Friday, July 17, 2009

Revisitation Period

In the Fall of 2005 Peter De Salvo took 8 of us on a tour of the West Bluff. We were gonna start on the top at the fire road and just go from there. We had 9 pads, tons of spotters and all day to mess around. We climbed a bunch of classic moderates on the fire road and then did the problems on the 45 degree boulder.

I'd always heard of these boulders but had never been so I couldn't have been happier to be there. After the 45 we walked down the giant talus field, with much trepidation, and finally made it to the problem that would eventually become Anchorpoint.

It had been a project that Peter had worked on a little bit before so we were all psyched to try it! We chalked up some slopers and some crimps and went to work. After about a half hour of getting nowhere Kelsen stepped up to the plate and figured out the key piece of beta that was missing. Maybe 10 minutes later Peter pulled through for the first ascent. He called it Anchorpoint after the beta that eventually helped him send.

I followed up quickly after that with the second ascent and was happy to have gotten through it. We eventually moved on to see Alpine Club which began another long winded saga as well but I'll leave that for another day. A few days after that we all came back and Kelsen pulled out the third ascent. That was the last time anyone had been on the problem. Until yesterday.

Remo, RV and Dobbe all went up to the area with some directions I put up on Mountain Project and they sessioned the area. They all came back super positive about all the problems they got on but they were wondering about Anchorpoint. Was the detached block on? Was it actually that good? Was it that hard?

I couldn't wait to get back up there just so I could answer those questions for myself. I was really hoping that Anchorpoint would hold up its status. I had always remembered it as super fun and classic and I was really scared, for some reason, that it'd turn out to be a one star choss pile.

4 of us went up to check it out last night, including RV again, and I'm glad we went. As soon as we got there we tossed the pads under it and started giving some effort. RV had tried it a little bit earlier in the day without the block and thought he'd figured out some new beta. I tried it once my way and both RV and Katie had the "Oooooohhhhhhhhhh" reaction that we all had when Kelsen did the move back in 2005.

RV trying out his own beta before he abandoned that

I came off at the crux pull but felt good about it. I wanted to try some other beta though. RV was using a hold we hadn't and had some fancy foot switches that he was working on. Katie figured out her own beta entirely and looked strong in doing so, even if she denies it.

While RV's beta seemed to work I still wanted to do it the original way. I don't like switching my feet that much. I guess I'm just too lazy. One more go with the original beta and I almost had it! Next go for sure. I pulled on, grabbed the crux crimp, started to lock off and slapped for the sloper! Done!! I sketched my way to the top and came down.

I can't tell you how good it felt to climb Anchorpoint again. Still one of my favorites at the lake! RV and Katie worked it back and forth for another half hour or so and RV was getting super close to doing it! Eventually he gave it two goes with my beta and came insanely close to slapping the sloper but needed a break. I went off and did both of the corner routes again, both super fun, and then we moved the pads back to Anchorpoint.

RV pulled on first go and looked as solid as we'd seen him but he didn't get the crimp good. He came down, brushed the holds and gave it one last go. He hit every hold perfect, pulled up and hit the sloper! Done!!! He topped out and came down with a smile. It was so good to see him top something out finally!!!!! Well done!!!!!

We both agreed it was classic and last night really cemented how good the problem is in my head. I won't share the beta on here because I don't want to ruin anyone's climbing but if you want to know what it is just send me a note or talk to me in person. I'd be happy to share it that way.

We're going to try to take advantage of a nice cold snap tomorrow and head back up to the west bluff area in the morning. I'll try to get some posts up next week but I'm going to be in Salt Lake at the OR show. Hopefully I'll be at the comp on Tuesday. The walls look sick!!!!

Waiting for the ferry driver to get back from the bathroom...and a pig on our door lock

Katie and RV on the ferry on our way back home

'Nuff said


  1. Hope we cross paths in the morning. ce

  2. Me too!! I think we're going to try to leave from madison at 8:30 or 9 and want to go to anchorpoint and also to Alpine Club and Beautiful Soup. What are you planning on?

  3. Nice Steve. I remember wrestling with that block that is in the way at the start back in the day. That thing is heavy!

  4. Hoping to get an early session then spend the rest of the day canoeing with the boy, maybe at DL... Would love to try BS and AC too, see you out there! ce