Tuesday, September 7, 2010
LRC, Hound Ears & an Old School Secret Spot
So I received my advance copy of the new Stone Fort Bouldering guide late last week and was super stoked to see how impressive the guide is. If you liked the new HP40 Bouldering guide, then you'll be very pleased with the Stone Fort Guide. I'm in the process of writing the review, which will hopefully be posted in the next couple of days...keep an eye out for it. I'm also going to write a follow up when I get back from my LRC bouldering weekend on the 17-19th...I don't feel comfortable giving a whole review without using the book in the field and assessing its user friendliness. Don't forget that the best deal on the guide is going on right now during Greener Grasses Pre-Order Sale...save $6 off the cover price (that's like 25% off!). I can guarantee that if you plan on going to LRC, this guide will make your trip worthwhile and keep you from wandering around aimlessly asking everybody where Super Mario is:)
Also towards the end of last week, I signed up for Hound Ears, the first comp of the Triple Crown Bouldering comp. My wife and I are both competing/attending...I'm so psyched to finally get to take part in one of the Triple Crown comps! Its been my goal each of the last 5 years to compete, but something always comes up that prevents me from going. One of the benefits to these comps are the comp guides you get while competing (this used to be the only way to get a topo of LRC or HP40)...but since Greener Grass has published new guidebooks to the last 2 stops of the Crown, I don't feel the urgency to attend these 2 comps as much (and especially since I'm visiting LRC in 2 weekends).
So with 2 big bouldering trips coming up in the next month, I felt the need to stop goofing off as much when I boulder and focus a little more on projecting and sending harder stuff. I went to the gym last week, for the first time in like a year or so, and sent a bunch of V0-V2's and then I roped up and shocked myself by sending a 5.11a/b. I havent sent a roped route that hard in the gym in a long time, so I was pretty excited (and sore the next day too). Also, I've been doing a lot of bouldering lately at one of my old school secret spots and started to tick off some of the old projects I had, and hadn't visited for like 5-10 years. Yesterday I was working on a sweet route I call Hades, in a bouldering area I've been calling Asgard. I had a freak send of this route Sunday but couldn't repeat it afterwards...making me feel that the route is about a V4. I went back yesterday to celebrate Labor Day off, and worked out better beta and sent the route differently and felt it was around a hard V3...either way, the route was awesome. The route starts with a left hand undercling on a 2 finger crimp and right hand on a sloping arete...next you get some thin crappy feet under you and bump the right hand up to a big overhanging pinch, the crux. Once on the pinch, you have to bring your whole body up to some higher, crappier feet and throw for the sloping edge at the top. Hades V3/4 became an instant classic in my book! The only bad thing was that while I was working the route, I felt my pinky on my right hand pop...I assumed it was the knuckle popping, but I think I've sprained or pulled one of the pulley tendons in that finger (medial compression hurts more than any other movement). I ended up sending the route after the pop, and even though it hurt a little, I could still produce enough force to grip the critical undercling without too big of a problem. Today the tendon is tight and odd feeling, but I am not limited in my motion or grip...so I hope it is just a temporary sprain and it'll be good as new by the time LRC and Hound Ears comes around. If anybody has any tips on my finger or might have experienced the same thing before, post a response to help me better understand it. I've been climbing for what seems like forever and never had a single pulley or tendon problem, so this is all new to me. After Hades, I ventured a little deeper in the woods to a few other established problems. I ended up sending a fun V4 slab route, along with another V3 slab route right beside it...I love slabs more than anything (good thing because that's the usual for SC bouldering). After the slabs I hit an old school classic called Cookie Monster V3...a great SDS that follows a series of slopey bulging shelves to a slap happy top out. I feel stronger than I have in the past month, since my kidney stones, and hope to build on this to have a good time on my upcoming trips!
I hope everybody else is getting ramped up for bouldering season and has some fun road trips planned too! If not, consider signing up for the Triple Crown, or one of the comps, and hang out with hundreds of climbing buddies you never knew you had!