Monday, May 5, 2008

April Madness - A Brief Recap

The past month has flown by and I barely know what happened. It seems that just the other day was tax day. Our last post reflects this lost time as the weeks and weekends have passed so quickly.
So far the spring has been a bit strange out here in California. A week of perfect weather has been followed by a scorching weekend, causing us to retreat to the shade and higher altitudes. Two weeks back it was over 100 in LA County and a few fires have flared up.

April featured a trip to Bishop with some east coast friends that flew out to enjoy our spring weather. The temps in Bishop were perfect but on the second day of the trip the Buttermilks and Pollen Grains were getting 40 + MPH gusts. Not only did this bring a chill but it was hard to climb and scary to do anything tall since you could be blown off. We accidently did a bit of pad surfing as the crash pads went airborne even with people sitting on top of them.

The weekend after returning from Bishop we went to Black Mountain to avoid the heat and to continue with our bouldering bug. While the temps were nice and the setting was pristine I was not a fan of the problems. My skin was still tender from Bishop and most of the problems were lacking in either hand holds or foot holds. I enjoyed taking photos of my friends climbing and trying to learn how to deal with harsh light. My favorite problem was the Green Meanie slab which I had to start from atop my crash pad and a two foot pile of snow.

At the Boulder Basin camp ground area we were able to find a hand full of fun problems to finish off the day. These were more concentrated and easier to find since we did not have to fight through thick brush and trees. Due to the longer drive and spread out nature of majority of the problems I think that Tramway a better area. Tram now has an excellent guidebook, that Black Mountain lacks, and will stay cooler longer into the summer.
While I was psyched to get into a bouldering mindset for a little while but I am happy that we were able to go sport climbing this weekend. A short trip to Malibu Creek helped me put my fitness into perspective. Climbing routes in the gym has helped keep me in shape and my endurance was adequate for the short routes. Since I haven’t lead anything hard outside in months I had to push to keep climbing while redpointing Urban Struggle. I kept it together and was happy to lead my first 5.12 since October.

I hope that this will be a good start to my sport climbing season and I am excited to go to Clark Mountain and Mt Charleston this summer! After a taste of limestone near Vegas in February I am excited to try some harder and steeper routes.

All photos are from Black Mountain.



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