Sunday, August 10, 2008

The challenge day

Friday 2 days before my birthday at 7:23am Natalie, Kurt and I start the challenge on The Bulb 5.8. I decided on allowing 3 laps per route, lead only, no route easier than 5.8. I would do my 3 laps one right after another, pulling the rope for each lead. Then, Kurt would do a top rope lap and Natalie would either lead or top rope a lap and clean the draws. This allowed me some rest and my team would get some climbing in too.
First route:Next was Son's of the Soil 5.10a, Groovy 5.9, Tres Equis 5.8 (time 9:16am)
Next the very pumpy First Normal Form.
Time for the meat of the Challenge.
Season of Storms 5.10a, More Better 5.10b
Count Chocula 5.10a
Finished the 10's by doing Private Property 5.10a. Next it's time to work on the 5.9's. Leonid 5.9+, Local Hebrew 5.9-, Strongman 5.9+, Controversy 5.9- (time 3:36pm), Frankenberry 5.9+, Lion Tamer 5.9-. Now for the final 5.9, the dreaded Jackhole. It is he hardest 5.9- at the ranch for sure. I was a bit worried about doing 3 laps in a row so late in the game on this one. But it went by OK. Time to cruise on the remaining 5.8's. Around the Fur 5.8, Harry Butthole Pussy Potter 5.8+ (painful crimps at this point), African Herbman 5.8+ and finally I only had to do 2 laps on the classic Green Goblin 5.8.

So the final tally was:
Leads on 5.10 (3 laps each on 5 different routes) 15
Leads on 5.9 (3 laps each on 8 different routes) 24
Leads on 5.8 (3 laps each on 6 routes, 2 laps on 1) 20

Finish time for me was 8:00pm (12.5 hours)and for the team was 8:23 (13 hours)
Grand total: 59 routes on lead no falls.

Natalie and Kurt did all the same routes but did one lap each and Natalie was a trooper by doing two laps on the final route to give the team a total of 100 routes.
I averaged roughly 4.7 routes/hour and the team averaged 7.6 routes/hour.

Big Thanks to the team of Natalie and Curt.
Guess which hands are mine:
After the fun, the rest of our crew from Kansas City showed up later than night (Dan, Laura, Ross, Garrett). Saturday at the ranch was beautiful. I was moving a little slowly but we decided to finish off the 4 5.8's at the North Forty that we hadn't done the day before and socialize with our homies. My fingers were a bit tender but we moved slowly through our final goal and even snuck in a 5.6 trad route to test my new Big Bro! Before we did our final 5.8, I asked Natalie if she wanted to try Crimp Scampi 5.10d. This is ne of the most sought after 5.10 at Horseshoe Canyon ranch. She had gotten on it on top rope for the very first time on our last trip and had to figure out intermediate moves on some parts because of her, how should I phrase this, height challenge. She moved up through the difficult opening sequence and got up to the difficult 4th bolt clip. With the rope extended for the clip she took a graceful ride!

She corrected he body position and got to the top after two falls. Since my partner was motivated, it motivated me. I had sent Crimp Scampi before but it would be another great birthday challenge to get it after my previous day's work. I felt pretty strong but on the final crux only got half a pad on the key slot and took a ride. I finished up but neither Natalie or I were satisifed.
Nat was determined and after a rest she started back up. This time she smoothly move through all three cruxes, taking a brief shake out before the final crux and SENT THIS BAD BOY.
Now motivated, I decided to try to put a stamp on my birthday weekend.
Leather and Lace put the finishing touches by both leading Crimp Scampi 5.10d
Kurt is fairly new to climbing and this was only his second trip to HCR. His previous trip had been limited to some fairly tame routes. On this trip he did all the 8's, 9's and 5 of the 10's in the North Forty with only taking a fall on 3 routes, First Normal, More Better, and Jackhole. But, he continued and finished all of them. Then on Saturday he switched from top-roping to leading and successfully lead First Normal Form with no falls.
Here is Kurt pulling the crux of First Normal Form with Tommy leading Green Goblin to his right.THEN THE RAINS CAME.
Sooooo we moved the birthday party to the Tee PeeAndy Chasteen joined us for burgers, dogs, and birthday cake. I was surprised by being presented a Yellow Link Cam from my friends in the addrock group. Thanks everyone.
We finished off the rainy night by watching Dosage V in the Lodge, thanks to Jason.


Monday, August 4, 2008

2008 Birthday Challenge

I will be 59 on August 10, 2008. Since that falls on a Sunday I will attempt my birthday challenge over that weekend with the bulk of the challenge being on Friday. If the weather doesn't cooperate, Saturday will be the "plan b" day.

The challenge is to lead 59 routes at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Jasper Arkansas. The plan is to allow repeat leads of the same route but nothing below 5.8. Since Natalie and I did 60 routes each in 24 hours during the HCR Hell competition last year, the goal is certainly within reach. The difference is that we did quite a few 5.7's in that comp and it actually took 23 hours. I hope to average 4 routes per hour (giving my belayers a chance to get some climbing in too) so the goal it to complete all leads in 15 hours.

The weekend of July 24th Nat and I averaged almost 3 routes an hour each and did two laps each on all our targeted 5.10's in HCR's North Forty. Nat has agreed to be a partial belay slave (she will do one lap to my 2 or 3 laps) so if my hands hold up I hope to push that up to 4 routes per hour.