Polaroids in Print…

Urban Climber #34, originally uploaded by Ben Grubb.

A few weeks ago, I had one of those small, yet hugely exciting moments which you get in life from time to time. I tried to keep it secret from those involved but I didn’t manage it – thankfully it didn’t all fall down around my ears and leave me looking like a fool. Anyway, the exciting news was this: I had sent off some climbing polaroids to Urban Climber magazine, after we noticed there was a short article in one of the previous issues, asking for people to send them in. At the time, we were at the Hueco Rock Ranch in Texas, so it seemed like a good idea for me to take my Polaroid into Hueco Tanks the next day in the hope of getting some decent shots. It certainly paid off! I took a few shots of my friends on various classic problems during the course of the next day, and when I got back to London, I scanned them in, wrote a long, waffley email to accompany them and sent them off into the ether in the direction of UC headquarters. I soon forgot about them until a couple of months later when someone from the magazine got in touch via Twitter and asked if they could print them. Naturally, I jumped at the chance – and here they are. I had originally sent in four different shots, of which only two were used, and the letter was heavily (yet understandably) edited down. But, none the less I can now say that I have had my photos printed in a worldwide, hugely popular climbing publication!

The letter did run across two pages, so I have taken the liberty of scanning the two halves in for your convenience. Click on the image to the left to see a larger version. Also, the individual shots can be seen on Flickr. The ones they used are Ben Sales on Daily Dick Dose (V7) and Snooky on Nobody Here Gets Out Alive (V2). I also sent in this shot of Ashby on ‘Nobody Here…’ and another one of Benny on ‘Self Service’ (V4/5) in Joe’s Valley, UT. I’m hoping I can get them to print some more of my stuff. I’ve certainly got a taste for it now!

America Debrief

Cliffs, originally uploaded by Ben Grubb.

I’ve now finished editing and uploading all my America photos. It was a pretty big job in itself! From the thousands I took, I’ve whittled it down to around 450 – A respectable number I thought, and hopefully enough, but not too many, to look through in one sitting. You can see the complete set on Flickr now. I need to get some of the best added to the photography gallery on here at some point soon. I’m not sure I can face it quite yet though…

I guess that’s it then really. Finishing the photos marked the end of the trip. We do still have the video to work on, production of which, all being well, will begin this weekend. That’s gonna be a MASSIVE job! But, for all intents and purposes it’s back to normality now. I feel very fortunate to have been able to do, and it’s crazy thinking about the chain of events that led up to it (this being one of the major factors). I’ve been thinking a lot about all the little things that happened along the way, and all the cool people I met along the way, in all the different places. Th climbing community tend to be a very friendly bunch, and it was nice to strike up a conversation with complete strangers while stood under some random rock in the middle of nowhere (Aaron, Adam and Chris in Boulder, CO, John and Laura in Joe’s Valley, UT and Moe in Castle Rock, CA, and all the guys at the Rock Ranch in Hueco – to name but a few). All very cool people, and all with their own stories to tell. It’s chance meetings like that, along with all the travelling and climbing that really made it a very special experience). Of course, the biggest thanks of all belongs to the people that where there with me. It was great to share and reminisce about the experiences with Ashby, Snoo and of course Benny, for putting up with me for the full two months without any noteable clashes or falling out. The trip was, and always will be one of the greatest experiences of my life, and it was nice to have great friends there with me to share it. Here’s to the next one! I can’t wait!

You can read more detailed accounts of what happened on the B² Productions website.


Hello, sorry for the delay. Internet access and time have been sporadic. I’m in Las Vegas, NV at the moment, and currently hiding from the stifling sun. It’s nice to see it though. I haven’t had a lot of time to update here or Flickr recently, although I am trying to stay on top of the editing of the massive backlog of photos. I’ve been really getting into my panoramas while I’ve been here (probably something to do with having my fantastic new tripod!). Also, the the landscapes at some of the places we’ve been have really lent themselves to the multi shot panoramas. You just can’t do them justice with just one shot! I thought I’d share a few of my favourites here. I hope you like them…

The Buttermilks, Bishop, CA

The sunset at Hueco Rock Ranch, TX

Another Hueco Tanks sunset

A view from Big Bend Bouldering Area, Moab, UT

A view of the Three Gossips and Sheep Rock, Arches National Park, UT

Click on the photos to see larger sizes. I’m gonna try and get more stuff up onto Flickr when I can, but it might have to wait until I get home. It’s a full time job in itself!


The B² Productions have been very busy again of late. After getting the Castle video finished, we spent a wet afternoon in Colorado putting together a short video about me and Benny working our “long term” project in Yosemite, CA – Zorro (V4). I hope you enjoy it. I think it’s our best work yet.

…Oh, and apologies for any naughty language that might have slipped in. It’s purely for artistic purposes. Honest.

Buttermilks Panorama

Buttermilks Panorama, originally uploaded by Ben Grubb.

Another panorama. This time from the Buttermilks in Bishop. The Buttermilks is an amazing, world famous bouldering spot. I really liked it there, but most of the boulders seemed totally huge! The two in the middle of the shot here are Grandma and Grandpa Peabody, and they stand at a height of round 55 feet! It makes for an incredible landscape though.

Greetings from Phoenix

Zorro, originally uploaded by Ben Grubb.

Last night we rolled into (the incredibly hot) Phoenix, AZ. I’m still having a great and very full time of it. We certainly seem to be packing an awful lot into the days, which is just how I want it to be. The climbing in Bishop was great – The Buttermilks are an incredible location – amazing climbing and hugely aesthetic. Above is a picture of me trying one of the major projects me and Benny wanted to try in Yosemite: Zorro (V4) – a problem we both managed to get, thankfully, and which is documented here if you’re interested.

I’ve been working my way through the ton of photos which I’ve taken, but keeping on top of them is a full time job in itself! The are slowly appearing on Flickr though.

Right, it’s time to go and grab some breakfast and head off tubing down Salt River. It’s a tough life sometimes. See ya!


California, originally uploaded by Ben Grubb.

Greetings from Bishop, CA. We’re now nearly a week into our roadtrip and things are going well. We’ve had a couple of days in San Francisco, and have been to Yosemite for some excellent climbing and hiking! I have a ton of photos and things to upload, and the video footage is rapidly mounting up – but I’ll deal with that all in good time. We’ve just arrived in Bishop after a long and winding drive through the Sonora Pass (which thankfully was open). Now it’s time for dinner and maybe an evenings bouldering. I’ll try and get more updates here soon, but in the mean time be sure to check out B² Productions website for more climbing based updates.

Nearly there!

El Capitan, originally uploaded by Ben Grubb.

The time is approaching! This Friday is the start of the epic roadtrip for 2009! It still doesn’t seem real. I don’t think it ever does until you get there. This time next week we’ll be in Yosemite, staring up at the enormous lump of rock above which is El Capitan. I cannot wait! Since we’ve had this trip booked, I’ve been going through different phases of being excited about specific areas on locations along the route. Hueco has probably taken up the most daydream time since September, but Bishop, Moab and Yosemite have all had their fair share. I’m currently going through my ‘Yosemite Period’. That place is so beautiful!

In preparation for the trip, Benny has been working hard to get new B² Productions website together! I’m really glad to say that it’s now live here: http://www.b2climbing.com – We’re gonna use it (internet access permitting) to report back on our antics, and hopefully put together some video blogs of what we’ve been up to. I’ll still be up dating here (on more photographic based matters) where as the other site will be more climbing based. At least, that’s the plan! We’re also on Twitter as well, which we’ll hopefully be able to keep more regularly up to date! I hope you’ll swing by and check ‘em out!