Thursday, November 26, 2009


Sol hiking Pile Driver (5.11b) mid link

You gotta make training enjoyable. The more fun it is, the more you will do it. And remember, it doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

My good friend Sol Wertkin is perhaps my most motivated training partner. In a previous blog post titled The Games Climbers Play (May 2009), I rehashed another training "game" that we used this past spring where we tried to link Leavenworth's 15 most classic 5.11 pitches. Looking back, that little "game" provided a solid base of fitness and flow that flowered into a successful summer of goals reached and dreams established.

Last week Sol and I tried our hand at another self-imposed challenge, a link up of all the pitches on the Powerhouse Wall, a chunky, overhanging chosspile in the desert of Central Washington. Although the quality of climbing is nothing to write home about, it will get you pumped, a nice challenge for us low-angle traditional climbers (I rarely sport climb, although I should more for sure!). Anyone climbing these fairly short routes would find themselves pumped and confused. The blocky nature of the rock makes on sighting or flashing very difficult. A good hold always lurks close by, but will you find it? The extra time searching for the hidden jug makes for even better training.

The title of this piece speaks to the gusty wind that swept the desert basin that day. We started to make the connection between Patagonia's weather and our game at the Powerhouse Wall. I think it is really great that as climbers, we can be inspired and have fun on the world's most iconic walls and peaks (like in Patagonia) and then capture those same feelings on the state's scrappiest wall of choss. Bottom line, climbing is fun no matter where you are as long as you have the right attitude and good friends to share the joy with. So get out there, train hard, and have fun!

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