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Video Friday – 2/27/2015

The highest rated videos of the past week…

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Ticked Off

The Access Fund:

Despite the obvious benefit of chalk for climbing—its drying effect on sweaty hands—climbers can often get carried away with it. Over the years, chalk gets caked onto holds, forming layers, which affects the texture of the rock and the friction of that very poor sloper. Too many ticks can also cause confusion on a route, botch on-sight attempts, and ruin the self-discovery and problem-solving aspect of climbing.

If there is one trend I noticed during my time in Colorado it’s that you would think boulderers were going blind with the amount of tick marks being used these days.  It was not uncommon to walk up to a boulder and see multiple tick marks, often garishly long, per hand and foot, with the person who actually put them there long since gone from the problem.  Usually the harder the boulder, the worse this problem got.

Judicious and discrete use of tick marks for key holds that are cleaned off after every session is one thing, using tick marks like tape in the gym is something completely different.

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Mission Accomplished

Mike Anderson, writing on his blog after climbing his first 5.14c, Daniel Woods’ Mission Impossible in Clear Creek Canyon, CO, at the age of 37:

Even as I write this a couple days later, it’s hard for me to put into perspective. I started climbing in the early 90’s when 5.14c was the end of the rating scale. It didn’t exist in the US until 1992. The fact that I’ve worked my way to that grade is surreal. What’s curious is that I’m not surprised to have done the route. As soon as I started working on it, I felt that I was up to the challenge. Whether deliberate or not, I had been training for this route for a decade, and now I believed I would do it, in time.

You can see a nice video of Mike on the route here.

Mike, along with twin brother Mark, is the author of a training book called The Rock Climber’s Training Manual.  If I were better at actually following a workout plan I would do a more in depth review of it, but I can tell from loosely following the workouts that there is some good information to be had.  Also, the authors religiously follow the plan and they both crush despite having considerable grown-up obligations outside of climbing.  If you are interested in improving how you train for climbing this book is well worth checking out.

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Alex Puccio Sends The Swarm

More hard sending for Alex Puccio

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Hueco Tanks Public Use Plan Under Review

Melissa Strong, who owns and operates the excellent Wagon Wheel Co-opt in Hueco Tanks, brings news that the Public Use Plan that lays out guidelines for access to Hueco Tanks is under review:

On January 27, 2015 about 40 people joined together for the first meeting in a series of six to review the Public Use Plan, PUP, implemented in 2000 by Texas Park and Wildlife Department, TPWD, in Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site, HTSP&HS.

These meetings were sparked for many reasons including the discussion of local access being limited due to the PUP and according to some because of climbers.   It is true many climbers frequent The Park but the limited access of the PUP gives everyone the same equal rights of accessing Hueco Tanks.

The outlook from the perspective of us climbers does seem ok, but this is definitely something for us to keep an eye on. Many thanks to Melissa, Climbers of Hueco Tanks Coalition, the American Alpine Club and the Access Fund for their work on this.

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Video Friday – 2/20/2015

The highest rated videos of the past week…

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Sachi Amma Smashes Spanish Sport Climbing

Sachi Amma closes out his trip to Spain with an incredible ticklist

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Mike Doyle Repeats Necessary Evil (5.14c)

Mike Doyle, writing on his blog about becoming “the oldest, shortest, weakest and least talented climber” to repeat the rarely-repeated Chris Sharma testpiece Necessary Evil (5.14c) in Arizona’s Virgin River Gorge:

I’ve had quite a few people say they think it’s amazing that I work full time and was able to climb this route. I really do appreciate that and yes, I do work a lot but honestly that’s not the part I am most proud of. I’m proud that this route was hard for me and I did it. I set myself up pretty well to be able to get out once during the week and on weekends. The community in Vegas stepped up to support me and made it possible. Everyone is different and has different ‘distractions’ in their life. I don’t hold myself above anyone else because I work full time and can’t climb at a peak level all the time. It’s a choice I made, continue to make, and a lifestyle I accept. My work is just my distraction.

Work is a distraction for a lot of us, it’s just that for the vast majority1 of us we don’t climb 5.14c when we aren’t distracted.  I say well done to you, Mike, and congratulations!

You can see some video of Mike working the route here.

  1. Dare I say all?
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