we do for our personal reference and because I find names to be inspirational, not because I think they’re “my” climbs or that anyone will ever use those names.

I am all for challenging and questioning the long held rules around FA’s. Especially when the climb or area never was really documented, someone discovers it and is really excited about it and then a bunch of the old locals come out of the wood work to say “Sorry bro, its been done. Don’t remember how it went it or how hard it was but I did it”

Also, after having listening to the podcast for awhile and hearing Kris repeatedly say he loves toe hooks, watching this my take away is certainly “Yep that guy loves toe hooks”

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