After driving 2,500 miles in ~41 hours with quick stops through Lexington KY, Boulder and Carbondale CO to catch up with friends, I finally made it to Yosemite.  Over the last month I’ve been able to achieve all of my goals.  I was first able to free climb the full 1200ft line of Astroman 11c with Mike Rues who works at Yosemite National Park. Mike was VERY amped. Yelling and screaming with excitement at 6:30am as we hiked up to the climb. His energy continued all day as he was yelling "I'm LOVING THIS" as he wiggled his way up the 40 foot off-width of the Harding slot. Good times. We had to re-climb a few pitches by pulling the rope in order to do them free. Ultimately we climbed all 12 pitches without falling. 10 pitches of 5.10+. Good day.
 Mike leading the Endurance Corner
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My brother John made the trip from San Fran up to Tuolumne Meadows (above Yosemite Valley) to hangout with me for the weekend. We had a blast summiting the areas highest peak and many of the imposing granite domes.
 John midway up Cathedral Peak
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The main objective for my trip was to climb the 3,000ft tall El Capitan.  I wanted to climb it as “free” as possible, which meant using ropes and only my hands & feet to ascend it versus pulling on gear.  I was lucky enough to meet Jack Ziegler who was also motivated for this objective.  He goes into great detail about our trip on his blog, which you can read here. We free climbed about 2/3 of the Salathe route, which took us 3 days and 2 nights on the wall. It's been my dream to climb this wall since I was young so it's exciting to see it become a reality.
Me belaying Jack on the Salathe headwall
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I also put together a video which you can find here

After achieving my main objective, I honestly was ready to relax a bit.  Fortunately, John Roark asked me to attempt to climb the Nose of El Capitan in a day.  I laughed at idea at first. Neither of us had even attempted it before. Nonetheless, John's optimism persevered and we started at 4am on Thursday 6/28 and finished at ~2am Friday morning. It took us 21:48 hrs from ground to top and 24 hours car to car and was a great day of climbing on a classic route.
 I'm wearing the yellow shirt and about to do the KING SWING
After the SWING
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I was destroyed after climbing El Capitan twice in a week and was therefore excited to leave Yosemite for San Francisco to spend time with my brother John, Terry and my niece Sophy.  We had a grill marathon grilling chicken, pork, stuffed jalapenos and sausage rapped eggs coined pterodactyl eggs.
My short apartment hunting trip back to Winston-Salem over July 4 was successful and I'm now all set to enjoy my last 3 weeks with 1 more week in Yosemite and stops in CO as I make my return trip east to start work 8/6.  Let the road trip continue!  


After 2 years, I've graduated from Vanderbilt's MBA program.  I've completed the graduate education stage of my life and am excited to embark on my marketing career at Hanesbrands in August.  August you might say?  Yes, I negotiated time off to take one last prolonged vacation to where I'll be attempting to climb the 3,000 foot El Capitan in Yosemite.   

Climbing this iconic wall has been a goal of mine since I was young.  Therefore, I've decided to dedicate this summer to attempting to scale it.  I'm going to attempt to free climb it which DOESN'T mean that I won't use a rope.  Only that I'll be climbing light and fast.  I.E. NOT lugging up a portaledge.

I'll be climbing with one other person and trying to climb it solely using my hands and feet and therefore move quickly.  This will look like this.  

I'm very excited.  Stay tuned for photos and updates


Injured At Last

Rock climbing is such a balance between trying hard and staying health.  It seems everytime I start to improve I get injured.  In this pattern, I climbed really well on Thursday and subsequently pulled a tendon in my finger.  Here is a pic of me climbing in the sunshine at Little Rock City before the injury.

On a positive note I was able to hangout with some good friends the Laesers.  Luke, Mel, Layton and Kestrel live in Chattanooga and spending time with them always seems to put me in a good mood.

I'm now trying to refocus my energies on staying fit, crushing my classes this quarter and just enjoying life.


Holiday Season

Happy Holidays

I'm cheerful and feel fortunate as I have accepted a position at Hanesbrands in Winston Salem, NC where I'll be working on their marketing team.  This should serve as a good introduction to client side brand management and will locate me near my family in Asheville and a plethora of climbing and mountain biking areas along with a strong cycling community.  I'm scheduled to start work August 6, which means that I will have time to make a trip to Colorado this summer. 

A quick trip to Asheville for the Christmas will be followed to a trip to Hueco Tanks State Park outside of El Paso Texas.  This bizarre series of volcanic mountains rising out of the desert looks like another planet but hosts some of the best bouldering on this planet.
75% of the park is guided access only due to the sensitive desert habitat and largest collection of native american mask petroglyphs in the world.
We'll be mainly climbing on the North Mountain which hosts a selection of excellent rock climbs which should be paired with perfect 50 degree temperatures.  

I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday season.  


Winter and Walmart

Fall is finally here and its brought my second year at Vanderbilt.  It's amazing to experience how much one can grow during one year.  The pace of life and work load now seem easier and my stress level is easily half of what it was last year.

This is primarily due to a job offer from Hanesbrands in Winston Salem that I'm VERY excited about. Michael and I crushed it this summer working to determine if Hanes could drive growth by focusing on the US Hispanic market.  I identified a $108MM opportunity and pieced together a proposed strategy which offered three tiers of investment with suggestions spanning from packaging to product placement and a diverse communication plan.

Yet, I'm still looking at other opportunities.  I visited the National Black MBA Association conference in Atlanta where 200+ companies recruit MBA employees.  Here is a quick pic of the show floor. 

I interviewed with Walmart at this event and will actually be flying to Bentonville on Thursday 11/4 to interview.  As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of Wally World and its industry leading sustainability goals:

  • To be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy;
  • To create zero waste;
  • To sell products that sustain people and the environment.
I firmly believe that if all Americans were aware of their efforts many would consider returning and might just see the Walmart experience from a different perspective.  I'll provide more on my Walmart visit next week but I want to first share some images from Halloween weekend in Ashville Alabama .  This area is called Horsepens 40 and is certainly one of my favorite areas to climb in the nation.  This area values style and balance over brute strength. Enjoy the photos and look forward to getting the down low on Walmart headquarters.


Back in CO

Just finished my first year of Vanderbilt's MBA program.  I have 3-weeks off before I begin my internship at Hanesbrands.  There's no place I'd rather spend this time than CO.  I spent the weekend biking with my brother Taylor.  Here is a quick video of a boulder problem outside of Boulder that I recently did.



Chattanooga Weekend

My trip to Chattanooga on 3/19 to meet my Mom, Doc and Sonja provided a good reason to make a long anticipated visit to the Chattanooga Aquarium.  It lived up to the hype.  I really enjoyed the fact that they had an ocean exhibit along with one dedicated to fresh waters.

Yes that's a sea horse in full camo.

Sting Rays

Mom and a crab from the deep

Sonja and I decided to visit a classic climbing area on the way back to Nashville.  Foster Falls didn't disappoint and I'm excited to see 0% chance of precip and 60 degree temps in the forecast for next weekend.  Until then I'll be focusing my class schedule which is FULL of marketing classes while attempting to get fit for a summer of activities.
Sonja enjoying the water fall at Foster Falls