Monday, March 12, 2012

South East Trip

I've been home now for about a week from a trip to the Southeastern part of our great nation. What was supposed to be Becky's first real vacation since she started her big girl job, turned into a solo dirtbag ordeal. Long story short, Becky is having surgery to replace her ACL on Wednesday as a result of her re-injuring it a week and a half before we were due to leave. To say that she (and I) was disappointed would be a gross understatement.

In the end I went solo. Having canceled our vacation rental I opted instead to sleep in my rental car at one of the many local Walmarts. The plush living of a Walmart parking lot saved me some money, but I think I may have lost a small part of my soul.

The climbing, as usual, was stellar. I managed to climb one of the two problems I most coveted, Hot-n-Tot at Horse Pens 40. The line was FA'd by my friend and climbing mentor Randy Puro, which made it a little more significant for me. Unfortunately the only video I have from my time at HP40 is of another line, Stingray. This was the last video I would take with my old iPhone 4 before it decided to end its life prematurely.

After a few days in Tallahassee visiting my father I headed north to Chattanooga, TN. My first day at Little Rock City started out well with a retro-flash of the classic Celestial Mechanics (a problem I couldn't touch when I last visited in 2009). After that, I began working on The Law and after a few minutes I had done all of the moves. I decided that, to be safe, I would try and avoid a mono that is often used on the relatively easy moves at the end. I thought that with a heel I could just rock past the mono to some better holds. Unfortunately, when I pulled into the heel I heard, and felt, a rip high in my hamstring and I knew instantly what had happened. I was devastated and nearly booked a flight home that night.

After talking with Becky on the phone and after walking (limping) around a bit I decided to stick it out, and I'm glad I did. While I was certainly limited in what I could climb on, I was able to climb. I even managed a few relatively hardish ascents with my torn hamstring. Of course I also couldn't even touch a few things that normally wouldn't have presented me with much of a problem at all, but that's the nature of dealing with an injury.

In the following days I spent most of my time at LRC but I also visited the nearby area of Cumberland, which proved to be a pleasant diversion. Here are a couple of problems from that quaint little area.

All in all it was a good trip. I got to hang with a few friend from home on the last few days, which was nice, but I'll be glad to go back when both Becky and I are feeling 100% recovered.

Finally, here are a few problems from LRC. There probably won't be much media from me in the near future. Not only will I be dealing with Becky's recovery from surgery and my own rehab, but I'm busy as all hell with work and studying for my personal trainer's exam. Hopefully by May I'll be able to do some regular climbing. Until then I'm going to disappear for a while, maybe watch some baseball games...

Anyway, till next time.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Week in Red Rocks

I met up with my friend Peter for a quick trip to Red Rocks this past week. The weather was pretty damn warm for the most part so we stuck to the shade. I didn't really focus on taking pictures or video, but I did manage to grab a couple of clips of a few random problems on my iphone.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Float Like a Butterfly...

The Columbia boulder is the ever present campground host of historic Camp 4 in Yosemite Valley. The massive boulder sits and watches over tourists and climbers alike as they mill about the roughshod campground cooking, sleeping, drinking, and climbing. The boulder is graced with United States' most iconic boulder problem, Midnight Lightning, which was established by Ron Kauk in 1978. The last first ascent on this boulder, 'Don't Make Me Kick Your Ass'(DMKYA), was climbed by Greg Loh and named by Chris Sharma about 12 or 13 years ago. This boulder is surely one of the most visited boulders in the world and yet it still holds a few secrets.

Last spring, at the end of a long day, the group was winding down and getting ready for the drive home. As we walked by the Columbia boulder I pointed out a few holds just a few paces to the left of DMKYA and mentioned that I thought a line could be climbed there. After brushing off a dirty sloper Paul, Randy and I began trying what would become 'Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee.'

Our initial attempts revolved around making a very hard (as yet uncompleted) move up and right to a bad sloper. Jumping off the ground one can catch this hold without too much trouble, but pulling off the ground and doing the move is another challenge all together. After a few days trying the problem Randy got fed up and started to trying a new method involving a dyno back and left to the rail that marks the start of an unnamed V0 jumpstart. This method proved to be very difficult as well, and Randy's motivation began to wane. On the day of the ascent Randy was initially just playing cheerleader, but after watching for a while he couldn't resist. The video below shows what happened next.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall Update

At the end of September I took a rejuvenating, but all too brief trip to Colorado to climb and hang out with my old climbing partner Kevin. I didn't take many pictures and I took even less video, but here it is, the only evidence that I made a trip to the Rockies. I'll warn you now, the video isn't very exciting.

Since my trip to Colorado I've been more or less consumed with taking full advantage of the fall Yosemite season. Over the past several years I've been kept away from my beloved stomping ground for most of the peak climbing seasons for one reason or another, but this fall will be different damnit!

So far I've wrapped up my one project from last fall (and last spring), which I've named 'Ursa Major'. This line is special to me for a lot of reasons and I have to say that topping it out was one of the most satisfying things I've done climbing for a long while. Here's a crappy picture of it.

Ursa Major

I made another first ascent last Friday that I think could end up being pretty popular (if anyone every visited the area). This one is called 'Snickerdoodle' and its next door neighbors with the awesome problem Merganser and it is probably about the same grade too. Here is the video of that one...

Anyhoo, hopefully I'll stay healthy and the weather will cooperate and I'll end up with some more cool shit to share. If not, fuck it, nobody reads this drivel anymore anyway.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gold Bar Video

Lyn and Paul just got back from their trip to Leavenworth and Gold Bar, which reminded me that I hadn't finished the second video from our trip back in June. Well, here it is.

Monday, June 27, 2011

We're Back

Becky and I arrived home late last Thursday from our trip and I think we would both like to head back out on the road as soon as possible. Unfortunately, that won't be happening. We're moving into our new place in Berkeley at the end of the week and Becky starts her new J.O.B. on Tuesday so we're pretty much going to be weekend warriors for a while.

As promised, here is the video that covers the first part of our trip in Leavenworth. There will be a second part coming along shortly after that will cover the couple of days we spent in Gold Bar, WA at the end of our trip. More on that later...

All in all, Leavenworth was bitchin'. The climbing style was fun, the rock quality varied from 'just okay' to amazing, the 'hang' in the canyons is phenomenal, and even though the Bavarian themed town gets old real quick it offers all the visiting vagabond needs in a nice tight package just a few miles from the climbing. Basically, don't go there and ruin it for everyone else!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Leavenworth Report

Becky and I are currently vacationing in Leavenworth, WA. It is a little post graduation/pre-new job trip for my lady. Becky just graduated from UCSF as a nurse practitioner and begins her new job at Life Long Medical Clinic in Berkeley at the end of this month.

So Far we've been blessed with unseasonably cool temps, which has allowed me to climb a fair amount of cool rock climbs. Becky has been getting herself reacquainted with outdoor rock climbing after a year spent mostly in the classroom, clinics, and occasionally the gym. Some things that have presented a challenge to her include: landings that are not flat, blue and carpeted, holds that are round, and top-outs. There aren't many top-outs in our climbing gyms. Still, she has done a number of very classic and tall problems as she slowly gets more comfortable. I know big things are in her future.

Personally, I've been really happy to climb a number of challenging problems of various styles. From the slopey 'Premium Coffee' to the dynamic 'The Shield'. I'm really stoked though to do a problem first ascended by my friend Herm Feissner, called 'The Practitioner'. I briefly worked out the moves on this sweet compression problem in the sun on our first day. I knew right away that I wouldn't be able to climb the whole line in those conditions with sweating fingers and warm to-the-touch rock, but I felt like with some decent conditions it might go quickly.

Yesterday, at the end of a long and productive climbing day, I decided to head over to 'The Practitioner' at about 8pm. Becky and I quickly hiked up from the parking lot, threw our two pads down, I practiced the last move twice, and then climbed it from the beginning first try!

Anyway, today is a rest day so we might drive up the road to check out the boulders around Gold Bar and Index. We've taken a fair amount of video too, so we should have a video prepared shortly after we get back to the Bay.