Ohio Training

Ohh, it is a bit more challenging. I have a universal machine and treadmill and elliptical at my parents and awesome trails to run from the house. BUT I do not have a nearby gym. The closest is the Cleveland Rock Gym which is only about 20 minutes from the house but I have to train after my kids get to bed and by then I am so tired from playing with them during the day.

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My typical day starts with a run or a bike ride with the kids (normally a run and then the bike ride). Then swimming in the pool for an hour or two. Then more playing after lunch and some hiking adventure near the house. Then more pool time and dinner with the family. By the time its book and bedtime I am ready to call it. That is when I have to get focused and look toward the payoff of fitness and get myself to the gym to train.

I am looking to just keep my calluses and power endurance so I will do a fingerboard session on hopefully a wooded finger board (I hate plastic ones) followed by a timed bouldering session. I usually complete 4 to 5 minute rounds with a 2 minute rest with an objective of a certain number of a problems at a particular difficulty or a progression in a certain amount of time. After 4-5 rounds of that, I work on my core with my 5 minute abs with additional weight.

Bottom line. If you want to keep it, or maintain it, or progress at it, you got to get after it no matter how tired you are feeling at the time.

IMG_0605What am I preparing for? Another adventure where the dry weather is with Mike B!

New Routing

I have been working hard this summer trying to establish some new climbs in Unaweep. Check them out. Thanks to Above Alpine Photography for coming out to shoot for fun with me. Mike B and I had a great time doing what we love, rock climbing.

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Arcteryx Climbing Academy!

When: July 20 to 23

Where: Squamish

What: The ultimate climbing festival with clinics galore, perfect climbing, great presentations/films/live music

I will be presenting Thursday night and teaching multi-pitch techniques! Come on out for a great time, great climbing and a rad experience with tons of Arcteryx athletes to cheer you on!

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SCARPA DRAGO

DSC00183DSC00184So, I finally tried the DRAGO from SCARPA. I normally don’t like a shoe this soft or a shoe this downturned, but I was happily surprised. Here is why:

  1. I wear a 10.5 shoe and I ordered a 43.5 euro size and it fit like a glove. My toes were no more buckled than I like them. (I like them just barely bent over)
  2. The whole shoe is soft. So when the down turn was about to cause pain, it just stretched a little bit making it comfortable to wear on routes of boulder problems.
  3. The rubber is not as thin as a rubber. No joking, most of the thin shoes in the past had rubber as thin as a rubber. This shoe it is thicker allowing you to still have a very soft touch but not so soft where you think that you will wear through it in a day. I felt that I could smear with this shoe.
  4. The shoe fits well around the top of the fit because of the innovative design. It zig zags with stretchy material to allow you to snug the shoe up all the way and not have any overlap. I like it.
  5. The heal is always a problem for most people but this shoe has gotten it right too. I feel confident when I need to heel hook that the shoe will stay on my foot and the rock!
  6. So far I think we have a winner!

Orson’s Birthday

We celebrated Orson’s birthday a week or so ago. We like to keep things simple by making it a family day, so we went bike riding and to the state park! The boys got to ride more bikes, swim, splash, stand up paddle board and enjoy being carefree. It was hot and the water was still cold so it was a great combination.

Now that he is 4 years old, expectations are big. He gets to decide when we give away his strider style bike and he has to be a part of our dinner chores like setting the table and cleaning up after meals. When he turns 5, he will have to get a job. Just kidding!

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Easy Aider Comparison

The Metolius Easy Aider has been the staple for me for many years. Actually, since I first ascended the Nose of El Cap in a day back in 2001. I regretfully did not have a pair back then. I had to ascend each pitch that my partner led with loose aiders where my feet constantly came off the aider step. It made me work really hard and loose a ton of valuable energy. Since then I have been enlightened and very happy with the Metolius model for a variety of reasons.

  1. You can cinch the foot strap on your foot so while jugging your foot is always attached to the step
  2. The thickness of the foot step. This allows you to be comfortable and not work your foot over when you are jugging 1000’s of feet of rope in a day.
  3. The easy of adjusting the length. This makes life simple when you are adjusting for vertical to slabby, to free hanging terrain since each of these positions require a slightly different foot length.
  4. Finally, their durability is awesome. I have only owned 2 sets in 15 years! Need I say more.

Aider Link

The CAMP aider however is a great adjustable aider that has taken over the number one spot for one simple reason. The CAMP Adjustable Aider is

  1. Light, over the years I have found that the lighter the aider, the happier that I am.
  2. The foot strap attaches easily and stays on your foot.
  3. It is sleek. Other aiders have extra webbing that always gets in the way and finds its way to get wrapped around your foot or knee when jugging. The CAMP version has eliminated the extra.
  4. The foot strap is thinner, but stable and comfortable on long jugging days.
  5. The adjustment is simple and fast.
  6. It works well with the CAMP auto locking carabiners. It took me a while to figure it out but auto lockers are the way when jugging and belaying. The shifting and vibrating of the movement loosens the twist gates where an auto locking carbiner will stay locked no matter what.  Guide XL2 Lock

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Summer is Rolling Along

It is technically not even summer yet, (June 21 would be the official beginning of summer and the day of the solstice) and I feel like it is just about over. I am back at 100% from my surgery about 8 weeks ago and am trying my best to get back the fitness that I lost due to the recovery process. I have been bolting new lines, mini-tracking routes, hiking mountains and on-sighting new climbs at areas that I have never visited and it’s been really fun!

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This week will be no different. I turned 41 today and spent it as every other day of my life. It has been packed with day camp for my oldest boy, getting groceries, riding bikes with my youngest son, cleaning the kitchen, kids doctors visits and surviving the wind storm that is passing through town. This week I will work at the local gym from 5-7am then drop my boys off at day camp, pick up my climbing partner and climb till about 230, then work at the gym till 815pm and got to bed. Wednesday I will bolt new lines till 130 and then climb in the Black Canyon. Thursday I will climb and bolt until 10am, then drive to Ouray and climb till dark and then return Thursday night and take the family camping in Rifle for a few days. No time is left unused and fitness and fun will follow!

I say this because in 2 more weeks I will be visiting family in non climbing territory, giving a slide show in Cleveland in July, heading to Squamish after Cleveland and then Europe after that till the end of the month. I begin teaching at my high school on August 1 and then things are back to normal and summer is over. So back to my title of this post, summer is just about over for me.

I reflect and think back to the days when I lived in my minivan and left town the first day of summer break and returned the first day of school. Life was easier (meaning I had fewer obligations, like none other than the selfish and narcissistic climbing path) and it was good back then as it is good right now with all the kinds of things that I have to get done. Life’s changes over time can not be predicted or anticipated and that makes things fun and at times stressful.

Each of life’s obstacles will be met and a plan will be created to achieve what is desired be that a family or personal goal. That is just how it goes. And now that I have said that I must go and help make my birthday dinner!