The end of January has arrived, and that leaves me, weather permitting, with 1 or 2 more bouldering trips to the Southeast. Maybe 3 if Kentucky is still iced over come March.
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. Day 1 was a short day... we drove 6.5 hours and got out of the car headed straight for "The Vagina". It was nearly over in 15 minutes, as I stuck the crux move easily. Oddly, my heal popped out of the perfect heelhook. Hmmm... dumb mistake. I start over, stick the move again, heel pops out. What the hell? I look under the roof, and there is a HUGE tickmark pointing about 4 inches in front of the heelhook. I was never even in the damn thing. I reticked it, came back the next morning, and made quick work of it, for a long awaited send of a Southern super-classic.
Andrew Gearing on "Helicopter Sit" Photo by Allen Chaney.
"Golden Harvest" was next, and I suprised myself by touching the crux hold in a few tries. That's 2.5 moves on a 5 move boulder. Halfway there. The neverending number/ticklist spray coming from the guys who were there before me soon took it's toll, and energy drained; I moved on after 4 or 5 attempts. After lunch and a quick send of a fun V6 called "Drunken Barn Dance", I made my way over to "Helicopter Sit", which weighs in at hard V8/easy V9. Light fading along with my energy, I came agonizingly close to the send in just a few tries. I'll definitely be back for that one.
Senya Iaryguine on "Riverdance".
Day 3 was all about "Riverdance", one of the best looking V9's I've seen. It's in an area known by several names: Dayton Pocket, Dayton Roof, Laurel Falls, or Laurel Snow. No matter what you choose to call it, it's one of the nicest places I've ever climbed. The boulders are spaced out along a beautiful trail that follows a small whitewater river. "Riverdance" sits right on the river, in a perfect little alcove. Originally climbed by the Mayor of the South, Ronnie Jenkins, I was anxious to give it a try. It didn't disappoint. The stone is superb, the movement amazing, and the setting couldn't be any better. The only thing lacking was the send. After two hard days, I was powered down, and came inches from the send after about an hour or two of work. "Riverdance" is currently the boulder I want the most, and will be my first stop on my next trip to the Southeast.
As "The Vagina" was one of the boulders on my all time wishlist, I put together a short video to document it. Enjoy.
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...