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Day 1 and 2 of my Bishop Trip



Day 1:

After closing on my house, (9am – 9:50am,) I picked up Ryan and we hit the road. We drove for 25.5 hours, from Charleston WV, to Rifle, Colorado. (1540 miles) – It was pretty rough – and let me tell you – Kansas is the WORST state to drive across…the only thing worse is the first half of Colorado which is just as bad.
So one major bummer – I left my entire toiletry bag at home. Thankfully, I stashed some extra contacts and bought the rest…
Today we climbed at Rifle. W were literally FOJJ….step out of the car and fall of “Feline” (11a). I managed to do the route second try, but I finally understand what the “Rifle” thing is…you spend so much time trying to figure out all the moves that you pump out on the crux which is the last move….well at least that’s what happened 3 goes on this 11c “GET NAME” – I was really close on it though…seriously. really close.
“All the rock in Denver is choss” – James Glover.
My verdict on Rifle. This place is rad and I want to come back for sure – spending maybe a week or two next summer here. The climbing and movement is quite unique; the holds, yes are polished, but the feet stick better than I thought they would…the crag to car to crag is amazingly short.
After a short lay-over-night in Rifle, Ryan and I are heading to Indian Creek.
I’m having a little bit of brake trouble…well a lot – the front left brake makes this nasty grinding sound every time I drive less than 40mph…
Day 2:
After Rifle, we were planning on going to the creek, but ended up just pushing it to Bishop! I’m definitely getting a little irritable at Ryan’s expense, but I’m trying really hard to think about how bad my brake grinding is getting. I need to get those brakes changed today or tomorrow – or soon. My Rotor is getting pretty grooved…
Ryan was a freaking trooper last night – he did MOST of the 10 hour drive from Joe’s Valley to Bishop…while I lay in the passenger seat in a somewhat half conscious stupor (listening to an Audio book – Ender’s Game) – I missed several big parts, so I’m pretty sure that I passed out.
Joe’s Valley was rad and definitely gets a check mark for “Come back to visit this place”
We went to “Area 51” at New Joe’s; we were taking it easy –
We did a handful of easy problems – though some of them weren’t that easy! The climbing felt similar to Red Rocks a little bit – no where near the type of Sandstone climbing we get in the East – which is MUCH grittier. It was, in-fact, closer to limestone than to the sandstone that I’m used to.
We ended up getting chased out by a nasty rain storm. I was working this V6 Dyno problem – coming CLOSE to the hold, but maybe an inch below it. It was cool for me because it was such a long move – that I really had to focus my brain into pushing and pulling as hard as I could at the exact right time…I watched a couple other guys do it; They were hitting it, but coming off…So I don’t think I was really close to sticking it…definitely a fun one though!
We ran into a group and shot some photos of them – it was great watching some peeps crushing hard problems.



So I think we’re doing the Happy’s today – its COLD (and perfect) here in Bishop.

Gearing up for a big trip…

I have about a week before I leave on my trip – about 18 or 19 days away from home. The major destination is Bishop, CA, but with stops at Indian Creek, Rifle, and in Boulder (Clear Creek Canyon?)

I am leaving either Wednesday night or Thursday morning (27th or 28th of October.)
I will be blogging daily on my trip with photos.
The biggest drive will be the first – from Charleston, WV to Denver or Rifle, Co – about 22 hours or 26 hours depending – not including stops. I’m hoping to get a day in at Rifle, but am not really counting on it; We (Ryan Smith and I) will most likely be stopping for at least a day at Indian Creek – maybe a couple depending on how much Ryan likes it.
Likewise, Joe’s Valley is a probably – either coming or going or both stop for a day or two.
What I am really looking forward is Bishop though – and have a handful of projects/goals for the trip. I’m not really in great shape, but decent…I’ve been in better, but I’d like to try and project the following problems at Bishop
1. High Plains Drifter (V7)
2. The Hulk (V6)
3. Strength in Numbers (V5)
4. Seven Spanish Angels (V6)

Coopers Rock..


Friday, Andy and I walked out to “Two Big Rocks” at Coopers Rock – a sport climbing area…we managed to find it first try and were psyched!

Then, I got this crazy idea – that I wanted to try and repeat the old classic “Pump It Out” 5.11d R – which was put up by Cal Swoager in the late 80s? or early 90s?. We were not sure on the “R” rating until Mike Paugh try the route as well – fell at the crux and ripped both pieces of gear, hitting the ground. The gear was placed well, but the crack shattered (and trashing my cam.)
Thankfully, we had a handful of crash pads – that coupled with the gear ripping slowed him down enough that he didn’t get seriously injured.
I’m really glad I didn’t fall…and don’t know if I would lead the route again – though I may consider bouldering it – since its only about 30 feet tall…of course the crux is the last move…

A harrowing trip…


–Steve Lovelace on Lock-Smith (V3) at Grayson
Its been a while since I’ve posted – I’ve been keeping on the DL the route development which we have been doing at the Meadow – mainly because a lot of my projects got snaked at the “Feed Lot” which we developed this Spring.

This fall – I’ve slowed down – drill maybe about 20 some routes…but this post isn’t about the New.

I had a pretty rough (in a good way) weekend – lots of driving – and climbing – and hiking – HIKING – I hate hiking…truly.

Friday, I did Grayson Highlands State Park – where I met some rad locals – did a bunch of boulder problems – that place is cool – check it out!

Saturday – I climbed at the new at Summersville lake – and unfortunately, I took a really ugly lead fall and I think fractured or badly bruised my heel.–Raina doesn’t think that 8 miles is a long hike (at 3 months old)
I promised Matt, though, that Sunday, I would check out this “new” crag with him – from Google Earth, we could see this 200? foot tall limestone pillar. It is near Seneca Rocks, but the unfortunately fact is that its OUT IN THE MIDDLE of no-where….so (on my fractured heel), we hiked about 8 miles (lots of up-hill and stream crossings) to check out this pillar…the most obviously appealing line was the front face of this giant pillar.

–Another heinous hill on the way in…
So we hiked around the top (the climb being quite crappy.) – well…The top of the formation was narrow and extremely loose. So we decided to rope up and traverse the skyline, placing bolts as we went.

–Matt and Katherine at a stream crossing
It ended up being a major epic. Neither of us fell, but it took quite a while – and we ended up wasting 10 bolts (and the battery to drill them) in 3 150? foot traverse pitches. At one point, I realized that if I fell, I was a dead man…or at least would have hoped to be – no good rock to anchor…just as I grabbed a block the size of a refrigerator – and it teetered. I managed to keep my balance and push the block off the otherway – it was really really scary though….–The gorgeous river.
Finally, when we reach the front face (there was some spectacular trundling involved!), we drilled an anchor and rapped the face. I got about 5 bolts into it when the driving rain and dead batteries ended the day (we had more batteries at the base, but screw it right!) – well, we left the rope hanging – the route is going to be about 160 or 170 feet with intermediate rap stations.

–All chossy limestone looks good up close.
its pretty spectacular.
–After a couple stream crossings, its lunch time.
This weekend, I’m shooting some photos for a friend in Pittsburgh and hopefully doing some bouldering up there…not sure about the weather and the whethers….

P90x…

So I officially started my P90x workout Sunday evening – I climbed Sunday, but not really enough – so I did Arms and Chest…I’m glad that I pregamed last week – I didn’t TOTALLY suck with that workout.

The plyometrics workout was the one that I was the most worried about (last night) – but It went MUCH better than it did the previous week as well – I was pretty excited that I only had to pause it once (or maybe twice I don’t remember) – The abs workout wasn’t so bad either – I had to pause it a few times and I couldn’t do all the workouts to the max reps, but it went much better than the previous day.

P90x Workout

As with the energy it takes to workout and lose weight, I’ve greatly improved my dietary efforts as well. I had 3 eggs for breakfast this morning, and a slice of Pies and Pints Pizza. I bought a bunch of fruit at the store for lunch (and probably finish off the Pies and Pints Pizza) – Dinner will be a salad at Panera.

Tonight’s P90x is going to be Shoulders and Arms.

So – Those of you that know me – know this – but its funny because I’m a pretty crappy climber for one who does it with his life…I’ve sent one V7 – and it was a while ago – and have only RPed a handful of 12ds….I’m really hoping that this workout will push me into being more solid on 12+ and maybe – just maybe I’ll send my first 5.13a this fall? I sure hope so.

I’m planning a two week trip the first two weeks of November – I’m thinking about driving out to Bishop, with a stop at Joe’s Valley on the way there and back (its like an hour and a bit out of the way!)

My P90x workout will take me to about two weeks before that. Also, I’m getting a hangboard in the mail here soon and am hoping to add a weekly hangboard workout to my P90x routine.

so yeah – life is hard (not) – I’ve been going to sleep at 830 – so I can wake up at 530 – to go to work – then I come home, train and then sleep….(I only work four days a week though.)

I’ll keep updating on my P90x and if/how its improving my climbing.

P90x…

So I’ve decided to try the P90x workout – It was suggested to me by Ray Ellington (he’s a beast) and I figured it would be good for me to do some general fitness stuff. It will certainly cut into my climbing performance; its a 7 day program and I’m going to cram it into 5 days (Day 6 is Yoga and Day 7 is stretching – gonna skip stretching and put Yoga)

I’m officially starting next week – though I’m going to do some of the workouts this week just to get some of them down.

Yesterday – I did the “Chest and Back” + ABs. – I did one cycle through Chest and Back (it does each twice) – then did abs…and it just crushed me…it was awesome – Tonight is Plyometrics….to quote my facebook post “I’ve always wondered what it would be like to wake up hours later in a pool of my own blood” – since plyometrics is the “art of leaping”…Its a 3 month schedule and I modded it to get it into five days…

I also did a bitch of switching around so Friday’s are “light”

Week 1-3:
1. Monday – Chest and Back/Abs
2. Tuesday – Plyometrics
3. Wednesday – Shoulders and Arms/Abs
4. Thursday – Legs and Back
5. Friday – Kenpo and Yoga
Week 4:
1. Monday – Yoga
2. Tuesday – Core
3. Wednesday – Kenpo
4. Thursday – Core
5. Friday – Yoga
Week 5-7:
1. Monday – Chest, Shoulders and Triceps/Abs
2. Tuesday – Plyometrics
3. Wednesday – Back and Biceps/Abs
4. Thursday – Legs and Back
5. Friday – Kenpo and Yoga
Week 8:
1. Monday – Yoga
2. Tuesday – Core
3. Wednesday – Kenpo
4. Thursday – Core
5. Friday – Yoga
Week 9:
1. Monday – Chest and Back/Abs
2. Tuesday – Plyometrics
3. Wednesday – Shoulders and Arms/Abs
4. Thursday – Legs and Back
5. Friday – Kenpo and Yoga
Week 10:
1. Monday – Chest, Shoulders and Triceps/Abs
2. Tuesday – Plyometrics
3. Wednesday – Back and Biceps/Abs
4. Thursday – Legs and Back
5. Friday – Kenpo and Yoga

Week 11:
1. Monday – Chest and Back/Abs
2. Tuesday – Plyometrics
3. Wednesday – Shoulders and Arms/Abs
4. Thursday – Legs and Back
5. Friday – Kenpo and Yoga
Week 12:
1. Monday – Chest, Shoulders and Triceps/Abs
2. Tuesday – Plyometrics
3. Wednesday – Back and Biceps/ Abs
4. Thursday – Legs and Back
5. Friday – Kenpo and Yoga

and that’s all folks…..

Day 3: Continued
The hike out to the boulders – for once – wasn’t a horror show…and the boulders were quite cool. We met up with a couple dudes that have been helping to establish and keep the place open – they were really cool and I shot a bunch of photos of them and their female counterparts.
We’re talking about maybe checking out the “TV-Tower” crag tomorrow – with the major draw being the short(er?) approach. I sure hope it’s a short approach.
The interesting part about “the Dump” is that is a really sensitive ecological area. The Ontario group (OAC) was pretty key in negotiating the opening of the boulders, but you have to be really careful to not trample/mess with the flora – especially this special “Daisy.”

Day 4:
The bugs were really bad last night – I basically said – ok sorry dude, but screw this I’m going to bed (despite napping twice and the fact that I wasn’t tired) – I just couldn’t stand the swarm of mosquitoes…A few made it into my tent, though I didn’t wake up with any painful bites – I do remember swatting at a few that were buzzing around my head.
On a road trip – I think that rest days are the most difficult thing…more so making the decision that we need a rest day. We need a rest day today…but screw it – we’re going climbing. We’ll definitely need a rest day tomorrow – for sure…I think we’re talking about checking out this white sands beach or something…
I’m not sure where we’re going to today yet, though we may check out the “TV Tower” crag since it supposedly has a short approach (God I wish!!!)
This trip is really nice – It feels like I’m climbing full time again – I’ve been gone away from work long enough that I don’t really think of that as my “life” – not that I really do much anyways – having a 3 day weekend every weekend.

—–Day 4: Part 2——-
Today has definitely been the most humid day – we drove out to the T.V. Tower crag (funny enough the one guidebook lists it, but doesn’t even give directions to it – how lame right?) – well it was a total poison ivy fest/chosspile….well maybe the one route there looked good – but we said screw it – not worth it….well maybe…but not really…We ended up just taking a rest day….
I think we’re gonna climb at Lion’s Head tomorrow…

Day 5:
Totally got my butt kicked – its sad for me to admit, but I’m not climbing 5.12a anymore ☹. I really need to whip myself into shape – I put 3 more goes into “Busted at Bedford”, but was unable to do it…the third go I made it all the way to the anchors and was just too scared to risk the forty foot whipper on rusty bolts…the anchor clip is probably the crux – the holds end about 2 feet below the anchor so you basically need to dead-point clip the anchor, then lock-off and pull up rope and clip…well maybe next year right?
I did manage to scare myself up this really cool 5.10c trad route (on the Latvian Ledge) – Fastball? Or something like that…Totally thought I was gonna die…but whatever right? If you’re not scared – its not a trad climb? I need to get back into tard shape – I was feeling pretty good last season…
The bugs here….are….reallllllly…bad!

Day 6:
Today was more of a “mellow” day – at least we didn’t try anything harder than 11a – though we did try, but fail miserably to find “Katrina and the Wave” – after a nastyish bushwhack and a bunch of arêtes that all looked the same (and we didn’t seen any bolts), we headed back to past the Latvian Ledge to do a line that caught my eye several days ago – we rappelled in and did “Lady Slipper” 5.10a which was probably the best pitch we’ve done so far – then we did the companion line (mind you it took me three goes) – “Magica Moment” 5.11a. I didn’t expect to do anything hard so I only brought my “one-size big/comfy/smear shoes” to the rappel ledge…oh well…you got hosed tommy…you got hosed…
..I’ve come to realize that I am a very smear oriented climber – and well…smearing on blank limestone walls doesn’t cut it like it does on sandstone…I really need to work on my edging…I just always default to smearing when I can…We finished up by doing “Skunks Do It In Tevas” 5.9 – a high quality, variety climb with two mono moves….it was really cool. Looks like two more climbing days – and so far – NO RAIN…did I just curse myself? We shall see…
We’ve been hitting the Lion’s Head Inn every night for dinner…the food is…well pretty good – a big pricey- but I guess you get what you pay for – especially in Canada…

Day 7
You know is gonna be a tough day when its 10:00 am and you’ve already taken your daily max of Ibuprofen…
Totally hosed us – it rained today. We got exactly as low of an elevation from the car as possible when the storm hit – we went into the boulder field at Half Way Dump only to get totally dumped on…well that’s life I guess right? So we went driving around a bit – and found this really really nice, warm beach on the other side…of course it was raining… jumped in anyways…the water was actually warm…and nice – of course it was freezing so I got out pretty quick and high-tailed it…
We’re not sure but if it rains again tomorrow, we may be pissing on the fire and calling in the dog and heading to a boulder/climbing area in PA called the Allegheny Nation Forest (ANF.) – not sure yet…
We drove up to Tobermory today – it was…well…it was nice. There were trees. And some roads…and I think we saw a few rocks. We got out at this visitors center and Bob got to see what a Fisher looked like “oh and a biiiiiig bear too”. I just waited in the parking lot. I used his phone and saw a picture of a Fisher too. Of course – all these photos of this gorgeous blond popped up too. Go figure. Try doing a Google image search for a “Fisher.”

One thing that I’ve noted here on the Bruce Peninsula is the people – they’re really nice and cool – I think every night at the Lion’s Head – we chit-chatted with locals – the waitresses – other patrons – we even had two people stop by our campsite to talk to us. Super rad…

Day 8 (The day that the music died):

Day 2 and Day 3 at Lion’s Head…

Day 2:
We did Lion’s Head proper today – you know – I’m starting to see a theme around here (other than limestone and pockets) – freaking long and heinous hikes! At least there aren’t any hills…but man – they’re really long!!! – especially when carrying the camera…
We did a handful of pitches today – including two really good moderate warm-ups, a decent 11b (that felt easy) and I put two burns into this HEINOUS 5.12a called Busted at Bedford. The 2nd burn, I made it through the crux, but was just too scary to clip the darned draw! I think if I get back on this one – I’m gonna hang a dyneema from the bolt and clip mix crux instead of trying to clip off of good hands and no feet.
The climbing at Lion’s Head was on the “blue” limestone, though the nature of the routes, the movement and the sketchy bolting was very reminiscent of climbing on Endless Wall at the New River Gorge…We saw this really cool crack climb – I think we’re gonna come back and do it (and maybe hopefully send that darned 12a)
I snapped a few images today – once the sun came over, the lighting was just exquisite. After loping back (more like staggering the way my feet were feeling), we did Dinner for the 2nd night in a row at the Lion’s Head Inn.

Day 3:
“We were pondering how many ‘Toonies ’ it would take at the local brothel to figure out what a ‘Rusty Blackbird’ (V5) was, but later learned they named the problems after the Flora and Fauna in the park.”
Has it really only been three days? I’m feeling totally whooped – I guess that we’re calling today a rest day anyways – but not really – we went bouldering at this place called “Half Way Dump” or “the Dump” – the bouldering was pretty good – though limestone (I was hoping for granite – but you can’t always get what you want…)
I basically got my butt kicked – though I’m totally blaming “day 3 in-a-row” – my guns were just thrashed and I kept falling any time I needed to call in the reserves. I did do a handful of V3s that were quite good.

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