Saturday, July 21, 2012

Coliseum Triple Crown

Deep Throat (13c)
Aside from training for Dominion River Rock, I climbed during this past spring with two particular goals in mind. The first and more attainable goal pertained to achieving a level of consistency within a somewhat foreign and unfamiliar difficulty rating. During an early April day trip, I managed my first double 13a day, climbing both Mercy Seat and Blood Raid.  Ironically, the random workless Tuesday provided the necessary sense of epicness and urgency to hit 3 crags and send. The birthday send of Snooker (13a) came shortly after during a weekend trip to Kentucky.  The second goal focused less on consistency/mileage and instead emphasized difficulty.  Although I was unable to achieve 13c this spring, I put a few solid efforts into Deep Throat (Nar Cave, Summersville) and One for the Gipper (Brilliant Pebble, Southside Meadow). The goal was short lived. I took a step back in order to avoid the further frustration associated with low percentage moves and low friction holds.

When the average climber hears the term "triple crown", they typically can't help but envision one particular scenario...Its early to late fall.  The van doors open and a sea of crashpad shelled human turtles swarm the bouldering field.  The three-location event targets the most stacked boulder fields that the Southeast has to offer: Houndears (Boone), NC, Stone Fort (LRC), TN, and HP40, AL.  Its a great time of year. "TRIPLE CROWNNN!" However, I'm not writing this post in regards to Kurt Smith's infamous war-cry.  Outdoor bouldering is at the bottom of my list of things to do at the New River Gorge in the middle of July's baking heat.

With a Richmond crew very much psyched on Summersville, I made it a workout goal to complete the Triple Crown (Apollo, Pod, and Mercy Seat) within a day.  Regardless of my previous ascents, the coliseum proved to be an excellent training ground..physical climbing, steep terrain, shade, and sustained power endurance (qualities that cater well to my strengths and skill sets). I truly respect the persistence, dedication, and commitment required to complete a long term project; However, there is something to be said about a climber's ability to consistently repeat and reproduce ascents that fall just below an individual's difficulty threshold.  Ideally, sending should not be about the luck of the draw. Consistency and precision should replace low probability. Like Dylan Barks and his dispatch of the entire Madness Cave in a day.  Climbing 14a is super impressive. But climbing 13d, two 13c's, a 13a, and two more 14a's in a day is no fluke (in July!). Instead, it represents a true testament of fitness, climbing ability, and all day stamina.

Max Caudle, Apollo Reed (Summersville Lake)

"The Coliseum could not be more appropriately named. This extremely overhanging wall is a bustling battleground of combat. Shirtless, muscle-bound gladiators wait in line to test their skills against their chosen adversary. The boulders at the base seem custom built to house the slew of cheering onlookers, mostly bi-kini-clad vixens, intent on singling out the strongest young lad with the most perfectly timed "power blat". The routes are steep and classic. Apollo Reed is undoubtedly the most popular 5.13 in the region and stands as the entrance exam to the harder routes in the amphitheatre such as Mercy Seat, B.C, and Pod.  The regions hardest route, Still Life, gazes out from the far corner eagerly awaiting its next victim but few step up to the challenge. Most hardmen would rather shoot for climbing the Triple Crown: Apollo, Mercy, and Pod, in a day. It's these select few who usually hike back to the car with the prettiest girl." -Mikey's excerpt from the NRG guide book.

Dean and myself on Suicide Blonde and Deep Throat (Nar Cave). Nothing better than manufactured cruxes and aged nylon perma-draws..

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Eye of Odin (8c+) Dani, Magnus, and Ethan

So typically, I try to stear clear from posting random videos that are unrelated to my own climbing or the local crew (with the exception of the training and psych page).  I'll leave that task to DPM and CNarc..Couldn't resist with the one. The story behind this thing is pretty unreal.  Props to Ethan for the film, edit, and music selection...oh yea, and the FA. Ondra swooped in with the onsight a few days later.

The Eye of Odin (8c+) first ascent from Ethan Pringle on Vimeo.