Something To Keep In Mind

Something To Keep In Mind

Last summer while I was wandering around the boulders in RMNP’s Lower Chaos Canyon I stumbled across an odd scene:  there was a really strong looking guy getting very close to sending Freaks Of The Industry (V13).  It wasn’t odd that someone was close to doing the problem (it had seen many repeats at that point), the odd thing was that I had no clue who the guy was.  As a connoisseur of all things related to climbing (on the internet), I figured I would recognize just about anyone able to climb a problem that hard.

You see, the internet age and the rise of sites like 8a.nu has led to an increased sense among many people, myself included, that if someone isn’t online spraying about reporting their climbs then they must not exist.  While most noteworthy hard sends find their way online at some point, I think it’s important to remember that there is always more going on out there than we think.  Talking about climbing on the internet is fun, but it’s not everything to everybody.

So, who was this mystery man looking strong on Freaks last summer?  Well, it turned out that it was none other than Phil Schaal.  A relative unknown last year, Schaal has had a pretty good past 12 months with sends of over a dozen V13s (including the 2nd ascent of Dave Graham’s Book Of Bitter Aspects) and an impressive send of Jade (V15).  As an added bonus for us online stalkers climbing aficionados he also started a blog.

Phil Schaal sending Ode To The Modern Man (V14) at Mt. Evans, CO

Phil Schaal sending Ode To The Modern Man (V14) at Mt. Evans, CO

Photo:  Phil Schaal Blogsite

Continuing his strong form, Schaal recently ticked a couple more Colorado high country testpieces off his to-do list with sends of Top Notch (V13) at RMNP and Ode To The Modern Man (V14) at Mt. Evans.  He also did the FA of I Comb My Hair Like God (V11), a cool looking roof problem in RMNP.

For more Phil Schaal, check out a video of him doing Top Notch and ICMHLG on DPM right here.

Posted In: Bouldering, From The Narc, News
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13 Responses to Something To Keep In Mind

  1. Michael September 30, 2009 at 6:30 am #

    Probably an important thing to keep in mind in Norway i guess. Nice article!

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  2. tissue September 30, 2009 at 8:56 am #

    if a tree falls in the woods….

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    • Michael September 30, 2009 at 9:34 am #

      it still falls…

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  3. kytoe September 30, 2009 at 5:30 pm #

    is it a tree?

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  4. B3 September 30, 2009 at 9:46 pm #

    Big props to Phil for cleaning house this year and giving us some awesome videos. Employee of the year for Colorado, once again!!

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    • Narc October 1, 2009 at 10:23 am #

      BAWSE of the year??

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  5. Adrian September 30, 2009 at 11:17 pm #

    I imagine there are strong, silent crushers of stone out there all over the place. Some climbers are simply happier remaining under the radar, i.e. your James Litz reference. I also know a few normal guys in their 20’s and 30’s who hold down full time jobs/families/etc. and still manage to destroy double digit boulder problems.

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  6. Ike October 1, 2009 at 12:07 am #

    There are more people out there like that than any of us can fathom.

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    • tissue October 1, 2009 at 9:07 am #

      speak yourself dude. i’ve got a top notch fathoming machine running 24 hours a day in my “imagination lab” coming up with all sorts of speculative speculationisms.

      it says <1000. totally fathomable.

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  7. arcane October 1, 2009 at 2:22 am #

    hi Narc

    Regarding: The Book of Bitter Aspects:

    Is there any particular reason why you choose to report it as V13?

    Phil’s video says 8B+ and Dave has it registered so as well (even if he comments ‘maybe 8b’).

    Speculating is OK, but I think we should respect the proposed grades, or otherwise be explicit in our skepticism.

    That said, I enjoy your blog, and the straight forwardsness of your reporting style. Keep up the good work!

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    • Narc October 1, 2009 at 6:10 am #

      It seems like in the time that has passed since Phil’s 2nd ascent that V13 is becoming the more accepted grade. For example, Max Z registered it as V13 when he did the 3rd.

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  8. Maxim October 1, 2009 at 10:21 am #

    The Book is basically two V6/7 set up moves into one hard move, into a V8 finish. Since its probably not as hard as the Jade move which people think is a V13 move, its probably around V12. V7+V12+V8=V13 methinks.

    also, i can’t climb V14. also also, Phil is BEASTMASTER.

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  9. arcane October 1, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    OK. Thanks for clearing that up.

    I was unaware of a 3rd ascent.

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