A line of 5.10 ads says "Quit Your Job." Ashley took that advice last May, and it's been great for her climbing. I'd estimate that she's jumped a couple grades since last year, and she appears to be as strong as she's ever been. We both climbed Chris Marley's line "Mr. Smiley" V7 at the Rock Shop. But Ashley's beta looked more difficult.
I went back to school with Autumn. And Ashley's been traveling with Sierra, seeing the places we've always wanted to be able to see in the fall. When you're teaching, fall is the one time of year that you never get to travel far.
Ash and Sierra enjoying Glacier National Park.
While they were away, Autumn came out to the Rock Shop with me and sent "Bobcat's" V1. A line that I cleaned a couple hundred feet to the west of "Mr. Smiley."
Ashley and Sierra demonstrated the efficient breakfast routine they'd perfected on their Glacier trip.
We re-brushed and climbed a few warm ups that had already been cleaned at some point in the past.
Then Sierra figured it out too!
I wasn't willing to put a full effort into "Bumblespeak." I feared that I probably wouldn't be able to do it, and in the attempt use up the strength I needed to finally send my project. It's a beautiful dynamic problem that doesn't suite my height. It's called "Flying Machete Monster" V5.
I only managed a stand start version, and just that felt at least V6 for me.
Now true fall weather has arrived and I've been taking advantage of it by getting in after school bouldering sessions. Soon the days will be to short for them. My main objective has been the direct sit start project into "Delicate Diagonal" at the Source.
I'd been making progress, but I thought that it would be too reachy for Ashley and Sierra. We spent a Saturday up there anyway, and Sierra sent the project! Ashley sent it a few tries later. Sierra thought that it was easier than "Bumblespeak," and Ashley thought that it was just as difficult. Sierra named it "Mastery Challenge" after the final tests in Khan Academy units.
I use holds that Sierra can't reach, and the line feels like it could be V10 to me. Take a look at Sierra's sequence below, and try to imagine a larger climber making it work. It doesn't even feel possible.
As I write this, Ashley and Sierra are on the road again.
Sierra sent "Big Boy" V7 at Joes Valley, UT
While they've been away, Autumn and I returned to one of my high priority projects at Deer Park.
We had perfect weather for it last Saturday.
My original sessions on this line started with a very difficult, awkward, and crimpy traverse into the feature from the left. That start adds significant difficulty, but also takes away stars from the line and began to seem contrived. I decided to start the line from a different sit start, right below the boulder's main feature. The right hand starts on the crimp shown below, and the left hand starts ~18 inches lower than pictured from a nice sloper. From the start that I did it's a classic V6/7 called "Autumnal." A right leg knee pad allowed me to get a good knee bar on the first ascent.
I also put up a new V3 on the right side of the Focus and Flow Wall called "Crimpy Temps."