Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Marriage, Grad School, and Bouldering on Plastic

If you read the title of this post and thought that it sounded like the most boring thing ever, well, you'd probably be correct. I'm writing this more as an update, filling in the blanks if you will.

Now, I'm not saying that July was a boring month for me or that I'm not satisfied with my life choices, far from it. But this is a place to write about mountain adventures and neither marriage, grad school nor bouldering at the gym are close to or even really contributing to that. I suppose an outside observer might think that my Sierra solo kick was a last hurrah. Now I'll just settle down and make babies I guess, nothing else to do.

While that may sound reasonable to my parents and in-laws, that's not really the direction I envisage. This next year may be slower than I want it to be in terms of big mountain adventures, but it is a chance to get some other things in line. Marriage really won't be changing much, Caitlin and I have been together for five and a half years at this point and getting married was a formal declaration of our relationship and a great excuse to get everyone together and throw a good party. Grad school is only a year-long program and will ideally allow me to make a little more consistent money while still having enough time off to get gnarly. July was really the first month of classes, along with getting married and attending two other weddings. As a result we were pretty busy.

On top of that it's been very hot in Central Oregon and outdoor cragging has been less-than ideal. So, I took to the gym. I've pretty much decided that this is the year to really work on my technical climbing. I have limited time but a good gym a mile from my house. On weekends Smith, Trout and I-rock are going to be a lower time commitment than a real alpine objective. After taking a week pretty much all off, to recover from those big days in the Sierra, I started pulling on plastic. Let me tell you, V0 feels really strenuous after having climbed nothing harder than 5.7 for the last 100 pitches/3 weeks of your life.

My training program is as follows: Two gym sessions a week, both start with core. The first session I focus on hard bouldering, starting with V0 and working up through the bouldering grades. Once I reach my max (V3-4 because I'm weak) I do 4-6 problems with 3-5 minute rests in between. I then finish by doing as many pullups as I can with a weight belt. Once I can do ten I increase the weight. My second session I go to the hangboard and do 4-6 sets of 5 pullups, alternating between pockets and crimps. Then I go to the bouldering area and do a 4x4 on jug hauls. For the rest of my days I either go running or cragging with whatever time I have. My goal is to continue to average around 300 minutes of aerobic work per week which based on past experience should maintain that fitness fairly well with minimal stress. I'm four weeks in and am already seeing my grip strength and upper body strength improve. Hopefully I can do some multi-pitch rock routes on August weekends and see big dividends from all this training at the crag come fall.

In the meantime here is some stoke... Mt. Hood Climber's Guide just came out and is AWESOME!

My new copy of Mt. Hood Climber's Guide and a set of ice tool leashes I made while I should have been reading my text book. Get stoked for winter!

And, the last wedding we went to was in Leavenworth! Caitlin and I did some hiking up to Colchuck Lake, but only did a short pitch of climbing on the fun Classic Crack (5.8+, FA by Beckey).

Dragontail Peak and Colchuck Lake make for a nice cool/shaded hike with a great view and swimming hole at the end. Get out and climb in the mountains while the weather is good!