Category Archives: Meet the Staff

Five Questions: Amanda H.

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1) Are you a Tulo person or a CarGo person?

Don’t make me choose! Little Pony (CarGo) can play left field like nobody’s business, has power and speed, and is a great leader. Troy plays shortstop better than anyone currently in the MLB (yes, Jeter included), and he has grown so much since he grabbed his first cup of coffee in 2006. If I really had to choose, I suppose I’d go with Helton.

2) If you could design your own zoo, what animal habitat would visitors first see when they enter?

The Monkey House, for two reasons: A) who doesn’t love those playful primates? B) I’m a bit of a Kurt Vonnegut fan. Also, I’d have my zoo be a wildlife preserve, because it always made me sad as a kid to see all these majestic and wonderful creatures all cooped up.

3) Why did you seek out employment at a climbing gym?

I am all about doing something meaningful with my time, and I am hard pressed to think of a job that affords so many different ways to touch people’s lives. Including (but not limited to) making a child’s birthday party memorable and fun, helping new climbers discover the confidence and innate joy derived from climbing, and breaking through the mental barriers we have of our own abilities via climbing, the rewards of this position are extremely poignant.

4) What’s worse, vacuuming gratuitous chalk spills or re-coiling abandoned lead ropes?

Chalk spills. No question. Chasing those little white pebbles around with the shop vac is like an inexperienced sheep dog trying to herd sheep – try as you might, some always get away!

5) Is it just me or baked treats seem to appear whenever you are working?

Nope, it’s not just you! I L.O.V.E. to bake and have for a long time, thanks in large part to my Mom. For about 6 months now, I’ve been baking and experimenting with recipes almost every day. It allows me to simultaneously be creative and share something with people that makes them smile.

Five Questions: Rylan M.

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1) Do you own a harness?

I get asked that a lot, for some reason. Yes, I own a harness. It’s in mint condition.

2) What is the most frustrating aspect of routesetting?

Naming three months worth of routes after Futurama characters and quotations that no one picked up one. That and fixing spinners. And waking up at six in the morning to drive through DTC traffic.

3) How’s the fantasy team doing this season? What’s your team called?

It’s still early, but I remain optimistic. Maybe I should have drafted Jered Weaver over Tim Lincecum, but that’s just nitpicking at this point. Either way, the Cornwood Fancymen should rake in the points this year.

4) Why twobills?

Twobills is a nickname I picked up on a climbing trip. Basically, my entire net worth was represented by two bills in my wallet. They were not big bills…

5) Beatles or Stones?

Beatles. No contest. Exile on Main Street and Let It Bleed are phenomenal albums, but the Stones really watered down their catalogue over the years, to the point that I think they’re this weird parody of themselves. And no one will ever write a better song than Eleanor Rigby.

Five Quetions: Nathan G.

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1) I heard a rumor that you are training to run an ironmam or ultramarathon…why would you do that?

I signed up for the Leadville Silver Rush 50, which is a 50 mile ultra marathon in Leadville. I don’t know why I did that…

2) What do you think about when you set a route?

The other day I set a 5.9 (“Ghosts of Christmas”) in the Horseshoe Canyon at RJ2. After I compiled my bucket of holds, I went to the top of the wall and began dropping the previous route, and setting the new one from the top of the wall, down. As I pulled old holds off the wall I thought, “These holds are really old and dirty, and I wish we could replace all of them with a new line of mini-jugs from Egrips.” I continued to pull them off, and put up new ones. When I was about half-way down the wall I looked at the clock and thought, “Wow, I am setting really fast today- this method of setting from the top down while on a rope is really efficient. I should set this way everyday.” At this point, I looked up and realized that I had just set 10 feet of wall with all blue holds. I now had a bucket of all red and green Egrips mini-jugs, nice. It was three days before Christmas. I spent the remainder of my setting time (on the rope) thinking about where, or even if, I would be able to run Christmas Eve morning. The final touch to my route, which was looking very “Christmasy”, was the addition of three freaky looking holds that were molded into the shape of faces. I wish I could tell you who made these holds, but remembering holds/hold companies isn’t my forte. I used these freaky faces as footholds for the start of my route. LaMarcus walked over and looked at them. I told him, “Lucas, it’s a Christmas route with lots of red and green holds. These freaky looking faces here are the ghosts of Christmas past, present… and future.” Perfect. That worked out nicely. In between all of that, I’m sure many more pointless and uninteresting things passed through my brain.

3) What kind of bear is best?

False.

4) If you could be one character from Tombstone, who would it be and why?

I’ll have to go with Doc Holiday– mostly because he makes smoking, drinking, and dying of tuberculosis look… awesome.

5) What is the maximum airspeed of an unladen swallow?

I believe you mean; what is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? I’m going to guess it’s somewhere around… 7. Whatever it is, I can beat that time on my skateboard.

Five Quetions: Corey C.

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1) What’s up with that scar on you head? I hear it was work related…

I wasn’t quite satisfied with my “mean look.” I felt as though the bald head and scowl were not enough when frightening small children so I took a bolt from the gym and dragged it down my melon. So, it, ah, just goes to show you, uh, shouldn’t, you know, ummm, believe everything you hear…….

2) What are your views on Lando Calrissian? Hero of the New Republic or nefarious traitor?

That is an interesting question and one that would need significantly more time and space to answer than this forum allows. That being said, Lando, for all his vaunted independence, still cooperated with the Empire and was thus a great asset. He is certainly a traitor to the Empire. And what was with him not knowing if Luke would survive the freezing process? You know a brotha practiced that crap on his little hogface dudes.

3) Not to mention he blew up the second Death Star pretty much by himself. As an EMT, how often do you take advantage of ambulance privileges for personal benefit?

No comment. Okay, I quadrapark, but that’s it! I swear.

4) I suppose I’m obligated to ask at least one climbing-related question, so here goes: what are your goals when you set routes?

My goal is to set a route that challenges climbers at the level they are at through technique, power, and endurance. I like to emphasize footwork while creating a fun and, hopefully, memorable route. I would love for R & J climbers to become better through climbing my routes.

5) And finally, who is your favorite Ghostbuster?

That’s like asking what my favorite beer is. There may not be the same variety, but the choice is equally as difficult. I suppose I most identify with Ray: passionate, impulsive, and loves Sta-Puft marshmallows.

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Editor’s note: Yes, those are Star Wars Lego toys. No, there is nothing weird about that.

Five Questions: Brian Y.

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1) What’s the top speed of your motorcycle?

The speedometer says it is 150mph but I have only gotten it to 105mph myself. I have a feeling it could reach that without too much trouble.
What do you say, Rylan, want to drag race your Nissan?

2) Ehh, I might have to pass on that. To save you the embarrassment of losing, of course. I’ve heard a rumor that you’ll only climb things you can do in sandals. Is this true?

Yes and No. Last July I got burned out on climbing and haven’t been doing much since then. These days about the only climbing I get in is at work while safety checking the auto-belay devices or a quick run at one of the new bouldering league routes.
I have been getting the urge to start climbing again but school and work seem to be taking up all my free time these days. Who knows, you may see me in the gym soon with actual climbing shoes on. Until then, Chaco or Sanuk sandals are my climbing shoe of choice.

3) Word on the street is you’re back in school. What are you studying?

I am. I recently started back pursuing a degree in Graphic Design with a concentration on Web Design. (Shameless plug) If anyone needs an intern let me know, I am looking for a position.

4) How tall are you, really?

6′ 4″ with a +3″ ape index. I don’t know what everyone complains about at the gym. I have never found a reachy route. Strange?!?!

5) Not at all. Back to the motorcycle for a minute. How badly do you want to have a semi truck that you could drive your bike into/out of at high speeds?

Whoa!! How did you know about that dream? Well, I guess it isn’t that surprising since probably every guy has had that thought at one time or another while driving down the highway.

Indeed they have. Indeed they have.

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Five Questions: Sara G.

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Sara answers all the questions.

1) What’s the deal with the mustaches?

Sometimes when I sit in front of the tv I sew, and I just started sewing mustaches. Once I stated making them I thought they were funny. My goal is to make owls with mustaches.

2) You’re traveling to Haiti soon. What will you be doing there?

I am traveling to Titanyen, Haiti to help at an orphanage and help with their sewing project called 3 Cords. 3 Cords gives amputee women a trade and income by teaching them how to sew. Hopefully I’ll also be able to work a bit with the American Red Cross’ international team while I’m in Port-Au-Prince.

3) You’re vegetarian, but I heard a rumor that you eat turkey on Thanksgiving. What gives?

That is none of your business.

4) You’ve said you like to make things from scratch; what’s the one thing you’d like to make the most?

Umm… a crashpad? No… I’m not sure. I like the idea of looking at something and thinking “I could make that”. A coat… a pair of shoes… I like thinking that I don’t have to depend on someone else to fashion what might fit my style. Instead I can create it on my own.

5) Given the amount of shirtless dudes in the bouldering cave every night, how do you manage the “intense creepiness” of muscles?

I’m not gonna lie, it’s really hard. Sometimes, I can’t manage. I have to hide in the rental closet. Muscles are not meant to be flashed around. They are made to cause the locomotion of an organism or movement of internal organs (and creep me out).

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Hopefully those of you with crippling mustachephobia can get past her ‘stache, because behind that blue marvel is a charming, kind soul worthy of a few minutes chit-chat time.

Five Questions: Jamie G.

Greetings, readers. Now that Amy has left the state I will be taking over this here blog. To get everyone up to speed, my name is Rylan, I’ve been routesetting at Rock’n & Jam’n for over four years and I just started working the front desk. As newly-elected blog administrator, I’ll be keeping things fresh on the internet front. For a start, here’s a brief interview with R&J’s most excellently dreadlocked routesetter and counter employee, Jamie Gatchalian. Look for interviews with more staff members in the coming weeks. Now, on with the questions.

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1) How often are you mistaken for the Predator?

At least one in five interactions with new people. I avoid dimly lit rooms and hallways as much as possible to alleviate some confusion.

2) You like to claim you don’t boulder. Why is that?

First, I’m really bad at it. And I really like having to remember all the beta for a route. I feel like I have to be incredibly dialed in to send a hard route. (Ed. note: It’s true. Jamie carries around a four-page beta sheet that documents literally every move on some silly 5.13 in Clear Creek. He’ll show it to you, if you ask.)

3) 90% of our conversations at work are Seinfeld quotiations. What’s your favorite episode?

The Man Hands episode. So many good quotes. “Those meaty paws, I feel like I’m dating George ‘The Animal’ Steele.”

4) What’s your favorite climbing hold?

The Baby T-Rex. I’m partial to slopers.

5) Finally, the question we’ve all been waiting for: If you could have played on one album by any artist that was released between 1990 and 1998, what would it be?

No contest, “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It’s timeless and groundbreaking.

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A fascinating fellow, Mr. Gatchalian is. Next time you’re in the gym, be sure to compliment Jamie on his most recent lead cave masterpiece, or maybe just say hey.

By the seat of my pants

I’ve been climbing for 17 years. In that time, I’ve done many routes and problems all over the country which I’m proud of. But when I think about what defines me as a climber, it isn’t my hardest and scariest sends but rather how many times I’ve been able to thoroughly and completely embarrass myself while climbing. And for a reason I think I can explain, these moments are all centered around the butt of my pants.

I’ll go in chronological order. About 8 years ago, I went bouldering at Emerald Lake in RMNP with my then boyfriend/now husband (let’s call him Wilbur). We had separate projects at separate boulders, so after we warmed up, I took off to another boulder with three other guys that wanted to work on the same problem. After some effort I finally sent and had started the slightly tall but very easy top out when I heard one of the guys below say “Um, you have a hole in your pants.” Now, I was aware of the fact that I had a pin prick of a hole on one cheek of the butt of my pants. Assuming that this was what they were talking about, I yelled down at them that I was aware of the hole and that I wasn’t worried about it. Afterwards, I went back to Wilbur, let him know that I had triumphed over the boulder problem, and we packed up and headed out for the long hike followed by the long drive home. Once we arrived at home, I took my pants off to take a shower and finally saw the hole the guy was talking about.

It wasn’t a hole. It was a rift in the space-time continuum. The seam adjoining the back of my waistband with the crotch of my pants was completely blown. I easily fit my head through it. And all I could think of was my cavalier response to my spotters acknowledgment of the situation and what a dummy I must have sounded like. I showed Wilbur, we laughed, and I wrote it off as a one time incidence. I was wrong about the rate of recurrence.

34The next incident happened at the Satellite boulders in Boulder. I had gone to try to finish a nasty little problem called Re-Entry Burn. I have put in over 100 attempts on this pile to date and, due to my recent foot surgery, I will most likely never send. *pause for a moment of bittersweet reflection* Anyway, once again, Wilbur wanted to work on a different problem so I ambled over to my project and found three guys working on it. I asked if I could join them and promptly got to work at getting shut down. After about an hour of enthusiastic attempts and asking them for power spots, I conceded yet another day of failure on the four move problem and headed back over to Wilbur. He took a look at the back of my pants for some reason and said, “What in the hell have you been doing??!!”

I looked at him with wide-eyed innocence. “What do you mean?”

“Your pants look like you’ve been mauled by a bear.”

He was right, this wasn’t an ordinary hole. It really did look like a vicious three clawed predator had taken a swipe at my butt. My immediate reaction was fury. I yelled over at the guys I had just been climbing with on the other side of the Flesh Fest boulder.

“Why didn’t you tell me my pants were blown out?”

A single sheepish reply, “We thought you knew.”

Uh huh. I had just spent an hour making these strangers feel keenly uncomfortable while power spotting me with my fanny in their faces. The rest of that day involved me feebly trying to climb with a jacket tied around my waist. Needless to say, there would be no sending for your courageous author that day. My thoughts on the hike out were filled with wonder as to how I managed a repeat performance of the RMNP incident. The one time occurrence was sadly turning into my shtick.

35The last episode of my butt baring escapades happened a few years ago at Area D at Mt. Evans. It was so exhausting just getting in and out of Area D that the details have become a little fuzzy to me. In a nutshell, it was discovered that yet again, I managed to rip a colossal hole in the butt of my pants. There weren’t many people there that day, so I tried to bravely forge on ahead with trying to climb at that altitude with a drafty derriere. But while working the top out of the problem I wanted to send, my friend Jackie walked around the boulder at the precise moment when I was milking a sweet high heel hook and caught a glimpse of naked cheek. All I remember was her saying something to the effect of, “Sheez, Amy, seriously?” It was so cold that I couldn’t think of sacrificing one of my jackets to my cause of modesty. Instead, I made Wilbur go behind a boulder with me and give me his underwear for the rest of the day. (Coincidentally, he climbed strong that day. Correlation?)

36I know what you’re thinking now. What on earth does this idiot do to blow out the butt of her climbing pants so frequently? After much deliberation, I believe the answer is in the fact that I am the world’s suckiest hiker. I’m so bad I could win awards at inept hiking. Any trail or boulder in a talus field approaching a decline of more than 5 degrees has me scooting on my butt like a dog with worms. I have no shame when it comes to a good rump descent on a hike out. I truly believe I was born devoid of quads, and I have sprained both ankles so many times that muppet ankles have more stability than mine. When you have these adversities working against you, you either scoot on your butt, thereby distressing the fabric of your pants, or wear a helmet and shoulder pads on every approach. And while I would rock the shoulder pads, I don’t look good in a helmet.

So there you have it. I am a boulderer that has a propensity for mooning people because I possess the leg strength of Kermit the Frog. I also have an aversion to foods that come in basic geometric shapes, but I’ll save that last nugget of info for another time.

New RJ1 Ladies’ Night Commander-in-Chief

Hailing from the home of the first McDonald’s, Ronald Reagan and Superman, we bring you Chrissy, our new Ladies’ Night hostess with the mostess at RJ1. Please take a moment to get acquainted with her – you may never meet anyone with more enthusiasm.

Hey everybody! So you’re probably all wondering who I am and why I’m qualified to work and teach at an awesome gym like ROCK’n & JAM’n. Do I have what it takes? Will I be able to contribute? The short answer is HECK YES! Why? There are just too many reasons to mention, so I’ll try to focus on a few.

1First, I was born and raised for almost my entire life in one of the flattest, most featureless, and most corn-filled places in the entire US– you guessed it, the Land of Lincoln (and lobotomies)– The Great State of Illinois!! The entire state has less climbing gyms than the city of Boulder and for the majority of it’s citizens the closest outdoor experience they’ll ever have is a trip to the outdoor strip mall.

2Naturally, my passion for climbing and all things related THRIVED! I’m just kidding – until I got in to college I spent all of my days running and doing practically nothing else. When the climbing gym opened at my university all of my pent up desire to get involved in outdoor things was finally unleashed upon the world. I began to spend every weekend making the 3 hour drive to one of the only climbing crags in Illinois (Jackson Falls) and learned to get comfortable with ropes, carabiners, giant whippers, and sleeping on the ground (what the heck!!?).

 

 

3When I got a job working at our climbing gym at the university, I was so enthusiastic that I was awarded the “Employee of the Season” award, so don’t worry- you’re in good hands! Soon, the trips to Jackson Falls weren’t enough to satisfy my love for rock and I began making trips to more distant crags, sleeping as little as possible on the weekends in order to make that 6 hour trip to “the Red” or that 10 hour trip to “the New” and get back on time for my environmental chemistry class at 8 am Monday morning (A-!!!).

4Everyday I logged hours in the gym just waiting for the weekends when I got to get back on rock. When I graduated I was supposed to start attending medical school in Saint Louis, but instead I broke my parents hearts, packed up my Toyota Corolla and headed for greener pastures and the wild west where I have been told there are far more people who are familiar with the term “belay”. After a month long road trip to various climbing crags with my boyfriend, a route setter at ROCK’n & JAM’n, I settled in Colorado to start my awesome new outdoorsy and athletic life (Colorado don’t let me down!), because that’s how I roll.

5Now I’m just looking forward to exposure to people who climb far harder than me and I am looking to learn as much as possible and get STUPID strong. By the way, there weren’t many chick climbers in Illinois, so on that note, I am totally psyched to start leading “Ladies’ Night” to work with other women who are passionate about climbing.

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Chrissy promises big things for Ladies’ Night from bouldering to routes to training. Come and let her passion for climbing infect you while meeting other fantastic ladies to climb with as well. Starting Tuesday August 31st at RJ1 from 7:00-8:30pm.