My First V3 Slab | R2V7

OK, first of all let’s talk about the elephant in the room: How ugly this blog is. The reason this blog is ugly is because I am very poor at manipulating WordPress themes and also because I have no patience or dedication when it comes to this. I should probably just fork over some money to get this blog professionally designed, or at THE VERY LEAST fork over a few shekels for a premium WordPress theme.

Any thoughts on how I can make this blog beautiful with minimum effort/money?????????????

Thanks. Appreciate it. I’ll turn the comments back on.

So yeah, yesterday was a momentous day because I finally sent Rocksteadeasy V3 near Gold Bar, a slab I’d been working on for months. It’s basically only one hard move (well, I turned it into two): getting your left or right foot high and then easing yourself up onto that foot with very little in the way of hands. I’d been trying this problem off and on for months. Usually I’d show up, warm-up with Warm-up Slab V0 once or twice (or thrice?????) and then give Rocksteadeasy a few burns just for posterity. Actually, at the beginning I’d show up and every time think: Today’s gonna be the day I fucking send this. And then I never would. And that finally turned into: Today’s gonna be the day I give this some good fuckin’ burns. And that turned into: Today’s gonna be the day I just give this some burns. See what happens.

There is so much to talk about. The fact that I felt like I kinda blacked out during the climb, such was my concentration. The fact that when I topped out I didn’t whoop or scream. I think when you work on something for so long and kind of know you can do it — it’s just a matter of time — you’re less “excited” when you finally do it. Granted, the satisfaction is still great. I spent the rest of the afternoon in a kind of euphoric daze. I walked slowly down the mountain and then for some reason parked my crash pad in the middle of the dirt road for about a half hour and almost took a nap on it. I guess I was just enjoying nature. But yeah, I didn’t freak out when I actually did the boulder problem. I was more just “quietly pleased.”

And I didn’t film it. But one day I’ll go back and I will.

Also something we need to talk about: My shoes. I GOT NEW CLIMBING SHOES!!!!!

They are currently sitting on the bench seat across from me looking like sexy little bumblebees. They are the…….(drum roll)…………………………………………………La Sportiva Mirua VS’s. Size 44. I liked them when I tried them on, and I think they were the perfect decision for a second climbing shoe. A great all-around shoe and about 8,000 times more high performance than the Scarpa Origins I’ve been rocking. They fit quite tight but I’m not screaming out with pain when I put them on. In fact, most of the time I put them on I just feel fucking stoked. Like, “I’m about to send hard.” Like, “My body is a machine.” Like, “When I drink green tea on an empty stomach I feel like I’m going to vomit.”

Things are pretty good for me right now on the climbing front. My shoulder is hanging in there, I’m stoked, I’ve been re-sending old projects/blocs and yesterday just sent a brand new one. The weather is getting better (for climbing). It’s less hot. And I’m basically just stoked in general. About climbing. And about other things. About my new shoes. About going to Mexico again in October (!). And about one day having a blog that doesn’t look like it was created by a 4th grader in computer science class.

Tomorrow’s post: An early review of my new shoes OR something else entirely!

Have a wonderful day.

– W

A Time for Poetry and a Time for Fists: R2V3 #4

Hay momentos para recitar poesías y hay momentos para boxear. – Roberto Bolaño

I have become obsessed with the V3 slab “Rocksteadeasy.” It is dominating my life. If you google “Rocksteadeasy V3 Gold Bar” nothing comes up, because this is not a notable boulder problem. It has one star in the guidebook. I don’t think it gets climbed all that much. And yet it is dominating my life. Fifty percent of my waking thoughts are directed at the holds on this problem. I think about the valley that makes the first good foothold for several minutes everyday. Which might not sound like a lot. And indeed I could probably do it more and still not be satisfied.

Start with your left foot on the point at the top of the ledge at the bottom of the boulder. This is a great foothold. If you’re doing this problem the way most people probably do it, you start with your right foot here and then put your left foot on the mini ledge about a foot and a half up, and then stand up from the ensuing pistol squat, using the waist-high crimps to aid you. But this beta wasn’t working for me. I couldn’t trust my left foot, and I kept dabbing on the tree. So after many frustrated attempts I changed tactics. I now go right foot high — way high — to the little valley crimp that’s about two feet up. At first it was hard to get to. Now it’s easy. Am I more flexible? I doubt it. I think it’s a mental thing.

Then the hard part comes. Get all of your weight on your right foot and somehow stand up from this one legged squat. You have low crimps to help you. You have a high seam that’s not great. And of course you have the face of the rock. Despite this, I feel much more confortable in this position. It’s a better foothold and I feel more comfortable trusting my right foot than my left, despite the fact that I’m left handed (if you play basketball you’ll understand; think about how you use your opposite foot to go up for lay-ups).

This is as far as I’ve gotten so far, and yet I am much heartened. I think at this point it’s all about having the strength in my right leg to push myself up, and getting my hands on the face/seam to support myself, since they’re higher up than the crimps. You can sort of crimp the seam with your right hand. Sort of. And then from there it’s easy. Once you stand up after that initial lunge, it’s a piece of homemade rhubarb pie. Left foot up to the crimp your left hand started on. Grab the crimp below the lip. Grab the lip. Top out. Your first ever V3 outside.

Last time was (I think) my third session on this boulder. It has become a project. Granted, I don’t spend the whole session on this boulder. I usually only give it a few go’s each time. That’s how I operate. I don’t usually stay on one problem too long. If I can’t do it, I move on, and then come back later. This allows the beta to crystallize in my mind while being away from it. This is the best method for me. It’s how I play the piano. It’s how I do anything, really.

Hay momentos para recitar poesías y momentos para boxear. Me parece que en este boulder hay momentos para los dos.