Sep 29, 2010

Guide to Gateway Natural Area of Poudre Canyon, CO

Gateway Natural Area is located at 5216 Poudre Canyon Highway (Hwy 14). Take Highway 287 to Highway 14 West, then travel 5.2 miles on Hwy 14 West. Gateway Natural Area is on the right side of the road.

Park in the large pull-out just past the entrance. Walk back down the canyon along the guardrail until it ends. This boulder pictured below is located ~100ft downhill. The approach time is less than 1 minute.

This boulder is steep, short, and shady. Those 3 Ss make it perfect for a quick after-work session in the summer. The rock is granite but flaky. That means there are nice incut holds but they can break. It should clean up with more traffic.

1, V4 - start sitting, follow arete to the top
2, V6 - start sitting with hands and feet on a large ledge, a variety of sequences possible
3, V1 - start standing on large rock at the base, falling is not advised
4, V6 - start sitting, follow crack feature
5, V0 - start standing, short and scrappy

Sep 28, 2010

The Last Hummingbird Video (I promise)

Notice how arbitrary the start holds I picked are.
Feel free to pick your own.

In fact, it was a sit/hang start for me since I have relatively long arms and torso. It would be hard, possibly impossible, for many people to start the same way. The fun jump move, which happens to be the hardest move, is the same regardless of the start.

Create Your Own Standards.

Sep 27, 2010

The Next Level

This is the single hardest rock climbing move I have ever done in my life.

I have reached the next level in my climbing. How do I know? I sent one of my projects. How did I do it? Smart, Hard, and Consistent Work.

Smart Work
- I didn't run a 5k or dead-lift an arbitrary number.
- However, I did set a very similar problem on my home wall. Training on my project was prohibitive.
- I identified physical, my ability to hold slopers, and mental, fear of failure, limiters. I treated them appropriately.
- I waited for the temperatures to drop, both by picking the right day and waiting for the sun to dip behind the horizon, to maximize my opportunity.

Hard Work
- I subtly and systematically changed the difficulty of the simulated problem on my home wall.
- I added weight every hangboard session in the Open hand position.

Consistent Work
- I did the simulated move at least 2x week. Even if I wasn't feeling strong, I got after it.
- Every time I hit the hangboard (at least 1x week), I trained open hand.

I'm not sure if I'm the first to do this move or this problem. It is not terribly important. I had to a far amount of cleaning, including some loose rock. It is off the beaten track, but there is a history of climbing in the area. The problem might have been overlooked because of its stature, short but not dabby.

I'm not sure what grade this move or problem deserve. It is impossible for me to grade because I have insufficient context. I know it is my hardest send to date. What does that mean? In the past year, I have sent 1 V9(ish) in less than hour, sent 4 V8s in less hour, and flashed 1 V8. The crux of this problem took ~30 tries over 2 days. The 2 days were 1 month apart. I did the simulated move about 45+ times during that 1 month gap. Additionally, I did the move in my mind 100+ times. I can safely say it is harder than V9. How much harder? Honestly, I don't know. It is not terribly important.

I do know I'm taking this new level into my other projects and my life.

(Update - I onsighted my first 12a sport route 2 days later.)

Video Interlude

Parvin Lake is rad.
This slab is rad.

Sep 22, 2010

The Pirate Eye

Training: 1) Bouldering

2) Technique

Another line I put up in Keystone, CO. There is an even lower, super dabby, start to that problem. The line to the left looks nice but I couldn't motivate myself to clean it up. There is literally 1'' of moss on everything in that cave. "Demand Control" will probably be downgraded to V0- once all the moss is gone.

Notes: I found a nice project about 20 minutes from house. Here is the breakdown -

Pros - 20 minute drive & 1 minute walk, Probably has never been done, Easy to protect, ~8 moves

Cons - It is a link-up (At least it is not an eliminate. I have standards. Not high standards, but standards none the less), Outside chance of bashing my skull open (Helmet time?).

I was planning to shoot some video today, but God's is crying on the Front Range. I added a project page to keep me syked. If any of them look good, hit me for beta (Should be called "digital" now?).

#1 Standard stuff - new problems, refined old problems, found limiters #2 More standard stuff. My technique business, i.e, relax, breathe, focus on foot placement, and pushing with feet. I put it at the end of this session to stress-proof the techniques. I want to use that good technique stuff on the rock when I'm tired.

Sep 20, 2010

Strong is the New Skinny

1) Bouldering

2) Hangboard

Notes: I'm too busy right now to climb as much as I like, ideally 4 times a week. I'm getting ahead in work now so I have more free time when the temperatures are better. Keeping the goal the goal. However, I snuck out to Shelf Road for the first time. It is rad, chossy American limestone. I onsighted 6 routes in a 1/2 day (9, 10a, 10a/b, 10c/d, 11b, 11b). It was fun to have a Zero-Fall Day. The best excuses that I could come up for the low numbers with are: It is still the preseason, aka freaking hot, I haven't been clipping bolts, and it is 1/4 of full moon. If I'm going to be a better sport climber, I need get better excuses. #1 Falling in love with my woody (Don't Judge). Here is my "challenge" list. I list the holds, which have names, in order to make a challenge. No tape! The main problems are rank ordered by row. The columns represent different styles. Open - any feet. Thumbless- can't use my thumbs but still open feet. Static - use my thumbs and any foot holds, but no feet cutting. Foot Chip - wooden dowels only for feet. FC/TL/S - Foot chip, Thumbless, Static, aka Crankenfrank style. There is built-in progression, both vertically (harder problems) and horizontally (harder style). #2 Just Open Hand. Hit new benchmarks!! I spent the rest time wrapping my PVC pipe in athlete tape. I upgraded to PVC the last year (Thanks to Dan John advice), but now it is "better" thanks to Wenlder. KANI.

Sep 16, 2010

Crowd Accelerated Innovation & Climbing

Climbing is evolving. This evolution is driven, in part, by video. It can be seen in the Mt. Evans/Lincoln Lake/Strike Force/Wolverine Land phenomenon, many hard problems put up very quickly. This phenomenon will move beyond climbing area development to climbing technique, training, and routesetting.

I'm evolving.
Are you?

Sep 13, 2010

Prudent Paranoia

Training: 1) Technique

2) Hangboard

rest 5 hours

3) Screw Around in Climbing Gym

4) Front Squat, DE, 175lbs

5) Press, 3X5, 115

6) Core & Prehab

Notes: 3rd day on. The other two days were putting up first ascents, fun but not high volume. I'm a believer that massive amounts of quality climbing is the fastest path to Crankdom. So today was a volume day. #1 Trying something new - thumbless climbing. Inspired by the video. No crimping or pinching. It fixes two problems 1. My strong loathing of pinchcentric indoor climbing. 2. My addiction to crimping. Thumbless climbing also forces straighter arm climbing (free money). All around a great tool in the workout toolbox #2 I trained in the 15-20s range. Matching my previous baseline. #3 Went to a commercial gym. Horrible setting and crowded. The best I could manage was a hybrid of density training and short intervals. Chasing two rabbits and didn't catch either one. #4-5 Maintenance work. Lowered the volume on the squats. Last time my squat recovery cut into my subsequent outdoor session. If your cross-training cuts into your sport or life, it time to reevaluate your program (or lack of one). #6 Rotator cuff is healthier. Elbows are little funky.

Keystone, CO

I'm super busy with work but was able to get away to Keystone, CO. I had the best intentions to relax and repeat problems. However, the diamonds in the rough looked better. I put up 5 problems in the main area. This one is the hardest and the best.

I plan to share the business on Mountain Project. If you can't wait, hit me up!

Sep 7, 2010

The Wrong Day To Quit Methadone

Training: 1) 80% Bouldering

2) Hangboard

3) Core & Prehab

Note: I'm not much of a project climber. There are too many good climbs to try anyone for more than a day! However, I'm fired up about the "Merlin Project". I have to get stronger on crimps. DAMN!!! It provides a renewed focus to my training.

#1 This is hard play. I find moves I suck at and try to refine them. Lots of falling. Some not falling. All success (I define success as learning and growing). #2 Still making progress. I did a full workout (all three grips). I gave myself a gold star for doing mobility drills between sets. #3 I rotate core exercises every 3 weeks, trying to break PRs every week. The current menu specials are L-sit scissors and ab wheel roll-outs. Hammering my rotator cuffs (in a good way).

Sep 6, 2010

You know the "project" to the left of "Merlin" in Poudre Canyon ...

Not that one, the other one.

It goes -

The temperatures have finally dropped, and I exploited the opportunity to get on some projects. The first one to fall was a line to the far left of "Merlin" in Poudre Canyon, CO. I did it with a hop start from a nearby boulder. It also goes from the ground with a Gill start from a vertical crimp, remarkably similar to the "Pinch Overhang" of Horsetooth. (You can did either way, I won't write you a ticket.)

I'm very syked about the line to the left of Merlin. It follows a series of small, but friendly, crimps on a slightly overhanging face. I have an "out of the box" sequence but couldn't channel enough Fred Nicole to send.

Time to hit the hangboard.

Projects are going down.

Sep 1, 2010

Data is Not The Plural of Anecdote

Training: 1) Flash Ladder

2) Power Endurance, Short

rest 5 hours

3) Power Endurance, Long

4) 5 rounds
Squat, DE, 195lbs
1-arm pull-up, both arms

5) 1-arm press, 50lbs, a bunch

6) 4 rounds
8 slapping pushups
6 Russian lunges
10 45lb sit ups
15 5lb shoulder handjob

Notes: Back to being syked about training. Went to a commerical gym. I flashed all the boulder problems in the gym expect for 3. Here is the breakdown:

1 - Low ball traverse. I don't do low ball traverses outside. Why train them inside?
2 - 19 move problem. Most routes I do outside aren't 19 moves. Why train that inside?
3 - The hardest problem in the gym. I flashed the lower section. The upper section had no chalk (my guess is I was the first person on that section, including the setter) and required wedging yourself in a dihedral (very body size dependent)

#2 Played with linking problems together. No resting on the wall. Complete rest between sets. Got pumped! #3 Song intervals with lots of recovery on the wall. #4 First time squatting in a long time. Felt good to be under the bar.

My left rotator cuff is a significantly weaker than my right. I notice it on 1-arm hangs and prehab work. It might be do to an increase ROM from mobility drills. The scar tissue seemed to protect it, now I need muscle to that job.