Slowly Getting Better

Leading Harpoon (5.10) at Ship Rock.
Photo, Matt de Camara.
While I've been putting a lot of time and all of my recent posts up on Cruxn, it's nice to come back to the personal blog for things that the greater masses don't want to hear about or don't care much about. Like my ongoing battles with injuries. Which is what this post is about--because, for the first time in almost 2 years, I'm finally starting to feel stronger and (somewhat) injury free again.

In the last few months, I've climbed a bunch of V4s (including a few flashes at this grade), a V5, 5.10 trad leads, a few sport 5.11s, and yesterday tried the Dump classic Unwritten Law (5.12 b/c). Sure, I haven't latched the big dyno yet that accounts for the hard grade (wasn't quite ready to commit to the tendon-stressing latch of the jug), but I was happy just to make it up to the crux on my first attempt without falling or feeling tweaked. None of this is anywhere close to where my climbing high point was years back before suffering a bunch of various injuries, but seeing as how I was climbing V0s last summer and wistfully looking at 5.10 climbs and thinking, "maybe one day..." these recent successes feel pretty damn good. Now I can finally look at guidebooks, read about a classic 5.11 or 5.12 and think, hey, I can at least get on that now without ripping my shoulder off.

So now I've got a bunch of things I want to try here in the High Country. At Ship, I'd love to lead B.O.G. Man soon, try my luck on Castaway (5.12) and eventually lead the Broach (11d trad), once I get some endurance (and balls). At the Dump, I want to finish Unwritten Law, and try Fry-Cleaned (11d), Black Jackets (12a) and Last Glitch Effort (12a). And of course, I'd love to start trying for the Linville Crusher if Matt de Camara can be pulled away from his hedonistic life in SC and come up here to give it a go with me. :)

I'm not sure if it's the summer season or the fear of tweakin', but I haven't been as psyched on bouldering lately as I have been in the past. It feels like I can get a lot more satisfaction out of trying new routes with a lot less tweak than bouldering for a full day. We'll see if I'm still feeling that way this fall when the temps start dropping though! Til then, I'll be psyched to keep gaining new ground on the sharp end.



  1. Awesome buddy. Hope you continue to recover. Get in touch if you're bouldering in Boone any this summer, I'll be looking to make trips there and to Grayson!

  2. Thanks, George! I'm definitely gonna try to make it to GHSP again soon, despite my just saying that I'm not focusing on bouldering. :) That place is just too cool in the summer.

  3. Hedonistic life! Classic. Psyched you got on Unwritten Law! Next time I'm up we'll take some major dumps at the dump. Oh and don't you worry about the crusher, I'm in.

  4. good to hear your shoulder is improving Matt! That last move on Unwritten Law is a doozy on the shoulder for sure. FYI- if you can boulder v5 you should get up on the Broach at ship! The crux is v1 at the most. Also a little insider information, at the moment there are 3 fixed wires now in the steepest part of the flake, the thing is basically a sport climb. Go get some!

  5. Erich, I'm totally piss scared to load my shoulder on the dyno on Unwritten, but the rest of the climb is just so damn fun. So I'm gonna try it again and hope for the best. But I sure as hell don't want to blow the damn shoulder again just as it's feeling better! Looking at those pics you posted on Cruxn where the climber is all on one arm at the dyno latch made me cringe....

    Sounds good about the Broach--thanks for the insider nuggets. :) Now I just need to sac up one day.