Monday, March 23, 2009

Over at the House of Pain ...

Photo Angel Viloria

... Things are heating up. I am trying to get myself up to a solid 5.10b rating so I can take a lead climbing class. Or just blow away my climbing partner next time we climb (he's been traveling). So I've been busting my butt. It's a bit like training. I've been working on my finger strength, my gear, the chalking up of my hands, and even the taping technique for my effed up fingers. I've been drinking the power drinks, recovery drinks, and sleeping well before climbing.

I mostly am bouldering a V1, which is typically better than a 5.10b. There is some disconnect because bouldering can be short, while climbing a 5.10.b or c route can go on for some time. I can visualize myself bouldering 15 ft of V3, but feel very challenged by 50 feet of 5.11a/b route. go figure? There's a bit of a difference between the two.

Next time I go to the house of pain, I think I am going to finish a V2 bouldering route. I can feel it, which is just a bit more than simple visualization. I know I can do it if I'm fresh.

The interesting bit for me is the obvious thing. I really need to know every piece of my gear is going to work in an optimal way. Last week, as I reached each new level, a different piece of my gear was holding my back. My fingers were stronger, yep. But my shoes wouldn't stick because they were dirty. I cleaned those with sandpaper.

My pants held me back by restricting my reach. I fixed that by changing pants. I strengthened my fingers with one of those Black Diamond™ rings. My hands have started to develop callouses. When I was an active sculptor, my hands were both strong and tough; now they are neither. Ten years of typing and doing not much have softened them up. They will come back.

Tomorrow, I'll be there at the wall, with my fingers taped, my shoes clean, the right pants, a strap for my glasses, and, hopefully, some crazy effing spidey magic.

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