SendAnn

All paths lead nowhere, choose with heart

Rain Dates August 13, 2014

Filed under: Climbing,Picture Taking — sendann @ 5:47 pm
Tags: , , , ,

centerd4

 

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. 

Advertisements
 

condensation situation January 2, 2012

Filed under: Cars,Climbing,Picture Taking — sendann @ 12:14 am
Tags: , , , ,

a freezing cold morning in the red (november)

 

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!

 

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
Tags: , , , , , ,

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.

BAM

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.