Monday, August 24, 2009

RMNP Video

Shot this on Sam's little camera. Not the best quality but I decided to post it anyways. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


On Saturday, Sammy D and I went to Upper Chaos Canyon to do some pebble wrestling. On Thursday Tim and I had climbed D7 on the Diamond (post to come) and I have in the past found myself feeling out of place and unmotivated to top out at bouldering areas after ascents like that. Despite being hot, I was fairly motivated and tried a lot of things I had never been on. I managed to do Ladybug (V7), flash The Not Bacon Wall (V6), and do Right El Jorge in a couple of trys (V9). This is by far the most problems I have ever topped out at the park in one day and it felt good to finish some stuff up quickly. The park seemed very busy to me and I remembered why I usually stay down in Southern Colorado. However, it was nice to see some friendly faces at the end of the day at the Dead Raccoon, where we all got together and made fun of JJ (with love of course).

Sam on the Not Bacon Wall

Andy on the Not Bacon Wall

Monday, August 17, 2009

Elevenmile Canyon - Couch Block

On Sunday, Byron and I took Jaeger up to the couch block. I gave the project some good attempts but it was too hot to pull on the sharp, small crimpers for long. After brushing the topout off and figuring his beta out, Justin got the second ascent of my Where the Wild Things Aren't. We decided it probably was not V7 and I think Justin decided to take eight points.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Photos From the Archives: Fontainebleau

In the summer of 2006 I traveled to Fontainebleau with my good friend Bryan Boyko. Both of us had qualified to compete in the speed competition at youth worlds. We decided we could justify traveling to speed climb if we could go climbing outside in Europe too. Another good friend had an apartment in Paris and offered to let us stay there for a week. Each day we would wake up, ride our rented bikes to Gare de Lyon, throw them in the train and take the 30 minute ride to Fontainebleau, get off and ride our bikes, crash pads on our backs, to whatever bouldering area we chose. Sometimes the rides were mellow, such as to Bas Cuvier (a great system of trails and dirt roads exists through the forest that bikes can use) and other rides, such as to Cul de Chien, would turn into multi-hour sufferfests, riding into the wind with a sail of foam on our backs. We got about as good of weather as we could have asked for in August and got to climb on some amazing boulders. My obsession with climbing had grown significantly since my trip to Switzerland the previous summer and I was excited to take in as much climbing history as possible.

Photos from the Archives: Switzerland

In the summer of 2005, I traveled to the Ticino region of Switzerland with my family. My dad was on a month long sabbatical studying the regional style of architecture found there. The region is one of the most famous in the world for its modern style of design. In between looking at buildings, I got up to Cresciano a couple days. The area was empty and the temperatures were far above ideal but it was an awesome trip anyways. I climbed my first outdoor V6 (a lowball lip traverse). I also got to see Dreamtime, which looked absolutely impossible to me at the time (when I looked at the backside of the boulder, I did not even realize Story of Two Worlds was a line despite the fact that Graham had climbed it about six months previous to me being there). Until I returned to the states and did a bit more research, I did not realize that at other times of my trip I was within kilometers of Chironico, Magic Wood, and Sustenpass.

My first V6. I am still surprised I could hold those slopers in the summer heat.

Falling on Harry Spotter (V6)

Some V5 I do not remember the name of.

Photos from the Archives: India

Over winterbreak of freshman year, I visited a good friend in India for two weeks. We traveled around the south of the country and I snapped this photo just outside of a small town in the Tamil Nadu region of the country. Smaller fields like these were common sights in this part of the country, which is over 500 km from the more massive boulder fields of Hampi. The obvious, large overhanging faces on the horizon are all at least 20 feet tall. Unfortunately, I never got to stop and actually explore any of these likely unclimbed boulders.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Great Gatzke

After I failed on Silven's arete, we moved down sector so we could work the Great Gatzke (V7). After seshing the problem together and remembering old beta, Kieffer crushed the line. It was Kieffer's first send of the grade and he did it with the quickness and athority. Word!

Pretentious Vendor of Invention

So Ryan Silven put this one up back in April. He graded it V9+ and said it was hard. Well I am here to say that I agree with him, it is very hard. As to the grade, I do not know. Both the start and finish moves I have not been able to decipher. I have been climbing with Kieffer a lot in the last six months and he commented that he had never seen me try something as many times as I did this rig today. All that being said, the problem is a clean line on good rock and with awesome movement. The only way I was able to do the start leaves me in the wrong position for the middle section and I am pretty sure my method differs from what worked for Ryan. As for the top, I am equally baffled. The last two photos show different top sequences I was trying. I invite anyone to go give this rig a try and let me know what is up.

Back to the Wets

Kieffer and I decided to do some pebble wrestling today. We hauled all the way to the Atari Sector and warmed up there. Kieffer almost sent Alarmclock Awakening (V7) but decided to save his energy for later. The problem, while very fun, is not particularly photogenic and was a cool challange to work with. While the climber does not offer much in these photos, I really like how the shots are framed by the single aspen tree.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Blitzen Blocks Video

As promised, here is a video I put together of the two problems Byron and I put up on Wednesday. HD here.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

New Finds

I have always wanted to wander around above a small talus area that you pass just before the Atari sector. I convinced Byron and Sam to stop there today with me and we uncovered some really nice boulders. I was able to get the first ascent of one of them and am naming it Blood F**king, a reference to a particularly brutal scene in HBO's vampire television show True Blood. I have decided people take naming boulder problems too seriously (well, actually I have decided people take bouldering too seriously) and enjoy naming problems things that make people feel uncomfortable. The line goes around V5 and is a really fun compression block to a long, still-needs-to-be-cleaned-better slab. By the time we got to climbing on this one, it was pretty hot and Byron was not really feeling it too much so I did not get any great pictures. But the somewhat jumbled sequence below gives a good idea of the nature of the climb.

Riverside Sloper Problem

Today Byron crushed the riverside sloper problem (V6/7) first go. It was pretty warm there today but we moved around to stay in the shade and still got some rock scaling in. The picture of Byron climbing does not do this boulder justice but I snapped a nice portrait while setting up.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Epic in Elevenmile

I have been getting out more frequently and it feels good. Byron, Jake and I went to Elevenmile to check out some boulders we found about a month ago. On our way to the blocks we stumbled across a nice concentration of boulders we had missed last time and decided to stop. We cleaned up a really nice arete and I got the first ascent of after a short session. I am calling it Moonwalking Cowboy and it is probably about V5. Next up was a really nice, right moving seam that set you up for a cruxy throw over the lip. Byron casually walked up this one once we cleaned the top jugs. Not sure what he is calling it yet but it goes at V4. I sent just as Byron was finishing the downclimb. There were a number of easier lines and two hard looking ones we decided to pass on so we could check out what we had previously found further up the hill. However, just as we arrived at the next concentration we started hearing a wierd sound. It was like someone was throwing rocks into the air from higher on the hill and they were wizzing down past us. Within a minute or so it became clear we were in an all out hail storm as the sky opened up and small marble sized hail stones began dumping on us. We crouched under the block we were going to climb for about 20 minutes before it cleared and we hurried back to the car. I captured some fun video of the storm along with both of the first ascents that were done. I will post the video next week when I can put another HD one up on Vimeo. For now, here are some stills from the footage.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tojo Risen

Yesterday, Aaron, Julia, Kieffer and I spent the afternoon in hiding in the shade. It was a very fun day. I worked a bit on Too Many Mind, which seems very difficult for the V8 grade but I am going to go ahead and blame it on the 90 degree heat we are experiencing right now. Kieffer climbed his first V5, Pineapple Express, and his first V6, Tojo Risen, giving him the employee of the day award. Well actually Kieffer climbed Tojo Risen twice so I could get some nice angles and put a video together. HD Here.

A mouthful

Try and say Crutch, Clutch, Crux five times fast without looking at the words while doing it...