Friday, July 24, 2009

Canada Climbing

It's been pretty uneventful since my last post. I'm still up in the Canmore area. I climbed the 13c I was trying (Army Ants) but haven't really done anything else.

I was up at Lake Louise for the past three days and I tried the Path again. This was exciting because I figured out the rest of the moves and had some good links on TR. I'm definitely more psyched about the climb now and am committed to doing it. I'll probably start giving lead attempts the next day I try it. It's definitely going to be a bit scary so it make take some tries to get my head in the right space to be fully going for it. I think it should be mostly safe though. Hopefully the weather cooperates. It's hot right now and then it looks like it will rain a bunch soon. I'm worried that the Path will not dry quickly -- it has many black streaks that are obviously from water running down the face. I have a week to two weeks left here so perhaps I'll get some good conditions.

Today I'm heading up to Acephale and will try Existence Mundane some. I've done the lower crux move a few times now, but I still need to get it more solid if I'm going to link through it from the bottom.

Since I don't have any media from this trip, I thought I'd post some footage I have from a weekend trip I made to Colorado Springs this May. I bouldered two days and got some decent footage. The first day was at a place called Thunder. The rock there was amazing -- some of the best stone for bouldering anywhere. Unfortunately there weren't tons of problems. There was one big boulder with a bad drop off landing that had an inspiring arete with a bit of chalk. I got psyched to do this and then I got psyched to climb a line to the right which I think was an FA. Here's video of those two problems.

Thunder Bouldering, CO Springs from Matt Wilder on Vimeo.

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Hiatus

Ok, so here's the deal. I climbed a lot this spring and in the process probably neglected my PhD work a bit. When I got back from Rumney, I really needed to kick into gear with this work so I put climbing on the shelf. I did make it up to Mt. Evans a few times, but the weather didn't cooperate too well. Mostly I just worked. My motivation for school work was helped by the warm rainy early summer weather we had in Boulder. I also spent a bunch of my time working on house projects. Part of the drive to get all these things done came from my plans to be on a climbing trip all of July which is what I'm doing now.

I've been up in the Canmore/Banff/Lake Louise area of Alberta climbing routes. I've been here for about a week and a half now. So far the trip has been relatively uneventful so I haven't felt the need to rush to get something posted here. Also I don't have any media to share which I usually like to include. It's hard to get photos and video when you are climbing routes mostly with one partner. Maybe I'll get something before the end of the trip.

I had three major goals for this trip. First, have fun and see a beautiful part of North America that is new to me. Second, check out The Path, a 14a trad route at Lake Louise. And third, do more sport climbing and increase my fitness. I don't really do lots of sport climbing so I thought it would be fun to do some on this trip and push myself on some hard routes.

So far the trip has been a success on all points though I haven't completed any climbs of significance. I tried The Path two days and figured out some beta. I'll probably go back soon and work it some more. I'm not sure if I'll commit to going for the redpoint. The route is really long and the setup is pretty involved. Redpoint attempts will be challenging so I'll probably only try to redpoint if I think I have a high probability of success in a few tries. I'm always wary of taking on a project that could just consume the trip. I felt this way about trying the Cobra Crack last summer though that seemed much harder than The Path.

The sport climbing has been great so far. I've mostly been climbing at a crag called Acephale. It's really stacked with hard routes. My main objective is Existence Mundane 14b. I've tried this route two days now and feel somewhat close. I haven't quite done the crux move, but it comes early and I feel that if I figure out how to do it I'll have a decent chance of redpointing. I've tried a few other routes and am looking forward to giving another redpoint burn on Army Ants 13c. I got on the route twice yesterday and came close on my second go. I'm definitely still just trying to improve my fitness. After not climbing too much, I needed some time to get back into things. Hopefully my next two weeks will be fruitful and I'll have some good news to post here. Sorry again about the lapse in posts.