With our funding campaign closed we have been anxious to get back on the road. We had to wait a week while the bank processed everything and only two days ago did we actually secure our operating budget. Also there were last minute items we had to wait for–shipments of almonds, climbing shoes and then the Dragon Wagon needed some work done, so I figured we should take care of that first before venturing out again. We squared away the car last week so that freed us up to at least get away for a short trip to Bishop CA since Nick had a short window of opportunity to shoot us doing some bouldering out there.

 

The boulders are massive, the grades are pretty solid, the friction destroys fingertips and the climbing is almost never-ending. The town of Bishop is paradise for anyone who does literally anything outdoors. Skiing. Fishing. Hiking. Biking. Horseback riding. Climbing. I’m pretty sure hunting and paddling are in there as well but I am out of those loops so I can’t say too much on those counts…but the variety of rock, elevation and ease of access make Bishop one of my favorite places in the world to climb. On top of that, it’s a really great town with an outstanding park that is clean and beautiful.

So our time was limited to a couple of days, so we started by working on a harder problem, by my standards at least. the Ironman Traverse, a classic V4. I got reasonably close to sending on day 1 which confirmed two things: I am getting stronger and I need to keep working on harder routes and boulder problems. I decided to save some energy for day 2.

We decided to go back out and shoot some night-time-lapse and in between shooting that night, while napping, I worked out the moves in a semi-dreaming state. In my head, I rehearsed the moves and envisioned the send. I then woke up at 5am, went back out, broke down the cameras with Nick and hoped that going back to sleep for another couple of hours would give me enough juice to make it happen.

I like night photos. I like silly hats. Both, concurrently are even better!
I'm glad that this jacket doesn't accentuate my lankiness.
Caught the moon-set after breaking down the cameras.

I sort of detached myself from any outcome on the Ironman Traverse because I find that if I get too fixed on sending, I get frustrated and that never works in my favor–so when we got back out the next “morning” we actually started out on different boulders, just getting warmed up and having fun. It actually looked as though we were going to run out of time but Nick asked me if I wanted to run up to Ironman and take a spin on it, just to see what happens. Keep in mind that this is the CLASSIC in the area and is always crowded (at least it has been every time I’ve been there). We walked up to it, on weekend afternoon, and there was not another person around. It was almost as though it spoke to me and I felt that it was my time.

I was already warmed up, so I anxiously waited for Nick to get situated with the camera, shoed up and went for it. I moved quickly through the first part of the problem, making big moves to avoid wasting energy. The further into it you get, the holds get smaller and smaller so by the end, when you NEED energy the most, you have the least to spare. I chucked for the last hold and matched and as I started to turn the lip, I peeled off. Next burn, I stuck the last move, turned the lip and it was done. V4/5.12, my hardest climb of project 365 was in the bag.

Turning the lip of the boulder!

Nick getting the early morning shots
Buttermilk Road

On a related note, the visualization I used while sleeping was exactly right. Maybe sleeping will make me climb harder? So we got some great video, timelapse, and photos which will be forthcoming over the next little while. We are aiming to get back on the road this weekend. Meanwhile, I am working on a harder boulder problem closer to home while we wait for our shoes to get here. It’s a solid V7, so getting to send that before we hit the road again would be an awesome way to re-raise the bar–but it is bloody hard, so I am trying to be open to whatever may come!

March 11th was the 6th year anniversary of Stef and I meeting for the first time.