because more difficult is more awesome

Keeping with this crankenstein.com themeĀ I’m trying out a new method of video delivery – an inappropriately complex and compulsively robust technique that’s fully rad. Behold:

 

jwplayer(‘mediaplayer’).setup({
file: “rtmp://s1jaz2gmcjf1sh.cloudfront.net/cfx/st/mp4:00004-3”,
width: “720”,
height: “480”
});

me on Better Than Life 8a+, Owl Tor, Santa Maria, California

commence Operation Don’t Suck

I’m back from a one week trip to Henderson, Nevada for my bi-yearly commitment to bettering myself professionally, namely the CCIE written exam, and I’m fully focused now on the coming summer’s climbing goals, that is: don’t suck. This weekend saw a refreshingly populous crew of Santa Barbara locals for the season’s third day at Owl Tor. We included Justin, Andy, Skip, and myself. Micah, Elhanan, and Phil were noticeably absent. They each cited respective excuses – Micah’s benched with shoulder issues, Phil was in Vegas, Elhanan is fat – like the Tor cares. The Tor remembers these indiscretions with the intention of jarring our memories in December, as the monsoon season steals any opportunities for progress, so that we may realize why we’ve failed on our projects. She reminds us we have indeed failed and who we may blame for that. Surprise, Tor: we’re already failing and it’s only April. I’m too old for this. I’m going to push hard for a redpoint on Strictly Ballroom this spring. One of us is going to lose here. Either I’ll clip chains despite Owl Tor’s best attempts to maim me, or I’ll flail pitifully for 7 months at Central California’s answer to Mordor. Whichever the outcome, I’m ramping up for an entertaining go of it, and so is everyone else. Justin redpointed Auto Magic on his second day of work this season, his second season climbing; Andy did 11 laps; and Skip is squeezing blood from mud. I had one good burn on BTL then flailed the rest of the day.

da routes:

  1. Power of Eating (5.11d) – redpoint
  2. When the Sea Doesn’t Want You (5.12a) – redpoint
  3. Chips Ahoy (5.12d) – redpoint
  4. Better Than Life (5.13c) – ground to the sidepull after the 3-finger after the fifth bolt
  5. Shatter Hand (5.12d) – fell at the last draw, worked out the top
  6. White Cougar (5.12b) – falls at the top
  7. Auto Magic (5.12a) – redpoint
  8. Anchor Punch (5.12a) – 1 fall
  9. When the Sea Doesn’t Want You (5.12a) – 1 fall

off to a good start

Day 2 of Owl Tor season was also my second day of the year on Better Than Life. I basically did what I wanted to, which was climb from the ground to the hueco at the fifth bolt. I’ve got my eye on Strictly Ballroom this season and I know no amount of training will be too much. This is the time to push hard on routes selected to prepare me for the work ahead.

da routes:

  1. Power of Eating (5.11d) – redpoint
  2. When the Sea Doesn’t Want You (5.12a) – redpoint
  3. Chips Ahoy (5.12d) – redpoint
  4. Better Than Life (5.13c) – 1 fall after clipping the fifth bolt at the hueco
  5. Shatter Hand (5.12d) – fell right after the last clip, then worked out the top moves; not my favorite route
  6. White Cougar (5.12b) – fell at the long move after the last clip, then worked around at the top; this route is not brilliant (I’m sorry, Steve – don’t hate me cuz you’re beautiful)
  7. Anchor Punch (5.12a) – redpoint
  8. When the Sea Doesn’t Want You – redpoint

the crankmuffin conspiracy

Climbing nuggets need a name, so I took action:

Thanks for your definition of crankmuffin!
There’s one more step: click this link to review and confirm the definition.
http://www.urbandictionary.com/confirm.php?code=036d194bde
(If the link is not underlined, you may have to copy and paste it into your web browser.)
If you didn’t request this email, please ignore it.
Urban Dictionary

But it seems the old garde at Urban Dictionary had other plans:

Thanks for your definition of crankmuffin!
Editors reviewed your entry and have decided to not publish it.
To get a better idea of what editors publish and reject, sign up as an Urban Dictionary Editor here: http://editor.urbandictionary.com/
Urban Dictionary
—–
crankmuffin
A crankenfrank’s (crankenstein’s) biatch. See also: crankenstein
Obviously that crankenfrank’s crankmuffin has a humongous badonkadonk.

Not cool, editors.

It was me and Phil at the Tor Saturday. We’ve really come full circle. After an uncharacteristically populous season at Santa Maria’s finest crag, it is Phil and me, once again, as the keepers of the flame. Yeah, I said it – you all let a good cliff down – Elhanan, Andy, Justin, Micah, Andree, Skip, etc… Don’t think the Tor didn’t notice. You played right in to her hands and now she laughs. Who now will send her projects? Feel bad.

I had a good burn on Better Than Life, which made me feel pretty good about the first day of the season.

da routes:

  1. Power of Eating (5.11d) – redpoint
  2. When the Sea Doesn’t Want You (5.12a) – redpoint
  3. Chips Ahoy (5.12d) – redpoint
  4. Better Than Life (5.13c) – 2 falls. I took first at the fourth bolt, so that’s from the ground to just before the throw to the hueco. I’m pleased with that for day one.
  5. Shatterhand (5.12d) – A bunch of falls. This route still sucks.
  6. Anchor Punch (5.12a) – A bunch of falls. At this point, I’m done.

BTL, day 4

Better Than Life felt better than usual Saturday. I’m mildly satisfied with redpoint burns by my fourth day of the season on this route. To tick her before moving on to Hard Boiled would be nice but I fear my window of opportunity at Mr. Lee’s may close if I do not start heading back there to begin work on this season’s real objective.
Me on the first half of Better Than Life:

da routes:

  1. Power of Eating (5.11d) – redpoint
  2. Auto Magic (5.12a) – redpoint
  3. Better Than Life (5.13c) – took and lowered off at the clip just before the hueco, interested only in warming up
  4. Better Than Life (5.13c) – 1 take at the last clip
  5. Better Than Life (5.13c) – 1 fall at the hueco
  6. Anchor Punch (5.12a) – redpoint
  7. When the Sea Doesn’t Want You (5.12a) – redpoint

Me on the bottom half of Better Than Life:

…and the top half:

re-projecting BTL

This happened a week and a half ago. I’ve been lazy.
da routes:

  1. Power of Eating (5.11d) – redpoint
  2. Auto Magic (5.12a) – redpoint
  3. Better Than Life (5.13c) – 3 takes
  4. Better Than Life (5.13c) – 2 takes
  5. Chips to Pro Skill variation (5.13a?) – 1 take at the last bolt
  6. White Cougar (5.12b) – 1 fall after the last bolt
  7. White Cougar (5.12b) – a bunch of falls after the last bolt

making wine does not make for good climbing

These photos are from a week ago. I was just too lazy to write about it last week.
Elhanan and I “helped” Justin drink some of the grape juice he’s making in to wine before heading over to Owl Tor. Hopefully when this stuff is finished it will taste better than it does now. 6 oz of it just about ruined my day.
image
Good thing Justin felt strong, cuz I didn’t. He took some time off recently, usually a recipe for disaster at the Tor, and returned briefly to crank out his best day on Power of Eating before re-injuring himself.
image
I’m glad I have a photo that shows how Better Than Life makes me feel after getting lowered off. Obviously, it doesn’t make me want to start running a marathon right this instant.
da routes:

  1. Power of Eating (5.11d) – redpoint
  2. Auto Magic (5.12a) – redpoint
  3. Better Than Life (5.13c) – 3 takes
  4. Better Than Life (5.13c) – 2 takes
  5. Chips/Pro Skill variation (5.13a?) – 1 take

that which does not kill me makes me madder

Owl Tor made me mean. She had to have seen this coming. Probably she knew all along her special kind of relentless derision would make a person mean if it didn’t break them. Which explains why on Saturday, on my second consecutive weekend of uncharacteristically strong performances, I still feel beaten. What else could I feel? There aren’t any other emotions left. Failure is all I know from the Tor. Better Than Life saw me 1-fall her on my first attempt of the season. That’s a hard route for me. One fall is about as much as I could expect on day one. And yet, it’s not success. In addition to making that perfectly clear, Owl Tor covered BTL in a thick mixture of mud and spiders and turned the heat up to 102 degrees. My leg still hurts from a spooky fall at the third bolt. She will not be giving out breaks this season, I know it.
da routes:

  1. Power of Eating (5.11d) – redpoint
  2. Auto Magic (5.12a) – redpoint
  3. Better Than Life (5.13c) – 3 falls
  4. Better Than Life (5.13c) – 1 fall
  5. Chips to Pro Skill variation (5.13a?) – 1 fall
  6. Hell of the Upside Down Sinners (5.12b) – 1 fall
  7. Anchor Punch (5.12a) – 1 fall

see Andy on Chips Ahoy (5.12d)