Monday, February 15, 2010

Top 10

So we're back! Such a fun trip and too much went down to have it all in one post. So, to start things off I've got a top 10 list of the trip. Enjoy.

10 - Snow

Really? 12 hours of driving gets us this??

Honestly didn't expect the weather we got. Highs of 35 or 36 were the norm most days and we got some snow the first two days at Horsepens. Friday in Chattanooga got us the above treatment and it gave us a good excuse for a rest day and breakfast at Aretha's. Fantastic. Anyone who goes to Chattanooga, ever, NEEDS to go there. Thanks for the heads up Nic.

9 - Screaming Barfies V. Us

It was cold and generally we suck at warming up. That combo brought us to some of the most violent cases of the "Screaming Barfies" I've ever experienced.

For those of you that haven't had the joy, let me give you a quick rundown. It's really cold out and you're not warmed up. You can't feel the holds so you start to overgrip. Pretty soon all the blood leaves your fingers/forearms and leaves them numb. When you finally stop climbing all the blood rushes back into your fingers/forearms and you're left with the worst case of "Pins and Needles" ever imagined.

It's maybe the most painful thing I've ever experienced in my time bouldering. The worst was when I flashed Hammerhead after not climbing for 2 plus hours. By the time I hit the jug at the lip and started to roll over on the topout my arms were numb that the only reason I didn't drop off was because I didn't want to try it again. I wanted to puke it hurt so bad.

It happened once more on my flash of Torpedo at Dayton. At least that time it was only my fingertips and it didn't last quite as long. Katie also had a nice case of the Barfies on the sharp crimps of Torpedo. She hurt so bad I had to take her shoes off for her!! RV also caught the mojo on Recollections at Dayton and Slush Puppy at HP 40. We need to warm up better.

8 - Comp Of Doom

So we got to Horsepens on Friday night and were asked if we were going to climb in the comp. Katie had said something about it earlier but we'd since forgotten. It was postponed due to weather the first day so we waited until Sunday to see how many people were actually going to overrun the park.

After being at the Triple Crown a couple years ago I wasn't sure what to think. I figured a decent amount would show.

I was wrong. The comp brought in a SOLID 25-30 folks. It was pretty entertaining watching tens of people run across the field at the start. Not quite the rush you think of when thinking of a HP40 comp. Hah!

It may have been even funnier watching both of the Advanced climbers running around chasing each other from problem to problem. One of them was taking it pretty seriously. I mean really, this is serious business people!!

I took solace in the fact that I could have entered the comp, climbed a couple 7's and gotten third overall. Woulda been fun!

7 - RV V. V6

So RV has climbed every grade up to V8 I believe. Except for V6.

After climbing the Wave a couple years ago I told RV that he should pop his V6 cherry on it. I did it quickly then and repeated it last year and just sort of figured he'd do it, smile and move on. I was proved VERY wrong.

After a number of tries he started to get closer and closer. Each time I thought he'd do it. Then he came off, missed the pad and stubbed his toe. Strike 1.

I put my shoes on like the sandbagger I am and did the problem second try. Told him it wasn't that bad, really. Then he tried once more and saw a bit of blood. Strike 2.

He said he'd give it one more go. That's all he needed. 5 goes later and there was a bloodbath. Steeeeeeeerrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiikkkkkkkkeeeeeeeeeeee 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Two of his fingers were bleeding, along with one other from Horsepens and he was done for the day. And very pissed.

6 - RV V. Windshield Wipers

This was the start of RV's bad luck. Day Two. It had been raining most of the drive down to Georgia and now we were on our way to Horsepens(More on the change of scenery later). All of a sudden we didn't see RV's car behind us. Not sure what was going on I called him and asked what was up. Through bouts of laughter all I heard was "DUDE!! My windshield wiper just FLEW OFF!!".

Turns out his driver's side wiper blade had broken a while back and it decided to quit on him on some back road in the middle of nowhere Georgia. Fantastic.

We got lucky on our way through another small town as the rain slowed down enough to drive. While trying to find a Wal-Mart we spied an Autozone and pulled over to get a new wiper. A quick adjustment at a random school parking lot and we were on our way again!

5 - RV V. The Swimming

In Chattanooga we stayed at a Holiday Inn with a pretty nice Pool/Hot tub combo. Katie and I made it a priority. In passing we learned that RV didn't quite know how to swim, nor had he ever been in a hot tub. We wanted to change all that.

First the hot tub. That one was pretty easy. It just took some coercing.

The tough one was the swimming. To be honest, I thought he was just joking. Then he got in the pool, started to doggie paddle and sank like an anchor. Katie and I took it upon ourselves to make him a better swimmer and over the course of a couple days, and one or two nose bleeds, he started to get a bit more comfy in the water. Eventually he was linking strokes together nicely and I'm pretty confident that he'll be a strong swimmer soon enough.

I believe in you RV!!!

4 - RV V. The Sky and Gas Pumps

This was the final straw. Just when we thought it couldn't get any worse for him, this happened. We couldn't believe it.

So there we are on the last day at Dayton. The sun was out, weather was remarkably good. The plan was to start out at Dayton and then head over to LRC to finish up some bidness. RV had just figured out the rest of the beta on the Torpedo and was getting ready to send it.

For whatever reason he looked up at the sky and something clicked in his neck/shoulder and he was done. Tweaked. He could barely talk without absurd amounts of pain shooting through his shoulder.

His day was done.

By the end of it all he could actually drive and could even look at his blind spot.

Sadly the eventfulness wasn't over for him though. About an hour outside of Marion that night we pulled over to fill up at a gas station. RV finished and pulled the pump out and gas splashed all over his jacket and pants. It never ends RV.

3 - Walmart Fire Exit Sign

Who here has seen this sign?

Cause I think it's hilarious. It's the fire exit sign from Wal-Mart. Whenever I go into one I make sure to stop and take a quick look. It's too funny not to, right? I just figured everyone had seen it when I pointed it out to RV.

Three things happened.

One, RV started laughing hysterically at the absurd safety sign and then almost instantly passed out from the intense pain in his shoulder. Remember, this was the same day he tweaked his shoulder/neck.

Two, RV saw the sign, pointed and started laughing really loudly. Without either of us knowing it RV had unexpectedly, and unintentionally, pointed directly at some red headed kid standing right next to the sign and started to laugh uncontrollably.

Three, Katie told us that we'd pointed at some kid and started laughing loudly. Apparently the kid was a bit surprised/embarassed. RV then started laughing even harder and almost started crying from the pain in his shoulder.

Perfect. I love my life.

2 - RV V. the Toyota Tacoma with Hydraulics

So there we were, in the parking lot of a Bi and Lo grocery store. We'd just picked up some soup and cider for the next days climbing and were getting ready to head back to the hotel. All was well.

Then Katie looked past me and said "That truck is moving kinda funny". RV and I looked over and didn't notice anything. Then, out of nowhere the back end dropped to the cement and a loud BANG came from the truck.

Hydraulics on a rusted out Toyota Tacoma. Love it.

In the meantime RV heard the loud noise and hit the deck in fear of his life, convinced that the Toyota was shooting a shotgun at him.

Katie and I stood there as he picked himself back up to his feet a little sheepish and embarrassed for his display of upmost fear.

Like I said, I love my life.

1 - The Fit V. Water

So, you must be asking yourself "What can be better than RV thinking he was going to get shot by a Tacoma, Steve??". We got it beat by a long shot.

We've all experienced that giddy feeling that you get when you're close to a new area. You just want to get there and run around the boulders, even if you can't climb yet. After a 13 hour drive, all three of us were feeling that. We just wanted to be at Rocktown.

We turned onto the dirt road and started making our way up the mountain. We rounded a corner and all we saw was water. I yelled to Katie to make sure she'd stop in time as the fit would not function well as an Ark.

And there we sat, staring at water 3-4 feet deep and rushing VERY fast. We just couldn't believe it. We were maybe 3-4 miles from the boulders. That's it.

We snapped some pictures, walked around in disbelief and then got back in the car. We plugged in HP 40 to the GPS and started another couple hours of driving.

Still can't believe it.


  1. wow. sounds like quite a trip indeed. With all the things that went wrong did you climb anything but the wave and torpedo, lol? I'm hoping you guys got all of the bad weather and bad luck out of the way for our trip next week. yikes.

  2. Stop picking on the brown kid. Also, for the record, I did not hit the deck when the hydraulics on the truck went off. I was simply very skeered and manly enough to admit it!

  3. RV man, you should start playing lotto cuz luck has to change sometime. V6 is elusive. I climbed both V7 and V8 before I finally got a V6. (though I really consider myself a V4 climber maybe V4+). You should do It's Oral Over and/or Alpine Club @ GD. Seeing you at the gym I bet you could flash either of those no problem. Dude does a one arm pullup like it's nothing. I've been trying off and on to do that for like 5 years. No closer now than I was 5 years ago. Anyway, yeah, great post Steve, and keep the faith RV. ce

  4. Did you guys really need to lift the hood to change the wiper blade?

    Looks like a good time. And always a good idea to bring a brown kid along, like bringing a canary into a coal mine, just in case a truck down there does start shooting, you know who they are aiming at first.

  5. Haha, yeah, we actually had to tighten the wiper blades themselves cause they kept catching each other. Took an inordinate amount of time to figure it out really. Pretty sad.

    I like the canary comparison...