Monday, April 20, 2009

Tor: 2009 vintage

I'm calling my last spurt of Owl Tor activity the "Grade IV Train-a-thon". With some long-route prospects materializing for this summer and fall, I've put the steep pockets and jugs of the Tor to peculiar use, with a mind to build endurance over raw power, extended gumption over bursts of burl. Elijah and Phil, you probably think I'm completely ridiculous for using the Tor as a training-gym for trad climbs. Hey, maybe if I lived in Yosemite I could sample the REAL vintages of long, hard, trad routes. Until then, It's the raw whiskey of the Tor, and the occasional two-buck Chuck of Gibraltar.

My Saturday was great. Felt fit, had fun, and watched Elijah and Phil punish themselves on Strictly Ballroom (5.14a?). Managed to cram in 11 burns on 6 routes, and eek out 11 redpoints as well.

Here's my rundown:

Power, 5.11d: two redpoints
Auto Magic, 5.12a: two redpoints
The Natural, 5.12c: two redpoints
Hell, 5.12b: two redpoints
Anchor Punch, 5.12a: two redpoints
The Sea, 5.12a: one redpoint

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tor Season: the gift that keeps on hurting

Today was my first day back at the Tor after a weather-enforced hiatus. I have to admit: I was pretty nervous. The Tor doesn't exactly extend its arms in greeting to climbers. Nevertheless, Elijah, Skip, Justin and I made do with good temps and all-around good vibes. Elijah had a rad burn on BTL. Skip made noticeable progress on both Power and Auto Magic—especially on the latter. Justin finally sent Auto Magic. He crushed it, and he deserves every ounce of elation he surely feels tonight. Justin, I hope you're celebrating with a fine beverage.

Oddly enough, I had possibly my best day of fitness EVER at the Tor. I fired off eleven burns before the day was over, on routes ranging from 5.11d to 5.12c. Of those routes, I accomplished eight redpoints, and when we left I felt like I had another go in me. I should specify that I didn't redpoint eight different routes. I repeated some routes, but I made it a point to never redpoint a route twice. If that makes sense. So here's the breakdown:

Power, 5.11d: redpoint (X2)
Auto Magic, 5.12a: redpoint (X2)
Hell of the Upside Down Sinners, 5.12b: redpoint (X1)
Anchor Punch, 5.12a: redpoint (X1)
When the Sea Doesn't Want You, 5.12a: redpoint (X1)
The Natural, 5.12c: redpoint (X1)