Friday, January 06, 2006

Hockey "cross training," Hafner, training

Yesterday I went into Hafner with Pat Morrow and a group of willing victims to do some test-shooting on a DVD Pat and I are working on. About half of Canmore later showed up to train for Ouray, it was an entertaining spectacle as everyone was going for it. Dale Robotham took the "best whip" award not once but several times, this guy really goes for it despite not fitting into the "spring chicken" category anymore, good on him. One of the great things about living in the Bow Valley is that many of my friends go climbing when they want to, not just on the odd weekend. A Thursday in Hafner may be more packed than a weekend day, that's the sign of a healthy attitude toward "work" I think.

All the people we had out to play "students"for the DVD ripped it up, always fun to see people progress quickly, it's one of the best things about teaching ice climbing. We'll see what happens with the DVD. Lisa Paulson and Glen from the Warden Service were out cutting logs on the trail on the way in, thanks. The Wardens around here are good people, I hope I continue to meet them while having fun and not when I'm getting yanked off a climb in a rescue--although I'm glad to have them as a last-resort back up, few places in the world have such competent rescue.


Thursday (yesterday): Supposed to be a rest day after yesterday's efforts, but ended up running a bunch of speed laps and actually kind of getting worked... I hadn't speed climbed since Ouray last year, it takes a lot of juice as fast speed technique is nothing like "normal" ice cimbing, 50 percent of your weight is on your arms.

In the evening I ended up playing shinny (pond-style hockey for those not from Canada) with a bunch of other climbers, it was pretty clear who the climbers were on the ice and not because of their stellar skating. Good fun, all ages, but I got WORKED sprinting up and down the ice and trying not to get smoked every single time by teenagers and their younger brothers. Hockey is a wicked sprint workout, left me gasping and with sore muscles not used to the motions, I haven't played ice hockey in, oh, about 20 years. Some of my favorite workouts are spontaneous fun, just saying "yes" to something different instead of being a lazy-ass.

On Wednesday I went for an hour run, then went to the Vsion with Josh Briggs. We trained power first, and I was actually able to hold a full front lever for about .5 seconds, still a hell of an improvement! Handstand pushups went well too, Briggs is strong on those, then we did some fun lock-off training, painful, followed by some drytools laps in the Vsion cave. Five of those after power training was really more than enough...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Iceberg Video Project

Last spring I went to Labrador with Ben Firth and climbed bergs near Makkovik. Randy and Lorie from the Adlavik Inn took care of us, and were great to work with. Randy is a fun and very competent guy who brings his native knowledge of the area along. Anyhow, we went and climbed some bergs in a really wild place. The bergs were terrifying--we wanted grounded bergs close to shore but there weren't any ("Should have been here last year, they were on the beach in front Makkovik!), so we wound up climbing drifting bergs way off-shore. This was very engaging and definitely the most dangerous thing I've ever done, but also very cool. Anyhow, I've spent the last week doing a revised cut of this film (shot by my buds Scott Simper and Pat Morrow), it's back with Emerge Media in Calgary now, we worked on it again last night. Emerge Media has done the "real" edit on my last two films, Martina and Graham are super solid to work with. One of the things I like about making films is that I get to work with good people of my own choosing. Anyhow, spent all day yesterday working on the film, then Calgary in the evening, the film is looking much better. Discovery also ran a piece from the trip, a good six minutes on the experiences Ben and I had.

Workouts Jan 3:

Nothing. Nada. Computer ass all the way.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Canadian Election

As of today the Conservatives are ahead of the Liberals in the polls here in Canada, followed by the NDP and the Quebec Bloc. This just amazes me--the Conservative leader, Stephen Harper, is an idiot, yet he's very popular here in Alberta. Just to make it clear on why Harper is an idiot: he made a big deal out of the Iraq invasion, saying Canada should have taken part. That alone means there's no way I can vote for him--if he were in power when the US invaded Iraq then Canadians would be directly taking part in that idiocy. His domestic policies are even more bizzare, but somehow he is getting votes in western Canada and even Onterrible. I think people in Canada are just sick of the corrupt, over-fed Liberals, and see the Conservatives as the only viable option. Nobody is going to win a majority in the upcoming election, so we'll likely have a conservative minority government, which will be a cluster. This might actually be a good thing--the Bloc, Liberals and NDP won't let really idiotic legislation through from the conservatives, same for the conservatives with the NDP, Liberals, and the Bloc. On the other hand everybody will be doing deals and trading for pet programs, our budget surplus likely won't be in a year or two.

I'm going to vote Green. Here in Alberta the Greens don't have a flower's chance in a Canadian winter of winning, but the Greens now have official party status due to getting something like 4 percent of the vote in the last election. We're seeing a lot more of the Greens in the media, and their long-term view is something we really need in our politics. A lot of people think of the Greens as being primarily a bunch of tofu-eating tree huggers, and many are, but they are the only party really saying anything different in this election--they are at, check it out. They are for proportional representation, something I'd like to see, for smarter health care, for fair trade (not the multi-national companies as is Harper), etc. This guy makes a much better case than I can: for voting Green. So, with all the massive power of this forgotten blog, I'm endorsing the Green party for 2006! I'm not eating any tofu though, that stuff is nasty and reportedly may in fact be bad for you...

Our (Wild Rose riding) Green Guy is Sean Maw, seems like a good candidate.

Workout January 2

Trying to finish off a video edit and hating it, but still managed to hike/run for an hour on Lady MacDonald with Kim and Chili, then hit the Vsion in the evening. The Vsion is great for training, where else can you boulder on plastic with your ice tools in a gym? Quentin and I marked a 25-move drytool problem then got really pumped trying to do it. Eventually did it, but I was still really beat up from the Cineplex on Saturday--it's amazing how just six routes mixed climbing can destroy my body. In sport climbing I need to climb at least ten hard routes to get this messed up, and even then it's usually just my forearms and a few isolated muscles that get torched from hanging on, not every muscle in my body. Anyhow, did a few laps then did sets of front levers and handstand pushups. Even though I was tired both of those went better than they have the last few times, my ass is only mostly sagging on front levers instead of totally, and I hit a massive FIVE handstand pushups on my first set... Following sets were stronger too. Starting to balance for at least half of the handstand pushup movemet each time too instead of my feet sliding on the wall, fun to see improvements.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Yeah, it's an arbitrary date where everybody gets all fired up about the next year and drinks stupid amounts of alcohol for no good reason, but the world needs more holidays like that. Christmas feels pretty over-commercialized--my parents celebrate the solstice, which is likely where the whole Christian Christmas thing came from anyhow--far easier to appropriate an already-existing pagan festival for a new religion than come up with something original. I'm all for celebrating more daylight, here in Canda we're down to a skinny 8 hours of light in the winter, I can't wait for the days to get a little longer! I generally make what I view as achievable resolutions on New Years, we did that as a group this year and then just swapped resolutions we wrote on pieces of paper. Interestingly, people seemed to get the resolutions they deserved. Mine are to "Get all the POS non-working cars out of my driveway ASAP." Hey, all the cars work, just not at the moment... And one other one I already forgot so it doesn't count.

Spent New Year's Eve in the Cineplex Cave with Guy Lacelle and Guy Tremblay, two strong francophone climbers. Learned some interesting new Quebecois words while the Guys worked one of the best M9 routes in the Rockies, the Cineplex. Both sent it last try of the day, good efforts. I beat the hell out of myself first beating the holds in on my new route, then falling off it. It's nice that it's basically organized now--one of the problems with climbing shit rock with your ice tools is that the rock tends to break until it's all cleaned up. It's taken me four days of effort just to bolt and get the route cleaned up enough to actually climb. I had three redpoint burns on it, but it's really hard, best I could do was two very long hangs. The moves are so continuously powerful that as soon as I lose a bit of power I'm done, it's impossible to keep your feet on the small features in the horizontal roof. The climbing is super technical--keeping your frontpoints on the little edges is critical for the dynamic moves, but doing so requires several "front lever" moves...


Dec 31: Cineplex Cave, 2XM9 warmup, 4XMhard. Absolutely pounded.
January 1: Wanted to train today but my back, lats and stomach were totally thrashed so rest day. Went for a walk to get rid of hangover and did some Yoga.