Monday, March 28, 2011

All is not lost

I went to the gym tonight with low expectations and walked out feeling great. The lumbrical injury behaved as the literature suggested it would. This means as long as I avoid pockets and curling my baby finger with my ring finger stretched out I can almost climb whatever I want. Crimps and pinches seemed good to go as long as I don't spilt my fingers. I also choose to avoid any dyno situations for fear of latching a hold in the wrong way.

Tonight was also great since Coyote just hosted the TdB and had 78 new problems to try. I managed to flash 3,4,5,7,8,11,14,16,17,20,23,30,31,32,33,40,42,44,53 and 59. I worked on 61 and gave 57 a few goes too. There are number of problems in the upper 40s and 50s that look like good projects for me.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Suck it up princess

After some reading I believe I have a lumbrical injury but to what extent is unclear. What is clear, is that I need to get on with climbing. Time to get over the self pity, not worry about my projects and just figure out what is possible in the short term.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Over before it started

My high hopes for a season of ticking off projects is most likely over. Last night at the gym I was pulling on a swallow two finger pocket with my index and ring finger when a nasty pain shot through my palm. My grimp was open handed and my feet did not cut. I'm not sure what to do ... I'm still in the self pity stage.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Calabogie is climbable

I hit up Calabogie today with Bojan, Matt and Rachel. As we piled into the car, with the morning chill still in the air, I wasn't sure what to expect. The main climbing area does not see much ice so I figured there must be something climbable.

Rachel, Matt and Bojan

There is still plenty of snow and ice on the ground at Calabogie and crampons would have made the approach easier. It was still quite manageable thought. If the weather stays warm the lower approach will be under water shortly. There is already a significant amount of water to walk around. Add to this the loads of ice still on the cliff and you have a flood of biblical proportions to come.

The main area was for the most part dry with very little ice on the climbs. We started on the revamped (bolts now protect the bottom half of the climb) Calabogie Sunset. My fingers numbed out by the time I clipped the first bolt which made the little roof feel harder then usual. As I passed the third bolt, above the tree line, the rock felt warmer and my fingers recovered by the time I hit the anchors. The cliff faces west so it takes time for the sun to get onto it.

Rachel on TR

After a bit of coffee I sent the new line left of Free Flight. The ice on my usual foot holds near the top added a little spice to the otherwise familiar climb. It was no big deal really as there are other feet but just not as big. Once back on the ground I took a walk along the cliff to look for older guidebook climbs but I'm not sure I found any. I could not say for certain I found the landmarks the guide was talking about. It was a nice walk in the sun though.

At this point I decided to toprope the direct start of Vulcan Mind to see if I could remember the beta. To set up the toprope I re-climbed the previous climb (we left a rope up for this propose) and topped it out. After slinging a tree I lowered to the direct start's anchors on the left. I climbed the direct start twice but it was not pretty. I have completely forgot the beta between the second and third bolt. I worked out two options but neither feel quite right. I really like this climb; it is just so good.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Skiing in Gatineau

Still too wet to climb so I got some skiing in today. Cynthia has been/still is pretty sick and busy working too. So I went on a solo mission to Gatineau Park today and skied from P3 up the parkway to trail 5, along 5 to 15, 15 to 35, around Pink Lake and back to the car via the parkway. Not bad I thought for a beginner's 4th time out. (I ski a few times as a kid but it is like I'm skiing again for the first time.)

The round trip took just over three hours, about 15km. Man was I tired when I got back to the car. I was totally over dressed and I should have taken some water; I ate some snow at one point. Trail 5(green) is a nice trail and was easy going. Trail 15 (blue) was a winding 3.5 km climb up to Pink Lake although I was glad to be going up since I would have most likely kill myself going down this one. Trail 35 is short, like 600m, but steep going into Pink and I had to take my skis off to walk a hill (going down). The reward of all this hard work is coming down the parkway from Pink to P3. The hills are long but gentle; at least they seem this way after 15 and 35. All in all I learned lots and had a great day.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rain and more rain

March is shaping up to be a total wash. The snow, rain and freeze cycle not only puts a damper on outdoor climbing but makes cross country skiing difficult as well. I'm a total beginner on skis so the ice is not helping. The best day yet was making my own trail along the river last weekend. Hopefully the weekend weather allows some outdoor fun.

Postscript: It has now been three months since I first hurt my finger and finally I'm starting to see progress in healing. I'm still icing, taping and not climbing as hard ... I just need to remain patient so not to have a setback.