Outdoors Magazine

Back to America, Back to Birthday Challenges

Posted on the 18 October 2014 by Thervproject @thervproject

We pulled into our usual campground in Joe’s Valley, Utah in the wee hours on Thursday morning. We ended up staying in Salt Lake City longer than expected to finish some editing, and Katie was sleeping, curled up in the back of her white Scion coupe, when we arrived.

“Should we wake her up?”

“Absolutely”

We knew we couldn’t wait.

We ran and pressed our faces against the side window of the small white car. Unable to contain our laughter, we promptly woke Katie up and she squealed with joy as she unlocked her car and jumped out.

This reunion was a big moment for all of us. We met Katie and her then-boyfriend, Niko, at the Food Ranch in Joe’s Valley in April of last year. They were in the midst of their year-long road trip and we became fast friends (an understatement, as Katie wrote in her post “suddenly we found ourselves huddled around a fire with strangers who would become family overnight”).

Shortly after meeting Katie & Niko, I spotted Katie on her send of Kill by Numbers.

Shortly after meeting Katie & Niko, I spotted Katie on her send of Kill by Numbers.

Niko is second from the left- the mega excited dude. Katie is second from the right, we dubbed her

Niko is second from the left- the mega excited dude. Katie is second from the right, we dubbed her “eating girl” that day.

They helped us film 5.10 vs. LaSportiva that Spring and we continued to meet up on the road as much as possible for the remainder of their road trip.

We desperately wanted them to stay on the road so that we could continue to travel together forever…but, you can’t always get what you want. Katie is now persuing her career in the outdoor industry based in Denver, CO. Niko is managing the local climbing gym in Talahasee, FL. Things change, but our love for these two, together and separate, is unending.

That’s why, seeing Katie, back in Joe’s where we met a year and a half ago, brought us both a huge sigh of relief. We were back home.

The Last 1,200 Miles- Canada to Utah

My favorite mushrooms of the day. Anyone know the species?

My favorite mushrooms of the day. Anyone know the species?

It’s been a stressful few weeks for Spenser and I. We were kicked out of Canada, based on false pretences (“no, we we’re not trying to illegally immigrate into your country”). After months of staying across the border, we hurriedly packed up all our belongings and drove down to Washington. The climbing community in Bellingham, WA welcomed the two of us – bedraggled and visibly upset from our last encounter with the Canadian border patrol.

After about a week, we decided to head to Salt Lake City where we had a friend’s place to park and get a solid chunk of editing done before heading south to Joe’s to meet Katie. It’s been frustrating trying to get serious editing done on the road. Our trailer is tiny and not fit to work in, and spending day-in and day-out in coffee shops starts to wear on you. We were thankful to have a house to work from for a few days.

Those days flew by and, again, we were on the road, heading for Joe’s Valley.

Exploring a lush forest outside of Bellingham.

Exploring a lush forest outside of Bellingham.

It was hot and muggy, so we just climbed a bit but were pleasantly surprised at the size of some of the boulders!

Next time, Spenser is trying this beauty!

Katie Boué and the #CouchToCrush Challenge

Katie completed a successful birthday challenge last year, but had fallen out of a regular climbing schedule because of, well, life. She wanted to jumpstart her climbing again, so she gave us a call.

“Yea, we’ll film it- but you have to be serious! This challenge has to kick your ass.”

The challenge: climb 26 V-points in the 3 main areas (Left Fork, Right Fork, New Joe’s) in 26 hours. She dubbed it her #couchtocrush challenge since Katie had not been climbing, or really exercising, for the past few months.

Katie cruising one of her first problems of the challenge.

Katie cruising one of her first problems of the challenge.

Katie trying hard on Pimpin' Jeans. So close, but this powerful problem didn't get repeated yesterday.

Katie trying hard on Pimpin’ Jeans. So close, but this powerful problem didn’t get repeated yesterday.

Disappointed, but colorful, Katie.

Disappointed, but colorful, Katie.

Walking through New Joe's as the sun sets.

Spenser and Katie walking through New Joe’s as the sun sets.

The challenge was a blast to be a part of. It was an emotional roller coaster, just like any other proper challenge. Now that we’ve filmed a handful of challenges, we know how this works. Feelings can change from positive to negative, and back, in a matter of moments. It’s all part of the game.

Katie worked hard and finished all 78 V-points. Sure, it wasn’t within 26 hours (28.5 to be exact), but she worked hard and tested her limits. That’s what the birthday challenge is for. I’ll let her give you a blow-by-blow, which should be up on her blog in a few days.

Katie is likely the last birthday challenge we will be filming this year for our EpicTV web series. We have 2 up and 3 that still need editing before the end of the this year. So ya, I think we’re done.

It feels right to end with Katie. She’s not a professional climber, she’s not as crazy as Spenser is about pushing herself and also, doesn’t have the time- this was the every[wo]man challenge. Anyone, yes that means you, can do a birthday challenge. Anyone can test his or her limits. Anyone, and everyone, should try this…at least once. It’ll change your life, and that’s a promise.

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions”

- Oliver Wendell Homes, Jr.


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