As the year comes to a close and climbing trips seem a bit less frequent, I feel it is important to reflect.
As a climber I like to focus on progress and usually push myself to increase my abilities. While I have been climbing for about ten years, I have only been setting goals for the last five. I have most of these written down in various word documents and it is interesting to look back and see where I was at.
Was a certain level of climbing intimidating? Did I tend to try only a particular style of routes? What was my most proud accomplishment of the year?
Lizzy had a good idea to put events in chronological order to make everything more readable. Here are some of my important events of 2009.
- Pinky finger pulley rupture at the climbing gym.
- Strained ring finger bouldering on pockets in Bishop.
- Competed in my first trail races since high school (25k, 15k, and 22k).
- Had a very fun and relaxing trip to Indian Creek. (No grade chasing)
- Regained bouldering strength and met up with college friends in Joe’s Valley, Utah.
On Planet of the Apes in Joe’s Valley
- Climbed a number of diverse 5.11’s in Joshua Tree.
- Continued improving and took a first trip to Zion and onsighted all but one pitch of my first 5.12 multi-pitch, Sheer Lunacy.
- Climbed Vahalla at Suicide Rock. (Stonemaster!)
- Got taught a lesson in fear and footwork at Smith Rock.
- Started off a great alpine season with an ascent of Positive Vibrations on the 4th of July.
- Climbed two awesome 5.11+ bolted multipitches, The Cathedral Route at Mount Charleston and The Megaplex in Pine Creek Canyon.
- Continued alpine climbing all summer and brought Lizzy to the Hulk to finish off the pitches I had missed on Positive Vibrations.
On the Incredible Hulk with Lizzy!
- Did a new 5 pitch route on Mt Langley and a new finish variation on the Keyhole Wall. (Yeah first ascents)
- Had an amazing trip to the Needles and climbed Atlantis and Spook Book!
- Re-climbed The Vampire at Tahquitz and stepped it up by leading The Flakes and following Stairway to Heaven.
- Climbed my first Yosemite 5.11 (The Tube) and 5.12 (Underclingon).
- Started training for Freerider by climbing the Free Blast.
Climbing high on El Capitan
- Climbed the Original route on Rainbow Wall with one take. Likely my best single day of climbing all year.
- Climbed El Capitan via Freerider over 4 days. Free climbed almost 75% of the pitches.
- Had an amazing trip to Indian Creek and climb my first handful of 5.12 crack routes.
- Finished the year in Sunnyvale ready for more trips to the Valley.
I think the most important thing this year has been a change in attitude. In the past I have been bent on doing things in a particular style. Climbing onsight and not wanting to get on climbs that I couldn’t do first try. This limited me mentally and I wouldn’t push myself as far as possible. This year my positive relaxed attitude really helped a lot and my climbing has noticeably improved.
I really hope to get in to a good routine in 2010 with more regimented training to prepare for climbing El Cap again as well as finding a few hard projects to keep me motivated.
Happy New Year’s Eve!