Training Journal – Bouldering, Trail Run, Hike: 7/1/19 – 7/7/19

This was a really fun week as I spent most of it traveling and bouldering through Vermont. Included was a stay at a new campground where several impressive boulders are just now being cleaned and developed.

I enjoy bouldering for the solitude/ space it confers, but am also aware that it is not the most direct way to improve at leading sport. I may try to be more intentional about the ratio of climbing, maybe aiming for a 2:1, bouldering:sport balance. My main concern is I’m not able to work on endurance on outdoor boulders as easily as I can through other means.

I have begun mixing days with a run/ hike and bouldering and finding that the muscle and energy systems don’t really overlap, so I can do both without noticeable negative effects to either activity.


Monday
Stretching, foam rolling. Pull up work out.

Tuesday
Bouldering at Rumney. Sent The Whale’s Tail (V4+) and Ahab Calling (V3).

The Gem boulder at Kettle Pond, Groton State Park


Wednesday
3 mile trail run around Kettle Pond in Groton State Forest.

Bouldering afterwards on The Gem boulder. Worked a few V2s and V3s.

Thursday
Bouldering in Bolton, VT. Worked a V6, some overhanging stuff.

Working “It’s Complicated Being a Wizard” (V6) in Bolton, VT


Friday
Hellbrook Trail up Mt. Mansfield, a 3.7 mile hike with 2,683 feet of elevation gain.

Bouldering at Smuggler’s Notch in the afternoon. Sent Primate (V3), Workout Traverse (V3), among other easier ones.

Saturday
Rest day. Stretched and foam roller.

Sunday
Bouldering at Lynn Woods. Worked Dean’s Problem (V6), Phat Lip (V4).



El Penon de Ifac – Parque Natural de Penyal D’Ifach


What I’m working towards: My objective is to climb the Diedra UBSA in Costa Blanca, Spain in November, an 8 pitch, 5.10a PG13 mostly sport route. This trip and objective is sponsored in part by the American Alpine Club + The North Face’s Live Your Dream grant.

I first came across the Penon d’Ifach, the massive limestone block that emerges from the Balearic Sea, while researching climbing in Spain last year. The striking outcropping has stayed on my mind since.

The grant is designed to help you “level up” your skills in a specific and measurable way. For context, I started climbing more seriously in 2018, and had only done about 30 lead climbs (in the 5.10 range) when I applied. I chose this route because it combines skills I’m keen to develop: Multi-pitch climbing, traditional climbing, anchor building, and endurance (suggested time is 6-9 hours). The goal date allows for six months to incrementally develop my technique and know-how.

So far this year, I’ve: Begun leading on trad, increased time on rock (as opposed to the gym) bouldering/ sport/ trad, practiced anchor building, did one multi-pitch (albeit a short one) and practiced belaying from top.

The longer-term dream is to do big alpine climbs in the Wind River Range.


Goals for July:

  • Days outside: 15
  • Sport leads: 30
  • Trad leads: 10
  • Multi-pitch: 1
  • Grade aim: 5.10+/5.11- sport, 5.6-5.8+ trad, multi-pitch 5.8-5.9 range
  • Focus: Lead more routes, push grades (project a few 5.12s), easy multi-pitch routes, bouldering
  • Stretch goal: Send V6, send 5.12

Progress on June Goals as of 7/7:

  • Days outside: 5
  • Sport leads: 0
  • Trad leads: 0
  • Multi-pitch: 0

Goals for 2019:

  • Lead 5.11c/5.11d comfortably (sport)
  • Climb a 5.12a (sport)
  • Lead 5.8-5.9 trad comfortably
  • Send a V7 outside
  • 100 days of climbing outside
  • Lead 300 routes on real rock

Progress on Year Goals as of 6/16:

  • Lead 5.10+ comfortably (sport)
  • Lead 5.6-5.7 trad comfortably
  • Send V4/V5 outside
  • ~28/100 days of climbing outside
  • ~39/300 lead climbs on real rock



Photo sources: La Marina Plaza

Training Journal – Bouldering (Hammond Pond, Gloucester), Trail Run: 6/24/19 – 6/30/19

Lower key week. Bouldering, a trail run.

Monday
Foam rolling + pull-up routine.

Tuesday
Walk with the dogs + chest, shoulders, arms, core.

Wednesday
Hammond Pond bouldering.

Photo by @jaredheathphotog


Thursday
Bouldering at Thee Boulder (V4/V5), big ol’ crack. New skillset (hand/ fist jamming), hard on the body. Left bruised and bloodied.

Friday
Rest day.

Saturday
Trail run with hill repeats (hiking).


Sunday
Bouldering at Thee Boulder (V4/V5), big ol’ crack. Really did a number on my body, as a carry over from Thursday.


Feature photo by @smellybagofdirt



El Penon de Ifac – Parque Natural de Penyal D’Ifach


What I’m working towards: My objective is to climb the Diedra UBSA in Costa Blanca, Spain in November, an 8 pitch, 5.10a PG13 mostly sport route. This trip and objective is sponsored in part by the American Alpine Club + The North Face’s Live Your Dream grant.

I first came across the Penon d’Ifach, the massive limestone block that emerges from the Balearic Sea, while researching climbing in Spain last year. The striking outcropping has stayed on my mind since.

The grant is designed to help you “level up” your skills in a specific and measurable way. For context, I started climbing more seriously in 2018, and had only done about 30 lead climbs (in the 5.10 range) when I applied. I chose this route because it combines skills I’m keen to develop: Multi-pitch climbing, traditional climbing, anchor building, and endurance (suggested time is 6-9 hours). The goal date allows for six months to incrementally develop my technique and know-how.

So far this year, I’ve: Begun leading on trad, increased time on rock (as opposed to the gym) bouldering/ sport/ trad, practiced anchor building, did one multi-pitch (albeit a short one) and practiced belaying from top.

The longer-term dream is to do big alpine climbs in the Wind River Range.


Goals for June:

  • Days outside: 10
  • Sport leads: 40
  • Trad leads: 5
  • Multi-pitch: 1
  • Grade aim: 5.10+/5.11- sport, 5.6-5.8+ trad, multi-pitch 5.8-5.9 range
  • Focus: Increase experience with leading, push grades a bit (try a few 5.11s), easy multi-pitch routes
  • Stretch goal: Send The Buttermilker (V7)

Progress on June Goals as of 6/30:

  • Days outside: 11
  • Sport leads: 22
  • Trad leads: 2
  • Multi-pitch: 0

Goals for 2019:

  • Lead 5.11c/5.11d comfortably (sport)
  • Climb a 5.12a (sport)
  • Lead 5.8-5.9 trad comfortably
  • Send a V7 outside
  • 100 days of climbing outside
  • Lead 300 routes on real rock

Progress on Year Goals as of 6/30:

  • Lead 5.10+ comfortably (sport)
  • Lead 5.6-5.7 trad comfortably
  • Send V4/V5 outside
  • ~23/100 days of climbing outside
  • ~39/300 lead climbs on real rock



Photo sources: La Marina Plaza

Training Journal – Bouldering (Hammond Pond), Sport Climbing (Rumney), Trail run: 6/17/19 – 6/23/19

Had a lot of fun climbing at Rumney, then a big hiking day (out-and-back to Mt. Washington via the Crawford Path). I’m doing more projecting on hard sport climbs, and beginning to see what my limits are, where I need to focus time and attention in order to improve my climbing.


Monday
Bouldering @ Hammond Pond. This is the closest bouldering to home, so it will probably be my main jam for awhile.

Worked a handful of problems in the V2-V3 range, and easier stuff including some traverses. The puddingstone is a mixture of slick cobblestones which polish easily and sharper crimps. Odd amalgamation.

Tuesday
AM: Trail run.

PM: Chest, shoulders, core exercises.


Wednesday
Bouldering and some easy free solo/ high balls @ Hammond Pond. Fingers weren’t feeling great so the problems I came to do weren’t working out. Moved to easier problems and some 5.3-5.6 crack climbs.

Thursday
Rest day.

Friday
Stretching and foam roller.

Projecting on The Caged


Saturday
Climbing @ Rumney.

7 leads: Arugala Arugala (5.9+), The Maltese Falcon (5.8), Oby-Won Ryobi (5.9+), Yoda (5.9), Milktoast (5.10d), The 5.8 Crack by the Road (5.7, trad), Hippos on Parade (5.8+)

Project: The Caged (5.12d). Was able to get through the first four bolts pretty smoothly, then the crux… Tried 5-6x, wasn’t able to figure it out.

Sunday
Craword Path, out and back up to Mt. Washington. ~16 miles and ~5,000 ft. of elevation. Did it in 9 hours and 20 minutes (with rests), closer to 8 hours of moving time.



El Penon de Ifac – Parque Natural de Penyal D’Ifach


What I’m working towards: My objective is to climb the Diedra UBSA in Costa Blanca, Spain in November, an 8 pitch, 5.10a PG13 mostly sport route. This trip and objective is sponsored in part by the American Alpine Club + The North Face’s Live Your Dream grant.

I first came across the Penon d’Ifach, the massive limestone block that emerges from the Balearic Sea, while researching climbing in Spain last year. The striking outcropping has stayed on my mind since.

The grant is designed to help you “level up” your skills in a specific and measurable way. For context, I started climbing more seriously in 2018, and had only done about 30 lead climbs (in the 5.10 range) when I applied. I chose this route because it combines skills I’m keen to develop: Multi-pitch climbing, traditional climbing, anchor building, and endurance (suggested time is 6-9 hours). The goal date allows for six months to incrementally develop my technique and know-how.

So far this year, I’ve: Begun leading on trad, increased time on rock (as opposed to the gym) bouldering/ sport/ trad, practiced anchor building, did one multi-pitch (albeit a short one) and practiced belaying from top.

The longer-term dream is to do big alpine climbs in the Wind River Range.


Goals for June:

  • Days outside: 10
  • Sport leads: 40
  • Trad leads: 5
  • Multi-pitch: 1
  • Grade aim: 5.10+/5.11- sport, 5.6-5.8+ trad, multi-pitch 5.8-5.9 range
  • Focus: Increase experience with leading, push grades a bit (try a few 5.11s), easy multi-pitch routes
  • Stretch goal: Send The Buttermilker (V7)

Progress on June Goals as of 6/23:

  • Days outside: 9
  • Sport leads: 17
  • Trad leads: 2
  • Multi-pitch: 0

Goals for 2019:

  • Lead 5.11c/5.11d comfortably (sport)
  • Climb a 5.12a (sport)
  • Lead 5.8-5.9 trad comfortably
  • Send a V7 outside
  • 100 days of climbing outside
  • Lead 300 routes on real rock

Progress on Year Goals as of 6/23:

  • Lead 5.10+ comfortably (sport)
  • Lead 5.6-5.7 trad comfortably
  • Send V4/V5 outside
  • ~21/100 days of climbing outside
  • ~34/300 lead climbs on real rock



Photo sources: La Marina Plaza, Rumney photos via @ryan_rezendes

Training Journal – Bouldering (Hammond Pond), Indoor Climbing (BKB, CRG), Trail Run: 6/10/19 – 6/16/19

Only got outside for climbing one day last week (mainly to climb indoors with friends, but I did run one day. It’s too easy for me to slouch in that category. Oh well. The aim is to run 2x per week, climb 3-4x a week going forward.

Monday
Chest, shoulders, core exercises.

Tuesday
Bouldering indoors @ Brooklyn Boulders with a friend who was visiting from China. As we reflected, we realized that we hadn’t seen each other since Nov. of 2017 (yikes)!

1.5h. Worked on a variety of grades mostly in the V4-V6 range. Mainly crimps and overhanging jug hauls.

Wednesday
Top-roping indoors @ Central Rock Watertown.

2h. Range of routes from 5.9-5.12. I noticed/ forgot that much of the route-setting is predicated on reachy moves and odd hand angles (especially in 5.9-5.10- range); felt odd. Props to JK (if I recall correctly), really good setter.

Thursday
Chest, shoulders, core exercises.

Friday
Bouldering @ Webster Conservation Area (Hammond Pond).

Mainly projecting an uber fun problem, the Hermit’s Cave (V4). Starts deep in a cave on big jugs and toe hooks, moves out over a lip and a ledge, throw to a seam, and up to a tricky mantle. I was able to work the moves but couldn’t link it by the end.

Saturday
Trail run and hill repeats (hiking). I’ve been slacking on cardio and running. The aim is to run/ hike 2x/ week, focusing on building leg strength and endurance for elevation.


Sunday
AM: Pull up routine and core exercises.

PM: Chest, shoulders, core exercises.



El Penon de Ifac – Parque Natural de Penyal D’Ifach


What I’m working towards: My objective is to climb the Diedra UBSA in Costa Blanca, Spain in November, an 8 pitch, 5.10a PG13 mostly sport route. This trip and objective is sponsored in part by the American Alpine Club + The North Face’s Live Your Dream grant.

I first came across the Penon d’Ifach, the massive limestone block that emerges from the Balearic Sea, while researching climbing in Spain last year. The striking outcropping has stayed on my mind since.

The grant is designed to help you “level up” your skills in a specific and measurable way. For context, I started climbing more seriously in 2018, and had only done about 30 lead climbs (in the 5.10 range) when I applied. I chose this route because it combines skills I’m keen to develop: Multi-pitch climbing, traditional climbing, anchor building, and endurance (suggested time is 6-9 hours). The goal date allows for six months to incrementally develop my technique and know-how.

So far this year, I’ve: Begun leading on trad, increased time on rock (as opposed to the gym) bouldering/ sport/ trad, practiced anchor building, did one multi-pitch (albeit a short one) and practiced belaying from top.

The longer-term dream is to do big alpine climbs in the Wind River Range.


Goals for June:

  • Days outside: 10
  • Sport leads: 40
  • Trad leads: 5
  • Multi-pitch: 1
  • Grade aim: 5.10+/5.11- sport, 5.6-5.8+ trad, multi-pitch 5.8-5.9 range
  • Focus: Increase experience with leading, push grades a bit (try a few 5.11s), easy multi-pitch routes
  • Stretch goal: Send The Buttermilker (V7)

Progress on June Goals as of 6/16:

  • Days outside: 6
  • Sport leads: 10
  • Trad leads: 1
  • Multi-pitch: 0

Goals for 2019:

  • Lead 5.11c/5.11d comfortably (sport)
  • Climb a 5.12a (sport)
  • Lead 5.8-5.9 trad comfortably
  • Send a V7 outside
  • 100 days of climbing outside
  • Lead 300 routes on real rock

Progress on Year Goals as of 6/16:

  • Lead 5.10a-c comfortably (sport)
  • Lead 5.6-5.7 trad comfortably
  • Send V4/V5 outside
  • ~18/100 days of climbing outside
  • ~22/300 lead climbs on real rock



Photo sources: La Marina Plaza (El Penon de Ifac), the author

Training Journal – Climbing (Rumney), Bouldering (Lynn Woods), Climbing Workouts: 6/3/19 – 6/9/19

Spent the weekend at Rumney. Ahhh, awesome! I sent my second ever 5.11a, projected on some hard boulder problems, and generally feel good with how my climbing is progressing.


Monday
Climbing workout: Chest, shoulders, core exercises.

Tuesday
30 min. of step-ups with ~28# in a backpack.

Wednesday
Bouldering outdoors. Sent Pete’s Problem (V2) and Subway (V3). Worked on Phat Lip (V4)/ Green Haze (V7+), Dean’s Problem (V6), The Buttermilker (V7).

Thursday
Mostly rest day. Pull-ups, scapular pull-ups, leg raises.

Friday
Climbing workout: Chest, shoulders, core exercises.

Saturday
Climbing at Rumney:

  • Sport Lead (7): Oby-Won Ryobi (5.9+), Three Easy Pieces (5.11a), Squall (5.10d), Masterpiece (5.10a), War and Peace (5.9+), Frosted Flakes (5.7+), Victim of Love (5.8+)
  • Trad lead (1): Pee Wee’s Playhouse (5.6, crack variation)
  • Projecting: Bonsai Bulge (5.11c)

Sunday
Climbing at Rumney:

  • Sport Lead (3): Bolt and Run (5.9), Romancing the Stone (5.10c), Only a Crow (5.10b/c)
  • Projecting: Cosmic Monsters (5.12a)



El Penon de Ifac – Parque Natural de Penyal D’Ifach


What I’m working towards: My objective is to climb the Diedra UBSA in Costa Blanca, Spain in November, an 8 pitch, 5.10a PG13 mostly sport route. This trip and objective is sponsored in part by the American Alpine Club + The North Face’s Live Your Dream grant.

I first came across the Penon d’Ifach, the massive limestone block that emerges from the Balearic Sea, while researching climbing in Spain last year. The striking outcropping has stayed on my mind since.

The grant is designed to help you “level up” your skills in a specific and measurable way. For context, I started climbing more seriously in 2018, and had only done about 30 lead climbs (in the 5.10 range) when I applied. I chose this route because it combines skills I’m keen to develop: Multi-pitch climbing, traditional climbing, anchor building, and endurance (suggested time is 6-9 hours). The goal date allows for six months to incrementally develop my technique and know-how.

So far this year, I’ve: Begun leading on trad, increased time on rock (as opposed to the gym) bouldering/ sport/ trad, practiced anchor building, did one multi-pitch (albeit a short one) and practiced belaying from top.

The longer-term dream is to do big alpine climbs in the Wind River Range.


Goals for June:

  • Days outside: 10
  • Sport leads: 40
  • Trad leads: 5
  • Multi-pitch: 1
  • Grade aim: 5.10+/5.11- sport, 5.6-5.8+ trad, multi-pitch 5.8-5.9 range
  • Focus: Increase experience with leading, push grades a bit (try a few 5.11s), easy multi-pitch routes
  • Stretch goal: Send The Buttermilker (V7)

Progress on June Goals as of 6/9:

  • Days outside: 5
  • Sport leads: 10
  • Trad leads: 1
  • Multi-pitch: 0

Goals for 2019:

  • Lead 5.11c/5.11d comfortably (sport)
  • Climb a 5.12a (sport)
  • Lead 5.8-5.9 trad comfortably
  • Send a V7 outside
  • 100 days of climbing outside
  • Lead 300 routes on real rock

Progress on Year Goals as of 6/9:

  • Lead 5.10a-c comfortably (sport)
  • Lead 5.6-5.7 trad comfortably
  • Send V4/V5 outside
  • ~17/100 days of climbing outside
  • ~22/300 lead climbs on real rock



Photo sources: La Marina Plaza, Ladd Raine on MP

Training Journal: 5/27/19 – 6/3/19

Lighter week. I’ve had to do a lot of assignments, and did two days of construction work, which I sort of kinda count as a workout.

Monday
Shoulder exercises, chest, arms, core.

Tuesday
Manual labor.

Wednesday
Manual labor.

Thursday
2 hours of bouldering, a lot of V5s and V6s.

Weighted pull-ups, dips, core, rice bucket work afterwards.

Friday
2 hours top-roping outside. Lower grade stuff, did a boulder problem.

Saturday
Rest day. Mostly walked around.

Sunday
1.5 hours of bouldering outside. Easier problems in the V1-V3 range.

Photo source: Carson Darling on Mountain Project

Training Journal: 5/20/19 – 5/26/19

I was “on assignment” this week at Rumney, NH, where I did more hiking about and taking pictures than climbing (unfortunately). But, it was for a paying gig, so I’ll take it.

Monday
Mostly a rest day. Shoulder exercises, bench, arms, foam roller.

Tuesday
1 hour hike with the dogs and a 42# backpack. I didn’t record the hike, but maybe around 2.5-3 miles in total with a few hundred feet of elevation.

Wednesday
Rest day.

Photo taking at Rumney


Thursday
Short bouldering session at Rumney. Got in late, really buggy, and needed to get to other climbing areas to take photos.

Friday
Short sport climbing session (only did 3 climbs) and a lot of hoofing it up and down Rattlesnake Mountain. Again, for taking photos.

Saturday
Shoulder exercises, bench, arms.

View this post on Instagram

Wasn’t so hot by the saltwater spray.

A post shared by Aaron (@aarongerry) on


Sunday
Bouldering at Rafe’s Chasm in Glouchester, MA. Stunning location, right by the Atlantic. Had it all to myself. Tried a bunch of made-up-ish problems, from traverses to a sketchy jug fest to slabs.

Photo sources: The author