Thursday, March 26, 2015

Oh Oh Oh It's MAGIC

Smith chronicles continue!  With photo's from last weekend.  Smith again on the horizon!!

Andy Lamb on Toxic (5.11b)

The park.

Kevin on Soul Crusher (5.12b)

Kevin thinks Smith Rocks is NUMBER 1!

Steven Dimitt busts out a casual RP burn on Rude Boys(5.13b/c)

Last boulder problem crux.  Its a nasty one.

Into the rest and then...THE SLAB!

Forest taking in Rude Boys.

The Sloth.

THE SLAB!!




Another day another doller...

Kevin warms up with a flash of Planet Mechanic(5.12a)

Big reach into the crux.

Drew Ruana sending Bad Man(5.14a), serious effort.

A very strong dude on a very hard climb.



Steven with a pre-rain burn on the proj.




Monday, March 23, 2015

2 bee continu'd

Hey folks, try hard this week, ok?


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Yoga Instructor = HOT




We have had a stretch of good weather here in the PNW that has been unrivaled by past weather patterns for this time of year.  And while it is true that we have made a point to get out climbing at least once a month regardless of the weather, I have to say it’s been quite nice to have a dry wall and clear sunny skies.  There has only been one outing so far where I was forced to lead Aborigine with soaking wet holds and then step right and lead Chronic with soaking wet holds.  But someone once said, ‘There are only two ways you get stronger: 1) Train like Wolfgang Gullich, 2) Climb on wet holds.’




For the last two months I have been doing a lot of climbing at Little si.  The month of January was mostly dedicated to getting back into shape.  I came back from Bishop with the remnants of epic good times but only one send under my belt and a serious lack of motivation.  I think this was due to the fact that I really didn’t have any trips planned, and I was running on the assumption that I would be faced with the typical NW Winter symptoms, no sunlight, tons of rain, cold, and a Golem-like depression that would leave me pale, fat, and hankering for raw fish. 




To my surprise we got nothing but good weather (well, sort of, I mean it wasn't raining weeks on end, so I consider that to be good weather for this time of year and geographic location).  We got out mainly to just get outside and stay psyched.  We had a surprisingly good amount of dry days but we also had one day where the wall was as wet as I’ve ever seen it.  




January gave way to February, as it is prone to do, and the good weather gods smiled heavily upon us.  We got out every single weekend in February and so far two weekends in March.  I kept expecting the weather to turn sour and to finally be forced into taking a small break from climbing but it never happened.  In mid –February I finally decided to start back up training again.  I also had a small pinky injury so training was another way to keep me focused and stay away from the things that would exacerbate my pinky’s condition.  I haven’t been very excited to train for bouldering since I basically equate the kind of bouldering I would like to be good at with making very powerful pulls on tiny holds i.e. this sounds like a recipe for an injury.  Instead I’ve been way more psyched with sportclimbing.  I started training my endurance and power by doing a ton of hangboarding and ring workouts.  I got a crucial piece of advice from rock god Johnny G who told me to stop lifting weights, and just do exercises that were geared towards lifting my own body weight (tons of pull-ups, ring work outs, TRX, etc.) and resistance training.  So, that’s all I’ve been doing plus I have started to do continuous movement and breathing exercises on the 30degree wall at my gym.  This basically consists of me setting a timer for 15mins and climbing non-stop until the timer goes off.  I do a figure eight circuit of four problems that are all V.2 and below, the movements are small but I focus on doing them fast and trying not to hang out on holds for longer than 2-3seconds.  A big component of this exercise is also remembering to breathe with each movement, sometimes taking multiple breaths with each movement.  It only took a couple of weeks for the training to pay off and on the first of March I sent a route at Little si with a somewhat infamous reputation for being hard, the route was Propaganda a 5.12c, the best part was being able to have a beta burn, rest, and then execute the moves perfectly and nab the send.  I was stoked but it was also kind of an anticlimactic moment because I was running on the assumption that it would take me much longer to send.  I was very psyched when the movement felt almost easy and I was able to recover and feel strong on each boulder problem.




 The following weekend was a breakthrough weekend for me.  I had set three very attainable goals that had to do with three very different routes.  My goals were as follows:

1)      Do all the moves on the Black Ice Extension (5.13a if you climb the 5.12a into it, 5.13b if you climb the 5.12c into it). 

2)      Figure out the kneebar rest on Extended Illness (5.13c), I’ve been able to one hang this route but finding the kneebar just before the crux in order to get a good shake out has always eluded me and will be key to having a fighting chance at sending.

3)      Stick the crux move on Flatliner (5.13c), this move has always felt impossibly hard for me.  And since it has felt so out of reach my psyche for this route has waned considerably until my good friend and climbing partner Kevin sent it two weeks ago.  Seeing this route climbed to completion has inspired me to face up to a move that does not suit my style and has always kicked my ass. 





Completing all of these goals made for one hell of a day out at Little si.  It was almost better than actually sending these routes.  Progress and success come in many shapes and sizes and for me; this last weekend represented another way to view success in climbing.  I literally did one move, hung dog up a new route, and figured out a small piece of kneebar beta; BUT, these small bits of progress have opened up so many new doors to success and have completely re-stoked the fire for me.  Now, this week at work I can’t help but be distracted.  I’m in that wonderful waiting room between the ‘I’m not sure if it’s possible for me right now’ room and the ‘Holy shit did I just send that?!!’ room.  Very exciting times. 








I’m not saying I’m going to send all three routes next time out at Little si, but what I am saying is now I know that I CAN send all three routes and all I need is a little bit of time, the right conditions, and of course lots of beer and energy gels.  In the meantime I’m just excited to train more.  I consistently train three days a week right after work and some days I have to really get motivated to do the exercises I have laid out for myself, but it does get easier when you know you have some doable projects waiting for you on the weekends.  I really don’t see an end in sight either.  Barring any unforeseen long term injuries I hope to keep improving my power endurance.  I have a lengthy list of climbs I would very much like to put down this season and I’m slowly acquiring the tools to accomplish these goals. 




My ticklist for the 2015 climbing season:

Route Name
Grade
Location
Proper Rhythm
5.12d
Little si

Vanilla Ice
5.13a
Little si

Black is all we Feel
5.13a
Little si
Hadley's Roof
5.13a
Little si
Oval Orifice
5.13a
Little si
Black Ice
5.13b
Little si

Extended Illness
5.13c
Little si

Flatliner
5.13c
Little si

Groove Tube
5.12d
Equinox

Black Magic
5.13a
Equinox

Johnny Rockets
5.13a
Equinox
Groovin' in the Woods
5.13a
Equinox

Fight Club
5.13c
Equinox
Baby on Board
5.13c/d
Equinox
Churning In The Wake
5.13a
Smith
Kings of Rap
5.12d
Smith
The Quickening
5.12c
Smith
Chain Reaction
5.12c
Smith
I also anticipate a few trips to places like Squamish, Leavenworth, Goldbar, Index, Spokane, and hopefully a two week trip to the Red in the Fall. 


The big plans on the horizon are making a six week escape to Spain in the Spring of 2016 but all the details and logistics of that undertaking have yet to be validated.  It’s still nice to daydream about sipping wine in the Santa Linya cave while listening to 9a screams of athleticism in the background.  Peddling down cobblestone roads on a faded red bike with a long baguette in the front basket while a dark haired, olive skinned Spaniard woman half naked clings to me while we shout ‘Viva Espagne!!’ on our way to Sharma’s house.  You know, the usual. 

 
































Monday, March 2, 2015

Up2knowgood

Another photo bomb coming at yah!

This set is of Justin Lockheart warming up on Chronic (5.13b).  I guess this is one way to get over a cold.

Chronic (5.13b)

Chronic (5.13b)

Chronic (5.13b)

Chronic (5.13b)

Chronic (5.13b)




Austin Bullard makes a tough clip on Californicator.  

Waterfalls starting Pornstar (5.13d)

Pornstar (5.13d)

Pornstar (5.13d)

Finally decided to try Propaganda (5.12c).  What can I say??  Best 5.12 at Little si?  I think so.

Propaganda (5.12c)

Propaganda (5.12c)