Hi. Spenser here. Thanks for stopping by.

I’m currently in the small town of Bishop, CA. It lies along Highway 395, about 45 miles south of Mammoth, or for you Burners, about 200 miles south of Reno. Until I began climbing, I had no idea this town even existed. Now I’m drawn to it like a camper to a campfire. I live in San Francisco, but have already spent about a quarter of 2011 here. The climbing here is unparalleled for fun, variety, concentration, and of course, the climbing community.

I’ve shared a love of scaling geology with innumerable people across the world over the past 7 years. I have met nearly all of my best friends, and some of my worst, through climbing (one needs balance, after all). I’ve discovered long-lost friends from childhood at gyms and crags, and made new friends across the globe, bridging the language gap by communicating through pantomime. Speaking of Rites of Passage, I can confidently identify climbing as the most significant in my life.

In general terms, the Burner community exists because of a remarkable shared experience, reflecting a passion for exploration and often culminating in profound changes in lifestyle. The climbing community exists for many of the same reasons, and the results are equally dramatic. In most cases, these changes are undeniably positive, as both burners and climbers, we seek to introduce this shared experience to as many as possible.

We cannot recreate the perfect boulders of Bishop, set in the high desert and surrounded by stunning mountains. We cannot hope to give participants the feeling of hundreds, or thousands of feet of air beneath them, nor the sense of smallness and humility that comes with it.

But we can offer a glimpse. We will bring people a new sense of fluidity of movement. We will provide a novel form of personal challenge. Our wall won’t be dangerous, but it will be the only intentionally challenging climbing structure on the Playa. And, more than anything, we will be bringing to Black Rock City an extremely fun experience. It is our sincere hope that this excellent introduction will result in many participants becoming part of the climbing community as well.

Please follow along on our little journey of construction. On behalf of Nour, Vikki, and Zack, Camp UP welcomes you!