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  • Rock Climbing and Youth Programs in Wichita!


    Check out our new website for Bliss Bouldering And Climbing Complex!
    We proudly serve the Wichita, Andover, and Derby areas! Come see the programs and deals we have to offer. Rock Climbing, Youth Programs, Adult Programs and SO MUCH MORE! Fill out the "Request Information" form on the side of the page and stop in for a visit today! Don't forget to click below to visit us on our social media pages!! Facebook YouTube Instagram ....

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  • Rock Climbing  in Wichita - Bliss Bouldering And Climbing Complex - Overcoming fear: necessary skills in rock climbing and newspaper delivery

    Overcoming fear: necessary skills in rock climbing and newspaper delivery

    When I was nine or ten years old, I had this paper route: the Norfolk Shopper. It was a small, once-per-week free paper filled with ads. They paid me a whopping $1 per week for my labors, which meant that every four weeks I had enough money to go to ourlocal record store and buy the latestJackson 5 album! Not a bad deal. Except for the swallows in the spring. One of the homes that I delivered to had a swallow nest ;and momma and papa swallow were determined to keep any predators away from their precious little chicks. I, apparently, was deemed a predator. That fact alone waspretty rad, seeing how I was this skinny, pre-pubescent kid with a crew cut and thick glasses. The not-so-rad part ....

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  • Blowing the mind, becoming a legend, and other musings of an eleven-year-old rock climber

    Blowing the mind, becoming a legend, and other musings of an eleven-year-old rock climber December 24, 2017 | David Kortje John Paul wants to be a legend in the climbing community. He’s 11 years old and started climbing about 2 years ago. Kevin Jorgeson is a legend in the climbing community. He’s 33 years old, started climbing when he was about John Paul’s age, and in 2015 became the first person in history, together with his climbing partner, Tommy Caldwell, to free climb the dawn wall. This past weekend they both met face-to-face for the first time at Bliss Bouldering and ....

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  • Proving them wrong: the wisdom of Dave Graham

    Proving them wrong: the wisdom of Dave Graham November 14, 2016 | David Kortje A number of years ago my son Caleb and I attended the Hueco Rock Rodeo. It’s an epic event, with climbers from around the nation converging on the farthest SouthWest corner of Texas for an outdoor bouldering comp in the iconic Hueco Tanks State Park. Boulders established by many of the legends of our sport and visited by everyone who’s anyone:Hueco Tanks is must experience rock trip. Hueco is also unique in that it is extremely tightly regulated by the park’s association. The parkhas a very fragile environment with a ....

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  • The weakest link? Or the sexy, beautiful and strong? What are you focusing your training on?

    The weakest link? Or the sexy, beautiful and strong? What are you focusing your training on? August 12, 2017 | David Kortje How many of you remember the TV game show: The Weakest Link? It touted teams against each other with trivia questions; but the best part was that after each round, the players would vote off one player that wasn’t quite carrying the team with the words “ You are the weakest link. Good-bye ”. The original show was a huge hit in England, running for 12 years but the American version was gone in two years. (Kinda tells you a bit about the Brit’s lack of social etiquette or the ....

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  • Fueling your sends: a smoothie recipe

    Fueling your sends: a smoothie recipe July 11, 2017 | David Kortje Mom always said the secret was in the heat. “Sprinkle a little water on the pan,” she would say. “If it immediately sizzles, it’s ready.” She then showed me how to grease the pan with a slab of butter before placing the bread with just the right amount of Velveeta cheese between the two slices on the hot griddle. Add a little more butter (you really couldn’t have too much butter), flip the sandwich and moments later: the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. I share that story just to forewarn you that the ....

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  • Neuroscience, squirrels, and belay safety

    Neuroscience, squirrels, and belay safety June 30, 2017 | David Kortje Have you ever had the experience of walking into a room to say . . . grab your climbing shoes to go climbing at BlissBouldering and Climbing Complex . . . only to get into said room and completely forget why you were there? Of course you have. We all have. Why is that? I mean, if you are like me (a climber), climbing is on your mind the majority of the day. I wake up thinking about climbing, drive to work thinking about climbing, and go to sleep thinking about climbing (at which time I become a solid 5.15 free solo climber in some epically ....

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  • Carlosing and the traversing of ARC training: how to quit fatiguing on those long routes.

    Carlosing and the traversing of ARC training: how to quit fatiguing on those long routes. June 14, 2017 | David Kortje A few years ago my good friend and climbing partner, Naise, and I were in Joe’s Valley Utah playing on some truly amazing boulders (that was before we opened a gym and then had no time to go outdoors??). Joe’s is hands down one of my favorite bouldering locations, boasting classic problems from V0 to V13, all within 5-10 minute easy hikes from your car. Such a cool place. Everyone is super friendly, great guide books that actually make sense (don’t ask me about the El Do guide ....

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  • Smiling, gratitude, and other creepy things.

    Smiling, gratitude, and other creepy things. May 24, 2017 | David Kortje Knock, Knock. . . Who’s there? . . . Belay? . . . Belay who? . . . NO! For the 9th time, it’s belay ON! OK, stupid, but made you smile ??. I recently did this 30 day challenge sponsored through a pod-cast that I listen to called The Art of Charm (www.theArtOfCharm.com). The idea is to help individuals develop better personal and business relationship skills. (Yes, I know, I need way more than just a 30 day challenge. Baby steps, ok?) Anyway, challenge #7 was to practice smiling. Not Mona Lisa ....

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  • Tips for great service, karma, and a quarter.

    Tips for great service, karma, and a quarter. May 17, 2017 | David Kortje A number of years ago my wife and I were in the very picturesque and quaint mountain town of Frisco, Colorado. Nestled just off of I-70 in Summit County, Frisco offers access to scenic bike paths, Dillon Lake, beautiful hiking, and of course, world class skiing and snow boarding. It also boasts a number of specialty shops and eating establishments. Sandra and I had joined a number of classmates from my family practice residency for a much needed break at one of their local bed and breakfasts. After one of many almost perfect days, we ....

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  • Breathe. Live. Inspire.

    Breathe. Live. Inspire. May 10, 2017 | David Kortje July 21, 1969. (I know, most of you weren’t even alive yet.) I was alive: a young boysitting on the brown shag carpet of our living room floor with my dad, watching a nail biting drama being played out in real life. It’s one of the first memories of my life that I have and I will never forget that day. Mesmerized by the images our 25 inch Magnavox Console Color TV, the scene before us was almost impossible to believe. Apollo 11 had reached the moon and Neil Armstrong was about to open the hatch of the lunar module and become the first human ever to ....

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  • The Leader/Climber, a natural symbiosis

    The Leader/Climber, a natural symbiosis May 5, 2017 | David Kortje "Great leaders are hard to find." I’m not sure who first said that, but it certainly does seem to be true today. It was easy to find great leaders in the past. Men like George S. Patton or Winston Churchill during WWII; Martin Luther King, Jr during the civil rights movement; and way before her time women’s rights leader, Susan B. Anthony, all come to mind. But today. Well today, it just seems everyone is worried about themselves doesn’t it? Perhaps some of this perception is just the instant access that we all have ....

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  • Do you believe?

    Do you believe? April 28, 2017 | David Kortje I grew up in an amazing family. My dad always was and always will be my hero. Such an incredible man: honest,hard working, trust worthy, sacrificial are all words that any who knew him would use to describe his character. He worked as a traveling salesman. I loved going on the road with him during summer breaks. However during the school year I would remain home with my mom and younger siblings as he would be off working, often for three to four days straight. It was during those days when he was gone that my mother gave me one of the greatest gifts anyone could give ....

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  • Excuses, excuses, excuses. Just stop it!

    Excuses, excuses, excuses. Just stop it! March 20, 2017 | David Kortje Jonathon Babinski was the best at it. One of the members of my organic chemistry study group, I can still hear his whiny little voice: “Dr. Channing is the worse! He must be tenured, because he obviously isn’t interested in teaching!” “I’m sure the school purchased this lab equipment in the 20’s. No wonder we can’t ever get the experiments to work out.” And one of my favorites: “I’d get straight A’s too if I looked like her and wore those short shorts.” (Uh, no! And I doubt ....

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  • Zach Petersen: 2016 Bliss Member of the Year!

    Zach Petersen: 2016 Bliss Member of the Year! February 21, 2017 | David Kortje Bliss has the greatest members in the world. That fact alone made choosing a member of the year for 2016 so insanelydifficult, as there were literally dozens of people in the running. However, Zach’s name kept coming up time and time again. He has been involved with us from the very start, having followed our FaceBook page even in the years before we opened. Zach told me that he first heard that a climbing gym might be opening in Wichita from a Boy Scout leader he had. The gentleman had noticed how much Zach loved climbing at a ....

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  • Lead climbing and the wisdom of Mr. Iacocca.

    Lead climbing and the wisdom of Mr. Iacocca. February 17, 2017 | David Kortje I grew up in the 80’s. It was a turbulent time. The economy was in trouble, inflation was rampant and interest rates where in the double digits (can you say 18% on a car loan?). All of this hit one of America’s giant auto makers especially hard. Chrysler Corporation was on the verge of bankruptcy. Lee Iacocca, the creator of the Ford Mustang, had been hired by Chryslerin an effort to save the struggling car maker. He down sized, talked the US government into an historic bale-out, and introduced minivans and front wheel drive ....

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  • Don't you quit on me!

    Don't you quit on me! February 3, 2017 | David Kortje You are a stud! (or studdette, or whatever other designation you prefer as an expression of your awesomeness). How do I know? Because it is now February and you are reading a climbing blog . . . which means you are likely also still climbing! And that means that climbing is not just another lame bucket list item to you. You are officially a real climber! (You ROCK!) Almost 50% of individuals give up on their New Year's resolutions by February! Can you believe that? Thirty days and they are like, ‘ Ya, whatever; think I’ll go back to being a ....

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  • The secret to awesomeness. Why you need a coach in 2017.

    The secret to awesomeness. Why you need a coach in 2017. January 4, 2017 | David Kortje What do LaBron James, Bill Clinton, Hugh Jackman, Alex Puccio, and your’s truly (me) all have in common? If you said awesomeness, you would ALMOST be right (let’s face it, awesome is a pretty generous word to describe Jackman, don’t you think?) The CORRECT answer would be that each of these individuals have utilized coaching during key turning points in their lives. For some it was sport specific coaching, for others it was self-improvement coaching or personal life coaching, and for some, ....

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  • Resolving to resolve, making 2017 your best year ever.

    Resolving to resolve, making 2017 your best year ever. December 28, 2016 | David Kortje I hate new years resolutions. And I don’t make them. I’m not alone. Less Americans each year are participating in the January 1 ritual. The reason: because the only thing certain about most New Years Resolutions is that you will probably fail at them . And since failing just really sucks, why make the resolution in the first place??? I’ve seen stats that say as many as 40% of people abandon their well thought our plans by the end of January, 80% by March, and only 8% of New Years ....

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  • The secret wisdom of a sleeping cat, resting to get stronger.

    The secret wisdom of a sleeping cat, resting to get stronger. December 21, 2016 | David Kortje I have about a dozen cats. I’m not proud of that fact. ?? We live in the country, and so cats are a necessary part of life. They keep the mice and rat population at bay and provide exercise for my dog (why he keeps chasing them when he knows they are within a few bounds of a tree is beyond me). There is one thing I find fascinating about our prowling hunters though. Cats can sleep almost anywhere, and often in the most unique and twisted positions. I have found our kitties snoozing on in our chiminea, on tree branches, ....

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  • If I Can’t then I Must; reflections on 9th grade chemistry and the four minute mile.

    If I Can’t then I Must; reflections on 9th grade chemistry and the four minute mile. December 11, 2016 | David Kortje Jennifer Cramner sat across from me in 9th grade chemistry (names have been changed to protect me!). She was blond, blue eyed, and had the most amazing teeth (OK, I never actually noticed her teeth, but it would probably be inappropriate to describe what a 15 year old boy would noticed??). Anyway, she was perfect. I . . . I was awkward. So I sat there, every day, daydreaming about what I knew would never be . That is until one day, about 3 months into the school year. We were in the lunch ....

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  • How to rock a rock climber's Christmas, Holiday gift giving for the climber in your life.

    How to rock a rock climber's Christmas, Holiday gift giving for the climber in your life. December 1, 2016 | David Kortje It’s the most wonderful time of the year:Christmas carolers, hot apple cider, sleigh bells, Santa Claus, a baby in a manger, and of course, shopping lists! Now I really do loveChristmas ! It’s a magical season. Maybe it’s just because they are the only songs I actually know the words to, but I’ll sing Christmas carols in July. However, the one thing I hate about Christmas is the expectation to shop for everyone. It’s not that I’m against gift ....

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  • THANK YOU WICHITA!

    THANK YOU WICHITA! November 24, 2016 | David Kortje WOW! What an unbelievable year! Last year on Black Friday, Wichita Kansas overwhelmed Bliss Bouldering and Climbing Complexwith over 120 visitors on our very first day of operation ! Since then we have taught hundreds of belay classes, introduced climbing to thousands that had never experienced this before, started Kansas’ first youth competitive team, been featured on every major television station, had world class pro climbers Jon Cardwell and Dave Graham visit (and Chelsea Rude will be here next month), hit over 4500 Facebook Fans, hosted birthday parties, ....

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  • Proving them wrong: the wisdom of Dave Graham

    Proving them wrong: the wisdom of Dave Graham November 14, 2016 | David Kortje A number of years ago my son Caleb and I attended the Hueco Rock Rodeo. It’s an epic event, with climbers from around the nation converging on the farthest SouthWest corner of Texas for an outdoor bouldering comp in the iconic Hueco Tanks State Park. Boulders established by many of the legends of our sport and visited by everyone who’s anyone:Hueco Tanks is must experience rock trip. Hueco is also unique in that it is extremely tightly regulated by the park’s association. The parkhas a very fragile environment with a lot ....

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  • Go Big or Go Home: Turning dreams into results.

    Go Big or Go Home: Turning dreams into results. November 3, 2016 | David Kortje I was supposed to be a rock star. I was also supposed to be a jet fighter pilot and a pet store owner. Oh . . . and win the Indy 500. Well I did at least raise parakeets for a short while, so they weren’t all failed dreams.?? Then at 19 years of age, my college biology professor suggested that I go to medical school. Now that really sounded impossible. No one in my family was involved in medicine, we had no connections, and zero college fund. But for some reason, that vision, that dream, took hold. I researched medical ....

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  • Learning to soar like an eagle with rock solid belaying

    Learning to soar like an eagle with rock solid belaying October 28, 2016 | David Kortje So you’re finally ready for that red point attempt, the one you’ve been working up to for the last month. You’ve worked all of the moves, improved your conditioning, rehearsed the route a thousand times (usually while lying in bed trying to fall asleep), and even ate Wheaties for breakfast. There’s this cool breeze in the air. Just enough nip to keep you from sweating but not so chilly that you’re wishing you had stayed in the tent. A Bald Eagle is soaring overhead, inviting you to explore the freedom of ....

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  • H.I.T. me please: Training for strength and endurance (and frat-boys).

    H.I.T. me please: Training for strength and endurance (and frat-boys). September 16, 2016 | David Kortje A few years ago I was at my most favorite bouldering location of all time: Joe’s Valley in Utah. Naise and I had found this amazing problem that climbed out of a completely flat roof in a cave. It was powerful and delicate and balancy all at the same time. I worked on it for about half an hour or so, but just couldn’t get all the moves to go. That’s about when frat-boy showed up. He didn’t have an athletic curve in his body. Probably a good 50 pounds heavier than me, he walks up to ....

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  • Don't worry, be climbing. The surprising effect of climbing on depression.

    Don't worry, be climbing. The surprising effect of climbing on depression. September 8, 2016 | David Kortje “I can’t take it anymore!!” “Really, I’m so sorry to hear that. Tell me more.” “No one cares about me. Nothing EVER goes my way!” “Well. What happened” “Christy just ate the last cookie. And I wanted it!” If you have ever had children or even been around children, you have more than likely heard a similar tale of despair. For the most part we smile, laugh at it and maybe even write it in their baby memories ....

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  • I'm sexy and I know it: Getting strong on the campus board

    I'm sexy and I know it: Getting strong on the campus board September 1, 2016 | David Kortje I’m sure it’s probably happened to you if you’ve been climbing for any time at all. I get it a couple of times a month: Some hot person of the opposite sex walks up to me and says something like: ‘God you look sexy, you wanna teach me to climb (????)?’ That has actually — never happened to me (I know, hard to believe, isn’t it). What does happen though is some well meaning ‘friend’ on FB tags me in a stupid pseudo-climbing video of a random ninja warrior type using just his ....

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  • Applause, applause, applause. The power of positive energy.

    Applause, applause, applause. The power of positive energy. August 25, 2016 | David Kortje I am not a swimmer. I don’t like swimming, I don’t like water, and I especially hate how it puckers my hard earnedfinger tip callouses. But I was absolutely enthralled by watching Michael Phelps swim in the Rio Olympic Games this past month. Some of the curiosity came from how he brought himself back from his meltdown after the 2012 games. But then the more I watched, the real intrigue came from his inability to lose. I could feel his determination even through the television and across the miles. It was almost as if ....

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  • Hips and dimes; improve your position: become amazing.

    Hips and dimes; improve your position: become amazing. August 18, 2016 | David Kortje ‘Hey homey, you need to PAP on FB of that totally bad bae you’re in ship with. A total dime for sure!’ OK, obviously I have no idea what I’m talking about, I just just stole all those words off of some ‘how to speak teen’ web post. It’s a sobering thing when you realize that you are no longer hip (and even more so when you also recognize that you probably never were :o ). But then, that’s not the hip I’m writing about today anyway. We’re talking the ones below your ....

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  • Hans, Frans, and beating the pump.

    Hans, Frans, and beating the pump. August 11, 2016 | David Kortje 'Ve jus vont to PUMP —(clap clap) — YOU UP!’ Hans and Frans Professional Body Builders Saturday Night Live OH ya! I am all about Hans and Frans and how hot my biceps look after a hard work out. All that blood filling everyfiber of my perfectly sculpted musculature, I totally get LMFAO:'I’m sexy and I know it' ;) OK, maybe not. But I do get pumped up. Unfortunately, it always seems to happen when I still have four more moves to complete before the end of my climb. And the result ....

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  • The few, the proud, the rock climbers. How climbing can make you a better person.

    The few, the proud, the rock climbers. How climbing can make you a better person. August 4, 2016 | David Kortje What if you could have a ton of fun, make new friends, live a life of passion and adventure, and all the while improve both your physical and mental abilities? No, I’m not suggesting joining the Marines (although, if you are so inclined, please do. America always needs and appreciates good soldiers). I’m talking about one of the fastest growing sports in America and around the world: Indoor Rock Climbing;and it is now available right here in Wichita Kansas at Bliss Bouldering and Climbing Complex. ....

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  • Lessons from Prince Charming (or how to fit climbing shoes on your princess feet)

    Lessons from Prince Charming (or how to fit climbing shoes on your princess feet) July 28, 2016 | David Kortje When the handsome prince pulled his LandRover up to Cinderella’s mountain cottage, he had no idea that he was about to become the first ever climbing shoe sales person. Trying desperately to manipulate that delicate glass slipper onto fat, sweaty appendages — anyone who has ever fitted a good pair of rock shoes can definitely relate. And those evil step-sisters were not far from most hard core climbers. “It will fit. Here - just - let - me - break - off - my - middle - toe. Don’t - ....

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  • Cowboys, pigs, and slopers.

    Cowboys, pigs, and slopers. July 21, 2016 | David Kortje Growing up in Nebraska, one of my family’s favorite summer time activities was attending rodeos. Those cowboys and cowgirls are some serious athletes and tough as nails. From riding horses around obstacles at breakneck speeds, to wrestling a thousand pound steer to the ground, to trying to stay on the back of a Brahma Bull that seems possessed by Lucifer himself, every moment is a display of the ultimate in human physiology. And then there were the rest of us. Beer drinking, cigarette smoking, BBQ eating, spectators. But you know the best part of ....

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  • Love, hate, and Ben Moon

    Love, hate, and Ben Moon July 14, 2016 | David Kortje Remember that PE teacher you had in middle school? The one who made you run wind sprints ‘because it would make you a better person’? And remember how you hated him? It wasn't like you volunteered for his class. It was cast upon you: an enslavement by the establishment that dictated a level of activity from you because they had initially demanded that you sit still in a desk for eight hours per day. And to carry out such a sentence, some ex high-school jock who had been unable to find work due to repeated concussions, had been hired to whip your puny pre-pubescent ....

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  • Paper or plastic?

    Paper or plastic? July 8, 2016 | David Kortje Remember paper or plastic? You don’t? Well allow me to share a bit of American shopping history with you (and you thought this was just another climbing blog). In the beginning, God created a man. The man was what we call a hunter-gatherer. He searched out his food, killed it, and then brought it home to Eve and the kiddos. Man evolved, and soon learned (more than likely, Eve ‘suggested’) that it was easier to raise his own food then spending days down-wind stalking it, and so farming and ranching developed. This system worked well, as now they could ....

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  • In memory . . .

    In memory . . . June 29, 2016 | David Kortje Caleb was clearly bummed. We had just finished looking at the ABS (American Bouldering Series) divisional championship results. The top four would advance to Nationals. Caleb had finished sixth. “Sorry man,” I said. “You climbed well. Next year for sure!” “Not me,” Caleb replied. “Addison! He only got 5th! He is such a better climber than most of us. He was just having a bad day. I’m so mad he didn't qualify for Nationals!” I think that is when I finally began to understand what climbing meant ....

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  • Climbing grades and Wiccan spells

    Climbing grades and Wiccan spells June 23, 2016 | David Kortje Growing up, we had a witch that lived in our neighbor hood. Skinny, long dark hair, black cat and a Ouija board. The whole 9 yards. She would even don the pointy hat on Halloween. Most of us were afraid to even walk past her house. But boys being boys, my friends and I decided that no witch was going to intimidate us. We would fight back and save our otherwise peaceful neighbor hood from this invasion of the dark side. This Halloween, we would TP the witch’s house! All was going as planned. Supplies were in hand, rendezvous points were ....

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  • Evel Knievel and does rock climbing matter?

    Evel Knievel and does rock climbing matter? June 16, 2016 | David Kortje Remember Evel Knievel? Daredevil of the 70s, white leather jump suit with blue ‘V’ shaped stars across his chest, jumping his motorcycle over cars, the fountain at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and then attempting a jump across the Grand Canyon. Evel was a strange cocktail of courage, showmanship, and adventure mixed with a good portion of crazy. He is listed in the Guinness Book of world records as the man surviving the greatest number of broken bones ever (a reported 433 fractures)! I grew up in the 70s (yes, that makes me old enough ....

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  • Dancing in the vertical, three points of contact, and breaking 5.8.

    Dancing in the vertical, three points of contact, and breaking 5.8. June 9, 2016 | David Kortje Someone once called rock climbing ‘dancing in the vertical’. I like that. Successful climbing requires much the same as dancing. There is balance, rhythm, three dimensional movement, grace and strength all combined. And both, when done well, appear almost effortless. I think that is why I love to watch people climb. To me, it’s almost like looking at a piece of artwork or a well planned choreographed routine. Often as I watch others, I see something that I could do better and it inspires me to improve ....

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  • Naise and the antagonist -- Preventing overuse injuries in climbing

    Naise and the antagonist -- Preventing overuse injuries in climbing June 2, 2016 | David Kortje So most of you who have stopped by Bliss Bouldering and Climbing Complex have probably met Naise, our head route setter and coach. Naise has been my climbing partner and good friend for the last four plus years now. He is also an extremely talented setter and strong climber. However, if you have ever listened in to any of our conversations (poor Josiah was subjected to 18 hours of them on a recent road trip to Colorado and back), you have likely heard me tell Naise what a complete looser he was or heard him make fun of ....

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  • Stretch, don't break; and other wisdom from NASCAR

    Stretch, don't break; and other wisdom from NASCAR May 24, 2016 | David Kortje Ladies, Gentlemen, start your engines!’ I LOVE racing! The speed, the total commitments, even the smell of race fuel and highly tuned exhaust. I actually was lucky enough to race Jet Skis and Motocross for a number of years and experienced driving a NASCAR race car for eight laps around the Kansas Speedway once (I won’t lie, it pretty much scarred the poop out of me :o ). And not to brag, but I won a 5 foot trophy one year during a Motocross Series for ‘Sportsman of the Year’ (kinda their way of saying: ‘at least you ....

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  • Scared to death!

    Scared to death! May 12, 2016 | David Kortje ‘Don, I think you killed him!!’ I still remember the panicked sound of my mom’s voice. I was probably four or five years old and like most boys that age, days were filled with running through our small ranch-style home at full speed. This particular evening, my dad, who was always a bit of a prankster, hid behind a wall as I rounded the corner in high gear. He jumped out and screamed ‘boo!’. I promptly passed out! As two young parents were scooping my limp body up to rush to the emergency room, I woke to hear those words from my ....

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  • Goals, Donny Osmond, and training S.M.A.R.T.

    Goals, Donny Osmond, and training S.M.A.R.T. May 5, 2016 | David Kortje When I was twelve years old, my dream was to be a pop star. Donny Osmond to be specific. Donny was the Justin Bieber of my day (minus the jerk factor), and I was going to be just like him: the dance moves, the showmanship, the music. I even formed my own family band: The Cousins. (Don’t judge me!) Our first performance was to a sold out crowd (Mom, Dad, Uncle Gene and Aunt Sharon). That was also our ONLY performance. What happened? (I mean besides a paucity of talent and maybe a slight lack boyish good looks in our band leader :O). We ....

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  • Fuel for the send: why nutrition matters

    Fuel for the send: why nutrition matters April 28, 2016 | Alisha Kortje In today’s world we are always looking for something quick and easy. McDonalds is at every corner (and in between every corner!) and with us running from one place to the next, it is easy to go through a drive through and inhale a cheeseburger and milkshake before or after a climb. Nutrition, however, should play an important part to your training! Climbing utilizes anaerobic metabolism, thus causing muscle fatigue quicker and the nutrient stores necessary to produce energy are depleted more rapidly. Acid buildup also becomes a problem. ....

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  • Photo bombing and why core matters

    Photo bombing and why core matters April 21, 2016 | David Kortje If you’ve climbed for any time, you have probably seen him. Lean, mean and sculpted. Think David Hasselhoff stepping through the surf. You work extra hard just to not photo bomb his selfies for fear of making him look even better. He throws his hair back, chalks up in what seems like slow motion, and struts up to the wall, commenting on the mountain that he climbed during spring break last year. Ten minutes later, shaking his arms and making more excuses than a politician caught in a lie, he’s toast. What went wrong? Our friend ....

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  • Defying gravity, centering your universe, and maybe impressing Ima.

    Defying gravity, centering your universe, and maybe impressing Ima. April 14, 2016 | David Kortje Gravity: it happens! And for some reason seems most accentuated at the most inopportune times (like that time in high school when I was walking across the parking lot hoping Ima Sohot would notice my awesomeness.I tripped on a curb . . . ugh!). Climbing can be just as humbling. Sure, every once in a great while, the planets align, karma remembers that grocery cart that you placed in the cart coral at Target and the heavens open welcoming you into the Bliss (pun intended) of the perfect send (with angels singing a ....

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  • The secret to crazy strong fingers

    The secret to crazy strong fingers April 7, 2016 | David Kortje Have you ever fallen off a hold because you simply could not hold on? Sure you have. All of us have. Now there are a plethora (I just LOVE using that word) of reasons why you may have fallen. Maybe it was positioning or technique. Maybe you were pumping out. Perhaps the hold was just too greasy or your hands too sweaty. And then there is my all time favorite: ‘it just wasn’t my style of climb’. Whatever your excuse, one thing is true: the stronger your fingers are, the less likely you are to peel off that little pebble regardless of ....

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  • Do this one thing and you WILL climb better.

    Do this one thing and you WILL climb better. March 31, 2016 | David Kortje ‘If you can climb a ladder, you can climb a route at Bliss.’ We tell people this all the time, and it’s true. Many of our introductory routes have big foot holds and large jugs. They are a blast! Six year old kiddos and sixty-year young grandmothers come in and find their way to the top, smiling ear-to-ear. It’s intuitive and natural and a great confidence builder. Very soon, however, you are ready to move on to more challenging routes. Foot holds get smaller, movement is no longer right-left-right, and holds ....

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  • Five tips to finger tip skin care

    Five tips to finger tip skin care March 23, 2016 | David K One of my favorite quotes, whether we are talking business or climbing or whatever, is ‘Go Big or Go Home’. That is largely what lead me to open Bliss Bouldering and Climbing Complex. So … why not start my first climbing advise blog with one of the stickiest and most controversial subjects: Skin Care. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, has an opinion (and they are seldom the same). That’s probably because everyone's skin is unique. However, one thing I have also noticed, is that many people have no idea how to deal with skin issues in ....

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