Remember when you were younger and Summer vacation was 3 months long and seemed to go on forever? Even though I was pretty active as a kid I was always bored after a couple weeks. I always looked forward to school starting again. Maybe that's just because I am a nerd who has always enjoyed school but it was also before climbing was all I wanted to do. Now I feel completely the opposite...I just want more time to climb!
I have been getting out as much as I can and climbing as much as possible. I have one more week (out of three) left of vacation. It just doesn't seem like enough. I had planned to go to Squamish and Colorado this Summer but at the end of the semester funds were desperately low and I was forced to stay local. Fortunately there are some amazing climbing destinations not too far from the Bay Area.
Last weekend I went up to Way Lake which is on the East side of the Sierras near Mammoth. It's alpine bouldering at 10,000 feet that is reminiscent of RMNP in Colorado. The rock is a type of gneiss I have been told, but I think its looks a little bit like schist. I think we were the first ones out there for the season as nothing had chalk on it and there was heinous amounts of snow still on the ground. Since we couldn't see the trails and I had only been there once two years ago we ended up forging our own path up to the boulder field and throughout the boulders. The first day there we spent mostly hiking around and finding all the climbs we wanted to see. We got lost a lot and ended up trekking up and down, back and forth and around the whole mountain side. As tiring as that was (I had my biggest Revolution pad on and I'm from sea level), it really seemed to help us become acclimated for the rest of the trip. Moses and I sent a really nice slightly overhanging climb called Crimp Ladder (V7) which was actually pretty difficult for me. The landing is a little scary because the climb is in a talus field and has a sloped landing over another rock. The sequence is pretty straight-forward (as the name suggests) but I had to try extra hard to send because there is a huge blind deadpoint to a small crimp slot. If you are a bit taller you can use some really good feet and you don't have to reach as far but I had to stand on some pretty bad little foot holds and use some mega body tension to stick the move. It felt way hard to me. It took many tries to send because of the precision and accuracy the deadpoint demanded coupled with the sheer amount body tension. I am glad I stuck with it and didn't let myself get frustrated with it. After climbing here we hiked over to Meadow Roof to try those problems. I tried Meadow Roof (V8) a few times having no luck figuring out how to do the super long move at the end which is a HUGE span. Moses sent Meadow Roof easily and was working on Chumscrubber (V11/12) which is on the same boulder so I decided to try a it a little bit too and I had much more luck on this climb. There is a big reach and the end but its not too terrible and you have a really good heel hook. The rest of the moves are compression with sidepull crimps and a lot of heel hooking which weren't too bad for me. Moses sent on our last day there which was also the hottest day. It was a very inspiring send. I would really like to go back and send this climb. It has some really fun movement and is really steep! There were a bunch more climbs we wanted to get on but it was so hot on Sunday since there were no clouds and we ended up leaving early and driving back home.
Here is a link to some videos of problems at Way Lake by Paul Barraza.
The following week I spent a lot of time at the gym. I climbed five days in a row and even had morning AND evening sessions on some days. When I got back from Way Lake I was SUPER motivated by Moses' send and hearing about fellow 5.10 athlete Angie Payne sending Clear Blue Skies (V11) and No More Greener Grasses (V12), both of which I have tried briefly before and would like to get back on, as well as hearing about a slew of other recent hard female ascents. I wanted to climb. Plastic or rock, it didn't matter. It's all climbing and I just wanted to climbclimbclimb and push myself.
This weekend I went to Trinity Aretes which is in the Trinity Alps one hour east of Arcata, CA on the 299. Trinity Aretes is a really sweet limestone sport crag bolted by Eric Chemello and Paul Humphrey. Its a great summer crag as it's in the shade all day. It is full of tufas, pinches, crimps and has 60-100' routes on everything from slab to steep, 5.8 to 5.14. There are only about 60-70 climbs there but its a stellar area. Last time I was there was exactly a year ago and it was a good trip. I was excited to get back. We were only there for Saturday and part of Sunday. I worked out beta for a climb called Spliff (5.13c) which splits off from a climb called If (5.13b) that I did last year. I also tried a climb that I think is called Burn Victim (5.13c) which was really bouldery and steep to some really sharp crimping on a face. Ouch! I kind of still want to do it though. The real reason I came was to scope out Mean Streak (5.14a) but with such a short trip I didn't have a chance to try it. Mean Streak, put up by Chris Lindner, is one of the best looking lines there. It follows a grey/blue streaked tufa up a steep arete and looks pinchy the whole way with some sidepull crimps thrown in. Pinches are my favorite! I am going to go back this weekend to send Spliff and try Mean Streak.
I really need to get a good camera and take more pictures. For now, one more week of vacation left and I'm going to live it up and climb as much as possible. The next quarter at school, my 7th of 12 is supposed to be a difficult quarter academically and I also have to take Board Exams Part I around the end of the quarter. With that said, its going to be a busy two and half months until my next bit of free time so I am going to try and climb as much as I can now.