Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Expansion Bolts

I retro bolted Candy with expansion bolts. I known, all the bolts down on Main Face are glue-in bolts. So why did I use and expansion bolt?
The first part of the answer is why do we use glue-ins. The Marine environment is a brutal one, especially for metals. Any time you have 2 pieces of metal touching (hanger and bolt), especially if they are 2 different metals, there is a possibility of corrosion. Salt
water speeds this up because it acts as a conductor and speeds the chemical reaction that is corrosion. This was most notable in Thailand where burly 1/2 inch expansion bolts were placed in sea cliffs (much like Flat Rock) and were rusted out inside one year. There is a theory that the chemical composition of the rock lead to the corrosion. Using a one piece glue-in avoids this contact of two metal, and the glue makes a chemical bond with the rock so water can't get
in and cause trouble. It is the way to go for sea cliffs.
So why the hell did I use an expansion bolt? There are multiple pieces and are not as strong as a glue-in. Whats up? Well what I put in was a stainless steel Triplex Bolt from Fixe. Stainless steel is the least like to corrode and the Triplex has only 3 pieces (hence the name). What the real beauty of this bolt is that is is removable! I can easily pound this thing
in and pop it out anytime I want. It is a 1/2 inch bolt which is bigger that the standard 3/8's found in most climbing areas. It uses the same size hole as the glue-ins so when the time is right, I will pop out the Triplex and replace them with glue-ins. So when you see the expansion bolts on Candy, don't freak out. They are solid and can be replaced with glue-ins at any point. I am going to leave them for a while to see how they mature.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Candy Gone Retro

Kim, Bob and I went to Main Face tonight with the intention of fixing Candy. I figure I would climb the crack until I got to the first bolt and then finish Candy. Then I would lower off and pop in a bolt or two. Easy...Not Quite.
I brought mostly bigger gear remembering that it was a fairly wide crack. To my surprise, the crack is actually very narrow in the back. I happen to have my Black Diamond 00 C3 but I couldn't get it to sit. My second problem was that a lot of water was seeping down the crack and I couldn't get good feet. I just could not feel safe getting off the ground.
I ended up putting the C3 and another cam down low so I could lean out underneath the ledge. I put a bolt in over my head just above the ledge.
I clipped into the bolt and started climbing. I put another 2 pieces in the wet crack until I could get the first original bolt clipped. After looking at it, you could definitely still have a ground fall if you fell before that next bolt. I put a second between the two. Their approximate position is where the 2 black dots are. The red dots are roughly where the old bolts are.
We walked around the rest of Main Face to see the damage of the previous winter storms. It was remarkable. There is a lot of work that needs to be done. The biggest issue is that the ramp probably won't last too many more years. We will need another form of access. Just as a note, Kim (brown jacket) is standing below a route. There is a small horizontal crack just above the roof. That used to be the start hold, I would grab it standing on the ground. That is now about 10 feet above Kim's head. There has been a lot of erosion. Anyhow, Candy is ready to go again.

PS...DO you see an evil little kid in the rock from this picture. Find his head shoulders and waist. Cool!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bolting Ethics

Candy is nasty! I know this because I am her daddy. She used to be kind and forgiving but now she is just rude and aloof. What a b!tch. By the way, I am not talking about my wife.

Candy is a route I set on Main Face about 5 years ago. It was the first moderate (5.7) sport climb in that area. It allowed fairly easy access to the top of other route. Over the last two years, there has been a lot of erosion at the base. Five to 10 feet of rock have been washed away by winter storm action. The first bolt on Candy is now around 20 feet off the deck. Not safe!!

Now, I have put my effort into developing another area for a number of reason. Candy is the only route I have put up in the Flat Rock Area. I am going to retro-bolt the route to make it safe, but by ethics, that is the only route I can touch. For those of you who are
unfamiliar with the ethics of developing, they are basically the unwritten for an area when putting up or maintaining routes. For example, the Gunks in New York State is a hard core trad area where only the people who are allowed to place bolts are the park rangers. The opposite would be Rumney, New Hampshire where sport climbing runs supreme and even long cracks are bolted. Obviously a different philosophy. This is the basis of "bolt wars" where a guy bolts a crack and a hard core trad climber comes by later and chops all the bolts...bad blood!
To help avoid this kind of conflict, developers should respect the local ethic and the general ethics in regards to bolting.
If a person puts up a route, the assumption is that it was done in a certain spirit with a lot of thought and effort. They are the 'author' of that route. It may have meant to be run out in places to keep it spicy...who knows. If the author wants to change it later, that is their prerogative. But if you want to put in a bolt or two, you need to check with the author and get their permission (to avoid bad blood).
Flatrock currently has a lot of routes that could use a bolt or two to make them safe. Throwing in bolts haphazardly could create friction within the community. The people with the FA's (author) of the routes that need a bolt should be contacted before it is placed.
To make a long story short, I can fix up Candy but I won't retro-bolt any other route unless their is some sort of consent. I hope to get to it in the next week or two.

Monday, May 23, 2011

German Face Topo

Blue- German Engineered 5.8

Black- Core Shot 5.9+

Green- Tach Auch 5.9

Yellow- Photophobia 5.10b

Red- Hat' Shit 5.9+

Purple- Sick Like Dog 5.7

Yellow- German Access 5.5

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Baby Face

Just in case you were not clear what face I was talking about. This is a overview of the area. I have Baby Face with a square around it. It is the small face you pass as you hike into the German Face.

The next image is a 'blowup' of Baby Face. I have the bolts we placed approximated by the 'dots'. Bob is working on a route just to the right of Boston Mantle. We can probably get about 4-7 routes on this small face. They will all be 5.8 and lower. The top of the face is very easy to access. The new path we put in for the upper faces pass just above it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Boston Mantle 5.8

My first time out doors this season. It was about time!

Bob and I had been talking about what we were going to work on this season as last year was a bit of a bust. We have a few things in mind; continue working the upper face, open up Noobie Squeeze area or putz around around on a short wall just before German Face. The short wall got our undivided attention today.

Anyone who has been to German Face knows exactly where this small face is. You pass it on your left just before you go up the hill to the bottom of German Face. It is about half the size in both height and width. The reason we went here is that the access is really easy to the top and bottom and we can quickly put up a number of moderate climbs. Bob was fartin around here 2 weeks ago and put in a set of top bolts. I put in 1 safety bolt and then put in a set of top bolts. After top roping it a couple of times, I put in 5 bolts to cover the 30-40 foot route.

It starts in the middle of the face behind a pine tree. The opening sequence is on fairly thin fingers but good feet. The route goes straight up to where I had to pull out a large loose block (left obvious scar). Use a couple of side pulls to clip a bolt just below a ledge. There is a large side pull to the left but very little else to help you get on up on the ledge. It requires an awkward mantle move. I would have been fairly heady move so a placed a bolt to protect that sequence. once the ledge is made, it is only a couple of moves to the anchors. If one were to fall there, it would be a bad ledge fall so one last bolt went in just before the anchors.

A lot of the bolt placement was secondary to the ledge in the middle so I thought that move should be integral to the name. I am off to Boston tomorrow so that was also on my mind hence...Boston Mantle. I goes about a 5.8 knowing the route. If you miss a couple of key holds, it will make it fell harder.

We figure that this will be a great learning area. We have yet to name it. We have thought about Baby Face, or the Elementary Wall. I don't know. Anybody have any thought to name an area that is specifically help introduce people to sport climbing? Leave a comment.

Tri WOD: Long Bike and Long Run Wk1

A little make up today.

Thursday was a rest day.

Friday: Long Bike- 1hr at a moderate pace

Sunday: Long run- 30min at moderate pace.

If training for the sprint triathlong, if you can only do three work-outs per week, they should be the long easy ones.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cl-WOD Endurance

Had about 1hr and 45 minutes at Walnuts.
Called each route one pitch. Each pitch about 25 feet.
The goal was to see if we could get to 1000 feet.

Bob and I alternated with 4 pitches each. We went crescendo-decrescendo starting on easy 5.6 got to laps on 5.10 at the hardest and then back down to 5.6

We got in about 600 feet or 24 pitches. Good work out but not close to the goal of 1000 feet. Try again next time.

Note about endurance:
Endurance is relative and the training therefore can be different. If you boulder, then endurance may be getting to the top of that 20 foot highball. Bigwall climbers need to be able to climb pitch after pitch hauling packs with them. Two very different goals.
I am a sport climber! I expect that my longest climb will be less than 100 feet. As with any endurance sport, you train beyond the expected duration of the race. The best example I can think of is running. I was training to do a 10km run in under 45 minutes. The long easy runs all exceeded 10km. In fact the longest run was 21 km, the length of a half marathon. It helps to make sure you have gas in the tank as you approach the finish line.
With climbing, there are many benefits to endurance climbing. I can't knock doing 30 minutes of continuous climbing but it is mind numbing. I already have an aerobic base which I augment with the Tri training. I am mostly concerned with getting to the top of a stiff 100 foot route therefore most my endurance training intervals will be between 100 to 200 feet. Judge it for your own goals.

Tri- WOD Wk1 Bike Short & Run Long Brick

5 min easy warm-up
5 min moderate
2 min hard (HR 80% max)
1 min easy
5 intervals
Max HR 160
Average 142
Cal 245

25 Min moderate pace
Average HR 130
Cal 161

Easy stretch 5 min.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cl-WOD Endurance 45 minutes

10 minutes light bouldering.
30 minutes of continuous climbing.
Ended up being about ten 40 foot traverse across the bottom of my bouldering wall. Had to rest after each to avoid getting a burn. You DON"T want to get burning forearms doing this.

10 intervals of:
Medium 3 finger edge- 4 pull-ups (on the 0:00).
Jugs- 5 hanging leg lifts (on the 0:30).
Takes 10 minutes to complete.

Light stretching.

Strong for Summer

Here is a novel idea...I am going to get in shape for the climbing season. I know what you are thinking..."don't we train all winter to get in shape for summer?". Well I am more stunneder than your typical climber. I train all winter to get in great climbing shape for March (ie Rock Fall). Then the routine falls to sh!t, summer comes and I try to get outside as much as possible. What ends up happening is that I develop (routes) on the weekend and stop climbing thru the week. I get as fit as the Pillsbury Dough Boy.

Well Leo is great at training people and I owe him a lot. I have learned from him and have done considerable research on training for climbing myself. I am going to start a training cycle to get in shape for the summer. I usually record my training sessions on an online webpage. I figure I can just put my workouts on my blog. If you are looking for a little structure to your climbing, this may help. I am going to do it more for myself than anything.

Where I am older (42) and a bit heavy for a rock climber (188 lbs at 5'9"), I really need to work on slimming down and improving my aerobic capacity. I am training for a Sprint Triathlon to cover that aspect. Ideally I will train 4 times per week for this. These work outs I will mark as Tri- WOD (Work Out of the Day).

The climbing workouts will be marked as Cl- WOD. The cycle will be a 3-2-1. Three weeks endurance, 2 weeks power and one week power-endurance. I will be training for climbing 3-4 times per week. Climbing will take priority over Tri training. My workout can be anywhere from 45 minutes up 3 hours. My rest days are usually when I am on call and if I have a bad night, I may miss two days in a row. Some days I may have two workouts.

A basic minimum would be 3 climbing work outs, two aerobic and two antagonistic workouts per week. Modify the workouts for yourself.

I will start posting about our development of stuff outdoors as soon as the weather permits.