Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Six x Six Photo Tagging

DW's Six by Six Image Tag Game

I was tagged.

Since I didn't have 6 folders on this pc, I just started clicking folders in order till I counted 6 and ended up with this one:

This is Super DW speed climbing in the comp. It really is the sixth image in the sixth folder.

Here's the "tag" details:
1.Go to my documents/pictures.
2. Go to my 6th file folder.
3. Go to my 6th picture.
4. Blog about it.
5. Tag 6 people to do the same.

Six People:

1) Obama (it _can't_ be some Illinois scandal)
2) Hilary (unless it's Janet)
3) GW (okay, shooting for a dog pic here)
4) Romney (unless it violates copyrights)
5) Huntsman (duty now for the future)
6) Buttars (take one for the team Buttars!)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Spring Corn - or why I quit skiing

John was at Momentum last night, bouldering and hanging out with Nate and Alisha. He was wearing a t-shirt saying something about Spring Corn in the Morning, and we got to talking for a few seconds about that.

About 5 years ago I decided to try taking up skiing again. When I was 19, 20, and 21 I worked at some ski resorts in Wisconsin, skiing about 100 days a year. I was pretty obsessed with it, and could ski some simple black diamonds at western resorts, just like a midwesterner - you start at the top at 12,000' and rip down making little 20' turns for a few hundred feet before passing out.

I got into a family situation with no real resolution, so I ended up not skiing much, maybe 10 times in 15 years, and it was an odd situation, having to adapt to a different mindset - you know, the whole birds in the trees and pine cones crap.

So after passing through a few different situations, I finally ended up 3 years ago trying to really ski, and found out I had no idea how. I mean, on shaped skis you just lean left and right and down you go, right?

Altrec Outdoors - Satisfaction Guaranteed

I managed to get in about a dozen days a year for 2 straight years, and near the middle of last year, I discovered it really wasn't much fun skiing at 10 degrees with 20 mph winds on ice. That's one of the major differences between 30 years ago and now - perpetual ice. I guess it crept up on everyone else, but I, being tossed into the middle of it, noticed real quick.

I guess on a snowboard, if you're totally lost and confused and don't belong on the hill, you sideslip down, leaving a patch of hard crusted snow about 6' wide and 50' long or longer. So skiing at places where lots of clueless boarders go you pass through some loose granular, then into ice, then back into the granular. So an unskilled "noob" like me has to ski one way for 6', then another way for 6' then back and forth all the way down. Every time I hit one of those skid marks my edges slide out from under me and I head for disaster, then recover just as I hit the loose pile of granular and my skis practically stop in their tracks, and then just as suddenly head back into the ice.

I tried skiing only in the granular, but that is tough to do when you're barely in control as it is. Worst of all, my poor mind is still 20 and it's very frustrating skiing like a drunk girl in the 70's, when you used to bomb down black diamonds. LOL

I could just ski at ALTA?

If I were to get better at all, I'd have to invest about 50 days a year into skiing for about 5 years, and that would be tough with any kind of work schedule. So I guess I'll see if I can do that as a retirement project - I could still have "fun" while cruising easy greens well into my 70's. At least "fun" is what I'll call it to avoid sour grapes (and refuse to admit the pine cone fan won).

In the meantime, I think I'll stick to that week or two of spring corn where there is no patch of ice after 10AM or so when the sun hits it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Training For Mexico

That's about all I'm doing right now. A little bit of climbing when I can. A bit of ice climbing here and there. I'll let you know more later about all this as it happens. Just an update in case anyone is interested.

Friday, February 6, 2009

More Ouray Ice Climbing February 2009

In the "Five Fingers" area of Ouray Ice Park, Nate works a WI5 pillar:

John working the short pillar climber's right of that route:

Bottom right is top of ramp I used to exit

None of me btw. I was working the camera on this trip.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ouray Ice Climb, Sunday February 1 2009

Got up for an earlier start. Not sure what's up with the Victorian Inn. Lady claims she's the new owner but seems like she's trying to run it into the ground. Breakfast set to start when most good climbers will already be setting up their routes, letting everything run out and then quietly asking if anyone is interested in more before putting dishes away. Hopefully she'll figure it out and start having breakfast at a decent time and provide at least the same quantity and quality of food as the other places in town and possibly save the Vic. Being at the foot of the trail isn't enough anymore in this economy when there are two or three others right there for almost exactly the same price, and much newer.

Anyway, enough rant.

Met Nate and John at the 2nd lot and we headed out for 5 Fingers Area, though Nate and I were both feeling pretty knackered and wanted to just lap some WI3 for a warmup. John said the bottom of this route (1st chain at bottom of 5 Fingers) was pretty mellow, and we could work our way out over a short (20' or so) WI5 section. Pretty candlesticked, new crunchy chandelier ice. Yuck.

Shelf lower right, leads to ramp and crack mentioned below

Nate did pretty good, and John did great, but I decided to make the bottom into WI4+ and wore myself out, and I pumped out on the short section of 5, and ended up downclimbing to go around onto the face, and pumped out worse there - fell off and swung good for some great bruised shins and cut lip. Blood everywhere!

I was on a autoblock belay and was going to have Nate lower me to a little shelf at the bottom of the icicle so he could switch me to regular belay and lower me (much less hassle). While standing on the ramp, looking down 70' to the ground below along a mixed WI2/WI3 ramp, and then up to the left along the 2' wide ramp heading up to what looked like a 5.4 exit crack to the plateau above, I got an insane flash of insight.

I untied, then walked up in crampons to the crack. A bit more exposure than I liked. More like 5.8, but at the roof it was only about 15' of bouldering, so I tried it. Decided I didn't like it in crampons and tools, so I took them off and harnessed them. Then tried it. About that time Nate was looking for me, having pulled up the empty rope and freaking. He passed a rope down to me and that made it much nicer with a belay. Thanks John and Nate.

That pretty much did me in, so I wiped up my blood and wrapped it up for the day.