Welcome to the Tour de Frank! In the spirit of good-natured competition, a handful of Lethbridge climbers thought it would be fun to have a outdoor bouldering competition / festival event, but given the fact that those types of events are enormous amounts of work, we decided to have the next best thing; The Tour de Frank! Really, it is similar to a stretched-out, super-casual version of the Hueco Rock Rodeo, entirely managed by individual climbers. Intially we had thought it best to have three categories: (1) hardest ascents (where the score would represent the total V-grade sum of each climber's hardest seven ascents of the season), (2) first ascents (total V-grade sum of all first ascents of the season), and (3) total ascents (total V-grade sum of all ascents of the season). However, upon reflection, it seems evident that categories 2 and 3 are problematic for a number of reasons (e.g. it may be difficult to determine what is and isn't an FA, and total ascents would get cumbersome for those who travel to the Slide often), so we decided to radically simplify the Tour de Frank and use only the first category.
So, if you want to play along, simply keep track of your 'V-points' (i.e. 1 point for a V1, 2 for a V2, etc.; 0.5 points are awarded for a V0) for your seven hardest problems climbed from May 18 (the beginning of the Victorial Day long weekend) to October 14 (Thanksgiving). If anyone wants to send me their V-point total periodically (for the fun of it!), I'll post them here. I'm "sure" we'll have lots of "prizes", so keep track of your points and we'll have a grand tally at the end of the season! Remember, this is purely for fun, not to be taken seriously! Maybe if I get off my butt, I'll make Tshirts or something.
Anyone can participate! From anywhere! One visit to Frank Slide, or every weekend, it doesn't matter! Just send in a list of your seven hardest Frank Slide sends to me at the end of the season and we'll see what happens!
The rules (such as they are) are incredibly simple. (1) No cheating, be honest! (2) No bizarre grade inflation (use consensus grades, please). I think that's all.
So far, I'm not doing too badly, with (my seven hardest) ascents of...
Breathing Underwater (V7), Lost (V6), The Evangelist (V7), Giantsbane (V6), Trent's Cave (V6), Ben Kenobi (V6), and Sofa King (V5), for a grand total of 43 points. I'm really hoping to get that number up to 56 points (7 V8s) before the end of the Tour, which brings me to the bad news...
I massively injured my right elbow this week. I think I may have partially torn something doing Breathing Underwater on the weekend (it felt tight afterwards for an hour or so), but then climbing new problems on the 45-degree wall at the gym this week caused it to hurt a lot more (likely medial epicondylitis, lateral surface). By the time I got home it was aching, by the next morning I couldn't pick up a glass of milk. It's going to be a long time before I can boulder again, I suspect. Right now, I couldn't open a jar or pick up a pitcher of juice with my right hand if my life depended on it. I'll have to really re-think how my summer is going to go, probably a lot more hiking and trail running than I had planned, and maybe a little slab climbing. Unless I can ferret out a LOT of V8 slabs at Frank Slide, I don't think my TdF total is going to be that impressive.
At any rate, I won't be posting updates as often as I usually do (because I won't be doing any climbing for a while!). Have a great summer, and stay injury-free!