Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sheltered from the Storm at Biglandia.

On Friday, the girls were in school, but Ashley and I were off. All week the plan was to go to Eldo to check out "Lost," "The Elegant Infinite," and any other cool boulders we could find in west Eldo. Ricky was planning make it too, and everything was going according to plan until we drove over the small rise just south of Loveland. We saw dark clouds over the Flatirons, and possible rain or snow. We called Ricky, and turned west, hoping to get a session in at Carter before the snow hit. The wind at the parking area was pretty strong. When we got over the ridge we realized that it wouldn't be a pleasant day at the Monster boulder. We decided to check out conditions at Biglandia. The cliff faces east and we'd escaped the wind there in the past. As soon as we stepped over the Biglandia ridge, the weather was nice. The hillside was in the sun, the cliffs were in the shade, and there was no wind. The rock there is sharp, and many problems don't top out, but any climbing will do when a storm is coming in. We started to warm up, and Ricky and Alexis joined us for a fun day of bouldering and just talking about climbing and life.

Ashley and I were working on a traverse we had tried a couple years ago called "The Rotund." Ashley worked out all the moves again a bit faster than I did. She topped out the end, and I knew she'd probably send it next go. I could keep working out the problem, and likely send it, or I could go for it while Ashley down climbed and maybe get it before she even had a chance. I decided to go for it. The first two thirds went really well, and then I hit the part I hadn't done yet. I gave it everything I had, but fell short. The pump never fully went away during the rest of the session, and I never got "The Rotund." Ashley did it a couple tries later.

Alexis and Ricky did an unknown problem on the right side of the wall, and were working "Ponts De Lyon," a problem that is trickier and more powerful than its appearance or grade would suggest. I got on to show them how it was done, thinking I could get the sending train started, and fell a few times. It didn't go until I made a firm decision that I was going to do the problem. The importance of committing fully to a bouldering problem was reinforced once again. Here are some photos of Ricky sending the problem after deciding that he wouldn't leave until it was done.
"Ponts De Lyon"

Sweet victory.

The stone at Biglandia trashes skin pretty fast. Luckily the "Big Betty" boulder lies in the valley just below. Three quarters of it is smooth Dakota sandstone, Ashley and I hadn't done the full traverse of it yet. We did that, and all four of us ended the day on the moderate slab which was just difficult enough to be fun for us when we were fully worked.

The storm came in, and we headed out. A good session, during unsettled weather.

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