Monday, September 13, 2010

A summer in review

It is hard to believe that the summer climbing is over and fall is here. There are lots of climbers who welcome fall over the summer sweat fests. Yes, the cooler temperatures are more conducive to sending your hard projects and the bugs are gone but I miss summer. Once September comes, so does the rain and the climbing days are limited. I also find fall climbing has a certain anxiety that centers around unfinished goals and self evaluation. Did I improve this season? Did I meet any of my goals?

While recovering from a finger injury back in February I decided that this year I was going to focus on learning to place gear and send some trad lines in Gatineau. Here is the rather vague goal declaration I made on the Ottawa climbing form.

"2010 goals
by drtyner » Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:20 pm

I would like to learn to place gear and send some trad lines in the area."

Thanks to a long list of people I believe I have built some gear placement skills and I did manage to climb some of the Gatineau "Classics". That said, I need to work on placing gear faster. This means choosing the right cam or stopper on the first go and not taking five minutes to get a bomber placement.

One thing I left out of my goal was a 5.X grade. Just because I did not write it does not mean it was not in the back of my mind. Like it or not grades are part of measuring improvement. So I set the lofty goal (for me) of sending a 5.10 on gear by the end of the season. To date I have two mixed 5.10's under my belt.

Psychokrak 5.10a Trad + 1 bolt, 25m Montagne d'Argent, redpoint, Aug 1/10 (TRed it once back in 2009)
Pop Corn 5.10a Trad + 5 bolts, 25m Montagne d'Argent, onsight, Aug 1/10

I am definitely proud of these two routes. Does this mean I can climb 5.10 routes on gear? Defintely not. I have down climbed, cursed like a sailor and struggled on my share of 5.6 through 5.9 routes. It is all very humbling and sometimes discouraging given I have redpointed the odd 5.11 sport route. On my trip to Calabogie it bacame clear that I climb gear routes at a turtles pace. When I am above gear I spend a long time making every move perfect which means wasting too much energy. I could claim this is onsight verses redpoint but at the end of the day it is really bolt verses gear.

All in all, it was a summer of mileage and learning. Below is a time line of this year's climbing on new routes.

Al on the Run 5.11c (Notes: 2 goes on TR May 24/10, June 1st more work on TR, July 17th one hanged it on TR)
The Reaper 5.9 -redpoint April 24th (Notes: send it on TR first)
Martha Steward 5.8 -onsight May 10th (Notes: Short 2 bolt warm-up)
Catwoman 5.11b (Notes: One burn on May 17th. After the second bolt move out right not left)
La Cha-Cha des Felins 5.9- -onsight, July 10th, Montagne d'Argent
Unnamed sport line 5.6? Calabogie, onsight Sept 11/10
Second unnamed sport line 5.6?, Calabogie, onsight Sept 11/10 (Notes: take a 0.3 BD C4 to avoid the runout)

Trad or mixed with bolts:
---> lot's of moderates as this my first year climbing on gear.
Security 5.10d Gear + 2 bolts (Notes: couple tries on March 17/10, attempt on April 20th
Joy of Life 11a gear + bolts (Notes: two tries on March 20/10)
Original route 5.10c gear + bolts (Notes: two tries on March 20/10, just the roof that causes trouble)
Route A 5.5, gear -redpoint March 17th/10 (Notes: TR'ed in the past)
Route B 5.4, gear-onsight March 8th/10 (Notes: my first trad lead)
Route C 5.5, gear-redpoint March 17th/10 (Notes: TR'ed in the past)
Mr. Toady's Dihedral 5.8, Gear + 1 bolt - onsight March 17/10
One up 5.7, Gear - onsight April 2/10
Piton Highway 5.7 Gear + 3 bolts - redpoint April 2/10 (Notes: one previous go on TR)
Lavander 5.9 Gear + 5 bolts - redpoint April 2/10 (Notes: I had lead the bottom part before while traversing the cliff)
Peggy 5.7+ Gear + 1 bolt - onsight April 14th/10
Cotter crack 5.10b (Notes: One attempt on April 14th/10, the beginning is hard and the top is pumpy!)
Neruda 5.6, Gear- onsight April 20th/10 (Notes: sandbagged for sure)
Fruit tart 5.8, Gear + 1 bolt- April 24/10 (Notes: backed off 1st try, sent on second go)
Raikush 5.10c 5 bolts + Gear (Notes: One go on TR April 24th/10)
Pitch 2 of Sev's Route 5.5, Gear onsight April 29/10 (Notes: sandbagged, more like 5.7,slightly overhanging, tiny gear off the belay #4,#5 BD stoppers)
One Pine Variation C 5.6 onsight April 29/10 (Notes: linked the two pitches)
Corruption 5.9, 1 bolt + Gear, (Notes: hard (for 5.9) crux well protected by a bolt but I back off because of sketchy gear higher up. Toproped it May 10th; found better placements and holds, bring the RPs or Micro Nuts. Next time it will go)

Cracker Joe 5.9+ Gear, Montagne d'Argent, onsight June 27th (Notes: A fantastic climb)
Hiroshima 5.5, Gear Montagne d'Argent, onsight June 27th (Notes: Not worth the time to climb it)
Super Crackpot 5.8, Gear + 5 bolts, Montagne d'Argent, onsight July 10th (Notes: 5 bolts lead into a finger crack, 35 meters.)
Madame la Marquise 5.6-, Gear, Montagne d'Argent, onsight July 10th (Notes: dirty)
Invitation Mixte 5.10b, Montagne d'Argent, TR'ed (one hang) July 10th, on the to lead list
Titanicomanie 5.8, Gear + 3 bolts, Montagne d'Argent, onsight July 10th (Notes: 3 bolts into a never ending crack, 38 meters)
Chute Libre 5.8 Trad + 1 bolt, 20m Montagne d'Argent, onsight, July 31/10
M&M 5.8, Trad 23m, Montagne d'Argent, redpoint (TR'ed in the past), July 31/10
Krakabra 5.7+, Trad 25m, Montagne d'Argent, redpoint (TR'ed in the past), July 31/10
Psychokrak 5.10a Trad + 1 bolt, 25m Montagne d'Argent, onsight, Aug 1/10
Pop Corn 5.10a Trad + 5 bolts, 25m Montagne d'Argent, onsight, Aug 1/10

Cool but concerned 5.8, Trad + 1 bolt, 18m Calabogie, onsight(*) , Sept 11/10 (Notes: * clipped a near by bolt near the top as my nerves crumbled on small crimps)
Unnamed mixed line 5.8?, Trad + 2 bolt, Calabogie, onsight, Sept 11/10 (Notes: Variation of Calabogie Sunset 5.5, pull the roof for full value)
Unnamed mixed line 5.9?, Trad + 2 bolt, Calabogie, onsight, Sept 11/10 (Notes: left of First Flight)

Other: X/R rated routes on TR
Probation 5.8+ PG - TR onsight April 20th (Notes: I toproped this with the FA Bob Milko and the gear is R (if not X) not PG)
Little Yellow Fucker 5.9 X - TR April 12th (4 or so tries)

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