All paths lead nowhere, choose with heart

fifas September 29, 2014

Filed under: Climbing — sendann @ 4:16 pm
Tags: , , , ,

So after all that woe and drama over not doing my summer project at Way Lake, I gave up and went to the tramway where I was able to finish my other hard summer project on my first try of the day. So much for a doomed season. I’m taking it as a very good sign.


I noticed that there are no other female ascents of this thing in the 8a database. Not a ton of people or females go to the Tramway, and those who do or have recently haven’t gotten on this line, so I wonder if it’s not unreasonable to think that this is the first, or at least a very rare, female ascent. Brigit is the main gal who has done hard tram problems, and she says she hasn’t had luck on this one. Ashima came out one day, but I was there and we never went over this way. Lisa Rands trampaged one time, and we usually assume she did everything, but I found no evidence either way. Natasha Barnes? Seems likely but no tick noted. Jess Chen? I think there would be at least some mention of it. Anyway, there is always this sort of conflicted feeling when a possible ffa comes up for me. On the one hand, obviously I am not the only female in the world capable of doing this line, and doing it doesn’t break any longstanding barriers in climbing, so perhaps it shouldn’t matter and I am super cheesy for bringing it up or claiming. But I am proud anyway, because whether or not I am first-first-first-female, I was able to do a line that is not a typical girl problem. I schlepped up there enough days in a row to get it done. I made an opportunity for myself and showed up to the Steep Sharmarete, and that is more than half of the outdoor climbing game. And, even if it turns out Barnes or Rands or Chen have done it, my doing it too could open up the problem to other no-name whoeverettes like me, who paid for their shoes and climbed a mile in them on the same four moves. So that’s my thoughts on that.


shake n bake west September 25, 2014

I really thought and hoped I would be able to put Shake N Bake West (to define it from regular shake n bake in Hueco) together before the end of the summer, and I haven’t. I just need to talk about it.  The first day I went to it was with Jill. I was able to do all the moves, but felt uncertain of this weird, kind of ‘catch the jug as you fall’ move in the dead center of the problem, before you go into the top out which is shared by a v6. Not an easy topout but half a dozen sessions later I never mess it up anymore.

When I miss the falling catch move, it looks like this

When I miss the falling catch move, it looks like this

Click to watch me stick the transition move. why is it so hard!?

Click to watch me stick the transition move (links you to Vine) why is it so hard!?

I went back with Paula a few weeks later and felt very close to sending, overlapped the difficult moves and the weird falling catch move in the center. Then a random part in the beginning became really impossible and the session kind of died.

Went again a weeks after that, with the moves fresh in my mind, and that’s when I couldn’t find it. That sucked but it was a fun rainy hike with three pads on.

Gave up a little bit after that. If I can’t find the darn thing there’s no point getting all motivated.

Went again a month after that with Rebecca Taggart. We found it! (They found it I did not help) and I set about relearning all the moves, which happened pretty quickly, but it was very hot and I was not able to pull it together. Seemed close.

Went again two weeks after that to the day, alone, found it! Overlapped it in some new ways, figured some things out to make the bottom more consistent – weird flags and thigh scums abound. Kind of just lost that falling catch move at some point. Here’s a few shots from that session.

snb1 snb2

Went back the next day, total skin fail no surprise.

Went again yesterday, a week later, with Ryan, who is learning to use cameras. Did a new low point, finishing the problem from two moves in from the start, which was cool. Climbed really well felt strong for hours, lots of video and photos which is fun. Then I just kind of lost one of the low moves and couldn’t get it back. I let the day get to me, didn’t rest long enough between burns, and felt rushed. Wore my new Futuras on it, which are very comfortable and seem amazing. But I’m nervous that they will stretch out fast, as the Solutions did, and become useless except as toe hook shoes less effective than the Teams.

happy even though it's hard. cute booties, eh?

happy even though it’s hard. cute booties, eh?

I felt so disappointed hiking down yesterday. I’m leaving next Tuesday for Europe and Way Lake closes for snow and stays pretty much under snow until late, late May/June. I ignored my other two California projects this month to focus on it, since they will be around all year. I got into that headspace of like, maybe it’s:

too hard for me

I’m not good enough at moving my body on steep rock

What is the point of these enormous arm muscles anyway if I can’t even put this line together?

I got in my head around Jill having done it quickly. That she is a real climber, a person people regard as ‘nails strong’ when she isn’t around. I’m just flailing and being a jock and talking.

What is all this training for? Is training not working? This WHOLE SEASON is going to be like this because no amount or strategery of training could possibly make ME strong enough to do Shake N Bake West because it is beyond my genetic potential, or maybe I’m just past my prime. \I have peaked in bouldering forever and I’m going to just do classic mods for the rest of my life and anything that takes longer than two days is just never going to happen, and then those won’t happen either, and I’ll just be fine with it because  AT LEAST I HAVE MY HEALTH.

And at that point it’s like, wait. This does not make any sense, given previous experience, empirical evidence, and basic math. Then I calmed down. Abhyasa Variagya, consistent practice over a long period of time without attachment to a particular result. That’s my favorite thing I learned this summer in Yoga Teacher Training. I’m going to say it a few more times. Abhyasa Variagya. Practice over time without attachment to a certain result. That’s what bouldering is for me. I practice moving on rock, intimate experiences in infinitely magnificent settings, focusing and experiencing my body and mind and the natural world. Without attachment to outcomes or results. That.

So I am probably fine, I am just working it out. I do this on all my hard boulders, this is how it is for me. It takes a lot of sessions and I don’t need to get impatient or frustrated because it’s all there, just needs more finesse, which I only get through practicing the moves. I think it only feels so intense in the case of Shake N Bake West because I know that I won’t be on it again for so many months, and so there is this sort of imposed pressure. And much can happen by then. That I could forget how to find it among the least of them! It triggers worry about the future, which I’m usually free of, and I guess I had invested this line with setting the tone for the season. One of my goals this summer was to do one hard boulder a month, May through September. Something that took me a few days, or that I had been wanting to do and not put enough time into. I did a few,

May: Angry Beaver at the Tramway

June: Showtime at Black Mountain

July: Moonraker at the Buttermilks

August: Nothing I guess

Sept: ???????

Pretty sad stats actually, although Moonraker was kind of amazing in freaking July. But I have been in the gym like a monster. I don’t know. I hope I am able to enjoy myself and try really hard and find sends this fall.


watch what I’m thinking? don’t worry it’s about bouldering. September 24, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — sendann @ 12:28 am

Summer is over. I am awed by how much I was able to get through in terms of training, trips, family, surfing, homemaking, cooking, yoga and alllllll the rest, and by how much I had to let go of when it finally ended. I’m working on a longer post about the summer and its wonder. But my mind has turned, as it so often does just ahead of my writing, to the fall season. I am leaving the one week for a month in Switzerland, granite bouldering pre-season tradition continues! I’m sad that moses won’t be joining me, because I will miss him, but I also know that this trip will be good solo experience. It’s not a huge amount of time, and I want to really dig into Magic Wood, read, not be upset or stressed by bad weather or heinous exchange rates, and hang with some of my Euro girls and a few folks from here who will be there at the same time.

I’m also, of course again, thinking about Hueco and Bishop. I had a fun talk with Melissa today about Hueco plans and dreams for the season. I’ve made two videos of the Buttermilks, which seems to indicate that I am thinking about them. Here they are. No sending happens in either, but I apparently am so into video making now (which was a Jewish New Year’s goal of mine like 2 years ago so yay!) that it’s become my medium of choice for documenting whatever is in my mind and heart. And it’s things at the milks that I haven’t done yet. I hope you enjoy! Oh, these link to the vimeo page.

Paula Demonstrates some hard beta for a hard problem that is not on my list this year, but, you know, you never know.

Paula demonstrates some hard beta for a hard problem that is not on my list this year, but, you know, you never know.

And here is my atmospheric Buttermilks rain date video, wherein I work on and do some of the moves of Center Direct, on my list this year but as I said, you never know.

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 5.27.25 PM