Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Nothin else to do

Well, I wasn't really sure what to do with the footage of Damn Yankees.  It isn't really exciting angles or anything, so I was thinking about just slapping it onto another vid at some point.  Unfortunately, I took a mostly rest day today and didn't have much to do.  I made a video of it pretty much just for fun, but I guess I'll share.

Back by popular demand (1 guy wants it, but I figure that's like 20% of my readers),  Ramen Recipe of the Day!

Tomato-Bacon Ramen Soup:

1 package Ramen soup (any flavor)
2 cups water
1 can tomato soup
and Bacon!

First, go ahead and fry up some bacon
Make ramen and crumble up the bacon into small pieces
When the ramen is done, pour can of tomato soup into pan and add the bacon
Simmer for 5 minutes

Since I have to take a rest day tomorrow, I'll try to catch up on beer reviews!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A quickie

Today I went climbing and did two new problems.  I did the stand start to Hand on the Axe (7a+) and then did Damn Yankees (7c)(I got some footage that I'll post up at some point).  Both went pretty quick and it was really fun.  As promised, here is a picture (sorry it sucks, I only took 3 pics today):

Nate on Damn Yankees. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Crunch time for sendin days

Although the weather has been beautiful lately, it is becoming considerably warmer very quickly.  I am also sad to say that I only have 1 month remaining to climb in Chattanooga.  Now is definitely the time to step up the game and get some sends while I still can.  I have so many on my list that it is difficult to pick only a few.  On the bright side, I have been feeling pretty strong lately and I think I'll be able to tick away several of my projects, as well as many moderate classics.

Today I decided to keep the media devices at home and commit to a solid day of bouldering without the distractions.  Looking back, I kind of wish I had gotten some pics and vids, but thems the brakes.  I went out to Rocktown with Holly and her friend, Allen.  I didn't really have any climbs weighing on my soul, so I just tagged along and got on things that they wanted to do.  This turned out to be a good tactic, as I did many more climbs than usual (5).  After a laughable warm-up session, we went to Bermuda Triangle (7b+) and I was able to flash it!  I definitely feel like I made it as difficult as possible, though.  I managed to cut feet and catch a crimp with 2 fingers, reeling it in to a full crimp as I iron crossed in the air like a fool (lifelong goal: achieved).  Then we rolled over to the Bad boulders.  I was able to flash Little Bad (V5) and Holly made quick work of it as well.  Definitely an amazing climb!  The I tried Big Bad (7a+) and flashed it!  It's also a really cool climb.  Big Bad Right (7b+) took a bit more work to figure out the beta, but with a group effort, I did it as well.  Finally, we headed over to Sherman Roof so that I could try to do Brown Hole (7b+) and finish off that wall.  With some effort and Holly beta input, I sent that one too.  That is about 5x as many climbs as I usually do in a day, so I was really psyched!  On a side note, Allen is a punting champion!  I don't think I've ever seen someone almost send so many problems (multiple times)!  I believe he has the potential to be a strong contender for Punt of the Week.  One more thing, Holly tried Litz Roof (7c+) and almost did one or two moves on it!  (It was actually New Sheriff In Town (V5) but we didn't have the heart to tell her, bless her simple little mind).

I promise to have something to look at on the next post.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tryin to find the motivation

As I'm sure many climbers do, I constantly struggle to find a significant reason for why I climb.  It seems that the reasons I climb are always changing, and the satisfaction is more and more temporary.  Sometimes when I have a bad day, I feel like quitting climbing and committing to a "real life" with a good job and a social life.  Considering the way I live now (no job or anything else), I can't even imagine trying to balance between seriously climbing and the "real world."  I really love progressing as a climber, but when I no longer have the time to put towards training and getting out, then I can't progress and the satisfaction will be gone.  It makes me sad to think it, but at some point I'm going to have to give up climbing and move on with my life. 

That's what was going through my head yesterday as I sat under the Seven Eleven roof at Cumberland for the hundredth time, trying to do the first move.  Erich and I took Ben out there to show him a new area and try to finish off some of our projects.  Erich got on Salo's Roof again and after putting in a good effort and figuring out some new beta, he had the punt of his life.  The video below shows his second punt of the day (not even his high point!)  Ben, in classic Ben fashion, went around and did a bunch of good moderate lines before returning home to Asheville, NC.  I sat under the roof trying Slurpee until my head couldn't take it any more.  I had to take a break and relax before reluctantly deciding to try Gross's Roof (8a).  I'm really glad I decided to try it, though.  I felt really strong on it, sticking the first move every time.  I also figured out some new beta for the second move and did it in a few tries!  Here is another Awesome video, courtesy of the Flip Cam:

And, here is a picture of Erich on Salo's Roof:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Makin the most of a wet day

Yesterday, we decided to take Ben out to Rocktown.  He had only been there once, several years ago.  We were shocked when we rolled up and there were only two or three other cars in the parking lot.  We were also shocked when we hiked out to the boulders and 94% of them were soaking wet.  The ground was completely dry, so the mountain must have been in a cloud for the previous 12 hours or something.  It was very disappointing.  Apparently Rami had also driven out there and left at some point. Despite conditions, we made the most of the day and climbed a couple random dry problems, as well as a couple classics.  The energy level was very low, so we headed back to the car and chilled for almost an hour before finally leaving.  Here is a new vid of the day's exciting events:

A couple of angsty photos as well:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Expandin the media game

I have to apologize.  I started this blog because I felt a rare inspiration (and boredom) that kept things at least mildly interesting.  Since the first few posts, I haven't had that inspiration and my posts have become the makings of the generic monotone climber's blog.  "Today I went climbing with my friends and sent a hard problem.  It was really fun."  So, sorry about that.  I can't really do much about it, so thanks for continuing to check out my posts!

Taking things back a couple of days, Valentines Day continues to be the worst.  I won't get into it, but I never have a good time.  I decided to pull a solo day out at Cumberland to try to finish off Gross' Roof while fresh.  It was nearly 70 degrees and my whole body shut down.  I felt shaky, heavy, and really weak.  I left after 45 minutes and went to Beverage World to make myself feel better (I know, it's against my rules).  I bought a couple of nice beers (reviews to come) and got kicked in the face!  Not literally, but I got drunk very quickly and unexpectedly.  I don't know what happened, but I had to go to bed at 9:30.  I still felt pretty weak the next day, so I rested again.

Yesterday, I went out to LRC with Rami and Carl.  Carl couldn't meet us there until around 3:00, so Rami and I went around the field for a tour of classics.  We started on I Think I Can (7c).  This thing is so hard!  We tried it for like 2 hours and wrecked our skin.  I barely sent, and Rami barely didn't send.  Then we went over to Bosley Traverse (7b+).  I almost flashed it, but Rami didn't point out the jug right next to my hand at the end (purposeful sabotage!).  Rami and I both sent it quickly and moved on to the next gem.  White Chili (7b+) has to be one of the proudest lines at LRC (I know sarcasm doesn't come across well in type, but that's what that was).  It was pretty hard compression, but the concept behind that climb and how it moves was mildly ridiculous.  I got it second go, and Rami did it shortly after.  He almost laughed himself off the topout.  It was a day full of hating on climbs, but I really had a lot of fun!  It's nice to take a break from your projects and just have some fun on more obscure lines.  To celebrate, we went to Tremont Tavern for Free Beer Wednesday.  They were featuring Yuengling Bock Beer (did they get bought out by Budweiser??).  It wasn't very good, but it was free.  Personally, I thought it tasted like metal.  Overall Score:  2/10

Finally, today I was resting, but I went out to Zahnd with my friends.  It was fun.  (haha, get it?)  Seriously though, Ben Newton came into town and this was his first time at Zahnd.  He had an impressive day, sending lots of stuff.  Purp also did a handful of new problems.  Nate did a hard climb despite being sick.  Props to everyone!  Purp also got a pocket-size Flip video camera.  I insisted we bring it, and I shot some sick footage (sarcasm again)!  I also snapped a couple shots, but they weren't very good (truth).  So, with a free editing program and all of the processing power my PC could muster (really not enough), I present my first vid!  I know it's not great, but I hope you like it anyway. 

And here are some snapshots I took at Zahnd and a few from the other day at Lord of the Dance:

Nate Drolet photo

I get to wear 2 kinds of shoes because I'm not sponsored!  Yeah!
Nate Drolet photo

I didn't do it that go, but one move away! 
Nate Drolet photo

Nate Drolet sending Capoeira (7c+)

For all the Ben Newton fans out there, print this one and stick it to your fridge!

Erich Purpur on a highball arete at Zahnd
Holly McMullen climbing on rocks

Words cannot express how glad I am to be done with this post.  Damn my lack of RAM and AT&T!!!!!  It is 3:23am and I'm going to Rocktown tomorrow.  Goodnight, all.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Finishin off some old ones

A few years back, I went to LRC and did Cleopatra (7b) but couldn't do Cinderella (7a+).  People don't really get it, but the thing is hard!  This year I did Behind the Eye (7a+) but I've been avoiding Cinderella (still scared of it).  Yesterday I went out there with Carl so that he could finish off Behind the Eye (he'll get it next time).  Some people were on Cinderella and I decided that today was the day to finish off that little area.  I did it second go (but it still felt way hard)!  For a minute I celebrated being done with the boulder and the horde of people that always accumulate there.  Of course, someone had to point out that there was still the Cleopatra-Cinderella Traverse (7c).  I worked out the moves in a couple goes and was able to fire it in a couple more.  The crux was still just doing Cinderella.  I personally had to take 7b+ for that one, but that's just like my opinion, man. 
In keeping with my new system, Carl and I split a 6-pack of Yazoo Hop Project.  This was my second time drinking this beer since I moved here, and it is quite good!
Gen. Info.:  This beer is classified as an India Pale Ale, but it is very unique!  Each batch is brewed using a different blend of spicy and aromatic hops.  They never use the same blend twice!  If you feel the need to know what you're drinking, you can check the bottled on date and go to their blog to try and decode the hop blend. 
The Experience:  This is where the review is going to suck!  We drank these at Carl's house, from the bottle...  So I don't have much to say about the color, smell or how it pours.  I also couldn't take notes and I'm not sure which batch # this was.  Fail.  So, the quick and dirty:  This beer is hoppy!  Even so, it was very well blended and lacked excessive bitterness.  It had a surprisingly smooth finish and very easy drinkability.  So far, this is one of my favorite IPAs.  Price: 8.49 per 6-pack.  Rating: 8.5/10

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Enjoyin the little things

My tax return finally came in!  Just in time, as I was down to my final 12 dollars.  Now I can pay rent and enjoy some of the finer things in life.  Good Beer!  I have decided to allow myself this little pleasure every time I have a good day of climbing.  Fortunately, I had a great day yesterday and allowed myself an Allagash Tripel Reserve.  I have decided to feature an amateur review of all of the interesting beers that I drink from here on.  I must stress the "amateur" aspect of these reviews, but I hope you will find them mildly interesting and informative. 
First, why did I get to enjoy this brew yesterday?  I went out to Dayton with Rami and Drolet for a redemption day and had a great time.  I was able to knock out Lord of the Dance (8a) after significant effort, and I managed to not pump off 300 (7c)!  Lord of the Dance is definitely one of the best (and hardest) climbs that I've ever done.  The sandstone is some of the finest around and it features some really unique features and movement.  300 is probably the juggiest 7c I've ever done, but it is still difficult due to the funky movement.  Drolet also made a quick ascent of Capoeira (7c+).  Well done!  He also was very close to doing 300, but ran out of energy at the end of the day due to his refusal to try conventional beta.  He is definitely going to get it next time, though!  Rami just hated his life the whole time and decided to quit rock climbing forever (don't worry, that didn't last long, he went to HP40 today).  I know he wasn't really psyched to do anything at Dayton, so a big thanks to him for driving us out there and letting us climb things that we wanted to do! 
Allagash Tripel Reserve:
Gen. Info.:  Allagash is a brewing company out of Portland, ME.  They have an amazing variety of Belgian-style beers that I am very excited to sample.  The Tripel is a style of beer that generally uses three times the amount of malt than a typical Trappist "Simple" (hence the name Tripel).  These beers are high gravity (generally between 8 and 12 percent ABV) but this is masked quite well by the light body, sweet finish, and even balance of malts and hops.  This beer cellars nicely and should be stored between 50 and 54 degrees.  It should be served in a Tulip Glass, chilled between 40 and 50 degrees.
The Experience:  I popped the cork of the 750mL bottle that contained Batch #163 of the Tripel Reserve with satisfaction.  I poured it slowly into the glass so as not to disturb the yeast on bottom.  Despite the slow pour, the head was frothy and dense (2 fingers worth).  The head was slow to dissapate and left lacing on the glass as it was consumed.  The beer's color is a cloudy, light gold.  I primarily smelled the sweetness of fruit, but there were subtle spice aromas as well.  I found the taste to be fairly complex, with mild yeasty tones and the hint of spice (clove?).  But the prominent character of the beer comes from the sweetness of passion fruit and the smoothness of honey.  Despite the sweetness, there is a smooth finish and an easy drinkability.  The 9.0% ABV is barely noticeable, so be careful with this one!  Overall, a soothing and refreshing beer after a hard day.  Price: 8.49 per 750mL bottle.  Rating:  7.5/10

Review Preview:
Dogfish Head: Raison D'Etre
Unibroue: Don De Dieu
Yazoo: Hop Project
Also, I can't wait to try the Allagash Curieux.  It is the same as the Tripel, but aged for 8 weeks in Jim Beam barrels!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gettin back in the game

Good evening, all.  Time really flies when you're having fun in Rossville.  Apparently it has been a while since my last post.  Unfortunately, there hasn't been an excess of material to post about.  Anyways, for a quick game of ketchup: 
A few days ago, Erich and I went to Cumberland to try and finish off some projects.  It was really cold (never hit 35) and not fun.  After attempting to warm up, we got on Salo's Roof.  I hadn't tried this thing in a couple of years because of the anxiety attacks.  I get really nervous about pumping off of boulder problems.  It bothers me so much that I try to avoid route-like problems at all costs.  Purpur was getting super close, and I couldn't help but get psyched to try it.  Worst decision ever.  The 'kneebar rest' didn't do anything but bruise my leg, and then I proceeded to live through the nightmare of pumping / punting off the top and landing on my back.  Then the feeling started to return to my fingers and I thought my fingernails were going to explode off of my hands (it hurt real bad).  I quit for the day after that.  On the bright side, I won punt of the week!  This was my first time receiving this honor.
Moving on, at some point I went out to another spot and finished off an old nemesis, Jah Natty (7c).  Felt way easier this year.
Another day, we went back to Cumberland when it was closer to 50 degrees and had a great time.  I sprinted my way through Salo's Roof (7c) 1st go.  Very glad to have that one done!  Then I tried Gross's Roof, but was just too worked.  Really can't wait to get out there fresh!  I did some unknown 7b+ on the way out.  I was like, "I think I'll just flash this rig and peace out."  Turns out, I'm not that strong and got all epic instead.  I finally figured out some beta and did it.  Barely.
Today, I went out to Dayton Pocket or Laurel Snow or whatever with Rami.  This was my first time there since we moved here.  I had forgotten how sick that place is!  The weather was good, but colder than I expected.  We started on Lord of the Dance and flailed on that for a while before deciding to try Stankins.  Both of these climbs are really hard, but I was feeling way bad on Stankins.  Rami's skin was ruined, so he decided to rest while I got back on Lord.  By some miracle I could suddenly do the crux move!  Pretty strange, but I decided to just go with it.  Unfortunately, I couldn't keep it together and pumped off the top. Twice.  How is my endurance sooo bad?!!?!  Then we went to 300 and Rami did it first go.  So did I until I pumped off the top. Twice.  It's jugs!!  I decided it was a bittersweet day, but mostly bitter.  Rami took some nice pics with my camera.  Here are a few:

The big crux move on Lord of the Dance

Trying to hold it together for the finish

First time seeing 300.  Climbs really well!

Funky drop knee stemming move in the roof

On a final note, I am no longer allowed at the plasma clinic.  This was a handy source of quick income, but the self-imposed ban is due to my most recent experience.  Short version:  They messed up the initial needle insertion and while trying to adjust the placement (and not getting it) I had a panic attack.  It hurt pretty bad and I started sweating and shaking all over.  I pretty much knew I was going to die.