All paths lead nowhere, choose with heart

gym times! September 2, 2012

Filed under: Climbing,Picture Taking,Trips — sendann @ 3:47 pm
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Some of my favorite sessions this summer were indoors! I hit the gyms in Burlington and NYC a few times each as I passed in and out of the towns. One of the best parts has been seeing old friends from non-climbing land get stoked and strong.

In NYC, I went to Brooklyn Boulders once every pass-through, to meet up with Fenoglio for a catch-up-&-crush session. I knew Sarah when she was in high school, then hair school, like ’03-’05.  When she started bouldering a few years ago we picked up our friendship over our newly mutual passion. This pic is from the beginning of the summer when I was first in town. We went to BKB again when I was on my way back down to Texas from South Africa. Her technique and confidence had undergone a massive shift between our visits. She’s come full force into that special place in the bouldering process where you can do all the V4s in the gym, and like, none of the 5s. I told her “The 5s will always be kinda hard, and some will always be impossible, so you might as well start falling off of 9s now too just to mix it up.” Lord knows that’s been my method.  My dream of dreams is that Fenoglio and I get to climb outside together this year.

In Burlington I spent rainy days at Petra Cliffs. The pun of the name didn’t hit me for a few weeks. When I returned from the Rocklands my aunt introduced me to Annabelle, who along with her friend Sophie, was just getting into climbing and absolutely loving it. The girls (both 12) and I went to PC a couple times together for a basic “real bouldering” session. I taught them how you have to start with both hands on the “V” hold, feet and butt off the ground, or it “doesn’t count.” They were hilarious, and started to develop these powerful personal styles right in front of me. Sophie could balance for a year with a jib and a sloper on a face, and Annabelle curled up like a bat then blasted to full extension between jugs. Climbing with them, and listening to myself explain little climbing-isms to them, made me realize how far I’ve come in this game, and how that whole “give it away to keep it” contributes to my personal happiness and satisfaction.

annabelle, me, and sophie in the exceedingly hot but fun bouldering room upstairs at Petra Cliffs in Burlington.

Also in NYC, I went to Chelsea Piers, the weirdly-negative-reputation sport climbing zone in Manhattan. For some reason there’s a lot of anti-CP sentiment among the northeastern climbers I know. I guess because it’s expensive, rarely reset and limited (only like 20 sport routes on one wall). I can see that, but I loved it anyway. The Chelsea Piers wall is enormously tall, with fun juggy routes  out a pretty long roof section. I had a blast climbing there with Emilia and her NYC friends Igor, Mikhail, and Sylvia. Of course it was so much fun connecting with E over her first love, sports action. There are lots of noob folks taking lessons and getting their first exposure to climbing, and the vibe is fitness rather than culture-oriented, humble and awesome. I’d take an afternoon clipping bolts at Chelsea Piers over a DJ’d disco bouldering world cup format systems training series pretty much anytime.

belaying to heaven at Chelsea Piers

me, E, and sylvia seshing it up

So that was some good times on the plastics. Jeeze louise my life is awesome. I feel very grateful and psyched going through these pictures.


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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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


no i won’t go to squamish any more more more there’s a big fat police man at the door door door July 17, 2011

Filed under: Climbing,Crafty,Trips — sendann @ 2:50 am
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There really is! He tried to not let me in because I didn’t have enough compelling reasons to go back to the states in 5 weeks. I wound up having to drop my dually citizenship on him. Bam. Actually, I can stay in MY stupid rainy, far from everything country as long as I feel like it. I got rights. And possibly some very affordable dental care.


The first time I came to Squamish was in 2007, and I had a horrible finger injury. I had paid in advance for a share of a van rental and my plane ticket, and I decided to just take the vacation. It sucked. This second time I’ve paid in advance for a rented room, and it’s raining every day of every forecast and every moment of forever and ever. This will be my last trip to Squamish, even if the sun comes out in two weeks and I have the best rock climbing month of my life.

But my place is nice, and I have ample internet for working, and it’s fun to be getting some mileage out of my recent crochet projects.

SPEAKING of which! I designed – my first ever design in yarn –  this hat called a ‘mullet hat’, and it’s perfect for climbing in cold weather. It doesn’t come down too low on my forehead like most beanies I’ve worn, but it comes down snug around my ears the back of my neck. It’s perfect for keeping the ears and noggin warm without limiting my peripheral vision. Stoked. I made one for Andy, too. He wanted racing stripes, but I am just learning embroidery so they came out as these wavy, askew, skunk-looking stripes. Here he is wearing it on a warm up in Gold Bar. This was the last dry rock I saw all summer. This was yesterday. I’m being kind of fatalistic right now.

the orange makes for easy location of mullet hat by andy, and of andy by the rest of us

This is my mullet hat, ear flaps come standard

Are we gonna see each other in the next couple months? Want a mullet hat? It would bring me a lot of joy to make you one, just tell me what colors you like and if your head is really big or small. Emilia, you’re getting one anyway and you have to wear it every day of your life that is cold for a year.

I’m also about to get psyched on making these suhweet leg warmers for the Hueco season.

Squamish 2011, Summer of Crochet and Pilates. OH! But I’m competing in the Dyno Contest at the Squamish Mountain Festival tomorrow morning! I’ve been training in the gym for like 30 minutes for this, so come cheer for me! It’s a longshot, but I am hoping to beat Bigna’s record, because she’s not here to defend it.


i don’t feel like blog-writing June 18, 2011

Filed under: Climbing,Family,The Future,Trips — sendann @ 7:04 pm
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Flagstaff is really good. Found 2 glorious yoga teachers, a cute coffee shop, and I’m loving tent life. But I don’t feel like saying anything else about it at the moment.

i got this new purple crash pad from voodoo

climbed out this long glorious roof

swam in this cold cold water

did this not-my-highest-number-but-close slooper rock climb in just a couple tries, which impressed andy and ema, which made me happy

what else have I done?

fell off this rock climb. not particularly stoked to return. if anyone ever asks if you wanna go climb on some "Dasite" /day-site/, you do not. If you're me, that is. by EMA

That’s been about it. Got some projects I’m psyched on, but some may require a return visit in September. ‘nother post to go into that. Still not missing Austin, but I like the idea of a Feb-April in Austin kinda thing, time to to go to all my favorite yoga and pilates classes, do feminine presence class again, go to the temple there, climb bloc party and el camino, ride my bike around, have lots of lunch dates. Trying to check in with that idea once in a while, “do i miss it? nope. wanna go back in september? nope. k good talk.” A wave of reading and crochet psych, a cuteness, and plans for the rest of the summer-fall-winter are holding most of my attention these days.

OH! I have a nephew!

his name is henry benjamin moore raber, he's british, and he totally has that benjamin button old man baby look going on. hoping to meet him IRL soon.


time’s the tell May 3, 2011

Filed under: Climbing,The Past — sendann @ 5:08 am
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By the end of the Brooks’s crawfish boil, everyone was bundled up in blankets and borrowed jackets. Temps dropped 30 degrees in 30 minutes! Today I went bouldering on land. In jeans and a beanie. It is May.

Going out with ao today was like a flashback timewarp to February. The weather felt the same, same place, same clothes, same cohort, wow. It was surreal. I feel like Felicity in those episodes where she travels back in time and snuggles up with different dudes than she did the first time.

Anyway, bouldering.

And I fell off the tippy top of what would have been my 4th route in the sharpy cave! I missed the pads and fell onto a tree branch and now my heel hurtz. Then it rained.

Hopefully it will dry out tomorrow and I’ll get another Reimer’s session in before the spell is lifted and we are returned to early summer, 2011.


But wait a second, wait! When Felicity went back in time, she cheated on her boyfriend with her friend, because in the future her boyfriend cheats on her and is kind of a useless druggie anyway, and she realizes she wants to be with the friend. Her friend is way way into her, wanted her all along kinda thing, but he thinks she’s insane for dumping her druggie bf so fast and being so into him out of nowhere. They go back and forth for a while and it just gets awkward. He hooks up with Jennifer Garner. Still in the past, Felicity tries to get her druggie bf back. I can’t remember how it ends-ends. This is gonna sound weird, but I’m from the future, and I can tell you with total confidence that I am going to buy 4 seasons of Felicity and watch it this summer.

Anyway, if this is a timewarp, is there anything from the winter I should do differently? Nah.