Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Sunny Day in Eldorado

Rain and wind kept us inside this weekend, but the weather was good on Thursday. My students were participating in "Take Your Child to Work Day." I couldn't teach, so we took the day off to climb. We picked up Maciek in Boulder and started hiking. The Plan, once again, was to find "Lost" and the "Elegant Infinite." We stopped at the "Sound Wave Traverse" to warm up. It was in the sun, and our skin was giving out quickly on the warm rock. We needed a shady block, so we changed plans and started the steep hike to the "Nightmare Block."

The "Nightmare Block" problems climb strange purple/maroon rock that is solid and slick. The "Standard Nightmare" had a stream running under it so we stuck to the shorter problems on the left. After warming up on "Derek and the Sentinel" we started working on "One Cigarette Makes it Murder." It took a while to figure out the sequence. I got to the topout first, but got pumped and backed off. Maciek climbed it next try. After seeing him do it, I committed to the highstep at the topout and it felt fine.

The sit start makes the problem even better. We worked out the moves, but the problem came into the sun and we decided to leave it for another day.
We went back to "Sound Wave Traverse" which was now in the shade. The "Sound Wave Traverse" has some really neat holds including a long feature that climbs like a tufa!

Ashley loved the problem.

She did the long variation, and started trying it backwards. I did the shorter one, but Maciek wasn't very interested in traverses. We got a chance to talk about the world and U.S. policies. I really enjoy hearing about issues from a different perspective. We talked about a lot of climbing areas too. Maciek mentioned sandstone bouldering back home, and sent me a link to some photos. Beautiful looking lines. It looks like Fontainebleau to me, but in a wilder setting.
These are a few of the shots.

Bouldering there requires forestry practices. Notice the saw on the ground.

Blackberry bushes grow all over the boulders. Maciek says the berries are really good, and that boulderers often top out, and aren't seen for half an hour. When they get back down, their fingers and lips are covered with blackberry stains.

First ascents there require a lot of gear. This photo was captioned "Kill da Forest."

I hope you all have a good time at the "Rocky Mountain Highball" show tomorrow. I'd be there if I could be.


sock hands said...

that tufa looks really nice! where is this block in relation to the nightmare block?

for reference, when walking along the rincon trail in the nightmare block vicinity, there is a huge block with the "trailside v7", and some will lemaire scoop problems. from here, if you drop downhill off the trail and follow a shallow wash, you will encounter the cluster of blocks with will's blue whale problem and others, continue down further and trend a tad left when walking downwards and you should run into the elegant block. it sits about 50 yards uphill from the bolted eldo block.

finally: one cigarette is a great problem... was confused about all the funky/contrived rules for the low starts to it, but i remember really enjoying the upper section.

and dang, that euro stuff looks very nice!

Lloyd Family said...

The "Sound Wave Traverse," with the tufa, isn't that close to the Nightmare block. It's in the Musical Boulders just a little ways uphill from Midnight Frightening. Map and directions are in Benningfield's Colorado Bouldering 2.

Thanks for the directions to the other blocks, we'll get there eventually.