Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The 3-Star Project and How not to Behave While Injured

I always read things about climbers starting blogs or taking on other worthy projects while injured. I however hurt my shoulder a while back and fell off the blogging wagon.

Side note: I was also busy finishing my undergraduate thesis and graduating from college. I wish I could use that as my excuse for not blogging. But deep down I know that I was much to busy complaining about my shoulder to get anything typed other than my thesis.

First off, let me make it clear I am bad at being injured. For the first two weeks (with zero climbing!) I complained constantly. I am really not sure how I did not get hit in the face by a close friend at some point during this rocky period… luckily I survived with out any whompings from friends. Then for the next two weeks, while complaining for only about 50% of my waking hours, I proceeded to try to climb like I didn’t hurt anymore, like it had never happened. That didn’t work. I spent most of my gym session whining about my inability and lack of confidence when making big moves with my right arm. During this point, someone really should have stepped up and whacked me, but all of my friends were still too nice.

At this point, something amazing happened, Cameron suggested that I take part in his 3-Star Project at Rumbling Bald. The 3-Star Project is Cam’s goal to climb all of the three-star boulder problems in the Chris Dorrity guide. The 3-star list includes about 100 boulder problems ranging from v0 to v11. It does not include any problems established after the guide was published, regardless of how many stars they deserve. To make the 3-star project even more exciting, Cam decided he wanted to repeat all of the three-star boulder problems he had previously sent before checking them off.

For my 3-Star Project I am trying to climb all of the 3-star problems v0 to v6 (I thought about capping it at v5, but why limit myself). Addtionally, I do have a few higher v-grade goals for the season! Cam thought this goal would help me enjoy my time in the boulderfield more while I was still recovering and not up for climbing at my limit. It turns out this was a great idea.

After Cam made the requite Excel spreadsheets with a checkbox for each problem, we folded the sheets into my guidebook and headed to the Bald. I decided to include everything I have already sent this fall and winter, because I can’t resend Kung-Fu Grip for the life of me… obviously I need the early September friction back… or something.

With little more than a pad, a pair of Solutions, and a spreadsheet Cam was out of the gates and running. He started off the 3-star project by sending Clearwater, and repeating Brackish Water on his first day at the Bald after conceiving the project. I started off a bit slower, but did manage to send Brackish One the same day. Why I chose to even try a problem that starts with a right arm campus move with a hurt right shoulder I will never know…

In the Rumbling Bald trips since, Cam and I decided to visit a few areas of the Bald I had never been to. Our trip excursion was to the Far East. After a quick stop in the Middle East for Cam to either send or resend (I can’t remember) Grease Pit, we headed past the Fire and Ice Boulder to find Rift. Grease Pit is also on my list, but I was (and am) still working back to being confident on big moves like that.

Rift is a great v4. With the crux move just below the top-out it was just what I needed after two weeks without climbing. After getting angry that a v4 was going to take me more than just a few tries, I said a few words I wouldn’t say in front of my grandmother and managed to finish the problem. While at Rift, we climbed its neighbor White Rama, one of the Bald’s two 3-star v0 problems. It felt mighty hard for a v0, but what do I know…

We left Rift and walked over to check out White Ocean, a 3-star v5 face climb. The guide barely mentions the small details that the boulder is huge, White Ocean goes up the tallest part, and the hard move looks to be at the top! A worthy endeavor, but not for that day. Instead we went and climbed Forbidden City a v2 version of Dime Crack. This description has become way too detailed for anyone to care… so I’ll skip to my 3-star highlights in bullet form:

-Everyone should climb Clumsy Waiter, an awesome and forgotten highball v4 in the cluster area.

- The Egg is a damn hard v4 for me! I can only do the first move with an extra thin pad… nevertheless still awesome.

-The 3-star project involves some highballing! Super psyched to hopefully send DRTR soon.

-I got a Metolius Colossus for graduation. Although I am not used to carrying a huge pad, I am already used to landing on its rad 24 square feet of coverage!

-My New Year’s Resolution is to be a more positive, less competitive climber/person.

-And I am heading to Rocktown in a few days! Super pysched!

Also! If you think the 3-Star Project is as cool as I do, I just might be able to get you your own, limited-edition, 3-Star Project Spread Sheet! But supplies are running out fast!