Wednesday, March 9

stoke train

There are so many variables in rock climbing that when you do it full time there will inevitably be ups and downs. Weather, partners, conditions, skin, psych, etc. are constantly changing.. making for sometimes narrow windows of opportunity and frequently resulting in last minute plan shifting. As hard as it is to see your project or favorite wall running with water, have a series of partners bail on you, or tear a mega flapper on the stupid warm up, it's all part of the game. It's easy to let pessimism reign.. but psych always returns if you give it time.
Kenny Barker remains psyched.. putting down his first 5.14, F-Dude. Visser Photo
Jorge Visser captures myself on 'Don't Call Me Coach'
After a gnarly wet season, quite a bit of the stone around here is damp (or soaking) to some degree unfortunately. After finishing off the Blasphemy wall with heartbreakingly close flash attempts on both the overlooked crimpy masterpiece 'Don't Call Me Coach' 13d and the long, footwork intensive 'Erotic Jesus' 13b, I was ambitious to turn the corner and check out the Planet Earth wall. Unfortunately it has been running with water and for a couple days I found myself back at the Blasphemy wall waiting for the unprecedented water level to drain. I even checked out a rarely done 12c called 'Sins of the Flesh' on the left side (which actually turned out to be pretty good!) in between repeat laps on F-Dude, Dude and Dark Boy. I spent an afternoon at the Black and Tan wall as well, which turned out to be seriously underwhelming albeit in a great setting. I did a short and powerful 13a, and sampled some of the harder routes, leaving without too much desire to return.. except for this wicked route.

Zeke and Chris Weidner: always psyched.
Marisa Ware on 'High Flames Drifter' 12+. Visser Photo
My short period of low psych came to a screaming halt yesterday when I decided to give an 'oh-what-the-hell-why-not' try on the still dripping Planet Earth wall classic 'Captain Fantastic' 13c. The entry 12+ pitch was damp to say the least, and the top required some fresh chalk, but it was totally manageable. I surprised myself with a second go send on this sandbagged, amazing test-piece. Inspired, I made my way up the neighboring 'Planet Earth' 14a and cleaned off some grime, revealing an incredible Randy Leavitt route that is just dry enough to warrant some effort. Psyched to get back!

Speaking of psyched, the Red Rock Rendezvous is rapidly approaching and I'm super excited to check out this huge get together. I'll be leading a clinic on the behalf of Sportiva for the event - I'll post details soon. If you're not familiar with this event you should definitely check out more here. As far as I know it's the largest rock climbing festival in the country - come check it out!