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    Notes and advice from Sean McColl.

Home from Hueco

I’m not finished my little road trip to Hueco Tanks. It started with ABS Nationals at the end of February where I finished 7th place, missing finals by one place, and by one hold as well. Finals results are in PDF by clicking here. That’s just the way it is, and I had a great time in Hueco. This is a shot on the last boulder I did in Hueco Tanks called Bloodline, V7. We knew about it for about a week before we went on a little mission around North Mountain to find it. [singlepic id=322 w=500 h=240 float=center]   Over the two and a half weeks in Hueco, I managed to complete a personal best at Hueco tanks. The following list represents the boulders that I hadn’t done before:
  • Nagual V13 (flash)
  • Terre De Sienne V13
  • Flamignon V13
  • Crown Royale V13
  • Diabolique V13
  • The Brown Smurf V13
  • Just Another Tequila Sunrise V12 (flash)
  • The Fist V11 (flash)
  • Subzero V11 (flash)
  • Between The Sheep V11
  • Crimping Christ On The Cross V10 (flash)
  • Flower Power V10 (flash)
I also repeated as many boulders I could get my hands on. Mostly V11’s and 12’s in preparation for the rodeo. During the rodeo, if you haven’t seen my video, go check it out HERE. I had an 81 point day in 7 problems. The rodeo was top 6, and I finished a very respectable 3rd behind Jorg Verhoeven and Daniel Woods. [singlepic id=323 w=350 h=240 float=center]   Next on my list is a training camp this weekend, which I’ll be blogging about, and then French Boulder Nationals next weekend! Check back in for stories and what I’ve been doing in preparation for those as well.  

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Hueco Rock Rodeo Video!

I’ve finally completed my Hueco Rock Rodeo video for 2012. It is my first video while editing with sound, multiple problems, and a real video editor. I used to use Window Movie Maker, but I’m now using Adobe Premiere Pro, so this first video was a struggle to say the least. Let me know what you guys think, you can comment on this post, or on the youtube video as well! Enjoy. This video took me many rest days hours to put together. It’s no Hollywood production and I welcome positive criticism.

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Flashing Nagual V13

As I said in my other post, this one will be exclusively about Nagual. If you haven’t read my last post, you can find it HERE. Jorg wanted to try Nagual so as he was setting up the pads, I grabbed my camera and set up a few things before he started. I barely had time to adjust my settings then snapped a few picture are I watched him casually float his way up the climb. I was astounded, and it set off a sort of drive inside of me. Whenever I had been at the boulder before, I had never wanted to try it. I’m not sure if it was out of fear, temperatures, or just anxiety. Watching Jorg just piss on the boulder made something click inside of me, and I was instantly motivated. I started getting ready to give it my flash go by setting up my camera and just trying to get the blood going. I knew all the beta, but I got Jorg to refresh every move anyways. Slowly we went through move by move. Not just the hands, but the feet as well. I had known more or less for a long time the hand sequence and the feet were very intriguing to me. Jorg gave me full beta and I did my best to memorize it. The beta made sense and there was nothing too weird or crazy about it. Small holds, big moves, decent feet, HARD. I put on liquid chalk and could feel the moisture leaving them. I knew the temperatures were good enough as Jorg had just repeated the problem. I also knew that the sun wasn’t too annoying again because Jorg had just done it. The atmosphere was cool, just Jorg, Katha and a couple more guides were there. I chalked up and grabbed the start holds. I was standing on the boulder while putting my left foot on and as my right foot slid down the pad. I knew there was no turning back and I brought my right foot onto the wall. Almost instantly I was pulling the first move. It was bigger than I had anticipated, but I knew the next hold was the biggest on the boulder. I grabbed it good, and brought my right hand up on the starting hold. My right foot was next as I brought it up to the starting hold. This next move was just a big lock off to a small crimp. I did the move quickly and grabbed the crimp pretty good. I didn’t even need to adjust it as I started to bear down on the hold in a full crimp position. I knew this move was going to be the first crux move and the hold felt good. I brought my left foot over my right foot and did the stem out right with my foot. I flagged my left foot under my right briefly while bringing my left hand into the intermediate. The next move was the biggest on the route and I knew my foot had to go on the previous hold. I brought it up quickly and started engaging with my right hand. It seemed far at first, but the move was easier than I thought it would be. I could feel that the move was hard, but I felt like this next move was going to be harder. The foothold felt pretty low now and I knew I had to stem out left. Regardless, I matched feet and started stretching my left foot towards the foothold. As I was stretching it out left, I remembered Jorg telling me to use the middle foothold and not the lowest one. I pulled up the foot a bit and got ready to bring my right hand into the shoulder gaston hold beside my left. I knew it was important to keep my feet on for this move. I did the move pretty well, and even grabbed the hold a bit high before adjusting it to the right spot. The next move going left hand into the other shoulder gaston and keeping my feet on for as long as possible. I tried to keep my body as tight as possible while bringing up my left hand, and I could feel the left hand hold and get it decently well before I felt my right foot start to leave the wall. I knew a very difficult swing was coming so I tensed up as hard as I could. Although I’m always inside my own head while I’m climbing, throughout this climb, I could constantly hear Jorg’s voice giving me the running beta. Even if I knew the moves by heart, having someone repeat them while you’re climbing it is marvelous. On the swing out, I could hear Jorg and Katha cheering me on, hoping I wouldn’t fall. On the swing out, I knew that if I could swing out and swing back in the put my right foot high on the foothold, I could probably complete the flash. I swung out, and as I was swinging back in, my mind was trying to find the footholds to stab. I stabbed left to pretty much nothing to stop my swing and right directly on the slopey foothold. I remember thinking to myself at this moment that I didn’t think I could move off my right hand. I was actually thinking one move too far, because my next move was with the right hand. As I remembered that, I was getting confident that I was going to flash the boulder. As I moved up into the last crimp, I let out a little roar. I could feel it coming, and it was almost instinctual. I thought about bringing my foot up to the last spike, but then re adjusted my right hand to get the hold perfectly. As I put my left foot on the spike and went left to the “victory jug”, I knew I was doing it, flashing it. I let out another little road, and almost started laughing. I knew I had done it, and I didn’t know what to think. I grabbed the arête with my right hand and felt so good that I campused matched and quickly climbed up the easy mantle. After seeing the climb 5 years ago, and knowing that one day, I’d have to give it my first go, I had finally done it and it had paid off. I had flashed V13 and my hardest to date. The feeling was overwhelming and even now, half a week later, I still get sweaty palms and an increased heart rate while thinking about it. I owe my flash to Jorg Verhoeven who coached me before, and during my flash. He gave me the inspiration to attempt the boulder and never doubted it for a second. Thanks Jorg, I owe you one!! I also got the ascent on video and I’m working on a Hueco Rock Rodeo video with my whole day excluding Subzero. I’m glad I have video of this flash as it means quite a lot to me. It’s a new step in my climbing career and I hope there will be more to come!  

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