As anyone who has followed this blog will realize, I spend a lot of time at Flagstaff Mountain. The reason for this is not merely convenience however. Given the proximity to one of the world's must competitive climbing scenes, one would expect Flag to be totally climbed out, especially since 50 years of bouldering history have unfolded there. Such is not at all the case however and I have been diligently filling in the gaps and getting some really good training in as well.
A recent project was a L to R traverse on a wall a bit north of First Overhang, where the Mateus High Step Traverse is. This traverse has some of the most continuous crimping on the mountain and its sole flaw is the good sized foot ledge at the base. However if you want to do an interesting and steep V9 line on incut edges check it out. There are literally dozens more lines, traverses, and variations in solid double digit territory on the mountain. The prejudice that many have against climbing here has allowed some very interesting and difficult problems to go untouched which is a shame. A legacy of misinformation and sandbagging has only exacerbated the problem. Thank you, Chip Philips, for selflessly sorting out truth from fiction.
A quick session at CATS this morning was cold and pretty miserable but after putting Sophia down for her nap, I worked out a bit downstairs on the weights and fingerboard. I have a 1/8" and a 1/2" thick wood strip that I use for hangs, weighted hangs, one-hand hangs, pull-ups, regular and weighted, and front levers. I am up to 20 regular pull-ups on the 1/2 and 10 on the 1/8 edges so far.
There was an item in the newest issue of Rock and Ice (but don't bother with going to the website; it's not very good) from Julian Saunders, an osteopath from Australia about weighted pull-ups which I think was rightly blasted by Sonnie Trotter at his blog. Saunders argues that weighted pull-ups are useless for climbing, that they aren't sport-specific. I can't understand this position because by that logic, sprinters, for example could only get stronger by running fast, not by explosive power workouts in the gym. If you are genetically gifted with super-strong fingers or can spend endless days on hard problems, I suppose gym training is redundant. And there is no doubt that returns can rapidly diminish and injuries result. But I agree with Sonnie on this, there is no better way to radically improve finger strength than adding some weight and trying to hang on.