Saturday, November 29, 2008

already more than I expected

My third day on Atreyu and it's feeling exactly how I didn't want it to - like a project. I'm giving it 2 burns a day so that I have time at the end to work on the new route I'm building at Owl Tor, so I'm sure I could have made better progress on it had I focused. It's still amazing. That frickin' throw at the end is spitting me off every time. It's like rolling the dice every burn. da routes:

  1. When the Sea Doesn't Want You (5.12a) - redpoint
  2. Anchor Punch (5.12a) - redpoint
  3. Atreyu (5.13b) - fell after the last clip
  4. Atreyu - fell at the long throw

Sunday, November 16, 2008

video evidence

I got some videos of Andy and Micah sending stuff at Owl Tor last weekend. Footage from these first two is a little shaky because my legs were falling asleep in my harness. And the wind was blowing me around kind of a lot. To get these angles is somewhat involved.

Micah redpointing When the Sea Doesn't Want You (5.12a):

Micah on The Sea from Elijah Ball on Vimeo.

Andy redpointing Anchor Punch (5.12a):

Andy on Anchor Punch from Elijah Ball on Vimeo.

Andy redpointing Auto Magic (5.12a):

Andy on Auto Magic from Elijah Ball on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

faces of death

We got some good photos at the Tor last Saturday, with some rad expressions. Andy's looking like the Lord of the Forest.

Andy on Hell of the Upside Down Sinners (5.12b):

Me on the long move at the top of Atreyu (5.13b). I didn't make it this time:


Micah topping out the Tor via Power of Eating (5.11d):

back on familiar ground

Last week I finished Hard Boiled, so this week we returned to Owl Tor. I missed her. She's even better than I remembered. I spent 3 weeks back at Mr. Lee's, the last 2 never going to the Tor. But things are back to normal now. I went with Andy and Micah. Phil was dealing with the aftermath of the Tea Fire, Santa Barbara's latest installment of epic wildfire nastiness. I got on Atreyu (5.13b). Phil hates that name. I got it from The Never Ending Story, which I feel is appropriate because it climbs like the never ending route. As long as Phil hates it, I will never stop calling it Atreyu. He's probably voting for something stupid that's friggin' 9 words long and references some obscure Chinese film that only he and 3 other rippers have ever watched. Anywayz, Atreyu blew my mind with how good it is. At the end is a big throw to a crimp two moves from the chains. That really makes things exciting. I'm seriously way psyched on it and can't wait to get back there this Saturday. Oh, and I got on Shatter Hand. It still sucks.

da numbers:

  1. Power of Eating (5.11d) - redpoint
  2. Auto Magic (5.12a) - redpoint
  3. Atreyu (5.13b) - 1 take at the last clip
  4. Atreyu - 1 fall at the long move up top
  5. Shatter Hand (5.12d) - bolt-to-bolt
  6. Shatter Hand - 1 take at the last clip

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gibraltar old school

Elhanan got to an ultra precarious position to take these rad shots of Andy and me on Kevin Brown's Self Reflection: Sunday at Gibraltar

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hard Boiled, done

I redpointed Hard Boiled (5.13b) yesterday. Rad. Rad that I never have to get on her again. Actually, I had a good time this season. Probably that's because I was prepared. Last season I spent 18 days trying to redpoint. This season I sent after eight attempts over 3 days. Yesterday's redpoint happened first go of the day, by far my strongest go on Hard Boiled ever. Success was imminent, each consecutive day way better than the previous, which makes repointing relatively non-stressful.
Details of the final go are kinda fuzzy. I remember hitting the pinch after the crux fairly confidently, knowing this was significant, feeling good but more tired than usual since this was my first time through the crux from the ground (this season anyway), sort of confidently moving through the next few moves until the last, where I almost pitched off backwards reaching to the clipping jug, hitting a wall mid-pull on the final move. Dramatic. I had moved not quickly but efficiently, confidently up to the crux, better than ever before, and rested longer than usual at the second undercling, again at the next 3-finger, at the 2-finger after the crux, and finally at the left-hand sidepull before the right-hand crimp before the clipping jug. Good pace and good resting plan, I felt.
This was not chance. This was the result of good preparation for Hard Boiled. I had lots of time to think about her. Despite the grade, I feel she is uniquely difficult to redpoint - just ask Chris or Bob. Yeah, she's a bitch.
Today is about 8 months since I got out of the hospital. While I was laid up in those rad reclining beds I thought there would be no way I could climb even near my previous level within the year, that ambitiously 12 months would go by before I even looked at my nemesis of a route again. If ever. And believe me, I thought about Hard Boiled specifically. It was hard not to with Phil and crew bringing her up all the time. So, this was better than I expected, which doesn't happen often, and rarely is something I'll feel good about. Congratulating oneself is not good, I feel. Climbing for me, and maybe living in general, is motivated more by an aversion to failure than an ambition to succeed. But I'm concentrating on the positive this time: sending Hard Boiled at all, and especially in such short time, has me looking back at the training I did right, instead of wondering what went wrong.
In other news, I got on Hans' Bodyguard from Beijing (5.14a) on Saturday. H-O-L-Y S-H-I-T. That thing is way hard. And by 'way hard' I mean friggin' hyper-hard. It'd probably be good for me to get on Bodyguard some more but Phil has me convinced I should start going to Owl Tor again, to spend the rest of the season putting up a new route there. He's right, I think. It'll be good to get back to her.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Halloween in Joshua Tree

IMG_1573How appropriate. Halloween and death slabs are a match made in Hell. Yeah, there's plenty of trick-or-treating in Joshua Tree, stacks of routes to trick you in to running them out until you're treated to a near death experience. It's growing on me. I got on this 12d, La Cholla, and had seriously a bunch of fun. It's a slab problem to a near vertical, maybe a touch more, face route. It's well protected, got some awesome moves, and I think I'd like to project it. Not my typical fare, obviously, but an interesting climb no doubt.