Monday, July 13, 2009

4th of July Adventures

I hate the 4th of July. Ever since I hurt myself with a sparkler when I was 10, the holiday has left a bitter taste in my mouth. Not to mention the crazy, drunk, justified pyromaniacs that run around blowing up everything in the name of freedom. It feels like the entire nation's IQ drops about 30 points for a day, which makes me want to hide under the bed like all the dogs and cats until it's over. Being human, I chose to hide in Clear Creek instead. Lee and I headed to a boulder I recently "discovered", and climbed some virgin rock. We started with a really nice V3 that starts on a left facing feature, heads to a pocket and then ends up a high but easy rail. We didn't name any of this stuff- we are too lazy. We'll take suggestions...
Then we moved to a line to the right, and after a couple of tries figuring out the start, established a really amazing v4/5 highball. It starts on a big obvious jug, moves to a big sloper that juts out from the wall and follows a large lieback up and right to the top. Amazing!!!
We spent the rest of the day flailing on a low start to the above problem. It involves powerful liebacking, no feet, and a hard crimp move that brings you to the sloper of the V4. I will definitely be returning to finish this up in the Fall.
Now for the juicy stuff. Just to the right of the V4, there is a very hard project- possibly V14 or harder. A bulge, with perfect crimps, minimal feet and a nice landing. Around the corner are 2 or 3 more short(2-5 moves), but very hard problems on sculpted pinches and edges. I know I should have gotten some photos. You'll just have to take my word, these things look cool. Any takers???

I am constantly amazed that boulders like this are still being "discovered". Just when you think the Front Range is tapped, another little gem gets unearthed and the psyche continues. AMEN!

Here's a couple of abstract images of the Boulder fireworks show.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Everything But Climbing In Maple

Last week Lee and I went to Maple for a 9 day trip. For the most part we had great weather. Unfortunately, Lee's neck was severely tweaked for 4 days, which destroyed the morale during the middle of the trip.
Although she could barely look down, and sneezing nearly brought her to tears, she selflessly did the 25 minute hike to the Pipe Dream and belayed me. She eventually found a way to cope with the pain...
On our rest days we hiked to the top of the Pipe Dream and enjoyed the wildlife...
the view
and may have seen the future of Maple Canyon climbing.
This cave is in the right fork, about 100 feet off the ground. From our perspective, it looks about twice as big as the Pipe Dream. For some reason, Lee was terrified by the formation.
Actually, a grasshopper caught her off gaurd.

On another rest day, we checked out the Morman Miracle Pageant in Manti, Utah. Basically, the LDS puts on a huge, week-long theater production depicting the story of the Book of Morman.
They set up about 4000 folding chairs on the temple lawn...
get all the actors in costume by 8pm so they can walk around an interact with the crowd...
and start the show at 9:30pm...
As you can see, the production involves hundreds of actors. It's actually quite entertaining, but I have to admit that I was totally confused by the story. It was hard to keep track of all the charachters, feuding tribes and what point within 2500BC-1830Ad they existed.

Of course, the event had it's critics. This guy is a christian, who was telling all the Mormans that they were going to hell. Needless to say, he had some people worked up, but for the most part, they politely debated with him until the show started.
Sorry there aren't more climbing pictures, but honestly, the nonclimbing activities were way more interesting on this trip. Oh yeah, I sent the Wyoming Sheep Shagger and Lee did her first 12b within 24 hours on our last day of the trip. Gotta love the high pressure, last minute send. It's always sweeter.

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