Now that the days are short and the temperatures have plummeted below the norm due to the well entrenched El Niño here in the southwestern USA, we’ve found it necessary to switch gears and boulder for a while. It didn’t take us long to discover that months of climbing routes has made us weaklings. Think of newborn bunnies… soft… fuzzy… lots of energy… but totally lacking power.
Climbing routes for the past 7-8 months has forced our naturally aging muscle tissue to elongate. The power producing fast-twitch muscle fiber, common to more youthful climbers, has with us approached near extinction. Not to worry. Although the transitional process is somewhat painful, we suffer it every year when we make our switch to bouldering. Since power is our fallibility it pays us in spades to work this weakness. Plus, it gives us the opportunity to relax and change our focus for while. And, it gives other boulderers some comedic entertainment watching us struggle on their warm-ups.
Here in Moe’s Valley, we’re currently fighting some relatively tough conditions. The fragile indigenous sandstone suffers after a soaking. After the first light rain, we can manage the damp hike in to find dry problems on the steeper, sheltered stuff, but the options are limited. We really have to wait until it becomes dry. Plus, the colder then normal temps make it difficult to warm-up for steep power movement.
The El Niño rain and cold make it difficult to do our alternate training (typically yoga) on our all-to-frequent rest days. We knew from the start that this transient lifestyle would not always be glamorous and easy, and sometimes we’d have to take the bad with the good. It has been overwhelmingly good for the most part. As homeless full time climbing roadies living in a small Scamp trailer we shall endeavor to persevere while awaiting the dryer and warmer conditions guaranteed to return eventually.
Our ideal plan is to stick with slapping pebbles here in Moe’s for the next month or two, then maybe spend a month in Bishop (currently under snow) if El Niño will allow it? We have the option to return to the quality steepness of the Hurricave, maybe in March or April? We still have a gaggle of projects left to do there. It should be a great way to kick off our 2016 route season!
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