It was my first time in South America. When I heard about Cochamo, a place for granite multi-pitch full of cracks and corners, I knew I had to visit. Cochamo is in Chile. It has been a popular destination for Chilean hikers and is starting to become a popular international destination among climbers. I originally was planning to go there with my friends, but I couldn’t get the same time off. I’ve heard it is common to travel solo and find climbing partners in Cochamo, so I decided to do a solo trip. I booked my flight, packed my bags and left winter in north for a month, in January 2018.
On November 22, 2016, I had a shoulder surgery. Prior to my surgery, I was dealing with my shoulder injury for about 2 years. The shoulder injury I had was a SLAP (Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior) tear. It was a tear in a labrum, a ring shaped cartilage in between humeral head (top of the arm bone) and scapula (shoulder blade bone) that helps stabilize the shoulder joint. SLAP defines the location of the tear, superior (=top), anterior (=front), and posterior (=back).
SLAP tear is a common injury for climbers and overhead motion athletes. Even though surgery is not always necessary, I couldn’t get my shoulder strong enough with the alternative treatments so I decided to have a surgery.
1 month post accident (left) and current (right). My face was still scarred and swollen a month after my accident.
It has been over a year since I had a concussion. I still have headache almost every day and have hard time concentrating when there’re many things going on in the back ground. Using laptop is the worst for me. I can’t use it for more than few days in a row without getting severe headache and dizziness. After a year, this accident is still affecting me and I know it will be for a long time. Maybe for 5 years, or who knows, it can be for the rest of my life.
On September 14, 2015, I hit my head in a crash, lost consciousness for a few hours and woke up in a hospital. Paramedics took me to the hospital but I had no idea if I was air lifted or took an ambulance until I saw a bill for the ambulance service. I’ve had a CT scan at the hospital, but I didn’t know I’ve had it done until a nurse told me later. When I woke up in the hospital, my awareness was so low, it took me a while to recognize who I was, where I was, and what I was doing. After several repeated questions from nurses, I slowly realized that I was meeting with my friends and I was mountain biking in Whistler.
Since I saw the pictures of the Bugaboo splitter cracks soaring above glaciers, I’ve been wanting to go to the Bugaboos. Bugaboo Provincial Park is one of the best alpine climbing destinations in the world. Large solid granite spires that have a variety of quality cracks. Beautiful views of alpine lakes, glaciers, and surrounding alpine peaks. Last summer was my first alpine climbing season so I took a couple courses and gained experiences in the alpine before heading to the Bugaboos. Then, I finally made a trip to the Bugaboos for a month, July 19-August 14, 2015.
For the second half of our alpine climbing week, we decided to do North Rib on Mt. Slesse. We hiked out of Springbok Arete area on July 2, rested in air conditioned hotel room, then headed to Mt. Slesse area on July 3. Mt. Slesse is an impressive mountain that means “fang” in native’s language. The route will be easier this time, but much longer. We knew our climbing day here would be a long one.
On July 1, 2015, my friend Nathan Brown and I climbed the Springbok Arete (SCE Direct). We had a week off and decided to do two alpine climbs. Springbok Arete was the first one.
Granite on Springbok Arete is solid, very clean, and have great frictions. I was very surprised how great the rock was and also how high the quality of the climb was. It was quite a bushwhack to get into the area, but the climb was so rewarding and worth the effort. It is a very beautiful area with an impressive view of Steinbok Peak. While we were there, we didn’t run into anyone.
There was a huge change in my training program a couple months ago. Physiotherapist Will Bateman has started to take part in my training program. He is a physiotherapist in Squamish, BC, who is a keen climber and also does many mountain sports. It is amazing to have a physiotherapist who understands the sport specific moves.
Since he has been involved in my training program, he has performed assessments, especially on my injured shoulder, and has been working with my trainer to design the best training program considering my current condition and goals. Since my injured muscles has healed (according to Will, strained muscles, not torn muscles, would heal within 6-8 weeks depending on severity), he has given me exercises to gradually build strength on weakened muscle, as well as muscle stabilizing exercises to prevent injuries. Since I started these exercises, my injury recovery has been significantly improved. …continue reading
It has been almost 3 months since I hurt my shoulder, and finally, I’m starting my training program again. I’ve been slowly getting back into climbing, trying to strengthen my shoulder to prevent re-injury. I started with climbing easier grades outside, easy enough that I won’t feel tensions in my shoulders, as well as indoor, climbing only on a vertical wall. As I was getting back into climbing, I caught a bad cold and was fighting it for on and off for 3 weeks. This put me behind on my rehabilitation schedule, but now most of my shoulder pain is gone. I can feel that the joint is not strong and I still need to be careful climbing, but I’m so stoked I can climb again.
I’ve been on a recovery program for a couple weeks now for a minor shoulder injury.
Initially, I felt a slight pain after my training session on Jan 1, 2015 (Week 7), I noticed stiffness and a bit of a sharp pain in my left shoulder whenever I lifted something heavy. Week 8 was my rest week, and I was hoping that the stiffness and the pain would go away after a week. I tried to resume my training on week 9 with a slight stiffness in my shoulder, but I immediately started to feel pain in my shoulder and was forced to stop the session before I complete my training set.
I had a couple meetings with my trainer about my shoulder. He assessed how much range of motion I had lost as a result of the injury and …continue reading
Last week, I had an opportunity to attend a Technical Rope Rescue Course through Raven Rescue. This was an eight day course designed mainly for firefighters and search & rescue personnels. It covered rope rescues on low angle slopes, high angle cliffs and highlines over a canyon where you rig a line across and get lowered (Tyrolean). Since this wasn’t designed for climbers, I thought skills I learn in this course would be a good knowledge, not necessarily skills for climbing but I learned so many things I can apply to climbing …continue reading