Monday, November 3, 2014

Frustration Station

Prepare for an insignificant rant that may have no real world value to you, but may just be cathartic for me.

You've been warned...



AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

I want to climb hard boulders faster!

Right now I either do a boulder in a handful of tries or it takes 2-3 days. I'm going to whine about that for a second.

It takes me so long to settle on proper beta and I always second guess myself. So by the time I finally figure out how I want to do a boulder my skin is shredded and seeping fluid like a geyser. It sucks. Then I have to go all the way back to wherever it was at a later date to finish the boulder. It sucks because boulders are far away, gas is expensive, and jobs generally require you to show up with relative frequency. I know I could accomplish more if I either got better at reading beta or figured out how to make my skin last longer.

If anyone knows skin sorcery secrets, let me know. I've tried everything I know of: All the salves in existence, hoof maker, working hands, badger balm, Anti-hydral, and pretty much everything else. Right now the only thing that works is Anti-hydral, but I have to use it 2-3 times a month to keep the puddin' tips at bay.

I'd love to get better at reading beta, but that would require me to climb outside more than once-a-week and that probably isn't going to happen.

I keep getting stronger and I know I could do harder boulders, I just need to find the time.

Whining over.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Nothing But Sunshine

The first three times I went to Chaos Canyon I got rained out. On one of those days I was able to work the moves on Nothing But Sunshine before a light drizzle turned into a full on thunderstorm and we had to run out.

A grainy screen-shot for your viewing pleasure


Yesterday was different. No rain at all, crisp temps, a little cloudy, and a brisk wind. PERFECT! After warming up on a few boulders we headed back to NBS. I was able to get it done in less than an hour and still have time to do a few more classics and check out some other harder lines.

I don't think I'll be able to make it up to the park for another few weeks, so hopefully the snow holds off!

Here is a sweet video we made: https://vimeo.com/110148792

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bouldermoon Update

I'm married!

It's great.

Chelsea and I took our honeymoon to Chattanooga, TN to do some bouldering for a few days as well as eat a lot of good southern food.

Chelsea stomped some boulders that had given her trouble 2 years ago, but a pre-wedding bout of sickness took her out of fighting shape for most of the trip.

Chelsea working on Rail Rider

I was able to do: The Law (V11), Bosley Traverse (V9-), and Shotgun (V6) on one day and then the next day did: Power of Amida (V10) 3rd try, Cleopatra-Cinderella Trav. (V9) 2nd try, I Think I Can (V9), Interplanetary Escape (V9), Cleopatra (V8) 2nd try, Fatigue Syndrome (V8) flash, Aneardon Low (V8), Cinderella (V7) flash, and The Hulk (V6) 2nd try.



The Law


We met some awesome people and had a great time.

If you are looking for a place to stay in Chattanooga, definitely check out The Crashpad. The greatest hostel ever!


And now we are headed back to Colorado!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Carnage

I climbed up a hard (for me) boulder!

"Carnage" is a really cool line that Daniel Woods put up at Guanella Pass on the Ice Knife boulder. It starts on a sweet side-pull pinch for the right hand and a good flat edge for the left. Tristan and Rowland found a way to start on a slightly lower undercling for the left hand and started with their left foot hight on the flat edge instead. It is a totally legit start and is probably good beta for the shorter folks, but didn't work for my long legs.

Anyway...The first day I tried this I fell going for the dyno bump, which is essentially the last hard move. It's a doozie. Even though you are going for a full-pad-3-finger-incut (what you would call a "jug" on a boulder this hard I suppose) I only stuck the move once, it was on the send, and I yelled really loud (rare for me). The move might not be that bad, but I had a hard time committing to actually grabbing the hold because it is pretty sharp and most of your body weight swings off of it, while you try to stay on a 3-finger 1/5pad edge near your belly button.

I'm happy I got it done when I did and it was cool to get the 2nd ascent of such a nice line. Unfortunately it probably marks the end of my outside climbing in Colorado until I get back from my honeymoon at the end of October. Hopefully everything won't be snowed in!

I didn't get video, but here is a sequence of shots from the first day I worked on it that shows all the moves.

Move-by-move of Carnage


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Love Mattress

2 Realizations:

-My climbing ability/psych fluctuates in 4 month cycles.

-I climb better when I'm having fun with my friends and I don't care if I send or not.


Tyler on Bessie

We rolled up to Guanella Pass yesterday despite the terrible weather forecast...and had perfect weather the whole time! Plus we had the whole area to ourselves. It was a great day. Geoff sent his first V10-in-a-day with Crimping Matters, Tyler FLASHED Dark Horse (V10), Paul had his first alpine bouldering day after driving in from PA, and I sent Bessie (V10), Crimping Matters (V10), Earth Matters (V10), Life Matters (V7/8), Love Matters (V6/7), Beyond Matters (V8), and a new line that we are calling Love Mattress (V11/12).

Geoff sending Crimping Matters

Hooray!

Love Mattress starts on Love Matters, but instead of making the move to the left hand side pull to finish straight up the arete, it climbs into the start crimps of Earth Matters and finishes that. The moves on Love Matters aren't hard so they don't really affect the grade, but the transition into the crimps and gaining the position to make the first move on Earth Matters is probably V9+ by itself. Then you have to actually do the 3 move V10 that is Earth Matters. I think V11/12 is a fair grade since I think it is harder than all the other V10s at Guanella and similar in difficulty to Mind Matters which is considered V11/12.

Finishing the second crux on the FA of Love Mattress

The bad news is that the boulder was severely dug out by Brian, which I consider to be an ethical no-no. I almost didn't go to the boulder because of this, but I got sucked in by the quality of the rock. I understand the need to groom certain landings to make for a more enjoyable experience, but I also think there is a line that should not be crossed. In this case the ground is soft and has already begun eroding beyond the initial excavation/landscaping. Is the boulder going to fall over? No. After a couple of decades could it slide into the trail? Probably. In the grand scheme of things I guess it isn't a big deal and I did enjoy climbing on the boulder. All I know is it makes me feel bad when I see stuff like that and I hope people will make better decisions and think about the long term impact of what they do and how their actions could influence the actions of others. Rant over.

EDIT 9/8/14:

I received a great response this morning from Brian K. Though we still disagree a bit, I have a lot of respect for his willingness to discuss the situation in a really constructive way. It should be noted that he did not act unilaterally in this situation and had the support of much of the Guanella bouldering community.

Whether a person agrees or disagrees with the decision to move this much dirt, what's done is done, and we all may as well enjoy it without too much grumbling. It is just a boulder after all!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lincoln Lake!




I have been spending most of my bouldering time at Lincoln Lake recently. While it isn't the best rock around, It really is a cool place. The boulders are very striking, with a minimal amount of holds. The granite has a pretty large grain compared to Area A at Evans. It reminds me of Taylor Canyon outside of Gunnison, so even though it can be a bit sharp and sometimes chossy, there is a nostalgia component for me and I love the climbing style.

The other cool thing about Lincoln is the high concentration of hard boulders. I love going out there and getting thoroughly shut down. Right now I am getting destroyed by The Great War For Civilization, a really powerful compression climb with a bunch of slopers for the right hand. Definitely not my style at all. I'm not sure if I'll be able to pull it off this season, but if I do it will be a big step up in my pursuit of being well-rounded.

Here is a video of some sends I was able to film:

https://vimeo.com/103625215

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How to Grade

The only grades that matter:

1: Did it!

2: Tried it and haven't done it.

3: Haven't tried it.