Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Yeeeaaahhhh!

Saturday night Hayley and I packed up the car to make the three hour drive to Joe's Valley.  We arrived, made dinner, and crashed for the night.  We awoke to beautiful weather Sunday morning.  Everything was going great... I woke up, made coffee, started breakfast...everything was leading up to an awesome day of climbing.  Until...my damn dog ran off.  Rocco tends to get overexcited whenever we visit a new area/whenever he is allowed to roam on his own.  Well apparently he thought it was a good time to go exploring because the little bastard disappeared for well over an hour.  Hayley and I ran up and down the hillside calling him...but to no avail.  He just disappeared.  One minute he was hanging around...the next he was GONE.  We eventually found him lurking just past our camp site.  I was PISSED.  There was absolutely NO WAY that he didn't hear us calling him...he's usually VERY good about staying close...but this time he just ignored us.  Needless to say he spent the rest of the under close watch and attached to a leash.  

Rocco bumming

Loosing your dog is one of the worst feelings ever man...I hate it...it makes me feel so sick.   Anyways...that kinda put me in a rough mood for the rest of the day...I didn't really feel like climbing so we ended up kind of exploring the different sectors of Joe's and messing around on some random problems.

Big Joe Area-Joe's Valley

Yesterday we went up to Little Cottonwood to do some bouldering.  Our first stop was the Gate Boulders.  I warmed up on some good V3's and V4's before I hopped on Superfly V8.  I had tried this problem a few times about a week ago and kept getting shut down on the last jump move.  Basically the problem goes like this...grab good starting crimps, pop for okay right hand crimp, move feet, match, and jump for a big jug.  I was able to top out after finding some good left toe hook beta that allowed me to make the match much easier...PSYCHED!  Super cool problem that I highly recommend.  After that I tried a problem called Barfly V8.  The first move is the crux..a sort of pull-your-ass-off-the-ground-and-you'll-send problem.  That is unless you fall off the exit mantle like I did.  I did the problem next go though...just some body position tweakage.  

Mantle on Barfly V8

The day before, Hayley and I hiked to the Upper Hill in search of a problem called The Dominatrix V12/13.  I had seen footage of Ty Landman doing the problem on MVM and it looked sweet.  After some intense hiking I finally found the problem way up on the hillside.  The Dominatrix is a steep slopey compression problem that climbs an arete....my favorite style.  Unfortunately it started to get dark so we had to bail.  After our stop at the Gate Boulders yesterday, we went back up to The Dominatrix so I could give it a go.  I quickly found out that Ty makes this problem look ridiculously easy in the video....go figure.  It is crazy hard for me, BUT, I ended up figuring out the beta and I think I can do it with a bit more work (and some rest days). 
 
The Dominatrix V12/13


Tomorrow I'll either head back up to try The Dominatrix or I'll take 4 rest days until we're at Joe's on Sunday...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Is You Suurrrioussss?!?!

Yesterday I woke up early (8a.m.) and made my way out to LCC to try to squeeze in a session.  I've been on a solo mission for the past week or so, trying to dry off the boulders in the Secret Garden sector of LCC.  I was afraid the snow/rain that came through Salt Lake on Wednesday might have made these trips pointless.  But, I'm psyched to say that it has worked!  I went out yesterday morning to find that all the boulders were completely dry and that there was only minimal snow on the tops of the boulders.  The day started off slow.  The lack of sun in the canyon made for some extremely cold temps to warm up in.  Eventually the sun rose over the mountain and I was blasted with warm sun.  The rest of the day was quite enjoyable as far as temps go.  STICKY!  One problem that I've been dying to try has been All Thumbs V10.  This boulder has ALWAYS been wet since my boulder brushing journeys had begun. I was thrilled to see that it was actually bone dry.  I played around with a couple different sets of beta before finally sticking with one.   You start out underneath the lip of a boulder on a good slopey rail.


The first move is a compression move where you reach out to the lip of the boulder and you end up pinching the lip.


After you adjust your feet you lock off to an awesome crimpy pinch.  The crux for me was matching on this hold and throwing out to a minijug.  After this the problem is basically over...a few chill exit moves.


I had split my tip a few days prior on a problem called Copperhead and proceeded to split it open AGAIN after trying the problem a handful of times.  I absolutely hate taping my fingers but I had no other option.  I was forced to deal.    
  

It was all good though...I ended up climbing the problem fairly quickly after figuring out the correct beta. So psyched on this problem! There is a variation that is a direct finish that I plan on going back to soon!  I love this style of climbing...slopey compression...AWESOME!  I ended up getting my new pair of Solutions (which I'm really psyched on) in the mail yesterday also...so a gym session was key.  I am so sore today it's crazy.  I planned on going in and only doing some easy laps to try to break the shoes in but I proceeded to get really psyched and went all out.  I'm taking two rest days and I think Hayley and I are either heading to Joe's or Bishop early next week for a few days.  There is SO MUCH that I want to do at both areas.  PSYCHED!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dead Point Magazine Interview

Check out Dead Point Magazine for a recent interview I did with them.  

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Brushin' Boulders

So for the past week or so I've pretty much lived at the gym.  The weather in Salt Lake hasn't turned for the better yet and I haven't been able to make it south, so the gym is the best alternative.  I'm super motivated to get in really good shape for when the weather finally does decide to cooperate.  Right now I'm dying to get out to LCC for a session.  I've made the trip up there a few times over the last week or two and I always come out with the same result...wet boulders from the melting snow.  So what is my remedy?  Take a trip up to LCC to brush off all the snow.  Today I drove up the canyon with Rocco and I proceeded to get WORKED while brushing off the boulders.  I was surprised to find Copperhead V10 fairly dry.  I couldn't help but try a few times.  Turns out it was a bad call because I shredded my right index finger.  Damn problem is SHARP!  That's what I get for climbing with moist fingers (from brushing off all the snow).   The brushing mission seems to be working too...I made my way back to the first couple of boulders at the end of the day and the slush was already melting...hopefully that means that  I'll be able to have a good session tomorrow.  I'll keep ya posted....

Monday, February 9, 2009

Southern Smoke on MVM

Check out Momentumvm.com for a video of Southern Smoke, a route Joe Kinder bolted this fall at the Red.  Working on a route with somebody who was equally as psyched as I was, was an awesome experience.  We spent a week finding key holds, figuring out beta, fighting terrible conditions, and eventually linking the climb.  Joe made the first ascent, suggesting the grade of 5.14c, and I was able to climb the route a few days later for the second ascent. Hope you enjoy...

Friday, February 6, 2009

LCC

Since I'm stuck in town this weekend I went to check out American Fork and Little Cottonwood yesterday.  After seeing that A.F. was completely soaked from seepage I dipped over to LCC.  I hiked around and basically found the place to also be completely soaked from all the melting snow.  I finally found one piece of rock that was dry..the Tiger Stripe boulder.  This boulder houses some amazing hard problems like, Bully V11, Shingles V9, Ching V12, and Chang V13.  One of the problems that stood out instantly was Shingles.  With its steep angle and slopey crimps, it is a very attractive problem and I was able to finish it off in a few tries.


After that I tried a problem called Ching V12.  The problem is only a few moves long and is low to the ground (i.e. lowball).  Although these types of problems aren't always the most aesthetic, I tend to like them.

The first move is chill, starting off a slopey rail with a large foot and moving up left hand to a small crimp.  


The next move is a long lockoff to the lip of the boulder, where you have to bump up to a very small edge.  


After you lock into the small edge you bring your foot up to the starting hold and pop to a good sloper. From there the problem is over. The move to the good sloper is all accuracy, and apparently, I'm not that accurate.  I can't tell you how many times I fell going for that hold/falling on the last move.  Not only that, but I somehow managed to split my tip.  Sick!  Super frustrating.  It's all good though...I'm going to the gym tonight to train and I'll be back out there in a couple of days after my tip heals up.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Southern Utah

It's been a while since I last updated.  I've been crazy busy trying to find a job, a place to live, keeping up with school, and climbing.  It seems that the bad weather that lingered over the Southeast decided to follow us out west. I had always heard about how dry and perfect Utah was, but when we arrived the rain did too. We were camped at Black and Tan for a few days before we decided to jet up to SLC. Since there seems to be no job opportunities or living arrangements available around St. George, Hayley and I have decided to post up in SLC.  We have been crashing with our friends Clay and Rosie for the past week or so.  It has been a major struggle finding a decent place in Salt Lake that allowed dogs.

Clay babying Rocco

Luckily, Clay hooked us up with one of his buddies whom we are renting a room from.  I also got a membership to The Front.  I haven't had the convienience of a gym since I lived in Illinois but I think that having a gym is a great way to stay well rounded.   When I lived at the red there wasn't really anyway to stay bouldering strong. I didn't really realize how much power I had lost until I started bouldering again a few months ago. Being able to both boulder and climb routes is key and I'm psyched to have a way to do both.    So basically we are finally settling down a bit. The past month has been a complete blur and Hayley and I are beyond psyched to have a place to chill out at.  

The New Abode

The weather has turned for the better and we finally made it out to do some climbing.  I left Salt Lake early Thursday morning (like 6 a.m. early) to make the drive down to the VRG.  Hayley crashed in the back while I drove...she's an AWESOME roadtrip partner.  Clay had been telling me about how awesome the VRG was the whole week.  I was not only psyched to check out a new area but to also experience a new type of rock.  I had never climbed on limestone before this weekend and I gotta say that I am psyched.  The shapes and features that you get with limestone are completely different than anything I've ever seen.  It makes for some awesome variety as well as some awesome routes.  Very cool!  I hadn't climbed routes since November so I knew that it was going to be a rough couple of days.  After warming up I jumped on a route called Don't Call Me Dude 5.13c.  All I'm going to say is wow...This style of climbing takes some getting used to after living at the Red for 8 months.  The VRG is technical, long, and HARD!  After my first go I felt wrecked.  I was pumped as all hell and felt like I sucked.  My second go felt much better.  My foot blew off a foothold low and then I proceeded to fall off the slab because I was too pumped to hold on!  I have NO endurance right now.  PURE FAILURE!   It was awesome.


Loadin' Up on Chalk

Saturday was supposed to be a rest day.  We woke up early and after a lazy morning at a local coffee shop a few of us went to explore the boulders at Moe's Valley.

Camping at Moe's Valley

Clay was super psyched to find a problem called Gription V9.  I was thoroughly worked at this point but decided to bring my pad and shoes at the last minute.  We eventually found the problem and I was psyched that I didn't leave my shoes.  This problem is one of the coolest climbs I've ever been on.  It climbs triangular slopers out a black face with the crux revolving around a killer swing.  I eventually figured out how to hold the swing long enough to kick my foot on and top out.  I worked my way back to one of the main areas where I had seen a problem called Linder's Roof V10 early that day.  The climb is a straight up crimp problem and I thought that I had a shot at flashing it.  I made my way out the steep face and threw for the finishing jug, hitting low.  I stalled on the nothing-hold and tried to bump into the jug, only to have my feet dab the ground.  So close! I ended up doing it after a couple more tries.  

Linder's Roof V10

The next day I decided to man up and climb, even though I was destroyed.  After warming up I made my way over to a problem called Show of Hands V11. I was so wrecked from the previous three days that I honestly didn't think that I had a chance. But after figuring out the beta, I managed to inch my way to the top in a few tries. 

Show of Hands V11

Right now I am back in SLC resting.  I'll most likely end up climbing at the gym tomorrow, and resting again the next day, before I head down to Southern Utah again in a few days.  There is so much that I want to do out here and it seems like I have so little time.  I can't wait until areas around Salt Lake are good...Little Cottonwood, American Fork, Maple, Joe's...its gonna be sick!


Some shots of Hayley killin it: