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.