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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Adam Henry

I started climbing in the south about late August 2001. Although that is an extremely hot time of the year for either bouldering or sport climbing, I started climbing the minute I moved in. In fact, I knew I was going to climb here before I even moved. I don't want to get into too much of my history, but I do want to start somewhere. I'm at my local climbing gym in Pittsburgh, Pa and somehow I acquired a copy of "Boulderdash" Appalachian Climbing Quarterly Issue #28 Winter 2001 to be exact. In this local magazine is an article about the competition at Horse Pens 40 hosted by Adam Henry. The photos are sequential of problems such as "Ketchup", Law Dog", "Red Arrow" and of course John Barr on "Millipede". I could get into some great detail here but will avoid it to lessen the confusion, but basically this magazine was all the reason I needed to move here. I don't mean this magazine, but what it represented. Within the first season of bouldering I met more influential, motivated, climbers with more strength and intestinal fortitude to do what I had only seen in the magazines. Lee Payne, Brian Capps, John Barr, Jeff Wales, Ben Glazner, and most of all Adam Henry. Now I could go a MILLION ways with this article. I really really mean it! Let me name a few and then I will continue.. Route Development, Boulder Development, Hosting Competitions, Training Guru, General Ambassador of SouthEastern climbing. Adam is currently living a dream in a private canyon that you will never see. He is a professionally sponsored climber that is considered "A" list and a perfect representative of the sport and their company. He is a underpaid teacher, aren't they all, and a dedicated family man. His wife Lea and daughter Sky seem to just complete this perfect package. He has had countless appearances in magazines and DVD's. He is an international climber and can remember the feet on any of the problems he has tried. The running joke is Adam has established more boulder problems than you have done, and for me it's definitely true. He is currently authoring the last guidebook you will ever need for the Alabama's major bouldering areas. He is the host for any and all influential climbers that come through the south and over the years that list is long. Most of them stay at his house, show up there on any given 50 degree morning and there is no telling who is sleeping on the floor. If you came to a competition at Horse Pens 40, he ran it. If you want we could leave right now and probably catch him either bolting a new route or working the crux on his new project. I have done alot of things in my life but I have never witnessed such dedication, such perseverance toward a single activity. Maybe I may compare him to a Cal Ripken, Jr. or Steve Young. A true professional in every aspect. I have had many opportunities to climb with Adam and see first hand what true and I mean pure bouldering was all about. Why you do it in the first place and to not let your ego stand in the way. I want to say something here. You wouldn't know Adam sent a damn thing unless you were standing there. You know he is doing it but it's not high on his list to let you know. You wouldn't know he was in a magazine unless you saw it and even then he doesn't discuss it much when you ask him about it. I still want my "Boulderdash" autographed but can't bear to ask. Climbing around Adam is considered a privilege as is with others that are as motivated to see you succeed. As the years have gone by and I have grown as a boulderer I look back and think of the opportunity I have been given to learn from some the best. I could only hope to have a similar future with Adam and my other close friends.