Top 5 Badwater Bouldering Videos

Hello! And welcome to Where’s Wetzler, everyone’s sixth favorite website for all things bouldering related in the Pacific Northwest of the United States of America. This used to be a travel blog. It sort of still IS a travel blog, but it’s also mostly about bouldering now (see: exclusively about bouldering.)

Today I’d like to present to you one of my favorite YouTube channels out there, definitely my favorite YouTube bouldering channel (Mellow and Bouldering Bobat and Emil Abrahamsson are in a close 2nd). The channel comes from two twin brothers, Jake and Kyle Love of the bouldering magnate Badwater Bouldering. They’ve been creating top notch pebble content for the past few years, and it’s been great to watch as the quality of their videos improves along with the size of their following. Today I will be commenting on my favorite five videos from them. So, with only a little further ado…….

THE TOP 5 BADWATER BOULDERING VIDEOS (according to your host and dictator for life, Mark Wetzler)

So, real quickly, how did I pick these videos? Well, the criteria was pretty simple. I simply sat down in the lotus position with a scalding cup of black tea, closed my eyelids, and let the five videos from Badwater Bouldering I’m most stoked on drift into my consciousness. And then I went to their channel and realized there were a bunch I wish I had picked, but too late! If they didn’t come to me during my meditation, they were axed. And so now with zero more ado….

5. Premium Coffee

Honestly I mostly picked this video for the wink at 0:37. Oh and because this is one of the sickest problems in Leavenworth (not that I’ve done it personally but I’ve been there a bunch and may have even fondled the slopers).

4. Camp Serene Boulder

I think I like this video mostly because I’m obsessed with the Camp Serene boulder. It lies right off the highway so you’re constantly subjected to the karmic fields of dozens of aggressive bubbas driving their Dodge Rams on their way to mask-burning parties, but it’s just such a beautiful granodiorite bloc. It’s got so many good problems and two of my favorite projects right now (or when I can climb outdoors again): Serenity Now and Climax Control. Hell, maybe one day I’ll even send Chemical Imbalance V8. Stranger things have happened, wrong????

3. Squamish Road Trip

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Squamish.  Ahhhhhhhhhh, British Columbia. How I love you. I want to be in a relationship with you. I want to live in you. And one day I want to climb your scintillating granodorite rhinestones. When will we be able to go to BC again????? July???? Never????? Justin Trudeau, get your shit together and open your country for boulderers only. Make it accessible by aptitude test in which you display proper closed crimping technique and list at least one famous V16.

Anyway, this video: They’re in the Squamish A&W in this video reminiscing about their trip. What more do I need to say?

2. Fight Club

I have this listed as number two but it’s probably not my second favorite. I don’t know what my second favorite is. I’m confused. But I do like how hard they try in this video. I like what a struggle it is. Makes it so satisfying when they finally send it.

1. Projecting Midnite

Here we go: My favorite video from Badwater Bouldering. Why is it my favorite? Because when I got Pablo Zueleta’s Western Washington Bouldering this was one of the lines I was like: “I have to do that sometime in my lifetime.” Like, this boulder is a life goal. Like, I’ve sent the V3 next to it, so I’m pretty close, right? Like, that one should actually probably be a V2.

I love this video because it fully documents the struggle, because it’s one of the most classic lines in Washington State, because it’s NOT in Leavenworth, and because of the festive nature and the music when the send finally happens. Good going, guys.

So there you have it. Hope you enjoy these videos. All of their videos are good, these are just some that have stood out to me. If you want to sponsor these guys on Patreon here is a link to their Patreon account: . I am not a Patreon subscriber quite yet; I’m waiting for a video of their send of the mega classic and elusive Built to Last V8 before I fully drop in.

Thank you Jake and Kyle for your wonderful content!

– WW







I Was Hoping These Were Gonna Be Gum || A Review of Neuro Mints

Today I decided to try a product I’d seen in Whole Foods for awhile, a product called Neuro Mints. Now, if you know me at all you know that I basically live in the supplement section of Whole Foods, or at least that I frequent it. I like to take a spin through there now and again just to see if anything’s on sale, if anything catches my eye, if I’m missing out on some MUST HAVE product that will instantly make me feel better.

And on one of these perusals I noticed Neuro Mints.

Three dollars a pop (for a pack of 12; on sale right now).

Two caffeinated flavors, cinnamon and mint, and one “chill” flavor that contains no caffeine and I don’t remember what flavor it is. The packaging is yellow. Probably lemon or chamomile or something like that.

ANYWAY, today I purchased the cinnamon variety. Each serving of Neuro Mints contains 80mg of “natural caffeine,” and 120mg of “L-Theanine” (quotes yours). They also contain some B-vitamins, a little sugar alcohol, some monk fruit extract, some stevia, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Basically everything that any supplement contains these days. One question I have is: If these are bent on improving cognition, why are they so damn basic? Really? Just caffeine and L-theanine and B-vitamins? If I want that I’ll pop a vitamin b pill and drink some damn green tea. Why not put a little gingko biloba in there, or some panax ginseng, some Alpha-GPC, some GABA, or some rhodiola rosea? This is my first critique with these mints, that they’re alarmingly basic. And that they have sugar alcohol. I hate sugar alcohol.

My SECOND critique, and the most scathing, is that these are mints, and not gum. God, I wish they were gum. How I long to be chewing right now, happily masticating. And indeed I THOUGHT they were gum right until I opened the package, despite the fact that they’re called “Neuro Mints.” I just figured they’d be gum. I wanted them to be gum. It made SENSE that they would be gum. And I was pretty bummed when I figured out they weren’t gum.

False advertising?

My third critique is that they don’t taste great. They taste a bit of artificial sweetener, with a bitter taste that might very well be the caffeine. They’re also kinda hard, and kinda big. They’re like double Altoid size. Honestly, I think I’d rather just have an Altoid. Also, they’re about 6x harder than Altoids, and since I like to bite mints or candy or whatever it is that I’m chewing on, I ran a slight risk of damaging one of my teeth. So yeah, don’t taste great, kinda hard.




All that said, so far I would describe how I feel as “disturbingly wonderful.” Wonderful because I feel great, joyous, light, excited for what’s to come. And “disturbingly” because I have no right to feel this way, or rather I didn’t feel this way a mere half hour ago. Which is of course disturbing because that leads me to believe that this state is chemically induced, and how will I feel when it wears off? Will I have to chase the dragon the rest of the day with a succession of cinnamon-flavored mints?



Also my stomach kinda hurts right now. This could be the effect of eating artificial sweetener on an empty stomach. And the longer this post goes on, the more jittery I feel. Some of the light, joyous feeling I described just paragraphs ago is already starting to fade.

In conclusion, would I buy Neuro Mints again? Absolutely not. Would I give them to a friend? Maybe, if he/she was a long-distance trucker who really liked mints. But other than that absolutely not. For now I’ll stick with my tea, and if I’m going to get caffeinated mints, I’m going to make sure it’s actually gum.


(pardon the intermission)

Hello friends. As you may or may not have noticed it’s been awhile since I blogged. This is because I haven’t been bouldering and this blog is currently, ostensibly, dedicated to stone-wrestling. However! Do not despair, because I am not only back in the United States of America, I am also probably going bouldering pretty damn soon. Like, maybe even tomorrow. Like, I might just drive to the Camp Serene boulder tomorrow after my call with my life coach and try to send Serenity Now V4 once and for all, a prospect which terrifies me, like actually terrifies me, because once you get past the crux of this boulder (which I’ve never done), you’re, well, pretty damn high. And I don’t really know what to expect up there. I do know there is a gorgeous hold which basically looks like a brick. I do know that at the top of the boulder there’s a juggy seam which, once you grab, should make it pretty easy to top out. But I only know all of this in theory. I don’t know it in practice. I would like to know it in practice. I would like to know what it’s like to send V4.

But also, once I send V4 it doesn’t make me a V4 climber. You could give someone a basketball who’s never played the game before and tell ’em to shoot half-court shots and sooner or later they’re probably gonna sink one. Which is kind of like me projecting these V4’s right now. I still struggle with plenty of V2’s. Hell, I struggle with some V1’s. But also I feel like Serenity Now is within my wheelhouse. I feel like I’m pretty close to sending. I feel like it’s more mental than anything. And here’s the thing: I’ve never gone to this boulder fresh and just dedicated a session to trying to send Serenity Now. Like, given it my all.

Which I still might not do tomorrow because even if I do go bouldering I don’t know if I wanna just go to one boulder and have that be the whole session.

I’m sitting on my boat right now and one thing I’ve noticed since getting back yesterday evening is that the temps are starting to drop. We’re starting to get into the fall season. Leavenworth is going to be game on very, very, very (very) soon. This Saturday looks great for Leavenworth, but sadly (happily) I think I’m going surfing. Because that’s what I was doing the whole time in Mexico and I actually have surf muscles right now and I want to take advantage of them while being on the Olympic Peninsula with friends.

I hope you all have been well. Yesterday was a bit of a gnarly evening because I got back and drank a Focusaid and smoked a rollie and then had a hell of a time getting to sleep. I probably slept about five hours. If it weren’t for a wee nap around 12:30pm I would’ve been completely frazzled all day.

Friends, I’m having trouble once again finding purpose in life. I didn’t find it in my last job. It’s not completely there with bouldering or surfing. Something’s missing and I’m not sure what it is. It’s not a woman, though I would love to have a partner right now. It’s not a job, though actually it might be a job, just the right job. Maybe it’s writing? Maybe it’s blogging? Has that ever been enough? Have I ever dedicated myself in mind and soul and body to the blogging life? Maybe I should.

I’ll let you know tomorrow, or the next day, if I end up going bouldering tomorrow. I’ll let you know either way. If I don’t go tomorrow it will definitely be sometime next week. I’m thinking the Morpheus Boulders. I’m thinking the Clearcut Boulders. I’m thinking Fern Crack V3. I’m thinking Fridge Center V4 in Leavenworth. I’m thinking Fountain Blues V0 over and over and over.

Fall is coming and I’m not even mad about it!


Western Washington Bouldering by Pablo Zuleta

Yesterday I got the book Western Washington Bouldering by Pablo Zuleta. It’s very possible that this book will change my life. In November of 2019 I tried bouldering for the first time at Seattle Bouldering Project. Then in December I became hooked. By February I had even taken a class, three sad guys on Valentine’s day with the teacher who had us trying an orange on a slab that I thought I wasn’t going to be able to do and both of the other guys did and then I finally sent it. Then we tried a purple and all of us failed miserably. My obsession with bouldering became such that before the lockdown I would go to the new SBP in Fremont, Upper Walls, and just sit in the upper viewing area with my notebook writing down beta. Left hand and left foot on sloper, right hand on pinch thing, right foot dangling below left hand. Slowly reach left hand up to pinch/sloper thing, match, reach up with left hand….etc. Back before the lockdown I had successfully done one V5 indoors, though the only reason I was able to do it is because it didn’t require much technique, only a lot of leg strength. I said back then that my goal before the summer was over was to do a V7, outdoors. That’s still my goal. I think I’ve found the problem. It’s called “Naughty Corner” and it’s located in the Index area. It looks gorgeous.  A bit crimpy, and with a dyno to finish. Dynos are my specialty, since they require athleticism more than anything. My technique with bouldering is subpar. But I’m good at jumping and grabbing shit.

Western Washington Bouldering has also shown me my dream problem: “Midnite.” Midnite is a V9 also located in the Index area. It’s gorgeous. It’s a clean face that might be slightly overhanging, crimpy line up to another dyno. The dyno looks sick. Right hand up to a sloper, then top out. My goal this summer is not to do it, but maybe just to get some of the moves down. Maybe to just be able to do the first 2-3 moves. Then again, the whole problem is only like five moves. And the dyno, like I said, looks siiiiiick. But you want more than just one pad to do this problem. Which means I either need to get more pads or go with friends. Either way I’ve already got my hopes up, like I’m going to be able to send this problem by fall or something. Which is a bit unrealistic. You don’t go from barely climbing V5 indoors to suddenly sending V9 outdoors.

Lately I’ve been bouldering a bit on a boulder in Port Gamble Heritage Park in the middle of a clear cut field (could there be a more depressing place to boulder?), and this is officially the first place I’ve ever bouldered outside. The rock is not great. There are no defined problems. But it’s still good to feel the rock against your skin. There is one sloper hold that I’m a bit obsessed with. I think sloper holds will be my next love. I think one day I will grow to love crimps, but for now I despise them because I’m terrible at them. I find that bouldering somehow has a lot to do with playing the piano. You chop boulders up into doable segments, learning a couple moves at a time, and then stringing the whole thing together. Same with piano. You learn little bits of the song with the hopes of stringing it all together in the end. And ultimately the whole allure with both bouldering and piano is learning one relatively small thing but doing it so that you completely master it, so that you can make it look easy, graceful. Becoming obsessed with one tiny little thing. Memorizing the moves. Exactly where you place your fingers. How your body feels when you do it. In my opinion bouldering is like solving a Rubik’s cube, but with your entire being. The ultimate goal is to disappear into the moves.

There was a purple at Seattle Bouldering Project that I was obssesed with. It involved grabbing a slopey ledge and somehow not barn-dooring, matching on the ledge and then powering to the top. I tried it for like three weeks. I finally got some beta on how to do the “crux,” which involved a mini right heel hook that kept you from barn dooring. So then I could grab the ledge, and even match, but by that point I was too pumped to finish it. But then one day I showed up, walked up to it and just sent it. The heel hook felt incredible. A move that had stymied me so many times I now loved. I loved grabbing the ledge, matching, grabbing the next hold with my right hand, and then moving the right hand further to grab the next hold, repositioning the feet, and reaching for the top. It’s still the most satisfying boulder problem I’ve ever done. And it was probably V3.

So that’s the deal: send a V7 by the end of this summer. Why not? It’s going to require bouldering a lot, eating somewhat healthy to keep inflammation under control, and most of all, having fun. That’s one other reason I associate bouldering with playing the piano. I never force myself to play the piano. I only play when I want to. I never force myself to practice. In this way it remains pure for me. I don’t do it to get better, or impress people. I only do it because it feeds my soul and it’s fun. I’ve decided to do the same with bouldering. If I ever get sick of it, I’ll just stop. If I decide tomorrow that I’m over bouldering, I’ll just stop and never do it again. I’m not going to force myself to do it. I’m not going to do it for other people. I want to do a V7 because I want to do it. Because I like grades and pushing myself. Because I like having clearly-defined goals. But it’s just for me. It’s a way to rise above the shackles of everyday life, naked and free.


A Review of Delta’s NEW Economy In-Flight Service

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Hear ye, hear ye. It’s a new day. Yesterday I got back from Norway on Delta Airlines and can tell you all about Delta’s new service in economy class. It’s dazzling, it’s sparkling, it will blow your mind. Assuming you’re the kind of person whose mind is easily blown. Or just the kind of person who’s really into airline reviews. If not, I’m afraid there’s not much for you here. Some gnocchi with tomatoes and cheese. Prosciutto and melon. Etc. Etc.

Now, the unique thing about all this is that I actually flew Delta on the very LAST day of their OLD service, aka November 4th. On the WAY to Norway. And then on the way back, AKA yesterday, AKA the day before yesterday, AKA yesterday, I flew on an A330-300, seat 27G, with their NEW service. So I got to see both services, the old and the new, in a relatively short period of time. Which puts me in a unique position to compare and contrast them.

I loved the new service. That’s the short of it. The long of it is I loved pretty much every minute of it, from when they bring you the menu, to when they bring the new, BIG bottles of water, to when they bring the “peach bellinis” around (even though I don’t drink alcohol), up until the very end when they come around with baskets full of Toblerone(!). So, yes, in my opinion, the NEW service is an improvement. I talked at length to one of the flight attendants, and she said the flight attendants aren’t quite convinced. “Too much trash,” she said, and “Too much going on.” “What’d you think of the welcome cocktail?” she asked me. “Well, I don’t drink,” I said, “But I think it’s really cool you did that. Makes you feel like you’re at a resort.”

Sitting for nine hours on an airplane in economy is definitely not like being at a resort. It’s more like being incarcerated. But Delta’s new service does everything it can to make your experience better. Starting with distributing menus is a great touch. Makes you feel like you’re in first class. And I loved the big bottles of water, since I was dehydrated AB after a restless night of sleep in the Scandic Hotel Bergen. The appetizer was prosciutto and melon, and as a main I had the aforementioned gnocchi. The dude next to me, who was English and wearing Washington Redskins pajama bottoms and who, right before we landed, spent an extended period of time in the bathroom changing into jeans and cowboy boots, got the chicken, which also looked tasty. To top it off the dessert was Ben und Jerry’s salted caramel icecream. So, 9/10 on the food. 10/10 on the dessert. 10/10 on having a menu. 2/10 on my seatmate’s attire. And also 2/10 on Delta’s entertainment. Not super stoked on their movie selection. Though they do seem to have a lot movies featuring Rachel McAdams, which is nice, because I’m in love with her.

Shortly before landing the flight attendants came around again with “before landing service,” which left a little to be desired. There were basically pizza pockets (though at least mine was gruyere [?] and caramelized onion), and also a chocolate mousse. I would’ve preferred fruit, or something healthier than chocolate mousse. And I would’ve preferred basically anything to a pizza pocket. So, 5/10 on the breakfast/pre-landing service. 9/10 on them shoving Toblerones in our faces just before we landed. Chocolate actually does make you happier.

So, even though it’s not perfect, I still liked Delta’s new service substantially better than their old one. I remember very little about the old one, which says everything you need to know right there. But I remember almost everything about the new one, from the menu, to the improved bread roll, to the salted caramel ice cream, to the semi-bizarre pizza pocket. The flight attendants might not yet be sold, but I certainly am.