Pat Goodman's Moderate Madness (Fun Video)

I was just checking out local climber Pat Goodman's blog and came across this video of him climbing in the Sierra. I used to work in Yosemite every summer during college, and escaping the heat and crowds of the Valley meant heading for the peaks and walls of the high country. I did a fair amount of unroped climbing (which is what you'll see Pat doing in this video) on the easy (but amazing) terrain offered up in the area, and those are some of my fondest memories of climbing ever. Most of the footage here is captured with a helmet cam, which gives great, dizzying first-person perspective on some of these exposed routes. Be sure to check out the knobs underfoot on the wild Matthes Crest; those footholds always felt one climber short of popping off (a scary thought when going ropeless). Anyway, it's a fun video (that starts getting really good around minute 2) and a nice balance to all this focus on bouldering lately because of Hound Ears!

Also, check out Pat's blog for more of his recent travels.

High Sierra Link Up from Pat Goodman on Vimeo.



CCC Fall Meeting Oct 1st

For you folks living in Boone:

Please join us for the annual fall meeting of the CCC. The meeting will be at the Foscoe Community Center, right next the the campground for Hound Ears. We will be providing updates from the various area reps, a status report on the CCC and having our usual round of lively discussion. Members and future members are welcome!

When: October 1st, 2010 7:30 PM through 9:00 PM
Location: Foscoe Community Park
Highway 105 South
Foscoe, NC


Triple Crown / La Sportiva Fundraiser

In a special promotion for 2010, La Sportiva will be offering 100 limited edition tech tees (a unique one for each comp- Hound Ears, Horse Pens, Stone Fort) for sale at each event. For this year’s series, tees will be on sale at the La Sportiva booth for $15 each with all the proceeds going to the SCC. The tech tees, produced by Green Layer Sports, offer a breathable blend of 51% bamboo charcoal fiber/49% polyester. Through sales of the tee shirts at all three events of the Triple Crown, La Sportiva hopes to raise $4500 for the SCC.

Yep--$4,500! And 15 dollah is pretty cheap for a styling, technical shirt. So do your closet and the SCC a favor and pick yerself up one!

Also on the junket for those looking for some grub: La Sportiva is sponsoring a “southern style”(with dedicated vegetarian grill) free barbeque/pre-registration dinner beginning at 5 pm this Friday October 1 (afternoon/evening before the comp). Competitors will be able to pick up their competitor packet at this dinner and preview the competition map.


Another Hound Ears Vid

This Beta series of bouldering videos by Andrew Kornylak is so well done: they're a great mix of local personality and interesting climbing. Here's another one to continue the psych leading up to the Hound Ears comp this weekend.


Rotpunkt Remembered

From climbing.de

No, we're not talking about some rotten punk band.

Rotpunkt, German for redpoint, is a term known and used the world over by rock climbers. A commonplace idea, we use the word habitually and take it for granted as describing the baseline of achievement for roped freeclimbing ascents.

Yet surprisingly few climbers know the term's history, who invented it, and how it came to be. Today it seems the most mundane of climbing terms, but now is a good time to remember what really is a climbing philosophy.

Articulated in response to traditional definitions of a free ascent in his home areas of Germany, a young climber by the name of Kurt Albert proposed the idea of "rotpunkt". With the redpoint idea, Albert stated that a proper free ascent was one made without resting on gear placed in the rock, as was the common practice and definition at the time. In today's sport climber parlance, climbers were going around "one-hanging" everything, or just full-bore aid climbing, and calling it good.

For Albert there was a higher plane of achievement in climbing: rotpunkt. Doing a climb redpoint-style meant doing it truly free, continuously and with no aid, relying solely on physical ability make it happen and get to the top. To indicate which climbs had been "redpointed" Albert took to painting the climbs with a single red dot. It's curious to think that such basic idea today constituted a major break with tradition for the time. But the redpoint was radical.

Sadly, Kurt Albert just passed away, dying from injuries sustained in via ferrata fall. To learn more about this amazing character, check this article out. Better yet, get your hands on the cult classic bouldering film, The Real Thing, where Kurt joins friends Ben Moon and Jerry Moffat for some Fontainebleau bouldering.

And be sure to make it happen your next redpoint!

-posted by Zach LH

Quick editorial note: Don't be surprised if you see posts from Zach; he'll be writing for Frixtion from time to time as inspiration strikes. In an effort to make the site more than just about my perspective on climbing, and my favorite, but tired, topic--injury, there may be more guest posts and bloggers on the site as time goes by.



Injury and Injury Prevention Exercises

This site is worth checking out, especially the video on shoulder exercises. Some of these are the exact same exercises my PT gave me this past year. Don't be fooled by the small weights. These exercises will get you pumped and work your shoulders in ways they don't normally get used--which is good for us, even if it ain't fun, like eating our veggies. Here's the link:




Grandfather Service Project Day

Special thanks to guest blogger Zachary Lesch-Huie. Zachary's a Boone local, volunteer for the CCC, advocate for land conservency, and a solid climber ta boot. Some folks also say he's a helluva a nice guy. This is his report on the volunteer work at Grandfather this weekend, where us climber folk would one day love to have access.From the photos it looks like they had a pretty wild day...

Organized by Phil Trew of the Boone Climbers' Coalition, last Saturday's service project on Grandfather Mountain was a complete success. Seven motivated Boone-area climbers partnered with Grandfather Mountain State Park, lending their assistance to the installation of signs in Grandfather's back country camping zones. The group of climbers was joined by two Grandfather Mountain State Park staff, including Ranger Andy Sicard who directed the effort.

The group departed from the parking lot at Grandfather's famous Swinging Bridge. The winds were high and ominous storm clouds obscured most of the view. With unwieldy tools and supplies, our group headed over Grandfather's high ridge. In an email announcing the service outing a few days before, Phil said, "If you've never hiked that trail before, it is sweet but will be a challenge carrying materials." He may have meant this as a clever under-statement. Or maybe he was just sandbagging. Either way, negotiating the many exposed wooden ladders and constricted boulder gardens while carrying 8' long posts and heavy tools made for an interesting approach. But it didn't hurt that the group was all climbers, and the chutes and ladders didn't seem to slow anyone down much.

I joined the outing and have to confess I had never hiked this ridge trail before. For natural beauty, it's an amazing trail to be sure, with unrivaled views and position. Unfortunately, it also gives one an ideal view of how high-end mountain development ran amok in the High Country. Looking across numerous mountain ridges west and north, there is a staggering lack of unfilled green space--and there are so many houses. It's somewhat ironic since Grandfather is deservedly regarded as a special natural area.

As a climber, one of the most interesting things I saw along the way were the climbing bolts and hangers used to fix the trail's wooden ladders and hand-cables to the rocks. The hardware was mostly self-drive bolts with old SMC hangers or Petzl caving hangers. I saw maybe two modern stainless steel bolts and hangers, and one rickety old cold shut. The best one though was at the top of the tallest set of ladders. The anchor was a makeshift "piton", cabled to the top of the ladder. Check out the photo. It seemed solid.

We eventually made it to our first work site, which I believe was the campsite at Cliffside. The park personnel showed us where to plant the sign. Our charge was to dig a two-foot hole and firmly install the sign in it. "Here's the post-hole diggers, go on and get your PhD," said Phil Trew. He handed me the tool and I proceeded to get pumped on that counterintuitive tool after 10 seconds. Turns out the PhD Phil was referring to is the one that stands for "post hole digger." The joke was on me. Phil proceeded to demonstrate his advanced degree. He went to town with that thing and had a hole up to spec in no time. On to the next install.

As the sun slowly came out, our group worked our way back along the ridge, digging holes and installing signs at Cliffside, Calloway Gap, Alpine Meadow (a really pretty spot) and Attic Window. Amazingly, we never once hit a slab of rock that prevented us from digging a hole. I found this hard to believe, but to the state park's credit they had come to each of the sites beforehand and made sure there was actually some topsoil in which to anchor a sign.

Eventually the sun came out and the day turned nice. The climbers managed to wrap up the service project by 3:00 in the afternoon. Ranger Sicard expressed the state park's sincere appreciation for the help, and all of us climbers present made it clear we were more than happy to help and would gladly help again in the future. Hopefully there will be another opportunity for climbers to assist Grandfather Mountain State Park in the future soon.

Service projects that successfully partner with land managers, like this one by the BCC (boone Climbers' Coalition), demonstrate the good will and cooperation of Carolina climbers. More importantly, they demonstrate climbers' long-held ability and willingness to be responsible stewards of the land and rocks on which we climb.

Thanks to the state park and the BCC for this opportunity, and to the great volunteers who showed up to help!

*Besides Ship Rock, which is a legal climbing area, keep in mind that rock climbing and bouldering are not allowed on Grandfather Mountain. Any climber caught breaking this rule is directly imperiling any possible future chance of legally climbing on Grandfather. Don't do it!


Hound Ears 2010

In preparation for Hound Ears this weekend, here's a really nicely-produced video showing a few classic lines from the perspective of a strong local. Also, check out my list of tips for the comp after the video.

For anyone coming to the comp, hope you've been sanding your fingers and eating your Wheaties. Hound Ear is tons of fun but it'll kick yer butt at the same time. Every year I've competed I've been totally wasted by around 2 in the afternoon, well before the comp's officially over.

On that same note, here are a few tips I've learned the hard way:

1. Don't rush! The psyche is so high and there's so much good rock to climb, it's hard not to go crazy. But warm up well and pace yourself. A lot people are slowing down early in the afternoon so there's plenty of time then to get on the good stuff.

2. Don't get hung up on one problem. I've done this in the past and totally wasted myself for a single send. There's tons of good rock to climb and we can only get in once a year. Sample the goods!

3. Eat lunch. This goes along with number one. I never took the time to chill and eat a solid lunch, so I always bonked out from low energy earlier than I should have. Its hard to make yourself sit down for 45 minutes, but you'll be better off if you do.

4. Don't work the sharp stuff too much. All the rock is pretty sharp/rough, but some problems are worse than others. Know when to walk away and save your skin!

5. Bring good brushes. Hundreds of sweaty climbers all vying for many of the same lines. 'Nuff said.

6. Bring a good jacket for the morning! I always get caught off guard by how durn cold it is when you're waiting for the shuttles in the morning. It usually warms up nicely later in the day, but it takes longer to get warmed up for climbing if you've been too cold in the AM.

7. Head for the woods. There are tons of cool problems off the beaten path at Hound Ears. You'll get away from the main area crowds and find some cool stuff. Also, from my experience, it seemed like newly-developed areas had softer grades, which meant more points for less work.

8. Don't be a wanker and sandbag yerself! Some folks may be tempted to climb below their ability level all day to place high in the category below them. If you like winning on these terms, well, that's just crappy. So there. Plus, you're screwing yourself out of killer problems at your level. So don't be lame.

9. Get to the parking lot early to get a t-shirt that fits! The triple crown shirts are shweet; it sucks getting there and having to take a pink extra-large (unless that's your bag). I've got like three shirts that don't fit me 'cuz I'm not an early riser.

Well, those are my tips / advice from past years. Anybody else got tips to share? My first HE was comp #3 or #4; can't remember exactly. Hard to believe it's now #17 or something. Good luck and have fun!



La Sportiva Boulder Xs

I just got the La Sportiva Boulder Xs about a week ago, and so far I'm really digging them. Lately I've been wearing a pair of beatup old trail running shoes on campus and for climbing approaches, so I'm psyched to have a shoe with some more support and that's more geared towards actual rock endeavors. So far I've just been breaking them in and will do a full review in about a month after I've had a chance to really use them. As of now, I've mostly been wearing them on campus, but I've been pleased so far. I'm even noticing small stuff like it's easier going up and down stairs with a loaded pack full of books and a laptop because of the rise in the heels compared to running shoes. Besides all that, I think they look pretty dang cool, too. Anyway, look out for the full review in a few weeks!



Grandfather Mountain Service Project

Join other area climbers on Saturday, September 25th for a service day of trail and campsite maintenance at Grandfather Mountain State Park. Grandfather has long been closed to climbing and this good will gesture is an effort to improve relations between climbers and the new park, and show that we climbers are a responsible and conscientious user group. Here's the lowdown from Phil Trew who has put the event together:

We've got a service project lined up with Grandfather Mountain State Park for Saturday September 25. We will meet at 8:45 at the Grandfather Mountain Entrance Gate. You can park to the left or right of the gates. The project will consist of carrying posts, signs, and tools from the Mile High Bridge parking lot to five campsights along the ridge. We will also be installing the signs. If you've never hiked that trail before, it is sweet but will be a challenge carrying materials.

Grandfather State Park will provide the tools, but bring your own water, lunch, and gloves. The campsights are a good distance from the parking lot, so a small pack to carry your supplies would be a good idea. I told the Grandfather Ranger that we wanted to be done by 3:00 so we would have time to do some climbing afterwards.

Contact Phil here for more info.



Reel Rock Tour 2010

The 2010 Reel Rock tour came through town this weekend and it was a great collection of vids. The people who put it together did a great job showing the gamut of hard bouldering, hard sport climbing, scary trad, alpine speed climbing craziness, and some freaky free soloing (or "free basing", wherein he climbs with a parachute) by Dean Potter. It was a perfect blend that never got boring. One of my favorite parts was watching Peter Croft, who is 52, climb a 5.12 corner with total style and psyche. Climbers like Peter are the real deal and give me hope that climbing hard doesn't have to end just 'cuz of aging. Another great scene from the same video showed Lisa Rands totally losing it and getting pumped on a scary 5.12 crack. She was cursing and slamming in gear that looked sketchy as hell. Anyone who's climbed trad for very long knows that gut wrenching feeling of fear; I laughed nervously as she struggled to get past the crux and finally whipped on a tipped out cam.

If the tour comes through your town, check it out. It's totally worth the 5 bucks.

Also, thanks to Mike Grimm at Misty who sold some overstock products at the event and raised about $200 for the CCC. Nice work, Mike--and great idea. Misty will also be at the WNC Climbers' Weekend at Looking Glass, so you have another opportunity to buy some discount harnesses, chalk bags, gear slings, and whatever else they're selling off. Remember to bring cash (I forgot and was wistfully eyeing a new Misty harness all night).



The Kitchen Sink

Right now my apartment looks like a cross between a retirement home and a new-age health center. I'm taking prescription pills, multivitamins, over-the-counter drugs, and supplements. I'm also rocking the ice packs and PT bands. Give me another week and it'll probably smell like Ben-Gay up in here, too. On the new age side, I've got my yoga mat and a back buddy. I'm trying everything I can think of to better this nagging shoulder. In short, I'm throwing the kitchen sink at the wanker:

A typical day involves:

-Vitamins and supplements in the morning, plus ibuprofen 2x a day. Yoga if I can fit it in.
-Pt bands and light weight lifting in the afternoon to strengthen the shoulder and keep it flexible.
-Ice for reducing swelling and the back buddy for massaging to increase bloodflow (which helps healing)
-Then the most fun: Flexiril (muscle relaxers) which I'm finally taking 2 months after I got the prescription. So far, after just a few nights, it seems to be making a difference.

I'll keep posting on how things go...