It’s been ages since I have posted on the blog. More than 4 weeks. Not to say I haven’t written anything but it hasn’t gone “live”. In NorCal, El Nino is in full effect and we have been getting slammed with “bad” weather. By that I only mean highs in the 50’s and a bunch of rain. Nothing really worthy of complaining about but I’ve been spoiled by year round sun in San Diego and temps in the 60’s and sunny.
Lizzy has been quite busy with her first year of grad school. Endless hours of reading, and hard work has kept her from writing. School takes up much time coupled with climbing many nights a week and the occasional skiing or climbing trip on the weekends. All of Lizzy’s work seems to have paid off since her first paper that she submitted in December as been recommended for publication (pending revisions)! On top of this Lizzy has started running in prep for Triathlon season which she plans on participating in this coming year. Much effort has gone into researching and trying out Triathlon bikes which have a different geometry for the “aero” position. Expect a few Triathlon trip reports in the spring.
Anyone who knows me or reads this blog can tell that I like climbing. I like talking about it, reading about it and most importantly doing it. Beyond just going climbing I like performing well and pushing my self. I often feel the need to feed my ego and work on things I enjoy and am good at. So far this year I am taking a first step towards becoming a better/smarter climber. Over the last three years I have improved simply by attempting hard problems and routes at the gym and outside. This process is not very systematic but slowly made my body stronger.
In 2010 I decided that I wanted to try a formalized training cycle. I have heard good things about Periodization and I have a few obvious weaknesses that I would like to improve upon. My routine is taken from Mike Anderson’s “Making of a Rockprodigy” with a few changes. In addition to just getting stronger I want to actively work on my weaknesses. I fail most often when I cannot hold onto a small hold compared to failing due to pump on a large hold.
So far I have seen instant improvement which is very motivating since I have sacrificed climbing time to train. It is hard for me to go to the gym and not climb the many new routes so I have been cheating a bit which has most likely lessened the effectiveness of the hangboarding.
The real motivation for formal training comes from a series of goals. Last year my friend and climbing partner, Stein, was doing a regimented training cycle. These cycles require a lot of psyche and persistence and hopefully a goal in mind. His goal, which became my goal as well, was to free climb El Capitan. This has been in the back of my mind for a while but having a psyched partner brought it to center stage.
In addition to free climbing El Capitan, I want to work on some of the other multipitch free routes in the Valley. I have two partners lined up for the spring and fall to free climb Half Dome. My expectation is to take a first trip up in early June to check out the hike, climb all the pitches and understand the logistics. I want to climb the route in a day so I expect to bivy at the base, possibly twice. Then in the fall, with a good understanding of the Regular route I hope to go back and free it.
I hope to use these routes as stepping stones for some of the 5.13 multipitches in the Valley. I have my eye on Golden Gate, seen above, the West Face of the Leaning Tower, shown in the video below and possibly Quantum Mechanic on the Washington Column.
These three routes are goals that go beyond 2010 but leave me something to dream about and keep shooting for. I have a lot of work to do in order to gain the fitness for these routes but I hope that I will have a productive 2010 climbing in the valley and learn more tricks for climbing hard big walls.
Lynn Hill and Katie Brown on the West Face of the Leaning Tower. Video via Patagonia
Thanks for stopping by and being patient with us at DreamInVertical.
Lizzy and I expect to have more posts in the coming month including a few Sweet Gear Reviews.