Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Next in line for the Chris Sharma signature series from Evolv is the Nexxo rock shoe. I'm a big fan of my rasta shaman rock shoes. They've pretty much become my de facto standard aggressive bouldering shoe. I've sent some of my hardest boulder problems in them so I've got somewhat of a sentimental attachment to them as well. After about a year of constant use they have held up nicely but are getting a little tired. Just in time for me to pick up a new pair of the Nexxo's when they show up in 2014! I will post a full review in a few months once I've had a chance to pick up a pair and take them for a proper test drive.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Monday, October 14, 2013
Prior to visiting Bishop I'd been making some huge gains in the gym. I had completed 2 long standing projects. An overhung V4 problem that was sustained and pumpy. The other project was a V5 with multiple stemmy moves with a massively powerful 3 move sequence towards the end. Completing these projects the week before my trip filled me with a sense of confidence that I would be primed and ready for anything Bishop had to throw at me. I was sadly mistaken. Bouldering in Bishop is hard. Very hard. I'd like to consider myself a solid V3 climber in the gym. I've been known to even take down some harder V4-V5 problems from time to time. In Bishop I couldn't send anything over a V0. V1 problems consisted of mono holds, small side crimps, and non existent footholds. Hard! V2 and V3 problems we're completely out of my league.
My trip to Bishop has taught me that gym climbing is totally different than outdoor climbing. So much so that my girlfriend, whom is a long standing climber (over 14 years exp) and ex competitive climber and I agreed that gyms should be using their own rating scale separate from the 'Hueco' scale. With outdoor bouldering a climber has to contend with sharp rock that literally wants to cheese-grade your skin off, barely there holds, and deal with the fear of not topping out and possibly falling and sustaining serious injury. In the gym, even on harder problems, the holds are usually all there to make a sequence, the holds are soft (compared to rock), and there is foam padding all around you so the fear of falling and getting injured is not as prevalent. Bouldering outdoors is a completely different animal.
Overall the trip was amazing and I'm looking forward to going back next year. I have a lot of work to do between now and then If I want to start sending some harder problems out there. I definitely need to boulder outdoors more frequently. I need to get used to climbing on sharp rock and also become more comfortable topping out on higher routes. Bishop climbing has set the bar really high and I look forward to the challenge. It's beautiful landscape has humbled me and taught me a lot about myself. I can't wait to go back!
Below are some pictures of my trip.