Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Liberty Ridge Update

Guess I shouldn't have titled my last post "deadness" - too real.

Angie put the story up on her blog pretty accurately, so I guess I can just relax and not stress over typing it all up again.

It's pretty wild to be home, back at work, and getting used to being back in the world.

Claudio and I emailed and he said it's "surreal" to be back after going through that.

I'll see about getting pictures up later.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Liberty! or deadness


got my pack packed last night for liberty. I have two different "concepts" going here.

1) the gear I prefer, or philosophy, or experienced
2) the gear on the list

I put together my primary, or compromise, kit, and it's in the duffle and the whole mess weighs 33 lb (everything except water, boots, and helmet). I also have emergency backup - in some cases warmer, in some cases lighter, in case I can "get away with it" or "didn't get away with it" in another duffle in case I have to switch stuff out (or can get away with switching stuff out).

Jeff Ward is a totally cool guide and I've been with him before when I did Kautz, also with IMG. I've had mostly good experiences with IMG (in Ouray you have to take one of their prefered buddy guides along for the ride, which can be odd at times). RMI has been mostly negative, but they do manage to drag a few thousand people a year up Rainier, so props for that. Mountain Madness has been excellent (for what I did). AAI has decent instruction. AMS has really good instruction.

Anyway, happy to be climbing with Jeff as leader and Mark Allen as the other guide. I think he was on Kautz as well. This is the hardest guided route on Rainier and is a test piece (a route that you do to find out where you stand as a legend in your own mind - a gateway to the next level so to speak). It's in the "50 North American Classics of Climbing" group.

Anyway, assuming I survive it (there will be three clients and two guides, and I've talked extensively with one of the clients over the past few months, the other one just barely signed up) I'll have a day of rest in Seattle with relatives, then off for a "honeymoon" weekend with Angie out rock climbing, rather than steep crappy ice snow and rock climbing.

The weather looks like it will be cold up high for a few days to make the snow solid, then warmer on summit day for an easier time (and lighter summit clothing).

More later...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Holy Smurf - More Momentum Climbing

Today we went to Momentum again - last time before I leave for Rainier.

DW was there for Dal's climbing team practice, which for some unrealistic reason is on Thursday afternoon.

Anyway, when I first got there she was consoling Dal over his successful V0 climb, and she showed me her V3 she's working, and I tried the first couple moves on it, then tried the first couple moves on the evil blue V1 I just can't get the next move on. Well, I did get the next move, but with the wrong hand.

I went over then and tried the first few feet of a new orange 5.9 put up by RM, which of course means there is at least one 5.11 move, and sure enough, the first few feet were impossible, which I suppose makes his ego day complete.

I went around then and did a new 5.8 by "TN" whoever that is. Really awful sequencing, but I did do it. I then got on the standard blue 5.10A and it totally blew me away at the first move. Weird. After shaking it off I got on a SJ 5.10a orange and onsited it. Far out. Amazing. But then SJ really does know how to set routes, which unfortunately their primary routesetter is clueless about.

To wrap up I did the yellow 5.9 in the book corner by the cracks and just ran up it, so good enough.

What an amazing day. Can hardly wait for Leavenworth.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Climbing at Momentum in Sandy, June 16

Still recovering from my heavy-duty workout yesterday (Monday), so I was planning on climbing slow and gentle. Also, getting ready for Liberty Ridge on Rainier next week, so have to keep my recovery ability in mind.

DW climbed the yellow 5.8 with the overhung arete start on the wall by the former cafe (now an empty future climbing museum er, junk room to help someone clean their garage). I decided to do it too, and did okay. D stopped by and said hi to us.

Can't remember the details of DW's climbing - like a handful of 10d's and 11's of various sorts, working them hard, and still getting over Teva (though Teva did help her bouldering a LOT - she was here Monday night working some V3's).

I did the green 8 on the curvy front wall. Again, not bad. I wanted to do a 10, but the one I wanted to try (the brown on the curvy front wall that kicked my butt before) was just busy tonight, so I got on the yellow 10b with pockets. I managed to get up halfway, doing a bad sequence and coming off, so I got back on and worked past that to the next sequence and came off, so I bailed - new project.

I got on the beige 9 to the left of the doorway in the kids wall, and managed to get to the 2nd to last move before coming off - so close, but again, new project. So I have a handful of uncompleted 9's to wrap up. Three that I remember now coming off at the last move or so. Endurance.

8's are fairly uncomplicated now, so that's progress anyway - last year I was happy to do half an 8 in one go without coming off or bailing in agony from my hands. lol.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Climbing at Momentum Indoor Rock Climbing Gym June 13

We were going to go outside this morning and climb with Nathan up BCC, but the sky looked threatening and we didn't feel like risking the thunderstorms that have been a staple of Utah weather for the past 3 weeks.

We headed up to Momentum for their "5.14" event. On 6 13, but details aside, they were having a raffle, so we signed up for that, then ran over to REI for their Garage Sale - which overall was as lame as ever. The usual. Climbing shoes someone bought two years ago, wore for two years, then brought the shredded remains in so REI could give them a credit on this years model, then put them at the garage sale for $35. If you're going to pay that much for totally smurfed up shoes, you could get some new Madrock Shoes at their OUTLET. I have some I got there that are great for rain, mud, snow, ice, etc. And for $19 with free shipping, you really can't go wrong.

Anyway, when we got back to Momentum, we decided to get our climb on. DW did a couple of 5.10 that totally sucked. RM routes, of course.

One of the route setters, RM has like this weird trick move he does where he locks off with a backstep and front flag, only like really high and low. The backstep and flag are at the same level as his hips, as is the lock-off - totally odd looking, but then he reaches out and up with the inside shoulder and sets his 4' long arm on a hold that otherwise cannot be reached since there are no feet anywhere else. When asked about it his response is "if you get your feet high enough it's easy" and doh! if you're 6' 4" - and climb 12's. lol.

Anyway, for some odd reason this move goes into all his routes. Even the 5.6's (which because it requires a V2 bouldering technique is not really a 5.6 anymore, and while there might be some sick satisfyingly superior humor in watching everyone flail on 6's, the idea is to inspire new climbers, or older fatter climbers, to progress and grow, rather than smugly sandbag them and make dumb cracks about how easy it is for you). So poor DW had to endure that. (I've spoken to several of the pro climbers who are regulars at the gym and every single one said the RM routes are so odd and random they're not worth doing)

I was trying my new Miuras today, and was going to torment myself by working a 10, but she convinced me to go back to the classics. I got on the green comp 5.7 that most people hate, and did a decent job, purposefully choosing the smurfy feet whenever there was a choice, and felt good.

I got on the black 5.8 just down the wall a bit. Again, smurfy feet on purpose, and again, did good. I moved around to the kids side and did my classic 5.9 red SJ route. In general, SJ has a decent feel for setting an interesting route on-grade. A little bit of training for one or two techniques, and do-able by anyone who can climb that grade.

As an aside, one of their "future" route setters made some comment about how when you climb 5.12 you really have no idea what a 5.6 looks like anymore, so you really have no idea how to set a 5.6. Even Chris Sharma said in an interview that he'll go out and do a pretty 5.6 for the view and just enjoy it. Joe Kinder has told us the same thing while we talking to him once. To say you're better than they are, in that you don't even know what a 6 is anymore is just silly.

That might explain why some route setters can't add any new 6's (the last three attempts I know of were all graded at 5.8 by consensus), but really, SJ is there all the time puttering around, and they could pay him to actually set some decent routes, since he doesn't seem to have that problem. It really would be good for the gym. Seriously - think future business, not ego.

DW did some more cool route work, and I was impressed by how she's working through her recovery from Teva and being sick this past week.

I had just enough time to crank on one last route, and I went over to the blobby, slopey purple 5.9 that has eluded me for some time now (since the MORC/DORC contest). I was able to stick great, and managed, like the previous climbs, to keep my heart rate down and manage my pump, but when I got past my previous high point I popped off, since I didn't have a sequence down. I got back on after a minute rest and started lower, working past that sequence and topping out - for the first time ever. I think I can do it next time if I can remember the sequence correctly.

We headed home to rescue the sitter and cook some fish. See DW's blog -- link at right.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Indoor Climbing - Momentum June 11

Got to Momentum about 5:00 but with the daycare issues going on there wasn't able to check the kids in till 5:20.

DW did some laps starting on a 5.8, but after a few she switched to a 5.9 on the same rope. Good job.

I started up a new 5.10 on the curved front wall, but the last 6 moves were evil slopers and I couldn't get my left hand to stick (still rehab'ing it) so I had to bail. Wish the route setters wouldn't do that. I could stick the first two, but then ran out of steam. Though it does feel good to almost send a 5.10.

DW did a 5.10C, red, blocky, on the narrow wall that used to have the speed route, that she described as "awesome" to her sometime climbing buddy Dan.

Then I decided to try a slopy 5.9 that had kicked my butt before - the off-white one on the tall end of the kid wall. Actually pulled it off. Good job me.

DW worked a 5.12A she'd worked before, but that one crux area still needs work. Other than that she did great on a really crimpy small route.

I tried a brown 5.9, slopy, near the off-white one above, that had kicked my butt before, and made it almost to the top when I finally couldn't hang on anymore - 3 more moves. Drat. Anyway, it feels good to almost make it.

DW worked a red 5.10C over the doorway to the maintenance room in the middle of the kid wall. The first few moves really suck and she really worked them hard.

I moved over to the brown 5.9 with small holds and bad feet a bit to the left of that. I did get above my high point, but managed to get my toe stuck between two holds and it pulled me off when I high-stepped with the other foot. That toe was still sore from bumping it when I came off the last 5.9, so I bailed.

All in all a good enough night - really sore, and I did manage to finish a route that I had failed on before. I'm well on my way to getting all the 9's done.

A couple weeks ago I started using my Lasportiva Solutions more, since the Acopa Aztecs have taught me to use my feet better. There was a shoe demo at the gym on Tuesday and I tried on some Miura VS in 41.5 - which I thought would be way too small but it works. I even hung around in them without climbing or tearing them off in agony - but of course, demo shoes are pretty beat up and stretched out - about what they would be after a few weeks of climbing. Synthetic leather doesn't stretch too much after all. DW says I have to buy a pair, since they seemed to work better than anything she's seen me in ever.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Teva Mountain Games 2009

Citizens Bouldering Competition. Angie took 3rd place in her division. Far out.

Took some cool video, here's a sample from working Problem #7:

For the rest, go to: Tripeak Production Youtube Home Page


Friday, June 5, 2009

Rock Climbing Update

Done a few more sessions at Momentum.

Lapped that red 5.6(?) for 3 laps - not bad. I worked a few others, but didn't get far. I did some bouldering, and pieced together a V1 on the first cave inside the door, but didn't link it.

I got outside to meet CM from my earlier Rock Canyon The Wild adventure. Met him at Tinker Toys. I got there early and was going to Trad Rope Solo Tonka Truck 5.6 but he showed up and I let him lead Barbie 5.8. I tried Barbie on toprope but it kicked my butt. He then did K'NEX on toprope and I ran down the trail in my 35 lb pack (not bad at all) and went home, then on to Momentum (Wed night).

Had the horrible Forgot my Stuff Fiasco that night when I grabbed the wrong bag, but I did do an old 5.9 in much better style than ever before.

Thursday, I managed to send that purple 5.9+ and sent 3 V0's in a row, nonstop. I worked on the first few moves of my V1 project, but didn't link it yet. Devon watched as I did the 5.9+ and he and DW were talking and cheering me on, though I didn't hear anything other than "don't stop" when I was resting...

Recovery has been tough with the more harder workouts, but I'm looking forward to getting in shape for Liberty, and of course, for DW's entry in Teva.