Last week I was able to capitalize on some prime early spring conditions at Nine Corners Lake with a repeat of a boulder problem that I established back in 2010. Moving Meditation- V6 is a highball face climb on the backside of the Tower Boulder that boasts some difficult crimp moves on a 25 ft. sheer face.
To my knowledge, only a handful of people have repeated the problem...I am hoping that this video will spark more interest so other climbers will get on it and enjoy the sequence as much as I do.
The video below was filmed and edited by my buddy Keith Banta. In my opinion, the compilation speaks for itself. For those of you who have a desire to send Thorazine this climbing season, this video should keep your psych levels high!
Man, Nine Corners is sooooo snowed in still!!! Navigating the boulders is a nightmare with the 24" of snow still in the woods and a lot of the classic lines are still snow covered and a sopping mess. There are however some climbable problems and I was able to repeat the burly problem called The Gatekeeper, despite the lingering winter conditions.
So, after climbing for the past decade and never spending more than a few minutes on an actual campus board because I absolutely suck at it...I realized (thanks mostly to the Anderson Brothers and their training book) that great improvement in personal climbing performance can be achieved if weaknesses are worked on instead of constantly trying to improve existing strengths.
I could always crimp on small holds, I could always utilize small/non-existent feet..but man do I struggle on powerful moves and brute contact strength! Enter the new training apparatus for my home climbing wall, aka the DOJO. This campus board is 7ft. in overall height (starting at chest-height and going up to my garage ceiling) and has three different sized campus rungs (1", 3/4" and the heinous 1/2") spaced at 6" on center, filling out the entire board. I am pretty handy with power tools, so I invested in some expensive oak hardwood and mitered and milled my own campus rungs for $45 instead of having to spend over $200 if I were to buy them from a retailer.
I am more than satisfied with the end result and plan on incorporating dedicated campus training sessions in a couple of weeks, probably after the prime spring conditions pass and the bugs and humidity overpower the Adirondacks. I am anxious to see what the additional contact strength will do for my personal climbing ability. Looking back on my personal climbing notes, I have done 40+ outdoor V8's, 20+ outdoor V9's and 3 V10's and have never been able to complete one basic campus ladder on the largest Metolius Campus Rungs. I can only image the holds I will be able to grab if one day I could do a complete campus ladder on my new 1/2" campus rungs!!! Hell, at this point I would be ecstatic to be able to do one compete campus ladder on the largest of the rungs.
Here's to working personal weaknesses to see what comes on it...
Conditions started out wonky on this particular outing...Sullivan and I were on the Erkinen bouldering warming up at 9am and it was 30 degrees and sleeting. In a matter of four hours, the temperature rose by nearly 30 degrees and we were blessed with an awesome day to be bouldering outdoors.
The video below highlights Sully and Banta making Spak Attack- V4 looks easy. All in all, it was a great day. There was a ton of sending and I even got to watch a CT bouldering friend Mike Bowsher http://www.thespraydown.com/ send his spring project, FOTOWA, sit V11! Good on ya mang! I know his video will be coming soon....
Here are some really quick video edits in attempts to keep everyone's psych levels high for the upcoming season! I have been working non-stop on the Adirondack Bouldering Guidebook (of course I have been sneaking in my indoor training and some sporadic outdoor climbing sessions) and am hopeful to be going to the printers at some point in May 2015. This should give everyone adequate time to get their hard copy for the summer/fall 2015 season!
Thanks for all of the patience and support with this...it ha proved to be a serious undertaking but is coming together quite nicely.
Today was a quick recon trip to the infamous Nine Corners Lake boulders in Caroga Lake, New York to try and gauge how much longer we have to wait for winter to let go of its' relentless hold over the climbing community. To sum it up quite simply, we are literally weeks maybe even a solid months away from good, dry, snow free climbing conditions. There is upwards of 36" of snow pack in the woods, the tops of the main boulders still hold an average of 24" and with the forecast of rain followed by more frigid temperatures, it won't take long for Nine Corners to turn into a sloppy mess.
On a positive note, it was cold enough today that nothing was melting so vertical and overhanging faces were dry enough to pull on some holds...but unfortunately nothing will be getting topped out until the snow recedes and Spring finally shows its' face.
It was evident today that the winter training has been working on my quick "bouldering circuit" in the sub-ideal conditions. I was able to get to the snow-covered top outs on a handful of boulder problems on my first try on each climb: Popadropalis, Try or Cry, Thorazine, The Origin, and Everything In. All in all, not a terrible way to spend an hour or so this afternoon...
The other day I had another excellent outdoor mileage bouldering session at Moss Island in Little Falls, NY. These rock outcrops along the Mohawk River become quite crowded during the nicer times of the year and sometimes resemble an indoor climbing gym with all of the climbing groups and top rope setups littering the cliff faces. This transition period between winter and spring, however, you can easily get a high volume climbing outing in there without running into another single climber all day.
Moss Island is where I was introduced to rock climbing and is a place that I frequently return to when the weather and conditions are still not favorable for rock climbing within the Adirondack State Park. I found myself searching for past climbing videos from this area online and found a neat documentary covering the rock formations on the island...I hope you find it to be informative andd enjoyable.