birthday challenge
November 15, 2013 posted by

53 Routes and 5 Fritters

53 Routes and 5 Fritters

After missing out on one goal of the Moab weekend I had one thing to make up for the challenge. Still without an available road trip partner, Ben was willing to give up a day and join me in something. We’ve done many birthday challenges prior, meaning some tradition was in order. We settled on 53 routes in a day, on-sight, and 5 fritters. The crux would most likely be the latter but neither of us climb much–at least on a rope–and the 106 pitches we’d be doing would exceed the number of routes we’d done this year. It seemed fitting, especially since we’d been destroyed by fritters just last year.

 “Ben and I ate 3.5 fritters between us. Felt awful.”

First, a bit about fritters. Apple fritters and, more specifically, those from King Pin Donuts in Berkeley, have a long and notorious history amongst climbers. Not the biggest folks on the planet, who also tend towards healthy eating, certainly add to their shock value but there’s something far more gruesome about eating these balls of lard than you can guess from their appearance. Here area  few opinions from veteran fitter consumers.

“People who have not had king pin apple fritter cannot imagine the suffering, like a guy Ina sauna speculating about being impaled on punji sticks.”

– Russ McBride

“King Pin Fritters are in a class by themselves. Other fritters are mere shadows. I remember being in King Pin with the originators of the fritter challenge (1992). The challenge was designed to keep me from saying I could do outlandish things. I thought I could easily eat two fritters and a jelly donut in less than 45 mins. As we were selecting our armoury, my friend pointed out he wanted the fresh fritters on the rack. The owner’s reply: “You don’t want’em fresh.” The implication: “You can’t handle the fresh grease.” What did my friend say, “Ahh, hmm, I think I’ll take the fresh ones.” We couldn’t even lift a piece of wood to go play stickball after the 45 mins. Then came the challenge motto: “It’s not if you can eat the fritters in 45 mins, it’s what you can do afterwards.”

– Todd Mei

“I definitely am with Russ. Folks just don’t understand what a King Pin fritter represents. Steve, I’m a bit worried for your health here. Was hoping you’d make it through BDC 53 uninjured, but this might ruin it for you.”

– Aaron Baker

Alright, I just finished the last bite of my fourth King Pin apple fritter. I feel absolutely terrible. Beyond description, really. It was, by far, my hardest challenge yet. We also put up a passel of boulder problems today, which I’ll talk more about tomorrow. 

Normal Guy
(pointing to the last 3 square inches of fritter)

“Would you rather eat the rest of that fritter or a piece of shit?”

(hesitates for a minute, contemplative)

“Make it horse shit and you’ve got a deal.”

– Chris Leube and myself, during challenge 2000.

After a day of cleansing, we headed to Momentum climbing gym, aka the best crag in Utah, and here’s how it went:

Route 11. things still going well. You can see here why Momentum is called “the best crag in Utah.” Impressive.


It’s, like, steep.


Things start to get serious. Yes, that’s Ben, star of  Importance of Iron Fist, the latest viral training vid sensation.


“I’m not satisfied. I want more fritter!” Pumping fritters takes motivation.


#47 – From here on in it was touch and go, as we were both nearly off on any moderately-hard move. Here I fight the pump and dyno for the top. Ben did exactly the same thing, thanks to a little teamsmanship, the day went sans falls. Go Team Zissou!

“The green 5.6 was kicking our ass.” Owl Tor 5.6. No exaggeration. It was full-on to stay attached to the wall on any route. Luckily our last route, an impossible-looking 10a arete, was the “best in the Wasatch, if not the world” to keep us inspired.

Last fritter, and getting busted. Momentum, like many gyms, has a staff that runs around to make sure you follow the rules. Belaying with one hand and shooting with the other, apparently, is not an approved activity. The last route, like pretty much every route from 25 on, was a fight to the finish. The fritters then went down. Mission, um, accomplished though my gut is still paying three days later. Is it possible to cleanse fritters with anything short of Draino?

The numbers, with a week left. Things are looking doable, though it’s raining right now, forecasted to turn to snow later today, with still over 100 miles left to ride. Not birthday pretty hard…

Steve’ 53rd Birthday Challenge

Join the Challenge and win stuff!

Beachbody Workout of the Day

P90X3 Pilates X3 – This should count for all my core and stabilization for the rest of the challenge!

Synopsis – Good day. Recovering, even with a fair amount of volume.

 Reading & questions answered: /2809 (53/day) –   22 & 31 (436 questions and 2,286 pages) Charley Francis Training System, Exercise Phys, What to Eat. Back to stocking books in different places and getting a few pages here and there during down time but still had a bad day. Added Pub Med to the list, since I spent most of today’s reading time tracking down studies to validate our products.

Servings of Shakeology: /53 – 1(45) – w/ water 
Days of Ultimate Reset: /5.3 1(3.3)
Days taking supplements: /53 – 1(45)
Days of no alcohol: /53 – 0(41)****
Days of no meat: /53 – 1(45)
Coffee Cycles (more on this later): /5.3 – begin final round
King Pin fritters: /5 5[5]

Beachbody workouts: /53 –1(45)
Push-ups: /5300 – 250(4,720)
Jumping jacks: /5300 – 500(4,800)
Leg lifts: /5300 – 500(4,770)
Crunches: /5300 – 500(4,670)
Ab Ripper X Moves: /5300 – 500(4100) [110,900]
Beast back day: /53,000 lbs. 0(54,000) [129,200]
Beast chest day: /53,000 lbs. 0(53,000) [59,700]
Beast shoulder day: /53,000 lbs. 0(53,000) [59,800]
Beast leg day: /53,000 lbs.   [125,500]
Beast arm day: /53,000 lbs. 0(53,000) [68,100] 
P90X2 functional warm-up: /53 –1(46)
Running drills: /53 – 1(45)

Neuro-integrating stretching: /53 – 2(46)
Iron Mind gripper and extensor band reps: /10600 400(9030)
Breath hold sessions: /53 – 2(48)
Stabilizer sessions: /53 – 2(48) 
Internal Organ Training: /53 –  2(46)

5.11 Climbs: /5 2(6) [5] climbs under 5.11 [53]
5.12 Climbs: /3 1(2) [1]
5.11 Boulder transverses: /5 – 0(5)
5.12 Boulder transverses: /3 – 0(2)
Campus board movements: /530 – 60(531)
Climb-specific pull-ups: /530 – 210(500)
Cycling on road bike: /53 miles 0(30) [74]
Cycling on mountain bike: /53 miles 0(48) [205]
Cycling on cyclocross bike: /53 miles 0(46)
Cycling on time trial bike: /53 miles 18(53)
Cycling on fixed gear bike: /53 miles 0(0)
Cycling on single speed bike: /53 miles 0 (51) [30]
Cycling on tandem bike: /53 miles 0(0)
Hiking: /53 miles –0(56) [10]
Running: /53 miles 4(49)
30 minutes of rowing: /5 times 0(5)
30 minutes of elliptical: /5 times 0(5)
30 minutes of swimming: /5 times 0(0)
Hours of travel 0(47)

Tasks for his wife: /53 – 0(47)
Chores around the house: /53 – 2(48)
Tasks for his dogs: /53 – dogs are basically sidekicks so this one’s a freebie

Blog posts: /53 – 1 (46)
Team Beachbody Instructional Videos: /5 7(7)
Team Beachbody Video Chat /5 1(7)
Days keeping these stats: /53 – 1(45)

A Few Challenges of Yore

2000 – 40 Days of Hell
2003 – Get Back To Reality
2006 – This is Gonna Hurt
2007 – My Blood Must Be Fully Replaced Each Year
2010 – Birthday Tribute from 67 friends
2012 – Making Lemonade

1 Comment

  • Mmmmm… fritters. I just gained two pounds reading this post.

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