Friday, February 29, 2008

Weekend Plans

To summarize
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.
Any additions?
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

Lisa Leading at VE on Thursday

A very short and choppy - my fault - video. This is Lisa's new route.

New Feature of the Blog

Now everyone can upload photos and have them show up in that little slideshow window on the upper right of the blog.

Just go to 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.

Her Highness Does it Again

Thursday at the gym and Lisa, Aaron and I showed up because we figured other WRers would be there. But no, the rest of you have lives, not like us. That's OK though. If you couldn't come you just missed Lisa conquering a new lead, Aaron beating the pants off me on the Big Mean Green Monster Lead from the pit. Then Lisa, who's been thinking for days about the BMGM, led it way past where she'd climbed before and got one move away from the last hold. Hoorah. Here's a photo of her descending in all her glory from the new climb she led.

Start em' Young

On Saturday my son Grant and I are going to V.E. to climb. If anyone wants to bring their kids for a relaxed, lead-free day let me know! We will probably go around 1...ish.

We love ice climbing!

Swing, Swing, Kick, Kick

I'm in love... with ice. What an absolute blast yesterday was! We all were able to play with numerous generations of tools, the weather was great; Richard even got a tan! Thanks Lisa and Mel for dropping off the equipment at the U, and to Julianne for bringing snacks! I'm looking forward to doing this again!

Congrats on Being Awarded a Man Card!

Hey everyone, for climbing dangerous ice on Wednesday with big sharp objects on your hands and feet and, most importantly, for climbing the ManRoute up to the trail, everyone gets a ManCard. Print it out if you want, and fill in your own name. (I know, the photo doesn't do you justice. But there's no justice in ice climbing.)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

You guys are great!

You guys probably know that you are so lucky. you get to hang out with cutest, belayingest, snackbringingest, omygoshyest gals in town! Of course you like us and we like you too. This was such good therapy, tomorrow I shall climb something monumental and frightening!

Warning, Ice Climbing Can be Dangerous

Thanks for all the help and all the enthusiasm. I had a great time plus I got a sunburn! In February! In Minnesota! Oh well.

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.

Thank you!!!

Thanks, everyone, for an awesome day of ice climbing! It was so much fun! I really appreciate Lisa getting the boots for us and Richard bringing all his gear, and Mel's helmet, and Aaron's -- enthusiasm and lively spirit.
See you all soon!

My Brother Rocks!

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

Carl is Back in Action

I am happy to report that Carl hit the gym today! Because he does not understand the meaning of the word moderation, he climbed 15 routes varying from 5.8-5.10 and 2 laps on the bunny wall one handed. He is officially in training. He would like to be in overtraining but someone has to support me in the style to which I have become accustomed. Hopefully Friday Climbing Date night will return for us. Care to join us?

Common Ground...

or common sky.

I was just thinking how there was something similar about Liz and Aaron. But I could never put my finger on it. Then I found these photos...

Happy Birthday Aaron! (belated)

This is a climb done recently by a VE staff member

Russell, at the VE front desk, told me this is one of the climbs they did while out in Red Rocks Nevada. He describes the technique necessary to climb it as a corkscrew technique which I kinda understand. Not.

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.

New Title Photo - what do you think?

I apologize for not doing this sooner. I got busy finding a celebrity to sing Happy Birthday to Aaron.

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.

We've got GEAR!

All set and ready to....Chill!
Boys will meet at the Brickyard at noon to set routes. (thanks guys)
Girls will be there (all at once) about 12:30.
Wooo hoooooo!

Olympia Rock Warehouse

Olympia has a nice indoor climbing gym - quite a bit smaller than VE, but definitely adequate. They have a lot more bouldering space and problems than VE so that's what we mainly did. My brother, Jeremy, also prefers bouldering at the moment. Anyway, here we are next to "scream" - see the face? =)We climbed for about 5 or 6 hours on Friday and about 5 hours on Sunday. My hands were tired by the end, that's for sure!

Good news and bad news

Guess what? I got a job! I'm afraid my climbing days during the day will soon be over! How sad!!! I haven't set a start date yet, either March 10th or 17th though, so I'll have at least a week to get some more climbing in with you folks. I couldn't start right away next Monday because I have to give my hobbies a two week notice. =)

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

Monday at VE

On Monday Lisa, Aaron and I did some leading, some top roping and some helping. Lisa told us it was Aaron's Birthday. So he got to help someone else pass a leader test. Aaron, because it was his special day, did a lead up about 6 clips, then fell so the belayer could catch him. Only thing was, the belayer let him fall and fall and fall and fall and then stopped him level with the belayer's head. That's a special day!

We worked on hips today and here's a video to prove it.

Happy Birthday to Aaron

Here's a little song from someone famous to wish one of our WR climbers a Happy Birthday.

Map to Brick Yards for Wednesday

We're meeting at the interesection of Annapolis and Cherokee Heights Rd. Which is right off Hwy 13 at Cherokee Park in St. Paul. In the photo below we're going thru the opening in the fence (click on the link for a map.) There's plenty of free parking right there.

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

Tuesday Change of Pace

I am going to pick up gear at the East Bank of the U tomorrow afternoon. We COULD visit their bouldering area for a field trip. any takers?

Prepare for Ice Day.

The review of Climbing today is best done off the blog so, inquiries will be accepted by email.
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
Mel: Helmet
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

Places to Stay in Black Hills

I started to put this in comments and decided it'd be better as a post.

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.

Leapin' Lisa!

We had fun with some new climbers today. I was very impressed with their determination! Lisa was able to demonstrate some moves on the natural wall with a powerful and impressive dyno to the first hold. You looked good!

Women on the Edge Day at VE

The Women on the Edge took over, it's a good thing you took a break from overtraining. Lea, Michelle and Jill climbed far more routes than I would have anticipated. They really liked it and felt successful. Liz and Mel-lo were darn fine belayers (it's because we "got our climb on" yesterday so we could just be nice and helpful.) We are done with promotions now as we are just going to make the gym and the crags more crowded.
Needles Climbing Weekend Update.
Thanks to Mel-lo's research we can get a cabin at Sylvan Lake May 22-24 about $500 bucks, it sleeps 10.
or a campsite down the road a piece, the weekend of June 21.
Which sounds best or better for you guys? Any thoughts?
J. are you back???
Richard, I like the new banner but I need to see the tops of the spires....really bad.

Ice Options...

The U of M has a program called Center for Outdoor Adventure located in the Recreation Center on the Mpls campus. They offer some really cool trips, run the climbing and bouldering areas and rent all kinds of outdoor gear.

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

Rise from your graves and climb

Experimental soul and big Beat music to inspire us while climbing
by Jake Ender (my son) Use it if you like it.

I liked your Saturday report.

Especially the part about the high hips. Glad you could figure that one out. It's a little unusual. And congrats, Mel on flashing that new Trees route. It's fun to see a new hard route like that and then pop right up it like toast.

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.

Dynamic Duo Climbs Strong on Saturday

Mel-lo and Liz made a strong showing today. Climbing half a few 5.10's. I showed Mel the overhang problem, she solved it with a tiny bit of help from another hold and high hips. Then we proceeded to the new blue on the slab, that Trees set. It has a fearsome name now. Mel flashed it and delclared it a 10a or at least a 9+. We looked all aound through the many. many people and just saw Amy and her husband today. We invited Russell to climb ice on Wednesday. He doesn't prefer inside so much but he could be taller than the ice at the brickyards.
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!

Public Out Cry!

Listen Richard, I filmed a perfectly awesome video of you climbing that green lead out of the pit yesterday, that time you made it even. So POST IT already. We demand satisfaction!

Carl, Mel and I will be overtraining 1-4 pm Satarday, if you want to come, but really relax.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Aaron's Leading Video on Friday

Here's our Vice President of Evil (I think that's what he told me he wants his title to be) leading a new route out of the pit.

We Had Too Much Fun to Seriously Climb

As Richard said, we warmed up very light heartedly: One handed rock climbing. It was more of a joke, but turned out to be a great work-out and training tool. Richard said that it caused you to evaluate each and every hold, plan exactly how you were going to grab it; then dyno! Lisa compared it to yogo; very controlled and balanced. I didn't think it was anything like yoga because I didn't have any half naked women falling on me, I should talk to the staff at V.E. about that.....
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.

Flash From Her Highness - Friday Report

This was the Mother of all climbing days. (At least until a better one comes along.) OK, where do I start? Aaron tried a new warm-up technique suggested by Lisa: one handed climbing. Here's a photo. Lisa did a hard lead out of the pit way past her comfort zone. She just kept going and going like the Energizer Bunny. Here's a photo of her and she's so far up you can barely see her.

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.)

Sylvan Lake area of Custer...

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

Portrait of a Climber

Liz Ender
First Ascent: September 1964

OK, Enough About the Grand, how 'bout this..

Aaron mentioned to me that all this talk about climbing the Grand got him pumped up to go. He initially figured the plan must be to climb this year. When he found out it isn't until Fall '09, he told me, "OK, that's enough already." (Or words to that effect.)

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?

Thursday, the 4th (or 5th?) Overtraining Day this week

Only the 4th, I guess because Sunday was the first and I skipped Tuesday. Did anyone climb on Tuesday?

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

Wednesday's Photos

A grand day was had by all (most?). Lisa tried her tough overhanging lead, which she's already done with one hand tied behing her back, Aaron rocketed to the top of some killer 11b, Mel got to the top of the aforementioned killer climb, I did some leads of which I was proud. And, of course, we missed 'J.' Who's probably enjoying being away from us. Que lastima.

Here're some photos from today's epic climbs.

Organizing a Trip and Having Others Help Pay for It

This is a great idea. It's been done with many other activities and I knew it'd been done for climbing. Here's a group who thought waaaaay big and raised money for some sick kid so they could climb Kilimanjaro. The rule of thumb in the Charity business to qualify as a legitimate charity, is to spend at least 70% of the money raised on the actual program you're supporting. This group says they raised $34K and didn't spend any on their expenses. Very admirable and very unusual.

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.

OK, More Info on Grand Teton

It's way too early to get too excited about climbing the Grand if you're not planning to do it until Sept '09. But, of course, it's never too early to talk about planning and climbing and mountains and stuff like that.

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.)

I'm Intrigued...

I was lamenting the fact that my passion to end hunger in my community has been sidetracked by my passion for climbing. Richard, tell me more about how We can climb Grand Teton for charity. I think it's a 'grand' idea. Richard has a history of grand ideas. He has volunteered to video tape our assent.

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

You may have to survive without J for a week

I'm afraid I might not be able to make it to VE tomorrow. I have two interviews, swing dance lessons tomorrow night, and need to pack to go to WA Thursday morning. I'm thinking adding climbing in might be just too much. I'll bring my climbing stuff to the interviews and see how I feel afterwards. Don't think I'm slacking though, by going to WA! I'll be climbing (indoors) with my brother on Friday and Sunday. =)
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.

Do you like new features added to the Blog?

For example, we can have a poll which can be custom designed for our uses and, obviously, used just for our own amusement. Here's one I just designed. Let me know what you think.

Here's a heart-warming story of someone crazy enough to climb the Grand Teton

This is a story of an 80 year old guy who climbed the Grand last year. He said, "That view is an emotional experience. It does things to your inner self."

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.

Always Planning Ahead...

I would love to check out Prairie Walls,, down in Rochester and the U of M climbing wall. Both places are mostly open in the evening. Anyone interested in checking these places out? My best nights are Tuesdays or Fridays, but I could work it into a weekend.

More Recon at the Brick Yards

Lisa thought it would help me get over my cold if I went on an hour long hike in freezing temperatures, so we took a trip down to the Brick Yards to do some investigating. I think crampons are going to be a must for hanging out down at the base, especialy if things are warming up. 20-30 feet below the climbs are glare ice. I tried to make the approach with just boots on and it was impossible. I think Mel found a good deal on rentals from the U of M. I'm not going to say anymore on that subject. Usually when I meddle in women's affairs, I get into trouble. I'm going to follow Dr. Lisa's orders and make chicken soup tonight; hopefully I will see everyone at V.E. tomorrow at 12:30!

Future Climbing Pro

Here is my niece, Morgan, while climbing at VE. She did great and loved it! I think she's a natural, even if she didn't go all the way to the top on any climbs. She loved bouldering especially and was so proud of showing off her "moves" to Richard and Lisa. Thanks, R and L, for being so supportive and friendly. =)

It even kept me out

This is my favorite fence in the whole world. It is located in Jackson, Wyoming. I love this town. When we go there to climb Grand Teton, I will show the fence to you, my friends. I bet you are excited.

"J" is just fine

Just wanted to say typing J rather than Julianne is just fine when referring to yours truly. I know Julianne is kind of long to type. But you can just type "J", rather than "J (Julianne)" as that defeats the purpose of shortening my name to just J. I think we'll know who we're talking about, unless another J person joins the group. =)
See you soon,

Monday, February 18, 2008

I'm sure you'll all seen these online climbing guides

But in case you haven't seen this online site with route descriptions, here it is. The Red Wing route guide is the most complete of any of them. In my opinion, you really wouldn't need to have a guide book for Red Wing, just use this online guide. The online Taylors Falls guide is very sparse.

Red Wing

Taylors Falls


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.)

Wednesday's Ice Climbing Postponed

I know this has been mentioned in the comments section and I know either Lisa or I have talked to most of you, but I thought I'd put this in a post so everyone will see it.

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.

New Plan on Overtraining

I think I'm not overtraining enough because I didn't feel very strong today climbing. Maybe going every day will help me get stronger.

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.

Superior Hiking Trail

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.

Lost Email

I found all of the emails that I have been missing from Lisa, Richard, and Julianne in my junk box! Makes me feel like a snob for not responding. To answer your questions:

No, it's a different girl

Hope you all had fun climbing!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Video Sequel

Due to the unprecedented requests for a sequel to the Hand's-eye video (actually I had only one request and it was from me), I made a Foot's-eye video. I'll bet you're excited. This is what happens when I spend an hour alone in the boulder area waiting for Lisa so we can do a Brick Yards recon.

You missed the chance of a lifetime

Where was everyone today? You all missed the chance in a lifetime to meet my wonderful husband, Joel! We went climbing at VE today and looked all over for you, but found no one! I purposefully went "late afternoon" since that had been the original plan of some certain lovely ladies and their husbands, but I see now that I will have to check the blog every day all day long in order to stay current on your plans! =) Oh well. We had a fun time with him climbing top ropes, me on autobelays, and then bouldering together. There are a couple (well, lots I'm sure) fun bouldering problems up now that I worked on. No lead today. I will be at VE tomorrow with my niece, Morgan, getting there around 12.30 or 1.00. Hope to see you there (and get a belay or two so I can climb too!). Since you missed the chance to meet Joel this time, you'll have to make do with a photo of the two of us all dressed up this christmas when we went to the "Christmas Carol" at the Guthrie.

A Must See!

We went to The Alps at the Omnitheater today. What an amazing film! The climbing/mountaineering is incredible - a mile straight up the North face of the Eiger. I can't recommend this enough... it's cheap and the film is only 50 minutes.

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.

Reconnaissance Mission to the Brickyard:

Richard and I parked at the west end of Cherokee Park and hiked down into it. The trail was in good shape, nice day too. The brick yard has quite a bit of ice available. All the routes are about 20-25 feet and very pretty. There were 4 people climbing down there. There will be ice there for another couple of months. Gals, I think we could get away with sharing one pair of boots but it would be the ultimate in luxury if we had our own. At VE for one day boot rental is $15 and crampons are $5. Mel will check at the U of M to see what their prices are like.
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.

Over-Training Takes Her First Victim

Last week at V.E. was awesome! I think everyone of us made great progress on some of our "trouble routes". Unfortunatly, the combination of climbing everyday, yoga, and a late night out on Thursday left me with the flu. I've been in bed all weekend; envious of you able-bodied folk. Watching Julianne go across the roof was amazing! I think I need to try that next time. Let me know what the BrickYards are looking like. I'm hoping that with lots of rest I'll still be going on Wednesday. Until then, keep posting! The blog is the highlight of my day!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Saturday Report- The Liz Version

I walked into the gym and felt the need to feel a little success. so I started with a 5.6, then 5.8, then 5.9 the lime green one left of the cave. With ego repaired I was feeling a little powerful. I was eying up the olive drab 5.10b in the same location, when Mel was doing the friendly thing and we had a new buddy suddenly. He looked at me with a dang smirk on his face and said "Are you gonna climb that?" Well!!!! I said" Yes I am young man and you watch your tone with me!" I tell you guys, I really pushed it up that route. Almost made it too, farther that he did anyway.

Mel climbed her slab route for her new fan club of friendlier young men. Laura the route setter put up a couple of, "Where the heck am I going routes". Mel didn't care for her style. I kinda do, as I don't know where I am going anyway! And I gotta find out what that long red top rope out of the pit is rated, I'm obsessed with it. Finished up with this one. It got the rest of what Mel had.

Mel and Tom will be at VE on Sunday about 1:30. I might take thae day off. But I will be there at 12:30 on Monday (President's Day, no yoga class to teach) If J. (Julianne) Richard and Aaron are going to be there we can work out the detail for Ice climbing on Wednesday.

Former Climbing Buddies

For the sake of addressing the "posting slackers" comment, I'm posting a photo of my sister-in-law and me at VE -- she was my former climbing buddy before she had the nerve to move to rural Kansas (those boyfriends wreck everything!). =) Although I haven't managed yet to make my husband (her brother) a climbing fanatic, the climbing bug definitely has a hold of her. Suzanne set up a bouldering cave in her basement the week she moved down there and is so committed to the sport she's driven a couple hours to Wichita to climb. I miss her greatly, but at the same time am so grateful to have met all of you lovely Wednesdays Rock people!

Let's Post Some Info about Saturday's Climbing

I know that some of you are going to VE today. For those of us who aren't, help us live vicariously through your achievements.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Climbing on Friday

Some of you were not even at VE today. We know Aaron had an excused absence, but what about Mel? Anyway, Julieanne spent a lot of time on the roof. Lisa, when she wasn't so relaxed from her massage today that she could stand up, also did some hard climbing. Including leading farther up that nasty red route in the pit.

Here's some video entertainment.

Rare appearance...

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 was excavating under a bed in my house in an unoccupied room and I not only found lots of my stuff but I found my daughter's climbing shoes! They are tiny! But I can get my feet in 'em. I'll be at VE at 1:30 to try them out!

Knots & Nots

There are lively discussions online as well as in the various books I have on what knots are best and what knots not to use. There's even dissension about how to "finish" the knot once it's tied. And, of course, each category of knot types - harness attachment, anchor attachment, rappelling attachment, rescuing - has its own advocates.

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?

ok, ok Thursday!

We had goals I tell you, we did. Aaron popped up his new challenges ouy the pit, just like toast! He was just shy of the last hold on the red one. He needs to push with those long legs! Easy for me to say. He told me that men have 2 moods, hungry and pissed. The Aaron face displayed a bit of both after that route.
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!

Who's slacking off in posting here?

Hey folks, what happened on Thursday? Is anyone from WR going to VE on Friday? I plan to be there about 1PM. (Obviously PM, not AM.) Hope to run into some of you. Lisa, how was Carl's trip? Who did what on Valentine's Day? People, let's get some info on the blog. Others are anxiously awaiting updates.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Grand Teton

Mel, I think you were talking about climbing the Grand Teton. The most popular route is the Owen-Spalding route and you're certainly capable of climbing that. Here's a recent article on it:

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

Richard Rocks!

Thanks for taking time to entertain us at the gym and at home. Your climbing skills and knowledge are truly inspirational. But be careful...your video talents may get you recruited for full-time work!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wednesday Does Rock

Julianne Leading and Succeeding

Wow an epic day of climbing

Everyone took their turn at the sharp end of the rope on some haaaaaard climbs.
Here are some photos

Wednesday does Rock, yes it does.

Although some of us had to shake loose the heebie jeebies regarding lead climbing, it was an excellent day. Mel and Liz brought a guest. Tamara is a natural, she only has to set her priorities properly, she did a great job! I'll let Richard show the pictures du jour.
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 or visit the website for more useful and fun events. www.recsports.umn/edu/coa

Let's try this

If we combine climbing with Capoeira and yoga we can do this. Who wants to try Free Running or Parkour next week?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cross training fun with yoga

Yoga was fun. Aaron and I have reached a new level in our relationship- anger. I told him that if he cannot speak to me in love-zip it! Jake liked it, my friend and student Nicole loved it. Aaron loved in when the gal next to him fell out of her headstand on him! He will thank me, or seek revenge soon I think. He did fine and he is very flexible, I don't know what all the grumbling was about. I told him, he would sweat. A crowded dark room filled with sweaty half nakedness, what's not to love?
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.