Gretna Session

I made it out Gretna for a short, hot and humid Bouldering Session Sunday afternoon. Not exactly ideal Pennsylvania Bouldering conditions, but I was out pulling on real rock, so I can't complain. Even though I was only out for ~4ish hours, I'm pretty stoked about a pseudo-project that I finally sent. Thankfully (sort of), gravity does still work, because I haven't sent any of my hard projects yet. Here's a quick recap of the high and low lights.

The updated Mt Gretna Bouldering Guidebook that was supposed to be in stock by January (last time I went there)? Not out yet. I'm not complaining, because there's a lot of hard work that goes into making the guidebook, and I really appreciate the guys who do it. Ok, I'm complaining a little. But only because I'm stoked.

I hopped back on the delicate, slabby, Scarlet Lady--a problem I sent the first time I visited Gretna for the Bouldering competition--and bailed right on slightly scary high-ballish moves on the top out. I don't recall whether I went right at 1.5 years ago, but I've got a lingering hunch I did. Head games are tough.

6 months ago, I saw people work on  Exhibit A for the first time. 5 months ago I tried it. And, today, I fell of the start. A lot. I pretty much spent 45 minutes trying to get established on the boulder, and succeeded maybe once. A little frustrating because I did stick the first move (once) in the first session I spent working the problem. Not too bummed though, because I didn't injure myself and I did realize how dynamic and precise I have to be to actually establish myself on the route.

7 months ago, I went to Gretna without a guidebook (just my memory) looking for a Gretna classic, Shamoo (a V5). 7 months ago--on that very same trip--I found a problem that I thought was Shamoo, and got thoroughly shut down. These are the sort of problems you have without a guidebook or a smart phone. The route was Modern Zen (V8)... and I was able to establish myself on the first move, but not make it much farther. Correction: I was able to get on the first move, but had no idea what to do next. Good new for people who love bad news: Nothing's changed! I spent about 15 minutes cluelessly staring at the route, half-heartedly gave it a few burns (its tough with zero psych, no beta, and no spotter), and gave up. I did look up some online video beta after the session though, and there's a slim chance I might be able to make progress on it in the future.

1.5 years ago, I probably sent my first outdoor V6: Josh in the Box (probably because I'm not sure the route is actually a V6). 7 months ago, I tried the route again and got shut down, in the process injuring a hamstring which to date I don't feel like I've fully healed yet. Naturally, I had to try it again. I'm not going to lie--it went pretty well--and with the exception of some awkward (but neither painful nor harmful) knee noises--I sent it without any problems. Surprisingly it felt easy (not demeaning my accomplishment or anything--but if you're tall, you can pretty much skip the hardest move). I figured I should try the V8 route (The Box), which starts front the same holds (Josh in the Box goes left, The Box goes right).... and I got shut down. Getting off the ground was easy, making the first move was not.

1.5 years ago, on my first trip out to Gretna (for the 2013 Bouldering Competition (rad--go if you get the chance)), at the end of the day, I hopped on a long, compression-ey, dynamic roof problem tucked away in the corner of the Shamoo area (Bashista Yo Sista). First burn, I made it to the lip, but couldn't figure out the top out... and I hadn't been able to match that since. I tried it again 7 months ago, but could get the start or the top out. Well, I tried it today, and sent it. I'm pretty stoked about it, and now a week later, a little bummed that its no longer a "project" for me. I say "project" because I worked it for three pseudo sessions really, and while I thought the route was really fun, I always left disappointed that I wasn't able to send (there never was a shutdown move on it, I just couldn't figure out the topout sequence). Regardless, I'm stoked. And even more stoked about capturing the send on video (yay smartphones! I know, boo filming in portrait mode!):

In my humble opinion, this is one of Gretna's most fun problems: you *have* to try if you're there. Lots of fun dynamic movement. Oh, and (beta alert) a knee bar which I completely missed.

Long story short? Fun session. Most my projects remain projects. And Bouldering is still awesome.


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