Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Riverside Quarry

I've been dying to go to the Riverside Quarry, since everyone I know raves about it. The opportunity presented itself this weekend, when a bunch of the San Diego folks were planning to drive up, so I ditched family (who knows what I owe for that?) and drove down. It's about a 2.5 hour drive, if you don't get lost getting off the 101 to the 60 ;-)

The location is a man-made abandoned granite quarry. There is shade in the morning and sun in the afternoon. The invitation said only those comfortable leading 5.10s need apply. That, technically, is a sticking point for me, as I can only reliably lead 10a without falls, but the other attendees were friends, so they overlooked my shortcomings.

One of the fun aspects of the day is that we got to watch the main developer of the area set a bunch of routes. Apparently there was a section of rock that already had routes on it, but that was a little loose, so they rapped from above, pried it loose with crowbars and dropped the loose section. There was a lot of debris! So while we were there climbing, this route setter was on rap from above cleaning the rock, chipping holds and bolting. Very interesting!

We warmed up on a 5.10b, followed by a 10d, another 10b, two rounds on one 11a and another 11a, all on toprope, for me. I flailed on everything but the 10d, which I cruised and everyone else fell on. Wtf? It was awkward and balancey, which I guess must be my style. Either way, it was a very very fun day of pushing my limits, and I can't wait to go back.

On the minus side, I'm starting to be not that fond of my women's mythos. They seem to have a thicker sole than my old men's pair had, and as a result they don't feel very sensitive.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Matilija Wall

This picture is taken from the junction of Hwy 33 and S Matilija Rd, i.e. the road to the Matilija Hot Springs/Sanctuary.

And here's the google maps satellite view. It's the thingy casting a really big shadow in the center of the map.

View Larger Map

Friends tell me that this is the Matilija Wall. Apparently the most famous route on it is the 5.9 Chouinard-Bossier about which there is some information here. There used to be access via a small road called Camino Cielo, but that's been blocked by a private land owner. The approach from the dam is apparently choked in poison oak. We'll have to figure out some way to get there...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Chuggin' along

Me on the Chube #3
Originally uploaded by slampoud
I really love this photo Dima took, so I'm linking it for no other reason. My blog, my rules :-D

Well, I'm done with PT and I took a whole week of just doing yoga and then I headed back to the gym. I've met up with someone I got started climbing two years ago who stuck with it, and that made me feel really good. Also met a potential future partner that has me really stoked. A couple gals and I did an out of town trip to a gym two weekends ago, which was a blast. All in all, I'm coming back slowly. Having someone to "mentor" (and I don't like the presumptuousness of that word, so I'm going to explain that my sort of mentoring is simply acknowledging that I have more experience and therefore some information to impart to the mentee, and that's about it) is a really nice motivation to be consistent and show up at the gym with a positive attitude. I'm trying to keep up the PT exercises and starting to add some cardio before climbing so I waste less time warming up on the wall. I'm also icing religiously. Not eating all that well, but one at a time. Oh and I switched to sitting on a balance ball instead of my desk chair after a particularly long day of 8 hours of hacking reduced me to tears from the back pain. Yeah, chuggin' along. I'll get there.