Monday, March 29, 2010

Training Log #1

Thursday, March 25

Day 1. Can't wait to get the training ball rolling. It's been a while since I've had the time and motivation to focus on specific training and I definitely feel like I can use the conditioning. In the past I have found that the first week is the most difficult - training requires that schedules be rearranged, eating and sleeping habits overhauled and a general shift in attitue toward pain. But I'm prepared and today I felt ok. I did an early ab workout. I'll be sore tomorrow. I also did some campusing today for the first time in about 9 months. Surprisingly, I feel that I've gained a lot of strength over that time and it's quite motivating to feel that progression. The campus sesh was quick, leaving me some time to climb around. My new program incorporates regular bouldering and power endurance into a session followed by systems and then a warm down. The first day left me feeling wrecked but content. Ready for more tomorrow!

Friday, March 26

Feeling tired from yesterday and not happy to wake at 6:45 for classes. Jo Beth is in town as well which is taking away my motivation. I got a new fingerboard yesterday - the Moon one - and I'm psyched to try it out. I thought that I would get in a session on it before heading to the gym and I decided to give this workout a try. I found the prescribed 1 arm deadhangs and pull-ups particularly challenging (especially as the door frame constricts my space). I ended up using a piece of webbing to take some weight. In general, I have found that fingerboards are good tools to measure progress because they measure such small intervals. For example, if you can hold a position for 5 seconds in March and 7 seconds by April, progress is obvious and rewarding. I felt tired to the point of being sleepy heading into the afternoon climbing session but I forced it anyway. I climbed some moderates and began the systems program in my Friday workout. It went surprisingly well and I finished up with some endurance. A good day all in all but I am very tired and expect motivation to be low tomorrow.

Saturday, March 27

My alarm went off an hour and a half before I was supposed to be at work. The idea was that I could get in a quick session on the fingerboard and a good ab workout beforehand. I laid in bed a little too long though and my fingerboard workout was shortened as a result. It's probably a good thing anyway because my tendons and skin are not cooperating. I'm going to call it.

Sunday, March 28

Rest! Finally! The good thing is I feel like I've really earned it. More training tomorrow.

Monday, March 29

Went to the gym after all my morning classes to get in a campus workout. It felt a little more difficult today but I was working alone this time and motivation was slightly less. Afterwards I ran home to grab some food and then headed back to the gym to meet Hugh Huffaker for an evening bouldering session. It went ok but my skin started hurting before I could do the volume of climbing I wanted. I don't think that 2 hours of rest between sessions is a good idea. Hope it feels better tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 30

I got a good night sleep last night and I woke up feeling good with the exception of my skin. The nonstop training has left my skin feeling burned and stiff. I forced a fingerboard workout despite the pain. I thought I might have to break out the ibuprofen for my scheduled evening workout. It is the shoe demoing tonight at Urban Rocks in Chattanooga. I went down to help out and got in a small bouldering session as well. Unfortunately it was smaller than I had hoped for - only about an hour and a half - but my skin is worked and my fingernails even hurt. I wish my skin would shape up so I could accomplish my training goals. Tomorrow is rest and I really can't wait.

Wednesday, March 31

I can't believe it's the last day of March already. Very tired and a little sore today - happy to have some rest.

More Bishop Pictures

So there hasn't been much going on in Chattanooga lately in terms of climbing outdoors. I've been busy in the gym though, trying to get a little stronger before I leave for Colorado in May. In case you're interested in training I've decided to keep a training log for the next month and I will be posting it occasionally.

For your viewing pleasure, here are some more pictures from Bishop...

Me on Spectre
photo: Jo Beth Richards

Me on Spectre 2
photo: Jo Beth Richards

Me on Spectre 3
photo: Jo Beth Richards

Jimmy on Spectre
photo: Jo Beth Richards

Me on the Swarm 1
photo: Jo Beth Richards

Me on the Swarm 2
photo: Jo Beth Richards

Jimmy on the Swarm
photo: Jo Beth Richards

Me and Jo Beth from Spectre

Jacob Fellers on Acid Wash

That's all.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Camping at the Pit

Me and Jo Beth
Photo: Jimmy Webb

Isabelle on Fall Guy

The Happy Boulders

Xavier's Roof
Photo: Jo Beth Richards

Jo Beth on the Jigsaw Wall

Jimmy's Tips after trying the Swarm

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bishop Slideshow

Ok, so we didn't get a lot of video footage on the trip because the camera died and we couldn't charge it. But thanks to Jo Beth we did get a lot of picture footage. Rather than just posting the best of them, I chose to make a slideshow. In order of appearance it includes footage of me climbing High Plains Drifter (v7), The Mandala (v11), The Buttermilker (v13), Checkerboard (v8) and Xavier's Roof (v11) and Jimmy climbing the Buttermilker as well.

The rest of my Bishop pics will be up as soon as I get around to editing them.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bishop Video

Jimmy already put together a video of me climbing Stained Glass (v10), Haroun and the Sea of Stories (v11), and A Scanner Darkly (v12). Check it out! Also, pics from the trip will be up shortly. I'm off the the gym.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The List

I've spent the last couple days chipping away at my Bishop ticklist. It's now down to 2 problems: Spectre (v13) and Xavier's Roof (v11). That's not to say I've climbed all the problems on it, but at least I've tried.

Here's my original list:

1. The Mandala
2. The Buttermilker
3. The Swarm
4. Spectre
5. Stained Glass
6. Checkerboard
7. Xavier's Roof
8. Haroun and the Sea of Stories

Of the original eight, six problems remained on my list after our first two climbing days:

1. The Swarm
2. Spectre
3. Stained Glass
4. Checkerboard
5. Xavier's Roof
6. Haroun and the Sea of Stories

Here's how everthing has gone down since then:


Stained Glass - after a quick warm up we ran up the hill to try this crimpy masterpiece. After a little bit of effort I managed to send from the obvious jug start.

Haroun and the Sea of Stories - Something about this place inspires me to give good 1st burns. Maybe it's the razor edges? Anyway, thanks to the beta spray from Jimmy I managed to pull a flash out of the bag.

Checkerboard - another flash. This is one of the most beautiful boulders ever!

My list after Tuesday:

1. The Swarm
2. Spectre
3. Xavier's Roof


The Swarm - Basically hiked up and got shut down! There are some small edges on this baby - probably the smallest I've ever tried to pull on. Maybe next year?

But the day wasn't a total waste. Jimmy and I both managed to climb A Scanner Darkly (v12) and A Form Destroyer (v12). I also climbed a really awesome v9 called Queen Sweet Nectar.

That's basically it. We're heading out tomorrow to try Spectre and Ronnie Jenkins is driving in tomorrow night.

Very excited!


Monday, March 8, 2010

The Mandala

So it's been two days since the Chatty crew rolled into Bishop, CA and we have been making the most of Spring Break '10. I came here with a list of 8 problems:

1. The Mandala
2. The Buttermilker
3. The Swarm
4. Spectre
5. Stained Glass
6. Checkerboard
7. Xavier's Roof
8. Haroun and the Sea of Stories

and after two climbing days I have been able to tick the Buttermilker (v13) and flash the Mandala. I have little to say about the Buttermilker - it's a hard powerful boulder and I was extremely happy to climb it. Instead I would like to focus attention on the Mandala.

Recently this boulder has been getting a lot of attention. The start in particular has been drawing a lot of controversy. Should the boulder start on the two edges and move into the undercling left hand as the first ascentionist (Sharma) started? Or should it start left hand on the high edge and right hand already in the undercling? In this case though I think the answer (starting left hand on the high edge and right in the undercling) is obvious for several reasons:

1. The undercling is lower on the wall than one of the original start holds - it seems self explanatory. Simply starting with the right hand lower on the wall doesn't seem to pose any major problems. It does cut out 1 move, however, and I suppose this is what people have problems with. Would it be legitimate then to start right hand in the undercling, left on the lower edge, pull on and move left to the high edge before continuing the climb?

2. The boulder should be climbed in the easiest most direct manner possible - there is no questioning the beauty or purity of the Mandala; it is one of the most recognizable boulders in North America. To question something as trivial as beta on this amazing bloc seems to contrive the boulder. In my opinion this is an affront to the pure nature of the boulder and of climbing itself.

3. The undercling is such an obvious feature - it's not always the case that the first ascentionist climbs a boulder in the easiest, most obvious way possible. Boulders often experience a period of grade deflation after the first ascent (think Graham boulder in RMNP). This is in no way a bad thing. It simply shows that refined beta and its exposure (on the internet and over time) makes climbs easier than first perceived.

I would also like to discuss the grade of the boulder. The Mandala has been in the v12 range for a number of years but I don't think it belongs. The Mandala is a perfect example of a beautiful boulder that receives a lightly inflated grade as a result of its beauty. The Shield (v12) at Little Rock City is another example. Taking into account simply the difficulty of the movement, I think the Mandala (as well as the Shield) deserves a grade more in line with v11.

That being said, this boulder is an amazing testpiece and one of the most beautiful boulders I've ever climbed. I am psyched to climb on some of the other amazing boulders in Bishop. Tommorrow Jimmy and I are going out to try the Swarm. Wish us luck!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

5.10 Line King

In terms of fashion, wearability, and versatility 5.10 is still leading the way. Check out the new 5.10 Line Kings available now. These shoes are sick!

There are few shoes that make the transition from the street to the trail so brilliantly. Just thought I would share.