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A Punter's Journey


Original Post
Garrett R. · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 40
Intro:

So here's the deal. I really want to send Astroman. It's been a big ambition of mine for years, and it's time to put the work in. I've marked my calendar for October 2019, put up a motivational topo on the wall, and am committing to making it happen. I'm letting you lot know for a couple reasons:

-if I flake out, get lazy, or am just totally on the wrong track, I invite you to publicly shame me on the internet. Accountability goes a long ways.
-you're bored and on Mountain Project, you need something to read.
-those of you who have climbed the route, or embarked on similar goals might have some wisdom to throw my way.

Background:

I've been climbing for about 11 years now. I've gone through cycles of psyche and focus, but never really trained that hard. I've onsighted 5.11c trad a couple times, and been shut down on it plenty of times. On bolts, I've regularly climbed 11+ with some 12a/b ticks here and there. I'm not at my strongest right now, but I'm fit. I don't boulder for shit. I've climbed loads of multipitch, though for the most part only up to 11a. I've got some Yosemite experience, having climbed the Nose, Lurking Fear, and Washington Column (all with plenty of aid) as well as easier classics like Serenity-Sons.

I'm wrapping up nursing school in a couple months, and with a change in life circumstances I find myself in need of something to throw myself into. I have more than enough free time to manage consistent training and cragging days. I've got a couple folks in mind, but still need to find a partner to commit with me, but I'm sure it'll happen.

Plan: I have a copy of the Rock Climber's Training Manual arriving tomorrow, and I'm going to start by following it to a T. I am going to commit to focused training 2-3 days a week from now until spring. Then, I'm going to continue training, but incorporate as much time on hard cracks as is feasible and healthy. Indian Creek, South Platte, Vedauwoo, RMNP, Lumpy, the whole deal. Then, come Oct. I'm going to hop in a van for 2 weeks in Yose with Astroman as the singular purpose. Along the way, I'm going to update this post every two weeks, or more often if I feel like it. I'll share my progress and struggles. You can provide feedback, encouragement, or heckle as appropriate (constructive heckling preferred). 13 months out, if things go as planned you'll have to sit through about 30 updates.

Here goes nothing.
Garrett
grog m · · Saltlakecity · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

#1 dont get injured!!! Listen to yo body and RESPECT THE PROCESS.

Sometimes what you don't do is more important that what you do. Go for it dude! Yer gunna die!

Rob Dillon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 720

This could mesh nicely with my 50 Classic Climbs In My 50th Year plan.

Let’s talk.

R

Garrett R. · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 40

In line with the RCTM's goal setting suggestions, I'm putting together a list of preparation climbs. Anyone care to chime in on the relative V-grade difficulty of the boulder problem pitch? Perhaps even a good circuit at Horsetooth that would translate well?

Garrett R. · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 40

I feel like it's time for an update.

Things are off to a solid start. I'm on track with the first steps in the Rock Prodigy cycle. I've nailed down a solid, psyched partner for next fall (huge!), and I've had some super fun days racking up pitches at Lumpy and enjoying the perfect weather.

Biggest take away so far - ARC'ing blows. I'm committed, and am just going to grit my teeth and stick it out. However, having this sort of monotonous drudgery be the lead in to training seems designed to guarantee a high rate of attrition. My local gym doesn't have great terrain, with the routes set on the autobelay having an odd bimodal distribution, with lots of 5.8 and lots of 5.12, and not much in between. Still trying to find the right flow and choose my own moves to hit the target-level of pump, but I feel like it would be much easier if there were preset routes in the 5.9-11 range and I could just follow the tape.

-Garrett

Garrett R. · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 40

Alright! Happily moving on to hangboarding as of today.

First impressions: way better than ARCing. Still pretty monotonous, but quick and easy. Looking forward to seeing some gains in finger strength, I've never had the patience for a hangboard in the past, but even on day one I could feel how effective it has the potential to be.

Here in CO we've had nasty weather for the past week or so. Makes it easy to stay focused on a gym regimen. 

niche pome · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 93

congrats on making it through ARC training - an impressive show of trust / stubbornness (seemingly good attributes for your goal)

a couple of weeks into my RCTM-defined training I promptly made a bonfire of the "manual". 

Jer · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 26
Garrett R. wrote: I feel like it's time for an update.

Things are off to a solid start. I'm on track with the first steps in the Rock Prodigy cycle. I've nailed down a solid, psyched partner for next fall (huge!), and I've had some super fun days racking up pitches at Lumpy and enjoying the perfect weather.

Biggest take away so far - ARC'ing blows.
-Garrett

You may or may not benefit in the Spring from ARC sessions you do now. Endurance and power endurance take few sessions to peak so that you could focus on strength and power and potentially see greater gains by waiting until the last month or so to focus on ARCing. I've been loosely following the bouldering plan on pg 277 for my last couple cycles while it's too hot to climb on my project.

Bryan · · Minneapolis, MN · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 351

Digging the thread. Posting to follow. Would also like to get up Astroman some day. 

Rob Dillon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 720

The boulder problem is a thin corner with tips in pin scars. Closest FR correlate I can think of offhand is something in Eldo. Not something you need to overthink. Or overtrain for, for that matter, because physically the route is more of an endurance affair for the well-rounded 5.11 climber.

I have trained zero, but this grout seal is looking HOT.  It’s up there with ARCing in terms of tedium.  Kinda gripped about the upcoming counter-pouring pitch- basically onsighting that one. It’s kind of a one-off, so not focusing my training around it, but it’s also a bit consequential and thus taking up a lot of headspace.

Anyhow quite looking fwd to the time we can team up to enjoy the fruits of our efforts.  

Garrett R. · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 40
Jer wrote:

You may or may not benefit in the Spring from ARC sessions you do now. Endurance and power endurance take few sessions to peak so that you could focus on strength and power and potentially see greater gains by waiting until the last month or so to focus on ARCing. I've been loosely following the bouldering plan on pg 277 for my last couple cycles while it's too hot to climb on my project.

Yeah, not sure what my plans for spring / summer are. I'm anticipating being ready to just try hard on outdoor routes. Build up some strength over the winter, and then just keep trying to bust into the 5.12- range on cracks and lots of mileage on 5.11.

-Garrett
Garrett R. · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 40

Alright,

The last few weeks have been rather chaotic for me. Gotten busy with school /  life / other stuff and the training regimen has suffered a bit. I've been hangboarding periodically, probably averaging 2 sessions a week, but haven't done anything rock related in a week. I've had a marathon on my schedule since June, and that stole some my energy for October, but that's taken care of with the acceptable sacrifice of only one toenail.

But, as of today I am back to having adequate free time. Planning on a proper gym session tomorrow, and jumping back on the wagon through until my next climbing trip over Thanksgiving. No major progress, just hanging from small edges for ten seconds at a time. 

adam gong · · Santa Monica, CA · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 35

Great thread. Picking up the RCTM tonight with Yosemite goals of my own next autumn. Maybe I'll see you out there!

Garrett R. · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 40

Well everyone, excuse the long absence. It's been a hectic month.
Let me start by saying December sucks. I've barely seen daylight recently and the days keep getting shorter. Fuck December.

I took a nice little vacation to Vegas for Thanksgiving week. Did some pleasant climbing at Red Rocks, and soaked up the sunny weather. While we didn't do anything very ambitious, getting in some good mileage, as well as pulling on some hard sport lines was an absolute blast. Aside from that, training has been a (sadly) low priority. I am now officially finished with school, though. Hustling to get everything taken care of this past month has left me with not a lot of free time, but that's all in the past now. Sitting for graduation on Sunday, and looking forward to a bit more freedom over the next couple months.

I just mounted a hangboard in my room. I'm not sure why I hadn't done that a year ago, but it suddenly dawned on me last week that there is no reason I can't, unlike my former residences. Hopefully that'll open up the opportunity to get in a good workout when I don't feel like trekking to the gym after work.

That's all for now! Hoping for an early spring, and looking forward to my next jaunt out to the desert to get some sand and sun.

-Garrett

Jason Kim · · Encinitas, CA · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 255

Posting to follow along. Train hard and keep it up. 

Justin Laursen · · Chattanooga, TN · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 490

Digging the thread updates. Have you looked into Eva Lopez's research regarding hang boarding? After years of tediously doing repeaters, I've just begun doing her max hang regimen and it's SOOOO much more tolerable, especially for the skin. Her blog can be a bit much to dig through, but it has good info and coach Hörst seems stoked about it too. 

Garrett R. · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 40

Well, let me resume this by saying December blows.

It's been a crazy month, including graduation and everything that comes along with it, an overly long visit with family, working, a moderately stressful licensure exam, and job hunting. Unsurprisingly, that took its toll on the amount of climbing I got in. On the bright side, that is all in the past. The days are getting longer, the weather is nicer, and I only have to open a book when I feel like it. I'm now officially a nurse, and start a new job with a very-conducive-to-climbing-a-lot schedule in a couple weeks.

Climbing wise, about the only thing I've managed since the last update is sporadic bouldering and hangboarding sessions. Little to no progress that I'm aware of, but I haven't gotten weaker (which is a first for this time of year). With all that in mind, I'm off to the gym now. I'm a bit off cycle with the Anderson Bros recommendations, but I'm just gonna boulder hard for a couple weeks to feel like I've checked the box on power, and when it feels right transition into the next phase.

Hope everyone is having a good start to the year.

-Garrett

mike zeek · · Grand Junction, colorado · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 20

Garrett,  I’ll be in YNP in Oct 19 with the goal of doing astroman as well.  Good luck to you and if you are looking for a partner for some of your trip, definitely let me know! I’m on the CO western slope and winter definetly is a psyche killer.  Stick with it man.  Focus on that end goal.  

Mike

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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