Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Greetings from Guanella!

Did you know that there are man-eating bugs at the Guanella pass boulders?  Not actually, but tell me this little fella on my shoulder couldn't EASILY carry off Kristen or Alexa.  Justin called it a "stone fly" I believe.  I call it scary.
A large crew could be found at the main cluster this past weekend.  Some working old projects, some enjoying the stone for the first time.  Here Sam is looking focused on an unnamed problem. I somehow convinced Le Baron Chosscrush Von Jaegervitch to cease hostilities long enough for a little session.  Here he is with his tongue out on a fun dyno problem. I think I angered this particular elf when I told him that I keep a foot on when I do it.  Alas, he sent and enjoyed. David Garcia came up with Nicole and enjoyed some time on the stone.  Here he is exhibiting the "I am in 100% control at all times" beta for a quick send. Nicole spent some time under this little beauty.  It is on the trail on the way to "mind matters" and it is WAY AMAZING!  I suggest doing it if you haven't already.   This problem has a name, but is known to most as "ninja pony".  Originally, some suggested it to go at V8.  Although I think that seems a little high, it is a fun dirt burglar diversion.  Here is Nate trying to keep his cheeks off the pad. Didn't make it to Dark Horse this particular day, but it probably was a little warm and humid anyway.  Stay psyched everyone, the heat has to stop eventually!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Here's the deal...

Sorry for the lack of posts lately.  I spend a lot of hours a day trying to find a job on-line and by the time I'm done I just don't have the stones to sit and write a post.

In attempt to make it up to you, I offer this update for what has been going down lately.
CAUTION:  Extreme Wickedness Below

I know you won't believe this, but YES ladies.  He IS single.  July 11 (yes, I'm that far behind) saw us at lower chaos.  It's looking good kids.  Snow has melted out from under almost everything you could want to get on.
As usual, the Flanimal was CRUSHING.  She sent Revenge very quickly as well as everything else she touched.  (Including a FULL bottle of Lemonade.  Gross.) Not many pictures taken that day, but we did run into this lanky beast in the middle of the trail on the way down.  He just trotted in front of us for a while and disappeared.  Weird. Saturday the 12th brought us to Mt. Evans for a good day.  Erin way off the deck on the nice slab problem behind the Ladder.  Worth doing kids. Kevin getting his hands on some Maker's Mark.  So fun.  I can't believe I'd walked past it so many times!  Then again, it was RAINING most of those times. This v3-v4 sits just to the left of makers mark.  Beautiful view no?
Stones kids.  Big Stones.  Both to climb on and what it takes to climb.  That sums up Area B.  Here Lee Payne cruises the horror show "last dance".
The butterflies this thing produces cannot be conveyed in pictures.  It is HUGE.  Thomas put in several VERY GOOD efforts, but I think we will come back when the snow berm is higher. Dave also climbed strong on the problem.  However, it was a little out of his comfort zone up high. This roof / flake feature just BEGS to be traversed.  Who am I to say "no"? Alexa also took a lap on this incredibly entertaining problem.  Crush Alexa CRUSH! Biggity decided this lip traverse looked worthy as well.  The mantle is certainly difficult!  Dave put up a line that comes out from directly beneath Kevin called "comfort zone".  Appropriate because it's not 30 feet tall, and the crimps are PAINFUL! Back to the Park.  Friday, July 18 was another trip to lower chaos.  If you get on these things enough, I swear you can send them!  Kevin pulled hard and managed to tick Revenge!  Nice job dood! Flannery basically flashed Tommy's Arete.  She had a false start that I swear she did on purpose.  (going for the no pressure send)  Mucho respect Flan!  And nice send! Saturday and Sunday the crew split up.  Kristen, Rich, Dave, and myself all headed to red-cliff after some rope-swinging shenanigans.  Though none of us really finished projects, we did make good progress.  Rich and Kristen have Minturn Mile all worked out, and Dave and I are close on Return of the Jedi (Dave especially).  Oh, and look at that GORGEOUS lantern sesh! Sunday morning, I woke in my tent barely able to move.  After breakfast, a couple warm-ups and a failed attempt on Jedi, my day was over.  Everyone was feeling pretty tired, but Dave raked together the grapes to get on Immortality.  He's got the beta worked and is ready for a cooler day for the send. Despite being incommunicado for the better part of two weeks, we have been climbing and fun has been enjoyed.  I hear there are designs for all sorts of destinations this weekend.  Where's the session at kids?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Some Good for the Hood

Today Sarah and I went out to the Elizabeth Fontaine Primary School to see if we could find an administrator to meet with and see about how to arrange the transfer of the funds we raised for the school. We were met by Mariette, who is the acting principal at the school and she gave us a short tour of the grounds. The school is very well run, and there are awards from all sorts of different competitions, government agencies, and international organizations adorning the walls. Apparently the dance squad at the school is one of the best in the country (continent?) and regularly is asked to perform at important functions in the region.
Mariette explained to us the importance of our donation in meeting their current goal of providing new blankets to all the children who board at the school during the week due to the distance between their homes and the school. By sleeping at the school it reduces the risk of travel and allows the students to be socially active in a safe, supervised environment. We understand that many of the students do not have beds to sleep in at home and this also makes the 'hostel' aspect of the school very appealing.
Long story short, this school is a very worthy charity. 120 rand (about $15) buys a quality blanket that can be put to use for years to keep a young student warm during the cold winter months. If they sleep soundly, they have more energy for learning. It's quite simple.
If you wish to make an additional donation, or if you didn't get a chance to donate the first time around, please use paypal to send me a donation, and we can include it in the funds transfer to the school. All you need to do is go to and tell it to send money to
The bouldering here is still going well. I've completed two V14's, though the second one, called Moistie Maistie may be a little soft... Mine was only the fourth ascent so time will tell. I hope everyone is having luck on their projects back home!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lake Tahoe: Final Installment

The rock quality in Tahoe is, overall, very good.  Of course there are areas where things are chossy and other things are bullet.  Most of the areas are comparable to red cliff or guanella pass.  Granite, but a little larger grain.

I cannot stress enough the lack of footholds on most boulders.  It was a very different style to get used to at first and definitely not comfortable to climb on in the shoes that I brought.  Most of the local yokels climb in Anasazis or Katanas.  The aggressive downturn was only nice on a couple of the boulders we encountered.  The norm was smeary feet and a paste as much rubber as possible type of situation.  But... without further ado, on to the rest of the pictures.

This problem barely qualifies at V0 or VB (V-Basic) but was just so pretty a picture, we could not pass it up.  Plus we had the pleasure of enjoying the swimming pool just below the falls on one of the warmest days of our trip.
Honestly, as long as you stayed off the wet spots, the hardest part was actually establishing yourself on the boulder.  Way fun though and worth doing.
I made Marcelo do this 3 times and kept telling him I didn't have the camera on, or missed the shot.  Sometimes its a LOT of fun to mess with the Delo.
After wading in behind the waterfall and letting yourself be washed out, you encounter this very slippery rock.  Since the water is so cold, your only thought is to get your ass out of it ASAP.  Don't I look silly groping for holds?
Speaking of looking silly, I found a "motor boating" trophy in the diggs parent's house.  This was just too good to pass up.  After all, I am a motorboatin sumbish.
This is the Toltecca boulder.  It is eerily similar to Morrison's black hole.  Not that it is a contrivance factory, just that the holds are pretty smooth, the angle is fairly steep and the rock color is similar.
This problem went in very short order for the Delo (Flash) and quickly (second go) for me.  Mostly due to the sudden re-introduction of foot holds and heel hook possibilities.  Trust me kids, footholds are a commodity to be treasured.
I know the pictures don't convey the drop, but the Bob Boulder is TALL.  It also has some of the most enjoyable moderates I have ever climbed up its lanky faces.  This is Kristen getting it done on the shorter corner.
This area made me laugh.  It is called Echo View Estates.  It is literally a backyard to several houses in the area.  The homeowners do not have a problem with the climbers being around so long as they park in certain areas.  I wish we had such good relations with landowners here in Colorado!  Kristen a little way off the deck on a nice V4.
The rock quality here was interesting.  The climb Marcelo is on is called "Made in the Shade" and it is absolutely solid.  However, the boulder behind him is so soft that if you brush it with a pant leg on the way by, pieces come off looking like kitty litter.  How does that happen?
This problem was my gem of the trip.  It is called the 19th Hole.  It sits in the trees about 20 yards from a golf course green.  We had an enjoyable session heckling the golfers while trying an interesting problem.  It took some try hard, but I had the good fortune of knocking it off.
I don't think this was the most enjoyable problem of Marcelo's trip, but it was certainly impressive.  It's a V10 dyno called "Hate Handles".  Marcelo managed the 3rd ascent (as confirmed by the locals) and the only ascent that has gone in one day of effort.  Marcelo's ability to huck his meat skyward is second to none.
Our trip finished up watching the 4th of July fireworks display that the casino's put on every year.  They launch the display from a barge out on the lake and it is all choreographed to music on a local radio station.  Watching the fireworks in the air and the reflections on the lake was very very cool.
Not a bad way to spend a week in July!  The temps never got above 85 and there was more rock than you could ever hope to climb.

Chaos Canyon was sweet on Friday and Evans was even better on Saturday.  Pictures and posting coming your way soon.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tahoe Days 3 & 4

Our third day of climbing in Tahoe was an evening session at the Alpine club boulders.

Matt gets a little shaky on the warm up crack.
Climbing at sunset made for great temps and beautiful photo opportunities. Diggs enjoying some slabby smears and a good lip. Doesn't her shadow look like something out of peter pan?
Dello on the route less traveled (as usual). Matt fearing for his life in the background.
A little too much focus for V2. Just saying.
This problem was really cool. Kristen commented it reminded her of 9 lives in C-Wood. I agree except that 9 lives has feet.
Ahh yes. This tall problem was described as classic v4 in the guide. Classic apparently means old school scary as hell bouldering on a large flake that could go at any moment. It held Marcelo though, so I guess I was pretty safe.
We had the fortune of meeting up with some locals on day 4 who took us on a cleaning / recon mission at one of Tahoe's ski areas. It was a lot more hiking than climbing, but we had a great time. This photo is Ahren making the FA of Mistake Flake.
This is Jay Sell. He has been active in Tahoe for quite a while and was our three star tour guide for a later day in the trip. His motivation an enthusiasm are absolutely infectious.
Jay cleaned up this sloping rail traverse on thin crimps with terrible feet. No one managed to send it, but it sure was a lot of fun to try!
Kristen made the FFA of Mistake Flake while we were here. It involves doing a three point match on a VERY flexy flake at about head height. It will certainly blow someday, but it hung around long enough for all of us to send.
This is a crack line that we found and cleaned in another part of the ski area. Not a terribly difficult line, but the beautiful location made it a very enjoyable session.
Plenty more pictures coming. I promise. Thanks for checking them out!