IT’S MY BIRTHDAY AND I’M STRONG AND I RULE

Let me get you up to speed on the past week.

For those of you who are in the southeast, I’m sure you’re aware of snow-pocalypse-mageddon that was so recently upon us.

It was total pandemonium. The snow hit Tuesday morning and went on for a few hours. Everybody went bat s*it crazy and tried to make a mad dash from school/work/whatever. This is when it got weird. Cars were being abandoned all over the place leaving Birmingham looking a little like the Walking Dead.

While this is going on, George is plugging away. Spreadsheets never rest. Around 4 I gave up any hope of getting home and decided just to spend the night at the office. I re-purposed my crash pads for the evening, skidded over to the chevron to grab a 6-pack, and settled in for the night. I worked a bit longer then hung around with co-workers swapping stories and watching Netflix to pass the time until I zonked out.

Wednesday morning I woke up and turned on productivity overdrive. No one was in the office, no one was walking by talking about weather/traffic/etc. and I was a machine. I’m talking burning-the-numbers-off-my-keyboard kind of typing speed, 100 GWAM AT LEAST, act like you know. I was just about blind from staring at the screen when a friend texted and offered up his place for the night so I didn’t have to sleep on pads sans-shower again in the office (Shout out to Chris and Sarah Lee for hooking me up with dinner, a place to crash, and climbing vids to watch (sorry Sarah)).

After walking a couple of miles to their place, catching a night of sleep, and walking a couple of miles back I was in the office again (it’s Thursday now, for those of you keeping score at home). I managed to hang around until about 1. At this point I was just about off my rocker. I told the boss-man I was gonna lose it and he said that was fine, sent me on my way. Here’s where it gets good.

By this time the roads (for the most part) are fine, the traffic has cleared, and it’s warming back up a bit. I’d made up my mind to damn the torpedoes and go rock climb on my birthday and had a strong preference that it were outside. I shot out an invite on the book of faces, rode by the gym, and called a couple of folks to no avail. I called Horse Pens to be sure that the roads weren’t too bad and Jeremy lied and said that they weren’t. I knew better than to take the normal route up so I drove up to the Steele exit to come up the backside of the mountain. Before I was even off the interstate I got a text from a friend in Bham that was like “yo I just talked to Anthony at horse pens and the roads are bad, and there’s snow all over the boulders”. So naturally I get bummed out and think I’m not gonna get to climb. This was the FIRST time I almost left and went back to the gym.

I drove a little further just to see for myself and happened to come up on some St. Clair county trucks and a scraper that said I’d be fine heading up that route. I took their word for it and started to follow the plow up the mountain. Psych was restored, if only for a moment.

I turned into Horse Pens and parked, amped that I had beaten the snowpocalypse and gotten to the boulders… Now to get lucky and find out that my project was dry, right?

Before I even got all the way out of the car, a dude was walking out and I asked him how the field looked. “There’s two dry problems.” he said. This is the SECOND time I almost left and went back to the gym.

I asked which ones and he responded with Five-o and Odd Job. You would think this is good news, since they’re both located RIGHT NEXT to the rock climb I wanted to do, but when I asked him about Supa Coola he said it was a puddle. Turns out he wasn’t lying. I walked out to see how it looked for myself and there was a steady stream coming off of the LH edge that you throw to first. It looked like a running faucet… Checked Slabalicious, which I was also interested in, also soaking. Straight slime running down the crux hold. I made a quick pass through the rest of the field and noticed that a couple of problems were dry… Inspect Her Gadget, Permanent Scream, and Popeye all looked to be good to go. I walked back up to the office to talk to Jeremy a bit and try to make up my mind.

I ended up deciding to not decide and flip a quarter instead. Heads I stay, tails I roll out, best 2/3 of course. HTT. I walk back to the car and stand next to the trunk looking at my pads on the ground and getting ready to dip. This was the THIRD time I almost left and went back to the gym. Before I did though, something crossed my mind. I work 7:30-5:15 most days. The weeks are long and the weekends are short. I spend most evenings either running to control my weight so I can climb harder, working opposing muscles so that I don’t get injured climbing, or just plain climbing so that I can be a better climber. I spent the better part of the summer sweating my nuts off at Horse Pens trying to get strong on slopers so that when the cold weather came around I’d be ready. I’d never done Inspect Her Gadget and figured my time would be better spent trying that than driving all the way back past my apartment into Birmingham just to sesh at the gym and drive back to my apartment that night. There will be plenty of days when I really won’t be able to get out and climb, and today was not one of them. It was just going to be a little limited…

I went back in with pretty grim expectations and warmed up on the wall next to Inspect Her Gadget (the Ocean and stuff). It didn’t take long moving around on fine-grained sandstone to get warm and psyched to be where I was. It was sunny, the snow was gorgeous, and the rock felt sticky. I started putting burns into IHG and fell off the big move (after the swing) at the end a few times before getting lucky once and sticking it. Psych was restored, not 100%, but there was at least a glimmer of hope that the day might not be wasted.

I ran back over to Supa Coola, more because I didn’t know what to do next than anything. It was starting to look a bit dryer so I smacked it with my chalk towel a few times and decided it was at least worth dialing in the moves. I had punted post-crux on this thing a half-dozen times the weekend prior, so I knew it was close. I got lucky and put it down in a half hour or so today with a nice dude from NY who was down for the week. At this point psych was totally back to 100% and I was ready for the next one.

I made a mad dash back over to Slabalicious to see if I could get it dry and it cooperated. In 5 minutes or so she was bone dry and ready to go. This one ended up suiting my style super well. It really favors static climbers. I got lucky and did the crux pretty quickly then did it in a burn or two from the bottom. By now I was pretty much losing my mind. A smile was glued to my face.

I got a little crazy at this point and thought maybe I could take down Permanent Scream on the way out. Should have known better. Oh well. Ya gotta have stuff to come back to.

These are the kinds of days we live for. Climbers put up with an awful lot of failure in order to catch just a few days a year where everything seems to be synced up between the temps, precipitation, what you ate the day before, what your workout regimen’s been like that week, and psych in general, which is a hard thing to pin down. It’s funny that climbing a few small rocks can make us so happy but somehow it does. It’s like going to battle with yourself, but you don’t win that often, and when you do, it just means you have a chance to start the cycle over and do it again.

It’s hard to remember sometimes, especially for those of us who have rock close by, but a sunny, cold day shouldn’t be taken for granted by a climber. Even if it’s 45 minutes away and you’ve gotta pay 7 bucks to get in… go rock climbing. There will be plenty of days when you really won’t be able to go. Don’t talk yourself out of it on the days you can. Be psyched homiez!

Adam made a video last weekend (this was the day I punted Supa Coola 7 times after the first move, not the day I did it… sssshhhhhhh). Enjoy!

Hidden Gems at HP40 from adam johnson on Vimeo.

Why Hueco is like Pretzel Day

Hueco time is coming up soon. 12 days and a 1,239 mile drive are all that separates me from another week in one of my favorite places in the world (at least from the places I’ve been). Here’s why I’m pickin’ up what Stanley’s puttin’ down in his Pretzel Day spiel, and I feel like the climbers (especially the fresh graduates with new-found careers) will feel me on this one.

If you’re anything like me, your average day probably goes a little something like this. You start out with an alarm that goes off about 10 minutes earlier than you want it to every single morning. You wake up and grab a quick bite to eat and hop in the whip (no doubt a fierce, road-destroying 4-door sedan that would be the object of any middle-aged, comb-over-rocking-nobody’s envy, hopefully in a hyper-dope color like sea-foam green). You make a drive to work that somehow becomes less and less eventful every day. You probably get stuck behind a couple of school buses along the way. It’s okay, you’re a G, you’ll make up for it cause you will absolutely MERK on any yellow light that gets in your way. No mercy. Eventually, you make it to the office and settle into your desk for the long haul. You ask a co-worker how their day’s going and they respond with the typical “I’m still above ground, must be doin’ alright” or “Just another day in paradise”. You throw up in your mouth a little bit, but keep it together, cause Doug sent you a dope snapchat vid this morning with a psyche vid from the cold porcelain donut he’s warming up somewhere in the great white Northeast. For the next 4 hrs, you go hard in the paint on spreadsheets and call lists. Just when you think you’re about to explode, it’s 11:30, lunch time. Whip out that turkey sandwich, and since you splurged at the winn-dixie this week, you got muenster cheese on that B, now you’re on some serious N.L.S. homey. While you woof down the sandwich, yogurt, and banana, you manically browse through your usual list of climbing blogs. Catch a couple of mediocre vids on DPM, or maybe it’s a particularly good day and there’s some new footy of one of the mutants out in Colorado climbing some V-wicked project. Scope 8a real quick, “oh look, Adam logged something this weekend without topping out and took full points for it”, then you know what time it is. Hit that fool with some 8a-hatemail, because no doubt he’s paper-chasin’ just as hard as you are in his cubicle 300 miles away, and we all know there’s nothing a climber loves more than opening up his 8a inbox only to find some mockery from a friend. 12:00 rolls around, the sandwich is gone and the post-lunch cup o’ joe is making real quick work of your GI system. Hightail it to the king’s throne and enjoy 15 minutes of silence and phone games while you drop bombs. Now that you’ve prolonged your stay in the oval office as long as reasonable, it’s time to trudge back to the desk and make the bossman happy. Turn up the Black Keys radio (to an appropriate listening volume, of course) and get back after it, son. There are documents to be printed/stapled, spreadsheets to be cleaned up, and clients to solicit. Another 4.5 hrs pass with relative ease, thanks to brain-numbing tasks and a little help from the homies on g-chat. It’s 4:45 now, and the end is in sight. You start to label your file folders, organize your pencils, or anything else that will keep your eyes from being glued to the clock for the next 15 minutes. 4:53. On the home stretch. OH NOOOOOOOO here comes bossman to remind you of that thing he told you to do but you forgot because you were daydreaming about how you can dyno like Jimmy Webb when really you’re just a mediocre slab climber, and now he needs it before the end of the day and you already shut down your computer but you gotta make it happen because you don’t have enough vacation left to cover the climbing trip you reaaaaaaalllly wanna take at the end of the year and you need to come out of this week smellin’ like roses, yadiddamean? So you bear down. You type with a fury of a Kenyan trackstar/death metal guitarist on bath salts. By 5:14 you’ve got it all wrapped up. Boom, save, submit, handled. Later boss, hasta manana. Your sanity is slowly being restored as you walk down the hall, out the door, into the parking garage, and finally settle into the cloth seat of your “musclecar”. You pull the ipod out, and bump “Forgot About Dre” to get amped up on the short drive to the climbing gym. You roll in, change out of your khaki’s and button-down shirt, and unleash every ounce of frustration you can muster from the long day on the red taped problem, only to punt the last move 4 times. You salvage the session by climbing every V3 in the gym and maybe even hitting a quick hangboard/abs session before you hop back in the sea-foam-green-4-cylinder-road-devouring-hellbeast and drive back to your 1 bed/1 bath apartment. At least it’s late enough that you missed rush hour traffic, probably because you stayed at the gym way longer than you should have. When you get back home, you quickly whip together something for dinner and settle in for a couple of episodes of Always Sunny or Futurama or Trailer Park Boys or one of the few other remaining decent TV shows on Netflix. Before long, it’s 10:00, and you know if you don’t get to bed soon, 5:45’s gonna be hard to deal with. The next morning, your alarm goes off about 10 minutes earlier than you hoped…

Life goes on like this for most days of most weeks. Sure, after 5 days, we get the ever-welcome weekend, which offers a couple of days of relief (assuming it’s not raining both days, which seems to be the norm in the DUUURURRRRRRRTTTYYYYY SOUFFFFFF). For the most part, though, it’s just enough to keep us truckin’ through another work week.

Then there’s Hueco week.

One week every year, for the past few years, I’ve made it a point to hop in the sea-foam-green-speed-machine and drive out West. We start driving at 3 or 4 PM and finish driving at 3 or 4 PM the next day. The destination? The home of the pumpiest, juggiest, longest, most-sickest roof climbs imaginable. The windy, dusty, quiet, hot-then-cold, bizarre, desolate, amazing desert. The Mecca of American bouldering. Hueco Tanks State Park and Historical Site.

For a week, school doesn’t matter. Work doesn’t matter. I’m approaching my mid-20’s furiously still lacking any sort of serious relationship with a member of the fairer sex, but that doesn’t matter. Childhood George would be enraged that I’m not an astronaut driving a Corvette with Cindy Crawford on my arm, but he’d be proud this week. This week? It’s Hueco week… and I like Hueco week.

Here’s a couple of our old Hueco vids and one from a friend, Michael Rosato. I hope everybody reading this (both of you) finds their Hueco Week, whatever that may be.

Happy trails.

Is It Winter Yet?

Me and Adam went to Arkansas. We made a video! My feet cut.

Arkansas definitely lived up to expectations. Can’t wait to get back and put some time into harder climbs out there. Kung Fu is rad. I enjoyed the Ranch as much as Hueco. The only bummer is the volatile weather… you have to go so far west to get away from the precipitation…

Speaking of Hueco, we’ve got a trip coming up at the end of this month! Other than that there’s not a lot of action on the radar besides work and climbing on that sweet southeastern sandstone as often as weather permits. I’ve got my work cut out for me in the durty souf this winter. If it’ll get cold and dry for a few weekends in a row there’s bound to be some sick-nasty sendage. Still grade chasin’ that elusive 7A+… bands a’ make her dance, let’s get it son.

Happy trails.

Rainy Weekend

2.5 months since I last updated… typical huckleberry B.S. It’s been pretty much business as usual lately. Working more than I care to, climbing until i can’t move most weekends… The name of the game up until now has been moderates, but I’m holding out hope that this season is the season that George finally does a hard boulder problem.

There are a few distinct highlights from the last few months, I’ll try to get you guys up to speed.

1. I did sandbox naked again, just as proud as the first time (Adam, you owe me $3, don’t forget the standing bet). Boulderween, if you haven’t been before, is something everyone should be a part of at some time in their life.

2. I finally gave in and star-chased at Triple Crown and it was a blast. Ryan Copeland destroyed us mortals, of course, but I managed to squeak out with 3rd place and walk away with some swag (new slider pad and a pair of 5.10’s!*) The final count: 74 probs, 125 stars. Good times on good stone.k

3. I climbed one off the life list (I wouldn’t spray, but I… no I probably would). Mulletino! I did it to the arete a couple years ago and never gave the topout much thought but damned if it’s not worth doing. Rad airy finish on techy slopers after 15 feet of steep jug hawlin’… gimme.

4. I need a second hobby. Rainy weekends bring me to borderline suicide watch. Open to suggestions for warm-weather/rainy days. “Move to Colorado” doesn’t count, but thanks for trying… It doesn’t even have to be outside, I just need something besides “go drink” or “watch football”. Help

5. I finally chased down the last of the “best of the best” v4’s in the HP40 guide which was a kind of exciting moment. Adam Henry certainly puts you up some sketchy stuff if you wanna fill out all the classic ticks in his guidebook. I guess the V5’s are next, meaning Space is gonna have to get done at some point or another… pads/psyche, friends?

Ready for the holiday season, lots of food, lots of cold weather, and topping out some boulders.

Happy trails.

*sold, whatup La Spo, lemme get that shoe deal

Bama Lyfe ‘Bo

It’s been a couple months! Kinda hard to believe, it feels like they’ve flown by. I’m more or less settled in now and am kinda figuring out how to climb enough to keep me sane when I’m not working (most of it was deciding to throw the thought of having non-climber friends out the window). Homies from Clemson have been pretty good about coming down to visit, so that’s been nice.

First of all, college football has started back today and I’ve got an idea.  It’ll be like those radio shows where the 91st caller wins something, except it’ll be to see who the next person to say “roll tide” to me is, and the prize will be a surprise bicycle kick to the nuts.  Sports!

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First few holds on Mulletino, a line I appear to be destined never to repeat.

In other news from HP 40, I didn’t do a single move on The Flow (to include the V4 exit).  It’s hot and I hate bugs.  I’ve also spent 3 or 4 trips trying a stupid dyno next to the Thespian that all my friends do easily, without feet cutting, blah blah blah but George will never do.  I miss the days when Adam hadn’t done Millipede.

On the upside, I’ve been trying to clean up all the V3’s in the guidebook this summer and it’s put me on some pretty good stuff.  My favorite that I probably wouldn’t have gotten on otherwise (so far) is Ain’t Skeered, right behind the Front Slabs.  This thing is tall and sweet, with cool holds and moves to a committing loooong final pull to the lip, just as your holds sort of run out.  A recipe for awesome.  I’ll try to put a camera on it before too long since there’s not much out there on that one.

Here’s a video from Adam of a weekend at Horse Pens a while back.  I try Ain’t Skeered at the end of the vid and get skeered.  I earned my sticker now though. I think Jamry will look quite nice with a full-rear-window sized ain’t skeered sticker. Might go ahead and get the confederate flag painted on my roof while I’m at it…

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I went on an exploratory mission to Oak Mtn. State Park, which is huge, but doesn’t seem to have much going on by the way of cliffline/boulders.    That said, it looks like if you’re into mountain biking, there’s no better place around.  There are trails for miles and they seem to be pretty well maintained.  Maybe next summer I’ll actually pick up a hobby that allows me to do something besides mope around and watch king of the hill reruns when weather’s not favorable for climbing.

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Peavine Falls up at Oak Mtn. State Park.  Nice n’ easy .4 mi approach to a pretty cool area (lacking only in the fact that the rock there didn’t really lend itself to climbing, which renders the area pretty much useless to me.

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Just exploring around my apartment in hopes of finding a couple boulders.

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A few boulders at an athletic complex near my apartment.  Unfortunately not too much to get excited about with the exception of one big boulder overhanging on 2 sides.  There’s a picture of it 3 pics down.

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More from the athletic complex.

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Some pretty sweet orange shrooms I couldn’t help but stop and check out.

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This boulder seems to hold the most promise at the athletic complex near my apt.  I saw what looked like a little bit of chalk on it and it’s right off of the parking lot, so I’m sure it’s been climbed on before but it looks like there’s potential for a handful of decent lines if the moss/ivy come off.

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I also made it out to roped climb once (well, twice, but we won’t count the horrendous rain-fest of a weekend we had in Knoxville where I clipped two bolts on some .12c and retreated to the gym for the remainder of the trip).  A fella named Mark from the gym was kind enough to take me out and show me the Gray Wall in Little River Canyon, which is loaded up with good lines, as long as 5.11 and up is in your wheelhouse.  The canyon is HUGE!  Seems like there’s tons of climbing there, and surely a bit that remains to be developed.  It’s just reallllly hard to find your way around if you don’t have somebody with you who knows where they’re going.  That said, if you’ve got a lot of time on your hands and an adventurous side, it seems like it would be worth your while to go check it out.

Summer’s a bummer.  Ready for the cool temps this fall/winter! I’ll post up my list of climbing ambitions for the season before too long for those who care to read/laugh at my struggle to complete it.

The Big Move, Employment, and Sweat

I’ve relocated! You’ll remember (probably not) from my last post that I recently graduated college (in a quick 6 years) with a degree in civil engineering from Clempsun University.

12341234C-L-E-M-S-O-N-T-I-G-E-RRRRRRRRRRRRRRR-S, FIGHTTIGERSFIGHTTIGERSFIGHTFIGHTFIGHTWHOOOOOOOOOOO

I have spirit, but more importantly, I get to spray about a rock climb I did late in the season up at Rumbling Bald. Pit BBQ chewed me up, spat me out, and forced me to skip school and work on a Tuesday, but we finally made it happen and I’ve got a dab-free video to prove it. Enjoy the self-promotional, flip-video quality nonsense! Couldn’t have done it without the spot/motivation from Dylan, who was beating me to all my hardest ascents right before I left Clemson.

Pit BBQ from George Evans on Vimeo.

Anyway, shortly after graduation, I got word that I would be brought on to the estimating department of Brasfield and Gorrie, one of the largest general contractors in the state of AL. I packed up and spent a couple of weeks at home, then rented a U-HAUL and towed the Jamry down to B-town*, A.K.A. Birm-city*, A.K.A. the HAM*, or more specifically Trussville, where I’ll be located indefinitely. So far I love the area. Work is good, the gym (First Ave. Rocks!) is great, and the climbing in the area is stellar. I’m just down the road about 35-40 mins from HP40, so if you get down that way, come visit me, I finally bought plates. I’ll make you broccoli!

I’ve already scribbled down a little summer circuit that I hope to run at HP40, where I’ll be fighting an onslaught of greasy holds, stingy-buzzy-things, aggressive plants, and nutsweat. However, I’ll be so unbearably strong by this winter, all those brats onsighting 5.16c at the red won’t know what hit them. By January, I will have climbed Slider naked.

*For the record, I don’t think anybody actually calls Birmingham any of these things.

Updatin’ Blogs is Stupid

Between the last time I posted and now, a lot has happened.  This is not to include me doing any hard rock climbs or editing loads of sweet videos, and especially does not include me ending my season-epic Apocalypse Prow up in Boone (surely nobody has done that hike more than me this year).  I went to Rocktown (a bunch), went to Boone (a bunch), went to Hueco*, went to Rumbling Bald (never again!), graduated college**, went to the Red***, got a job, and now I’m going fishing.

I did finally finish up the Hueco video.  Here it is.  2 months, a new record.

 

There is also a video of me putting down one of my long time projies (Pit!) up at Rumbling Bald, so be on the lookout for that now that I’ve got the Hueco video out to satisfy the needy masses.

*I did Moonshine Roof, only took me three years.  I rule

**With honors, I rule

***Rain, good thing I was strong enough to climb all the overhanging 5.12’s there****, I rule

****SIKE

Team Psyche-Fun-Crushfest 2013

We made another trip to Horse Pens 40 this past weekend, and ended up having a real rad weekend.  Team DAG (Dale Andy George) held down the fort Friday night and Saturday, with Team DL-OMJ-G-BAB (Dookie-locks-old-man-johnson-grace-b.a.-barackus) showing up on Sunday to close out the weekend.  Here’s the rundown.

Friday night, we rolled in and I couldn’t resist.  I haven’t been like that in a long time, lately I’ve been pretty patient about sleeping first and climbing the next morning… Anyway, we got out of the car and it was a bit warm, but my skin felt bullet-hard and the rock felt awesome, so Dale psyched me up to head into the boulders and warm up real quick to try Getcha’ Some (V5).  Surprisingly enough, I warmed up, did the crux move in a couple tries, then gave it a go from the start and ended up on top.  I wish I could do that with projects every time, it’s so nice to have the pressure off a trip quickly so the psyche remains high and you can try new stuff… Alas.

So the next day, we warmed up, team pooped, and got after it.  Standard procedure.  While Andy was doing his accelerated warm-up thing, I made my way over to Blue Justice (V4) and pieced it together in a couple o’ goes (this was the site of a punt-fest the weekend before).  After that, I walked over and Andy did No Tranquility (V9)  in like 10 minutes.  The boy is too strong.  We’re going to have to break his bones.  By this time, it’s like 10:15 and Dale is psyched to get on Slider (V9).  At 10:30 we decide Dale isn’t all that psyched on Slider after all and move on.  Dale is not in his happy place.  Andy heads off to open up every double digit project in the park, and me and Dale settle down at the Flow after we all tried the impossible Moon Arete (V6/12) for a bit.  After we bailed on that, Andy went to try Illusions (V11) and me and Dale stayed for him to do the Flow (V7) and myself to seal the deal on Mainline (V4).  Somewhere in the next 45 minutes, the psyche took a serious swing for the better, and Dale’s trip took off.  I did Mainline and then got psyched on Sideline (V5) which now has a tree that ends up in your anus as you top out.  We both dabbed (Dale would want me to tell you that he dabbed less than I did), but we both “did” it, then Dale gave the Flow the proverbial ‘one more go’ and sent.  This is where he started to send every V7 in the park.

Dale climbing on some of those classic HP40 slopers... The Thief (V7/8) in impeccable focus.  Adam Johnson Photo.

Dale climbing on some of those classic HP40 slopers… The Thief (V7/8) in impeccable focus. Adam Johnson Photo.

Between then and the end of the trip Sunday afternoon, Dale ticked the following (all V7):

  • The Thief (which Andy also crushed)
  • It’s a Natural
  • Slabalicious “oh, that’s V6″ SHUTUP
  • Slush Puppy Low
  • Cuts Like a Knife Low “oh that’s 5.12+” SHUTUP
  • Sweet Spot (has anybody ever done this before?)

He also did Gadget Direct (V4/5) and flashed Spirit (V3) for good measure (and to round his Sunday V-point total to north of 50 points… sheesh).

Saturday evening, right before we went to shove Mexican food down our gullets, Andy did the impossible Landslide (V8/13) and the crew left very psyched.

Most of Sunday was spent following Dale around and watching him piss on everything he touched, with the exception of an hour or so spent letting me take sports-action whippers off the top of Mortal Combat (V4) which finally, with the psyche of Andy, Adam, and B.A. Barackus, went down.

A nice shot Adam took of me on Mortal Combat a couple of years ago, maybe my first session on it?

A nice shot Adam snapped of me on Mortal Combat a couple of years ago, maybe my first session on it?

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt as good as I did sticking the top hold of that climb.  Here’s a video:

A couple other things happened.  I tried Popeye (V5) and remembered that I can’t campus, I’m not flexible, and I’m a bad rock climber.  Whatever.  I also did a nice problem near Ten Pins for the first time called Plinko (V3) which I would recommend to anyone.

Very psyched lately.  Hueco training regimen is in full swing.  Only 3.5 weeks left til we’re on our way out west.  Until then, I’ll be in class poking my eyeballs out and watching the second hand until we’re loading up the cars for the trip.

For now, it looks like the weather’s gonna be trash for the next coupla days… gym seshes… maybe Boone this weekend?

Happy trails.

Punxsutawney Phil is a Tool

This jerk (well, perhaps not this one in particular, but another stupid furry idiot who is clearly blind or doesn’t know well enough to be afraid of his shadow) has sentenced us to an early spring.  Between Al Gore’s global warming and weather predicting varmints, we may never get another day of good conditions for as long as we live.  Naturally, this will cause an inflation of grades, and soon, Millipede will be V7 again, meaning I won’t even have to rock climb next year to improve my 8a!  Maybe Punksuthak;dflj Phil ain’t so bad after all…

I’ve been doing pretty well about getting outside, and even managed to get up to the Bald for a day of demoralizing efforts on projects that I’m not sure I’ll ever do.  My efforts on sandstone lately have been much more rewarding.  I finally made it up Honky Tonkin’ and Uniball at HP40, both really nice problems (despite the dirt-burgling start on Uniball) and have almost come to terms with the fact that anything harder than V4 there is impossible.  I finally had my payday at Zahnd a couple weeks ago and managed to shut down all four problems that remained on my list there (The Turret, Solar Flare, Chisel Chest, and Razor’s Edge).  I even remembered to bust out the camera for R.E.!  My broski Dylan also managed to put it down just after me for his first of the grade.  Nice work bruh!  He won’t see this, because a) nobody reads my blog and b) he probably can’t read, but I feel obligated to give him a shout out anyway.  Here’s a video.

In other news, it appears as if La Sportiva has discontinued the Speedsters, which is devastating.  I broke down and bought a pair of futura’s.  Now I’m broke, but on the bright side, Doug says I’m ready for La Dura Dura, plus my shoes match my eyes, which will no doubt have throngs of women chasing me down at the crag.

Hueco is coming up in like 6 weeks, I couldn’t be more stoked.  Ready to (hopefully) put old projects down quickly and get psyched on some new ones as well.  As for now, I’m feeling trashed.  Need to recover and get psyched on getting strong in the coming weeks before heading to Texas!

Happy trails.

Deuces 2012

Well, 2012 is over, which means:

a) I’ll be 23 soon, another foot in the grave…

b) I’ll be graduating from Clemson in 5 months or so

c) I need a job soon

d) It’s time for a tick list evaluation

Since Christmas, I’ve made a handful of trips to the Chattanooga/North Georgia area to dispatch a good bit of stuff from my most recent list, especially from Rocktown.  Even managed to do a couple unexpected classics along the way…  I’ll leave the spray up to my scorecard (and yes, as a matter of fact, there are people out there logging easy rock climbs…) It’s funny how it feels like doing one boulder problem (Throttle, in my case) can send the season in the right direction.   So after a couple 1/2 week or week-long climbing trips, I came back to Lexington to go to my roommate Jon’s wedding.  I got word that it was raining in Chatty from some friends, and decided to make it a late night and go do some karaoke with the Lex-bros at Main St. Bar and Grill.  We wished Jon and Liz the best, met the black Lt. Dan (who told us Richard Pryor jokes and directed our pursuit of the fairer sex), and I exploded my knee singing the Darkness.  I’m not sure what exactly happened to it, but it hurt like hell yesterday.  Improvement today was exponential.  Hopefully it’s a minor speedbump in an otherwise successful season.

karaoke

I’ll be heading back to Clemson after I publish this post, to chill out and unpack for a day while I get ready for the next semester, which I hope will be as light as it’s supposed to be.  12 hours, an english class… pretty excited to see what the next semester holds.  2012 was pretty rad, and I’d be stoked if 2013 was half as good.

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