Monday, March 29, 2010

SoCo Part II.

Well, Saturday's trip to the Concave was a success!  I was able to make the 3rd ascent of Southern Comfort 5.14a on my second go of the day (5th go overall).  It was a little bit chillier out than our last visit, which made for nearly perfect conditions.

After warming up I jumped on SoCo to try to finish it up.  I had been thinking about the climb for the past two days I was nervous starting out.  I knew I was overgripping everything but couldn't stop myself from doing so.  I felt pretty good up until the 3/4 mark but then the dreaded pump started to creep up on me.  I tried hard but ended up falling at the last stopper move AGAIN!   I ended up doing the move a couple times on the hang to get it a little more dialed.  I sat for about an hour before giving it another go.

My first go jitters were gone and I was much more relaxed this time around.  I cruised through the bottom part of the route and found myself staring at the last move.  Almost on autopilot I crimped hard with my left hand, pulled hard with my toe, and focused hard on the last move.  This time everything clicked and I found myself at the anchors.


To be honest, I'm pretty psyched to have this one done with.  I really didn't want to make it a habit to fall on that last move over, and over, and over again.

Usually I'm really psyched about sport climbing after a winter of bouldering and this time around it isn't any different.  After the initial shock my body went through after not doing anything endurance oriented for a while, it felt good to route climb again.  I really enjoy the challenge of route climbing.  Instead of just throwing myself at a few moves until I (hopefully) do a problem, I really like the route climbing process... pacing myself, learning a route, and eventually keeping it all together to link the entire route.  This one route climbing experience has taught me that I am a MUCH better route climber than I am boulderer.  It just suites me better I guess.  Bouldering has always been hard for me and I think it will always be that way.  But that doesn't mean I'm giving up just yet!  Nope!

Actually, I don't really have any more plans to route climb until next year.  I really just plan on bouldering until Hueco.  Part of the decision to focus on bouldering is because of my Hueco trip.  It always takes me a long time to get into good bouldering shape so I figured that instead of route climbing, losing my bouldering game, and then trying to get back in shape right before Hueco, that I'd just stick with it and see how it plays out later this year.  Another reason for my new focus is that I really want to come back into route climbing next year stronger than I have been in the past.  There are a few routes I am really looking forward to trying and pure endurance isn't going to cut it.   Hopefully the strength from bouldering will transfer over nicely to the routes I want to climb in the near future.

Some RaNdOm shots of the pups...

Thursday, March 25, 2010


There has definitely been a lack of updates on my part, mostly because there hasn't been a whole lot happening.  I've been busy training indoors for some time now but yesterday Hayley and I drove up to Little River Canyon to do some sport climbing.  We were out at the Concave a few weeks ago so I could try my hand at Southern Comfort 5.14a and things didn't go too well.  I hadn't sport climbed since the early fall and my lead head definitely wasn't with me.  I ended up bailing around the fourth bolt after sketching myself out about the chossy/sketchy bottom of the route.  This time around things went much better.

After warming up I decided to hop on Hooligans 5.13a to test out my endurance.  The tests came back negative!  No endurance! Even though I was pumped out of my mind I managed to make my way to the chains, resting every opportunity that I got.

(Click On Pics to Enlarge)
Chaz on Showboaters 5.13b

Next up was SoCo.  After depumping I decided to give it a go.  I had a good idea of what to do for the first four bolts but the rest of the route was a complete mystery.  Luckily Jimmy Webb had arrived and I was able to get the spraydown on the whole route, which made my little adventure a little less stressful. 

Chit Chat

As I made my way through the first four bolts I was much calmer than on my previous attempt and I easily made my way to a big jug rest at the fourth bolt.  With the sketchy part of the route over with I was able to chill out enough to get my mind into sport climbing mode.  I relaxed myself and went over Jimmy's beta before embarking on the rest of the route.  As I left the rest I felt pretty good...just a mild pump.  I quickly made it through the next bouldery section to another decent rest.  The pump was beginning to set in but I tried to relax enough to get a little bit back before the next section.  I sat there for a minute and knew that with my lack of endurance and my inability to recover that I was better off just leaving the rest and climbing.


I left the rest pretty pumped but tried really hard through the next couple of bolts.  I was pumping out quick and I only had one more bolt and then the chains.  I tried as hard as I could but my hands were opening up.  I fell going through the last hard section, pulled back up to the bolt, rested for a minute, and quickly finished it up from there.  Not bad for my second time on the route!  It was a nice test to see how I felt on routes after not climbing anything over 12 feet since last fall. 


I was really impressed with how good the route climbed after the fourth bolt.  The movement is really unique and if it weren't for the choss and glue in the first part of the route I think it would be one of my favorites.


I rested for quite a while and wasn't sure if I wanted to give it another go.  I figured that if I didn't do well on my second go that at least I would be learning the route better and it would pay off the next time I came out.  This time the route felt better than the previous attempt and I fell two moves higher than before.  This move is quite hard, even in isolation.  The breakdown of the route goes something like this...

-V6 section to a rest
-V6/7 section to a decent rest/shake spot
-V7 section
-V7/8 section

The last section alone is quite difficult and the last move is a heartbreaker.  Basically you take two good edges, get your right foot high, and make a huge deadpoint into a horizontal slot that is maybe 2 pads deep.

This is the move I fell on during my second go of the day and I really hope it doesn't become a habit.  After this last stopper move the route is over.

Jimmy had some really good burns on the route yesterday as well, falling in the last section of the climb. We are heading out on Saturday and I'm predicting that the route will see its 3rd and 4th ascents!  PSYCHED!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Rad Video!

While cruising around Red River Climbing I stumbled upon this video of James Zanoni on the classic Paradise Lost 5.13b.  Anybody who's been to the Red, or has even sport climbed for that matter, knows there's a routine when trying a route near your limit.  I thought the video was a great insight to what we all go through when we are forced to drive a couple hours on the weekend to project a route.  Check it out!

Just Do It from James Zanoni on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Designs!

While cruising through the Metolius site I stumbled over their rad new t-shirt and chalk bag designs.  I'm a big fan of super bright colors on clothing and such so I figured I'd post some pics to share.  Check 'em out!

Friday, March 12, 2010


For the last couple weeks the majority of my climbing time has been spent in the gym.  After making reservations for Hueco in November all my focus has gone to ensuring that I am in top form when I finally 9 months.  That's only 37 weeks!  HA.  If I've run into you in the past month I've certainly let you know how excited I am to get there.

Fred Nicole-Esperanza
Photo:Mary Gabrieli via Wolverine Publishing

Climbing for me has never really been about training.  I generally just find that climbing is enough.  However, I've decided to actually put some effort into training for once and see how it pays off.  Now, I'm not saying that all my efforts are going into training.  I'm just kind of adding some training programs into my climbing sessions.  I've always been interested in training and have read a lot of material on techniques/programs/exercises in the past but it all seemed very complex and not that much fun.  Everybody seems to have a different method as well, which makes things even more confusing.  I've taken information from two main sources, Moon Climbing and Metolius Climbing and it has helped tremendously.  The majority of the exercises I do come straight from Moon's articles on campus boards.  With their terrible weather in England they had time to hone their programs pretty well!

One thing I have to say is that the hardest part of the training so far has been deciding to actually start and having motivation to stick with it.  A big motivator for me is having someone else to push me and to keep me amped, and my buddy Senya Iaryguine helps me do just that.  It's really nice to have somebody else who's psyched on getting strong and who's psyched to actually make the effort to do so.    On top of that, we both have completely different styles climbing wise, which is convenient for working your weaknesses.

Along with the campus boards I've been doing quite a bit of core training.  This part is not so fun but I have already seen huge gains in core strength and it's only been a couple of weeks.

What I've found to work really well (for now at least) is to do two campus sessions a week (only on days right after a rest day) on top of all the bouldering in the gym as well as 3 or 4 core workouts a week. When reading about training, the only thing that sounds appealing is the getting stronger part.  In all reality, it is actually quite fun and I really enjoy the discipline aspect of it all.  Yesterday was a rest day so today I'm heading back into the gym....lame as it sounds I'm actually pretty its been raining for three days and there looks to be another day of it on the way.

On a side note...Jimmy Webb and Brion Voges are killing it in Bishop during their one-week stay!  Check out their blogs for the lowdown...impressive to say the least!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

HP Rocks Comp

Yesterday I competed in the HP Rocks comp at Horse Pens 40 in Alabama.  The weather was a touch on the warm side for the famous HP40 slopers but it was a perfect day to be outside.  The format for this comp was a little bit different from the Triple Crown format and it ended up suiting me quite nicely.  Instead of taking the top 10 scores from your scorecard for the total score, yesterday's format was endurance based.  In the open division only problems rated V7 and up were tallied together for the day's total score but you were allowed to complete as many problems as you could.  It was a really fun challenge and a nice change from the usual comp format at these outdoor events.  I ended up with a total of 24 problems, all repeats except for one, and I was extremely worked after it was all said and done.  

My 24 for the day...

-Thugs and Bitches V8
-Hugs and Kisses V8
-Ghetto Superstar V8
-The Thief V7
-Chattanooga Plow V7
-The Flow V7
-Odd JobV8
-Squeeze Play Low V7
-Five-0 V9
-Cadillac Thrills V9
-Waterloo V8
-God Module V11
-Slider V9
-Litz Pocket Problem V7
-Lawdog V8
-Suspicion V8
-Landslide V8
-Slushpuppy Low V7
-Consumption V7
-Stepchild V7
-Kiss V7
-Don't Rock the Boat V7
-Its a Natural V7

I ended up taking first in open and brought home some extra cash, which is awesome!  I didn't even think about climbing today and am very much looking forward to a couple of rest days.

A big thanks to all those who helped put on this event.  It was a blast and I look forward to coming back next year!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Pad!

Today I woke up to a brand new So Ill pad waiting at the door!  Lime green and black...sick.  The boys at So Ill hooked it up and threw on a custom logo for me as well!


This weekend I'm heading to HP40 to compete in their HP40 Rocks comp.  Horse Pens is always a good time and an even better one with the crowd that gathers for their comps.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Day in the South

On Sunday Hayley and I met up with our buddy Nathan Drolet in Alabama.  We had decided to visit an area I hadn't been to yet that had a number of classics that I was psyched to try.  The weather was perfect...the air was cold and crisp, it was sunny, and the high was 55.  Nice.

First on the list was Big Poppa, a super classic V8.  The climb consists of gymnastic sloper moves up a nice tall face.  I was able to flash and Nate ended up doing it very quickly.  From there we played on The Boss V11 and The Main Event V12.  I couldn't pull either one of them off but I am psyched to return.

After that we made our way to Ninja Camp Low V9 and Bread Loaf Factory Low V10.  I was able to do them both pretty quickly.  Nathan looked solid on both but was wrecked from the previous day or two. The kid is getting strong and I'm sure he will be back to do them both.  On the hike out I decided to stop at one more problem called Innovation V9 that Jimmy Webb put up a couple months ago.  The climb comes down to tension and after figuring out some foot beta I was able to do this one as well!  Props to Jimmy on the 1st ascent.  Innovation is truly an amazing boulder problem.  Hayley and Nathan were nice enough to break out the camera to get some footage of the day so I threw together a little video.  Enjoy.

A Day In The South from Brad Weaver on Vimeo.