Review: 5Ten HiAngles – The Best Shoe I’ve ever owned

LLC in Autumn PC: Gina Begin

LLC in Autumn
PC: Gina Begin

August 2014, the 5ten introduced the HiAngles at Summer ORshow. I had reviewed a pair of the 5ten Rogues, and I was so impressed with the stickiness of the rubber, and the performance of a flat shoe, that when I was asked to test a pair of the HiAngles I jumped at the chance. Mostly because I absolutely love the stealth rubber the 5ten uses, but also because the HiAngles have more of a downturn toe, and are definitely a more aggressive pair of shoes than the Rogues.


Bowling Ball v4 – Joes Valley PC: Jordan Katter

Their performance is absolutely stunning. Being that I am primarily a Boulderer/Sport Climber, who climbs a lot in the gym. The shoes are a perfect fit for my style. In fact the only issue i have with the HiAngles is they use the same blue leather that the Rogues use. Which means after a nice session at the gym, or on a hot sweaty day your feet will be died a nice Smurf blue color.

SMH @ Jk's spotting style PC: Gina Begin *Wearing 5Ten Rogues in this pic

SMH @ Jk’s spotting style
PC: Gina Begin
*Wearing 5Ten Rogues in this pic

There is literally nothing about the shoe that I am not impressed with as far as performance goes. They heel hook amazing, the edging performance is ideal for thin face climbing. The downturn toe works amazing on super steep Boulder problems, and the love bump is ideal for a great toe drag/hook keeping complete control. The fit is pretty much true to size, in fact I found you do not need to size down a size or even a half-size. It pulls on like a slipper, but has one Velcro strap on the top making it extra secure as time goes on. Because we all know that slippers tend to loosen up a bit after a lot of use.

Twisted v4 - LCC PC: Jordan Katter

Twisted v4 – LCC
PC: Jordan Katter

I’ve used these shoes in all kinds of terrain. The gym, Bouldering on sandstone and granite, sport climbing on limestone and Quartz. And I really did a quality test on them. Not just using them for a month and slam out a review. No, I’ve had them for the better part of a year. And I can honestly say, these the best shoes I have ever had. I LOVE THE HIANGLES!!

Kellys Arete v5 - Joes Valley PC: Haley Dahle

Kellys Arete v5 – Joes Valley
PC: Haley Dahle

With a $150 price point. They are $30 cheaper than most aggressive shoes. And have Stealth rubber… What are you waiting for? I’ve even seen them online for as low as $120. You should feel guilty about paying that price.

What I liked: Pretty much everything! The rubber, comfort, the look, the fit. And the adjustable Velcro strap giving more foot control.

What I disliked: Simple, they dye your feet blue.. (Not really that big a deal)

Smurf Feet PC: Haley Dahle

Smurf Feet
PC: Haley Dahle

Overall: Best shoes I’ve ever owned. And I’ve owned many different brands and style in my near 20 years climbing. Aggressive, yet comfortable. Edging control, without sacrificing steep movement. They should have called these shoes the 5ten Beta…


I am not currently an ambassador for 5ten. I was asked to review a these HiAngles as an independent blogger. I received this product for free, in return I agreed to test it and review it. In no way did this offer influence my review. The opinions expressed in this review are mine and mine aloneReview

5Ten HiAngles

If you enjoy gear reviews and Outdoor Adventure, please go Follow my Adventure’s on all my Social Media Links-

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Kill By Numbers v5 - Joes Valley PC: Beth Lakin

Kill By Numbers v5 – Joes Valley
PC: Beth Lakin

Time to kick the dust off the Blog

Over the past six months or so, I’ve had a lot of time to think and contemplate a few things. Like whether or not I wanted to continue blogging. Or pushing for ambassadorship was still worth all the time spent doing so? Even gear reviews were just feeling so overwhelming. I was feeling like there was too much to do, not enough time to do it, and I wasn’t all together sure that the payoff was worth it anymore.

PC: Ofa Fonua

PC: Ofa Fonua

I know what you’re thinking. If I felt this way, why not make it fun again? Or why not just quit? Why say anything at all? Put it in writing no less? Maybe companies would shy away from me. Not want me to be part of their team, give me gear reviews. I mean why be Syked on someone who’s no longer Syked on the industry…? The industry that I love. All the amazing people. The outstanding companies. Why would I be feeling this way?

I’m not trying to sound unappreciative of these opportunities. I just realized I got caught up in all there was to offer. And forgot why I began down this road in the first place. It all boils down to one thing. My battle with depression and the feeling of self-doubt. Yes, I have fought a battle with depression for as long as I can remember. And the absolute BEST medicine for me is friends, family, people I love to be around. Doing the things I love. That is being outside, fresh air, living what the industry represents.

Group Hug PC: Jordan Katter

Group Hug
PC: Jordan Katter

I felt I was working more than having fun. This has become a job I clock my time card in everyday. Like I had to make good that I was “doing something” “getting outside”. HEY! Look at me! I’m outdoors. Rather than experiencing. I wanted to do Epic Shit! Not talk about doing Epic Shit. I want to push my limits. Strive to go farther. Be bolder. Live… I want to truly live. And it made me sad. Sad that I was climbing and adventuring to impress, to get noticed, so I could prove I was doing stuff.

It’s nothing anyone else made me feel, not like I was pressured by companies or anything. It’s just the way my mind works. It’s like that old book “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. None of it seems small to me. I see an obstacle, and it looks like a boulder. Funny thing is, outside that Boulder looks “climbable”.

PC: Brandy Wilkins

PC: Brandy Wilkins

I just didn’t want the things I love to become nothing but work. I already have a job, this was supposed to be my fun time. So I stopped writing, and started focusing on what brought me to this industry. My passion… I began training, climbing, and dropping into slot canyons. I bought a road bike, a long board and traveled. Sometimes alone, sometimes with my boys and sometimes with friends. I began learning about photography, navigation and regained my Syke.


I had a moment of clarity. Realizing how much I love talking about my adventures with people, I might as well write about them, share them. It’s time to dust off the old blog and start writing again. I hope my readers are still looking forward to viewing it. The future includes trip reports through slot canyons, Canada and climbing. Training, on how I built my climbing woodie and training center in my garage. Gear reviews and maybe even some recipes. So keep reading, and I’ll start writing again.

Norcal – Oregon Coast Adventure Pt 2

We left California behind and moved north up the coast of Oregon. Said to be one of the most beautiful drives in all the continental US. And though I haven’t driven much around the eastern US, this certainly is worth putting on a bucket list. Every bend makes for such majestic views, the urge to stop is overwhelming.

Nature and Industry

Nature and Industry















I intentionally scheduled this portion of our trip to stretch out over about 3 days. This way I wouldn’t have to drive more than 100 – 150 miles a day and we could enjoy the coast. This still was not enough time. So many view points, state parks, and sites to see. Unfortunately, I was not able to stop and see them all. I guess that’s a good excuse to go back?

Words to live by... PC: Caelan Riggins

Words to live by… PC: Caelan Riggins















I wanted to make it to our campground before the sun went down. Get set up, find something to eat and enjoy the sunset over the water. After all, we were staying in Sunset Bay State Park. I figured that name had to have some sort of meaning. What an amazing spot to watch the tide roll in as the sun kisses the horizon. Super clean campgrounds with showers (if you like that kinda thing), and nicely secluded sites. When we woke up, we had time, so we decided to explore more of the park. After scanning the map the ranger gave me, I was intrigued to hike up to some WW2 bunkers. And what a pay off it was. Literally one of my favorite parts of our entire vacation. This place is a gold mine and I HIGHLY recommend a visit just for an evening sunset and morning hike to the bunkers. It’s a 1/2 mile hike at sea level and we were the only ones there the entire time. Also, Nonnie’s Breakfast Barn is totally worth stopping in for a bite.  Awesome service and food, the breakfast is priced great and is amazing.

Sunset Bay State Park

Sunset Bay State Park















We continued on north up the coast seeing so many rock lined shores. Stopping at the Sea Lion Caves, an obvious tourist trap. But my boys really wanted to see it. And though it was cool, I wouldn’t recommend spending the $15 per person for a 30 minute cave drop. So much more to see off the beaten path. That evening we were staying in a beach side (literally) hotel. So we checked in and the boys immediately put on the swim trunk grabbed towels and bolted for the icy waters of the upper pacific. I decided it was a good time to relax and watch from the window as Kemry buried Caelan in the sand.

The little Dude loves the water... No matter how cold

The little Dude loves the water… No matter how cold

Unfortunately, the third day was the 4th of July. Normally this would seem awesome, except I scheduled us to be in Portland area that night, so stopping to see fireworks wasn’t really an option. And traffic was so bad, I didn’t even dare pull over in many places. When I did stop at Canon Beach, the place was packed with about 300+ people. So we pushed on to the farthest north point of the Oregon coast. Stopping in Hammond at Fort Stevens State Park to see the Shipwreck on the beach. A gem I never knew anything about. And another great example of how Mother Nature reclaims what is hers.

Kemry at the Shipwreck

Kemry at the Shipwreck















We stopped in Astoria long enough to see “The Goonies” house, which is easy to find and they welcome walk up sight seeing. If you grew up the 80’s, you certainly understand my reasons for stopping. Caelan even asked where all the “booty trap” stuff in the front yard was? When you look at it, you can definitely still see a resemblance. We didn’t have much time to spend in Astoria, so we cruised on to Vancouver, Washington. It’s just across the Columbia river from Portland, and was a lot more affordable to stay in a nice hotel on the river front. Where we could watch the fireworks from that evening. they even had a live band, BBQ and a beer garden.

The Goondocks! The actual house that GOONIES was filmed in

The Goondocks! The actual house that GOONIES was filmed in















The next morning, we would cross the river and head towards the Gorge…

Norcal – Oregon Coast Adventure Pt 1

California forests are amazing

California forests are amazing































When my two boys and I set out for the NorCal/Oregon coast, I myself was so excited to see everything that I had planned for the trip. A 11 day vacation with so much crammed into it, I wasn’t sure how the timing would work out.  Pretty notorious for planning way too much in too little time.

Brothers looking over the glass beach in Ft. Bragg

Brothers looking over the glass beach in Ft. Bragg
















The first day was mostly just driving. We took the long haul from SLC to Reno, and crashed there for the evening. You can usually find a decent room at a casino for like $35 a night. And it had a pool, so the boys enjoyed that. Even if the pools chlorine content was about 50% I swear. About burn my eyes out of their sockets.

Kemry looking at all the glass the sea formed into rounded stones

Kemry looking at all the glass the sea formed into rounded stones































The following morning we still had quite a bit of driving to get to our next stay. With a quick stop in Truckee for breakfast. Kemry got a breakfast burrito there that was as big as his head… And he has a pretty big head. We went straight across middle California. I remember passing through a town called Clearlake that looked pretty rad. Houses built right on the edge of the lake. Everyone had their very own dock. Seemed like such chill living with mountain air and cool fresh water breeze in the morning. We pressed on to Fort Bragg to see the glass beach. Another amazing little fishing town. The main attraction is the glass beach which was once an old garbage dump.  It’s easy to find through google and worth visiting. The sea turned the trash over many decades, forming the glass into rounded stones like clear smooth pearls. I wondered if the sand would eventually return itself..?

Caelan is my little tree hugger

Caelan is my little tree hugger































As we ventured further up the coast, we passed through the Northern California Redwoods. I had such fond memories of this area from my youth. Remembering two separate vacations in which I had previously passed through. I was so excited to share this with the two people who mean the most to me. We hiked the Tall Tree Grove. An amazing 3 mile loop where we saw the worlds first and second tallest tree. We also took the trail through the Trees of Mystery.  Which now has a small tram to some awesome views, and a 1 mile steep hike down if you choose to descend in that fashion. You will see some of the most unusual trees on the planet. The Northern California coast line has a unique environment. Many of which can not be seen anywhere else in the world. Raising the question, ‘How does that happen?’ A question that we would contemplate quite a bit more in the following week as we traveled the Oregon coast.

Climbing Psicobloc

The ULTIMATE photo bomb PC: Jude Engracia

The ULTIMATE photo bomb
PC: Jude Engracia









     A little over a week ago, I was able to attend two nights of the Psicobloc competition in Park City, Utah. It was such an amazing way to close out the evenings after ORshow, I got Psico fever. I became obsessed with the idea of climbing on the wall. I mean what could actually be cooler than climbing a wall up to 35′ (that’s as far as the organizers will allow the public to go), and then just falling off into the water. WHAT A RUSH!







Jude topping out

Jude topping out








     So after a few failed attempts to actually make it up to PC and get on the wall, I was able to talk my good friend Jude into going. So her, Tim (Jude’s BF), Erica (Jude’s friend) and I all decided to go up on Sunday. And although it was a little bit busy, after all it was the weekend. It was also extremely hot, about 95° outside. Which turned out to be quite nice when you took the 35′ plunge into the water..










Crimping PC: Jude Engracia

PC: Jude Engracia


Taking the BIG plunge PC: Jude Engracia

Taking the BIG plunge
PC: Jude Engracia







     The pool itself is only 12′ deep and I did manage to touch the bottom of the water when I fell once. But there’s really no danger if you control the fall. The wall itself has all levels of climbing on it. Everything from beginner to advanced. And there is one route most everyone can top out, as well as a few that will challenge some of the most advanced climbers.





When we got there, we decided to get warmed up so we all took a lap on the 5.8, and began to work our way up to the higher grades. It seemed as though having about 10 people in line ahead of us was the perfect rotation. Plenty of rest time, but we could still stay warmed up. After out second lap up, Jude had a little trouble making her back to the pool edge. I’m not really sure what happened, but it seems when you take the plunge, it disorients you a bit. Somehow you end up inhaling a little water, and it’s really hard to kick paddle with rock climbing shoes on.


Jude taking the BIG plunge

Jude taking the BIG plunge


     This is an account of what happened in Jude’s words: “I practiced walking off a diving board that whole week, but simply falling from 15 ft is nothing compared to the Psicobloc experience: climbing, being out of breath, and then falling from 35 ft high and having to tread and swim in climbing shoes. Instead of falling and quickly popping back up like I had done in my practices at the rec center, Psicobloc makes you feel like you’re falling forever. I had time to think, “Where the heck is the water?” and then when I finally plunged, I struggled to get back to the surface. So by this time I’m panting really hard and for some reason, when I tried to swim, I was just staying in place. The panic crept in so I finally admitted that I might not make it to the edge of the pool and finally gave a quiet, “help” and of course everybody heard because there’s a whole line of people just waiting for their turn to climb. Two guys jumped in, threw a floaty thing, and hauled me out of there (thanks, if you’re reading this!). One of the people who worked at the Olympic Park was like, “Heyyyyy so…do you know how to swim?” And I gave a sheepish, “Kind of?” The guy who pulled me out of the water piped in, “It’s no big deal. I can just pull her out whenever she’s done climbing” (which I thought was a really generous offer!), but the Olympic Park guy said “Um, no.” Another worker came by and I thought he was going to kick me out, but instead he offered me a life vest! I was super grateful and he was totally understanding, saying, “I get it, you know. You’re a climber, not a swimmer.” That was awesome of him to let me keep climbing with a life vest! All in all, I had tons of fun, despite the drowning part. 10/10 would do again next year. Except maybe I’ll take a few swimming lessons beforehand.” So Jude came running back over and jumped back in line with her floatation vest and a smile, always making the best of the situation.

I had to poke a little fun PC: Tim Gildea

I had to poke a little fun
PC: Tim Gildea
















     We took turns climbing and snapping pictures. But like most times I climb with others, I’m still on the wall when they’re putting away their shoes. The group was more than happy to hang out and watch as I got my fill. After all, if we had left early, I wouldn’t have been able to send the Dyno problem.

DYNO!! PC: Tim Gildea

PC: Tim Gildea

























     I highly recommend getting up to Park City this weekend (it’s the last weekend it’s open) and getting on the wall. It’s the most fun I’ve EVER had on plastic… Also, be sure to check out the Psicobloc competition next summer. You will not be disappointed.


Water inhalation PC: Jude Engracia

Water inhalation
PC: Jude Engracia

Road-trip 2014

Oregon 163




Ironically, I grew up in a family that didn’t do much camping. I’m talking about my immediate family. Mom and Dad, brothers and sisters. And to this day, only my oldest sister does a lot of regular camping, but not without the kick ass trailer that has a tv, kitchen and a queen size bed in it. Don’t get me wrong, nice to have comfort, but my idea of cling is sleeping in the dirt… Though I’m sure that gets a bit rusty as ya get older.


Oregon Coast

Oregon Coast






Believe it or not, it was my Dad that instilled most of my love for the outdoors in me. Hard as he tried with Baseball, it never stuck. But the short hikes up the canyon climbed to me like a wonderful parasite. And his brothers that constantly took my brother and fishing and camping by the lake in our youth. That’s where my love for sleeping in the dirt comes into play. I remember sleeping by the lake shore with the pole cast into waters depth and one hand holding onto it.

Kemry at the Peter Iredale shipwreck in Hammond, Oregon

Kemry at the Peter Iredale shipwreck in Hammond, Oregon







The greatest accomplishment I’ve ever achieved in my life is my two children. When I look at them, I see the best of me in them. And most times, the similarities are uncanny. Ever since their birth, I’ve desired to instill a love for Mother Earth into their souls. Teaching them my thoughts of global climate change, recycle/reuse/reduce. And just the simple beauty that this world has blessed upon us. Don’t destroy it, love it, nurture it, and respect it.

Caelan walking back from some waterfall viewing in the CRG

Caelan walking back from some waterfall viewing in the CRG











So once a year, I take my boys on a road trip. This I actually did get from my parents. Every year we took an annual road-trip, usually to SoCal or Washington. Always involved visiting family, cuz hey, a free place to crash and see loved ones. Probably why I desire my freedom and rebirth so much. But in these annual trips with my boys, I tend to throw in a visit to a National Park or two. That stems from the memory deep in my soul of how awe inspired I was when I first saw the Redwoods. I honestly have no recollection of any other national park growing up.


Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta










In the past few years, I have shared my first experiences with my boys in some of the Wests most beloved National Parks. Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Yosemite, RMNP, Capitol Reef, Bryce and of-course Zion.  We’ve made memories, some of which have been captured in photograph.

My boys seeing the beauty of the Redwoods

My boys seeing the beauty of the Redwoods







This year I decided to go visit most of Oregon’s 7 wonders. I could never have imagined this state had so many breathtaking sites. I literally fell in love with the coast, I didn’t want to leave. From the shore line covered rocky beaches, to the quaint little beach towns, and beautiful state parks covering miles coast line. Northern California to the tip of Oregon, I highly recommend driving the entire highway 101. Make the trip leisurely, take your time, make a point to hike a little, eat local. You will no doubt fall in love with the coast too.

Crater Lake Sunset

Crater Lake Sunset

BUSTED! Recap of how I caught the thief

A little over a month ago, I had a roommate move out of my house and steal about $2500 worth of gear.
Including a DSLR camera that was only 3 weeks old. I wrote a blog about the situation, what happened and how it had affected me and my trust in people. You can read about that here:

In the month that followed the theft, I contemplated having another roommate? How secure my home was? And how comfortable I was just letting this person go, not looking for her or trying to track her down.

I was certain she did this for a living. Basically, she posts an ad on Craigslist, saying she needs a place to stay month-to-month, and that her “Agency” is moving her to town, and will be bringing her stuff within the next month. That way there’s no expectations with why she has so little belongings, and how long she actually will be staying. She then will try to delay paying rent, with the expectations that she can rob you before actually giving you any money.

She’s a low-level con artist, a Petty thief. Takes what she can grab of value and moves on. Gives you a false name, and disappears. Most people just give up, claim it on their insurance and pretty much accept the loss. She goes on, tips off another person and probably skips town when she starts feeling heat or has drained as much as she can.

I wasn’t willing to just her go. Maybe it was because my insurance wouldn’t cover the loss. Or maybe it was because I just care for thieves. That I’m not going to allow someone to enter my home out of the goodness of my heart, and walk out with my hard earned belongings. So Gina and I monitored Craigslist for another ad, scanning for the items stolen. Low and behold, she was actually stupid enough to post another ad, same name, same thief number.

So I texted her regarding the room for rent. She had my personal number, so I had to use a secondary phone I have. This phone is an older phone, a flip phone. Do you know how hard it is to text on a flip phone? Maybe 10 years ago I could’ve done it fast and accurately. But now..? I’ve become spoiled apparently. “Long is the road and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.” -Dante

I waited and waited. And her initial reply, stated that she had found a place but thanks anyways. I felt like, at this point, I knew how to her mind worked. So I told her I was a single guy, who worked two jobs and was hardly ever home. Someone that desperately needed a roommate to help pay the mortgage. And if she knew anyone else who needed a place to stay, to please send them my way. About a week later, she responded saying she had a friend who is looking for a place to live. So we bantered back-and-forth for about three weeks. I was trying to give her the feeling of security, the feeling that I was trying to get to know her. Basically dating her into learning about who she thought she was going to be moving in with. Giving her the thought she had opportunity. An easy target, someone who could easily be taken advantage of and ripped off. She took it… Hook, line and sinker.

She asked the normal questions. How much is rent? Where are you located? Is the room furnished? My answered were simple. Mostly because I knew exactly what she wanted to hear. Cheap rent, under $300. In the Sugarhouse/Liberty Park area. And yes, it’s furnished. And so she pursued. When can we meet up? I told her I wanted to meet for coffee before bringing her back to see my place. “As I don’t know you, I want to make sure you’re ok.”

A few days later my good friend Shawn Parry from Tetonsports met her at a coffee shop. I was parked across the street casing out the situation. And it took everything I had not to walk into the coffee bar and confront her. The plan was to follow her home, then decide what to do.? I knew she would be without a ride, so Shawn and I discussed it and he agreed to give her a ride if she needed one. She took it, but had him drop her off downtown at an office high rise. Said she worked there and needed to finish up a few things for work.

I met Shawn back at Teton HQ, and he told me what he had learned. She filled out a background check form. And told him she was really into photography. So he asked, “Do you have a Nikon or a Canon?” She replied “A Canon”. I still had hope of getting my camera back. And she wrote down an address on the background form. So I immediately went to the neighborhood, parked down the road, sat in the backseat of my vehicle and began casing the house.

With nothing to do but wait, I got onto my iPhone and began searching the name, SSN #, address and DL # she gave… Nothing. I was certain everything she wrote down was BS. Including the house I was waiting near. It was raining in SLC, so I exited my vehicle, placed my jacket and hood on, and walked the street. Carefully, I passed the house a few times and noticed that the street address she have didn’t exist. Now what? How could I bait her again? She thought Shawn was doing a background check and everything she gave him was BS. What can I do to make her still be interested and believe I was ok with her moving in?

Shawn and I discussed it again. We decided to tell her that the background check would take 2-3 weeks to go through. That I needed someone to move in before I left for china at the end of the week. And that if she worked for the CIA, then I’m certain they did their homework on her background. Plus, “you seem like a nice enough person, I got a good vibe about you when we met” I told her. Once again, she took the bait. I knew her greed would overcome her suspicion. The fact that Shawn would be leaving for China at the end of the week, and would be gone for two weeks was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I told her she could come by and look at the place, and if she was still interested it was hers. And she agreed.

I had another friend from work named Arie, who said we could do the set up at his house. He was gung ho, ready to take some revenge on this lady. But after a conversation, we decided to ask his cousin who is on the SWAT team what the best course of action would be? He told us to contact the Taylorsville police department, and asked to talk with the detective in charge of the case. He should be able to meet you at the house and make the arrest if possible. So that is what I did. Upon talking to the detective, I learned that the black-and-white officers had only reported that she stole $100 from me. WHAT THE HELL!?!? I was extremely upset, I informed him of all the other items that were taken. He told me I needed to stall her, spread it out and make her wait another day or two. In the meantime send him an email with all the information of everything she took. He did his own background search on her, nothing came up. When I told him about how she says she works for the CIA, he was really intrigued to meet her, to interview her, to find out who she was. so we set up the stain for the next day at 5 PM. He informed me for the third time, that “this is only based upon what she has on her. If she has nothing on her or does not admit to this, there is nothing he can do that justifies warrant.”

The night before the stain, I was texting her back-and-forth to give her the sense of comfort. And casually brought up how my work was looking for a new DSLR camera to take shots of product. Hoping she would bring the camera with and be willing to sell it to me. That’s when she dropped the bomb. She informed me she had just sold her DSLR camera that weekend for $450. I was unsure if I even wanted to contact the detective now? Because really what could he do? He would question her, he would have no proof, and she would get off Scott free. Probably skip town because she knew, at that point the heat was on her and once again she would get away. And I absolutely did not want that to happen.

So I debated in my own head, what kind of person are you? What kind of person do you want to be? Should I handle this on my own? At least that way I could get some sort of “vigilante justice”. Do I have it in me to take my own revenge? Or should I trust in the justice system and hope for the best? Now some might think that I’m angry? And yes I’ll admit, that immediately following the incident I was extremely irate. If I had found her then, I wouldn’t have called the police I would have handled it my own way…

I opted on contacting the detective. Letting him know it was going to go down at 5 PM on Wednesday. When he arrived at the house he told me to have his number on speed dial, as soon as I saw her out of the window to call him he would grab her before she even got to the door. And that’s exactly the way went down. The look on her face was priceless when he pulled up and started to question her. She realized she had finally been the one who’d gotten screwed. Unfortunately, he did not find any of my belongings on her. But he did find other items that I’m sure were stolen, probably from the person who’s house you just skipped out of. Plus he found prescription drug paraphernalia on her, with no prescriptions.

The detective informing he was taking “this person” to jail, and to be by my phone with my line open. He would call me later with the details. A few hours later the phone rang, and he began to tell me what would become of the thief. He said she was being charged with four felonies, one for theft and three for possession. The only thing she admitted to stealing from me was Gina’s hard drive, probably because it was only $130 and she knew it had to be over $500 to be considered grand theft. Which makes it a felony. What she didn’t know, is that since she had two prior theft charges in Oklahoma, this stuff chard automatically becomes a felony charge. He informed me that her name was not Kiera Tretiakova, that her name was Chalon Miller. When they did a search on that name, it came up empty as well. He went back to her and told her that he knew she still was not being honest with him. And he needed to know who true identity. That’s when she told him that she was actually born Jeffrey Miller. She had her sex, and name legally changed a few years back. Upon hearing this news, Gina’s eyes immediately became the size of silver dollars. She said I just thought she was a lesbian? And I replied to the officer “I’m not surprised.” You see, she always seemed very manly. Honestly I didn’t think that she was just a lesbian. But she did seem a very manly lesbian.

The other unfortunate part about the whole story is that her partner will get away Scott free. There is nothing they can pin on the partner, because the partner never lived with me so they don’t know if she was ever involved in anything. But we all know they work as a team and they both do this to other people. I only wish I knew the partner’s name, or whereabouts so I can inform whomever they are currently scamming at this moment.

In the follow up on the entire situation is this. Yes I should be more careful with who I allow into my phone. Yes I should be more careful with who I decided to roommate with. But the reality is, most times are roommates are people we’ve never met, or a friend of a friend. And in most cases, it’s usually someone you know who cheats you. But I am getting a new roommate. It is a friend I have known for over 10 years, and she’s a trustworthy person. So no worries there.

After hearing the news of my loss, I received many condolences from many people. Mostly telling me how good of a heart I had, and how wonderful person I was to allow someone into my home. And that I did not deserve what happened. And though I appreciate them all, and thank everyone for the kind words. None was more kinder than what I received two weeks ago. A card came in the mail from my good friend Jon Bausman. With a long letter in the card explaining how sad he was to hear about what Gina and I had gone through. He told me what a big heart I had, and how he hope the situation didn’t change me and that he wanted to let me know there were still good people in the world. Inside the card was a check written out to me for $200. He explained that I could spend it on whatever I wanted, put it back towards another camera? Or just use it to do some good. Jon has a bigger heart than most anyone I know, what a great guy. And though I know the gesture never needed to be paid back, or even think. I informed Jon that I could not take his money. He insisted, but I insisted back. The fact that he thought so much of me to do such a kind thing was enough. Jon is the definition of a true friend. Thanks buddy…

Pushing the Limits

I’ve recently read a few blog posts, tweets and actually talked with other climbers in person about a subject I find rather familiar in the climbing world. Whether or not to push your limits.?

Sending Kelly's Arete V5 in Joes Valley Photo cred: Haley Dahle

Sending Kelly’s Arete V5 in Joes Valley
Photo cred: Haley Dahle

Let’s face it, when your rock climbing, your either pushing your limits, or static. When you first started climbing, you were pushing your limits weren’t you? Most people don’t send the introductory route. How did it go? A friend asked you if you wanted to go rock climbing, you agreed, and off you went. When you got to the crag, you were like “we’re going to climb THAT?” You probably struggled, maybe even gave up and threw in the towel after 20′? Walked away thinking ‘rock climbing is really too hard?’

Uber Classic 'The Angler'

Uber Classic ‘The Angler’

Most likely you were Syked no matter how you did. Isn’t that what led you back to the rock? Again and again? The  desire to divide and conquer. You worked harder, you figured it out, eventually you crushed that beginner route that first told you to “come back when your ready”. And you moved on…

Took this photo from the bottom of the crack

Took this photo from the bottom of the crack

Why? If you were happy just being outdoors, why not just go to same crag? Why not just Crush… Crush… Crush… Why challenge yourself with new, interesting and unfamiliar routes? What’s the point? Grades aren’t your thing anyways right?

Terrifying topout....YIKES!!!

Terrifying topout….YIKES!!!

The truth is, the human spirit desires challenge. That’s why we strive to learn, to move forward to promote at out jobs. That why we have all competed at some point in our lives, whether it be rock climbing or spelling bees. We yearn to see how far we can go, how much we can take… We reach to better ourselves. It’s in our nature, it is why we live. Complacency is death. Boredom. We fear it… At least I do.

Fire Side... We had the BIGGEST Blaze in the campsite

Fire Side… We had the BIGGEST Blaze in the campsite

How does this pertain to rock climbing you ask? Well I ask you, why not push your limits? Why not improve, move on, expand your array of climbing? Why not try harder, work harder? If  you’re climbing 5.9 right now, sending… You should be trying 5.10. End of discussion. Sorry, it’s how I feel. Move forward. Move up. I’m not accusing you of being weak, but I am accusing you of not pushing your potential. Not trying to your ability.

Crimpin' HARD in Joes

Crimpin’ HARD in Joes

When you do this, you will find that not only have you expanded the amount of routes you are capable of trying. You have more than doubled them most likely. You will find you have the goods to achieve far more than you ever dreamed possible.

Blue feet means climbed hard

Blue feet means climbed hard

For years, climbing plateaued at 5.14D, until someone dreamed big. Now 5.15 seems to be the norm. Are these rating legit? Well they must be, because only a handful of people can conquer them. And I say thank you! You have given the future something to shoot for, something to desire, something to accomplish… Then move on, move forward. NOTHING is impossible.

Shirt off means serious Biznas... Still got my Arse kicked

Shirt off means serious Biznas… Still got my Arse kicked

If you disagree, I want you to ask yourself one thing. ‘How Syked  was I when I first started climbing?’ Remember when the challenge was so hard, you didn’t defeated the first try? Everybody loves climbing a classic route, yes we love to do that multiple times. But remember, there are more classic routes at every grade. And Until you push yourself you will never know

Exhaustion has set in... Just soakin' up the sun

Exhaustion has set in… Just soakin’ up the sun






Trustin’ Lads may be my downfall

One of the first pics I took with my now stolen DSLR

One of the first pics I took with my now stolen DSLR


I like to believe in the notion that people are mostly good. That if in need, our fellow-man is there to help out. That not everyone is out to get some in life… I’m not sure I can honestly say this is still my thoughts.

Throughout my 36 years, I’ve learned one thing that does ring true. You can only ever count on one person, YOURSELF! Now I may seem bitter, and come off a bit angry. But really I’m not that angry. Yes I’m mad that I allowed myself to be taken advantage of, that I opened up opportunity, and people have seized it.Joes valley 062

The truth is, my one major fault is Trustin’ Lads… Because I’ve opened my heart up to so many, the odds will eventually kick in. It will undoubtably backfire on me one way or another. I’ve been let down, dropped by the ones I thought loved me the most, in a time when I needed them the most. I’ve pushed aside, while watching others move forward in their career goals, and I’m left doing the leg work. And though I know in these situations, I did have some control over the outcome. And being “too nice” has left me regretting. I’ve always live under the motto that I’d rather be a good person with integrity, then step on others on my way to the top.

Since I purchased my home, I’ve invited multiple people into it. Free place to stay… People I barely knew anything about, but just had a good vibe with them. And it’s always worked out alright. I’ve made friends, roommates, even adventure buddies. Hopefully for life. But recently, I answered an ad on Craigslist. Someone that needed a place to live, needed a bed, and needed it soon and cheap. I thought, ‘Hey, it will help me out financially, and I’m helping someone else.’ Win-Win! Maybe I gain another adventure partner out of this at very least.? Boy was I wrong.Joes valley 029

After the rent was late and I had to get after her for it, the vibe was not so good. She promptly paid me, and I just gave her the benefit of the doubt. She said she came from out-of-state, had an agency moving her belonging here for her. Seemed plausible. But then I began noticing little things. She called and complained EVERYTIME she ordered dinner. Got a free meal credited. I started thinking ‘your just taking advantage of these companies’. She was still eating the meals they sent out. But getting a second one on the house. She was a cheat, a scam artist. And still, I didn’t listen to my heart. I had half a mind to kick her out. I knew I wasn’t going to keep her around at the end of the month. Mostly because I didn’t trust her, but I had a sneaking feeling something was amiss.Joes valley 013

Then 1 week before her month was up, my other roommate Gina told me she was missing her Percocet she had just gotten from her surgery. I was furious, I knew exactly who took it. But Gina pleaded with me not to confront her. Gina was scared to be alone with her. Scared she would try to retaliate when I was not around. And Gina being helpless, I understood. So we came up with a white lie to get her to move out. Told her my sister bedded a place to go, that she had been kicked out by her BF. But not to seem to obvious, I still didn’t kick her out ASAP. I still ignored the warning in my heart. And after contacting the police when I found Gina’s pills in her belongings. The police said there was nothing they could do. No proof they said… He said she said they told us… So I made the decision to play out the lie. And boy did it cost me big time.

After she left, I noticed $120 missing from my wallet. Gina said she was missing an external hard drive. Then 2 separate cameras were gone. Yes, including my brand new Canon DSLR that I just purchased. It was being stored in my vehicle, she must’ve removed it when I was sleeping, or in the shower.? I’ve also noticed my vehicles spare keys are gone? Did I misplace them? I doubt it… And I’m sure in time, I will notice more things here and there.

It seems I was EXTREMELY naïve? Trustin’ Lads has always been my downfall. No, it doesn’t make me a bad person, but an easy target? Yes! Vulnerable? Yes! Stupid? YES!Joes valley 020

I’d like to sit here and say that it won’t affect my outlook on life… But that would be a lie. I was once the guy that pulled over and gave a young lady a ride 10 miles to a phone. Just because she had nowhere else to go. I had believed in good karma, but the reality is if you leave yourself open someone, somewhere will see opportunity and they will seize it. I’ve since changed the locks in my house, reprogram the garage door opener and change the code. Cut wood blocks to keep all the windows closed. And yes, I pulled my 9 mm out of the lock box and loaded the clip it now sleeps right next to me.Joes valley 065
I’m even considering a security system, getting a dog. Or maybe just selling my house altogether? I feel violated, someone came into my home invited and I let them take advantage of me and my friend. I don’t even feel like I can leave my house alone without wondering if someone trying to get into it? I shouldn’t have to feel unsecure in my own home, my roommate should not have to feel unsafe staying in my home.

We all affect the outcome of the world, whether it be for good or bad, we all play apart. I choose to play the good part.Joes valley 039