All paths lead nowhere, choose with heart

our mountain November 7, 2011

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



high-ness September 8, 2011

Filed under: Climbing,Trips — sendann @ 7:31 pm
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My whole quick stop at Horne Lake then spend ten days in Washington plan changed, and I stayed 6 days in Horne Lake. It was just too good! I got the project I’d been hoping for, Subdivisions. It was my first true power endurance route, and I think I took….I don’t know, like 6 tries total over 3 days. The day I did it I gave it one burn in the morning and fell at the anchor, which is the same anchor as a route I have already done, Moonraker. It’s a few moves on jugs into a slopey hole, a few underclings to clip from, and a very awkward body position. I had forgotten how specific the moves were up there, and didn’t rehearse that section ahead of time because I am lazy. After the fall I almost started to cry, because the sun was killer hot and I was kind of nauseous from climbing in it. But I collected myself and figured out the moves, brushed everything, made some ticks and top roped the end 5 times, then twice more just in case. Then I came down and hid in the shade for 4 hours til the sun went behind the wall.

this is the first rest right before a cruxy part of Subdivision. The pic is from that German guy Axel's blog, which you'll get to if you click on it. I have no idea who the climber is or who took it, just wanted to show you kinda what the route looks like.

In the meantime I tried a few burns on Plastic Jesus, the first “pitch” of a badass endurance route called Jesus Saves the Pusher. I didn’t do more than a few moves of it, because again, I’m lazy but also because I was saving myself for proj. But next time I’m here I’m going to work hard on that line and see what’s possible. I finally got through Subdivision by climbing fast and letting this awkward, sharp holds on a weird face section be a rest. So yay! Basked in that one for a day or so.

I also managed to do this short, pumpy line called Code of Honor, which had been very painful and annoying on my last trip, with close-together bolts at the start and some tufas that were easy to bang the shit out of your knees on. I don’t know why people get so excited about tufas, they’re almost always just bad sloper pinches. I mean I like sloper pinches too, I guess, especially these because they’re covered with limestone warts and are super sticky, but still. I think what I like would be more accurately called “roofas.” But anyway, I used a long draw and the downgrader and got through Code, long moves between huge holds and some pump.

But then it was Tuesday, and I’d been thinking to be back and gone to Washington by Sunday so…yeah, here I am, still in Squamish where there’s a hot spell and it’s in the high 80s until the sun dunks down. I may go back to the boulders this evening, but eh, I’m enjoying the chill time, organizing my car and hammering out my fall plans, working and reprogramming my body with pilates and yoga.  Here are some shots with/by Lotti and Martin, gettin yogic in the park. Lotti’s been introducing me to her specialty, therapeutic acro-yoga. It feels as good as it looks, but I don’t like doing it with strangers.

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Nexum Beach September 7, 2011

Filed under: Picture Taking,Trips,Waves — sendann @ 5:11 am
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things i did, quit, or that hurt me, squamish edition September 1, 2011

Filed under: Climbing,Trips — sendann @ 2:10 am
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Shoot, I hate to post twice because I know I then won’t post at all for a while. But this video by starring scottish major Tom pretty much captures the Squamish experience. He (in the green) falls off a lot of the same stuff I did, and it’s beautiful. And I love posing productions, of course. Ummmm, what else?

Had my last day in the forest yesterday, but I haven’t been projecting much the last couple weeks so there was no urgency. I didn’t even feel like making any beta videos, since I either sent, never tried, or gave up on pretty much everything I’d encountered. So hey I suppose this is where I can talk about climbing!


I’m super happy with my bouldering trip. I did a ton of problems, a few projects, and yesterday I managed to do one more hardish lip traverse in just a few tries. I took that as a sign that I’ve learned something aboot sloping lip traverses.


There were a few things I thought would be projects that I had to give up on, and that was strange since I rarely honestly forfeit a climbing project. I’ll move on for a while and plan to return at a much much later day, but I never outright say “I’m over this forever.” But I did that a couple of times.


I thought, after my first good day missing just the last move, that I’d get Baba Haridas, a classic lip traverse. But jeebus, my hamstring never recovered from the first session, and has lead to a pretty horrendous right-kneebar disease. I kept giving it goes now and then, getting close and falling. Finally it was just painful to pull with my heel, and I let it and all the other right-heel hooking lines go. I had a similar but worse experience with Sesame Street. My first day felt good through the strong lower moves on greasy crimps, but I didn’t know how to do the end, a big move over a bulge with a greasy sloper (there is a theme developing). I was super stoked to try it more, and the next time I nailed the last move a couple times pretty easily. But that day the beginning felt super hard and I couldn’t get to my previous high point. The next time I lost another move from the start. The other day, after a full rest day and with decent conditions, I couldn’t even stick the start.


It was the flowers for algernon project experience, and I got very bummed. Nate got annoyed with my grim attitude and decided to give me a talking to about how lame it is to have low climbing self esteem, which was super awesome of him. So I gave up on Sesame Street. I think that’s all the projects I quitted.


I sent some good ones too! Including Gibbs Cave, which was super fun and went down fast, early in the summer when it was still a bit cool and rainy. Ah…what else? Minor Threat took a few days, I kept trying to do it at the end of the day, thinking I was some kind of hoss, but no. Had to go first thing then it went fast. Those were kinda the highlights. There were some things I wanted to try but never got to. There’s this awesome talus line that some folks find dabby that I’m excited to get on someday. It has a glorious name too, “Native American Giver.” I also got on The Fuzz last night, but it wanted everything I don’t have, like left wrist hanging abilities, and hamstring power. Autobody/Fixing the Car also looked awesome, but I wound up not spending anytime there. It’s About Time, Child Abuse, that long one with the sharp crimp and the impossible to remember name uphill of the black dyke, Old and Serious, and Twisted, are others I’d like to get on but I never made it.


Sport climbing was rougher. I didn’t go much, and although I managed to do a good new line every time I went it’s been a constant battle. I feel pretty scared up on the rope and I’m still trippin out over anything less than a 35 degree angle. Heading to Horne Lake tomorrow, so there will be no shortage of steepness! I want to project this thing called Subdivision, which will take a couple days I think/hope, and give a few runs to Velvet Elvis, which seems relatively easy, but is very strange and I didn’t do all the moves of the weird, face down the middle of the cave ending. After that I’m going to spend another night or two in Squamish getting organized, then head to Leavenworth for ten days before I race back south. Yay hoo!


sweetness mission in wowtown

Filed under: Domestic Projects,Picture Taking,Shopping,Trips — sendann @ 1:06 am
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As a blogger, it is my responsibility to post annually about the picking of berries and the subsequent making of jam. Lovely photographs should be included, but they will never be as pretty as whatever designsponge has going on on this issue (good sweet corn god).

SO off we went, wearing rain boots for better thorn-stomping, to pick blackberries at this suh-weet spot along the train tracks behind a closed down fast food place and a dump full of stolen purses and blackened spoons. Squamish is so epically ghetto at certain intersections.

But once you're in the grove it's very pretty

Blackberry bushes are like huge thorned attackers, groping at you from every side, pulling your hair, tearing at your clothes. It’s like attempted gang rape, blackberry picking is. But with my rainboots I got through it.

jcrew via airport blvd goodwill $2!!

Several betas I learned for blackberry picking:

It’s only sweet if it falls off with a gentle pinch. Any picking force means bitter blackberries.

The best best best blackberries are the ones that are the only fat black berry in a cluster of green or barely red ones. They’ve been hogging the resources.

It’s super sad when you go to pinch one and the rustling causes an obviously more ripe one to fall into thorny oblivion.

Also, the great blackberry trail may cross private property. But since we’re not in Texas….

oh (come on) canada

Here’s the haul:


Does that look like a lot? Here’s another one with some relative-size comparisonication:

it was this big

We ate a bunch, froze a bunch more, kept some to eat tomorrow, then there was the jammin.

sweet bubbly

with ice cream wowtown


north walls warm up August 13, 2011

Filed under: Climbing — sendann @ 8:35 pm
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paparazo in effect


grand jam August 10, 2011

Filed under: Climbing,Picture Taking — sendann @ 6:23 pm
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Ask anyone who knows me at all, and they’ll tell you that I cannot stand that song “We’re Jammin.” My hatred for “We’re Jammin” is probably intensified because, like any normal person, I otherwise love Bob Marley. I even have this idea for total bouldering area harmony: A rule that the only music that can be played for public bouldering consumption be Bob Marley. Because that’s the only thing everyone will like. And anyone who doesn’t like it….I don’t know anyone like that. In fact I think I’m the closest person to that that I know, because I hate “We’re Jammin'”. Anytime I have to hear that song, I wanna say, “That’s great that you hope that, but I don’t like jammin too.” Turns out I have similar horrible feelings about hand jammin, and foot jammin. Fine with finger-jammin but it’s not worth the hand and foot jammin you have to do for a little finger jammin fun.

But I’ve been talking about wanting to learn to crack climb and place gear with confidence. Andy and I had this idea that the coolest version of me would be a me that bouldered and crack climbed. In pursuit of that, one of my hopes here this summer has been to redpoint a crack. But after 2 days seconding at the Smoke Bluffs, I just don’t like it. I’ve never experienced anything that is at once so physically painful, terrifying, utterly boring and pointless. Nate said he’d be stoked to do all the leads if I want to go up the Grand Wall, but the prospect of jammin all the way up the Chief is not enticing even if it is ultra mega classic mellow layback exposure gnar gnar. We’ll see. I’m gonna forget the pain and turmoil and do it, I bet.

In other news, I’m over that whole ‘never coming to Squamish again’ thing. That was said in haste. I’m pretty sure this is my favorite summer place ever, and I hope that as I figure out precisely how to organize my life, looong summers here factor in. Bouldering has been perfect – good weather and lots of projects, and for every one I manage to finish I add three more to the list. After almost 4 weeks, I’m seeing things go down much quicker and problems I wasn’t sure would come together are surprising me. I heard this funny thing that sometimes a send is like a suprise birthday party. You get to the top and it’s like, OMG, for me? Really? You GUYS!! I’m a little worried about my stamina, because I crash hard after about 4 hours. Maybe better eating, more relaxing, longer/shorter warm up? I’m not sure, but will report back after some tests.

magic forest by superfly, and the great signage of squamish in the middle there

I had my first real rough day in the boulders yesterday, when my projects were very greasy feeling (maybe after the weekend traffic) and the cruxes all suddenly seemed to require hard index-finger crimping. I cut my index finger on some moss a few days ago (yeah idk, the moss can be sharp?), and it’s taking a while to heal up. Here are some shots of the day:

liz from victoria scopin our project for the day

verkin da grease

After a little rage crying and sacrificing some blood on a boulder, I was dragged to the brew pub and stuffed with pizza.

So all in all this place is working for me. Life swoon.

at evans lake, where the penalty for trespassing onto native land is you have to hang out with drunk natives all day

worth it