Thursday, July 31, 2008

Village Idiot - V7.

Video is me sending Village Idiot V7. Thanks to Masa for the spot and Yusuke for the video! I worked on this problem on and off over a couple of years. It consists of a precise deadpoint to a 1 pad crimp, followed by two more crimps over the mini-roof, and finally a deadpoint to a large crimp (2 pads) which is really a jug at that point. The first crux is pulling over the mini-roof while locking off the left hand. The trick there is to place the right toe on one of the beginning handholds (a flat ledge), flag with the left foot, and reach over with your right hand. This keeps your weight off of your poor left hand fingertips. (You just need a little bit of core and a decent spot for the mental comfort, although the landing is excellent, especially for peterskill, as it's a large wide and flat slab. The only better landing available at Peterskill is the woodchips at the Quarantine boulders.) After that, you match on the crescent and then it's just endurance because the final deadpoint arrives at a really positive hold.
I had been able to do the match before, but usually burned out on those two crimps at the crescent and couldn't position my feet properly for the final deadpoint. I guess the small amount of training I've done recently paid off; I've switched away from bouldering and towards more endurance for sport climbing (200 move traverses), and I've been using a Metolius "Simulator" hangboard once a week, trying some John Bachar style exercises I read about in his book. However, I agree with most people at rockclimbing.com that hangboards are dangerous and not for beginners.

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Our A-Team du jour consisted of Masa, Yusuke, their new friend Masaki, and me. Masaki is a 22 year old med student from Japan who's observing operations at Columbia University. He's also 120 pounds of Beast! After messing around on the Hop V7 (he was able to stick the first dyno, but didn't finish it... i don't know why), he blasted through Village Idiot V7 (flash), Tiger Style V7 (5 tries?), some V3 mantle, Kill Whitey V10 (2nd try!), and finished with a decent attempt on Jefe V10. Picture below is Masaki sending Kill Whitey:
He's only been climbing for 2 years. It was his first time at Peterskill. He's about my height, but 20 lbs less than me, with huge springing power. He really enjoyed bouldering at Peterskill because he found the style to consist of big gymnastic moves between crimps and/or otherwise decent holds. He said Japanese bouldering tended toward very technical moves on thin features, where a static style rules the day. I think he enjoyed flying around like Jackie Chan. The video below is Masaki sending Tiger Style.
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We also tried Sicker than Average V8. Russell the Muscle was going to show us some kneebar beta that would turn it into a V6, but it was late and we wanted to hit Bacchus for beer. Below is me starting Sicker than Average. Wasn't able to get past the bicycle move to the gigantic pinch.
Russell the Muscle shows Masaki how to turn the peace sign into a gangsta gesture along with matching facial thuggery:
After some Bacchus burgers, I challenged Yusuke to some straight pool. We tied 3-3. He was better, but I was luckier. And as we know, luck beats skill.

Breakfast.

A couple of weeks ago I switched my breakfast away from meat and eggs and towards one of oatmeal, 7 grain Kashi, blueberries and raspberries. I feel less tired and think I even lost a little bit of weight. However, on this fateful weekend morning, my body said no mas and demanded grease. Succumbing to the siren call of sausages simmering in the skillet, I whipped up a whoop ass pile of food. I figure this is ok as a "once in a while" thing. Two hours after eating this culinary monstrosity, I passed out on the couch. Thus, my breakfast had a similar effect to drinking 5 stiff gin martinis, but sans hangover.
I decided to check out this limestone crag called "The Gun Club" behind Lone Mountain. Access is very convenient, because they just built a parking lot adjacent to it. If you cut through a couple washes and make a direct beeline for the crag, it's about a 5 minute approach.
While at the Gun Club, I found a couple of bat corpses hanging off of some plants growing out of
the base of the cliff. Not really sure what the bats were doing there (besides decomposing), but here they are for your viewing enjoyment.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Zion N.P.

Pilar marches to the beat of her own drummer as we descend the Emerald Pools trail in hundred degree heat. Although not seen in the photograph, there were hordes of other tourists besides ourselves, but of them, many were european. We saw a lot of dutch or german families with cool glasses. The propane powered buses were nice; if only they would do that in Yosemite. Speaking of Yosemite, Zion struck me as Yosemite "lite" because it's the same model i.e. people enter, stay, and frolic in the valley and there's a loop road in and out. Difference is, Yosemite feels like a bajillion times larger. So Zion had less of the "nature-disney" feel.
My partner who has already been named forgot to bring any utensils. So in order to eat my Annie Chung udon noodles, I fashioned a couple of chopsticks out of twigs, which made me realize my kinship with the chimps.
Sticks in my mouth. Yummy.
This beetle was hanging out by the river. You can see a drop of water in its left armpit. Zion was of course breathtaking, but the daytime high was 107F, which was pretty brutal. It didn't cool off until 1am. So do NOT go there during the summer. We stayed at the South Campground but ants were everywhere, including inside our tent. I awoke encrusted in ant corpses from an all night toss and turn slap fest. Below is a video of me climbing bunnyhop v2 or vo. The two holds on the face are drilled. Makes sense b/c they feel like limestone pockets but it's a sandstone face.

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