New Years 2013/14:
We were daan saath, that's "down south" for all you non-Pittsburghers, and I can't even remember what we did.. I think we stayed near Horse Pens at a cheap hotel for $150 a week.. Yep that's right all you pussy camping climbers, if you're brave enough to stay near minorities you can have a comfy bed, tv, and a hot shower for less than $10 a day, split it with a few people.
Mike "How to Survive a Free Solo" Steighner managed a proud ascent of Crystal Tips, a heinous V8 slab with a ridiculous reach to the top. The first day I almost quickly dispatched my project for the trip, Slider V9, but had to wait till later in the week for the send. I made this video. https://vimeo.com/88272135 (Apparently Blogger won't let me embed a Vimeo video anymore?? Take it up with them if you don't like clicking on links. Fucking corporate bullshit.)
Spring is probably the best season here in SWPA, some how we always get gipped on our fall season around here. Also half of fall season is hunting season, so that limits a lot. I definitely don't remember what we did in spring 2014 because we're always drunk, but good thing I made this video: https://vimeo.com/101213496
Deep water soloing at Summersville Lake all god damn day looking boy! Well i wish, but we made a few trips. Mike got another better boat, aptly named "The Vision Quest". I did have a Phantom 2 drone to film DWS'n this summer, but a few month's prior the camera stopped working and I had to resell it to recoup any money.. Bummer. But with new drone technology advancing at an exponential rate according to Moore's Law, it wont be long until you can just throw an artificial dragon fly up in the air and it will follow you around autonomously for the entire day. "Did you get that on film bro?" "Yea my Dragon Fly has been up all day nigga!" "Siiiiiiick!, can't wait to watch that shit on our virtual reality headset later!"
This was the first year in my entire six year Summersville DWSing career that we got yelled at by the authorities. Years ago once we were approached by an Army Corps dude (those are the police there) and he said basically that as long as we enter the water facing the cliff we were alright; i.e. climbing as high as you want is fine, but don't top out and legit cliff jump. That's the mind set we've been operating in for years. But now this year we were sternly told that we may not even climb above a height of one's own.. Which really pisses me off, but even worse is that it's a misinterpretation of their own rules. It clearly states that one can not enter the water at a height above one's own, doesn't say anything about climbing higher. And since technically soloing Apollo Reed is as legal as can be, the fact that you're not allowed to get 10 feet above the water on a 5.5 makes my head explode... Suck a fucking dick authority, don't tell me how to live my life! Guess what - we also got piss drunk, smoked tons of weed, and drank hallucinogenic mushroom tea. Prove it. Still handled our business just fine. Back flips from a height about 10 times one's own mutha fuckaaaaaaa!
|The true Captain of The Vision Quest!|
|INTO THE STARM MATEY!|
|Max Payne .12b|
|Mike on a probable project at Rat's Hole|
|Lots'a'potential right there...|
|Chopping Bloc, the hardest .12a in the world.|
|Some bitch doing some dumb shit.|
|Nathaniel showing us up as always and making it a bit further on the Rat's Hole project.|
This past fall has honestly sucked. I hate to be one of those people that say, "We didn't even have a season!", but for real, we didn't have a season. It was one of the wettest falls on record. Almost everyday I would wake up in my Connellsville mansion, only 5 minutes from all the amazing climbing in SWPA, be jealous, and the driveway would be soaking wet. That's usually a good indicator that I'm going to be playing video games and beating off all day. Actually I've been doing a ton of work on the guide books, Coll's Cove is almost ready to print just waiting on the SWPACC to get the parking lot situation figured out. Ohiopyle will come out next, that will be sport and bouldering.
I have a ton of footage and we all managed some hardest sends, but i need to buy new video editing software and that has taken the back burner. If you like my videos and you're rich, all I need is like less than $100, e-mail me.
I got into project mode for a bit and sent the Upper Casparis test piece Silver Toungue V10. It's an overhanging compression line that requires a big span, just up my alley. I was also finally able to send Bhante Pema, now settled at V10.
Since Summer of 2013 actually my left shoulder has been bothering me. It's been up and down, but I was sure I had torn a labrem or rotator cuff. Turns out I talked to Mike's personal trainer, who is also a friend of ours from college, while we were all at Summersville this year and he said that what i probably had was just impingement. That just means the muscles were too fucking jacked to all fit into my body and was the source of several issues. So this November Aubree and I started training with him once a week. Let's just get this straight, I would never ever hire a personal trainer. Anything that could tell me I could just teach myself, right? Not this guy. Mike had me at, "Pete you know how you do research about aliens all day? Well Heinle does research about working out and nutrition all day." "I'm sold" I said. What he does basically is take in information from a bunch of different fields and combine them together in his own package. It mostly deals with bringing the body back to a state of structural perfection, i.e. sitting around on the couch all day isn't going to foster the correct posture and overtime your body will adapt to whatever you do the most. He was able to teach me a set of exercises and techniques that allowed my shoulder to get back into the correct position. Then you can build strength without getting injured. I won't go into detail of what I do because it's Crazy Ape's performance edge. As far as I know not many, if any, professional climbers have access to a trainer with this kind of knowledge. His name is Justin Heinle, this is his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/movement4you It's in his parent's garage so you know it's legit.
New Years 2014/15:
Just got back from daan saath last night, which is one of the reasons I'm psyched enough to do this blog right now. An entire week was spent just before New Years camping and climbing at Rocktown in Georgia. Aubree, myself, Mike, and Nikki were representing. Along for the ride was Josh and Torri, newly added official members of Crazy Ape; also our Yoda, Bob Rentka, was able to make it down for a couple days. Nathaniel is everywhere and nowhere so he showed up sometimes. Newest member Jess and her boyfriend were also there getting thrown into the deep end. We didn't escape the week without some drunken drama, but it was fun regardless of the mostly shitty weather.
My first couple days were the best, quickly dispatching Sherman Photo V7, a tough one for me definitely my anti-style. Then Brown Hole V8 in a few goes and The Tao V8 in a few more. Then the weather took a turn for the worse and we mostly hunkered down at camp for a few days. We headed up to Chattanooga and got a hotel on New Years Eve, and in typical Grinch fashion didn't even do that much partying. I don't need it to be Christmas to give people love and presents, and I don't need a holiday to tell me when to drink...
New Years Day was spent at LRC and we had perfect conditions. Mike was agonizingly close on New Sensations, a crazy V10 party trick back by Biggy Shorty. We got to hang out with a bunch of really cool people, get ready for the name drops, Greg Kurzner, some 17 year old Sam kid who did The Sheild that day, Tyler Wilcut, Rami Annab, Megan Martin, and Jimmy Webb were all sessioning with us on New Sensations. Some of them took a shot of our Yukon Jack, some did not, I'll never tell. Then we ended the day on the golf course, which was closed for golfing that day so don't you dare send me a comment about how I'm not supposed to be out there. It was instant karmic payback however when our fledgling Jess fell from a "height less than one's own" and literally broke her ankle. The Tibia broke clean just before the ankle ligaments; imagine the ball on the outside of your ankle split in half. Luckily this is actually a good thing, because it will heal much faster than a ligament tear. We carried her out and let her boyfriend do all the rest because there was still climbing to be had. Mike and I tried Jimmy Webb's Palm Beach V9, but were unable to piece it together.
Aubree and I stayed for several more days after everyone else had to go home, and got three more days of really good conditions. However we were too beat to get anything epic done. I did get to a high point on Space V8 which has been a line that I hop on at least once a year. Then I surprised myself on how good I did on Dragon Slayer, a crimpy little V11, but no cigar.. I hate cigars.
Since we kind of feel like we got our dicks kicked in this trip, now that we're home it's time to get into training mode. We've been being too lax on our "Heinle training", and like any exercise it requires you to do the work to get results. I'm not drinking ANY alcohol for at least a month, and since we just got a juicer for that baby alien hybrid's birthday I'll be drinking some nasty green shit for breakfast everyday. Follow me on Instagram @petebaertsch or come back next year for another update, ya fucks.