Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer is HERE!

So obviously I haven't kept this little blog piece up as well as I could and I'm sorry.... but we've been out CLIMBING!  The last few months have been sort of a battle with the weather (of course) but we have truly persevered and thusly, are climbing at a level we're both very happy with.  With regular trips down to The Front to keep the power level up, and stints between American Fork and the west Utah desert, we're really diversifying our "daily workout" to accommodate power climbing, resistance climbing, and power endurance workouts.  Mixing up our climbing styles has been an interesting change for both of us.  When we go out, climb, and are hiking out at the end of the day, we've noticed ourselves sort of saying, "gosh, I didn't really feel terribly strong today, I just felt okay."  I know right, not that exciting.  It wasn't until our last trip up to A.F. that we realized that all this variation is paying off.  We've come to realize that we aren't having bad days anymore, we're always progressing in some fashion.  Whether it's a level of extra power on a particular move or the ability to hang on for two more bolts, it's gains in strength and endurance, everything a climber wants almost every single time we leave the ground.  So as a test, we popped into Hell for a day, those of you in the climbing circle know that Hell is one of those old school areas with a high concentration of hard routes, few rests, and stiff grades.  Even though it's not the season for it, we hung draws on a national test piece known as Blow of Death or simply Dead Souls.

A gold standard for "hard as shit", this route is short, sweet, and to the point.  Weighing in at a hefty 5.13d, it is quite tough for that grade, in a lesser area it would most likely retain a 5.14 rating.  Though short, the climb packs a serious punch in little less than 30 feet.  Each move relentlessly hard, requiring long pulls off of very small holds (one of which is a mono, a pocket that only accepts one finger) the climb is truly merciless.  Enter team Gasch.  Upon hanging the draws, we set off to just feel out the holds, the moves, really just see if we could link any two holds together in an efficient fashion.  It was hot, it was sunny, and not a good day for projecting the route but we gave it our best and feel like we really made serious progress.  Lindsay figured out 80% of the climb including the first crux which for her, is a huge deadpoint to the mono.  I was able to link all the way up to the highest crux which we were eager to dive into, but the blinding sun did not allow.  Holy Crap Batman, where'd this 'try hard' come from?!  Needless to say we're super excited... Lindsay called me from work today to explain how psyched she was on climbing and how strong she's feeling, this is a good thing!

We've also been spending a fair amount of time at a new cave in the west Utah desert on the edge of the salt flats.  Now I know your thinking "did he just try and tell me there's climbing in the salt flats?"  The answer is yes.  At present there are some concerns with the volume of people at the crag, trash, and of course some climbing politics.  As much as I'd love to bring every one of my friends to this place and have the sickest climbing day ever, now isn't the time.  I'll leave it by saying it's not a bad little crag to have in the "backyard" and hopefully we can all take care of it and ensure all who want to check it out can.  Until then, don't ask, I can't tell.  Enjoy the pictures and then get off your ass and go CLIMB!