It’s Time!!

Well folks, it’s time to get this show on the road!  See the information below to ensure the best possible experience at Homoclimbtastic 2013!  I advise you to print this for easy reference.

its time

start your engines, ’cause here we go!

ITINERARY

WEDNESDAY

8AM – 8PM      Check-In with Chris at Cantrell’s in Fayetteville

Go climb if you arrive early

Dinner OYO – Support Local Business!

Campsite Mix & Mingle

THURSDAY

8AM                 Breakfast at Cantrell’s

8:45AM            Welcome and Morning Announcements

9AM – 6PM      Climbing

8PM                 Pies and Pints Pizza Night

FRIDAY

8AM                 Breakfast at Cantrell’s

8:45AM            Morning Announcements and Ice-Breakers

9AM – 6PM      Climbing

9AM – 1PM      Whitewater Rafting

7PM                 Dinner OYO or at Cantrell’s Pub

8PM                 Homoclimbtastic Documentary Screening: Climbing With Pride

                        Campsite Games and Comedy Show

SATURDAY

8AM                 Breakfast at Cantrell’s

8:45AM            Morning Announcements

9AM – 6PM      Climbing at Summersville

7PM                 Dinner OYO – Support Local Business!

8PM                 Presentation by Lisa Hummel for American Alpine Club

HC/AAC/NRAC Auction with Hostess, Porsche Ferrari

Dance Party all night at the Bar

SUNDAY

9AM               Picnic Brunch at City Hall: Downtown Fayetteville

Announcements and Group Photo

12PM              Climbing

Campsite Night

MONDAY

10AM               Pack and Depart

pretty

time to climb

NOTES

Checking in with Chris upon your arrival is important.  Please do not neglect this.

Times listed on this itinerary are tentative, but please make every effort to be ON TIME to the evening events: Pies and Pints, documentary screening, and the auction.  Direct from the crag or showered and clean, nobody cares one way or another.  Just show up.

Morning announcements can save you lots of headache.  Show up on time and listen closely.  This is where we will, more-or-less, determine what groups are going to what crags for the day.

Breakfast is provided by Nancy at Cantrell’s for $9 daily.

Saturday’s climbing destination is Summersville for fun group time.  Every other climbing destination is yours to pick.  Find a group going somewhere fun and hit the trails.

Whitewater rafting is $70.  Actual departure and return time may vary from this itinerary.

Cantrell’s and Homoclimbtastic now take PLASTIC!  That means you can bring your credit/debit card to pay for various sundries at the campsite and at the big auction.  Three cheers!  Hooray!

Support local business while you’re visiting Fayetteville.  This town does a lot for us, so let’s do our part to make that support reciprocal.

Pay what you owe.  Do not assume that things are free.  Camping, lodging, food and rafting are the major expenses you should expect during the trip.  You’ll want to bring extra for auction items!

Get to know, and exchange telephone numbers with the person driving you to and from the crag.  Carpools might take a piece of advice and STICK TOGETHER so nobody gets left behind.  Confirm and re-confirm carpool changes.  Nobody wants to be left at the crag in the rain all night with no food or water.  That would suck.

It might rain.  Plan accordingly.  There are climbing areas that are always dry and areas that dry quickly… do some research or pay attention at morning announcements.

Homoclimbtastic leaders are NOT climbing instructors.  Know what you’re doing or be sure you’re hanging out with someone who does.

Introduce yourself to new people!  There are over 150 registered climbers for this year’s event; make new friends… these new friendships can be amazing!

BE SAFE!  Wear a helmet when climbing, check and double-check your gear, wear a PFD when rafting, don’t play with poisonous snakes on the approach, use protection between the sheets etc, etc… remember that we’re doing potentially dangerous activities, so use common sense.

Relax. Breathe. Enjoy.  The schedule might vary a little—sometimes a lot.  Climbing trips aren’t perfect.  Enjoy your vacation and leave the stress behind!

WHAT TO BRING

climbing gear
(hardware: ‘biners, draws, belay devices, etc; software: harness, rope, shoes, slings, etc; bring what you know you need and everything else just in case)

climbing helmet
(this one is mega important because there can be falling rocks at the new—stay safe)

rafting gear including good shoes for whitewater rafting… loose shoes and sandals get lost

campers need camping gear… be prepared for rain!

cabin people need linens or camp sleep gear

clothes
(contrary to popular belief, we do not always run around nekkid in the south… it may be encouraged in some situations, but it is not always appropriate)

rain gear

toiletry items
(the bathhouse is centrally located on campground property)

swimsuit

rafts and pool/lake floatation toys

essential items for Saturday's outing to Summersville. don't forget sunscreen!

essential items for Saturday’s gator ‘rasslin outing to Summersville Lake. don’t forget your sunscreen!

picnic supplies (blankets, quilts, baskets, pillows, etc) for our sunday picnic brunch: think “mini pride picnic brunch in the park”…really try to go all out for this

picnic!

picnic time

money for: lodging, food, auction, rafting, shopping at waterstone, groceries

friendly donations to homoclimbtastic are generously accepted

items for talent/comedy show

camera!

anything and everything else you can possibly think of

Looking forward to a great trip!  Safe travels, everybody… see you there!!

Registration now OPEN for 2013 Convention

It’s that time again, folks… time to register for the 2013 Homoclimbtastic Convention!

Mark your calendars for July 17 through July 21 to take a trip to Fayetteville, West Virginia to join the world’s largest group of LGBT rock climbers as we descend upon one of the best sport climbing areas in the nation.

How to Register:

Click here to fill out the registration form.  Fill it out entirely, otherwise it will take you back to answer questions you forgot.  That’s no fun, so knock it out.  When you see the confirmation page, you’re done!  If you are unsure about whether or not you can attend, fill out the form anyway and let us know later what your decision is.

How to Reserve Your Accommodations:

If you’re camping, let us know on the registration form… that is what reserves your spot.  Camping is paid for in cash at Cantrell’s when you arrive.  If you’re a pretty pretty princess like me and want to stay in a cabin with a shower and air conditioning, send me an email and let me know that you’re interested.  I’ll email you back with some info about the cabin reservations.  Cabin reservations are FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED, but I can only take cabin reservations from those who have registered. Note: there IS a bathhouse for campers, it’s not entirely wilderness camping.

About the Accommodations:

Tent camping is $9 per night (cash).  Cabins run from $70 to $210 per night (don’t scoff, you have to split it up, folks).  Cabins have a roof, AC, and fewer bugs.  There are some bungalows, some Deluxe Amish Cabins, the Country Cabin, and the Barn Loft-style Cabin.

Please remember to note: our accommodations site is CASH or CHECK ONLY.  We will not be able to use plastic (the kind you pay for things with, anyway) in any way, shape, form, or fashion.  You’ll have to go into town to use an ATM if you forget your checkbook.

Squeeeeeeal like a pig

Occasionally we will get emails from anxious yankees who are terrified of rain, Southerners, humidity, and Deliverance. We can’t promise that you won’t hear the faint pang of a banjo string, but we can definitely offer you a refreshing lake to cool off in that’s about ten feet from the climbing, food so good it’s escandalo, the hijinks of the Homoclimbtastic leaders and members, aaaaaaand world class sport routes (with plenty of trad routes to keep those with high ankled shoes occupied). It’s the South, y’all!

After You Register:

Hang tight and look for a confirmation email from me.  If you haven’t heard from me in a week or two, shoot me an email.

Stay In Touch:

Contact me if you have questions, I’ll be glad to help you out! Email me at chris@homoclimbtastic.com.  Follow us on Twitter @homoclimbtastic and @chrisavret. Like us on Facebook.

Get pumped, start training, and get ready for the best LGBT climbing event you’ve ever seen!

Taking over a whole town ain't easy, but if anybody can do it, we can!

Taking over a whole town ain’t easy, but if anybody can do it, we can!

See you at the New!

Get Your Calendar Ready for Homoclimbtastic!

There is something that you need to know.

Queer climbers will be invading the New River Gorge in West Virginia again this summer…

…and it’s going… to be… AMAZING!!!!

boss approved time off for homoclimbtastic convention.  fuck yeah.

got time off work for the homoclimbtastic convention. fuck yeah.

SOOOOO… SAVE THE DATE!!  JULY 17-21, 2013

Write it on your calendar. In pen… and pink highlighter.  Write yourself a bunch of post-it notes. In sharpie.  Clear the time off with your boss.  Talk to your local queer climbing group about carpooling and/or flight options (it’s never too early).  Start saving up cash for the AAC climbing swag auction hosted by the fabulous Porsche Ferrari.  Start your training regimen.  Get ready… cause it’s going to be a blast!!

Check back soon for the registration form and all the other really important details that you’ll need to know.  It’s good stuff.

Everything I Know About Gender Identity Disorder, I Learned On A Climbing Blog

No, you won’t.  But you could maybe start here.  Also, I apologize that this isn’t the funniest post in the history of HC…I’m a little hesitant to put to much cock and irreverence in this post ’cause, let’s be honest, there are some things that are serious.  And you can get cock anywhere, you whore.

Fair warning:  I am not, nor do I claim to represent, the transsexual climbing community. I climb with a couple of gender variant people and I’ve been lucky enough to learn a lot about these issues from them.  I think it’s incredibly important for the HC community to be educated about this stuff because of who we are, and the diverse community we’re trying to create.  (side-note…despite what you may see in pictures, we’re not all plain-Jane gay boys…we just have a couple of queens who always jump in front of whatever under-represented minority we’re trying to get pictures of in order to prove that they really do come on our trips.)

Some additional (unimportant) history:  When I came out of the closet, my mother told me “I get the gay thing, but don’t you show up at my house in a dress.”  I realized at that point that, as hard as it is to be gay, it’s got to be infinitely harder to be transgender.  I’ve known for years that I wasn’t built with the courage it takes to live the life of some of my transgender friends, but I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have them…friends who’ve exercised what can only be described as a massive ass-load of patience in helping to educate me (and continue to do so) not only on how they want to be treated, but how I can best serve as an ally.

OK, that’s done…let’s talk.

Did you know that people who do not identify as the gender with which they were born are considered mentally ill by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association?  Google it…it’s called “Gender Identity Disorder.”  Isn’t that cute?  Gender identity is a disorder…so I guess we’re going with the whole “God don’t make no mistakes” thing here?  The APA, you may remember, is the same group who voted to delete homosexuality from the DSM in the late 70’s, thus clearing the way for…well, for a lot.  Our opponents had a wonderful time denying all manner of civil liberties to a group of gay people who were considered mentally ill, and now the same groups are having a field day doing the exact same thing to our transgender friends.

So the answer is obvious…we have to petition to have Gender Identify Disorder removed from the DSM RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!!  Shit…hang on a second…

Removing the diagnosis from the DSM means insurance companies can stop covering gender reassignment procedures.  Do you have ANY fucking idea what it costs to transition from male to female?  Average is about $20,000.  Up-front.  That’s right, those surgeons aren’t fucking around, they want their money in advance.

So let’s petition to keep Gender Identity Disorder in the DSM RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!! Shit…wait…

People with the diagnosis still need civil liberties, which are pretty fucking hard to come by when you’ve been labeled a mentally ill man or woman (never mind your true gender, dear, we’re going to further denigrate a key part of your life experience by continuing to refer to you by the gender with which you were born.)

So what’s the answer?  Fuck if I know.  The odds are against the APA to removing GID from the DSM all-together, but there seems to be some momentum building to reform the diagnosis to lessen the stigma while simultaneously increasing the access to treatment options.  One of the leading proponents of this change has been Kelley Winters.  You can read more here, if you’re so inclined.

Wow…you’re still here?  Well, I guess you’ve earned this:

Yeah, that's Rowland. Spank away, my friends. Spank away.

Women in HC

Do the Job He Left Behind WW2 poster

...drill baby drill!

In the beginning, Homo Climbtastic was 100% male–that was because the first trip was me and four other guys, including current dictators C-Pow and Chavez, tromping through the West Virginia woods.  Later, and we had perhaps the most success at our last New River Gorge convention, women turned out and turned it up.  Still, their numbers haven’t reached the volume of men present.

Where there’s more men, they bring more men friends, and the scales dip in one direction through inertia alone, so we actively recruit women in our advertising to keep the ratios from going completely out of whack.  I do this partly out of self-interest; a sausage fest sounds nice on paper, but it really just makes for a boring party, and I know my queer women friends feel similarly about clam cook-offs, so we’re in this BBQ pit together, friends.

But at the end of the day, (and this is becoming more true as the group grows larger) the inclusiveness of what we say in our advertising can’t overcome the major barrier–women in the field advertising.  The guys, since inception, have been excited to play whack-a-mole with every gay dating web site internet forum, posting press releases about the trips to bring in anybody who knows how to give a soft catch.  Sometimes I run across things posted by guys I’ve never heard of encouraging people to meet them there.

Thus, I am sounding the call to arms: we are getting more women involved, and we’re doing it now.  Which means you.  Assuming you either have a vagina or are making progress toward acquiring one, I, Alex Rowland, spiritual leader of Homo Climbtastic, am vesting you with diplomatic authority to post our press releases far across the internet, or, better, write or tailor your own.

Victory waits on your fingers WW2 poster

Gurl, get on OK Cupid and tell everybody to come climb with you!

You’ll have to caution them with the requirements of joining, which are posted at http://homoclimbtastic.com/join/ but that’s pretty much it.  The great thing about posting everywhere is that it gives you a reason to meet people, awesome rock climbers nearby perhaps, who you wouldn’t have met otherwise.  Direct them to join the Facebook group or to sign up for our July 14-18, 2011 convention at the New River Gorge in West Virginia.

I can assure you, we (HC men and women both) are actively working in various other ways to keep this from turning into some lame gym bunny circuit party with sports on the side and a poster that looks like it belongs under a car windshield wiper.  But the war cannot be won on leadership alone!  You have to get out there, leave shyness behind, and proclaim, “Ladies, we’re gonna crash this HC convention like no queer climbing convention has ever been crasheded before!”

Women in the war we cant win without them WW2 poster

Your gender expression is up to you, but leave working explosives behind

There are other queer athletic institutions which are almost entirely male and which have no equivalent group for women, thereby leaving women in the lurch if they want to commune with other queer people–those trains left their stations without all the cars attached.  So now’s the time to get everyone on board, and we’re all determined to make it happen.  We just need you.  Get it, girl.

Member Profile: Tim Kettering

Aliases – Timster, Timmy, Vag

Carb of choice – Mac and Cheese

Representative icon – Tina Turner

World of Warcraft Character: Brutallia

Profile: I think what makes Tim interesting is that if you try to identify a distinguishing characteristic, you’ll come up short–is it the facial expressions, the camera whirr, the abs, the not speaking?  After reading the responses to my interview questions, and perhaps unique knowledge of the effort involved in obtaining the “Insane in the Membrane” achievement, I would analogize Tim’s body and mind to a car.  A car that had a radiator that could never fail, a fifth gear that did 250, and a transmission missing the 2nd through 4th gears. If he gets married to a hearing climber, I’ll have to read Shakespeare to find an appropriate method for jealousy provoked suicide.

Interview:

Why do you play Alliance?

I hopped on WoW on Day One.  The first day it was released.  Me, my friends and every other person on WoW that night had no clue what server was good.   Somehow we all settled on Garona and I rolled my first toon, a human warlock because one of my friends said there’s no fucking way he’s playing anything other than a night elf hunter.
To be fair, he’s still playing the hunter.  And I’ve since moved on to playing a (formerly draenei) death knight.  However, Brutallia has made the move to Horde-side Proudmoore.  Brutallia is going to be a lipstick lesbian blood elf death knight.

Introducing Brutallia, lipstick tank.

How many level 80’s?

Believe it or not.  Just one.

How do you deal with raiding’s frequent reliance on Ventrilo as a deaf person? Deaf guild? Translator?

I dont raid that much.  And the last guild I was in did require Vent, but they made an exception for me because I didnt suck as a player.  I know not to stand in the fire.  I know that when Onyxia deep-breaths, you bloody get to the sides and dont aggro the whelps.  (Actually I just pop AMS, but thats another thing…) I just need to know the fights in advance.   I’m really more into WoW for the social aspect than anything else.  I realize that many guilds carry on a guild chat over Vent rather than the guild chat room.  Not much i can do about that.  If a guild’s chat room is dead-er than Saloon on a wednesday night, then I’ll just go elsewhere.
After I friended you on Facebook, I had some deaf gay guys hit on me, and then blow me off as soon as they found out I was a hearing person. I was a little sad cause they were kinda hot. Comment.

Some deaf gays feel more comfortable dating other guys who are deaf.  Or they might have been overwhelmed by your deep intellect and sparkling personality.  I wouldn’t sweat it.  If they blew you off because you were hearing, then they wouldn’t have been good dating material.
The deaf people I’ve met are more reliant on vocalizing words than you are. The only benefit I can think of is that hearing people learn to sign, but I’m curious about your motivations… why no likey the deaf voice?

Some deaf people are better at talking than I am.  Some of them are less self-conscious about talking.  Some of them might not even care if you understand them.   I on the other hand don’t trust my own speech.  And if I try to talk, then it gives the other person the impression that I might be able to understand them talk.  Then they talk at a hundred miles a hour to me.  And lipreading is something i do even worse than talk.  So by taking that off the table, I ensure that communication (although as unwieldy it is) remains within avenues that have greater success such as gestures, using my iphone as a notepad, or just writing on paper.

What’s your safety word, or rather, safety sign?

Maybe it’s a sign of how vanilla I am, but i havent been in a situation where I’d need to have a safe word.  But if I ever were, ‘cupcake’ would be.  Definitely would be.   OH BABY JESUS MAMA CUPCAKE.
Most bizarre sex act in a porn you successfully jerked off to. 

Not for public consumption, sorry!

My greatest regret in Las Vegas was that instead of finagling a threesome with you I stayed up all night puking in a bathroom. Comment on how good it would have been so I can feel even worse about it.

As a general policy, I dont kiss and tell, but I think you can go to bed tonight knowing full well that quite possibly could have happened.  The shower definitely would have been big enough for three. [...] Curse those chocolate martinis!

Dom/sub, top/bottom? Give percentages.

Hmm, I cant really give a ratio.  It really depends more on the actual chemistry there.  Some guys — I just wanna go to town and top.  Certain others, I wouldn’t do anything but bottom.  Some.. we’re like, hey lets mix it up.
 

Curse those chocolate martinis!

Defend the 5.10’s and the Evolvs to the haters.


How can people possibly hate 5.10s? I mean, they build their heelbox big enough for Dolly Parton to squeeze her rack in.  That feeling of unshakable confidence you have with those 5.10s when draggin a heelhook with a inch of dead space rattling around is the only thing keeping you from doing a barn door swing off that tenuous crossover into a sketchy landing.  And Evolvs?  I dont know about you, but I think four climbs is a perfectly reasonable number before you burn a hole through the rand.  Its a tough economy out there and someone’s gotta keep the fine folk at Rubber Room in business.  I had no idea that people hated 5.10s and Evolvs.
Here’s my secret… Evolvs resoled with 5.10 rubber.
After five years of a philosophy I would loosely describe as “Hedonism”, I am growing a bit weary of it. But I definitely don’t want to go back to the philosophy before that, “Finding meaning.” So now I don’t know what to do. You’ve done the whole fuck everyone else’s world, I’m a gonna go climb in a cabin for months. Do all things become mundane, or is there a life available where the novelty never fades?
If 36 years on this little shit of a planet has taught me anything – just do what your heart tells you to do.  Look around and see the beauty of the world, its people and creations.  (Yeah I know I just called it a little shit of a planet – both opinions are equally true).  Living and climbing in Bishop is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done.  But so was traveling europe for three weeks.  Driving 11,000 miles over 3 months all the way from San Francsico to Key West and back.  Living, eating and romancing in cities on both sides of the coast.  Snarfing a pot cookie and staggering down Mission completely stoned outta my mind.  Getting that “Insane in the Membrane” title in WoW.  Taking my VW Passat up to one-oh-twenty-five on some texas back-road, cows by the road be damned.  Swimming in the lake in front of my grandparents cabin.  Fixing up a 40-year old motorcycle and bringing it back to life.  Enjoying a donut and coffee for breakfast.  But if i tried to do any of those things for too long, I’d get sick of it. I think its just like sex.. you gotta keep mixing it up.

The question you wish I would ask, along with your answer.

I wish you’d asked me what my take is on how LOST should have ended.
And then I would answer that the writers should come up with this brilliant idea where on the final epsiode of LOST, there’d be some sort of crazy event, or shit going down on the beach, perhaps at the very same spot where the show first started.  So you’d get all those members of LOST who have piled up over the seasons all together in the very same spot on the beach.  And then BAM! Clear outta the blue, another plane falls right out of the sky and smooshes every last one of the cast.
So now the network can kick off another season of LOST with a whole new (read.. cheaper) cast, the same sets, a ready-built rabid television audience and a whole new bag of mind-fucks.  Like, the new cast would be picking around the wreckage and finding gory body parts and going “dude… this person wasn’t on the plane with us.”  And that is HOW it should have ended.

Tim in front of the New River Gorge bridge at the 2010 HC convention.

[Tim has a photography web site at http://www.timkettering.com]

-Ra-ra, for HC

Rowland hath returned, with a big penis

Well, I suppose it’s still the same size it was before.

While I was away, I still had a lot of angry Andy Rooney type rants, immature sex jokes, and tropes built around a simulacratic identity convinced that everyone wants to sleep with me, but I just wasn’t in a position to share them.

And now I am, and I fully intend to bring our hit count back to the days before my absence.

(For some reason WordPress is not cooperating with my desire to display a hit count graph before and after my absence, but it’s very compelling.  Instead, a photo of me at Pride.)

Stay classy, Atlanta!

Armed with a big bottle of Depakote and two syringes of rectal valium, I’m ready to explode my creative juices all over homoclimbtastic.com yet again.  (Coming soon: a shocking–well, not really all that shocking–interview for our next Member Profile, with the one and only Tim Kettering.)

I close for now with a public service of sorts, a blurb from WebMD about what to do if a friend has a seizure.  As it turns out, few know what to do, because apparently somebody’s mom thought it was a good idea to put her thumb on her son’s tongue and she got bit and got rabies or something and had to take antibiotics for a week and so of course that meant she had to talk in extensive detail about the hell that was playing on her digestive system because he owes that to her for trying to keep him from choking on his tongue which he obviously wasn’t choking on.  Just saying.

What do I do if a friend has a seizure?

First, gently bring the person to the ground and put something under the head so he or she doesn’t hit the floor, French explains. Then turn the person over on the left side — a better position for easier breathing and improved circulation. Turn him or her head slightly down so saliva won’t go into the lungs — and absolutely do not put anything in the person’s mouth. The seizure should end in one or two minutes, maybe even less.

When the person regains consciousness, he or she will be confused, so stay with the person until he or she is back to the person’s normal self. It’s a good idea for those with epilepsy to wear a medical bracelet. If he or she has a seizure and no one is around, the bracelet will tell others what’s happening so they can respond appropriately.

Can a seizure be life-threatening?

Yes, but very rarely. “Status epilepticus is when a seizure lasts longer than a few minutes, which can lead to brain injury and even death,” says French. So, if a seizure hits the three-minute mark, call 911 immediately.

Looking at seizures in another way, they can be life-threatening, especially for children who are not well supervised in certain situations. For instance, never leave a child who has had a seizure alone in the bathtub, explains Olson.

If the person carries around a maximum strength syringe of rectal valium, if they’ve told you where it is, then they probably already told you how to use it.  The fact that they’re carrying it means that their seizures can last for a dangerously long time, which means the valium should be used immediately.  If the seizure doesn’t stop within five minutes eight to ten minutes, call an ambulance.  Lube it up, stick it in, count to three while you push the plunger down, count to three before you pull it out, and hold their cheeks together.  This is after you’ve turned them sideways.  Don’t take photos.  Unless they’re good ones.  And don’t seize on this opportunity to stick anything else up there.

Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better Project”

Some reposting from the Toronto group.

I’m sure you all know who Dan Savage is, so we won’t get into that. What you may or may not know is that a 15-year-old boy from Indiana recently hung himself after being intensely bullied (article here), being called “fag” and such. Dan Savage has started a YouTube Channel called the “It Gets Better Project” where he is reaching out to LGBT youth, letting them know that life gets better after high school. That, even though things are painful for them now, “nobody can touch you” after.

For me, I was lucky in high school. Yeah, I stood out, yeah, I was that guy also at an all-boys Catholic school, and yeah, there were comments about me. But it never really mattered. For some reason, I always knew that it would get better. Even by the tenth grade, I was hanging out downtown, hanging out with a very “diverse” group of friends, etc. I already knew that there was MORE out there.

But for those who are still in it. Dan Savage is right. It does get better. But don’t take my word for it, listen to Dan and his partner Terry.

http://www.youtube.com/v/7IcVyvg2Qlo?fs=1&hl=en_US

So all you queer climbers out there, you should know that HC will be collaborating on our own submission to the project. We’ll be getting video from across the continent from any queer or queer-friendly climber has something to say. Get in touch with your crew in your city, and let’s make this happen.

Trip Report: The Super Secret Place

todays trip report requires a bit of discretion.  the place we went to has what the climbing community coyly refers to as “access issues,” so there is an understanding among the people who climb there that we not discuss where it is, how to get there, and so on.  because there are a lot of routes, the benefit is that you can climb there on a sunday, get on a bunch of classics, and not see a single goddamn person.  but the main benefit of no crowds is not, as you might guess, the ability to get on popular routes without waiting.  no, the real benefit is that you can climb naked. as pictured here.

Yowza.

ok, so we didnt really climb naked, and this picture was taken purely for the blog.  which may have made heterosexual cohort zach uncomfortable, although i couldn’t truthfully tell him that our trips weren’t normally like this.

Heterosexual cohort Zach. I'm not sure why we didn't have any pictures of him shirtless at the crag, but maybe Matt didn't want to give him the impression that we were perving. Which we were.

although not naked, i did in reality spend the entire day in underwear, flip flops, sunglasses, and a helmet.  the south is hot y’all!

If you saw how far up that second bolt was, you'd have top roped that shit too

given that i cant publicly disclose even what state it’s in, me and laurie decided to refer to this climbing area in the open as as The Super Secret Place.

Laurie, on the other hand, Just Says No to top roping. And says yes to sexy back.

even among the regulars, people dont know the name or the grade of 3/4 of the routes there. fortunately, we had the most recent revision of the bootleg topo for the area, which you too can obtain if you’re willing to forgo your sexual orientation for a few hours.  (Editor: Does it really take that long to fuck (redacted)?  Me:  Yes!  You only wish you could have.  And you can’t print that name here.)  suffice it to say, the dixie dyno’mos will stop at nothing to get a bootleg topo.  but dont ask us for it, because we think that’s a right of passage everyone should experience.  certainly better than whatever was involved in joining your fraternity, if only because we have the dignity to skip the cracker and admit that the paddling was enjoyable.

The downside of the area is the occasionally spartan bolting (better than no bolting) which demands creative stick clipping and sideways mammer-jammering.  So half the time we climbed anything we were tied into another rope and swinging around to clip the next route over.  Still, despite the heat, and the spiders, and the mammer jammering, the route quality is stellar and the grades challenging.  The latter probably explains why someone abandoned this pair of (Redacted) brand climbing shoes at the base.

Looking for a good home

Matt said, “Maybe you shouldn’t badmouth (Redacted) in case they decide to sponsor us?”

“If that happens, I’ll just delete all the references to (Redacted), and help them come up with a new ad campaign.  I can see it now.  (Redacted): Better than Montrails!”

“Maybe if they give us free shoes they’ll just spray paint their logo over a pair of good shoes like they did with (Redacted Redacted).”

Check out those guns

On the way home, we passed a sign next to a gas station that said “boiled peanuts”.

“STOP THE FUCKING CAR.”

The boiled peanuts sign was underneath a sign that said AMERICAN OWNED.

Thumbs up for the bottom sign, not the top one

The “American Owned” signage made me and Matt feel a little uncomfortable, because it’s the equivalent of “NOT FOREIGNER OWNED.”   In any event, one would assume that if you’re going to take particular pride in your American-ness, you would take particular pride in the pièce de résistance of southern cuisine, boiled peanuts.

NOT TRUE.  Those peanuts were hardly boiled, and if I was driving, I would have turned that car right around and chucked that styrofoam cup hard enough to blot out at least the second half of “American”.

Also, I demand to know what the hell the female equivalent of “Extenze” they were selling is supposed to do.

The male "extenze" makes your penis longer, so we can only presume that the female "extenze" makes your... uhhh... this seems like a discussion more appropriate for the comments section

with the trip just about over, i thought about my goal that morning, which was basically to find a place with bolts with no more than two hours of thorny bushwhacking, and to waypoint the shit out of everything on my GPS.  after we left, i was sad i didn’t have more time to get on harder routes, so it was kind of funny that we debated going to sandrock instead the morning of.  so, moral of that story, if your group is five or less, grab that motherfucking machete and move toward the abyss.

Grow, my pretties…

WHAT THE WHAT?! So after the amazing vibe of the summer trip, it was only natural to pay-it-forward. And really, you can’t stop a good thing, naaw what I’m saying?! Thus, we’re happy to announcing the growth of this amazing queer climbing network expand into 3 more cities and a clever new name for an established crew!

NEW NAME FOR L.A.: Top Out, Rock Bottom – LA LGBT Climbing
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=370721459316
Still managed by our beloved CJB, the city of Angels crew is gonna be acting devilish at Clark’s Canyon very soon.

NEW GROUP BOSTON: Redpoint: Boston LGBT Climbers

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=138626862835702

Lead by our very own Jon who has moved to Boston to be a smhart kid at some school/thing called Harvard. With Rumney 2 hours away, be sure to see a lot of adventures in New England. In fact, here is a link to a Rumney event coordinated with New York City’s CRUX.

NEW GROUP ORLANDO: R.O.C. – Real Orlando Climbers

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=135485833153735

Our little medic, Taylor, is leading the Disney State through epic adventures. Climbing manatees, oranges, and Key Lime pie, this group is sure gonna shake the waters everglades!

VANCOUVER: Vancouver Queer Rock Climbers

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=115716435146529

Giulio, our bambino carino, our queer connection to Squampton and the Chief is growing this group on Canada’s Pacific coast. This group is hot off the press so stay tuned.

Our plan is working…grow! Grow! GROW!