Friday, February 29, 2008
Friday: Richard 1:00, Mel-lo, Carl and Liz 4:30 might see Andi and Nora
Saturday: Aaron and junior 1:00 Maybe Mel.
Sunday: Probably Liz and Carl about10:30.
Richard, Is it this Sunday you are going on your ski trip with Barb?
I might check out Stillwater Ice on Saturday (it’s a dumb name it’s not in Stillwater, it’s in Houlton, which isn’t even in Minnesota, I’m sensitive about that being a Houlton girl.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Just go to gmail.com. Sign in under wednesdaysrock with password funwithrocks. The main screen of gmail will open and on the top, left hand side you'll see the word "Photos" in blue. Click on that and the next page will show the Picassa Web Albun page and then click on the folder called "Wednesdays Rock." The next screen gives you the option to "Upload Photos" on the bottom left side. That's it. Within minutes, any photos you upload there will show up as part of the slide show.
I think I'll only leave this info up until each of you has read it just so no one else gets the password. So leave a comment here if you've read it. Thanks.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
The Surgeon General of the U.S. (along with a few other people) asked me to post this video to warn of the dangers of climbing. The video is a little overexposed 'cuz it was so sunny. But it's watchable. What a great job by the WR crew. It's all about ice, ice baby.
Here's proof that we weren't just sitting there - or at least proof that my brother wasn't just sitting there. Near the end of our climbing days we would see how far we could get campusing this boulder problem - pretty big holds so not too hard, especially for my buff brother. =) Okay, enough pride in my bro' for today...
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Lisa, Aaron and I met his climbing partner Art the other day at the gym. Art has perfected the technique of insulting his belayer - me - while he is in the middle of a climb. I don't recommend that technique, as I like to keep my belayer happy until I'm at least on the ground. Especially if your belayer has access to ice axes. Which I will have tomorrow. So just keep a civil tongue in your mouth while I'm belaying you on Wednesday and everything will go more smoothly. Thank you for your understanding.
I changed the title page and want to know if it's OK with you. Mel, I took the photo you had posted of Sylvan Lake and cropped it slightly. Is that OK? I don't want to unilaterally change the site around without input from the WR gang.
I hope you'll still allow me to keep in touch, check the blog, and maybe even climb with you this summer -- you can vote when I'm not around and let me know...I'm not giving up on climbing by any means - I'll just have to figure out new schedules to climb. I did have Joel buy for me the annual membership during the one hour sale on Sunday so I'm ready to go as often as possible and maybe include some trips where I "only" climb a couple hours, rather than 4 or 5.
I'll post some pics from WA to prove I wasn't slacking off in the climbing arena. I'm looking forward to ice climbing tomorrow! I'm trying to get in touch with Lisa today about details. Thanks for picking up boots etc! If I can't get a hold of you, I'll just meet you all there, based on the map details. Thanks!
Monday, February 25, 2008
We worked on hips today and here's a video to prove it.
Lisa's list below seems quite complete. I'll bring a helmet - although it's not really necessary. I think you'll get wet so bring a change of clothes for the car(?) and the best waterproof pants and jackets you have - that you don't want to get scratched up. Also, bring 2 pairs of gloves 'cuz they usually get wet early. If you've got waterproof gloves or polypropylene that's good too. Usually we sit on the packs we bring, but a tarp/foam pad that wouldn't get wet might be nice so we don't have to stand all the time. I plan on getting there about 12 and it takes 30 minutes to set up the 2 top ropes. Any and all are welcome to help set up but you will need to wear your boots and crampons and harness to do that.
Oh, one other thing that might save you some frustration - put your harness on before your climbing boots. In other words, it's probably best to put stuff on in the car before you go into the park.
View Larger Map
I shall proceed. Ice Climbing in the brickyards shall commence at noon. Here is a list of Responsibilties: Everyone bring your harness, belay tool and locking biners you have
Richard: Rope, ice tools, helmet, daisy chain and other stuff he thinks in cool
Lisa: Rope, Daisy chain, ice tools, helmet and boots and crampons for girls
Julianne: Why don't you bring a snack and tales of Washington, Where should we pick you up?
Aaron: Bring you own cute self and NO BEER!
I would say, dress in layers in a non absorbant way, it could be wet.
Richard feel free to fix and errors with your administrative rights. Open for questions.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
As far as rates and places to stay. The rates at Sylvan are high. We've camped at the Sylvan Lake campsite as well as others nearby. If the weather is at all bad and if people are tired at nite, which they will be, a motel/cabin is very nice. The nearest town to Rushmore is Keystone which is very touristy.
A nice town 10 miles away is Hill City and rooms in a motel there are about $75 per nite in May. Hill City has some cute little restaurants and a great outdoor shop called Granite Sports. A slightly closer place to Sylvan is here and you can see it's not in a town. Here's a page listing places to stay in Hill City. I think we'll do most of our climbing near Rushmore because there are a lot more sport routes there. Sylvan area has many sport routes but is more known for trad routes. The Needles and other areas nearby are almost all trad. It's also likely even if we didn't stay in Hill City, we'd drive there to eat, shop, sightsee.
If May is a problem for you, let's do it in June. I'm just anxious to go soon and go often. Weather in May can be iffy but late May is better - see here. After Memorial Day it's more touristy but there are few climbers at any time; especially if you're there during weekdays. I was there once - by accident - during the Sturgis motorcycle rally. I camped 2 miles from Rushmore, saw maybe 5-6 climbers, ate in Hill City with no wait and had no problem with crowds. Maybe all the climbers and hikers were scared of the bikers.
We could rent our gear for Wednesday from them: the boots are $5, crampons $4 and tools are $12. They rent overnight and the gear can be picked up and dropped off anytime between 12-7. Does anyone have time away from over-training and easy access to mpls?
Any thoughts? (About this subject...I know you guys)
Saturday, February 23, 2008
And if Russell wants to come on Wednesday that's great. And it's good you asked Pat to teach you rappelling (it's not repelling - that's what unwarranted attention from Thor is) because you'll use a lot of it in the Black Hills and the Tetons.
Because I won't be there tomorrow, except to buy my new annual membership at 6:30, (and because I don't know how to keep my mouth shut) I thought I'd post some verbal encouragement for your epic climbs on Sunday.
We also talked to Pat about teaching us the fine art of repelling which we will take before the big melt, anyone of you is welcome to join us $25.
We shall climb with church ladies tomorrow, wish us luck!
Carl, Mel and I will be overtraining 1-4 pm Satarday, if you want to come, but really relax.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Lisa, Richard, and Aaron spent a lot of time and energy evaluating a "5.8 Problem", getting over the roof in the small pit. I still think that there must be an easier way, we need Julianne and Mel's perspective.
All-in-all, I had so much fun today one-handed rock climbing, working on the 5.8 problem, and contemplating route setting as an artistic outlet, that I forgot we were over-training, until I got home and my arms hurt. I imagine this is what climbing outdoors is all about. Pray for warmer weather.
Then Lisa went over to a new route set by "Trees" and was the first climber to do it and she flashed it! And got to rate it. (Now this is the only time you can flash in public and not get arrested.) What a (wo)man! She was feeling so excited about her previous lead, she told Noel(sp?), "I'm really high." He said, "Be careful when you say you're 'high', there are a lot of families here today." She said it again. In public! Well I was so embarrassed I had to leave. (But just to get a drink of water; I came right back.) And that's how she got her new name Her "Highness."
Then she offered to belay me but took such a casual attitude I was shocked. Shocked I tell you, shocked! Look at the photo below and tell me you wouldn't be shocked if she were your belayer.
Aaron and I - in an attempt to outdo Lisa - led the same new route out of the pit that Lisa had led and got to the top; but not in the style of Her Highness. All in all, the best day had by anyone at anytime in the history of the world. (Or so it seemed to us who didn't have the experiences today that those of you who weren't there had. Which I'm sure were waaaay better than ours. Not.)
Here's some photos of our trip to Custer in 2006. We stayed in the Sylvan Lake sleeping cabins. The area is a great central location - the highest area in the park. It's also really close to a lot of good climbing areas. Lisa, see why there's no room for tents outside the cabin! The back of this one has a strait vertical drop. The second photo is the view from the side of the cabin.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
But Lisa and I have talked about going to the Black Hills this (yes, 2008!) Spring. I swear to you, winter will end. It's hard to believe I know. So, I think it's not too early to talk about the level of interest in climbing in the Needles, Sylvan Lakes, Rushmore area. My recommendation is at least 3 days out there climbing. It takes about 9 hours to drive there. (I left downtown Mpls at 10AM and arrived at the campsite near Rushmore at 6:30PM. Most of the way, you can drive 80mph.) So, to be reasonable, this is a 4-5 day trip. (One time we left here early evening after work, slept at a wayside rest near Sioux Falls, arrived late morning and climbed that same day.)
So, who's interested? What type of climbing do you want to do? Which specific climbs or areas interest you?
Anyhow, the overtraining schedule is working well for Lisa, Aaron and me. As the Romans used to say, "Veni, vedi, vici." And I know that phrase was true for us as both Lisa and Aaron had some real vicis today. I almost made it up my nemesis - that blasted 11 with the tiny, crimpy holds and the big stretch. (I believe only 2 people have made it to the top of that climb without falling - Superman and Spiderman. But they had awfully tight belays, if you know what I mean.) Maybe next time I can do it. We did a couple of new top ropes and Lisa led an overhanging, reachy climb with the 1st clip so far off the ground that the 2nd clip was at the top. At least it seemed that way. It was a real brain yoga climb for her.
Friday some of us are meeting for our 5th day of overtraining. Hope that's OK with you. Didn't have my camera today so no photos. Here's a video I shot last year of some hiking I did in the mountains. I think some of you - Aaron - have seen it.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Here're some photos from today's epic climbs.
Here's another group which raised funds for cancer to climb Kilimanjaro.
What would be the "hook" of the 'Wednesdays Rock' climb? Here's one idea: "Raise Awareness of Global Hunger and the Difficulty of Still Having to Work Physically Hard by Going without (much) Eating for 3 days while Climbing the Grand." Of course, we would have to have the necessary fluids to get to the top. (And I'd need emergency rations like a whole bunch of candy bars in case I got really humgry. Which I would be about every 20-30 minutes.)
These guys are more modest: they're only going to Mt Rainier. But they have a good twist on it that just might work for the WR climb of the Grand. They only allow particpants who've raised $3500 to climb. But the drawback would be you'd have to go with a bunch of people you don't know. But if your way was paid??? And you have to find a respected charity to affiliate with.
The possibilites are endless. For example, I helped a local guy who liked to bike. So he got a bunch of bikes donated and took kids riding around here a few days in the summer. Then he wanted to bike in South America so he got donations to pay for his trip and a few kids to go biking in South America for 2 weeks. Last summer, he decided he wanted to see Norway. Same deal. Of course he had to put up with kids, which is not what you parents want to do on your vacations. (Oh, I forgot; you already have to do that.)
This is just a start. Mostly I was kidding Lisa when I mentioned this, but it could actually work. Heck, it has actually worked.
Oh my gosh, look at this. It's an organization set up to help you raise funds so you can take kids climbing.
I read Mel's article and thought it described the climb well. I thought this article had a little more detail and more human interest to it. And, if you use a guide, you'll stay in a hut at the lower saddle which is pictured in this article. Now when you read about their training prior to climbing, you'll see you already know much of what they teach there. Other things you can easily learn this summer - to help keep the fires burning, as it were - are rappelling and multi-pitch climbing. Rappelling is easy to learn and practice here in MN. In fact, there's even a 25-30 foot free rappel (only means your feet aren't touching the wall) at Red Wing. Multi-pitch is a little fakey here in MN but at Taylors Falls or Red Wing, there are a few climbs where the leader can go up halfway and then belay the second and then switch leads. (This is way better done in the Black Hills or Devils Tower but it's certainly possible to learn the basics here.)
Did you vote Amy in? I think she is facinating, fun and a great climber. Also nothing like any of us. I think that is the prerequisite.
Mel found the following link inspirational.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I guess I'll probably see most of you again next Wednesday. Let me know what the decision is about ice climbing. I'll be back Monday night from WA and will check the blog on Tuesday.
As well as your outer self, I think. You guys could climb it every year until you're 80. That'd be a good story.
Here's a good description of a 4 day guided climb of the Grand. What they describe as the most difficult part of the technical climb, you'd have no trouble with because of your experience rock climbing.
See you soon,
Monday, February 18, 2008
Here's Sandstone which is still very new for sport climbing and they're developing routes each year.
And this page is cool; you can type in the difficulty rating you want to climb and whether it's trad or sport, and it'll give you a list of routes.
They have route descriptions for almost anywhere in the world. (Not Brisbane though, I checked.)
We think it's just too cold this week for beginning ice climbing at the Brick Yards. It'll be a lot more comfortable if the temps are in the high 20s or 30s. There'll be ice there probably 'til May so it's not a big deal to wait a week or so.
Lisa and I did a few leads and some top ropes. (Hmmm, now that I think about the leads, I realize they were all overhanging. That might be the source of my weakness.)
We did some top rope climbs with Julianne and Morgan and then went to the bouldering area to work on the routes with the elephant holds.
This is a little off topic, but I'm tired of not being able to climb outside. So here's a video I shot last year at Taylors Falls with The Warden.
A conversation with Lisa reminded me of a trip that I took this December up to the Superior Hiking Trail that I thought I would share.
I left Tettageuche State Park with snow shoes and fairly heavy pack for my first ever snow camping trip. The goal was to shoe 6 miles to my intended camp-site. Having never done this before, I quickly realized that snow-shoeing is a lot slower than normal hiking.
I think I made it about 3 miles when I stopped to make some lunch and learned a very important lesson: when it's below freezing, keep your stove fuel warm! I couldn't even get my jet-boil warm enough to melt snow! I decided to make camp for the day and hike out that next morning. It was a cold night with temps dropping to -5. I did get some cool pics and learned many valueable lessons that I can take with me on the next trip.
Has anyone else gone Winter camping/hiking? I'd love to hear any tips and suggestions you might have in regards to staying warm etc.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Our visit to VE today was short and sweet. A lot of familiar faces, including Andi from our Sunday Climbing club. I got up some of my challenge routes and it felt pretty nice. (My leg didn't even shake on the slab!)
See you all Wednesday.
I propose we bump our expedition to Feb 27 because of the following conditions.
We have prices to check
Aaron’s sick, we what him strong
Mel needs to make some day care arrangements
Carl’s foot hurts ( less today)
Should we get a permit?
I need to deal with the Women on the Edge climbing event next Sunday. I need to decide if it lives or dies. It’s not like we didn’t promote it, Mel. From now on I’m just climbing with you guys, those who don’t climb, don’t climb because they don’t want to, I guess.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Here's some video entertainment.
On Sunday my husband Tom will be at the gym. We're seeing The Alps at noon, then plan on heading over to VE with the inspiration fresh in our minds.
Take note that Everest in showing during the Science Museum Omni-fest during March. If you've been assigned to read Into Thin Air you may want to coordinate finishing the book before you see the movie. (Aaron)
The first two photos are of Tom, so you'll be able to recognize him, and the last is of me. We were at Curtis Canyon in the Teton National Forest and had Jackson Hole Mountain Guides take us for a quick climb in their training area. Easy, but fun and high routes.
I found this website has animated knot tying.
Here's what one of the classic books on climbing "Mountaineering Freedom of the Hills" has to say about which knots are important.
What did your instructors at your VE classes recommend for knots for various purposes?
We were pining the absence of the Director of Overtraining- Richard, However we were certainly overtraining. I did more coming off the wall than sticking to it. I am also trying to deal with my recent epiphany "Lead Climbing half way is of no use to the team" unless of course I make it the whole way tomorrow. And of course I have other skills,. I will let you know what they are when I think of them! I was reading a book last night. Climbing: from Gym to Crag. I will share with you the section on training and injury prevention.
- Do not over do it. Avoid overtraining. No climber can crank it hard everyday without paying the price.
- Rest. Get enough rest between gym sessions. a good rule of thumb is to never climb hard following a major pump fest. Cross train if you must do something.
- Be balanced. Mix endurance with strength building and technique excerszes. Evolve your schedule with the seasons. ( I would ski today, if someone will join me!)
- Use pre-emptive taping. Support tendons before they get sore.
- Let go. Gym training is just that- training. If something hurts drop off! ( I have a problem with this one)
I'll share more later, the rest are just "If it hurts, back off". Babies!
Here is what I know about the next few days. Aaron is out of town. Mel, Carl and I will be there Saturday 1-3 and Sunday late afternoon. I think Julianne is goingFriday afternoon. All this being said, I could be swayed to show up Friday ay 1:30 ish..... Talk to me!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
From the NY Times:
And here's a fairly clear route description of it:
It's mostly hiking uphill for a few miles to the Garnet Canyon camping area. Then 1500 vertical feet of slogging up a rocky trail through a moraine to the lower saddle where most people spend the night. This route description starts there at the lower saddle. The climbing itself is way easier than anything you're doing at the gym
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Everyone is invited to :
Climbing and Anchors Clinic
Wednesday, March 26, 7 p.m.
Center for Outdoor Adventure at the U of M
Learn the basics of building top-rope climbing anchors. This clinic will cover all facets of building a safe and effient anchor to maximize climbing time. Limit 8. $15 for the general public. Liz and Mel already signed up. phone 612-625-8790 or email outdoor @umn.edu or visit the website for more useful and fun events. www.recsports.umn/edu/coa
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Climbing after was ….I dunno I missed dinner and was weak but it went ok. I think Aaron climbed very well. Mel did the slab route!
I’m bringing a friend tomorrow, hope that is ok.