Sunday, August 17, 2014

Wrapping Up Our Summer

With the end of Summer approaching, and a lot that we still wanted to do, we climbed outside every other day during the last few weeks of summer.  A couple projects are still unfinished, but we got quite a bit done.
Ashley's hardest ascent of the summer was Electric Storm SDS V7/8.  Chris found this line and did the first ascent from a very low start on a low right rail at ~V9.  Not knowing where Chris had started the line, we had begun working on it from a sit start with our right hand on the rail, and our left hand on a higher crimp.  We got used to our start, and our beta.  Later, when we found out that Chris had started lower, we decided that our start was already hard enough for this season, and didn't make the switch to Chris's harder start.  The line has great features, fun movement, and offers a lot of climbing for a single boulder problem!  Nice work Chris!   

Ashley sending Electric Storm SDS.

I was having a lot of trouble with a move on Electric Storm, so I also put my energy into a couple lines I felt more likely to finish.  I rapped and cleaned a line on the right side of the boulder.  I called it "Perfect Storm" and think it's a V6.  It's a good training line that isn't too fingery and worked my core.  Here's video of the first ascent.

I also sent "Sh!# Storm" from our sit start at ~V6.

Going for the big move!

We spent a day sport climbing at the Aspen Glades with perfect weather.  It was our first day on a rope since last winter!  Not only was my endurance poor, but I'd completely lost my pocket climbing callouses.  The skin on the sides of my fingers started hurting surprisingly quickly, but I still had a good time.  We'll probably spend some more time sport climbing this fall when I don't have as much time to find and develop new boulder problems.

The Aspen Glade on a cloudy day.  Exactly what you want this time of year. 

One of the most convenient ways to find new rock is to hike out to any unknown rock formations that are visible from the areas you already climb at.   One evening I hiked with my dogs out to a formation I'd seen from the Roaring Fork.  The area has a lot of potential, but catches a lot of sun.  So I'm planning to return as soon as the weather cools. 

This compression project at the area really caught my attention.
We got back to the White Stripes Sector of the Roaring Fork for our final climbing day of summer vacation.

I got the second ascent of Davin's V5 "Guardian Angel Arm."  We also had a project I'd jokingly named the "Mini Mini Project."  I got the first ascent, and decided to keep the name.  I climbed up and left from the start, but Ashley also worked out a method that goes right.  Either way, it starts sitting with the big rail and tops out using the good hold only four feet higher.  Don't let it's stature fool you.  This short line packs a punch, and either method is ~V6.

Ashley on "Mini Mini."
Sierra is climbing more, and doing better all the time.  At the Roaring Fork she's projecting Justin L.'s line "Tic Tac Crack."  She's really close to doing it, and it's a perfect way for her to learn both lieback and jamming technique.

And we aren't even done yet.  We've got another area to talk about.

On a summer exploration day, I hiked some domes that I had noticed from the Rock Shop.
The entire area has a lot of boulderable vertical walls, but few freestanding boulders, and is close to South Pass City.  So I'm calling the area "The City Walls."

The vast majority of the rock out there is solid, and featured, but unfortunately overhangs are rare.  And it's often too featured to create hard bouldering.  This gorgeous overhanging face probably goes at only V1.
I was feeling sore, and a little ill, today.  So we decided to make a trip to The City Walls.  It was a good place for me to do some moderate climbing, and for Ashley to still be able to get good workout.  We left the house at 6:30 AM to get as much cool weather as possible, and managed to get in a great session due to a brisk breeze and by spending the middle of the day climbing in a shady gully.  On the first wall we visited we put up four new up problems and two traverses.  Ashley's low traverse is probably V5.
Repeating a fun V2.
Sierra really surprised me by flashing this steep problem that Ashley named "Wind Tunnel."  It felt ~V3 to me.

You might have noticed that Ashley has a new Organic Pad!  It's was my gift to her for our 14th wedding anniversary.  We love the colors and design!  Thanks Josh!

Willow and Roo seem excited about it too.
So there are many new areas and problems to be excited about right now.  I'll be looking forward to each and every weekend...

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