John Cooper


Posts by John:

Eric Ran Far

This post has nothing to do with running.  In fact, Eric despises running.  It is a play on words involving Eric’s last name Farran which is Ran Far when the letters are changed around.  Here is a video of Eric doing a one finger, one arm pullup.

I would like to commend Eric for this impressive feat of strength and his dedication.  I would also like to commend him for his humble personality.  I was not aware that Eric was capable of this until he mentioned it during our conversation about core exercises on gymnastics rings on Youtube.  While Eric would prefer to climb instead of train he makes the best out of his situation.  He lives in the flat lands of College Station, TX nearly a two hour drive from the nearest rock or climbing gym in ATX.  In addition to this Eric works a tough construction job with long days to support his family, which consists of his wife and two kids.  Most people would simply crash onto the couch after a tough day of physical labor, but not Eric.  He chooses to train so that when the rare opportunity presents itself he can climb well considering his circumstances.  Eric is a great friend of mine that joined me on my 2009 summer sport climbing trip across western North America.  The two of us lived out of my truck together for several months.  We had a great time, and I have so many good memories from that time.  I hope this post will motivate those of us who are in similar circumstances (or are simply lazy) to improve.

A few weeks ago before the forest roads closed in Flagtown, Sam and I re-visited Leonard Canyon after an absence of a few years.  Leonard Canyon is a limestone canyon located on the southeast Mogollon Rim.  The climbing is characteristic of a blend of flagstaff roofs with Texas bulges on steep hillsides forming large, impressive features.  Here is a postdated video of the classic Swordfish prow to bring in the new year.  Happy New Year everyone.

Hueco Tanksgiving

I visited the Hueco Tanks for Thanksgiving this year.  It was a bit of an impromptu last minute trip with Delete Me.  It was a good vacation to the desert, and allowed us to see many of our friends.  I tried a few classic projects including Down in Flames and Eckagrata.  I’ll have to get back down there again this winter to finish these climbs off.  Here is a video of the Hunger Artist.  Enjoy!

Choss Roof

I did the second ascent of another heinously long roof called Cobra Triangle.  Cobra Triangle is 40+ moves and takes 5 minutes to climb.  It climbs the same line as Cobra Commander except that it proceeds to finish the Cashin’ Out exit after the diving board rest.  Here is a post dated video of the second ascent of the Kraken as well.  I’m heading down to Hueco Tanksgiving today for a short 5 day trip to take down my nemesis Down in Flames.

Northern Arizona

Cold temperatures have finally descended on Northern Arizona.  The posse has been climbing a lot, and crushing boulder problems.  Matt Gentile put up a new climb on the Moss Roof called Insmomnia.  Insomnia starts Garden Heist, and climbs right on cool pinches to a crux move to a sidepull, and finishes on jugs.  I managed to get the second ascent.  I  did the second ascent of one of the longer lines at Choss Roof called Cobra Commander.  Cobra Commander is 45 hand moves in a roof.  It takes me over 5 minutes to do the climb.  I repeated the mono problem, which is a short and fun climb on the left side of the cave.

I returned to Cougarland in the New World after a two year absence.  I climbed on the BLIMP Roof project in a snow storm with Matt.  This project feels easier than the last time I climbed in the area.  This king line could potentially go before the roads are closed for winter.

BLIMP Roof Project.


I’ve been climbing almost exclusively at Choss Roof lately in the Hinterlands.  I did the second ascent of Garden Heist yesterday.  Garden Heist starts under a small roof, climbs slopers out a bulge to a mono on the face, and finishes on jugs.  The climbing is reminiscent of limestone bulges in the ATX.  I finished a project I have been working for over a year called Choss Roof.  Choss Roof is the original testpiece on the roof and climbs a slopey fridge block to double toe hooks, and finishes with a large throw at the end.  I started working on the far right links into some of the existing climbs.  These climbs utilize straight up route climbing techniques.  The week prior I did the second ascent of the Kraken.  The Kraken climbs Choss Origins to the diving board rest, then proceeds left through the Hydra crux to the Choss Roof finish.

Bat hang rest on Cobra Triangle.
2nd Ascent of Garden Heist.
2nd Ascent of the Kraken.
Chris Hluchan on Floor Pie.

Last week a multi-state crew descended on Flagtown to sample the prime limestone.  Pat Fitts returned with Chris Bair from Colorado (read Chossoradbro) for a week.  They revisited Cougarland in the New World.  Matt Gentile did the second ascent of Elk Graveyard and third ascent of Remnants of the Acid in the Bobcat’s Den.  Fellow Texan Limestoner Chris Hluchan drove up from his new home in Southern California over the weekend.  He finished Anorexic at Priest Draw in addition to visiting Choss Roof and Renegade Roof.

Choss Origins

Yesterday I did the second ascent of Choss Origins. Choss Origins is the original line not completed on Choss Roof. It was a drop off problem that ended on the diving board feature of the Cashin Out exit. Sorry old timers, but the line tops out. Choss Origins is an ultra classic, and a contender for one of the best problems in the state. I have been working on Escape From The Blobs (exit #2) and The Kraken as well. It’s October which means that it is climbing season. Hopefully fall temps will arrive soon. I started climbing a decade ago in October 2002, and I’m still as psyched (possibly more) than when I started climbing in the gym back in Dallas.

Choss Origins

Escape From The Blobs

Choss Roof

My fitness is beginning to return. I have been climbing nearly exclusively at the Choss Roof in the Hinterlands. This massive cave is amazing. Full on route tactics are employed on the roof. There are a few bats that fly around at night fall as well.  I did the second ascent of Hydra today.  I did the third ascent of the Dirty Cash a few sessions previously.  Today I repeated Dirty Cash for your video viewing pleasure.

The only other zone I have been climbing at is Mars Roof to build power. Mars roof also serves as a good circuit to see how I am feeling and progressing towards where I was at pre-injury. I sessioned the Mars Roof Tuesday night after the second of three days doing clinicals in the Tuba City ER. Any time I go to a clinical I have to wake up at 3:30 am to account for the hour time difference, as well as the hour and a half commute. This taken into account I did a night sesh with Jake. I was able to complete one of the lines on the roof, Lolita. I progressed on the other lines and fell on either the last move or end of each climb.

Here are two videos from Choss Roof called Hydra and Dirty Cash.

The first photo is of Matt on Hydra at Choss Roof.  The second photo is of the Receptionist and the third photo is of The Girl From Ipanema at Mars Roof last winter.

Fall Begins

According to my calendar fall officially began today.  I have been climbing at the massive Choss Roof lately. Today I was able to knock out some ascents at the place.  I finished off the Dirty Cash, but Murphy’s law was in effect so there is no video…yet.  I got video of Attack of the Blobs, which is the first blobs exit.  I did the second ascent of a cool warm-up on the Moss Roof called Rain Closet.

More From The Draw



The rehab circuit continues.  I feel like I’m ready for a mars roof sesh soon.  I have been able to capture footage of many boulder problems that either have not been filmed previously, or the existing videos were climbed in poor style.  Rgod is Neither and Cosmic Bicycle are on the Puzzlebox Roof.  Badass is located down the Howard’s draw.

Anorexic Roof

Here are two videos of some fun climbs on the Anorexic Roof.  Enjoy!