Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Injured Finger

About five weeks ago, I hurt my left pinkie finger at Triassic. When my friend Ted fell and his head was going straight for some talus, I reached out and caught his shirt, where my pinkie got wrapped up and twisted very badly. After not being able to use the pinkie for the last five weeks, I decided to go to the doctor and see if they could tell me anything. Luckily, there is no tendon damage and the bone is not fractured. Just a really bad sprain to the joint nearest the tip. If I can keep from jaring it, I should be able to start using it again in a few more weeks.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

2009 Goals

So the tick list was fun and all, but a bit much to keep track of, espeically without the aid of an 8a spraysheet. So for 2009, I am going to share a brief list of significant things that I would like to accomplish. It is finally starting to feel like the end is near for my time in Colorado. I have accomplished a lot in the last two years, but there are a number of prizes still out there which I would really like to finish up. Also, if I was to characterize 2008 for myself, I would have to say it was the year of the gear climbing and I would like to continue broadening the spectrum of climbing I do in 2009. With no more adieu, the goals are:

-Free climb Liberty Crack (6 pitches), Liberty Bell, North Cascades Traditional 5.13-(?)
-Climb a 5.14 (something beautiful, steep, and endurancy)
-Climb the Squamish Grand Wall, Half Dome, El Capitan, and the Incrediable Hulk
-Do a big free route in Yosemite (Freerider 0r Regular Route of Halfdome?)
-Climb a roof offwidth upside down (potentially Belly Full of Bad Berries, Trench Warfare, or Bad JuJu Roof)
- Continue searching for that King Line boulder problem out there in Southern Colorado, and keep establishing things along the way
- Finish Seraut, Wrist Rocket, Bushpilot, Muddy Waters, Gin and Juice, Walk Softly Sit, "Hayden's Project", Horseshoe Stratler, Talledega Nights, and the Green Lantern

2008 Final Report Card: D

Since it appears the weather in the Northwest is not going to allow for climbing until after the New Year, I have calculated the results from my 2008 tick list challange. Under the rules established by Sock-lord-choss-crunch, I tallied all problems flashable for me and harder that I attempted this year and found I had a score of 58.4% where completeing a problem in one session gives full credit on that problem, while each subsequent session reduces the credit. Under the grading rules established by Colorado Colllege, this gives me a D. While I did manage to get a passing grade for my climbing in the year 2008, I hope Rylan and Jaeger fare a bit better. I will say though, I gladly accept my D in conjuction with the time I put in finding and establishing new problems in Southern Colorado than an A from just repeating previously established problems. Excited for what lies ahead in twenty-o-nine!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow Snow Snow

After a bit of an epic in the Colorado Springs airpot, not even due weather but rather mechanical malfunctions, I arrived in Seattle last night. Almost immedialty I realized that climbing would not be happening today. Washington has had a very snowy winter and there is more snow on the ground in Seattle then there is along the Front Range right now. With another week of snow in the forecast, it is unlikely I will be able to get out on any blocs this break. If things do clear up, I will take the opportunity to head out to Index and try to get on some trad lines and boulders. Here is a quick shot I took of the snow outside my house:

Thursday, December 18, 2008


        Yesterday, Byron, Dave and I headed up to Ute Pass with the goal of trying the long standing Horseshoe Stratler (v13?)  Both Byron and I made significant progress, albeit with very different beta.  I even almost grabbed the second hold correctly.  Check Dave's photo page for two shots of us trying it.
       Tomorrow I am headed back to Seattle for the holidays.  It has been a bit cold and snowy in Washington as of late but the forecast is for good weather tomorrow and Saturday.  Bret and I are heading to Index with the hopes that conditions might make things feel better then this summer.  Updates with photos and video to come.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

From the Archives: Weekend Mission to Joe's

Here are some shots from a trip I made with Carlo, Conner, David, and Joe.  Rode the bus up to Boulder Friday afternoon and got back to campus around 3 am before class on Monday.  Pictures below is Carlo on They Call Him Jordan, Beyond Life, and Nerve Damage.  An interesting trip to think about...  the days when a V6 could still shut Carlo down.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Back in the Springs, Back at the Pass

Yesterday, Tim, Sam, Byron and I met up at the Pass to do a bit of bouldering.  Despite it being December, Tim's thermometer read 66 degrees when we got back to the car at dusk.  WTF???  Just as I walked up the Prow area, Byron turns to me and asks for a brush and a spot.  After disappointing him with no brush, I gave him a spot and Byron immediately crushed the crux move of Daddy Fat Sacks.  Let me repeat.  Byron, after being injured for almost two years, crushed the move of a boulder problem, that at the peak of my fitness, I only ever stuck once,  using that beta.  WTF!!!  Psyched to see Byron climbing so well so quickly and psyched to see him so psyched.  Shortly after this, Tim cruised through Ship's Prow stand.  For equally as long as Byron has been injured, Tim has been falling off the mantle jugs out of being so pumped.  Then just as the light started to fade, Tim fired off what I refer to as The Black Dahlia, an undercling traverse in the corridor between Cool Cuts and Ship's Prow.  Maybe there is something to be said for climbing on real rock for 12 straight days then taking a rest day and coming back to your projects.  Here is a ghetto photo of Tim on The Black Dahlia.

Echo Canyon

To keep up with our pace of climbing every single day of our 12 day break, we decided to check out a cobblestone conglomerate crag that is located along I-80 near the Wyoming border.  Tim had checked it out on a previous drive back to school and it turned out to be a very fun spot to stop for a few hours and split the drive up a bit.  Reasonable rock quality (better than Castlewood, not as good as Maple) with mostly big moves and good holds, making the climbing mostly about endurance.  Shown below is Tim doing Graffiti Patient (5.12b/c) second go.

Work Update #2

Shown here is Tim on Someone's (name anyone?) Jump. It is located a few minutes downhill from Prime Rib.  Starts on two incut but slightly painful crimps, and dynos to a massive jug. A similar move to the throw on the Dali but a bit harder.  Took me a number of tries, but I was able to send.

Prime Rib

Update for Byron at work!  Here is Tim on one Little's best, Prime Rib, located in the Upper Wasatch Resort area.  It is a bit of a hike for LCC standards but well worth it.  A striking compression arete to what is hopefully as easy of a mantle as Ben Moon makes it look here.  However, neither Tim nor I got up there to see what it was actually like.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Crimp Face

Pictured below is Tim on an unknown V6 crimp face.  The problem starts matched on the hold Tim's left foot is on.  The crux is holding a bad pinch on the slab and doing a committing throw to a jug.  As the weather moved in (i.e. humidity), we found ourselves without a brush or rubbing alcohol and could no longer hold the slimpers.  Nevertheless, a sick problem.

The Wilderness of Zin

About a mile of Freeze Creek in Emigration Canyon, a overhanging limestone outcrops for about 100 meters.  The rock forms cool little incut crimps on the 25 foot overhangs but can be prone to breaking.  Tim informed me that one of the bolted lines may still be a project and we went to work on it.  The next day, Tim fired the line off at something around 5.12c. Immediately following this. I broke a key crimp that you match on a few feet below the chains.  Probably a bit harder now but who knows.  The described line goes up the steepest section of rock to Tim's left in the foreground.

Wrist Rocket

This is another one I first saw on MVM and knew I wanted to check out.  This stunning line starts with some moderate lie-backing and moves into dynamic compression climbing with a tricky mantle.  After about an hour, I was able to get to the mantle but could not stand up on my feet.  I have to say, this is now one of my five favorite boulder problems ever.


Starting on Branson's and moving left on crimps that require some hard body positioning is Shivers.  It is described in the guide as Little Cottonwood's Midnight Lightning.  After numerous attempts, neither Tim nor I were able to top this one out.  Here are a few shots:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Branson's Arete

After watching the MVM short of Branson's Arete, I knew I wanted to check out this cool looking line.  It turned out to be perfectly my style of tricky heal hooks and awesome compression moves and I was able to quickly send.  There are a few photos below. Stay tuned for many more updates to come from our trip in the next few days.

Heading North

After satisfying our desire to stuff our fingers into stuff, it was time to pull on some blocs again so Tim and I departed for the SLC area to do a bit of climbing and some relaxation at Tim's house for the holiday.  We headed up to Little Cottonwood two days.  I climbed a lot of amazing, classic problems but nothing of too much note.

Tim on Barfly (V8). Ghetto rock but cool moves.

Finger Cracks

After Triassic we headed to Joe's.  Off all injuries, I sprained my pinkie spotting, which turned out to be a more significant hindrance to climbing than I would have expected.  Grabbing everything with three fingers sucks.  I tried some climbs at Joe's but nothing went well and I decided to rest as the next stop was three days in Indian Creek.  The theme of the trip was finger cracks, I did not place a piece bigger than a BD #1 the whole time.  I completed Left Crack (5.12) and flashed Johnny Cat (5.11+) but mostly just got on cool new stuff that I want to go back and try more.  However, Tim, who flashed Left Crack, and Rich, who flashed Middle Crack (5.12-), were the champions of the trip.

Me of Left Crack

Just past the crux, trying not to blow it on Left Crack.

Rich cruising the locker fingers on Middle Crack

Rich completing his flash of Middle Crack


Its been a bit since an update but I actually have good reason.  Long story short, Tim and I convinced our geochemistry professor to give us time off between two school breaks, allowing us to connect them into one epic 12 day break.  We packed our stuff up and headed west to Utah, climbing paradise for pebble pinching kids and old school crack addicts alike.  First stop was Triassic. Pictured below is Nathan and Sam on some fun moderate that we got on at the end of the day.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Trad in Elevenmile

Snuck off to Elevenmile today to hop on a few cracks that I spotted on a previous trip.  Tim and I each got on two cracks.  The first being a stealer offwidth to perfect hand crack and the second being an amazing left trending dihedral.  We set up a top rope on the second and neither one of us sent, but the climb moves amazing well on thin crimp liebacks.  With a little cleaning up and maybe the placement of a bolt to protect the 5.12 feeling face climbing where your gear is 20 feet below you, the climb could be a great lead.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Green Lantern

Went and tried the Green Lantern up at Ute Pass yesterday.  Only established problem I have not done there and after two years, I still have not stuck the crux move.  Hopefully as it continues to get colder, I will be able to get it all put it together.  Here are some pictures of me trying it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Late in the Day Failed Attempt to Scale Some Rocks

Yesterday, Tim and I busted out of class just after 4:00 PM.  We hurried over to the Garden of the Gods to give the half sport climb, half finger crack line, Kor's Korner, a few goes.  Neither one of us remembered the gear very well and it turned out Tim left most of the stuff he would have wanted at the base of the climb.  After epicing with placing the few cams we had that were small enough to get into the pin scars, it was almost dark and I did not get a chance to get on it.  I plan on returning on Sunday and putting some good effort into this quality line.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Byron and I went up and had a short session up in Elevenmile today.  Shown here is me on the FA of Quinine (V3-ish) and Byron quickly getting the second ascent with some kneebar trickery.  It starts right hand crimp, left undercling pinch and moves right up the arete on slopers and sidepulls.  I also put up a line that exited out left with a odd mantle that felt about as hard but not as cool.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Wunsch's Dihedral

On Friday, Nathan and I woke up early and headed to Cathedral Spires, which holds one of the best multipitch climbs in Colorado.  It is called Wunsch's Dihedral, and heads up the beautiful dihedral on the left side of Cynical Pinnacle with four great pitches. We wanted to do a variation of the first pitch by taking this amazing finger crack left of the normal pitch but after whipping twice on my gear and wasting some time figuring beta out we decided to bail to the standard 10a pitch.  Next, Nathan had a bad-ass lead on the third pitch and despite running out of hand size gear, ran it out to the anchors.  I took the third and after aiding through the very awkward hand sized roof crack / chimney / layback (yes it is all of those in 10 feet), slowly moved up the amazing finger sized dihedral.  After using all the hand sized gear in the first part of the pitch, I also had to run the end out to the anchors.  The last pitch is a mid 5.12 slab, which we both aided through the crux moves off.  Overall an awesome climb in an amazing area, but I would love to come back and do it all free.

A picture stolen off of Mountain Project of the splitter hand crack that is the second pitch.

Herbaceous Orangoutang

This is a problem at Ute Pass that I have not really put any effort into since I did it for the first time in the spring of 2007.  Decided it was time to add this to the circuit, so Max and I put some effort into it.  Neither one of us did it but we both were able to catch the sharp crimp that is the crux move.  Behold...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Went to Elevenmile today.  I forgot to throw a rope in the car so we changed our plans and headed to Chill Style.  Still feels impossible.  Nathan found new beta on Chill Style Left, making it more V8 but tore a huge flapper after almost sticking the jug.  Good bouldering conditions have finally arrived in Southern Colorado.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Recent rock scaling

        Things have been a bit slow recently in terms of climbing for me.  I got down south this week to do a little climbing with Dane.  I was going to get on the crack, which turns out to be called Conception (5.12, FA John Sherman), but upon arrival got psyched on bouldering.  Dane and I wandered around for a while, saw two new boulders I had never seen and a nice wall that could yield a hard 3o to 40 foot sport climb.  We also checked out some of the talus boulders that I had previously passed over for more accessible problems and ended up putting some chalk on what will be a cool new compression roof.  I did all the moves but was not able to do the hardest move on link and will hopefully return when the weather clears up.
        Yesterday, Nathan and I went up to Ute Pass.  It had been a while since I had really had a good session at Ute.  Nathan and I warmed up on some nice V4's in the Crack in the Woods and then spent some time on Skinned in the Woods.  I was able to do this one first go, which felt nice considering it is probably the hardest problem I have topped out for at least two months.  Nathan made some really nice progress on it and I will suspect he will return to crush it upon cooler temps.  We then walked over to Ships Prow, where I repeated Undercling Traverse  and Cool Cuts Direct.  As things continued to warm up and we both started to ooze a bit, the decision was made to call the day early and return to the Springs.

Nathan scaling some rock at Crack in the Woods

Some nice fall leaves at the pass

Nathan working Skinned in the Woods