Friday, April 25, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Last Few Days...

Saturday, I headed up to the Poudre Canyon with a carload of friends and the intention of climbing on lots of amazing granite boulders. I managed to send Against Humanity V7 in soaking wet conditions. It was fun nonetheless. Very quality rock climbing. We then headed over to check out this new roof boulder caled Critical Mass V?. I'm not sure what the grade is, but it felt to be around the V10 or V11 mark. I came close to flashing, falling off on the last hard move as usual, until the sweat fairy decided to make a visit to my fingertips and all hell broke loose. Very cool boulder problem though, definitely worth checking out. Props to Andre on the FA. Our last stop was the 420 boulders where I was interested in climbing on Circadian Rhythm V13. To keep the epic in more simple terms, I didn't manage to climb the boulder. Last move-itis. I hope it clears up before summer.


Today, I climbed out in Boulder Canyon with my good friend Greg Mionske, so that he could shoot some photos of me on Free Range V13, or I guess Cage Free since I didn't really climb on any of the sit moves. I managed to climb Cage Free V11 at least 15 times in less than 1 hour. I think it might be a personal record.

However, the real news of today is that I managed to pull off Cage Free V11 in my new pair of Five Ten Daescents. The new Mystique rubber held on to the small feet extremely well. I am very impressed with the quality of these shoes. They are extremely comfortable, lightweight, and not to mention good-looking (for now, I haven't had the chance to completely beat the shit out of them).

Here is a photo:

After shooting some photos, we headed up to the boulder that holds Midnight Express v14 and Trainspotting v12. I claimed the second ascent of the latter about a month or so ago, but learned that I had not started with the appropriate left hand start hold. To clear things up, Trainspotting starts awfully low with a right hand on the Midnight Express left hand start hold and your left hand starting on some textured crystals about a foot below a perfectly good edge. I completed the "move" into the left hand that I started with and determined that it is no harder than starting on the perfectly good holds that I originally completed the boulder with. It is also a move that I am completely unmotivated on accomplishing again. And so is the story of how I will never climb Trainspotting from the "real" start.

Photos from the day to come sooner rather than later.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Boulder Canyon

Today I woke up with a nice cup of coffee and the need for a rest day. My back and arms have been very sore and I haven't rested in a couple of weeks. However, the temps were wonderful in Boulder and I was extremely psyched to climb on real rock. So around 5 o'clock I headed to The Spot to meet up with some friends for a nice session out in Boulder Canyon. I arrived at the Cage Free Boulder a bit later with Chris Meacham and Ander Rockstad who is visiting from Colorado Springs. I completed the dyno move with a suprising amount of ease due to my realization that remaining square to the wall allows for an easier deadpoint to the lip. And then with an even more suprising amount of ease I managed to finish Free Range V13 (AKA Cage Free SDS) 1st try of the day. It was an experience that will change how I climb forever. It was robotic climbing. Thoughtless. My future goals now reside in reliving that same experience over and over. It is now the best way I know how to climb. I feel like if I could reach that same mental state when onsighting or climbing difficult highballs, there would be no limits.

And so today I was a successful rock climber and person. Not because I completed a series of moves up a small granite wall that so happens to be named, and so happens to have only been completed by 5 other people. I was successful because I gained a new realization in my life. That the ability to climb rocks is inate in all people, and the difficult part lies in clearing away all the distractions in the mind so that the body can move effortlessly. Climbing Free Range today felt easier than some V0's that I've climbed when I am completely distracted. There's no reason why Free Range shouldn't feel as easy on my first attempt as on my last. All I've learned in between is how to let my body climb instead of my mind.

You may think that I'm thinking to deeply about this, and criticize me for it. But one day you'll share the same experience, and if you don't, I feel sorry for you.

So without further ado, here is the send video:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Blue And Yellow Boulder

I promised myself that I would never blog about an indoor boulder problem, especially one that I set, but I decided that I had to blog about this one. We just set the Right Side of the Hueco Boulder today at The Spot and I must say that I have fashioned a masterpiece. At least in my mind. Come to the gym and see if you agree. Anyways, I was tired of setting problems that I thought were hard, only to have them trounced upon by half the population of Boulder. So today, I set something that I truly believe will get thoroughly worked on, but will remain unfinished for a while. I would be very impressed if someone managed to climb it within the next week. It consists of 14 moves of intricate sequencing, amazing(ly bad) holds, and ultra-classic moves. Including what is now my favorite indoor move EVER! A dyno to the famous Pusher Boss hold. Classic!

Enough about indoor climbing. Due to the warm temps in Boulder, my motivation for the high country bouldering season is overwhelming, while my motivation for the boulders around Boulder is at an all time low. Hopefully I get enough cold days this season to make an attempt at bouldering Iron Monkey. (I'm only half serious, but I have definitely been entertaining the idea.)
And hopefully someday I will have something interesting to blog about. Instead of just ideas, random ponderings, and indoor boulder problems.

Monday, April 14, 2008

An Epic

Yesterday I fell off sticking the lip on Free Range V13, no less than 7 times in a row. Sad. By the time I left the problem, I had two new holes in my hand that wouldn't stop squirting blood all over my fingers. Sad. The day before, while Alex was working on Trice, I fell off the last move of Epoch-alipse V13 at least 3 times. Sad. Sad that I was even working on the problem and sad that I can't complete anything these days. Speaking of Alex on Trice, she fell off post-crux and ripped open her flapper again. We might both be dealing with the same mental blocks. As far as I know, the only way to get through them is to push forward. Good news better come soon.

Friday, April 11, 2008

K-Jorg is on a Rampage!

While perusing the mass amount of climbing blogs yesterday I saw the news that Kevin Jorgeson managed the 2nd ropeless and 6th ascent of The Fly (5.14d) in Rumney, NH. Word Up! I've known Kevin since I started climbing almost 6 years ago. He was and still is one of the core members of the very small, tight-knit climbing community in Santa Rosa, CA. Watching Kevin's progression over the years has been amazing to watch. While we all were slaves to the plastic for 7 days a week, Kevin seemed to never climb and always seemed stronger whenever he joined a session. Anyways, props to him for balancing a heavy school schedule, assistant managing the local gym, and hard climbing.

Today Alex and I head up to Flagstaff so that she can finish Trice V12. I'll probably mess around on the wall as well. Updates to come.

Monday, April 7, 2008


So, two days ago, out of nowhere, Alex decides that she is psyched to work on Trice V12 up on Flagstaff Mtn. I had no idea what to say to this because her outdoor psych recently has been significantly lagging. However, within the hour we found ourselves at the Cloudshadow Wall. The first thing that came out of her mouth when we got there (because she'd never seen the problem before) was "I can't climb this, those holds suck." 20 minutes later it was a whole different story. She had almost made the crux move static until the right hand pocket fashioned her a nice flapper on her middle finger.

Check it:

Alex plans on finishing up the climb this week. In my opinion this climb could solidify her as one of the strongest boulderers in the world, male or female. I think all it takes is for her to get a little bit psyched and we'll see the first female ascent of a solid V13 boulder.

Now to address my last post and the title of this blog entry. Yesterday Justen Sjong and I headed out to Eldo for our big day. The final number of pitches after about 7 hours of climbing was 13! Let's just say I got my ass handed to me. Sure, the majority of the pitches were in the 5.11 and 5.12 range. But, damn. I don't have that kind of endurance. Overall, it was a great training day for me. I'm sure Justen could have climbed for much longer and I only hope that he got at least a little bit of training out of it, before I fell apart. However, in my favor, the wind and end of the day sleet took a bit out of me.

This week's focus:

Tues./Wed. - Set some ultra-classics at The Spot.

Thurs./Fri. - Back to Eldo to work on Iron Monkey and Back to Flagstaff to get Alex on Trice.

Should be an interesting week.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Eldorado Canyon

I spent the day out in Eldorado Canyon yesterday putting some work into Iron Monkey 5.14?. It is basically a boulder problem on a rope and it suits my style perfectly. The crux is a large left hand huck off a very good pinch. I spent the day figuring out the gear (thanks to Matt Wilder) and sussing the beta as well as working on the stopper crux move. I got very close to sticking it in just a couple goes as I was latching the edge but ripping off it when my feet came off the wall. If I was only an inch taller I could almost keep both feet on for the move. My guess is that it is about a V10 move. The rest of the route is fairly easy. The only thing that I'm concerned about at this point is my ability to set the nut that protects the crux move while I'm on lead. Due to my small stature it is quite difficult for me to reach the pod where the nut sits, so I'm developing a way to extend my reach with a coat-hanger or something of the sort. We'll see. I'll be out in Eldo again tomorrow with Justen Sjong as we try to finish off 100 pitches of climbing in a day. At least that's the goal. I have no idea how it's going to work out. It'll be good training no matter what, but I've never attempted something so grand in nature. Should be a good time. More to come.

For the meantime, here is a poorly edited video I put together of my little brother Giovanni or "G" demolishing some Joe's Valley classics. Enjoy!


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

New Projects And A New Direction

With the exception of possibly finishing off Free Range V13 in Boulder Canyon, I have changed my current focus within climbing. Rope. Specifically rope climbs in Eldorado Canyon. It only took one trip out there a couple of days ago to discover two things that I am excited to work on. Any guesses? I went to the BRC tonight and trained a bit. Brought back some old memories of training for Youth World Championships in my days as a USAC participant.

Got back from Joe's Valley and the Red Rock Rendezvous a couple days ago. Following at least 8 hours of heavy blizzard throughout Utah and Colorado. Red Rocks is surprisingly better than I expected in all aspects. I taught some clinics for Five Ten and had a good time hanging out with friends. It's nice to be back in Boulder though. I was hoping to update with lots of photos and videos of my trip, but I'm having trouble connecting my computer (with all the media) to the Internet (I'm using Alex's computer). Hopefully I'll get them on here soon as well as some news of some sends.

In other news, congratulations to Alex Honnold for his free-solo of Moonlight Buttress in Zion yesterday. I'm sure well hear more about this incredible climbing feat later.