It’s hard for me to believe that it’s already the beginning of September and I start my junior year of high school in two days! Summer 2012 really flew by…but it was a really good time, so I’m not complaining. After I got back from a month at the red, I stayed at home for a week or so, then headed down to the New River Gorge in West Virginia for a week. It was a great trip- we had amazing weather the entire week, stayed at a pretty cool campground (there were even free warm showers!), and got a lot of good climbing in. Our first day there we went to Honeymooners’ Ladders at Endless Wall, where I got on a route called Quinsana Plus. It’s a dead vertical 13a with really cool movement and a great mix of technical climbing as well as powerful moves. My first run I got shut down on, but by the end of the day, despite bleeding from two of my fingertips, I had some pretty good beta down, and hopefully the route will go the next time I’m there. The next day we went to Summersville Lake, which is possibly my favorite sport crag. The hike isn’t too steep, even if it is kind of long, there are a lot of five star climbs, and the scenery is amazing. We warmed up on one of my favorite climbs, a 5.10d called Jesus is My License Plate, then walked over to the Coliseum. The Coliseum is one of my favorite places to climb at: there are some great routes there, some involving some pretty technical face climbing, others are a bit steeper and pumpy, which is pretty atypical of the New. Besides this, the area is about 15 ft off the water, so you can put a burn in on a route, then jump in and swim in the lake for a bit. I wanted to work on a climb called Apollo Reed there. It’s another 13a located in the main amphitheater area, and a five star route. I tried it two years ago, when I was 13, but I was shorter and had trouble around the shield crux at the second bolt. This time, I came back and stuck that move quickly, but had a lot of trouble at the upper crux. Eventually I was able to stick the move by dynoing, but it felt pretty low percent. The next day was Tuesday, and we decided to take a rest day, since it was kind of overcast. We went to breakfast at the Cathedral Café (they have a 5.10 special there) and saw the new Batman movie, then made a Walmart run. Wednesday we went back to Endless, only to a different area, and I sent a project from when I was 13 called New World Order. Finally, Thursday being our last climbing day, we went back to the Coliseum. I tried Apollo and on my first run got to the upper crux, but couldn’t come close to sticking the dyno after seven clips of hard, pumpy climbing. We met some French Canadian climbers there, one of whom gave me beta that involved a heel hook, and made the move way easier. My next go, I stuck the move, then slipped off the redpoint crux. After that, I was exhausted, but I took a rest, got back on and managed to send! Finishing Apollo got me motivated to try a route called Reckless Abandon, which my friends were trying. It’s a great route, and incredibly picturesque. Unfortunately, I was really spent from the last week, so I had no luck on it. We headed back that Friday, and I’m really psyched to get back to finish up all the projects I have there. After the New, I was home for another week, then off to Bishop with my friends Alex, Amir, and Eli, as well as some people from out there. The climbing was pretty cool there, even with the 100+ heat making the holds feel a lot worse than they really were. I sent some classics such as Big Chicken (V3), Serengeti (V5), Ironman (V$), and Go, Granny, Go (V5), as well as managed to flash Action Figure (V6). Besides these, I worked on Cholos, which was really fun, and I felt super close on it. Besides climbing, we went swimming a lot, saw quite a few bears, and had one of the most exhausting rest days of my life. I think I ran, walked, or hiked about 5 miles that day, and with the exception of my skin, was more tired from that than from climbing. I got home from Bishop in mid August, and since then haven’t been climbing. I decided to take a few weeks off before starting up the bouldering season this fall, to prevent any possible injuries and all. I start school this Wednesday, and that’s about when I’m going to start up training as well. Thanks so much to everyone who has helped me this summer, from my parents to anyone who’s given me a catch on a project or anything, as well as a huge thank you to Five Ten for all their support!
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