Nov 30, 2009

PMA Wall, Wreck Yourself Monday

Objective : Being everything to everyone

1) Set Route - 6am

2) Lab Meeting - 9am

3) Climbing Photo Shoot- Noon

4) Work FA projects - 2pm

5) Cardio - 6pm

Gettin' Some at PMA wall

Teaching Puppies Old Dog Tricks

Notes: Today was long and hard. But I won't have it any other way. The new guidebook to the Poudre Canyon is coming to fruition. I was able to contribute by wearing tight, bright clothes and climbing cruxes (over and over). Afterwords I somehow convinced the crew to check out PMA wall so I could drop rocks on their heads while they froze to death. I did all the moves on "Free is Everything", the link up between "Free but Not Cheap" and "Stupid Happy with Everything." It goes and its hard. Reasonable climbing sets up a deadpoint to a credit card edge. RAD.

"Stupid Happy with Everything " is still a little loose. The crux is an even bigger deadpoint from worse holds but you latch a flat edge. I wasn't able to stick it but it is possible. I'm syked on contributing to hard climbing in Poudre Canyon. It is a race between the weather and guidebook deadlines.

Nov 28, 2009

Walking On One’s Eyeballs

1) Technique, Perfect/Heels down, 15 minutes

2) Open Hand, Systemboard, Upper Right/Upper Left

3) 1/2 Crimp, Systemboard, #1 (!!)

4) Full Crimp, Systemboard, #0

5) Technique, Perfect, 15 minutes

6) 3 rounds
Straddle Front Lever, 7s
Technique, Heels down

7) Shoulder Prehab circuit

8) Practice Handstand/HSPU

Notes: The concept of "Perfect Practice" was inspired by a recent Climb Strong post. It discuses Economy Climbing, repeating easy problems with perfect technique and efficiency. I feel like my Economy Climbing is good. I wanted to improve my ability on relatively difficult problems. I repeated an Advanced problem, roughly my flash level, 3 times. Improving each time. Not drastically, a millimeter there and an initiation there. I super setted that with heels down training. My calves are still tight and weak.

I'm following undulating periodization with my strength training. I always train grips from weakest to strongest, slopers-1/2 crimp- full crimp. I maintain with two grips and try to set a PR with one grip. I recently set a PR with full crimp. This time I set a PR with 1/2 crimp. Next time with sloper. It is rad getting measurable stronger.

I picked a bunch of different Adv problems for #5. My left elbow was a little angry when I tried to 1-arm pull-ups (originally from the 2-a-day at BRC).

Nov 27, 2009

Miss Galaxy Pageant

Training: 1) Flash, New Problems, 15 minutes

2) Technique, Over Speed, 10 minutes

3) Technique, Dynos, 10 minutes

4) Campus, Doubles, Large Rungs

5) Campus, Ladder, Large Rungs

6) Campus, Ladder, Medium Rungs

rest 15 minutes

7) Threshold Bouldering, 20 minutes

8) Technique, Over Speed, 10 minutes

Paul and Gabor train together.
You are as good (or as bad) as your training partners.

Notes: I got #2 from a Vern's post. I think it would better with short sections of roped climbing compared to bouldering. I was tired from 2 days ago so I worked on solidifying my current campus training, #4-6. Doubles down are scary. I'm not inspired to project any of the bouldering so I made up my own moves. I grew bored with that too.

C3PO, My 1st V10 in HD

Click on the title to watch it in HD

Crag To Be Named (By You)

Should keep me busy for the winter

There is a route hidden in the picture

Easy bouldering around the corner

The gem of the area

Slightly overhanging blank face
Simply Dreamy

I enjoyed a pleasant winter day by developing another wall, located about 100 meters from PMA wall. I bolted a steep moderate line, 10ish, and prepped the area for bouldering. While I was on top I noticed two additional much larger formations. There is a ridiculous amounts of rock right outside my door.

I don't have a name for the cliff or the route. I'm turning the naming process over the loyal readers of this blog. It is your chance for immortality. Please post name suggestions to comments.

Nov 25, 2009


Training: 1) Technique, Crack, Hands, Thin Hands, Fingers, 20 minutes

2) Flash, Distillation, 15 minutes

3) Work, Hard Problems, 15 minutes

4) Treadwall, Long Intervals, 1:1

5) Sited Muscle-ups, 3X4

6) 1-legged deck squats, 3X4

7) Plank stars, 3X1

8) 3 rounds
Weighted sit-ups, 45lbs, 10 reps
Reverse wrist curls, 12lbs, 10 reps

9) 3 rounds
Sited Russian Twist, Light kb, 10 reps
Shoulder Scarecrow, 5lbs, 4 reps

10) 1-arm pull-ups, light band assisted, 3X3

Bonus - I went back in the evening to "crag" with my girlfriend and still could flash their 12s.

All training should be progressable, including technique

Video Evidence, #6

Notes: I usually advocate 50% rule for roadtrips, take the half the length of a road trip as a recovery period. I'm not taking my own advice because the last road trip was very mellow. I was going to step up by training at CATS, but it is closed this whole week. NEGATIVE!!! I hit up BRC.

I'm seeing good results from my current approach of hitting technique, climbing, sport specific strength work, sport specific conditioning, and general conditioning. I'll keep it up until it stops working. "Everything works for some of the time. Nothing works forever." I'm always looking for something better and have a couple of leads.

BRC has a pretty good crack setup for training. #2 is a trick I picked up from Timy Fairfield. The better bouldering section was closed for setting so I forced to climb in the older, shorter, more awkward section. The idea is to "distill" boulder problems to their essence, reduce superfluous holds and movements. It is makes old problems new and easy problems hard.

I did #3 in the newer section. I was not able to flash everything. However, I was able to send problems with feet that fit my body size. Are all routesetters micro? #5-7, 10 was my gymnastics training, seeing nice linear gains. #8 & #10 were Mountain Athlete inspired.

I'm tired and looking forward to Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for a lifestyle that allows to me to pursue my adventures and this blog.

Nov 23, 2009

Taos, NM, Questa Dome

Problems Sent: Mr. Personality, v4, FA (aka Blank Apron Project, RAD)
Damnation, V2, flash (stand, weird possible sds)
Girl Scout, V2, 2nd go (Wizard-style)
Betty Crooker, V1, flash (I heart pockets)
The Bean, V0, flash (1 move wonder)
The Be-In, V0, flash (HARD, nearly broke my frozen wrists on the mantle)
Unnamed, Vo, flash (slab, no hands)

Problems Tried: Pan Flute, V3, 1 try (stupid fall)
Chef-boy-arte, v6, 1 try (pile of small, sharp pockets)
Varisty, V7, 2 tries (slabish, cranked so hard on the nothingness I hurt my hand)

Follow the animal tracks to the boulders

Which way are you going?

Look Ma, No Hands


Happy On Top

Looking in vain for positive holds

Looking the "hold"

Finding the "hold"

Letting go of the "hold"

Mr. Personality, FA

Mr. Personality, FA
The chalked areas aren't holds, only areas where I placed my hands

Following My Bliss

Notes: On the way back to CO, we stopped by Questa Dome for a little alpine bouldering. It is a remote forest with granite blocks littered throughout. While it was difficult locating each block, the effort was rewarded with superb bouldering. The climbing is what I imagine Font to be like, a combination of aggression and subtlety. The highlight of the day was the FA (hopefully) of Mr. Personality.

Nov 22, 2009

Taos, NM, Dead Cholla Wall

Routes Sent: Fun, 7, Onsight (mixed, quality)
Unknown, 10-, Onsight (trad, between games and corrida del norte)
Corrida Del Norte, 11, Onsight (slab)
Unknown, 10+, Onsight (trad, left of corrida del norte, hardest trad to date)

Routes Tried: Games, 10+, Bailed (half up realized I needed gear, didn't try again)

Dead Cholla Wall

My Favorite Cam
It shows

Tombstone from Taos Cemetery

Notes: Dead Cholla Wall is short, stubby wall along the rim of Rio Grande. What it lacks in climbing appeal, it makes up for in ease of access and vistas. I attempted to crank without a trad rack, we forgot it in the car. That didn't happen, warming was difficult (I'm a big baby about warming up) and the "sport" climbing too sporty. We retrieved the rack and had a fun afternoon out. I actually got into plugging widgets and ended up with my hardest pure trad send to date (bonus - it was onsight).

After we went to Taos Pueblo, the oldest continuously inhabited community in the USA. What stood out most was the contrast between my life and what I observed. My life is technology heavy, e.g. laptops, internet, and remote working. While the Pueblo is still evolving, e.g. propane tanks, it appears technology light, e.g. wood burning stoves. I was fascinated by the amazing art, a common theme for the entire Taos region.

Nov 21, 2009

Taos, NM, My 1st V10 & Other Adventures

Problems Sent: C3PO, V10 (1st V10, < 1 hour, SUPER SYKED)
All problems on Warm-up boulder
Righthand Arete, V1, flash (easier to jump start but did 1 hardish move into jugs, sds is double digits)
Unnamed #1 R2D2 boulder, V3, flash (still warming up, hard to try)
Unnamed #3 R2D2 boulder, V5, 2nd go (sds, varied, R2D2 makes no sense)

Problems Tried: Good roadtrip tactics sent everything

Nothing is happening until sun hits and coffee is brewed

Warming up on the great rock

@ warming up

Trying Hard Face

Pressing it out by the rock art

Notes: Alex and I headed to Taos, NM for a long weekend trip. By no means a climbing destination, it offers good weather and a little bit of culture. We camped at Petaca Campground, bouldering at our tent's door. The rock is quaternary volcanic, similar to the Happys of Bishop, only higher quality.

C3P0 is my first V10 and suited me perfectly. It starts on a bad pinch and crimp, make a large move to fair-sized mono, followed by several hard crimp bumps and with a chill top out. I played the game well, broke it down and put it back together. I quickly did all the individual moves and refined my beta. I rested for about 5 minutes before taking burns from the start. It took 3 burns, in total all under 1 hour. It might be soft but I'm taking it. Just another step along the journey.

Saturday Syke Video

Nov 18, 2009

All Adaptation is Undulating

Training: 1) Flash, all new problems, 20 minutes

2) Technique, Heels Down, 15 minutes

3) Technique, Dynos, 15 minutes

4) Work, hard problems, 20 minutes

5) Open Hand, System Board Ladder, Upper Left/Upper Right

6) 1/2 Crimp, System Board Ladder, #2

7) Wide Moves, System Board Ladder, Skip 1 up & 1 over

8) Technique, Heels Down, 15 minutes

9) A bunch of gymnastics at home.

Notes: Last workout before the roadtrip and I dropped the hammer. I'm still fired up about Vern's blog. I tried to design a session in his style. I was able to flash all the new problems as a part of an extended warm-up (expect for a couple of dabs). I surprised myself during #4 by linking several very difficult sections together. Seeing the results of simple, progressable strength training. #5-7 basic climbing strength, I do a ladder of 4 moves and rest 1:00.

I was really tired by #8. Perfect time to reinforce technique. I want to climb well when I'm tried so train it. I choose a dead vertical slopey traverse with micro feet. I got PUMPED. The gym got crowded at the end, 5:00 pm, making further training difficult.

Nov 17, 2009

Pillow Queen

Training: 1) Open hand, 1-arm, Easy Side Top Sloper

2) 1/2 crimp, 2-arm, Hard Side Middle sloper

Hard Side, Get Strong
(Ignore the hightops, my trad climber stays in the closet.)

Notes: At my home board, Pusher Power Junkie (the best hangboard). I felt like increasing the volume (increase sets and time under tension) and lower the intensity (increase hold size), intuitive training decision. I need a big change, e.g. a great project, a roadtrip, or a homeboard. I'm dangerously close to a plateau.

An offhand remark on Military Athlete lead me to Vern Gambetta. His whole blog, especially this post got me thinking about strength and conditioning for climbing. For example, another climbing strength and conditioning coach advocates 20 minute pull-up only workouts and 4 minutes on/4 minutes off climbing interval. What are you training with that? Who needs to do that many pull-ups? Whose redpoint burn lasts 4 minutes? This guy redpoints a 9a in less time, including shaking out. In addition, he barely does anything resembling a pull-up. Most climbs are little bits of serious business (with some medium bits before/after), then onroute recovery. Your train should reflect that.

Arthur's Rock, i hate places without guidebooks

Problems Sent: Unknown, V1 (high ball crack)
Last Resort (?), V5(?) (not hard, not a good 2nd warm-up)
Unknown, V6(?) (pile but dry, lowball dab fest that didn't top out)

Problems Tried: Double Clutch, V7/8 (66.66% wet, including a puddle in one of the jugs)

Which way are you going?

And I forgot my ice tools

Skunked Again

Notes: I haven't climbed at Arthur's Rock despite the fact I can see it from my bedroom window, the primary reason being there is not a guidebook. When I go climbing, I actually like climbing. Weird. I decided to sack up and climb anyways with the scant information gleamed from the internet. It was still wet and icy from the recent storms and gets almost no sun. The rock is solid but low quality, better than Carter Lake/worse than anything I'm developing on the Poudre. I spent most of the day wandering/sliding around. It was a fun day outside but devoid of meaningful climbing.

I plan to improve the lack of information situation.

Nov 15, 2009

Volume over Reason

Training: 1) Open hand, 1-arm hang, Large Edge

2) Open hand, 1-arm switches, Flat Sloper

3) 1/2 crimp, System board ladder, #2

4) Circuit of hard problems, all repeats, 30 minutes

5) 7 rounds
Rowing, 30 on/30 off

Notes: 3rd day on but felt fine. The last two days were diagnostic and found I should deprioritize full crimp training. I didn't push too hard but still got a dose. I want to stabilize the new 1-arm training before pushing to the next level. Compare #3 to full crimping.

I throw in some high intensity interval training, HIIT, #5 at the end. (Sidenote - I pull like a mother from all the Oly training.) I have been doing Steady State, SS, cardio on "rest" days in an effort to lose some weight. Along with tightening up my diet, I have lost 5 pounds since my final Weightlifting Competition. My goal is to lose another 5 pounds by the start of my Thanksgiving roadtrip.

Nov 14, 2009

Leet Speak

Training: 1) Technique, Underclings, 20 minutes

2) Boulder, 1.5 hours

3) 4x4 (Adv+, Adv-, Adv, Int+)
rest 1:1 (2:30)

4) Muscle-ups, sited, 2X3

5) Back lever, pike bicycle, X3

6) 3 rounds
Plank, 1-arm, X2
Pull-ups, 1-arm assisted, X3(2)

Last Round, #6

Notes: Switched it up and went to Boulder Rock Club. I spent the beginning of the session working underclings, which was hard because there very few underclings (mostly juggy start holds).

I was able to flash most of their "elite" problems. I didn't top out all the problems. I have a double-overhead rule for training. I won't boulder higher than twice my height because IT IS STUPID TO HURT YOURSELF TRAINING. I didn't even try the token fat pinch problem. I feel like I have graduated to training at CATS.

I'm starting a gymnastic cycle. Dan John advocates lots of exposure for novice weightlifters, aka "If it is important, do it everyday." I'm taking the same approach to my novice gymnastics. I'm creating a "gymnastic routine". #4 is designed to take the kip out of my mu (a bad CrossFit habit). I suck at #5 compared my front lever.

Saturday Syke Video

Nov 13, 2009

Postage Stamp Rule

Training: 1) Boulder, 2 hours

Alex gettin' after it with DC Super Specials

Even Prehab should be progressable

Quality Digger

Notes: Friday night at The Spot, boulder's/Boulder's version of Mt. Meru. I'm hoping campusboard, fingerboard, and doses of hard bouldering will have a synergistic effect on my climbing. I was able to flash a couple 5 spot minuses and 5 spots (their grading scale is 1 spot-5 spot). More important than the problems I flashed were the problems I sent 2nd or 3rd try, after I improved my climbing movement. I did find a new weakness - underclings, or undercuts if you are British. Another one to add to the ever growing list.

Nov 12, 2009

PMA Wall, the PJs

I got some more bolts and bolted some projects, aka PJs.

Free But Not Cheap, 11a, Black (steepest line at the cliff, follow blunt arete)
Stupid Happy With Everything, Project, Red (clip first 2 bolts of FBNC, bust right into powerful climbing)
Coffee & Angst, Project, Green (traverse along the lip of cave, then up)
Look Who They Let In The Backdoor, 11d, Yellow (sustained climbing leads to a CRUX, then mellow climbing to the chains)

These projects are hard (for me), I can't even do all of the moves. The direct lines, denoted by the dotted lines, are futurist.

Time to Train

Nov 11, 2009

Shouldn't They Call It Department of Offense

Training: 1) Open hand, 1-arm hang, large edge
Left Hand, 0, 0, 0, 0
Right Hand, +5, +5, +5, +5

2) 1/2 crimp, 2-arm hang, small edge
+75, +75, +75

3) Full crimp, system board ladder, #0 (!!!)

4) Wide ladder, skip one panel up/skip one panel over
lower right, upper right

5) 1-arm pull-up

6) 4 rounds
Climb cave Adv. problem
up & down x 2
rest 1:1

7) 4 rounds
lower right, up
jugs, down x 2
rest 1:1

Notes: I'm starting to become "locked-in" into the current training, 1 on /1 off. Increase strength and maintain technique and fitness. The hangboard is hung too low to add more weight to #2. That pissed me off and I harnessed my rage during #3. My training goal was to do a ladder with #0 by Christmas. I need a new goal.

I hate pull-ups. I can barely motivate myself to 1 or 2 1-arm pull-ups. I'm a believer in doing the opposite. I see climbers in the gym doing pull-ups all the time. I see the same climbers pull(up) themselves off problems and routes. I'm throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

The conditioning work basically sucked, #6 & #7. It was too hectic, peoplewise, trying to down climb in the cave. I'll just stick the systemboard.

Nov 9, 2009


Training: 1) Doubles, Large Rungs

2) Drops, Medium Rungs

3) Ladders, Large Rungs

4) Ladders, Small Rungs
1-3-5 X 2

5) System Board, Crimp Ladder, #1, Pull-Through (!!)

6) 1 Arm pull-up, System Board Jug

7) Metolius Hangboard, Flat Sloper, 1 Arm switches

8) 4 rounds
30/30 Continuous Hangboard Movement

The Hangboard, as of this week

Notes: I hit the peak of humanity at the gym and had to stick to the apparatuses. Re-introducing drops. I believe the science but I still don't know if they are good for me. I suck at pulling through on the campus board. I barely pulled 1-2-6. My fingers feel strong, #4 &#5, and are getting stronger.

The Metolius Hangboard was rehung perpendicular to the ground. It makes scientific training difficult when the training equipment changes. I will have to add lots of weight for hangs, but I can do stuff like #6 & #7. Rob Shaul has his athletes do 10 rounds. 4 rounds is enough for me, the quality of effort decreases too much for rounds after that.

Fable Boulders, Asgard Sector

I spent a pleasant afternoon exploring the area around the Fable Boulders. I found a new sector I'm tentatively calling Asgard.

Projects abound:

In addition, I found another entirely new crag with potential for 30-50 new routes. I'll write about that in another post. Simply, the potential is mind blowing.

Nov 7, 2009

Saturday Syke Video

Probably not legal, definitely not ethical, but very interesting...

Part 2

You can figure out the rest.

Nov 6, 2009

The Palace, After Work Sess

Routes Sent: Orge, 10a, Onsight (yes, I kneebarred up the warm-up)
Jester, 10b, Onsight (10 bolts, not used to the length, twss)

Routes Tried: Rusy Shackleford, 11d, 1 hang (tried to onsight, guessed wrong during 1 move crux)

The After Work Crowd

Notes: A very quick session but still got outside. The palace suits my style well, good variety with boulder cruxes.

So CLOSE to onsighting another 11d. I tried to use an intermediate instead of going really huge. Should be another anticlimactic second go.

Nov 4, 2009

Top's Disease

Training: 1) Technique, Heels Down & Momentum, 15 minutes

2) Work Limit-level Matches, 10 minutes

3) 5 laps
Systemboard, Crimp, #1, 8 moves
rest as needed between laps

4) 5 laps
Systemboard, Wide ladder, 4 moves
rest as needed between laps

5) 3 laps
Campus, Systemboard Jugs, 3 moves
rest as needed between laps

Notes: Quick session. #2 was a equal parts strength work and technique (still suck on slopers with bad feet). #3 and #4 are loosely targeted towards Rapid Fire. If I was serious, I would spend 30-40s on the starting jug before the crimp ladder to better simulate the climb. Ran out of time before I could repeat #1.

Nov 2, 2009

Net Neutrality

Training: 1) Campus, Doubles
Large Rungs, 1-4
Medium Rungs, 1-3
Large Rungs, 2-1

2) Campus, Ladders
Small Rungs, 1-4-5
1-4-6 (!!!)
Large Rungs, 1-5

3) System board, 1-arm hangs assisted, Upper Right

rest 15 minutes

4) Rhythm Intervals, Lower Right
Level 2 X 2

Notes: Compare to June. I'm starting to see gains in campusing. I introduced double drops. I plan to do 1-5-9 within a year. It feels very far. 1-arm hangs are big weakness (#3). I'm getting stronger but have the same fitness (#4). It is motivating to have objective benchmarks.

Programing - I've switched to 1 on/1 off. There is no reason behind the switch over than avoiding "a grave with ends kicked out." I limit campusing, i.e. plyometrics, to once a week. I'm suppose to be in a Performance cycle but weather, work, and partners are not cooperating.

LOTD, The Catacombs

The weather finally relaxed its death grip on the Front Range. I used the opportunity to put up new problems in The Land of the Dead. I'm working my way along the upper ridge. The next sector is The Catacombs, tallish low-angle cliff bands. It was too chilly to dangle on a rope to clean up a majority of the problems. I had to settle for the "low hanging fruit".

The Catacombs

Who Is Laughing Now?, V3/4, Black (stand start on sidepulls, more sidepulls and a sloper, sds is undone)
Are We Worth Saving?, V2*, Red (gill start to good sized crimps)

Drink a Nice Tall Glass of Shut the Fuck Up!, VO, Green (4 star line, stand start on jugs follow orange streak)

* I need to repeat all the problems and downgrade accordingly.

3 Shorties

Nov 1, 2009

Ankle Breaking Season

Objective: Technique

Warm-up: Flash 10 Rec problems, Up & down

Training: 1) High Steps, 10 minutes

2) Drop Heels Drill, 15 minutes

3) Momentum Drill, 10 minutes

Notes: I spent the entire climbing nothing harder than V0+ and most of it low angle. Today's drills were aimed at "lengthening and toning" my calves. I have tight, weak calves relative to other body parts. The concept of "low heels" is moving towards automaticity. About a dozen more sessions, it will be ingrained.

Tomorrow I should be able to get outside and get a little bit of "Ankle Breaking Season".