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

Training Journal: 5/13/19 – 5/19/19

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.

Tuesday
Rest day. Pull-ups, one-armed hangs, foam roller.

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.

Intertwine (5.8 trad) at Crow Hill in Leominster, MA


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.

Photo sources: The author

Training Journal: 5/6/19 – 5/12/19

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.

Tuesday
Rest day. Pull-ups, one-armed hangs, foam roller.

Wednesday
Rest day. Casual walk in the woods with the dogs, ~3 miles.

I call it, “Nonamenclature” (v2+)


Thursday
Started exploring some boulders/ small cliffs in town. They are dirty but climbable (and probably have been climbed before). Began cleaning and climbing some lines. A little fun hobby.

1.5h of bouldering.

Friday
40 min. of step-ups with 42#.

Map of Lincoln Woods bouldering areas. Photo source: Mountain Project


Saturday
Bouldering at Lincoln Woods. Sent the fun Peace Dove (v3) and the classic The Wave (v2). Really digging bouldering more and more.

Sunday
Rest day. Foam roller, stretching.

Photo sources: The author (unless otherwise noted)

Training Journal: 4/29/19 – 5/5/19

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.

Photo source: The author