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Climbing summary:

Got the blue/black v2 today (first v2 ever!). And climbed a bunch of stuff that was about 90% oriented towards workout, and failed at a bunch of stuff that was 90% oriented towards building skills. So I've got that going for me.

Blue/black v2 details:

I will attempt to describe this in something that more resembles English than close-packed climbing jargon. Pictures will in fact help if I can get them; ask and Wednesday there is a chance that you shall receive.

This starts with Our Narrator facing into a corner, with a handhold and a foot chip on each side of the corner to start with. Both handholds are at knee level or below. The left hand is a convex block that leaves little choice but to turn my palm toward the wall, set the heel of my hand on the top of the hold, and lock my arm. Fortunately, this doesn't have to take too much weight. My right hand has a solid lip to grab onto that's facing left (into the corner), allowing me to push with my left hand, get my hips behind (to the right of) my right hand, and sink my weight mostly onto my right foot, such that my arms and right leg free up my left leg to sneak onto its foot chip.

From here, my left hand comes up to a hold in front of my (crouching) face, also with a lip that will take weight as I move to the right. I'll be going right out from under an overhang and up for the rest of the problem, so holds that are good in the direction I'm moving are useful. As my left hand comes up, my left foot can come with it and take its place on the starting handhold block. It's pretty easy to move my hips such that my left arm, rather than my right, is taking the weight of my body as it wants to fall out of the corner. This frees my right arm to reach out from under the overhang and pinch a block about the size of an index card that's mounted at a compound angle to where my body is right now. If I can keep myself pulling down and left (towards the corner) my grip on it will be solid; if I start to drift too far right or I get my weight going off the wall, things will go very badly very quickly.

There's a foot chip about 6" up and a decent bit to the right of the starting chip. My next move brings my left foot across my right, with the outside edge of my foot landing on that chip. The martial arts trained among you may recognize this as twist stance, only with my arms in a ridiculous position. Now, one of the things I picked up today is that I do *not* want to immediately move my left arm here, but I also don't want to move my right leg too far (the next available chip is a long way over and I'll be ridiculously unbalanced and try to slide down the hold I'm pinching as soon as my left hand moves). Instead, I want to uncross my legs, balancing my right foot against the wall such that I'm not going to try to pivot out from it when I move my left hand. If I get that balance right, it's easy to move my left hand to the next hold, a pocket underneath the overhang.

Once I've got the pocket, I can pretty well pick my order I think on the next few bits of adjustment. My right hand can come up from the index card I'm pinching to a crimp at a 45 degree angle down/left about a foot and a half further along (crimp meaning that there's room for one knuckle to grab the top/right edge; fortunately, there are also places to lock off with your thumb). My right leg can come up to its last foot chip (since the pocket that my left hand is in gets stronger as I get higher above it, I can afford to do this).

After both of those are done, the other key bit is to bump my left foot up to *its* last chip *before* I try to match hands on the next-to-last crimp. Shocking news: when my hands and one foot provide three points of support, moving my other foot is easy. When they provide two points of support, moving my other foot tends to cause falling off the wall as I swing around wildly on the line that my two points of support define. I'm leaning back pretty substantially, and I need to make sure that I keep adjusting and re-locking my right hand as necessary (due to its aforementioned tendency to open up if I start paying attention to any other limb), but as long as I take things slowly enough to pay attention and get my right hand solid before I try to match it, this is doable.

From there, it's easy--match hands, get vertical (from leaning substantially back/left), get your right hand over the lip of the very solid finishing hold, match that with your left, celebrate.


Creeping crud can quit making me sniffly any time it likes. Students need a solid grounding in rhetoric before they get to grad school, even in CS. No, make that especially in CS. Highly skilled, highly paid computing professionals should know better than to write explicit double-deleting code, especially when their tests exercise the double-delete.
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