Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Spring Conditions at Arthur's Rock

Monday was warm and sunny, but the wind was brutal. To get out of it, we went up to Arthur's Rock.

We said the wind wouldn't be a problem. Amanda and Brandon trusted us and brought their new baby along.

At the parking area our pads almost blew away, but we were sheltered as soon as we entered the canyon. When we got to the rock, conditions were almost too warm. The wind blowing through the trees on the ridge above sounded like a waterfall, but we were completely protected. It was Brandon and Amanda's first trip to Arthur's. We enjoyed showing them problems we hadn't climbed in years. Most felt easier, which always feels good, and we were so busy climbing I didn't get out the camera till late in the session.

Ashley climbing "Last Resort." Some of the best rock, and movement at Arthur's.

We made progress on a couple long term projects. I'm working "Clutch", and Ashley came very close to climbing "Mole People."

It feels like spring is already here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Summer and Winter in Eldorado Canyon

On Saturday we had a session in Eldorado Canyon which started at the Sinus Boulder.

It has a couple good traverse variations on it. Doing a lie down start on the left, and making my way to the right side was a bit pumpy, and took a couple tries. Ashley did it back and forth, which took more endurance than I could summon.

The sun was spectacular, and the view was nice too.

It was so warm, we decided conditions would probably be good for the "Slick Traverse" at the base of the Whales Tail. Conditions weren't as good as we hoped. I guess the base of the Whales Tail never gets sun in January. The "Sinus Boulder" was like Summer, but it's still winter at the "Slick Traverse."

Our hands got cold, but it was even worse for our frozen toes. Whenever we slid off, it was surprising how bad they hurt.

We've worked this line on a few occasions, but hadn't done it yet. We've always been on it at the end of the day, and never came back soon enough to remember our beta. It doesn't get any stars in "Colorado Bouldering." Probably because the rock feels like it's been Turtle Waxed. It has less friction than any other rock I've climbed on, but I like it. The holds are unique and solid, it requires more tension than you'd ever expect on a slab, and it really dials in your foot work. We both managed to send it, after Ashley rediscovered our beta.

While we climbed, the girls had a good time wrestling to keep warm.

I'm really enjoying the winter season this year.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Doughboy Sessions, Carter Lake

A few years ago a new boulder fell out of the hillside at Carter Lake. A tall problem was established on the Northeast arete of the block called "Dough Boy." I first tried the problem last year, and worked out some moves, but couldn't get high enough to get scared.

Friday Jan. 2nd, Ashley and I went back to Carter and I climbed to a good hold about five feet from the top of the problem. By the time I got there, after many attempts, I was pumped and unwilling to commit to the top portion.

I really needed to get back for a rematch.

We made plans to get out with Ricky on Sunday, but woke up to cold and cloudy weather. So we called off our plans, went to the gym, and began climbing. A half hour later I noticed the clouds were thinning, and could see some blue skies. The obsessive side of me kicked in. I stopped climbing, and totally reworked my plan for the day. I convinced Ashley to get a quick workout so I could leave for Carter at 2 o'clock. I called Ricky, and then Ashley called Ricky. It was obvious he didn't want to go out, but we countered his every excuse. We wore down his resistance until he agreed to ride down with me. I felt a little guilty for pushing so hard, but what choice did I have? I needed a spot.

Already warmed up, I jumped right on "Dough Boy," but slipped off the second crux on my first two tries.

Ricky took these photos of my first attempt.

I took a short break while Ricky worked on "Kahuna Roof," and then we went back to "Dough Boy." On the third attempt of the day I got through the cruxes to the good hold five feet from the top. This time I committed to the high step, and made it over the top. My whole body was quivering, but it was a good time. If you like powerful, insecure, tension climbing with bad feet leading to committing moves 16 feet off the deck, then check it out. It's definitely 4 star. Ricky spotted, so we didn't get shots of the top out. I wasn't willing to repeat it.
We spent the rest of the session on "Kahuna Roof." One of the best problems on the Front Range.
Ricky on "Kahuna Roof."

Thanks for coming out Ricky. It was a great time.

Ricky wrote a fun post about the day from his point of view. Check it out at The World According to the Rick-Mo Squad.