May 31, 2009

LOTD, Necropolis Sector

Objective: New Routing

Left to Right
Voodoo Man, V1 - undercling to slopers
possible additional line
Beating Heart Cadaver, V0 - dihedral ramp
possible additional line

Right to Left
A Stick Up The Butt, V1 - sds on horn, lieback edge
Better Than A Stick Up The Butt, V3/4 - sds on sloper ledge, straight up via big moves
Nothing is Better Than a Stick Up the Butt, V2/3 - sds on sloper ledge, traverse left and up

Ressentiment, V1 - sds, climb the steep horn via jugs

Left to Right
I'm not into dead guys, V1 - lie back edge
Everyone’s dead, V1 - green lichen section
Your mom ate my dog, V2 - left of tree
They are coming to get you Barbara, V1 - roof

Are We Worth Saving?, V3 - middle of face, Gill start to good sized crimps

Notes: My life is surreal at this point. I woke up and set a 13 at the local gym (ironic because I haven't climbed harder than 12a). I went to my normal job until 5. After, I put up 11 new boulder problems outside.

I revisited the first sector I found when I started exploring the ridge. It is mostly moderates on good vertical rock. "Beating Heart Cadaver" is a perfect example of why I moved to CO. It is kinda high, and I did it ground up after it had rained that afternoon. That would have been suicidal on the Central Coast of CA's fragile sandstone.

After the session, I walked around and found even more rock. I have barely scratched the surface of this area.

May 28, 2009

The Bachelor Claw

Objective: Climbing Stamina

Training: (1) Boulder continuously for 1.5 hours, try for hard flashes with minimal rests

(2) 3 rounds
5s crimp, each hand
10s 1 arm/1 foot plank on rings, each side

Notes: I had some business in Boulder (the city) and used it as an opportunity to train at The Spot. I ran around and tried to cram as many hard problem as possible in the session.

Each gym has a different setting style. For example, Mission Cliffs in SF most routes are open handed, non-reachy, endurance fests. Almost all the boulder problems at The Spot have traverse moves. There are almost no straight up problems. The Spot setters are very good, but there is a limited number of fun traverse moves. It forces the problems to be repetitive or have lower quality movement. It appears they are compensating for a lack of rope climbing. There is a old adage that is apropos: Boulder for power, sport climb for endurance, trad climb for your head, and mountain climb for your soul.

May 27, 2009

To Err is Human. To Control Errors is Science.

Objective: Climbing Power

Training: (1) Small Rungs, 1-3-5

(2) Medium Rungs, 1-4-6 (f)

(3) Big Rungs, 1-4-7 (f)

Notes: I really like campusing. You have to focus and try hard. If I get in the right state, I float between the rungs and surprise myself. My short term goal is 1-4-7 on small rungs. My fingers feel strong enough, I can latch any rung I can get to it. Getting to the rungs is the problem. I have some mental baggage. When I tried 1-4-7 today, this thought popped into my head - "Pulling through from 1-7 is really far." The last sets were designed to trick myself out of that idea.

My Big Hairy Audacious Goal, BHAG, is 1-5-9 on the medium rungs. I feel that if I can do 1-5-9, I with have enough power to climb any route that I want. The technical and mental abilities are equally important. I'm getting after them, too.

Right now, I'm in the dairy business. Milking linear progress until it runs dry. Once I stop seeing improvements, I'll switch something up. If it is working, I'm not changing. I aim for small improvements from session to session. This week it was 1-3-5 on small rungs and 1-4-6 on medium rungs. I didn't post my warm-up sets. I limit each session to 8-12 working sets and strive to keep fails under 10%.

LOTD, aka My Other Job

Objective: New Routing
(Sorry about the horrible picture. It is mostly for personal reference.)
Left to Right
Get that damn screwdriver out of my head!, V1 - open book, left of tree, possible harder awkward sds
God has fled, V4 - low hang start on two crimps, right of tree, POWERY
Jesus was the First Zombie, V4 - stand start on two crimps, much harder sds
Possible Project, V? - cave

The residue of ground-up ascents.

Notes: Short session at LOTD. The next boulder is immediately below the Twitcher Boulder. The rock is not perfect, unlike the other boulders. But it did yield a couple of short, powerful problems. The currently undone sit start to Jesus was the First Zombie is rad compression climbing. The cave to the right looks very cool but very hard. I don't want to spend too much time on any one problem because there are so many more boulders to develop.

May 25, 2009

The Hood - If you’re going to chip routes, at least make them fun.

Objective: Performance

Routes Sent:
Touch of Grey, 10a, onsight (okay route)
Finger Injection, 10c, onsight (climbed it a total of 3 times, MONOS!!!)
Innocent Bystander, 11b, redpoint (3rd go, incredible highly technical crux, a no handed step up to traverse)

Total Points: 13

Routes Tried:
Friendly Fire, 11c, 2 tries (the biggest POS, 50ft of 10a to 3 move slab dyno, a waste of glue and batteries)
Short Dog, 12a, 2 tries (pretty good route, very Owl Torish, big moves between two finger pockets)

Total Pitches: 11

Sea of Limestone
Can you find the climber?

Chillin' in the Compton Cave

Yes, if you define world class as 13s/14s climbable in the summer in America. No, if you want high quality routes of all grades.

Notes: Alex and I went to The Hood, the primary climbing area of Mt. Charleston, on the second day. This sector is higher in elevation with less-featured limestone. Fewer features is a mixed blessing, less chossy bits but more enhanced elements. I have nothing against chipping routes (not that I'm in support of it either). Sometimes, it is a necessary evil. If routes are less than natural, they should be fun to climb. I got on a bunch of climbs that were POS. Who puts monos on a 10c? Seriously. Friendly Fire consists of very easy climbing to a very hard crux. The crux involves ticking-tacking into a setup for a desperate lunge on a slab. WTF!!! I was forced to climb it twice to get my draws off. However, Short Dog is a reasonable route, V4/rest/V4. I was saving a redpoint burn for the next day but those plans fell through. I will get my revenge in a couple of weeks. I was fit enough for 11 burns, but I would like to see more sends.

May 23, 2009

Imaginator Wall - The Wall That Hates Me

Objective: Performance

Routes Sent:
Mary Weeks Arete, 6, onsight
Egyptian Sandfish, 10b, onsight (good route, high point of day)
Unknown, 11a, 2nd go (maybe Killer Driller, hard slab start to fun easy climbing)

Total Points: 9.5

Routes Tried:
The On Ramp, 10a, 1 try (a foot broke on my onsight attempt)
Imaginator, 11c, 1 try (17 bolts, 140’, super classic, a foot broke on my onsight attempt, UGH)
Old World Order, 11d, bailed (onsighted to crux, couldn’t do crux, even after using nylon jug beta)

Imaginator Wall in its glory.

Alex on the sharp end, on sharp rock.

Notes: Alex and I went first to Imaginator Wall, one of the lesser Mount Charleston walls. It has an unmatched aurora. Nestled in the mountains with snow at the base of a limestone wall stretching high into the subapline air. Unbelievably, we had the crag to ourselves.

The rock is not super chossy but feet kept breaking, ruining my onsight attempts. I wanted to call "technicals" and get my onsight try back. Redpointing the routes seemed anticlimactic. I like the technical off-vertical climbing, even though the crux was usually starting the routes. My ego wants to claim Old World Order was very broken. It was the hardest I have ever tried on a route. The sharpness of the rock did not effect my tips but did result in micro cuts on other parts of my hand. Considering the amount of time I spend in LV, I'll come back and clean up the loose ends.

May 19, 2009

Know Pain, Know Gain

Objective: Climbing Power Endurance

Warm-up: (1) Easy Traversing, 15 minutes
(2) Mobility Drills

Training: (1) Try to flash every problem in the gym, 45 minutes
rest 20 minutes

(2) 6X8 (all Intermediate)
rest 2 minutes between sets

(3) 3 rounds
3 ice cream makers
5 shoulder scarecrows, 5lbs

Ice Bath
First the beer, Second the fingers

Notes: It hit 90 again today so I took the training session inside. I like flash training. It is a fun game. One try only, if you don't send it move on. Lots of climbing. Lots of thinking about climbing. I flashed every Advanced problem easily. I got shut down on most Open problems. I have a major weakness with the "jumps". Inside, they are silly. Outside, they are usually contrived (there are almost always static methods). I'm not sure if I'm going to work on that weakness. I had to dig very deep during one of the Open flashes. It felt good to know that I can try hard and succeed.

The conditioning part of the workout sucked. I have done intervals for years. During the early rounds, I always think that I've picked problems (or weights) that are too easy. During the rest periods in the middle, I'm flat on my back cursing . I think Baby Jesus was spotting me during the last set. It was intense. Good hard training session. 3 days of rest until Charleston.

May 18, 2009

Relearning To Crawl

Objective: Climbing Power

Warm-up: (1) Easy traversing
(2) Mobility Drills
(3) Circuit #1 (4xRec, 3xInt, 2xAdv)

Training: (1) Big Rung, Ladders

(2) Medium Rungs, Ladders
Old Improper Spacing

New Proper Spacing
If you want something done right ...

Notes: I hobbled my way through the warm-up. My first session with properly spaced rungs and post injury. It is a new bright dawn. I took it very easy and didn’t miss one rep. I suck at pulling through, but my fingers feel strong.

Return to The Land of The Dead

Objective: New Routing

Twitcher Boulder
Left to Right
Deadish, V1 - sds, climb corner
No More Room In Hell, V? - sds, jug to crimps
Twitcher, V? - sds, climb short roof and finish arete

Notes: I'm developing the area sequentially, instead cherry picking, because everything is high quality. This is the next boulder.

It was about 90 degree when I got to the area. I improved several problem landings while I was waiting for it cool down. During the process, I rolled a large boulder onto my foot. DAMN!! That stopped the hard cranking before it started. However, I cleaned a bunch of problems. Twitcher looks harder than the rest, V5-7.

May 16, 2009

Wecome to "Land of the Dead"

Objective: New Routing

All FAs (I think)
Zombie Family Boulder
Right to Left
Zombie Daddy, V2 - start on pinches, undercling to hidden jug, topout as Zombie Baby
Zombie Baby, VO - a shorty, kinda fun
Big Momma Zombie , VO - climb a series of steps, DON'T FALL
Zombie Stepbrother, VO - low angle arete with incredible holds

Zombie Army Boulder
Left to right
Steady Diet of Brains, V1 (not shown)- sds, climb blocky face
Zombie Army, V4 - sds, hard start to big reachs between big holds, classic
Shoot 'em in the Head, V2 - sds, follow crack
Burn the Bodies, V3 - sds, straight up on good holds

Romero Boulder
Left to right
Night of the Living Dead, V1 - sds, jugs to slopers
Dawn of the Dead, V3 - sds, easy start to a long reach to crimps
Day of the Dead - v? - needs to be cleaned

Notes: The "Land of the Dead" is a new area on the Poudre. I have strong evidence that it has not be previously developed. I had to pull off HUGE loose blocks and build landings. It is similar to Pine Mountain, only composed of steep well-featured granite. The high quality granite makes for incredible cranking. A few problems required no cleaning (not even lichen)!! There are 3+ problems on each boulder. I found at least 11 boulders within 10 minutes of the road. Videos and a mini-guide are in production.

May 14, 2009

In Defense of Gym Climbing

Objective: Climbing Technique, Climbing Power Endurance

Warm-up: (1) Easy Traversing, 10 minutes
(2) Mobility Drills

Training: (1) Practice handjams

(2) 4X4 (Adv, Adv, Adv-, Int)
rest 2:00 between sets

(3) Practice resting on the wall

Bryan B. running another lap on The General Lee, my project.
It starts out on in technical corner to slightly overhanging jams and open handed jugs.

Notes: I found a nice rhythm of climbing 2 days outside and finishing the 2nd day with conditioning in the climbing gym. I like the gym because I can have a highly focused practice. As oppose to climbing outdoors, where it is "take it as it comes".

The session is designed to prepare me for my project. There are some difficult handjams. I'm okay at crack climbing but could improve at trusting poor quality jams. 4X4 are always hard, but it was nice to be performing at approximately the same pre-injury level. I picked problems that were slightly overhanging with open hand holds. I flushed the interval by-products out of my system with some easy climbing while practicing difficult rests. I'm crafty at finding good rests, but my technique is lacking when it comes to recovering in difficult positions. That will be key to sending my project.

Another day on the Poudre, Another new area

Objective: Performance, New Routing

Problem Sent: All unnamed, V1, V2, V3, V4, V4 (good for the soul, bad for the scorecard)

Problem Tried: V7 (sds to a V4, couldn't commit cause of a hard pull on my weak finger)

Good Virgin Rock

Immaculate granite about 50ft from the car. RAD!

Left to Right
V3 stand (V10? from sds), V4 stand (V7? from sds), V4 sds (best problem I've climbed in CO)

Notes: I left work early to check out another ridge with possible new route potential. It looks like there will be some okay routes, but the bouldering looks much better. The new routing potential is ridiculous at this point. There is a lifetime of rock within 30 minutes of my house.

I spent most of my time on a boulder 50ft from the road. I think it has been climbed on before because all I had to do was brush off the lichen. It has best rock quality I have climbed on in CO. Today is another reminder of why I moved to the Front Range.

May 13, 2009

Crystal Wall, Back in the Game?

Objective: Performance

Routes Sent:
County Line, 8, onsight (decent for an 8)
Fantastic Voyage, 10a, onsight (widely spaced bolts and high winds, building mental toughness)
Tool Man, 5.11c, 2nd go (1st try today, revision - 80ft of 10c to a V3- boulder, which I do the hard way)

Total Points: 10.5

Routes Tried:
The General Lee, 12b, 2 tries (fairly consistent, 0 crimps but 3 hand jams)

Way above my last bolt on Fantastic Voyage

Enjoying the Wednesday morning

Notes: Joined Seth & Bryan at Crystal Wall for a weekday workout. Fantastic Voyage is the original route on the wall and OLDSCHOOL. It is classic, but you have to be solid. I got revenge on Tool Man, sending it first try today. I didn't see the good ticked hold at the crux (again) and power crimped a "footchip." Everything looks like nail ....

The General Lee is a nice climb. I should be able to tick it with another session. It is atypical for the Poudre and not my style. Hopefully, my finger won't swell up like a kabasha tomorrow.

May 10, 2009

I’ll keep my money, guns, & freedom, you can keep the “Change”

Objective: Strength

Warm-up: 4 rounds
Barbell Complex - 95, 105, 115, 125

Training (1) 1 RM Strict Press, 160

(2) 5 rounds
2 x Strict Press, 135
3 x pistols, each leg

(3) 4 rounds
10 x deadlift, 185, 195, 205, 215
3 x TGU, each side, 35
10 x dips

(4) 3 rounds
10 x swings, 45
3 x corkscrew, each side, 45
10 x ankles to bar

Bonus: I'm resting my finger injury and its raining. Time to improve my durability. Barbell Complexes really suck, in a good way. It takes a moment for my heart to go back into my chest at the end of a round. According to Rob Shaul, those numbers are decent.

My strength is about the same as last year, without doing very much direct training. Very weird. I can press about 90% of my bodyweight. Good enough for my goals. My legs were a little shaky from all the rucking. I cut #4 at only three rounds because I hit the 1 hour mark. The next session will focus on either on work capacity or power endurance.

May 8, 2009

An Alcoholic in a Liquor Store

Objective: New Routing

I'm listening to a guru's advice and taking a 5 day hiatus from climbing. I'm afraid I might forget how to climb! Instead of spending my days slowly going insane and watching climbing porn, I got out and bolted new routes. I took a slightly different approach to Castle Greyskull and found another whole area!! I can't swing a dead cat without finding stuff to develop.

Picture evidence:
Short, good looking cracks

I have never put up a new route ground up.
I think this is a good opportunity.
My girlfriend is not siked.
Her first question was, "Do you think the cracks will explode?"

I bolted two face climbs. If you look carefully, you can see my rope.

I haven't named this area yet. The fire in Santa Barbara is weighing on my mind. Especially, the work the firefighters are doing. I was thinking about naming it as tribute to them. One possibility is "First Responder Area." A possible route name could be "First on the scene, First in our hearts."

Please post suggestions to comments.

May 6, 2009

Crystal Wall, Onsighting as Rehab

Objective: Performance

Routes Sent:
Tour de Poudre (first pitch), 10b, onsight (first time outside/leading since getting injured, brilliant route, i was a mess and didn't completely enjoy it)

Silver Girl, 10c, onsight (really good, enjoyed myself)

Fahrenheit 11 (first pitch), 10b, onsight (deserves more traffic)

Ballet of the Bulge, 11b, onsight (widely spaced edges to committing crux)

Inyerbuttkwa, 10c, onsight (it is slabby, and i was heelhooking. I was done at this point)

Total Points: 21

Routes Tried:
Tool Man, 11c/d, 1 hang (80ft of 10a to V3/4 boulder problem, didn't really try because of the sun and my finger)

The only time I stopped long enough to take a picture was when Bryan was cleaning a route.

Notes: Since onsighting and volume training is all the rage right now, I decided to get some. I went to Crystal Wall for an after work session with one of the developers, Bryan. He could have set me up. I think I'm hot stuff, and he is local. He was very nice and didn't sandbag me too bad. Although his beta for one crux was, "There are two small holds, then two more small holds, and high feet." I don't know if that information invalidates an onsight, but it didn't really help. My finger felt great when I was climbing, it always does. It was a tiny bit swollen the next morning. It felt really nice to have slightly tired skin, shoulders, and feet.

May 4, 2009

Boston Marriage

Objective: Climbing Endurance & Test

Warm-up: 45 minutes of traversing, broken into 3 or 4 sections

Training: (1) Boulder pyramid
8 Recreation Problems
6 Intermediate Problems
4 Advanced Problems

Notes: I sometimes I forget Rule #1, DON'T GET INJURED!! It always takes longer to come back from an injury than I think. Today I started to push the bounds. I did an extended warm-up and did some "light" bouldering. All the problems were flashed. Towards the end, my finger started to feel weird. I stopped immediately. I don't know if the bouldering was actually harmful or I'm just hypersensitive. Either way, I want to be 100% for Charleston (even if I'm as weak as a kitten).

My Personal Shangri-La, part II

Objective: New Routing, Sport Climbing

After wandering around for 45+ minutes, I felt more like John Muir than Randy Leavitt or Dani Andrada. I was looking for rock, not pebbles. When I got to the top of the peak, I found what I was looking for.

I was excited, but it looked disappointingly low angle.

I turned the corner and was greeted with some steep climbing.

Another Wall

Yet, Another Wall

This is near the upper part of the formation. It is less continuous but should yield some routes.

This is the best wide shot of the crag, showing about 20% of the total rock.

I consulted my sources and found out that it is called "Castle Greyskull", a perfect rad name. It hasn't been developed yet. Time to do some work.

My Personal Shangri-La, part I

Objective: New Routing, Bouldering

Weather and work have relented, allowing me to find new rocks to climb. Today was very productive.

Check out the goods:

Spring brings showers and flowers.

I checked out a ridge by the Poudre River. It composed of hard, swirly granite.

5 minutes from the car and untouched. (I think)

This potential problem and my camera need some cleaning.

A little low ball but still nice.

There has to be at least one problem in that pile.

Highball Potential

The Best Boulder
Very Steep & Featured

Another View Of The Gem

May 3, 2009

Video Evidence

This is the closest I have gotten to projecting something in the last 6 months. It took about 6 tries.

Classic Monkey, V6, Red Rocks, NV

May 2, 2009

A Kinder, Gentler Pandemic

Objective: Climbing Endurance

Training: (1) 5 rounds
55 move traverse
Rest as need between rounds

Notes: I was too ambitious during my technique practice session on Thursday, and inflamed my injured finger. Oddly, there was no pain. I rested on Friday. I did some light traversing today as a test. I can ignore they injury and still climb relatively hard. I much rather have it completely healed.

One thing that has helped the healing process in hand putty. Typically, I use it strengthen hand extensors because climbing is flexion dominate. I have found after playing with it my injured hand has increased ROM and decreased inflammation.

The Old Bait & Switch

Objective: Technique

Warm-up: Practice the Foundational Movements of CrossFit for 60 minutes

Training: 5 rounds
5 Medicine ball cleans, 20lbs
10 pushups
Time: 1:41

Notes: Remember how I said that I could plan my training because the local affiliate posted the workout the night before. That plan back fired today. The NorCal Regional qualifier workouts (both of them) were posted for today. When I got there the trainers and some members were finishing it up. Weird. Was I an hour late? No. That workout wasn't for the masses.

The masses got to practice the Foundational Movements of CrossFit. It was good experience. I have never received formal instruction on them, and I think it is important to drill the fundamentals. I learned that my hips are too low at start the deadlift. It comes from being self taught, not being able to see my own ass, and Oly lifting (which has a different starting position).

Here is my breakdown of the movements:

1. Air Squat - Great. FUNDAMENTAL. Hammer it all the time.

2. Front Squat - Personally, I like it because of Oly lifting. However, I have never seen a new trainee have the flexibility to do one with enough load to get a response. I would have newbies air/back squat and move to front squat as quickly as possible. CrossFit teaches the movement with a PVC, ridiculous. My front squat is okay, but my elbows don't go the right place with a PVC. The trainer kept having to correct my elbows. Put people under a bar. It will allow them to show proper form or actively stretch them.

Elbows in the right spot with 90K on the bar in a competition.

3. Overhead squat - Good movement (Oly bias). Very difficult to get newbies to do it. I would introduce way later.

4. Shoulder press - Great movement. CrossFit should do it more. Everyone should do it more.

5. Push press - Okay. CrossFit loves their metabolic conditioning, and this works well for it.

6. Push jerk - Not great. No one does this in real life. Most Oly lifters don't do it, they split jerk. It is very hard to get newbies to do it. I would definitely not teach new lifters the movement.

7. Deadlift - Arguably the best movement. Everyone should know how to pick heavy stuff off the ground. I would teach it first.

8. Sumo deadlift high-pull - Silly. CrossFit doesn't teach the sumo deadlift, which might be better for some body types. CrossFit doesn't teach people how to upright row. However, it puts them both together. Through the process teaches people to bend their arms to get things up to their shoulders, possibly interfering with teaching the clean. Should it be on the path to athletic development?

9. Medicine ball clean - Okay. It tricks people into Oly lifting. For some reason, people freak out when you put a barbell in their hand. The med ball clean is very hard for newbies to learn. I would save it for way later. Immediately after they show some competence, put them under a bar.

The workout was made up on the spot, not the most efficient training for anyone. It was the shortest workout I have ever done. It was a punch in the arm when I expected a kick in the nuts. I'm going to have to kick myself in the nuts later.