Our sponsors have come through with some amazing donated items for the live auction Saturday night! If you like ropes, draws, packs, duffles, shoes, and headlamps, this is the auction for you. Bring your clams, shillings, or buttons to get in on this huge gear give-away! All proceeds benefit the American Alpine Club and NRAC.
We are psyched to have a lot of love from the following companies:
If you know anything about me at all, you probably know that since we wrapped the 2013 Homoclimbtastic Convention last July, I have been swimming in a pool of bow ties. As much as I despise the word “literally,” I would use it here to emphasize the point and sound more hip and trendy–but no. I’m no Rachel Zoe. Not even close.
Aside from bow ties, Homoclimbtastic is a cause near and dear to my heart, and to the hearts of countless others. Everybody who works for Homoclimbtastic has a real live day job (or night job, or both, depends on what they’re into), and we all use the time we have left over to work and plan this great big homo-ho-down in the gorge every summer. It’s a labor of love, and the reward is SO gratifying regardless of the lack of paychecks. So for me, whilst in the throes of bow tie fabrics, patterns, websites, buyers, and inventories, Homoclimbtastic planning crept slowly into the present. No lie, July seems really far away when it’s October. With a dedicated team of planners and volunteers and phone calls out the wazoo over the past few months, the registration is finally open for this year’s convention. Remember that little tiny note that hit the Facebooks with some dates on it back in November? November.. that was ages ago, right? Yeah, that note was tiny, I know. Well anyway, those dates stuck (not so surprisingly, it has been that same weekend for like, four years). If you missed it, it’s JULY 16-20, 2014. That’s a Wednesday thru a Sunday. To optimize your climbing time with the big group, you’ll want to arrive sometime on Wednesday and plan to leave sometime on Monday. If you’re adventurous and really super excited to be in West Virginia, plan to come early or stay late… we don’t mind, and we love it when people are really into it and the energy is super high all the way through the convention. Just don’t burn out before everybody starts climbing on Thursday! If you plan to stretch your trip out, remember that other groups may be on the campground or may have cabins reserved before and/or after our official dates– that’s Nancy’s call– but it’s all us from Wednesday thru Sunday.
So what’s happening this year? Well, we have a whole lot of options to consider, and some more phone calls, emails, letters, carrier pigeons, etc to send, but as soon as more things are nailed down, we’ll broadcast to the interwebs for everybody to see. We know for sure that The American Alpine Club will be joining us again this year (yay!) and we’ll be doing another auction of some super cool sponsored gear and stuff… you won’t want to miss that. It’s going to be a little different this year, though; the auction will be a smaller part of our overall evening entertainment, and you should prepare to be entertained. Porsche Ferrari will be joining us again this year– when she starts her engines, she’ll drag the house down. Literally? No. Well, maybe in drag-speak. Not going there.
Cantrell’s is our host again this year, and they couldn’t be happier to have us back. Every time I talk to Nancy on the phone, it’s an outpouring of love that can’t be matched. Their campground is more than just a venue for our little gathering, it is our home away from home for five hot summer days. It is the South, after all. When Richie, Nancy, Jessie and the gang are around, it’s like we’re all at home and they’re our family.
If you forgot some gear, or it got lost on your flight out, or you never had it in the first place but want it so bad you can taste it, WaterStone Outdoors is our local go-to for everything you could possibly want from gear to raincoats to socks. Check them out on Facebook, too, they would love to be your friend.
So for now, get to that registration page, register, and email me if you want to get on the cabin list.
< that’s me.. the one in the bow tie.
Come back to the website often for updates on all things Homoclimbtastic Convention (yes, they will happen from time to time)! As always, check out the Facebook page and group to learn more about Homoclimbtastic, other LGBT rock climbing organizations, and rock climbing in general.
NOW GO REGISTER FOR HC2014!
Well folks, it’s time to get this show on the road! See the information below to ensure the best possible experience at Homoclimbtastic 2013! I advise you to print this for easy reference.
8AM – 8PM Check-In with Chris at Cantrell’s in Fayetteville
Go climb if you arrive early
Dinner OYO – Support Local Business!
Campsite Mix & Mingle
8AM Breakfast at Cantrell’s
8:45AM Welcome and Morning Announcements
9AM – 6PM Climbing
8PM Pies and Pints Pizza Night
8AM Breakfast at Cantrell’s
8:45AM Morning Announcements and Ice-Breakers
9AM – 6PM Climbing
9AM – 1PM Whitewater Rafting
7PM Dinner OYO or at Cantrell’s Pub
8PM Homoclimbtastic Documentary Screening: Climbing With Pride
Campsite Games and Comedy Show
8AM Breakfast at Cantrell’s
8:45AM Morning Announcements
9AM – 6PM Climbing at Summersville
7PM Dinner OYO – Support Local Business!
8PM Presentation by Lisa Hummel for American Alpine Club
HC/AAC/NRAC Auction with Hostess, Porsche Ferrari
Dance Party all night at the Bar
9AM Picnic Brunch at City Hall: Downtown Fayetteville
Announcements and Group Photo
10AM Pack and Depart
Checking in with Chris upon your arrival is important. Please do not neglect this.
Times listed on this itinerary are tentative, but please make every effort to be ON TIME to the evening events: Pies and Pints, documentary screening, and the auction. Direct from the crag or showered and clean, nobody cares one way or another. Just show up.
Morning announcements can save you lots of headache. Show up on time and listen closely. This is where we will, more-or-less, determine what groups are going to what crags for the day.
Breakfast is provided by Nancy at Cantrell’s for $9 daily.
Saturday’s climbing destination is Summersville for fun group time. Every other climbing destination is yours to pick. Find a group going somewhere fun and hit the trails.
Whitewater rafting is $70. Actual departure and return time may vary from this itinerary.
Cantrell’s and Homoclimbtastic now take PLASTIC! That means you can bring your credit/debit card to pay for various sundries at the campsite and at the big auction. Three cheers! Hooray!
Support local business while you’re visiting Fayetteville. This town does a lot for us, so let’s do our part to make that support reciprocal.
Pay what you owe. Do not assume that things are free. Camping, lodging, food and rafting are the major expenses you should expect during the trip. You’ll want to bring extra for auction items!
Get to know, and exchange telephone numbers with the person driving you to and from the crag. Carpools might take a piece of advice and STICK TOGETHER so nobody gets left behind. Confirm and re-confirm carpool changes. Nobody wants to be left at the crag in the rain all night with no food or water. That would suck.
It might rain. Plan accordingly. There are climbing areas that are always dry and areas that dry quickly… do some research or pay attention at morning announcements.
Homoclimbtastic leaders are NOT climbing instructors. Know what you’re doing or be sure you’re hanging out with someone who does.
Introduce yourself to new people! There are over 150 registered climbers for this year’s event; make new friends… these new friendships can be amazing!
BE SAFE! Wear a helmet when climbing, check and double-check your gear, wear a PFD when rafting, don’t play with poisonous snakes on the approach, use protection between the sheets etc, etc… remember that we’re doing potentially dangerous activities, so use common sense.
Relax. Breathe. Enjoy. The schedule might vary a little—sometimes a lot. Climbing trips aren’t perfect. Enjoy your vacation and leave the stress behind!
WHAT TO BRING
(hardware: ‘biners, draws, belay devices, etc; software: harness, rope, shoes, slings, etc; bring what you know you need and everything else just in case)
(this one is mega important because there can be falling rocks at the new—stay safe)
rafting gear including good shoes for whitewater rafting… loose shoes and sandals get lost
campers need camping gear… be prepared for rain!
cabin people need linens or camp sleep gear
(contrary to popular belief, we do not always run around nekkid in the south… it may be encouraged in some situations, but it is not always appropriate)
(the bathhouse is centrally located on campground property)
rafts and pool/lake floatation toys
picnic supplies (blankets, quilts, baskets, pillows, etc) for our sunday picnic brunch: think “mini pride picnic brunch in the park”…really try to go all out for this
money for: lodging, food, auction, rafting, shopping at waterstone, groceries
friendly donations to homoclimbtastic are generously accepted
items for talent/comedy show
anything and everything else you can possibly think of
Looking forward to a great trip! Safe travels, everybody… see you there!!
Attention all climbers! You’ve got ONE week until the most badass international LGBT rock climbing convention ever!!
Here are some things you can expect at this year’s event:
– Shirtless hotties
– World-class rock climbing
– Climbing gear auction
– Whitewater rafting
– Sarcasm and new inside jokes
– American Apline Club realness
– Amazing food
– Private screening of our documentary “Climbing With Pride”
– More shirtless hotties
– Climbing commoroderie
– Summersville Lake swimming and blow-up alligator ‘rasslin
– Porsche Ferrari, Denver’s hottest drag queen
– Sunday brunch picnic in the square
– Visits from Waterstone’s pride parade sponsors
– Climbing harness bulges
– Fayetteville’s favorite “temporary” gay bar
– Even more shirtless hotties
– and more and more and more…
PS: there are some new cabin spots available (ahhhhh, air conditioning)… email firstname.lastname@example.org for details– but you’d better hurry!
It’s been an epic last few days for us United States of Americans. Our Supreme Court decided to kick discrimination to the curb, Water Stone Outdoors released the most epic HomoClimbtastic convention promo video ever (evarrrrr!) and we have more sponsors and bigger gear than we’ve had before.
You’ve probably heard enough about the Supreme Court. What you haven’t heard enough of us is about Water Stone Outdoors, which has produced the most epic promo video ever:
I can’t help but enjoy the photos, which are just as fun:
It appears that there are two parades, a prop plane, a skydiving sock monkey, and enough badassery to make me jealously wonder if the creation of the promo video for the convention is yet more ostentatious than the convention itself, heretofore something I thought unpossible. We had a drag queen with stilts, and they brought in stilts AND A SKYDIVING SOCK MONKEY AND PROP PLANE.
We will not be able to compete with this, because, for the foreseeable future, HomoClimbtastic does not own a plane. Apparently you can ride the plane if you contact Wild Blue Adventure Company, although I don’t know how you convince them to let you put on a sockmonkey suit and jump out of it in midair. Though clearly, it can be negotiated.
We also have a great many sponsors this year, and I get to announce which climbing equipment companies loves you the most (well, we can’t say for sure, because we haven’t opened the Trango box yet) but BlueWater Ropes operating out of my wonderful home state of Georgia sent us TWO climbing ropes, as did STERLING ROPE COMPANY, which is not based out of Georgia, but I suppose I can forgive them for that, because I like Maine.
So if you need a rope, attend the Saturday night HomoClimbtastic auction at Cantrell’s in Fayetteville, West Virginia on July 20, 2013 and buy one while you enjoy drinks! Climb with it the following day!
ClimbTech is sponsoring and sending an actual live climbing human, Ann Raber, along with unknown quantities of swag.
ClimbTech is out of Austin, Texas. Will any platinum sponsors appear to redeem the west coast?
What’s that? Why it’s… FREE SHAMMIES FROM CALIFORNIA. Evolv is sending us more gift certificates for any damn pair of shoes you want to use them for, which basically means, “you better get some shammies or Alex Rowland will not respect you.”
I just blew mine out last week, after having the shoe repair guy bring them back from the dead twice, because I was so insistent on wearing the shoe that finally allowed a heel hook that I sized three sizes down and endured pain for two weeks that rivaled that time I got a hole in my intestinal lining. Now that the shoes are irrevocably dead, I’m going to have to break in another pair.
We have more sponsors, but I am going to do a second post about them shortly (we’re still opening boxes).
What I want to cover now is that climbing companies sponsoring us is a big deal. I’ve harped on this already, but we still live in a country where same-sex marriage is not recognized in 37 states, and companies can sponsor a lot of other things instead. It’s a recognition that we have a long way to go and they’re willing to cut into the profit margin to help.
Or, in some cases, organize an entire West Virginia town.
This post is a bit long, but I hope it’s helpful as a set of reference points and suggestions for training. Since we’re about 10 weeks out from HC 2013 (and you wanna crush that shit), you have the perfect amount of time for a typical climbing training cycle.
First, some inspiring eye candy:
5:30 is nuts.
To begin, you should figure out what your goals are and the specific kind of climbing you want to train for. Since we’re talking about the New, it’s sport and trad, single pitch, generally technical face climbing on vertical to overhanging rock. Pitches vary from 50-100 feet and require endurance to fight the pump, good footwork, and often bouldery crux sequences. Here are some thoughts for training in 10 weeks:
4 WEEKS OF ENDURANCE — this is your base
3 WEEKS OF STRENGTH — this gets you through the cruxes
2 WEEKS OF POWER ENDURANCE — gets you through the crux while pumped
1 WEEK OF REST
I base this on Eric Horst’s excellent training cycles, which you can learn about on his website or through his numerous publications, like Conditioning for Climbing. I also strongly recommend Dan Hague and Douglas Hunter’s book, The Self-Coached Climber, which gives all the science behind climbing and a great set of training tools.
ENDURANCE (4 weeks, although can be shortened if you have a solid base and you want to train more power endurance):
The long-term idea is to build capillaries to remove lactic acid as efficiently as possible from the muscles (the cause of the pump). The training is called “Aerobic Restoration and Capillary” (ARC) and consists of climbing for as long as possible without being (fully) pumped. The idea is to increase your “anaerobic threshold” in your forearms, meaning the time you can rely on your aerobic system before your anaerobic system kicks in and you get wildly pumped. Endurance training should focus almost exclusively on forearms, which tend to be the first thing to fail. The training: 3-4x/week of continuous, low-intensity training starting at 15 minutes and gradually going up to 45 minutes (or more) by week 4.
Endurance training is generally boring and easy to overlook, because you want to climb harder and work on that V6+ boulder problem or that awesome 5.12+ or whatever. Instead, for endurance, you want to climb at least 2-3 grades BELOW what you comfortably climb normally. And you climb with little rest or pause. I bring my Ipod, because it gets boring.
The training: TRAVERSE your entire gym. If this is hard, traverse only the vertical parts and use the biggest holds you can find. If 15 minutes of continuous climbing is hard, start with 10 minutes. MOVE SLOWLY. It should be precise — you should work on climbing technique, proper use of foot holds and hand holds — no lunging, no out-of-control movements… everything is totally relaxed and balanced. keep your arms straight, move up and down on the wall, focus on turning and flagging, keep your weight on your feet (not on your hands). If you don’t want to traverse and you have a partner or auto-belay, rope up and climb 2-3 FULL GRADES below what you comfortably redpoint. If you normally climb 5.11, you are now climbing 5.8 and 5.9. You can TR or lead, but need to go up and DOWN-CLIMB and then go right back up and right back down. Try to rest on the wall, shake out, recover at the jugs, find stances to relax, BUT DON’T COME OFF THE WALL. After your session (say, 15 minutes), rest for 10 or 15 minutes and do it again. You can do this work-out 3-4x/week (every other day) because it’s not especially taxing or strenuous. By the end of four weeks, you should see noticeable differences in your endurance — possibly even able to climb for 30-45 minutes without coming off the wall. If this workout is easy already, up the difficulty and avoid all jugs or focus primarily in the overhang portion of your gym.
You should aim for about 1.5 hours of endurance training (including the rests). After that, if you feel warmed up, climb some harder routes, boulder a bit (maybe do mini-pyramids — see “power endurance” below), or do pull-ups and push-ups (for antagonist muscle training). On non-climbing days, integrate 30-45 minutes of cross-training, such as running, swimming, biking or whatever you like.
Keep a log book for each day and mark how long your endurance training lasted — you can then keep track of your gains and monitor your progress.
STRENGTH (3 weeks):
This goal is simple: get stronger. This is also the riskiest part of your training regiment because you don’t want to hurt yourself by tweaking a finger pulley or getting a shoulder injury. Unless you have been climbing for YEARS, I would AVOID the campus-board entirely and only consider moderate use of a finger or hang-board. Muscles get stronger much faster than tendons and the risk of injury is very high when you are taxing your body at or near its limit. You want to thoroughly warm-up for all strength training exercises and plan your program based on your years of climbing. I started climbing in 1998, and just started doing campus training this past year. I need to rest for two days after an intense campus session. I would not recommend it for anyone who has been climbing for less than 2 or 3 years.
To determine your strength training plan, you need to assess where you currently are. What level bouldering do you comfortably onsight? V1 or V4 or V6? If it’s higher than V6, you obviously know more than me and should make videos (see above). I focus strength training almost entirely on bouldering because here you can really focus on a combination of power and technique in short bursts of energy. Rope climbing is not ideal for this portion of training (but it can be for power endurance, see below).
The idea is to climb hard, up to and at your bouldering limit. And then to push through that limit to the next level. Let’s say you generally struggle on V4. I would warm-up in the bouldering area on 8-10 problems, generally V0-V2. Since you just came off 4 weeks of endurance training, 10 problems should be easy for a warm-up. Now, stretch, rest, chill out for about 10 or 15 minutes, until the pump is entirely gone and you arms feel warm and relaxed. Start hammering the hard stuff: V3 and V4 and maybe even a few V5s. Even if you can only do a couple of moves, start working them. The idea is to climb at your limit and start piecing the problems together. It can be frustrating since progress may only come by inching closer to the next hold and then falling. Take frequent rests. The point is not to get pumped but to climb hard at your limit, while staying as fresh as possible. These bouldering work-outs easily take 2-3 hours, with frequent rests. If you feel any pain (in fingers, in joints), take a rest and don’t keep pushing it. Some climbing holds are very injurious to the pulleys, and you don’t want to hurt yourself 5 weeks out.
Again, keep a log book of the problems you worked and were successful (and unsuccessful at). If you have been climbing for a couple of years and are thoroughly warmed up, you may consider a hang-board session. The idea is quite simple: you just hang (arms slightly bent) from different grips on the hang-board. I find this tedious, personally, but many people swear by it. “Rock Prodigy” has a good hang-board work-out (as well as a ton of insightful stuff to say about training for climbing). During my strength phase, I use the campus board about once or twice a week, but again, I only recommend that for climbers who have been climbing strong for years and can comfortably do V5+. There are lots of good campus training videos online. This is one of my favorites (and daunting)! There are plenty of other strength training exercises you can do (take a look at the videos above for some ideas or Eric Horst’s Conditioning for Climbing book), such as frenchies on the hang-board, uneven pull-ups, etc. I like to focus on lock-off strength and do this either on campus board or on a gently over-hanging part of the gym: try to hold the lock-off for about 10-20 seconds and go up as high as you can. Vary the holds you use (both for the lock-off hand and the feet) to change the difficulty.
Finally, keep up the cross-training (running, swimming, biking, or whatever) and do some core training of stabilization muscles as well as antagonist muscles (ie, reverse curls for forearms, push-ups for lats).
POWER ENDURANCE (2 weeks, although can be extended if you swap out with ‘endurance’)
This is the last part of your training cycle and combines the first two phases: endurance meets strength. I tend to extend this part of my training longer than two weeks (and cut the strict endurance phase in half), but in the 10 week cycle, you only get two weeks. You could easily swap a week or two of endurance for more power endurance, if you already have a good endurance base. In any case, for power endurance, you want to try to get 3 workouts per week. I tend to favor more bouldering, but you may want to focus on lead climbing in the last couple of sessions for the sake of your mental game. After all, the New is all lead (or TR if someone else sets it up) and the mental challenge of leading can be daunting if you’ve only been bouldering the past 10 weeks.
Most people favor the 4×4 as the gold standard for power endurance (or perhaps the 5×5, if you are feeling really ambitious). The idea is simple: pick 4 boulder problems that you can do (and know you can do because you’ve done them before), at the top end of your range. If you boulder up to V4, you might pick: V3, V4, V4, V3. Do them all in a row without resting (except to walk between problems). Then rest for about 5-7 minutes and do them again and again and again, for 16 total problems. If this is easy, do a 5×5, or increase the difficulty of the problems. You should just be able to complete the last set successfully. If you fail earlier than that, choose easier problems next time. Try to pick a diverse set of problems (ie, not all slab problems or roof problems) that approximate the kind of climbing you expect to do outside.
Instead of the 4×4 (or 5×5), I generally prefer a different work-out, what might be called a “double pyramid.” It consists of 20-30 boulder problems, depending on the difficulty and, again, is made up of problems that I have done successfully before. You are not “working” new problems here, but training, so you should focus on stuff you can do and perfect your technique and hone your power endurance.
Here’s the double pyramid: it starts with 9 “easy problems” (all different, if possible), then gets progressively harder, until I get to my hardest problem. At that point, it gets progressively easier, until I get back to my base of 9 easy problems. It might look like this:
V0 V1 V2 x 3 each = 9 problems
V3 V4 x 2 each = 4 problems
V5 x 1 = 1 problem
V4 V3 x 2 each = 4 problems
V2 V1 V0 x 3 each = 9 problems
That’s 27 problems (a big work-out but do-able if you calibrate the difficulty right). You rest between sets (after the first 9, after the next 4 after the 1, etc) for about 5-8 minutes. It may take some time to make it all the way through the work-out, but once you do, you can begin adjusting the difficulty and rest periods appropriately. You will need at least a day or two to recover after the work-out. To break into this workout, you can also do “mini-pyramids” (say, 6 easy problems, 2 medium problems, 1 difficult problem, 2 medium problems, and 6 easy problems).
I would do more roped climbing in the second week, focusing not on “the hardest” problems but on stuff that is close to the upper limit of what you hope to redpoint. You don’t want to be hang-dogging all over the rope (since this negates the endurance part), and you also don’t want to speed up easy stuff (since this negates the strength/power part).
REST (1 week):
Don’t climb the week of HC until you arrive at the New! I’m not kidding. Your body needs time to rest, heal, and recover. Instead, go for a short run or LIGHTLY cross-train. Don’t do any weights though! You can’t build muscle in a week anyway, and you don’t want to be sore. If I do anything climbing related this week, it would be a very short traverse work-out or very easy bouldering just to stay warm. And it would be at least FOUR DAYS BEFORE I climb outside. If you’ve done the whole plan, you will be at your most fit for climbing after this week.
Looking forward to seeing you all in July and hope this helps plan your next 10 weeks!