Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tufa City

A few weeks back I went down to Mexico with a couple friends to climb the enormous tufa cave at El Salto, Mex. First of all, El Salto was unexpectedly at a pretty high elevation – considerably speaking at least. There were pine trees and the weather was nice and crisp…perfect sending weather.

The scenery was pretty amazing. The trees were sagging with long moss and we were crammed in this rocky valley about 200 meters across with towering limestone crags on either side. There seemed to be the potential for multi-pitch everywhere. But, you can climb multi-pitch in Potrero, we wanted to pull down on tufas.

The drive in was a sketchy 4x4 trail where we kept getting passed by teams of ATV weekenders that seemed to be barely making it themselves. The climbing was well worth it though.

Once we finally got on some routes, we found it to be some of the most amazing overhanging routes we’d touched. Nasfuratu has become one of my top ten routes and I still can’t stop thinking about the moves. It’s that perfect route that has consistent moves, requires technique and makes you think about every second you’re on the wall. Then, once you think it’s over, you have a huge throw to a semi-blind slot that you either get or you miss…

I plan on getting back out there again soon. Who wants to go?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Motivation: 31 routes and one for good luck

It's crazy how much motivation plays as a factor to reaching certain goals in climbing. I have had days where I feel great physically, but am just not feeling the motivation from my climbing partners. It can be hard to concentrate and push yourself when your partner isnt saying a word and you have to look down to make sure they arent sleeping.

On the other end, if your climbing partner is psyched and wants to see you succeed, he/she will push you, read your emotions and even scream for you. That's when I do my best. Recently, I had my 31st birthday and I wanted to celebrate it by climbing my age in routes. The whole day I had a great friend belaying me and my girlfriend keeping me motivated. As a matter of fact, almost everyone at the crag was cheering for me and letting me run through on their routes and on their gear.

This kept me going and kept me psyched and not even considering giving up. Fear and tiredness didnt even enter my mind that day, whereas if a climbing partner is a wet blanket, I will sketch out on minimum run-out and take on a route I know I can crush.

It's important to stay psyched and climb with people that challenge you to push on. At least that's the case with someone like me who feeds off of the people around me. I also feel its important for me to keep my partners and other climbers psyched to keep the vibe up -- so go SEND IT!