Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Potrero Chico 08: Day 7 - New Years Day, Crushed Guppy

I don't have any pics right now of today's action, but it was a good day nonetheless. It started out sad as Dave and Caroline left, but hopefully we'll see them in Australia someday soon.

We warmed up on the Wave, doing La Ola and then the 10d to the right of it. Nathan onsighted the 10d, but no one else did! It was kinda funky at the top, but still fun. We then made our way back to Surf Bowl to clean up Guppy, 12b. The draws weren't on the route, so I climbed it, hanging them and butchering the sequence. I was pretty frustrated but knew I'd get it on my next go, which I did. It's a great route which I hope to get wired. Kawai sent it on his 3rd go, and Nathan gave it a few tries to suss out the beta.

Tomorrow we're staying close to the ground, probably Virgin Canyon for some 11s. It'll be a few days before I can get back up to Surf Bowl to get on the 13a, Surfer Rosa.

Duh, forgot about this morning's pictures! Before Dave and Caroline left, we got in the pool and took some photos. I ripped off the jumping thing from some of Chamisa's friends. Too fun to pass up!

Today's pics

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Potrero Chico 08: Day 5 - I found my new home

Today was a fantastic day. While Dave and Caroline did trail maintenance (and Dave smashed his finger, poor guy) the rest of us went to the Wave that had the best 10b I've ever been on, La Ola. Any time you needed a foot, you had one. Every time you were forced to change body positions, it was well worth it. It's easily the best 10b I've ever been on, and in the top 5 routes. Here's a picture of China near the top, just under the wave.

We then hiked up to Surf Bowl, which is my new home. Guys at work, I quit. Mom, sell my house and send me the money. Give the van to Nathan, I'm moving to Surf Bowl. It has the kind of routes I've been waiting for: overhanging, jugs, underclings and tufas. The climbing was outstanding. I almost onsighted Blue Fin, 12a, getting all the way to the anchor when pitching. I was pumped out of my mind, but might have been able to clip had the draws been on my right. We all did it on our second go. Here are a few pics of us on it.

There were a bunch of Mexican climbers at the wall too. Ricardo and Bruno, both very strong guys, were cranking. Bruno got the 13b (Dave says grade 30 in Austrailian), Nemo, and Ricardo made some progress. It was inspiring to watch them on those routes, and they looked really fun. I almost flashed Guppy, 12b, getting one move from the huge jug before falling. I found some great heel hook beta that's going to work next time. Then on to the 12d, en muerte!

Me on Guppy:

Tomorrow is a rest day, so don't expect a post, unless I get that bored.

Today's pics

Monday, December 29, 2008

Potrero Chico 08: Day 4 - Supernova went DOWN

Kawai and I woke up at 6:30 this morning for an early start at Supernova. We warmed up on Mr. Puffer's Wild Ride, a very fun 5.9+ in Estrallas, much lower than Supernova. Kawai was in love with that climb. For a 9+, it was very fun.

After that warmup, we marched up to the base of Supernova. The pitches go at 5.11a, 5.8, 5.6, 5.6, 5.9, 5.6, 5.9, 5.8. I lead pitch one, almost coming off at the crux. I had a decent left hand, a good right undercling, bad left foot and horrible right smear. I managed to make the move without coming off and boogied to the anchor. Kawai followed with no issues, though the ropebag he had on his back caught some air during the crux, yet he held on.

Kawai linked pitches 2 and 3 together, and I did the same for 4 and 5. He lead what I'm sure must have been 6, 7 and 8 all in one. Since the climbing was easy, we skipped bolts so we could link pitches and get to the top. The last pitch wasn't all that great, but getting to the top and seeing the view was awesome.

Kawai at first belay:

Since we only had one 70m rope, it was necessary to make a bunch of short rappels. I would go first, and as soon as I hit the next anchor I'd get off rappel and start threading the rope through the bolts. That way, when Kawai got down, all he had to do was pull the other side, equalize, and throw. I had some good throws, EVERY one of Kawai's throws was bad. We had some good laughs.

The view of El Toro:

We ran into a party of 3 on the anchors of the 2nd pitch. 5 dudes on one ledge was tight, but not as bad as you'd think. We rapped off their draws, hit the last rap station, then got to the ground. First thing... gotta go potty!

We made our way down the slope and back to camp, had hot showers and a little food, and yeah, that's it. Micah should be here any minute, then it's dinner time. We're going to the market tomorrow, which is bigger than Friday's. Can't wait to get some more grubbin' food!

Today's pics

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Potrero Chico 08: Day 3 - Today was an off day

Today was a bit cooler than yesterday, maybe 65 in the shade. We started on Moto Wall, and had to walk by Jabba the Hut again. This time he had the gate closed, so I found a hole in the barbed wire fence that we walked through. Gilberto, a guy that works here at Pagoda's, said he doesn't think it's right the man collects money. The man was yelling at us that we should pay because it's private land, but it isn't, so... not gonna pay. We also heard it's tribal land, but Gilberto had mentioned there were no tribes around here. Pretty sure it's just a racket.

Anyway, we warmed up at Moto wall on a 10b. I did something to my left index finger yesterday, so I wasn't keen on cranking today, though I would have otherwise. The climb was fun, but my finger didn't feel right. Still doesn't actually. I think I did just enough to kinda bruise it; I don't think it's a pulley injury.

We heard someone commotion and it ends up someone got hurt. A guy got off route and fell, and we thought he might have broken his leg. Luckily he only skinned his elbow, though I think he went into shock for a bit, as a buddy, Gary, a Wilderness First Responder, ran up the route and lowered the guy down. It was interesting to watch. The injured climber was fine by the time he got to the ground. You can see him being lowered.

After warming up, we walked up to Mileski Wall, which was probably a 30 minute hike up the hill. It was in the sun and felt good. Kawai jumped on Shock T, an 11d but got cruxed out near the top. He took a number of good lead falls though. Nathan got on Mother Superior, a 12a to the left and did well on his first go but didn't onsight it. Aussie Dave flashed it of course, and when I left China was on it. Hopefully Nathan and Kawai both got their routes.

Tomorrow Kawai and I are planning on doing the route at the back of the canyon, highlighted below. I'm forgetting the name, but it's 8 pitches, 11a first pitch, then 10 and below. Should be a fun route!

Today's pics

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Potrero Chico 08: Day 2 - It's getting hot in herr

Today the temps rose to close to 90. Our plan was to go up to Surf Bowl, a rad, hard wall. It's on the back side, so you have to pass through the collection gate/extortionist. To explain, I had heard there was a guy that site in his truck and collects money from people that want to climbing inside on the inside. I read that it's actually not legal for him to collect money, since he doesn't own the land, nor does he work for any park service-type operation. So, I decided to walk right passed him. First, he was this over weight guy laying down in a camper. All he did was lift a rope to raise a little flag line to stop people. I just stepped on the line and walked by. He asked us if we spoke Spanish, and since I don't, we didn't respond. If the whole scene weren't so disgusting, I might give him the money. Sure as hell not going to now.

So, Surf Bowl... it's a hike, and it was hot out. There's only one route up there to warm up on, and literally one minute before we got there a group took the pitch. We then decided to head back down to the shade and get on some fun stuff.

We warmed up on some 10s then went up to an area Kawai and Nathan had checked out. There were 2 spectacular routes there, both 11c. I put up the first, falling above the first bolt (a very long move and not super easy to figure out) and David the Aussie put up the other. Nathan flashed the route I put up, Kawai and I got it on our 2nd go, easily. Nathan and I both flashed the other 11c. Both super high quality routes, worthy of the 3 star rating. China also found her project in this route, which could go in another try or 2. Spectacular route!

You wish you were here, right now:

Aussie Dave:

Nathan flashing it in good style:

Today's pics

Friday, December 26, 2008

Potrero Chico 08: Day 1 - My first day at Potrero Chico


I like waking up to that! Today was great. Nathan, China and Kawai all took a rest day, as we're going to get on some harder stuff tomorrow. I wanted to be a good boy and climb some moderate stuff today to get used to the rock. 10b, 10b, 10c and 10d. All moderate, all very good! Since I was the only one climbing, it was a short day, and we all needed to go to the market anyway. On the way back from climbing though, we passed a little girl that wanted her picture taken. Of course her sister had to join in the fun.

Luckily we caught a ride in the back of someone's truck, as it's a bit of a walk into town.

The market was busy, but not as big as Tuesday's, according to Nathan. I had a ear of corn with mayonaise and sweet chili sauce, which was as good as Nathan said. We had gorditas across the path from a guy that was selling dried cat guts (or something) to relieve stomach issues and back pain. They looked more like bean pods to me, but whatever.

The temps tonight are perfect. This is a fantastic place, and I'm so glad I'm finally here! The first people I met outside our group was David and Caroline from Australia. They're both really cool and quite funny. I also saw Chris Leisch at the market, a buddy from St. Louis/SoIll. Pretty crazy running into someone you haven't seen in 5 years in a foreign country, but cool nonetheless.

Stay tuned for more pics tomorrow.

Today's pics

Potrero Chico 08: Day 1 - I'm here!

I'm sitting outside Tami's Cafe after just having had some delicious bacon and eggs. Traveling here was pretty good, though I did have an hour and a half delay in Dallas; something about a valve. This is what I woke up to this morning:

Time to go climb!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Chillin' at the gate

It's 5 am and I'm waiting at the gate. We should be boarding in the next 30 min or so. It's strange, I'm not used to being 1) up this early, and 2) up and hungry this early in the morning. It's sammich time.

Btw, you can follow me on twitter, if you're into that kind of thing. I doubt I'll be updating Facebook anymore. Decent posts will still go here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

7 hours until I take off

Getting to the airport was easy, in terms of the bus and the Max. Getting down to the bus stop wasn't easy, as my duffel bag is really heavy. I'm pretty sure I'll have to take my rope and draws out somehow.

I got carsick on the bus. So really I got bus-sick. I didn't pay for either the bus or the Max. Bus driver didn't ask, and the Max ticket machine only took coins.

Anyway, I'm gonna go try to get my bag weighed, then get some sleep.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shitty Weather 08 - I tried to be clever

So I thought I'd be smart and go save my bushes. With all the ice and snow, I was afraid they'd get permanently damaged and then cost me some dollaz.

So I decided to fashion a pair of snowshows, because, I don't have any. I looked around for a bit but couldn't find anything that would work, until I stumbled upon some old pegboard.

So I was like "HELL YEAH" and I got to work strapping a pair of Nathan's Gore-Tex shoes on the board.

I thought I did a pretty good job...

until I got outside and damn near slipped every 2 steps.

So, I beat the snow off the bushes as best I could, then walked down to the store. I saw peeps on cross country skis, but no one on snowshoes. I need to pick up a cheap pair. That and a shovel.

glad I ganked that balaclava from my dad years ago!

Shitty Weather 08 - the poor bushes

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Shitty Weather 08 - the video

I would like to go to Mexico

My flight was just canceled. Not much of a surprise, as it's total shite around here. The best flight I could get leaves Thursday morning at 6am, the same flight my bro took. Check the pics below.

I just heard on the news that all Alaska/Horizon flights have been canceled. And that the Oregon City varsity basketball team is STUCK... in Hawaii. Boo fucking hoo.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pushed back a day

Just got an automated call from American Airlines. My flight tomorrow morning was cancelled, so I rebooked for Monday morning. Now I go through Orange County on my way to Dallas. Not psyched about that!

A pre-emptive pre/post mugshot

What I'll look like before my trip:

What I'll look like post:

And what I look like right now:

Friday, December 19, 2008

My first post from my new Eee PC

I know I know, I haven't written anything of substance in a while. Here's a short recap:
  • Thanksgiving was delicious
  • Chamisa and I went to Breitenbush Hot Springs, which was freakin' awesome
  • My Yiayia visited and tossed coins in my house. I waited 2 years for that!
  • Chamisa had her going away party
  • Chamisa left Portland for home before the Peace Corps
  • Nathan went to Mexico
  • I got my new laptop
You know, I have written about girls before, but I didn't really write about Chamisa. We knew from the beginning it would be a short term thing, but we made the most of it. She's da bomb.

Sunday morning I'm heading to Potrero Chico for 3 weeks, where Nathan has been for almost a week now. 3 weeks... can't wait!