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Friday, November 14, 2008

Wed. Last Climb before Ecuador

I had to drop by the doctor's to check on my foot from last summer (checked out okay) my wrist (got some great x-rays that he passed around the office to show my odd radius/ulnar joint - but my scaphoid is just dandy) and my South America drugs (drat presumed uncleanliness).

I got done too early to go home to meet DW, but too late to go to the pharmacy to get my drugs, so I decided to go to gymnastics and cheer for Dallin. It was pretty fun, and I got to drive with Bren, singing silly songs about chainsaws all the way home.

We changed and DW and I drove to the gym. Along the way I decided I really wanted to get one more climb in, and DW didn't have her stuff, so she borrowed a rental when we got there. We quick ducked into REI for a last-second Ecuador purchase, then back to the gym and it was packed. Solid. Three Scout-type groups all over the place, plus a handful of lead climbers (like elbow-to-elbow lead climbers).

So after digging around for a few minutes, I finally settled on the evil black 5.8+ that has toadally kicked my butt every time I got on it. I went up with actually decent technique to the sticking spot and suddenly it made sense and after a couple of scary moves I "ran" the rest of the way to the top, making what I thought was thin and sketchy moves the whole way. DW said I pretty much frogged it after the sticking spot, but I did some backsteps matches smears and one crossover, so I'm happy enough. Also, I did speed it pretty good. Anyway....

Then on to the treadmill. The Scouts were being "shot" by the Momentum web guy (camera shot) and he had lights all over, so I had to move the treadmill plug over one outlet taking over what amounts to two treadmills to do it. I got on with a 30lb pack and "ran" at 2.0 and 30% for 1000' in 28 minutes. Woohoo!

Then I got off and changed and called it good. Home and sleep awaited.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday Nov 10 Climbing

Monday after work I met DW and the kids at the gym. She put the kids in Mountain Room just as I pulled up, and we quickly got taped and harnessed and on. I decided my modified-x taping was going to work okay, based on the past few times (once no-tape and it sucked pretty bad).

DW did a few 5.11's to work on her onsiting for the comp. I did a red 5.9 on the beginner's wall and did a good job of sending it (I think right now that's about my limit). I have been experimenting with the LaSportiva shoes I got a long time ago that were way too small for me then, but don't feel too bad now. I was joking with someone a week ago that "if you can get into your climbing shoes they're too big for you".

DW did great, and I did so-so the rest of the time. I tried the evil red 5.9 on the curvy wall but didn't do that good, and I tried the black 5.8+, no go, and the yellow 5.9 on the curvy wall again, but I just couldn't get my feet and hands to think together tonight. I was about to get on the yellow 5.10 (the huge juggy one that overhangs a lot) when Nate came to get us. Daycare alert.

Guess Dal and Bren had a slug-fest and were being evicted for the night. Dal seemed to be the culprit, so we put him in time-out and went to the cafe for the rest of them. I was going to ride the treadmill but this morning I emailed back and forth with the climbing group and discovered that we were only going to hike fully-loaded once uphill. The rest of the time we're in jeeps or mules (that'll be cool) and with a much lighter pack.

I decided that recovering and restoring were more important, so I bailed on tonights workout and when DW left with the kids (we were done for the night, since the kids were out of daycare) I went to the Verizon store to get a foreign SIM card for my phone so it will work in Ecuador.

Nate said I should give a slide-show at the gym when I get back. Though it's called slide-show still, it's really a pc or tv picture "slide-show". That would be fun. I did it for family when I got back from Mexico last winter.

Monday, November 10, 2008

More Saturday Climbing

I had to go to the gym tonight to do more treadmill, so we went ahead and dragged everyone down and forced the kids to climb ;) (the little monkeys love to climb, and poor Tan sits there "climbing gym" over and over and over in her little soft voice)

When it was our turn DW did her favorite 5.11 that she did really well on (preparing for the onsite comp she's going to see about doing at the Quarry on Saturday while I'm on the plane) and I started up a 5.9+ (they took the plus off when they retagged) with some good blocky holds, and did well enough at the beginning (where I normally seem to do best) then moved over to the ancient brown 5.8 that always kicked my butt back in the day. Tonight I just flew up it - amazing!

We left the kids in Mountain Room (their normally-cool daycare - depending on who's in there) and went upstairs. I totally loaded up today - 75 lb - and slogged my way up 1,000' in my boots. Horrible.

DW rode the treadmill pretty steep and turned around for a while (real interesting quad workout) and then since she got started before me, she went to the weight bench to finish with some wild ab and arm work.

Then we went home and passed out.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

DryTooling Again

Saturday, Nov. 11, 2008. 29 degrees, snow on the ground, rocks damp.

Nathan, DW and I went up the trail seeing fairly new deer prints in the mud and snow mixed with leaves. Nathan set up a toprope over the 5.8/5.9/5.10 section.

John showed up (friend of Nate's) and we sent him up first. He started on the 5.10 and angled over to the 5.8. It was nice watching his smooth methodical game of chess with the rock and tools.



Then we sent Nathan, and finally Angie up. She did really well, since this was a bit above what she's comfortable doing. Though she looks like a real pro in this pic.



John had to go, and Nate had to get to work in a few, so we said goodbye for now to John, and I sent Nate up again one last shot today. He worked his way up the 5.9R trad route and again, looked like he busted some really cool moves. He's got great balance.

I got on, and for some insane reason started up the first 5.10 roof. I did some great moves, but every time I pulled over the roof I popped out. One time my tool slid down the crack and just barely stuck at the bottom. Nate had to run to work, but left his rope for us for a bit.

I managed to get just past the roof and popped everything but one tool off, swinging out in space (though only about 12' up -- great decking potential there). DW screamed fearing crampons in her forehead. I got back on and lowered, then went up the 5.9. Did a cool "walk the tools up the crack" sequence and got into the only good crack on the route about halfway up, then was so totally pumped my left hand was so swollen I couldn't hang on anymore, so I bailed.

We ran the rope down to Nate at Momentum and then headed home. Great morning with great people. Thanks all.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Momentum Climbing - Mon. Nov. 3 2008

We had Anne tonight, so we went to Momentum together, DW and I. After harnessing up and all, I decided to try sans-taping to see how that went. At Red Rock the other day I didn't use tape on my 5.10a, and it went just fine.

DW warmed up on a 5.10 and I started on a new 5.6 in the middle of the beginner's wall. I decided that I needed some tape after all, so I just taped the middle joint of my third fingers. Hope that helps some.

DW then worked a few nasty 5.11's, and I did a "New" 5.6 - turns out it's that nasty 5.7 beige one that messes me over at the end. I plowed through that sequence and sent it.

In the middle of all this, a lady came up to Angie and said she was really interested in WERC, but couldn't come Tuesdays ever ever. So we patiently explained that she could still hang with the girls, and that she could take private lessons if she wanted, so we asked what she wanted to do and what she could do now. Guess she could lead 5.9 trad okay, but that 5.10 trad kicked her butt. Well, I could have come up with a list of exercises for her to try, but I don't think WERC could help her otherwise - so we suggested she hook up with Dawn - our favorite 5.10 Trad Girl. Not sure that was what she wanted to hear though.

Anyway, then I did a new grey route next to the green 5.9+ by the kids routes. It wasn't too bad - figure a low 5.8? Then I did the new black 5.8+ on the back short wall. It was a plus all right - and a hold was broken into a little one inch square rotating on the bolt. I took it anyway, but was nervous. I got about 2/3's up and decided it hurt bad enough to bail - the next move required a deadpoint off a backstep with really low lock-off, and I had abused my shoulder bad enough leading drytool on Saturday to decide to not push it.

All in all a good night climbing.

Then onto the real fun....

As part of my Ecuador Training Program, I'm using the really cool Freemotion Incline Trainer in the upstairs fitness center at Momentum.

In Ecuador, I'll be trying:
Iliniza Norte at 16,818 ft Ecuador's 8th highest peak, and Iliniza Sur at 17,267 ft the 6th highest peak in Ecuador, used to be one larger volcano that split in two. The North peak is easier, and except for the "El Paso de la Muerte", which can be a bobsled run if icy, is primarily a steep hike with a few 5.3 moves. The South peak is a steep snow walk, with the possibility of a sketchy bergschrund crossing.
Antisana, at 18,891 ft, is Ecuador's 4th highest volcano and one of the least climbed. It has a reputation for being a difficult and dangerous mountain because of the constant movement of the glacier including shifting seracs on the upper mountain.

Back to the present, I loaded up my pack, the Gregory Pallisade I got for free with my REI Member Benefit last year (combined with a 20% off member-only coupon - woohoo!). I like it especially because of the adjustable hip angle. I have a high iliac crest that ends just below my ribcage, so despite being 6'1" I have to get the small or medium size backpack (19" spine). I can rotate it so it sits at an angle that cuts in just inside that few inch band of narrow flesh. Feels good. I put a 50lb dumb-bell into the pack today, for a total of about 65lb - heaviest yet in this workout cycle. I got on the Incline Trainer in my pack and running shoes, set it for 30% angle and 1.0 MPH. I did 3 minute intervals of 1.0/1.1/1.2/1.3 for a total of 12 minutes, then did it all over again three total times for 36 minutes of workout. I hit 1,000' at 35 minutes. Good job.

DW rode one, but I don't know what her stats were. Also, Banner and Summer were riding treadmills (good friends of ours from the gym), so it was a bit busier than I'm used to upstairs.

So that's it for tonight. On Tuesday Evening is WERC, so I'm going to head up after work and work out again, then switch cars with DW so she can do WERC and I can take the kids home and watch evil shows with them....

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dry Tooling, Draper Red Rock, 11.01.2008

Woohoo. Got up at 6 after spending the eve before arranging my pack - made tougher by the fact that we had invited a handful of newbies with no gear, and had no clue what they would bring. Packed the car, and Ann arrived. We took off up to the Draper Red Rock, below Suncrest Subdivision off Mike Weir Drive.

We met Michael first, who assured us that a body would in fact fit in the trunk of a Miata. Really. Probably wouldn't even have to cut it up. But he didn't want to share how he knew that. We hung out packing his stuff (rock shoes, harness, rope, camera) and then took off up the trail. It was cool because the trail was wet from the rain all the night before, and the damp leaves fallen from the scrub oak.

We got to the benches and started getting our stuff together and on. We headed over to Gum Cheese, the crappy 5.6- (in Mixed Rating, I'll give it M3) and Michael set a toprope on it. I showed him a few ways to use the tools, then DW did a demo on it. We put boots and crampons on Michael and turned him loose with tools. It was fun, and we got some good shots with his camera (waiting for pics) and as well with DW's camera. I left mine in my pack for the time being.

Just as he got done, Nathan showed up, and we put him up it. He had some ice experience, and adjusted pretty nicely, doing some cool moves.

Then it was my turn, and I decided to use my energy progressing to leading. I went over to Baby Teeth, 5.6/M4 and with the near-silent continuous praying of DW, led it in ice gear. I heard very minor drifts of conversation, so intent was my concentration, but heard a few compliments of my style. Far out. Leading on points was very different from leading in shoes. Any kind of slip would result in a very dangerous fall. Sharp stuff everywhere. Oh, yeah! At the top I leaned up to the right into a large off-width crack, and managed to clean it (ROCK!) enough to get a tool in and match.

Setting the anchor at the top was made a bit tougher because I got "clever" and wrapped and tied my pre-made toprope sliding-x webbing anchor so that I could not undo it one-handed. My brain was a bit glucose-low and it never occurred to me to just hang off a daisy and do it two-handed. So I untied it one-handed hanging off-balance on my tool and two crampon points. DOH! But I did it.

At the bottom I discovered that there was a minor technical error on behalf of the belayer using gri-gri technique on an ATC. I lived. And I sure had no intention of falling.

The other three then toproped it, and did an excellent job, all of them. It was great. After that we decided to send Ropegun Nathan to climb the 5.10a starting in the cave (in rock shoes, no tools). After he came down we managed to talk DW into heading up. It was great. She'd never done a 5.10 outside (she started one once, but got gripped and came down) and this was a great first. Nathan bouldered up the block to her and offered some great beta, and she did it. Great job baby!

Then Nathan decided he wanted to try drytooling it. While he geared up, for some unknown insane reason, I decided I'd try it in rock shoes as well. I managed to make it with some difficult (for me) moves, with Michael on the boulder this time, cheering me on. Far out. I did it - my first 5.10 ever, inside or out.

Then Nathan and Michael decided to drytool it. I'd give the first part, in the cave, about an M7 (give or take). It was sketchy, and Nathan came off and sortof decked (butt and helmet contacted). But he went up to where the choss was about to start. Good job! Michael did an excellent job as well, and actually worked the choss.

We pulled all our gear then (Michael was on top and removed his crampons and hiked down after pulling the anchors at the top) and packed down to the car. I can hardly wait for the pictures from Michael's camera.

It was great. Maybe next weekend?

Halloween 2008

It was a ton of fun. Took Dallin, Brennan and Tan out up the street out front of the house. We went up and back, filling Tan's bag so full she couldn't carry it, so I stuffed it in my hoody pocket. Ran into a handful of other parents out in the sleety rain and it was pretty funny. When we got back to the house we dropped off Tan and headed up the next street.

By the time we got done with that Bren was pretty wasted, and as I told them "you have enough candy to get sick for a month, so you don't need any more" and we called it a fun night.