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June trip to the New River Gorge

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The New River Gorge had beautiful weather this weekend. The forecast for the weekend was, until Friday, near-certain thunderstorms.

Typical of the New, the weather proved unpredictable, and we had glorious sun the entire trip.

I was eager to get out to the New, since my last attempt to get out there was delayed by rather catastrophic car failure. I’ve been out of my already very limited training regimen, so I did not know how I would stack up against the rock, and against the other guys I was climbing with.

It turns out I can still climb, but not nearly as hard as I had hoped. I was fortunate to be climbing with guys who are far stronger than me.

Brian sent Puppy Chow, 12c, and Christian repeated Lactic Acid Bath 12d, and almost onsighted Puppy Chow. Preston onsighted Yowza, 5.12a (for his warmup) and Sean sent a 12a that was way harder than the 12b right next to it. There were many other displays of excellent climbing, but in summary - it was a pretty strong group. I brought up the rear by making at least the first bolt of everything I tried.

It was an awesome trip, despite me not climbing that hard, for two reasons:

  1. I’m motivated to keep training. Motivation is a valuable thing to have, and I’d lost it after almost three weeks of not training, and close to two months of no outdoor trips.

  2. I’m motivated to train smarter. My endurance was terrible - this is not a surprise, given the one-dimensional nature of my training, but I’m not taking it as an excuse. I want to train endurance, just as I train power. A standard route in the new probably has about sixty moves on it, so I will figure out how to approximate sixty moves on my metal door frame.

I had a few other enjoyable learning experiences during my trip. For example, I had never thought about the best way to pack for a climbing trip. I just threw a bunch of stuff in a bag, and spent the rest of my trip rummaging around for items that fell to the bottom of my bag. Next trip I’ll spend less time rummaging, and more time… not rummaging, all thanks to Sean’s good ideas.

I’m launching into a new training “regimen”, and I’m toying with training five days on, two days off.

I’m going to spend the next week fine-tuning my training. These are my tools: Door frame. Chair. Up to 30lbs on a weight belt. Space to campus up, full extension, but nothing to grab and hold that high.

If you guys have any suggestions, let me know. I’ll publish all the suggestions I get soon!