Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Feels Like Old Times

Caitie highballing like an old pro

I've been to Bishop so much this month it feels like the days when Kevin and I used to run down there seemingly every weekend. On top of that, this weekend I was joined by my very first Bishop climbing partner, nay very first climbing partner, the one and only Eric Schmidt. We also had the company of some pretty hot chicks! Caitie, Julie, and Vicki more than made up for Eric's red neck and my white chest.

The weekend's forecast was ominous, and there were those that cowered at home like children hiding beneath their blankets in fear of the Owens Valley weather. The hardy few were rewarded for their perseverance with three full days of bouldering. What’s that? Three days? This wasn’t a holiday weekend. So true, but the roads home were closed late Sunday due to an avalanche so the chumps with real jobs had to call their bosses and tell them they were stuck. Darn.

Caitie loved the wind and rain Saturday night

Edit: Alan, Alan, Alan, Alan, Alan, Alan, Alan, Alan, Alan, Alan,Alan, Alan, Alan, Alan, Alan

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Fine Weekend With Friends

Becky sending the fantastic Roadside Highball

Oh the weather was gloooorious in Bishop this weekend, and even better, I was there to enjoy it! It was a reunion of sorts. Turtle and I met up with our old roomies John and Shannon who are enjoying their weekend warrior status, and their new roles as genuine contributors to betterment of society. Alan joined us as well, he still climbs a lot and he doesn’t really contribute to the betterment of society, but we all love him just the same. He certainly has good style. To top it off, Peter swooped in on the scene after doing his very best to nurture young minds into tomorrows’ pillars of society.

The bouldering was great. We spent all of our time on granite and I finally got on a couple of things that I'd put off for far too long. Shannon really impressed us all with her flashes of several challenging problems, especially The Arch Druid. I wish I had a video of this because there's no way I'll be able to do it justice with words alone. Basically, Shannon managed to flash through the opening crux moves only to be stymied by the final, reachy, deadpoint to a perfect keyhole slot. She tried this move at least six times without dropping off and held on long after I would've given up. She finally managed the move and celebrated by quickly flashing the left start to the problem.

Peter was productive this weekend as well. He mustered up the strength and tenacity to finish two of his three projects in Bishop. I'm sure the third would have fallen as well but he never got around to trying it. Alan's big achievement of the weekend came when he found the one boulder problem that most resembles a route in the entire Bishop area. Some day I'll have to learn how to hang on as long as he does because it allows him to climb some cool stuff.

Personally, I was really psyched to finally get on a notable problem that I had wanted to try for a very long time but have always nervously avoided. Thankfully, after briefly trying it at the end of the weekend I'm excited to go back for more. Hopefully in the near future I'll have more to report.

As long as the weather holds up I'll be headed down there again next weekend. It’s a ruff life.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Queen of Sheba

Now who's the real princess?

Headed back down to Bishop this evening to meet up with some great friends that I haven't seen in a while and some that I haven't seen in a few days. Hopefully conditions in the granite areas will have improved.

Monday, February 11, 2008


I spent the last few days in the Tablelands just outside of Bishop, CA. This was the first time I've made a trip down there during which I never climbed at any of the granite areas, weird. Actually, I had my hopes on visiting the granite at the Druid Stones but everything at an elevation above Bishop proper was snowed in.

It was a pretty relaxed trip, and relatively free from the crowds one expects down there these days. T-Rex, Nerissa, had a great trip with sends of several difficult problems and Mike Wickwire seemed to be getting back on form after his 2007 reset. What's that you say? Mike explained to me this weekend that he and Vic Copeland had decided to wipe the slate clean in 2007 and pretend as if they had never climbed anything in the Bishop area before. Both guys had spent a considerable amount of time in the area as teenagers and had climbed just about everything within reason at some time or another. In fact, the two of them have established many of the classics the drones mob to everyday. So basically they've decided to try and re-climb everything. Anything before 2007 doesn't count. They'll be done soon I'm sure, good luck!

All tuckered out

In other news: John Scott a.k.a. Little Johnnie, has a very stinky ass.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Simple Goal

I've been reading some other climbing blogs for a while now and have come across a few recently in which the author has posted very specific climbing goals for 2008. I'm kind of keen on the idea because it seems like one is more likely to pursue (and achieve) goals that are well defined and known to one's peers than goals that are vague and kept secret.

For a long time now I've kept a private climbing journal, which serves as a training log, tick list, and a way for me to track my goals. It seems like this blog could serve a similar purpose. I'd like to be really specific and say, 'In 2008 I will climb boulder problems X, Y, and Z'. Unfortunately, I have this nagging injury that could stay with me for some time and, more importantly, seems to limit the types of climbs I can really throw myself at. To solve this problem I've devised a simple non-climbing solution.

Last night I went to the gym to test my finger strength. Finger strength, as everyone knows, is the single most important physical factor for boulderers. In the past I've often done an exercise called finger tip curls to improve my finger strength, and it has worked. This exercise is performed using all four fingers so it is not prohibited by my injury. I'll be able to track improvements in strength as well as improvements in the condition of my tendon. Last night I was able to curl 185lbs. 3 times using both hands. This is less than my old best of 195x3, but better than I expected. I did feel like I could have lifted more if my left hand had felt as strong as my right but the strain on the tendons was too much for me to want to push it any further. In three months I'll try to max out again and hopefully we'll see some improvement.