I heard the question from behind the front desk. Turning toward the voice I saw a member who's spirits I had crushed the week before when he asked me about the local bouldering. I told him that he was better off going out of state to a place like Leavenworth or beyond.
"Yes," I said. "I have been there. Are you planning a trip next winter?"
He then proceeded to tell me that he was trying to decide between Red Rocks or Hueco. In May. Late May. I stared at him in disbelief and could not muster the self control to hold myself back. The words came pouring out of me.
"May? Are you serious? It will be way too hot. Too many rattlesnakes." Yet he seemed to think that 90ºF was the perfect temperature for climbing.
I have heard more plans for summer trips from people in the Pacific Northwest than I can count. Bishop in July, Hueco in April and now May, Joe's in June.
Sure, there's Mt. Evans, RMNP, Way Lake and a handful of other high altitude summer destinations, but I have not heard a single person announce their plans to crush it at any of those places. Something about the constant rain, mold and cloud cover seems to have brainwashed some of these people into thinking that bouldering season is the summer time. I just don't understand.
Watching people jump between neon holds on inflated problems from behind the desk drives me crazy enough. Add this irrational and insane idea that summer heat is the best time slap at granite and sandstone on top of that and I am convinced that Portland is not for climbers. Portland is for many different people but not for climbers.
While checking my email this morning I typed "Leavenworth" in place of my login and didn't realize until after I entered my password. This distracted state must be a side effect of only being able to climb outside every two weeks. Caught in a dark place when I am here and elevated to a very strange form of bliss when I am there. This must stop. The days between trips are unbearable and I constantly dream of a location where we can climb outside after working an eight hour shift.
Because of this I have come to appreciate the little things and all progress, even the small, should never be underestimated. So here is yet another promising screen shot of the weekend because I don't have anything else. My goal is to make some progress and, as always, top something out.
Keep your eyes peeled for images and words by yours truly at Cruxn.com! I am very pleased to say that I have joined the ranks of bloggers at the site and will update as often as I can. With two blogs to maintain its time to get serious, srsly, and commit to generating more content for our internet dependent sport.
On that note, I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Cold Splinters, and came across a post about Bev Johnson with a link to a blog I had never heard of before: RockRipRollGirl.com. I was excited because Cold Splinters rarely covers anything climbing related and RRRG features articles about inspiring women in male dominated sports.
Sadly round two is over. And by sad I mean devastating. Returning to the land of rain and mold is never high on my list but here I am, desperately missing the mountains and counting down the days until the next trip like some sort of fiend. The finger pain I dramatically diagnosed has subsided and I managed to top out five problems V0-V2. Our next trip to Leavenworth can't come soon enough!
Video footage was the priority this time but here are a few photos:
The April Fools Day post was written primarily in jest with one very crucial exception: injury. I am not a doctor and I took one high school biology class with a half-assed four week lesson on anatomy but I know when something hurts and when I should stop climbing. After a tiny bit of research and a few conversations I am pretty sure there is a strain or micro tear in one of the annular pulleys in my left wring finger. The A2 pulley if I dare to be more specific. Below is a very informative image from Eric Hörst's Training for Climbing.
So let the PCTD set in. Sad face. In all seriousness, however, I don't know when or where this happened. Sometime last week, perhaps? Bishop? The self control required to stop climbing three of four times a week, as we all know, is excruciating. It certainly doesn't help that I work in a bouldering gym and get to watch people climb all day long. Since sitting around and feeling sorry for myself is out of the question, I will focus on core strength and other training work outs that don't require finger exertion.
The worst part is that we are planning a weekend in Leavenworth sometime soon and I might have to replace my shoes with a camera lens.
Post Climbing Trip Disorder, clinically known as PCTD, can affect any climber. Though diagnosis is typically ignored, when discovered early enough measures may be taken to prevent PCTD in the future.
Causes of PCTD:
There are many things that cause and trigger PCTD. Some of the most common and recognizable include injuries that prevent climbing or training, climbing on plastic, inability to complete an outdoor project by the end of a trip, climbing on plastic, bad weather, climbing on plastic, open wounds on finger tips, distance from "home" to crag, climbing on plastic; and the most common of all, returning to plastic immediately after an outdoor trip. Usually there is an interim between the outdoor trip and the return to plastic that is made up of sleepless nights and heated rants among friends about pretty much everything that annoys them (which is usually everything). For some PCTD is seasonal, changing with the temperature and wetness of rock while for others PCTD comes from their inability to impress the opposite sex at the local climbing gym.
90% change of rain=severe PCTD
Symptoms of PCTD:
Often symptoms of PCTD are mistaken for anger and depression and go unrecognized and untreated. While anger and depression are compounds of PCTD there are many more aspects to the disorder. Including but not limited to over indulging, whether it be food or controlled substances; starvation and also deprivation of these substances. Negative attitude about everything and a restlessness that can never be fully tamed until the next outdoor adventure. Campusing on anything other than a campus board. Sleepless nights may occur and some try to compensate by living vicariously through their friends, professionals or poorly made climbing videos. Try to avoid all contact with males who wear sleeveless shirts when they climb as they are clearly suffering from PCTD. Be aware that jealously runs rampant through all who suffer from PCTD. Remember that PCTD affects all climbers differently, this is simply a collection of the most characteristic symptoms.
Cures for PCTD:
This sections should be called Tips for Avoiding PCTD because there is no cure. Appropriate treatment, however, can be used to lessen the pain and frustration of PCTD. Methods of treatment include in depth self critique and control, training extremely hard (take care to avoid injury otherwise the PCTD will take over) and relocating. If you live 5 or more driving hours from decent rock you will never overcome PCTD. This number is highly subjective but generally smaller numbers tend to lead to lighter cases of PCTD while larger ones lead to sever cases. Get rich or die trying. Without an expendable income (read: money to travel) or relocating to a region with a greater concentration of cliffs and/or boulders hope of ever relieving oneself of PCTD is little to none. A last resort could be to give up climbing entirely but be prepared to face the dangers of other various Post Extreme Sports Trip Disorders.