I asked Jennie the other night, “Do you think I could do Astroman?”
She said, “What?”
“Astroman…in Yosemite, do you think I could climb it?”
She said, “Wait, what is that again?”
So I explained all about Astroman (click), about the sustained 5.11c climbing, The Boulder Route, The Enduro Corner, the “chickenwing dyno to the slot” (although I wasn’t exactly sure how that one goes). I told her that technically I’ve climbed harder, but Astroman is old school, and that means hard. Way hard.
“Hmmm,” she said, “Yes. But you’d have to TRAIN. Seriously train. Not mess around.”
And I think she’s right. The funny thing about Astroman – from what I hear – is that the rating means nothing. Sure, a climber could have climbed harder, but that doesn’t mean he can do the route. That doesn’t mean he can do a weird slick V2 boulder problem on thin wires for pro. That doesn’t mean he has the endurance for the endless corner. That doesn’t mean he has the guts to “bear-hug the flake” on the R pitch above. And that certainly doesn’t mean he can get into the Harding Slot.
So I started training power endurance for the first time in my life. And here’s my new super-pump workout. It’s pretty simple.
3 minute warm-up on slab holds.
2 minutes of stretching.
3 more minutes of slab holds.
3 minutes of rest.
Then the main course, all on an overhanging wall (repeat until you die):
20-move sets. One move is changing right hand, left hand, right foot, and left foot in any order (but all four). Once all four have moved, stop and say, “One.” Then do move number two. Proceed to twenty. Never stop before twenty.
Rest three minutes between each set.
Vary holds (crimps, open-hands, jugs, slopers, slimpers, etc.)
Use every part of your feet.
Vary move lengths.
Force awkward body positions, then escape them during the next move.
So that’s it. My first night, three sets wrecked me. But last night, I did six sets. Tomorrow night, we’ll see.