Monday, November 16, 2009


Aaron trying to crush my skull

Oh man, what a good day Saturday was!!! So psyched about it right now. I was vibrating with energy and excitement on Saturday night! I felt like Remo!

We had a nice sized group come together for Saturday with Me, Katie, Ellen, Aaron and Chris Esser. We had a bunch of pads, tons of energy and shit got done!

Aaron met us at Boulders with pastries in hand and we went up to the North shore to warm up and wait for Chris and Ellen to meet us. We ended up spending close to an hour and a half warming up on the great moderates there. It's funny but I used to hate that spot for some reason. Now it's easily one of the best places to get nice and warm. The problems are tall with fairly good landings and the holds are absolutely huge on the V0's. It's great.

Aaron on a cool slabby warmup.  Note his extra fast shoes!  

The other Chris E. on one of the best warmups at the lake

Aaron being all 'Gentleman-y' n stuff

Chris having to try a bit on the slabby crimps

After watching Aaron try the worst eliminate at the lake, Welcome to the Lake, we moved on and drove over to the cottages. A quick hike found us at the base of Beautiful Soup. I pointed out beta for everyone and got the pads set.

On Friday Nic was nice enough to send me a little pep talk. In short he told me to sack the hell up and get rid of this mental punt that I've had going on for so long. I think I idolize so many of these problems that I just expect to fail on them. I've seen them for so long and in many cases I first saw them when I was climbing V3 or so. I never actually thought I'd be able to do any of them back then and I've just grown to expect failure.

Beautiful Soup has been just that for me. A mental punt. I've been there so many times and I first saw the problem back in 2004. It was so far out of my league at the time that I never even tried it. Since 2005 I've tried the second move over and over with sporatic efforts and have never come close to latching the rail. It wasn't until this year that it seemed at all possible.

I stepped up to the start holds and the first try went perfect. I latched the rail and just as my feet came into the wall I came off of the crimp. I swore a bit and then, after I calmed down, realized I'd do that move today. A couple of bad goes went by and I got a bit nervous. Then on my 4th or 5th attempt I stepped up and latched the rail with confidence.

It felt easy. Piss.

I matched the holds and felt something I hadn't felt before. I couldn't believe it, I was stunned. I'd tried that move so many times and up until now I'd never seen the top of that hold. It felt foreign and unique. I was so happy! For a second or two I stayed there and relished that moment. I heard the pads moving below me as I wiped my sweaty hands on my pants. I couldn't help but smile a bit.

I took a quick look up to the small crimp on Keymaker and wondered if I should just try and go up instead of right. It just seemed more natural!

I put that thought behind me for the day and started moving right. The holds were greasy and unchalked. I did my best to fix that but it came to no avail. I grabbed the high sidepull but didn't have my right foot on the rail way out to the side. I tried to kick it out but came off in an excited flurry of chalk and pads.

So psyched!!! I've never been that psyched to NOT finish a problem!! Deep down I knew that I could start working Keymaker soon...

Everyone cycled through their own efforts on the problem with Chris ending up very close to the rail. I gave it another three goes before my tips could handle no more. Each time I stuck the move with greater ease and felt more comfortable on the upper holds. I got closer and closer to the finish rail but in the end couldn't quite get enough distance on the huge reach.

Soon. It will go. I'm planning on coming back with a rope to try that move and to also try the upper moves on Keymaker. I've can't remember the last time I was this focused on something. I want Keymaker so bad.

Not wanting to take anymore time at the problem and seeing that my right index finger was starting to bruise rather than split, we packed up and walked to Moj and Jenga.

Both Aaron and Chris put some great burns in on Moj and Chris basically stuck the crux move. Aaron had something happening to his left hand where it'd just slide down the sloper on Moj. It was kind of funny actually. I put on my shoes to try and show everyone "how this thing gets done!". I was a bit more tired than I thought and I only had one good try on it. Kind of sad actually.

Aaron feeling the crux move on Moj

Ellen trying out the move


And Off!!  And Aaron treating me like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. 

I called it quits after my right hand fired off of the start hold and I fell into a pile of self misery and horrible pain. My skin wasn't too happy with me.

At about 4 we walked to Jenga and everyone tried that while I took pictures and spotted. We had an almost perfect landing with all of our pads and everyone was very excited about the problem. Katie had a couple of good efforts between her "all points off dyno" attempts. Aaron and Chris kept on getting closer and closer. Chris took a quick break and then tried hard on his absolute last go and went to the top! Very cool!

Aaron stepped up a minute after that and, in one of the most adrenalized situations I've ever been in, sent the problem to bring up the send train kaboose! So sick!!!

Katie on her first go before realizing that pinching the start hold helps

And again 10 minutes later trying the elusive 'All points off dyno to a sidepull sloper arete pinch'.  It did not work so well.

Aaron sticking the move in isolation a few minutes before the send

Chris also sticking the move in isolation before his send

We hiked out in increasing darkness and Aaron joined us at the Weary for a fantastic dinner. So yummy. I also wiped the floor with Aaron and Katie in scrabble. A rare feat for me as I've only beaten Katie once before.

Katie toying with Aaron up at Moj

Good day!


  1. sounds awesome man. So psyched for you. When are you going up next?

  2. Saturday maybe??? Weather looks good right now.

  3. It seems like forever since I've been to the lake but my rehab trip to Hueco went really well so I'm hoping to get out at least one more time before the season ends. Moj, MV, BS??????

  4. Good day indeed. Stoked for you Steve, Keymaker is going down this fall man, I just hope I'm there to spot you. The Lake is so hot right now. Anyone up for tomorrow?

  5. The other Chris E will have to choose a different name. He looks like more like a Brandon to me. Please let him know he is Brandon E now. So cool Steve on the Soup. Send quick while the energy is hot (and temps good). Yeah Remo Tuesday is out, Thursday afternoon for me if the weather holds out... I have said it before and will say it again. I moved to Madison for work but basically it made the short list of potential cities to move to because there is good climbing nearby. I was very disappointed with the lack of bouldering beta for the Lake however (this was in summer 07). THIS IS ALL CHANGING!!! Nice job Steve. ce

  6. It looks like Saturday for my next attempts on this rig. I think Katie wants to maybe try Jenga some more. she was very excited about it on the drive back home.

    Maybe also Sunday depending on weather and skin. We'll see! Psyched for so much!!!

    I seem to be continually blown away by the community we have right now. So much positive energy and so much psych. I could not be happier right now!!! Keep it up guys!! There is more out there!

  7. I am wish washing between the lake and so ill for a saturday trip. I can't seem to stop thining about getting on BS with people an pads and want so badly to finish that stupid Alpine Club. I am also verrrryyyy interested in checking out the East bluff projs. I'd also like to try moj but didnt feel all that close on it last time (could be because I used it as my warmup. lol) So long story short, I could be convinced to come up instead of going down. Let persuasion begin...

  8. Sweaty you got a place to stay under my basement wall and I gots lots of beer. I plan to head out one of the 2 days, not sure if it will be Sat or Sun, wife does Yoga, etc. on Sat which leaves me with boy. We'll see. You can go to SoIll anytime, but this is DEVIL'S LAKE. Think about it. the real ce

  9. I think i may be convinced if you are planning on going Eggnuts. I could prolly get there about 1030 or 11. I will be going home after climbing though I do apprecite the offer. Perhaps a beer with dinner after climbing?

  10. Yes! I will call you Friday after I talk with my boss about which day she would prefer that I abscond. I had been contemplating sport climbing (gasp) at the Dodge, but easily could be convinced to forego that nonsense. And yes, beer is always in the cards post-climbing. ce

  11. Well I am on for Saturday sirs! Got at least one homie rolling up with me. We should be ariving around 11ish hopefully. Who else is going? where is everyone meeting up? What's on the agenda? I am going to finish A.C. and would love to try B.S. with spotters/finish that up. I'd like to check out that cave traverse though I havent heard amazing things. I was also curious about 'the nothing project' near Massive Vertigo and if that has been scoped out any more? After that I am very psyched to get a tour of the east bluff projects particularly that wave rider proj.

  12. I'm guessing that we're gonna start at North Shore and warm up and then head over to Beautiful Soup. I'll have all my shit to throw a rope on it and try the upper moves. Very psyched for that. It does look like we might meet some peoples at dodge later on that day so i'm not sure if we'll be down for the east bluff stuff.

  13. Still waiting to hear from folks regarding tomorrow. I think Saturday is it for me, will be after lunch for sure, don't care too much what I do just want to get out and climb. Call you later sweaty. ce