Monday, March 31, 2008

Eighth place.

So I went to the "2008 Gravity Brawl" in Fairfield, NJ on good ol' Route 46, just past a shop which bills itself as "Dinettes & Adult Emporium". The event was 11-4pm, so you're supposed to have 5 hours to give it your all. I showed up two hours late and was likely the last competitor to register. They didn't have any red"climber"id tags left so I got a blue "spectator" tag. I got on my first problem around 1pm. But who cares; I really paid $40 to socialize with old friends. Looks like I placed 8th in Male Advanced. My good friend Mike who owns and runs his own rock gym in NY was right there as well in 9th. I hit the 800 point glass ceiling. Everybody above me sent at least one 800 pt. problem, all of which were beyond my ability (I definitely couldn't flash any of them.) So that's 8 out of 33. Not bad. Below Advanced, there were 54 Intermediate and 26 Beginners for a total of 119. Yeah, that's the ticket. 8th out of 119.
My personal climbing results were:
3 V7 flashes.
3 V6 flashes.
2 V5 flashes.
1 V2 flash.
9 flashes. Should really be 10 flashes because one of the V6s you were allowed to start with a foot on the ground, which I found to be atypical. So much so, it had to be pointed out to me after I struggled needlessly. I failed on 5 other problems in the 700-800 pt. range. If I couldn't flash it, I couldn't do it. Of course, to put this into perspective, plastic comp ratings are soft compared to outside, so I would bump everything down 2-3 grades if you want to compare it to bouldering outside. I think the route setters inflate for good reason though. One, it gets everybody psyched, pumped, or motivated because they feel like they're sending hard stuff. Two, if the ratings were consistent with outdoors, the field would be too narrow. This is a business after all and the idea is to pack the place until it's beyond a fire hazard.
Here's a link to the recreational (non-professional results).

Thursday, March 27, 2008


P took this shot. I don't know how she did it, but it looks pretty cool on my poorly calibrated laptop, so here it is.
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I love this old guy. He makes gyoza with a grumpy face. Grump face + gyoza = delicious. Since I was alone, I succumbed to surfing the web on my laptop. I read about how trace amounts of all kinds of pharmaceuticals and drugs are found in drinking water. When combined with plastic bottles leaching plastickyness into the water, I'm probably only safe drinking grain alcohol from a glass container!
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Monday, March 24, 2008

Army Surplus.

The other day, as usual, I-15N was backed up. So I had to do local with lights. As I was driving home on Sahara I peeked through the car carrier to see this sign for an army surplus store. And people wonder why there's so many shootings by lunatics who think they're in Delta Force? Although with a name like that, you can be sure they have all of your survivalist and mercenary goodies. Click on the pic to see the name of the store...
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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Drop of water.

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Warm up by getting ass kicked.

This was my warmup at Lime Kiln. It was brutal. It turned into a mission to get S's $7 quickdraw. Thanks to J who took the shots from the other side of the grotto. Thanks to S for aptly employing the term grotto. The climb was 5.6 up blocks to a hard 5.11ish slab/dihedral thing that fell away from you. I was surprised by the lack of purchase my Acopas had on the grey limestone. They didn't stick at all. It was practically pure opposition to stem. My hips still hurt the day after. Well, I got S's draw after shameful hangdogging and nearly killing my belayer with boredom.

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Back to Lime Kiln Canyon.

We returned to Lime Kiln Canyon again. J & S camped at the crag in the grotto so we met them there around 11am.

This is what happens when J's kids don't behave (he's a teacher.)

I grovelled up this route, which contained a diversity of movement, from ledges to flakes, to slab. Very fun and highly recommended.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

More Lime Kiln.

This is the top of the 6 pitch climb. I hope the cactii didn't damage the rope.
In the cut. In the distance is Mesquite, NV. The dirt road in the valley crosses the NV AZ state line.
Limestone madness! Hopefully we'll be back soon. I haven't published any pix of meself because I have a herpes blister on my lip. Darn promiscuity.
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Lime Kiln Canyon

The Garmin leads us to cows at the NV AZ state line. Those are snow clouds in the background.

The entrance to the canyon. Inside we did a six pitch sport route, with snow flurries on one pitch. Some exploration revealed a ton of bolted sport routes in the vicinity on what looks like bullet limestone. It almost felt like those euro crags you see in the climbing mags, except that at the base of the hill, a cheesy casino awaits instead of a chalet.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Yusuke prepares for the De-Nogginizer 5.11a at the Hunter S. Thompson Dome. By ensuring nipple turgidity, he heightens his ability to send.
Y at the top of the De-Nogginizer. For someone with a fear of heights, he seemed fine. Below, S competes with David Caruso of CSI for most pale dude in a sunny climate. But seriously, tragedy of Titanic proportions struck as a hold broke under the brutal strength of S's grip and his right pinky finger ligament/tendon/pulley took some damage. We were able to splint it with a yellow highlighter and some tape, and later x-rays revealed no broken bones. Despite the swelling and the pain, S came back two days later to send 5.10s. Crazy. And what's up with that golf hat?
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Texas Lite Sweet 5.11b

Below, S preparing for some sort of deadpoint to a kind of sharp side pull. Note the awesome determination. Do not note the top rope.

We have liftoff!

Me trying the same. No dice. But it's interesting that my foot kicked out in a fashion noticeably distinct from S above. Lack of technique? Desperation? I dunno. I think it's the lack of the Sportiva Solutions. I was using Galileos. See what happens when you buy American (made in Korea)?

Friends come to visit!

JP, Diana, and Yusuke arrive at the 2nd pullout. It's the first time here for these itinerant gym rats. Well, Yusuke does boulder outdoors in Japan, so I guess his gym rat status is mitigated. We unload and await the arrival of local teacher and strongman Shawn. A lot of climbers I've met here are teachers. Might have to consider that vocation in the future. Problem is I'm probably only qualified to teach about drinking. Heavily.
JP telling his fear of heights to go take a hike.
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