Rags to Riches

My life has taken a drastic turn here in 2013. For those of you who don’t know, I cut my road-trip short back in January to move to Bend, Oregon, and accept a job as Holds Technical Manager at Entre-Prises Climbing Walls. Long story short, I landed my dream job in one of the coolest towns in America, and will be managing a new climbing hold production line once we get it up in running. In the span of two weeks I went from living in my car eating canned black beans, to having a salary and the most responsibility I have ever had in my life. Weird!

As I transitioned back into the working world I decided it might be an appropriate time to put the blog to rest. Writing about travels makes sense, but writing about everyday life seemed to me a haughty declaration of self-importance. In the past few weeks however I have realized that many of my friends and family members back home are more interested in what I am doing now than the boulder problems or routes I obsessed with on the road – big surprise. So I have decided to revive the blog! For now, anyway.

After just three weeks in Bend, I was sent out to the little town of Alfred in upstate NY to install a climbing wall at Alfred State College. Entre-Prises was a bit short on man-power and my boss wanted me to see and learn the install process. It was a neat experience, but the cold weather, lack of entertainment and food options, and long working hours had me eager to get back to Bend, to settle in and continue building a community and home here. It feels so good to be back!


Awesome place to unload and store our equipment and hundreds of panels. Lame.


JJ killing it with the Gradall.






That doesn’t look quite right…

An unfortunate miscommunication between our designers and the shop was responsible for the cave extending 8-9 inches past the upper headwall it ties into. A few cuts with the grinder, some fiberglass, and a bucket of topcoat later and you would never guess anything had gone wrong!

There. Perfect.

‘Can we just cut off the extra?’  Yep. Perfect.


mmm… chemicals.







Job well done gentlemen.


Eat, sleep, work, and drink really weird beer. New York!

Parting Shot:

I have managed to get out to Smith a hand full of times thus far, and have fallen in love with it! The old-school and technical style suits me well, although I am sure it will start feeling pretty gnarly once I get into the 5.13 range.  I haven’t accomplished much yet, but managed to make quick work of my first Smith 5.12, Heinous Cling. I am excited to settle into a routine and start feeling stronger on a rope again. There are so many incredible lines to try! Getting out there on the weekends hardly feels like enough! Love it.


‘Heinous Cling’ – 5.12a (First Anchors)
PHOTO: Caitlin Richmond


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3 Responses to Rags to Riches

  1. Congrats on the awesome job Steven! Bend is great; sounds like you got lucky man!!!

  2. Ian T. says:

    YES! Canned black beans. Stay true stay true stay true.

    Also this is awesome man. Glad you ended up somewhere so cool, especially someplace that is only a roadtrip away.

  3. caseface says:

    So happy for you.

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