Stoked on Mad Meadows || ROAD TO V5

So, I’m watching this vid right now:

Before this video I had no idea who Ned Feehally was. Now I’m obsessed with him. Did you know that Ned Feehally is one of the few climbers in the world to have flashed V14? Did you know he’s also one of the co-founders of Beastmaker? Did you know I’m one of the few people who live on a 27-foot Catalina in the Greater Seattle Area to have flashed V2? Did you know any of these things?

He also just wrote a book called Beastmaking: A fingers-first approach to becoming a better climber. You can (and will, because I command it) pre-oder a signed copy right here. Prepare to spend the rest of your life climbing. Prepare to flash V14.

ANYWAY, nothing like starting off a blog post on a tanget. Because I’m not here today to talk about Ned Feehally. I’m here today to talk about climbing shoes. And Leavenworth. And Mad Meadows. And actually MOSTLY Mad Meadows, and the Sword Boulders, and sending V2, and chilling with tons of people at the boulders, and having tons of mats, and generally having a wonderful time. Because that’s what went down this last Saturday in Leavenworth. We had a mega crew, and that led to a mega sesh.

Slash I had to take it easy because I COULD NOT FALL. Aka could not fall from high up. Aka could not aggravate my back. Aka.

I think I might need to make some sausage and eggs right now.

Bear with me.

We started off on The Hueco Route V1. Keira sent. I sent. Then we went over to Barnacles V1. Keira sent. I sent. At some point during the warm-up I completely ravaged my right middle finger. Yes, the one that’s been super fucked up for a long time. Then we went UP the trail over to The Rail boulder, and started working on a V2 called The Crack. Keira sent. I sent.

BUT.

But.

BUT.

But.

(But.)

This wasn’t your ordinary V2. The first move was, like, kinda hard. I tried the heel hook beta and couldn’t do it cuz I suck at heel hooking. Kiera said, “I don’t think I’m gonna be able to do it without the throw,” and then proceeded to stick the throw, and then thrutch the shit out of the top out. I stuck the throw but wrenched the shit out of my shoulder, and thought about calling it a day (aka calling it a boulder). But then I felt inspired to see if I could do the throw without wrenching my shoulder. And I did. And I found a hold on the top out that made the top out, like, pretty darn easy, despite the guidebook calling the top out “strenuous.” And so I decided I loved the boulder, even though we were baking in the sun like geoducks at low tide, and even though I’d wrenched my shoulder, and even though I failed on the heel hook beta.

And then the Mega Crew showed up.

The crushers: B-Rad, Emi, Meli. Co-starring: Franz.

They proceeded to session the shit out of The Crack and do every kind of beta imaginable. I’m not sure why they didn’t try the V3 around the corner, The Rail, which is supposedly classic. They seemed more stoked on just doing The Crack over and over. It was rad to watch B-Rad’s heel hook methods. It inspired me to go back and do it again with the heel hooks, and just get better at heel hooking in general. Why am I so bad at it. Is it because I want so badly to be good at it? Is that it? Are the gods taunting me?

Um, so yeah.

Then we went to The Sword Boulders.

And sent a bunch of V0’s.

And maybe a V2.

And then Emi tried the dyno on The Hourglass V6 for like an hour. And by an hour I of course mean a half hour. And then it was, like, late. So we left. And went to the diner by Cole’s Corner. And I got a club sandwich and instantly regretted it. And also sort of regretted not getting a milkshake.

But GOAL ACCOMPLISHED. First goal: send a new V2. Second goal: find more V5’s to project. That goal I didn’t accomplish. I wanted to go check out Pentaphobia at Clamshell Cave or The Dihedral at the Carnival Boulders. We did none of those things. It’s hard when you have a big group. Things always take longer than you expect. You’re not gonna spend your entire day traipsing from boulder to boulder. No one likes to traipse.

She wears short skirts I wear t-shirts.

Five V points.

Didn’t hurt my back.

Stoked on The Crack V2.

Stoked on:

Photo: Adi.

 

U2 Breakthrough | R2V3 #6,433

So so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so.

So.

SO.

Here’s the deal.

I went climbing yesterday.

And it was my best outdoor session to date.

I climbed several new routes, made a momentous breakthrough on U2 V3, ALMOST (at least I think) sent another V3 called Briefs, and just generally felt really, really good. Like all the work so far has paid off. The calluses on my fingers are building up. I can climb for longer. And not that it wasn’t fun before, because it’s always been so much fun, but it’s REALLY fun when you start to see the fruits of your labor. For example, there is a V0 at The Sword boulders called Cubicle Gangster whose start I KNOW would’ve given me trouble just a few weeks ago. The start is really only the hard part. The middle is cruisy. But the start is a bit tricky and I was really stoked to flash it.

Other sends included the one to the right of Cubicle Gangster with a strange name involving the word “Poop,” The Crack V0-, Boxers V0, and making good progress on Briefs V3. I didn’t try I heart Jugs V2 because after doing all the aforementioned problems we wanted to move onto Forestland, and I didn’t try The Classic V2 because there were lots of people and it’s high as hell.

After The Sword Boulders we went to Forestland, and it was a zoo. It was a terrarium. It was, I dare say, a gymnasium. Will I ever go back to Forestland on the weekend? Ever again? The parking lot was full. There were people at most boulder problems, at least in Lower Forestland, and you certainly don’t quite get the feeling you’re out in nature on your own. In fact, you kinda feel like you’re in a big dust bowl.

In other news, I’m feeling a BIT of the Sunday Blues today because I had coffee this morning and because I’m not climbing and because the majority of my Seattle friends are in California surfing and I don’t really know what to do. I bought some ketone testing strips, so that’s been fun. I was in moderate ketosis this morning and I think still barely in ketosis after eating a bunch of blueberries and greek yogurt. Today I might say “To hell with it,” though, and reward myself with a steaming pot of white rice. Wouldn’t that just be reckless?

I could, of course, get in my car and drive to Gold Bar right now. It’s not supposed to rain for the rest of the day. And I might actually do that. But it also seems a bit wasteful, i.e. in terms of gas/emissions/wear and tear on my car. If I really want to climb I could also go to the UW crag. Though that sounds kinda awful.

Another thing about yesterday was that I made massive progress on U2 V3. A kid was there trying The Terrible V7 and helped me with the beta for U2 a bit. ONLY LEFT HAND ON THE UNDERCLING! YOUR RIGHT HAND NEVER TOUCHES IT. And guess what? I got to the rail just below the lip. I got to the rail just below the lip and was kind of wasted by that point and panicky, and all I had to do was lift my right foot up to the beautiful rail your right hand uses instead of going to the undercling, but instead I panicked and dropped off. So no send. But it was still momentous. I was thrilled. The micro beta on that problem is wonderful. Your foot positioning is huge. And the new beta makes it so much easier. So much easier.

Since I’m only working 12 hours a week now I’ll go bouldering again this week, Gold Bar if it’s dry, Leavenworth if it’s not. And maybe Leavenworth too even if Gold Bar is dry. I would also really like to go to Index soon. I have a feeling I can send Zelda Dyno V4, since dynos are kind of my strong suit, but Index hasn’t been dry in several fortnights.

Time to pee onto a strip again, and see what my ketosis levels are. And then. And then.

And then.

The Road to V2 Part 6: Riders on the Strom

So here’s my question: Does the word storm somehow come from the German word “Strom” which means “electricity?” Cuz like, lightning storms have lots of electricity. But obviously not, because the word for storm in German is “Sturm,” which would make (a lot?) more sense. But maybe it did come from Strom. I guess we’ll never know.

ANYWAY, I’m in the Apple Capital of the World right now, aka Wenatchee, aka Mexico, aka I’m in heaven. I called a place called La Fonda Oaxaqueña last night to get takeout and the guy answered in Spanish and so I just spoke Spanish and everything was perfect and after I hung up, walking across the parking lot of the East Wenatchee Mall, I had a strange lightness in my step. I love Mexico. I love everything about it, and I miss it. But I didn’t realize how much I miss it until being in a place that more closely resembles it. I ended up getting dinner from El Porton, whose quality I’m sure wasn’t like La Fonda Oaxaqueña, but La Fonda Oaxaqueña was closed.

Why am I talking about Mexican restaurants? I was just in LEAVENWORTH yesterday for the first time ever bouldering.

But let’s start at the beginning. First stop on the trip, Gold Bar. I tried to climb the clear cut boulders in what was essentially a downpour. Beam Me Up V2 was of course drenched, and the only thing that wasn’t drenched was part of Summer Solstice V3. Which was actually kind of ideal. I didn’t send the boulder, but I did do the first two moves (i.e. right hand out to the rail, left foot matching on the good edge), which was more than I’d done the first time. And today I’m going back. And it’s looking like it’s going to be dry. But I’m going to force myself to see some other boulders. I’m going to start in The Sanctuary this time, and try to climb The Catcher V0, Shortstop V2, and Stepping Razor V2.

The morning after Gold Bar I drove to Leavenworth, where it was sunny and cool and beautiful. I stopped and got a black tea from the espresso stand on the main drag just as you get into town. I walked along the pedestrian street. Everything was strangely serene and wonderful. I went to the public library where I could sit outside and use their internet. After getting soaked the night before, I was able to hang up my wet clothes and let everything dry out. And then I went up Icicle Canyon, where my first stop was The Sword Boulders.

Here I tried The Classic V2, once again with high hopes. This time I had the beta with me from Tiny Dynos on my phone right there. But what I didn’t realize about The Classic is that it’s kind of a highball. And it also traverses a bit from right to left, and I only have one pad. So I did the first couple moves and got to the ledge, but then didn’t have much in me for the traverse left and up to the top. So I didn’t send it.

Then I went to I Heart Jugs V2, where I had a much better time. I didn’t send this one either, obviously, since I’m somehow fated to never send V2 outdoors, but the movement was nice. The sit start was easy. The holds were great and interesting. I just couldn’t figure out what to do with my feet. This is something I really need to work. And I will work on it, today even, when I head back to Gold Bar to check out The Clear Cut Boulders again.

But first I need to fully wake up. I’m still in Wenatchee! I need to take a shower and perform minor surgery on my right big toe. I need to pack up my car. And I need to do a bit of driving.

Let’s get on some blocks!

Let’s….send it.