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Something Old, Something New - Ben Spannuth

Something Old, Something New - Ben Spannuth
January 03, 2013 - 

Well it looks like I’m behind the curve on this one but here’s some back story for the Something Old, Something New NRG video.


Early this Fall I thought I might be skipping out on the climbing godsend called Fall because I fell really hard, not climbing of course, onto an outstretched left hand and immediately felt a sharp pain in my palm/ wrist.

My first honest thought was that I wish I would have sprained/ strained/ broke/ whatever just happened my ankle or something on a lower, less vital limb…at least then I could campus or do something climbing related.  After about a week of not even thinking about trying to climb I hung on some jugs and my wrist was clearly looser than before so I decided to write off climbing until it was better.

Two weeks in I still can’t put on the seat belt with my left hand, four weeks I can finally open a jar and start doing a lot of rice bucket exercises, and six weeks in, the longest I’ve taken off climbing in at least 5 years, I head to the gym since I can finally do a pull up without it hurting too much.

Very psyched but extremely hesitant while moving I peter out in about an hour of doing a couple boulders that normally would be warm ups but leave my forearms, shoulders, and back more sore than they've been in well over a year.  It’s going to take a long time to get back to a level of feeling like I have strong fingers and am moving well again.

After an abridged couple weeks of Fall training in CO and a week in the Red to wait out the east coast Frankenstorm, while watching the most impressive couple climbing feats I’ve seen, it’s finally on to the New.

What’s going to happen?  What are the goals?  I’m not really sure this time.  When I head to a new area though, I’d been the the NRG once for a couple days but it’s so vast it was basically new, there seems to be an order of trying things: old classics, unrepeated routes, projects, then bolting new projects.  Things can obviously disrupt that order but in general the best lines have been bolted, climbed, and are a huge factor in what attracted you to the area, the unrepeated lines are cool because it helps solidify, the projects will always be fun to work on but there’s often a reason besides difficulty why they haven't been done, and bolting new stuff to climb that you envisioned is the highest tier if the rock and movement is good.

After learning more about the area and starting to get the feel of the climbing that progression turned into what seemed to be a great story of something old (Still Life), something new (Dihedral Project), something unrepeated (Picket Fence), something blue errr orange (Mango Tango).

That was quickly modified again though, to the videos version, since it’s always better to have multiple climbers, especially if they put the line up and Mr McNasty is  in town, and I had just bolted two sick brand new lines (almost, they each had 1-2 bolts, but that’ll have to wait for another blog).  Not to mention my wrist feels completely better after slowly building back up and I might be able to climb a few routes!

Overall, climbing at the New was a fantastic experience and I’m very grateful for the numerous locals that made the trip what it was.  I’ve gone a lot of places over the last year but found few I’d move to.  Also, thanks to Jon and DrawSomething for making the video possible.

Someone go to the dihedral/ arête project at the Lake!  There may be some kneebar trickery but they’re harder to made feel secure that it may look because the left feet are terrible and there's very little right hand opposition.

Enjoy the video!  Sorry the weather crapped out and I’m climbing/ retrieving draws from Journeyman while getting dripped on.


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