Week One of the first training phase of the season is halfway behind me, and already I'm anxious to get back outside. I've already come very (agonizingly) close to several moves in the gym that I thought I might never do, and am confident that my indoor "season long" projects will fall quicker than expected. Power is the name of the game, and I only now have begun cobbling together a wish list of outdoor problems for the winter.
I don't anticipate being able to make it down into the Dirty South quite as much this year as I did last year, but I can certainly improve the quality of the time I spend there. FOCUS. Most of the moderates are behind me, so I've only the harder things to train my attention on.
Last winter I was able to get in one V9, my first. This year I hope to do two more, and possibly add a V10. The real goal is to know that I'm solid in the V8 range. I've got a crimpy one, a slopey one, a tensiony one, and a big, tall, sketchy friction SLAB. I plan on doing them all. We'll see what time permits...
Here's the wish list, compiled from problems that have caught my eye. Some I only know of via video and word of mouth, but most have made me stop and stare at some point in time. A few I've even logged a little air time on. All of them inspire me:
Sand Blasting Skin
(Stone Fort) (assuming I have enough pads/spotters)
(several to choose from here... gonna have to find what fits me best.)
The White Face
(Rocktown) (No, not to send... just to fondle. It's hard for the grade and stunning... future project)
Jason Kehl on the incredible "Golden Harvest"
Scary topout of "Bedwetters".
The tension of "Helicopter".
Perfect Southern Slopers on "The Orb".
The flawless "Instinct".
Jason Kehl using small holds on "The White Face".
And so it begins...
When we get geographically close to the top of a boulder, we believe that means we're close to the send. Sometimes yes. Oftentimes, no.
Long before John Sherman was a crusader for the plight of the California Condor, he was a bouldering pioneer, brilliant writer, and creator of the bouldering V-scale. In this episode we sit down in Hueco Tanks to discuss his accomplishments as well as to argue about his most infamous creation.
We all like to call climbing an art form, but very few of us take it to the high degree that Jason Kehl does. From his haircut to his hold lines, his videos to his gym designs, Jason is anything but conventional, and that's exactly why he's so compelling.
Jon Glassberg recently wrote a blog for La Sportiva in which he states that, “Climbing double digits is an attainable goal for any serious climber.” We agree.
In this episode, I have a really great conversation with V11 boulderer, mom, and physical therapist Carrie Cooper. We walk through her process, how she deals with the ego, and talk about what she's learning.
Are you allowing yourself to be too nonchalant with your projects? Are you allowing yourself to get intimidated by your goals and using that fear to exaggerate the process required to achieve them?
In this episode I have a short podversation with Carlo Traversi, boulderer and National Sport Climbing Champion. He started in Yosemite as a traddie, and plans on taking it back to there; "Folding the sport over on itself," as he calls it.
Recently "Rock and Ice" posted a video from Daniel Woods and The North Face and like everyone else, I watched. At first I just dismissed it, but the more I thought about it, the more I needed to rant a little. There are loads of pro-climber "training" videos that are, at best, silly, and at worst, irresponsible.
Yesterday I posted Part 1 on "Hypertrophy for Climbing", and comments were made within hours of the post: Anonymous said... What are you doing in terms of forearms, the weakest link for probably 99% of climbers? I've never fallen off a route or problem because my triceps/chest/shoulders were too pumped....
I'll just let the video tell the story...This bouldering season has been eye opening... and it might not be over just yet!
In my last post I gave you a little tidbit of how the trip went, but I thought I should give you a proper update. Besides stepping onto the incredible "Golden Harvest" for the first time, I used the last trip as a time to feel out more of the hard boulders on my list.
I had expected that "The Orb" would be one of the hard ones. It's a problem I'd wanted to climb since I first saw it, 12 years ago, long before bouldering interested me.
First off, let me give you the brief update on my recent 2 day trip into the Dirty South to wrestle with some gorgeous pebbles. I spent both days at Stone Fort, in Tennessee.
Power is the name of the game, and I only now have begun cobbling together a wish list of outdoor problems for the winter.
But routes are for training endurance and bouldering trains power, right? Not always... If you really want to reap the benefits that bouldering can provide, you're gonna have to make sure that you're muscles get the memo.
More readers are asking great questions, which has prompted me to decide to periodically answer as many as I can, in addition to my regular posts. Carlos writes: I also wanted to share my new training plan with you and hopefully get some suggestions on improving it...