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
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
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.
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.
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.
Big week! Sent my first V8 in the gym, my first V5 outside, and led a 5.8 trad route. Holy cowabunga, spaghetti monster!
Monday 2 hours of bouldering at the gym. Sent my first V8, a slabby balance-fest with a tricky finish. Tried a lot of other crimpy, slabby, pinchy problems. Finished with shoulder exercises, stretching and rice bucket work.
Wednesday Big day! Sent my first V5 outside, and my first project, an arete traverse starting from under a roof, using heel hooks and big reaches to crimps. Real fun.
Thursday Lower impact day. One hour of bouldering outside on “my” project walls: Cleaning lines, trying variations, did about 5 problems.
Friday 30 minutes of step-ups with 42#. Pull-ups, foam roller.
Saturday Big day! Two trad leads, including a 5.8 classic (highest grade yet)! We did a “multi-pitch” and I practiced setting up an anchor with gear and belaying from top. Easy bouldering in the afternoon.
Sunday Big day! Sent a fun V4 classic in Lincoln Woods. Took quite a few burns (8 or 9 attempts, maybe?), then tried my hand at a similar styled V3 on the opposite wall.
Kinda going with the flow here and climbing when I feel like it (generally about every other day), focusing on bouldering and trad (when I can). Mostly being pretty lax, but I am sending harder. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Monday ~2 hrs. bouldering. Focused on harder stuff, v5-v10 (v10 was mostly flailing after a few months), with an emphasis on overhang. Shoulder exercises.
Lighter week. I climbed 3x, 2x outdoors for full days. Haven’t run in a few weeks and step-ups with weight has gone down.
Monday Climbing at Farley! We did a mix of sport and trad climbing. I attempted a bouldery 5.11c and got shut down at the roof/ crux. We did 3x 5.9s and some 5.6ish trad leads.
Tuesday Short ~2.5 mile walk in the woods with dogs, carrying #42 on my back. Not too strenuous.
Wednesday Rest day. Stretching and foam roller.
Thursday ~1.5 hrs. of bouldering indoors, doing mock pro placements. This involved a lot of hanging and “placing” gear, with the aim of getting more accustomed to the longer time it takes to put in pro. Shoulder exercises.
Friday Rest day. Walk in the woods with the dogs.
Saturday Climbing at Rumney! It was my first time at New England’s sport mecca. It was a bit wet so our options were limited. We did some easier warmups (after trying a route that was dry, and ended up being a 12.c, i.e., we barely got off the ground), did a longer slabby trad route, a bunch of 9s and some 10s.
Sunday Rest day. Walked in the woods, explored some boulders. Did some easy problems, maybe V1. Stretching and foam roller.