Saturday, 31 December 2011

After nearly 30 hours of traveling we are checked into our motel room in Ouray.

The drive went really well until we got into the mountains. Wind gusts of up to 100mph  had all the snow blowing around creating blizzard like conditions and we were completely stopped in traffic for a half hour trying to get around a few cars that had spun out.

Even after the delay in the mountains we were still about an hour ahead of picking up Rebecca from the airport in Montrose. We got into Ouray just before dark.

After 40 hours with less than one hour of sleep I'm looking forward to missing the clock strike midnight.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

After a great day of training on Saturday, Monday was a bit of a let down.

With cold temps on Friday the cliffs were actually starting to freeze up. On Saturday I was able to run some laps on a few things at the Grotto and at that time it seemed like Monday would be even better conditions. When we showed up yesterday morning the cliff was all wet and most of the ice that had started to form had fallen down.

I got on Off the Couch to warm up and quickly started to realize the rock had thawed out and many of the holds were now loose and threatening to fall off. Rather than ruin the routes and risk getting hit by large blocks of choss we packed up and checked out the other side of the gorge. Those routes seem to get a lot of early season traffic so we figured they would probably be okay.  I hadn't done any of the routes over there so it was also a good opportunity to practice my onsite skills a little too. Fortunately I was still in a pretty big hole recovery wise from Saturday so it turned out to be a decent day even though we didn't get to climb nearly as much as I had hoped.
Hey Nate,

Aside from the physical training how are you going to get your headspace ready for the festival? Go out early and take a bunch of falls? Hit the gym? Try and get out in ontario?

I was thinking about this because it usually takes a couple of sessions to get my head back into anything and I'm guessing you can't have that kind of issue during a comp like this.

I think my biggest headspace issue is going to be climbing in front of a roaring crowd of hundreds of people. At least I don't have to look at them. I'm going to try and concentrate on the fact that the outcome is going to be what it will be. The only control I have over it is myself and trying to climb my best.

As far as headspace for the actual climbing, for me drytooling is climbing and I usually feel more secure drytooling than while rock climbing so as long as my lead head is still okay from this drawn out shoulder season I think I should be okay.

It doesn't matter if you are competing or just climbing for fun, you can't climb your best if you are thinking about falling. Thinking about falling takes attention away from doing what you need to do to not fall.

I'm hoping to get out and drytool on some real rock between now and then but that will be very weather dependent. Last weekend nothing was frozen together so there wasn't much to get on with out fear of breaking off holds.

John and I are getting out there a week before so I can acclimate and hopefully get some climbing in. The fact that we basically live at sea level and Ouray is near  8,000' will probably make things more challenging.

Just like training for anything else, the sooner you start the better off you will be. After some light training I started a pretty rigorous training schedule about a month ago in anticipation of the comp. I'm horrendous at training, preferring to actually climb instead. The comp gave me a proverbial carrot, if I didn't get accepted I would be sick strong right off the start once ice season finally rolls around. 

One of my main pieces of training equipment is the death board. I like it over the home wall because you go up and down instead of sideways. It is fairly cheap to build and works great for building power and training endurance, depending on how you use it. The main structure is 1- 2x12-16' and 5- 2x4-16'.

You can use your feet or use it as a campus board. Bec uses it occasionally too and I think she can see progress as well

Monday, 26 December 2011

Around the time I applied I started training for the competition. I have a few different ways that I train. One of them is on our home wall. This is short video I made to try out our computers video editing software.

Going to Ouray

After "thinking about it" the past few years I finally applied to climb in the Ouray Ice Fest Competition. On Dec. 19th  I received the conformation that I was selected to compete in the 2012 comp.

I'll be using this blog to report on the journey.

Below are links to the ice park's website and a link to the page about the ice festival.