Monday, May 24, 2010

Brief Update for Estes Park

The weather here has been rapidly improving for climbing (today's freakish mid-day cold spell aside). I've managed to do most of the early season problems on my list now, and I'm basically chomping at the bit to get up to Chaos Canyon. Unfortunately there is still a ton of snow up there and it will take a lot of work and sunshine to get things climbable.

No new media on my part, but fortunately Becky was nice enough to put together a little video of my ascent of "Shadow Warrior" in Yosemite a few weeks ago.

Shadow Warrior (V12) from Becky Trafecanty on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Getting Close to Summer

Yesterday Estes was hit with a spat of late season weather and work was canceled before it even began. Unfortunately the shit weather wouldn't allow for climbing either. To salvage the day I headed down to Boulder to check out some of the local wet granite and to hang out with Robin and Theo. The Shed, their home wall is amazing I was psyched to climb on it. In fact, I think the prospect of having a home wall like The Shed is the primary motivating factor in my own hopes to someday be a home owner. I could train in the shed forever and never go to a gym again! Sick! The picture above doesn't do the place justice, that's basically 1/2 of the climbing terrain. If the weather is crap again tomorrow I'm definitely headed down for more.

Speaking of the weather...I awoke this morning to a winter wonderland. There are exactly 40 days till summer and this is what we encountered on our hike today.

Snow day!

Melissa and dogs.

Psyched Turtle

Psyched Cassidy

More psyched Turtle

Monday, May 10, 2010

First Week

Turtle and I are making ourselves right at home

We've been away from Oakland a week now and we're starting to settle in. After a brief stop in Salt Lake City where we stayed with friends Chris and Emily Craft, Turtle and I arrived in Estes Park Wednesday evening at the home of my very good (and generous) friends Adam and Melissa Strong. They've set me up in my own room and I couldn't be more comfortable. They have a big fenced in yard too so Turtle is stoked.

On Thursday I went right to work for Adam's Tree Service. I had hoped to climb after work but some late season snow showers made the rock a bit too damp. The highlight on Friday was going for Turtle's first Colorado hike. We didn't see anyone else and it was lovely.

On Saturday, Robin Puro came up from Boulder and we went out to try the problem 'Veritas' in Rocky Mountain National Park (a.k.a. RMNP or 'the Park'). Unfortunately, I was feeling the altitude and pumped out at the top, which was pretty funny to me because its only about 8 or so moves to that point. It was really fun climbing with Robin none the less, and we were both glad just to be out climbing on good rock.

Saturday was spent climbing again in the Park, but this time with Adam and his friend Bryce (Melissa hiked up with us but had to leave for work). We got on two more great problems, 'Whispers of Wisdom' and 'Storm Shadow'. I had a similar experience on 'Whispers' as I did the day before on 'Veritas,' and again it was okay because I had a blast climbing on these classics. I'll be back to all three of these problems soon and hopefully I'll be able to complete one or two of them.

Bryce warming up at the Emerald Lake boulders.

For anyone in CO interested in Emerald conditions there was a lot more snow than we anticipated. Adam said there was less when he was there five weeks ago. 'Whispers' and 'Storm Shadow' where fine but 'The Kind Traverse' was wet at the beginning and the end. There was some light snow today in Estes and more in the forecast for the next three so we'll see how conditions hold out.

Adam whacked his finger on a boulder. It bled.

Till next time...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Next Little While

I just got back home to Oakland a few hours ago after an abbreviated trip to Yosemite. This was my last trip for the season and although it was a bummer to leave early it was the reasonable thing to do because Becky is feeling really under the weather. Fortunately for me on Saturday I was able to send my project 'The Shadow Warrior'. I had tried this a few times in the past but never put much effort into because it just felt too hard, but this spring Scott was psyched so I went with him to try it out. Randy came with us that first day, which was a good thing for me because he gave me all the beta he used on the second ascent!

After that first session I knew I could do it, and that it was just a matter of time. Last weekend I went back to it on two different days and I came painfully close both literally and figuratively. I fell several times with the good hold (that marks the end of hard climbing) in my grasp only to have my feet cut before I was settled. To make the matter more frustrating I was disturbed to realize my old bicep pains would flare up to the point of having difficulty speaking after each attempt. This Saturday I knew would be my last chance of the season. The weather was cooler than on the previous weekend, but it is forecast to be heating up from here on out and furthermore, I'm leaving for Colorado on Tuesday! Thankfully, after taking it relatively easy most of the day I was able to send on my first try of the day in the cool hour just before dark.

I owe several people some major thank you's for their role in this ascent, Scott for getting me motivated, Randy for the crucial shortie/kneepadless beta, and Becky for being a trooper for going up there with me on four different occasions (not to mention sitting around in the dark waiting for me to just get it over with).

Becky got some footage too so look for that in the near future.

Next time I blog I'll be in Estes Park, CO where I'll be climbing and working for the next month or so! Until then...Ciao.