Friday, September 4, 2009

Colonel Flagg

When I was a kid, M.A.S.H. was the biggest thing on television. My dad watched it faithfully. One of the characters, Colonel Sam Flagg, was a strange and mentally imbalanced intelligence officer who would frequently appear out of nowhere and then disappear in an equally mysterious manner. He was like the wind - no one saw him come, no one saw him go.

I have a friend who has been traveling the globe rather extensively in the last few years and he showed up unexpected in my office the other day. I was unjamming the printer, back to the door, and I turned around and there he was. Just like Colonel Flagg. Scared the hell out of me. After my heart rate dropped, the kid in me kicked in. I bailed on work and we clipped bolts and pulled cobbles in our old stomping grounds – Maple Canyon.

We've both put on 10 years and twice as many pounds since the last time we were really "active" climbers. It makes me a little sad to think of how it used to be. Man, we were on fire. Now we are "old guys" surrounded by a generation of scrawny, super-fit teen uber-climbers with attention deficit. They belay with one hand, text with the other, and send 5.13 like it's casual jogging. My friend, who was always stronger, bolder and more cut that me (and still is) is now past 30 with a wife, kids and a career. And it shows. I guess we really are twice the men we used to be. The consolation is that we were pulling hard when the current gen was still in pampers and they are earning bragging rights on routes we bolted and established 15 years ago. It's STILL cool to be first, isn't it?

The important thing is, that as short lived as the afternoon was I had a ball. And if climbing days and coolness come as Coloner Flagg then I'll embrace this new oldness and ride the wind. And turn off the cell phone.

Wild Child

My friends kids are part of Wild Child – a local gig that teaches kids the ins and outs of being a "rock" musician. I was a band geek and never did anything as cool as play the electric guitar or sing, but I can appreciate the amount of work and dedication it takes to pull off a good musical performance.

I was proud of them. They must have performed in front of 3,000 people - a scary thing when your that young. My hat is off to them.

Hell, when I was their age I was Rockin the Casbah. How lame is that?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Photo Shoot Colorado Style

I've been dying to post these pictures. I had to wait until this months issue of Rock and Ice magazine came out, though, because some of them are printed there.

This was an awesome 4-day shooting spree and I got some good plugging out of it.

Anywho, here are a few images from Colorado.


In June I took part in a 4 day photo camp at Rock and Ice magazine headquarters in Carbondale, Colorado. The two instructors were Keith Ladzinski and David Clifford. It was a fantastic camp and I cant begin to tell you here the amazing things I gained from it.

Keith Ladzinski writes a monthly column for Rock and Ice called Keiths Corner. He selects interested personalities from the climbing community and features them in a one page column. The column is highlighted with one of Keiths fantastic images - in which he captures the essence of the person and their "story". He is the master of it.

On day three of the camp we set up a photo shoot in Redstone at the Chris Goplerud residence. Chris "G-Money" is an accomplished climber and highly respected photographer. He's also a professional Jazz drummer and has played with the best. The. Best. All over the world.

The shoot we set up was the actual Keiths Corner shoot and the image that Keith took on that day appears in this months issue of Rock and Ice Magazine.

During the session, each of us took turns with the lights and shoot Chris with our own creative expression. It was the most amazing 3 hours of creative energy I have ever experienced. Chris entertained us on the drums, banging away for 3 solid hours, never playing the same cadence twice. Keith and Dave coached us and memory cards were filled to capacity.

Enclosed are a few of the images I took during the session...