Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer Sessions

We've begun the summer climbing schedule, and it's been incredibly fun. Teaching is hard work, but I really enjoy the benefits. The high chances of rain have kept us close to the car, but the cloudy, cool weather has allowed us to climb at areas that are normally too hot at this time of year. On Tuesday we took a chance on the weather at the Wild Basin boulder in RMNP, and this time luck was with us. Conditions felt better than they ever have. Sunny, but really cool. Amanda climbed with us too, and we passed a handicapped (or should I say tailicapped) squirrel on the short hike in.

My main goal was to finish the "Slot Problem." I've worked on this line for years, and this has generally been my high point.

An attempt from last year.

On Tuesday, I was finally able to hold my position long enough to fit my left hand into the slot rather than jabbing at it as I began to fall. This helped a lot, and going to the top was pretty simple with my left hand locked in. It's a difficult problem.

POV climbing shot from the "Slot Problem."

With the "Slot Problem" finished, I moved on to the "Pinch Problem." While I worked on this, another climber arrived and started working the "Slot Problem" from a sit start.

Low on the "Pinch Problem."

Suddenly I felt like my send of the "Slot Problem" from slightly higher holds wasn't as legit as it should be. I jumped back on, and managed to do it again from the sit start. Ashley did it from the sit start too. It feels good to be stronger, and to have completed one of the projects I wanted to do before we move.

On Thursday, we climbed at the Cloud Shadow wall on Flagstaff Mountain with Amanda. With the exception of Hobo Cave, which has different rock, it had been many years since I'd climbed at Flagstaff. I'd enjoyed "Hagan's Wall," but had the general impression that the rock on Flagstaff was sharp, the pebbles were greasy, and the problems were very sandbagged. Some of these impression are probably true, but I was really impressed by the Cloud Shadow wall on Tuesday. Chuffer's online guide helped quite a bit. In the past, I was usually confused about where problems started, went, and ended. Chuffer's online guide shows exactly where the lines go, and even describes what holds to look for. This really improved the experience. Thanks Chuffer! Cloud Shadow has some of the best stone at Flagstaff as well. Solid, with hueco and rail features.

The Cloud Shadow Wall.

Sierra enjoyed a traverse she found on the "Pedestal." We were given some small rock shoes, and she's been putting them to good use.

Our plan was to work on the "UCT," but we decide pretty early that we didn't feel like trying that hard. I'm hoping my beta was off, because it felt like my wrists might explode from underclinging. At Flagstaff the "easy" problems often aren't too easy, so we tried some of them.
We jumped on the "East Alcove Crack." Here is Amanda giving it a go.

She probably would have jumped back on, but it began to rain. We went back to the base to get our things together. Luckily we didn't move too fast because the rain passed, and the sun came out. The rock dried quickly, and we jumped on "Consideration." It's a fantastic problem that feels committing until you do it. Then you realize it's not that hard or scary. We all did it, and Ashley did it again for photos.


We completed our workout with the "Cloud Shadow Traverse."

We had a lot of fun on Thursday, so we decide to go back to Flagstaff today. The "King Conquer Rock" and surroundings had high classics for me, and a traverse for Ashley. Alexis joined us, and the weather cooperated. The rock quality at King Conquer Rock isn't as good as at Cloud Shadow, but the location and views can't be beat. Every time you top out, all of Boulder is spread out before you.

Ashley climbing "Layback."

My main goal was to climb the "King Conquer Overhang." It's an impressive line, with everything you could ask for in a problem. I highly recommend it.

"Face Out" was fun and then we noticed Shark's Rock a few rocks south of King Conquer. The "Direct West Face" looked really good so Alexis and I jumped on. A beautiful line in an airy position.

Alexis flashing the line.

The rain came in and ended the session, but our skin was gone anyway. A very fun session. More sessions next week ...


chuffer said...

Glad the blog-guide made your visit a bit more enjoyable. I look forward to the time when I can refocus on it and finish it up.

Peter Beal said...

If you want a tour of some of the other problems at Flag, let me know. There are many more to try. Nice work on King Conquer!

David said...

Thanks for the offer Peter. I'd love a tour, I'll write if the weather cools down again.