Monday, April 27, 2009

Baby Steps

Because of my sleeping accident I've reconsidered my shoulder rehab strategy, more specifically I've backed up a few steps. I stopped climbing and focused on light weight, high rep shoulder strengthening and scapula stabilizing exercises. I've also added some stretching back into the routine to open my chest and increase shoulder range of motion. I've had some success and figured I'd see how things feel out there on the rocks.

Somehow I convinced Elijah to skip out of work early and get on some long moderate routes at Upper Gibraltar on Thursday. As is usually the case, my navigation skills proved to be useless. Approaching the crag from the base (which seemed more straight forward) I managed to get us lost resulting in Elijah free soloing a traverse carrying all his gear. "Dude, the best holds on that thing were Little shrubs growing out of the rock. I just about pissed myself!" Not bad. I eventually found the prescribed approach which wasn't much better. Let's just say I was glad to be wearing approach shoes. Things only got more epic once we put on climbing shoes. After an insecure onsight of Dazed and Confused (5.10b) I managed to get the ropes stuck after my rappel. Instead of knifing me (and I know he wanted to), Elijah tied us both to the rope and ordered me to jump off the side of the cliff in hopes that the rope would come loose. Well, it did, and the two of us tumbled through the chaparral for 20 ft or so. I then spent the next half hour repeating this procedure over and over again until the rope gave in and fell to the ground.

By the time Elijah finished the route and rappelled down without getting the rope stuck, it was 7:30 and darkness and thick fog were coming in fast. Most people in this situation would pack their things and make a beeline to the car, but not us. In order to avoid the bushwhack boulder scrambling hell we enjoyed on the way in Elijah suggests we climb another pitch and hike down the back side where there's a real trail etc. "But Elijah then we'll have to haul all our gear and that sucks." "Not if we wear it." "Fuck." So next thing I know I'm onsighting A Route Runs Through It (5.10c) wearing a full pack. So much for taking it easy. It's funny how 30-40 lbs can make foot holds feel smaller and bulges feel steeper. By the time I set up a top rope its pitch black. Elijah turns on his headlamp, ties in and makes his way to the top wearing his full pack. It was 9:15 by time we got to the car. So we went to the Brewhouse and ate good food and sampled the IPA, which oddly enough, sucks just as bad as all their other beer.

Yesterday, Bridget and I decided to check out Potrero John in Ojai. Although it only boasts 8-9 moderate routes, the climbing is very nice. Good San Ysidro style sandstone with cool pockets and edges 5-10 degrees under vertical. We got on three of the higher praised lines and enjoyed all of them, especially Color Blind (5.10c). Bridget was cranking off the couch; doing all the moves and topping this route out, her hardest completed pitch to date. Bosco was in attendance as well, opting to lick his wiener and chew on my arm over any climbing related pursuits.

We had to bail early in order to get back to my parents house. My mom prepared two different lasagnas and we sure as hell weren't going to miss that. After seconds, more than one glass of wine and half of my white Russian, the blonde gypsy passed out on the couch. Upon my nudging and urging to get up and sleep in a bed, she jumps up screams and then comes to her senses. "Oh my gosh.... I was climbing. You scared me." My guess is she climbs hard in her sleep too.

1 comment:

bob banks said...

you said that just to get me riled...I'm touched.