Monday, July 30, 2007

Thumb Update

As I've mentioned before, I whacked my thumb in between a paddle and canoe a few weeks ago whilst paddling out to an island on a camping trip. That was on a Friday, about 17 days ago. That night, my thumb was HUGE - about four to five times larger than normal. It was still very swollen the next couple of days, but I iced it and took enough ibuprofen to calm the swelling down and allow me to actually use my thumb for simple tasks such as holding a water bottle, standing up from a seated position and, at times, opening a bag of chips. But after a few days, the soreness remained, and so I sought out my doctor.

He sent me to get a wet scan and thankfully told me that all I had was a contusion (bruise) and not a hairline fracture (phew). Still, this was somewhat troublesome because "JoJo" has had a contusion on her hand since this past winter (just from bumping the back of her hand on a staircase railing), and that has kept her out of climbing since then. This, as I have heard, is despite the fact that her doctor has told her that she should be fine to climb on a couple of occasions. I think she even had a cortisone shot or two in there somewhere.

My doc told me to buy a Spica splint and take enough ibuprofen throughout the day to keep it in my bloodstream, and so I have. The splint really helped keep my thumb in a good, resting position when I wasn't using it. This, in my mind, meant that things were on the up and up. This was so much so that I decided to test my thumb by climbing yesterday, and I'm not sure if that was a mistake or not.

I jumped on some pretty easy climbs to start, and, for the most part, the thumb was a little sore, but not so much that it would keep me from putting weight on it. There were a few, specific-type holds, however, that kept me from putting too much weight on my thumb, but on the easy climbs, I was able shift my feet so that the weight went to my feet instead of my hands (don't think for an instant that I haven't thought this is a good thing. I typically have great footwork, but I could always get better). But when I got on a 10b that I have led well in the past, the thumb hurt like hell.

Anyway, I guess i have a decision to make - climb easy grades and extend my recovery period out several months or shut everything down for a month or so to see if I recover more quickly. I can climb. I can probably even climb hard routes, but pinches and thumb-wraps are painful; not just sore, but painful. If it really is a bruise, it's in a damn-unfortunate place. I'm climbing again Thursday. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Another Weekend Blown - But Good Scouting Results

Damn! This weekend provided near perfect conditions for getting outside in general, but I haven't climbed in about a week-and-a-half because of this stupid contusion on my thumb. I keep telling myself that I'm just resting up so that I can hit the Gunks this weekend, but I'm not sure how well I'm going to do. The thumb feels fine and fairly well-rested, but earlier today I walked out of my work area and went to open a latched door handle and felt a sharp pain shoot up my thumb. The odd part is that the contusion is on the outer part of the thumb and I pressed down on the latch with the bottom part of my thumb. Does that mean I have more wrong than initially thought? Here's hoping the answer is "no".

I still made it outside this weekend, however. I wanted to get out and explore / scout a local climbing area that I had not been to before. It is called Black and White Rocks and is in the Fellsway park just north of Boston. I had a very nice hike checking the different places out. It was warm, sunny and I saw nearly no one else on the trails. I like solitude sometimes. It really helps to clear my mind of the stresses I've been dealing with lately. I also liked that I was able to see a crag first before actually climbing it. I found most of the crags in this area, and was able to find most of the routes as well. Next time I go, I'll know what to do and where to go. That way I'll save from setting up and will actually get to climb.

Below is what I wrote up on my climbing group -

These crags are a mixed bag of good climbing, poor belay positioning and ease /
difficulty in finding. This area is not made for climbers as, say Crow Hill or
Rumney are, but there are some worthy climbs off the East Fellsway road that are
worth the afternoon jaunt if one gets a chance.

You may be able to set topropes on some of the crags (such as crags 1-4), but
others will require trad lead gear (crag 2, 3 and 6 most likely). I would
consider crags 2, 3 and 4 as highball boulders more than anything.

There are several crags, some of which I have not been able to find, but the ones
I was able to find were a mix of excellent easy to moderate routes with a few,
difficult-to-find harder routes. I'm only going to break down the crags that I
have visited. For more information, consult the Boston Rocks guide book. However,
I believe my directions for finding the crags are a bit easier that what the
book offers.

There is also a substantial amount of bouldering in the area. Just walk along
the main paths and keep an eye out for small outcrops. I'm sure you'll find
something, somewhere.


The easiest way to all the crags is to take exit 32 off I-93 and head on 60
East. Drive about 1 mile until you get to Fellsway East, then take a left. By
the way, you'll come to Fellsway West first, and it will not have a sign saying
that it is Fellsway West. Fellsway East is a bit down the road from Fellsway
West, and it has a sign, albeit a small one. Just in case you're wondering, no,
Fellsway West is not just the westbound side of a road. Both Fellsway East and
Fellsway West are roads with traffic going in both directions. The difference
is that Fellsway East is literally east of Fellsway West.

In any case, follow Fellsway East for about two miles. You'll pass a cemetary
on the left and will go uphill. The road will change from two lanes on either
side to one lane on either side. Soon after, there will be a parking lot on the
left. Just down the road from gates #52 and #53. Park there and walk back up
the road whence you came and cross the street toward gate #52. It will be
directly across from Gate #53.

The Rock Circuit Trail goes directly up to the right of the gate (the trail is
marked with white marks on trees and / or rocks). This is the easiest way to
get to all crags. It may not be the fastest way to get to some of the crags,
but it is the easiest. If you follow this path, eventually you will come to
a "fire road" (more of an overgrown grassy path). Take a left. A minute or so
down the road and you will find, if you are looking, on the right, a sign
facing in the opposite direction that says Pinnacle Rock. Take this path to
Crag 1. You may also see before taking a left on the fire road a sign for the
Pinnacle Path to the right. Don't take this.

CRAGS 1-5:

I visited crags 1-4 because they were very easy to find; so much so that upon
seeing them I did not actually believe I had found them. There is one trail
that is called the Rock Circuit Trail that pretty much leads you to crags 1-5,
with Crags 5 and 54 (don't ask) a bit off the trail. As I noted, Crag 1 is on
the Pinnacle Rock trail off the Rock Circuit Trail.

Crag 1 is probably the best of all the crags that I saw. There are clear lines
all over the face. It rises about 40 feet with easy climbs to the left and
harder climbs on the right (near the small roof at the bottom). It is probably
toprope ready, but I'd be prepared to have to lead the routes. There is decent
protection on most routes.

Crags 2-4 are easily found by heading back out the Pinnacle Rock path back
towardthe fire road. Once at the fire road, across the way will be the
continuation of the Rock Circuit Road. Follow this, and when you get to the top
of a small hill, that will be the top of Crag 2. Keep on the path and, at the
bottom of that small hill you'll have two choices: keep following the white
markings up the sloped rock face in front, or head on the fire road to the
right. If you head to the right, you'll see the Crag 2 on your right. Also, if
you follow a hidden path a bit to the right from there you'll find some more
climbs, but these don't appear to be apart of the crags listed, so I would
avoid them unless you find out that these are, in fact, Crag 2. I don't think
this is very toprope friendly.

After taking a right on the fire road, and keeping Crag 2 to your right, there
is another path that is straight ahead, that will lead you to Crag 4. This may
have toprope options.

If, instead of going right to Crag 2 or straight to Crag 4, you take a left,
that will lead you to Crag 3. Oddly, if you don't take a right onto the fire
road from the top of Crag 2, and go up the slab directly in front (following
the white paint marks on the rock), this will lead you to the top of Crag 3.
When coming back down the other side of Crag 3, you'll intersect with the left
hand turn off the fire road had you taken a right at the fire road instead
(confused yet?).

All of these crags are very easily found, however, as they are all pretty much
in the same area. All crags also appear to be pretty ease face or slab climbs
of about 20-30 feet in height. I thought Crag 4 offered the best climbing of
the three.

For access to Crags 5 and 54, you'll have to consult Boston Rocks. I was too
dehydrated to search for them, and I had spent a considerable amount of time
searching for Crag 6, which, in the end, I managed to find (except for the
curious fixed pin that Boston Rocks talks about. It may have been removed).

Crag 6 can be reached one of two ways. The first is off Goodyear Avenue, as
Boston Rocks suggests. This is a very easy way to approach the crag, but I
think the drive to Goodyear Ave may be difficult for those who don't know
Malden that well. Also, the parking there is not really set aside for the
Fellsway. It is more residential, and parking is sparce.

The other way to reach Crag 6 is to actually continue on the Rock Circuit Trail.
It is about 25-30 minutes from the parking lot used to access crags 1-5. You
will need to have some decent eyes to follow this trail. If you are lucky,
you'll see all the white markings. If not, you'll get lost as I did. Still, if
you follow the white markings, Crag 6 is not that hard to find. At some point,
you'll come to two hills that will offer views of the town below (I'm not sure
if this is Melrose or Malden). Each hill will essentially be bald rock and both
hills will offer a view of what appears to be a school with athletic fields
attached. On top of the first hill, the fields will only be partially visible,
but you will feel as if you are on top of a large crag. Even when you walk to
the edge, you'll think that you've found Crag 6. Alas, you are not there yet.
These cliffs that you see are more high-ball bouldering than anything else.

Continue on the path until you come to another fire road. Take a brief left and
you'll see the Rock Circuit Trail continue up the hill a bit on the right.
Follow this trail up to the left to the top of the other bald rock area. Here,
you'll have a much better view of the athletic fields as well as a residential
area (probably the neighborhood near Goodyear Ave). This is the top of Crag 6.

To get to Crag 6, follow the white marks back down the other side of the top of
the hill. Again, I can't stress enough that the white marks go to the left of
the top of the hill, not the right. If you go to the right, you'll find the
crag eventually, but it won't be nearly as obvious or easy.

You'll walk downhill a slight ways until you get to a point where there is a
sort of rock step just before where the path levels off and becomes a dirt
path. Immediately after that step, look to your right and you'll see a vague
path that leads into a small clearing. Walk only about 20 feet into the
clearing and look for a path that somewhat hugs the rocks to the right. Don't
follow the path that goes downhill, as this will lead you away from the crag.
Once you follow the path, you'll see the bottom of the crag very easily. At the
end of this small trail, you should easily find the routes that are listed on
the left of the crag in Boston Rocks.

The great thing about Crag 6? It is about 80 feet tall. Another great thing
about it? At the top of the crag looking down you'll say, "wow, this looks like
great rock!" The bad thing about it? At the bottom you'll look up into the
various trees and ask "where did all that great climbing I saw at the top go?"
From the bottom, Crag 6 doesn't look like much. But there is substantial
climbing above where you can see.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Contusion, not a Sprain or Hairline Fracture

I'm out seven to ten days as opposed to six weeks. Thank. God.

The Art of Disinformation, and the Needs for Debate and Clarification

I'll start off by posting the link here so that you can judge for yourself the content and tone of this conversation. Basically, however, the general story line is that a girl in a camp group fell a long way in Rumney this week, and details were hard to come by.

I first caught wind of it when a friend sent a copy of the Boston Globe story to me and another friend. It was a scary story that told of how a girl fell forty feet and had to be carried out of the area. Forty feet is a long way down, and to add to the interest of the story, she was only eleven years old. Naturally, I was concerned and wanted to know what happened to her, both in terms of injuries and what could have caused such a fall. I posted the question to the MassClimbers thread on and no one answered. I then went to the forums and found the slug fest in the link above going on. From what I can gather, there are three concerns: one is about how the facts are relayed, one is that that there are some reporting credibility issues, and one is the actual health of the girls. This post is about the concept of debate and facts.

Firstly, I want to clarify that I know that newspapers don't always get the story straight. I both majored (stupidly) in Journalism and worked in the Massachusetts State House. I've seen misreporting on both sides. That said, whether or not there was misreporting is beside the point. The issue that I'm concerned about is the notion of not revealing information as a point of ensuring all the facts are straight first. This is a serious ethical question that news organizations must deal with on a regular basis. On the one hand, they want to be the first to report the story (because, human nature being what it is, people will want to know as soon as they hear about it - I fit directly into that category myself), and on the other hand news organizations need to be accurate in their reporting. If they are wrong, then they lose credibility. By the way, they also lose credibility by being late too. Being first to break the story isn't always about being first, it's also about having reporters who actually gather the information that is reported. Organizations that are continually slow are often looked upon as "piggybackers", or organizations that feed off other organizations' hard work.

Now, for news organizations, this is a serious issue because they are the ones delivering the news. There is no discussion. They state the facts and we take them in. But for forums, this is still a serious issue but less so. I do not say that this is less of an issue because facts are less worthy in a forum; certainly this is not true. Instead, however, facts are less important from one source because a discussion will ensue from the rest of the forum to get to the truth. This is how forums work. And I'm not just talking about on-line forums, but the real or even academic world (OK, that was an opinionated remark, sorry) work like this too. Everyday, ideas are tossed around in meetings, talks over the backyard fence, between Little League coaches and parents, in scientific journals, diplomacy, etc. Someone makes a point, and others debate it. Speculation almost always ensues. In fact, it has to ensue.

Imagine what Isaac thought when the apple bonked his head. He didn't say to himself, "let's just wait for the facts to reveal themselves before we jump to any conclusions." No, instead, he speculated as to how this might have happened. Then he tested his speculation to see if he was correct. When he got to a point where he did feel correct, he tested it by publishing his calculations for the world to test on its own. Some agreed and some did not. He was right about a lot, but also wrong about a lot too. Without his contribution, however, we never would have thought about the things he brought up. (clarifying point - Newton didn't publish his calculations on gravity until much later in life simply because he wanted to keep this information to himself. My example is ironic, I know, but it was not intended to be).

I once had an astronomy professor in school who said on the first day of class that ninety percent of everything we know in the universe today is wrong. Think about that for a minute. What he was saying is that every few years, fundamental beliefs that have driven much of the science they have worked with to come up with quantum solutions change so much that it makes past work nearly irrelevant. That's absolutely amazing.

And let's think about whether or not Andrei Lugovi is really the person who killed Alexander Litvinenko. I know, this sounds a bit of a stretch here, but the British probably feel that Lugovi is far more valuable in thier custody than the real murderer is (I don't know who the real murderer is, but it makes sense that when dealing with spies that a more valuable source would be worth indicting just because of the excess information that could be won instead). The point here is this, that disinformation can be used to gain something, and that the only cure to this is the truth. I am speculating, as I am certain the international intelligence community is doing (and probably many newspaper reporters and editors, too), that what is seen is not always the truth, and that there are likely reasons for that. If we didn't engage in debate, then this proverbial wool would be pulled over our eyes on a regular basis. Lugovi may very well be the assasin, but what if he is not and we never question it? Further more, would the truth ever come if it weren't questioned at all? It very well may, but it also may not as well. If you know something, share this information and educate the rest of us. Don't sit by and let people make up thier own minds.

So what's my point? My point is that speculation is not always a bad thing. Even if it is wrong, it increases awareness and presents an opportunity to educate people. Discussion and debate will always be important tools to weed out the bad from the good, because how else is one going to know the difference? When it comes to safety in the climbing world, I can't think of anything more important than sharing mistakes so that others can learn from it. It is too dangerous of a sport to let this slide.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

First 5.11 Lead - Update On Previous Post

I went back and nailed it. I still don't think it is a 5.11, but I got up it clean without using the top of the wall. I'm pretty happy about that. I thought I'd share it.


Just when I thought I was in a position to finally catapult my way above 5.11, I went out and injured my thumb. This is my first injury since the winter of 2006, and I am bummed.

It happened Friday afternoon while paddling across a bay in Maine to an island that I and several friends were to camp on. The camping weekend was a great weekend, but on one of the traverses across from the mainland to the island I walloped my thumb in between my paddle and the boat. I didn't really feel it at first (well, that's not true, I totally felt the impact, but I didn't feel the sprain until much later). The initial impact certainly hurt, but I didn't notice the swelling until much later in the evening. At first, I thought I had broken it, but I was relieved to be able to move my thumb, which told me it was probably just a sprain. Still, the swelling was pretty severe. I think my sprained thumb was three times as large as my healthy thumb, and I believed that couldn't have been good.

I iced it a little Friday evening and took an ibuprofen to ease the swelling, which I was told I shouldn't have done. Apparently for sprains, ibuprofen should be avoided in the first twenty-four hours. Oops. The swelling did go down with each icing, however, which I did a lot of on both Saturday and Sunday. In any case, I could hardly hold items in my hand all day Saturday. If I wanted to open my water bottle then I needed to place the bottle between my knees and twist the cap with my healthy hand. It was so bad that I needed someone to open a package of chocolate for s'mores Saturday night.

But by Saturday evening I was able to pick up things and open my water bottle, even if there was a little bit of pain. The overall soreness had decreased a little as well. By Sunday morning, I was able to open my bottle without wincing, and also pick up moderately heavy or awkward items (logs and sticks for the fire, orange juice, etc). The swelling had pretty much gone away yesterday, and it has stayed away today. I'm still taking ibuprofen and have iced it a couple of times the past two days as well, but the soreness is still there. Mobility is returning slowly, so that is a good sign, but I'm really concerned I could be out for a couple of weeks. "Jello" is coming back to climbing for a week or so this weekend, and I'd really like to get outside with him. I'd also like to get an indoor session in before going to Rumney, Cannon or North Conway (depending on where we decide to go), just to test the thumb and get some of my form back (which I'm sure I'm missing by not climbing since last Thursday).

Anyway, I've had a good stretch and I can say that this injury was not because of overuse or because I was too heavy. I've taken good care of myself the past eighteen months and am really starting feel as if I am in good shape. This kind of injury isn't because of overuse or being overweight; I hit my thumb. It's the same as slipping on ice - and that could happen to the fittest of athletes. Still, I'm concerned I'll be out longer than I want to be. Only time will tell how I get through this. Here's hoping I don't do something stupid and start climbing earlier than I should. One never knows with me...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

First 5.11 Lead?

Believe it or not, after my not-so-positive previous post, I had a really good night last night at the gym. For once, I enjoyed myself, laughed and climbed hard, even making it up a tough 5.12 (not cleanly) and 5.11 (again, not clean) to finish off the night. This was on top of a 5.8+ lead to start, 5.9 (and that grade is way off) lead, 5.11 lead (cleanish - get to that in a moment), 5.10b/c (harder than the 5.11 lead in my mind - had one take), and a 5.9 TR mixed in there somewhere. I might have done another climb too, but I can't think of which one I would have done (oh yeah, a 5.11b/c that I damn near flashed, but I was too tired at that point. It was a real bummer too). Anyway, I had a good night except I'm not sure just how solid it was.

You see, a couple of posts ago I talked about flashing my first 5.11 at the gym. My problem was that I wasn't convinced (and am still not convinced) that this was, in fact, a 5.11. But since others have told me that they think at least one of the moves at the start is a 5.11 move, I'm somewhat inclined to accept the fact that maybe I'm getting better. This inclination follows "Geneva"'s explanation that as one gets better, one starts to downgrade climbs that are now much easier than one's base. I think he's right in some regard, but I still think there are harder 5.10 climbs in the gym than this 5.11. (I also want to point out here that I'm not a "grade chaser". While it may seem that way according to my posts, the grades and success with those grades are merely a measuring tool for me. I don't care how hard I climb versus anyone else. I just climb for my own benefit. The main benefit being stress release. Climbing to me is a way to forget about the world, not about chasing grades, but it is nice to see progress, and I would also like to be able to go outside and give myself access to climbs that aren't crowded). Anyway...

As I noted in a previous post, I had thought of leading a bunch of harder climbs, and that included the so-called 5.11 (OK, it's an 11. I'll stop there and call it what it's been called). On my third climb of the night, I climbed it without falling and didn't need any other holds (otherwise known as cheating) to make it. I did, however, at the very top, use the top of the wall to gain the last hold. I'm not sure I can duplicate the top, but here is an attempt -

I know, it's small, but you can just barely see what I'm talking about. The final move is a bit of a dicey crossover from the left hand to the right that goes across the body. As you can see, this move is above clips. I didn't put the feet on here, but they are small jibs without an edge. The grey hold is a decent crimp and the pink hold is a total jug. What I did, and this is where I'm leaning toward not giving myself this route, is go with my right hand to the top of the wall instead of to the pink and then bring my left hand to the pink hold, which I would have needed to do anyway at some point because the clips are too far to the right at this point to clip across my body.

So I'm not giving it to myself. I can do this route straight up and that's what I'm going to do. I won't take credit until I do it correctly. Still, I climbed hard and well, so I am satisfied. And for "Jesus"'s sake, I had fun and yes, it was enjoyable.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Bummer - In Need Of Consistent, Dependable Climbing Partner

Didn't get out again this weekend. Kind of bummed about that. I had a couple of different options but both bailed. Even worse, only one had the decency to actually notify me that climbing was going to be out. The other just, well, never even called. Sigh.

I used to have a great climbing partner in Edinburgh. While Mat was the one who brought me into the climbing world, so to speak, it was Kevin who suggested the idea of climbing and became a loyal partner for about a year-and-a-half. Naturally, however, we all move on. Kevin met his future wife and I moved back home to the United States. Mat, unfortunately, died in France last summer on a climbing trip.

Still, I remember those days fondly because, not only was I having the time of my life in wonderful Edinburgh, I also knew that I was going to go climbing two to three days per week - guaranteed. Since I've moved home, however, things have not quite worked out as I would have hoped. Granted, it took me time to establish myself (personally, not climbing-wise) before I started climbing again. But while I lived in New Hampshire (my first real residence after school), the partners I had were sporadic at best, and that was likely because I wasn't as active as I could have been (low-paying job, high stress living conditions, etc).

When I moved to Massachusetts I had more opportunities to meet people, or so I thought. I started up my climbing group (see links) and it started with me and another girl ("Russia") who joined shortly after we met at the gym one day. It was actually kind of nice because I thought I had scored a partner finally, but she got sick for several months and didn't see her again until we after she had found new partners on her own (maybe it's me? *shrugs*). Still, at this point my group was growing, albeit slowly, and I was putting together regular gym and outdoor sessions that, while they weren't always dependable, were greater in frequency than I had climbed since my time in Scotland.

This pattern has pretty much continued until the present time. Each time I've wanted to go climbing, I've posted on my site and waited for people to respond. Generally speaking, this has worked well. I do have my regular partners who do respond on a regular basis, and sometimes they post if they are interested in going climbing and want a partner. However, 90% of the time it is me who initiates the climbing, and sometimes, despite an affirmative response, I get stiffed.

That's what happened to me this weekend. To be fair, one of the people who I was going to climb with was courteous enough to let me know in advance that he wasn't going to make it. But on both Saturday and Sunday I was somewhat expecting a call to go climbing either or both afternoons, and received no notification whatsoever. I know nothing was set in stone, but what was I supposed to do? I was told that I could go possibly go climbing both afternoons. Does that mean I should keep that time open? Or does it mean nothing and that I should have just planned to do something otherwise despite the possibility of going? It seems to me that the second option shows a lack of faith, so I waited. I learned my lesson.

I'm not normally this quick to judge, but I've been in a vulnerable position of late and am in need of some stability. I don't know, but I've always been the guy who gives and gives and gives and gives just because I'm the one who's always seeking instead of being sought. It would be nice to not have to worry about whether or not I can trust people for once. I'm a trusting person by nature, but when that trust goes away, it tends to go away forever. I'm in a bad state, and need someone I can trust; someone I can rely on to the point of not having to worry. We say we're going climbing, and we go. And if we don't, that gets communicated respectfully. Do you know anyone like that?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Felt Strong Last Night - May Have Flashed First 5.11

Boo-hiss to the threat of rain on the days I'd prefer to be outside, but that's only in general. Sometimes, blessings occur that turn things around without knowing why. While my climbing has not suffered at all this spring and summer (in fact, I think I've improved quite a bit), I haven't felt particularly ambitious of late; a fact that I attribute to several non-climbing stresses that have been dragging me down the past couple of months.

But last night proved to be a good night at the gym. Firstly, it was busy, and while people might think that is bad thing, it really wasn't. You see, on busy nights, people need to climb whatever is available. As it turned out, what was available were hard routes that I hadn't climbed yet. Almost all of these routes were on the prow in the back of the gym.

First, there was a new 5.11 that looked juggy and balancy at the same time. If I hadn't looked at it first, it could have been my first 5.11 onsite, but I had to settle for the flash instead (sigh). It was a very nice route where all the proper holds were there, but I can't say for certain that I have, in fact, flashed my first 5.11. Even though that was the given grade, I have doubts as to whether or not it really is that hard. I think it should have gone 5.10b/c. Yes, it was balancy, but it wasn't very difficult to navigate or stay on the wall.

After that I ran up a couple of moderate routes that happened to be open next to the 5.11 before turning the corner and spying a 5.10b/c that goes up the tallest section of the prow. Having done the 5.11 around the corner, which was a shorter route and less overhanging, I felt that the 10b/c would be a harder challenge as I drew near the end of my night (it was something like climb #6 or 7 - almost all above 5.10b - so I was kind of tired). It was a challenge, but I got up it on one take near where there is a series of really pumpy Gastons going up through the overhang. As I came down, I felt that I could pretty easily lead this and the 5.11 I was on earlier. I may even go back tonight to see if I can lead them (though two nights of climbing in a row almost never works for me, so if I do go tonight, I bet I flail).

Anyway, after that I jumped on a 5.12 comp route that was left up after the last comp a month ago. I was pretty tired by the end of the night, but I got up it, albeit with several falls and takes. I think I can do this route, but it will take some time and work. The thing I like about comp routes is that they are so well set that the moves and feet are all there. What makes them hard is actually moving through the sequence. They are refreshing climbs because they actually feel they grade yet the moves and sequence are pretty obvious at the same time.

On another note, I plan on joining a regular gym for the first time in a couple of years. I'd really like to improve my core strength, and I just feel I need to hit the gym in order to do that well; or at least do it in a way that I am familiar with.

Monday, July 02, 2007

No Climbing This Weekend - BOOO!!!

Eh, it's not that bad. I was hoping to hit the 'Gunks this weekend with a few people who have been there relatively recently, but I ended up spending a fair amount of time working around moving issues. I also went for a nice bike ride yesterday afternoon. Back to the gym tonight, and hopefully outside again next week.