SendAnn

All paths lead nowhere, choose with heart

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.

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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.

 

Rain Dates August 13, 2014

Filed under: Climbing,Picture Taking — sendann @ 5:47 pm
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It has been raining in the east Sierra for a month. Why do we say ‘East Sierra’? I don’t know anyone or anything about the regular Sierra. Either way, it has been raining a lot. I’ve been getting up there usually late Friday night or sometimes Sunday night depending on Moses’ Black Mountain Schedule/Yoga Teacher Training. I sleep up on Scenic Loop somewhere because I want to sleep high to acclimate, and what was the point of reading all these mountaineering stories if I don’t at least learn something applicable to bouldering? I get up Monday or Saturday morning early, before any of my friends are willing to rally because, as I said, it is raining and they’re over it, and hoof it.

For a while I was working on this great fun line at Way Lake called Shake and Bake. I was able to get some amazing choreography worked out, and even managed to desensitize myself to the really scary topout. But the last few times I went up there I couldnt’ find the darn boulder. Or even anything recognizable. It sucked so bad, wandering around in the rain with three crash pads, alone, trails everywhere and no idea where the freaking boulder is. I have shelved the project until someone can escort me out to it again.

So it is pouring rain and I’m not drinking coffee these days (5 weeks strong, saved $40!) so there was nothing to do in Bishop, so I decided to go look at some Buttermilks projects I have in mind for this winter, or leftovers from last winter. I get up there that first day and realize it is 66 freaking degrees!  I packed my kit and went to the Buttermilker cave to circuit the moderates and maybe try Moonraker a little bit. It was gorgeous in there. Rain coming down outside but dry inside, super, super humid but kind of cold. The rock felt gooey and sharp at the same time, typical Buttermilks hell. I was able to reteach myself the moves for Moonraker, which was a really disappointing fail last winter. The cave is typically so crowded, it feels like some horrible club night at an LA rock gym, lots of onlookers, heinous teenagers, just no fun. But all alone in there, then with a strange group of people on a road trip from central Washington, I got the dance back and totally unexpectedly sent Moonraker! It was a real boost to the confidence for the summer, which has been slow in the sending and heavy on the training, and for the Buttermilks, which is always just a psychologically cruxy place to try hard climbs. Later I discovered that the new guidebooks call Moonraker v9, which was like a surprise cherry on top. 

And therefor I have decided that my strategy for this rainy late summer is to go to the Buttermilks in the rain and try all my wintertime projects. Atmospheric video coming soon, but here are a few grabs from a very productive session on Center Direct, a longtime dream project that I’m inexplicably confident that I will do this September. 

centerd1

I find most of Center D’s 6 moves to be quite hard, but this is the one I fall on, and I think is the crux for most folks. My toe hook totally stays in, but I have to really accept a complete backfall, or it jumps out and kickstands me.

centerd2

I was close to full acceptance of backfall here.

centerd3

boom

 Now if you are still with me I have a concern about Center Direct I’d like to chat about. The other cruxy bit is the end. It’s a huge jump to a gastony jug with a pretty bad crimp for the right hand. I can make the jump and get my hand into the jug, but I have never reeled in the swing. Taller people (and, frankly, bros from California mostly) have been known to surf out far left to a big sloper, step through, swing up and grab the jug with the right hand. This beta is considered pretty lame, as the whole idea is that it goes up the center. Directly. It’s also considered off limits to small folks. BUT I CAN DO IT!!! And using that method, I’ve done the climb smooth but for the crux move in the center. Moses is like, if you feel good about it then you do it that way. And I don’t feel all that good about it. But I still think it is a radical line and can’t conceivably call it easier that way because you still have to do the crux-crux. So my hope is to send it that way, using the sloper jug, refer to it as ‘center indirect” same grade, then try really hard to send it the real way too. 

For reference, this is the real-ish way (mute sound trust me) : 

This is the other-ish way, and I am SO SORRY to Mr. Z Bouldering for using this video as an example of somewhat questionable beta. You look super strong back in 2010, and I’m totally doing it that way too. You are fine, so am I. 

 

Tablelandia March 3, 2014

Some shots of Jill in the Sacreds last month the day she taught me how to work that roof on March of the Pigs.  Here’s my video of her full out assault of the line.

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I went back the next three weeks in a row to send myself, and it was a true joy to work on something that suited my style, finally, after many months on granite crimps. Lying under a roof, brushing stuff, trying, texting with friends in between tries and having all the daylight to myself was like being in my happiest of happy places, even though of course I was failing the whole time, until the one time I wasn’t. Working that line was on my list for the season, and I’m so thankful to Jill for putting her cleverness and wisdom to work to find some awesome, burly shorter person beta. And this post was suppose to be about Jill anyway, on with the pics!

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Marching

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all tangled up in the roof

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scumming

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tape talks

jillchurchwatersscarpa

big girl bicycle

jillchurchscarpausa

crosstown traffic (v6)

jillbetadema

mimery for Andrea, her fa in the Sacreds, (v4)

jillchurchwatersscarpa

 

dudes and birds January 23, 2014

Filed under: Picture Taking,Waves — sendann @ 5:28 am
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Went down to Encinitas, my favorite city in California and I believe the only one worth living in/for, in search of mellow waves that might make use of this hefty swell. Alas, it was too big for me and full of people who seemed to know what they were doing.  Swaddled in fleece on the beach, I took it all in for hours. Big guys wearing big wetsuits on big waves with tiny boards. There are so many good surfers in California, it boggles the mind and humbles the heart. Here’s what all I saw.

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Catchup December 19, 2013

Filed under: Climbing,Picture Taking,Work — sendann @ 11:05 pm
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No easy way to get back in then to get back in. Here are a few shots of Max and Liberty walking into Black Velvet canyon on Monday. Fun day!

blackvelvetasana1

blackvelvetasana2

God, I just had this super aggravating thing happen. I had sent a bunch of pics to a friend, and she shared them with her gear sponsors, which is  awesome because she is awesome, and the sponsors used them quite extensively in their social media ish, but I never got even a shout out of credit. I know, happens constantly and it’s not like my shots are pro fancy money shots anyway, but dammit. The stakes are so pathetically low in the climbing social media world, it’s almost aggravating how aggravated I feel over it, considering all I missed out on were potential ‘likes’ by strangers. There’s no money or material support of any kind at the end of this #rainbow of tags and hash and like-age, just more sips of tepid air and ephemeral encouragement to ‘keep at it’. Kinda pathetic, all the free low-quality content spiraling around out here, organized into categories and vying for some sense of officialness, shouting into an echo chamber. I’ve noticed this in several fields, but in the world of internet climbing more than ever, this sort of ‘exclusive consumer’ class who are invited to ‘represent’ companies as walking ambassadors (models) and buy products are a reduced rate (so flattering?). As far as I can figure, so long as you are giving an ounce of coin to someone else, it’s you who is sponsoring them. I don’t care if it was 40% off wholesale free shipping plus some free branded apparel. I’ve yet to see the van that runs on swag alone, and all a discount will ever be is an invitation to purchase.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure Peter Beal distilled these thoughts  better than I ever will here and here

Here’s another thing on the subject, but funny.

This is from the Alpinist, just awesome.

Thanks!

 

Moses, Waves March 5, 2013

Filed under: Climbing,Picture Taking,The Past,Waves — sendann @ 9:21 pm
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Dug into my old Bennington College photography class lessons and made some black and whites of a big swell in Hawaii, and a swell day on East Spur. Not exactly the poetics of light and contrast that I remember fumbling with in the darkroom, but making these made me excited about making more.

 

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Island times February 14, 2013

Filed under: Family,Picture Taking,Trips,Waves — sendann @ 4:47 am
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good day in the waves (pic by my mom)

good day in the waves (thanks for the pic mom!)

 

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I’ve got a few more days left in Kauai. Been surfing and eating and internetting (you might’ve noticed) to my heart’s content. Feeling very lucky and thankful for the time out here with my parents, and in the water.