Thursday, May 15, 2014

Montagne d'Argent 2014, trip 1

Matt, Andrew, Frank, and I climbed at Montagne d'Argent last Sunday with fantastic weather and
Antre du Dragon all to ourselves. I seemed to have more energy than I expected and managed to climb 4 routes.

L'ecaille du dragon 5.8, 3 bolts and gear 25m - Definitely an aesthetic climb and a nice warm-up with a fun mantle onto the top of the flake.

La Griffon 5.9-, 3 bolts, 25m - I climbed this on TR.

La Saint-Georges 5.10b, gear, 20m - Since this climb is usually wet (at least when I've be there) I was surprised to see it in a mostly dry state. I blew my onsight attempt by committing to a bad sequence of hands and feet after wasting too much time/energy placing gear (the crack is rather irregular in spots). I should be able to get it next time. Gear wise two C4 #3s and #4s are handy.  
Titanicomanie. 5.8 mixed route with 3 bolts (Grand Canyon)  -  After 3 bolts this is a long easy crack route that could use a cleaning on the upper slabs.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

30 routes was hard

I set a new high of 30 routes tonight in about 2.5 hours: one 5.7, six 5.8s, nine 5.9s, thirteen 5.10s and one 5.11+. I climbed the first 20 in groups of 4 routes one after the other. I felt pretty good and ticked off a 5.11+ as my 21st route and a 5.7 as the 22nd. Somewhere after this I started to drop off and by the time I hit my 29th route, a 5.10, I made a real mess of it. I finished on a 5.9. I think I'm going to need to start bring a bit of food and juice to the gym to keep my energy levels up.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Settling for 20 this week.

Tonight's gym session amounted to 20 routes: two 5.8s, nine 5.9s, six 5.10s and three 5.11s. Although there is room for error when I get tired I find most of the route getting easier as I memorize the sequences. I guess that means I need to switch up my route selection a bit.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Halfway there, 25 routes

I did 25 routes tonight in 3 hours at Coyote with: two 5.7s, five 5.8s, seven 5.9s, eight 5.10s, and three 5.11s. It felt good to hit the halfway mark in my goal so early on. I think I will take it easier during Wednesday session so I don't over do it.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A baseline test, 16 routes

On my second night back to the gym after the holidays, I decided to take a test run to see where I'm at in terms of my 1000 foot goal (50 routes) at Coyote. I started out on easy 5.7/5.8s and slowly ramped up toward harder grades. In total, I climbed 16 routes over 2 hours: two 5.7s, seven 5.8s, two 5.9s, two 5.10-, two 5.10+ and one 5.11-. The last climb of the night was a 5.8 and man did it feel hard but 16 routes is encouraging. 

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.