Archive for September, 2010

Gym bouldering

Went to the gym to do some plastic bouldering again today.

I really wish it felt more like climbing on rock. But it doesn’t feel like that at all. It feels like lifting weights. Which is fine. It just doesn’t lift me.

But it was a good session. I managed to polish off 2 more blue problems, and that was very satisfying. The second one I really had to work for, and that was a lot of fun. It is really strange how a hold goes from something I slip right off on the first couple of tries, to something I can actually pull a move on after a few tries. It felt so good to be able to pull the final move off this sloper I had slipped off so many times. I find I enjoy this process very much. I hardly ever do it on routes, don’t know why, but I don’t. But on bouldering problems, it really works like a charm a lot of the time. I even tried one move probably 30-40 times without sticking it. But I got really close in the end. Next time I’ll have it.

So in the end, I was smiling when I left. I enjoy doing the blue problems. They are more fun than the green ones. But there are still green ones that are beyond me. So still work to do in the green zone, I guess. Maybe it is not quite like lifting weights. But certainly not like rock. And better with company than alone.

Feeling progress is fun. When all the hard work pays off by being able to climb something a little bit harder than before. That’s what it is all about. Maybe there will be a yellow problem wrapped up for christmas? With a nice bow? I hope so.

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Bit of gym bouldering

Went to the gym for some bouldering today with OA and a couple of his friends. Unfortunately we thought they closed at ten, when in fact they closed at nine. So just one hour of climbing time.

Anyways, I got through a few interesting problems, and did another blue problem. Which was really cool. With a heel hook! OA says I have to do a different blue problem every time now, so I guess I need to do as I am told.

My elbows felt fine, and I actually felt stronger than I have in a while. Maybe it is the vegetable juice I have started making and drinking…

OA is going to Fontainebleau next week. Good thing I’m not going. I would blow my elbows off in 3 days. I’m still a little jealous, but find a way to wish him the best weather, health and friction for the trip. Go crank crazy!

Shit day at work, followed by awesome climbing!

Already tired when I started work today. Not a good sign…

But I got through it, bought some snacks and headed out to a crag called Mega. Steep and pumpy stuff, just what I need.

Got there well ahead of time and took a little nap before i made my way to the wall, and had a look-see before my climbing company arrived. They are much better climbers than me and felt a .10a was suitable for warmup. It’s about a full grade above my normal warmup, and on steep stuff to boot. I was a little nervous about that, but decided to give it my all, and just take the hangs I needed to avoid pumping out before I got started. I think the route is called “Hennes & Maur”. It was really hard, and really cool. But pumped I did get. Did it twice on toprope, and after it felt like I was all done.

Fortunately a good rest and I was ready to go again. I’m a little confused about what routes we did, because I think 2 of them are not in the topo. But I think the second one was a .10b. I toproped that too, and after 2 falls (one of them a pretty scary one because I almost touched ground) I managed to work out the crux and get on with it. After that it was pretty straightforward. But the crux moves are really, really awesome. I didn’t think I would be strong enough to pull the layback move required, but somehow I did. Sweetness!

Last route we did was somewhere between 5.9-5.10a (my guess since it is not in the topo). It felt really hard because I was super pumped by then, but the moves were not that difficult. One nervy bit, at least I figure it will be on lead, with an exposed traverse on slopers, but otherwise straight forward. It is a really cool route though, with some really nice moves.

All in all I had a blast climbing today, even though I did nothing on lead. When I go back, I will do some leading. But I need something easier for warmup… Best monday climbing ever! Perhaps the monday curse is broken? Or maybe it was just because I was toproping everything? I don’t know, and I don’t care. It felt awesome!

Slow weekend after killer week(s)

So tired after these last couple of weeks, I have done virtually nothing this weekend (apart from working Saturday and a quick weight session Sunday). I think my body needed to wind down a little bit after 2 weeks of hardships, including lots of overtime at work, bicycling, not enough sleep, weight training and climbing.

This week I have promised myself 8 hours of sleep every night and no overtime. I think it will make a big difference, and hopefully I will be ship-shape for climbing and training during the week, and a summit this weekend. Glittertind is calling me to scale its 2465 meters, and weather permitting, I intend to heed the call.

Here’s to a good week!

Bouldering at Hellerud

OA invited me to go bouldering at Hellerud today, and I’m all for it. Met up around 4:30 pm, strapped on our pads and started off into the forest.

New experience for me, but a ton of fun. And almost no jugs at all. Took some getting used to.

Most of the problems we did were graded “Easy”. It seems the topo regards everything between 1-4 as easy. But I did one 5 something (V0+/V1). Hopefully OA can drop by and give a comment with the name and grade of the problem. It was neat, and seemed right impossible at first, but came along with a few tries. Gotta give things time to gel I guess.

Had a near accident as well towards the end. We managed to put both pads in the wrong position, so when I took a fall, I hit the ground right outside the pad. It felt like it could have hurt, but for some reason didn’t. Jarred my head pretty good, and I decided it was time to call it a day… Will be more careful about pad placement next time. So again, living and learning.

Really looking forward to the next time!

Climbing today

A break from climbing has done wonders for my elbows, and today I was able to climb 5 routes without feeling any pain.

I went to Hvalsberget with Tana, a Canadian lady I met in Lofoten, who’s passing through Oslo. We did Lazy, Fjellinjen, Måsadotten, Kjærlighetsstigen, Paviljongen and Til Ragnhild, switching it up on lead. I had a good time, and Måsadotten and Til Ragnhild is challenging enough to keep me happy. Tana climbed everything in style, I must say she’s a kick ass climber! Myself I struggled a little bit (monday is never my best day), but again, my elbows passing the test was very satisfying.

Now i should be able to get going with my 2 times a week plan. Good stuff!

This is how happy I am to be climbing without pain again!

Gaustatoppen summit, 1883 meters

Friday after work I jumped in my car and set off towards Tinn County and the slopes of Gaustatoppen. It was a shorter and easier drive than I had thought, just shy of two and a half hours. I drove past 2 possible starting points for the trek while looking for a camping spot.

The arrangement with my friend Polle, who would join me from the west, was to find a good camping spot, then sms the gps coordinates to him. I did find an excellent spot, but my phone had no connection. So I drove down the mountain towards the town of Rjukan. When I reached the town and still had no coverage, I started to suspect something was afoul in my phone. Fortunately I found a payphone and was able to call Polle and give him the coordinates.

Then I drove back to the camp site at 1200 meters and pitched my tent, set up my camping table and chairs and got comfortable while waiting for Polle. He arrived around 8 pm. He pitched his tent while I lit the barbecue and 30 minutes later we had food, drink, and a football match on the radio Polle had brought. It was a clear night with stars lighting the heavens. Unfortunately it was also rather chilly, and despite my layers of clothing and a cup of hot chocolate, I was forced to retire to the comforts of my tent before the game concluded. It turned out the next day, that Norway had come back from a goal down at half time to win 2-1. A good sign?

Saturday morning was fantastic. Clear blue skies, and a blazing mountain sun giving life and warmth already at 7:30 in the morning. Our trip was surely blessed from the start. We had a solid breakfast before taking down the camp and driving towards the start of our trek. The first alternative was so crowded we went for the second option, which was slightly better. Ample parking at least, and with packs on our backs, and dogs on their leash we were on our way.

The trek was uneventful, and not that hard. But after only 30 minutes the views start to impress, and there is little wonder why this trek is so popular. I’m not really a fan of these crowded treks, but the trip up was not so bad. We passed a few people, and were passed by a few people, but did not have to struggle too much with excessive company. When we got to the cabin I was a little disappointed about how easy the trek had been. But the best part was yet to come. Because between the cabin and the actual summit there is a ridge of boulders a few hundred meters (or maybe just a hundred, I don’t know…). Dante had a big challenge, and I had some good fun, and we all got a little exposure. Brilliant stuff! Snapped some pics at the summit and returned to the cabin to have our lunch. Only incident was Dante getting his leg stuck in a crack, but we got it out without injury, and were happily on our way.

The descent was pretty bad, with people everywhere. I swear I spent more time off the path than on it to avoid the hordes of people struggling towards the summit, or perhaps just the cabin which seemed to be good enough for most. But I have to keep in mind that it is a great gateway to the wonders of nature, and hopefully some of the jeans and sandal wearing folks will begin to realize all the enjoyment that can be had by challenging your body and experiencing natures wonders. And get out more often. If they don’t, I wish they would have stayed home…

I must say, that the easy trek, combined with the most spectacular view I have ever taken in, understanding the appeal is not hard. Because that insane 360 degree view is one of a kind in Norway. If there had not been so many people there, I would have liked to spend some time to take it all in, but as it were, I just wanted to get out of the crowd… I took some pics to illustrate what I mean, but by no means do they do the experience justice.

There is still hope that I will get to nab another couple of summits before the season is over. Weather will be the judge.


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