Saturday, March 31, 2007

Training at the Tor Week 2

Morning stats: 176.0 lbs, 7.1% body fat. Elijah “Shamu” Ball weighed in at an impressive 201 last night. It's in the high 70's at the Tor, noticably hotter than last weekend. We do the obligatory warm-ups on Power and the Sea and head over to do out four laps on Chips (12d). Watching Elijah go up this route four times weighing 25 pounds more than me is both impressive and inspiring. After this, my ability to do basic math is gone: I know we did Power and the Sea and that's two, and I know we just did four laps on Chips, but I have to confirm with Elijah asking “We've done six routes, correct?” In the context of my challenge, a lap on Chips is much harder than a lap on Shatterhand, so I might rethink my final climbing order.

We do a lap on Shatterhand and then The Natural. Elijah bows out at this point, but its an excellent first day of the season. I proceed to do two laps on AutoMagic, one on Hell, and one on Anchor. Twelve laps total on the half hour. I'm totally devistated but have achieved my goal for the day. My arms and legs are cramping the whole drive home.

I bump into Elijah at dinner when I'm on my third vodka martini, he says “Yeah, I need a drink so I don't get sore.” Next week the goal is twelve laps on 25 minute intervals.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Training at the Tor Week 1

Chris and I head to the Tor. We have a goal of doing 8 laps on 30 minute intervals. (Thus, if a route takes 10 minutes to climb, you have a 20 minute rest.) The temperature is perfect, probably 72 degrees. We do Power, the Sea, and our first lap (of four) on Shatterhand. Chris is tired early and skips an interval for rest. We proceed to each 1 fall Shatterhand two more times, and I have another 2 fall attempt. I have six laps behind me, Chris five, and we’re very tired. Some of our laps took up to 13 minutes, leaving very little time for rest. We go over to Hell where we each do 2 laps, I redpoint it once. Next up is the newly created “Anchor Punch” (12a) between the Sea and Power. It’s all I can do to get up it twice. Chris does three laps to make up for the lap he missed earlier. Ten laps on the half hour, a far cry from forty on the 15 minute, but it’s a start. Next week’s goal is 12 laps on the half hour, including four laps on Chips and one on Shatterhand. On the drive home Chris declares my birthday challenge a “mahogany challenge”, a term he reserves for only the most difficult tasks. He clearly doesn’t think its possible (by us).

When the Sea Doesn't Want You (12a)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Warm-up Week 0

I'm not considering week zero as an “official” training day in preperation for the challenge. Chris “Normal Guy” Leube wants to try Hard Boiled (13b) and it's a nice day to visit the back area (aka Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong). We warm up at the Tor doing the first ascent of Anchor Punch (12a). We do three laps each on Hard Boiled (13b), no redpoints between us. We’re totally dead at the end of the day after only 5 laps. Also, my left shoulder is very weak and feels slightly injured.

The Power of Eating (11d)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Challenge

40 Laps on ten different routes at the Owl Tor (near Santa Maria, CA). This is approximately 1600 feet of climbing that overhangs a total of 650 feet, averaging about 12b/c in difficulty. (These will not be redpoints, I just have to do all the moves and hopefully all the clips.) The routes are:
  1. Power of Eating (11d)
  2. When the Sea Doesn’t Want You (12a)
  3. Anchor Punch (12a)
  4. Auto-Magic (12a)
  5. White Cougar (12b)
  6. Hell of the Upside-down Sinners (12b)
  7. The Natural (12c)
  8. The Old Pro Skill (12d)
  9. Chips Ahoy (12d)
  10. Old Shatterhand (12d)

The Obstacles:

  1. Left shoulder is injured. Kevin Brown has looked at it and recommended rotator cuff exercises.
  2. Heat. In June it’s often over 100 degrees at the Owl Tor.
  3. Time. A lap every 15 minute is ridiculously fast, but 40 laps will still take 10 hours at this rate.
  4. Skin, work, marriage, et. al.

The Old Pro Skill (12c)

The Power of Eating (11d)