Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Resting and Redpointing

This weekend was my long weekend and it involved a bunch of climbing. Training has been going well with a bit more focus on power problems and campusing. I would like to get back to some more pure endurance training but I am without a belayer.

Friday afternoon Lizzy and I struggled through traffic to get to the Riverside Quarry. Despite its less than aesthetic surroundings I am a big fan of the routes there. While many have been heavily cleaned and glued most are natural lines without chipping. As well most of the lines are quite long a minimum of 7 bolts and the longest line is 21 going for almost a full 60 meters.

Since we arrived late we only climbed a few routes. For training and for timeliness we stuck to onsight climbing and the same routes. I climbed an extension of Lizzy’s warm-up called double whammy. It had a tricky crux with a cool sloper and a powerful gaston high foot combination. This route was super typical of the quarry with mostly easier climbing to a stopper crux if you don’t commit.

The style of the routes at the quarry is very different to those we had be climbing out at echo. While both offer vertical climbing with possible hands free rests the hold consistency is very different. The quarry can have huge jugs quite close to tiny crimpers. The most constant part of the selection of holds at the quarry is that they are far apart. Echo usually has very similar hold size and type that leads to much more sustained climbs. I would find my self tired at the quarry from all the long reaches but not nearly as pumped as at echo.

Saturday I went to Rock City to take pictures of some of the guys I have been bouldering with in San Diego. It was pretty tight to get to take pictures of such a strong crew and I even got to put down the camera and climb a few problems. I probably should have warmed up a bit more and ended up tweaking one of my fingers a bit.

Sunday Lizzy and I met up with two of her friends from Caltech and went out to New Jack City. The previous time we had been out there it had been perfect weather and we got sunburned. While the sun was still shining bright we also got a nasty cold wind this weekend.

The cold and the overall fatigue from the previous days seemed to set in on my first hard climb. The warm up went well but on my first try on my weekend project I got shut down at the crux. I had yet to really figure out how to use my feet and was not sequencing it quite right. After getting through the crux I figure out the rest of the route hanging my way up and setting the draws. After coming down I was ready for rest and Lizzy had fun on a really long easy warmup.

Usually with my hard route of the weekend I hang the draws figure out the beta and then rest and send on my next go. I must have been tired from the comp and chilled since my next try went sour. I struggled clipping the second draw and couldn’t pull the crux. I took, we pulled the rope and then I rested. My next try went similarly with a struggle for the 2nd clip and then I barely made it through the first crux. I got to the next hard part and just couldn’t crimp on the last small hold. My feet were totally insecure and I was probably shaking. I hung, finished the route and cleaned all the draws.

I was totally shut down and not too happy about it. We rested for a while and then went on to some more routes. The first one was cool but I got spit off at the top which was annoying since it was at my usual onsight grade. So then we went to find something a grade easier for Lizzy to do. I botched this one too and missed the onsight and developed the full on funk.

Lizzy top roped this last route and decided it was weird and that we needed to get me smiling again. I think that I had taken my failure on my project a bit hard. I was out of whack and after dogging three routes I was out of my element. I don’t know if it was rest or the cold but I had been shaky all morning. My newly resoled shoes weren’t helping the matter and I needed to kick start my attitude.

We went back to the project and I finally sent Red Devil placing a few draws on lead. The second clip felt hard but I could actually hold on to the small crimp that was my red point crux. This helped swing my mood back to happy and the rest of the day was much more fun.

Monday I was really tired from all of the tries on Red Devil on Sunday and just pretty exhausted from the whole weekend. It wasn’t until this morning, Tuesday, that things seemed more normal.

I am excited for our trip to the RRG and will be resting today and tomorrow in prep. It is interesting as I am trying to keep pushing my self and trying to climb harder to examine how the climbs I try effect my mind set. I had been disappointed by failing to onsight climbs at echo but redpointing them second go helped with that. I guess there are always days we don’t feel quite as strong as we like and Sunday was one of those days. Rest is always key and necessary for improvement.

Quite a bit of a blog but it has been a while since I had last written. Lots of thoughts as it becomes fall and the Petzl Roc Trip approaches.

Till next time,


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