Saturday, April 28, 2007

"Excruciating to Touch the Rock"

That's how Elijah described the grim 94 degree weather. By far the hottest day of the season, everyone's motivation was down. I tried to redpoint Manny's new line, White Cougar (12b), but failed (video). That go also took up half of my 20 minute interval.

This was one of the most painful climbing days I've experienced. Every lap after lap ten was an exercise in motivation and pain tolerance. My goal was 17 laps. I completed the first 16 (Power, Sea, Cougar twice, Chips three times, ProSkill three times, Shatterhand three times, Hell, The Natural, AutoMagic). The final lap was on Anchor Punch, but it was just too much; I made it 1/4 the way up and lowered.

Today was the first day I really doubted my ability to do the challenge. Two reasons: skin and my left shoulder. I think I can alleviate some of the skin issue by starting at 5:30-6:00 am when its still cool. That way I can do the 12 laps of 12d before it warms up. I'm not sure what to do about my shoulder. It's gotten some better, but it still gets very tired around lap 10-11 every day.

Elijah set a new weight record on Chips Ahoy (12d) by redpointing it twice weighing 197 pounds. Very impressive. I don't know if Normal Guy or Paul had any fun. I heard a lot of bitching about heat, skin pain, and generally getting worked by the Tor.

Next Saturday's weather is supposed to be a lot better: in the high 60s to low 70s. I will be switching to 15 minute intervals, which I'm very nervous about.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Week 5

I added two links under Just The Facts, to the right. One is to a YouTube video channel I created. The other is to my workout spreadsheet. A few people have asked me what else I'm doing for training. I climb every Saturday at the Tor and train on my wall every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Tuesdays involve about 2.5 hours of climbing followed by an hour of pull-ups, front levers, and other core exercises. Thursdays and Sundays are 2 hours of interval climbing. I’ll try to get some training pics up soon.

Normal Guy, Wuffi (his dog), Paul, Elijah, Brian and I met Manny and the Rat at the Tor; perfect weather once again. Manny skipped a 50 mile run in Colorado to try and redpoint his new route: White Cougar. He looked good on his first go (video) and he won’t be the only person to fall at the chains on redpoint; he redpointed it (video) on his second attempt. He's calling it 12b, which means 12c at most crags. Normal Guy got the second ascent.

My day was a blur. I reduced my interval period to 20 minutes, which seemed ridiculously fast; a few times I had only 6 minutes of rest before my next lap. I did Power, Sea, Chips twice (video), ProSkill twice (video), Shatterhand twice, White Cougar twice, The Natural, Hell, AutoMagic, and Anchor Punch.

At the end of the day, Manny and NG tried a link-up starting on the Sea, traversing through Anchor Punch, then through Power, then through Shatterhand, and finishing on White Cougar; it looks to be a good variation.

Anchor Punch (12a)

Chips Ahoy (12d)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Week of the White Cougar

The day started out bad: Paul “P-Diddy” Dusatko, Elijah, and Hawk all had to bail. I pick up Brian “Lots of muscles and tats but no nickname” Spiering and we head up. Brian’s never been to the Tor; that means today will be fun regardless of what happens. The Tor isn’t like other climbing areas and it’s always interesting to see a newcomer’s reaction to the place. We’re meeting Steve “Manny” Edwards and Normal Guy. Steve will be trying out his new route White Cougar (~12b) which he put up specifically for my birthday challenge, thanks Steve. Normal Guy is hoping for some good redpoint failures on the new High Karate (12d).

The weather was great: a bit on the cold side. There were some minor showers, but that never affects climbing at the Tor. My 14 laps went quite well (Power, Sea, White Cougar four times, Chips, Pro Skill, Shatterhand, The Natural, AutoMagic, Hell, and Anchor twice). Aside from my left hand cramping severely on lap six, my day was pretty uneventful; just extremely tiring. My goal is to up the volume or interval speed every weekend without it feeling more difficult than the previous weekend. So far, things are going as planned. Brian helped out quite a bit by constantly cutting his climbing short so that I could stay on schedule; thanks Brian. He also took the photo below.

Normal Guy succeeded on High Karate, getting in three or four solid redpoint failures and Manny looked good on his new route. They actually had the energy to head back up on Sunday. Normal Guy redpointed High Karate, nabbing the second ascent. Manny came very close, but still fell short on White Cougar.

White Cougar (12b)

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Training at the Tor Week 3

Mark “Hawk” Wanek joined Elijah and I today. Elijah weighed in at 199.8 so I chastize him for not drinking water and re-weighing. The standard warm-ups on Power and the Sea go well. I move on to four laps on The Old Pro Skill. Surprisingly, I redpoint it on attempts 3 & 4. Chips goes down next, but I have to replace two of the fixed draws and this takes a long time. I was on 25 minute intervals, and I get down from Chips with seven minutes on the clock. I rest quickly and do my lap on Shatterhand. After that its downhill: The Natural, AutoMagic, Hell, and Anchor Punch. I have to carry up a four foot long steel chain on my last lap of Anchor Punch. It feels like it weighs 20 pounds. I'm pretty beat up, but overall I feel better than last weekend. Today was 12 laps on 25 minute intervals, next week is 14 laps on 25 minutes.

Dee “D” and Steve “Wolverine” Lapen showed up with her parents from Rhode Island in tow. Steve did the third ascent of Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato (13a). Thanks to Steve for taking all the photos below.

The Old Shatterhand (12d)

The Natural (12c)

The Natural (higher)