Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

After hiking up to the Monolith Area this past Thursday, Katie really wanted to head back and try some of the problems up there. We picked up RV at Boulders and made our way up to the Merrimac Ferry. I've grown to really love taking the ferry and we haven't gotten completely sandbagged yet. Plus, there's Ice Cream on the way back.

We got to the Lake and were surprised at how few people were up there at 10:00 on a Saturday morning. Surprising to say the least. There was a really nice breeze coming off the lake and we were hopeful that it'd make it's way up to the boulders. After a nice slow hike up to the area(Remo, you hike much too fast for our tastes) we dropped our pads at the warm up boulder and couldn't have been happier that there was a strong breeze coming through the entire area.

After waiting for a stick bug to pass we warmed up a little bit. Our wind was blowing away all of the bugs and it was surprisingly pleasant out. No bug juice, no swatting and more importantly, very little sweating.

A tough to see stick bug.  Katie liked it a lot.

We found our way over to Venus Rising and Bark Biter, moved the pads around a bit and I got ready to take a few pictures. RV decided that he wanted to run up the slab to the right of Bark Biter quick. With surprising quickness RV botched the sequence and started sweating a bit. Katie, somewhat jokingly, pulled a half pad over to cushion him should he fall. He ended up eventually sketching his way up the thing but along the way I snapped this shot of him looking very confused.

With that absurdity out of the way we got down to bidness! Kind of. I'd heard rumors that my key foothold of radness had broken off and I was expecting to try and figure out different beta. Well, it was still there but I ended up doing the moves in a completely new manner. I will say, though, that when that little left foot does eventually break off we are ALL massively screwed and the problem will be so much harder!!!

Katie started working out the moves and made reasonably quick progress on it, figuring out the first couple moves very fast. Instead of using the firs left hand pinch as a, well, pinch she's using it as some crazy sidepull "lobstah craw" grip. Weird, but it works for her. She has now gotten stupidly close to sticking the crimp multiple times and she should be at the same spot as RV and I soon. I'm predicting a First Female Ascent sometime later this summer or fall.

Katie using the "Craw" technique.  Super effective.

Katie and I were both blown away by how obscenely wired RV has the moves on this thing wired. Well.....all but one that is. He makes the climbing up into the crimp look like V0. It's very impressive to watch, to say the least. We're both having troubles with the last move though. I think that we've both figured out our own beta that will work. I'm hoping to get this one figured out again and toss it on to the final Birthday Challenge list.

RV getting about as close as possible on Venus Rising.

None of us actually sent the problem but I had forgotten how good Venus Rising really is. It really reminded me how good the climbing is at the lake. Such good problems and it's always nice to climb and not have anything break under you. We'll have our second installment of "Slow and Steady Wins the Race" tomorrow. Just a teaser but the problem below gets sent by someone....


  1. Looks like you guys had a great time, the weather was amazing this weekend. Finally Sex and Chocolate gets a send, it's about damn time. Stoked for he who sent it.
    PS, sorry I hike too fast, I just get too excited.

  2. The weather was amazing!!

    Btw, I get too excited for about 5 minutes and then I have to take a knee for a bit as I catch my breath. It's grim, really.

  3. Dodging dropping topropes while leading classic 5.6s was definitely where it was at this weekend. None of this pebble wrestling nonsense...

  4. That's definitely what it sounds like.........

    When are we going to get an update out of you??? I need "Narc news"!! much more important than any other news out there!

  5. Nice Steve. Would love to talk beta about Sex and Chocolate. That thing is hard!

    I did break a foot chip on Venus Rising last summer, a very sharp small flake that was about 2 inches below the first left crimp. But there still is a great little edge that is kinda hidden under the pinch/crimp (an inch above where the flake broke off) that is low enough to get your foot on but high enough to be able to stick the top without your foot coming off. So I guess I never did figure out what you were doing. Well, whatever works.

    Congrats to the sender on S&C. This blog is keeping me sane this summer. Just so you know. ce

  6. Not sure. I had some thinly veiled self spray yesterday about our day but it is hard when there are no pictures. It would have been cool to have some pictures of me wetting my pants too.

  7. Brian, you need a staff photographer to follow you around wherever you go! Grab one of your team kids and have them haul around your crap and take pictures and worship you! Get on it!

    Also, Chris, I'm glad that this site is keeping you going this summer!! I very much appreciate what you have to say and thanks for always offering up some words!

    I really do appreciate everyone that stops by and comments! I definitely enjoy hearing what you have to say!! THANKS!!!

  8. Well, it's easy to have all but the crux move wired when you have secretly been going up to the problem twice a week with only a non-existent pad for moral support (that and watching Remo do the whole problem like a V0). This coming Thursday though, I have a good feeling about this Thursday morning, its supposed to be cool. Hopefully Katie is in and we can get a double send in!

  9. Moral support is the best kind of support. Just like the pinky.

  10. ROBSTER CRAW!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111111

  11. Mr. Robinson, we don't know each other but I am planning to head out Thursday/tomorrow afternoon to Monolith. Would be cool to meet up if you're still up there. I can then do what I do best, mooch beta and "monkey see monkey do" my way up stuff. Good luck on Venus Rising. ce (Chris, not the Chris who sent Sex & Chocolate, dammit)

  12. East bluff moderates is where it's at tomorrow

  13. mr. robinson, you are not a kid so you are safe with CE. he's not known for touching adults. I would still be sure to let people know where you are going and who you are going with... just in case. :-)