Project Kong

The ambition to on-sight 7a by an older man returning to climbing.

Archive for the ‘climbing’ Category

Day’s of Power – how to have them and how to avoid an injury!

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I had a day of power yesterday. I felt light and every hold felt large and positive. I felt I could climb anything. Projects were dispatched with ease and I felt a huge reservoir of power.

The last time I felt this excess of strength I did two 7A boulder problems and a 7B problem which had been eluding me for months and it felt easy. But  I injured myself in the process and strained a tendon in my left index finger and my right pinkie. I was so pumped up that I didn’t really notice until the next day. The lesson I learnt is that muscles have a Day of Power, but tendons don’t. Tendons (for the thousandth time) take much longer to get strong than muscles. But when I was pulling on a two finger half pad pocket on the 7B and felt light. I had forgotten that.

But yesterday I remembered it. So I didn’t charge down to my projects and start ripping myself apart. I had a great day felt like a god but kept it mortal for the sake of the tendons, which have only just recovered 🙂

However for those who wish to ignore my warning regarding Day’s of Power here are the secret tricks. But you have been warned. My Day’s of Power always come after a couple of months of intense climbing where I can feel that I am over-climbing a bit and starting to ache. I then take a five days off and do one good day of climbing. But not exhausting. Then another five days without climbing. I don’t drink for a few days before and sleep really well. I didn’t do any other exercise apart from some yoga and antagonistic exercises like push ups etc. Then you will be ready. Basically exercise the opposite of your climbing muscles but leave the climbing guns alone for a few days.

Oh and eat plenty the night before and on the day itself never get hungry. Keep snacking so that body is full of the good stuff. Oh and a bit of protein at lunch seemed to help if you are climbing in the afternoon.

That’s what works for me:)

Written by Journo

August 31, 2011 at 10:39 am

Outclimbed by BernabĂ© FernĂĄndez of Chilam Balam fame.

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So I’m climbing in the easiest area of San Bartolo with my girlfriend Katja and her cousin from Switzerland.  A man arrived after us with his pretty girlfriend who was a beginner. He seemed vaguely familiar but I couldn’t place him. Every time I finished a route he came over and climbed a route next to me much better. I did harder and harder routes and the guy did them more and more easily. So I head towards the hardest route I’ve ever done. Dandy Con Laprones in Habitacion a 7a. I’m pretty confident he won’t be following me up this one, I thought. I struggle up, making lots of grunting noises have one fall but finally make it. The guy strolls over and asks if I’ve finished. ‘Uh yes. You are going to try it’ I say incredulously. ‘Yes I think I will give it a try’. He climbs it with stunning ease and then continues without stopping up another route above which is even harder a 7a+. When he comes down I congratulate him and ask him what is the hardest route he has done on sight. He tries to hide a smirk and gives me a grade which makes him one of the best climbers in the World. It is then that I place his face and realise that it is him on the cover of the main guide book for Andulacia doing the hardest route in the world !!!

To be fair to me…. He was a really humble guy and not at all flashy and he was climbing 4b and 5+ and then a 6b and then finally the 7a and 7a+ extension. But his technique was super awesome and he did every move with a new twist or movement which was like a masterclass for me. I’ve seen a guy doing the 8b next to Lamprones and watched him climb Dandy as well. His technique wasn’t as good as Barnabe. Oh and of course on the big question of whether he did Chilam Balam. For sure, the guys a climbing genius 🙂

 

Written by Journo

August 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Redpoint of Mako Blaster 7a, Los Buitres, San Bartolo.

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So pleased to get this route in the bag. It’s one of those short bouldery routes with easy moves around a really hard crux. The grade for the these short bouldery routes always represents the one hard move. Whereas on longer routes the crux can be much easier especially on stamina/endurance routes.

But on Mako Blaster it really is a one move 7a. So it packs all its punch into that one move. And it is a move!! Personally I feel it is a hard 6A+/ 6B boulder move. But it always feels so different when you are climbing with a rope rather than away from a mat.

I’ve fallen off it twice in the past, just to pull straight back on and do it easily. But this time I actually changed my approach and really looked up at the actual crux itself and visualised how I would do it before I left the ground. This small mental effort made a really big difference. Once up there it all flowed and I got the sequence easily, even if the move still felt hard.

Written by Journo

August 5, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Dandy con Lamparones 7a, San Bartolo

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This is a short and bouldery 7a which I got second go. The first go I went too far right which is almost another route and much much harder. Maybe 7a+. The actual route is fair for the grade and gives sustained climbing for it’s short length.

However, it’s all on the fingers so it moves into power endurance near the end as you never really get a break.

You can find it on the Dandy wall opposite HabitaciĂłn at San Bartolo. The route Sara 6B is hard for the grade on the left of Dandy and is a three star warm up before a try.

Written by Journo

July 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm

El Club de los escaladores muertos – 6b+ – on sight

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This is a great route at El Bujeo. Big holds with massive reaches and good foot holds.  The route is obvious so it is just thugging up the rib until you run out of holds and that’s the crux. The hardest move is just a big open handed pinch on the rip and step up on big foot holds. Soft for the grade which is strange as every other route there is hard for the grade? Well it maybe that big pulls are my speciality.

El Club de los escaladroes muertos 6b+

The 6c+ to the right is fierce for the grade Historia Triste. It has three distincly hard moves. It has a Font 6B boulder move start with loads of small crimpy lay away moves and foot movements. Then  onto a rest and then a Font 5+ traverse move using a dodgy pinch and a swing, before a sort off balance rest cramped under the roof and then a Font 6A mantle shelf past the lower off for the finish. Fell off the mantle last time I tried. Any route which has the hardest move at the end is always a quality outing!! Apparently it is 6a+ if you miss the boulder move start. But I tried this and think it is a good 6b+. In my opinion the whole route is a safe 7a or more. Definitely the hardest route to link that I’ve tried.  But maybe I’ll downgrade it once I’ve done it ;).

Historia Triste 6c+ (allegedly!!)

Written by Journo

June 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Practice falls and damage to the rope.

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After doing loads of practice falls I’ve started getting a little bit more concerned about the wear and tear on the rope. I’ve found this great site which works out your fall factor based on your weight, length of rope and distance from last bit of gear.

Invaluable!! http://www.myoan.net/climbart/climbforcecal.html

But how many can I do before I need to change the rope???

Written by Journo

May 18, 2010 at 9:43 am

Falling practice

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I am back doing endurance as I have done my three weeks of bouldering and I can feel my muscles getting stronger than my ligaments. So back to mosaico and los buitress for some real routes. I decided to kick off by taking Dave Macleod’s advice of doing some fall practice every time you climb. So on the first time on No es broma a 6b on Mosaico wall I climbed to above fifth bolt and fell onto the fourth three times. On the last pulling up a bit of slack for a bit of extra air time. First time took a bit to let go but did get used to it. Dave reckons that until you find falling boring you’re still scared of it!!

I’m always suprised by how gentle the catch is on falls. It seems the longer it is the more stretch the rope has and the softer the landing. The only bad part is the swing in which hurt my toes at bit. But that was probably because Amy was attached to a tree so her not being dragged up the cliff didn’t soften the blow!

Here is the man himself taking a monster whipper on an E11 right on the last move. Awesome!!

Written by Journo

May 7, 2010 at 8:02 am