Spring is Here

The time is getting close to start heading up to the High Country for some warm weather climbing. These pics were sent by Mike Stam. I'm looking forward to getting down into Linville Gorge soon and doing some more adventure bouldering.


Purgatory (5.13a)

Went back to the 5.13a in Hickory Nut Gorge on Saturday with Howie, Robert, and Heath. The weather was perfect--sunny and in the 60s (that may be warm to some, but I like to be able to feel my fingers). Both Howie and Robert finally sent, while Heath and I made some serious progress. I was finally able to put all of the moves together in a couple of hangs and make it to the shuts. Now if only I can get back before it gets too warm...

Robert Holcomb on the Crux of Purgatory (5.13a) from Frixtion on Vimeo.


Patio Roof on Wednesday Evening

Well, I finally got on my last tick list project for the season, and all I can say is: dammit...

(warning: the following video contains humorous grunts and some bad language...)

Patio Roof, Rumbling Bald (V8) from Frixtion on Vimeo.


Great Weekend

The weather couldn't be much different this weekend compared to last weekend's rain and snow storm. In a few days we went from full-on winter to about, um, early summer. We may be totally screwed as a planet environmentally, but it was a great weekend for bouldering. I took a half day off work on Friday to get in a good day at the Bald before it closed again sunday nite. I finally sent one of the projects on my tick list--Brackish Water, V8. A good crew also went to Boone on Sunday, and we basically had the whole place to ourselves.

03.07.09 Rumbling Bald
The three climbs seen here are Brackish Water (V8)--it's the overhanging, crimpy climb, Trad Boys (V5)--it's the highball, and a V5 problem on the back of the Power Pills boulder.

03.09.09 Grandmother
A perfect day in Boone spent with Howie, Pascal, Robert, & Ben. We warmed up in the Valley of the Kings, did some highball stuff at a place called The Tower (i think that's it...), and then got on Have Guns Will Travel (V7). We also attempted an unkown V8 to the left on this long wall, but none of us sent. We ended the day at the Mighty Mouse area. It was cool for me to finally repeat this climb; I haven't done it since about 2002 back before my shoulder blew out, and it's always been on my tick list to get back to.

Some video of Grandmother:

Pascal Tops Out Mighty Mouse (V5) from Frixtion on Vimeo.

Pascal pulls off the tricky top out on Mighty Mouse (V5) at Grandmother after a long day of bouldering.


5.13 Ain't Easy

If you read enough climbing magazines, a funny thing starts to happen. You see enough pictures of 12-year old girls onsighting 5.13, and you start to believe that it's easy. Add to that the fact that the top of the grade scale is now around 5.15b (this week, anyway), and 5.13 doesn't seem so far up the charts anymore. I guess I let this seep into my brain over time. And living in a land of boulders, I never have the chance to sport climb. Seems like if you can boulder V7-V8, you should be able to climb a 13... And these mental rationales are exactly why 5.13 is kicking me in the arse.

It's been a goal of mine since about 1997 to climb at least one 5.13 before I die. In the last month, I started working my first one. And so far it's not going so well (OK, make that pretty piss poor). After two full days on the line over a week-long period, I haven't even done all of the moves yet. I hang at almost every bolt. My bouldering arms are destroyed by this 5-bolt route. And now I'm having to get really serious about (ugh)--training. And even worse, endurance training.

I've been hitting PT bands at least 3 times a week, the climbing gym at least once a week (focusing on enduro and power moves), stretching, doing sit-ups, push-ups, and even doing laps on a crappy outside stone wall when weather permits. Even though it's time consuming to do so much training, I can feel the benefits even when I'm not climbing. The best benefit is just feeling more loose from the stretching. We'll see if all of this work over the last 2-3 weeks makes even a dent of difference on the route. Anybody got any additional training tips for making the push to 5.13? Maybe I should call my 12-year old niece and ask her...