Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Old Videos...

I found these old videos and uploaded them onto Vimeo.  One is of me on 'Thugs and Bitches' at HP40 a year ago and the other is Kevin on 'Slider'.  Enjoy!


Thugs and Bitches

Brad Weaver on the HP40 classic 'Thugs and Bitches' from Brad Weaver on Vimeo.

Slider

Kevin Todd on the HP40 classic 'Slider' from Brad Weaver on Vimeo.

LRC

Yesterday I went to LRC with Hayley and Kevin.  The crisp temps and clear blue skies were a welcome change to the warm cloud of rain and humidity that has been hovering over the southeast for the past week.  I had a few problems on my list that I wanted to try including Grimace V8, Robbing the Toothfairy V9, Biggie Shorty Extension V11/12, and Cleopatra-Cinderella Traverse V9.  After warming up I headed over to give Grimace a good flash burn.  Kevin had flashed the problem a few days prior and he seemed to think that I stood a good chance of doing the same.  He sprayed me down with beta and I managed to top out first go.  We headed over to try Robbing the Toothfairy next.  The problem is a low compression-traverse along the low lip of a boulder.  At first it felt absurdly hard!  After working out the first move I was able to link fairly far into the problem, but it just wasn't going to go.

Photos:  Kevin Todd
Robbing the Toothfairy V9

I usually don't struggle with this style of problem but this thing shut me down!  I dunno...I'd get past the hard part and my arms and core would just fail!  Cleopatra-Cinderalla went about the same for me.  I was able to get through the shit and then I'd just fail on the last throw.  Super frustrating for sure.  Maybe I was just having an off day or maybe I need to try harder.  Either way, I am psyched to go back and finish both of these problems off.  Both problems have cool holds, cool moves, and are super fun.  My buddy Kevin, on the other hand, killed it.  He ended up flashing Cleopatra and then doing Cleo-Cinderella traverse quickly.  All with an injured finger! Proud for sure.  After resting for a bit I cruised over to try the extension to Biggie Shorty.  I had done Biggie Shorty a year ago on my first trip to LRC and the extension has always been something I've wanted to try.  The extension starts left of the original start and follows a line of slopey pinches into the crux of Biggie Shorty. This is definitely one of my favorite problems at LRC and, in my opinion, it is better than the original Biggie Shorty.  I ended up figuring out all the moves and fell going for the slopey sidepull of Biggie Shorty on one of my last tries.  I am very psyched to have made progress on the extension and look forward to going back tomorrow to try and finish it off.


Some pics...


The White Face V10


Hayley sending Pocket Pool V4


Castaway V7...one of my favorites at LRC

Saturday, December 27, 2008

RAIN!!!

So instead of heading to LRC for an awesome day of climbing Hayley and I woke up to more shit weather.  Yesterday we decided to gamble and head to LRC despite a bad forecast.  As soon as we got near Chattanooga we realized that our 7 a.m. wakeup was a bad call.  Driving up the mountain to get to LRC was like going through a cloud and upon further inspection the cloud had soaked everything.  Instead of driving the hour to Chatt only to be disappointed we decided to chill (yet again) for the day.  Halfway through the day I started tweaking out about not climbing and we decided to head to Wall Crawlers in Atlanta.  As you can imagine we were super psyched about climbing in the gym.  Just look at the enthusiasm in gal's face...


Seriously though, it was a fun afternoon of plastic pulling.  I'm definitely psyched about the idea of being sore tomorrow.


The weather for next week looks promising so hopefully it will hold out long enough for us to get out.  LRC is the main priority at this point, however, we are most likely heading to Rocktown for New Years to spend it with the rest of our friends.  Word...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Southeast Bouldering!

I've been in the Southeast since the beginning of December.  In the past month or so I've gotten a chance to boulder at Little Rock City, Horse Pens 40, Rocktown, and Dayton Pocket/Laurel Snow.  Unfortunately the weather has been spotty to say the least.  We've been lucky to have one or two days of good weather a week since leaving the Red.  We've really been forced to put those dry days to good use.

Photos:  Kevid Todd

 Five-O V9, HP40

At first, switching from 8 months of route climbing to bouldering felt terrible.  I definitely forgot how much bouldering helps out your climbing game.  Luckily I adjusted after just a weekend.  

After a few weeks back on the bouldering front, Hayley and I met my buddy Kevin at Horse Pens 40 for the weekend.  I've spent a decent amount of time at HP over the last few years.  In fact, I was fortunate enough to have my first outdoor climbing experience at HP 4 years ago. 

God Module is a problem that I've wanted to do at Horse Pens since I first saw it.  The problem is only four moves long and starts on two small incut crimps and a bad smear foot.  The first move is definitely the hardest because you have to pull onto the wall before deadpointing up to a slopey, but good, crimp.  From there you have to lock off the left hand long enough to bring your right hand off the starting hold and match a good crimp next to the left hand.  After this you bring your left hand up to a bad sidepull crimp and launch somewhat blindly to a big jug.


God Module V11, HP40

After warming up I headed over to give God Module a try.  I had tried the problem for about an hour last year but was nowhere close to being able to do the first move, let alone the problem.  This year I found myself being able to hang of the starting holds with ease.  I was very psyched to put my shoes on and give it a go.  My first go I nearly sent the problem, falling off the last move to the jug.  I fell off that move a few more times before finally topping out!  God Module is a very meaningful problem to me.  I am very pleased to have done this problem and for it to be my first of the grade.



Since that weekend my climbing time has been slowed drastically due to the weather.  It seems like every day Hayley and I have a free day to climb it rains.  Hopefully we can get some good weather soon.

I went to Dayton for the first time on Tuesday.  I've been really psyched to visit the area and to specifically check out River Dance V9, Vapor Lock V10, and Western Gold V11.  Hayley, Kevin, and I cruised up to Dayton, but because we hadn't been there before, we ended up hiking for a good part of the day.



The first boulder we arrived to was the River Dance boulder. I was super psyched to give River Dance a good flash burn.  After psuedo-warming up I jumped on and fell off the last hard move, missing a key foot placement.  I tried the move from there a few times and sent next attempt.  I highly suggest this problem for anybody in the area.  In my opinion it is one of the best of its grade in the southeast!


We ended up finding the Vapor Lock roof after about an hour of scrambling.  That time was well spent because we were able to get a look at the potential that the area holds and I am excited to take some brushes with next time we go out.  Vapor Lock is an amazing problem that climbs out a horizontal roof on perfect sloping pinches.  It is by far the best roof problem I have ever been on and it made me realize how weak I am on this style of climbing!


Random Problem-River Dance Area

We went back today after going to LRC only to find out that everything was completely soaked.  My main goal was to find a problem called Western Gold.  I have seen photos and video of this problem and I have been hooked since.  My buddy Nathan Drolet gave me great directions, however, I didn't follow them very well and ended up hiking for an extra hour or so.  I was psyched to finally find the problem but unfortunately it was also soaked.  I played on the first three moves for a good 15 minutes before calling it a day.  

I am heading to LRC tomorrow and hopefully I will be able to find some dry rock.  

The White Face V10, LRC

There are several problems I want to do there before I leave for Utah in late January.  Flying High V11, The White Face V10, Tyrone Biggums V10, Robbing the Toothfairy V9, and the Shield V12 are all on the list.  Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to tick a few of them off...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

50 Words

This summer I got the chance to climb the fourth ascent of a route called '50 Words for Pump' at the Red River Gorge. The route follows a line of slopey pinches and unique features up a steep face that comes over you like a tsunami. 


The line was originally bolted by Hugh Loeffler and sat as a longstanding project for years.  In 2007 Mickael Fuselier climbed the line during the Petzl Rocktrip.  There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this route because two bolts were added to protect an easier crux sequence a few feet right of the original crux bolts after the FA.  Hugh Loeffler OK'd the installation of the new third and fourth bolts and even encouraged it, saying that if he would have seen the sequence out right, that's where he would have put the bolts.  Since the discovery of the new sequence, all ascents (Dave Graham, Mike Doyle, myself, Daniel Woods, and Joe Kinder) have followed the right crux line and the line of least resistance.  However, there are still people who insist that these bolts need to be removed.  I think that both the right and left sequences need to be respected as their own lines.  The right crux sequence is definitely easier than the original sequence but it was still very difficult with muggy summer conditions. 


I first tried the route in March.  At the time I couldn't do the crux move and I could barely do the moves between the bolts.  I left it alone until I moved to the Red in June.  I didn't really have any expectations to do it since it was the summer and temps were reaching the mid 90's.  My first day on it I surprised myself by doing the crux move and doing some good links.  After that I was pretty much hooked.  I think I went back to it three days in a row and by the end of the third day I had it dialed.  After a couple more work sessions and some redpoint burns I had one-hung it twice.  I was getting frustrated and decided to stay away from it for a couple of days.  


About a week later I warmed up and gave it a burn, falling from the last hard move before the finishing jug.  I was pretty bummed because I had given it all I had, fallen, and was flash pumped.  I started to get the feeling of an epic project ensuing.  








I ended up sitting and belaying for three hours thinking that I was done climbing for the day.  I decided to get on it one last time that day to brush holds for the next day.  I still felt pumped from my first burn when I started climbing and had no expectations.  After I pulled the crux and got to the rest it hit me that I really wasn't pumped or tired.  The rest of the route was a blur and the next thing I knew, I was at the anchors.  I was definitely psyched to have sent it but I think I was even more psyched that I was able to do it in the summer.

It was an enjoyable yet frustrating few weeks to say the least. Knowing that good temps would make the line much easier was very frustrating but knowing the line would go in the heat was exciting.  Here is video of me climbing '50 Words for Pump' using the right crux sequence.




Thanks to Nathan Drolet for the photos and Spencer Victory for the video.

a few pics to get started...

These pictures were taken by Kevin Todd.  Kevin is a good friend of mine and has only been shooting photos for about a year now.  He does some of the best work that I've seen for sure.  Enjoy.

Biggie Shorty V10, Little Rock City




Black Gold 5.13c, Red River Gorge








More to come soon...