This has been a weird year for me in terms of climbing. The year started off with a pull injury, progressed to a broken finger / ligament tear and then ended with a major knee surgery. So are the negative events of the year. Good thing there are more positives than negatives.
After a few weeks off at the beginning of the year to allow for some healing to take place, I made a trip to the Cape where I climbed a sick 7b multipitch in that place we all know but we’re not allowed to write about. After that I managed to get in some sick bouldering with the Outward Ventures team.
We spent time up on Table Mountain, where I got totally spanked by Triple Jeopardy (to be expected, I was really unfit and not really that strong either). So I still need a rematch, maybe late 2015 I’ll be up for it. TM has some of the best trad climbing in SA. I really need to spend some more time there!!!
Shortly after this was the Rory Lowther Memorial Comp in Swinburne, where I got to test out my brand new Roca Dominator 9.2mm rope. Still loving it by the way! It’s gotten some good mileage this year in the likes of the Free State and Waterval Boven.
My next big destination was the Wow Prow where Andrew and I laid siege to Future Life. We both had a great time on it and Andrew eventually came away with the send.
In this vid, Andrew falls off on the last hard move. He should have sent this time!
The rest of the year was spent trying to make sense of things. My finger on my left hand never fully recovered during the winter season, so I had a lot of trouble with climbing at Chosspile. I think I only tried Shadowfax once this entire season and it was miserable. I ticked Andrew’s new line Cock or Bollock (8a). Was great fun. I spent a lot of time trying Violent Streak (8b) but it didn’t quite happen before the temps went up.
I did spend a bunch of time in Boven! I loved it. Overlord (8b+) and Shear Force (8c) were my main goals… The below pics are from Zele Angelides who has agreed to be m photographer for Outward Ventures in Gauteng. Awesome!
A midst the chaos of Overlord and Shear Force was a little known gem: Joy Division (8a). Absolutely tiny holds, very sustained! Lots of fun.
Met up with the Hamer Bros and Jose in Boven. Ed and Sam and Wild Country UK athletes and damn strong!!!
Well, that just about brings me to the knee injury and my wedding… Two very different emotions right there. There is a bit of the progress with my leg… It’s feeling a lot better, been going to the gym and training again! I must admit, it is really amazing to be doing some exercise.
Our honeymoon was great!!!! We flew to Germany and then hung out in Munich for a week.
It was amazing to see the sights and go to museums and huge stores.
Bought so much clothing and enjoyed the sights so very much!
Austria was even better than Germany. We spend 6 nights in a 4 star hotel with a lot of bonus benefits, like €400 of spa treatments, €200 Euro of minibar, a car rental! It was great.
6 course dinners, Austrian beers, plus we brought some of our own wine.
Yvette learned how to snowboard, it was the first time that she’d ever seen snow! Was great. She even managed to nail me with a snowball right in the ear. There was literally snow in my ear that we had to dig out.
I added to my training wall at home now. This badass board is really cool. It has some extremely small crimps on it that I can barely hang on to! I got into a program that was written up by Kris Hampton, owner of the Power Company Climbing website. He has a really simple program:
Half crimp grip. Each rep lasts 8 seconds or until failure. 10 seconds rest between reps. 1-2 minute rest between sets (grips). F3 denotes front 3 fingers. R3 denotes rear three fingers. M2 are middle 2 fingers. If no finger count is specified, it is with all 4 fingers. I started on each rung with bodyweight. Upon finishing a set of 3 reps with bodyweight, I add weight on a belt or vest with 4 fingers, and begin trying it with only 3 fingers. Once I’ve completed a set with that weight, I add more. I add weight until I reach 20 lbs, which is where I draw the line. I just feel that the added weight beyond that point is less valuable than time spent on smaller holds or with fewer fingers. I continue doing the 20 lb. hang in the workout as a means of warming up to weighted fewer finger hangs (which is denoted below). When no weight is listed, it’s because the weight grows from session to session in 2-6 lb. increments until it reaches the 20 lb limit.
Warm up with 1 set of 3 reps of bodyweight hangs from top and middle rungs.
Top rung. 20 lbs. 3 reps.
Middle rung. 20 lbs. 3 reps.
Top rung. F3. 20 lbs. 3 reps.
Middle rung. F3. 20 lbs. 3 reps.
Top rung. R3. 3 reps.
Middle rung. R3. 3 reps.
Bottom rung. 3 reps.
Bottom rung. F3. 3 reps.
Bottom rung. R3. 3 reps.
Top rung. M2. 3 reps.
Middle rung. M2. 3 reps.
I’ve also been using this one, it’s a great program if you’re looking for about 15 minutes on the hangboard. It’s an old one and a favourite… Quick clarification of terms:
Drops: pull up releasing one hand and latching a hold 20cm up / throw hand 20cm or more in the air and drop back to the hold on the board. Then switch to the other hand. A set of 5 is 5 with each hand.
Negs: Pull up and lower off for 10 seconds, then quickly pull up and repeat.
|Min||Type of hold||Exercise||Sec/Rep|
|2||Medium Edge||Drops||2 rep|
|3||Small Edge||Negs||5 rep|
|5||Medium Edge||Hanging||20 sec|
|7||Medium Edge||Hanging||20 sec|
|8||Small Edge||Hanging||20 sec|
|9||Medium Edge||Pull-up||5 rep|
|11||Medium Edge||Hanging||25 sec|
|12||Medium Edge||Hanging||25 sec|
|13||Small Edge||Pull-up||5 rep|
|14||Small Edge||Hanging||20 sec|
Here’s the big brother!! Try it if you’re feeling brave!!!