It's amazing what some send temps can do. Claire Buhrfeind, former member of Summit's resident youth competitive climbing team, just had a heck of a trip to the Red River Gorge. She sent two 14cs and a 14a within two days of each other. Her very first send was Lucifer, a 14c. Considering that her previous hardest send was 13d, making the jump all the way to 14c was ... let's just say ... CRAY. It's like running a marathon before even registering for a 10k. Except more impressive. I managed to snag a moment with Claire towards the end of her trip to talk to her about her sends. Way to rep Texas, Claire!
Kyle Clinkscales, owner of Summit gyms, head coach of Team Texas and basically the mastermind behind a lot of the climbing gym expansion in the Dallas area, is not the diabolical dude you'd think he'd be. He's not cocky, he's not cunning — he's just a guy doing what he loves, and trying to make it as awesome as possible. It was six simple words, "Why don't you sell it to me?" that basically took him from owning no gyms, to owning three gyms and now building a fourth. Kyle has been an enormous part of the Dallas community basically since its inception, and he continues to write the history of Dallas climbing, and strive every day to make it bigger, and better.
As we tore down the panelling to begin our reconstruction project at Summit Carrollton, the dust, chalk and God-knows-what-else from the past 22 years came pouring out of the gym's walls, like smoke from the microwave after you accidentally nuke a fork. (Similes are not my strong suit.) Besides giving us the anticipation of potential future lung problems, the dust brought with it some very strong feelings of nostalgia from a lot of us who have been climbing at this old climbing gym for the past few years. This gym — now Summit, but formerly Exposure — is one of the oldest climbing gyms in the state, as well as the country. A lot of people have graced its walls, (Climber Jack Mileski, who coined the term "beta," actually got his start at Exposure back in the day), and it's seen many, many changes throughout its 22-year history in the Dallas area.