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.