Sunday, December 25, 2016

Winter Training: Intro

  Okay so it has been nearly a month since my last blog post.  This lapse in updates is a direct result of an early end to the outdoor climbing season for 2016 and does not in any way reflect how hard I have continued to train despite the early showing of a full on northeast winter this year.

  Over the next couple of weeks, my goal is to continually update the blog with various training exercises and activities that I have been utilizing lately in attempts to hopefully become much stronger over the winter season.  My main tactic in this training split is to "bulk" up with heavy weight training while increasing my caloric intake so as I continue to train my finger strength on indoor climbing walls, hangboards, HIT strips, and campus rungs; my body gradually adjusts to climbing at a heavy weight.  This way, when I cut back the calories and heavy weight lifting leading up to the spring season and cut some unnecessary fingers will be stronger from being "bulky" all winter.

  Aside from the routine weight training, one of the exercises that I have been utilizing to specifically help increase my finger strength is the HIT strip system workout which was developed by Eric Horst of Nicros Climbing.

As outlined in the training manual for this system training product, I begin with a complete full body warm up followed by some stretching and then 30-45 minutes of bouldering which gets progressively more difficult and ends on a couple of problems that are right at my personal limit.  Upon completing the bouldering session, I rest a couple of minutes and then start the HIT strip workout.  The HIT strips consist of (5) identical rungs and (8) identical pinches.  The rungs are evenly spaced on a 45 degree overhanging wall and the pinches are placed evenly between the rungs.  The workout looks like this:

  • (3) sets on the open hand crimp hold
  • (2) sets on the pinches
  • (2) sets on the 2-finger pockets (3rd team...pinky and ring finger)
  • (2) sets on the 2-finger pockets (1st team...index and middle finger)
  • (2) sets on the 2-finger pockets (2nd team...ring and middle finger)
  • (2) sets on the jugs 
  The key to this workout is to add enough additional weight for resistance to each grip position so that you fail on each set around the 20-25th hand movement.  After each set, there needs to be a full 3 minute rest period for recovery.  This workout is extremely taxing and 2 days of rest is needed before another climbing session should occur.  Also I have been limiting myself to 2 HIT strip workouts a week, maximum!  It is important to note that for me, the 3rd team 2-finger pocket (pinky and ring finger) are extremely weak and underdeveloped for for the first month of so I would simply do static wall hangs on them.  I am not able to complete 10 hand movements on them but it still feel really awkward and a bit tweaky at times so proceed with caution.  All of my resistance weights have increased on the other hold positions as well with an increase in my fingers are definitely getting stronger in the process.  Below are some pictures of Ken Murphy and I sneaking in a HIT Strip workout:

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Marathon Day at Nine Corner Lake (200 V-Points)

  Ten days ago, on Thursday November 17, 2016; Ken Murphy and I rendezvoused at the Nine Corner Lake trail head in the early afternoon to embark on what I thought was an extremely ambitious goal for a single climbing session.  We had both set our sights on trying to successfully climb 200 V-points in a single session.  In the past I had successfully hit the lofty 100 V-point session (on three separate occasions), and last December I had achieved my personal highest single day total at Nine Corner Lake with 136 V-points.  That high volume session followed an extremely successfully fall 2015 season and I was feeling extremely strong and fit at the time and was still 64 V-points away from the 200 point mark.    

  Murphy and I began climbing at 11:00 am and I did not top out my last boulder problem until around 5:00 pm.  When it was all said and done I had somehow reached the 200 V-point mark and Murphy finished the session with 103 V-points.  We were exhausted, sore, lethargic, and missing layers of skin on our aching fingers.  This was an extremely difficult personal challenge and something that I am in no rush to attempt again anytime soon.  That night I had to work the night shift at the fire dept and am very thankful that we had a quiet night at the station.

  Next May for my 33rd birthday I am planning on attempting a 300 V-point day...100 V-points at three separate Adirondack Bouldering locations.  My rough plans start with spending the night up in Lake Placid so I can begin the challenge at McKenzie Pond early the next morning.  After completing a session there, I plan on traveling down Route 30 S so I can hit Snowy Mountain in the late morning/early afternoon.  Hopefully after successfully completing the session there, the final destination will be my local Nine Corner Lake for the remaining 100 V-points.  Is this even possible?  Will the mind, body, and skin hold of long enough to complete the task?  I honestly have no idea!!!

  This insane vision was influenced by a couple of Massachusetts climbers who successfully did the same V-point challenge at three separate New England bouldering locations in one day.  Pawtuckaway, Great Barrington, and finally Farley.  Their travel/driving time was much greater than the one that I am panning but all of the guys who successfully completed the challenge are extremely strong and gifted rock climbers.  Combined they successfully climbed over 1,000 V-points in a single day!    

Here is my tick list (200 V-points, 41 boulder problems):

G.  Lookout Boulder

        • #37     Andrugen                                (V2)
        • #37b   Lookout, Traverse                  (V4)
        • #41     Can You See my Eyeball        (V4)
        • #41b   Glass Eyeball                         (V4)
        • #42     Eye Socket                             (V4)
        • #44     Creeping Death                      (V3)
        • #45     Mind'r Business                      (V5)
        • #46     Cherokee Challenge                (V4) 
H.  Fortress Boulder 
        • #53     Meat and Potatoes                  (V1)
        • #56     Popadropolis                           (V5)
        • #57     Pop or Drop                            (V7)                               

E.  Wall Boulder 

        • #25     Spores                                     (V7)
        • #27     Long Live Legos                     (V7)
        • #28     Thorazine                                (V8)   
        • #29      Lighter Burden                       (V8)
        • #30      Heart Attack Man                   (V5)
        • #32      Bearded Arnie                        (V7)    

B.  Gate Boulder 
        • #4        The Gatekeeper                      (V8)
        • #5        Everything In                          (V4)
        • #6        The Origin                              (V5)
        • #7        The Cryptologist                    (V3)     

L.  Nick Stoner Boulder 
        • #90        Love Cats                              (V7)
        • #92        Diatom                                   (V3)
        • #94        Dave's Problem                      (V3)
        • #94b       007                                        (V7)

T1.  Wave Boulder  
        • #64a      Whip Tide, Stand                    (V7)
        • #65a       Lifeguard Training, Stand      (V4)
        • #66         Beached Whale                      (V3)
Q1.  Cave Boulder                 
        • #53         Nippin Out                             (V3)
        • #53b       Frost Bite                               (V5)
        • #54         Chillen                                   (V4)
        • #54a       The Earthling                         (V5)
        • #55         Psychosomatic                       (V6)
        • #57         Dry Ice                                   (V4)
        • #57a       Crazy Ice                                (V6)
C1.  Saccharine Boulder
        • #8          One Second Suffering             (V3)
        • #9          Even Stevia                             (V5)
        • #10        Diamonds are Forever             (V4) 
        • #13a      Instant Yoga, Var.                     (V8)
        • #15        Shape Shifter                           (V4)
B1.  Equal Boulder
        • #4          Sugar Buzz                              (V4)



Thursday, November 24, 2016

300th Blog Post!!! Nine Corner Lake: Big Kahuna Boulder

  Hey readers and fellow climbers!  Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there.  This post is officially my 300th blog post (I am also only 31 page views away from 100,000 all time views!) so I thought I would share a quick video highlighting some less frequented boulder problems at the one and only Nine Corner Lake Boulders.  These climbs are on the massive Big Kahuna Boulder and are worth a try if you are ever out that way.  Winter is in full effect currently but lets hope for a random break in this cold/snowy weather before it is winter full time until spring.

Happy Thanksgiving and happy climbing/training!

Media Update:

Monday, November 21, 2016

Canada Lake Boulders (aka Pinnacle Boulders) - Part 2

  As promised, here is the second video for the Canada Lake Boulders.  The problems shown in the video; Windtalker (V7) and Power House (V8) are exclusively on the new property that the Access Fund recently acquired from miss Ellen Wood and her family.  Back in 2006 I had established the stand start to Power House where left hand started on the undercling and right hand started on the crescent crimp/edge.  This new sit start adds two powerful moves and felt like it was in the V8 range.  If winter ever eases up, please get out there and try it and let me know what you think.

  Happy early winter and indoor training dudes!

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Canada Lake Boulders (aka Pinnacle Boulders) - Part 1

  So with my rotating schedule at the fire dept., I have been fortunate enough to sneak in random weekday bouldering sessions before my night shifts at the Canada Lake Boulders.  As some of you already know, these boulders were part of a recent land acquisition that the Access Fund played a pivotal role in securing for future climbing access.

  Here is Part 1 of a short two part video series.  Enjoy and happy climbing!

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Montague Bouldering, Western Massachusetts

  This past weekend I had a very enjoyable bouldering session with some of the SAC crew members (Corey Schauble, John Sullivan, Ken Murphy, and me) in western Mass. at the Happy Valley and Hideaway Boulders.  The day consisted of way too much time in the car driving but an equal amount of time spent trying hard on some great boulder problems and tons of laughs with the guys as we literally vibed the shit out of other climbing groups.  Our crew was hyped up on too much caffeine and the psych was through the roof!  At the end of the day, not an overwhelming amount of problems were sent but that did not do justice to all of the efforts and try hard attempts that happened that day.

  Happy fall climbing everyone...

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