Monday, November 30, 2009

Slope It Up...Do It..Eh.......Do It

HP40 this last weekend was a blast. There were a bunch of people around which made it all the more enjoyable. The three things that I wanted to try this weekend were Hot n Tot V10, Skeletor V10, and The Matchmaker Project.

Friday morning Nathan and I drove to Horse Pens and arrived around noon. After warming up we went over so Nathan could try and finish off Law Dog V8, which he succeeded in doing quickly. After this I went over to Hot n Tot. I was able to work out my beta but was unable to pull it off. I decided to wait until the next day to try any more in order to save my skin. After watching Nathan kill Litz Pocket V8 I met up with Jimmy to try The Matchmaker project. I had tried this problem a little bit after the HP comp and couldn't figure it out. Well within 10 minutes of lacing up Jimmy decided to just do the problem... seemingly effortless. Very inspiring to say the least. I proceeded to throw myself at the problem for the next 15 minutes to no avail. SHUTDOWN!

After failing, I went over to Skeletor V10 and got close to doing it but couldn't pull it off. Not a good day for me. However, Nathan went on to send Supa Coola V6 and Squeeze Play V7/8. Good day for the little homie for sure! I called it a day there and figured I might have better luck the next day.

Nathan Topping Out

Saturday was a bit warmer than Friday but it was really nice out. Senya arrived that morning and was psyched on finishing up Cadillac Thrills V9 and I was psyched on Hot n Tot so that's where we found outselves after warming up. I was able to dispatch quickly and Senya followed in suit.

Senya on Cadillac Thrills V9

I chilled the rest of the day and watched everybody else climb while I waited for Skeletor to go in the shade. The time arrived and I was able to hook it up first go of the day. Psyched! I love slopers!

Nathan Sloping It Up

This weekend is the last competition of the Triple Crown Bouldering Series so I'm looking forward to that. After that Hayley and I are heading to Arkansas to boulder for a couple of weeks. I'm super psyched for this trip....a new area and new boulders! Psyched!

UPDATE: After the girlfriend read this last post she noticed that I hadn't mentioned her presence this weekend. So I just wanted to let you all know that Hayley was indeed at Horse Pens during this time.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Some Progress and Some Inspiration!

Today was another LRC sesh for Hayley and I. The rock was rather wet feeling and it was humid but we made the best of it. I tried The Chattanoogan a bit and was able to do 'the move' a few times, which I was super psyched about! No go from the start but it is PROGRESS! I'm going to end up making a super project out of this rig.

Tomorrow and Thursday I am resting and on Friday Hayley, Nathan, and myself are heading down to Horse Pens for the weekend. There is going to be quite a crew down there so it'll be interesting to see what goes down.

In the meantime check out this old video of french strongman, Tony Lamiche, KILLING it here in the southeast. Enjoy!

UPDATE: For some reason the video was playing automatically everytime somebody visited this site so for now I posted the link to the video.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chatty Round 3

Today Hayley and I woke up early, printed off passes for LRC, met up with Senya and Sarah, and made our way to Chatty.

After warming up we met up with our buddy Nathan and proceeded towards the back of the boulder field. One of my main goals for the day was to try and do all the moves on a classic V11 called The Law. I briefly tried the problem for the first time on Wednesday with local strongman Jimmy Webb. I was completely wrecked at that point and couldn't give it more than three tries due to the condition of my skin.

I came back today super psyched to try it some more. The starting crimp rail was somewhat wet (as usual) and I tried my best to dry it out. After messing around with the first move a little bit and feeling out the rest of the climb I decided to take a rest before trying it from the start.

After about five minutes I felt good enough to give it another go. I chalked the holds, brushed them, and pulled on. The starting holds felt a little bit wetter than usual but I decided to just ignore it and try anyways. As soon as the thought of wet holds entered my head my right hand exploded from the starting hold, sending me tumbling.

Sarah Bain Photo: The Law V11

As I was heading toward the pads my shin bashed into a rock in front of me, and it somehow managed to scrape its way down my leg.


I'm not gonna lie...I was NOT psyched at this point. Super painful...kinda like hitting your shins on your bike pedals when you were a kid...just a little bit worse.

I ended up stuffing some tissue into the starting holds to dry them out, rested for 15 minutes, and decided to give it another go. This time the holds were dry. I pulled on, made the long lockoff for the first hold, and managed my way to the top. Quickness! SUPER psyched!

After this we all headed to the very back of the boulder field to play on the Cyclops/Blacksmith boulder. Senya hooked up the Blacksmith V9 fast...third go from the start or something. Good effort for sure! Hayley, Nathan, and Sarah played around a bit as well before we decided to move on.

Sarah mean muggin'

Nathan...never not psyched

Senya-Blacksmith V9

On our way back toward the front of the field we stopped at the Deception Boulder so we could try Deception V7 and The Brotherhood V8. I was able to hookup The Brotherhood with some serious effort and the rest of the crew got really close as well.

Sarah Bain Photo: Senya on The Brotherhood V8

I also got to try the Chattanoogan again at the end of the day. I wasn't able to stick 'the move' and got super frustrated. This problem is going to test my patience and attention span for sure. I made some poor attempts at the problem but I am still psyched to go back and try again next time around.

Thanksgiving is next week...I was planning on heading home for the holiday but plans have changed. Instead we are having a low key turkey day in GA and then we are heading to Horse Pens for a long weekend. There are several problems that I tried at the Triple Crown comp that I would like to try and finish up, so hopefully I can make something happen. Super psyched for sure! Keep ya posted....

Friday, November 20, 2009

Chatty Round 2

Earlier this week I headed up to Chattanooga to stay with my buddy Nathan. I left Tuesday morning, drove through some rain, and met up with him at his place. It had rained the previous night, as well as some that morning so we decided that the steep Dayton roof would be our best bet for dry rock. We piled in his van and made our way to Dayton hoping for the best. Psych was high and we were amped to find the roof dry enough to climb on.

After warming up we jumped on a cool problem called Honeycomb V10. I was able to hook it up in a few goes and Nathan was SUPER close as well. Keep at it man! It will go!

Next on my list was a problem called Vapor Lock V11. I tried this problem a little bit last year on one of my visits to the area and got shut down pretty quickly. It felt much more doable this time around and I was able to hook it up after a little bit of work.

It was dark by this point so we called it a day and headed back to Chatty. We awoke the next morning and quickly made our way up to LRC. The temps were good but it was still pretty humid and many of the holds felt sweaty but we made a good day out of it nonetheless.

Some shots:

Nathan Drolet Photo

Hayley and I are heading back up there tomorrow bright and early. I'm psyched to put some more work in on The Chattanoogan as well as The Law. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Bouldering season is here but the cold weather that usually accompanies it hasn't shown up yet. Nonetheless, the weather has been beautiful and we've been making the best of it. On Thursday Hayley and I daytripped up to Chatty to go bouldering at Little Rock City. I woke up in the morning, checked the weather, and I knew it was going to be an awesome day when the forecast said 'Plentiful Sun, High 64F'. Perfect weather for a chill day of rock climbing.

After warming up I went to try Cleopatra-Cinderella Traverse V9. This particular boulder problem has been shutting me down since last season. Instead of being able to do the jump move at the end of the boulder problem, I have to do a series of crimp moves that I feel uses up a lot of energy. Thursday, however, I was able to get through the crimpy-outro section first go...very psyched to have this one done...not the best boulder problem ever but definitely worth doing.

Afterwards I decided to check out a problem I've looked at since last season, Electric Boogaloo V10, a blank looking face climb. From underneath the boulder you can see faint slopey pinches, a crimp rail, and a jug near the top of the wall.

The boulder problem is very simple. Squeeze slopey pinches, hit the crimp rail, make a move to a jug. On my first go I got sketched out on the move to the jug and dropped off. On my second go I pulled on, hit a slopey right hand pinch, hit the crimp rail, and made the move to the jug. The climb is basically over after this...all that is left if a dirty topout, which I once again wigged out on. I was super psyched to do this problem so quickly. The problem was quite intimidating at first and I'm glad I decided to try it.

Sarah Bain Photo: Electric Boogaloo

The rest of the day was pretty chill and I ended up doing another facey V9 called I think I Can. The problem is a super eliminate, but it is still enjoyable.

Today Hayley and I met up with Senya Iaryguine and Sarah Bain and we all left early to go to LRC for the day. Today was a much warmer than it was on Thursday. 10 degrees warmer, in fact.

Senya...wishin he was a Powerade athlete...ha

Avery on Behind the Barndoor V7

After warming up Senya and I went over to check out Interplanetary Escape, a somewhat newly developed, soon to be classic, V9. The crux move is right off the ground and revolves around a big sideways move to a jug. The crux is actually ninja kicking your feet after sticking the jug to avoid the barndoor. A super unique move for sure. After testing out the move a few times I was able to commit. I stuck the move, kicked my feet over, and made my way up the rest of the tall slab to top out.

Hayley and Sarah got psyched on some problems as well. They played on A Face in the Crowd V7, they dabbled on a V6 near Interplanetary Escape, they both killed Line of Scrimmage V4/5, and got close on a few others. WORD!! Keep it up gals!!

Hayley Reachin'

When it comes to bouldering, I have a hard time sticking with a project. My mentality has usually been, "If I can't do a move in a few goes, I'll wait till I get stronger to do it". That has changed as of recently and I have been making an effort to work some harder boulder problems. On Thursday I tried The Chattanoogan V12 very briefly. Today I went back with the goal of doing all the moves and maybe linking a couple different sections.

There is one move in particular that is really hard for me. Basically you start out the problem, do a few moves, set up on two alright crimps, and do a kinda toss move to a flat 3 or 4 pad edge. The span needed for this move is ridiculous and it shut me down when I tried it last year and again on Thursday. Today I managed to do the move once. I just kinda floated to the good edge/jug thing, grabbed it with one hand, and managed to hold the swing. I was super psyched to finally do the move but unfortunately I wasn't able to do it again. No matter though...I am psyched to get back to continue working on the problem. If I can do the move once I can surely do it again. I have a feeling that when temps drop the crimps will feel a little better and the move will be a little bit more doable.

Sarah Bain Photo: The Move on The Chattanoogan

Senya and I finished up the day by doing Blind Spot V8, Diesel Power V6, and Robbing the Toothfairy V9...all super fun problems. It was a great day to be outside doing what we love...climbing on some rocks.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

HP 40

Last weekend the second comp of the Triple Crown series was held at Horse Pens 40 in Alabama. I've spent a lot of time at HP over the years so I felt pretty good going into it. The forecast for Saturday called for a high of 75 with no clouds....quite warm for the temperature dependent slopers that HP is known for. Walking around the boulder field Friday night I tried to come up with a plan for the next day but quickly decided to just wing it and see what happened.

On Saturday morning the crowds quickly dispersed throughout the boulders and people got to work. Everybody knew that it was going to get hot fast and you could sense the urgency to warm up quickly and get to the day's projects. After climbing on some jugs and doing the classic V4 The Lowdown, I banged out Thugs and Bitches V8, Hugs and Kisses V8, and Ghetto Superstar V9. I felt good on these climbs and decided my fingers were warmed up enough to head over to God Module V11. I knocked this one out in a few tries, which felt good considering I had completed the problem for the first time (with some effort) last December. After that the day went as follows...

  • SuperSlider V10
  • Cadillac Thrills V9
  • Pegmodo V9
  • Five-O V9
  • Lawdog V8
  • Waterloo V8
  • Suspicions V8
  • Stepchild Low V8
  • Landslide V8
  • Tried Stingray and failed
  • Comp was over and I was wrecked

Overall I felt like the day was a success. I think I placed 6th place with a score of 10, 607....only about 500 points behind third place. Needless to say everybody had a good day and there were a few of us that were quite close. Congrats to everybody that competed on Saturday! Temps weren't ideal but people were psyched and everybody climbed hard!

Later this week I'm going to try and make it to LRC or Dayton to do some bouldering. There are a bunch of problems that I'd like to try at both areas that are going to be really hard for me, so I'm psyched to start working on them.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

100 Ounces of Amazing

Its been a while since I've updated the blogpiece here. After doing Lucifer a few weeks ago I caught whatever everybody else had at the Red and had to take some time off. I didn't think that I'd be taking a week and a half off during some of the best weeks the fall has to offer but it turned out to be alright. After recovering at home for a few days Hayley and I headed to Chicago to visit my grandma and to see the sights. It was an awesome time

We headed back down to Bloomington, IL to hang out for a few more days and I did some climbing in the gym. I felt a little off climbing-wise after the time off but I quickly felt good again. On Friday we made the trip back to the Red where fall conditions are at their prime. I had my sights set on a route called 100 Ounces of Gold, formerly 5.13c. The crux hold broke a few years and it has sat unrepeated since then. My first go I took my time finding holds and figuring out a sequence. I arrived at the crux...a half pad, two finger pocket for the left, to another half pad, two finger pocket for the right. I have always been good on pockets and the two crux pockets felt quite nice...but that's probably because I have small girly fingers. The move between the pockets is quite large, but I was able to find a high foot that enabled me to lock off hard to the right hand hold. My second go was similar and on my third I was able to make it into the crux but I was too worked to pull it off.

The Gold Coast
The next day Hayley and I arrived at Solar Collector to warm up and we were greeted with perfect conditions. I quickly warmed up and made my way over to the shaded Gold Coast. I started out and I felt really good and made my way to the shake spot just before the crux. I moved into the crux, hit the left hand pocket, adjusted, then hit the right hand pocket. From there you have to reel in the right hand and do a deadpoint move to a good slopey edge. I stuck the move and made my way to the chains. Super psyched for sure!! 100 Ounces is one of my new all-time favorite routes. Sooo Good!!! As for the grade...its hard to tell. The route fit me REALLY well. A couple of others that have been on it say they feel as though it is harder than the other routes on the wall, which range up to 5.13d/14a. Like I said, my fingers fit into the pockets very well. The route would definitely be harder for those who have bigger digits. So for now, I'm calling it 5.13d/ needs a consensus. For those of you looking for an amazing route, consider checking this one out. I highly recommend it!!