Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Here and There Along the Way

The last five days I have spent driving out from Seattle to Wyoming. Right now I am sitting in the Thermopolis library getting one last little dose of the interweb before heading out for a month in the Big Horn basin. My Dad and I drove to the Coloumbia River Gorge, where we visited my grandmother for a day, before heading southeast to Reynolds Creek, outside of Boise, Idaho. This is a pretty cool little local spot with volcanic basalt on the right side of the road and granite on the left. The rock is the most similar to Bishop that I have ever seen in terms of the features it produces but not as good of quality. I tried Cataylis (V10), but could not put it together before my skin fell apart. I do not think I have ever tried to crimp so hard. The next day, we went to Castle Rocks to checkout the roof that Warpath is on. It took a little bit of searching but we found the boulder and I have to say I was extremely impressed. Big props to Jamie Emerson for the directions. The rock is amazing quality and the most wild roof features I have seen outside of Hueco. I tried to flash The Smell (V8) but fell a move from the end on the slab topout. After figuring the balancy footwork, I was able to top it out from the start. I tried Out of Africa (V10), but was not overly inspired by it and moved onto Jared's Roof. I have to say this is probably the best roof climb I have ever tried. I did all the moves but the very first and I plan on returning as soon as possible. Part way through the session, two sport climbers showed up and curious as they were asked about the roof and the problems on it. When I told them Warpath was one of the hardest problems in the country, they immediatly responed "Oh, Chris Sharma?" To my respone of James Litz, they just gave me black looks. It was now Sunday evening and I dropped my Dad off at the airpot before driving into Grand Teton National Park. I knew there had to be bouldering and after talking with some rangers got pointed in the right direction. It turned out that the place I went had been climbed at a fair amount and chalk was on many of the boulders. The place had a very similar feeling to Lower Chaos with rock that was equally ghetto in the holds it made but a little more chossy. I climbed a lot of moderates and did what appeared to be a first ascent. The climb had a landing similar to the Gobot and the obvious holds were covered in lichen, something none of the other clibms I did had. I thought it was 5 or 6ish but did not name it. I also stumbled accross a very nice big roof with an awesome moderate on slopers and jugs right up the center of it. After missing the pad on a hard looking line out the underbelly of the same roof, I decided to spend the afternoon hiking. I headed up Cascade Canyon, which is on the north side of the Grand Teton. For the first bit of the hike there were a lot of people but then it thinned out. I saw a number or Elk, Marmot, and a scruffy looking Moose. I did spot a few boulders, including one five star looking line on rock as good as the Immaculate Turd. The landings were not great and I had not brought any foam but I climbed one really cool boulder on opposing sidepulls and underclings that felt V4ish. Many pictures were taken along the way but they will have to wait until I return to Seattle at the end of August. Until then, have a good one out there.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Box Car Arete

So after bailing from the River Boulders we were planning on going to the Camp Serene bloc home to one of Washington's best V6s. However, we thought we might check out the classic Box Car Arete, located below the Index Town Wall. Upon pulling into the parking lot, who do we run into but Cole Allen. We kicked it with him and his friend Mike until it stopped raining then got a tour of the Town Wall and the Box Car Arete. I have to say, Todd Skinner's City Park (5.13c) is one of the most amazing trad lines I have seen in person and I might just have to try it one of these days. We tried to dry the holds off on the arete as best as possible and we all sent. Not wanting to have to return to properly finish off the bloc, I topped the slab out which felt a bit insecure due to the wet slab foot placements but not very difficult. Here is a quick video of Ander's burn.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Joel Campbell: Hagakure

Right after we showed up at Hagakure, who walks out of the forest but Mr. Campbell himself. Joel is another local Washingtonian who knows the bouldering here as good as anyone. After getting the second ascent of the stand, Joel was hoping to get the top wired a bit more today so he could finish off the low start. Joel also gave us a tour of some problems I was very psyched along the River, including Flower, Chutzpah and Kid Hops. All were dry but the very base of Kid Hops. The River blocs might just be the coolest small grouping of boulders I have seen in Washington and is at the very top of my list to return to when I get back from Wyoming. Unfortenatly, we got rained out just as we were walking to them. Here are a few pictures of Joel on Hagakure.

Joel working his way into the stand moves from the low. The stand starts matched where his right is holding.

Hitting the gaston.

Joel showing us how it is done and getting his right foot up and rocking over.

Bryan Boyko: Hagakure

So here it is. One of the best of the best of the best. Undeniable five star line, this one is on par with anything I have seen out there. Hagakure, aka Shadowed by the Leaves, was put up by Johnny G three or four months ago. 12 from the stand and 13 from the low, with some amazing holds and really, really hard shoulder moves. I busted out two static lines and did some ghetto rigging in the trees to get these shots, but I think they come at least near to doing this problem justice.

Boyko setting up for the crux move out to the left gaston.

Hitting the left gaston.

And moving into it.

Leggo My Ego

So today was my first post car trauma climbing day. Boyko, Ander and I headed up to Index to check out some of the new bouldering that has been developed there. And let me tell you, some of the best things I have ever seen. Imagine the best, most imaculate granite out there that produces features on sick overhangs tossed into a beautiful forest and along an amazing river. Were are talking a little Magic Wood here. Five Stars! Boyko, Ander, and I all did this line called Leggo My Ego (V-Tricky) in the Forest Sector. It felt really hard at first but once you figure the body positioning out it comes together in a not so hard feeling send, maybe six-ish points.

Bryan Boyko sticking the crux lip move of Leggo My Ego at Index, Washington

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Very Poo Poo Day

So my worst day climbing, which so far has been at Ute Pass when my crash pad got broken in half and I could not hold onto the Green Lantern slimpers, just got ousted very radically by my day today at Gold Bar. A very sneaky and small rock (think three inches of a football shape sticking out of gravel) caught a car weighed down by three guys and broke something involving the oil. Since this occurred at around 10 am on the way to the boulders, Ander, Boyko and I decided to hike up the rest of the way and go climbing anyways as to make an immediately shitty day a little better. I managed to finish off Dave's Problem (V10) in a few trys. Ander worked War of God (V7) and God of War (V9) a little before we headed off into the forest as it warmed up. Ander did Doja (V7) quickly, while Boyko and I did Doja Low (V8). Next we headed to the Ta Ta Box (V10), which I quickly gave up on before continuing uphill to Lighten Up (V9). I had the distance on the tough lip dyno but could not commit to grabbing it. Just before it was time to deal with the car, Boyko stuck the move from the start and topped the beast out. We then got the car towed back to Seattle, where I am sure to have a fun day tomorrow dealing with it.

This was taken standing directly below Dave's Problem. Unfortunately, the off-roaders have decided to up their game and start driving directly through the clear cut talus. At least someone can drive up there and not break their car.

Friday, June 13, 2008

New Blogs + Lack of Wisdom

Two new blogs have been put up in the last couple of days that I am very psyched to share some about. Kelly Sheridan has created Northwest Granite, obviously focusing on the amazing granite bouldering that this region offers. Ander Rockstad has also created a blog, A-Rock, to keep us all updated on his now full-time climbing travels.
This morning I got all four wisdom teeth pulled out. Ander and I watched a lot of the television show Arested Development on the internet and put together a blog for Ander. I have to say I am feeling much, much better then I expected and we might be headed out to Gold Bar on Sunday to do some rock scaling.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Back in Seattle

Ander and I arrived back in Seattle this evening after 8 days of bouldering. Most of all, our finger tips are ready for a few days of recuperation before getting thrown at more granite. Late yesterday evening, Ander made an impression last-ditch send of The Prism (V7/9) in style, cruising the crux with what looked like little difficulty in true try-hard form. After I flashed The Shield (V7) and we played around on The Coffee Cup and The Practitioner, we bailed to the cooler west side of the state. We decided to stop by Gold Bar so Ander could get a taste of some of the best granite rock around. It must have recently rained because most of the Five Star boulder was dripping wet. I managed to top out Ground Zero (V8) after grabbing some wet and insecure feeling topout holds. I also attempted to get Ander of the classic moderates of the Camp Serene boulder but was shut down by even wetter rock than Five Star. Here is a picture of Ander of The Prism and of the moon rising over the last bit of sun on Icicle Creek Canyon at the end of a day in Leavenworth.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More from Leavenworth

So we head back to Seattle tomorrow. Friday morning I am getting my wisdom teeth ripped out and if all goes well we will be back out climbing by Monday. Can't help but admit that I am a little psyched on giving my skin a three day rest, things are feeling a little rough. I did The Prism today, despite claiming I was not going to pull onto rock. It is extremely height dependent but felt considerably easier than other V9s in Washington. Yesterday, I tried Droppin' the Kirshbaum (V10) a little more and got it put together into a couple of pieces but could not link it together. Ander cleaned a few of his projects up yesterday, with proud sends of the hanging block problem The Sail (V9) and the beautiful tension arete WAS (V8). Ander also tried Musashi (V9) today and made some very quick links before starting to feel tired on the first move. Tomorrow, we plan on heading to Forrestlands before bouncing back to Seattle. Below are two pictures on Ander squeezing hard on the ballancy compression of Musashi.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sword Boulder Video

Ander on the "super classic" Answer Man (V6)

Me on the same problem

Ander sending The Octopus (V7)

Sword Boulder Shots

The very cool dihedral feature of Zorro (V8)

The Squamish-esk sloppy compression problem of Resurrection (V8)

Resurection again

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hanta Man

A few photos from Leavenworth

Atomic Energy (V10)

The Terrible (V7)

WAS (V8)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Leavenworth Update

So Ander and I have been in Leavenworth for three days now. Ander has sent the Dalai Lama (V8) and Hanta Man (V9), both which only took him a few hours of work. Our first day here was really pretty wet but our psyches made it through the day and the last two have been beautiful. I have sent Atomic Energy (V10), Mad Max (V6), IS (V7), WAS (V8 flash), Hanta Man (V9), Premium Coffee (V7), Big Booty Bitch Slap (V10), and Chalksucker (V10). Ander and I both also did The Hole (V6) and The Undercling (V5). Here is a video of me flashing WAS.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Eric's Sister Video

Pleased to say that a video Byron and Gatzke made of me sending Eric's Sister down at Cotopaxi is up on Climbing Magazine's website. Due to lack of HD footage we could not get it put on MVM but no matter, I see it only as their loss. I think Byron and Gatzke did a really nice job on it and big props to Tim Gibson and his band, The Giddy Ups, for the music. Peep the video here.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Gold Bar Solo Mission Day Three

I was planning on heading to Leavenworth today but realized I could not afford to drive four hours round trip by myself so I opted for a Gold Bar session instead. The forecast was iffy but until 10 miles west of Gold Bar everything was dry. However, just before arriving it started to rain. I hoped that I might be able to hike above the clouds but when I arrived at the boulder field I found myself still in the clouds with misty rain swirling every which way. I rigged up these three fallen trees so that I could cover the lip slopers of Dave's Problem with my jacket but after two hours of climbing still could not keep them dry enough to hold onto. I eventually got frustrated and left early and of course it started to clear a bit just as I was driving out of town. Forecast is better for Thursday so hopefully Ander will see a good first day there.