The Ninja Video


I worked with Megan Mascarenas last week, a Mad Rock Pro from Colorado Springs. We met at Kevin Branford’s woody, which I’d never seen before, and rivaled the density of two other famous woodies: Steven Jeffery’s small garage, and Rocco Bocciccio’s basement beast. Megan was quiet as usual, but more open than usual because her family had brought Storm, her beloved black lab, and Storm was playing with my border collie.

Kevin’s parents made us hot cocoa, and Megan’s parents settled into lounge chairs near the garage door. The atmosphere was warm and comfortable, softened by the large overhead heater stationed above and directed towards the center of the room. The dogs wandered around as we all talked about climbing, shared connections, and warmed up a little on the wall.

I showed Megan the new prototype from Mad Rock, and she was genuinely excited to see an aggressive, stiff, and high-arched shoe much like the Demon, but with a different sole. (No trade secrets will be handed out on this blog until the shoe comes out!) I let the GoPro run while we traversed, and then she showed me a climb she’d made that Kevin put at V9 – V11. It was hard to grade because only she had climbed it, but there was a knee bar a foot above her left hand that I could not fathom, even though I absolutely love to abuse techniques like the knee bar until a climb feels V3.

When we’d gotten enough footage, Megan’s family invited me to Austin Geiman’s gym to see their new expansion. Then new wall was great, and though it was dim inside, I took a great photo of Megan doing a very big dyno across the new wall.

I could not stay long, since I needed to stop at Pure, so I said my goodbyes and headed out to Pure Bouldering Gym. The second I walked in, the circular and cafe-like Pure layout impressed me. Though small, the walls, flooring, and office window felt homely, cozy, and a lot like Kevin’s woody again, though with less hold density. A large roof looked promising for hard training, but didn’t have many holds on it yet. There was an Ugly Sweater Competition poster next to the front desk, where Keegan was working.