School started last week which means I'm now waking up at 7 AM to get to class instead of 10 to go climbing. It also means many more gym sessions. But I've still been getting out quite a bit. For the past couple weeks, Jweb and I have been psyched on a route at Little River Canyon called Southern Comfort. At 5.14a, and climbing through the tallest, steepest part of the Concave, SoCo is definitely the most difficult thing I've ever tried on a rope. Really, the route can separated into 4 separate boulder problems ranging from v6-v8 with only one rest near the bottom. After a couple attempts it's obvious that my endurance needs some serious work. Still, I'm psyched to put in some good efforts and once it gets a little cooler I think it will go.
In other Brion Voges news, I was busy this past Saturday with Chad Wykle and photographer Andrew Kornylak, hammering out a Beta video for the Triple Crown Bouldering Series. We filmed two problems at Little Rock City, Human Hand Grenade (v6) and Instinct (v7). So stay tuned for some beta. The video was also promoting the new Team 5.10 shoe (see my earlier blogpost "The Trade of Showing") which is scheduled for release tomorrow. Also, check out Andrew's website and blog to see some of his incredible work. Oh and by the way, there is a similar Hound Ears Beta video on Deadpoint, Triple Crown, and Andrew's blog.
On Sunday, Jimmy, Kasia, and I were at the Obed to knock out a route I tried a couple times last August called Roughin' Up the Suspect (5.13b/c). After a beta run and a little rest that's just what I did.
Anyway, now it's time for class. I'll catch ya later.
Recently, Squamish, BC has been experiencing a heat wave and the climbing world has been bombarded with complaints. Compared with the Southeast's 5 month summer, three hot weeks in Squamish is a joke. So, if you Canadians were wondering how to survive summer, here are a few pointers:
Lower your expectations. Unless you are a climbing god, you can't climb 5.14 in 90 degree weather with 70% humidity.
Climb only in areas with easy access to swimming (don't forget sunscreen).
Before climbing, move slowly to reduce sweat. While climbing, move quickly.
Drink plenty of water. You might gain a pound or two (thank God your harness only weighs and ounce and your quickdraws are light as air), but you won't be dizzy either.
Watch your skin and don't be afraid to tape. Remember, tape doesn't sweat.
Bring along your Ipod. Those little suckers can turn even the sweatiest times into parties.
Hit up Sonic on the return trip for a Route 44 - the biggest, coldest drink on earth - or ice cream.
The gym is your friend. Go train indoors and enjoy the AC.
In other news, Jgass and I were at North Chickamauga Creek Saturday climbing boulders. There are two big boulders housing 15 or so problems. They are mostly tall moderates, 15ft and somewhere in the v5 range. Landings are horrible, sometimes no more than a few inches of water over the rocky creek bed. Even the padded landings there are dangerous. The problems, though, are amazing! There are even a couple projects that could be somewhere in the v12 range.
John and I really enjoyed ourselves, climbing nearly every problem the boulders had to offer and cooling off in the water when necessary. The psyche rolls on!
I'm home a couple of days early, and, for now, I'm happy to be among friends and family. Soon enough I will be missing the cool air, afternoon thunderstorms, laughter and friendships this summer has provided. I have been gone for over 2 months, making this trip, by far, my longest. It was also my most productive. I climbed 26 double-digit problems and countless others. Strangely, my success has inspired a lot of thought about failure.
I hate failure, the mental torture it provokes, the self-questioning. Before climbing on a project or before a flash attempt I often experience a kind of performance anxiety. I find myself thinking, "I really don't want to fall," rather than, "I'm going to try my hardest." I have come to understand, though, that progress can only be made through failure. Those rare successes merely bolster confidence, making future failure tolerable.
I have witnessed many impressive failures this summer. I have failed countless times myself. These failures, and the incredible climbs which produce them, serve as my inspiration. This is why I train, this is why I try hard. It seems that those of us rock climbers who can tolerate the greatest failures achieve the greatest successes.
As for me, I finished up my season in Rock Mountain National Park climbing Bush Pilot (v11), Sunspot (v10) and Riddles in the Park (v12), three problems on my list from the start. I'm psyched!
This summer has been great. Thanks to my parents and my girl for helping me get there and back (literally)!