Monday, March 31, 2008

Pardon my French!

I think we should switch to the following commands. I think it will really help me learn the language for my trip since I spend way more time overtraining with you guys then studying french. And I shall call Aaron 1.0- Le Rocher!

on belay (you are on belay)
"je t'assure" or "tu es assuré(e)"
off belay (I am safely anchored and you may take me off belay now)
"relai" or "vaché"
belay off (I have taken you off belay)
off rappel
le rappel est libre
rock! (I'm dropping something on your head)
"attention!", "rocher!", "pierre!", "sucre!" (used in Switzerland)
rope! (I'm about to pull my rope now)
"attention!" or "corde!"
du mou
up rope
"avale la corde" or "avale!"
"assure sec!", "sec!", "prends-moi sec" (I want to rest)
lower me
"en bas", "laisse-moi descendre", "descends-moi"
"je mousquetonne" or "mousquetonné"
watch me (I'm in trouble here)
"fais-attention", "assure-moi sec", "fais gaffe", "je vole" (off!)

Monday Afternoon at VE

Lisa, Aaron 1 and I were there. My overtraining from Sunday did not help me today so I was a wimp. Aaron and Lisa led several routes - the pink & green ones out of the pit for Aaron and the green one for Lisa. Also, 3 new leads in the roof area near the bathrooms. (I don't know what to call that area. They should name the walls.) One of us had to go home early to take care of his new dog.

We'd like to get a report from Monday night's crew. "J?"

PS, Aaron.2 how did your homework go on Sunday?

My Personal Weather Forecast for This Week

So it looks like Thursday & Friday this week and maybe this weekend too.

Listing of Nicknames for WRers

This is an attempt to get approval from everyone on their climbing handles. Some of these I'm sure of, some of these I'm not because they have not been approved by the person. So let us know if you don't like your assigned name. (Of course, then we'll call you something else much, much worse. Just kidding.)

Lisa - "Sunbeam" (or a bunch of other names I get too tired to type.)
Mel - "Mel-lo"
Julianne - "J"
Aaron 1 - "A1" (He suggested "Take" but I don't think he was serious. Aaron? Anyone?)
Aaron 2 - "Flash"
Richard - "Quick Draw" (Another climbing friend, who you haven't met calls me that or QD)

Other climbers in the gym:
Ward - "The Warden" (officially approved by him)
Mike Nohr - "Mike-san" (grudingly accepted by him; may be changed with a new job to Motor Mike)
Mike who climbs with Hessam - "Emergency Mike" (not officially approved by him yet but he's an ER doctor)
Chris Hirsh - "Dr Smooth" (he loves this name; he just completed a 5.14 at Willow River)

I'm Gearing Up!

I just purchased some of my first anchoring items and I so excited! We learned a good deal at the U of M class and the instructor was great. I would recommend checking out the Center for Outdoor Adventure program if you get a chance.

My family just got back from Cloudland Canyon State Park in Georgia. Wow! What an awesome area with great hikes and beautiful waterfalls. Lots-o-rocks but no climbing in sight.

Funny thing, I was watching the water fall and thinking that would be great to climb frozen! I'm still thawing out.

Julianne showing up at VE Monday night!

Hey all! Hope to see some of you tonight. Aaron.2 and I have a great time bouldering yesterday. We ventured to B2 for a while too. Aaron rocks! =) I'm sorry I got there too late to see Richard and Lisa. Next time. Let's go to Taylor's or somewhere outdoors this weekend if it's nice. Anyone?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Precalculus Problem for Aaron.2

See Flash, (Aaron.2) you can do your homework and read about climbing at the same time on our FullService™ Blog

A belayer is located at the point (x,0) with the climber located at (0,y). with x and y positive.

If the hypotenuse of the triangle passes through the point (3,5), express the area of the triangle formed by the belayer and the climber as a function of x.

the sixth man, Flash!

Thanks for accepting a new member onto the team guys.  I am excited to be part of the group.  Lisa and Richard it was fun climbing with you guys today, thanks for the encouragement.

After Richard and Lisa left VE today I ran into Julianne.  We did some bouldering in both caves and some top roping.  It was great.  I have a hard time with peer pressure and ended up staying a few hours longer than I had initially planned.  Climbing is good physical activity though and pre-calculus can wait!

Needles Trip

Please check your availability for the following dates for a trip to the Needles. We will narrow it down after I see 6 replies in the comment section. May 1-16 and June 15-30.

Here're Some Lead Recommendations for Red Wing

Here are a few of my recommendations for starting to lead at Red Wing. These first few are all in the "New Vice Area:"

Jenna's Chimney - also would be good for practicing a trad lead

Dealer's Choice - very short so maybe not worth the climb up to it

Living Postmortem - this one has a small roof/overhang near the top

Goofed on Skunkweed - you'll love this climb. It's face + crack + a small overhang at top

These are all in the "Annadonia" area:

Too Low for Zero

Danger High Boltage

And the longest lead at Red Wing which will make you stronger at crack, face and slightly overhanging (plus at the top you can see fossilized coral)

Looking for Lust

Obviously this is just a start and many of you will blast past or skip these routes. But I've listed them in the order I think is easiest to hardest. And it takes a little getting used to the rock at Red Wing.

Deals on Climbing Ropes

Lisa and I talked about this website. I bought a short rope (132 feet) last year for climbing at Red Wing, Taylors, etc. I used this rope on the longest climb at Red Wing and found out it is 65 feet high. Perfect for my rope length.

Welcome "Flash" (Aaron.2)

The guy's strong. It almost made me want to go home and bite my pillow when Aaron.2 "Flash" flashed that hard 11 today. Of course, Aaron.1 had already done that same route a couple of weeks ago just to embarrass me. Today, Lisa led one roof route and one overhanging route. She's practicing for her leads at Willow and to complete the "Sleeping Bat" roof at Red Wing.

Lisa and I are trying to figure out outdoor climbing for this coming week. Based on the 5 day forecast, it looks as though the first chance will be this Wednesday. Of course, it all depends on how much snow and rain we get in the next two days. Even with some snow and rain, if the sun's out by Wednesday, it's likely that Red Wing's Winter Wall will be dry and, I hate to even think it, Willow River will be dry. (Oh man, thinking about that last move on that easy(!) climb at Willow, makes me shiver.)

Here's an article I read about falling. 'Cause I'll be doing a lot of falling the next time we climb at Willow.

Another New Addition to the Climbing Crew

Lisa was giving me some heat about not climbing in the past few days, as well as not posting. Well, I guess I should break the news: we have new addition to the W.R. group! Meet Stella; she's a Pit/Boxer mix. I was waiting to introduce her until she learned the basic commands (belay on, belay off) but Lisa demanded an explanation of why I wasn't climbing as much as I should be. Stella is having a hard time grasping the fact that V.E. doesn't all0w dogs on the autobelays; and she's only climbing at a 5.6 so she isn't ready for Red Wing. Thus, I've been stuck at home taking care of my new little girl. I will be climbing on Monday, and hope to see everyone there in the early afternoon. Julianne and Mel, when are you climbing this week? I'm looking forward to being in the presence of greatness again! If the weather looks good, we should all plan a sick day and head up to Taylors Falls! Cough, Cough, keep me posted!

Welcome Aaron 2!

I made a bold move on my own today team, but I think you will approve. I spent some time climbing with the "emergency standby Aaron" today and I decided that he has "the stuff"to be on the Wednesday Rocks team. I actually think the "Flash" would be a better nickname. But that is up to him to decide. He just moved here from Oregon and is a student at Argosy University. It's been 5 months and he wanted to meets some like-minded people so he joined VE. Good move! He also reads our blog religiously. So, welcome Aaron.
Other news from Sunday. They ran out of lead ropes! Lame! So you might want to throw one in the trunk of your car. Ward just got back from a great time at Red Rocks. Russell wants me to yogify him. Richard was ripping up all the routes and I climbed to my satisfaction. The original Aaron has news too, I'll let him share it. I'll be at VE Monday at 1:18, I hope not to experience lonliness.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sunday, a day of rest

Oh never mind that. Richard and I will be at VE at 10:00. We would love to see your faces.

Mel-lo tries a new thing or two.

Mel-lo and I went climbing at VE today. She showed me her newly aquired anchoring knowledge down in the pit. I pretended to be a tree and she anchored me good. That girl knows her knots! Now she just has to go shopping. We left the pit. If you want to know why, I will tell you personally.

We found an amazing variety of new routes to climb and had a nice workout. Mel discovered that she can put her toe in a bolt hole and get some push out of it. I think this is a skill she will use often, actually.

I also managed to pry the notes from the U of M anchors class out of her hand and I will post them here. She looks forward to sharing this anchoring system on a crag nearby soon! It's cool, less futzing around. And that is always good.
Here's the two page handout on anchoring page one and page two.

OK, Who's Willing to Talk About Themselves

I heard a blues song today with part of the lyrics "If silence is golden, you'd never earn a dime." See, I already know I talk too much so I thought that was funny. But you people aren't talking enough.

I know there's more to life than climbing so let's talk about other topics than just climbing. I know some of you have trips planned so that'd be fun to hear about. I know Lisa's going on a hiking trip to France with hubby. And I know she's done something like that before - I think she hiked across Great Britain in one day. (My memory might be hazy on the details.)

As usual, since I opened my big mouth, I'll tell you where I'm going April 11-16th. I'm going with my brother mountain biking in Moab. Now there's lots of climbing in Moab - Indian Creek, Arches, Potash Road but I've never climbed there.

Because the biking is so fun. For example, here's a short ride that's not hard where you ride your bike right up bare rock passing footprints of dinosaurs. Is that cool, or what? Here's the classic ride called "Slickrock Trail" where you ride the entire time on bare rock. Steep bare rock. You get a Man Card when you're done. (Usually they attach it the leg cast you receive when you crash.) And then there's another favorite of mine "Bartlett Wash" where you ride up, down, all around big amphitheaters of bare rock.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Fun with Richard at Red Wing

Yes, it was fun. The sun was out and warmed up the Winter Wall to a comfortable temperature. We saw some folks from VE (Liz, Richard, Tyler). My new shoes were just the ticket to success on "Sleeping Bat" as well as an unassisted "Jump Start". Richard lead these two with grace and poise and THEN! He climbed right up "Suicide Squeeze" He was delighted and it was VERY impressive. So, I bought him a beer.

I hear Mel and Julianne climbed at VE. So if you could make a report on the evening's festivities as well as a report on the Anchors Class we would all love to hear about it.

Mel and I will be at VE 1-4 p.m. Saturday. It would be good to see you all.

Sunbeam Leads at Red Wing

Lisa, John and I (& John's dog Buster) showed up at Red Wing today to kick some Limestone butt. Which we did, kinda.
It didn't get above 44 degrees. But the sun was out - thanks Sunbeam - and the wind was non-existent. There's still only about 1/4 of the Red Wing bluffs warm enough and dry enough to climb. So we were limited to the Cyclops and the Winter Wall area. Where most of the climbs are over our head - in both ways.

So we climbed "Sleeping Bat in a Ziplock Bag" and "Jumpstart." And what a difference Lisa's new shoes made. (It can't be that's she's stronger or better - it must be the new shoes.) She roared up "Sleeping" and then used her height advantage to figure out a new way to leap high in the air and grab the ledge on "Jumpstart." Hoo Ray.

Then she did her first outdoor lead on "Sleeping Bat." Not quite the whole thing, but close. (About halfway up, she did her impression of one of Elvis's legs. Next time you see her, ask if she'll demonstrate it.)

I led one of my bugaboos from last year - Suicide Squeeze (great name, huh?) and finished it, so I was happy. And Lisa bought me a burger and a beer on the way home. Cool, huh?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Let's go to Red Wing Friday

If the sun's out, let's get down there about 1PM. Which means meeting at 12:15 at Hwy 52 and Concord Blvd. Just south of where Hwy 55 intersects with Hwy 52. I think there's a Caribou Coffee there as well as a big Holiday gas station. Call me - or Lisa for more info.

PS I apologize to Lisa for not being more clear about not climbing on Thursday. I know how lonely it can be all by yourself at VE.

Burnt Toast

Ok Richard never actually said he would be at VE today. Aaron said he might not but assumed Richard would be there, even Nora overslept! Climbing alone is so sad! I missed you guys a lot. On Wednesday Mel was afraid that she stood up Aaron and Richard, then she found out we all went to Willow! Jeeeez. I guess this is why we have a blog, yes, that is why we made it. So here is the scoop. J. Mel and I Are climbing Friday at 5:00 p.m. at VE. Mel and I are checking the weather for Saturday morning, there might be a run to Taylor's Falls. Mel needs to set an anchor, she is VERY excited about it. Holler if this sounds interesting.

Here is VE News from Steve.

Hey guys. Ice is over, except for the ice I put in my drink on a warm spring day, sitting on my porch, enjoying the cardinals singing in the treetops. . . Oh yeah--climbing. Some things you should know:

1) Anchors/Rockin'. You probably need to know how to set up top ropes safely and quickly using both artificial and natural pro. We teach this every other Saturday morning starting April 5 (a week from this Saturday). In the afternoon, stick around, climb on your top ropes, move them, climb some more, then debrief in downtown Taylors Falls over a cold one. If you are headed towards trad lead (see below), this is an excellent first step.

2) Traditional Lead Climbing. This is a one-day class that starts at the beginning and takes you through mock multipitch leads. Didn't think there was multipitch climbing at Taylors Falls? Guess again (of course, a pitch is about fifteen feet). See the website for dates.

3) The North Shore. My favorite Minnesota climbing destination. We spend a day at Shovel Point (Tettegouche SP) and a day at Palisade Head, long pitches high above Lake Superior. Rough it, or stay in a B & B. ( I can give you some hot leads).4) Devil's Lake, Wisconsin. We have several trips to this climbing destination on the books. Devil's Lake is a favorite destination for people throughout the Midwest: many routes, long long pitches, excellent face and crack climbing, a beautiful setting in a state park. Usually a week-end trip.

4) Needles/Mount Rushmore and Devil's Tower. No one does this trip better than we do. You can do Needles/Mount Rushmore or Devil's Tower, but why not do both, once you've driven all the way out there?!

5) Top Rope Site Manager. You are belaying somebody, they reach a ledge, get dizzy, sit down, and can't move. What do you do? This two-day class is designed for climbing professionals who do outdoor groups, but contains essential information and practice for keeping you and your buddies safe, both in bottom belay and top belay settings. Taught at Devil's Lake.6) Rock Guide Seminar. This five-day class at Needles/Mount Rushmore and Devil's Tower is for climbers who want to lead other climbers in multipitch trad settings. If you are already leading trad, but want to move into a multipitch environment, or need to know more to keep you and your climbing buddies safe, this is an excellent course.

Still with me? Get dates and prices on-line: Need more information? Just lonely? Call me at 651-253-4903. If you reach my voice mail, don't hang up. That's the message for my other business.Can we create a custom group for you and your family or your buddies? Wanna go someplace that's not on this list? Just call.See you at the crag!Steve Davis, Field Instructor

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sunbeam Climbed with Us Today and the Sun Came Out

Here's Aaron leading

Here's Lisa cleaning the climb

And here I am almost making it to the top

Just like Aaron and I thought yestesday, if we had Lisa with us, it'd be a better day. So, despite my saying it'd be a long time before I returned to Willow River, today we climbed at Willow River again. And Sunbeam (Lisa) was with us as well as the real sun. And she did her first two climbs at Willow today. Including cleaning the draws on a hard 5.10d.

Unlike yesterday, it was warm enough because the sun was out on the south-facing cliffs. (Another day we'll discuss how crazy it is for us to think 45 degrees is warm. That's really crazy!)

We did the same two climbs as yesterday. And we still could not finish that one climb. We tried everything except an elevator and couldn't get to the last bolt.

Still we made a valiant effort and proved the WR theory - "You can't overtrain by climbing every day because you're too busy climbing to get tired."

Hey, You Anchoring Students

How was your class? What did you learn?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Short Willow River Video

We couldn't film each other so here's the best we could do.

Lisa Misses a Day of Climbing and Class

She had to go to LaCrosse and missed Aaron's and my adventure at Willow River today. And, apparently, she has to miss the anchors' class tonite. (Of course, she's the one who took my spot in the first place.)

Anyway, we sure missed Sunbeam with us today at Willow River. We needed someone who could pop up like toast because we couldn't. (We also missed the sun which would have helped with our fingers.)

This was our first trip to Willow and I don't know when I'll go back. It's plain hard. The setting, alongside a rushing river - so loud the leader and the belayer couldn't hear each other - should be peaceful and relaxing. Instead, to me, it looked evil. Could be the dark, ragged rock soaring 60 feet overhead. Or the imminent danger of rockfall or just our unfamiliarity. We did two different routes - one we completed and one we had to back off from. Some photos:

This is the easiest route there.

It was cold - about 40 with a wind.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Pushing the Season

Just a few more photos of our mid-March expedition to Red Wing. A memory of a happier Richard, as now he is kinda sad. He wants to play outside. To his dismay, it snowed in March, in Minnesota. Don't worry Richard, the snow will melt and the rocks will bloom.


Richard and Mike and I started the day in the pit, a fine way to begin a week. Two days off was not as beneficial as I had hoped. Richard made real progress on the dreaded sidewinding move on the pink route. After Mike left, Richard worked on some 11 ish upsidedown routes out of the cave. He is one determined fellow. I explored the nuances of my new "tiny man shoes" pain aside, I like 'em. There all kinds of new possiblilties on the natural wall. Richard worked on a killer red route above the window. What strength! What balance! What stubborn determination! Are you German?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Oh my gosh, weird weather at VE today

It was raining men.

Lisa Rocks (so do Levi and Aaron)

Here'a a video from Friday

Friday Climbing - Lisa leads 4 roofs and Levi...

Levi passes his lead test, does 3 other leads while we watch stunned. Aaron does some hard leads & I do some stuff. But who was paying attention? All eyes were on Lisa as she completes her first double roof lead, then does another double roof lead and just misses finishing that one. (Of course this was after she finished leading her famous pink, overhanging route.) Kids these days, whaddya gonna do?

Levi definitely gets a Man Card.

The Gap

Looking for a way to fill the gap between Ice climbing and rock climbing? Looking for a way to enjoy all the melt and runoff. Nora and crew are there. This is just NUTZ! and I mean that in a good way. I asked her the other day for beta on Sandstone, she didn't know, been "sittin' in water all week. Check out

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Another Ice Climbing Video

This is a video I just finished of ice climbing in Sandstone a week ago. It's where the whole "give me something 'cuz I found your lost ice tools" started. I don't know if it's of interest to those of you who weren't up there - I know it's kinda dull watching others climb. But since we can't seem to get any warm Spring weather to go rock climbing, here's some winter ice climbing.

Tuesday at VE

Lisa, Aaron, Levi and I showed up for another day of overtraining. We did some stuff then we went home. Some of us did a lot of shoe shopping. We also helped our new friend Aaron 2 pass his lead test. Here's a video of Lisa getting almost to the top of the dastardly green route in the pit and Aaron 2 doing his first two leads. Music suggested by Lisa. (I'm open to any musical suggestions you have. Just let me know.)


Hey everyone! I just wanted to share this link with you. There is a lot of info on setting up top-ropes, as well as the basics. Hope everyone finds this information usefull (or at least interesting?!)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday at VE

We had a special climbing guest today at VE - Levi. He joined Lisa, Aaron and me. He passed his belay test so he could belay his Mom - see below for proof. Then he watched Lisa lead the long green climb out of the pit. Aaron and I worked on our leading today and got to the top of a new one for us. Not clean yet, but we're happy 'cuz it's marked an 11b. (Someone else who'd already climbed it said, "No, it's probably a 10c/d." OK, maybe. But we're still happy.)

Here's a song in honor of Lisa and Levi.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I've signed up for a way-past-my-ability class at Midwest Mountaineering. It's a multi-pitch rescue technique class. I have a thing with learning, not so much a thing with doing. VE teaches the same class for a charge. Here's the details:

Climbing Self Rescue 101
Have you ever wondered if your partner (‘the more experienced one’) had a problem? How would you deal with it? Learn the basics of belay escapes, self-belay and mechanical advantage systems. Expert climber Dave Watson will share his extensive climbing and safety knowledge with you. Recommended items: shoes, harness, belay device, daisy chain, biners, cordelettes, other rescue equipment you have.
I believe Dave Watson has climbed Everest twice and will be climbing K2 this summer. Register by calling 612-339-3433 or emailing Ted at

We also met a couple of guys at the gym today that are interested in building up their climbing club. They are with the MN Rovers Outdoors Club and will meet this summer at Taylor's Falls on Friday late afternoon. It's a good time for me, since I'm open in the evenings more. But they could be an interesting group...I won't judge a book (or club) by it's cover.

Willow River State Park

I thought I would post since I have been there recently. It's about 20 minutes from my house, a Woodbury rendezvous would be appropiate. I have a Wisconsin State Park Sticker on my car, I know how to get there, I've looked at the bolts and I even know where the tavern with the good burgers is located. The routes are on either side of a waterfall and very backhung. The north side is basically a big shallow cave. Every thing I've read about the climbing here makes me feel intimidated. It would be great for all you 11+ climbers. But you know me, I'm there for party. It is also the perfect location for us because it is closed Friday through Sunday. If we hit a nice day, next week looks better than this week weather-wise, we could take a run out to Willow River and take a look-see, with ropes of course.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Saturday at VE

Saturday followed Friday and that's a good thing. If we were into rules, I would make one that said, "no climbin' at the gym the day after epic outdoor adventure" but that would really cut into our overtraining.
Mel and Liz hosted Mr. Levi at VE today and even ran into a couple of women on the edge from St. Andrew's and Mahtomedi's favorite science teacher (he must call me Lisa now, Mrs. Ender? NO!)
Mel climbed with grace and poise as always, a consistantly great climber and not a frequent faller. What Levi lacked in endurance (because of his choice to boulder), he made up for in enthusiasm. As I said, he's me, in a man body. He had a hard time giving up the 5.11b in the NW corner. Jeeez, it's an 11.b for cryin' out loud. I made up with Ryan.
I am still looking for a date to the Omnitheater and am free tonight!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Photos of Thursday's Climbing at Red Wing

Here are a few of Lisa doing "Sleeping Bat in a Ziplock Bag." More photos here

Red Wing Rocks on Thursday

OK, so we looked at the forecast this morning and said, "We gotta climb outside because the weather ain't gonna get any better for the next week." Or words to that effect. So we - Lisa, Aaron and I - trundled down to Red Wing. (Oh yeah, I brought my dog "Buddy." Creative name, don't you think?)

Most of the climbing walls were too wet to climb. But our intrepid group would not be stopped. Our friend John joined our lively group at this point and we led up "Too Low for Zero" And Lisa did her first climb at Red Wing. And her first outdoor Winter rock climb. (We decided it's still officially Winter 'til next week.) Yahoo! Standing on the snow to start, using cold rock for handholds. Freezing her little paws. Then Aaron did his first outdoor lead "Danger High Boltage." Starting on the snow, going up to the first snow-wet ledge, and up to the top. Man, that's one way to work up a sweat!

Now we were cold so we went over to the 'Winter Wall' area which was sunny but windy. There we climbed "Jump Start" which, guess why it's called that, has a big jump to a ledge at its start. This was more like it: sun, warm rock, big exposure, nice people (some of them at least.)

But we weren't done; not this group. We wandered over to the 'Cyclops Area.' Amazingly enough, there were no crowds waiting to do the popular routes despite it being sunny and warm with no wind. So we chalked up and climbed "Sleeping Bat in a Ziplock Bag." A diverse climb - slopey, slabby, juggy, roofy, scary. Lisa went to the top, as did the rest of us. (Except for poor Buddy who was waiting to climb but no one would tie the rope for him. Ahhhh.) Aaron led this one and declared it was exciting. Especially the part where you climb over a roof and well above your clip. ("Roof, roof" is what dogs say when they're climbing high up past a clip.)

So that was it. We packed up and went home. Not! Next we climbed "Urban Chunks." (I don't think that description is quite accurate. There's a very tough 2nd clip which could result in a ground fall and a tough last clip. C'est la vie.) And we experimented with this technique for retreating off a sport route:

Which is faster to do than to describe.

Then we drove home. Not yet! We stopped at King's Inn and had a peanut butter, mayo, lettuce hamburger. We almost did. It's on the menu. Really, it is. Plus some tasty beer. Then we went home. To bed. To get up tomorrow and do what.... overtrain at VE. Yahoo!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

More Sandstone Ice Climbing

Julianne asked if I had some more photos of our ice trip on Tuesday. Here's a link to them.

Or a slideshow with music

Wednesday at VE

Aaron and I had to climb alone because Mel and Lisa had a private climbing arrangement. At least they spoke to us, even if they wouldn't climb with us. Julianne actually allowed Aaron to climb with her. Photographic proof below. (Julianne arrived earlier than planned because her new job had a party today. That's a good gig; work two days, party one day.)

Of course, Aaron and I did some amazingly difficult, almost impossible climbs. I don't know what Mel and Lisa did. Couldn't see them from where we were moping around without them.

Richard Scores!

Because Richard is nice and has good eyesight we have "WR Gear"! If you would like to borrow the team ice axes, let me know. Preferably we will all be climbing together and we can share but if you have a solo opportunity, let me know and YOU can use 'em.

Everest and the Alps are showing at Omnifest nightly at 8 and 9 p.m. I'm flying solo this week and need a belay in that omnitheater. I think it's a 5.5. Shoot me an email in interested.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ice Climbing at Sandstone on Tuesday

Here's what I did on Tuesday. It was a perfect weather day for ice climbing. Bummer is, it was an even better day for outdoor rock climbing. And, if I would have brought some quick draws, we could've climbed rocks at Sandstone as well as ice. Here are a few photos. I plan on being at VE on Wednesday. Anyone else?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Excellent Work by Julianne on the Arches at VE on Friday

Thanks to sparkling camera work by Lisa, expert belaying by me and, of course, most excellent hand and foot work by Julianne, here's a video of her climbing both sides of the Golden Arches today.

Talked to Pat at VE About Climbing in the Black Hills

I talked to Pat at VE the other day about climbing areas and recommendations he had for our group in the Black Hills. I did buy the newest guide book called "The Needles" that has a lot of climbs listed in Custer State Park which includes the Needles, the Sylvan Lake area, the Cathedral Spires and a new area called Moonlight Ridge. Nothing in this book about the Rushmore area which is just outside Custer State Park. There are many more routes described online than in this book but this book has better maps and puuurty pictures.

OK, here's what Pat said.

1. Moonlight Ridge area - about half sport and half trad. Close to Needles parking lot. He and his wife love to climb here. No specific route recommendations.

2. Sylvan Lake area - He likes the "Riddle" route. It's fun on its own and can be used as a top rope for two other harder climbs.

3. Rushmore area - almost all sport climbs. He recommends "Chopping Block" which he called a "juggy, gym roof climb."
Also he likes "Bolts for Bob" and "Waves."

From what I've seen of everyone's climbing, none of these is past your abilities for leading. It'll take a few climbs out there to get the feel of the rock, but these are well within what you can lead.

Hostage Crisis Averted, Overtraining Myth Debunked

Richard was climbing at peak performance today. Although he had his eye on some new leads in the pit, they were never available to him. So he climbed back and forth across the golden arches with encouragement from his most excellent belayer. He was indeed climbing strong and mentioned the success of the overtraining method employed by the WR team. It must be noted however that he has been cross training on skiis for 6 days.
Oh and I got my shoe back, it’s unharmed and still turns my foot green.
J.’s climb? A video is worth a thousand words, it was a thing of beauty, grace and very little grunting. I'm sure the video will be posted shortly.

I'll be there on Friday

Hope to see some of you today at VE! My last time of day climbing... =(
I may be bringing two college girls to try climbing as well.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Lisa ignores starving people to climb at VE on Thursday

On Thursday, Aaron and I were climbing away not expecting any other WRers. He showed up even though he's still recovering from his overclimbing of Wednesday when he and Julianne did their Golden Arches climbs. (Lisa said they sounded like grunting bats. I'm sure, if I were there, they would have sounded to me like well-conditioned athletes.) Then Lisa shows up when she's supposed to be feeding poor people or raising money for them or doing something that's definitely not as important as climbing with Aaron and me. And then the party started.

So we did a few leads and a few top ropes and I was whipped. Whipped by that 11 that Julianne and Aaron led a few days ago. Whipped by that Golden Arches climb that they did twice yesterday. So, I haven't been climbing for 6 days and I'm not any stronger. I think the overtraining strategy is way better than this strategy. And the worst part of today was, Lisa had to leave early so she could help the hungry people instead of us.

iF U r NoT LiSa DoN't ReAd tHis

We have a potential hostage situation on our hands at WR. I received this photo addressed to Lisa a short while ago. I think it's for her eyes only, so don't look at it if you're not Lisa. (If you are Lisa, click on the photo to enlarge. If you're not her, go do something else. This is not a joke! So don't laugh.)

Pumpfest 08'

Since Richard, Lisa and Mel all decided to break tradition by not showing up for Wednesdays overtraining session; it was up to Aaron and Julianne to represent Wednesdays Rock at V.E. We decided to answer a question that was never asked: should a person go over the arch head first, or feet first. After the arch, Julianne flashed the green lead route in honor of Lisa, and Aaron FINALLY made the last clip on the red lead out of the pit.
In other news: Richard is climbing today, Yay!!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I'm back. Here's some real ice climbing

I took a photo today at Provo Canyon (about 30 minutes south of Salt Lake City airport) of ice climbers doing this climb. You probably need to enlarge the photo to see the two climbers I've circled.

There are lots of ice waterfalls in this canyon. All close to the highway. Here's another one just a little bit east of the first one.

So Richard can dive back in..

Wed afternoon: J. & Aaron
Wed night: Liz, Mel, Carl
Thurs: Aaron, I think.
Friday Afternoon 12:30: Liz, J. and maybe Mel (because noon is too embarassing)
The Weekend Aaron, Carl, Liz are out of Town
Monday 1:18: Just Liz? say it ain't so! Richard!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tuesday Climbing!

"I'm not climbing it, you climb it. Make Julianne climb it, she'll climb anything."
Aaron and J. practiced hanging upside down underneath the arch, They were good at it too! Just like little grunting bats. Sorry I couldn't go get my camera. The action was far to exciting to tear myself away. Carl showed up too, as they threatened to stop giving him vacation time if he didn't start to use them. It was music to Liz's ears. It was a very good day. Liz and Aaron stayed well away from the pit of shame, I mean the center ring. Looks like Friday might be a big day.

Tuesday Climbing?

Hey folks: Anyone interested in climbing today? I was in Kansas over the weekend and hanging out with my 12-yr old nephew on Monday so couldn't climb. I'm heading over this afternoon, if anyone is interested in joining me. I think I'll get there maybe at 1.30?

The Circus Came to Town!

You guys should have been there, it was great! V.E. unknowingly hosted two amazing circus acts on Monday. The first act was an awesome high-wire trapeze show. The performer climbed a lead route and then, mid-wall, demonstrated an awe-inspiring swan dive, only to be caught feet from the ground by a truly talented belayist. He repeated this feat numerous times for eager onlookers.
The main show was pure genius! The aforementioned belayer took center ring when she demonstrated high altitude yoga poses for the crowd. The climax of the show occurred when she performed "dog facing down" under the roof; and held that pose for 3 minutes! Grown men blushed and parents shielded the eyes of thier young. Just as circus go-ers were calming down, she finished her demonstration with a beautiful assent to the top of the route!
When asked if the show will return, V.E officials stated "I hope not."

Monday, March 3, 2008

Blog Silence

Aaron and Liz did climb on Monday and have taken a vow of silence on the subject. Don't ask and we won't have to hurt you.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Saturday with Aaron and Grant

It was fun to see Grant so excited about climbing with his Dad. The 3 of us climbed together a few times. Then I went bouldering and they kept on overtraining. Some photos below:

Stillwater Ice Recon

It was a pretty day and atrip down memory lane to the place that we used to bike to and wade to the islands to party as kids. This ice is tall, it would be climbed in 2 pitches. Ice screws are needed for protection, so it is a lead route. I didn't think the amount of ice was worth a climbing trip. There was a guy and his wife there climbing it. You can see him near the top. He didn't bother climbing the bottom, he just hiked up to the top. Again pretty day for a hike....