On the Road Again || Road to V5

And………….we’re back.

Been awhile, right?

I’ve been working on another project, but I think I’m going to take this weekend off from that project, and also I’ve got a lot to talk about concerning my knee recovery and also the Road to V5, hence this blog. So fasten you’re (sic) seatbelts, or just your regular belts, and make sure you’re sitting down.

The first order of business I would like to discuss is that I will now officially restart the “Road to” series. Before I hurt myself it was Road to V5, and then it was Road to Recovery, and then I didn’t blog for a month, and now it’s Road to V5 again. Since for a few months I wasn’t sure exactly when I’d be able to start climbing again, and then wasn’t sure how HARD I’d be able to start climbing once I started again, I was hesitant to just pick up again with the Road to V5. I wasn’t sure if it would take me months and months just to get back to the point where V5 started seeming remotely feasible again. But now that I’ve climbed like five times outside again, I’d say it’s completely feasible (and maybe even probable).

Second order of business, I’m climbing harder in the gym than I’ve ever climbed before, sending more blacks than before, and also starting to send blues (aka one blue). Blues no longer seem like stoppers to me; they no longer seem impossible. I’ve even started to look at pinks a bit, though whites are still a ways off.

Also, I’m going to be taking private classes at Vertical World.

Also, I’m probably going to Leavenworth tomorrow.

(Also, I think one day I’ll send Kombucha V7, a line at the 5-Star Boulder in Gold Bar I’d never looked at before but actually seems fairly doable (the stopper move seems to be the first shouldery move out left).)

The third order of business is that my body is FINALLY starting to show signs of adujusting to consistent climbing. Take the last two days, for example. I climbed the last two days in the gym. I climbed pretty hard on Thursday, and not that hard yesterday (mostly because I couldn’t). And today, I don’t feel THAT WRECKED. Like, if I had climbed two days in a row a month ago the next day my knees would feel wrecked, my shoulder would feel wrecked, and my finger would feel wrecked. And today my finger feels a tiny bit wrecked, my right knee feels a bit wonky, and that’s about it. Climbing tomorrow doesn’t even seem like it’d be pushing that hard. Which is why I might go to Leavy or at least Gold Bar.

On a similar note, the fourth order of business is that my mentality has changed quite a bit when it comes to bouldering. This injury has changed me in many ways. I used to go to the gym and just throw myself at problems, getting quite frustrated. But now I’m more methodical, not only because I want to treat my body better but because I want a better chance of success. I stand at the bottom of a boulder. I look at it. I imagine myself climbing it; I suss out the beta. And if it looks somewhat doable I’ll get on it, at least to try the first move or two. Another thing I’ve also been doing at the gym is learning boulder problems in two parts, getting the first sequence and then making sure I can top it out and then linking it together. I never used to do that. Maybe I’m maturing.

Basically, the biggest thing I have in mind is: “I want to be able to boulder tomorrow.” And so I do whatever it takes to make that happen. I don’t push myself too hard. I can usually tell when my body is done. And I’ve gotten a lot better at listening to it.

The last order of business, the fifth order, is: What about V5’s? Well, that’s a good question. I haven’t really gotten on any hard outdoor blocs since I’ve been better. I’m mostly trying to resend old V1’s and V2’s and V3’s. However, I feel some V5 attempts coming soon, namely on Stinking Slopers and Gates of Fire in Gold Bar, Pentaphobia and Alfalfa vs. Spanky in Leavenworth, and a host of others. It’s all about finding something fun to project, something that suits my style or that I can become obsessed with. Something inspiring.

So what do you think? I’m one crazy, mature guy, right? Probably not. But I’m super excited to climb this spring and summer. And hope you’re excited too. And hope we see each other out there soon and stack some pads.

– Mark

Maximum Climbing Performance

Hello, friends.

I’m watching Chelsea v. Crystal Palace.

Christian Pulisic is playing.

It’s distracting.

Today was supposed to be day two of two rest days, but now it looks like I’ll probably climb this afternoon at SBP Poplar with Bloom and Jessa. Which is great, because I already have a couple projects there. A black with a shouldery first move, an orange I couldn’t even do the first move on, another orange that starts with a technical heel hook, a black whose sloper I slipped off like a seal trying to gain purchase on a slippery rock, and then DOWNSTAIRS, assuming the NW room hasn’t been reset, two beautiful oranges and also a volumey black.

God I hope Pulisic plays well today.

I hope.

My reservation is confirmed. I will be climbing at Poplar today.

Fuck yes.

Also: Christian Pulisic just scored.

I am trembling.

So, let’s talk about diet. Lately I’ve been adhering to a diet that I think might be sustainable for me in the long term. It’s very simple: 100g of net carbs per day. In case you’ve been living under a dietary stone, net carbs are simply grams of carbohydrates after grams of fiber have been subtracted. So, for example, if a Rebbl protein drink has 19g of carbs and 7g of fiber, you have just consumed 12g of net carbs. More startlingly, since you’ve just consumed a Rebbl brand drink, you’ve probably just consumed a large amount of inluin, which will now commence ripping a hole through your stomach lining.

Awesome.

The reason 100g of net carbs per day is a sustainable diet is because 1) IT’S NOT TOO HARD. KETO IS SO FUCKING HARD I MEAN 50G NET CARBS PER DAY? WHAT ARE YOU JUST GONNA EAT ALBACORE TUNA ALL DAY? ARE YOU JUST GONNA EAT MEAT ALL DAY? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

But 100g allows for some wiggle room.

The second reason it’s sustainable is because YOU CANNOT CHEAT. I repeat: YOU CANNOT CHEAT. Well, OK, yesterday my friend Pat and I thought of one way you could sort of cheat, and that’s with artificial sweeters, things like sucralose and aspartame and things that only deranged people would put in their bodies. You can SORT OF cheat with things like stevia and monk fruit, but stevia and monk fruit are nowhere near on the level of we’re going to poison your body as aspartame and sucralose are.

But the main reason you can’t cheat is because, for example, when you’re on the “NO REFINED SUGAR” diet, you could still eat three pounds of raisins and dates, go into diabetic shock, and not even have violated the diet.

And sugar, my friends, is the thing we need to avoid.

Sugar and carbs.

I’m not saying cut them out completely! I’m not saying that at all. But 100g of net carbs forces you to be more selective with the carbs you choose to consume. Drink a pint of juice and you’ve blown half your allowance. But eat some fresh fruit and you’re still fine, provided you don’t spend the entire day eating fruit. When you count carbs you realize that things like white rice are really not ideal, even if delicious, for their lack of nutrients. You’re more likely to spend your carbs on a sweet potato than a cup of white rice, because the sweet potato will give you so many other beautiful things.

And the rice will give you nothing.

Except diabetes.

You have diabetes right now.

Chelsea are winning 3-0, and I think I deserve another cup of black tea.

We’re going climbing in five hours. Seems like a long time. God I can’t wait to get my hands on the slopers of that black. Last time I failed so hard on it. Bloom did OK on it. Neither of us got to the next hold. Oh, and there’s the black downstairs that Jessa was trying! That one was sick. Now that my leg is feeling better I might be able to stem that. God, I love stemming. Stemming is my favorite. And then there’s the orange right next to it. I love that orange. I can’t wait to send that orange.

OK, so you’re probably wondering, “Did you get the SBP job?”

Short answer: No.

Long answer: No.

Medium answer: No, but what do you expect when you basicall convey in the interview that you don’t want the job? The question is: How do I feel not getting offered the job? That is another door that has closed. And they say that when one door closes another opens, and that is completely true. I didn’t want to do customer service. I’ve decided that the next time I do customer service will be when it’s for MY company, if I ever have a company. But customer service for someone else, someone who can chide me for not being outgoing enough (like my boss Angel at Industrial Ride Shop in Scottsdale did when I worked there during my time at ASU)? Yeah, screw that. Not doing that anymore. I don’t NEED to work a customer service job, so I’m not going to if I don’t want to.

Ginger is sleeping and she looks so peaceful. We went on a long walk this morning, about three miles. She’s getting older now so coming up the stairs from Golden Gardens at the end of the walk is hard for her.

My sister is in California, that’s why I’m taking care of Ginger.

I love Ginger.

I’m about to sit down to my third cup of tea, the Chelsea game is at half time, Christian Pulisic has scored, commercials are playing in the background, Ginger is sleeping, my tea is steeping, I’m wondering what I should eat today for maximum climbing performance, though I kind of know deep down that maximum climbing performance is going to be difficult, since I still feel kind of pumped from that last session. I was going to wait until tomorrow, but I’d rather climb today with friends than wait until tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow I’ll go on a hike. Maybe. Ginger would love to go on a hike. But if we go out by Gold Bar we have to battle the traffic coming back, and I’m not thrilled about that. I guess we could stop by Starbucks and get a coffee on the way back, that’s always fun.

My computer is running low on battery and my charger is back on the boat. It’s a wonderful day to be alive. I’m so glad I’m going climbing this afternoon and have that to look forward to. I really feel like I could climb outside somewhat soon. At least lowballs.

And also the cherry trees outside right now are gorgeous.

 

 

First Order of Business

Alright friends, how’s everybody doing today? Good? Great? Amazing? Good, good. I’m glad. Well, I’m not that glad. I don’t really care. But I’m kinda glad. I’m kinda glad you’re doing well but to be honest I’m more focused on myself and don’t really care about you. That’s not to say I feel DISDAIN for you, it’s just that I’m much more important in my world than you are. You don’t take up much of my mental space, whereas my plight, my welfare, are two things that take up a LOT of my mental space.

First order of business today, April 7th, two thousand and twenty-one: Alex Honnold has a podcast.

You of course already knew this, but what you maybe didn’t know is that there are already a couple of episodes out. I’m not going to link to it. Links are so 2018. Just google Climbing Gold Alex Honnold.

Good.

Second order of business. I need to crack a mate.

Third order of business: I had my interview at Seattle Bouldering Project today, and it went….OK.

From an honesty perspective? It went great.

From a, did-I-get-the-job are-we-vibing is this going to be what I dedicate my life to perspective? Not so great.

And that’s because I was honest.

The guy who interviewed me was wonderful. I instantly felt rapport with him. But when he asked me how would you stay motivated after having the same interactions with customers over and over I couldn’t be anything but honest. That was actually my whole goal for the interview: to be honest. So I said something along the lines of (excuse me while I take a sip of my mate) I don’t know how I would stay motivated in that situation. I guess I would have to see.

Terrible answer, right?

Wrong. Honest anwer.

Because in my head I’m thinking: Fuck customer service, fuck the overprotective shitty Seattle moms that have jack fuck to do all day and bring their kids into Seattle Bouldering Project and then are assholes to the employees. Fuck ’em. I don’t have time for them. So if I had to have similar interactions with them over and over? Yeah, I don’t know how I would stay motivated. I probably wouldn’t.

Fuck ’em.

Fourth order of business: Yesterday’s climbing session.

I almost sent my first ever non-stemmy blue. I sent an orange that had been plaguing me since the last session, and made progress on a couple other things that are now “projects.”

I’m hoping that the blue will go tomorrow during tomorrow afternoon’s holy shit sick crew vibes super sesh. I’m confident that it will. I would like to start projecting some blacks, too. And keep projecting oranges. And maybe try some moves that slightly challenge the confidence in my left knee. Nothing crazy heel-hooky, just some stuff that’s not straight up climbing a ladder.

Fifth order of business: There is no fifth order of business. I’m going to drink my mate and wait until I can watch the Chelsea game on Paramout Plus. And then I don’t know what I’m going to do with the rest of the day. Oh god, what am I going to do with the rest of today? Why are you just bringing that up now?????? I hadn’t even thought about it!!! Fuck!!!! I have no plans!!!!!

I’m not climbing, that’s for damn sure. Weather isn’t great. I could go to Bainbridge. Hmmmmmm, what am I going to do.

I’ll figure something out.

Arrivaderci,

Mark Thomas Wetzler I

Drinking Mate with Mate

Jesus. OK. Let’s drink some mate while listening to a video by Gabor Mate:

“Our attachment needs are enormous.”

“So attachment is a human need.”

“That’s just a basic human need.”

“But we have another need….”

It’s 11:15am Pacific Daylight Time and I’ve had 13g of net carbs. One matcha bar, one Yerbana Sparkling yerba mate, and two eggs. Yesterday I had exactly 100g of net carbs. I ended the evening with a pint of rasberries doused in heavy whipping cream. PRIMO HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM, MIND YOU. This shit was from PCC. It cost a shit ton. It was made by pasture-raised cows who have lived lives approximately 70 times better than yours. Happy cows. Cows who are jubilant to part with their cream, who say, “Take, then, human, and drink! Drink and thrive!”

So much fucking conjugated linoleic acid.

Also I had a burrito bowl from Chipotle yesterday. Cauliflower rice, veggies, guac, sour cream and cheese, and two kinds of salsa. A fucking watery mess. But pretty good. And only like 19g of net carbs. Chipotle is basically the only fast food place where you can eat a healthy low-carb meal, and I’M NOT JUST SAYING THIS BECAUSE I’M A FORMER SHAREHOLDER. OH NO. I’M SAYING THIS BECAUSE IT’S TRUE.

And I only speak the truth.

Excuse me while I watch the rest of yesteryear’s Badwater Bouldering video:

Alpha linolenic acid.

Champions League starts in 30 minutes.

I wish I had more mate.

I have to pee so bad but I don’t want to leave the boat because I’m not exactly sure when my next pump out is and I don’t want the waste tank to fill up cuz I don’t want to have to pee into a bottle.

Okkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

a;sdkfj;adslkfjadlk;sjfdla;jdalk;adjfdl;skfjdslk;fdjsf;lkdjdl;kfajsflk;dsjfal;dksj

a;sldkjf;ladksjf;dlksjfdlsfjdsa;lkfjds;lfjda;lkfjd;lkfjadlk;fjdkl;fdaj;fjdsa;klfdsjkl;fadsj;ldkfjdas;lfk

Pheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew.

Breathe out.

I’m going climbing today at SBP. Not sure when. Maybe this afternoon with my friend Anya, or maybe sooner by myself. Honestly I’d kind of like to just go sooner by myself. But. It would also be rad to crush with a friend. It’s just that I don’t like it when it’s crowded in the evening. Kinda lame. Like, I don’t like being around a bunch of people. Like, I hate people. Like, I hate myself.

JK.

Goals for today: Send the orange upstairs that has the barn door. Maybe try the black right next to it. Maybe try the blue in the corner. Maybe try the black downstairs. Maybe try the orange downstairs. Mabye just not climb at all and get a smoothie. Keep the carbs under 100g for net carbs. Don’t EAT ANY GRAINS YOU PIECE OF SHIT! NO GRAINS! No sweets. Get your body hard. Do some pushups. Gotta do those antagonist exercises. I just want to crush. I just want to be able to crush Water V6. Then go to your job interview tomorrow. Job interview. Fuck. I don’t want a job. Do I want a job? I mean, getting unemployment is pretty bomb….

Plus I just got my stimulus check yesterday…..

Plus……………..

 

 

Apparently Daniel Woods Just Sent V17

It’s called Return of the Sleepwalker and is a low start to the V16 “Sleepwalker.”

If you’re really into bouldering, and not only really into bouldering but really into the bouldering world, the pros, the famous boulders around the world, who’s sending what, who’s sending the gnarliest blocs, who’s sending the hardest blocs, etc etc, then the question: Who’s going to send the next V17? has been on your radar for a long time.

So that’s why when I went to my news feed yesterday and saw this I was pretty elated:

Apparently, two days ago, on April 2nd the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Twenty One, Daniel woods sent a V17 called Return of the Sleepwalker. Aka a low start to the now-classic Sleepwalker V16, established by Jimmy Webb in 2018.

But before we talk about Daniel’s new line let’s talk a little bit about the history of this boulder. First, where is it? It’s in Black Velvet Canyon, a hop skip and an ankle turn from Calico Basin, aka the Kraft Boulders, aka Red Rock Canyon, aka Las Vegas. For awhile this was considered “the hardest boulder in the US of A,” as evidenced by this video here:

This is a great video to watch for a little history on this boulder, and just a well-edited video. As Jimmy Webb states on The Crag, initially he couldn’t do “a single move” on this boulder. Over 11 days, however, like the crafty southerner he is, he figured it out. Then Daniel Woods figured it out, and Nalle Hukkataival, and then Drew Ruana, and then a guy named Nathan Williams who kinda looks like Drew Ruana and might even be Drew Ruana and just wanted to post a second vid of himself sending this bulletproof sandstone masterpiece.

So as of about two months ago, that’s where we stood with Sleepwalker V16, America’s “hardest” boulder. It had kind of morphed into the ultimate testpiece for American crushers. As if the boulder gods had said, “Do you want the status of “crusher”? Then step to this tasty sandstone labyrinth of underclings and despair.”

Now, enter into the picture a few days ago, Daniel Woods. If you don’t know anything about Daniel Woods, he’s 31, from Texas, and one of the most notable boulderers (and just climbers in general) of all time. He’s sent six V16’s (that still haven’t been downgraded), four of which were first ascents. If you look at the list of V15’s he’s sent on Wikipedia it’s so long you actually have to scroll. Basically, crusher doesn’t even begin to describe him. He’s an uber-crusher. A mega-crusher. The crusher of all crushers.

Also, he has a tattoo of an eye on his neck.

And apparently, two days ago, on April 2nd, he sent V17. Or at least that’s the proposed grade. Why did he propose that mythical grade? Because (according to the article I linked to in the image at the beginning of the post) Return of the Sleepwalker adds FIVE (count the fingers on your hand if you’re having trouble understanding this) V13 (try climbing a V13 if you’re having trouble understanding this) moves to what is already a hard V16. Also it took him something like three months to do. Granted, he wasn’t climbing every day of those three months, he probably wasn’t climbing MOST days of those three months, but even so, it’s a long time.  It certainly looks right now like this might be a V17 that actually stands.

One question is: Will this be Daniel Wood’s swan song? Will this be the hardest boulder he ever sends? Also: When will this get repeated? Is Drew Ruana already on a flight right now out to Las Vegas to eat this new line for brunch and proclaim to the world that , “Welllllllllllllllllllllllllll………..actually I think it’s still kidna V16”? Time will tell. Either way I’m excited.