Archive for June, 2012

Grefsen climbing

I hit up Grefsenkollen crag with Gorm yesterday evening. It is convenient, but not much to chose from, and with 3 other parties up there our options were severely limited. But we got in some steep moves (for us that is still around vertical…) and a great pump going. I made a mistake leading my fav route up there and couldn’t find the key hold which botched the send, but it was easier than last time, even with 6 months off. I think perhaps my technique is slightly improved.

With season warm up over and done with, Hauktjern on friday will be a good test of where I actually stand compared to last season. The goal is to send Bolt Junkie clean, and give Hekseskudd some work to see how far I am from breaking into the 7’s. Hopefully it won’t be too far…

Stoked about this season now!

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Climbing is on!

Been a while. In fact, not counting the two easy routes on Hvalsberget a few weeks back, it has been 6 months since I pulled hard on rock (man I do miss Queen Creek, AZ, and fondly).

 

Wednesday of last week I got the chance to hit Hauktjern with some new Swedish friends. Conditions were perfect. Not too hot, not too cold. I did skip warmup though. It seems this is the lesson I have to relearn every season. Oh well…

With my favourite 5 being climbed, I decided it was ok to hop straight on a 6+. It was not, and I burned out completely without topping out. Sad state of affairs. My new partner (who is completely new to climbing I will add) did not manage to top it out either, so there was nothing to do but do the walk of shame and rap clean.

But by then my fab 5 (Skrabanek) was free so I cruised that. The last few moves still fill my heart with joy. Erland struggled a little bit with nerves, but got back on and crushed it! That was really nice to see. Good jobs.

Then I had the chance to get on Bolt Junkie. It is a 35 meter long (I think that is pretty damn long) route, graded straight up 5. Being completely burned out with aching forearms before I even got on, it proved a formidable challenge. My technique was sloppy as well and you know that does not help at all… I took two falls, the second one a pretty good whipper and I hurt my ankle on impact. But I was determined to go on, and after a few moves I no longer felt the pain. Got up and felt pretty damn good. Longest non trad pitch I have done.

Beat up, pumped out of my mind and exhausted I trekked down to the subway (yeah, no car so I am all about public transit these days). Got home just before midnight. Whatta day!

Thursday was supposed to be the great Paul and Gorm reunion at Kolsås, but too tired I asked to relocate to Hauktjern. Gorm agreed (he is after all an agreeable fellow). My ankle was completely stiff in the morning, but I decided to move about a bit and see how it progressed. After a while it warmed up to the idea and I was able to walk normally. But on the way up to Hauktjern it started raining. So we turned back and went to Klatreverket (the climbing gym).

We did a bunch of routes on the structure walls upstairs. Both of us had a rough start, but getting nice and warm we were cruising the easiest routes and grunting up some easy ones. We also discovered that they have a crack route. So I had to do that. I stuffed my foot in the crack and pulled up on a jam, and as soon as I weighted my (bad) ankle, I thought I was going to pass out from the pain. It was straight up wicked. But I somehow held on and managed to get the foot out of the crack. After a little break, with pain subsiding, I went on, but using only my left foot in the crack the rest of the way. Interesting challenge.

To finish off I did two steep structural routes and completely surprised myself by topping out after making a series of low percentage moves with serious pump. You just don’t know what you can do until you give it your all. But by then my ankle was giving me pain with every move, so it was time to let it rest.

Burger and a beer to celebrate the reunion and start of climbing season.

And now my ankle seems perfectly fine and I am looking forward to giving Bolt Junkie a solid push on wednesday again!

How climbing (and blogging) was put in the back seat, and why I feel like I’m selling out

I haven’t been really climbing in almost 6 months. One trip to Hvalsberget where I cruised two easy routes before my belay partner for the day had to surrender because of a headache. I met 2 swedes there and was optimistic about getting out more, but haven’t.

This was late in spring though, there have been ample time since mid march to get out on rock, but I have not gotten around to it. As in, I have chosen to do other things. The strange part is that a lot of the time, those other things have been unimportant. And sometimes those other things have literally been doing nothing.

School has been taking a lot of time. And it has been very positive, especially a few coaching sessions that have really helped me get a better sense of direction (all though I still make some odd choices).

This week I made the oddest choice of all.

The plan was to go to Lofoten in july with Gorm, and among other things, climb Stetind sponsored by Mammut. I told myself and others that this trip was written in stone. That it was more important to me than pretty much anything else I could think of.

Then I started getting stressed. Still unemployed and with limited income. Gambling on a cheap RV to take us safely all the way. Jeopardizing a new career opportunity. And a hundred self inflicted stress increasing tasks to get done before going, in addition to exams.

So I decided to cancel Lofoten. The reasoning? Lofoten will still be there every year. If I wait I can afford a quality RV. I have to take advantage of the career opportunities I have right now, lest they disappear for ever. And as soon as I made the decision I felt calm. I felt relaxed and good.

But in the days following the decision a sadness has been sneaking in. And today I finally owned up to the hard truth. I sold out. I made the easy choice, but the wrong one. I went against my values, and now I am paying the price. Assume that for weighty (but private reasons) I can’t undo my decision.

It is an ugly truth. It makes me really sad. So what is the good news? By acknowledging this feeling I can make damn sure I don’t make similar mistakes again. I can strengthen my resolve to act according to my values in the future. And climbing hard in cool places is certainly still a core value in my life.

Now it is time to make a killer plan B (and maybe even plan C) for the summer, so that I can still enjoy some wicked climbing. Even though it was not a good reason to cancel the trip, Lofoten will still be there in the future, but a summer without climbing will be gone forever. And I am determined not to regret the climbing I didn’t do. The remedy for that? Climbing.