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!

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

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JJ killing it with the Gradall.

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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.

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mmm… chemicals.

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retrofit

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Job well done gentlemen.

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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.

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‘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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