Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mt. Evans Hangover

It's Tuesday, and I still feel hungover from this weekend. My body aches, and my head feels fuzzy. I have been a useless zombie at work and at night I sit at home and guzzle water. No, I didn't drink too much! If I had, I would probably be recovered by now. My condition was caused by going to Mt. Evan on Sunday, hiking 3+ hours, climbing until I had nothing left, and sucking on thin air all day. As horrible as I feel, I would do it again in an instant.

We started the day at the Ladder V2, and slowly warmed up on some random problems. Then we moved on to a nice V7 arete behind Maker's Mark V5. After a bit of rest, and a short debate on where to go next, we headed to Gorillas in the Mist V11. This was the first time I had climbed on the problem and was not disappointed. This problem has amazing compression moves, and immaculate stone. It definitely has my vote for the best V11 in Colorado. With an hour of effort, and some beta, I was able to do all the moves. I think putting it all together will be the crux. I will definitely be going back soon!

The wind picked up and lightening cracked, but the rain never fell, so we packed up and hiked to the Hume boulder at Area B. This was the first time I had been to the boulder and was impressed by it's size, and the quality and variety of problems. I was also struck by the untapped potential of Area B. I ended up settling on Curiously Strong/Wrong, and the others tried a very cool V6 the the right. After a couple of tries, I stuck the first move of Curiously Strong, but decided to use the jugs to the left. I was told this is Curiously Wrong. It felt like V8 or so. Then I tried to haul my ass off the ground on the Hume Problem V10, which only resulted in some involuntary farts, and grunting. At this point, everyones skin was gone, and it was time to head home.

It was a great day and I can't wait to go back next weekend and get wasted again.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Vedauwoo 101

Blogging, like climbing, takes discipline, and inspiration. Two things that I have been seriously lacking lately. This is reflected in the lack of posts, and my unfocused approach to climbing. My 2008 goal was to achieve a 70/30 ratio of bouldering to route climbing, with the ultimate goal of sending V12 and doing a V10 in a day, and then transitioning to sport climbing in the fall for a short season at Rifle.

Although I am still very focused on bouldering, I have been getting a little bored pebble wrestling over the last couple of weekends. It's gotten so bad that I even went to Vedauwoo, and will probably have scars on my hands and back for the rest of my life. Proof that a lack of focus is dangerous! Actually, I had a great time in Vedauwoo. I really enjoyed the scenery, ambiance, and wild feeling of the area. The climbing lore is thick, the history is interesting, and the climbing is amazing in that educational, humbling, exhausting, painfully unforgettable way. And the local characters... Well, the master himself, Bob Scarpelli, graced us with his very anti-Colorado, territorial, pissed off presence. Although he was abrasive, scary, and rude, I still have a lot of respect for his legacy, and dedication to the sport. I also have to respect his conviction for the area and the state, even if they are extremely biased. I even feel a little empathy for him. Compared to the 80's and 90's, I'm sure Vedauwoo feels more crowded than ever. Should he hate everyone from Colorado? Probably not, but whether we like it or not, he is the sentinel of Vedauwoo, futilely trying to stop change, and for that I wish him all the best.

This makes me think about my relationship with climbing. How much of my identity is defined by climbing and my achievements? What would I have if climbing was taken from me? What would I have if climbing was all I had? Would I be happy if my limit was 5.5? Definitely some scary questions, but necessary to retain a sense of reality in such an obsessive, all consuming sport. Hopefully, I will continue to find joy in climbing, and if I ever feel crusty and old I will think of Bob, and remember why I started climbing in the first place- for fun!!!

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