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#67065 - 12/18/12 01:54 AM Re: How Was Your Year (2012) & What's Next? [Re: Frank Florence]
gunkette Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/23/11
Posts: 21
This year turned out well, but unfolded differently than I had planned.

I planned to break in to leading 5.7s this year, and hoped to lead CCK by the end of the season. I did manage to lead 5.7, but CCK remains on the ticklist. I did, however, manage to break into 5.8s, which were not on the radar! I had great outings on Arrow and Snooky's Return, among a smattering of other easy, well-protected 5.8s.

I had hoped to get back to Seneca this year, but those plans were thwarted by a family emergency. I did get down to El Potrero Chico, which was great! The only place in the world where I can onsight 5.10b. laugh I also got to go to the Daks for the first time this year. Had a great day at Pitchoff on Great Chimney and Pete's Farewell, even if P2 of Pete's was a LOT of work.

I am still working on my vertical crack technique. Jamming seems like it should be intuitive, but for some reason, it's bloody hard!! I feel pretty confident with the occasional fingerlock or foot jam, but sustained jamming tends to shut me down. Maybe I should plan a visit to the Creek next year?

I had hoped to break in to leading some 5.10s at Rumney this summer, but a combination of elbow tendinitis and ridiculously hot weather shut me down there, too. Oh well...the rock will still be there next year.

I'm hoping that the off-season will give a chance to rest and strengthen my elbow. Planning to get on CCK next season, and keep ticking off more 8's...Hopefully get some weekends in to Rumney and Seneca...Planning a trip to Red Rocks and setting my sights on Jubilant Song...and maybe get rid of these tendon issues! Here's to next year!!

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#67066 - 12/18/12 05:55 AM Re: How Was Your Year (2012) & What's Next? [Re: greyalien]
mgree Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 10
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Nice summaries!

This year was excellent for me. 2010 was my first year of climbing, 2011 was my first year of Gunksy adventure, but 2012 was the year that I really started to mature. Early in the year I led High E, and on what ended up being my last outing, I onsighted Arrow, my first 5.8 at the Gunks. Throw in a number of other onsights of truly fantastic classics---Yellow Ridge, Something Interesting, Thin Slabs, Moonlight, Ken's Crack, etc. etc. etc.---and follows of some hard stuff---Nosedive, Retribution, Welcome to the Gunks, Feast of Fools, Balrog---and, all in all, it's been an amazing year.

The only downside is that my partner moved out west. While he can't be replaced (hi John, if you're reading this!), I'm excited to start going out with the crew from my local gym---and getting on some more fun, hard climbs.

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#67067 - 12/18/12 06:22 PM Re: How Was Your Year (2012) & What's Next? [Re: mgree]
kenr Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/05/10
Posts: 36
Yes fall of 2010 was when I started climbing really seriously (after several previous temporary not-very-serious phases).

And climbing in the Gunks this year was so much fun in so many different ways -- leading easy routes with Sharon, TR hard routes, trying out Aid climbing, rope-solo leading, exploring non-guidebook sectors, and adding to my free-solo circuit.

Just wish there had been _more_ of each thing. Main problem was Rain. Too many free days lost or shortened.
reflections:
* I keep trying new places nearby (PA, Dacks) and far away (France, Dolomites) and finding very fun + different climbing. I come back to the Gunks and it still seems great.

* easy/mod climbing (and down-climbing) in the Gunks is excellent training for alpine routes.

surprises:
* I made so little progress in "working my up thru the grades" in trad Leading. Mainly from rain, also because esp in this Fall I got focused on raising my Following difficulty grade (to be compatible with partners + typical routes for trips), but also because the good easy climbs in the Gunks are really fun. So the gap between my Follow/TR grade and my trad Lead grade is getting embarrassing.

* I'm still not "really solid" on 10a. Sort of funny because lotsa years ago when I first tried rock-climbing non-seriously, we thought of 5.10 as like super-human. Nowadays in lots of climbing regions outside the Gunks, "real climbing begins at 10a" (or Euro 6a).
Anyway it seems funny that I can now be wondering and complaining that "Here I've been climbing more than two years and I _still_ can't follow on-sight any 10a that I try".

What's next?
Sorta thinking of cool dry winter weather with no snow yet as a good excuse for working on Aid climbing and adding to my solo circuit. And I'm thinking spring+summer next year in the Gunks more leading, perhaps more easy soloing as prep for alpine, less focus on raising difficulty.

Ken

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#67068 - 12/18/12 07:49 PM Re: How Was Your Year (2012) & What's Next? [Re: Frank Florence]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2467
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Originally Posted By: Frank Florence
First a comment to RG: we climbed adjacent to one another one day this fall. You were on Alphonse as I recall. What was obvious from the way you moved up was the relaxed fluidity that speaks to years of experience. Lingering effects of your knee operation were not outwardly visible.


Yes, Frank, I remember. I think you were on Grand Central. That day was the first day I tested out my repaired knee leading 5.8ish climbs (Te Dum, Alphonse, Yellow Belly), the previous three outdoor climbing days having been devoted to leading climbs 5.5 and under. Although I don't know about fluid, you can get away with technique, which doesn't go away, on many routes 5.8 and under. But starting around 5.9 in the Gunks, hand-endurance comes into play on most routes, even if your technique is good, and that is where the seven-month layoff has affected me the most.

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#67071 - 12/19/12 07:24 AM Re: How Was Your Year (2012) & What's Next? [Re: rg@ofmc]
Lucander Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 224
Loc: Stone Ridge, NY
Most of my fun in 2012 occurred away from the Gunks and it happened over several weeks in the summer when I went to Bozeman, Washington, and Squamish. Great friends, good routes, and $1 gin & tonics.

As for the Gunks, the only memorable new route that I climbed was Swing Time in the Nears. Onsighting the second pitch and then helping carry out Joe Szott's body from further down the cliff made for a strange day.

I'm at a point here where I've climbed everything that I'm really inspired to climb - most of my fun comes in repeating my favorite routes with my favorite partners (to protect the innocent, I'll leave their names out of this): Erect Direction, Son of Easy O, Graveyard Shift, High E, Interstice, Tough Shift, Mother's Day, Madame G's, Arrow, Three Doves, Never Never Land, Birdcage, Transcon, Welcome, Jaccuse, Spring/Winter link up, Star Action, Wasp. I'm so lucky to live here and have these routes punctuate my weeks and to have such easy access that is crucial given that I only have a few hours to rope up.

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#67082 - 12/21/12 05:38 PM Re: How Was Your Year (2012) & What's Next? [Re: Lucander]
phlan Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/00
Posts: 2778
Loc: Gardiner, NY
wow, I was lucky enough to spend some time climbing at the Mac Wall this Wed. afternoon with some friends. I felt good on those climbs, really good, almost as solid as ever. that will be my last time out this year - ending on a great note.

Actually next year we're getting double ropes. I know it will make me more comfortable leading, from past experience with them. it will take a bit of getting used to working with them as a team, as my wife is new to them. so we'll start on easy climbs. but we're both excited about it!!

Happy Holidays, all!
_________________________
Support Your Local Farmer!

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#67084 - 12/21/12 08:14 PM Re: How Was Your Year (2012) & What's Next? [Re: phlan]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2467
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Get one of these---best belay device out there for half ropes.


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#67086 - 12/22/12 02:35 AM Re: How Was Your Year (2012) & What's Next? [Re: rg@ofmc]
kenr Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/05/10
Posts: 36
Who's the manufacturer? (unfortunately I can't figure out the fine print in that image)

What makes it better than the latest Petzl Reverso (which most French climbers at least use with half-ropes)

Thanks,

Ken

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#67087 - 12/22/12 02:55 AM Re: How Was Your Year (2012) & What's Next? [Re: kenr]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2467
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
It's made by an Italian firm, Alpine Technology. Rock and Snow has them, I think...I originally asked them to order one for me.

It is an assisted-locking device, which makes it totally different from Reversos or other tube-style gadgets. With today's thinner ropes, I think assisted locking is the wave of the future.

Unlike other assisted locking devices like the Mammut Smart Alpine, this one feeds rope out perfectly with virtually no catching. It also has a non-locking mode and an upper-belay-off-the anchor mode. It's just a better mousetrap.

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#67090 - 12/22/12 01:49 PM Re: How Was Your Year (2012) & What's Next? [Re: rg@ofmc]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 845
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Does Alpine Tech offer online courses for those of us who lack engineering degrees?

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