It feels like the past few months have been spent just trying to beat the heat in Salt Lake. I missed out on the spring season in Maple Canyon to spend a few days in Joe’s Valley. I did also manage to make a few successful trips down to Maple before thee weather got too hot.
I’ve never been much of a sport climber. I think it may be a combination of my fear of heights, taking whippers, and lack of power-endurance. I understand that I should not focus on these things, and simply climb to be outside and enjoy the movement, but it’s been frustrating having to take on a 5.10 when I boulder v5+.
I have been focusing a lot on training this past year and I have been seeing great improvements in my climbing. My head has been in the right place for the past few months and it’s been nice to see the little bits of progression.
When we first went to Maple this year, it was already a little warm. We didn’t want to waste any time so we headed straight to the schoolroom area to get warmed up. After a few routes under our belts it was time to get serious at the Pipeline!
Pipeline is one of my favorite areas for climbing. The routes are all a little harder, but are some incredibly entertaining with safe falls. We started off on Angry Itch 11c. I think we all had to hang at least once, but it was an awesome lead up these huge cobbles.
After getting loosened up for some harder routes, I started putting down burns on Pipeline, an amazing 11d. I had never been on this route previously, but it is a striking line up great cobbles in the middle of the wall. My onsight effort was solid, but I had to hang at the crux and figure out the sequence. I worked through the route a couple more times, trying to commit the moves to memory and soon enough, I was drained. My arms were pumped solid and still no send. We went back to the campsite for some well deserved beer and rest.
We still had half of the following day to climb until we had to head back to Salt Lake. Again, we fired off some warm-up laps at the Schoolroom before heading down to Pipeline again.
This time, there was a couple working the route already, so we found the only decent 5.10 in the area to work on first. We finished up on the 10b and decided to wait in line for Pipeline and to provide some extra encouragement. Unfortunately the climber was not able to make the ascent and was lowered to the ground. They had left gear up on the wall, and asked if I wanted t clean the route for them.
I was a little tired from the past few days of climbing, but I wasn’t going to turn down a red point attempt. I started up the climb. I really tried to focus on my breathing, and controlled movement up the route. The holds are all really great and were mostly hand sized cobbles, so almost every move should be to and from a comfortable jug.
Before I knew it, I was facing the crux. It wasn’t so much that the crux required strength, but the sequence had to be done correctly to save energy for the rest of the route. I had memorized just about every move of the route from the day before, so after some deep breathes, I pushed forward. I could hardly believe it when I got to the anchors.
After my recent trips up to Maple I have been getting the itch for sport climbing. It’s been fun taking safe falls into clean space. Pipeline is only one of a handful of climbs that I’ve been able to send without hanging, and it’s most certainly my hardest route at 11d. I’m excited to see where that takes me, as I’m going to start trying to climb a few more sport routes now on.
The biggest news would be that Jacey and I have somewhat recently come back from a 2.5 week vacation down in Brazil! Usually my trips down to Brazil are to see family, but this time I had the pleasure of taking some time to go climb!
I love Brazil. It’s one of the coolest places I’ve ever traveled to, and I’ll be sure to keep going back as often as I can.
One of the nice things about going to Brazil in July, is that we get to escape the ridiculous Utah heat.
This is the first time that I’ve been able to climb outside in Brazil. We scheduled a little trip to Ubatuba, and after the grueling drive through Brazillian traffic to the beach, we were greeted with a spectacular beach breeze and the hypnotic sound of the waves breaking. Unfortunately it was already night and there was no time for bouldering.
The next morning after a filling breakfast of tropical fruits, we headed off to the bouldering area.
After we exited the rain forest on our approach, we were blown away by the setting of the boulders. The rocks sat on a little peninsula surrounded by a brilliant blue ocean. There were sea turtles and tropical fishes of all kinds- truly a spectacular place to climb.
Right away we saw some proud lines going up tall slabs, but what caught our eyes was the stunning Van der Waals route. It’s rated v3, though for shorter people there’s a super reachy cross move(Daniel Woods gave the problem a v5). This uber classic line easily gets a spot on my top 10 boulder problems.
We had only brought my Black Diamond Impact pad, so we tried to limit ourselves to problems with a safe landing zone. None the less, we were able to get on some really fun routes. I’m curious at what the weather is like during the rest of the year. It felt super hot, even in the middle of their “winter”, so I wonder if there’s ever a cooler, drier season to go climb. There’s a few other places in Brazil that I’d like to checkout too… but that’ll have to wait for a while I’m sure.