Monday, June 16, 2014

Rest day, and last week!

Wow, it has been 10 days since my last post. I am sorry, I have been working on some longer posts that will be coming out when I have time, and on top of that, I have been climbing/ training a lot, so I have been too busy with that to devote an appropriate amount of time, again, I apologize.

Since the last update I have been pretty busy, starting out on Saturday, June 7th.
I agreed to meet Matt B from Seattle, out for a day of climbing at Devil's Lake. We headed to the East Bluff so that he could experience some of the classics. We hit Brinton's Crack (5.6), Birch Tree Crack (5.8) and Peter's Project (5.7) swinging leads with Matt starting the day out. Justin showed up as we were finishing up on Peter's and took a turn on it, then we setup a few top ropes on the west side of Many Pines Buttress and worked on a variety of routes including Black Rib (5.11a), Flatus Triple Direct (5.11d), Asleep in a Fukness Dream (5.12a) and Callipigeanous (5.10a). I managed to get up Black Rib and made some progress on Flatus Triple Direct and Asleep.

Sunday was day of hard work around the farm. Monday the 9th, I headed up the CCC trail to the base of The Little Flatiron (V4) and spent a few hours working on that after warming up on Anarchist's Crack (V1). On Tuesday I did a workout that I am going to call "A Tough Hour" and hopefully I will get a chance to post details about that in a forthcoming "Chasing Fitness" article. Wednesday ended up being a rest day.

On Thursday the 12th, I went to the North Shore of Devil's Lake and did some more bouldering. I managed to send Emily's Naptime (supposedly V1, but I thought much harder), and Oil Can (V1). I also worked on Big Bud Arete (V2) and Jameson Arete (V3). It was a good night out and the approach on the North Shore could not be better. That, and the variety of problems, makes the North Shore a great after-work destination. I will be back for more.

Friday was date night for Christina and I, and we met at Governor Dodge State Park for some bouldering. I repeated a couple of past sends, Picasso Right (V1/2) and Ashmatica (V2). I also did some fun new (to me) problems Picasso Way Left (V1, probably easier) and Severed Ear Crack (V0).  The highlight of the bouldering was sending Get the Hell Outta Dodge (V4). I had previously written this off because of what appeared to be a necessary left foot heel-hook (which does not go well with my bum left knee). Christina really wanted to get on the neighboring Ashmatica though, so I was stuck working on it. I had to find some alternative beta that involves throwing from a bad finger slot and the lip to a very distant horizontal.

The weekend was not very restful either. Since I had a wedding to attend in Northeast Iowa on Saturday evening I did not make any climbing plans. I did however manage an hour run before spending four hours round trip in the car. I hurried home just in time to hang out with Matthew, who was crashing at my house for the night so we could get an early start on the day Sunday morning.

The weather Sunday was far better than forecast; which made for a great, uncrowded day at the Lake. I managed to forget my climbing shoes and chalkbag - doh! Luckily Christina is a saint and wanted to get Hank out to the park for a little while anyway, so she agreed to bring them up the CCC to me. Since I was without two crucial pieces of gear, it was obvious Matthew should get the honor of starting the day off, and he did with a stylish lead of Birch Tree Crack (5.8). By the time we finished that up Christina sent a text saying she was nearing the top of the CCC trail, so I went down to meet her. After that Matthew led up Brinton's Crack (5.6), intent on checking out the direct finish, Brinton's Direct (5.8+). He did a great job with the recon, but chose to use the standard finish, saving the direct for another day. At this point I was psyched top lead something too, so I grabbed the rack and got on Congratulations Crack (5.10a). I had never led Congrats before, but I have climbed it both on top rope and as a second several times. It was time to pony-up and lead it. I sent! Figuring I would keep the momentum going, I started racking up at the base of Sometimes Crack (5.10a). Sometimes takes great gear, but is steep and sustained. I made it through the hard climbing cleanly, only to botch a cam placement and run out of energy trying to fix it. I ended up taking a hang, and then firing the rest of the route, next time it will go down. After tha,t I gently goaded (it didn't take much) Matthew into taking a shot at leading Upper Diagnol (5.9). He made a valiant effort, but the little feet at the start shut him down. I was worked, but felt obligated to give it a shot. I pushed the high point a move or two, but just did not have enough gas left in the tank. We set up a top rope to clean the gear, which Matthew did while sending the route clean, and I was so worked that I declined to even try to top rope the route.

We promptly called it a day, but we will both be back to see if we can square some of the scores we left up there!

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