Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Laura, Jason, , Kev, and I headed up to Rumney to spend Saturday and Sunday climbing and camping. I would describe the weekend as a rousing success - the weather was gorgeous, the climbing was fun, and the camping was relaxing.

Saturday started with what would turn out to be the hardest climb of the weekend, Obi-Wan Ryobi, a 9+. I lead it, but got sketched out on the early cave crux and spent a bit of time figuring out where the holds were. In retrospect, probably not the best climb to start on.

Me on Obi-Wan.

We then wandered on down to the 5.8 Crag and I set up The Terrace (5.8) for Laura to climb on. It was very slabby and while there weren't really any holds, the climb was very straightforward and fun.

Laura on The Terrace.

Next I got on The Raven, a very long 5.8. This climb spend a lot of time traveling up and to the right, so the falls had the potential to be big pendulums. This was a bit of a sketch out because often I wouldn't be able to see the next bolt so I would just continue up and to the right until something presented itself.

Jason and I then blitzed through Snake Skin Slab (5.8) and Asbury Park (5.7) before calling it a day.

Saturday night found us camping along the clear and cold Baker River. We bought burgers, s'mores, chips, and lots of beer, set a big fire, and generally had a grand old time. Jason fashioned a very functional spatula out of a coat hanger that we used with great success to flip burgers all evening.

I woke up on Sunday a little hung over but otherwise feeling ready to climb some more. I started up on one of my favorite climbs, Bolt Line (5.8). I feel like every time I get on this route the first bolt is less sketchy and the second bolt is more. There are no feet or hands anywhere and my calves were screaming at the end.

Me on Bolt Line.

Jason really wanted to try Lies and Propaganda next, which is a two star 5.9. After the second clip there was a sequence of moves that was a bit scary, but otherwise it was a great climb that was very rewarding to finish.

Jason on Lies and Propaganda.

Following that performance, Jason and I lead and cleaned Sixth Sense (5.6) for Laura. The climb had a few cool overhangs and some other interesting formations that made for a really interesting climb. We also watched some people take some interesting falls and generally be idiots.

To cap off the weekend, we got on Air and Present Danger, a 5.8 that starts at the top of another crag and is phenomenally exposed. The first two clips are sketchy because if you fall you're rolling off the cliff before being caught. The third clip is sketchy because you can't see if until you totally commit to some big moves. The rest of them are sketchy because you can see for miles in every direction and you're super exposed. The climb ends on a pair of really thin hands and no shuts; there is a rap ring and some chain. I was pretty nervous at the end and decided to back up my personal awesomeness system with a second anchor made from three draws strung together. All told it was a great climb to polish of a fantastic weekend.

Andy comes down off of Air and Present Danger.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I think I need a break from running. Since the marathon ended I don't have anything that I'm working towards and running has become something of a chore. I've been inconsistent at best with keeping in shape and at this point, two or three runs a week of 4 miles almost feels like a waste of my time. Mostly I just feel unmotivated and unexcited about the whole thing. My plan is to take a few weeks / months (whatever feels right) off and come back excited and with a goal (what that goal is I have no idea, but something).

My return to climbing has been going pretty well though. Last weekend I bought a bunch of new gear, including quite a bit of cord / webbing / slings and a rope. I took it to Hammond a few days ago with Jason and Kev and we climbed some simple stuff; it was a lot of fun to be outside again. Laura and I went to Metro where I struggled up a 10c, rocked a 10d, and tanked on a 10d/11a; that all tells me that the routes were not terribly consistent but that I am in pretty good shape for how long I've been back climbing. Hopefully some people will want to spend this weekend up at Rumney where I can get in some good solid leads.

My Wood Elves are shaping up pretty nicely. I'm now about 700 points away from having a full 2000 point army painted. In the 10ish years I've been in (and out) of this hobby, I've never had more than a few hundred points of anything painted, and what I had looked like crap. I'm really proud of this army and I think it's going to look great when it's done.

I've also started thinking about what I want to do once the elves are done. I was initially hesitant to start anything new since Spoony will be leaving and the GW store moved out of Harvard Square, but I realized that I'm not much of a gamer anyway so nothing has really changed. Initially I was thinking Deathwing, then I moved to Eldar, and now I'm thinking vanilla marines in the form of Crimson Fists. I like this last idea the most since it allows me to essentially play marines how I'd like to. We'll see though, as I'm going to wait until 5th Edition and the new codex are released (October).

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I'm going for a run after work today, which will be the third time I've run since the marathon. I had such high hopes for maintaining my fitness levels post race, but without a goal to train for I've sort of fallen off the bus. I've also started climbing again, which is taking up the time and energy I used to devote to running.

Yesterday Matt, Pete, and I went to Hammond Pond after work and did some bouldering and traversing. There would have been some top-roping but Matt forgot his rope. The stone at Hammond is called Puddingstone, which essentially looks like concrete with pebbles in it. The pebbles are round and very slick, so footwork is very very important. I spent a lot of time working on my foot placement yesterday and feel pretty confident that I improved quite a bit in the hour and a half we were there. I'm thinking about trying to get back once a week for the specific purpose of traversing to improve my stamina and foot work.

I bought these shoes last week and I'm waiting for them to arrive in the mail so I can use them.

Work has been very stressful the past few days. My office is gearing up for the closing of the dorms, Commencement, our participation in summer orientation, and the general madness that comes with every office at BU trying to get everything done before the school year ends. I have been very busy this whole week and haven't really had any time to screw around, which used to be all I did at work.