Off we go! This week is slightly condensed, as we’re about to board a plan en route to Monterrey, Mexico, to meet Magic Ed for a shuttle to El Potrero.
Since finishing the Tour 14er project (and properly resting, and getting my life in somewhat order), I’ve dove pretty intensely into climbing, learning as much as possible, in a pretty small amount of time. Much of this knowledge, perhaps to my surprise, is about mental, rather than physical mastery – allowing oneself to move your body well on this completely alien, vertical world, without totally – you know: losing your sh*t. Freaky stuff.
Although I am physically stronger, the difference isn’t incredible – same could be said for how hard of a grade I can climb. What is vastly improved is how fast I can move, how fluid, how much I can climb in a session, and how long I can simply hang, so I can make a clip to an anchor successfully. We’ll see what comes to it – our “goal” (if climbing trip vacations have goals) is Time Wave Zero – 23 pitches of mostly moderate sport pitches,
She may look benign, but this lady can kick your ass on a climb.
Thanks to Bikepackers Magazine for mentioning my Tour 14er super ride in their 2014 Year in Review! My thoughts usually span quite the spectrum. I remembering it wasn’t really all that long ago that I bought my first thrift store beater bike for < $15, and it didn’t take too long after that for me to wonder if I could ride it from Denver, to Boulder (A whole 30 miles). After the intense pain in my legs diminished (as well as that large pizza was consumed, after landing back in Denver), I certainly was hooked.
It’s easy to fall in the mindset of, “Well, what’s next – what’s going to be even bigger?!”, which isn’t really the best way to go about these things. Instead, you should probably ask yourself, “What would be the most fulfilling thing I could do?” That may mean testing one’s limits, but it could also mean just helping out someone else with mentoring, or just sharing yourself, so other’s have a head start on their own (mis)adventures. I’m also critical over route selection and goal – it’s gotta aesthetically be pleasing, the same way a drawing or painting is. Something that isn’t easy to put into words – that’s why you try to do those impossible things.
If I looked at my time doing these endurance things, I usually fall into a pattern, where one year may be a huge trip; the next year is a series of smaller ones – and that may hold true this time as well. Those years of smaller projects is really a time when I’m working on weaknesses, rebuilding myself towards another goal that just may be too big. Either that, or paying off the credit card bill.
Climbing, climbing and more climbing!
A somewhat lackluster week, what with a cold descending upon me.
I’ve fallen off of logging my “training”. One reason for this is that I have nothing to train for! Which can be dangerous: nothing to train for (no goals) so no real idea on what to do. I’m not one for structured training anyways – I like to think of what I do outside as, “play” and anything that has to do with getting better as, “practice”. Training sounds much too serious to me.
And well, this isn’t actually true, as there’s a file on my Macbook called something like, “2015 Outdoor misAdventure Goals” and it’s filled with all sorts of adventures, and maybe a real race or two.
But before all that, there’s one big goal coming in December: a 2300′, 23 pitch sport climb that goes up to 5.12a called TIME WAVE ZERO at El Potrero Chico, Mexico!
Until I indulge myself in plans for 2015, the goal for ending 2014 will be to top out on this route, around Christmas time.
As such, my time training – I mean, playing has been on vertical walls, learning this “Sports Climbing” thing, and seeing what I can get accomplished, in such a small amount of time. I’m about a month out from the trip itself, so there’s not much more time left to get with it. I’m still running and cycling, but I’ve made climbing somewhat my priority for the past few weeks, which has been a nice break.
Not to reveal all, but having the skill set to do Time Wave Zero sounds like a nice thing to have in the back of one’s pocket, if what you like to do is like up killer routes in the mountains.
- Total Hike Mileage: 387.9 miles (624.265 km)
- Total Hike Elevation: 154,727 feet (47,160.8 km)
- Total Bike Mileage: 1,609.1 miles (2,589.6 km)
- Total Bike Elevation: 151,335 feet (46,126.9 meters)
- Total Time: 34:12:26:57
Image (and beer!) provided by: 14er.com user, glenmiz
OK, time to begin!
Start time is scheduled for Friday @ 4:00am at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, CO – There’s a small chance I’ll start a little earlier depending on how my schedule works out. Trackleaders has been kind enough to take the time to put up a Tracker for this, so you may follow along:
I’ll be riding/climbing this as a self-supported individual time trial
– the goal is to ride to, and summit all the named and ranked 14ers in
CO (53, by my count, but it’s a given thatn I’ll do the other usual
suspects). Goal is to better a time set by Roy Benton in 1995 of 37
days, 12 hours – the last and fastest self-supported, self-powered time
I could find in my research. It works out to roughly 1.5 summits a day.
My rules are here. It’s a DIY thing.
projected route is shown on the Tracker, but there’s nothing to say I
won’t change my mind and take a different route – in fact, it’s a given. There’s no course really, so there’s no, “off course”, so don’t worry about that.
I’ll also try to post photos while I go and you may follow me on whatever you’d like:
hands – and feet are going to be pretty occupied, so if you spot me
while on your own hikes and take a photo please share them! It would mean a lot to me. It’s been great to meet people while on my training runs/hikes.
be easy to spot: big busy red beard and most likely a bright red,
“Salvagetti” bike jersey on and a tiny, gray casquette on my sunburned
I’ll look – and smell like a thru-hiker, but my pack will be
minuscule or non-existent. Hi-fives and smiles are definitely
appreciated if we cross paths, but please don’t meet up with me to
explicitly give me any sort of support, like food. Or whiskey.
Thanks goes out to a very long list of people: Salvagetti for being a wonderful bike shop to me for over a decade, Greg at Bolder Bikepacking
for making some amazing packs that have taken me across the country –
twice, and my lady for hanging in there, while I go out to do my /silly
things. And also for the belays at the crags, which I guess would also
fall under, “Hanging in there”. A few companies/individuals in those
companies have been helpful with gear. Thank you: Selle Anatomica for making literally the best saddle in existence, BOA Technology for having me on their product testing group, Ultimate Direction
for making some pretty sweet vests. I’ve gained much inspiration from
far too many individuals to count, really – I’d list them out, but I
don’t want to forget anyone.
I’m not doing this to raise money
for a non-profit or anything like that, but if what I’m hoping to do
inspires you, my suggestion would be to give to the 14ers.com CFI
fundraising effort (if that’s OK with you, Bill):
If you’re looking for a more humanitarian org., consider the Colorado Harm Reduction Action Center:
me luck! As it’s been shown, this type of challenge is TOUGH. I hope I
can myself make it back to Golden before all the Aspen leaves change.