The last month or so has been a very busy one comprised of lots of training, a day trip to Squamish, Western Youth Regionals and a 2 week trip to Joes Valley! After training hard for a long time I saw a break in the Squamish weather report at the beginning of March. I was psyched to get one more chance to send my project The Reckoning prior to Joes Valley and Western Regionals. I caught an early ferry and met up with a friend Jan to head to head over to the problem. I made quick progress and stuck the crux move that I had failed to do last time, while starting from there. I then started giving burns from the ground and eventually stuck the move. It ended up being really hard to get out of the position that I got into. A few tries later I got there again and this time turned my heel to a toe and quickly cut my feet and repasted them, it worked! However i went on to fall a few moves later as I was too tired to finsh off the last few moves of the stand. That ended up being my best burn however I did pull through the crux and into the stand a few more times. I'm definately satisfied with getting as far as I did though, as it confirmed that this problem will go down. Here are some pictures!
Next in the timeline was my trip to Joes Valley. I had been there a few years back but I just wasn't climbing strong back then. This time I had intent to head there and get on some of the hardest and crimpiest lines there were. This turned out to be a bad idea due to the sharpness of the rock, the dryness of the climate, and the fact that I had no skin when I got there, from excessive training. Day 2 of the trip, after cutting my finger on day 1 climbing Fingerhut V10 and trying Fingerslut V13/14, turned out to be a highlight of the trip. I felt strong and decided that it was an appropriate day to try Black Lung V13 with the temperature as freezing as it was. I made quick progress and after only a few hours I managed to stick the last slopey pocket and only fell as my foot popped. I went on to fall on the move to that pocket a few more times before calling it a day, with battered and bloody tips. I felt satisfied with my progress however I know that if I wasn't using tape it would have gone down.
3 days later, I returned To New Joes in hope that Black Lung would go down quickly. Unfortunately I just didn't feel as strong and the tape I was using just hindered me more. Climbing and camping in the dessert takes it's toll on you much more than yould think! I quickly fired off Freak V10 and decided that the best thing to do was to take some rest and approach it a few days later. Well a few days later, we ran in to a friend Jamie Chong. He was very psyched on climbing Ghost King so I decided I'd try it before giving black lung some more effort. I was quickly distracted by a crimpy V12 to the left called Ghost of war. After only a few tries I found myself throwing for the last jug. For some reason I just couldn't get enough pull to throw far enough and ended up falling. I got on again and fell on the same move once more. I then noticed that my middle finger was bleeding through the tape and decided it was time to stop... I had ripped the entire tip off that finger, which marked the end of hard climbing this trip.
Overall, the trip was really good and Joes Valley offers some of the best lines anywhere. Also important is the near flawless rock quality boasted by many problems. It was definitely humbling to realize that in the desert, I could not pull on all the sharpest holds and expect to be climbing at the end of the trip like I would in Squamish or another moister climate. My fingers dried out too much and cracked very easily... Worst Case Scenario V9 is one of the coolest lines in Joes and is defidently worth not missing.
With skin issues aside, everything else worked out really well. We were set up amazingly for mats as Aaron had an older, giant flashed mat and another highball mat, while I had An amazing and light, blue shogun mat. It was by far the easiest mat to carry around while still offering amazing protection! Here are some Pictures of our trip! Also we are working on a short video of our trip that will also be ready soon.
Finally, upon arriving back from Joes Valley was the Western Youth Regionals, an annual sport climbing comp to be hosted this year at The Boulders Climbing Gym in Saanich. The event was put on very well from the great setting to the amazing organization.
Thanks flashed for the awesome gear, the shogun work excellently in Joes Valley and was also very light to carry.