February 28, 2011

Two Days

This last Saturday I got to climb with Jesse M out in Redstone, Colorado. He wanted to fire a mixed ice and rock climb that he took a 30 footer on the weekend before. We stayed in Carbondale with Andrew B from Rock and Ice Magazine. After he cooked us a fat meal and smoked out the whole house with chipotle seasoning on the steak fajitas, we tried to pick out baby names. Long story short, we had a lot of fun rhyming names with Pizem. Oh yeah, by the way my wife and I are going to have a baby this coming August (more on that later). Then we headed to meet DR the owner of Rock and Ice Magazine, who had been establishing ice and mixed routes near his house in the mountains. This photo is of Jesse attempting the second mixed ice route of the day, but the ice over the first route was softening up so quickly that it was extremely difficult to make the campus moves over the roof.
Me at the base of the Silver Surfer. It was real Colorado conditions this weekend with the cold wind, blowing snow, and blizzard like conditions. I had to batten down the hatches and was totally lucky to be wearing the best outerwear on the market. Arcteryx everything!
DR shooting some video while slayed slayed the dragon! The mixed route had ice that was at places no more than an inch thick. This was the first time that I climbed anything so thin. I was way impressed with Jesse's ability to hang in there at the ice was giving way on every placement. He stayed focused and calm and held on until he made it to the next best section of good ice.
The Silver Surfer heads up from the very bottom of the wall to the obvious black streak on the wall. The tiny looking drips to the right of that is called the Honeydripper. We tried to climb that pitch but the ice on it was deteriorating rapidly in the afternoon and made it impossible.
The first thing that I saw on the 5 minute hike from the car to the ice.
That was day one. Jesse sent and we headed back to Grand Junction to see if I could take care of business before the forecasted rain and snow.
piz : )

February 24, 2011

Baby and Shelf Road

Jane's brother, sister and dad checking Mark's new baby boy! The baby is called Oliver : )
Jane bringing pizza to the new baby at the hospital.
Splitter weather at Shelf all weekend. A little rain during the evening, but totally dry by morning.
Shelf road bonfire at Brian's birthday. We ate awesome choclate cake.
Brian (up top) and his wife Deena (bottom right)and Tony hanging out during the rain.
piz : )

February 18, 2011

Excitement in the Air

There is nothing like getting excited about a new project. No matter if it is an established climb or one that you just found. You are certain to think about it all the time. Get sweaty palms, rehearse the moves in your head and look at photos of it when you are away.
Then when you get to the gym, you do everything that you can to try to prepare for the movements on the route. You do your best to make sure that you are precisely placing your feet, standing of similar footholds and grabbing similar holds. You ask the gym manager if you can move a hold around to make things more real and then repeat the process over and over.
Meanwhile you are checking the weather forecast, calling up partners, planning and doing everything you can to make sure that you are ready on the next climbable day. Now it is time to clean your gear, check your shoes and look at the photos again.
If it is a long route, you spend time looking over your notes of rests, gear placements and particulars that cannot be forgotten.
Finally, you get your weather forecast and your climbing partner is ready. It is go time. Now you are standing at the base of the climb with all that preparation behind you. Are you ready? Is your head straight? Are you relaxed and a bit excited? I hope so.
Now you know where my head has been the last few weeks. I am just waiting now, for the weather. Let’s hope it pays off and I can send!

piz : )

February 15, 2011

Ah yeah

Dave's neck after the rope landed on it and then burned it while on rappel.
Some of the cracks that we climbed in the Monument this past weekend. The highest darkest dihedral was a cool overhung crack that turned into a tips lie back for a short distance. It was great fun to plug the gear in and get pumped! Totally recommended.

Dave of the Kirtlands showing off his kit!
Ahh, geese and their V's

piz : )

February 13, 2011

Feb. Weekend in GJ

At the end of the weekend, Jane and I went on a run on the beautiful afternoon along the Colorado River. It was cool because all the Canadian geese were flying overhead and heading up north. Even though Jane isn't in tip top shape these days, she can still out run me!
Dave summiting. Touchdown Jesus for all those Notre Dame fans!
Dave doing the final mantel on another chossy tower in GJ. With gear at his feet and loose rock above he overcame the fear, snow and cold and topped it out in style.
Dave pulling the #0 or second smallest camming unit out of the rock before attempting "the levitation traverse". This is a photo from my new route out in these parts.

piz : )

February 8, 2011

Snow Day... (not)

We have had a bunch of forecasts lately about how it's going to snow and it never had. So last night we actually got snow and everyone is wanting a snow day out of it. We didn't get enough to bother anyone, but in GJ there have been many people willing to wreck their cars all in the name of wanting a snow day. Regardless, here are some more pictures of rock! The top one is of me on a great route in Red Rocks, Las Vegas. An amazing crimpy face climb that went on forever!

Here is my favorite rope from Sterling. The 9.5mm Fusion. It is light and durable and easy to handle. I am not afraid on multipitch routes or while redpointing the short pitches at the local crag. Thanks Sterling Ropes!
piz : )

February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day

Winter should be over soon according to the little fur ball in Pa.
That is good for us rock climbers because we are all itching to "feed the rat" and get back out on the rock. I am looking forward to cleaning up a bunch of local projects of mine this spring and good weather and a high level of fitness will help make that happen.
I am training 4 days a week after work and work meetings.
That normally consists of a 3 mile run and strength conditioning work outs on Mon. and Wed. followed by endurance training at the climbing gym.
On Tues. and Thurs. I am working power by bouldering hard moves with good rests in between.
Then I rest or do yoga on Fri. and hope to climb outside on the weekend. If all goes well and I don't miss any days then my fitness and strength will not only return, but improve in just a few short weeks. Then it is just a matter of having my head in the game when I am leading dicey pitches on the rock. If I am not in the right head space, then it doesn't matter how fit that I am because I won't have what it takes upstairs to focus on what needs to be done while climbing. Everything does have to come together in order to perform at our best!
So get out there, have fun and climb some rock.

piz : )