Post holiday update

getting used to the bay area fog on the drive up to Yosemite

getting used to the bay area fog on the drive up to Yosemite

Well….I’m slacking, I know I was supposed to write  a little training blog post. But the reality of it is that I don’t think I want to, at least not right now. Here is why…

I AM WREKED! I can’t figure out how to balance routesetting full-time as well as training to climb at my limit. What I will say is that I think I have learned that those two subjects tend to clash with each other, at least at the point I’m currently at. As I’ve said before; I’ve been trying to figure out how to make my body better cope with the demands of my life. As I find progress, it seems to come after points of total regression. I’ll reach a point where everything seems to be falling apart, every fiber of my body aches and I don’t want to move. At about this time resting usually comes into my thoughts, so I oblige and typically I come back and day-flash or quickly send most climbs that had been giving me issues.Like most eager athletes trying to progress I always fall into a cycle of utter destruction. I know that once I reach this point there’s no point in continuing to push it, I’ve been here before it always leads to injury and frustration.  Lately I’ve been trying to listen more to my body.

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Whitney sending the classic Largo Lunge

The work I do can by no means be a suitable substitute for a rest day. A day of routesetting can be exhausting, constantly moving around running up and down ladders or jugging up fixed lines hauling buckets full of plastic holds (that let’s be real, most hold companies do not have a well designed hollowback to offset a majority of the weight while keeping the holds integrity) , continuously lifting things above your head, and then forerunning climbs when you’re usually not fully warmed up. A culmination of all of the above, over the course of a given work week can lead to sore and possibly slightly tweaked extremities. Not a rest day at all, pretty damn taxing actually.

Trying to follow all that up with a dedicated training plan leaves me destroyed and wanting to die before work the next day. Your body doesn’t get stronger by constant stress, it needs rest to grow stronger after being hit that hard. The act of over stressing your body followed by rest is called super compensation  (to keep it simple). If you keeping moving forward with over stressing your body without rest, it will almost certainly lead to injury. Which is why following someone’s dedicated training plan will almost definitely not work for you. Everyone’s needs to progress in their pursuits are different. You need to evaluate yourself and from that point be true to yourself about where you are lacking and how far you can take it before it become too much.

Going from setting 4 days a week every other week, to setting 4 or sometimes 5 days a week every week is something my body just isn’t used to. I’ve been doing it for almost 3 months now, and it’s starting to feel better. I’m not getting anywhere near as wreaked as I was before and my climbing has been improving. For right now my training is my routesetting. I’ve been able to become much more consistent in my sub-maximal grade ranges, the volume of climbing I’m able to put in has gone up. As eager as I am to keep pushing it as hard past routesetting,  at this current point it’s just not realistic.

Over the holiday I did something that I mentioned earlier in the post, I rested. I rested so hard it was driving me crazy. Up until that point I don’t think I had had a rest period longer than 1 or 2 days in over 6-7 months. Having 8 days of no climbing or anything physical really helped my body recover. Leading up to it my shoulder hurt worse than it ever had, my fingers were all aching as if they could break at a moments notice. After that rest period all my little nagging ailments were either gone or had been significantly reduced. What followed was probably one of the best stints of climbing I’ve had. We went to red rocks and I was able to take down climbs I had planned on projecting, I ALMOST PUT DOWN PROGRESSIVE GUY IN  DAY!!! (I went stupid and punted off the top move) While we were in Phoenix I had planned on going up to the superstitions to try a project I’ve had siting there for over a year now. But the more I thought about it, rest was the smarter choice. And in the long run it definitely was.

Resting is an important part of progression, often overlooked as a “waste of time” it’s really the only way you will progress if you are actually pushing yourself. I read an article that described the “equation to progression” in terms that really made sense to me. By increasing your work rate at the expense of your rest and recovery, you’ll never end up in the positive end of progression.

Progression is a process that takes time and can’t be rushed for any sort of lasting gain. Right now I have been scaling the training after work back and little bit to supplement it with exercises and stretches to aid in recovery and add balance and function to my otherwise “lopsided ” body.

So I will be posting what I will be doing for all of this in the coming weeks but a full scaled “training regimen” will be waiting until I decide the time is right. For now it’s time to recovery from a cold…

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Stabilty

Stability, it’s something I’ve only really ever tasted for a fleeting second. I’ve not been afforded the stability most people seem to have naturally. It doesn’t seem to take place in the path I’ve chosen. Some seem to think it will never come, I think when it comes it will be even sweeter.

Trying to become a full-time routesetter in a way that is convenient and can conform to the rest of my life that I’ve already established has been difficult. The living you make is meager, the hours are minimal, but the satisfaction I get from it is unparalleled. It’s something I wanted for quite some time now, but had seemed to loose it some time ago.

I’ve been setting at Focus Climbing Center for a little bit over 4 months now, and it’s been great. The crew I’ve been working with has taught me quite a bit. It’s strengthened my idea to quit my previous job and jump into this path full speed ahead. It’s just been difficult; In the sense that making a living is rough. It’s put a lot of strain on certain aspect of my life, yet eased many others.

I’ve talked about it in a previous post; about the joy that comes from working a job that you enjoy. It creates a sense of growth seldom felt in the workplace. I’m able to come home and be completely content with what I’ve done for the day and rarely does it effect me in a negative light. With the exception of tonight…

The insecurity of having minimal income has hardly ever bothered me, but on occasion it’ll creep it’s way into my head and make a complete mess of my evening. I’ll start thinking about things that have been and things that could be; if done differently. I do crave the stability of a set schedule with salary and benefits. I mean let’s be real, who doesn’t want that? In a profession where it’s just starting to become a “real job” this kind of stabilty seems to be seldom found even by the highest tier of professionals. So realistically how am I going to find it?

Some say perseverance, some say luck; most just say give up and get a job. I can’t though, I’ve already tried the school thing and it just doesn’t work for me. This path is one I’ve been wanting to take ever since I began climbing. After getting derailed, I’ve taken a detour and I’m back on track. The road is rough but I will push forward, this will become my reality. One way or another

To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did

*disclaimer* The word train or training is said way too many times in the post. You could die if you were playing a drinking game with this article. It is highly advised to not play any drinking games that involve the word train while reading this article.

 

“To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did”- Unknown

It was this quote that I saw at Focus Climbing Center the other week that got me thinking. I’ve been “training” all this time and really have seen any results. But when I look back on what I’ve been doing, it hasn’t been anything out of the ordinary from what I usually do.

Last week I was out with my girlfriend climbing at Priest Draw, she wasn’t doing so well on her project and was getting extremely frustrated. “I train so hard and yet nothing comes from it” were the words that came out of her mouth. At that moment I had a slight epiphany in my own mind. As I would watch her “train” I would always think that she wasn’t really training, she was working out.

We went on to try my project, and I flailed on it as per usual. That really set me off to ponder “why can’t I send my project”. Up until that point; I like everyone else thought I knew what “training” was. I’ve been climbing for roughly 5 years now, in that period of time I’ve heard and seen a considerable amount of ways to “train”. (and I’ve heard the fad had been around for a loooong time)

I’ll stop putting the work train/training in quotation marks just after this next bit, and you’ll understand why I’ve been doing this.

Once we got home I opened up the good ol’ facebook and almost like a godsend that was an article posted that described everything I had been thinking about on the car ride home perfectly. The post was on a blog called Training Beta it was titled “You Aren’t Actually Training”. In the article the author goes over exactly what I had been thinking that entire time, it sums down to two distinct explanations.

Working Out is essentially the pursuit of being tired, sweaty clothes, and next day soreness.  Its unlikely that simply working out will make you much better, because it lacks direction and specificity.

and

“Training is a series of progressive, measurable workouts that move toward a clear set of goals.  Training takes into account the strengths and weaknesses of the athlete, and stays specific to the needs of that athlete.”

EXACTLY!! For some reason some part of me completely knew this but just needed it to be said or spelled out for me. Training isn’t something you can just start doing in the spur of the moment. It has to be planned diligently and carefully, taking into accounts all aspects of the trainee’s life, strengths, and weaknesses.

So with that knowledge in place, my training sessions where I would go project some boulders in the gym and then go putz around on the hangboard/campusboard and other workout equipment weren’t doing a thing. Sure they were doing something, but in a measurable sense to take into account progression over time they weren’t doing anything. Each day was something different, and each day a different result.

I set out to try and find a good resource of knowledge for actually training. I don’t know if it was just by luck or if I had put in all the exact key words, but what popped up on the google search engine was “The Rock Climber’s Training Manual, A Guide to Continuous Improvment” By: Michael Anderson PhD and Mark Anderson. I’ll admit that the title is a little cheesy, but with some quick research it looked more and more like these guys were the real deal. So I decided to order the book.

The next week flew by with my mind constantly on the contents of the book, and then…it arrived! Upon first flipping through the pages it’s apparent a lot of time and effort was put into this book. It’s full of quote that pertain to the given material to keep you psyched, along with full color pictures of exercises and tables depicting plans and diagrams for your training.

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I’ve spent the last two days reading through the entire book which clock in at a nice 300 pages. The amount of knowledge presented here is great, the content is lively and motivating. All in all a very easy read, but more importantly a very thorough layout of training ideals. It puts forth a skeleton that encourages you to constantly alter to your need in a given season. It’s not a plan meant to make you a beast over night (nothing will ever do that, besides steroids… steroids probably can do that) it’s a means to continually build upon what you lay down during your previous cycle of training.  It also comes with a training log to help you keep track of your sessions through an entire 17 week cycle. (They do sell extras through their site) I’m starting to get my plan together and hope to start implementing it starting next week. I will be giving weekly updates with photos, videos and more!

Five Ten Aescent Review

When I set out to look for a new shoe I had a couple requirements I wanted the shoe to live up to.

  1. Tough- I wanted this thing to last, like most climbers out there I’m on a bit of a shoestring budget so constantly buying shoes wasn’t going to be an option.
  2. Sticky- I wanted every step to be sure-footed. I wanted to practically be able to walk up and down a slab without having to worry about my shoes rubber giving out. (short of the devious slabs with gravel on them)
  3. Stiff but not too stiff- Just like Goldilocks I wanted that perfect balance. I’ll be the first person to tell you that I’m not a hiker. I have no problem hiking to a crag of any distance. But when wearing hiking shoes, I’ve come to encounter they’re too stiff and constrictive. But on the other hand I would also try my regular sneakers on some of the longer and harder approaches and end up with blisters. As well as some of the sharper rock would always hurt when stepped directly upon.
  4. Comfortable- Cause let’s be real, who wants to wear an uncomfortable shoe (climbing shoes don’t count).

So I set out into the ever expansive shoe world to see what i could find. Eventually I came upon Aescent and on paper it claimed to be everything I wanted.

“The new Aescent is our lightweight performance shoe. Built on a brand-new midsole package that provides cushion, balance and stability, the Aescent is a single-shoe quiver. We’ve made this classic “approach” shoe the lightest, strongest, best-performing kick available. An innovative medial and lateral arch support add torsional stability and mid-foot support, while the 2-piece molded EVA midsole ensures a smooth ride on tough, unpredictable terrain. The new STEALTH MI6 outsole provides unbeatable cushioning and friction.”-Five ten

So after reading that description I was interested. Having had a couple of their shoes in the past (mostly geared towards mountain biking) I already had an idea of what I was getting myself into (both pairs of shoes I had in the past lasted well over a year and had to be retired due to stank). I put in my order along with a couple new climbing shoes, and as always Five Ten was prompt with their shipping.

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Initial impressions out of the box without even putting them on was how dang light these things are. Five Ten claims 12.4oz; I wouldn’t doubt it. Also another huge point I noticed in relation to previous Five Tens I’ve owned, is that they’ve done away with their adhesive logo on the back heel in place of a imprint on the rubber itself as well as a branded logo on the leather.(pictured at the bottom) (some friends and myself have had previous issues with the heel logo falling off as well as the side logo) I was also really happy to see a loop on the heel, I have beefy fingers and putting my finger in my shoe to get it on after cranking on a pocket or crimp just isn’t appealing. I also gave it a good bend when it came out of the box to feel how stiff the sole was. I immediately noticed that the mid-sole and heel are nice and stiff for good support, but they kept the toe box flexible for maneuverability and comfort.

Having had them now for a little over two months now, I feel I’ve worn them to a decent extent to give a review on them. (though I do plan on updating the condition and opinion at 6 months as well as the year). I’ve worn them atleast twice a week climbing as well as multiple 10 hour days at work riding bikes. Let’s star off with the PROS

  1. COMFORT!!!! These shoes are comfortable. I have had zero problems with keeping them on through all types of terrain as well as leisurely walking about in them. I could probably keep them on longer than 10 hours but then they risk destruction via foot bacteria.
  2. movement- I don’t feel restricted in my movement in the least bit. This would primarily be due to the fact that they have a relatively low heel cup which let’s the ankles move around freely.
  3. Breathable- Though they are primarily leather construction the few cutouts it does have, contain a mesh lay which breaths much better than most shoes (I have a huge issue with foot perspiration, and it’s kept to a minimal level with the Aescents)
  4. Rubber- It’s stealth rubber is there honestly anything else to say? (there’s some slight wear on the sole though extremely minimal)
  5. Stitching- all fabric points are rocking double stitched seams which have held up great so far.

and now for some CONS (I’m really just nitpicking at this point)

  1. Tread pattern- The current sole they have on the shoe is amazing if you’re trekking through a lot of “clean” terrain. By clean I mean rock slabs, stumps, essentially any type of terrain without debris on it. The issue with the current design that I find is that if you’re walking over a surface that has dirt, leave, ect. on it, the sole grabs the upper surface and tends to give way to whats underneath. So the tread design could use some sort of knob to further grip the ground underneath.
  2. Adhesive- This always seems to be the one issue I find with Five Ten. Some certain points will start to separate, but it will stop there. It’s almost silly, you’ll get a little bit of separation and then it will totally cease. It will yet to be seen how much these separate, I got a little bit on the front of the shoe ( this can be attributed to the fact that I tend to boulder in these shoes quite a bit) as well as on one point on the bottom. (pictures below)

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Conclusion: With all of that being said, I’m extremely happy with these shoes. Only concerns for anybody looking to purchase a pair is that they tend to favor higher volume feet. But for myself they’ve been a consistent choice since I purchased them and I can’t see it changing anytime soon. We’ll have to see how that separation continues, but having gotten lost in Red Rocks with them as well as having them hike me up to my project every single weekend (which isn’t the easiest hike) without footpain or fatigue. I’d say they’re a safe bet for anybody looking for a reasonable shoe that’s an extremely capable jack of all trades.

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lost in Red Rocks

And here they are getting lost in Red Rocks trying to find Jabberwocky

 

*thanks all for reading!*

 

*UPDATE 1/22/2015* Having had these shoes for roughly a year and a half now.They have finally reached the point most people would retire them. I have used and abused these shoes to an extent that is beyond the normal function of a basic lightweight approach shoe. They have bouldered V7, climbed 5.10+,  set and foreran routes at the climbing gym, and taken me to every climb I have asked it to. They have definitely broken down considerably, the shoes are extremely soft now. Some of those separations that I had previously discussed had stopped where they were until recently where the separation has intensified a little bit. If I wanted to keep using these shoes it’s nothing a little super glue could solve. Other than that on some of the high abrasion areas (i.e. Both sides of the balls of my feet) the stitching has worn down and there is a little bit of separation. (being brushed up against rocks, brush, and jamming in crack will do that over time). All in all; when my budget allows I will definitely be ordering a new pair of Aesent’s. I reccomend this shoes to anybody I see contemplating them. here are a few pictures of the shoes in their current state

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Break on through to the other side

Plateaus, they’re a part of any kind of progression. You will always come to a point where what you’ve been doing isn’t enough to progress anymore and you need that little bit extra. You have to put yourself out on the edge of what you can do to find out what is really the edge for yourself.

I feel like the last year has been an important one in my climbing timeline. It’s been a big evolution in my mindset as person. I think a big part of that is starting to settle into my own skin and realize that I need to be confident in my own skin to do what I want. Part of that has been starting to push myself in my climbing. Actually being halfway serious about a training schedule, eating well, sleeping well. All could be considered a sacrifice by some, but for myself I don’t feel an issue with them. They feel totally natural, never needing to force myself to be doing anything at any one moment.

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This past weekend I was able to go to Sedona and had what I would consider to be my best few days of climbing yet. It didn’t start off exactly how i had hoped it might.

My girlfriend and I had planned on going up Friday night and camping with a few friends, and staying there through Sunday. Unfortunately our friends had some obligations come up and had to bail, but Jack was still thinking about coming up Sunday. With both of them having bail, we kind of just decided to get up early and roll out Saturday morning. (nobody can hang with how early we go climbing)

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Saw some hotair balloons on the way up. But we got into Sedona, (which is probably my favorite place in Arizona so far) and decided to get a good short day in to save most of our energy for Sunday when we had a few friends coming up. Getting to the Anvils is pretty easy, there is a creek crossing. Ive seen a few people get across is with some good rock hopping . Directions can be found on mountain project.

We did a nice lap around some of the warmup boulders. There’s definitely some good fun lines on this boulder. They’re also the prefect height and difficulty.

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and a different angle on the same climb

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After running around this boulder and doing a few other problems. I feel like I might be warmed up enough to take down a couple of my projects from the previous season. I was aiming for sending a possible 5 climbs. Among those would be Free Willy, Viva La Revolution, Mars Attack, Alien baby right, and last but definitely not least Big Sexy. All of these are relatively hard climbs, my plan was to be efficient and try to do them as quickly as possible. I had been on all them a reasonable amount in the past and I had been able to work out the majority of the moves on all of them. But a year or longer ago I wasn’t anywhere near strong enough to take them down, but I had been training pretty hard over the last year and I felt fairly confident that I could get a couple of them to go.

We headed over to Mars attack (aka pinch test/the crystal pinch) and i slowly began reacquainting myself with the holds. The entire climb for me revolves around a key foot hold and keeping that foot hold while hitting the two crystals perfectly with your right hand as you move up. After that theres a few ways to do it, I personally do the jump straight to a decent sloper and the top out is fairly straight forward.

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Thankfully my day decided to start off great, I managed to send it relatively quickly. This was just a glimpse of the weekend for myself. Afterwards we manged to roll on over to Lazercut were Whitney put in some work and manged to get all the moves worked out, the send should come soon. Once Whitney got done working Lazercut I thought maybe i should give Freewilly an attempt and see what happens. Below is a video of exactly what the rest of the day went like, aside from the first two warm ups. (not the greatest edit i know, but it gets the point across)

We decided to end the day after going to bikini wall and save some energy for tomorrow.

Unfortunately we forgot our camera in the car on Sunda and didn’t take any pictures. But I did manage to send Big sexy, which for me is amazing. Big Sexy was one of those climbs that really got my psyched when I first started climbing. (luckily our buddy Peter had come out and took a few pictures which he sent our way. so photo creds. go to Peter. Appreciate it.)

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Not me. But a video for anyone interested in seeing the climb in motion.

It made me fight for it a few times but in the end it went down. Super excited to have gotten it, a happy send for sure. Aside from that everybody else got some of the other classics like Black Tide and Alien Baby right/left. The most interesting development of the day was probably the seed Jack planted for the hard climbers of AZ to come take a look at. A possible sit start to Big Sexy, it won’t go easy that’s for sure.

All in all a good weekend of climbing.

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I would also like to send a shoutout to Zachary Robinson, though the Red River Gorge had to be enjoyed without us. This Rouge will be enjoyed for you. Happy Birthday.

 

 

 

Used to have a little now I have a lot

of MONEY!!!

hah, yeah right..Nope I have a lot of time now. If you’re of the few that read my first few posts you’ll remember that I had talked about getting weekends off at my job. Well I did, but it in turn also means that we had to find someone to take all of my shifts. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I still cover shifts. I have to be a little bit more careful with what little money I have now. But I’ve taken this as a opportunity, after all I did this because i wanted more time for climbing.

I’ve decided to try and pursue a job in a climbing gym again, with the end goal being full-time routesetting. I’ve already signed up for the Level 1 USAC routesetting clinic taking place out in Blue Springs, Missouri at Ibex Climbing Gym. I realize that it’s going to be a long slow road to make it a sustainable income source, but I want to enjoy myself again. 

I’ve thrown out a couple lines to see if anybody will bite and give me my foot in the door. Chances are likely not, Arizona isn’t exactly the thriving climbing capital of America. We’ve got a couple great gyms out there but in terms of size and volume we still seem to be a little bit behind. With that being said I’ve had to come to terms with the idea that if I want to make this routesetting idea work I’m going to have to travel either temporarily or possibly permanently. I’ve juggled the idea of moving out of Arizona in my head, and it always seems to be such a great idea. But honestly, there’s not much to hate about Arizona besides the three months of hell and lack of climbing based opportunity.

It will be interesting to see what I can accomplish over the next few months leading up to the summer. I still have school, that’s the main thing tying me here. But once school is over we shall see what opportunities await.

 

Still not out of the muck

During my last post I mentioned that fact that my life situation may be changing. Unfortunately this hasn’t quite happened yet, I can attribute this to two factors. First, I’m too damn nice; and second, people don’t want a job.  

It’s been three weeks since I told my employers that I wouldn’t be able to work on weekends anymore. Unfortunately this just hasn’t been the case, not a single person has been found to replace me over the weekends yet. This is in part due to the fact that my profession (bike tech, or a bicycle technician if you want to get technical) requires quite a bit of knowledge. I haven’t realized just how long I have actually been in the trade.

I’ve been working in a bike shop for just about 4 years now, over that time I’ve manage to accumulate quite the wealth of knowledge in relation to the mechanical workings of bicycles. 4 years compared to 10 years my manager has been working is nothing. It’s definitely not a trade that you can just walk into and know everything on a dime. But it almost seems as if most people working as bike techs rarely had the intentions of being there for so long. The work just kind of…sucks you in.

As I’m sure many people out there can relate to, once you get comfortable in a job (even one that you aren’t content with) you tend to stay. But being comfortable doesn’t necessarily mean being happy. Happiness is something I’ve been actively striving for over the past few months. I’m slowly zoning on on what exactly that might be.

I get glimpses of it here and there. But it’s yet to be a constant in my life. I’m closer now than I’ve been before, the light is in sight. (corny but it feels accurate)

Possibly the last superstitions weekday for a while

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Wednesdays have been my one day I look forward to over the course of the last few months. It’s the single day of the week where I’ve been able to get myself outside due to work and school managing to take up all the rest of my time.

I was looking forward to this Wednesday in particular because of a couple factors.

  • I hadn’t been outside in a few weeks, and was jonesin’ to get my hands on some nice hard rock
  • I had just got some brand new Five Ten Anasazi Moccasyms, as well as a new pair of their Team 5.10’s (which I will be doing a review on both in due time)
  • I had also just gotten a pair of Five Ten Aesnts (which I also plan on doing a review of in due time)
  • Last but by far the most important, I was actually starting to feel halfway decent in my climbing again.

I met up at one of my buddies homes, along with another friend. We all did our usual morning chit-chat, loaded up and rolled out to the crag. I’ve almost been solely climbing out at the Superstitions since it’s been cold enough to climb in the Phoenix area. The are has a lot of benefits.

  • The amount of rock is endless, there is boulder after bouler after wall after wall. Endless…
  • It’s close by, only a short 45min drive out to the trail head
  • the quality of the rock once cleaned is solid
  • amount of varied terrain is again…..you guessed it… ENDLESS!
  • and it’s fresh. There is as many FA’s as you’re willing to put up
  • and there’s so many more that I can’t think of at this current moment.

The only downside to the area that I can think to mention is…

  • It’s not the easiest or shortest approach, meaning it’s a good 30-45min walk up relatively difficult terrain. There’s really only a couple steep sections that will actually tax you.
  • It’s fresh, the great thing about this area is also it’s downfall. For those looking for a day of “just climbing” it’s not quite there yet. The area has plenty of climbs for fellow climbers to come up and get on, yet there is probably 10 boulders for every boulder already developed yet to be developed.

But regardless we set out up “the hill” (as it’s been dubbed) on our somewhat easily difficult hike. I was looking forward to the hike today because I hadn’t had a chance to really put my new Five Ten Aescents to the test. I know some others aren’t as enthusiastic about the hike as I can be at times. but for others the hike has gotten a little monotonous, such as my buddy Jay Bone who was on his 55th day of the season out here. There has been a pretty good core group coming out ever since we got a toe in the water this season.

We got up and went through a normal warm up in an area we call “The Fortress”. There’s quite a few problems in just this one area that for the last two season we were content with just that. Even then, we only climbed what had been previously established. Having now seen what the possibility was there, I don’t know why we didn’t venture out from our 4 or 5 climbs that were up there at first. I guess what was there was enough to justify climbing it for us. There are a couple key boulders in this area that take the majority or the traffic. First couple boulders you’ll hit will be the Tater-tots:

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On this little pile of three boulders you’ll find 6 established lines ranging from Easy-moderately easy. A good spot to warm up in the morning due to the warm sun shining down on you. As you move further back in the area you’ll come across the “Turret Boulder”. This was one of two boulder that had problems on it before development really started. It houses a classic to the area known as “Mother of Invention”. The more recent additions to the boulder have taken over, with lines coming out from damn near every point on boulder.

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Gilbert making the long lock-off to the crucial hold on “Mother of Invention”

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Jack topping out “Collective Conscious”

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Jeff working “Footloose”

There’s a couple more problems on a few other angles of this boulder, but I’ll keep those for another day. There’s plenty more problems to show, but again I’ll keep those on the backburner for now.

After our warm-up we immediately went towards Jay’s project. A steep face with crimps just barely big enough to hold onto. He’s been trying this thing for quite a while now, but recent attempts have gotten ever increasingly more serious with the send coming into sight.

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We got over to the boulder early enough, who knows it could’ve been to early in the day and not warmed up enough. But toady was not going to be the day, a combination of just not feeling tip-top as well as the recent warm weather having moved in; did not make for ideal temps. It’ll be a proud one once it goes.

With “Geronimo” being the only thing on Jay’s mind after leaving the boulder the day was essentially Matt and mine. We decided to venture on over to an area called “The Labyrinth”, another area with plenty of problem developed with plenty more to go as well. We all got a project we’ve been calling “Greyskull”, though it; like “Geronimo” is a temperature dependent problem. We all gave it a few solid attempts, polishing out some beta that for me had become a little…..muddled? We all slowly started to feel like moving on, top of the list was a boulder that Matt and Jay had seen last week and wanted to clean. It was still in the Labyrinth, all though a couple minutes over.

When we go over to the boulder I wasn’t very psyched, to be completely honest. It was a decent looking climbable face, but it had a wall behind it and a boulder behind it as well and just seemed like it was going to be a little “dabby”. Regardless Matt started cleaning it up and chalking holds.

I think this is one of my issues with climbing, I really enjoy aesthetics. The first thing to draw me to a line with be how it looks followed by how it moves. It was definitely a case of me personally not thinking the boulder looked very cool. But once everything was finally chalked and Matt started working the moves, the climb gained new appeal. The moves were actually pretty sweet, still “dabby” but overall sweet.

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We worked it for a while. In the picture above I’m working the lower moves. After getting the bottom figured out, just lacking in grip and friction. We decided to figure the top out, I luckily managed to quickly do the rest of the climb from a stand. Now all we need to do is link that move I’m trying in the picture to the next hold and it should go down as a pretty decent problem.

As the day started to slowly draw to a close, we ran over to “Odin’s Eye”. Matt had gotten on this thing the first time he came to the Supes, and couldn’t lift his butt off the ground. He wanted to see where progress had taken him. I think even to his surprise was able to pull off the ground and move through the first few moves. Just needs to come back fresh and with the intentions of doing that climb and it won’t be anything other than a send.

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After Matt gave it a few goes, I decided to try and see if i could get a repeat on Odin. It took me a few tries mainly due to figuring my feet out for a certain move. But it went down again relatively quick for me, which is always nice when you’re able to dial in a climb enough to be able to just walk up and climb it with relative ease. But I did forget how tall this thing was haha

To finally close up the day, we ventured on over to one of my current and most realistic projects. This thing has really tested me recently, I think in part it’s been because a few months ago I got on it and felt great. But I went on a pretty long trip, and took some time off from the amount of climbing I had been doing. Well when I came back and started climbing I felt like a giant went turd; felt horrible! But that kind of setback has reignited the drive under my ass. I’ve been on the training train the last couple months, and I’m feeling good. Feeling good is good enough for me, if I could take amazing I would. But for now I’m stuck working with good.

Photo creds: Jaybone

Photo creds: Jaybone

 I got on and immediately started working the move that for me has caused a lot of trouble. The move is a huge lock off on a decent yet far hold off to your right. You have to get that hold as your first move, use your core to steadily move your feet out right. Once you’re set up, you bear down on that right and try to keep yourself as stable as possible. Let go of the left hand catch the swing it gives you and move up to a left hand gaston. From there its still difficult, but essentially done.

I worked that one move a couple times, figuring my feet out. Then on one attempt, out of the depths of my wallowing confidence…I GOT IT! I had to try hard but it felt good, it felt so damn good getting a move that had been hanging over me for a while now. With that one small moment, my confidence skyrocketed. I though I might be able to send this thing right then. So I gave it a little rest, sat down and started sanding my shredded pads down to make them smooth. So that I would avoid doing what I had managed to do before on this climb and get a flapper on my tip.

finger split finger splitterAfter a rest I got back on, and it wasn’t good haha. It was the end of the day after all and i was thrashed. I gave it a couple exit burns and put all my hope in my next time up here. I’m confident it will go down soon.

Hopefully my next time up here will be on weekend with a group of friend with some high psyche. Because well….why the hell not!?

Also all photos were provided by Jay Bone as well as Richard Edwards over at Sendaholic. Another goal is to take more pictures in the near future. So hopefully you’ll be able to see the transition into my view during climbing