Monday, November 2, 2009

Little Flatiron

As of right now Katie and I are enjoying a couple of rest days.  It's been a while. Too long in fact.

Last week I spent an inordinate amount of time at Boulders getting the place ready for the comp. Dobbe and Justin pulled together a great comp and I was glad to help as much as I could.

Personally I was really happy with how mens finals turned out as we had perfect separation with Kelsen taking second and John taking first, with only an onsight of mens #2 separating them. Perfect.

Womens was a bit muddier as we set the problems a bit too hard. It's always tough. This spring they were too easy and this fall they were too hard. Oh well.

Earlier in the day Katie and I made the drive out to Devil's Lake for a hopeful session on Massive Vertigo. It was pretty clear that I wasn't at full throttle that day and after a slight detour we decided to go up to the Flatiron instead.

Katie spent two quick, time crunched days on it in the heat of the summer but never committed to the last move to the lip. With cool temps I figured it'd go quickly.

Katie prepping the crimp

She quickly warmed up as much as possible and fought through the biting wind to get some good early attempts in. Pretty quickly she'd figured out her old beta and got to her highpoint, the high right hand, and came down confused. I took a quick look at the left arete and suggested she tried that.

Katie giving the problem a bit of scale going for the crux crimp.

Reeling in the crimp on one of her early goes

After a break she hopped back on and gingerly tried reaching out to the arete. It was a reach but she eventually got it and came down not knowing what to do with her feet.

We discussed a couple options and she got back on proclaiming that it was her last go. The sharp crimps had taken their toll and motivation was waning. After quickly getting to her high point she reached out and grabbed the left arete.

She hiked her feet and got ready to go for the lip and then they popped. She put her feet on again, readied and they popped again.

Out of nowhere she said "I think I'm gonna come down.". Then, even further out of nowhere she just campused the move to the lip. Again she muttered something about coming down and I told her to reach up to the massively incut jug above her left hand. She did just that and then jumped up top.

BOOM! Done!!

Post send forced photo op

Katie came down happy and excited to get into a warm car. This was a pretty big hurdle for her due to the problems height. She's not big on highballs and this was a good one to help her get over it a little bit. On top of that she had to add in another crux move right at the lip. I'm very proud of her and glad she stuck with it in the end.

It's not every day that you get to do a John Gill problem and we should consider ourselves lucky to have one nearby. The Flatiron is a testament to what the man was, and not just because of who he was. It serves as a lesson to every single climber who walks past it on a busy Saturday as well as to everyone who reads about it in Stone Crusade.

It serves as a lesson to why we should never chip holds. John Gill, the man who invented/popularized modern bouldering learned his own lesson on one of the most travelled pieces of rock at the lake. I really hope that everyone who spends a day bouldering at the lake  jumps on this problem once or twice. We're lucky to have it.


  1. Yes!!1 So satisfying! Way to go Katie. I agree about the history, very cool. I have been thinking about going up there and trying it with hiking boots for kicks, just to see. The man was badass. ce

  2. good job Katie!!!!!!

  3. She was super psyched after she sent this thing! Massive Vertigo is next!! She's got blinders one for that right now!

    Remo was supposed to have went up to the lake today and was maybe gonna try Moj. I'm dying to hear if he did it. He was so close!!

  4. Remo please inform us on ur sendfest today. we need to know!

  5. Such a nice problem.

  6. Nice work Katie! Stoked!!!

    No send fest for this guy. I worked Moj for about an hour with no send. I just couldn't link the start and the finish. I can do the finish 3 ways now, but the crux is f'ing me over. I later went down and cleaned off a new easier line, but broke the finishing jug and wrecked my hand. I think it is ok, but I thought at first that I may have broke my pinky. Best finger to break thought right. Thursday is another day, anyone in?


  7. Oh man Remo!! I thought you'd have it yesterday for sure!! Soon! Glad that your hand is ok! Even if the pinky is just there for moral support!

    Katie and I are heading to the west bluff tomorrow. Massive Vertigo for sure and then depending how we feel we may head up to moj. Katie wants to start to get a feel for the moves and I might try the super low sit start project. could be hard!