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!

 

I like this shirt December 29, 2010

Filed under: Climbing — sendann @ 5:47 am
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click it for the product page

It’s from Moon. For some reason it says “Was $25, now $24.95”, as if that’s some notable savings. Usually it has to be under $10 for me to fork over money online anyway. I’ll keep an eye on it, though. I’m also concerned about the material. If it’s that stripey stretchy thick stuff, I’m not psyched.

I also really love the Moon website’s training section. I’m brainstorming about training for the spring/summer. Pretty psyched to get back in GMFB’s garage, if it’s available which I’m hope hope hoping. Here’s TMFB and me training at their place a couple summers ago:

 

greg took this silly picture.

I can’t do the weight vest with HIT strips thing anymore, though. Last time I did that I came out of it tweaked beyond reasonable, and I  think it’s just too much on my relatively delicate fingers and elbows. My ultimate training fantasy is to (get someone to help me) build a Moon board, and do the full on Moon board thing, where you set it all up and use their holds to do their problems, which you can download every few months and set yourself according to this wacky grid/cardinal directions/coded holds system. Sounds so fun, right? I’m sure I’ll post more about my elaborate training rituals later on.

 

Moore Lake Pics October 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sendann @ 3:42 am
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Erik took some awesome shots at the lake the other day, and I had on my photographer’s choice pink top.

 

The Limbo Rock August 24, 2010

Filed under: Climbing,Picture Taking — sendann @ 3:59 am
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After last weekend’s super relaxed and intimate Amistad trip with just AO and TV, I wrangled a spot on Armada 2.0 this weekend and made it down to the border one last time. I got to enjoy my last Texas summer weekend at my favorite place, doing my favorite thing, with some of my favorite folks. It was a large-type trip with Jennie and AO, the Brooks’s, Travis, Capt. Bastard and me.

First thing we did, before the other two boats got there, was help Capt hang a rope from his 100 foot (we measured) project, The Sanctuary, so he could suss out the top moves and film someone else climbing it.

He did great on the FA and got a good shooting position. Unfortunately, Travis struggled to get up as high as he had before, and I was terrified of the first high, honest move. So after he sunk a bolt, hung the rope, then did the dws/death solo (shown here) all we got was some epic falling footage.

Greg and Suzee rolled up while Capt was doing his FA, and were rather unsettled by the size of the route. Greg said he didn’t want to spent the weekend pulling his dead friends out of the water. I didn’t think too much about that. I knew, for one, that Capt was unlikely to fall from a dangerous height. Maybe I’m naive or something, but I’ve seen the him back off of stuff before because it seemed out of reach or dangerous. He wouldn’t, I thought and still think, be trying a 100 foot line he didn’t feel at least pretty sure he could do or safely bail off of. Also I didn’t really think at the time that it would be a death fall.

I usually avoid watching people soloing. I hate hate hate those Steph Davis videos, and avoid anything and everything related to Alex Honnold. I don’t hold it against anyone that they solo, but I don’t want to know them personally, or like them, or have any personal investment in someone who’s into that. Yet, it would appear that I do after all.

The rest of the trip was pretty good, climbing wise.

I sent an old line in the canyon that I had struggled on during my last few trips, so that was a great relief, and I got to a personal high point on this very hard, bouldery canyon project.

I took some scary falls making insecure moves on hidden crimps at the top of Blaine’s project, which AO finished last week. He named it Dolphin Power/ Poder Delfin. Hopefully next time I’ll send it first go, like that canyon line.

Not sure we’ll be going to Amistad much in October when I get back, but I have a feeling there’ll be at least one more trip before I head to Hueco on/about Halloween. I’m eager to boulder over land on the Pecos, swim in cooler water and be happy to bake in the sun. I got to spend so much time on the water this season! No matter what horrible drama is befalling me, everything looks and feels better on a boat, and I’m so thankful.

Oh yeah,  but then on Sunday morning, we found that AOs boat had sunk in the night. That was a big ordeal, but it turned out ok. I decided my skills were best applied to the situation by making coffee and Batter Blaster pancakes.

Now some pictures!

This trip I used an old Vivitar 19mm 2.8 manual focus lens that I haven’t used since I was shooting with my Nikon FM. It’s light and I love the wide angle, but the light meter in my D40 doesn’t work with it, and it’s pretty challenging to deal with. Also, the great Hitachi hard drive fail of July 2010 cost me Photoshop, so I’m stuck with the limited editing options in iPhoto. So these pictures are weird. Still, here’s what I got:

Even though it's just his back and hat, I think this picture is very "Travis." That's Capt Bastard cruising up my proud low angle slab FA from a few trips ago, "Die Diagonal". He took a huge backpack full of gear, and said it was easier than he'd expected. FBPA, FML.

The color balance was so frustrating in these images, so I just stripped this one hoping there was enough variation and contrast to be interesting. I love the expression, and that cloudy morning was perfect dws weather.

Greg on the canyon project. This is probably my favorite image from the weekend, and a rare decent climbing picture. I usually stick to boating and lifestyle stuff.

There was some nice video too, but it’s going into a large-type editing mill and won’t make it to the interweb until the fall.