Monday, April 13, 2009

Taylors Falls, Cave Traverse

And the verdict is.....pretty cool.

With the weather looking more and more horrible, Katie and I drove up to Taylors Falls last Thursday. We'd gotten some good beta from Nic and also some from Mountain Project.

Brian had gone up to Taylors last fall and seemed to be particularly excited about the Cave Boulder. It looked really cool in pictures and video and we went to check it out at the end of the first day. We were tired and didn't try anything Thursday night, just touched holds and tried to figure out as much beta as we could.

We came back the second day and warmed up on the jugs on the left side of the boulder. It's an interesting combination of fairly low friction and overhanging holds. All of the warm ups were basically just jumping around on really big, fun holds. I liked it. Move by move Katie and I started to figure out the opening sequence. Katie definitely did better than I did on this and figured out beta for herself pretty quickly. I was scared of the super sharp heel hook and figured out a way around that! Crafty!!
Katie cruising the opening moves on the Cave Traverse (V8)

I had expected the crux to be the "drop down" move and was planning on taking a lot of time to work that one out. It was a nice surprise when I stuck that move on the third try or so! I actually spent more time figuring out a sequence through the final section of cruxy moves. It took some gusto and one crafty toe hook but I had all of the moves figured out by mornings end.

We took a break to eat a little bit and to try some problems on a boulder just down the hill. All of the problems were fun and it was nice to climb a little bit. It's always nice to complete stuff. More to come on that later, though.

We came back up to try the traverse when it came into the sun a little. I was still a little nervous about any sort of links that I was going to try. I felt pretty insecure about the first half of the traverse as it all felt pretty desperate in the morning. It was to my surprise that the links went pretty well. I was able to link through to the last, truly hard move for me on the second or third effort and got really close the next time too. Each time I was able to link into, and through, the drop move and the moves were even more fun in sequence.

It's always a nice surprise when this happens. In the end, though, I didn't send. Both of us are excited to come back and try to finish it either this summer or next fall. I'll have more on the trip later this week. It was so nice to get out of Madison for a while. So nice.


  1. Nice, sounds like you guys had fun. I can't wait to get back up there.

  2. Yeah it was really fun! The Cave boulder is so cool! I really wish there was more around that was like it!!