Climbing Bulletproof: A Journal

We’re always psyched to see the adventures that Reddheads get up to, whether in the great outdoors or the concrete jungle. Good nutrition is key for any kind of hustle, and we love to hear about how Redd is fueling your climb. This month, we received a dispatch comes from Lee, a Reddhead on an extremely literal climb – one up a 65-foot cliff. We were so stoked to read about his triumph over a truly brutal ascension, fittingly called Bulletproof. We had to share some choice excerpts with you for a little inspiration!


Lee Hansche Gets Style Points While Climbing Bulletproof. Photographer: Devon Hastings
Lee Hansche Gets Style Points While Climbing Bulletproof. Photographer: Devon Hastings


“I first learned about Bulletproof maybe 7 years ago: a mythical 5.13 inverted off-width crack in Western Massachusetts. Just the description had me hooked. For those who don’t know, an off-width crack climb means it is too wide to lock your hands or fingers into, but not wide enough to fit your whole body into. These types of climbs require techniques no other climb does: stacking one hand on top of the other to fill the space, climbing feet first while hanging upside down and tons of other trickery. It took four tries, but I finally succeeded!


4/14/18: I tried the route from the ground. I struggled with the crux, but did well on the upper 2/3rds. Having the top go well gave me motivation to come back soon to try the beginning again.


5/5/18: After talking to friends about techniques, I returned with more excitement. After getting beaten up and cutting my hands and arms to pieces, I took one final go with pure animal intensity and linked the first 1/3rd of the climb!


5/15/18: I came back for more, despite the backs of my hands still not being fully healed. The crack was wet, but I still did what I could. I linked the upper section again, this time in awful conditions. I figured if I could do the top wet, I could do it exhausted after pulling the crux.


5/25/18: Success! With a wonderful crew, I was back with a plan and new skin on my hands. After warming up I sat quietly, did some breathing exercises to help quiet my mind, and set off up this stunning piece of rock. I had committed every movement to muscle memory and it went really smoothly. There is nothing like the feeling of movement meditation that comes from climbing something brutally difficult while being calm and collected. Your mind and body both seem to float. When I got back to the ground, I was met with smiles, congratulations, and of course, a Redd bar!


This is one of the most stunning pure crack climbs in the Northeast, and for the committed crack addict, it is worth all the effort, pain and blood!”


Lee Takes a Moment to Relax. Photographer: Devon Hastings
Lee Takes a Moment to Relax. Photographer: Devon Hastings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *