Monday, October 26, 2009

Wisconsin Bouldering Legend Fails in Minnesota

The count is now up to about 8 people who have either asked me, texted me, commented here or on Facebook about whether or not I sent the Cave Traverse this past weekend.

I didn't know you all cared so damn much!!

I'll get it out of the way right away though and let you all know that we didn't even make it to Taylors this past weekend. So there. I hope you're not too disappointed!

Anyways, onto the trip report! We took Friday off and drove up to the twin cities, hoping for a nice relaxed drive. Around Baraboo Josh texted me that it had started snowing up in Minneapolis but we were hoping we'd miss it somehow. Right about Eau Claire we hit it and it was actually coming down really hard! It was insane!! We saw multiple cars in the ditch and it was definitely accumulating.

Not cool at all.

We slowed down a bit and took our time and eventually made it to Minneapolis where it had stopped snowing. Fun.

We made our way through the confusing streets, thanks to our GPS, and met up with Josh at his shop to pick up our new pad. So psyched on the pad!!! Wow!! He did such a kickass job with it and now I want cake whenever I see it. Plus the thing is HUGE!! It's nice to have a functioning big pad again! I'll have a review up after the fall season, for sure!!

Note the slice of cake in the right corner...yum.

We hung out for a bit and talked shop and screwed around while Josh stuffed the pad. Highlight of the day was when Josh saw the fit pad in our car and started laughing. Apparently he thought it was just a novelty and never thought that it'd get any real use. Love it!!

We left and drove over to Vertical Endeavors since they were having their local ABS comp on Saturday. Katie and I met up with Nic and helped them forerun their problems. Their setting was great and it was fun to climb on some new problems and see what's up in the plastic world.

I may have actually gushed a little bit when I saw the B2 cave for the first time. Hands down the best indoor training wall I've ever seen in my life. I want.

The next day I awoke to Josh texting me about the sun being in position and gas station candy. I love my friends.

The plan was to rendezvous with Nic at Famous Dave's and then meet Josh and Barnaby, maybe the best crag dog ever, at Sandstone.

Nic pulled up in style with the Five Ten van and we loaded up and took off.

A lot has been made of Sandstone recently and it's just recently been opened up again. With that there has been a lot more traffic to the area and both Josh and Nic offered to give us a little tour. Needless to say I was very excited to check it out as the pictures I'd seen made it look great.

We started out at the Warm Up Boulder and cycled through a couple of problems there. All of them were fun but the top of the boulder was a touch wet, as was much of the surrounding area. We messed around for a bit until Josh and Barnaby showed up.

Nic gettin all rad n stuff

Nic cozying up to Josh on the warmup boulder

Nic went up to check and see if the project was dry and Josh gave us a mini tour on our way to the river boulder. Overall the area needs some serious loving. Everything is grown over and mossy from years of not being climbed on. I'm sure the snow and rain from the day prior didn't help things.

We arrived at the river boulder and Josh and Nic both set to dry out the somewhat soaked boulder. The river was up a bit and the whole thing was a little damp. It was too bad, really, because the boulder looked really cool and the problems looked like they'd be fun to climb on. It just seemed like there was nothing we could do to get it to dry out.

Barnaby checking out Josh's new landing

The three of us started trying a sit start that Nic had been fondling a bit. Josh and I bowed out after we started bruising our knees from a particularly painful kneebar but Nic persevered and eventually sent after he taped a sock to his knee for a bit more cushioning.

We packed up our stuff and started hiking to the 30 degree project that Nic's been trying lately. Along the way Lynn, Trinh and a couple others walked up and Josh headed out with them to clean up some old lines.

Katie and I accompanied Nic to the 30 degree project and I sat down with my camera to watch the radness. First go he came close. Second go he came closer. Third was the same.

Then on the Fourth go he stuck "The Move".

He reeled in the left hand pocket, dropped his knee and stuck the next move.

He popped out left to a small edge and reset his feet...



Yeah, that's right. Punt. Hard. Hardest ever.

Nic only made things worse when he couldn't replicate his success and had to go home empty handed.

We talked for a while in the car ride back about "closing" on a boulder problem. We all agreed that Nic is normally pretty good at it. Like everyone he has little moments like this where it just doesn't come together. He'll do it soon, I'm confident. He was close. Closer than anyone ever had been. He'll send.

Closing is something that I seem to be struggling with lately. There are too many projects of mine that I need to finish up. Here's to hoping for even more mild days this coming fall.

This trip was much less about climbing for both Katie and I than it was about relaxing and hanging out with friends. It was so nice to get out of Madison for a weekend and forget about work, projects and any other stresses that we have going on. I want to extend a huge thanks to Josh, Nic and everyone at VE for being so nice to us this weekend. It was noticed and is VERY appreciated!



    I need to know where my left foot was when I did that move and you cut it out!


  2. that problem looks rad! I have to get up there one of these days. Good luck on your next tries nic!

  3. Yeah, the whole area was pretty cool. Definitely not the concentration of a Taylors Falls but might be fun for a day. There's still a somewhat tenuous access situation. It's open, but it's still private land.

    Nic should send soon.

    On a bright note, tomorrow we're heading up to the lake and I hope to send something. anything, really.

  4. I bet you could send super slab or even book or glass buddy! I have faith :-)

  5. I'll be in Baraboo for work tomorrow, will send good vibes. ce