Monday, December 8, 2008

Lumpy Ridge- Podophile

Here is a video of Dan Smith climbing on Podophile V9, at Lumpy Ridge. Although he doesn't send, it's a nice video, and it gives you an idea of what the mantle is like. Apparently, Tommy Caldwell did a sit start to this problem.

Podophile V9

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Blast from the Past- Wingless Victory Spring 2008

Here are some pictures of me on Wingless Victory 13b, in Eldorado Canyon. This bolted arete is just right of the 4th pitch(Bombay chimney) of The Naked Edge. Super exposed(the ancient ring bolt don't ease the mind), highly technical, and powerful, this pitch is amazing. The photos and toprope are courtesy of Justin Sjong. This is high on my list of local routes to do. Unfortunately, it's hard to find partners.
Trying to get to the first rest.

Almost there...Resting about half way up the pitch.
Getting ready for the crux- a nasty pinch move on the arete.

After climbing this pitch, we decided that it would be fun to try the alternate 12a bolted finish to the Naked Edge. The pitch completely kicked my ass! I hung all over it, and didn't even do some of the moves. It just wouldn't be an Eldo experience without being humbled.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mcgyver watch out!

For the outdoors person who has everything...

  • Contains an incredible 85 tools built into a single knife [list]
  • Guinness World Record holder for "the most multifunctional penknife"
  • Manufactured by Wenger (Maker of the Genuine Swiss Army Knife)
  • Special edition knife, perfect for collectors
  • Comes packaged in Wenger box [view]
  • Weight: 2 lbs, 11 ounces
  • Dimensions: 8.75" wide
  • Lifetime warranty
It even has a keyring so you can carry it on your belt. All for just $1000!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fun in the Flatirons

Yesterday, Tony Yao, Luke Kearns, and I skipped work and headed up to the East Ironing Board(EIB). Tony and I were interested in trying Slave to the Rhythm 13b, and Luke was eying a route called Farniente 12a. The EIB is a small, Southwest oriented formation that sits just behind the Third Flatiron. Considering the size of the crag, it host a very impressive collection of climbs ranging from 5.7 to 5.14. Enough about the description, here are some pictures of me on Slave to the Rhythm.
Doing the first crux

Exiting the first crux.

Me loving the biggest cobble on the route. Apparently, this thing is nicknamed the Skinhead.

Here are some pictures of Luke Kearns, on Farniente. This is a really nice bolted slab. The climbing is more about faith and friction, than pulling.
Luke looking for the first bolt.

LK pulling through the crux

Although the Flatirons form the backdrop for Boulder, there are days that I don't even look at them. Places like the EIB remind me that this area is not to be taken for granted.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Blast From the Past-Minturn Bouldering Spring 2008

Unfortunately, I don't have anything cool to write about, so here are some bouldering pictures from Minturn.
The first set of pictures were taken at Redcliff. Surrounded by Aspens, this area features about 10 boulders with problems ranging from VB to V8. Despite an easy 5 minute approach, great stone, fun problems, and a beautiful setting, this area remains highly overlooked.
Lee warming up

Alex on a nice V6

Lee topping out the same V6. This mantle is HARD!

Me on another V6. The first move was definitely the hardest.

Lee on yet another V6.

The next series of pictures were taken at an area near Redcliff called the Aircraft Carrier. Tucked next to a small talus field, this spot consists of three large boulders with about 30 problems total. It's a small area, but it's much steeper than Redcliff, and has problems ranging from VB t0 V11. The problem below is called the Cool Arete V9. It lives up to its name!

Unfortunately, the problem is a bit contrived at the end. Either exit out left to the vertical rail, or continue up the arete.

Although neither area is spectacular, sometimes all you need is to get out of town, see a new area, and have a little adventure. If this is what you need, check these places out!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blast From the Past- Eldorado Canyon, Spring 2008

Here are some pictures of the Schultz Arete(A.K.A. Quigong) V11. This is a very convenient problem with very sharp crimps, a fairly bad landing and an annoying rock that you have to avoid touching at the start of the problem. Despite all the cons, this thing seriously exploits my crimp weakness, and for that it's definitely on my list as the temps cool down.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bare Bones Camping

I hate paying for camping. The idea of paying money for a picnic table, a fire pit and a manicured tent site just seems wasteful and defeats the point of going camping in the first place. It's not just about the money- although that is a large factor. It's about having a unique experience. It's about communing with nature, and getting off the grid. It's about escaping. Most of the time, my quest for free camping is rewarded with animal sitings, serenity, and a sense of satisfaction you get when you earn something the hard way. However, my stubborn pursuit of free camping has also backfired, leading to some terrifying nights and creepy situations. Recently, I mustered up the courage to revisit a visceral place that I stumbled upon while searching for "new" free camping near Rifle.

Last Fall, I spent a bunch of time in Rifle. Being late in the season, with temps dropping below freezing, I opted to stay at a free, but undesirable place called the Corral. Visible from Grass Valley Road, and instantly muddy if it rains, the Corral offers no protection from ornery locals, or opportunistic thieves. So one evening after climbing, I decided to look for alternative options. I started by going up a dirt road on the opposite side of the road, to the East of the Corral. The road was too rough for my Honda Civic, so I quickly turned around. As the light faded, I drove up another bumpy dirt road for about 50 feet until my headlights hit this...

a pile of deer and elk carnage. Totally freaked out, I did a three point turn as fast a I could and went back to the relative safety of the Corral. With my imagination going crazy, I unsuccessfully tried to sleep. Since that day, I have never been able to enjoy the Corral quite as much.
The place seems more wild, and less relaxing. Every sound has significance. I am on edge. In some strange way, I think this is what I like most about free camping. I want to feel more vulnerable. I want to feel the mystery and power of nature. I want to face my fears. That way, I won't take the next day or the money I save for granted because in a way I earned it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rifle- Fall Pressure

Fall is here! Along with colder temps, amazing colors, and shorter day, there's also a certain amount of tension and stress to finish up projects before the walls start seeping, and the weather turns bad.
Not everyone feels the pressure. There has been a lot of talent in the canyon lately. Here are some pictures of Dave Graham working The 7PM TV Show- 14a.
Although he has been ripping through most of the testpeices at Rifle, this one seems to be giving him a bit more trouble. It should be interesting to see his comments on this route when he sends it.
On to a subject that really annoys me- PARKING!!!
There is a serious lack of parking in Rifle, and it doesn't help when people inconsiderately park like this...
Obviously, not everybody cares...
but if everyone did their part, we could maximize the parking, and represent the climbing community as a responsible user group in the park. Remember, we are guests, climbing in Rifle is a privilege, and your actions affect everyone.

To lighten things up, here are some pictures of a really cool water spout, located to the left of the Bauhaus Wall.
There's actually a route just to the right of this water spout. In the picture above, you can see a couple of bolts to the right of the spout. The route seems to be fully equipped, with the exception of two bolts at the start. Lee theorizes that the equippers accidentally drilled into a water pocket in the limestone, releasing the water trapped behind the rock. After this, she thinks they abandoned the route. Who knows...
Here's a close up of the hole. Is this a manufactured spout or not? Ethical debates about the future of water spouts are sure to arise.

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