Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fried Weiners

It was cold, overcast and damp in Gatineau on Wednesday which made for some hard climbing on cold fingers. As the day passed you could feel the temperature dropping off. As I lead up Sausages I felt like garbage and had a serious lack of focus. It was like I had never clipped a draw before. A strange opening to the day where I would pull the hardest moves I have ever done while leading on real rock.

I started to work the crux of Sausages direct 5.12a/b on toprope. Out left to a small crimp at the bottom of the direct section, move feet over, right hand to small (2-3 finger) side pull crimp, left hand up to crimp on a pink granite rail, high right foot, pull, lock and crimp really hard with my right hand on the worst crimp ever by the 4th bolt. With a lot of tension I stepped out high to the ledge (below the lip) with my left foot, cut my right foot and moved it under the left to smear on small ridge, then I came off while moving my left up another 6 inches above the lip into the bomber foot hold. I tried a couple more time and finally stuck my left foot but came off after rocking over to hit a three finger sloping crimp (on pink granite) with my left hand. I decided to jug up and practice the movement between the sloping crimp and the cave. Finally, I lowered below the crux, rested, and to my surprise climbed through to stick the sloping crimp, then my right up to triangle crimp above the bolt, a pop to cave with my left, to grabbing a jug for a rest.

On my first lead attempt I screwed up the high foot because I just forgot the sequence. What a waste of energy. So down to the ground to rest. On the second attempt I missed the last triangle crimp. On the third attempt I moved through the crux clean and felt totally gassed as I grabbed the rest jug. After shaking out I moved my feet high and crossed over to a good triangle. At this point you should stand up, move to a pinch, then on to the final jug and clip. However, being pumped and not thinking straight I founded an undercling in the cave from which I made a tenuous clip. The upside of this clip is it gave me the confidence to stand up to the pinch and finish the climb. A late session epic for me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

At the Copa, Copacabana

I sent Surfing OOSA 5.11a at Copacabana yesterday while James gave Big Joe another couple redpoint attempts. Now if I can just get Wish you were here (Baby Pneu) and Sausages direct before the season ends I would be stoked.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Roma has fallen

I sent Pita de Roma yesterday.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It is getting colder

I made an unscheduled climbing outing with James today. James is a climbing addict and he wanted to go work the moves on "Big Joe" 5.13c or something crazy like that. So off we went into the Gatineau with 5 degrees C air temp, an overcast sky and flurries coming down.
After hiking in James started on a climb that turned out not to be Big Joe but some (unclimbed?) project that was much much harder in James' mind. Then after a peek at the guide book we found Big Joe. James worked the route and managed to get all the moves and link most of them together. By this point, 1.5 hours has gone by and it was my turn
to climb. I won't lie, I was cold (and sore from yesterdays bouldering) and would have walked out of there given the chance. However, James can be persuasive and besides I did not want to look soft in my old age. :) We hiked over to Downunder and setup under
"Pita de Roma" 5.11a. Pulling on my cold climbing shoes sucked. The climbing to the second bolt went well but I could not hold it together on icy fingers and sore arms. After warming my hands under my arms I moved on pass the third bolt and into the crux and on to finish the
climb in one go. Yep, only three bolts and then anchors but they are well spaced so the climb is not short. The crux felt hard. It goes like this: right hand to side-pull crimp, left hand up to garbage crimp, smear right foot on sloping ledge, pop right hand to sloper,
get stable, screaming loud now ... pop right hand high to crimp, pull and stand up, bring left foot up, left hand up to next crimp and pull in, this is where you should clip but I was so pumped that it was not going to work ... after a moment of indecision I screamed really loud and threw for the top above the anchor ... thank goodness it is jug.
With my hand on the jug I clipped the anchor. It was scary and awesome at the same time. James asked if I wanted to do it again to which I reply "no, lower me off this f@#king rock". Maybe if the sun comes out on the weekend I will be able to send this in one go.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wish you were here

With the fall colours starting to peak in Gatineau Park the hike into Baby Pneu was full of reds, oranges and yellows. It has been raining in Ottawa for over 2 solid weeks now so getting on to real rock was pretty sweet. Baby Pneu was wet except for "Wish you were here" 5.12c which I had played on back in August. After some hmmming and hawwwing about what to do I committed to working it again. With James' beta I managed to work out the crux and link the top and bottom parts of the climb. Dam it felt good.

Afterward we headed over to Downunder where James sent Mahlzeit 5.13a and I top-roped the Price of Business 5.10d.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fall climbing

The weather has been too wet in Ottawa to get on any routes these days. I did manage to get out with Carla about a week ago which was great fun. If I don't see you before the 23rd, travel safe and have fun!

With the wet weather and highs in the single digits I've been hitting up Coyote, one of Ottawa's indoor climbing gyms. My hope is to get strong this winter and move up a grade or two by next May. To build strength, I've started to boulder on overhanging problems and finish on the campus board. The campus board is addictive and I can see gains after only two sessions. The key will be to stay injury free.

The p.o.p. for tomorrow is 30%. With some luck maybe I'll get to Downunder.