Sunday, February 03, 2008

Raining and Snowing: Dropping the heel

It is amazing how I can still be so weak. Yesterday I went out to the drytool cave with Aljaz Anderle and felt like a sick kitten. Aljaz said he felt weak as well (everything is relative keep in mind), that perhaps it was a high gravity day or perhaps the rain was getting us down, then he climbed up and down his M9 warmup, then after my failed attempt to lead - 2nd time on it - a very steep and pumpy M8 as my warm up, because the rain was pouring onto the vertical M7 that I would normally warm up on - he climbed the M10, which he then did laps on, going up and down. So I can see how he was having a bad day. The drytool cave was established in 2000/01 and for sure he knows all the moves, but the limestone changes all the time, so still keeps it interesting. One thing I have always said about mixed climbing is how it is very dependent on the right gear. Good luck climbing M9 at the cave with a pair of X15s - good movie idea for WG? - and was psyched I got to try a pair of prototype tools that Aljaz had. The right tools and crampons make all the difference in this sport. One question for crampon makers, why don't you make the front points steep enough, even if it is slightly overhanging that makes all the difference in the world, then for people who are just beginning steep ice it would make it easier for them as well as they don't drop their heels anyway. Put me on the payroll. Photo is of the draws dangling at the lip of the cave on a rainy day.