Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So Ill - Day Three - Wetness

Day three came along looking a bit better from up top. Things were starting to dry up a little, the sun was starting to peek out and we were all optimistic.

After a slight delay when roughly 20-25 pickup trucks came into the valley(bunch of doctors going on a memorial hike), we set out for the boulders. We warmed up on the slabs over by Zig Zag and had a lot of fun on them. I think some of my favorite problems at Jackson are the super low angle, short slabs that litter the area. They're fun, relaxed and they tend to have some really cool pockets and features. Love em!

While we were warming up another group of about 3 guys from Indiana came over and started warming up with us. They put up with our foolishness pretty well as Chris tried to clean off another section of slab. Chris eventually failed and gave up his quest to put up a horrible eliminate of a problem.

I had to at least try the horribleness that it was

It just wasn't good...At all

I went back to warming up and one of the guys from the other group noticed Katie's pad.

"I think I've seen that lightening bolt before....Is that on a review somewhere???"

HAH! I'm famous BITCHES!!!!! Not really but still kinda cool. Turns out he saw my review of our pads and bought his as a result. Couldn't be happier. Plus his green and grey colors were pretty cool. Good choice Brandon!

We threw a couple laps on one of the steeper problems across from the slab and then moved over to Zig Zag and THC.

I tried as best I could to dry the holds on Zig Zag. While we waited a bit everyone took some turns at THC. Chris quickly repeated it for the camera and threw some chalk on the upper holds for everyone. Sarah quickly made it back to her highpoint but again was having accuracy issues and missing the hold by about 4 inches to the left. She'd throw, miss, come back down to the good crimp and throw once more before coming down to the pads. While fun to watch I'm sure it was less fun to experience.

Sarah on the crux of THC

Chris, also on THC

And again...

Katie got a couple of really good goes in and matched the sloper a couple times before coming back down. For the first time back above a pad at any height at all she did well. She's definitely still getting used to that aspect of bouldering. She's doing better though. Stuff like Flatiron only helps.

Pretty soon Chris and I started trying Zig Zag. First go felt good and I fell off going for the gaston move. Chris had some operator error for a couple tries but eventually made it past the first move and stuck the gaston in short order. We had to make sure the holds were brushed and chalked before each go since the pockets were seeping.

With a bit of gusto I was able to get two fingers into the far pocket and reeled the other two in to stick that move. As soon as I did that though my core quickly shut down and tightened up so hard I wanted to puke. It was a fun little moment.

Coming back from a month off my core was definitely a weak point. I felt it there.

With my knuckles starting to feel it from the awkward starting pockets and from being 3 days on for the first time in a long time, Chris and I started boosting into the crux moves. Chris tried it a couple times but couldn't seem to figure it out. I got a quick boost and got my right hand good. As soon as I took my right foot off everything clicked and I felt the move. About halfway through the move I had my very first "wet fire" and my right hand exploded off the wall.

I sat on the pads for a second and looked at my wet fingertips.

"I'm done."

After trying Body Karate for a second time and Zig Zag for the first time, I'm definitely more psyched to come back and do Zig Zag. Such a cool set of moves. Excited about that one.

Pretty soon we all packed up and started screwing around a little. Katie and I walked over to Body Karate to see if anything was dry while Chris and Sarah finished up at THC and Zig Zag. Sadly the top arete was a river and that whole block was out.

Chris didn't believe us and walked over to check it out for himself. Body Karate was going to have to wait for another trip.

We all walked down by the creek for a bit until Chris found a small section of the creek still frozen over. Defying all sorts of logic he started walking around on it. Katie soon got sucked into the "fun" and after I stopped trying to restrain her she made her way on to the ice.

Chris being all giddy 'n' stuff

He was super stable.  Really.

Katie, testing things out

Crounching Chris, Hidden Giddy

In all honesty it was probably safe. The cracks at the edges were a little disconcerting but still, it was pretty thick where they were. That said, I wasn't about to stop throwing rocks in hopes to crack it a little and give them a scare. After spending a good 5 minutes hucking rocks 20 feet in the air and watching them crash back down Chris got a little cocky.

"Dude, there is no way you're going to break this ice. It's really thick!"

I picked up one last 15 pound chunk of sandstone and winged it over my shoulder. It was to my enjoyment that I heard a nice splash as it went straight through the ice about a foot away from one of its thicker edges.

In unison I heard Katie and Chris say, "Time to get off", and they both made their way to solid ground.


Chris then made it his mission to clear off all the rocks that I threw on the ice with a big stick. It became increasingly harder as the rocks got heavier and the stick kept on breaking. Pretty soon he was leaning off of a slabby boulder with nothing between him and the water.

He looked over and said, "If I fall in right now, It's because I'm REALLY stupid.". We all agreed and watched in worried amusement as he got the last rock into the creek.

Just about to get started on his mission

Getting a bit sketchier...

And all out sketchy now.

Before heading out of the falls for the day we tried a "hang and drop" line that Katie had spied earlier in the day on a neighboring tower. Chris and I fooled around and did it pretty quickly. I enjoyed it so much I did it 2-3 times. Just a fun little V3 with a big moves and big holds. Such a good way to end the trip!

I can't even describe how good it felt to climb on real rock and be outside. It was just so good.

Thanks to Chris and Sarah for egging me on enough to make the trip. It was needed. Also thanks for taking a bunch of pictures and I hope you don't mind that I stole some of em!!!


  1. sounds like a fun time dudes! Still very jealous. Zig Zag sounds like fun and im psyched to try it next time I'm there and it's dry since I never have. Did you guys try ODB at all since it's right there or was it wet also?

  2. Ahhhhhh. One question though:

    "roughly 20-25 pickup trucks came into the valley(bunch of doctors going on a memorial hike)"

    WTF????? ce

  3. Sweaty - OBD was soaked! Katie wanted to try it badly but no amount of chalk was gonna fix it. Too bad. Zig Zag was very cool in my eyes.

    Chris - You read right. There were a shitload of them!! We couldn't believe it. I was finishing breakfast one minute and then turned around and pickups were lined up the road so far I couldn't see the end!! it was crazy!!! probably 40 middle aged guys. cool to see people out and doing stuff but it was surprising!!!

  4. bummer about obd. such a great problem. I think Katie would have pissed on it but could have potentially been super pissed about the throw. longer than hangman for sure and i know how she felt about that move... ive seen video of Jason Kehl doing some sort of pinch beta thing, but have touched what I thought he was using and didn't understand what he was pulling on at all. plus the throw was fun. super pity. she and you would dig the 'space invaders' thing that continues right into thc from obd and IMHO is just as good, maybe even better, and you never hear about anyone even trying it... suuuuppperrr good. you guys have good excuses to go back it sounds like! :-) count me in

  5. great write-up man! i have a good pic of you on zig zag, i'll e-mail it to you if you'd like. hopefully we can climb together again sometime!

    Brandon (green and grey organic pad!)

  6. Hey Brandon! I'd love to check out any pics you have! Send them to

    Great meeting up and climbing with you guys! keep an eye out here to see when we're heading back!!