Juggiest 12ab starting hold in existence

Hello 12’s! Brad and I both managed our first 12ab redpoint on the same night! This was one of the progressive compeition routes set for the recent national onsight comp at the gym.

We’d been working the route for a couple days, and the planets aligned for the redpoint tonight!

Juggiest 12ab starting hold in existence

Juggiest 12ab starting hold in existence

Brad & I with our first 12

Brad & I with our first 12

Bottom Half. Starts off pretty easy.

Bottom Half. Starts off pretty easy.

Top Half. Very tiny crimps for the final moves.

Top Half. Very tiny crimps for the final moves.

11d onsight. No way I'd onsight this grade at climb Iowa. It'd be a several month project there!

The wife and I were up in the Twin Cities celebrating our anniversary over the weekend. And of course, I couldn’t resist a visit to a climbing gym while we were there (thanks, honey :) )!

The cities sports two Vertical Endeavors; one in Minneapolis, and one in St. Paul. I chose to visit the Minneapolis location, as it was a bit larger in size.

Since I was without a partner, I was limited to bouldering and the auto-belays. The gym was pretty cool, although a bit dark, and I wasn’t really a fan of their no barefoot policy and chipped rubber flooring instead of mats.  The route grading definitely wasn’t consistent with the grading used at Climb Iowa, which was a decent confidence boost, since I was able to on-sight several 11’s, including an 11d. My on-sight ability ends at 10cd per Climb Iowa’s grading. Unfortunately there were no 12’s on the autos, as given their grading, I might have been able to knock out my first 12! :)

Even though this gym was larger, and had taller walls, I think I still prefer Climb Iowa. Which is good, considering that’s the gym I have full time access to!

11d onsight. No way I'd onsight this grade at climb Iowa. It'd be a several month project there!

11d onsight. No way I’d onsight this grade at climb Iowa. It’d be a several month project there!

Unique auto belay system with lights and sensors.

Unique auto belay system with lights and sensors.

The purple Star Wars Route

Climb Iowa offered up a brand new class called “Advanced Movement”. I figured my climbing advancement could benefit from this class, taught by the gym owner, so I signed right up. A lot of the focus was on body positioning, flagging, and precise foot placement.

For the last night of this three-session class, our focus was on on-sighting. We were assigned a new route based on our previously accessed skill level. An 11ab route was thrown my way, and after a couple minutes previewing the route, I jumped on, only to fail at the crux. That was it for my onsight attempt that evening, but I did manage to redpoint the route the following day.

Overall, I feel the class was very beneficial, even though it wasn’t an overnight shortcut to climbing 5.13 😉

Here’s a video of me climbing the route, after I had a couple more goes.

The purple Star Wars Route

The purple Star Wars Route

Death Star & R2D2!

Death Star & R2D2!

The tagged harness does not lie

It’s official. The tag says so! After completing the 3-night, 6 hr course, I’m now certified to lead climb/belay at Climb Iowa. Now to get all practiced up before the next outdoor trip.

The tagged harness does not lie

The tagged harness does not lie

We all have to start somewhere, and for me, based on the subjective grading used at Climb Iowa, that looks to be in the land of 5.9 to 5.10a. 5.8’s are on-sightable, 5.9’s are redpointable, and 5.10ab’s seem projectable. Climb Iowa groups their grades as “ab” and “cd”, instead of just a,b,c,d, to account for some of the subjectivity in grading routes that are only up for a couple months).

For bouldering… V0’s are still a kick in the pants at the moment.

Now that a basline has been established, let’s see where this goes.

After a couple years of my friend Brad coaxing me every few months to visit the local rock climbing gym, Climb Iowa, with him, I finally decided to commit to a weekly visit and to do this for real. Tuesday will be our night to climb! I have my top-rope belay certification already, so now I just need to learn some skills on the wall!

This blog will be a place to post random climbing stuff as I begin this new adventure. Wish me luck!