Friday, December 20, 2013

New Year's Climbing Resolution: 1000 feet

With winter in full swing and the Christmas holiday break from the climbing gym looming it is time to look back on this year's climbing. There are a number of highlights including:
  1. Offwidth climbing
    • Montagne d'Argent, Mousqutaires, Artagnan 5.10c: A super fun offwidth climb that protects with larger gear as you get higher. A #4 is sufficient but #5 would be nice.
    • Val David, La Bleue, Limace 5.9: Un bel offwidth, a solid 5.9, this is a must climb! A #5 or #6 C4 would make the lead pretty chill to the horizontal traverse; I had neither. I was forced to run-it-out a little over a tipped out #4 which puts you in a potentially bad position.
  2. L'hippocampe 5.10b onsight: This has to be one of the best lines at Montagne d'Argent period. The best approach is to climb L'hypothenuse 5.7+ almost to its end, then traverse at the bolt crossing a sport route to pull the lip on good holds to the base of L'hippocampe.
  3. Bouldering for volume at Calabogie: Just a fun day climbing as many new problems as I could, Thanks to Jason Allemann and Kristal Dubois for working on a new guide, Checkout Jason's blog too:
  4. Cleaning and working on the Fly ground up: The Fly is far from a classic climb but I like it. I cleaned it because it is the closest thing to a roof crack a Calabogie and at 5.9 (the original grade) how hard could be right? Well, I still have not sent it clean. Some footage of my first attempt,   
  5. Crevasse climbing while hiking on Svínafellsjökull in Iceland:

 After reflecting on last year's climbing it is clear that the main obstruction to my climbing is endurance. On most climbing days I did an average of maybe 4 routes last year. Since I don't usually repeat climbs (useless I'm climbing locally and I don't have a choice) I end up using a lot of energy placing gear and adhering to my no fall style of climbing. Once my physical energy drops off  the unknown aspect of a new route definitely hurts my "psych" to push for one more climb. With this in mind I plan to start climbing routes again in the gym.

My goal starting in January is to build toward climbing 1000 feet at Coyote. Yes, Coyote is short and this will require about 50 routes to accomplish. These are my rules for completing the challenge:
  • Repeating routes is ok (this saves on time),
  • At least 10 routes should be 5.10 or harder,
  • 5.6 is the minimum grade; and
  • complete by June 1st.
Now that it is posted on the internet, there is no backing out. The trick will be to not get injured and to manage my shoulder properly.