Monday, March 2, 2015

Eager for some Warmer Weather...

While working on the Adirondack Bouldering Guidebook this afternoon, I found some random pictures from the Marble Zone in the southern portion of the Adirondack I can't wait for some outdoor climbing weather!!!  I know everyone is as ready as I am for some good old outdoor sending...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Thorazine- An Adirondack Bouldering Classic

Anyone who has visited Nine Corners Lake to climb on the numerous boulder problems there is most likely familiar with a problem called Thorazine- V8.  This climb was my first real project when I started bouldering over 10 years ago because it looked like it climbed really well in a video that Kippy had produced and uploaded on an old bouldering website called  At the time, the climbing was well above my ability level but the best part about this boulder problem was that it could easily be broken down into two distinct sections; the stand start and the lower sit start moves.  There is an obvious two-handed edge just around head height on the wall boulder where I could start halfway into the climb to try and dial in the upper moves.  Once this portion of the climb became easier, the lower starting moves could then be worked out and eventually pieced together.

I still remember the first time that I sent Thorazine from the full sit start nearly 8 years ago.  I fell on the move going to the lip a dozen times that day yet somehow stayed focused and psyched enough to finally complete the problem.  In the months that followed that ascent, I would repeat the problem as many times as I could and I eventually got to the point where I was convinced that the boulder problem had become so east to climb that it felt easier than some neighboring V4's and V5's at Nine Corners Lake.  That relocation of the boulder problem feeling so easy directly correlates to the strength of muscle memory.  I had done it so many times that it felt easy for me, but did that mean that it was in fact easy?

In the years that followed, I would encounter moments when I was unable to send Thorazine from the sit start.  I had all sorts of excuses when I would fail:  the conditions were horrible (humid, wet, too warm), I wasn't in good climbing shape, my finger strength was weak, I forgot how to match on the edge, the foot hold was too greasy...the list could go on and on.  But after all of these years and over 100 repeats on the classic boulder problem it became apparent to me that Thorazine is just a difficult climb.  It takes good climbing technique, good body position as well as good climbing strength to successfully send.  It is one of my favorite boulder problems in the Adirondack State Park and I hope that many others get to enjoy the process of climbing it like I have.

This past summer I again ran into a period of time where I could not repeat Thorazine from the sit start.  It was when I was away at the New York State Firefighters Academy.  I was gone most of the week for training to become a full time interior firefighter but I was able to be home for the weekends.  Each weekend that I was home, I would sneak up to Nine Corners to get a bouldering session in.  The first few weekends didn't go very well in the way of sending numerous boulder problems but as the sessions started to add up, my body was quickly readjusting to bouldering outdoors again.  Soon enough, Thorazine felt "easy" again and I recorded over 25 repeat sends this fall alone.  I even got to the point of logging a 100 V-point session at Nine Corners Lake this past fall...something that  had not been able to repeat in over four years.  Proof again that muscle memory is a very powerful thing!    

Here is a little information on where the name Thorazine came from:

Thorazine is used for:
Treating certain mental or mood disorders (eg, schizphrenia), the manic phase of manic-depressive disorder, anxiety and restlessness before surgery, the blood disease porphyria, severe behavioral and conduct disorders in children, nausea and vomitting, and severe hiccups.  It is also used with other medicines to treat symptoms associated with tetanus.  It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

The Guidebook Beta:
1.  Thorazine (V8) ****
Sit start with your left hand on a large block and your right hand and right heel matched on a large sloping shelf out right.  Climb up the overhanging face on sidepulls and edges to an exciting top out.  One of the best at Nine Corners Lake!

Media Update:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

More Exploration Leads to More Discovery...

I have been really tied up lately with all of the Adirondack Bouldering Guidebook work.  I recently headed back into the woods to GPS yet another area that will be included in the comprehensive book and stumbled across the items depicted in the images below.

There are 10 or so boulders that are definitely worth developing and the cliff that sits above the boulders will produce some stellar routes as well.  I am anxiously awaiting the publication of the guidebook and the spring climbing season!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Great Barrington Bouldering: Kindred Spirits- V9

I have been fortunate with the weather and the new job/career cooperating with one another.  Outside of the Fire Department duties I have been able to focus a good deal of time and effort on the Adirondack Bouldering Guidebook, working out, training for climbing, and most importantly...actually getting outside and climbing on real rock.

Last week I met up with Greg Stone (AKA Stone Master) at Reservoir Rocks in Great Barrington, MA to get a quick bouldering session in.  As the day progressed, we eventually made our way out to a beautiful boulder/outcrop that has Kindred Spirits-V9 and True Bleau- V10 on it.  After a dozen or so attempts, both Greg and I were making great progress on Kindred Spirits.  By the end of the session, I was consistently falling after sticking the crux lip hold and was confident that on a return visit I would be able to send the boulder problem quickly.  Stone Master was also freakishly close to linking a long standing project called was very inspiring to witness first hand.

I returned this week and was psyched to run into Tyler and his friend Matt.  Matt was also exited to get on Kindred Spirits which meant more positive energy and some helpful spotters!  I was able to send the problem on my first try of the day and Matt made some really good progress on the line.  Thanks again for the psych and spotting fellas!

Media Update:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Great Barrington, MA: The Probe Boulder

Here is a quick video from last week on the Probe Boulder in Great Barrington, MA.  I am hoping to get back there soon to wrap up a handful of my personal projects before we get hammered with more snow.  Problems that are currently high on my list are:  Kindred Spirits, In Plain Sight, True Bleau, Titties and Booties and Something From Nothing.  We will see what I can tackle before 2015 rolls in...

Friday, November 21, 2014

Early November Session at Nine Corners Lake

This session was a week before the 100 point challenge outing.  The conditions were ideal and I had the boulders to myself on this random weekday climb.  Boulder problems include:  Hawaii 5.0- V5, Point Break- V7, Shape Shifter- V5 and Instant Yoga- V8.  Enjoy the video clip!!!

Media Update:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Adirondack Bouldering Guidebook...A Work in Progress

Stay psyched my friends, the guidebook is coming along quite well!!!  I am anticipating a printing completion mid-winter for an unveiling prior to the spring 2015 season.  Over 20 different areas and nearly 1,000 boulder problems in this first ever compilation.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

100 Point Day at Nine Corners Lake

It is hard to believe that only a week ago it was warm, sunny and perfect climbing conditions in the now snow covered and sub-freezing temperatures of Nine Corners Lake.  Looking back on the past few months, I have spent some quality time bouldering at Nine Corners, getting back into bouldering shape, developing callused finger tips and working on my overall conditioning as the winter training season was quickly approaching.

Two weeks ago I was bouldering with Keith Banta and Johnny Sullivan and in the last hour of our session I was able to quickly send a slew of moderate and difficult boulder problems.  This end of the session performance got me psyched to challenge myself again at the elusive 100 point session.  A couple of years ago both Kenny Murphy and I tallied up 100 v-points each in a one day bouldering session.  I remembered it being extremely taxing on the body and that both of us struggled to hit the final goal that day.  So, I was determined to give it a shot again...

My personal "rules" for the day's challenge from last Monday, November 10, 2014:

1.  Boulder Problems had to be V4 or harder
2.  Each problem could only be attempted (3) times, maximum
3.  The bouldering session would last only (4) hours
4.  If the 100 point goal was reached, I had to go swimming in the lake...

Enjoy the video compilation from that highlights all (18) completed boulder problems

Media Update:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

NEW Adirondack Boulders Near Nine Corners Lake

I cannot take credit for the discovery of these massive glacial erratics.  It was the dedicated scouting and exploring by Gary Thomann and his fellow "Arietta Climbing Team" that unearthed these boulders during a winter recon mission as they were seeking out potential cliffs for development.

It doesn't look like there will be time to develop any problems on these boulders prior to the publication of my bouldering guidebook, but a detailed map with directions and images of the boulder will be included in the Adirondack Bouldering Guidebook.

There was a good size collection of boulders in this area at the base of a south facing cliff band; maybe 15-20 climbable boulders in total.  Some of the boulders were upwards of 30 ft. in overall height and there were enough features and holds to make future development worthwhile...

Media Update: