Feb 28, 2010

Addicted to My Enemies

Training: 1) Flash New Problems

2) Technique, Dynos

3) Repeat 5 Adv Problems, +1 lb ankle weights

4) Open Hand, Systemboard
Lower Left, Big Feet, +5lbs

5) 1/2 Crimp, (Fail - skin)

6) Wide Moves, Systemboard
Skip 1 over and 1 up, +3lbs

7) 1-arm pull-ups
Left - +10lbs (PR!), 9, 9, 9
Right - +5lbs (PR!), 3, 3, 3

8) Ryhthm Intervals, 3 rounds
Level 2, 2, 1

Notes: I'm naturally transitioning to a new cycle. My primary focus will be outside performance climbing. I will still be training indoors, treating weaknesses identified from outside, dictated by the capricious CO weather.

#3 & #4 - Trying to stay ahead of the "Law of Accommodation" by judiciously using weight. In the past, I went too fast and too hard. I'm starting slow with plenty of room to progress, a key to successful training. For example, I can vary hold size (3 levels), foot size (3 levels), and weight (infinite levels) for each grip type on Systemboard ladders.

#5 - After the last two days outside, skin is a limiting factor.

#6 -I had difficulties on a large move between medium sized holds on a problem outside.

#7 - PRs are still coming. My training guideline is: Set a new PR, Drop down to 90% to solidify it, and Go home.

#8 - Not much in the tank for conditioning.

Feb 27, 2010

Poudre Canyon, Spring is Coming

I went to a new-to-me area for the tail end of the Ice Bloc season. The first boulder was on snow bridge, water was running under the boulder and 3ft behind the pads! It yielded 2 quality lines. The Green Line is one of the best lines I have climbed lately.

Green Line, V7 - SDS on slopers, make a couple of moves to get established for big move out left
Yellow Line, V4 - SDS to crimps, traverse left until it feels okay to finish

Sketchy Landing

The second boulder was 20ft upstream from the first.
The rock was less compact than the first one with yummy golden granite slopers.

Pink Line, V5 - SDS, crimps to slopers, back to crimp finish
Red, V2/3 - SDS, powerful sloper moves, exit via ramp to avoid loose blocks

This wall is on the border between high ball boulder and short sport climbing.

I missed the window for this bloc, the ice is breaking up under it.

Postholing through the ice into the river.

Saturday Syke Video

Klem, Always Classic.

For the record-
I would send all my projects if someone screamed in Austrian at me.

Feb 26, 2010

The Palace, Stil The Pre-season

Routes Sent: River Rats, 7, Onsight (good stuff)
Creepy, 10b, Onsight (more than 1 star in my book)
Flail, 11a, Onsight (fun crux, heinous post-crux climbing, wish I'd some micronuts)

Routes Tried: Where's the Beef?, 12b/c, 1.5 tries (not three stars, needs to be cleaned, went numb)

Notes: Alex and I cranked for a beautiful 1/2 day at The Palace. Alex is on the patented Climbing Lab Rehab Program so went to the Poudre Face. I forgot that The Palace is a winter place, it was shirt off weather in the sun. It was nice having a good guidebook. The last time I went to the cliff I spent too much time on the approach, even though you can see the cliff from the road, and looking for climbs.

Information for the next edition of the guidebook:

- There are another 7, lower quality, that goes to the same anchor as River Rats. Either it is Turtle Head or not listed in the guide.

- Micronuts on Flail would be helpful during longish runout between the 6th & 7th bolt.

- The last bolt on Where's the Beef is missing a hanger. Not a big deal since the climbing is much easier (but the rock is a little loose).

Feb 24, 2010

SRR Boulders, Laying The Foundation

The residue of the last little winter storm forced me to dig into my winter bouldering stash at the SRR Boulders. They tend to get less snow and more sun than other sectors. I threw a rope on the best line, the "prow" of the upper boulder. It cleaned it up nice. When it came time to climb, I wasn't feeling it. The landing is scree, awkward and sketchy. Even though there are multiple harder lines, V10+, on good rock, I'm letting them go until I can come back with a syked crew.

Residue of Winter

Work Site

Residue of Work

Rad Spider

I spent the rest of the afternoon postholing around. I found a new, at least to me, sector. (Sorry, no pictures since I didn't bring my camera). It is nice because it doesn't require a river crossing, critical in the upcoming months.

Feb 23, 2010

What I take for granted ...

I spend way too much time in climbing gyms. When I compare what I do in the gym to other people, I'm a freaking space alien. I thought most of what I do is just common sense, coming from a competitive sports background. There are training days and "game" days. Gym days are training days. I'm there to get better, everything else is a bonus.

Here is a short list of stuff I've seen in the last week :

If you are cracking jokes and texting people, you are not sending at your limit. I understand one of the biggest appeals of climbing is the social scene. Try focusing for a little while. You might just learn more and maybe enjoy the process. Don't expect Olympic level performance, if you're acting like its recess.

Crimping Pockets
There aren't a lot of pockets in most gyms* but when they are present, people climb them stupid. I know you can crimp some pockets. DON'T!!! Use a little resistant. You'll screw yourself up. Everyone does stupid stuff (including me). Just limit the amount of your stupid stuff. Either get stronger so you can climb on them right or leave them alone. It is just some stupid problem set in a gym. You don't have to send it.

Side note - If you feet cut on every move, leave pockets alone. I would also avoid crimps.

Projecting Every Day
Yesterday, you were falling off that problem for a couple of hours. You didn't get stronger overnight, especially when your recovery involved pizza and a pitcher of beer. You're probably going to fall on it today. Again - It is just some stupid problem set in a gym. You don't have to send it. There are 50 other problems. Even if by some miracle you send it, is it making you a better climber?

I warm-up everyday (If it is important, do it every day). I know Mr. V-double-digits doesn't warm-up. Warm-up doesn't mean doing random stretching (Only in the ways are you're already flexible). It doesn't mean jogging. Just climb a couple of things. Rest a bit and climb a couple more harder things. Check in with your body. You might be shocked in what you find.

What happens if you changed your mindset, got critical, trained hard, and came back in 6 months. Maybe you could flash at the same level you used to project. That's what I did. Instead of bashing yourself into a brick wall, take a step back and jump over it.

* I find this odd because there are pockets outside. Most outside pockets are sharper and tweakier than gym pockets. I rather learn how my body reacts in a controlled environment. However, every gym has fat pinches. I don't find fat pinches outside.

Feb 22, 2010

Video Evidence

Just Another Wednesday ...

One of the best "routes" in Poudre Canyon

Feb 21, 2010

Training is felt before it's understood

Training: 1) Technique, Decompress, 15 minutes

2) Flash new problems

3) Standard Open, 1/2 Crimp, Full Crimp Hangs

4) Yoga, 60 minutes

5) Perfect Practice, 30 minutes

6) 1-arm pull-ups, dynamic effort

7) Ab wheel

Notes: Feel kinda beat up, thus did not set any PRs. I couldn't do some of the mandatory jumps for the new problems. That is still a big mental barrier. It is hard to let go of control for me. My body and mind is still not used to my new found strength, a good problem to have. My ego got a boast when the problem that shut me down yesterday, shut down a nationally-ranked bouldering competitor today. Damn, I was going to beta whore him.

Feb 20, 2010

Greener Than A Chanuk in UT

Training: 1) Technique, Foot Hoover, 30 minutes

2) Flash New Problems

3) Threshold Bouldering, 45 minutes

A good night to be training

Notes: I'm getting less stupid. In the past 4 days, I climbed 3 days on and 1 day off. The old me would have tried to campus today. The new me tried to be more productive and less damaging. I need some new technique drills. The drills I use aren't randomly picked. Each one treats a specific weakness. I got SHUT DOWN on 1 of the new problems. My style of climbing relies on footwork and momentum. This problem has whacked feet and hard lock offs. Maybe an indoor project for this winter relapse? I focused on open hand and 1/2 crimp moves during threshold bouldering.

Saturday Syke Video

Damm, I need to step up and finish The Climbing Lab

Feb 18, 2010

Ideology of a Cancer Cell

Training: 1) Max number of hard routes in 1 hour: 12
Da numbers - 10c, 10d, 12a, 12a, 12b, 12b, 12b, 12b, 12a, 12a, 11c, 11c

2) Pull-ups
a) A couple of 1-arms
b) 1 pull-up w/girlfriend attached

Bonus: Hans Florine Slideshow

Quintessential Hans at 6:15

Proper Birthday Challenge State,
End of 1 mile 130lb Sandbag Carry

Notes: The weather has turned back to crap. I should be cranking in TX, but I have stupid thing called a job. Back to the lab, literally and figuratively. I only had an hour between work and Hans' slideshow. In his honor, I tried to climb as many pitches as possible in Movement Climbing Gym. I worked "briskly but not frantically." I would climb a route, lower down, and repeat it. The first laps were all flashes, except the 11cs. I didn't redpoint point every climb but that didn't matter, the difference between training and performance. I'm still in an power endurance maintenance cycle, just hitting it hard once a week.

Hans is always entertaining and inspiring. He talked about tackling the "impossible", breaking a speed on El Cap or climbing 20 Classics in 20 days. The value is not succeeding, even though he usually does, but training and attempting. I'm rethinking my current power-oriented Birthday Challenge. The new word might be "enchainment."

Feb 17, 2010

5FHAR Area, Just Another Wednesday

5FHAR is my codename for the area, since I don't know the "official" name. I plan to hit this area hard before the river reclaims it.

I warm-up by climbing this interesting part of the bank.
Climbing is the" space" was V0. Climbing the "feature" was V3.
River polished granite is tricksy.

Green Line, V0/1 - Short but good warm-up
Red Line, V8 - SDS, good crimps to committing last move, stand start is V7
Yellow Solid Line, V4 - SDS, Jugs to a long pull off a ring lock
Yellow Dotted Line, V5/12b - 30ft traverse into above line

It was satisfying sending two lines in completely different styles. The Red Line is 5 moves of slightly technical, hardish crimping. Yellow Dotted Line is 40ft of steep, sustained, sloper pulling. I had to dig a little deeper than normal to send the Red Line. The Yellow Dotted Line me realize how much I missed hard roped climbing. So far, it is the top contender for my Rad Redpoint of the Year.

Yellow Line, V3 - Another slab to roof, interesting movement
Green Line, VO - Dirty jug haul

an Ice Bloc necessity

Waiting for shoes to dry,
just like Deep Water Soloing

Feb 16, 2010

Ice Blocs, Get Them While They're Hot (I Mean Cold)

I headed back up Poudre Canyon to enjoy more Ice Blocs before the spring river rise takes them away for another year.

I warmed-up by climbing the various lines on the left.
The best line is up the middle, V4 from sds.

I used the Lord's name in vain when I turned the corner on the boulder. There is a 40ft+ problem/traverse/route. It is ~30ft of overhanging v4/5 on river polished granite to an okay rest before you finish on the middle line pictured above, easily a 4 star problem. I was able to "1 hang" it today.

Just a little bit down stream was another Ice Bloc.
Yellow Line - Jug haul Vo from the stand, an awkward V1/V2 from the sit, lots of lichen
Green Solid Line, V6 - Sds to nice edges
Green Dotted Line, V6 - A semi-footless traverse into the direct line

The Backside
Middle of the roof, V4/5 - slab to roof, fun but high rock humping/dab factor
Far Arete, V0 - good but lots of lichen
(This picture illustrates the ephemeral nature of Ice Blocs. There was open water about 10ft from the problems.)

This sector is simply stacked with climbable rock, about 25 blocs each having about ~3 problems.

Quintessentially Fort Collins Litter

Dead Bug

Gnarly Sliver
Ironically, that is how I felt about it even though I barely felt it. Thanks to my extra thick skin.

Feb 15, 2010

Awake is the New Asleep

Training: 1) Flash, 99% of the new problems

2) Open Hand, Systemboard
Upper Left, Pull Through with extra small feet

3) Open Hand, Hangboard
Flat Slopers, Switches, 3 rounds

4) 1/2 crimp, System board
#1, Pull through with extra small feet

1 hour Yoga break

5) Prefect Repeats, Adv Problem, 45 minutes

6) 1-arm pull-ups, 3X3 (with assistance)

7) Abs & repeated effort for 1-arms

Notes: There were 2 moves I couldn't flash. More evidence my training is working. I'm over the hill, 30, and not genetically gifted. Simple, hard, focused training has improved my climbing leaps and bounds in the last year. Anyways, both moves involved pinches. That limiter keeps rearing its head. I keep ignoring it. I have never been shut down by a pinch move outside. I'm stepping up my system boarding by using the smallest feet available, always onto the next level.

I have been doing Yoga off and on for about 6 years. Every since I have stopped "cross-training," I have been practicing more. 2x a week at home and 1-2x a week at a class. Backbends are incredibly hard for me. One time I almost passed out trying a Camel Pose in a Bikram's Yoga class. On the other hand, 1-leg balancing is joke (probably from Oly lifting). The "core" work is a joke (probably from gymnastics). Yoga won't do everything, it is not even the best "training" for most things, but it keeps me from becoming a hunchback stressball.

The perfect practice went well. I repeated the problems I flashed before, each one 3x in a row. It is amazing how subtle changes drastically increase efficiency. I feel I have at least 5 more years of consistency climbing before I fully understand climbing movement, probably more like 20 years.

Feb 14, 2010

Poudre Canyon, Golden Granite

This weekend was an opening of the narrow window when the Cache La Poudre River is frozen but the rock is warm. The opening enables rare ice bloc climbing, ascending rocks embedded in the river ice. I was lucky enough to enjoy one ice bloc before a small winter storm chased me down the canyon.

I spent the rest of the day playing on a perfect golden granite egg. It was incredibly climbable with everything from slab to steep to crack. I climbed only 1/2 the problems on it, necessitating a return trip. The upcoming season holds infinite promise, once it gets here.

Golden Granite Ice Bloc

Steep Golden Granite

Red Line - SDS, traverse lip to engaging exit move
Green Line, VO - Slab arete
Black Line, V1 - Water grooved slab, also the down climb

Green Line - SDS, follow right trending crack
Black Line, V2 - Crimps in the middle of the face, SDS much harder
Red Line, V2 - Follow left trending crack, SDS much harder

Video Evidence

Feb 13, 2010

Flagstaff/Movement, Outdoor/Indoor Gym Climbing

Location: Flagstaff Mountain, Boulder, CO

Problems Sent: Y Traverse, V3/4, Flash (i'm the king of flashing traverses, little bit of pump mixed with little bit of numbness)

Location: Movement+Fitness, Boulder, CO

Training: High Intensity Quality Movement, 3 hours

Overlooking The Bubble

A dog, a girl, and some rock
Quality Afternoon

Delicious Snow

Flagstaff has big cobbles

Flagstaff has little cobbles

Notes: Just barely warm enough to crank outside. I up and down climbed a V0, couldn't top-out because of snow, a couple of times to warm-up. LAME! It was fun flashing another quality traverse. I couldn't help myself and got sucked into Flagstaffland by making up a traversey eliminate towards the end of the day. I need to climb outside more to better translate my strength but this wasn't the best opportunity. I spend more time figuring out the location of problems and keeping warming than climbing. Flagstaff climbing doesn't feel that technically demanding, just hard on the skin.

I headed to the gym for some much needed volume, a plethora of harder routes and problems flashes. Skin and tolerance of "scenesters" were the limiting factors.

Bonus: The best guide to Flagstaff.

Saturday Syke Video

The Tor, always classic.

Feb 9, 2010

Ready To Blow Like a Stuffy Nose

Training: 1) Flash, ALL new problems

2) Campus, Throws
Small Rungs 1-4-1 X 3
3 sets each arm

3) Campus, Ladder
Large Rung, 1-4-7 (fail)

4) Threshold Bouldering, System Board, 45 minutes

5) Dynamic Effort, 1-arms

Proper Threshold Bouldering

Notes: Don't get me wrong, I love my training but I want to get outside. The current cold snap is killing me. I want to apply my new found strength to some quality problems. I need to add weight to the campus throws, SCARY. I wanted to see if I could do 1-4-7 when fatigued. The answer is NO.

My threshold bouldering has a progression, like all my training. I pick out the movement (it all starts with movement), I do the "problem" the easiest way. Then I start making things harder, e.g. moving holds apart, climbing it "open," and doing it without feet cutting. I generally aim for success 4/5ths of the time. I catalog the variations I fall on and come back to them. Today I was able to send a couple of variations that were giving me trouble last session. Linear progress, one foundational element of athletic development.

Feb 8, 2010

Decorating My Coffin

1) Campus, Ladder, Large Rungs
1-4-7 X 2

2) Campus, Ladder, Medium Rungs
1-4-6 X 3

3) 1-arm pull-ups, Right arm only
3 with complete rest

1) Threshold Bouldering, System Board

2) Open Hand and 1/2 Crimp Hangs

3) 1-arm pull-ups,
Left, +3, +5, +8 (PR!)
Right, +3, +3, +3

4) Repetitive Effort, Last 3'' of 1-arm pull-up

5) Abs

Notes: Back in the training game. It took me a little while to get my head right. I'm solidifying my current campus level before moving up. Getting to the next level in campusing is always a quantum leap. I have a weakness with right arm 1-armers. Getting after that weakness with more volume. A satisfying PR on with my left arm.

The weakness part of my 1-armers is the top. I'm taking a page from Westside and targeting that limiter. I'm doing limited range of motion for 6-8 reps. I'm not doing isometrics for a couple reasons. Isometrics are difficult to setup, typically requiring a chain attached to the floor in order to pull maximally. Just locking things off, both on the pull-up bar and during climbing, is "training to be slow" and from what I have seen, messes up everyone's technique. In addition, isometrics should be hard (rarely do I see any one do isometrics at the proper level). Isometrics done at the proper level would take away from my other training. On the other hand, Repetitive Effort doesn't dig a huge recovery hole.

Right now, I'm only interested in bouldering and short routes (and training for a possible b-day challenge). My training reflects that.

Feb 5, 2010

Malcolm Daly Talk in Fort Collins, Feb 16

Malcolm Daly: Everything I Know About Leadership I Learned From Climbing

Tuesday, February 16
5:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. Networking
6-7 p.m. Program
Hilton Fort Collins

$10 for Alumni Association members
$15 for non members
$8 for students

More information - CSU Alumni Association

Poudre Canyon Routes Select Guide

photo courtesy of Cam Cross

NOCO Climbing just released their Poudre Canyon Routes Select Guide. It is a beautiful work that provides accurate information for a wonderful part of Colorado. One of the cliffs I'm developing, PMA Crag, made the cut. It is the first time one of my developments is " in print." I couldn't be happier. In fact, I'm stupid happy with everything.