Monday, October 12, 2009

3 Days

Katie and I had a fantastic weekend and managed to hit a bunch of different areas these past few days. Sadly my camera decided to be a punk and lost all of the pictures from the memory card. I'm not sure why this keeps happening. Sad though.

Friday we took off for the lake at about 3PM and on our way in we passed Brian coming down from the boulders. It sounded like he had a good day but wasn't able to stick the crux move on Moj just yet. Soon!

I had my sights set on trying the Power Plant project so we hiked straight there. Confusion quickly set in and I couldn't figure out how to start it without dabbing. I tried a couple different things before we eventually took off, but it seems like I had bad beta and need to start a bit deeper in the pit.

After that I went over to Alpine Club and gave it my requisite attempts before utter frustration and confusion set in. I just can't even describe how frustrated I am with that problem. Oh well.

Saturday morning we woke up to rather frigid temps with our thermometer reading either 33 or 34. Thinking that we'd just wait out the cold at breakfast we went to Tex Tubbs and had one of the best breakfasts in Madison. They do such a good job!!

We walked outside and were stunned to see snow falling on the streets. Not cool at all. We piled into the car and decided to continue with our plan of going to Governor Dodge for the day. Driving through the snow I noticed a bank thermometer reading a balmy 35 degrees and neglected to tell Katie about it fearing that she'd turn the car around.

Katie had her sights set on Alpine Bouldering Club, a classic V6 nestled in the woods near Barrel Ridge. Somehow we went the absolute worst possible way and after a thorn filled 15 minute walk we re-found the boulder.

Katie made one attempt at warming up before sliding down the landing and promptly moving on to A.B.C. After a bit of frustration on the first move she quickly picked up great beta for the move to the small pocket. In between stuffing her hands into a mitten full of hand warmers and putting on as many layers as she could possibly climb in, she was making really good progress.

Having figured out the first couple moves she moved on to what will probably be the crux for her, moving her right hand up just a bit so she can reach the first decent edge high on the wall.

Eventually though, the cold set in and we had to pack up so she could get blood back in her feet-sicles.

A quick drive over to camp b and we set up under Battle of the Bulge. I'd given this problem a single, and very hot, day of uninspired attempts last September right as I was coming back. I don't think I could have been in worse shape.

I was psyched to try the problem again and curious to see how it felt. Everyone had talked about the super sharp edge and while I wasn't looking forward to that, at least I was mentally prepared.

A few goes in and I'd refined my beta for the first couple moves and I went to work on the crux. I tried the recommended beta a couple times and fearing I was going to get a split I started trying to find other beta. After a bit of searching I found a very small, sloping sidepull near the crimps and started using that.

In the end I got close to reaching the sidepull but couldn't quite muster the move. We took off for the day and defrosted our feet by the heaters.

On Sunday we took our time and made it to the lake around noon or so. A quick drive through the park brought us to Burma Road. After making sure we didn't get stuck in the mud off the road we made the quick hike in and I showed her around the area.

Burma has always been one of my favorite areas at the lake and the V1 warmup is possibly my favorite problem at the lake. The atmosphere is unique and you feel like you're way out in the middle of nowhere. We messed around on a few of the problems at the main wall and then walked around to the backside so Katie could try some more classics.

Again, we had issues actually warming up as most of the problems are hidden away in the shade. Katie did manage to start trying one of the very height dependent boulder problems and did fairly well with her small stature. I'm not sure who convinced her to try it, but it definitely wasn't me.....definitely.

After Katie properly destroyed any skin she might have had left we figured we'd head somewhere else. I was having troubles deciding what I'd like to work on but eventually settled on Massive Vertigo. I hadn't tried it even though I'd been there twice and thought that Sunday would be the perfect day to try.

We made the quick approach(although now I have to buy Katie 3 Hermit Crabs since I made her walk in talus) and I was pleased to see that the landing wasn't as bad as I thought it was. 2 Full Pads and 1 half pad were all I needed to work the problem and feel safe. Kind of nice.

I pulled on for the flash go and made it to the crux before I came off in pain. I quickly realized that I hadn't climbed in almost two hours and the sharp crimps didn't feel so hot on my tips.

A few minutes later and the crimps started feeling a bit better. The crux on Massie Vertigo comes down to a shallow, sloping heel hook for your right foot and a big move up right to a small crimp. The climb overhangs a good bit and any fall on the crux move and you just sit down on a rock. Kind of nice really. Not too dabby but still a nice fall.

While the move itself doesn't seem like it'll be brutally hard it's oddly tricky. I kept on trying and getting a little closer each time but every single time my heel would pop off in disgust. I just couldn't get it to stick. On top of that your left hand is on a sloping sidepull and it's hard to really lock that off.

Pretty soon my skin was starting to go and then, on one of my last tries, I ripped a small hole in my pointer finger and I was done.

Out of all the projects on my horizon I'm definitely most psyched on Massiver Vertigo right now. Such a cool problem. I just need the heel to stick...


  1. Massive Vertigo will go tomorrow! Yes!

  2. sounds sick! i'd love to try M.V. tomorrow.

  3. Send Alpine Club already, geez! I have essentially seen you do every move. Sack up, temps are good, fricking send!

    D.B. Robinson