Sunday, March 30, 2014

Joe's Valley Rampage


I just had the most successful bouldering trip of my life!

Final tally for 5 days of climbing:

- Slasher (V13)
- Black Lung (V13)
- Blackout (V13)
- Lonesome Animals (V11/12)
- Ghost of War (V11)
- Man From The Past (V11)
- Gentleman's Project (V11)
- Trent's Mom (V11)
- Finger Hut (V10)
- Renaissance  Man (V9 in the book, but probably just scary V7/8)

I went into this trip with the goal of sending Black Lung, a historic V13 by Ben Moon. I had done many of the classic boulders at Joe's so I was planning on buckling down and working Black Lung into submission, even if it took the whole trip.

I showed up on Saturday and it was a little hot, so I wasn't really planning on trying anything hard. However, about 30min into warming up on some easy boulders, I was feeling strangely light. A light breeze picked up, the rock felt tacky and I figured I'd go try to figure out at least the first two moves on Black Lung. When I showed up to the boulder there was a German guy (who's name I forget) absolutely crushing the first two moves, but falling on the third. I was pretty intimidated considering 2yrs ago I had never even been able to stick the first move and I had never climbed a boulder this hard. I thought back to my most recent trip to Rocktown where I was so focused on sending Golden Harvest that I stopped having fun, stopped climbing well, and almost didn't send. I decided to just let it go, have fun, and play.

The first time I pulled on I did the first move easily (which blew my mind and started to boost my confidence). A couple more tries and I figured out the second move. All of a sudden I had done the first 3 moves in a row, all that remained was an easy move to a jug and an easy top out. Unfortunately I hadn't expected to get that far and didn't scope where the jug was, I got flustered and fell. I laughed it off, ticked the jug and then sent.

Black Lung send footage:

Blackout send footage:

Sending Black Lung

After sending my project for the trip in the first hour, I was psyched to push as hard as I could and see what would happen. What ensued was a rediculous string of climbing days where the only thing I tried more than 5-10 times was Slasher, and the only thing I tried and didn't send was Masterpiece.

Amazing movement on Masterpiece

The boulder that took the most effort was Slasher. Such a cool problem! Only 3 moves, but all revolving around this crazy right hand block. After the first session I almost didn't come back because I felt like I was going to explode the pulleys in my right hand. I was lured back in for a second session though and my hand started to get more used to the grip position, but I still couldn't stick the second move. I went back on my last day to give it a last ditch effort.

Ben working the crazy right hand grip on Slasher

I split one of my tips but the psyche was still high. While waiting to give it another go a giant golden eagle flew through the canyon so close to us that I could look it right in the eye. With some crazy spirit animal power I pulled on and stuck the second move, but fell going for the lip. Next try though, I hit the second hold even better, fired for the lip, held a crazy, 3 points off, full horizontal swing with 3 fingers, topped out, and lost my mind.

Amazing rock on Slasher

Working the jump move during session number 2

We ran over to Trent's Mom to finish off the trip with another classic and then headed back to Colorado.

Morals of the story: Training works. Don't be too serious. Have fun. Try hard.

I can't wait to climb more boulders!

Lots of foam for tall/scary/committing top out of Masterpiece. I'll be back for that one!

1 comment:

  1. DUDE~! : ) AMAZING. What kind of training have you been doing bro !?! VERY IMPRESSED and job well done sir.