Blog Post

X-Cardio for the Mountains: Test Day 2/7/12

Hey there,

   Test day for the evening class. Sweet, and a little sour. Remember to cross reference your HR monitor sign out sheet with the results. What we are looking for here is:

a) total time spent in the yellow and red zones
b) number of peaks at the end of the bar graph

Even peaks of about the same level are ideal. Plateaus show some room for improvement.

Here are the results:

Posted by BRC in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 2 comments

Strength Promotes Confidence: Finger & Upper Body Power Week #1

Hey there,

   Today was the start of our 4 week Finger and Upper Body Power training cycle. We upped the temp on a lot of the exercises and we changed some things around from our Strength phase. Most importantly we introduced the hang board to our training routine. 8 second 1 handed assisted hangs were the order of the day. We divided all the other exercises into two rounds with 4 sets of each. The hang board was part of both groups, which meant a whopping 8 sets. Damn.

This was a great first day. Next week will be more of the same, only a little bit harder with maybe a new addition or two.

See you there!

Coach CWall

Posted by BRC in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

CWall Level 1: Test Day (again) 2/6/12


I love test day! Especially when the technology doesn’t betray us!

This time it worked! I have the data that I so desperately desire! Here it is. Don’t forget to cross reference your HR monitor sign out with your data.
This was a scorcher of a test day. Class was full, so the Margarita Challenge was in effect. Hard to achieve on a test day. And it seems that my tequila supply is still safe.
If I had to give some advice for how to to better on the next test day I would say find the round (1-4) that had the lowest heart rates. Those are your crux exercises, especially the heart rate driving ones. Each round had one of these. Round 1 was kick thrus, Round 2 was mountain climbers, Round 3 was flying chickens, and Round 4 was split jumps. 
Peaks & Valleys is a bear, no matter who you are. But it is the acme of skill to just barely hit your HR peak of 93% and not go over. Some of our athletes can tell you, to the burpee, how many they have to do to hit 93%. This takes a lot of awareness. Overshooting the mark is not the point here. Accuracy and awareness is. And don’t forget, Peaks & Valleys is not a “pace yourself” kind of thing. Hit the ground running. . . charge right out of the gate. Otherwise you’ll have a hard time hitting that first ALL IMPORTANT peak. 
No peak = no rest = THIS SUCKS.
Here is what we are looking for as improvement over time:
1) more time spent in the yellow and red zones
2) more peaks and valleys at the end of class
Pretty simple.

Posted by BRC in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 3 comments

CWall Level 2: Week #4 2/2/12

Hey all,

   A scorcher. It’s the week before test week, and I wanted to set you up for success. Not a gimme in the bunch. No chance to get it back. Hopefully the hardest thing that everyone had to deal with all week. Because next week is test week.

   The Bag Drag was fun. 80lb Heavy bag. Take it for a drag why don’t you.

   The Burtle Pushup (CWall Laboratories) is a coordination nightmare. Part Turtle Squat, part burpee, part pushup, all spliced together like an calisthenic Frankenstien’s Monster.

   Everything else was par for the course. They are not fun. Not meant to be.

   The Mystery Event was an old school Lightning Round, just like back in the day. 40 sec. on, 20 sec. off. Repeating all 12 exercises. No HR incentive. Just go. As hard as you can. This is often confused with “as hard as I feel like it.” The former is correct. The latter, well not so much. Let’s not get confused and start thinking that you don’t have a choice how hard you go just because you are a little tired. Mostly people start to fold up not because they are too tired, but because THEY ALLOW THEMSELVES TO SUCCUMB TO THE SELF-PITY THAT COMES WITH THE DISCOMFORT THEY ASSOCIATE WITH FATIGUE. Let’s be clear about that.

See you next time!
Coach CWall

Posted by BRC in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

CWall Strength Promotes Confidence: Feats of Strength Week #1 2/2/12

Hey all,

   Today was the start of week #1 for Feats of Strength. We’ve moved away from Foundations and are now getting more serious about our acquisition of strength. The exercises are pretty simple, the reps are fewer, we will be upping our sets every week, and the loads are A LOT bigger. 

   3-5 reps was the order of the day, trying to finish feeling like you had a rep or 2 to spare. Remember kids, we are strength training. As in trying to get stronger. As in THAT IS THE GOAL. Not to be confused with other types of conditioning, we are not working on your anaerobic threshold, lactate clearance, aerobic capacity, etc. etc. etc. Maximal tension, minimal muscle damage. You know. . . strength training.

As you can see, the exercises are pretty simple. Amazing how easy it is to compensate with such simple motions. We stuck to a 2:5 tempo and focused on what it means to stop at the right time. A lot of unlearning to do from what I could see. Anyone that ground to a halt in mid rep got barked at.

Next week, well, it just gets heavier. And heavier. And heavier.

   Let’s keep our eyes on the prize folks. Keep your focus clear. Don’t confuse apples for oranges.

See you next time!
Coach CWall

Posted by BRC in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

X-Cardio For the Mountains: Test Day 2/1/12

I love test day. 
A nice way to check in. See where we’re at. Clear the cobwebs. And that we did. Don’t forget, this is a new training cycle, and this was Test Day 1 of 3. This is a nine week training cycle for this program. We are intent on keeping everyone fit for their skiing, but also getting a jump start on the late winter and spring mountaineering.
I hate all non-Apple computers. Not sure why, because there are so many other things that I don’t understand and bear no ill will towards. But PC’s. Grrrrr. My animosity this time is due to the fact that the results from this Test Day are NO WHERE TO BE FOUND! Gone. Zoink. Poof.  
Sorry about that. Human error most likely. But I am going to continue to blame Microsoft.

 The class was a pretty standard test day. The Peaks and Valleys portion was a combo of 3 exercises instead of just one. I chose this because of the more varied demands of Mountaineering. There was about a minute of rest between each group of 3. We took another minute before the game of Peaks and Valleys. 10 minutes was a long time to contend with, and by and large everyone managed pretty well.

 If you are feeling game, you should give it a shot on your own. Or show up next Wednesday. I’m gonna do it again. We need some data to make some comparisons. The only way to get it is to collect it. And it’s not like everyone doesn’t need the practice.

See you next time!

Coach CWall

Posted by BRC in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

CWall Level 2: Week #3

Hey there,

   I was really excited about tonights class. I not only got to bring back a couple of classic exercises that we haven’t done in a really long time, but I also got to introduce a couple of new things from the CWall laboratory.

 
We haven’t Deadlifted in a while, and there were several options: 12kg, 20kg, 24kg, and 40kg. Sumo style all the way!

The Metronome was a great change up for the core training routine. Keep your shoulders down, your legs straight, and stop holding onto the edge of the mat!

The One Arm Kick Thrus while holding a kettlebell definitely were a crowd pleaser. Keep your eye on the bell!

The Sit Thru’s are combo of a Front Plank and a Seated Pike. You shoot your legs between your arms to move from one position to the next, back and forth, back and forth. Long arms help, but a strong set of abdominals, hip flexors, and shoulders are better.

Tonights Mystery Event was a Fight Gone Way Wrong. 60 seconds at each station with a heart rate incentive set at a whopping 97%. That’s right, if you can’t get up to 97% of your max, you don’t get to take a break. A brutal ass kicking.

   We are two weeks from Test Day! Don’t no time off yet!

See you in class!
Coach CWall

 

Posted by BRC in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 2 comments

Strength Promotes Confidence: Foundations 1/26/12

Hey there,

   Today was the last day of SPC Foundations. We added some more hip work to help everyone’s range of motion and stability, whether it be for indoor climbing and bouldering, skiing, or mountaineering. We got in a lot of sets today: 5! Everyone was a shade of crimson darker by set 4, and set 5 was a pressure cooker. Nice war face everyone!

The Hip Extension and the Hip Abduction were the new kids on the block this week. Not too complicated. Remember, everyone should be able to crush a walnut with their butt by the end of the winter. There will be a test. . .

Next week we are changing things up: SPC: Feats of Strength! We are going to reduce our number of exercises, drop the reps, up the weights, and add some other format changes to help get everyone solid and resilient. This will be a 4 week cycle, so don’t miss out.

And by the way, I put the workouts up so that you can do them on your own. No more of this once a week crap. It’s time everyone put in some more personal time in the weight room!

See you soon!

Coach CWall

Posted by BRC in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

Competition Strategy at the BCS

The Boulder Climbing Series is a very social and user friendly competition series.  It is a great way to get into sport climbing competition, test yourself to see how your winter training is going, or just get a great workout and hang out with friends.  But make no mistake, it is a competiton.  There are rules, scorecards, and prizes.  And let’s face it; there is something about the word “competition” that puts a little edge on things.  Often enough, the pressure from even the most casual of events is enough to frustrate our efforts.  Here are four things to think about that will help make your BCS experience more fun.
#1 Understand the rules.  Sounds like a no-brainer, but not knowing the rules is a very common, very frustrating mistake.  Fortunately this pitfall is totally avoidable.  Make sure that you are there for the Rules Meeting at the beginning of every competiton.  Don’t be shy about asking questions.  
#2 Get enough scores on your card.  Sounds simple, but you would be surprised at how many people miss this one.  At the BCS we usually take your top 3 routes and add those points together for your final competition score.  If you only have 2 routes completed by the end of the event, one of those three scores will be a ZERO! 
It is amazing how quickly 3 hours can zip by.  I usually tell my athletes to be ready to go as soon as the competiton starts.  That way they can get points on their score card sooner rather than later.
#3 Warming up on competiton routes and non-competition routes.  This is a biggie.  Time and comp routes are limited.  Should you warm up on competition routes or on the other routes scattered throughout the gym?  The advantage of warming up on comp routes is that you help to ensure #1, getting enough scores on your card.  The disadvantage is that you will have to wait in line for your turn, which may take a while.  
If you want to really play it well, put your score card in the queue and do a little bit of timing math.  It takes 4-5 minutes for one competitor’s turn at bat.  If there are 5 people ahead of you in line, and they are all successful on the route (a big if sometimes) we are talking about 20-25 minutes of waiting.  While your score card is in line, you can be off warming up on a route that is not part of the competition.  Just make sure that you make it back in time.  
#4 Watch other climbers.  This is a REDPOINT format competition.  That means that not only do you get to try routes more than once, but you also get to watch other people climb them.  Other than climbing it yourself, watching other climbers is the most valuable source of information about a route that you will get.  Use it.  
There are always several BRC staff around to help you get the most out of your competition experience at the Boulder Climbing Series.  Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions or if you need something.  This competition series is for you, and we are here to help.
Posted by BRC in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Competitions, Team BRC, Training, 0 comments

Weekly Wednesday Blog Post: Tips to better enjoy your sub-zero outdoor pursuits

It’s been frigid on the Front Range this week. Highs in the mountains are in the single digits, with enough wind to freeze your skin before you know it.  I’m not complaining. Cold weather means light pow and more ice.

I was out Monday checking it out and thought a useful blog post would provide a few tips to better enjoy your sub-zero outdoor pursuits this winter.

1.     Hold What You’ve Got
It’s easier to stay warm than it is to get warm. On days like yesterday, my puffy jacket lives on top of my pack. When I stop for a rest or a snack, it’s the first thing to go on, along with a warm hat. You start to cool down as soon as you stop moving, so layer up and keep the heat in!
2.     Stoke the Furnace!
Cold calls for calories and hydration. Remember that proper hydration is essential to supplying fuel and energy to body parts to facilitate heat production. Once the cold weather rolls around, I replace one of my water bottles with a thermos of hot tea. Be careful with bladder systems, as they tend to freeze. I also eat higher calorie food in the winter. Time to ditch the lettuce and cucumber sandwich, it’s P.B. and Nutella season!
3.     Keep Your Digits Warm
Cold fingers are probably the most common problem while out on cold days. The screaming barfies are not a mandatory rite of passage. One mistake that I see occurs when people take their gloves off to complete a task. Dropping your gloves in the snow at your feet immediately makes them cold (see tip #1). Now you are stuck stuffing your hands in icy gloves. Whenever you take off your gloves, stuff them in your coat and keep the heat! Toes are more difficult as they are generally immobile in your boots. Proper fitting insulated boots and clean, dry socks are the ticket. Consider shake n’ warm heaters if you have trouble with circulation.
There you have it. Three tips for staying warm and enjoying your days out this season. Now as far as finding the best snow and ice, I can’t tell you, but I can show you. Give us a call when you’re ready to get the goods. Have fun out there and hope to work with you soon!
Take care,
Mike Soucy
CMS Guide
800-836-4008 x3
Posted by BRC in Blog Post, 0 comments

Weekly Wednesday Blog Post: Looking through a client’s eyes

Thursday was… a day of cold, wind, clouds, sun, adventure, challenge, and fun!

Eldorado Canyon State Park is simply a maze of quality challenging climbs – leaving you tired, satisfied, and ready for more – especially with an experienced guide, Steve Johnson.
CMS Senior Guide, Steve Johnson, guiding in Ecuador
Meeting at the parking lot at the beginning of Eldo’s tall canyon walls, we readied our gear.  The location of this area is perfect – just outside of Boulder Colorado.  Steep climbable cliffs line the edge of rushing South Boulder Creek.  After a 30 minute uphill trudge we reach the base of the Rewritten.  Wind, cold, and clouds had us wearing every piece of clothing we had, but by the time Steve led the first pitch the sun came sweetly flooding our little rock world!  Shedding two layers, I began climbing the first pitch of this classic.  There was almost every type of climbing movement on this great route; face, crack, lie-back, chimney, roof, inset.  But the best and most exciting was that the sharp, exposed arête near the top of pitch 4(?).  Stepping out into space with winds gusting 40 – 50 mph took all my courage!  All the while, Steve calling out encouragement, “you CAN do this!”  And then the step across the void onto another face from the arête was definitely the “move of the day.”  Steve drew out of me the willingness to trust how he told me exactly where to place my feet as I stemmed out across this scary void!
The amazing arete pitch.  Photo taken from mountainproject.com
We topped out but the adventure wasn’t quite over.  The decent required careful route finding and down climbing some steep 4th class terrain.  Steve led the way safely and kept the rope on me until we were back on the main trail.
We finally reached our packs left at the start of the climb many hours before.  The fall sun was setting and the blue day sky was turning an amazing deep azure – all while a train chugged way up high across the canyon in the fading light.  This golden day was made possible because of Steve’s experience, incredible skill, and great attention to detail.  From start to end – a day to remember.  I can’t wait for another run.  “Hey Steve, where to next?!”
-Colorado Mountain School Client, Mary M.
If you would like to get out and climb a route like this one, or any other routes in Eldorado Canyon, let us know.  We can guide there any day of the week.
Coloardo Mountain School
800-836-4008 x3
Posted by BRC in Blog Post, 1 comment

Weekly Monday Gear Review: BCA Tracker2 – The Nerd’s Choice

I’m typically sort of a nerdy guy, fascinated with books, gadgetry, gizmos, numbers and all other things socially awkward.  I even talk nasally, have freckles, wear thick glasses and routinely go for days without showering.  So when I got my hands on BCA’s new Tracker2 avalanche beacon last year, you can just imagine my unclean snort-giggling fits of glee.

Now, this beacon isn’t brand new to the market but I’m sold on it despite a number of other cool beacons out there.  Despite my nerdicular tendencies, I appreciate the simple and efficient design of the T2 beacon.  Boasting an additional antennae and faster micro-processor than it’s predecessor, this beacon already out-performs others on the market, including the original Tracker.  Ah, but those boys at BCA think of everything, even super-cooling the antennae before building their beacons so that really cold days won’t damage the frequency we so vitally rely on.  Cold temps can adversely affect the antennae, causing frequency drift but BCA cools them first, then aligns the frequency.  It’s just one less thing to worry about when you forget the beacon in the car overnight as you rush indoors to catch another rerun of Family Matters.

My favorite feature of the T2 is how quickly it can switch functions, from transmit to search and vice versa.  Other beacons have a prolonged start-up time and, in a stressful situation, these 6-15 seconds seem like hours.  With the T2, you can turn it on, immediately pull the search “tab” and begin your signal search, all in less than two seconds.  The super fast micro-processor gives real-time information as you search and the third antennae effectively eliminates “dead zones” in your fine search phase.  Priceless.

As unlikely as multiple-burial scenarios may be, my favorite T2 feature comes in handy when searching for multiple victims.  Let’s say you’ve pinpointed one victim and are looking for a second.  Your searching beacon will “lock on” to the buried beacon you’ve just found and will prefer that signal even though you move away, something called signal loyalty.  With the T2, it’s easy to “reset” your searching beacon simply by pushing in the search tab and immediately pulling it back out.  If nothing else, this at least clears the “memory” which might allow you to focus in on the closer, stronger signal.  This is just a little shortcut/tip that has helped me find three beacons in a football field of snow in less than two minutes.  Dorking out for a few minutes and mastering the ins and outs of “special mode” will also make you an asset in any multiple-burial scenarios.  These are just some of the features and one little trick that make the Tracker2 stand out above the rest.  If you’re interested in honing your companion rescue skills, just tape up your glasses, tighten those suspenders and come on over to CMS for a day of knee-slapping nerdery.  I’d love to show you what I know and, chances are, I’ll have recently showered. 🙂  Here’s to a great, safe winter!

Andrew Councell
CMS Guide and AIARE Level 1 Instructor
800-836-4008 x3

Posted by BRC in Blog Post, 0 comments

Weekly Wednesday Blog Post: The Purple Route and the Green Route

Well, the snow is flying, the ice is forming and the sweet days of 60 degrees and sunny are still happening in the Front Range.

Two days ago I climbed in Eldo, yesterday I skied and today I’m climbing in Eldo again. Friday I’ll be climbing in Boulder Canyon, we have ski guide training coming up and our first avalanche course of the season is just around the corner. Life is good.

But what of the purple and green routes you ask? Well gym climbing season is also kicking into high gear.

Each Thursday I take a break from the elements and get into the Boulder Rock Club for some serious plastic pulling with regular clients Tom Stocker and Becky Browning.

Just like last winter, we will spend from now until the snow is gone training for next year’s main rock climbing season. Working on technique, strength, endurance and strategy we also have a great time for a couple of hours out of our busy week. This week Tom’s son Thad also joined us.

Slopers and steeps were the main focus this week with progress made by all. We worked slopers in the bouldering area and the steep moves on full length routes focusing on body position to increase reach while decreasing arm fatigue. Although I have to admit, we also worked a bit on overhanging sloper problems!

Training in the gym can be a great way to hit the ground running (I mean hit the rock sending!) in the spring.  I still have a free hour or two on Thursday afternoons, care to join me?

Mark Hammond
Head Guide, Colorado Mountain School
800-836-4008

Posted by BRC in Blog Post, 0 comments

Weekly Wednesday Blog Post: The Scenic Cruise

The Black Canyon is home to some of the longest and best rock climbs in the state of Colorado.  It is a place that has an intimidating and dark reputation.  Horror stories of bad rock, dicey runouts, and getting benighted can be heard whenever the The Black is mentioned.  Think of Yosemite’s bad ugly brother that lives in the attic and you’ll get the picture of this brooding canyon.   Despite The Black’s fearsome reputation, the classic routes are as good as you will find anywhere and can be a great place to hone your skills for bigger alpine rock objectives in the greater ranges.

One of my personal favorites, not just in The Black, but anywhere is the ultra-classic “Scenic Cruise.”  It’s a 15 pitch (by the guidebook) mostly crack climb straight up the southwest face of the North Chasm View wall.  It has everything a climber wants: great climbing, aesthetic quality, good rock, and you top out at the beer cooler.  Your first time on a route of this magnitude can be intimidating physically, mentally, and logistically.  I hope to dispel some rumors and give some hopefully helpful beta on how to climb The Scenic in a timely, expedient manner.
If you are a solid 5.10 trad leader climbing this route in 8 hours should be totally attainable.  Before you go, make sure you and your partner are fast with belay transitions and have good route finding skills.  Do your homework:  Research the climb beforehand.  Read guidebooks, online trip reports, talk to friends, and look at any beta photos you can.  Become as familiar with the terrain as you can.  Plan ahead:  Scout the Cruise Gully entrance the day before so you don’t get lost in the morning. Each climber should have a copy of the topo with them on the climb.  Figure out who is leading what pitch before you go.  Know that retreat would be difficult and expensive.  So here it is, the how to.
The Kit:

Small backpacks for leader and follower (10-15L capacity e.g. Black Diamond BBEE)
Minimum of 2L of water each  (Hydration systems are helpful)
Roll of athletic tape
Enough food to keep you going for 12 hours
Knife
Headlamps
Camera
Emergency space blanket (this is something I always carry with me on long routes)
Good weather forecast!

The Rack:

70m rope mandatory for linking pitches
1-2 sets of stoppers with RP’s
1x green C3
1x red C3
2x .3 Camalot
2x .4 Camalot
2x .5 Camalot
2x .75 Camalot
2x 1 Camalot
3x 2 Camalot
2x 3 Camalot
1x 4 Camalot
1x 5 Camalot or #3 Big Bro(optional for OW on crux pitch)
14 alpine draws

The Details:
Don’t forget to sign the board at the Ranger Station.  Depending on the time of year (May and October are best) hiking by 6am is usually the best.  It will be cold in the morning but you will be basking in sun hanging from perfect hand jams by the time you make it to pitch 3. The Black Canyon mantra of “A rope, a rack, and the shirt on your back” certainly holds true.  Light is right.  Hike down the Cruise Gully in your climbing shoes.  It’s not far to the base of the route and then you won’t have to carry extra shoes on the climb.  The rappels in the gully are usually fixed by early May.  Check with the Rangers before you go.  If you are there in the spring, there’s usually a forest of poison ivy at the base.  It can be avoided.  Be careful or wear a Tyvek suit if you are allergic.  Scout the upper pitches from the base and look to make sure you know where the Scenic goes left and the Cruise goes right.  It should be obvious from the base.
The Spraydown:
P1- 5.8  Climb the 5.7 arete then into the slippery groove up through some easy but funky terrain and through the 5.8 hands section to a good stance.  There are a number of old rappel anchors in this section.  You will be simul-climbing a short ways with your partner.  You just linked the first 3 guidebook pitches.
P2- 5.9  Traverse left from the belay into a slightly loose blocky crack system.  The climbing is steep and fun.  Continue up the corner to a small stance below a shallow right facing corner.
P3- 5.10  Climb the thin corner off the belay (its harder than it looks) to a small stance with a perfect hand crack above you.  Fire up the hands passing a small overlap and finishing in some funky peg.
P4- 5.10-  “The Peg Traverse.”  Not as bad as its reputation.  The runouts are on easier terrain and the rock is mostly solid.  Climb up off the belay, clip the fixed nut (there is usually some long slings on it).  Start climbing down where you can eventually place a .5 camalot that protects stepping around onto the ramp.  You can then back clean the piece to protect your partner.  Continue up the ramp to a horn belay with fixed slings.
*When your partner arrives at the belay, have him/her continue to the ledge below the crux pitch and build an anchor.  It’s a short pitch and keeps momentum going rather than swapping gear/leads.
Photo taken from mountainproject.com
P5- 5.10+  Climb the overhanging corner.  It’s steep and sustained but has good holds.  Look for the occasional stem rest and fixed wire.  Exit the roof to the right and catch your breath, then fire up the 5.8 hands and straight into the 5.8 offwidth slot.  Save a big cam for the slot.  Belay on a great ledge off mid sized cams.
P6- 5.8  Climb the blocky crack system on the left.  Some steep climbing leads to easier rambling up and left.  Belay below the big flake off of .5 and .4 camalots.
P7- 5.7  Continue up to the flake and chimney behind it.  Climb up and right to some funky flakes and a good ledge with a bolted belay.
P8- 5.9+  Traverse right off the belay into some flakey rock.  Continue up and right into peg while passing 2 bolts and an old bolt missing a hanger (a little runout).  There is still an exposed stud.  Fire through on some sloping holds to a short corner and small ledge.  Punch up the short but difficult layback into easier terrain. Belay at the good ledge above.
Photo taken from mountainproject.com
P9- 5.9  Traverse left from the belay on flakes into a right facing corner.  Continue up the sustained crack passing an old fixed cam.  Keep climbing on slightly easier ground until you get to a small but good belay stance.  Belay here or continue to the terrace.  Once at the terrace, you can unrope and walk the easy (3rd class) exposed terrace or do some roped traversing pitches.  Follow the path of least resistance and look for a blocky chimney exit to the rim.  The last short section should be 4th class and is easily soloed.  High five your partner and be psyched you just did one of the most classic rock climbs in the nation!
An average time for a river to rim ascent by a competent team should be around the 8 or 9 hour mark without any major route finding errors.  The Scenic is great spring preparation for those people looking to climb a summer route on the Diamond such as The Casual Route or Pervertical Sanctuary.  While the Diamond routes aren’t as long they require speed and efficiency to beat the afternoon thunderstorms.  It’s also the “entrance exam” to the other bigger routes in The Black such as the Southern Arete on the Painted Wall or the Flakes on the South Rim.
Oh yeah… I forgot to mention…  Earl Wiggins free soloed the second ascent of the Scenic Cruise in 2 hours wearing Kronhaufers and no chalk bag!
I hope you can enjoy this route as much as I have.
Eric Whewell
Colorado Mountain School Senior Guide
800-836-4008 x3
Posted by BRC in Blog Post, Trip Report, 0 comments

Weekly Wednesday Blog Post: Strengh Training for Backcountry Skiing

We’re still digging out from Winter Storm #2 and storms #3 and #4 are already in the forecast!  As the snow pack builds over the next month or so, this is the perfect time to also be building your backcountry skiing fitness base.  A complete ski conditioning program should include elements of aerobic and anaerobic fitness, plyometric resistance, and strength training.  The aerobic conditioning will get you up the skin track; the anaerobic conditioning will enable you to link turns for hundreds of vertical at a time; the plyometric resistance training will prepare your body for dynamic skiing movements in ever changing snow conditions; and the strength training will build overall power and will help to prevent injury.

CMS Guide Matt Lipscomb hits the weights to prepare for ski season.
One of the most efficient styles of strength training is Olympic weight lifting.  The Olympic lifts are dynamic, they engage multiple large muscle groups, and the strength gains translate well to athletic sports (like backcountry skiing) without “bulking up.”  Shown above is one of my favorite training lifts – the deadlift.  It works all the major muscle groups in the lower body (hamstrings, quads, glutes) as well as the core and lower back muscles.
Now is the time to build your fitness foundation for a long and rewarding ski season! Once you are ready to get out skiing, I’d love to be your guide. Call the office, request me, and let’s get some turns in together.

 -Matt Lipscomb

CMS Guide

Please Note: The Boulder Rock Club offers ski conditioning classes free for all members.  Tuesdays at 5:45pm and Wednesdays at 12pm.

Posted by BRC in Blog Post, Trip Report, 0 comments