Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Rock Shop Mega-Post, with directions to a dozen new problems.

The Rock Shop is in the midst of its busiest season yet, but it's still very peaceful up there.  Recounting the numerous sessions so far this season would be overly time consuming for me, and for you, so here's some of what's been going on based on photos I've taken so far this season, and a few of the new lines you might be able to find.

This year was the first time that bouldering at the Rock Shop was officially part of the International Climbers' Festival.  Angie and I lead a clinic for a wonderful group of climbers.  We had participants from both coasts, the midwest, the Colorado Front range, and a family of five all the way from France.

Everyone under the UFO.
Everyone appeared to like the bouldering, and even Angie (a pro climber who has climbed on the best granite in the world) was impressed by the rock quality up there.

In midsummer, it always takes some effort to get good conditions.  But it really isn't that hard to get good conditions.  We camped at the Rock Shop for a couple nights which allowed us to take full advantage of cool evening and early morning temps.  I used a lantern one evening and finally managed to climb "Pork Chop" which is a Bryan V. problem that I worked on for three days last season.
But after trying it, we decided that evening climbing wasn't ideal.  Lantern light doesn't reach all the holds, and the mosquitoes get bad after dark.  So our new strategy is to set our alarm clock for five A.M. so we can get to the Rock Shop before seven.  It hurts a little when the alarm goes off.  But it's worth it; for three hours of great weather and a couple more climbable hours to round out the workout.  We've had plenty to keep us busy.  In addition to working on our own projects, we've been repeating lines established by Tony, Chris, Calen, Jesse B., Jesse F., and Bryan V.  I'm excited that so many boulderers help to develop the area!

Here are directions and descriptions for some new lines to check out:

If you go to "Lord of the Flies" and then turn around.  You'll see a small boulder with a couple good V2s.  I'm not sure if they're named, but I think Tony and Chris put them up.
About forty feet left of these new warm ups is a built landing with a trail leading to it.  Starting matched in the chest high hueco and moving up and slightly left is a superior problem established by Tony called "Foul Mouth."  V4 moves, with a tall top out with amazingly good finger jams.  And the built landing is an incredible work of craftsmanship!
Up on the ridge above "Foul Mouth" is the Swan boulder.  Three interesting, fun lines, established by Chris, ascend it's shady north face.

Ashley climbing the easiest line on the Swan.
Southwest of the Swan at ground level is a great V5/6 SDS that follows cracks without using the top of the boulder until the apex is reached.  Another difficult low SDS also climbs straight up.  It has cool movement with heel hooks, but is somewhat dabby at the start.  Chris has been climbing so many lines, he hasn't even gotten around to naming these two yet.
If you pull into the Main Parking a small formation is on your left.  On the back of that formation is a little corridor with two lines.  On the left is the surprisingly difficult and dynamic V3 "Darth" which was put up by Bryan V.  On the right arete is a low SDS V5 that Elliot and I finished cleaning.

"Millenium Falcon"
Elliot made a nice video of the first ascent if you'd like to see how it goes.

My best new problem at the Rock Shop this season is a powerful sit start on crimps that I added to "Stone Country."  It can be found by following the gully uphill east from Sleepy Hollow to the top of the formation where the gully ends.

"Stone Country SDS" V7
I put together a video if you want to see how it goes.

Crawl under "Stone Country" and in the gully behind it is another new V5 I did called 
"Gaston Gaston"

And a final new line to share.  Alan cleaned this line to the right of Font Simulator that goes at around V3.
"La Boulangerie"
To wrap this up this post here are a few new photos.

Zach on "Gem Thief"
Alex climbing on the Storm Boulder.  One of the best blocks at the Rock Shop.  Chris found this block and recently shared directions with me.
Ashley taking advantage of the tree shade on "My Mind's Eye Traverse"
A lizard taking advantage of the pad shade.
The bird that nested in the jugs on "Piggy."
And my favorite bird species seen at the Rock Shop, Western Tanager.
We've been enjoying our time up at the Rock Shop, and still have things that we hope to finish soon. Summer won't last forever.

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