August 30, 2013

Places I Want to Get Back to This Fall

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

 Ophir wall in Ophir Colorado. It's up to 800ft tall and perfect. Lots of cool routes that are way techy and way pumpy! (it is next to Telluride if you are wondering) The last time I was climbing there was about 10 years ago.
 The view from the wall. I think we are on the ledge called the Tennis Shoe Traverse.
 Me on Morning Glory. Totally rad and one of the best routes that I have ever climbed.
 Lake City Crag aka gods Crag. Yeah it's awesome!
 Great features and angles at the wall!
The Possibility wall at Mt Evans. Still the hardest route that I have ever tried is waiting to be freed. It is going to take one of the big boys or girls to send. Three seasons of training and working it brought me to a barely one hand ascent.
 
Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

August 29, 2013

Treadwall Training with Piz: First Timer on My Wall

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

video
This is a short video of a first timer on my Treadwall.

My wall is set at a steeper angle than most people climb at regularly, which makes even the "easiest problems" challenging. I think that the wall is right around 50 degrees overhanging which makes the best holds seem small when you have to do a lock off, reach, climb sideways or pretty much do anything.

Grip strength is something that may not come into play on slabs and even vertical routes, but is a game changer on overhanging terrain. Moves become impossible when you can not even hold on. How often do you work your grip strength?

The drop knee is an essential skill to master when climbing overhanging terrain. If you choose to not use them, you will need more power and strength to do simple moves and way more when doing challenging moves. Additionally, you will pump out sooner due to being less efficient with your moves.

Also, making reaches/pulls off holds is more difficult due to the fact that you are overhanging. You must learn to use your feet more efficiently along with your core. I will discuss the specifics in later videos and posts, but I want you to start thinking about what it really takes to move efficiently on your wall whether it is more vertical or more steep.

Let me know what you think this climber needs to do to improve.

August 27, 2013

Treadwall Training with Piz: Mayan Smith Gobat

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

video
Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WindX-treme

Just a little clip of Mayan working out some moves on the treadwall.

Who else is using treadwalls?
I know a few pro's like: Josh Wharton, Andy Reather, Bill Ramsey, Ben Rueck and many others.

This thing is no joke people. Using one systematically to build and develop ones weaknesses is a sure fire way to enhance your climbing skills from technique to strength. By no means does it work with your lead head. That is the mental part of climbing training and that has to become a way of life your attitude, your perspective, but it will take you to a higher level when used appropriately.

August 26, 2013

Training with Piz: Controlling Your Body

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

In this current video: http://www.rockandice.com/video-gallery/adam-ondra-sending-move-5-15b
Adam Ondra is climbing and in absolute control of his body while in this video.

I want you to watch the following things: (His actions are calculated and precise).
  • notice how well he puts his feet back on the wall after he cuts them. (strong core/great footwork)
  • watch his core throughout each movement. (it doesn't sag on the steep terrain/staying tight is best on overhanging rock)
  • watch how he uses momentum to make reaches to the next grip. (he is not locking off nor lunging, but almost swinging and pushing hard with his feet and then tightening his core upon grabbing the next hold, then finally relaxing)
  • watch how his body falls into a natural position where he is on a straight arm rather than a contracted arm (bent/locked off) (he hangs as a child would on a jungle gym it is most efficient to be able to "let go" on holds.)
  • watch the speed at which he can climb (decreases pump/time on bad holds/knows where he is going)
  • listen to his breathing (this is a huge part of being successful (don't hold your breath) promote blood and oxygen flow to decrease being oxygen deprived)
I am sure that I missed something else, but the big question that you need to ask yourself concerns whether or not you are doing some or all of these things while you climb. If you are not then you are building in small ways to fail when you are attempting to climb at your max.

You actually are never climbing at your maximum if you don't have these physical things under control and the mental game too. Check out Eric Horst's: Maximum Climbing book to rethink how you approach your mental training for climbing and your life.

August 25, 2013

Treadwall Training with Piz: Keeping a Logbook

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

This one describes the information that I record regularly about my training sessions.
I apologize about having to click on the you tube link, but blogger doesn't like videos that are longer than a few seconds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JwdvyhnXyY&feature=youtu.be

Start keeping track of what you do. You will quickly find out what you are and what you are not working on! Then you wont wonder why your training is or is not working effectively!

Let me know if you have any questions, I would love to discuss them here on the blog so everyone can learn.

Oh yeah, I will clearly describe my training cycle on the Treadwall in a future video. Stay tuned!

Have a great week!

piz : )

August 22, 2013

Training with Piz: Leg Raises on Rings

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

video

Here is another version of leg lift. This would be a progression from using some fixed point: such as a dip bar or between two solid objects.

Focus on keeping your core tight, legs straight and arms locked off at 90 degrees.
Raise your legs to your waist or above and then back to just before.
Focus on being under control and attempt to not allow your legs to hang freely below you at any time.
It is also important to not go so quickly with the movement that you are not under control.
Focus on good form and determine a proper number for you to repeat in about 3 sets.

How does this apply to your climbing?
If you are climbing any kind of overhanging terrain and your feet cut, you will have to get them back on the wall while maintaining control. This will assist you in that process.

Craggin Classic: Salt Lake Edition!! Sponosred by CAMP and The American Alpine Club Aug 23-25

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

Check out the link below to get more information about what the American Alpine Club can do for you!
http://www.americanalpineclub.org/p/craggin-classic

I will be at the Salt Lake one this weekend! Come on out and join us and if you are not a member join up and support the climbing community and get some great benefits or just climb with all kinds of psyched folks including me!!

I have not been to the Albion Basin and I hear it will be cooler than sweaty SLC. That sounds like a plan worth following through with to me.

I am proud to be a member and ambassador of the AAC.

Pain in the Back!

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

Ever since the Summer Outdoor Retailer Trade Show in Salt Lake City about 3 weeks ago, I have been having to manage my severe low back pain. In 2006, I broke my low back in a fall while attempting to complete a first free ascent in Yosemite. Since then, I have had to train regularly, (Training with Piz blogposts) which helps me maintain use and a mostly pain free existence.

But something odd happened this time around at the end of July, the pain that would come every once in a while has stayed and impacted my everyday movement and to the point where I am now heading to get assistance regularly from the chiropractor. I can no longer touch my toes, do certain stretches and even sit up normally. Getting in and out of the car is not easy, lifting and setting down my fifteen pound 10 week son is actually difficult. I have even been cutting back the intense training sessions because I feel that they are too much for a healing back.

I am nearly 40 and with pride say that I am very fit. I know that I am whining, but it sucks to say that our bodies, no matter how well we take care of them and exercise them can still break down whether we want them too or not.

Now, my wife will say that every time that I have a set back or minor injury, that I freak out and immediately think of the worst case scenario (which would be me never being able to climb and push myself again physically) but as I get older I often have those thoughts and wonder when that day will come.

To those who are living the dream and feeling invincible, love it, enjoy it and relish in the moment whether it is fleeting or for years because no matter who you are and how fit you have become, it won't last forever.

See you out there on the rocks!

August 13, 2013

Treadwall Training with Piz: Setting with Intent (crimps)

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFl_icslfXw

The link above shows a short video about how to set with intent. Check it out!

BE sure to make each route that you set have meaning. You are designing climbs that will develop your weaknesses and make them your strengths. Training is not about goofing off and trying a random order of climbs but specifically determining what sequence will benefit you the most.

Do you want to set crimps, lock off, long moves, lateral movements, underclings, jugs, pinches, bad feet, smearing, flagging, back steps.... the list goes on.

Start by taking an inventory about what you do and what you don't do in your climbing!

Then become systematic about your training, whether it is on a woodie or in a gym or on your Treadwall!

Feel free to leave comments and ask more!!

Treadwall Training with Piz: Warming Up

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtrFalGV9Uo

Check out the next video about how to properly warm up before a session on the wall!

August 12, 2013

Treadwall Training with Piz: Hold Choice Menagerie Climbing Holds

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme
There are 112 reasons to like these holds from Andy Reather. Even though there will be nearly 700 reasons very soon.
Even though, Andy has climbed hard all over the world and has trained in the best facilities around, he still wanted to make the best climbing holds with the most useful shapes.
So he did. Low profile and small sets of holds that work the fingers are what you will find. Great for the big gyms and perfect for a home woodie or Treadwall.
I will be sharing how they perform in the next posts so stay tuned!
 Check out his forthcoming website and Menagerie Climbing on Facebook.
Happy training, sending season is just around the corner!!
 

West Peak with My Wife

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

 Jane getting in a run to the mountain just weeks after delivering number two!
 Part way up the trail to the top of West Peak.
 Looking at the mountain and the beautiful views surrounding us.
 Nothing but flat walking to get to the steep talus.
 The steep talus!
 Eric, Jane and I at the top and psyched! Why aren't you here??
Heading down to the car on a perfect day.

Training with Piz: Muscle Ups

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

video
The Muscle Up is a tough movement to perfect.
It is a great progression from doing dips and box dips.
What is nice is that it combines a pull up with a press.
The challenge comes in the form of the transition between the two.

I find that this is a great mantle type of move that requires a lot of body control, coordination and timing.

Step One:
Start with your hands gripped on the ring so that your palms are facing each other and your pinkie fingers are closest to the floor.
Step Two:
Pull up explosively and bring your elbows in against your chest.
Step Three:
Then with an upward kip (a upward thrusting leg movement you can watch in the video), transition your hands below your elbows and complete the press.

If this move is too difficult to complete then you can do it from the stand and jump up and into the press, eliminating the pull up and kip. You can build up the strength from there to complete the entire movement.

August 7, 2013

Pizem Slide Show Next Week!

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

Bent Gate Mountaineering in Golden, Colorado is hosting me for a slide show!

When: Wed. August 14th,  730 or later  ( I have to drive out after work from Grand Junction!)
Where: Bent Gate in Golden, CO
Why: Its about climbing chossy sandstone routes in the western US!

What to expect?

You can expect and ex-Bent Gate employee to share his tales in an honest and genuine manner which may even provide a laugh or two.

You can expect some free goodies from my sponsors! Especially SCARPA, CAMP and Arcteryx!!

You can expet to be quizzed on useless and random facts.

You can expect to entertained and for an interactive show.

Me and the Wideboys (tom and pete)

Come on down for a free slide show.

Donations will be accepted but not be required for the Access Fund!

August 4, 2013

The Summer Outdoor Retailer Trade Show Summary

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

The last few days were spent in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is that time again, where I hang out at the trade show. Well it is not really hanging out. Here is the run down for a sponsored climber like myself and the glam of going to the show.

Days before I have to arrange a free place to stay. It normally consists of calling up Andrew Burr and finding out whether or not I can crash at his place. If he is out then I go to Ari Menitove and then down the line to whomever might actually be getting a hotel room.
I don't remember not staying with Burr and Ari and this summer was no different. Two of my best friends who live in town are always the best to stay with and I also get to see their kids and families.

After the lodging is taken care of I normally verify meeting times with the marketing directors of the companies that I am lucky enough to represent. I have to send emails and make sure that some one is getting me a pass to enter the Show. It is not free to attend and I don't really think that I would actually pay for entrance when I could be spending that time climbing. But since I am in the game and representing companies and since its part of the yearly sponsorship, I am happy to be there and chat it up.

So the day before arriving at the show is normally the end of a busy schedule and this year was the same. I trained at 5am in the morning with the group that I train in Grand Junction, then came home to take care of my boys (Jane had to work), then I trained the 4, 5, and 6 pm sessions at the gym (including my wife) and then set off to SLC at a early 730pm.

Luckily for me my friend and film maker Chris Alstrin wanted to go to the OR this year, so I had a driving buddy. It is nice to have someone to go with because after a long day, you really don't want to fall a sleep on the pass in the middle of Utah.

Finally, we arrive after midnight and road ice creams from Price, Utah. We creep into Burr's house brush out teeth and head to bed.

In the morning it's time to hang with the Burr family and see the girls and his awesome wife. After some breakfast and packing we are on the road to the show. We park at the city park and carry our goodies into the show.

After immediately bumping into friendly faces and taking a few moments to chat, Chris heads his way to seek out leads for future film making jobs and I head to CAMP, SCARPA, ARCTERYX and Sterling for meetings.

What goes on in a sponsor meeting you may ask? Well, you talk about:
  • product and how it has worked or not worked,
  • potential new products,
  • future plans about climbing and trips and goals,
  • events that I will be attending/speaking/teaching,
  • the need for media such as photos or video,
  • and finally about each others families and work.
We do finalize contract stuff, but that is usually not that long, it's way better getting to know the marketing director that all the other stuff.

Then I have time to sign/give away posters, walk around the show and chit chat with all my friends. It doesn't take long (just a few steps) before I bump into someone that I know. It is only after wandering around that I see that this year there are 3 HUGE posters of me at my sponsors booths! What an honor!! SCARPA, CAMP and STERLING each have giant posters and two of them are facing each other. We joke and called it "pizem alley".

In the end, lots of plans are made to climb with other folks and after two straight 12 hour days from breakfast to late night dinners, I head home to my first day of work at my high school in Grand Junction.

Once I got home from this trip, my back hurt so much from all the walking and standing that I was laid up for 24 hours unable to move. Dang the Show is way tougher than sending 5.13!

Till next time,

piz : )