Last weekend we all got together on a rainy Portland Saturday for our third annual PDX Pulldown, and what a blast it was. The community gathered late in the morning and began to sign up for the competition. The crowd quickly grew, and so did the psyche. Once open climbing had started we quickly saw some of Portland's strongest climbers top some of our hardest routes, entertaining to say the least - a nod to what we would see in our Onsight Finals! But there wasn't only climbing to be had. With amazing sponsors from Mountain Hardware to The North Face there were plenty of tables for competitors and spectators alike to check out, and grab some swag.
By: Kimberly Adkins
It's that time of the year again!
The PDX Pulldown presented by Mountain Hardwear is our way of getting the community together, trying hard and having fun. Come climb the new routes, or just watch the competition on March 11th! With multiple categories, there really is something for everyone whether you are new or a veteran of the sport.
Every competitor gets a t-shirt and a raffle ticket for some awesome prizes! We'll also host an onsight finals series where we can watch our top competitors compete for a CASH purse! Local sponsors will be out, we'll have food and drink of course, onsight finals and so much more!
DAY OF SCHEDULE
- 11am: Registration begins
- 11:30am: Climbing begins for Open category
- 12pm: Climbing begins for Recreational and Advanced categories
- 4:30pm: Climbing ends for Open category
- 5pm: Climbing ends for Recreational and Advanced categories
- 5:15pm: Finals start
- Raffle begins immediately after finals end
Hope to see you there! FREE for members, $20 for non-members. No pre-registration necessary!
By: Kimberly Adkins
This is a guest post by AJ Dexter, climbing photographer and author of We Are: Smith Rock, a community collaboration and passion-driven project on Smith Rock. We offered AJ a spot to talk about why he put together this project and what it means to him personally. We are pretty psyched about this book too - so many of our community experience great things at Smith Rock; plus, all proceeds from the book go to the Access Fund who works diligently on keeping our outdoor climbing areas open for us to enjoy. Interested in supporting the project? Check out the website, join the mailing list, share it with others and pick up a copy of the book!
What is this all about?
Originally, "We Are: Smith Rock" was a way to get the climbing photos I shot at Smith Rock out there to the world but the book took on a life of its own. It’s not really about the photos anymore, or about me. The book is about Smith Rock but more importantly, our climbing community:
- All profits go directly to the Access Fund who include conservation tips for protecting our crags in the book
- The stunning photos in the book are all from notable and up and coming photographers and are shot at Smith Rock
- The writing, photography, layout and design were all crafted by climbers
- It’s not just a photo book. Read stories from big name climbers you’ll recognize and some that you might not.
My Inspiration: The Forward of We Are: Smith Rpck
"It was during a trip here, standing atop the summit that inspiration hit me. I don’t know why, or what about it spoke to me, but I looked over the park and saw it in a new way. I truly saw the varied terrain and rock, the views, the many experiences made here. Smith Rock offers something for every climber, if you need a beating it can deliver. If you need a confidence boost... you got it. Short climbs, long climbs, trad climbs, sport climbs. Smith Rock inspires adventure and in that moment alone on the summit I realized I needed to give something back.
Naturally, I wanted to create something photographic, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that it deserved a lot more than just me. If I truly wanted to share the park and do something powerful I needed others too. I needed to share the story of Smith Rock, not just the story of my experience there.
The result of that idea is this book. It has evolved naturally and entirely through the support of the climbing community. Every image, word, and page was created by a climber because of the shared belief that it could inspire others and help protect areas that we all seek to find ourselves."
There are a lot of really amazing climbers who contributed their stories about climbing at Smith Rock. Here are two of my favorite:
Brooke Sandhal (Metolius): "Smith Rock can’t be adequately described by words or image – it must be experienced in person...with all ones senses, the smell of sage in the desert air, the beauty of a raging sunset over Asterisk Pass, feeling the texture of Dzthe heinous clingdz (yes, the route is named after a single painful crimp edge) with your own worn finger tips, sharing beta with a group of folks from a far away country, the pain of depumping while you lower off some Smith tweakfest, it all has to be experienced first hand! One word: Go!"
Paige Claassen: "People describe Smith as very technical, even slabby. It does require very precise technique, but also significant power. Believe it or not, I always feel I boulder best after a trip to Smith. The climbing requires immense body tension, because if you aren’t in close to the wall, you’re falling off. My core will be sore every single day from climbing at Smith, whereas when you’re upside down in a cave you can let your body sag and relax to rest. At Smith, it’s pretty on from the bottom to the top."
Behind the Scenes
This is the first book I'd ever printed or published. So I’ve had to learn a lot along the way:
To Self Publish or Try a Book Publisher:
Most books come from conventional book publishers (think Mountaineers Books, or Falcon Guides) while some are self published. When I started I really didn’t know whether this book would be successful or even get off the ground so that informed my path. Using a book publisher isn’t a guarantee; there are a lot of requirements to just get in the door. I wanted to keep it climber built, plus it's half photo book, half story book so it might be tough to get in front of a conventional publisher. In the end, I chose to self publish. It meant I could create it exactly how I wanted and keep costs low (yay, more money for the Access Fund!) by not having to buy large quantities of books that would just sit in my garage. Also, if the project flopped, I wasn’t out much money.
I’m Just Not a Writer:
I’m a photographer, not a writer. I can write but well enough to sell something. That is a whole other beast and it scared me. So I reached out to a connection in the climbing community, Julie Ellison of Climbing Magazine. I knew she was a rockstar editor, photographer, and writer. I gave her some insight into what I was working on and asked if she wanted to help. She was in. This was such a pivotal moment for the book and gave me confidence to pursue it. She helped with the interview questions, reached out to most of the athletes in the book, and brought on James Lucas to tackle the writing you see in the book.
Help me!...But, I Can’t Pay You:
The next step was gathering people. This is where the magic of the book really came together for me. One of the hardest tasks I had was to ask people to basically work for free and asking fellow photographers to give me photos to print and publish without paying them is awful. As is asking climbers to take time to answer interview questions from a no name climbing photographer in Portland for a book that doesn’t exist. The magical part though, and what I love about our climbing community, is that everyone understood the concept and believed in its mission. Hard core climbers and photographers donated time, products and services to create something I think is amazing. All to promote climbing conservation and the Access Fund.
Design and Printing:
The design and printing stage was where I had the least knowledge. Fortunately, I had the impeccably professional and talented Alton Richardson to handle it and take care of it. I gave Alton a little guidance about what I was looking for with the design and he nailed the look and feel you see in the final book first pass. He’s a rockstar. The printing was pretty easy; because I self published, I opted for a print on demand service for photo books that has worked really well. It's dead simple and gives me the flexibility to print when there are orders vs. buying a thousand copies at a time.
And that was it! We Are: Smith Rock was born! I hope you’ve gotten a sense of the project and that it inspires you to climb more and help protect the places we have an impact on!
Check out the website at www.wearesmithrock.com, sign up for the newsletter for updates, buy a book at your local Planet Granite or on the site, and share it with your friends on social media.Read more...
By: Kimberly Adkins
Early this month, our PG climbing teams attended USA Climbing’s Bouldering Divisionals and in hopes of qualifying for nationals. And they rocked it. 21 of our climbing team kids made top 10 in their category and 9 have been invited to nationals!
Divisional Results for Our Team:Read more...
By: Kimberly Adkins
What is Passport to Fitness? Basically, take fitness and yoga classes and win prizes. It is as simple as that. Well - maybe not that simple; there are some things you should know:
Why Passport to Fitness?
Similar to a travel passport, Passport to Fitness has a goal of giving you new experiences. Find a class or discipline that you love so you can find your long-term motivation and continue to live an active and healthy lifestyle.
What do I do?
Starting Feb. 1st grab a Passport to Fitness Postcard from your gym's front desk staff. Pick classes from the card that you would like to try or that you already know you love and go participate! Get your instructor to sign off on the class you took and then pick the next class you want to try! Don't worry if you start late - classes are offered at least once a week so even if you get started a bit later, you still have plenty of time to get raffle tickets!
What do I get?
For each row that you completely fill out (take all three classes on that row), you will get one raffle ticket; two rows = two raffle tickets (one for each row), etc. Get a bonus if you go to 12 classes and fill out the card completely! For a fully filled out card, you get double the chances of winning awesome prizes! So to break it down:
- 1 row = 1 ticket
- 2 rows = 2 tickets
- 3 rows = 3 tickets
- 4 rows = 4 tickets + 4 ticket bonus = 8 tickets total
How do I win the raffle?
Turn in your card with your name and email (we need your email to notify you if you win) clearly legible by closing on Mar. 6th. Once we have everyone's card, we will draw for winners on Mar. 10th. Check PG social media or your email on the 10th to see if you won! Once your name has been announced, head to the gym where your name was announced and pick up your prize!
What do I get if I win?
Bay Area: In the Bay, we have none other than prAna sponsoring this event. They have generously donated tops, bottoms (including Mojo shorts!), yoga mats, and accessories for our winners! Each gym has their own prizes so there are plenty of chances to win!
Portland: Portland is being sponsored by North Lake Physical Therapy. All participants in Portland's Passport to Fitness are eligible for a free musculoskeletal examination (more information below). For the PDX raffle, you can win PG swag, a session with a personal trainer, or gift cards!
To redeem your free PDX musculoskeletal exam: Meet with North Lakes’ Vince Blaney, MSPT when he is in the gym every Monday after our 5:30pm F10 class. If you miss him, you can schedule an appointment for later, just be sure to bring in your passport card! If you’re unable to receive your evaluation during the month of February, you’ll receive a voucher for one free musculoskeletal evaluation when you turn your Passport to Fitness card in at the end of the month!
North Lake Physical Therapy
1622 NW 15th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
Phone: (503) 222-4640