Tuesday, January 13, 2009

In The Beggining....

I have been procrastinating for too long so here it is.

Over the past year I have tried to take climbing more seriously and make it a priority in my life. I am a full-time graduate student at Appalachian State University in Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology and I work anywhere from 20-30 hours a week for a local print and design firm in Boone. I am also a Graduate Assistant in the Technology department for 10 hours a week so I am very busy to say the least, so it can be hard to find time to climb and train during the week... I try and save the weekends for traveling and I typically spend that time competing and climbing with Nate.

I have been obsessed with bouldering over the past few years and I have been seeing some personal improvements over the past year that have been very motivating. Over Christmas I traveled to New England to try some problems I have been hearing good things about, particularly Speed of Life and to get back on Roses and Blue Jays at Great Barrington. I arrived with visions of perfect conditions and flawless Massachusetts rock, the weather looked great and the first day I headed to Farley with my old friend Doug and met up with Max. Speed of Life was soaked, like a river, so we headed to a few other spots to check for dry rock. Nothing was dry, including under the roofs, since it was so cold the day before and the day we went out it was so warm the rock condensed.

The next day Doug and I went to Pawtuckaway and 10 miles from the boulders we were hit with 5" of fresh snow.We did get to climb a bit and I sent a few cool lines but overall the trip was a bust. I spent the next few days helping set a new gym in South Boston called the Rock Spot built by Rockworks. This gym is incredible and has one of the best bouldering walls I have seen on the East Coast and its always fun to set on brand new walls with your pick of douzens of features...

Nearly avoiding a 15" snowstorm in Providence I headed back home to visit with my family in Charlottesville, Virginia for a few days over Christmas/Hannukah.

Nate, Rami and I headed to Chattanooga the day after Christmas for a 3 week tour of the Southeast and we were not dissapointed. After a few days of more bad weather we got a 6 day streak of perfect sun and 50 degree temps so we took full advantage and hit up Rocktown, Suck Creek and Little Rock City. Rocktown went well and Nate and I both made quick ascents of The Womb (V10), which I always thought was supposed to be really hard but once we got the beta figured out it didn't seem that bad. We also went and tried the new line Litz put up at Suck Creek called the Bosnian, but it turned out to be really hard, go figure, with super high feet for the crux so we got killed. We spent a few days at LRC as well and I finished off New Sensations (V10) in a few goes and spent some time working The Shield. With no sucess on The Shield and bad weather coming Nate and I decided to head to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Arkansas for a week and we wern't dissapointed.

The Womb (V10)

Arkansas was incredible. We spent our first day at Fred's Cave and with a few days of rest behind us I was really excited to climb on dry rock and so was Nate.I warmed up and snagged an onsight of Fred's Roof (V11), Nate sent quickly after and I spent a while working 1 Inch Pinch (V12). Fred's Cave in a really cool roof that doesn't top out but has really fun movement and high quality rock so it is worth checking out. The wall has a couple 13's a 12 and an 11 so plenty to work on and I got close on 1 Inch and Chunk Up The Deuce so we will have to make another trip. The next day we went to the Invasion wall with Jeremy and David and we climbed on a really cool line called Her Majesty (V10) and headed off to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch. Nate and I both sent a fun problem Ty Landman put up called Typhoon (V11) and I got an onsight of Glass Bowl (V10). Over the next few days we climbed a bunch at the ranch and toured the other local areas. Ended the trip with a quick send of Jason Kehl's problem, BloodyKnuckles (V11), and headed back to Chattanooga for one last try on The Shield.

Fred's Roof (V11)

We had one day left before classes started in Boone so we went back to LRC so Nate could finish off Biggie Shorty (V10) and I could try again on The Shield (V12). We warmed up and I walked over to The Shield and sent first go of the day! I have been wanting this line since the day I saw it and it certainly ranks up there with some of the best in the country. Nate dispatched Biggie Shorty with relative ease and we were off to Boone for the spring semester. A big thank you goes out to Kasia for letting us crash at her place and to David and Jason for the tour of Arkansas! We will be back...

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