What's with all these wordy posts? Where are the pictures and videos? I feel your pain. With under two weeks until we hit the road there has not been much to report on. Once we're in Leavenworth there will be videos and photos galore. Meanwhile, here are some words...
Before moving to Portland and practically living in a gym I climbed almost exclusively outside. One of the first things I remember about returning to plastic was that my power, both recruitment and lasting, had changed. I hesitate to say it had decreased, but it was tailored to the pace of climbing that I was used to. Full padding, climate control, and V0-V Project on the same wall were a shock to my system, and I found myself motivated to utilize the endless indoor terrain in Portland to concentrate on linking harder movements and sequences together with little to no rest. Short trips to Bishop and Leavenworth fueled the fire to train harder, and even in these final days living here I am still trying to climb as hard as I can almost every day.
In a perfect world I would assign 3 months out of the year to training on plastic, while using the remainder to chip away on projects on real rock. This seems like a good balance, keeping motivation high enough to focus on training inside, while still being able to execute on problems outside.
Even though I have found validity in gym climbing, it will never take the place of the quiet relationship with a project, the equally frustrating and humbling feelings while sitting under a piece of quiet stone, and the elation of finally unlocking an extremely specific and demanding sequence that leads to the top. No gym can ever recreate that.