Ripple, The Niagara Glen
The past few weeks have been filled with numerous gym sessions and trips to the Niagara Glen and Halfway Log Dump. For the first time in a year my shoulder and finger are both under control and nearly pain free! I’ve had an extremely messy chronic shoulder issue and a torn collateral over my PIP joint on my middle finger. I can’t even express how excited I am to be healthy again and am seeing major improvements on a daily basis. It’s great to be feeling stronger, especially in time for the summer competition and outdoor season. This will be my first season competing and going outdoors due to fieldwork and injuries last summer.
Later in the month there will be an 80’s themed bouldering competition at my home gym,Grand River Rocks. Below is a photo of Rebecca and I recently training in 80′s clothes. Ty and I have been invited to set for the comp so I’m hoping I will still be able to participate. I’ve got a party-trick style climb already in mind and am psyched to set it. Setting has been a huge focus of mine in the recent months during my injury. Its been about a year since I’ve started and I’ve definitely improved, but I love to continue learning more. The head setter at the gym is helping me push myself and to produce gym favourites. I was setting several party-trick style climbs while I was injured, but have been focusing on setting at my limit lately. Its such a great feeling to be able to forerun my problems now, and climb at my max. I’ll post some photos of our setting session and comp later this month. I’ve got a Jane Fonda inspired costume ready to go! Hello brightly coloured spandex! Later in the summer there will be the Summer Sweat Fest touring through Ontario. There is a small possibility I will be able to help set for that as well – fingers crossed!
80’s Training Day with Rebecca
The photo way above was taken at a recent trip to the Niagara Glen. I had jumped on Ripple again for my second session on it . After a pretty rough start to the day I was able to make some progress on it… by that I mean I was able to reach the next hold. This is my first season outdoors so I am slowly learning to be more patient with projects. So far its been a great learning experience and I’m loving getting out of the gym. I have a list of projects a mile long:
No U turn
Running Man (last attempt I literally got stuck inside of the hole and had to have a friend pull on my legs to get me out)
Great Wall of China
Thunder and Lightening
Super Sharp Shooter
I’m doing my best to stay healthy throughout the summer so I can compete in Tour de Bloc this coming fall and winter. I hope that going outdoors will help me learn new techniques and skills that would help me do well in the comps.
This past Wednesday and Thursday Ty and I went up to The Bruce Peninsula to camp at Cyprus Lake and climb at Halfway Log Dump. The conditions were crisp and cool with minimal wind – perfect for scrambling and climbing around the tightly packed limestone boulder field.
After making the tricky hike out to HWLD, we dumped our pads at the first boulder field and scrambled through the area to find projects for the day. Some of the more alluring climbs in the area were wet or surrounded by water such as The Whale. I had my eye on Queensnake and Cliffbreak as fun overhanging warm ups.
I worked on Cedar Arete a bit, keyword being “bit.” I was ecstatic to make a few of the start moves and look forward to going back to work out the mid section of the climb.
After this we moved down to The Maze to work our projects for the day. I was eyeing up Wanna Be My Baby? We had some difficultly identifying the start to the climb so I went “low and around the corner” for a start with a small crimp, a compressiony bulge, and a high heel hook over my head. I’ve had this obsession lately with heel hooking far over my head so I was psyched to apply this to an outdoor climb. I was drawn in by the overhanging nature of the climb. I worked out the start by using a few campus moves since feet were few and far between. Once coming out from the overhang I loved using a balancy heel hook as sort of shown in the photo below. The area was somewhat difficult to take a decent photo in. The top out definitely pushed me with its sloping nature since this is definitely my weak spot. I attempted working out the longer variation of the climb that traverses out left, Wanna Be My Daisy?, and think finishing it may be possible. I wasn’t able to get a proper send in that day, but definitely have all the pieces worked out.
Wanna Be My Baby?
After this the crew headed down to The East Maze to compile all of our crash pads together to try Hortop Slab. I was able to get about ¾ of the way up and felt satisfied. The slab was a highball and had a pretty rocky landing. I rolled over my ankles a few times working this and didn’t want to risk being unable to hike out of the boulder field. I never climb slab so I enjoyed pushing myself outside of my element. I threw the pads a little to the right to go up Hikers Slab, which allowed the use of the arête.
With little gas in the tank I put in 2 attempts at Wolverine before heading out for the day. With little energy, I found I was able to stay more calm and focused on the climb and managed to finish about half of the problem in my first go!
With a 3 hour drive home, we decided to head out. The day couldn’t have been more perfect. We had a great, supportive group out that day, perfect conditions, and more crash pads then anyone could hope for. I ate enough food for a small country over Wednesday and Thursday and had a memorable day of climbing. It’ll probably be a while before we make the trip back out there, but I’m looking forward to trying Nighthawk, The Whale, and Rose Patagonia, which were all wet.
Here’s a link to the guide for Halfway Log Dump.