Justin Roth - "Pro" Blogs - Climbing Magazine

Justin Roth - "Pro" Blogs


Justin Roth - Senior Editor for Climbing and Urban ClimberJustin Roth has been working in the climbing industry for well over a decade, teaching climbing technique, routesetting, and writing about climbing. Corrections, comments, kudos? Email them to justin.roth@skrammedia.com

Justin Roth - "Pro" Blog 11First Snow - November 14, 2008. The first snow of the season has fallen in Boulder. Not much — just a half-inch or so — but it’s a clear sign that the days of balmy 50-degrees-in-the shade belays are over. On one hand, I’m sad to see the comfortable temps go; on the other, I’m psyched that my climbing friends’ weekend exoduses to distant crags are now on hold.Roth - "Pro" Blog 10The Tao of Toprope - Fill in the blank: lowballing is to bouldering as _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ is to route climbing. The answer? Toproping. And like lowballing, it can’t get no respect. I’ll admit, I haven’t set up an honest-to-god toprope since I was 15, grabbing greasy limestone at an old freemason quarry in Ohio.Roth - "Pro" Blog 9“You wanna go to Boulder Canyon tomorrow morning before work… check out that cliff above Vampire Wall?” asked my co-worker, Matt, on Monday. “Sure,” I said. “Great. I’ll see you at 7,” he concluded. “We can carpool.” I felt a twang of regret about my decision as the sibilant sounds of the word “seven” rolled off Matt’s tongue. Roth - "Pro" Blog 8SPRAYQUEST — An epic tale - When I first entered the hallowed halls of Climbing, I was told the magazine had a special company car — a 1999 Ford Explorer with full-color murals of a man climbing airbrushed (or sprayed, if you will) onto the door panels. “Wow,” I said. I was told I could use the vehicle, if I so chose. “Uhm… Sure,” I said. Next, my co-workers told me not to get mixed up with the Spray. Like Oedipus, when told he’d kill his father and sleep with his mother, I ignored the warnings. I got involved with the Spray and immediately things began to go wrong.Roth - "Pro" Blog 7BLAST FROM THE PAST - Here in the office, we have a lot of reading material — every issue of Climbing ever printed, for example. I’m psyched, cause I never have to experience the agony of a boring bowel movement. Plus, it’s handy when you’re writing an article about, say, the history of climbing World Cups in America, to be able to flip open to Jim Thornburg’s feature on the first and only such event, the Berkeley World Cup, back in 1990.Roth - "Pro" Blog 6THE LEAPING BOY IS (RE)RELEASED - I had an overactive imagination when I was young — lucid dreams, daydreams, an artistic streak, a taste for literature and bad sci-fi movies... the whole nine. The upside of this was that I rarely wanted for entertainment, even as an only child in Ohio; I was easily moved by what I saw, read, and heard.Roth - "Pro" Blog 5People like to know what’s behind the veil. Take as proof all those exposés — “Kitchen Confidential”, “Behind the Music”, inside-the-beltway political tomes, uhm… “Inside the Actor’s Studio”… you get the picture. Well, I’m going to let you in, with a special VIP pass, to the high-stakes, no-holds-barred, chalky, duplicitous, and spray-saturated world of climbing media. Today I’m lifting the red velour rope to our very own office. Please, come in.Roth - "Pro" Blog 4This is a special blog bulletin. As of 6:47pm MST, April 3, 2008, I have moved within striking distance of Other Justin in my quest for Google Battle dominance (see my inaugural climbing.com Pro Blog entry for more on the Google Battle).Roth - "Pro" Blog 3Vegas, Baby, I thought as I boarded the plane in Denver. Ticket in hand, camera in tow, and a bag full of rope, draws, and clean undies in the checked baggage compartment below, I was ready for the sunny sandstone and the hordes of adoring readers I’d encounter while repping the mag at the fifth annual Red Rock Rendezvous (mountaingear.com/RedRock; March 28-30)—one of the biggest, most laid back climber events of the year.Roth - "Pro" Blog 2“I drove through Ohio once” is the common reply when I tell climbers where I grew up. So it was a pleasant surprise to get my friend Dan Proudfoot’s recent email reminding me of an upcoming Dr. Topo guide to Athens, Ohio bouldering.Roth - "Pro" Blog 1It just happened the other day, without warning. I didn't even see it coming. One minute, I'm interviewing one of the world's strongest boulderers, and the next I'm in a Google Battle. I'll assume you don't know what a Google Battle is, since I just made it up, so allow me to explain: whenever Googling myself in a fit of narcissistic glee (about once a month), I find I’m overshadowed by another so-called "Justin Roth" ...