Thursday, January 22, 2009

Finally!

So...I have finally arrived to my destination.  Hayley and I left last Monday from Illinois to make our journey to Utah and it has been quite the excursion.  I drove through the night while Hayley slept (cause I'm a Boss).  I finally had to turn the wheel over to her once we reached Denver.  I'm usually pretty bad about driving at night.  Generally, I'm the guy who sleeps the whole trip.  I was running on psyche though and I cruised through the night.  We also ate breakfast at the Village Inn, which was delicious...baller!  
  

After that I was so tired it was hard for me to fall asleep. Kinda messed up, I know. I slept all of 30 minutes before we arrived in Rifle. I was psyched to get out of the car and check out the sport climbing mecca of the west. All I can say is that I am rediculously psyched to climb there over the summer. It looked sooo good! I even tried to cop a belay from Hayley but she wasn't having any of it. Oh well, I'll be there for 3 months this summer. I can't wait!

We lounged around the Rifle library for the rest of the day so we could catch up on some homework. We drove to Price Utah later that night and decided to get a hotel to get some well needed sleep. We woke up the next morning and drove the 30 minutes to Joe's Valley, somewhere I've been wanting to go for years. 


After some hiking we found Area 51. Two of the boulder problems on my ticklist, Resident Evil V10 and FreakV10, are at this sector. After quickly warming up I gave Resident Evil a good flash burn.

Resident Evil V10


I fell matching on the big jug rail...one more move and it was over. I ended up giving it three more tries before sending on my 4th go. After that I moved around the boulder to a problem called Freak. The problem starts on a good right hand sidepull and follows three powerful moves on small crimps out a steep roof. After figuring out the feet, I topped out after a few tries. Last night we made our way down to Black and Tan to camp for the night. I woke up and saw one of the coolest looking walls I've seen. The climbing looks steep, powerful, and sharp! Unfortunately we were unable to climb today because we had other priorities. One thing that I've realized is that it is damn hard to do school work, move across the country, find a job, find a place to live, and find time to climb. We have definitely had our times of uber stress the last few days but hopefully it all works out. Tomorrow is a climbing day though! I am beyond psyched to get out and climb! I'm amped to try some of the routes on my ticklist tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be able to pull one of them out!




Some shots...



Trying Black Lung


Strappin' Down the Ghetto Rig


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Headin' Out

So yesterday Upper Limits hosted its 14th annual rope comp.  I am worked from the past 4 days of forerunning and setting.  Major props go out to all those that helped make the comp successful. I had convinced Hayley to compete about a month ago and she reluctantly agreed.  She ended up in 2nd place going into finals and came out in 1st after it was all said and done.  She basically killed it....We are currently packing up the car so we can leave for Utah first thing in the morning.  More updates to come...hopefully something interesting happens soon...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Illinois

So plans changed a bit since a week ago.  Instead of going to So Ill for a few days to climb, Hayley and I ended up going to St. Louis for our friends' very sudden wedding.  It was a fun weekend of partying and we even got in a sick gym session on their garage wall.


I am now at home in Bloomington Illinois.  I've been busy with a new semester of online classes and setting for a comp.  Really, there hasn't been a whole lot happening.  Hopefully I'll be able to update with something interesting within the next week.  Kinda lame for sure.  BUT...I leave Sunday morning for Utah.  The countdown is on...






A shot of Tennessee Thong at LRC...



Photo:  Kevin Todd

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Preliminary Joe's/St. George Ticklist

So I've been sitting around for the past week, watching climbing videos, resting, and coming up with a list of problems and routes that I want to do while I'm in Utah for the next 6 months.  There is so much to do but my time is somewhat limited so I've only included problems in Joe's Valley and routes in St. George.  Hopefully I'll be able to get close to doing all the climbs on the list as well as some others that aren't.  I'm so psyched to get out west and to start climbing somewhere new!  Its always a learning experience climbing in new areas and I'm excited to learn some new climbing styles and techniques.  Anyways...here's the list.  I'm sure I'll add other problems and routes as I go and I'm always open for suggestions...


Boulders

Joe's Valley
The Wind Below V8
Smokin' Joe V9
Worst Case Scenario V9
The Knocking Room V9
Resident Evil V10
Trent's Mom V10
Beyond Life V10
Freak V10
Fingerhut V10
Worm Turns V10
Nerve Extension V10
Prince of Thieves V11
Jitterbug Perfume V11
Man From the Past V11
They Call Him Michael V11
No Additives V11
Battletoads V12
Beyond Life SDS V12
Blackout V12
Black Lung V12/13


Routes

Gorilla Cliffs
The Present 8b+/5.14a

Black and Tan
Sniffing Glue 8a+/5.13c
Old World Lullaby 8b+/5.14a
Breakin' the Law 8c/5.14b

The Cathedral
Treebeard 8a+/5.13c
Pucker 8a+/5.13c
Sonic Boom 8b/5.13d
Half Broken, Half Baked 8b+/5.14a
All Dressed Up With Nowhere To Go 8b+/5.14a
The Incredible Huck 8c/5.14b
Slaughter House 5 8c/5.14b
Golden 8c/5.14b
Tree House 8c+/5.14c
Golden Direct 9a/5.14d

Monday, January 5, 2009

Rest Days

Today is rest day numero 3.  It seems like everybody in the southeast is going crazy from a lack of climbing.  One day the forecast looks good, the next it is raining.  So frustrating...but hey...whatcha gonna do?  Watching videos, eating, and occassionally cross training are key to staying sane.  I think I've watched every good climbing video online as well as all my actual videos.  


I leave the southeast Friday to head home to Illinois.  I'll be stopping in So Ill for a few days to do some climbing at the Holy Boulders and some other little areas.  Guns and Roses is a classic problem that I haven't had the chance to check out yet, so that is definitely on my list.  It looks sick!

After that I am heading back home for a week to set for a rope comp at my old gym, Upper Limits.  It should be a fun week and hopefully the comp will have a good turn out.  Then I'm off to Utah!  Very psyched.  I'm working on a preliminary draft of my ticklist for Joe's, as well as the next 6 months or so.  I'll post it as soon as I'm finished. 

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Biggie Shorty Extension

After a rest day I woke up early so I could spend the day bouldering at LRC. It is always a struggle for me to get up at 5 a.m. in order to sign up for passes for the day but yesterday it was definitely worth it. The day started slow, waking up at 7, making coffee, and driving the hour and a half to Chattanooga. It was pretty cold when we finally arrived due to the wind so it took awhile to warm up properly. I jumped on one of the coolest looking problems at LRC called Tennessee Thong...cool moves and a long lock-off to a sloper gets you to the top of the rig. Very cool indeed. This problem was hard for me for sure. The long lockoff to the sloper was full span for me. Luckily I was able to do it quickly and without getting too worked.

Next on the agenda was the Biggie Shorty Extension. I had tried the problem a few days prior and had gotten close after figuring out the moves. I climbed the original Biggie Shorty V10 a year ago on my first trip to LRC. The extension had just been put up by Matt Bosley and it caught my eye immediately. The shapes of the holds, the natural line, and the fact that it was difficult made the problem very appealing to me. When I first started working out the moves, I realized that it was very possible for me and I actually ended up falling going for the sloping sidepull of Biggie Shorty on one of my last goes a few days before.

I threw pads down and brushed all the holds, something I am notorious for doing before every problem I try.

Photos:  Kevin Todd

The conditions were much better yesterday than they had been before and I felt good. My first and second go I fell going to the slopey crimp rail before the move to the slopey sidepull. I realized I wasn't fully warmed up and rested for a few minutes before trying again. This time I hit the slopey crimp rail, matched, made the long lockoff to the slopey sidepull, and managed to make my way to the top.  

Biggie Shorty Extension V12

I am very psyched to have climbed this problem without too much trouble. As for the grade...those who've done it call it V12. However, they called it V11 for the triple crown comp. I'm going to agree with others that have done it and call it V12. It is hard for me to grade problems at this difficulty because I haven't had much experience at this grade and because this problem suited me perfectly. For me it was more difficult than God Module and as hard as other V12's I've tried in the past.


Anyways...the day was still young and there were other problems that I wanted to try. I had tried The White Face V10 a week or so before when conditions were poor and fell going for the finishing hold. Yesterday I sent second try, only after my foot slipped while going for the finishing hold...again.


I absolutely love this problem. It's somewhat tall, powerful, and crimpy,...all good qualities in a boulder problem. It is also techy...but it doesn't really climb like a technical problem...weird... but awesome! 

There's a problem just to the left of The White Face called Tyrone Biggums V10 that I've been wanting to try when temps cooled down a bit and when friction was available. My skin was thin and sweating at this point but I was somehow able to hold the bad slopey crimp rail long enough to move my feet around and make the move to a jug. 

Yesterday was by far one of the best days of bouldering I've ever had and I am psyched to be resting today. Tomorrow Hayley and I are either headed back to LRC to try and finish some of our projects or we might change it up and head over to check out Foster Falls. 

We leave the Southeast in a week to head to Utah and there is still so much I want to do before we head out. I'm definitely gonna miss the Southeast-the people, atmosphere, and awesome climbing-but I will be back! Southern Utah is gonna be rad-The Cathedral, Black and Tan, VRG. First stop on our journey...Joes Valley! So psyched...Joe's looks SICK!!!


Some shots of Hayley...



Hayley getting her highball on...