The Phil Schaal Interview

Phil Schaal in Hartford, CT.

Phil Schaal’s been killing it recently. In the past year alone, this Connecticut climber has ticked 15 V13s, including some rare repeats of hard East Coast lines—The Book of Bitter Aspects (V13) in Bradley, Conn., Agent Orange (V13) in the Gunks, and the Chelsea Smile (V13), Ty Landman’s new sit start to Divine Providence in Lincoln Woods.

But pissing on hard blocs hasn’t come easy for Phil, who’s gone from struggling to do a single pull-up (OK that was awhile ago) to world-class send status. His secret? Pure determination. 

Phil ranks Roses and Bluejays in Great Barrington, Mass., among the best problems on the East Coast. “The rock is amazing, really fine-grain granite, kinda crimpy. It’s a pretty standout line.  It’s seen a lot of ascents but as far as East Coast quality it’s probably top three. Chelsea Smile you get on and it’s like ‘Ow it hurts’.”

Phil’s boulder-crushing rampage is about to pick up speed as he heads for Colorado’s high alpine gems this summer.

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Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 Interviews, Main 6 Comments

Innocent Cyclist Maims Goose

At approximately 1:18 this afternoon, I hit a Canadian Goose with my bike. Moments before the accident, I stood inside Boston University’s rec center, assessing the ride home. I impatiently set out into the gray, persistent rain having decided this little squall was no match for me and my bike—aka soon-to-be-weapon-of-mini-destruction. Within seconds I was soaked. Streets morphed into tidal waterways and rising water obscured large potholes. Slogging along the warped bikepath by the Charles, I decided to pass a painfully slow fellow commuter. Congregating geese parted to form a perfectly clear passing lane and I took it. I stepped on my pedals just as the unsuspecting victim waddled out. The goose squealed and I cleared the handlebars.

I stood up and stared as the squawking mob surrounded my bike and the goose untangled its long neck from my spokes. Cars sprayed hosefuls of water on us as they passed. The geese glared and I glared back. The New Yorker in me couldn’t help but think,”Stupid goose! Who the hell steps in front of a bike?!” I watched my victim limp off, wincing when its webbed foot touched the broken asphalt. Frustration instantly melted into “Stupid human!”

On the way home, I soothed my soggy ego with Dunkin’ Donuts—New England’s claim to fried sugar fame. But the doughy innertubes didn’t make me feel better about anything, except Boston’s recent trans-fat ban, which has actually resulted in less tasty fare. By the time I got home to examine my bent, feathered bike, the rain had stopped. I guess timing really is everything.


Wednesday, October 1st, 2008 Main 2 Comments

Angie Payne crushes V12 in Estes Park!


Angie Payne has just unveiled the first female ascent of Dave Graham’s legendary European Human Being in Rocky Mtn. Nat’l Park. Angie, you are my hero. Mad respect!! I took these photos last season when Angie was attempting the problem. Now I finally have a use for them—Yippee!

Tags: Angie Payne, , , Estes Park

Thursday, September 4th, 2008 Uncategorized 2 Comments

Peep this video!

Jonny Copp—alpine adventurer/writer/photographer extraordinaire/most positive guy in the whole world—has made a very cool video from his Spring trip to Europe with Micah Dash. Viva la alps and Radiohead—together as one! Check it!

Tags: , Micah Dash, Radiohead

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008 Uncategorized 1 Comment




“Seurat” is a big beautiful seam on a boulder hidden in the alpine meadows of Mt. Evans, Colorado. It’s also my arch nemesis. From the first moment I saw Seurat, I wanted to climb it. But my dreams were crushed when I simultaneously pulled on and and face planted on the slab. Repeatedly. My foot kept popping. So, since I hate climbing this problem but love looking at it, I figured it would make the perfect little step by step with Alex Puccio—one of the coolest climbing chicas around. (She also just snagged first at the comp in SLC this past weekend.) Check out the other photos of Alex finessing this aesthetically awkward Mt. Evans classic after the jump. Cheers!

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Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 Uncategorized 1 Comment

A Day in the Park—RMNP

Lily Lake
Yesterday was my first trip to Rocky Mountain National Park this season and I had the privilege of bouldering with John Cardwell and Carlo Traversi. The temps were a little warm for hard sends and the mosquitos were starving, but it was gorgeous. So, I decided to soak it all in—with my camera.
John Cardwell explains what the hell is on his back to fellow hikers
There’s no place like the park, there’s no place like the park…

John Cardwell trying Nothing but Sunshine
Chad Greedy lapping Handicapps
Carlo Traversi with the moves
Lake Haiyaha

Also, I’d like to give the Strength and Honor Award to Andre Di Felice for doing Aslan and Aslan into The Marble—nice work!

there isn’t anymore. you don’t have to click this.

Tags: , Carlo Traversi, , , Chaos Canyon, John Cardwell, RMNP,

Monday, July 28th, 2008 Uncategorized 2 Comments

The Matt Segal Interview

Matt Segal made climbing history with his first free ascent of Iron Monkey, Eldo’s hardest traditional route to date. Lately, Matt’s been climbing up a storm, bringing fresh ambition to the trad world, plus a little attitude. We met up for a morning interview at the Trident, Boulder’s favorite Buddhist-owned cafe/office. The next day he sent his project up at Independence Pass near Aspen. What’s next? Only at P&C, this Miami compkid turned stonemonkey tradster comes clean about ethics, the Czech and his love life.

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Friday, July 11th, 2008 Interviews 6 Comments

Happy 4th of July pimpers and crimpers!

Here’s some Fourth of July video fun, guaranteed to nurse you off the couch and back to the bars just in time for Saturday night! Check out Boulder’s favorite climbing prodigy, Daniel Woods, send Holloway’s historic Trice—V12, and recreate a modern testpiece Apocalypse—first V13 on Flagstaff Mountain. (Apocalypse involves climbing the UnderCling Traverse backward into Trice.) CHECK IT!

Video courtesy of Chad Greedy at

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Friday, July 4th, 2008 Uncategorized No Comments

Mt. Evans, Colorado—Solstice


I headed up to Mt. Evans this Saturday with Jason Kehl and Abbey Smith to try my project—Bierstadt (V10), Abbey’s project—Silverback (V11), and Jason’s project—City Walls of Dying Dreams sit down start (V11-first ascent Adam Osterhoff). It was a great day even though no one sent…We got an early start (9:30 am)—which I only agreed to after a considerable bribe of coffee, pastries and smokes from Abbey. I used to ONLY be a post-noon climber, psyched to head to Chaos when the crowds were leaving, psyched for 1 hour of climbing for 3 driving + 2 hiking. But, maybe I’ve changed. Now I’m like, “DAVE GRAHAM GET THE FUCK OFF THE COUCH SO WE CAN GO CLIMBING!” Beware dogowners, there’s a ferocious porcupine near Area B that looks like a carpet square crossed with a dragon crossed with a manta ray. Getting those fuckers out of your dog’s gums is no fun for anyone.
Jason Kehl
City Walls of Dying Dreams sds
Area B
Abbey Smith on a Dave Hume classic


Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 Main 1 Comment

2008 Teva Mountain Games—Bouldering World Cup

World Cup winners Kilian Fischhuber (AUT) and Alex Johnson (US)
The 2008 Teva Mountain Games hosted the Bouldering World Cup this past weekend in Vail, Colorado. Thousands of athletes and spectators converged on the Disney-esque mountain town, including kayakers, mountain bikers and climbers. Mad props to the 6 men and women who battled it out in finals. Austrian Kilian Fischhuber won the men’s, red-headed Italian Gabriele Moroni landed in second and Paul Robinson—U.S., slid into third. Daniel Woods placed fifth and Ty Landman, for Great Britain, sixth.  Alex Johnson (US) won the women’s, Katharina Saurwein (AUT) came in second, and the favored Anna Stohr (AUT) placed third. Impressive efforts by Tiffany Hensley (US) 4th and Alex Puccio (US) 6th. Usual suspects Angie Payne, Chris Sharma and David Lama didn’t make finals. Honestly, it was super inspiring to see so many strong climbers try so hard. A palpable “I get paid by my country to climb” vibe accompanied the typical chalkbag throwing, wall kicking and screaming. And to top it all off I had a blast partying with the Euros and doing the worm with DW—yep, the worm.
MC Timmy O’Neill
Tiffany Hensley (US) and Paul Robinson (US)
Daniel Woods (US)
Anna Stohr (AUT) and Alex Puccio (US)
Chris Sharma, Ty Landman, Kilian Fischhuber. Ty, Gabri and Kilian.
David Lama (AUT) and Paul Robinson (US)

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Tuesday, June 10th, 2008 Uncategorized No Comments

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