Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What A Day


That's all I can really say right now. I'm not sure there has ever been a day like yesterday at the lake. Maybe one or two but this one ranks high on the list. It's been a long time since the West Bluff has been worked over like this.

Remo and I met Nic at boulders since I got a text from Nic the night before that he wanted to "take the boat". We started out at Beautiful Soup and Keymaker as it was high on Nic's list. After sherpa-ing 8 or 9 pads and other various gear up to the base Nic dropped a line down and rather quickly figured out the beta for the upper half.

He ended up doing the move on his third go and it was on like donkey kong in a sea of prawns! Yeah, I'm a dork. A big one.

Nic and I warmed up on the opening moves and figured out good beta really quickly. It was so good to finally get chalk on all of the holds and see what the line actually was. It looks so blank otherwise!

Nic started giving intermittent goes but kept on falling on the crux dyno of Beautiful Soup. In the meantime I started work on Beautiful Soup and felt really strong on the move that had shut me down so many times in the past. My beta seemed easier than ever and after a few goes I hit the rail and just before my feet came back into the wall, I exploded off of the hold.

Remo and I started yelling and screaming like idiots as I rolled around on the pads. A couple more goes and I'd nearly stuck the rail 3 or 4 times with one, or both, of my hands exploding off each time.

Soon after that, Nic started giving repeated goes from the start and came close each time. We all knew that if he stuck the throw he'd do it. On one of his closest goes he split his right index finger and came down bleeding from both his tip and his right ankle. A little bit of tape later and he was set to go again, knowing that time was short on the painful right hand crimp.

He cruised to the throw and stuck it. He pulled to the small left hand crimp as Remo and I stayed silent. A short mantle later and he hit the final crimp and sketched his way up top. More yelling ensued and both Remo and I started vibrating with excitement.


I couldn't really believe it and was so so so happy that I was there. This problem had such a stigma around it and no one wanted to really try the upper moves for some reason. It's always good when things like this get shown that they can be done. The same thing happened this past spring when Nic came into town and did Alpine Club and Beautiful Soup.

I love shit like this.

We packed up and started hiking through the West Bluff. Eventually we made our way to the Power Plant Project which Nic promptly dispatched in about 5-10 minutes and called Black Sheep.

After that we went up to Moj and I sat around all lazy like and watched Nic and Remo try over and over. It was really fun to watch people try it. It's a very body position dependent climb and I still can't even describe how glad I am that I was able to do it. It's such a classic problem and a great addition to the lake. I really encourage everyone to get on it.

It took Nic a decent amount of tries and he had to pull out the try hard to finish it up. Well done! Remo got absurdly close on a couple of tries and was able to stick the crux move but couldn't get his left foot over to the good foot before his left hand came off of the sloper.

It was about that time that we heard some yelling from down in the talus field and up came Sweaty to join in the fun. After a laborious hike up which left him panting and bitching about the approach, he set to work on warming up on Moj despite the fact that three of the best warmups in the park are no less than 30 feet away.

Both him and Remo kept on getting closer and closer but I'm sure they'll be back to snag an ascent soon.

We moved up the hill slightly and layed seige to Jenga. Remo did it with his eyes closed and made it look like a V3 and Nic followed soon after. I finally sacked up and grabbed the finish jug(about fucking time if you ask me) and as I was walking down Sweaty pulled on and did it second go. Nice little group send of an amazing problem! So good!!

We played a bit of Crash Pad Golf on the hike down the talus, which I DOMINATED by the way, and made our way back down to the trail. I'm at least a V12 thrower.

Nic had to go home after that but the three of us all had a bit of skin left so we hiked over to Massive Vertigo. I showed the guys my beta and retaped my tip for the third time that day and officially pulled the super glue off of my finger. I wanted to cry it hurt so bad.

Sweaty figured out the heel beta rather quickly and moved on to trying to finish it while Remo and I were still fumbling around with our shoes. After maybe 15 minutes he had it in the bag and was topping out! Sick work!!

And that was it. We were done.

Such a good day!!! Nic got employee of the day awards with sweaty coming in close behind.

Official tally of the day:

Keymeaker - 2nd ascent
Black Sheep - 1st ascent
Moj - 2nd ascent
Jenga - Group Pillage ascent
Massive Vertigo - First ascent in years

I can't thank Nic enough for coming through again to try these problems. Remo and I kept on talking about how huge it was and how much more possible everything seems.

Personally, Keymaker is very high on my list and I'm looking forward to dropping a rope on it very soon. I'm pretty confident that Beautiful Soup will go quickly and I'm very psyched about the full line. It's something I looked at years ago and never actually thought I'd be able to do it. It seems so possible now.

Too. Many. Projects.


  1. Damn. That's quite a day. Also to mention Acid Rock saw it's 2nd lead (read: solo?) a day or two before that...) So cool. So jealous. ce

  2. Yes! I totally forgot about that! I think he may have done that yesterday actually!

    Fucking sick work Rhoads!!

  3. what a day, what a day. I will note that after going and playing on Alpine Club after you left I had a V12+ pad golf toss. i should have video taped it and believe it to be textbook.

  4. Too many projects!-so true, it's becoming so overwhelming that I could hardly sleep last night.
    Rhoads is on a tare! Vince also lead Stool Pigeon, good work to those guys!
    I love this sport/lifestyle!

  5. I'll be up (down?) sometime Thanksgiving-ish when I finish up with school for a bit. Very psyched.

  6. that will be cold as balls sir.

  7. God damn Steve, that is an EPIC day! Awesome! So very jealous right now!

  8. I wrote a very important comment in Mountain Project after speaking with Peter that should be read by steve, remo, etc. Anyone that knows him and is free Sunday would be good. He has info that we need.

  9. Things are just starting at the lake. The gym was buzzing last night with everything that went down on Tuesday. Everyone is so psyched on so many things right now. So sick to see!

    I saw your comment sweaty! We may end up meeting up with Peter at MV on Sunday. We'll see. I know Katie wants to work it hard.

  10. Awsome man! He just emailed me saying he's going. I can't wait to see your docomuenting of shit that is found. Very cool.

  11. Steve-- what time would you be at MV on Sunday? Not sure what I'll end up doing but if bouldering, I would like to try Jenga and MV, among others perhaps. Maybe we'll meet up again. My timing depends on what time my wife gets off work, which is unpredictable but shouldn't be too late... ce

  12. Looks like we may be heading up after or before katie goes to work. Not sure we'll be able to meet up with Peter anymore. We'll see...

  13. Well, if it works out to meet up, that would be cool, if not there is always next time. I am more of a beta whore for existing problems than projects anyway. It's probably a super lame way to be but I usually would rather work problems I know have been sent. Hope to see you out there Steve. Thanks for keeping this blog. Good stuff. ce

  14. tell your woman that this is unacceptable. we must know the secrets of the talus.... which is actually a pretty cool name for a problem. note to self.

  15. Ah, right on cue, my beta pimp. Hey sweaty. ce

  16. lol. Chris is you want to hook up with Peter and perhaps a couple dudes that I climb with let me know and I'm sure I can hook you up with them.

  17. Cool. Only issue is I don't know when I'll be headed out. If I run into someone, cool, if not, cool. ce

  18. I am thinking of coming back into town on Sunday if I do not hit up Sandstone. I am psyched to try Greatest Show, Massive Vertigo, Gill problem, and anything else I am put in front of.

    Has anyone gone back to try Black Sheep?

    Is it hard?


  19. I know Peter and 2 guys from down here are going to be up there on Sunday. Me and Kristen might also be swinging thru for a little bit. Hope to see you there my friend!