Thursday, December 17, 2009

How about that snow!?

Training/woody sesh at our house tonight. We have over 50 problems V0 to V12. Come try your skill on an indoor classic (is that an oxymoron?)

upcoming ROADTRIPS:

Dec. 23rd and 25th and perhaps 27th: Siemay and I will probably go to Castle Rock, a sandstone paridise south of the bay. This rock is the most similar to Font of any sandstone in the US. There is a famous Sharma problem there called "Ecoterrorist" that I would love to do. I haven't tried it in about 8-9 years. It is very slopey and goes at V11.

January 14-24: We will be using our wedding gift, our truck-camper, for its maiden voyage to visit MOE'S VALLEY, UT for the first time. This is a sandstone area that has gained popularity but remained below the radar. There are many quality problems of every grade.
We were originally thinking France/Swizzy for a month this march/april, but that trip may be postponed until fall.  We are considering Norway this summer and are definitely going to BURNING MAN this year.
Spring (end 'o march/beg. of april): ANNUAL JOE'S VALLEY TRIP!

previous years action videos:
Siemay crushes a sweet sandstone V6:

me flailing on "beyond life" (my favorite problem?)

me sending "beyond life"

me on "knocking room" (RIP) AMAZING PROBLEM!

...Joe's is about perfect.

Try Hard, People!

Noah as usual

Seek perfection of character. Respect others. Try Hard.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Health Care Reform

So many people have asked my opinion on this tricky subject.  This is what I think about it as an Emergency Medicine physician.

Who can really say if healthcare is an intrinsic right? I don't know or really care, but I do know that by law I cannot turn anyone away from the ER without receiving medical care (EMTALA). I also would have an ethical dilemma turning away someone in need of help because they cannot pay. My oath obligates me to service of all.

I deliver about $150k of uncompensated care a year. This is not the subsidised Medicare, caid, cal underpayments that don't even cover my malpractice insurance. Despite that, I make a decent living. Not a killing. I owe about $200k for my training, and my twenties and all my previous hobbies mostly evaporated (except for climbing) with my decision to endure the rigors of meodern medical training.

Tort reform is a must. I order WAY too many tests because I am scared of losing my license and missing a diagnosis on someone and getting sued.  It sucks to have that affect your clinical decision making. This drives up healthcare costs.

I think we have a duty to help our fellow human who is suffering with illness.

We need a huge redirection of focus to preventative medicine. Cigarrettes should cost $40 a pack and the cost should go towards paying for healthcare reform.  Specialists should not be so highly incentivised, the highest compensation right now goes to specialists, so of course more medical students want to go into specialties.  Duh.  We need our best and brightest delivering exceptional primary care medicine.
This all seems like common sense, something sorely missing in modern day politicoeconomics.  This is a brief synopsis of my thoughts on heathcare reform in this country.
Noah T. Kaufman, MD
Seek perfection of character. Respect others. Try Hard.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Young Genius

J.D. Simo.

That name probably is unknown to you.  He is 24 years old and absolutely KILLS lead guitar.  He's up there with Hendrix, Plant, Ribot et alia.

He's from AZ and now plays with the Don Kelly Band in Nashville, TN.

Here's a you tube video of this maniac:

Especially watch 2:30 until the end.  I can't stop laughing watching this dude play.  What an animal.  Having palyed guitar for almost 20 years, I can tell you that this is likely in the V12-14 range.  I love it!

Climbing-wise, Tahoe and Bisop and The Ditch (Yosemite) are all under a lot of snow.  Woody sessions are underway, but with the exception of Joel Zerr who came over and destroyed, most of us feel a little weak on the steep.

Try Hard!

Seek perfection of character. Respect others.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tahoe comps & "The Hatchling" V11

The snow is here which means that it's time to break out the snowboard/skis for many of you "poly-enthusiasts."
The hardcores will now be turning their sights on Bishop and training indoors/competitions and perhaps travel to Ibex/Joe's/Hueco.
That brings us to High altitude Fitness (HAF), for those of you who do not know, is the BEST climbing gym around.  They have a full work-out facility with machines/weights/campus board/rings/sick bouldering/auto-belay, etc.etc.etc.
December 5th they are having the first of three bouldering/climbing competitions for the season.  It will be an ABS competition with $$$$ in cash and prizes.
The next comps will be in Feb and April (see flyer @
I've been to a previous comp (a dyno comp) which was awesome.  Super high energy.  This is a great way to further coalesce our community and to train/get stronger and to get a ton of shwag and maybe some paper money too!
Sadly, I will be OOT for the first comp.  I hear local Rock-Ninja Joel Zerr will be coming back from the NW to set for this comp.  Joel has experience setting for the pros at World Cups, and is a great setter.  Routes should be super fun!
Start training!
I think Monday I will have a session at my house or HAF depending on the roads, etc.
For eye candy:  Here is an amazing first ascent I was able to nab in the Rocklands of South Africa.  It is a proud line that I named "The Hatchling."  At V11 (font. 8A)  it was no gimme!  Jesse almost sent this last summer, but hurt his ankle falling from the last hard move.  The boulder is amazing because you can actually rock it back and forth on its pedestal!  SICK!  Daniel Woods made the quick second ascent as did Wills Young and Paul Robinson.  Walker Emerson sent this year as did Nalle Hukkataival and others.  I have done many many first ascents, but this one is my only World Class Climb.  I have footage of the FA and will put it in my new film "Try Harder" which I am currently working on.

Seek perfection of character. Respect others.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Fall conditions are SICKY!  The rock is GRIPPY!

Siemay and I have been in Yosemite the last two weeks.  I was "working."  ...Many of you know my arrangement there and some of you have taken advantage of poker games and a dope pad in the valley!

Siemay had an amazing trip sending a ton of stuff including "Tap Dance" V10:

Siemay was also the poker champion for the trip winning an impressive number of nights.

I sent some cool classics as well, but mostly had really bad split tips from trying to do a hard Tahoe project (still undone.)

Here's a cool send I had:

The plan is to go back next weekend as well.

We are now TRAINING since the Bishop season is about to begin in full swing.  That means campusing and woody sessions at our house!

Thursday I will have a mega session at the house if the weather is bad, if it is good I will probably go to the new area across the lake.

Hope everyone is enjoying fall!

In Tahoe news, this is a rad new V8 I put up at The West Shore area.  I called it "Sisyphus" after the Greek myth.  Amazing crimpy compression to a committing deadpoint.  On the same boulder as "Fortress," another true classic climb.


Seek perfection of character. Respect others. Try Hard.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Gladiator V10 First Ascent - An amazing Sierra classic!

Here's a rad series of pics taken at the recent Bear Valley competition that Siemay and I went to.  This problem, "Gladiator" is one of the most classic lines in the Sierras.  A true four-star line, Gladiator sat undone for...  billions of years!  I know of several strong climbers who tried this difficult line, but they always seemed to try it in the heat of summer.  I was lucky enough to figure out the abstruse beta and fire this line off earlier this season.  I called it Gladiator because I had to battle hard and this line is right near the road (Hwy 4) where gapers can stop and watch.  This line reminds me of "Thriller" in Camp 4, aesthetically.  The holds are cool and the movements are sublime.  Two weeks ago, I repeated the line at the competition.  Right after i sent, David Outcalt broke a small right hand sidepull off and stiffened up the grade.  I did not want to waste too much skin going for a repeat, but the hold is just as positive, and now fits 3 fingers instead of 4, and it sits 5 mm lower.  This could make the grade V11, but it felt about the same when I tried the move again.  This is the crux move.

This is the crux:  ...VERY aggressive.

Super dynamic into a gaston barn-door, but it's not over!  delicate ninja-foot moves where you can easily blow off and the foot dynos must be precise.  after this sequence comes a balancy slopey bit on bad holds, about V6 sequence.

Big gaston move, easy for taller climbers and then set up for final throw to the coolest final jug, V3ish dessert!  Amazing.
In other news, sick new lines are going up daily at the new Tahoe area.  Dave Hatchett is largely responsible for the addition of many new sick Tahoe lines!  I spent an hour repeating a sick technical V7 he put up called "Sky Grip" and love this new line.  It is an instant classic for sure.  Great job, Dave!  Inspirational!

Seek perfection of character. Respect others. Try Hard.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Development in Tahoe on Westshore

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  Here's three pictures:

Seek perfection of character. Respect others. Try Hard.

Monday, September 28, 2009



First off:  Reminders.
Oct. 2nd is the Film "Progression" at The Lake Tahoe Com. College at 6:30pm till 9p.  We'll probably rally to get beer/pizza afterwards.  The director has told me I have a cameo appearance!
Oct 3rd is the Bear Valley Competition/hangout.  $35 dollars, 9 am - 10 am is registration, and then climb time. lot's of gear/prizes for every category.  should be rad.
Oct 1st I am trying to rally a posse for THURSDAY to go back out to Caples.  Should be awesome weather. mabye 10am-ish.


Caples has seen a bunch of rad new FA's this week!  Here is the 20+ foot "Tower of Song" V3****  It starts on an obvious sloping ledge with bomb feet in the scoop.  Then a rad mantle to a 5.4 highball slab.  THE DOWNCLIMB IS A 5.10 FREESOLO, OR BACK DOWN THE SLAB AND JUMP.

On the back of this boulder is another V3 **** FA called "Suzanne."  It is a cool face, neat moves.  This boulder is really cool and will have about 4 more amazing/harder very serious highball boulder problems of great aesthetics.  It would be good to go there with many pads/spots, and maybe a rope, too.  This is the biggest boulder at the tree/water line, near the four star V9 "Excalibur."

Next is "Shark fin Soup" V4.  This problem felt like V6 to me, but Siemay and Josh insist so.  It was fun, but only ** and a little shapr/thrutchy.

And up further into the rocky woods there are these classics:  "Columbo" **** V0 (shown) and a cool V7 huge dyno called "Tornado" just to the left.

The prize of the day, however, was probably "The Marlin" V5***. Fun and athletic, this problem is a must do for moderate boulderers (5.12 crux.)  Josh, Siemay and I all sent without too much trouble.

Much more to do at Caples!

...I am trying to rally a posse for THURSDAY to go back out to Caples.  Should be awesome weather. mabye 10am-ish.

Seek perfection of character. Respect others. Try Hard.
Noah as usual...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Eratica Et Cetra

Wow.  Today was amazing at Eratica.  Three new brilliant lines got FA's.  1st:  "Pool Service" V5 *** on the back of the Painter boulder.  This is the same boulder that has "Global Warming" V9 **** highball face, and Jesse's "Element of Surprise" V11 ***.  Thanks to Dave Nunley, the motivator on this one. (See right.)

Next up, two new slightly harder high quality lines about 100 yards down and slightly right of "Fujiyama"  These lines are AWESOME!  I'd say the left one, "Stimpson Maneuver" is V8ish and the right one (shown here) "White Scapula" is maybe V7-V9 depending on your height. ...See the white scapula on the left?

Thanks to Todd Paige and his lovely wife, Ev (and Sunny, wonder-dog) for joining me for the send of these great new Eratica classics (I would not have sent without Todd's beta!)

Another new line at Eratica is "Farcaster" V6*** a super cool, short problem done by visiting hardman, Brian Arnold.  Here's a picture of this rad line:

Additionally, Here is the Boulder at Eratica with "Bunny Grinder" V9**** (or likely 10 as it remains unrepeated despite strong efforts.)  This boulder also has 10 other amazing lines including Jesse's addition "Long distance Girl" V8**** and the "Balls of Steel" *** project (likely another V13.)

(EXCALIBUR) V9 **** amazing.

jay's boulder

Seek perfection of character. Respect others. Try Hard.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Jesse Bonin continues to crush.  Party Animal: Tahoe's first V13 established!  Great job Jesse.  I will be writing an article about Jesse in an upcoming issue of URBAN CLIMBER MAGAZINE.

Saturday:  we are going up to Crater Lake. FREAKIN BEAUTIFUL UP THERE! 2 miles west of blue lakes turnoff on 88, on north side of 88 past a large pullout. 1 mile 4x4 to get up to lake, alternatively can hike last 1/3 of 4x dirt road. BE THERE! boulder is behind lake at 10 o'clock, 5 min hike (can't see from lake.)
Sunday:  ERATICA. past KW, up over pass, down hill turn right at big gravel mounds, take dirt road in 1/4 mile, park, walk down into rock climbing heaven. vast area.
(boom)...Big crews with lots of pads, climbing at ALL levels. DRINK THE DAMN KOOLAID, PEOPLE!

Seek perfection of character. Respect others. Try Hard.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Death of Common Sense

Just some social commentary:

An Obituary reported to have been printed in the London Times. Interesting and sadly true:
"Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, "Common Sense", who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouth wash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust. His wife, Discretion, his daughter, Responsibility, his son, Reason. He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights; I Want It Now; Someone Else Is To Blame; I’m A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing."

I feel lucky to be surrounded by people who still take responsibility for their actions, who still live by the Golden Rule, and who want the world to be a better place, even if they know it's an uphill battle.  Thank you!

-=Seek perfection of character. Respect others. Try Hard.=-

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cooler Temps

Congrats to Jesse Bonin Today for destroying the Whaleshark Boulder at Burnside. He sent the 2 V9's, The V8, and the rad V11 "The Wolfpack" in 2 goes. Sick.

This weekend we are going to the Buttes, I will try to polish off "Diamondback" a really cool V11 that I have been psyched on for a while. Joel Zerr did the FA this spring. Here is my best attempt so far... Trying really hard:

We will likely go to the Freaks and Eratica this week. Temps are cooler and problems are going DOWN!

Noah as usual


Today was amazing. Perfect Temps up at Crater Lake. We rallied with a huge crew: David, Frank, Siemay, me, Patrick, Sonia, Fabian, Paul, Brian and Anginette Arnold.

The psyche was high and the paddage even higher enabling some sick climbing.

This Boulder is so much fun. The rock is a billion years old (according to Frank's guess.) Here's what went down: "Dangerously Cheesy" V7: Brian, David, Patrick (Siemay falling at the last move. Sonia, Frank: sick efforts, close!) NEW FA: "Lactose Intolerance" V10 (4-star) - me (after Brian Arnold nearly crushed.) NEW FA: "Barnyard Massacre" V6 stand (me, Frank.) Brian - sit (variation V7) - This is the brilliant Right side arete.

You should check out this boulder. It's really fun. It has the best highball V0- slab in all of Tahoe, to boot. The Temps are perfect for summer. It goes into shade early, and the hard side of the boulder is shady all day.

I got some wicked footage of Jesse sending the V11 and my new V10. Both will be in the new "Try Harder" video that I am making. I'll try to get some new photos up on my blog soon, too.

Anyway, now that Brian and Ang are in town, we will be touring around all the local hot-spots (especially as it cools down.) Eratica, The Freaks, Whaleshark at Burnside, The Ghosts, Job's Peak Boulder, Outcalt's many areas, and maybe check out another couple still secret Westside spots. It's almost like work except for the fact that it is so insanely fun.

***Several of us are planning a Sierra Buttes trip for next Saturday and maybe Sunday. You may remember that this place is THE BOMB. It's like 20-30 Crater Lake boulders in an even more beautiful setting... But it's a little drive. 1.5 hours from South Lake then a meaty hike uphill 45 mins.

See you there?

Try hard!



Here is an interesting update on the history of the amazing boulder at Crater Lake "Dangerously Cheesy" That Don sent me. Great find Don! For those of you that don't know, Don has scoured the hillsides and has been one of the most influential contributors to the Tahoe scene over the past several years. Don, we love you!

"Hey Noah,Congratulations on the sit start send! Glad you all are psyched! Sick boulder as I said in our phone conversation at the start of the season.Just so you all have an idea of the history of the boulder as far as I know. Tough to tell if anything had been done previous as it is bullitproof and gets buried every year.steep side (north)- right sit down arete v11 Ian, next line in to the left v7 Ian, center v8 Ian ( no sit I don't believe). the sit your Lactose Intolerant?, left side v3 me.east side (towards lake)- right straight up off shelf dyno v? me, left center rounded layback v3 Dave Goodwindownclimb slab side

west side (over the pit) right slab v0 me, left side v0 Dave GoodwinI came upon the boulder in late season 2005 and did a couple of the problems (no pads) brought Kris from Cali and Dave Goodwin up the following season. Ian did the aformentioned August 2008.Happy sending,Don"

With this info, and based on my trying Jesse's sit start into the V7, I can fairly confidently call Jesse's line an FA, although I will try to confirm with Ian. I thought it was in the V12 range or harder. I had broke 2 pretty big holds of the center line, so I was surprised to find it had been done... Adding the sit to "Lactose Intolerance" definitely makes the problem more classic. It's a 4 star V10 now!

Thank you, Don! Also from Don:

"On the geo-petrology of Dangerously cheesy, the hypothesis stated (basement metamorphic for the region) is interesting, but another theory consistent with the region is an altered andesite (contact metamorphism) tertiary volcanic along the Hope Valley fault grabben."

fyi, Noah

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Wow. What can I say. Climbing in Tahoe is really exploding. The numbers of world class boulders and problems not in any books is remarkable. Take for example "Dangerously Cheesey," an incredible boulder of perfect rock with four star lines on it sitting at 8200' near a perfect turqouis mountain lake. A preview of Heaven? Or maybe Heaven on Earth? Who knows. Many lines are done on this bad boy up at Crater Lake. Just 2 miles West of the Blue Lakes road turn-off. You need Hardcore 4 x 4 to get up there, or a long hike. Subarus won't make it... Bring a swimsuit for a noon-time swim. around 4 pm the temps require a fleece. See Jesse's blog for details: ...and more photos.
Wow. I love Tahoe! We are all getting psyched for the season. There are so many projects in the whole grade spectrum it's insane! It seems Like Jesse and I have our work cut out for the fall to keep up with Jay and Frank and David and the other South Lake developers! TRY HARD! ...Speaking of which, I got some rad footage of Jesse climbing "Dangerously Cheesey" V11 second ascent and it looks sick. Maybe see you out at Eratica or Crater Lake, or Burnside, or the Ghosts, or... well... If I can get out of last minute wedding planning details. Don't tell Siemay I said that. -Noah as usual.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Homestead

After residency, Siemay and I road-tripped for a year, which only had one downside: we had no home. I would fly into Tahoe to work for a week and then be off for a month. It was pretty sick actually.Eventually, we started working more and decided to spend more time in Tahoe since the climbing here is insane and there is soooo much exploring/adventure to be had. So many first ascents! After waiting for the market to bottom (it's still not there yet!) we finally found an incredible deal on a nice house with awesome views. The garage met my criteria for building a woody, so we bought! Soonafter, close friend Brian Arnold and Ang Arnold drove our stuff out from Ohio. Brian and I started to work on the wall and these photos are the end result. So now, when there is bad weather or if we just want to train, we have a world class woody, the 3rd I've built, to monkey around on. Stop by anytime and CRANK!!! (Post brought to you by ROCK CANDY HOLDS -

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Urban Climber Interview

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention: Urban Climber just interviewed me:



The past couple of weeks have proved very interesting.

A new area, "The Freaks" has been discovered and developed by Frank Lucido, Jay Sell, Jesse Bonin, David Outcalt and others. I did 2 very cool highball First Ascents there just yesterday.

This is a volcanic area in the forest with very steep climbing not dissimilar to Hueco Tanks, TX.

Jesse has done two new incredible V12's there that he has named "Freakshow" and "Downtown Brown." Really amazing stuff. Thanks to Ben Broche for capturing some awesome point-and-shoot footage of the sick sends.

Also, many more pics plus other interesting stuff at Jesse's blog:

Fall is coming, so it's time to get in shape! The Bear Valley bouldering competition/hang out/party is Sept 19th, If I can get out of work, I'll be there.

Hope all is well, everyone!

Noah as usual.

PS. This will FREAK YOU OUT: Unbelievable.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The HEAT is ON!

It's freakin' hot. Even at high elevation.
To get us through these tough times, our famed videographer, Jason Hogan has put together this little diddy to keep you cool:
(thanks Jason!) ...amazing new sport. Jason is really good at snowskating as well (I've seen him tear it up.)
Siemay and I had a sweatfest at our wall (I almost said "on my woody") last night. It was fun, but this weather is best for deep water soloing and routes. Speaking of which, Angora lake has some pretty cool DWS to be checked out as well as some cliff jumping. ...go mid week if you can.
Also, a cool tidbit: The Urban Climber magazine's latest issue interviewed me for the "Drive" section! I haven't seen it yet, but have gotten some nice emails about it.
Mostly, I have been taking some time to let the tweaks work themselves out. ...This is why we went to South Africa the last two summers. BTW, Jesse Bonin is back, here is his blog:
I'm open to suggestions, but may just climb on the wall late night if anyone is interested. email us.
...come fall there is so much to do! PSYCHED!
PS. now is a good time to get new shoes! the new Evolvs are sick:

Fall Thoughts


In preparation for fall, I have come across 2 outstanding guidebooks that will help you plan your journeys. I bring it up now since I noticed that they were ON SALE until August 9th.

They are Supertopo, so they are really high quality. I just bought the Tuolumne Bouldering guide and it rocks.

Siemay and I checked out the "Conquistador" problem, but I was too scared to top it out! It's 4-5 star though. Going back with adequate pads in fall.

Get the new Norther Cali guide, and the Tuolumne guide on sale here:

ALSO: Sept 19th is the anual Hell's Kitchen Competition down in Bear Valley, CA. This is were we've been putting up some sweet climbs in the moderate to hard range.


PS. I have not been incentivised to write this.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Welcome to your future

Can you name this climb? I think it's the perfect climb. It took me 6 days to do it, although highschool kids have done it in an hour... The climb is Shosholoza, a Fred Nicole problem in Rocklands. I couldn't go to Rocklands this year, so I have been climbing around the Tahoe area and finding some amazing things. The climbing here in Tahoe, or anywhere else for that matter is very similar actually: you find a climb that you like, that challenges you, and then you tear your heart out trying it (if it's hard enough for you.) The point is to try your hardest. But that's the thing, how do you know if you are actually trying your hardest? The point of this blog will be to introduce you to fun new Tahoe climbs/climbing areas and to discuss the philosophy of effort; the philosophy of trying hard. I will try to explore some of the more subtle mental and psychological aspects of rock climbing. My goal is to update weekly and I would enjoy having an interactive discussion. For this first post, I'd like to propose a question. Do you think that the body follows the mind or that the mind follows the body? I will let you know my thoughts in the next post. Try hard! - Noah Kaufman, MD