Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hobo Cave Sessions 2 and 3

We will be leaving soon for Joe's Valley, Utah, and Ashley wanted to climb the "Hobo Cave Traverse" before we left. She decided that we would go back out to Hobo Cave Wednesday after school, and Saturday if necessary. Wednesday was a standard session. I sent "Around the Corner" which eluded me on day one. Ashley worked on the traverse, and we both climbed "Hobo Center Right." It has a long cross over move that looks improbable at first, but is so much fun. We got home late.

Saturday was a standout session. When we arrived, the cave was already occupied. A familiar man and his daughter were sitting on pads in the cave. He knew the cave well, climbing loops and showing us beta by doing the problems we asked about. He told us about hidden foot cams, drop knees, and undercling sidepull sweetspots. Though we knew the man by name and had climbed with him at Morrison, we never realized his history before. The man was once the "Castlewood Ronin Ninja" who left his chalk on problems in Castlewood while never being seen or identified. Lately he has spent about 15 sessions learning all the variations in Hobo Cave. It took me a little while to warm up, but once I did the Ronin Ninja's refined beta allowed me to start sending problems. Thanks Ronin Ninja! Ashley completed her project first try of the day, and we got on a roll of sending problems quickly, often first try, for the rest of the session. It helps that many problems in the cave use the same sit start, moves from the traverse, or the same ending holds. Once you get one problem worked out it helps you do others, like words in a crossword puzzle. Despite this, the three sit starts, "Hobo Far Left Direct," "Center Left Direct," and "Center Right Direct" are classic, and have very different crux moves. We found them all to be of similar difficulty, in the V7 range. I've never climbed so many new problems at the upper end of my range in a single day before. It was really fun. The next post will be from Utah. Hopefully without snow.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hobo Cave

Hobo Arete

It was a teacher work day in my district. I went into school yesterday, and graded for five hours straight so I could go climbing today in nicer weather. To get out of the wind, we decided to check out the Hobo Cave. I learned about it from Chip's guide blog to Flagstaff. Thanks Chip. I've put up a link to it. We enjoyed the area, and plan to go back. Ashley wants to do all 14 problems.

Ashley working Hobo Cave Traverse

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Carter Lake

Jesse doing the jump on "Kahuna Roof."

We hadn't been to Carter for a while. I was excited to try the "Doughboy Arete" which is a relatively new problem on a relatively new boulder. It fell out of the hillside just a couple years ago. "Dough Boy" is about 20 feet tall, with harder moves than I expected. The moves aren't obvious, and I wouldn't have made much progress if I hadn't seen a climber named Colin send it yesterday. It begins on the East face with iron cross side pull throws, and insecure feet. The top half appears easier than the bottom, but requires committing to foot smears off a good sidepull high off the deck. I never managed to get to the second half where I'd have to make the decision of whether to commit or not. I'll make that decision another day.
Jesse, Will, Aaron, Shaun and a few other climbers were climbing on the nearby Kahuna Boulder. We left the girls playing in the sand by "Dough Boy" and jumped in with them. "Kahuna Roof" is a definite classic, which just gets more fun each time I climb it. Ashley climbed it years ago, but hadn't repeated it since a crimp broke at the lip. She sent it again yesterday by adding three moves to her original sequence.

On the way out Sierra and Autumn got attacked by a twelve week old puppy, and Sierra used Autumn as a human shield.

They grow up so fast.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Bouldering at Arthur's Rock

We went to Arthur's on Saturday.

A new sign suggests that bouldering is recognized by park staff as legitimate recreation.

We warmed up, then jumped on Beast House.

It's short, sharp, and stupidly difficult. Three moves long, only if you include matching as a move, over maybe five feet of rock. Ashley tried it on our first climbing trip to Arthur's approximately 8 years ago. Ashley's tried it a few times over the years since then, but never sent it until yesterday. It's hard to rate a problem like this. I'd estimate V8/9. I can do the first and last move, but haven't unlocked the match yet. Here is the video.

We moved on up the trail to Shot Put. I had never been on this problem before, and I was very impressed. It's a beautiful problem that has some very fun moves. I haven't worked out the top yet, and will definitely be heading back. The last problem we worked on was Snake and Skewer. I've been told this is V6, but the same source once told me Vice is V6. We worked out most of it, but didn't top out. It's a sharp, uncomfortable problem, but I've put enough time into it now that I want to finish it off.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Worked by the Clockworks

Since the forecast for Sat. looked beautiful, we decided to try Red Feather again, specifically the Clockworks area, which we had not been to yet.

We warmed up on some fun short problems, with the start of the second one (pictured) being a bit of a project for me!

Then we hiked up to an arete problem (pictured), which was sharp and powerful, but had really good movement.

We both got to a slopey pinch high on the arete, but could not unlock how to get to the top, which was just 1 or 2 moves away. David thinks it will go with a big jump, but I am thinking I will need to use a slopey sidepull and then a pop to the top. There is also a big move line on the left side of the arete, but the top of that was seeping. I didn't try it at all (see "big move" description) and David gave the beginning a couple of tries. Maybe next trip.