Thursday, October 29, 2009

Different Betas, Massive Vertigo

Driving into the park yesterday Katie and I had another one of those "holy crap" moments when we started thinking about the potential the place has. Absurd is the only word I can come up with.

So. Much. Rock.

It's always nice when an approach gets dialed in. Massive Vertigo was another problem that had fallen by the wayside due to lack of information. Now, with a more dialed approach it's gotten more traffic than ever. 

Mr. Justin Woodward had the day off so we decided to take him up to Massive Vertigo. Katie was very excited to try it some more and I wanted to see if I could figure out how to do the problem. The time before I'd been stumped pretty royally. I just couldn't get the heel to stick but I was determined to do the moves yesterday.

Justin and I checked out the arete above Massive for a bit and contemplated warming up on it but quickly decided that it was a silly idea and just went down to the problem at hand. I think the Arete could be cool but if you fall from high up you'll probably get a tree in your bottom. Unpleasant.

I got on first and tried to make a feeble attempt at warming up on the small crimps. After a bit I took a break and Katie and Justin seemed to do the exact same thing. Fun to watch at least.

The three of us rotated through for a bit with all of us being confused by the beta. I got close to sticking the right hand crimp but just couldn't pause on the hold long enough to stabilize. Then I got an idea. Why not turn the overly technical heel hook crux into a compression move?? Right? It'd work. Sure.

See, there are these nice slopers and pinches right in front of your face as you try the heel hook and I just wanted to use them so badly. I pasted my feet on the wall and sucked in. My ass hit the pad immediately but I was persistent and about three tries later I stuck the lower sloper and smiled. I'd found my beta.

Initially I thought I could just throw to the juggy sloper right from there. I was wrong. I tried that move once and peeled off backwards and slid down the boulder behind me on my back. Images of the mini bluff I was about to go over flashed in my head as I cried for help. Luckily I got a meathook undercling on one of the other boulders and stopped myself.

We promptly moved a pad over that way to block any bad falls.

I tried to bump my right hand up to the good pinch and did it first try. A quick jump to the sloper and I was a happy boy. I'm always glad when I can start trying to link problems. It's a good feeling.

I took a break and watched Katie work her magic. She tried it once my way and laughed. Then the next go she found a knee bar! A couple tries later and she stuck the good pinch and was set for the jump! So cool to see her work it out so quickly!! Justin tried the knee bar but could only make it to the bad sloper. He eventually figured out the bump and was set with all the moves too!

Katie cruising the crux move

Katie trying out the last hard move

Photo: Justin Woodward

Very nice job by both of them to figure out the moves so quickly!!

I started trying links from the start holds knowing I didn't have a whole lot of time left on the sharp crimps. To make things worse the entire start of the problem was seeping horribly. Each time I started I had to get off the crimps as soon as possible since the chalk was turning into a paste of sorts. I'm sure it didn't help things much.

Each go felt a little better and I started to think I'd do it. I was psyched.

I pulled on once more and felt good.

On the match...

Photo: Justin Woodward
The crimps actually felt nice.

Going for the sloper....

Photo: Justin Woodward

I set my feet for the move to the sloper and...


Photo: Justin Woodward

Dry fired. Hard. I was done.

I gave it a couple of other goes but nothing serious. I gotta say, I didn't enjoy joining the club of everyone else who has dry fired off of that thing. Not a fun moment.

Katie and Justin gave it a few more goes each but we all left empty handed. I, for one, am supremely excited about everything and am very amped to come back and finish it up!

It looks like there may be a crew heading up Saturday before the Boulders comp.  I would love to get on Massive and possibly Beautiful Soup.  Anyone in ???


  1. I love that the picture caught you with your ass on the pad but your hands still thinking they were on the wall! awesome picture. I'm glad the beta that I mentioned that Katie would like a couple posts back worked for you. You are a little feminine :-) psyched that you felt close dude. You will send that rig soon!

  2. Yeah, that one is pretty freaking good! It hurt so bad!!!! I was surprised that the beta worked so well. It's a bit more physical but less painful. Very psyched to do it! soon!

    And yes, I'm feminine, for sure. ish.

  3. Nice post Steve, you guys look real close. Psyched!!