Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Question For You

So last night we went up to the lake again. It was nice and cool and we all had a grand time. After a quick punt by RV he quickly dispatched the center line on the Dog Walk/Stache Boulder for it's second ascent. Nice work. We went over to Alpine Club and tried that a few times too.

I was feeling pretty good on it, and RV was too, and then something good happened. No I didn't stick the move...I did move my hand just a bit to the right on the sloper. Maybe a millimeter or so, not much. It felt good at first but then on my second to last go I went up and it felt amazing. I stuck the gaston for just a second, felt my left leg barndoor out and for a millisecond I paused at the apex of the swing and thought I was gonna pull it back in. Then something popped off and I was back on the crashpads.

I am so psyched about it. That one little moment brought the light at the end of the tunnel just a bit closer.

I really can't believe that it's doable. 24 days of work boiled down to that one lonely pause and I haven't been this excited in a long time. Progress on a boulder that hasn't ever shown me any signs of hope. Im really excited right now.

On the ferry ride back RV asked us kind of an interesting question though:

What boulder problem FELT the hardest for you?

I don't want to know what your hardest send was. I don't want to know your biggest number. I could care less about that. What I do want to know is when you've had to really pull out the try hard? When have you had to just bear the fuck down and finish something?

We all know the feeling of getting something so dialed in that it feels piss easy. Beautiful Soup felt like that last year. It felt simple when I did it. Kinda like an afterthought almost. The send was already in the bag before I stepped off the pad. Yet when I did Jenga a few weeks earlier it felt really fucking hard! The crux move on that problem always feels brutal for me. Not sure why, but it just does.

Jenga ranks right up there with Moj for me. I had to try really fucking hard to finish up Moj. It was an all or nothing effort and it felt absolutely brutal. The last slap felt so desperate after the iron cross. I was pumped, greasing and in the back of my mind I knew that I'd fallen off of that move from the start 4-5 times already that day. It was a fight and one of my proudest moments.

So what is it? I'm really curious. When you start thinking about it things become really interesting. For RV it was a tie between Anchorpoint and Slope of Dadaism. For Katie it was the crux move on the Eliminator.

I'm really really curious.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Today Would Be A Great Day For A Swim.....If I Knew How To Swim.

Ahh yes. Here we go. The 200th post. Figured I'd start it with the quote of the day from yesterday. Credit goes to RV for the classic title. We still need to give you your water wings bud.

So back to rock climbing. We tried in vain to go up on Saturday but everything was soaked to the bone and the air was thick!! We drove back to Madison and had a nice little session in the gym. It feels really good to be psyched again!!

Sunday RV and I drove up to try Alpine Club a bit. I'll keep it short and say that in all the time I've spent at Alpine I've always sort of hoped that I could do the move. Sunday was a new mindset for me. I know I can do the move now. I've never felt this close to doing it and the problem felt so doable all of a sudden. On top of that I've never had as much fun up there than I have recently. It's been light and there hasn't been any pressure.

It felt absurdly good pausing on that little edge.

RV made progress too and it'll be interesting to see what happens with the problem this fall.

Once more I can't post pictures for some reason. No pictures for you sadly. My eloquent words will have to suffice.

Honestly I can't really believe that it's been 200 posts. Thanks so much for following along all. It's the only reason I'm still writing here!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Suck It

Alright well I was gonna put up some pictures of this past sunday's not so radness but alas, blogger is being difficult.

Instead I'll have to regale you with tales of radness that may or may not happen today around 3. We'll be heading up to the lake for a relaxed day since we've spent the past two in the gym trying to get back in shape. Right now it's looking like Black Sheep for a bit and then over to the Flatiron and Zipper.

We've got the knee pad for black sheep so we'll see what goes down. Who else is getting out?? Chris, did you get out??

Monday, August 16, 2010

Jenga/Seam Project

Katie and I had a fun but tiring weekend as her younger sister got married on Saturday. Lots of good moments all weekend long but few topped the German drum line gracing our presence outside the chapel after the ceremony. So good.

We did make it to Adventure Rock a couple of times and enjoyed the luxury of A/C. Hot damn it was nice in there. We felt so spoiled.

Sunday afternoon though we finally made it up to the lake for a session. We met RV and Sofie up at the dog walk/stache boulder and set to it. Both Katie and I were pretty apathetic and tired but RV was rather motivated to finish up Moo Stache from the low start. After a bit of figuring out he did just that and finished up the low start with relative ease.

We packed up and trudged up the hill to Jenga so the ladies could play around on it. Aside from it being a super low motivation day Katie climbed strong and ended up doing each of the moves in isolation but had little to no energy for a full attempt. Sofie also had some good efforts and by the end of it started to figure out the funky first couple of moves.

Katie eventually realized that yesterday was just not her day and we all packed up and walked down to the seam project. RV almost stepped in human poop on the way down and I threw my bag down super slab to see what a fall would be like from the top of it. News flash, it doesn't look like fun so don't fall.

We figured out the pads once more and gave the project some burns. Ultimately we came away empty handed but it was fun to watch RV get sucked into the move. It's such a deceiving little bastard. You walk up to it and it seems so easy. Looks so simple. Just grab the lip and you're done. As soon as you get on the wall though you feel just how overhung the wall is and just how shitty the feet are. Then you throw to the lip and feel just how mediocre the sloper is.

Yet in the end you look at the problem and think to yourself "This looks easy...Next go for sure".

All that said, RV and I ended up in much the same position I was in a few months back. Stumped at how such a simple looking move can feel so hard. Oh well. We've got all fall, right?

The weather has turned a little for the moment and if feels a bit like last summer so take advantage of it!!! RV and I took a bunch of pics on his camera and I'll try and post those up as soon as I get them. Starting to see things even out a bit around here and we're getting excited for the fall season.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Punt Of The Month - July

And the punt of the month for July goes to.....

Yes, my beautiful wife Katie. Sadly she wasn't able to go back up to Jenga in the month of July so her multiple epic punts on the last move go down as the winner for July.

For those that don't remember, early in July we all went up to Jenga and Katie proceeded to absolutely destroy every last move except for the last one to the jug. 4-5 times she mustered her way up the rest of the problem only to come off on the last hold.

Next time...right?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Oh Yes

I climbed something. It wasn't hard. At all. But it was new and I'm psyched.

Katie, RV, Sofie and I went out Saturday to the Dog Walk/Stache Boulder. As I set to cleaning off the left arete RV and Katie started working out the betas on the right line. Not really knowing where it started they just sort of picked the lowest holds and went from there.

I jumped to the top of the boulder to continue cleaning the carpet of shit that was on top of it. They kept on diligently working out the beta while a ferocious combination of dirt/moss/pine needles/sticks was raining down on them.

Pretty soon I was done up top and after a harrowing uncontrolled skitter down the topout slab I put my boots on to try the right line. I had an ok flash attempt but quickly lost motivation after I got a small hole in my left ring finger. I left it up to Katie and RV.

While they were working on that a bit I started working out the left arete. Aaron and Isobel came up while I was playing around and Aaron joined me soon after. After a few tries I did the left line and named it 'Railroad Spike'. I'm looking at you Nic.

Right after that RV had a punt of all punts on the right arete and greased off of the topout edges. So sad. He tried a number of times through the rest of the day but never was able to finish it up.

RV and Katie working out the Right Arete

Aaron cleaned up the second ascent of Railroad Spike and then quickly dispatched the center line as well. I had been working it without a certain sharp spike of a hold but Aaron "Sally'd" up and used that abomination of a hold to put it in the sack. Definitely a cool little line and more than worth the short hike. I intend on going back to finish up that one without the stupid spike! Nice work Aaron!!!

Aaron on what would become P.Stachio

Katie and RV came over to the left arete and quickly did it using a sloper Aaron and I had skipped over bringing the problem down to about V4. Sofie also repeated it with a bit of a whimper and finished up the day!

RV being creepy.

I can't begin to tell you guys how you need to get out to this boulder. This is a true gem of a boulder for the lake! Three good solid problems on great rock with an absolute perfect landing and a cool little setting. So Good!!!! DL has a distinct lack of problems in the 5/6 range and this fills it in nicely. Go do it. You know you want to.

On a totally different note I had a great time and am getting psyched up for fall. We're starting to see little hints of fall and the forecast is calling for 70's this coming sunday. Really I can only hope. Nic, Josh and I had some interesting discussions about psych while I was out in SLC and I'm personally really hopeful for fall.

I guess only time will tell. As we all know, motivation comes in waves and it may not hit this fall. Last year was kind of amazing. It's fun when it all clicks together like that.

Friday, August 6, 2010

New Gearz

A few things from the OR show. No pics but there are some cool new things coming out next spring.

My Shit -

New GriGri is fucking badass. Lighter, smaller, works on all single ropes and easier to lower. We got to use them last week and paying out slack and lowering is noticeably easier. So good.

Petzl's rechargeable/programable battery is also badass. Fully customizable and regulated. Eggnuts, you can now get a headlamp for the kiddies so they can porter your pads for you. Then you can set it to the lowest setting and it'll last for 100 plus hours AND not blind you when they look at you to give you betas.

Hardwear has double wide sleeping bags now. Yessir. Sweaty...Nic...You guys are getting hitched now, it's time for a double wide.

Josh's Shit -

New shirts. New tanks. Insanely rad new beanies with pom poms. Obscenely awesome small packs that remind me of just how awesome 1991 was.

He also has a couple new pads on the way. Everything looks rad.

Nic's Shit -

Five Ten has some awesome new shoes coming out including a ladies downturned velcro, downturned anasazi lace up, super asymetric lasted lace up(think tweaked out dragon) and some badass approach shoes. All the colors are sick and the shoes look amazing.

Nic also shaped a new set of skippers. I love the little skippers and these area fucking awesome. Juggy. Huge. Fallic. Nice Work.

Other People's Shit -

Sportiva came out with a Team Shoe knock off. 3.5 mm rubbber. Softer Midsole. Extended toe cap. Single Velcro. It just doesn't look that nice. Scarpa didn't come out with anything new.

Asana copied Josh's messenger bag....with a screen print. Metolius continued copying Josh's chalkbags with reckless abandon. Josh ripped Mad Rock foam with a single squeeze.

Climb X was there. So was Mad Rock. They're multiplying. No one really knows why they're both in existence. It's confusing.

Things I Learned -

Epic Beers are amazing.

Tequila is the devil.

Nic is a dirty bastard and his new name is 'Railroad Spike'.

Josh is a saint, much like Luanne, and his new name is 'Teddy Bear'.

Both of them need fat people insoles.

Katie got a hedgehog while I was away and named it Commander Fluffykins.

Salt Lake is a fucking weird place. I could never live there.

LCC is kinda badass. We got to play around on a Granite Roof.

I miss my wifey.