It’s been a while since I’ve posted because I have been spending a lot of time rock climbing lately in order to prep for the set of adventures I have in store for summer 2014. The truth is, I am not really sure what I want out of this blog and I kind of want to personalize it more. I want to make it more like an adventure journal that highlights my trips, but allows me to present my thoughts, goals, and emotions. So, if anyone actually reads the stuff I write, brace yourself for a much more down-to-earth and personal adventure blog.
For now, winter is consisting of a lot of indoor climbing and very cold outdoor adventures which contain a variety of actual activities. These activities include skinning on the new splitboard I made, running , and a few freezing outdoor rock climbing endeavors.
I feel like I have some pretty great plans this week though. Tomorrow is a sport climbing gym day. I’m pretty excited about it because I have had two days off after a total burn out couple of climbing days. That means that I should have a really good, progressive climbing day tomorrow and not just a work out day (which is how some days feel when I’m super tired).
My progress with rock climbing has exploded and I am actually really excited about it. I really got back into climbing recently when my last big mountaineering adventure to Granite Peak (tallest peak in Montana) made me realize that I had come to a literal and figurative wall. I knew the only way to get over it was work hard on rock climbing because the next step is going to be climbing 5th class technical peaks.
Granite Peak was seven 4th class pitches with some class 5 moves involved. We rappelled down. It was perfect! I loved how difficult it was, but I also found myself gazing up at the night sky realizing what I needed to do to continue progressing.
So, I have been pretty casual with the mountaineering side of things and have been progressing in the technical climbing side. Sport climbing is incredibly fun! I had done some sport climbing when I first moved to Salt Lake with a new friend I met, but there was no drive to progress. I found that motivation in mountaineering and followed it, pushing myself more and more until I reached the wall I talked about earlier.
When I first started climbing again about halfway through this summer, I found myself struggling to really push myself again. But, I kept at it. I found people to climb with that were passionate and used that passion to motivate me.
Then, I got a pass to the climbing gym. I recommend this to anyone who is struggling with sport climbing outdoors. Get a gym membership and sport climb inside until you can’t move. Do everything you are afraid to do outside. Climb overhung walls until you can’t hold yourself up. THEN, go back outside and your world will change.
After a little over a month of sport climbing indoors I gained the confidence to red point 5.10a and 5.10b on overhung walls. Soon after, I went on a trip to Red River Gorge in Kentucky and was able to red point 10a and 10b outside. I almost made it around a huge 11a roof. Before going to the gym, I was nervous leading 5.7 and 5.8. I almost feel embarrassed about how nervous I used to get on the wall. Now, the fear of falling is completely gone. I take falls every time I climb and pushed myself through several falls to the top of a 10d outside.
I guess what I’m saying is that I’m excited about progress and only hope it continues. Even if it doesn’t, there are so many 5.10 routes in the canyons here in Salt Lake that I feel like a kid in a candy store when it starts to warm up again.
Anyways, placing gear is the next step I am going to take to progress towards climbing harder and bigger mountains. Now that I am confident on 5.10 I think it is a good time to begin placing trad on 5.6 – 5.8, but I need to piece together a trad rack first.
This weekend a few friends and I are going “canyoneering” somewhere. We are going to place nuts, hexes and slings and rappel off multi pitch routes to get confident in setting anchors. I feel like that is the first step in the right direction toward big wall climbing and reaching the summits of big peaks like the Grand Teton, which I plan to lead and place trad on unguided this summer!
So, there are a few of my goals and achievements over the last few months. Overall, I feel pretty good about the way things are heading. I look at where I am now compared to where I was 1 and 2 years ago, and just by making small goals to excel I have reached so many goals that I set for myself.
This summer was insane. I climbed Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Montana’s highest peaks crossing glaciers and doing the most technical summer mountaineering that I have ever done. I went to the Bahamas and Iceland. I traveled the US visiting Yosemite, Arches, Mesa Verde, Grand Teton, Mount Rainier, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Red River Gorge, and the Grand Canyon National Parks and entering 16 different state.
As the year comes to a close, I am grateful for all the things I have done and the awesome people I have met along the way! My next post will include all my goals for 2014!