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SunRiser

2017 Personal Goals

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2017 Personal Goals

I'm a little late for a New Years Resolution, and I don't really like doing things the ordinary way either, but I'm going to list my personal goals for myself in the year of 2017. 


Climb a 5.13. I got my first 5.12a in late 2016 on my mentor's route, It only took me about 7 or 8 attempts. I've only projected one 5.13 so far and it's the incredible roof route at Reimer's Ranch called "Pay the Pump" and goes at 5.13b (see video here). But other than that I've not even touched another 5.13, so I'd like to send one this year. 

Become a better Videographer/Photographer. I really enjoy taking pictures of people and making videos with cool songs to them, however I am not very good haha. Pretty frustrating when you see an awesome scene and you just can't get the camera to relate what your eyes see in front of you. 

Climb in either Utah or Yosemite. Zion National Park is absolutely gorgeous, and is a fantastic climbing destination, and obviously Yosemite is world class climbing. Either would be a dream come true for me. 

Be able to consistently Project V8 in gym (v6-7 outdoors would be cool too). I can safely say that I am an experienced sport climber and a fairly strong one at that, however when it comes to bouldering I'm not very powerful. I've been training specifically on bouldering for about a month now trying to push my grades past V7, it's tough and frustrating but I think I can push up to V8 this year.

Pay off my debt. I got a credit card, despite me saying I never wanted one, 2 years ago now and it  was cool for about 15min and then I max'd it out and I have $3,000 in debt. Pretty horrible stuff but with what I currently make at my job it shouldn't be too hard to pay it off in a year if not sooner. 

Plan for a major "expedition" type climbing trip to an "alpine environment". I love testing and proving myself, and an Alpine expedition has always stood out in my mind as one of the ultimate test of skill and willpower. Maybe Mt. Whitney or something like that would be cool. 


 

That's all I can think of at the moment. I'll let you guys know if something changes and I'll write stories about these things as they happen of course!

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SunRiser's 2016

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SunRiser's 2016

SunRiser Adventure was my 4am thought on July 4th morning. I came up with the name, idea, content, created the website, youtube, instagram, twitter, Facebook, and came up with a conceptive logo in the span of a few hours. But this is nothing without the adventures to fill your blogs, and Pictures to fill a gallery, and friends to bounce ideas off and to gain support from. I convinced Chris to come aboard because I saw his fantastic photos, I had no idea he would be an incredible writer and partner for the site. My other partner Alec gave me the Psych to get my idea off the ground. The dude has enough Hype to make any man believe in himself, he's an incredibly unique individual. With my two partners I went into 2016 with a fresh outlook and determination to live my Adventure, and that's what I did. 

I went on 30+ Trips this year, I really think I went on 40+ but I went to Austin so many times I lost count. I pushed my outdoor climbing grade up 2 number grades (From 5.10 to 5.12a). I left my fear and anxiety in the parking lot of every crag and stepped boldly into each and every trip I went on. I got a 2nd ascent on my first 5.12a ever on "I wish I was your Lover". I guided 3 trips with my Mentor and Friend Mario and got paid to photograph 2 of them. I had the honor of having 3 amazing photographers shoot me while rock climbing in Heuco Tanks, TX. I spent my spring break in New Mexico climbing with friends and mentors. I spent my summer climbing and exploring with some of the best friends I'll ever have. I spent my fall reconnecting with old climbing partners and discovering new areas to old crags that I had thought useless. I met wise old men who taught me to climb better. I met kids that gave me back my appreciation of playing around. I turned 21, competed in climbing competitions with my mentor, watched him marry the love of his life, and watched a brand new star wars movie that was FANTASTIC. 

2016 has brought and taken a lot of things from us. We must remember to face every challenge with bravery, determination, and an open mind. Most importantly we must remember to love our fellow man in 2017. I cannot wait to see what 2017 will hold for me and the amazing team at SunRiser Adventure, and I can't wait to share it with all of you. 

Thank you for reading our tales and we hope you continue to do so.

-Trent, Chris, and Alec

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Staying Awake on the Adventure

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Staying Awake on the Adventure

Last summer Chris and I drove 12 hrs straight thru to Durango, Co. I have a 2014 Ford Focus hatch-back with just enough space in the back seat for one of us to pass out in for a few hours while the other takes his turn while driving. I had already a few tricks to stay awake while driving, being that I drove back from climbing in Austin usually pretty late in the days. Chris had a few other tricks to staying awake from his adventures along the Pacific NorthWest. I thought I'd share a few: 

Eating food is an awesome way to stay awake while driving. I have no clue the science as to why it works, but if you keep shoving gummy worms into your face hole you will keep your eye balls open. We used some strange cereal type stuff Chris brought along on the drive to Colorado. Just be careful when storing the food you eat in the car. A dog ran out in front of the car in New Mexico and I slammed on the breaks and the cereal when ALL OVER, mostly the floor. 

Music and Singing to music horribly is my favorite way to stay awake in the car. I'll get down to some Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Coldplay, Drake, but my ABSOLUTE jam is "Jumper" by Third Eye Blind. The song has a great story in it and an EPIC ending where you can scream your heart out at all the sh*t thats going on in life. It's very cathartic, and I always feel wide awake after I've had a good yell sesh to a good song. 

Listening to Comedians on Pandora/Youtube is something Chris and I discovered after Chris got sick of hearing "Ophelia" by The Lumineers for the 500th time or something. There's really nothing like laughing uncontrollably with one of you best pals in the car. Mainly nothing like having your best pal on a road trip, really an awesome time.

Deep thought is something I'll slip into sometimes. I've driven back from Austin with nothing but my mind keeping me awake before. Enthralled in a thought or idea I drive for hours contemplating decisions, or actions that I could've done different. Contemplation on the future or what to write next for the site. Really all things that you can dive your brain into wholly can keep you wide awake even in the dead of night.

Of course if none of these things are working, you're probably just exhausted and need to pull over and take a break. I've pulled into gas stations, Wal-Mart parking lots, residential neighborhoods, and good ole camping spots to rest my eyes and mind during a long drive. No shame in taking a break to keep you alive for your next adventure! 

 

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Jared Leto "Great Wide Open"

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Jared Leto "Great Wide Open"

Recently Jared Leto directed a sort of documentary on the adventurous lifestyle and I saw a little trailer for it on Renan Ozturk’s instagram page the other day. The project is called “Great Wide Open” and only two episodes out so far, I think it might be my favorite adventure doc i’ve seen. Initially I didn’t expect much from it, being from Jared Leto, and not an actual profession climber or major company, but it is amazing so far. It’s such a unique thing to see someone who you can identify with as a beginner climber and seeing all the fears, triumphs, and insights that you felt but in 3rd person and portrayed from a “Celebrity” but isn't acting or playing a role. All I can say is that I’m hooked and I’ll put the two vids below here with a link to Jared’s Youtube page and I can’t wait for the rest of the series!

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High Point Expeditions Trad Clinic

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High Point Expeditions Trad Clinic

    “Trad” Climbing, or Traditional climbing, has always stuck out to me. The idea of being able to go anywhere and climb anything just feels so free. Unfortunately Trad climbing can be a lot more dangerous than sport climbing or top rope climbing, which is why I’ve never tried it alone. Luckily for me, my buddy/mentor Mario teaches a weekend class on it. 

Tucker, Mario, & Max in camp.

    We left Friday night for the Wichita Wildlife Refuge in Lawton, Oklahoma. My photographer friend Max and I met up with Mario and Tucker at a Braums in Denton to start out the trip. The drive is about 4 hours so we got into camp pretty late. We threw our tents together and hit the sack.

I emerged from the tent the next morning to meet the other two guys who would accompany us, Dan and Bruce. The temperature was around forty degrees, which is already pretty cold for us Texas dudes, and it would only get worse as we got up to the top of the exposed Mt. Scott. I put on what I thought was enough layers, and Max and I hopped in Dan’s car to head towards Upper Mt. Scott. 

    Mario made it clear that we wouldn’t be climbing until the 3rd day which seemed odd to me at first. At the time I couldn’t really grasp how he was going to manage filling an entire day of “how-to” without actually doing any of it. I was quickly enlightened. The entire day was filled to the brim with a plethora of Trad climbing knowledge. Mario hit every note: climbing etiquette, equipment, knots and hitches, belaying, protection and anchoring. It actually ended up taking about a day and a half. I won’t get into all the details, but Mario didn’t miss a single step; the guy’s a machine.

It also gave the group a lot of time to get to know each other and develop a good rapport. We needed it, especially with Max and I in our twenties and Bruce and Dan being in their forties. It didn’t take long for the “dad” and “that’s what she said” jokes to start flying around the campfire. 

The group was granted a quick reprieve from the wind on the mountain in this nice little alcove.

     The night brought almost freezing temperatures and rain. Max and I’s rain cover for our tent ended up having a leak and we tried to fight the leaks with duct tape, but it was a futile effort. We decided to just suck it up and sleep through the weather. We awoke to a moat inside of our tent with our sleeping bags resting on an island in the center. Luckily before I passed out I put my laptop and other important things inside of a waterproof bag and they stayed safe through the night. Either way we made it through alive and well so I’m grateful for the experience.

The Campsite at night 

    The third and final day I realized that the change of clothes that I had brought would soon become my 2nd and 3rd layers. The cold and drizzly weather continued to try and beat us down, especially me without any sort of rain jacket, but we persevered. We made our way back up to Upper Mt. Scott to continue the lessons from the previous day. For the last part of our training we got split into two groups: one focusing on natural anchors and the other on gear placement.

Me, setting my rope around a "Monolithic Boulder" 

I got set with Bruce doing natural anchors which ended being just as cool as it sounds. On location we had these enormous monolithic-type boulders to use as our natural anchors. All you really do is sling your rope around two monolithic boulders, tie them to each other and drape it over the side of your climb with a “BHK” (Big Honkin’ Knot).

Me testing out if we did the anchors right with a short rappel

The last part of the day was the climb. Mario had us top roping and placing our gear as we went up and then we would rappel back down with him to check our gear. I decided to go last out of the four of us and so I plopped down under a massive boulder to avoid thedrizzling rain and dozed off for 30 or so minutes. When I woke up Bruce was rappelling down with Mario and I was up next. I hadn’t expected that the wet rock I had laid on would make me as cold as it did and it made me glad that I got to heat back up while climbing. I tied myself in and started my way up, trying to keep in mind that even though I was mock leading, I needed to think as though I was actually leading. So I placed a piece of gear every 3 - 5 feet, or something along those lines. I wanted it to feel as real as possible. I quickly gained respect for all trad climbers because the amount of pump I got in my arms while holding my weight and trying to place a good piece was insane. I met Mario at the top and he rappelled down with me, inspecting gear along the way. He would make slight changes to my gear placements and give me helpful tips, all in all he gave me a “B” for my placements. As soon as my feet touched the ground the sky started gushing rain, almost as if God was giving us a sign that it was time to go. I hastily packed my gear and made the trek back up to the parking lot. 

To Cam? Or not to Cam??

    We finished the day off at a restaurant near Lawton. For some reason climbing makes food taste 100x better than normal; I think my burger might have been made by angels. We rested and commemorated on all the good times from the weekend; cracking jokes, making fun of each other, and just chatting. It was a great way to end the trip. I went to the clinic wanting to learn how to trad climb, I came out the other end knowing so much more, and with new climbing friendships.

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Cool Spots In Your State

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Cool Spots In Your State

I live in Dallas, Texas, and I constantly hear people saying “Man I just need to move, there’s nothing to do here in Texas”. For me Dallas isn’t so bad. I love the city and the people here, but the lack of mountainous area is a bit frustrating. Luckily I stumbled across this awesome website called “OnlyInYourState.com” which lists areas within your state that you may or may not know of. The website is full of incredible things about all the states but I’ll list a few of my favorites from the site that I had no clue existed.

 

  • Westcave Preserve (Round Mountain) 

“Just 45 minutes outside of Austin, you'll find this gorgeous secluded grotto, situated among acres of thriving grasslands and enchanting canyons. It's definitely worth the drive!” 

 

 

  • Guadalupe Peak 

    “Part of the Guadalupe Mountains, this is the highest point in Texas at 8,750 feet.”

 

 

  • El Capitan

    “Another high point in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, this peak soars into the sky above standing at 8,064 feet.”

 

 

  • Emory Peak

    “Way out west in the Big Bend, you'll find the 7,825 foot tall Emory Peak, which is part of the Chisos Mountains.”

 

 

The website is full of amazing sites all over any state. The lists aren’t limited to just cool areas to visit either, it also has cool statistics, good places to eat, unique towns, and cool cultural places. Hopefully this helps with some new adventure ideas because I know I have several new places I want to go now. 

 

Article where I found these places: 

http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/texas/mountains-tx/

http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/texas/enchanting-spots-tx/

 

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Travel Nostalgia

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Travel Nostalgia

Today somebody asked me, "What was the coolest place you saw when you traveled?" I have never even thought about that before. I had no idea how to answer the question and it made me feel abnormal that I couldn't answer it. I've been on three road trips to the West Coast/Pacific Northwest and one trip to Pittsburg and Philadelphia. When I word it like that it doesn't feel like I've accomplished much as far as exploration. But the sights I've seen and the places I've been in between are unfathomable. Maybe that's why this question was so hard to answer? Or maybe it's because I'm human that this question irks me so much. Our emotions are rampant and beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder. Well maybe one day on my adventures this beholder wasn't feeling so hot and the beauty escaped his grasp. Who's to say this beauty that he missed out on wasn't the coolest place he'd ever been if only he had been more aware? It's impossible to tell the truth, and I hate giving unsure answers. I guess if I had to pick a moment in my life during my travels where I felt the happiest, it would have been holding the person I loved tight in my arms underneath the downpour of Tumalo Falls in Oregon. An incredibly unforgettable moment to say the least, but to the outward eye Tumalo Falls is hardly in the top twenty as far as statuesque destinations go. But I guess love might possibly be the most alluring destination that this world has to offer. Or perhaps not, who knows.

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Balancing "Real Life" & an Adventure Lifestyle

For this post it will require some background on myself, because what I experience in my life may be far different from others in different places in their own. I am a 20 year old guy, I work full time, I rock climb at a gym anywhere from 3-6 times a week, I'm a student at a community college, and I am currently living at home.

A lot of my adventures in the year revolve around rock climbing, mainly because you can do it almost year round and it's usually pretty cheap (Excluding initial gear purchases). If I could I would do 50 trips a year to different places, but that costs money and I don't have that much vacation time, so I have to plan where I go and what I choose to spend money on carefully to maximize my experience. The other problem with having a "real life" outside my adventures is that I am always wanting more adventure and less "real life". This can cause drag in my day to day activities and make them feel less important or non purposed. I find it very frustrating that I have to cram a years worth of trips and experiences into 1 week of vacation time and even more frustrating that most the places I want to go cost more than I can currently afford.

How do I combat these issues in my current life? I do lots of weekend trips, where I leave on friday night and come back on sunday night, it usually limits my distance of travel to an area within 6-10 hours of where I live. That solves the vacation time problem and I usually camp whenever I do these trips so it keeps the costs down to Food and Gas. I also try to find locations where I have family members already living and I ask them if I can crash at their place while I'm in town, if you have a nice family this solution isn't too bad and they usually buy food for you, so win win. Also luckily outdoor activities are rarely a solo thing! Split a trip cost with the buddies that you bring with you that way everyone benefits and encourages you to extend invites to more people to lessen the costs on yourself. The week of vacation can be a hard thing to work around. Five days isn't a lot of time, and if you blow it all at once you can regret it later in the year. It's best to spread it out almost Seasonally or quarterly that way to really feel as though you've travelled the whole year. The spacing of these five days is key, you can take off 5 fridays through the year and give yourself five, three day weekend trips. But the way I usually do it is pair the vacation days with a holiday. Some years Thanksgiving or Christmas will fall on Fridays which allows a 4 day weekend trip. Finding ways to work the system always ends in your favor. In the end very few of us are professional athletes who have our trips funded for us and infinite travel time. I've learned that my trips make me appreciate my hard work in my "real life" more because it allows me to go on these trips and afford the things I wouldn't be able to otherwise. 

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
— George Bernard Shaw


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Prepare for Liftoff!

A lot has happened this week. I got to work with a graphic artist and I finally got my logo nailed down and I can't wait to share it with everyone. I also got some initial designs for the T-shirts and even though these are early ideas of what we can do with them I am so thrilled about how they're turning out, it's all coming together! On top of all of that I think myself and some friends will be going to Austin either late July or early August to go Deep Water Soloing on Lake Travis, if you've never heard of it or never seen it before check it out because it's possibly one of the coolest climbing things you can do in my opinion. 

I'm super excited about how well everything is going so far, it seems as though everything is falling into place at the right time. Email me with adventure ideas, trips you've been on, tips on how I can improve the brand, wanting to go with us to Austin, literally anything you send will make my day. 

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