Archive for May, 2010

Indoor climbing today

Went to the climbing gym today with a friend, and tried some of the short routes there.

Did some traversing in the bouldering area for warmup, as well as a 5.8 route on rope. But climbing on the regular holds just seems too artificial to be any fun for me.

But then I discovered a few routes that were made of different wall formations, and those were pretty great. Almost all made up of different sidepulls and slopers, which is just what the doctor ordered (not literally) for improving my open hand grip. The first one I tried was a 5.10b, and I fell off it 3 times before I got too pumped to continue. After a little rest I tried another one at 5.10a. This one I managed to top out, but I fell once and got back on.

Great training for finger strength, but also for balance and tactics to get the most out of the different sloping holds. It was really challenging and a lot of fun. If the weather gets bad, I will return to do more of that.

Cardio and antagonist training tomorrow, then hopefully some quality climbing on real rock on Tuesday. The season is rocking now!


Bitchin day!

Drove off to the crag after work today, sun was shining, things looked great, then as we got closer, it started raining. Not a lot, but enough to make us nervous. When we got to the crag it rained enough to make it hard to look up for all the water falling in our eyes. Because we didn’t think there would be any climbing, we went to take a good close look at Muffin Man, a 5.11 route I’d like to work sometime soon. It looks like the first part is the hardest, obviously too hard for an onsight attempt, so I hope to project it over a few sessions next week, or the week after.

As we sat looking at the route, discussing possible sequences, we noticed it had stopped raining. Wonder of all wonders, not only did it stop raining, it cleared up and turned into a great climbing day.

I did a soft 5.7 as warmup, all though the slab part was still a little wet and it made me a little uncomfortable. Got through it, and went off to do the steep 5.8 we did last time. I botched a move and fell as I was trying to switch hands on a hold. Got back on and managed to ease past it and top out. Gorm gave it a go after me, and when he was down I decided I wanted to do it again to get the sequence right. And I did. I completely crushed it. Even did an alternate beginning since I didn’t have to follow the bolts. The moves were strong and smooth. As I topped out I noticed the anchors for what turned out to be an alternative line, and it looked really cool. So I lowered down, and went up again the other way (opposite sides of an arête). Fell once while figuring out the sequence, but used a drop knee to maximum effect. That really got me going. Sticking these little technical details, and feeling the effects on a move that felt stupid hard without it, is really very cool. Technique. So not over rated. Rope drag over my hip on the last hard move (a sweet heel hook to get over a lip) stopped me from topping out, but I am looking forward to giving it a good go next time. The last fall was a lot of fun as well. I got a real kick out of it. 🙂

So 3 good burns in vertical was really cool today. Super stoked about sticking a lot of moves in a short time like that. Feels like my confidence is growing on this type of routes. Falling 3 times when really going all out tells me I’m not holding back. It is a really awesome feeling!

Muffin Man, you’re next!

Climbing today!

I felt really tired today after the hellish drive from Davik yesterday, and my body felt sluggish and soft all day at work. But got through it, and headed for the crag with Gorm anyways.

I promised myself I wouldn’t try anything hard today, but who am I kidding. Can’t resist a little pain.

We did a route called “Slagkraftig” at 5.8 as warmup. And I think it was a little too hard to start the warmup. Vertical route, with nice jugs, but still pretty hard for me, and I felt slightly pumped before I was finished. But a nice onsight either way. Then I gave in to temptation and went to try ” Svart arbeid” again. Suffice it to say my quickdraws are still hanging pretty up there… On the bright side, I am now convinced I know the sequence. I just need to get a little stronger… And I pushed until I dropped. Almost tore off my fingers from this 2 finger crack I used. At last it felt that way. But it really is good news. Just a little stronger, and I will be ready.

Another conclusion is that on slabs, I can climb somewhere around 5.11, but as soon as it gets into vertical it drops to around 5.9ish. “Slagkraftig” will most certainly be a regular part of the climbing at Hvitebjørnåsen, as it is a really good vertical route to help me get stronger.

We finished off with an onsight of “Rask avklaring” another 5.8. Today was really a 5.8 kind of day, and after all is said and done, I am happy with the climbing. The 2 routes I did were both cool, and it was nice to get a couple of onsights under my belt, even if they were a little softer  than I would have liked. Can’t always be peaking, I guess.

Still have quite a few routes to work there, so it looks like it will be our staple destination for a while longer.

Weekend in Davik

Had a great weekend in beautiful Davik. Dan hooked us up with great digs, with everything we could need. Maybe a few more cold ones, but still… Great landscape around the place, with snow-covered mountains, the Nord Fjord outside the window. A perfect getaway for some relaxation. Weather wasn’t perfect with a little fog, and a little drizzle, but it was still great.

We did some hiking, and a lot of eating, and no work. Great stuff! And I gave my cam to Dan, and he took a s**tload of pics. A few of them are below.

Drive home was pretty bad though, we left too late, and made too many stops, and I didn’t get home until 11:30 pm. Tired…

Going west

Long weekend, and tomorrow I travel west to Davik. It means I will be off-line until monday night.

Climbing shoes, pad and chalk are coming with me in case any interesting boulders are found. I hope so, but we’ll see. Camera is charged, so hopefully there will be some pics to show as well on monday night. Until then, have a great one and send, send, send!

Permissions received

I almost forgot. On Tuesday I called the land owners of my secret crag to get permission to develop some routes there.

Turns out it is not that secret, and the part of the wall I did not get to because Dante was bit by the snake is already being climbed. I don’t know if it is bolted or trad stuff, but I will go check it out. Either way, the part of the wall I checked out has several great lines and I am really looking forward to cleaning and bolting them. Not to mention climbing them. If I can. I am determined to put up a few wicked hard projects there that can keep me challenged for a long time.

So I am in the process of figuring out how I will be able to afford the bolts and the glue. Pay day in June looks like the likely opportunity. Hopefully I will be able to borrow a drill from the climbing club. We’ll see.

Either way, I am stoked!

New crag: Hvitebjørnåsen (White Bear Hill)

We picked a new crag to visit yesterday. Hvitebjørnåsen (White Bear Hill) is where we ended up, mainly because of geography, and a nice selection of routes around 5.10-5.11.

Warmup on a couple of routes around 5.7 – 5.8 (Taktisk spill and Nyansert Gange) was interesting. A new crag, new rock, new moves and a lot of fun. Especially Taktisk Spill at 5.8 had an interesting bit of challenging slab climbing. Then we went looking for a real challenge…

Routes that were considered were Tiger 5.11b, Boller og brus also 5.11b (quickly discarded as too damn hard), Hacky Sack 5.10c and Svart Arbeid also 5.10c. In the end Svart Arbeid prevailed our thorough selection process with Tiger a close second. Saving the harder one for next time?

The route starts out with a bouldery section that goes from ground up into a small dihedral. Then there is some ledges to walk up before there is another bouldery part where you have to get up and into a slanted off width/chimney, after which it is crawling/stemming to the anchors. So two hard parts, one ridiculously easy part, and one uncomfortable part. See pictures.

The first part caused me a ton of trouble, as I took a long time to figure out a sequence that gave me the right balance points to use two vital slopers. I almost burned out before I figured it out by going through a lot of different options, then down climbing. But once I figured it out, it was pretty straight forward, or would have been if I wasn’t so pumped. Gorm did it after me, and with the beta he cruised the section. So I got up to the second hard part pretty pumped out, and I didn’t stand a chance. It is a pretty odd problem, with three great handholds on one side of the off-width, and footholds on the other side. So no balance there at all. In the end I lowered down to let Gorm have his shot.

Unfortunately, in spite of cruising the first part, Gorm couldn’t manage to get past the second problem either, and we left 2 quickdraws up there. Not that we had to, but it was really late, we were severely pumped, and going back soon to send the bastard. So we just couldn’t be bothered.

In retrospect (I have thought about it a lot), I think I got distracted by the handholds on the left side of the off-width. The edge is pretty sharp, and has this part that is possible to pinch as well. I think the best bet is to just do a layback move with the edge of the off-width and the footholds available, throw a heel hook into it and crank like mad while hoping for the best. Hehe. I’m determined to get through it next time.

The really stupid part of all this is: It is a pretty shitty route. Basically two short  boulderproblems with some silly stuff between. And yet I can’t get the damn thing out of my head. I couldn’t sleep last night from obsessing over that last problem. Going over sequences over and over in my head. Just like last season when I couldn’t send Seksern (my first attempt at sending a 5.10 route). I couldn’t let it go until the season was over. I hope I send this one quickly, or find something worthwhile to obsess over. Like a long, gorgeous and technical 5.11.

Note to self. Give it a rest all ready. You’ll send it when you send it. In the meantime, there are lots of other things to do. Like giving Tiger a go. It is a really short but brutal 5.11b that looks really cool. Think about that instead…