Jnster: the story of an outdoors enthusiast in NYC and wherever he wanders...

Monday, November 27, 2006

Last climb of the season

Yesterday was the last day of this looong thanksgiving weekend.
Jenny and Richard invited us for a traditional dinner! Delicious and very well organized!

Then, after my miserable failure at Best Buy on friday morning (I should have woken up at 3am, not 5am if I had really wanted to get that 19" LCD monitor!), we went to a great uptown jazz club on friday (the real Harlem experience at 149th st), I strolled thru Manhattan with Loris on saturday (Elise and Loris made pictures, I'll publish some soon if I keep a steady Internet connection at home).

On sunday, I went to the Gunks with Tom for what is probably the last climb of the year.
The days are so short at this time of year, it is really discouraging! At 2pm, light started to fade. At 3.30 it was almost dark and by 5pm it was pitch black!
We only had time to climb 2 double pitch climbs: I had half and Tom did the other half. Trad Leading is always an adventure itself. Even when the climb is relatively easy, it is nerve racking because you really want to avoid falling and need to keep focused on finding the right spots to place protection. Quite the opposite of indoor sport climbing in fact. Speaking of sport climbing, on wednesday, Richard and I went to Chelsea Piers for the first time ever to try the climbing wall. It is rather impressive, actually even higher than Mur Mur in Lyon, and has more challenging roofs I think (more long sections of horizontal climbing). The climbing was quite athletic and really killed my arms. I would like to try to go again, but the regular pass is an outrageous $50! I'll try to get more of these free tryout daily passes or guest passes.
Now, winter is coming, so for me it will off season for running and outdoor climbing...

At least I can still read books: I'm now in the middle of Over The Edge, the true story of 4 American climbers kidnapped by terrorists in Kyrgystan in 2000. This is a fascinating story, very well written in my opinion, and even more captivating for me since 2 of the climbers are Beth Rodden and Tommy Caldwell!

Labels: ,

un petit peu de soutien

En vrac:
- un petit coup de pouce a Nicolas Hulot, ca ne peut pas faire de mal a notre planete...

Signez le Pacte écologique!

- My former colleague opened a hip restaurant in the East Village. It's all about Mac&Cheese. Check out Smac's!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Trip to the Southeast

During the renovation work at the apartment, we were able to
make a short trip to the Southeast. Elise has a congress in
Atlanta, and I was able to join her after the event to go
climbing in Tennessee with her and Richard.

That was my first time in the South, and I was able to taste
the famous Waffle House food. Very greasy, as expected, even
more than expected actually. But when you're real hungry,
there's nothing like it ;-)

Richard's mum and stepdad kindly hosted us for two nights and
even took her on their boat to a restaurant for lunch. Pretty

The weather around Chattanooga was pretty bad for 2 days, it
was really pouring rain, then really cold and foggy. Overall,
not much climbing was done even though we were so close to so
many crags :-(Still, I manage to do my first 5.8 trad lead, in a beautiful
crack. Very scary, like each time you go up one level. I
learned to trust my placements!

On the 3rd day, the weather turned sunny and warm, and we
were able to head to Foster Falls, TN, which was hosting a
climbing festival for the day.I was able to lead a couple of sport 5.9s, and handogged on a
5.10b. In general, nothing too hard for the day, but Richard
let me lead almost everything, which made me focus and commit
on all lines.

The highlight was the evening, with Tommy Caldwell and Beth
as guest stars. I guess not many of my blog readers
know them: they are basically climbing living legends:
probably the current 2 best American climbers.I was so excited to meet them and speak to them!

They look
like normal people and they accomplished so many exploits,
like climbing the Nose free!They showed us a slideshow and a video of there recent
ascensions in Yosemite. That was really inspiring. On the
close up videos, we could see Tommy Caldwell in the crux
sections of the nose: he was definitely suffering. If you
thought climbing 5.14 was easy and painless for the elite,
think again!