Saturday, October 27, 2012

Devil's Kitchen Featured in New Video by Bear Cam Media

Devil's Kitchen has had a lot of visits during the last few weeks, and things are developing pretty quickly. Check it out.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Wobbler

I don't condone throwing fits amongst the boulders, but this line was a perfect recipe for screaming.  I've been falling off this mysterious line on the north side of the Camera boulder for years.  It was cleaned before we moved here, but it isn't in the guide, and none of the locals I've asked have known the name, grade, or if it's been done.  So I wasn't sure that it was even possible, but decided to give it a try last weekend in perfect sending conditions.  After many attempts, I finished the top and knew the line was possible.  That's when things got a little bit epic.

I had set up my camera to record the send, but it was really hard to keep the really bad sloper after doing the bottom moves.  The first throw is a V6 move and I knew I might run out of the power to do it.  The sloper hold pops unexpectedly, uncontrollably, when you really don't want it to.  I kept hitting the record button to capture the send, and just kept failing instead.  The frustration built, as did the yells and screams.  This is a collection of the falls and fits edited together with the eventual send.  I decided to edit out the couple instances of explicit language.  Bouldering can be really frustrating, but there really isn't any excuse for a man my age to act this way.

The Wobbler

Click through to YouTube to see it in a larger format.

Once it was done, it felt V7 physically for someone my height, but very conditions dependent and much more frustrating than the average V7.  Please let me know if you have any knowledge of this line's history.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Couple Days Bouldering in Cody

 October offers the best climbing conditions of the year.  And it would be a shame to not take advantage of the month when the rock seems to grip you back and everything feels a grade easier.  So we decided to take a trip up to Cody for some sandstone bouldering.  We visited a few areas, beginning with the "Space Oddity" boulder.  It offers some great traverses from V3 to V5, and it's east face offered shelter from a cool breeze.  But it's right above the highway.  Most of the Cody bouldering has a better ambiance, but the rock is good and offers fun pumpy warm ups on big holds.

Ashley dressed for the cool weather at "Space Oddity."
 After Space Oddity we hiked up the hill to the "V0" boulder.  Ashley and I climbed a few problems from V3 to V6 on the north face, and Sierra enjoyed the quality V0s on the west face.

 Sierra makes bouldering faces uncannily similar to her father's.
 The next day, I took the girls to the local pool so they could swim while I did some school work.  Clint, a local Cody boulderer, recognized us and introduced himself.  I mentioned that I was interested in climbing "Wilford's Wretch" and he said that he might be able to come out climbing with us.  That evening the wind stopped, and I gave him a call.  In less than a half hour we were bouldering.  After I fell off the first move, invalidating the onsight attempt, Clint shared all the beta.

 I made many attempts, feeling rushed by fading light.
 Made it to the last move three times, but couldn't get myself to fully commit to the long move to the lip.
 Clint demonstrated how it was done.
 But I just kept falling.
 That night, I decided to change my beta.  If I could throw to a good edge in the middle of the boulder with my right hand instead of my left, it would save me a difficult match and leave me with a little more grip strength at the top move.  I tried the new method the next morning, and the throw was more difficult, but still doable.  I set up the camera, and committed to committing.  It worked.  I climbed "Wilford's Wretch," and it's one of my all time favorite problems.  Such a classic!

Clint also recommended a problem called "Lewistown Pharmacy" found above the Africa area on Cedar mountain.  We went to check it out, but Roo wasn't able to negotiate the talus field.  So I had to carry him.
 He was pretty excited to be let down on the other side.

"Lewistown Pharmacy."
The beta on "Lewistown Pharmacy" was trickier than either of us suspected it would be.  A difficult start leads to a moderate top.  For a while it looked like we wouldn't be able to put it together, but eventually we both unlocked it via different methods.

Here is video of Ashley climbing "Lewistown Pharmacy" and my ascent of "Wilford's Wretch."

We finished our workout down the hill, as the winds and clouds started building up.  It was time to drive home.

Lander has great bouldering too, but the quantity and quality of the developed bouldering near Cody make it worth at least a few trips each year.  It's fun to climb on established classics, and with every trip we've met another friendly Cody boulderer.  Thanks for the beta and directions Clint!  Our best climbs this trip wouldn't have happened with out you.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Grabbing the Days and Not Letting Go

Good conditions and busy times!  No time for writing this week, but I did get the entire family into Devil's Kitchen for a beautiful day last weekend.  We were so busy climbing, I only got the camera out for one problem.

Jesse and then Ashley on "Paradise Found" V5/6.

Willow and Roo enjoying Fall conditions at Wild Iris.

Winter's coming.  Get out when you can.