Thursday, October 31, 2013
|Breakfast at Cafe Sofranos.|
I looked over my shoulder, and noticed a diminutive woman speaking accented English. Karen had bronzed skin, the type of color you only get from a lifetime of outdoor activity. She looked fit and her eyes carried an ocean of climbing knowledge.
"You climb this one." She gestured at the end of the wall.
"It's only 8a+."
8a+. I thought about that, did the conversion to the YDS scale Americans use and came up with... .13c. .13c? No fucking way. Even if people claimed Kalymnian grades were a bit soft, that was several grades above my limit.
"Uh, I think 8a+ is a bit too much for me. Maybe something in the 7b range?"
"Oh." Karen was disappointed. She shrugged, then immediately brightened.
"Here, this one. Wonderful climb. You must climb it. 7b+. Easy." Karen was pointing at another climb. My gaze followed her arm, culminating in an interesting 120 feet of stalactites, a giant 40 foot tufa, and a small roof.
"Yeah, I saw that. Saw some monos... not sure about that."
"Mono? Oh yes." Karen wasn't deterred.
"Easy. Your finger goes up to here." Karen pointed to the first joint on her index finger, as if to say that was plenty deep for a mono.
"Look here. The nachtpunkt. You go like this. Then this." Karen showed me how to do what I thought was the crux.
"After that, finished. Easy."
About 20 minutes later, I was perched at the top of the tufa, frantically shaking my arms. If my arms had the power of speech, epithets would have been ringing in my ears.
Easy. Right. Early climbing led to a tough sloper, crossing into a two finger pocket and pulling hard to a decent crimp. I managed the move, and thought, "Finished. Easy."
|Calvin looking at what he thinks is the crux. Sucka.|
|Random climber showing how it's done|
"Did you see that?" Angie whispered.
"Look over there." Angie nodded discreetly.
I did a double take. A woman was climbing topless. On that 8a+, it looked like. She was bronzed, all over, like she'd been climbing outside all her life. I found myself wondering vaguely if the sunburn had ever been rough. Of course, it was Karen.
Monday, October 7, 2013
Friday, July 19, 2013
Rome Ali is a fellow climber at Upper Limits Saint Louis. While climbing in Chatty, he fell and was severely injured. Rome's now facing a long road to recovery and our thoughts are with him. Please click on this link to donate if you can. Every dollar helps.
Friday, June 28, 2013
Shorty's been on my mind for a while now. I climbed it a few times, got close, then the weather got hot. Shorty's short, and the grade, .13a, tells you it's hard for a guy like me. I typically play around on .12s and used to think .13a was something just really, really strong climbers climbed.
The climbing to the start of the crux isn't terribly difficult - some .10 climbing with an interesting move to a decent rest, then some .11-ish climbing (but not alot) directly into the pod. It's enough to get you somewhat tired though, and then Shorty demonstrates why he's the Pimp.
Let's get to Shorty's crux. Begin at a large flake, a bit hard to rest here (I'm shaking out in the vid)... then a big move to a left-hand shallow crimp/gaston. Here, I bring my right foot behind the flake for a nice heel-hook/cam (that nice hook/cam is also why my knee has been tweaked for the last couple of months). I then bump my left hand up to a relatively bad 2-3 finger pocket. Strong climbers (see Christian, Siebert in the following movie and others) dispense with the early heel-hook and bump first. Bumping first is hard. As in, "I can't do it" hard.
After the bump, a heel-hook, whether already in or not, becomes indispensable. I bring my right hand up to the shallow crimp-ston and then it gets interesting. With your right foot locked in, you bring your left foot up into a toe-hook, release the right foot and bicycle the flake. Cool. Stab hard to the left to a good pocket, then bring your right foot in a bit closer so you can clip. Sharp observers will notice that taller climbers (e.g. Siebert, below) can use the pod to do a drop knee instead of doing a toe-hook. It's probably similarly tough either way.
At this point, my arms are a bit rubbery. Reach up to a right-hand bumpy mess, high right foot somewhere (I use the crimp-ston), bring your left hand up to a tough hold, then stab hard to a good ledge. I fell with my right hand on the ledge twice on red-point attempts. You can clip here, or do a couple more moves to a more obvious clipping jug to the right of the chains.
So, to recap: Fun .10 climbing with a V2 move, rest a little, .11 climbing to a V3? move, rest even less, then perhaps a V6? sequence. I don't know if that means .13a, but it's a memorable sequence and feels pretty hard.
Here's much better clip of Siebert on the send. Nicely edited:
Monday, June 24, 2013
Monday, June 10, 2013
|Yoli with max extension on Crown of Thorns, .11c @Brightside|
|Micah, Captain of Team YCR|
|Jaime Kreft on Magnum Opus|
|Yoli entering the crux sloper sequence, Crown of Thorns|
|We Love the Red!!|