As I've mentioned about 24,593 times, for most of the season I exchanged my superlight sport harness for a far too heavy toolbelt. We're nearing the finish, and I'm extremely proud of what we've created. Yes, it came at the cost of what could have been a great season for me. Outweighing that is the fact that we've completely rebuilt a house out of our pocket... which means zero debt... which means more future climbing trips. I can hardly wait.
Despite my minor lamentations, I didn't EXACTLY miss the season. Two of the people I built programs for had true breakthrough seasons, and I got to share in a little of that excitement.
Taylor Frohmiller nearly sending "Paradise Lost".
You'll remember Taylor Frohmiller from the incomplete case studies we tried in the spring. A host of detours kept us from finishing the spring in a strong way, but Taylor wrapped up school and turned his focus to getting in a little more time outdoors on real rock. As soon as he was getting out regularly, he sent that first 5.13.
First to go down was "Calm Like A Bomb", a short blend of technical and power. Next was "Hoofmaker", an archetypal Undertow route with an early crux and 80 feet of steep pump above. Finally was a quick send of "The Force", a classic Red River pocket line with a mid-route crux and a fierce redpoint crux right at the very top.
Three very different 5.13's, of differing styles, angles, and hold types. Before the rain cut his season short, he fell off the final moves of the ultra-classic "Paradise Lost" after just a few tries. The big difference was obvious to me... he was finally understanding how to move on real rock. He was pacing himself like an outdoor climber instead of a gym sprinter. After a bit of me yelling "Fall UP!!", he was even falling while trying, rather than his trademark giving up. Next season will be a big one for Taylor, I'm sure.
On August 1st of this year, I got an email from a friend who I've climbed with and given training programs to for several years. She documents absolutely everything, and for me, that's a brilliant thing. In Part II of this post, I'll let you see the communication between us, my thought process, and her progression throughout the season. Stay tuned!