Fresh back from my red rocks trip (which I have not blogged about, but I will hopefully soon!)  I was feeling pretty great.

My dieting has been going really well, I’m sitting steadily at mid 150 lbs.  (154.8 this morning which matches my all-time low I think.)  I just finished my power phase using the Rock Prodigy Training Method.  Their book is now out actually and available here:

http://rockclimberstrainingmanual.com/

Tonight at the gym, I’m staring into my power endurance phase, and this is the first time that I’ve ever focused on PE.  So it will be interesting to say the least, though Mark Anderson a previous blog entry talking about his training program told me that this will be the most important phase for me.

The training for me has been paying off big time for me so far, but I feel like I’m right on the cusp of a new horizon for climbing.  I just feel like I’m “SO CLOSE”…

I climbed both weekend days at the Red River Gorge this weekend, climbing Saturday at Drive-By Crag.   I was mildly concerned about my day when I walked up and half of the routes were dripping wet from all the rain we had been getting.  My goal was to warm-up and hopefully send “Beer Belly” 13a as my warm-up, however, I numbed out at the crux and also found out the final boulder problem on it was wet.  So no dice for me on that one today.

I next decided to try out “Spank” 5.13a.  I managed to climb the route all the way to the last move onsite, falling off the FINAL hold!! Darnit.  The thing with “Spank” is that the last bolt is typically skipped and I was unable to pull back on so I lowered.  After a short rest, I took the route easily to the last bolt, grabbed it, clipped it, then worked out the ending beta.  It turns out that I had just “missed” the last hold, going for the wrong spot on it, though I worked out a good knee-bar for the final crux.  I tried in my third go and easily sent the rig, doing 5 pull-ups at the anchor.

Spank 5.13a starts up this sort of “in a cave” dihedral with lots of good holds, then climbs to the “Maize Mae” ledge, the immediately launches into a series of long moves between good holds for about 25 feet culminating with a biggest move off so-so holds and high feet to a good big rounded sloper jug.  This is the rest and clip, then the crux comes right out at you!  The first part of the route is pretty steep – maybe 25 degrees overhanging, but the final section really kicks back.  Some longer moves between good to okish holds leads to a sneaky left knee-bar and some decent holds, then a slap to a OK sloper edge.  From here, you bust out right to a “jug” then update your 8a from the chains.

Here’s the run-down on red river climbing with images:

http://www.redriverclimbing.com/RRCGuide/?type=route&id=851

After this, I took a long rest and decided to give my “project route” a try.  In the Rock Prodigy Training book, the major goal is to pick a “project” route and train for it.  This was hard for me, but I chose Kaleidoscope 5.13c.  I even have it at the top of my training binder.  I got on the rig, with the awesome beta spray, did all the moves easily first try, except for the crux itself, which is an accuracy long, dead-point move off a really bad left hand sloper, a heel-toe cam and a right pinch out right to this slot-jug…I actually couldn’t believe how good the jug was!

The sun came out and things were drying off, so I decided to get on my sixth pitch of 5.13 for the day – and try to red point “Beer Belly”.  I was pretty beat tired, but managed to get through the crux for the first time ever!  I really had to punch it.  After the crux, there is maybe 15 or 20 feet of easy climbing with a good rest, then a final boulder problem.  I just didn’t have it in me, I crapped out and fell going to the chains…..maybe next time….

Sunday, we got an early start.  A couple weekends ago, I had gotten on Table of Colors – 13a and easily did all the moves off the hang and wanted to try to put it to bed.  The problem is that this wall goes into the sun fairly quickly and stays in the sun for a while, so I wanted to get it while it was cold.  The one drilled/enhanced hold at the crux is pretty sandy and is hard to hold when its hot.

I got it as my warm-up hanging the draws and all the moves bolt-to-bolt pretty easily and worked out both cruxes.  My second go, I got through the crux, only to fall on the next move!!! AHHH!!! so frustrating.   The crux move itself for me is not physically demanding in the least, its more of an “accuracy” float/dead point move to a quarter pad edge.  If I can get it, I’m stoked, but on my third fourth and fifth burn I managed to miss it every time!

Table of Colors – 13a.  The crux.

On my sixth burn of the day, I was starting to worry.  The sun was on the route, though not on all of the route and not on the enhanced/drilled hold yet.  Table of Colors climbs fairly easy terrain for about 50 feet – maybe 11+ or 12- climbing – longer moves between good holds and a couple of small holds through smaller holds.  The climbing up to the crux is below my MSS (Max Steady State) level, so I get to the crux every time completely fresh.  Its good to have a long draw on the crux bolt and I clip low from a jug right flake.  From here, you’re set-up under this little “mini” arete that is uncharacteristically steep for the route.  There’s a really deep, incut pocket for the left hand left of the bolt.  From here, you step feet up, using a right sidepull, then GO LONG to the enhanced/drilled pocket/edge.  A 1/2 to 1/4 pad slimper edge similar to the outside bottom edge on the DRCC hangboard.  I have the height, so for me this move is 100 percent every time and not hard.  Next, you grab a small, weird to grab funny edge/pinch thing, high step left into the pocket you just cranked on and do the accuracy move to a 1/4 pad edge.  I found that I was able to get a right heel/smear/scum on the mini arete to help control this move.

From here, another 1/4 pad edge leads to a deep incut and some easy terrain to an almost no hands full recovery and one boulder problem.   I won’t spray this one, but its probably V4 so be ready for it!.

Anyways, I got it!

I finished the day with two burns on the easiest route I climbed all weekend:  Phantasia – 12d.  I’ll not explain this route until I actually do it.  Once again though, I fell going to the last hold on it onsite (well that last hold that matters) hanging the draws.  DOH!!!!