Soo Cal – UPDATE!

The stingrays are a family of rays, cartilaginous fishes that are related to sharks.   They are named after the barbed stinger (actually a modified dermal denticle) on their tail, which is used exclusively in self-defense. The stinger may reach a length of approximately 35 cm, and its underside has two grooves with venom glands.  The stinger is covered with a thin layer of skin, the integumentary sheath, in which the venom is concentrated.

Yep, that sounds about right.

So I wanted to thank everyone for their comments below, especially you Ethan (if you read this), I hear your shoulder is feeling better and you’ll be raising standards again for the rest of us?  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to it, I’d like to see you finish off the Dreamcatcher and Jumbo Love.  You’re a smart lad, and you got the skillz mate, but don’t rush it, you’re still young, enjoy the recovery phase.  That’s my advice, for whatever it’s worth.

In regards to what I’m doing here in California, it’s been three days since our adventure in the Joshua hills (read post below) and we got good news and bad news.  The good news is that the climb (Stingray) is brilliant.  About 4.2 stars I reckon (my personal opinion).  Not 5 because it’s been nailed with pins at some point, which is the only thing that makes it possible and another reason it isn’t 5 is because it’s still in pretty rough shape.  On my first attempt, I broke THREE major footholds.


To elaborate on that, on Friday, I basically flashed each series of moves on the cruxy lower half.  Doing one or two moves at a time on TR and they felt really good, hard and painful, but good.  When I tried to repeat the crux down low I broke the only foothold that was left on the wall and could not repeat the move at all.  In fact, none of us have done it yet.  It requires a metric tonne of more lock off strength and a shit pile of pain tolerance, because there are literally no footholds left to use and because the crack leans to the right so much, it’s not like Cobra at all, your feet are effectively USELESS.

It’s only getting harder.

We went back yesterday, and we all tried it for a second time (one burn per day, it hurts toooo much -ha ha -which makes it hard to send in a weekend) and we still didn’t stick the crux.   We all got pretty close and I could visualize doing it for sure, but I wasn’t in the mood, not enough BURL and I wasn’t ready to tear my skin open just yet, seems like tape makes it worse.  But on the bright side, I managed to link the upper half of the route in prettt secure style.  So I feel pretty secure that if I stick the crux, I’ll go all the way.  But I leave at 6am on Tues, so I only have tomorrow left.  We shall see.  The bad news is that Weather Underground is calling for RAIN.

Ahhhhhhhhhh!   Pain and Rain.  Bring it on.  No matter what,  always sending!

P.S.  We heard Suzuki sent it in 1988,  WHOA!  22 years ago.  What a MAD MAN.  This is a picture of our friend who’s apparently also training for this climb.  Our hero Wolfgang Gullich once said, (and this is by far my favorite Wogu-isms, and sticks with me always) “MAKE YOUR GRIP A VICE, OR FORGET IT”.

I think our friend here is lost in translation?  he he.

  • send it sonnie!

  • 5.10Kevin

    heading out today! c’mon Sonnie you got this homie!!!