Monday, November 23, 2009

Keymaker, Uno

We've been blessed this season with a pretty good spell of nice November weather. This past Saturday was no exception. Although it was a bit humid for this time of year, conditions were very good!

We got up to the lake around 11:30 or so and went to Beautiful Soup. Sweaty and I had been texting all morning and were planning on meeting there to climb for a bit. They were already up at Moj and Jenga but were gonna come down after that. Sadly it wasn't in the cards as we left a mere 10 minutes before they showed their faces at Alpine Club.

Congrats go out to Sweaty for finishing up Alpine Club! Sick work! He figured out different beta for it and used the right hand bump method to get the good crimp. Nicely done!

Anyways, back to Katie and I. I ran up top and threw a rope down as I wanted to try out the moves on Keymaker. Two bomber cams and a big ol' tree made it pretty easy to setup and as I was finishing up I saw Chris and Sarah come up through the talus. We were hoping they'd join us!!

I came down and then jugged my way up with a bit of help from Chris.

The holds are definitely all there. I was excited about that. While the left hand crimp looks horrible from below it's actually an okish 1/4 pad crimp. It's a bit worse than the crimp you use for the jump move but still usable.

I tried to do the move the way Nic did but I don't think I've got the lockoff for that. I was happy to see that there is another, albeit worse, crimp about halfway between the rail and the high right hand edge. I should be able to use that as an intermediate.

I tried the move a couple more times and then moved on to the upper section. I wasn't really sure what to think of it from the ground as the holds look really improbable. Again, it's all there. There aren't any real cruxy moves after you get the good high edge but you're way the hell up there. After about 6 moves you get a really good undercling jug and the climb slabs out on good holds.

It was cool being up there for the first time and seeing the holds. I had a hard time keeping my psych to myself and I kept on jabbering about it to Katie. I'm glad she puts up with it.

After that I took a quick break and Chris warmed up and tried Beautiful Soup again. He tried the throw once but came down and vowed to REALLY try my betas. It took him a couple of tries to get the feeling of standing up right but once he did it came a bit more naturally.

While he rested I started to work on trying Keymaker from the start. It took me a few tries to get the traverse figured out again but I eventually stuck the big move to the start hold on Beautiful Soup. Both Chris and I think it's a V5 traverse but we could be wrong. It's not trivial at least.

The one really big move to link into Beautiful Soup is pretty hard but it felt good to do it again. Pretty soon I'd linked the traverse into Beautiful Soup and grabbed the high right crimp before the throw. My feet were wrong though and I was super stretched out so I just stepped off and quickly figured out beta to get around that. Shouldn't be a problem.

I took my shoes off and Chris stepped up to the plate again. He tried the big move again and stuck it! It looked so easy. Then without warning he just jumped off and asked me what he had to do next!!

Chris sticking the rail for the first time.

After a bit of a beta exchange he got on again and, well, I'll let the pictures talk a little...

First he stuck the throw again...

Got the right foot...

Made a monkey face...

Shook out a bit cuz he's a silly little spurt climber...

Got his foot way out right....

Reached for the crimp....And........


He came so close!!! Next time! Right Chris?? Oh well, he's definitely psyched to finish it up. You could see it when we were packing up and he looked at me and said "So, uh, if you wanna come back with someone to spot you on me.....I'd be down. I'm pretty excited about this one...". It was quality.

We all packed up and drove the cars over to Burma Road. Sarah and Chris had been here once in the past in the heat of summer and written the spot off. Burma is hands down the worst spot in the summer. So bad.

We hiked out there to find some very green, but relatively dry boulders. We screwed around on the front wall with Chris and I repeating the highball warmup that is classic in every sense of the word. I love that problem! After that I dragged Chris over to do Murder Slab with me. While I was doing it I really tried not to let on how sketchy it was that day. Most of the holds were wet or at least partially covered in a beautiful bright green moss. I looked down at one point and noticed a bit of moss on my shoe.

Fun stuff!

Chris followed after me but in a vain attempt to keep his shoes dry on the downclimb he took a 4th class gully. Instead of just getting his shoes wet, he got all of himself wet. Well done!

We moved some of the pads over the the left sector and messed around on the short but incredibly fun problems there. Katie finished up the reachy problem she'd worked a month ago. After topping out in wet leaves she didn't seem too thrilled about it.

I told Chris that he had to do the dyno. I told him it was a must do moderate dyno but really cool!! He stepped up and did it as a reach problem. Tall bastard.

In passing I mentioned that there was a static way to do that line. He tried with all his might but couldn't figure out a way to do it. It was fun to watch at least.

I booted up and after a couple of rough goes, figured things out and did the problem both ways. We spent the next 15-20 minutes watching Chris flail trying to do this version of the problem. After watching for too long Katie stepped up and almost did the problem on her first go!

Chris got a worried look on his face and stepped his efforts up. Eventually he sacked up and did the problem making it look WAAAAY hard. He easily spent more time on this than he did on Jenga. It was one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time.

Katie stepped up and did the problem a second after Chris. We all laughed.

Days like this are so much fun. Try hard on a couple of projects and then go somewhere and try even harder on stupid, pointless, eliminates, joking around the whole time. It reminds me of how much fun this piddly little sport can be.

I like this life.


  1. Yeah bummed we missed you guys. I was really looking forward to seeing ya. So psyched for you to do The Keymaker dude and also really psyched to try your secret beta since you have shared it with me :-) I'm dying to try the east bluff shit. There's just never enought time is there?

  2. There isn't even close to enough time. It's depressing thinking about all the projects left untouched!!!

  3. Good work Sweaty! Steve, you will send dude no doubt! And Chris, good shit man, way to get up that thing, you will finish for sure! Man this has been such a fun season, everyone is killing it, and the Lake is exploding!

    I'm so torn right now on the weather. I am praying for snow and cold, but yet SO MANY problems that will drive me nuts all winter just thinking about if they don't get finished.

    Whats everyone's priority list? If it snows soon and you only have a few days left, what are the things that you need to send?
    For me:
    1. Sex and Chocolate direct
    2. Beautiful Soup
    3. Jackbackwards project out in Steinke Basin.
    Oh and Massive Vertigo is on the runner up list.

    Stoked, and this is what I think about on rainy days like to day. Sorry Steve for ranting on your site.


  4. HAH! You NEVER have to worry about ranting on this site!!! That's all it's good for!! I love that shit!

    1. Keymaker
    2. Sex N Chocolate/Direct
    3. Sandstone Violence

    Runners up: Alpine Club, Beautiful soup, Massive Vertigo.

    Oh man. So much else too!!! And what's this jackbackwards project???????????

  5. Check Sven's new guidebook. It's an undone route, but we looked at it and it looks like it will go with a little cleaning on rope. Pretty cool thought. But not sure if we will have the weather to get out there yet this season, we will see.

  6. I know! I keep on hoping that the weather will hold off a little longer but time is definitely running out!! What days off do you have next week??

  7. Sunday and Wednesday, lets session!
    You guys heading up to Rib this weekend? The Gentleman said you might. If so, The Raptor and Seth's Sacrifice are a must do for the hard problems, and check out the project just left of the Raptor, so hard!

  8. We should plan on Wednesday then!! I think Katie and I are gonna get off that day! I'm definitely gonna want to hit up keymaker. Katie might want to try jenga or massive vertigo. not sure.

    we'll talk!

    And yes, the plan is rib on friday. Both of those are high on my list! Pretty much the only ones on it!! So Psyched!