Monday, July 28, 2008


Elhanan and I met Justin, Jud, Jessica and Andy yesterday for a session at Gibraltar Rock. Celebrations the night before were a touch intense. Thus, Justin and I were not cranking precisely. As torched as I felt that morning, I'm giving myself substantial credit just for showing up. Justin too. Evening sun provided sweet light:

Nico touching rope to chains on Crank Start (5.11c).
Andy "pluggin' and chuggin'" (his words, not mine - believe that) on The Nose.
Jessica making sandstone bleed on Hole in the Wall, or something.
Me and Elhanan making this cliff look good. Obviously.
Me romancing the locals. Yeah, I got digits.


Saturday proved to be one of those rare rad days at Owl Tor. This marks the opening of redpoint season in Santa Maria. Stuff was getting sent left and right - Micah on The Sea and me on the 6 routes of my planned routine. Not to mention Phil's triumphant return, an Elhanan appearance and Andy's siege of Anchor Punch.
Eclipsing all of this climbing nonsense though, was the mad crankenstein respekt dealt at Tonic later. On a night when getting in to one of Santa Barbara's smoovest watering holes would have been an epic sans hook up, I bypassed the swollen door crowd and cover simply by representing crankenstein. Big up to the biggest bouncer I've seen all week - Ryan's dealing out crankenluv by the armloads and getting my nomination for mayor of RadBouncersville. I'm not saying this will work at every seething club, but dropping the crankenstein name could, as it did me, get you hooked the F up (you're welcome, Mom).

da routine:

  • Power of Eating (5.11d) - redpoint
  • Auto Magic (5.12a) - redpoint
  • No Skill (5.12c) - redpoint
  • Better Than Chips (5.12d) - redpoint
  • Anchor Punch (5.12a) - redpoint
  • When the Sea Doesn't Want You (5.12a) - redpoint

Friday, July 25, 2008

return of the king

Phil returns to the Tor tomorrow. Finally. And I gotta say: he's suspect. I'm a little suspicious of his new condition. This "operation" to repair his shoulder has me wondering what, excactly, was done to his body. And I'm letting him know, at the first sound of a mechanical whine or digital chirp I am outta there; to home with me. I'm not climbing with a robot. No, sir. That's not even close to fair. Those of us without the means to mechanize can't be expected to compete with that.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

first wood

Campused this morning with Andy. He did 5-1-5 on the bigs. I didn't do much except kinda high-volume 2-finger hangs. Energy was pretty low. Because of an approaching appointment with the pulmonologist and this generally feeling like a flat session I went fast through my routine, not resting much, not trying epic hard stuff, instead focusing on the training stimulus.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Saturday again

The Tor, again. Micah, Justin, Hawk, Marcela and I gave the Tor our best on Saturday. And again, it wasn't good enough. Micah had big plans for The Sea - didn't happen. Marcela and Hawk had planned on crushing Power - way didn't happen. I thought I might take down No Skill - ridiculously did not happen. I don't know what Justin's plans were but I'm sure he got shut down as well. For the 37 thousandth time this god-forsaken season I fell on that hell-pile 12c variation. And that was after I redpointed Better Than Chips, which is way harder. I don't understand it. In my defense, things did feel slick. Marcela had one of the gnastiests falls I've ever seen when she skated off the first move of The Sea, nailing her back on a rock at the base. So, something was clearly going on here. Add to that the mass Tuesday-thinking delirium we all shared and you have a recipe for disaster at Owl Tor.

da routes:

  • Power of Eating (5.11d) - Redpoint
  • Auto-Magic (5.12a) - Redpoint
  • Better Than Chips (5.12d) - Took at the jugs, lowered.
    • Yeah, I took here cuz I forgot an extra draw. But not before 4 attempts at catching one thrown from the ground. Shredding.
  • Better Than Chips (5.12d) - Redpoint
    • Good. Ran it out a little. Good burn.
  • Power of Eating - Ran up to the third to last draw to get photos of Micah, then lowered.
  • No Skill (5.12c) - Fell right after the jugs, lowered.
  • The Natural (5.12b) - Took at the crux.
    • Here I was trying to work out a new sequence. Gave up. It sucks.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

first wood

Andy, Justin, Marcela and I campused early this morning at the Shed. Andy was real close to 5-1-5 on the bigs. My elbows felt a little fragile so I passed on drops, opting instead for up moves and two-finger work. 1-3-6 went down on the bigs, felt kinda hard on the flat/rounds and I did 1-2, each hand, on the incuts.

This photo is of Andy catching 1 on the way from 5.

more photos and videos from this morning's session at the Shed...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Andy, Micah, Marcela, Bridget and I checked out the Caveman cliff yesterday evening. It's been a while since I was out climbing in to the wee hours, and it's been never since I was at Caveman, and it was rad.

This is a Flickr badge showing items in a set called Caveman - July 14, 2008. Make your own badge here.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

no Tor for me

I didn't make it to the Tor this weekend. And I'm actually OK with that. Ordinarily, when someone bails on me for the Tor I'll pump hate at them for a couple weeks but this time I felt the break was good. Rather than punish myself in Santa Maria, I slept a bunch, swam a bunch and went to the Shed. My climbing for the weekend was laps at the Shed with Micah and Elhanan. For the first time in years I played add-on, which resulted in Micah and me working out a mega-rad problem that could help to alleviate my bouldering directed boredom. Note to self: add-on is as fun as the people you add-on with. For example, Bob would not be fun to add-on with. For years I thought the problem was with the game itself. Not so.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

first wood

Justin, Andy and Brian met me at the Shed this morning for some early campusing. Things felt good. I did some four and two-finger work over all 3 sets of rungs, most notably: caught 5-1 drop on bigs, finished 4-1-4 on flat/rounds and ushered in the two-finger campusing season by finishing 1-2 two-finger on the small incuts.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

like Disney Land for climbers

The Tor gained a new fan today. Nicholas, whom I had not met before, was way psyched on the routes at Owl Tor. And I was way psyched to see him psyched. One of us, one of us, one of us... 
I am actually declaring Nicholas today's Lord of the Forest for his rad comment, that almost sneaked past my attention through his Chilean accent, upon first experiencing the cliff, "this is like Disney Land for climbers". My thought exactly. Everyone seemed psyched in fact. Andy cranked, especially considering he's not been spreading his love at the Tor for a couple months, redpointing The Sea most impressively. Justin continued his trend of virtually doubling in strength upon every visit, working things out once again on Power.

my routine

  • Power of Eating (5.11d) - redpoint
  • When the Sea Doesn't Want You (5.12a) - redpoint
  • No Skill (5.12c) - 1 fall at the long crimp after the Chips jugs
    • I don't want to talk about it.
  • Better Than Chips (5.12d) - grabbed the draw at the last clip on Better Than Life
    • Felt good, made the long move out to the jug on BTL. Put the draw on the last hanger but could not will myself to pull up rope for that clip. That's not an inspiring fall. And I'm a wuss.
  • Hell of the Upside Down Sinners (5.12b) - fell after the last clip
  • Anchor Punch (5.12a) - 1 fall at the crux pinch
  • Anchor Punch (5.12a) - 1 fall at the crux pinch
I would like to see more redpoints out of me. Note to self: 1-falls are not redpoints. Not even close.
It was 90 degrees today, approaching oppressive. Micah, Justin, Nicholas, Nicholas's wife Cota and me comprised the posse.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

first wood

Andy and Andree met me at the Shed for early morning campusing. Felt OK. I was focused mostly on a couple moves I'd not done in a while so put on hold the highish volume I'd been doing lately, although the session did last about 2 hours. Two-finger work was definately on the agenda - did some strong hangs on the round/flats and tried catching some 2-1 drops on the incuts. The drops felt good, thought I might have been able to catch it once or twice but came up barely short. On the bigs, I did 1-5-6 left hand and caught the 5-1 drop left hand. I had some quality pulls this morning, I think this session was productive.