Miscellaneous Climbing Post

Since the last post I've been knocking off some of the 8's and 9's that have been troubling me for a bit.

There is a grey nine that is a bit "short". I did it once with great struggle and effort and thought I was at the top. Then I discovered I was one move shy. A few days later I did it with that one more move, only to discover there is actually just one more, way off to the right. I haven't finished it yet.

I finished the grey 8 on the wall facing the former cafeteria, now unstarted climbing museum project (garage cleaning project for Jeff I guess). The last few holds suck, but I got past them with only minor struggle.

I finished the brown 9 next to that evil short grey one on the first go. Not bad.

I finished the grey 8 that DG set for the kids on the lead wall to the left of the window. It wasn't too bad and I imagine if I weren't so tired last time I could have done it in spite of the little flat pyramid holds that seem to abound on the left hand.

I onsighted the yellow 8 that was the speed route at the comp. Didn't really like it though. Too many "flat" holds at an angle that's tough on my left hand.

I started the orange 9 from the speed comp, but got stuck at the cup-handle jugs below the dyno. Couldn't see my feet. Oh well, maybe down the road.

I started the new dark brown 9 by the kids wall, but fell off about halfway and decided to bail - the holds are new and have fiberglass fibers sticking out - ouch. I'll try it again when they wear down a bit. The holds are small crimpy jugs and work good for two-finger pulling.

I might have tried a few 9+ and 10, but can't really remember anything memorable except I probably failed since I can't remember them.

Hands have been up and down a bit - I've experimented with working out and climbing, and have had some trouble recovering. I noticed recently that most of the 50+ crowd there has a ton of fun doing the 6's and 7's and making them look really tough. And actually, they're all lifers just keeping the climbing muscles going. I don't think too many people my age actually start climbing from scratch and keep with it for very long. It's really tough on the body. When you're young making your tendons strong is fairly easy and just takes time under tension with little regard for recovery. When you get old your tendons get tight and dry and it takes a lot of work.

Speaking of which...

We went to Jake's B'day party and Matt and Shannon showed up. We loaned them shoes and harnesses again and got them going on a few routes. They were working the grey 8 that DG set for the climbing camp kids when Matt stressed his pinky. It was swollen and hurt his forearm, so we got him some ice from the museum-formerly-known-as-cafeteria (thanks Ty!). Since the night was still young we took Shannon back to try her hand at bouldering.

She didn't mind falling off, which I think is half the battle. She did some great work on some V0's. Afterward she said that DW and I are great coaches. Thanks.

Last summer my son Tristan came down from MT to visit and we had a great time climbing, and I remember coaching him to do 10's in the gym and even lead a 7 outside in AF Canyon. I remember his great lead fall trying to lead a 10 on Draper Red Rock too. He did a soft-bounce foot-first deck in the little cave under the 9 next to the infamous rock of head-first death. That's where that gumby with the inside-out upside-down harness flipped over while his belayer had about 8' of loop hanging out. They resisted being rescued too. Oh, well....

Sometimes climbers can be so funny. They can accept a 19 year old who is 6'2" and 150 lb working 10's within a week as being a "climber" but resist a 30+ year old woman at 5'2" and of average build onsighting 11's after two years very hard work and training, and will actually pick a fight and almost coming to blows in front of everyone at the gym over it. And to think - she's starting to work 12's now.

In my case they generally don't think of me as a "climber" of rock, simply because though I'm working 9's and 10's, I am 50ish and haven't paid my dues like the other 50ish guys and gals at the gym, who are working 6's. ;)

But I do get some grudging respect from them over my glacier and high altitude exploits, though those are on semi-hold at the moment. I'm working up to doing Liberty Ridge on Rainier this summer, and that's going to be dang exciting sustained exposure on mixed terrain with no way out except up.

More later....