Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Three Day Weekend.

After parent/teacher conferences last week I got a three day weekend. The whole family was sick though, so it limited our plans. We didn't want to take the girls outside, so on Friday I went out on my own for a session at Vedauwoo. I didn't send my project, Iron Maiden, but I did all the moves and restored my muscle memory. It was a beautiful day, hanging out in the sun between attempts, and having some time to myself after long days of conferences.

Friday night we went to the Day of the Deadpoint. The costumes were quite entertaining. Ashley had a good time, and climbed well despite being sick. Paige Claassen, a 17 year old from Estes Park, climbed very strong, and won the female open division.

Saturday, I finally got an opportunity to sit down and watch my copy Underground Chuck's new compilation called "Monday Mojo."

I really enjoyed it. About half of the films are well done shorts from Rocklands, South Africa. The other half were filmed in Colorado or Hueco. I love to see areas I climb at in videos, and this one has Clear Creek, Dinosaur Mountain, Penitente Canyon, Redfeather, Millenium Boulder and Mt. Evans. The landscapes are a main feature of each film, and that brings out the atmosphere of each area. Most of these films had already been posted online, but I had only seen a few of them. You can get a copy at for only 15 dollars including shipping. I'm not connected to this website in any way, but I enjoyed this film and the pricing strategy. I'd like this DVD to be a success so Chuck will do more of them.

Sunday, I really found out how addicted to climbing I am. The weather was fantastic, but the girls were still really sick, and I had a lot of grading to do. I really felt like climbing, but I couldn't. Instead, I spent 30 minutes on the slackline, and that helped me feel a little better.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Short Las Vegas Trip.

We went to a wedding in Las Vegas last weekend. Wedding festivities filled most of our time, but we managed to make it out for a hot afternoon at Kraft Rocks. Our Dr.Topo guide didn't have up to date approach information and we got yelled at by a landowner who was a complete jerk. I'd like to call him worse, but some of my students visit the site. It was too hot to get motivated on hard problems, but I've wanted to do the Pearl for a long time. It was very difficult in the heat, but I managed to figure out some beta that worked before we left. Definitely a tricky classic.

If you head to Kraft Rocks don't go down the private drive. There is a legal approach trail one block to the West.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Eldorado Canyon Bouldering

The weather didn't look good for the mountains yesterday, so we decided to stay on the Frontrange and take a trip to Eldorado Canyon. Our plan was to hit the Ron's Keg and Pony Keg boulders to warm up, and then head to the Nightmare Block. We hadn't been to the Keg boulders before. We ended up finding enough problems to fill the day there and we never made it to the Nightmare Block.

I always have a good time at the Eldo boulders, but I've learned to disregard the grades. Nowhere else have I had to work so hard for problems rated V3-6. The only V5 I've managed to do there is Germ Free Adolescence. I've tried others, and they often feel impossible. We warmed up on some good V2s. Chip's Arete is a V2 that took a couple tries before we commited to it. Trust the high step and it's easy.

After our warm-ups we got shut down on a V5 going up from a hueco on Ron's Keg. Rather than getting discouraged, we went to the Pony Keg boulder to try a "harder" problem, the Fingertip Traverse V6. The problem suited Ashley with high feet, and crimpy holds. She sent it quickly, and started working on an extension. I managed to send it soon after her, but it felt really hard. It's a cool problem.

Wisps of misty fog were blowing through the canyon all day. It gave the whole session a dream-like fantasy feel. Quite beautiful, we may have to get down to Eldo more often.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

An Unexpectedly Good Day for Bouldering.

The weather report looked bad for the weekend. I hadn't planned to get any climbing in. Then on Friday afternoon the forecasts changed. The predicted storm wouldn't hit until Saturday afternoon. We decided to head up Poudre Canyon to an area called the Bog.

The weather was perfect till the late afternoon. We warmed up on an unknown problem. It's a low traverse on sloping holds out of a cave made by two boulders about 50 feet west of Simple. It tops out on a slightly high, but casual V1 face. We didn't figure out how to do a couple moves in the cave, but there was chalk on all the holds. If you have any information on whether the problem I just described has been done or not, name, or grade, I'd like to know. From there we got on some other unknown problems that turned out to be pretty easy. I still can't read Poudre problems without trying them. Some easy looking things are hard, and some hard looking things aren't too bad.

I looked around a bit more, but didn't find much to try. We decided to head back to the Dynesto boulder. The video "Solutions" had Jay Shambo doing a cool looking dyno problem on this boulder. The problem consists of two dynos to get up the boulder. The first between the two best holds on the left side of the face, and the second to the pointed top, out right. All intermediate holds are off. I had tried this years ago, but couldn't stick the first dyno. I'd always hit the hold and spin off. Today I dynoed further to a better part of the hold, stuck it. Eventually I managed to do both dynos in a row. Dynos aren't my specialty, and I'm only 5 foot 4, but it felt about V6 to me. It could be easier for taller people. For me it was absolutely classic. Each dyno was right at my limit. Ashley did a left to right traverse of the Dynesto boulder. I repeated it, and would rate it V6 as well. A couple sharp holds, and an iron cross move are the crux. Fun problems, at a beautiful place in good weather. What more could you want?

Dynesto. I had to hang out while waiting for the camera flash to charge so it looks posed.