Monday, August 24, 2009


Aug 23, 2009
Originally uploaded by slampoud
In spite of the fact that an employee that was helping me called these Patagucci, I caved and bought the Patagonia Huckleberry approach shoes I've been craving forever. My 5.11 Prodigies have never been quite right, mostly because they're too wide for my foot, but, more importantly, I wanted to be able to take off my shoes on the planes to Greece, and my Prodigies stink really really badly. So Pataguccis it is. I ended up with a men's 41.5. I don't know that they are any different from the women's, but they fit me perfectly, and I especially appreciated the half-Euro size increments they're available in, because I was able to size them so precisely. So far I'm thrilled with them.

So, I've made it to Greece, and the gear appears to have made it, too, though I haven't unpacked the duffel to see if it's all intact. The weather here is insane: there are huge thunderstorms that have me seriously concerned that going up Olympus isn't going to be practical. One of the drawbacks of the Huckleberries is that they're not Gore-texed, so I have to get some waterproofing spray to put on them while they're still clean.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Originally uploaded by slampoud
Last weekend was my first time climbing outside after about a month long absence. Because my left hand had been in a brace, my grip strength has significantly diminished. I tried leading a 9 in the gym about a week ago and seriously scared my belayer. It wasn't good. So last weekend was going to be the reintroduction to outside climbing and leading, and we needed an easy route to do it on. On Tahquitz, fingertrip is one of the most highly rated easy routes, so, provided there wasn't a traffic jam getting on it, we planned on jumping on that. We were going to be joined by a colleague of mine, who climbs, but hadn't done multi-pitch before.

I led the first pitch, which involves uneven cracks and a bunch of liebacking. I went really slowly at first, but by the end I was feeling fine. Ben led the next pitch, and managed to get off route from fingertrip and onto the fingertrip traverse. He made a hanging belay just before the traverse and brought us up. I led the traverse and then up to lunch ledge. Ben finished the route going right, up the 5.6 cracks, instead of the slab to the left, as we'd done to finish angels' fright. In the end, the descent was the most taxing part of the day, and my calves were burning the next day.

Sunday found us in a super lazy mood. We scoped out some boulders near where we'd crashed, and then headed up to the bouldering off Black mountain road. Ivan got in some practice on his V4 project, and we called it a day.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Captain Kirk, you fool!

In Star Trek 5, The Final Frontier, Captain Kirk is climbing a mountain:

And then William Shatner gives the "what was I thinking" talk:

And then it turns into a techno song: