Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Coquibus Longs Vaux

My plan for my last day in Font was to climb at Coquibus Longs Vaux on the way out of the Fontainebleau area. However, we woke up today to everything being soaked and climbing was not looking very likely. This area was on the way to Normandy so I convinced my parents to take a look anyways. Coquibus Longs Vaux is a very small area of Font that would likely see little to no traffic if it were not for the Fata Morgana bloc, a large 45 degree roof with a plethora of hard climbs located on it. After a little bit of wandering I stumbled upon the boulder only to find a thin layer of frost and dew covering both the underside and topout. I was impressed by the boulder, which includes Dave Graham's Satan I Helvete 8b, in my opinion the best looking line on the bloc, and Fata Morgana 8a. The lines past this do much less for my tastes, most of which make links or add sit starts between these two lines., The others including Dai Koyamada's Angama 8c, Sebastian Frigault's Satan I Helvete Assis 8c, Fata I Helvete 8b/8b+ and Fata Morgana Assis 8b. The possibilities would do even the Centaur proud! After a bit it was time to move on and we walked back towards the car.

The bloc with Satan I Helvete climbing from the small rail to the left at the bottom of the prominent crack. It climbs up the crack, busting out to the arete and then to the top. Fata Morgana goes from the same rail to the furthest chalked pocket out right.

Hand print in the frost.

Font Photo Dump

La Bérézina, 7c, Bas Cuvier.

Eclipse, Col de Chien


The dog head boulder which gives Cul de Chien its name.

L'autre Toit, 7b+, Col de Chien.

The Maxx, 7c+, Cul de Chien.

The Maxx. This climb comes out the opposite side of the roof from Eclipse. Another climb very much so dependent on toe and heel tension. Unlike the others however, once one is spread out between the lip and under the roof, one gets to cut the feet and take the huge swing.

Biceps Mou, 7b, Bas Cuvier.

La Gaule, 7c, Bas Cuvier. These pictures do not do this climb justice. The boulder is much larger than it appears and while it may look straightforward, it has some of the more perplexing double arete climbing out there. Font's answer to the Mirrormask (or more accuratly Mirrormask is Mt Evans answer to La Gaule).

Helicopter, 7a, with the final jug in the center of the frame just below the lowest tree branch.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Font Days Two Three and Four

I woke up after my first day in Font completely stiff and sore, something I cannot remember being from climbing outside ever. My second day was a rough one, where I struggled on many climbs in the 7a to 7b range and only ended up sending Helicopter, a very fun 7a with a dynamic last move to a jug. My attempts with this climbed ended in me falling on my back and missing the crash pad last trip, so I was a little hesitant on the last move which I assume, due to the swing one takes, is what gave the climb its name. The rest of the day was spent trying new and old things and meeting a few French climbers who were both nice and extremely strong (as in 50+ years old and climbing 7c+). After not feeling my best I decided to take the next day off. We went into Fontainebleau and toured the chateau, an enormous complex that served as the King's escape from Paris. Late in the afternoon I eneded up returning to Bas Cuvier for an hour and wsa able to do Biceps Mau 7b, Holly Molly 7a+, and an unnamed 7a. For Christmas today I was able to get out for a bit and decided to go to Col de Chien, the home of one of the best blocs in Font. I had wanted to do Total Eclipse and after watching Dave Graham effortlessly cruise the bottom section of this climb over and over I felt that it would unlock itselve upon my arrival. Well this did not go as planned and the roof baffled me as much as it had on my last visit. I worked a number of the climbs that go out various sections of this well featured bloc and at the very end of the day I was able to climb Eclipse, 7c. This is one of my favorite climbs I have ever done and the movement is as good as any out there.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

La Charcuterie Video

Here is an unedited video of me doing a cool 6c+ in Bas Cuvier called La Charcuterie.

Day One in Font, Bas Cuvier

I arrived in Font yesterday evening after flying from Denver and then meeting my parents outside of Paris. This morning we headed to Bas Cuvier, probably THE most classic area in Fontainebleau. I checked out a few problems I had tried two years ago and then a handful of new ones. I did La Charcuterie, a very cool 6c+, which was a climb that had baffled me last time I tried it. I also worked La Ballance, a very classic sloper 7c+ problem but could not manage to do the last move. After some tries on L'aerodynamic, a cool 7c jump start problem, I hiked around to find a couple of problems I had seen pictures of but were not in the guide book. I found both of the main ones I wanted to, Neverland and Imothep, which each climb some of the more rad shaped boulders out there. Neverland turned out to be one of the most confusing problems I have ever tried and I was only able to figure out the moves at the end of the thing. Imothep did not have a landing suited well for one pad so I ended up not trying it. So after a day of climbing here is what I have concluded: Ute Pass does not prepare you for open-handed slopers, jet lag is no good, big french meals are amazing but dont lend themselves to helping you climb, and Font is still and always will be one of the best climbing areas in the world. The first photo is L'aerodynamic, the second Infidele, and the last two La Balance.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


I have not posted in a while mostly just cause I have not been getting any photos or video recently. The weather has been the suck in the Springs, which has resulted in a lot of 2 hour Ute Pass sessions after class with a propane heater and lots of chalk. I have been working Daddy Fat Sacks the last couple times I have been at the pass and it is coming together nicely. I would really like to climb it before break but I split two tips on it today so we will see how that goes. I have fallen at the very end a number of times. Tomorrow I am going up to the pass for some last ditch efforts. On Wednesday I fly over to Europe for a a week in Font and then a week in Paris. The forecast shows at least a few consecutive days of cold and dry weather. On the 4th of January, it is off to San Francisco to meet up with Simon and head to Bishop until the 20th. Probably will not get a chance to update much while traveling but I will post a lot of stuff when I get back.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

From the Archives

I was looking through pictures today for the ever demanding JJ so he could droll over new V7s to do at Ute and I found this photo of Byron. I believe this is the single day that I have climbed with Byron and for the fact that Byron had not been climbing for months due to a should injury he sure killed the crux move of Daddy Fat Sacks.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Nick of Time

Ben and Max have been raving about this line they checked out at Ute Valley the other day. Being a skeptic of anything Ben Snyder finds cool and hesitant to spend an afternoon at Ute Valley (substitute here any number of other Crumblewood-esk spots) it took some convincing. I ended up heading over there with Tim today after class to meet up with Nick, Ander, and Max. The moves are of a very high caliber, reminisant of some of the cooler Hueco roof climbs, but the poor rock quality and proximity to the ground bring the overall quality of this climb down. I wandered off for a bit but got drawn back in as Nick dialed the moves in and started coming very close. Nick nabbed the first ascent, calling it Nick of Time (V6), and shortly after I got the second ascent. A little bit later, Ander managed the third.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Yes, its really that good!

So I have been trying to explain to my friends how good the climbs and quality of rock in Washington really is and I think I finally figured out how to say it best: Gold Bar makes Mt Evans look like Ute Pass. The granite in Washington has this amazing fine grained texture to it that is unlike any other granite I have been on. It is grippy without one ever having to focus on hitting crystals correctly. Below is Damien at the end of Rosbongo on the Five Star boulder. The Five Star boulder is a true world class bloc. I would rank it among the Dali Wall, the Mushroom boulder, and the They Call Him Jordan bloc for quantity of quality climbs.

Monday, November 26, 2007

War of God Video

To continue my Thanksgiving break media onslaught, here is a crappy video of me doing War of God (V7) at Gold Bar. Hopefully, I will be able to get some more storage space on the Colorado College server and put up higher quality versions of this video and Max on Megaladon. Stay tuned.

Gold Bar Video

Spent some time last night editing some of the video that we took over the last week. I am using quicktime videos cause I think the quality is higher but if things are not working out I can throw it on YouTube. Here are Large (28 MB) and Small (12 MB) versions of a couple climbs in Gold Bar, Washington.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Early Morning Sesh

Today Bryan and I woke up at 5:30 and headed to Gold Bar. We arrived at the Equinox boulder at 7:45 just as it was warming up to a climbable temp. I went to work on Twisted and had my beta dialed in pretty quick. After falling a few times up high on the easier moves, I was able to put everything together and send. It is hard to describe how good this climb really is, but I will say this: the rock is better than anything I have climbed on in Colorado. Next, Bryan and I tried Equinox a little but I was not very motivated and we decided to move on. We played around on some other classic lines but decided to go get on some new things we have never tried before. We went to this line that Joel put up on this immaculate overhanging face. The problem turned out to be pretty hard and we decided to move up. We tried two other more moderate problems but both were located in the forest and were a little wet so neither ended up going. Here are some pictures of Equinox and Joel's line. Twisted video to come.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Green Goblin

Here is an unedited video of Johnny G doing the Green Goblin in the upper forest of Gold Bar, Washington. High quality quicktime version to come.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Back in Washington

Thanksgiving day seshwan at Gold Bar. Boyko, Patrick, Damien, and I woke up at 6:30 as to be back in Seattle for our various dinner plans. We went up to the clear cut area in the morning when it was cold and got on a few problems before meeting up with Cole and Johnny G and heading to the Green Goblin. Boyko had a rad day, doing Equinox (V11), The Green Goblin (V11), Dave's Problem (V10), and The Ta Ta Box (V10). The following photos are Twisted, Equinox, The Rubix Cube, and Mt Index across the valley.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Statements of the Day

Day Light Savings = Lame
Vasya climbing Jaws II = Sick
Everybody's a Victim = 5.13b
Trail Running = Me out of Breath
Uncivilized = Harder than Old Gaurd Sit

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Old Foam?

Anyone have any old crash pads they would be willing to donate to the awesome cause of biulding a sweet dorm room crash pad couch? The more shitty / soft soft soft / blown out the better!

Friday, October 12, 2007


Ander made two weekday trips to Mt Evans this week in hope of sending his late season project The Dali. Despite a large flapper from his first visit this week, Ander sent it yesterday second try. Congrads man, a sick climb and even prouder to be your first of the grade!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Random Photo Posting

Good news: Ute Pass is starting to come into season and maybe soon the Daddy Fat Sacks holds will no longer feel impossible to grab. Bad news: I somehow tweaked something in both my middle and ring finger and cannot climb right now. Hopefully it will heal quickly. For now here are two pictures of Julia Sick at the Pass

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Late Season Mission to Area D

After a long and tiring session in Clear Creek on Friday, a whole crew of CC kids headed up to Mt Evans to wake up early Saturday morning. I decided that any possibility of reaching the rumored greatness of the Area D blocs would be worthwhile. And I cannot say I was the least bit disappointed. I think I can actually go as far as to say that it may be the single most amazing climbing place I have ever been too. Four amazing lines each up the center of an overhanging face each with no other way to the top peached high in the valley overlooking the lower Chicago Lake. Despite a little wind, we had a gorgeous day that was even a little hot at times. Amazing for October. We finished our day by hiking down to Area A and everyone sessioned a little more. I slacked a little on taking shots cause I was so blown away by everything I saw but here are a few.

Summit Lake

Tallus below the Black Wall far above Area D

Ben on an unknown problem above Area D

Ben attempting a very hard undone roof

Ander on Slander

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Sport Climbing!!!???!!!

So I know my blog is usually about bouldering but just wanted to say that I am psyched to have sent my first 5.13b/c, Spray, at Elevenmile Canyon today. This is a a full four grades harder than I have ever climbed on a rope. Should I follow Ethans logic on Realization it would make Spray 12c or 12d. Maybe I have enough endurance now not to fall off the last move of Bushpilot cause I am pumped.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Cold Cold Climbing

The first block break of this year consisted of two days at Mt Evans and two days at RMNP. Old and new faces abounded and were generally friendly. Dan, Larissa, Ander and myself arrived at Evans on Thursday morning and packed in out stuff to camp overnight. Thursday was an amazingly beautiful day, probably one of the nicest I have experienced in the apline. Crisp temps along with a nice breeze made the clear blue skies still amazing for climbing. Everyone worked lots of stuff and I managed to come away with a send of the Mirrormask Stand. Paul attemped to climb the Dali wall in a day and in the process climbed Clear Blue Skies and No More Greener Grasses first go and Mental Masterbation second go. I worked No More Greener Grasses with Herm and Brian Capps for a while. Lynn Hill also showed up for a while and proved to all of us she still knows how to climb better than the rest of us combined. A true technician of style and form. The next day the skies had clouded over and the winds picked up but things remained dry. I had been eyeing the line Peasants into Leaders that Ben Scott had put up earlier this summer since I first visited Evans before school started and decided today was my last chance to attempt it before spending the next eight months regretting not trying it at least. After two falls from around 15 feet I managed to complete it to my great joy (and my spotters, thanks Ander for the body check to the pads on fall two). The climb is a true five star line and is one of the most amazing sends I have had. The next day at RMNP proved to be poor for climbing but after sticking it out under Tommy's Arete for 4 hours (I kid you not) durring rain, snow, and hale the skies cleared for long enough for Ander to do it. He was psyched and we quickly tried a few other things before wet looking clouds lead us to retreat for the day. The next morning was another amazingly clear day but Choas had been hit hard with a storm overnight. Most of the climbs were either wet or iced over. As we arrived we were met by four Jason Kehl and Abby Smith retreating due to the conditons. I did a problem that Paul said Dave put up that goes into the end of Freaks, it was sharp but still enjoyable. I spent the rest of my day working Bushpilot, falling off the last move a number of times. More ropes I guess. A strong crew of people from England also showed up. Si Moore made impressive progress on Freaks and I would not be surprised if he sent, assuming conditions do not get any worse. Dave Graham was also present to tell everyone that even though he was wearing layers and layers of clothes, it was not nearly as cold as Maine. On our way back down from Upper after looking at Jade, we were greeted by the angry cursings of JE echoing through the Canyon as he made negative progress on the Automator. GO POSITIVITY, GET PSYCHED!

P.S. probably the longest post ever written by anyone so if you made it this far give yourself a pat on the back

Block Break One Pictures

JJ demanded a 12 photo update from the last four days of alpine bouldering to make up for my recent decision to start sport climbing again. Well, I had plenty of sweet pictures but he shall only receive 11 shots. Details of the break to come soon.

Ander on the Dali

Lee Payne on All Dogs Go to Evans

Ander on the start of All Dogs go to Evans

Paul sticks the "easy" move for him of Ode to the Modern Man

Ander sticks the last move of Autobot despite copious amounts of glare

A snowy and cold Upper Chaos Canyon from Jade

Brian Capps on No More Greener Grasses

Ander on the Mirrormask Stand

Larissa on the Chocolate Croissant

Dan on the Bierstadt Boulder Slab

Me on Peasants into Leaders. Dan Dalton Photo.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

11mile Session

Went to Elevenmile with Byron, JJ, and a crew of Denver peeps. Good energy and psyched which resulted in many things getting attempted/sent. Justin made a first boot of doom ascent of a 5.10 to the right of the Spray wall. Things got a little cruxy before the first bolt had been clipped due to the left foot boot factor but all turned out well. I messed around on Spray on and off all day and feel like it could go when my endurance improves a little. Smoke Signals also saw two more ascents and I did a sweet first ascent of a scary yet easy problem uphill from Chill Style. Check Byron's blog for video of it shortly.