Monday, March 31, 2014

Weekend Report 03/29/14 - 03/30/14

What a rad weekend! My old friend Phil and his family came up to the house to visit my family and me. Phil and I are planning a big trip later in the summer, but this weekend was about reacquainting and spending some excellent time out on the rock at Devil's Lake. I wrote about some plans last Thursday, but they (as they always do) changed. This is how it actually shook out.

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Different Time

My friend Jay recently wrote a short blog post about an adventure we had many years ago. It was fueled by youthful exuberance and an inability to rationally calculate risk. I wrote a description of the same adventure as a part of a route description for Pause for a Whisper on Mountain Project a while back too.

It is interesting to see the different perspectives on a life-changing route. We were young, foolish, and proud back then; aging has only partially cured us of those adjectives, but we have both acquired enough marbles in life that playing for all of them sight-unseen no longer seems worthwhile. If either of us had been able to see past the horizon of our early twenties, and into the happy vista of our mid-thirties; we would not have put one in the cylinder, spun it and pulled the trigger like we did. Alas, such is the beauty and the curse of youth; too ignorant to know better, and so blinded by the moment that the future being risked does not matter.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hatching Weekend Plans

It is spring in Wisconsin, which means, among many other things, that most Wisconsin climbers are feeling a bit lethargic from winter's low-activity levels and compensatory over-indulgences. Which is of course the nice way of saying that a lot of us probably spent too much time on our couches while consuming too much cheese and too many beers. I was lucky enough back in early February to have a good friend talk me into a "spring break" a trip to Joshua Tree National Park and have been working a diet/workout plan hard since. I plan on posting the details of that system along with a trip report from J-Tree when I get back.

For the last six weeks or so I have been working the hangboard, pull-ups, push-ups, core-routine and cardio pretty hard. I have dropped 20 pounds and gotten stronger.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday Night Bouldering Club of One

One of my projects for the next few weeks (hopefully, months maybe) is to send the Little Flatiron. I began that process tonight with an hour or so after work playing around in the overcast, windy and cold conditions that were not forecast yesterday. Anyway, the sun came out as I was wrapping up and I think I got a decent pic of the route:
The Little Flatiron (V4)

Wednesday and the Weekend to be!

The forecast for this afternoon is looking great, and I'm grabbing my shoes, chalkbag and pad to head up to the Lake for an after work bouldering session. Today's big goal is the Little Flatiron and perhaps Martini Madness - but I am going to see how the afternoon is going before hopping on that.

As for the upcoming weekend, I am psyched! The weather looks genuinely good for the weekend, and it cannot come soon enough.

Saturday has a predicted high of 46 with a 10% chance of rain, and Sunday's high is called at 62 with a 10% chance of rain. That means a 99% of a good day this weekend, see you up there!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It Snowed Last Night in Sauk County

Man, waking up to an inch of fresh snow on March 25th is no fun, especially when the weekend plans call for rock climbing. The forecast for the weekend still looks great, but that blanket of white and temps in the teens make a bright outlook tough to maintain.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Two Stellar Saturdays

It is March, and in the Midwest that can mean unbelievably good conditions or unbelievably bad conditions - often within hours of each other. I have been itching to get out climbing since February, because I want to test out my new winter fitness program and get some mileage under my belt before an upcoming trip to Joshua Tree. The last two Saturdays have had decent, maybe even great by recent standards, conditions and called for some climbing. The difficulty lies in finding partners willing to chance bad conditions for the opportunity to luck out with great conditions. Luckily I managed and my friend Justin from Madison came up both Saturdays.

Reuniting with old friends - a day at Devil's Lake.

This post was started in 2009, it's finally finished below:

The compressed snow is solid underfoot - the repetitive cycles of thawing and freezing have left it more like concrete than ice. My pack is heavy, laden with a full rack, a rope, winter clothes and a thermos full of coffee. Like an older brother, the pack scolds me for my winter sloth. As the trail steepens the snow dissipates, no longer strong enough to fight the all-day sunlight on the southern aspect of the bluff. My heart-rate quickens, and every breath burns as the crisp morning air fills my lungs. I consider for a moment that, like the snow, perhaps I too have lost the strength to face my own challenges on this bluff.