Be Boulder Venezuela!


I was in Bishop last winter bouldering with Mike and Joe when Gustavo Moser called me. I was excitedly talking and pacing around Mike’s truck listening to Goose tell me that Venezuela needed us and we needed to find our inner monkey on the Auyan Tepui. I was ready to go before knowing any details but over the year have realized this trip will indeed be epic and the place is beautiful. Come to find out the tepui’s are tall mesas scattered in the jungle like islands. One article described the micro climate on the Auyan Tepui as: “an impenetrable jungle meets an impassable rock wall”.  Few have climbed these boulders and none have had nice crash pads or time to establish much. We will spend 18 days on the top, that will be the longest anyone has been up there. Google this place, look at the sinkholes!

The journey begins in his home town of Caracas. When asking Goose if this was  a 2nd world country I tried to be sensitive about it since its his home. He replied… “ha No is facking Kenya man!” Thats 3rd world danger and beauty. It’s unstable and we might get robbed. My brother was kidnapped, the government is corrupt.” Oh dang, here we go. I’m so gringo this might get crazy but we gotta go anyway. Drive from Caracas to Puerto Ordaz then we fly in Cessna type airplane to “Uruyen”, which is a small native settlement located near the Tepui.  Then 3 days hiking in the jungle to get to the top of the mesa where the boulders are. We will have a guide, porters and a cook:) The porters come back for us later and we start home. It’s not Horse Pens, it’s not even Rockey Mnt National Park… sounds pretty foreign to me. At first when I heard we had porters involved i remembered 180 Degrees South when the Patagonia dude rips on the Everest mountaineers for their fancy expedition. He said: “They are assholes when they leave and assholes when they come back”. As for our tip: I don’t care who carries the crash pad, it’s a guided adventure on virgin sandstone through the jungle to a city of boulders on top of Angel Falls. It’s a $3,000 investment in a corrupt country with amazing people. #PortersForever!

So far we have a few sponsors and commitments from amazing peoples who believe in our adventure.  Thanks Organic Climbing who is giving us Custom Venezuela Flag pads. Gustavo is working with DeadPoint Magazine on an article and pictures. CamelBack is also one of our sponsors- we really appreciate them giving us some gear. ThreeBallClimbing who is a constant supporter for our adventures and made our shirts as well as helping us ship and insure camera gear to Caracas. MohawkSteelCo is contributing to get more local climbers on the trip.  We leave for Caracas on Jan 29, 2014.

Memo-19   Click this link to hear the iPhone audio recording …ha. i get psyched with my iPhone sometimes!

This is our thesis for the trip and film so far: (looking back-I remember the day I recorded this I was REALLY psyched! hahah)

Venezuela: far from the shire.
There is tension and beauty that awaits in Caracas. Then a Cessna with crash pads flys over the tallest waterfall in the world to drop us in the jungle to begin our trek. The setting is perfect, a city of sandstone boulders that few have touched. The crew hungry for first ascents and even more so for the chance to make a difference. To tell a story… not just a climbing film. It might become a love story, or a tragedy, but whatever it is it will be honest.  We will speak up for an impoverished nation, remind them of the pride and beauty that reckless hands have taken from them. We exercise our freedom, our muscles, our minds to spark the hope of creativity and boost local economy. This a not a lone wolf adventure, it’s locals, porters, cooks and campfire stories. A mixture of languages and wisdom that goes deeper than any chalk pot sitting on the gym floor. This is why we do it. This is why young professionals like ourselves seek the cleanest air and water to spend time honoring our inner monkey. Men are forged from such adventures. We climb because our bodies compel us to move, not asking who will allow it but rather who will stop me? Our plan is discovery our mission is to Be Boulder.
Note: i love this photo alas it is not mine. I believe the photographer is Venezuelan, I hope to show the beauty of his people. I can’t wait to see the portraits that come from our adventure. I’m going to take soo many pictures… this is my inspiration.


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2 Responses to “Be Boulder Venezuela!”

  1. January 28, 2014 at 5:36 PM #

    Update to Trip so far: The day I leave for NOrleans there is a really bad freeze and all the flights are canceled until tomorrow. I was going to stay with Danny’s brother in Bogota but now my flight is more direct and will leave tomorrow and only take 9 hours to fly from NO to Caracas but alas I will miss Elderado and Dan’s family!
    I had a weird (for me at least) thought as I was preparing for this trip. No matter what Im going to assume that whatever happens to me on this trip or to our crew is for the best. A million things could happen to complicate our journey so whatever happens will be for the best. Immediately i’m less stressed. Emotionally I am now ready for the adventure… Venga -JT on 1.28.14

  2. January 31, 2014 at 12:27 AM #

    Everyone made it to Caracas safely, we leave on Sat for the Tepui! psyched

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