Thursday, December 13, 2018

Autumn Advances

Here we are at the official end of autumn 2018, and Autumn has been advancing faster than the rest of the Lloyd family.  In the last three months, Autumn has advanced at least three grades in her outdoor climbing going from solid V2 to solid V5 outdoor bouldering.  I love it when titles have two meanings!
Let's start when we left off.  We were getting early morning session each weekend in Unaweep at the beginning of the school year.  During one of those sessions we were all climbing "Ghost of Unaweep Past." V5

Then Sam found a lower start.
Then I found a cooler ending.  Instead of heading out right, the climbing looked better and more difficult heading out left.

Sam got the new line first, and called it "Monarch" V7.

I got it second, and Ashley did it with a short top rope.

Autumn started spending more time on lines, and soon she unlocked this V3.
During the next session she tried harder than I've ever seen her try, and she sent "Ghost of Unaweep Past" which was her first outdoor V5.

Ashley climbing from the start of "Disconnected" into a no pinch version of "My Fleshy Oslo."  It's a fun V7 direct line up the block.
The weather stayed hot, and I wanted full climbing days so we drove up to our closest alpine boulders.

I did this really fun unknown V5.
And an amazing V6 compression problem with a tricky top out.

Then came Labor Day.  It was warm, and I was worried about crowds.  So I decided to take my family to the Flattops Wilderness.  It was a fun trip, and we did some good climbing.

Autumn climbing "There and Back Again" V4.

The area is not flush with climbable boulders, but it has amazing ambiance.  I tried to capture the diversity of plant life and the feel of the place in photos, but they don't do the area justice.

 The weather stayed hot, but I decided to check out some sandstone near Montrose.

I liked what I found, and thought I'd spend all Fall here.

I took my family there on a hot day, and put up one good line called "Pocket Man" V5.

And Autumn climbed her first tall problem outdoors.
Then Autumn's comp season began.  We went down to her first comp in Durango, and had a good session at Sailing Hawks while we were there. 

"Skully" V5
The foliage was beautiful!  I took a bunch of photos and used them to promote my book "The Day I Became a Floating Bubble of Awareness."

Then Autumn competed at the Front in Salt Lake City.

The weather cooled down considerably, and we never got back to Montrose.

So I spent some fun sessions at Unaweep, and showed Sam a project.

A couple sessions later and "Darkside" V9 was finished!  Just to be clear the line is somewhat contrived.  Only holds in or below the seam that runs from the start to the midway jug are on.  Easier variations are possible if higher sidepulls aren't considered off route.  The easiest method using holds above the seam is V4 or 5.
The weather changed and we ended up spending a few weekends at Joes.

Sierra climbing "The Angler" V3.  That's right, I'm upgrading this classic Joe's problem.
Autumn climbing "Pokemon" V2.

I spent three sessions working on "Wills A Fire" V6.  Spenser even showed me how it's done.
I grabbed the lip once, caught the swing, but fell trying to re-adjust my left hand for the match.  We got a lot of photos of me trying the line.  Here's my favorite.  
Then the weather got colder, and we started going to Moab.  Even this scorpion was cold, so Allan moved it to the sun.
Allan climbing "Center Start" V1.

Thanksgiving Break arrived, and we spent many days across the river.

I put up a likely first ascent called "Skipping a Beat" V3 on the Valentine Boulders.
And an exciting V3 called "Swooping In."

Ashley having second thoughts on "V Kind" V1.

The most exciting line I put up during the break was "Palpitations" V4.

The most difficult line I put up over Thanksgiving was "Like a Banshee" which is a quite a fight at V6 with a crux ending.
Autumn spent a full session on Armadillo.  She managed to work out the tricky sequence, and finished it at the end of the day.  I repeated it, but only after she gave me the beta again.

It's a very solid V5!

And on an incredible day of exploration during the break we found a bunch of new blocks to climb.
Amazingly eroded formations.

And I put up my favorite problem of the season "So Delighted" V5.  This block also has a V4 arete to the right called "Autumn Inspired" V4 and a V3 traverse to the top from the left called "Waiting to Inhale."  All three are top quality lines.

Autumn on the second ascent of "So Delighted."

That's it for the season and this post.  It was a good one!

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