Sunday, January 23, 2011

Special Edition: Photo Annual

Well not really a special edition, but I did finally get a chance to take some photos.  I was going to take a rest day to recover some skin, but we decided to go to Zahnd (which I have never been to).  I have an inability to refuse climbing at a new area, so I tried to climb moderates and shoot photos.  It was a good day mostly.  The temp never hit 35, but there were a few really good problems that were worth using the remainder of my skin.  I did The Turret (v4), Razor's Edge low (7a), Solar Flare (7a+), and Harvest Moon (7b+).  I also saw The Wave and decided to put it on my list.  Thing looks sick!  I'm psyched to get back out there.  Overall, the area is massive, but there are only a few really good lines.  The majority of the rock is sandy, pebbled, and crumbly.  Just sayin.  Here's a couple shots I took:

Classic 'try hard' face from Graham

Prepped up for the send

Try to get a shot when his tongue isn't out.

It isn't possible

Grabbing the Scream pinch

Beta spray, but his tongue isn't sticking out!

He didn't send...

Foster shared Purp's pain of defeat

Sick arete highball

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Nothin like a good rock climb

Today I woke up to go climbing!  9:00am comes early in Rossville.  Nate and I met up at TBA to head out to Rocktown, while Jimmy, Rami, and folks went out to Lilly Boulders.  I didn't really have an agenda for the day, but Nate was psyched on a couple of things.  We ran into Graham and Haley in the parking lot!  I haven't seen them in quite some time, but they're always great to climb with.  Graham was talking about some line that he chalked up to the left of Brown Hole.  We started by warming up at the simulator area and then moved over to the New Sherriff in Town roof.  Nate and I were psyched to figure out the beta on Litz Roof (7c+), so we got to it.  With plenty of pads and good spots, we soon figured out a sick sequence!  Nate sent after a couple goes, and I got epic all over it.  I decided to take one more go before resting for a while, and started bleeding, but sent!  I felt really good about this one.  Then we moved down to Graham's problem and Nate started working it while I recovered a bit.  Nate dispatched it rather quickly for a possible FA.  We're still unsure about it, so it's just Unknown (7c).  I got on it and figured out the movement after a few goes.  The second move is really cool!  I also got pretty epic on this one and started to bleed on my send go. 

My second flapper!  No bueno...
But I sent so it was all good.  Unfortunately, this pretty much ended my day, so we went to Golden Harvest and Nate tried a bunch of beta before it got horribly cold.  Going to rest now, but getting out again on Monday!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wal-Mart on a Friday night

Can you smell it?  Mmmm, the sweet aroma of camo, crack, and fatties.  Welcome to the melting pot that is Rossville.  For a moment, you may suspect that you accidentally ended up at the local Wal-Mart, but upon closer inspection, you are indeed where you intended to be.  The Rossville Plasma Center.  Yes, this is the place where the woman with meth mouth will try desperately to tell you the cure for a gray spot on your scalp (it's eye shadow by the way); the place where people "can't keep [their] shoes tied to save [their] life."  This is the home of the Plasma Weight Loss Program (giving fluids is a great alternative to working out).  Truly a place of wonders.  I found myself here today in hopes of simply getting some grocery money, but the experience turned out to be far more valuable.  Through my four hour endeavor, I was able to connect with the local culture and learn what it truly means to be from Rossville (I mostly just sat in a corner and eavesdropped). 

These are my scientific research findings. 
One woman had a lot of great things to talk about.  For example, I learned that she's not bipolar and she's not a crazy person, but if she has to, she will defend herself.  They don't believe in self defense in Tennessee, but in Texas (where she is from) you can stab a man.  Also, at Wal-Mart, this boy was circling her buggy so she called 911 and the police never showed up.  I learned a lot and was reluctant to leave this area to actually give plasma, but that turned out to be quite enjoyable as well. 
The rundown:  This place is packed with people, all of them are quite chatty (and sketchy), the kid next to me starts getting a big bubble on his arm (blew my mind!), they stick his other arm and he keeps going, he starts talking about how all he ate was 2 sausage biscuits and 3 energy drinks (which apparently leads to bubble-arm and plasma that looks like a cold-grease milkshake),  the lady sticks my arm, goes through the vein and into my arm, pops the needle back out a little (yeh, it popped out),  I bled out in 30 minutes and left.  This was one of the most uncomfortable experiences ever!  The kicker:  the fatter you are, the more money you make.  I got ripped off due to my overwhelmingly athletic physique.  Moral of the story: I need a job because this simply will not do.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A day in the life of a workin man

Precursor to today's post:  Erich and I have been searching for jobs since we arrived in Chattanooga.  That was a month ago.  In this week's attempt, we heard Aldi was hiring, but we had to go to some "job fair" to apply. Thirty minutes later we were at the Hampton Inn (for the 'job fair').  There was a line out the door for this gig!  There weren't even any applications left.  We stood around (awkwardly) for a while, trying to figure out what was going on, then left.  I feel this thoroughly demonstrated the state of the job market for the Chattanooga area.  Sucks!  Then we saw the car wash was hiring....

Today was my first day at work!  Erich and I landed jobs at the Ft. Oglethorpe car wash and today was our orientation to the good life.  We arrived at 9:40, a good 20 minutes early, and sat around for 20+ minutes.  Then we went through the motions of filling out an application and we were hired!  I really want to go into the details, but nobody wants to read that much.  Basics:  You work every day (but you can have a day off if you need, they aren't unreasonable), you only get paid if you are cleaning a car.  Yes.  Hourly wages, but you have to clock out every time there isn't a customer.  This means you're clocked in anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes at a time.  I could have worked an 8 hour day and gotten paid for 2 (is that legal?).  As Purpur stated, "I can stand around at home and not get paid."  So after standing around (awkwardly) for an hour and a half,  we left.  I went climbing and Purpur went and got a job.  Big congrats to him!

Climbing:  Everything was dry, so that was good.  Nate and Rami were nice enough to come and hang out and spot me for like 5 hours, so that was good.  Didn't do anything new, bad.  We went to Cumberland (Pep Boys) again and I showed them Put A Sock In It.  It was funny.  Rami took some photos: 

Yeah, this is real.  Think what you will.

It's a good line, you should do it.
 Then I tried Gross Roof for a bit.  I don't know how that thing seems so hard, but it does.  All the holds are at least a pad.  Really don't get it.  Then I flailed on some stuff and we left.  I wish I had a job.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Solo mission

I've been in Chattanooga for several weeks now and it has been great climbing with everyone.  Even so, it really is nice to just get out on your own sometimes.  Today was a good day.  I woke up at 6:00 and eventually gave up on going back to sleep.  Despite the rain in the forecast, I was pretty set on going climbing.  I haven't been in the best mood lately and I really needed to get out.  So, I went out to LRC and discovered my lack of 3 dollars.  Super lame.  Then I decided to check out some of the boulders by the river (which looked epic).  I couldn't bring myself to walk across water, so I left.  Off to Cumberland (pep boys).  I was planning on getting some redemption on Slurpee, but the start holds were wet and the top was covered in snow.  Super lame.  While I was trying to clean the top, some fellow named Mike showed up and started talking about boulders out the way and off the trail.  I gave up on trying to clean top outs with a stick and checked out Gross's Roof real quick.  The start holds were good but everything else was pretty drippy.  I decided to check out the other boulders with Mike and his friend Scott.  It was a long hike by Chattanooga standards, about 10 minutes (max).  Totally worth it.  There was a beautiful face with perfect sandstone and several good lines.  There was also a small roof with a few lines.  I did Solar Power (7a) and Sunburst (7a+) pretty quickly and we headed over to the roof.  The roof was a little wet in one spot, but I managed to to do Across the Grain (7a) despite conditions.  Mike and Scott were trying a project that came out the prow of the roof.  It was dry and looked badass!  I started trying the low start a little and felt like it could go.  Still, I felt weird being the guy that tagged along and I figgured it wasn't really ethical to snake a project from these guys.  So we left and they went off to try Salo's Roof, and I went to mess around on Gross's Roof.  It had become even more drenched, so after a few goes I got pretty discouraged.  I couldn't resist going back to the lower area for a good rock climb.  I set up quickly, but with only 2 pads, I couldn't cover all of the rocks.  The only thing I had to work with were my clothes.  So I got naked.  And sent.  Mild exaggeration, I used a couple jackets and my backpack to pad out some of the gaps.  And sent.  It was awesome, I'd really like to take someone back there to try it (and confirm FA, they said it was, and it seems plausible, but still).  Either way, awesome rock climb. You guys should try it.  Oh, and it's called Put A Sock In It (7c).  I challenge you to figure out why.

Again, no pics.  Super lame.  I'll put some up as soon as I can.

Back at the crib, we watched a climbing movie called Take It To The Limit.  It won a Gold Medal at the American Wilderness Film Festival.  I challenge you to figure out why.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Failin for a day

On Saturday I woke up at 5:30am.  I wasn't feeling well, but we went out to LRC to check out the conditions.  It was pretty much horrible.  Everything started melting and dripping everywhere and getting everything wet and muddy and it was horrible.  Ben Newton is staying at our house now and had never been to LRC.  It wasn't ideal, but he still sent about 9 new problems!  Pretty impressive.  Towards the end of the day, we both got on The Pinch (7a/7b+).  I stole some beta and managed to do it second go!  It was really wet and snowy on top, super scary!  I had to do a barefoot descent to avoid busting ass in the snow.  Really refreshing.  Ben did it shortly after and felt equally epic on top.  That was my only send of the day.  I spent most of my time on Dragon Slayer hating my life. 
Primary Reasons: 
1. Only had one pad and it was completely soaked through.  
2. Had a waterfall in my face every time I pulled around the roof.  
3. Had to take the time to dry my shoes every time I fell. 
Secondary Resons factored in as well.
I also tried King James a couple times.  It definitely felt hard, but I was being really lame with the height.  I'd like to try it again for sure. 
Sorry for the lack of pics, there may be some on Erich's blog ( within a couple of days.

Here is the injury I got back when I did Seven Eleven.

Holly had a more successful day.  She got redemption on Unlocked after a pretty epic day.  She had to be at work at noon, but decided she could go to Alabama and climb first.  Word on the street is that she sat under the problem for 2 hours, 'almost' cried (probably did), then got her shit together and sent.  Only an hour and a half late for work, totally worth it.  Well done Holly!

Also, all the strong kids (Jimmy, Brad, Brion, Nate, Rami) should be back from Arkansas soon.  They wrecked that place.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Escape from Rossville

So we couldn't really wait any longer for the snow to melt.  On Friday, I traveled with Holly and Drolet to Alabama in search of climbable boulders.  Our first efforts were thwarted by road closings and front wheel drive.  We simply kept going south until we found the perfect spot.  Holly got the car stuck as soon as we arrived, but Drolet and myself were able to save the day by lifting the car off of the snow and placing it on dry pavement (more or less).  The topouts were still covered in snow, but we managed to clear off just enough to top out several boulders.  Conditions were perfect!  Holly and I warmed up quickly and started real rock climbing while Drolet took his sweet time playing on jugs.  I hopped on Dog Laudanum (7c+) and managed to fire it off after a handful of goes!  This was really cool for me because I had never stuck the crux move before and it was one of my weaknesses.  Holly was trying a really great problem called Unlocked (7c).  She worked out all of the moves on a previous trip and just had to put it all together.  Her shoe kept slipping off, so she socked up and taped her shoe to her leg (looked really cool).  She gave it several really good attempts but kept falling on the same move from the start. 

Holly McMullen setting up for the crux on Unlocked

Drolet finished warming up and started trying Unlocked Low (7c).  It adds about 9 moves to the problem and looks like it flows really well.  He was getting really close each time, but couldn't quite finish it out.  We all decided to take a break from the boulder and head over to a problem called JH (7c+).  Drolet made some good progress and I was able to repeat.  We also heard about a little roof climb called Green Smile (7b+) and we decided to check it out.  Nate and I sent with considerable help from Holly (the designated anit-dabbing assistant).  She was not psyched that the crux was getting on the wall (height dependent, seriously), so she saved her energy for Unlocked.  Drolet managed to send Unlocked Low and said it didn't quite merit an extra grade.  Holly got super close and definitely could have sent, but it was getting dark.  The Darkness is something to be feared in this boulder field.  We found 2 deer legs, heard scary noises, stories of ghosts and crazies, and decided to leave while we could. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Drankin on 0,47L

[Sidenote that should have been on previous post:  I got to climb with Holly McMullen yesterday and it was awesome until she exploded her shoulder (again) on black on blue problem (super classic).  I don't know if you know who Holly is, so I will explain.  I'm sure you've all heard of the girl who got her hair caught in a Gri Gri at the red or obed or some other silly route climbing spot.  Yeah, she cried a lot and made some guy hold onto his route for dear life while she struggled through this harrowing moment.  Fail.  Andrew Miller (the Life Champion) was fortunately in the area and saved the day.]  Accurate dramatization:

This is what really happened.  Reverse-loaded gri gri and no harness, belaying from inside a truck...  Tears and climbing holds everywhere.
 Today was a good mental recovery day.  Started things off right when Brent (Emily's boyfriend) came into town with his badass and practical truck.  We were able to get my car out of the ditch after slightly less than considerable effort.  I still haven't tried to move it since we pulled it out.  I'm pretty sure there's still a chance that I could get stuck again.   Either way I traded a block of chalk for a ride to TBA with Purpur.  It was couples day so Purpur and I threw away our pride in order to get the discount.  Holly showed up to test out the shoulder injury as well (wasn't an overwhelming success, but I'm glad she came anyway).  She brought me a powerbar and an orange (pretty much the coolest thing ever)!!  Nate Drolet and I learned of the 20 yellow routes in an hour for a free month's membership to TBA and decided to try.  I got wrecked and felt like crying a little bit.  Fail.  Drolet killed it though, very impressive for sure!  As a recovery tactic, we all went to Tremont Tavern for Free Beer Wednesday.  Yes, that is a real thing.  You get a free decent beer (not natty ice) and you get to take the glass home with you!  I managed to nurse the Terrapin Pumpkin Ale for about an hour and a half and then we left.  Back to Kasia's place for Settlers!  For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of experiencing Settlers, I would recommend buying the original Warcraft for PC, then imagine playing that as a board game without any battles.  There are soldiers, but they don't actually do anything.  You just gather resources until somebody wins.  It may not sound exciting, but I had a great time listening to Black and Yellow and hording sheep.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Runnin from the law

My life is generally excessively uninteresting, so I really didn't think that I would have anything to blog about so soon.  As it is, today was a pretty epic fail.  I woke up super early to consider climbing in Alabama for the day.  Turns out I was just desperate to get out of the house and do something with my life.  We decided not to go.  Back to doing nothing with my life...  but wait,  this was the perfect opportunity to go job searching before a gym session at TBA.  So I prepped up and started backing out of the driveway.  Brain:  remember forgetting wallet in house:  commence driving back up the driveway:  slide car into ditch.  Brain:  recovery mode:  can't get car out:  consider options:  obvious solution:  I can run to TBA!  It really felt like the right choice at the time.  So then I'm running, but I have to run beside the highway.  In the snow.  I really should have stretched.  IT bands flare up, lungs freeze to death, feet freeze to death as well.  I made it about 2 miles.  Sweet!  Only 6 more!!  Then some nice fellow gave me a ride for about another mile.  Back to running.  Didn't make it too far.  Georgia Trooper rolls up on me, lights flashing.  I don't even know how to express this, but he's like "Stop right there boy!  Show me yer hands!"  Oh uhhh.  How does one even react to that?  He continues, "What you runnin from boy?  What you got in the bag!?"  Brain:  overdrive mode:  fail.  I can't say I sounded or looked very convincing when I told him I was just trying to go somewhere with my friends.  So I had to chill in his car (backseat! super cramped) while he checked out my story / ID.  Apparently a stolen car got wrecked like a mile back and I was indeed running the opposite direction.  He felt bad for nearly pulling his gun on me and gave me a ride to TBA!! That was awesome and helpful too.  We talked on the way.  We're pretty much best friends now. 
That's a happy face because it is good to have friends.  The officer is the blue one.  I'm the yellow one.  Made it to TBA on time and had fun:  Score 1.  Couldn't climb anything:  Score back to 0.  Redemption tomorrow!  If i can get my car out.  Check out the live webcam stream:

I have an axe because we don't have a shovel.

Recipe of the Day:
Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwich on Toast
Toast the bread, throw yer stuff on it, cut it in half (if desired).  Enjoy with a glass of milk.  Or water if you can't afford milk.

Climbing update: 
Black and Yellow Problem: 7b flash/second go. Everything I do, I do it big! (get it? like the song?)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ballin on a budget

In an attempt to avoid the troubles of the real world,  I find myself in the Limbo of Rossville, GA.

Apparently we are chillin with Lucifer in this damned snow storm.
  Seems as good a place as any to pass the days.  The proximity to overwhelming amounts of climbing is one benefit of living here.  It may actually be the only benefit, unless you find solace in overwhelming amounts of Dollar Generals.
Big Hearted Smitty's Wedding Reception
I have been living here since early or mid December, primarily climbing and looking for jobs.  While the climbing has been great, I maintain a constant sick feeling about not having a job.  I am currently quite desperate as I don't have sufficient funding to pay next month's rent.  I have not been this broke since the 4th grade.  Regardless, I live am living with Erich and Emily in a granny house, but it's going well.  I climb with Erich sometimes and Emily just works at Earthfare and Greenlife.  She also spends her time eating my cracked pepper deli turkey and brand name frosted mini wheats (instead of frosted mini spooners, which even have a resealable bag for extra freshness and no box for reduced waste).  That aside, we recently had about ten people and three dogs stay at our place for a week.  I felt like I was climbing with the old Boone crew again which was quite motivating.  Everyone had a good trip and some great sends. They also left a lot of their food here when they left!  Super psyched on that.  We got 2 gallons of milk, 26 eggs, 8 packs of ramen, 3 strips of bacon, 1/2 lb of lunch meat, a full bag of mini spooners, a box of fire roasted tomato triscuits, and probably some other stuff too.  I've also been able to climb with Nate and Rami a couple times.  They're both crushing harder than ever, which is pretty cool to see.  Blogging with a desktop sucks.  We just got a half foot of snow so I can't go climbing.  Definitely turning in applications tomorrow.  Hopefully the Ace Hardware job will come through so that I can buy groceries.  Today I slept until lunch so that I could conserve energy and not have to eat as much.  Ramen variations are the meals of choice.

Ramen Variation of the Day:
Protein Packed Pepper Turkey Ramen (rating: OMFrickinFrickinG)
1 pack Chicken Ramen (nissin, not top)
2 eggs
1/8 lb. Cracked Pepper Turkey (thin sliced from walmart) (i have a walmart money card or i wouldn't go there)
3-4 dashes of black pepper
Instructions:  Whisk eggs and add 2 dashes pepper, bring Ramen to a boil and add 1/2 of flavor packet, slowly pour whisked egss over boiling noodles while slowly stirring, tear turkey into smaller pieces and add to noodles, cook noodles as desired, add a couple more dashes of pepper and serve hot.  mmmmm....

I read a book.  A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami.  I'd recommend it.  Windup Bird Chronicles is next.

Climbs that I've done since I've been here:
Tunnel Vision 7a
Sherman Photo Roof 7a+
Grimace 7b
Helicopter Traverse 7b+
Sherman Photo Roof Traverse 7b+
Roughin the Rottweiler 7b+
Bionic Rats 7b+
Tyrone Biggums 7c
Robbing the Tooth Fairy 7c
Burst of Joy 7c
Biggie Shorty 7c+
Seven Eleven 7c+
Deliverance 7c+
JH 7c+

Climbs I want to do soon:
Dragon Man
Dragon Slayer
The Law
The Orb
Golden Harvest
Jah Natty

Some photos that I took:
Emily Pomfrey working the moves on Super Mario Bros. V5

Erich Purpur warming up at LRC

Rami Annab on Southern Slang V11