Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hidden Treasures Half Marathon

I just ran a half marathon on Sunday with little to no serious training in the past 3 months!  I don't know if I should be happy or feel lazy.  I have a good excuse though, I have been climbing!  What I do feel good about is I ran the whole thing under 10 minute pace.  I actually placed 89th overall and 7th in my age group.  I am not sure a whole marathon would have gone so well for me this weekend.  I have about a month to get ready for Harrisburg, but if I want to finish I had better work harder.

Finish Line Picture - actual chip time was 2:08:37.  For reference with my fitness last year, I ran the first half of the Baltimore Marathon in about 1:45 and still had enough left to do it again.

Hidden Treasures Half Marathon

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Enduring Patagonia review


This is a short review of a book which I believe every aspiring alpinist should read.  Well it’s not really a review, more of a recommendation with a really great passage from the book.

“Why climb, especially in Patagonia, given such failure? As I said in the opening chapter, there is no sentence, no paragraph that will explain why. Why refuses distillation. Consider those two classic alpine saws: “Because it’s there" and “If you’ve got to ask you ain’t ever gonna know.” Both strike me as true, but inadequate. And then my favorite, courtesy of Donini: “Because it’s the only thing I’ve ever been any good at.” Great sound bites, yes, but whole truth does not jump out of a sound bite. Such quips are also dismissals.

Perhaps the best answer is: because I love it. I love it even as I am freezing my ass on this cold, dark bivy high on the walls of Aguja Saint-ExupĂ©ry. I love everything about it without qualification. I love to coil ropes and to carry heavy loads. I love the sky and I love the storm, the ice, and the stone. I love to succeed and I love to try. I love to wait and I love to act; I love to shiver and I love to sweat. I love the freedom and I love the discipline. I love Patagonia, and I love to climb.”

Crouch, Gregory (2002-03-05). Enduring Patagonia (Kindle Locations 2471-2479). Random House. Kindle Edition.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Red River Trad


I just got back from my first trip to the Red in 3 years!  Some stuff has changed since then.  There’s a new guidebook and Miguel’s has more than one bathroom.  One thing remains constant, if you are looking for the best high friction single pitch sandstone climbing ANYWHERE, head no further than the Red River Gorge, Kentucky.

Erin, Chris, Jamie, and Colleen watch Ben on Laceration


This was a crazy weekend.  I don’t know if it was the heat (Saturday) or rain (Monday) but there was hardly anybody there – on a holiday weekend.  Or maybe nobody does trad anymore??  In fact, at the trad crags we hit we were alone almost the whole time.  This trip ended up being about quality, not quantity.  I basically spent the entire trip leading 5.9 trad.  All 4 and 5 star climbs, no waiting in lines!

Mariba Fork, go there, now.

Sunday we made the drive to Mariba Fork.  It is 16 miles from the rest area in Slade.  This was, maybe, the most awesome cliff I have ever seen.  I’m talking multiple amphitheaters.  I didn’t even have time to see the whole thing.  The guidebook only lists ten routes here.

Other areas we visited were Long Wall, Dip Wall, and Fortress.

Autumn 5.9 and Cruise Control 5.9+ at the Long Wall

Megan Blanchard  on Green Eggs 5.7. Ham 5.7 is on the right.

Chris Ciesa on the Grinch 5.4.  Does that look 5.4 to you?

This is Laceration 5.4.  This is the highest rated 5.4 at the Red.  Good luck.

Ben McMillen gets some on Laceration.

Colleen Anderson feels the pump on Reach the Beach 5.9.  Incredible, long, sustained route.
When can I go back?