Tuesday, November 24, 2009


What the hell is confidence anyway? Seemingly, it is only a perception of reality. Whether this perception is correct or incorrect, whether confidence is real or imaginary, outcomes often remain unchanged. The power of confidence is in this deception, and it is not therefore merely a perception of reality, but a reality itself. It is this obstacle which I find myself pitted against time and time again. Boulders become hurtles on the road to confidence and self-assurance.

The Southeast, I have found, is one of the most difficult places to build confidence in the U.S. Rain, heat, humidity, and hard low-grade boulder problems combined with a very short list of high-grade ones makes this place a confidence destroyer. Perhaps this is one reason the Southeast receives so little recognition from professional athletes and climbing publications. Instead, areas in Colorado housing easier higher grade boulders are recognized as the best climbing areas in the country.

On a completely unrelated subject, I spent Saturday in Boone with Nate, Brian, Rami and Jo Beth. After warming up at Lost Cove I tried Kratos (v12) a little - no dice. It's quite difficult and I must say, no fun at all. The holds are sharp, the moves are awkward, the line is uninspiring. We quickly moved on to a cool gently overhanging face climb called On Any Sunday (v10). I was able to send in a few tries and decided I might as well try the sit start. After quite a few greasy efforts, I was able to cool my skin and link it together. 2nd ascent maybe? Anyway, Nate came desperately close and returned to finish it the next day.

We also spent some time trying Don Johnson (v11) but I still couldn't manage the sloper dyno move. This thing is hard! Walking up on it it looks like v6 or something, but trying it is totally different. It starts low in a verticle crack, climb 3 feet to the top of the crack and the problem gets hard. A high left foot and a right hand lock-off allow you grab a small side-pull crimp. Then smear the right in the crack and jump to a bad sloper at the lip. From there the problem is like a really fun v5. Anyway, I'm gonna climb this one someday. It was getting dark at this point and with rain in the forecast for Sunday we decided to head for home.

I spent Monday climbing as well. It was mostly wet but I tried Grand Papa (v9) and failed, some v9 face and failed, Master Beta (v9) and failed. I got close on everything but my skin and the grimy rock were not getting along and at the end of the day I managed to punch 3 holes in 3 different tips. I always bleed!

Then Yesterday Jimmy, John, Brad and I decided to head out to LRC. I taped up 7 of 8 tips warmed up and was ready to go. I got super close to repeating Dragon Slayer - just bobbled to hold a couple times. Then Jimmy, Brad, and I were all able to climb Biggie Shortie but not Electric Boogaloo. Then, with literally no skin and on wet holds I got fairly close to repeating the Law.

Good times in Tennessee despite the crappy humidity.

More later,


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