Sunday, 22 November 2009

Climbing A La Espanol!

Hey Everyone!!!

Been a wee while since I last posted but I have a good reason for that... I'M IN SPAIN!!! WOOOOOOOHHHH!!! I'm living the dream for 2 and a half weeks here in the land of overhanging orange limestone, tufas, stalactites and caves that only have 7c and harder routes, unless you want to climb a pile of choss that is...

So yeah... I am out here with my good friends Ali "Leven lad" Swinton, Neill "The Buzzard" Busby, Neil "Spiv-boy" Mcgeachy, Alan "Eats 8c for breakfast" Cassidy, Tom "Eats 9a for Breakfast" and Lynne "Has just started eating 8a's" Malcolm!!! Lynne, Tom and Alan live here, lucky bastards, the downside is they work full-time and have little time for climbing at all, and no training!!!

Right now I am sitting in the Teraddettes hotel cafe talking to Nat on SKYPE (The wonders of modern technology), checking out new tabs for Buz to play on the guitar and checking out the latest news on Oh the joys of rest days... I have a massive flapper on my hand from pulling on the chipped, crux, two-finger pocket of the 8b "Gladiator" in Rodellar and it is very sore. The other day I got really close to doing my trip project "Rollito-Sharma" 8b+ and I was gutted to get this flapper, but I think it will work out fine if I tape it up good!

So yeah... I've been working an 8b+ since I got here... so far, i've had around 10 goes on it and I have been getting further and further on it everyday, the last go saw me reach my highest point, basically 3 moves from doing the crux complete and after that I don't think I will fall off!!! WOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH!!! This route has always been something I wanted to do. I first saw it on my first trip to Spain climbing. I was climbing with Tom, Lynne and my other friend Alex. Tom did it on his second try, an amazing sight to behold, and ever since then this route has been etched in my mind. It takes the line right in the centre of the Santa Linya cave and takes the most obvious, continuous break straight through until the central, half way break of the cave. To this point it is given 8c and to finish a few clips before is 8b+. The next stage of the journey would be to finish the route to the centre of the cave, and then again to further extend by climbing the remaining 30m to top out the cave, a likely grade at 9a+? My plan for next year is to climb 8c and consolidate climbing 8b's and 8b+'s redpoint and 8a's onsight so this route would be a likely candidate for my first 8c tick!!!

The trip has been great fun and very different to my usual trips. I usually focus on onsighting and doing lots of route whereas on this trip I mainly focussed on redpointing, something I am not that good at. I have come to realize now that redpointing hard routes is probably the single best thing you can do on a trip as it keeps you in good strength for harder onsights and also practices your mental strength (i.e. having to continuously deal with failure and getting sometimes no ticks for weeks at a time). On my first day here I onsighted a 7c+/8a called "Devora Hombres" (the same route Lynne redpointed last week) and i onsighted a couple of 7b+ and 7c in the Santa Linya cave too but apart from that I have only been doing Rollito and other 8b's in the cave. I tried "Santa Linya" 8b (the route, not the cave) and it felt really good too. I have had a few goes on it and fallen only at the crux move and I should be able to finish it after that. I also tried "Gladiator" 8b in Rodellar but as I said earlier I hurt my finger on it which would make doing the crux very painful indeed. I don't think Gladiator was very hard for me though even though I struggled on the crux move. I did it in two halves basically and the second half was pretty easy, if I had done the crux I definitely wouldn't have fallen off. Right now I am just happy to be out climbing with my friends and getting good progress on my project.

I will do Rollito and Santa Linya and those ticks will make an outstanding end to my trip.

My next big trip is Spain again in December/January! I am hoping to come out again with Nat and I'm psyched to see her tick some hard routes too. This trip will be either Santa Linya or Siurana. Both amazing crags and brilliant in the winter months!

Photos to come soon of this trip...


Saturday, 3 October 2009

Toolin' It Up!

So today was a rather interesting day, my first dry tooling experience at Avertical World Dundee, 1st round of the Scottish Dry Tooling Series. Actually, thats a lie... My first experience of dry tooling was around 4 years ago for 5 minutes with my mate James at a local quarry.

To be totally honest, I wasn't expecting much. Dry tooling has never really appealed to me as something I would like to do, just the thought of metal on rock, scraping and clumsiness, it just never sounded that good, quite the opposite I was to discover...

I attended the event with Jonathan Field (Fellow British Team Member, Edinburgh Based Ratho Climber and fellow Watsonian (Our School)). We got there for registration and got warmed up and ready for the start of the comp. As this was my first proper dry tooling experience, I had none of my own gear. I had borrowed axes from my mate Greg Boswell (Ratho Instructor) and gloves from Bill Davidson (big burly chap with camo, can't miss him). I had to hire both boots and glasses from Avertical World, so at the end of the day, after paying entry as well, i'd spent a lot of money for this event!

I was climbing with my good pal and regular climbing partner Ali Swinton. We both warmed up and soon got stuck into the climbs. There was a mixture of roped climbs and boulders, all well set and with some pretty crazy moves. Swinging logs and panels are just one of the amazing aspects of dry tooling comps that you rarely see at any other climbing event. At the beginning of the day, I was a wee bit sketchy, I was unsure of my axes and how solid they where on the holds. My feet where popping off a lot because of lack of body tension (being so used to technical climbing shoes), and my axes where skipping across the holds and slipping everywhere because of lack of tension on them. Remembering what Mike Tweedley told me the night before, just keep the tension on always. So thats what I did... Soon I found that I could hold even the tiniest edge with ease and fully lock off on it. I began to work my way through all the climbs with relative ease, Ali and I it turned out where making it harder for ourselves as we hadn't read the rules properly and where excluding carpeted holds (Holds with carpet backing) for feet, something you where actually allowed to do! Hahahahaahah... we are such idiots!

As the qualifiers drew to a close, Ali and I realized we had very little time left to complete all the climbs. In the end, Ali had to leave 3 routes unclimbed and I had to leave 2, just because we ran out of time. In my own opinion, I think it would have been better to allow more time for routes to be completed. As there where a lot of queues it was very difficult to be speedy between every climb. I've never been in a bouldering comp and run out of time, i've always had plenty to spare... A comp like this shouldn't be based on how fast you can get the routes done, it should be on the difficulty of the route and this can only be fairly judged with equal quality tries by everyone, not half-hearted raced tries. This is just a thought though for improving future comps...

Moving on, It turned out that even with not completing all the routes i still made the finals... not in 1st place though... 7 points out, but in finals, its a blank slate so its whoever gets highest on the final route who will win regardless of previous position! My chance!

The final route maneuvered its way firstly through a small roof and into the overhang of the back wall, up and into the main roof section at the highest point of the route. Through the roof you had 2 big logs to get by and then match the final log to win!

From isolation we could hear the cheers of the crowd, but all was unkown to what was actually happening. After Ali Robb went, it was a while before anything could be heard, I assumed he had reached the highest point and then I heard a great cheer and an OHHHHHHHHHH! I think he fell? But it must have been high up the wall as he had been climbing for what seemed like ages.
It was my turn up... The belayer collected me from isolation, and I took the walk to the wall. A good crowd awaited and greeted me avidly. I scoped the route and tied in, the start felt pretty easy, all good holds and no powerful moves. Pulling round the lip of the first roof I heard shouting "GO ON ROBBIE, YOU CAN DO IT", only one person... Bill Davidson... hahahahaha
I moved forward up the main overhang, managed to get the first of the clips in from a good hold with a deep lock. All the holds so far where good and no hard moves. As i crept up the wall, the holds got worse and the moves more spaced. Managing to get the next clip in with relative ease, I brought my axe up to a sloping green hold, placing it carefully on it, I heard a scream from the audience "GO ON, GO ON, KEEP GOING", my axe slipped, but i held the lock, placing it back on I pulled hard and reached the next hold, more screaming "GO ON! GO ON!". I realized then that I had to be winning, why would they all be so excited? I made it on to the roof and got a brilliant rest on the log. Shuffling upside down along the log (a sensation i'm not too unfamiliar with, having climbed on the new wall at ratho for the past year). I made it to the last log, I only had to match and clip... feeling pretty good, not even pumped, i stretch out for the log, but couldn't find the placing... it wasn't where i remembered it? I knew it was there, I grabbed the log with my axe and dragged it towards me, seeing the placing I prepared to axe it, it took me around a minute to get the solid placing, but once I had it, it was solid! Matching the log and clipping felt good, I topped the route and the crowd greeted me to the ground with great applause! I was pretty sure know one else had topped, and this kept me in good stead for the remaining climbers. The final two came out, talking to ali as they climbed, I found out that I was the only one to top it, and where everyone else had fallen was exactly where I had guessed, at the sloping green hold. The two remaining climbers fought valiantly, but fell short of the roof. The first guy fell just lower than the crux and Kev Kelly (The guy I was sure had to be related to either arnold schwarznegger or Sylvester Stallone; the latter being more likely) fell on the green sloper hold moving to the next one. I think it was a real shame as his axe just popped off the hold, i reckon he would have topped if that hadn't happened, shit happens though...

Anyway, I won £50 worth of marmot vouchers... fantastic... the event only cost me around £40 so i made £10 profit.... essentially?

I'd like to thank God, my mother and father for always being there, jesus for saving our souls and the queen for being so damn imporant! Oh yeah... and maybe like, some other guy who belayed me and stuff... cheers ali... "Your number 1... Yeah!!!"

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Munchen Housen - EYS

Yo Guys

I have just returned from yet another trip with the British Team. This time we where away in Munich (Munchen to the Germans). We where competing in another round of the European Youth Series at the wall there

It was a pretty amazing wall. There was three sections that were outstanding, massive overhanging towers with roofs and steep angled boards to as much as 60 degrees when not a roof. The routes where set brilliantly as well. The head route-setter i believe was Christian Bindhammer the famous German climber (he's climbed 9a+!). All the team climbed well and we all had a really fun time. At the end of the day, these events are an enjoyable experience and we are not only heading out there to beat other comp climbers, we are going out there to meet up with friends and have a good time climbing, just the same as if we where going to the crags.

I headed out to Munich with Ross "The Human Stick" Kirkland and Jonathan "Outstanding in his" Field... hahahaha, man i'm soooo funny! We left from Edinburgh but unfortunately our plane was delayed by a meager 4 hours, so we spent this precious time playing games on me and Jonny's ipods and watching Dragonball The Movie on mine (Such a good movie - Only me and Ross could really appreciate it for what a movie-making success this film actually is). Anyway, we left for Stanstead and spent the night in the holiday Inn down there with Natalie "Blue" Berry and Jonathan "Christmas" Stocking. Your probably wondering why i'm writing these stupid middle name things... Just go with it!

Anyhoo, the next day we met up with the rest of the team in Stanstead airport. This comprised of:

Lukas "Justice Chilli Con Carne" Tilley
Suzie "Dances with kebab chefs" Zitter
"Hello" Kitty Wallace (That one got you didnt it, the speech marks are at the front!)

And also including the two chaperons:

Tony Powell (team manager)
Lorraine Stocking... (Jonny's mum)(Area Youth Coordinator for scotland south i think too?)

After a long and arduous journey, we reached Munich and finally the Holiday Inn which was where we were staying. Funnily enough, the hotel was really nice, too expensive to have breakfast in though, but it had a pool, steam room and sauna!
The next day was the comp, so after a good nights sleep we headed out to the wall. The wall was packed to breaking point, Its amazing that you can fit so many people into one small space. I met up with lots of old friends and even made a few new ones.

The Team Mascott... MULE!!!

Anyway, all the routes where totally crazy, scrambling through the steepest sections of the wall and winding around like snakes. My first route was outside on one of the less steep angled boards but still easily around 30 degrees sustained. The route was around 8a and only a few guys topped it, many got close but the last moves where hard. I feel I cold have performed much better on this route if I hadn't struggled to clip one of the quick-draws. I faffed around on that clip for easily 15 or so seconds, much longer than you want. I got around 6 moves further and was boxed, I came to a large move to a screw-on hold on a volume and slapped it. It was a sweet route and I wish I could have gone back and done it later.

My second route was a long and very sustainly steep route. It was easily 8b, nobody topped it, really only one person got close to the top but even he looked totally destroyed when he got there and there was still hard moves to go. Andreas Bindhammer (Christian's Brother) demonstrated the route and totally pissed it. BEAST!!! I didn't do too well on this route, I fell of quite low because i moved too dynamically for a small pinch which I should have just statically locked.

In the end I wasn't good enough to beat the majority of these Euro wads, but thats what competition is all about and being beaten by them isn't a bad thing, its a good thing really. Every time I get beaten by these guys it motivates me to go home and train harder and improve myself for the next time. Its the same when you get burnt of a hard route outside, its refreshing that you can challenge yourself and get beaten and maybe next time, after learning more from being defeated, you can succeed!

The rest of the team did really well! Jonny Stocking came 11th, missing out on finals only by a hold and a very debatable appeal by the French team which is why he never got in. Natalie Berry got 12th place and climbed phenomenally well as standard. Kitty Wallace once again missed finals by nothing more than a point or so, she is not done yet though, we've not seen the last of this young climber... The tank that is known as Suzie Zitter came a very nice 30th place in no doubt one of the hardest categories, I've seen this girl climb and theres no way she climbed to her full potential on that day, the future is bright for this one. For Jonathan Field and Ross Kirkland it was there first EYS and I can't say that that I'm not impressed by their performances. This was their first international and they took it very well, better than my first and the way these two are climbing right now, the future of scottish climbing is going to be seeing a lot in the next few years I can tell you that!

This weekend is the Edinburgh round of the European Cup, show your support for them by coming to watch the event. Its being held at EICA: Ratho on Saturday (qualifiers) and Sunday (Finals).

The routes will be left up so you guys can test yourself against the best youth climbers in Europe (all of them world class).

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Board Wars: Return of the Climber

Hey everyone!

Not posted in a couple of weeks as i've been totally mobbed with everything at the moment. I retured a week ago from the Youth World Championships in Valence, France. I was competing along with fellow team mates:

Paul Williamson (Weegie-Scottish)
Jonny Stocking (Outside-Weegie-Scottish)
Nathalie Berry ("might as well be" Scottish)
Ed Hamer (Crimp Master)
Luke Tilley (Poy Champ)
Kitty Wallace (Beast!)
Suzzie Zitter (Dances with kebab chefs)
Beckie Hall (Doesn't like take off's)
Shauna Coxsey (All-round Beast)
Michaela Tracy (injured)

So that was the team. Despite being Britains strongest youth climbers, a great bunch of guys and girls! No doubt, they are the future of hard climbing in britain.

Now, the competition was great fun. Despite not such great results, we all had an amazing time. I did pretty poorly, no where even close to my usual standards. I fell 3/4 way onsighting the first route whcih was only 7c (disapointing). Falling off not dude to pump but my foot popping on a feature! I didnt let it dampen my spirits though, i headed onto the next route with a lot of psyche to improve upn my earlier place, good news is, I did. Bad news, it was only a couple of places and my foot popped again early on the route when i wasn't even remotely pumped. Gutted!!! I blame this to my poor ability to cope with nerves and therby causing a lack of focus on body tension ergo the foot popping...

However, the rest of the team didnt do all that bad, Paul came similarly placed to me but in a lower category, feeling that he definitely didnt perform to his usual standards. Kitty missed out on the semi's only just, a real shame as shes usually a contendor for podium places, but 4 more years in youth categories is enough time to get it back (man i wish i had that time left!). Shauna bested it into the semis but unfortunately missed out on the finals only just. Our adopted Scot, Nat, cruised her way into the semis as usual but, uncharacteristically, missed finals. Jonny as usual cruised qualifiers into semis but (definitely unusually) fluffed up the vertical start of his semi and didnt make finals. Both suze and Beckie missed out on semis too but made valiant attempts on their respective qualifiers, becky missing out due to being timed out on her route, GUTTING!

Irrespective of the outcome, we all had a totally awesome time! We made tonnes of friends (I certainly did) and we got to see all our old friends from around the world. After semis, we watched the finals, which was a truly amazing show, the most impressive of which was watching Adam Ondra dominate the Youth A category by topping out the route about 20 holds and a further 2 cruxes past the last climber who fell, MENTAL!

The next day we headed to the speed wall while we waited to leave for home. The speed comp was really exciting (funnily enough, unexpected by me) and it gave us a lot of time to chill out and relax in the sun. I went on a tour of the city with the NZ team of whom I became friends. Something I have learned is, people south of the equator seem to have a much more laid back and relaxed attitude, something to do with gravity me thinks?

Anyway, I had a great time, but right now, i'm getting ready for the next two weeks! I have a european in Munich on Saturday and another in Edinburgh the following Saturday! Crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Excuse my exclamation marks please)

We just had a training weekend with the team for some preparation. It took the form of a competition with isolation and everything. Two qualifiers on Saturday followed by an early final on sunday (before work). I topped both qualifiers onsight 7b+ and 7c+ and the final i fell on the last move which was about 7c+ as well. The routes are still up so you can go and try them if your keen? It was really good to see everyone again, but i must say i was so impressed with just how seriously the younger of the team took it. They all took the comp super seriously and did their best to listen to what the coaches had to offer in terms of advice and they applied it really well to the competition situation they where put under.

Anyway, Wednesday i'm heading off to Munich with the team. I'm going down with Ross Kirkland and Jonny Field to Stanstead where we will meet the rest of the team. before that i'm going to route it tomorrow with Ali Swinton at ratho and crush Dunkeld on Tuesday with Mhairi Thorburn and Adam Hughes, if they let me i might go for the Dunkeld Challenge (all routes in a day), but i doubt they'd be up for a second sesh at myopics.

Later everyone!

Wish us luck in Munich!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Heriot Watt Coaching

So guys, I have recently been accepted as part of the heriot watt scholarship programme. Today was my first training seswoon with the heriot watt coach, Paul Gamble. It was actually really good! I'm working a lot on deep core muscles which apparently don't get worked that well normally and I was also doing a lot of leg work, nut not enough to build any real muscle mass of any kind. Doing squats and dips with your knees and all sort of crazy stuff really hits you hard! My legs where shaking ( literally) after the first set! Anyway, last night I had a good sesh on the beadymaker. I did 2 sets of repeaters, one on edges and the other on pockets. I'm really getting used to hanging back two and front two bur unfortunately I've had to cut back on the size of pocket for the back two as it wad tweaking a little. Usually I hit back 2 on the shallow pockets but it was feeling a little dodgy last night so instead i moved to the larger pockets but only using the first two pads of my fingers and not resting my middle finger under the roof of the beastmaker ( which should
make it a bit harder I think). Anyway, the front two seemed
to be in good shape and holding out well and my open hand crimp strength is getting better and better. I just need to keep
up the training and hopefully I'll be fulfilling my dreams of sending a board 8a very soon...

Thursday, 6 August 2009

The Most S-H-I-T-E Endurance Session Ever!!!

So yeah... was well psyched to do some endurance training after a long day at Ratho. Met Eddie "The beastman" Barbour at the Boulder cave, warmed up on some of the new problems and got stuck into the routes (the wall was fully tilted). First set:

1) Blue 7c+
2) Purple 7b+
3) Salmon (1/2 an 8a?)(7b+ at half angle)

Psyched! Good set... But unfortunately, the rope we where using had to be used for work, so, not having our own ropes with us, we were screwed!!! A stamina session is meant to be doing long routes and laps... and all we could do now was boulder...

Peeved off, we went and crushed some boulders and went home... But on the way home we where discussing the best way to train Strength and Power. Up until now we have been only bouldering on "The Board" but we have come to realise that it isn't so structured and it does seem to leave a lot of questions in our training, "did i fall of that because I slipped?" "Are the feet holds too small?" "Should we have small moves or big moves?" "Small holds or big holds?", and it got us thinking to something we where going to do anyway (But it got us psyched!), a campus board!!! The perfect Power and Strength training tool! A session of that plus beastmaker in a day would be perfect!!! I'm psyched! We are going to look at plans over the next few days and hopefully we will get on the case soon enough! I think my house will become the greatest training facility for climbing known to man??? F***K the school room, its Robbie's Room now...


Monday, 3 August 2009

Setting and Sessions...

Recently as I said in my last post, i've been working hard at Ratho. It looks like i'm gonna be getting lots of route setting from now on which is gonna be awesome because its my favourite job by far!!! In the past week I have had only 1/2 a day of routesetting but have set a couple of sick new lines on the Justice wall at ratho and some crazy new problems in the cave too!!! But as well as working, i've also been training. Today I had a route session at Ratho to see how my strength is going. I was pretty surprised actually, for feeling very run down I climbed not that bad really... I flashed the new 8a up the Justice wall which I was fairly chuffed with, crimps and endurance on a slightly overhanging wall for 26m or so, choice... I did some easier stiff and mucked about on a new V9 I set a week ago, latching the final hold of the crux and then greasing off, D'oh! However, what really makes a session at Ratho nowadays is the new comp wall! You can't leave ratho not having climbed on it. So having that in my head, i set up for the men's 2nd qualifier (from the BLCC's). For anyone interested, its the yellow route going straight up the middle. For 8b it has to be at 1/2 the steepest angle, any lower and I can't even imagine how hard it will be? It sets of on quite easy moves into the steeper angle and comes out with some rather big lunges on positve pinches. Heading onto the final stage before the roof you have to manouver round some pretty small holds before a fair rest on two jugs. From the jugs you make a strenuous press onto a crimp in the first volume on the roof, hitting that you undercuit the next small crimp on the next volume and slap round onto a small sloping edge on top. Taking this, I slapped out onto a button with my left on the 3rd volume and flipping my legs round 180 degrees I heel hugged the volume with the button and thrashed wildly for the finger jug undercut with my left again before the final vertical section on small positve crimps with no feet HAHAHA

Pretty Hard! It will go for sure, but it might take a few sessions over the next few weeks? For me it is particluarly hard as I dont class myself as much of a boulderer to be honest, I reckon from the 7c+/8a start, the final boulder could be around V6ish maybe even V7 at a push? Anyway, I'll try and get some photos tomorrow and post them on!!!

Training next on Wednesday with Mr "Crush the holds to death" Barbour (POWER!!!)

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Morning Sesh!!!

Well, for the next 2-3 weeks i'm gonna have my work cut out for me... I'm working everyday of the week par Saturday, i'm training for the Youth World Cup and i'm avoiding like the plague rock because of my fear that if I touch it I will become weak as sin (it has been known to happen to me). My original plan for after the World Cup was to head to ceuse to do some really cool projects but that has been put on the back burner as i have now become aware that the Munich and Edinburgh European Cup is literally only 2-3 weeks after the Worlds... Oh well!!! But after these comps i'm trying to arrange something. I have a few places in mind.....?

Anyway, in order to become fully fit for those places and the comps I have been training like a beast with my new pal and training partner Eddie. Today, Eddie came round for a nice early morning sesh!!! Around 11ish we started warming up in the usual manner, pull ups and stick game. I have found that the stick game is a wicked way to warm up if your training partner is switched on. It means you start to think like an onsighter and your mind as well as the body warms up. After a few easy stick game circuits we moved on to the real circuits!!!

We did 3 reps of our first circuit, the Board 7c (extension version) and then moved on to the Board 8a! The board 8a is a wicked test piece that has been eluding our attempts well up until now... Up until now only Eddie has managed to surpass the first crux, a powerful undercut cross through to a fairly positive right gaston crimp, however today I crusied the move and made it a further 9 moves!!! Well psyched, I got back on at the fall point and finished it until the final crux (the hardest moves on the route!). The final crux involves a big span to a small first pad pinch with your right, into a another small crimp with the left... From there you have to take a positive undercut (but hard to hit from the previous position) and span a massive reach to a poor crimp/pinch, moving up with a hig step on a good foot you finish the route off on small gaston crimps and the final jug!!!

I was well psyched that I had made such a good effort on the circuit. For 29 moves of fairly hardish moves the entire way through, I find it difficult to compare to anything I've done before? I definitely haven't climbed anything as hard outside or indoors and am really enjoying the process of completing this circuit (I know... I'm a bit of a loser... I am definitely a Gym Rat through and through!!!).

So we finished the morning off with an old Board 7c+ Circuit (unfortunately not completing it this time) but I feel the session was good enough to finish with that... Looks like I might be on my own for the next session as Eddie needs to work Monday, but i'm sure it will be a good one.

Think i'll have a beatsmaker sesh now...

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Boulder Sesh!

Tonight was my first day back after 3 days of being ill with some unkown virus (maybe light version of the pig plague going around at the mo?). Me and the Barbour Shop Boy (Eddie) crushed the problems on the board. After a good warm up doing stick game and pull ups we set a really nice new board V7 (soft perhaps?) then moved onto some new problems...

After doing some hardish new problems, we moved onto some older ones to see if we are getting any gains. I happily crushed an old problem from before first go including making an even harder variation of it!!! Eddie unfortunately wasn't having the best night training and failed to stick the final dyno move : (

But theres no worries, because its all a learning process (so the rock warrior's way has been preaching to me for the past week) and we know now that Eddie has a particular weakness on this type of move... As for me, I think my main weakness is from the session we've been having seems to be crimping and half-crimps. I have found this through our circuit sessions...

It seems that as soon as I start to get into the final burn of a good circuit or route, as soon as I start to half-crimp or crimp, that is when i really start to flail!!! It seems to bring the pump on harder??? So i have been experimenting with half-crimp position on the beastmaker. Hanging in half-crimp i find is way harder than in open hand position, which i seem to be able to hang forever (that is until i grease off basically). So my idea is that if i can improve full and half-crimp endurance, then when i am on a hard route pushing it, as soon as i transfer into these positions, i will be less likely to get flash pumped immediately... Make sense???

So tomorrow Eddie and I are going to be crusshing the Stamina at Ratho with none other than the man himself... Busby the Boulderboy Buzzard!!! Yay!!!

Oh my god... What have we let ourselves in for...


Friday, 24 July 2009

New Book!!!

Hey guys!!!

Bought a new book of Amazon the other day!!! Actually, I bought 3!!! One turns out is not in stock (Eric Horst's Conditioning for Climbing), the other has not arrived (Jerry Moffat's Revelations) and the final one arrived yesterday! I am well psyched! It iS called The Rock Warriors Way by Arno Ilgner. It is a fantastic book based on the authors findings through studying religious, philosophical and psychological books. It is basically about how to better train your mind to improve in the beautiful sport of Climbing. It tackles areas such as fear, anxiety, competition, technique, posture and many more... I am finding it a really fascinating read and I am going to attempt to integrate Arno's teachings into my own climbing...

I advise anyone wanting to improve in their climbing to read this book! I believe that you can always find weaknesses in your performance and most of them can be found in your mind! For example, reading this book today it spoke of overgripping while clipping, simple postures that people take when stressed and even breathing and resting, I notice that i fail in all of these areas a lot of the time and with just a little work on them, imagine the gains without getting physically stronger!!!

People are maybe a little too preoccupied with the physical side of training I think???



Thursday, 23 July 2009

Training on "The Board"

Yesterday we were training on "The Board".
By we I mean, Eddie "Beastman" Barbour, myself (Robbie Phillips) and Andy "Lank-boy" Latta. The aim of the session was pure bouldering finished off with a maximum strength session on the beastmaker. We warmed up well with a few easy circuits round "The Board", mainly just pulling on jugs throwing some lungy moves to gradually worse holds but still pretty positive. Between circuits I like to warm up doing pull ups on the bar or even doing a few deadhangs on the beastmaker pockets and small rungs. Then after warming up, we got on a few problems (pictures to come). The first problem was relatively easy, throwing between some big orange pinches into an upside down pink pinch which you end up crimping. I almost flashed it but fell of holding the final jug. Eddie and Andy both tried it as well, and after a few attempts Eddie sent it too, soon after that, Andy did the first move... and gave up... ; P
We then madea new problem (this one). I thought it was pretty hard, but Eddie proved that when it comes down to it, an Oxford Degree in Physics is all you need to crush hard problems into the ground... A few goes later, the problem was histroy as Eddie theorised his way to the top and calculated that after the potential exertion of energy expended through the final moves, it still wasn't enough for him to let go... So after our boulder session, we moved onto the "Beastmaker". This training tool is the pride of my room, I love it. I train on it nearly everyday to some extent but hopefully not enough to get injured or overtrain. I feel that between climbing days it is good for me to train on some finger strength on the Beastmaker, it feels a little like active recovery but I don't think its better than doing easy climbing down the wall as it is isolating finger strength and endurance style training in the forearms. Not only that but its great for building up immunity to tweaky holds such as pockets, monos and awkward crimps such as Back 3 crimp position (using the back 3 fingers 1)Pinky 2)Ring 3)Middle) So we tried hanging the 45 slopers for around 5 - 10 repetitions and then moved on to 2 finger dishes (NAILS). I could hang the 45's for roughly 10 seconds nestling my fingers and the 2 finger dishes i failed miserably, but this i think was due to being tired (usually i can hang them now for at least 3 seconds). So the beastmaker session wasn't the best due to the fact that we where absolutely nackered! After Eddie left, Andy and I attempted a 1-Armer session on the BM (Beastmaker) now. Andy achieved a staggering 1/2 a one armer one the large jug edge thingy (-4kg) body weight with the pulley. I think this is a brilliant idea for training on the BM. Build a pulley system where you can detract body weight to further utilise the potential to hang small holds for longer or breaking into new holds. I managed to rak up 4 1/2 one armers on each arm on the same juggy edge with -4kg as well which was ok I guess considering the hardcore session we just had... So if i could only lose 4kg body weight thats what i'd be able to do when i'm tired (the possibilities are endless...), soooooo, how useful are legs in climbing? After the session finished, Andy and I had a 6 o'clock meal (not quite dinner for me yet...) which consisted of tuna, pulses and sweetcorn.... YUM!!! After that we headed to the cinema where we saw Harry Potter and The half Blood Hollows... or was it Deathly Prince??? Canny remember? Which I thought was disapointing compared to the other movies, the only scenes I liked where the ones with Emma Watson ; P After 2 hours torcher sitting next to the most annoying guy ever, 2 hours of elbow battling over the arm rest with Andy, 2 hours of Harry and Ron winking at girls and Dumbledore talking about death, I was ready to head home to some more beastmaker action!!! realising it was about 12 o'clock I figured I'd leave it till tomorrow when i'm going to train at Ratho with Eddie for a hardcore Enduro session...
PSYCHED!!! "Wingardium Leviosa!!!"