Thursday, December 3, 2009

So Confused

WARNING: The following post contains a lot of bitching...

"One thing you've learned is that you cant just pack your bags and go."

So true Mom, so true. Up until recently planning for my Mega-trip has been relatively easy peasy lemon squeezy, but one little thing seems to be looming over me as of late... One four letter word that separates me from four months in Europe.


Not a credit card, but a pass to the "Schengen Union". This pass is not needed unless you are going to be in the Union for longer than 90 days, but I will be there for 120. If you cannot prove a place where you will be staying (aka if you are "backpacking") then you must obtain a visa from the country that you are entering/exiting. Enter the French Government. Let me just list the issues I've had while just researching HOW to get a French Visa.

1. To apply for a Visa you must apply in person at the Consulate. I live in Alabama. The nearest French Consulate is in Atlanta, which is conveniently two hours away. However, I hold a drivers license from the state of Oklahoma.... and guess what you need to be able to apply for a Visa at the Atlanta Consulate. A drivers license from Alabama/ Georgia / Tennessee. "Where can you apply Les?" Good question, and the answer is: Houston. Texas that is. OH SWEET, its only 10 hours away.

2. "Well just apply on your way to Oklahoma," good thought my friend, but appointments for the visa office are only available every Wednesday from 8 AM to 9 AM. Say WHAAAAAAAAA?

3. Processing time is at a minimum of 2-3 weeks. Sometimes processing takes 2 months. The earliest I'll be able to apply is late December. And unless I want to drive back to Houston I must leave my Passport with the Consulate and wait for them to MAIL it back to me. Sound sketchy? It is.


If you can help me, or have any information regarding Visas....

Email me at

Until then I'll be pulling my hair out.

Sincerely yours.

Le Tot <= that's french

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Well folks, I'm in. I bought my ticket last night for the trip of a lifetime. It's going to be a crazy good time.

I've been thinking about not going Hueco Tanks January, and staying around the south instead; trying to do a bunch of problems I've never done, and saving a ton of money in gas (aka not driving 3000 miles!) . I've hardly even touched little rock city, and I still have projects at HP40 and Rocktown. What do you think I should do? I've never been to Hueco, so I definitely feel that I should go, but I don't have reservations or anything yet. If you've been to the south, and Hueco... give me some advice, I can't make up my mind!!


In the mean time I have to start getting my crap organized.... too much to do, and so little time!

84 days until I leave!!!

Also worthy of note: Going to the Red for 4 days with this guy:


Oh yeah! I one hung Hooligans on my flash attempt at the concave last Saturday! Then I one hung it again, and then again... haha! Oh well. Next time.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hello and Goodbye

1. Goin to climb this weekend, so psyched. Either rocktown, the canyon, or both...
I'll let you know how it goes....

I deactivated my account today.

And that is that.

Now back to climbing....

Check these videos:


Sur-Prises assis 7c+ from Mero Werfie on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where is the cold?

Where is the cold? Seriously. Yesterday we're hit with a friggen tropical storm and this weekend it's going to be 70 degrees. I'm ready for the 30's. I'm ready for it to get sticky outside. Grrr. Oh well....

Check out this little video I made for the boys over at P&C.

Haircut from Les on Vimeo.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ahh the cold

Well howdy do sports fans. Add Video

First off, War Eagle.

Second, I'm getting psyched. Is it weird that my excitement level is directly linked to how cold it is outside? Think about it. When I wake up, walk outside, and take a breath of nice cool air (im talking 40's people!), I immediately want to strap on my shoes, run out back, and start training. How come I can't keep this enthusiasm for the rest of the year? Climbers are no doubt a rare breed... Alluding to my upcoming trip, my Dad asked, "Why are you purposely maximizing the amount of cold you have to endure in both areas?" HAH! Why would I not?? It only makes sense right? Suffer the cold to send hard. Screw being comfortable. However, as I begin to realize that I am actually going on such an epic journey, I'm also thinking about the repercussions. How will camping in the cold for 7 months effect me? Am I cut out for this? Do I even have enough MONEY????

Only time will tell.

Regardless, I have have a few project in mind this fall that I would love to send before I went.

2. Golden Harvest

Speaking of Golden Harvest... Has anyone been to Rocktown lately? What is the deal with that place?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The best comp ever.

24 Hours.

me: "How many breaks are we going to take?"
Maury: "I don't think we should take any..."
me: "Oh."

I didn't think he was serious. No one can really climb for 24 hours straight.


Well, it turns out you can.

57 routes later and I am a new man. Eyes tired, hands torn, feet swollen, and body wrecked, Maury and I finished our last route of the 24 hours 23:45 in and headed down to the barn. There I saw Tommy and Jeremy turning in there scorecards as well. All smiles....

I knew that there was no chance that we had won, but this confirmed it. I could barely move, and they had changed into costumes.


These two young guns climbed 213 routes.


The entire experience was a blast. I'll have to say if you like climbing, and want a challenge, this is it.

:::Some Highlights:::



All photos are courtesy of Lucas Marshall. => Check it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Going Big

I've been known to say "Go Big or Go Home." Well, for the first time in my life I am going big. REAL big.

I've recently been planning a trip of a lifetime, and I couldn't be more excited.

Here's how it will hopefully lay out...

Starting in January of 2010, I'll hop in my car and shoot down to the world class bouldering area of Hueco Tanks.

I will stay for 3 weeks, and then head back to Hot Lanta (ATL, GA) to meet up with my good friend ALEX SAVAGE (the man, the myth, the legend).

And we will then fly out of ATL to Paris, France. We will then buy a car.

And drive south to Fountainbleau....

And possibly all these areas as well...
Brione, Switzerland

Mallorca, Spain

Magic Wood, Swtizerland

Ceuse, France

Verdon Gorge, France

Hopping from one area to the other for four months. Meeting people, and exploring new land.

Could it get any better?


At the end of the four months in Europe, Alex and I will then fly South....... Way south.


You guessed it.

South Africa => The Rocklands

Coming back at the beginning of August.

Then starting Graduate School.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Shadinkadink. NEWWWWS TO REPORT!

First off, Colorado was amazing. I wish I could describe to you all of the fun times we had. I spent a hell of a lot of time sport climbing (mostly at independence pass... which you must check out), and zero time bouldering. Ohhh well. Maybe next go around. I also climbed the Diamond the last day of my trip with my buddy Cassidy. What an experience that was. Thanks Cassidy for hauling me up that thing!

Second off, more to come.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Um yes.

Sooooo day 1 was amazing! I went solo to Mount Evans and, well, I SENT MY PROJECT! Oh man what a beautiful feeling. Sunny, windy, and 60 degrees, I sat underneath the Dali recalling past memories of failure. I decide to give it a go... to the dyno, but no send. I sat there looking at the problem and then went up on top of the boulder to look at the scenery. It was such a gorgeous day at Evans today, and blah blah blah, I got inspired, and blah blah blah. I went down to the climb, and strapped on my shoes. Next thing I knew I was holding the slopey jug, smiling from ear to ear. I know the Dali isn't groundbreaking, but I had such a mental block on the thing that it felt really good to push through on the first day of my trip.

Next I went to beirstadt and did all the moves except for the last one. Really psyched on this one, I think it will go pretty quick. I feel really good for not bouldering since March. So excited!

I'm going climbing tomorrow so I'll keep you posted.

Stay psyched!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Hey there. Long time no talky talky. To make a long story short I'm in Colorado, after half a summer of working in Auburn, and a great week spent in Oklahoma. So I'm here, in colorful Colorado and I have a month of nothing but climbing. Yes!

My first day here has been a bust, so far. I almost went bouldering by myself to Mt. Evans, but instead I waited around for a climbing partner and got rained out. Boooo, no climbing on day 1. Only 29 days left. Sigh.

I've got a new rope coming my way tomorrow (hopefully). It's a Mammut Infinity 9.5. I'll let you all know how it handles, wears, and treats me over the next couple of months.

I'll definetely be posting more now that I actually have something to post about.

Talk to you soon.

Im out.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Member's Only BBQ

So First Avenue Rocks is friggen awesome. I went up there last Sunday to eat, set problems, and hang out with friends. It was a goooooood ole time. Yessir. I feel guilty I haven't made it up to BHam to help out with the construction process, but they have done a great job putting the gym together. Once the AC and the padded floors go in they will be about ready to open. Good stuff. Makes me wish I lived in Birmingham. Oh well.

Here's a little video of the day.

FAR Members Only BBQ from Les on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A break in concentration...

Well it has been a few weeks since I posted, but let me get you up to date (as if you care). I've been really busy with work. Two jobs this summer is leaving me with very little free time, but I've managed to do a couple things with the little amount that I have. The first thing I've done is built a bicycle, which is now going to be my mode of transportation this summer.

My "new" Bike!

Second, I've been helping my friend Donny make a giant garden. So hopefully in a month or so I will have plenty of "free" veggies to munch on! Hooray veggies!

Third, I went to the beach with my beautiful girlfriend Jenny and her awesome family.

So there you go, my personal life in a nutshell... yadda yadda yadda.

Now it is time to start climbing again, and today marks the beginning of the summer training. I'm going to start a regimen that consists of hangboard, campusboard, and core workouts that will hopefully whip my sorry butt into decent shape. More on this later.

On another note, I'd like to pay tribute to my older brother and sister's mother, Brinda Warnock. She died peacefully in her sleep last week in Savannah, Georgia. Rest in peace Brinda, you will be missed.

My sister Rebecca and her mother Brinda

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Summer time....

I am ready for summer. My finals will be done tomorrow at 10:30 in the AM, and then no school for nearly 3 months.... yessir!

I'm going to be staying in the Southeast for the first time this summer.... The heat is going to SUCK, but I have a lot of projects to occupy my time... Not just climbing projects, (although I do have a LOT of those) but other projects as well.

-Project 1-
Move into a new house and add on to the climbing wall.

Some of you may know about the house I speak of, but if not let me inform you. In the back yard of my soon to be house lies THE SHED.... World Headquarters. My little slice of training heaven. Since there is no climbing anywhere remotely close to Auburn, we've built a nice little climbing wall in the shed. We've also decided on building more this summer... here are a few ideas:

Idea 1

Idea 2

Idea 3

I think we are going to build idea 1... or at least we are going to TRY and build idea 1. It will be the sickness.

-Project 2-
Build a Fixed Gear Bike

I've recently gotten really excited about building a fixed gear bicycle. I'm buying an old road bike frame off a guy here in Auburn, and converting it into a fixed gear. I don't know a lot about bikes, so this is going to be an experience...

I'll be in touch over the summer.... see ya around,


Sunday, April 26, 2009

God Module

A couple years back, Alex had a gooood day. Luckily I was there.

Friday, April 24, 2009

School and Finals

School is wrapping up and finals are coming... SO I'll be pretty strapped for time for the next couple weeks.

Here's a awesome video I found on you tube.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Lil to The River

(Photo- Taylor Forsythe)

I'm becoming obsessed with Lil River Canyon. I like it too much.

This weekend was awesome, it featured (in order of appearance):
-Scotty F
-Scotty G

And a few other folks... Needless to say we had a crew!

Highlight of the weekend? Andrew, Brooks, and I running the 1,2,3 sendtrain on Robin's Route (lizard wall) then splitting. Also, Haley sending her first 5.12!!! Classic-ness.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Grape Lady

I can't keep this from you.... Too funny!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I love Pandora and so should you.

If you don't know what it is, then Google it.

Check out my stations to the right.

=>=>=>=>=>=>=>=>=>=>=>=> That Way.

Not this way <=<=<=<=<=<=<=<=<=<=<=

Yeah, music is good for you.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

First Ave Rocks

The heat is coming in the Southeast and it's going to leave you with pit stains bigger than this guys:

Fortunately for us, an entrepreneur and a southern legend are giving climbers an outlet for bouldering in the scorching summer.

The name of the gym is First Avenue Rocks and it's in Birmingham, Alabama.

Yes. It's true. A gym in Birmingham.

I thought it would be a good idea to get an inside scoop by interviewing the two guys that know more than anyone. Joe Ortega and Adam Henry.

Here is the result:

Les: What was your inspiration for opening a gym in Birmingham?

Joe: Well, that would be no gym. I've been planning this for quite a while now. After I built a (sick ass) training center at Tim Diegmanns place I sort of let the idea slip to the back burner. We had everything you could want from a gym up there, steep walls, HIT strips, campus board, weights, you name it. It was great, not to mention he lived up stairs from me. Then Tim decided to move to Chatt and it all came down. That was definitely my re-inspiration.

Adam: The lack of any organized scene in the area. There are lots of climbers but nowhere with any centrality and energy. Too many disconnected groups leading to bad form (not southern). Woodies had always been in and around this place, but these have faded as an energy point.

Les: Why do you think it has not been done before now?

Joe: Maybe people are to busy talking about what a good idea it is to actually do something? Really though I have no idea.

Adam: Birmingham is considered a dead city that stopped growing after the civil rights era. Basically there were no big entities interested in investing. Actually, we had one over a decade ago, but it was poorly run thus it was driven into the ground.

Les: Other than four separate bouldering structures featuring plenty of varied terrain including top-out boulders; an extensive training section complete with a MOON board, HIT strips, system tiles, hang boards and campus rungs; a pro shop, top-rope wall, and lounge area with free WiFi...... What makes your gym unique?

Joe: Well when you put it like that, nothing.

Adam: Yeah, nothing really other than the fact it is in B-ham. There are tons of these types of facilities out west and up the east coast. However, we will be a bit unique to the Southeast by focusing on the bouldering gym aspect.

Les: Why go to F.A.R. instead of going to the UAB climbing facility?

Joe: Dude, I could talk about this for hours. As far as the climbing you will experience once you're at First Ave, there will be no comparison. The key is to have plenty of varied terrain (and we do). You want walls that can hold all grades of problems without making all of the moves awkward in order to increase difficulty and you want plenty of room for all of this to happen in. I think we have that well dialed in.

That's one of my biggest gripes about Entre Prises’s imprint system, including UAB's. All those damn features get in the way and severely limit how hard your problems can be, how big your holds can be and people who climb there a lot have every inch memorized (hell during comp time). They are just a real pain in the ass to set on. First Ave Rocks walls will have huge gradually curving sections with nothing to get in the way of our setters creativity. This really opens up the fun aspect of gym climbing. You can just about do anything.

We will have well thought out problems, fresh stuff every week. A sick training section as well as classes focused on power, tech, and endurance (training in a group is the best way to get strong, fo sho).

Adam: Why ask a stupid question???? Why drink a Milwaukee’s best when you can have a PBR?

Les: Word. What kind of texture will be on the boulders? What was the inspiration for the boulders?

Joe: All of the boulders will have textured surfaces that will feel a lot like the local stone. As far as replicating boulders though that's about as far as to goes. Often times things that work outside dont translate very well indoors. I tried to keep this in mind when I was designing the boulders. John Stack and Dustin Buckthal from The Front and Vertical Solutions had some great input as well. John started doing some amazing shit with curved walls at The Front, The Spot, Mamutt Send Fest, Etc. I built some curved walls up at Tim's Place and really liked the way they turned out so Vertical Solutions seemed like a natural company to consult with. I am stoked to say we will be working closely with them when we do our rope gym.

Les: I know most gyms survive on birthday parties and such, how will F.A.R handle this?

Joe: Basically we are aiming to be like Chuckie Cheese. Or Pump It Up. Or Both! This place will be off the chi-zane with pizza grease and frosting!

Adam: There will be set times and days for the events. People will know when these will happen therefore they can determine if they wish to be present or not. We are a bouldering gym first and foremost, but will have the option for any party eve nt. Leslie you could even have your "grow up and get a real job" party there whenever that happens..

Les: Yeah…. That’s never going to happen. With the recent boom of bouldering popularity, the Trifecta (Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee) has become a popular destination. Climbers are now moving to the southeast (I know I did), and people that are from these parts are realizing how lucky they really are. How does this factor into your decision to open a bouldering gym?

Adam: Well we hope the gym just sweetens the pot. Any real climbing town has to have a cultural scene and quality climbing facility (not to mention rock close to the area). B-ham has enough culture for sure, and our gym will give people another reason to stop and stay.

Joe: Totally. I am from Cali where f'n everyone climbs, but here there is this special psych for bouldering that people don't expect. I was stoked to see how many people down here boulder. The climbing here was one of the reasons I came to B-ham.

Les: Do you think the gym will change the climbing scene in Alabama? How so?

Joe: Shit, I hope so. Both Adam and I want to bring something positive to the region. We want a place where climbers can come hang out and learn from each other. Some place to focus all this crazy climbing energy. Of course we are also hoping to lighten the impact on HP40, Moss Rock. Those places are getting hammered from all the traffic. Actually, if anyone is interested April 10th we are sponsoring a trail day at HP where we will be planting a bunch of native trees to help stop the erosion. Hopefully we will have a bunch of volunteers. It'll get you in free for the day and all you gotta do is plant a tree.

Adam: I think it definitely will change the scene in Alabama. It will bring the energy back to one area. The disconnect gap will be filled and climbers will have a place to get good beta and become better representatives for the area. Right now there is lots of bad beta and misinformed climbers out there that need a bit of guidance.

Les: What are you individually responsible for as far as First Avenue Rocks is concerned?

Adam: The pretty face and flow.

Les: I know that a LOT of people are psyched about this gym, including me, is there anything you want them to know?

Joe: We are busting our asses to get this thing open for you as fast as possible. Trust me, no one wants it open sooner than I do. Summer fast approaches...

Adam: I’m psyched too. It will be killa...

Les: Closing thoughts?

Joe: Lots of people are asking if there is anything they can do to help. The best thing anyone can do is join the gym before we open. All of the info is on the web page at and you can sign up right there. This is a killer deal for the members because we are waiving their start-up fee (which is up to 80$) and if they are one of the first 100 to join they get a limited edition barcode t-shirt. Since we launched the web page last week we have had people sign up every day. We are psyched to see this kind of support from the community. Oh and a quick rant: Pick up your damn trash! That includes f'n cigarette buts and tape you slugs.

Adam: Leslie, why do you keep claiming this plains shit like you are still from Oklahoma? You are southern (albeit a poor version). Get with the program. Change your heading (from the cow fields of auburn or something like that). Also, add something interesting to your blog like maybe recent female interactions or "how i feel today." Who wants to read about climbing??

Les: Notes taken.

Once again, check out all the info on Also, you can find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you, come again!