wwilliam47: (Default)
...may redeem your winning tickets.

Progress on the red 5.9, which included whacking my left kneecap by bringing my leg up with no respect to a hold that was in the way. Significant bruising. But, each of the two attempts there yielded +1 or +2 moves. I think it's another +2-4 until I'm comparatively home free; it's already getting less pissy but the balance/contortions are tricky through here.

Also, progress on the orange 5.9, after a fashion. I had been stuck forever going from waist-high jug LH, small shoulder-high pinch RH, solid RF, sloping slippery POS LF to standing on LF and bringing LH up to a flat, large, sorta-crimpy sorta-slopy thing. RH grip wasn't up to it and I'd wrench my shoulder as I came off the wall. RH grip is now up to that move but I can't do much with it--RF needs to come up and through to the jug before either LH or LF becomes useless.

Other than that, Anarchism for fun, white 5.8 (failing last move, but was fatigued and hurt at that point) for cementing skill (and it's getting easier/more comfortable the rest of the way up), v0s for fun, mild improvment on having a prayer of starting the green v1, demonstration of proper start on orange/blue v1 for some noobs.

Ibuprofen is a godsend; starting to feel human. In the department of "old man yells at trees", I would like to note for the record that the frelling bike lanes are directional, just like the rest of the gorram street. I am prepared to start enforcing this with violence if necessary...
wwilliam47: (Default)
Two reports for the price of one, because I am a man who does many strange and wondrous things, dear reader. Precious few of them are useful. I at least hope that some of them are funny.

Monday: two ill-fated attempts at white 5.8. Blue 5.8 and green 5.10 came down for a new 5.10-5.11 something, putting a GIANT BLOODY ROCK in the middle of where my left foot should by rights be able to flag on the white 5.8. Also preventing video of the blue 5.8.

Attempt #1: about 4-5 moves in, I punch myself in the nose. Now, you may ask yourself: "How does one punch oneself in the nose while climbing?" I'll tell you: a crossover move starting mid-chest and ending slightly overhead, a poor kinesthetic sense, and a face that's too close to the wall this time. How did my face get too close to the wall? I'll tell you: I don't know. I sincerely hope this does not become a tradition.

Attempt #2: after the nosebleed from punching myself in the damn nose stops, a pretty solid climb up to matched on the penultimate ledge, feet where they need to be for the last move, and just needing to stand up. I come at this too square-on, screw up the mantle, generally take the move too tentatively, and come back down having cursed the new big honking rock for getting in my way. At the bottom, I realize that yes, actually, I did concuss myself some, thanks for asking, and call it a day.

Tuesday: 3 shots at the white 5.8; first two entirely in line with Monday attempt #2. Third attempt, I rotate just a bit to the right so that I can get some side force on the ledge and make the reach a bit easier without running my right foot into the overhang. (Also, side benefit of getting my left leg out into space and not running into giant rock.) Victory. Some progress on the red 5.9 followed (I think n+1 or n+2 on the moves, and I'm getting near the point where all the 5.9 moves are over and the rest of the route is 5.8ish). Killed the blue/orange v1. Verified that a) I can do most of the rest of the green v1 if I take a mulligan on the damn righty-biased start, b) I could start it just fine if it were in the other direction, and c) I can get off the ground with my hands left-over-right rather than right-over-left on the initial spur, but can't get up to the next hold yet. Verified that v2s are not worth serious work. Killed Anarchism as a cooldown (it got easier. How did this happen?) and called it a day.

Lessons/data: a nontrivial route appears to be on the order of 3 weeks from initial fumbling attempts to first completion, and another 2 weeks to cement things, given my present level of skill/rate of learning. Rest days (including biking less) are important; between knocking myself silly last night and a 24-hour bug last Thursday, I haven't ridden a full round-trip commute since last Wednesday, and the rest has clearly paid off. Watching my feet is bloody important when I'm trying to do anything tricky; I am well past the point where "don't look down" is useful advice.
wwilliam47: (Default)
...it's actually progress.

White 5.8: 3/3 on getting to the undercling. Shockingly, it works better when you put weight on your leg before you stand up on it. Who knew? 2/3 on RH to the ledge (the one failure was the middle attempt; didn't allow enough recovery time and was twitching the whole way up). 1/1 on matching LH there and upgrading LF to the block (and then utterly failing to stand and get the last hold). Third attempt I tried to get RF up to the block with LH still on undercling/RH on ledge; I am not quite that flexible. Might work if I bumped LF to the chip a foot above where I was. It's still tiring as hell but less than it was. Starting to trust my grip with my right hand/arm properly, as is evident from the increasing symmetry of calluses.

Blue 5.8: still fun, still clean even when tired, will miss it when it's gone. I should get video of it if it's still up Monday evening.

Red 5.9, unofficially "Sloper Hell": was able to make some minor progress on this by virtue of starting from the right-hand pair of foot chips; the start from the left side is much harder. I need to manage a proper hip-in while I've got both hands on marginal holds and high-step with my left leg; the good news is that I'm basically at the crux despite being ~5 moves in. Might well finish this next week if I can get this move; as you ascend it goes from mostly slopers to a mix of crimps and pockets and I'm stuck at the transition.

"Anarchism": able to climb this one cleanly as a cooldown, which is better than I was doing on Monday. Still a gratuitously stretchy route, but still fun. Working on the blue 5.8 and this one (and seeing just how much I high-step certain moves when I watch other people do them) has gotten me a lot more comfortable with stepping above my waist and powering up on that leg.

No real bouldering today; some minor futzing around with starts and confirming that various of my shoulder muscles are simply not up for doing said starts properly right now. Was able to get both feet up for a v2 start that had been eluding me but damn if I can go anywhere from there at the moment...
wwilliam47: (Default)
White 5.8: 2 attempts, both getting to the undercling and getting RH onto the flat rock above the overhang, making this a new best (and almost finishing the route). First attempt, I tried to pull my LH out of the undercling without getting weight off it and re-aggravated my left shoulder. Second attempt, I got some weight off but wasn't solid enough to get LH matching on tgehe flat rock. Needs more chalk. Getting past the "stand up for traverse dammit" point is I think mostly leg geometry and being patient with the weight transfers. It's still going to be a high-effort climb throughout until my arms get stronger though.

Blue/orange v1: one very clean run, made easier by avoiding the foot upgrade that threw me off balance on Monday. Really feeling the weight shift that makes the start work; my hips tilt forward and there's a click-like feeling as my front foot actually starts supporting me. If I keep my feet low for the traverse that makes up the last ~3 moves and I'm not quite as dog tired, this one should remain easy.

Green v1: skipping the noxious RH-dominant start, I was able to get a couple moves into this before I realized I was all pretzeled up and had nowhere to go. However, those initial moves are ones I couldn't do a month ago--swinging my left foot around a corner, getting any purchase at all on some crappy big-pinch holds, etc.

Blue 5.8: clean ascent as a cooldown despite being tired and trying to slip off a bunch of holds. Those slips would have taken me off the wall a couple weeks ago.

Now to finish off giant slug of protein, sleep, and see if I can't do better/be healed on Friday...
wwilliam47: (Default)
Today's lesson: even on Fridays with two recovery days after, I should not try to keep up with the twentysomethings for duration/difficulty of workout. Even if they're fun people to hang out and talk shop with. *Especially* if they're fun people to talk shop with. Leads to ignoring pain signals, which I'm good enough at already.

The good:

Knitting (5.7/5.8): finished, by virtue of watching where the hell I put my feet for the last move. Fun route, satisfying big moves, with one that feels a bit sloppy still and needs improvement.

New yellow v0 (replacing Colonial): on-sighted, first person in the gym to solve it (though that's strictly a matter of opportunity). More overhung, slightly worse holds, about as diagonal, but more scope for actually using feet makes this a much easier problem for me.

The meh:

Blue/orange v1: First move was not a fluke but is not 100% either (2/3). Last move may have been a fluke, or I may just have been too tired today.

Red v2: Still stuck on last move. I don't think I like A's beta on this one but I have Nefarious Ideas(tm) that may work when my shoulders are not filing official protests with the governing bodies of every sport known to man and some that they invented for this purpose.

Orange 5.9 (unnamed): still an embryonic project, still trying to kill my shoulders, still needs to come out of the rotation until I actually finish the projects I'm actually making progress on. First 2-3 moves are pretty easy and then I come off the wall hard...

The bad:

Anarchism 5.8: two failures on what was a solid route; one at the very beginning and one on the last move. Both due to fatigue.

White 5.8: something in the 0/3 or 0/4 department on standing up to grab the crimp before the undercling. Shoulders were weak and my RH grip on the relevant knob was pathetic (and technically wrong to boot, I'm pretty sure). This route tires me out quickly on the way up to the crux still. Need more sleep and more practice so I'm not using maximum effort just to do the first ~15 feet.
wwilliam47: (Default)
In the spirit of actually keeping records so that I quit griping about lack of progress, notes on climbing progress!

Overview: have been climbing since beginning of May; about the first two months of that were serious shoulder rehab. Currently climbing somewhere in the 5.7-5.8 range on my Friendly Hyper-local Wall, and somewhere in the V0-V2 range on bouldering problems depending on the specific problem. Current workout routes, project routes, etc are as follows:

Yellow 5.7/5.8, "Anarchism" (rating was bumped up, I suspect inappropriately). Stretchy climb on a natural face with a bunch of jugs bolted on. First ascent was last Monday, and it has gone from dicey to pretty solid even when dog-tired. There are a couple of high steps that are still a pain and a couple places where I need to augment the placed holds with the natural face, but this is pretty comfortable. Clean ascent today.

Blue 5.8, unnamed. Probably the easiest route in this gym that rewards good technique; there's lots of approaches to it depending on your size/reach/balance. Tricky bits are a high-step (in my beta) that not everyone has the leverage for, a pocket/tiny pinch combo to get up to a big diamond-shaped jug, and then the crux: getting out from under an overhang. None of the holds involved are bad, strictly speaking, but it takes some leg strength and muscle memory in order to get through the crux before you tire out. First ascent some weeks ago, clean ascent today.

Red 5.7/5.8, "Knitting" (another that got its rating bumped). Stretchy, slab, holds tend to be big square knobs for the first part. Big traverse step that I like to take from a bit of a lay-back, catch a ring with your right hand, LH/LF match, mantle off the ring to next foothold/handhold. Left hand crimping over the top, right comes up to side pull the side pocket of the same hold, right foot to ring, right hand sneaks up to next hold. Match hands, secure left hand, right up to penultimate hold, big bloody step with your left to where your hands were crimping, reach up for the top hold while flagging/smearing right and pray that you don't fall off as you come above the hold your RH has. Have not gotten the last move. Did not attempt.

White 5.8, unnamed. Balance-y and stretchy until you get to the overhang and then WTF. Lots of weight shifting drill on the way up. Crux starts with catching a crimp (good crimp but crimp) with your left hand, upgrading both feet (to a somewhat folded position), crossing your right hand over to get an undercling, upgrading feet some more, and somehow standing up from there to reach about 2 feet(?) over the edge of the overhang that the undercling is mounted under. As near as I can tell, that means "lift entire body with bicep curls". Wish me luck. Had not gotten to the crimp at the start of the crux without falling before today, so this is progress. Was able to catch that crimp reliably (3/3) and the undercling (2/3) but no farther.

Yellow v0, "Colonial". Good holds throughout; the hard parts are a proper sitting (or semi-sitting) start that doesn't skip the first move and remembering to cross over as you work diagonally up a not-quite-pure campus (there are legs but you increasingly don't get to use them). Had mastered everything but the start for some time; got the start (1/1) today.

Blue/orange v1, unlabeled. Crux of this one is actually the start and once I got the first externally visible move it was trivial. Sitting side-on to the wall, LH goes in a pocket, RF on a chip, RH on a knob. Settle weight on those points, take LF up to chip in front of LH. Shift weight from hands/RF to feet/LH, maintaining enough sideways force with LH to stay on the chips. Reach up for the next hold and don't fall off. Once you've done that, the rest is a cakewalk at my height/strength. (1/1, first solution).

Red v2, don't recall the name. The only hard part about this is the finish--you've got one reasonable foothold, one foothold that will take your body seriously diagonal, a jug that you're side-pulling towards the final hold that you need to let go of, and a couple of crappy handholds you need to catch so you can pull up to the finish (one of which I can trivially reach for without leaving the jug). Have gotten useful beta, will try again, something like 0/4 on brute forcing the finish today.

...other routes to be added (a couple 5.9s, another v1) as they move from "how do I shot web?" to actual projects that are making progress. Focus right now is on the damn white 5.8 and Knitting, and getting solid on the new bits of progress.
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