SendAnn

All paths lead nowhere, choose with heart

planning my plans, and the red report November 20, 2011

Because when it comes to your climbing trip plans, you’ll encounter your share of naysayers. Have you ever noticed this? Wherever you’re headed, you’re going at the wrong time, the weather/crowds/star alignments are not optimum. I field a lot of ish from folks when I describe whatever my latest plan is, and if there’s nothing to naysay about my actual locations and timing, it’s the pure fact of having a plan that’s wrongheaded. Maybe it’s just annoying to hear someone else’s plans, and it’s like spray to share them. Maybe I’ll start answering the question “where to next?” with “Houston”. Because there’s nothing like “Houston” to throw a wrench in a rock climbing conversation’s flow. Except maybe “Jacksonville.”

I’m thinking about this because I’m in the Red during prime time, and I still got naysayage over a potential freeze out. Turns out it’s the rain that’s been hard to cope with. It seems to keep to a 4-on, 3-off schedule, and with my (less than) trusty tent proving no match for the mud pit that is rural Kentucky, I may take off a few days ahead of shcdule and hit Horseshoe Canyon Ranch over the Thanksgiving holiday. On the way to Houston.

warming up at HRC a couple years ago. I wore that same warm top yesterday, but those awesome pants bit the dust this summer :-(

But my sport climbing session in the Red has been a blast, despite the rain. I did another of my hardest sport climbs, this time shaving a full day off the time, sending after 2 days and about 8 goes. This one is called Stunning the Hog at Left Flank, and is a perfect route for me. Steeper than a lot of lines at the Red, a bit shorter, with big moves and lots of heel-toe cams. Cletus told me that the line doesn’t see very many female ascents, and that gave the accomplishment an added bit of sweetness/rationalization for the excessive eating of ice cream. The second day on it I was out with Eric from Ohio, Elodie from France and Andy, who works at Miguel’s. We put some serious time into determining our climbing spirit animals. Turns out I’m a bat.

milking the rest

I haven’t fallen as hard (so to speak) for another line here yet. I tried one called American Dream about three times, and was psyched to send as the light was fading, but then Cedar accidentally pulled my rope down. The route starts up on a death slab and it was a total debacle to get the rope hung through the first, and just couldn’t muster the time/will to reset it. No big deal though. I can’t imagine a better reason to not be able to get on a route one last time.

Yesterday I took two goes to do this amazing, perfect slabby crimp line called There Goes the Neighborhood. It felt just like the terrorist face climbing of Ceuse, but with twice as many bolts. I’m super proud to have done it, and I think my limit for face climbing is still pretty moderate. I was eager(ish) to try its bigger, longer, harder brother, Orange Juice, but the weekend crowds at the Red are insane and I didn’t get a turn.

Which reminds me of how I bailed on the whole project last weekend and went to the OBed with Dan Dan and his friend Spiral. I’ll make that a separate post.

In conclusion, my sport climbing trip the Red has been a climbing success. I did another hardest sport line, and climbed fearlessly on faces and slabs, and took big falls. My body feels great, and most of my bouldering tweaks (left forearm weakness, elbow fire, hamstring death) have begun to heal. I’ve also made a few amazing new friends, and had a long and awesome catch-up with John Garcia, Bentley and GMFB when I randomly put my stuff down next to them. What a nice shock that was! I got to spend some quality time with the Pigeons, further streamline my car camping setup, and met my major Red River Gorge goal of not getting a Miguel’s shirt, even though there are these awesome thermal ones that taunt me daily.

Look at them all, just hanging there....

Today I’m gonna take a 2-token shower, and do a few more of these captivating blog posts, a little internet moneywork, and tarot cards with Thomo. That is my plan!

 

like sandstone in the hourglass…. November 9, 2011

Filed under: Climbing,Over-Shares — sendann @ 5:43 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Heather says my life is a soap opera. It’s not really, but I think by the time I tell her about things, I’m so worked up over whatever it is that my dramatic emphasis has lent operatic overtones to the tale. Here goes:

Ok so remember how I was all not sure about entering the Triple Crown in the advanced division, because I’ve climbed a bundle of problems that have higher numbers than the range for advanced, which is 5-6? I talked to a bunch of folks about it. Everyone who had done a Triple Crown before was like, yeah no, go advanced for sure. Open is super hardcore and you’ll be in your own league one division down. Other folks were like, eh, you’re on the line, but there’s no way you can do more than 1 or 2 problems above that range in a day, so yeah. Advanced. So I entered Advanced, and got second place twice, trying super hard to put as many 6s and 7s on the board as possible. I lost to this girl Kati, and this other girl Jill, and figured that meant I was in the right spot. But oh man I wanted to win!!

So then I went to Horse Pens, which is suppose to be the hardest comp of the tournament with the lowest scores. Brutality. Four hours in I only had 2 climbs on my card and had fallen off of 4 top outs. Dan was coaching me. Poor Dan. Things were getting worse, I was getting tired and discouraged. So Dan takes me over to this area with what he insists will be some doable 5s. At this point, I cannot imagine it. But he stepped up and demo’d the betas, and I was able to flash a few problems. Yay, momentum! But this event was packed with strong girls. Those ATL chicks from the Athens comp were there, I had already seen Jill crushing, and every problem I managed to finish I saw another female competitor do. So much for winning, I figured. At this point I just wanted to finish the card.

Then this weird thing happened. After I did those easier problems, this stranger person came up to me, knowing an inordinent amount of detail about my climbing, kinda going off about how easy these problems are for me. Freaky. I got a very bad, psyched out vibe from the situation, and ran away as fast as possible. Because that’s just whack-whack, and I still have 6 problems to do and it’s freaking 1:45!

The rest of the day was ok. Most of my fingertips started bleeding. I met this funny dude named Doug. I climbed with Kai, the youth strongman who’s mom Connie is the trooperiest trooper of the triple crown. I did more problems, lots of falls, lots of punts. Got a heel-toe cam stuck and almost broke my femur, the usual. Finally finished my card, blood and tears all the way up a terribly hard 4 called Slush Puppy that took 5 tries. Then I ran, RAN, to turn in my card on time. My score was medium-low, and I was resigned to not place. Went and ate my feelings via smores at the Pretzl tent. Learned this joke for when you’re eating smores that goes like this:

You’re killin’ me, Smalls

So finally they post scores, AND I WON!!!!

Finally!

Won by about 100 points.  Oh my god, so excited to have finally won. AND I was sure I had a shot at being the over-all champ of the tournament for the advanced division.

So then Chad comes over and is like, ‘we need to talk’. He and Jim, the Triple Crown organizers and both super glorious dudes, are like, ‘someone came up here and told us that you did a v9 two weeks ago.’ Flummuxed, I was like, yeap! Two weeks ago, in Boone. My first one ever! It was so hard and awesome! Why do you ask? Well it turns out that one of the rules of the triple crown is that if they hear that someone did a climb at some point that’s rated way higher than the climbs in their division they get bumped.

Now, I don’t mind getting bumped from a prize-getting perspecitve, I don’t have room for another crash pad or  jacket – I’m in this for the glory. But are they saying that I cheated? That I sandbagged myself by entering advanced and could have climbed harder than I did, posting a ton of 7s and 8s or something? Because, wow, no. At least I don’t think – no.  I tried a bunch of harder-numbered problems during the event, and the two I managed were on my cards. And I kept getting second! If I were so out of place, wouldn’t I have been doing better? Oh, mercy the injustice!

No but really, I’m horrified to think that Jim and Chad thought I cheater sandbagged myself. Or worse, that I WAS being a cheater! And two, that someone stalked my 8a spraycard then cared enough to try and knock me off. Because that is creepy. And kind of mean, right? Granted, I stalked Jill’s after her LRC crushing and soothed myself by noting that she had some pocket problems out there. But I wasn’t about to go remembering that or telling anyone.

Anyway, I went back to Chad and Jim and told them I was over it and fine with a bumping, but that this whole thing was rather subjective and slip-shod. They said they hate divisions anyway and want to have no divisions among adults at all but give prizes for the top 15 placers. Then they said that when they bumped me into open, I ended up getting 3rd for the tournament.

that'd make me the one in glasses!

Wow. How did that happen? I think it was the psychotic consistency. Because I was never close to the open scores at an event, but going to all three comps and posting reasonable scores, then being a little ahead at Horse Pens, I managed to eek in there. So it ended up basically rocking. I won a pile of gas money, and got to see myself ranked with actual, very very strong boulderer women. I decided that it all meant that there was a hidden cost to spraying on the internet. Dan decided it meant that I had arrived. So hey, I’ve arrived. Hi.

 

our mountain November 7, 2011

Filed under: Trips,Work — sendann @ 4:15 pm
Tags: , ,

This summer EMA and I earned our keep by hiking up a savage scree slope and pretending to have spent the night in a bivy for Thermarest. These non-zipping up ultralight comforters were actually dang warm at 5am.

#


 

is this totally silly? November 6, 2011

Filed under: Climbing,The Past — sendann @ 7:53 pm
Tags: ,

Before I tell you how awesome the Triple Crown ended up going, which was beyond-beyond expectations of awesome, I have to ask you, is this silly and lame? It’s a new “page” with all my climbing comp results on it, and a list of times I’ve been in mags or on magazine websites. Basically, just a little climbing- attention inventory. This guy at the Triple Crown asked me if I’d ever done anything, and I was like, well, just this little stuff and that nothing thing. He was like, that’s real stuff, you can make that into a kind of rock climbing cv. Which sounded super self-important and ridiculous to me at the time. But then I was like, it’s not like I’m doing anything else these days. Might as well account for my time and work with what I’ve got.

 

Ok, you’re right, it isn’t lame or silly. A little cheesy maybe, but that’s going to have to be ok for now.

 

Hey, good talk!