Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Calm Before The Storm

What an interesting spring season. That's about all I can say about it. I feel like we had a good early season and kind of a weak late season.

Dobbe started things off right in Monolith land by cleaning up his last remaining project in Perfect Medium. Then Ryan came into town and cleaned up Venus Rising at the lake and Highly Executed out at Dodge. Soon after, he fell off the face of the earth and Dobbe fell prey to the mighty frisbee disc.

Remo had a great early season and cleaned off his major project up at Monolith in his new problem, Sex and Chocolate With a Cherry on Top. It was a huge goal for him and he was beyond psyched about it. I was very happy to see if finally go down as I'd noticed the line years ago and wondered why no one had done it. He also sadly fell prey to the mighty frisbee disc and soon after busted up his ankle doing so. We had to put him down and send him to the glue factory...I mean he went to a farm. A nice big farm.

The Wisconsin Bouldering Legend himself graced us with his presence a couple times this spring and left us with a couple of new problems. First was "The Lamest Show On Earth", the left exit on that boulder. Second was "Tunder Tighs" up on the West Bluff. He's vowed to come back and climb every damn climb on the Greatest Show boulder. Should be fun to watch.

Beautiful Soup got it's lone ascent this spring when Travis Melin satched it up rather quickly. He also cleaned up Jenga in a couple tries and put some serious work in on the Falling Pieces project.

RV had a nice spring as well, even if he doesn't think so. He finished up Sex and Chocolate and quickly called it one of the worst problems he's done. Then later in the summer he finished his long time goal of climbing Moj in the heat of summer. It was a VERY impressive send and he did it twice that day! Very happy for him on that one.

Alpine Club also got a surprise send when Kyle from Milwaukee came up and did it with the bump method. Paul also got impressively close before the heat shut him down. It'll be interesting to see how that problem progresses as time goes on. The "move" had been done by three people in the previous 6 years I believe. In the last 6 months 3 people have done it with the bump beta.

In a last stand sort of way Jeremy did Venus Rising to start off his year. It's always nice to see projects go down so late in the season!

Now. Onto my predictions. Hmmm. We got some work to do this fall guys. That said, I do think it's going to be a great fall. This summer has been the worst in recent memory and I for one can't wait for it to be over.

1 - Beautiful Soup - 1/7 - This problem needs to get done. A lot. It's good, classic and has perfect rock. Get on it!!!

2 - Alpine Club - 1/3 - I may have under guessed this one...

3 - Keymaker - 0/2 - I'm confident this one will get done.

4 - Moj - 1/3 - I think this one will get done one or two more times this year.

5 - Black Sheep - 0/2 - We really need to get back to this. God damn. It's actually a decent problem.

6 - Sandstone Violence - 0/3 - Confident in this one.

7 - Sex and Chocolate - DONE!! NICE WORK REMO!!!!!

8 - New Hotspots - Massive Vertigo Area, East Bluff, Steinke - So much more exploring to be done people!!!! Get out there!!!

9 - 7 New problems V6 or harder will be established - 2/7 - I still think that'll hold true. So much to develop!

10 - One double digit problem will be put up - 0/1 - There are a couple of candidates for this. It'll happen. Give it time and temps.

If you want to check out the original predictions link go here.

Let me know if I left anyone else out!!!!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Red Like A Swedish Fish

Katie went to her sister's bachelorette party this weekend. It was at the Wilderness. She got all sorts of drunk Saturday night and got back to her hotel at 3 in the AM. Funny.

Apparently there was a lot of Penis paraphernalia at the party too. This is just what I was able to glean from the bookface. Dong stethescopes, dong straws, dong nametags, dong sippy cups, dong slippers, dong shaped soap, sex position toilet paper, dong ring toss, pin the junk on the hunk, dong necklaces, dong eyeglasses, dong arm rhinestones, dong balloons and a dong headpiece.

Oh....and a 6 foot tall inflatable penis.

I never had ANY idea there was that type of a market out there. As Nic said so eloquently, "So much cock..". Couldn't have said it any better.

As for me, I made a weak attempt at climbing on Saturday. As I drove around the corner I saw this:

I laughed a little and parked over by the boats. Bus driver man had gotten his bus stuck about 2 feet deep in the muck and mud. As I was turning the corner the tow truck man was coming up behind. When I walked back through they were all gone but I was pleased to have seen such a thing.

With that I began my solo hike to the new Dog Walk boulder. When I finally got through the sweat, heat and wet mini talus it turned out that everything was soaked to the bone. I took some pics and left.

Go into the forest just after this bench.

The right arete, "A Gentleman Never Tells".

The left arete showing both of the other potential problems.

After that I went back over to Alpine Club which was also wet and then left for the day, beaten and broken.

The next day I met Katie up at the Wilderness and we spent the day floating in the lazy river, which was fantastic!! It's a good lazy river too. Two levels connected by a slide and a conveyor belt thingy.

In the process I was burnt to an absolute crisp though. God damn. I look like a Swedish Fish.

Did anyone else get out???? Maybe on Sunday when it was AMAZING out?!?!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tunder Tighs

I'm at a show this week so posts are going to be a bit more concise than usual.

Nic came down last Friday for a demo at Boulders and rock climbing the next day. He could not have picked a worse day to come down to try hard stuff.

90 degrees. 89% humidity. Fucking heinous.

That said, we got a bit of climbing in. Nic did the possible FA of Tunder Tighs, which is a pretty cool line. I'm looking forward to getting back there actually.

Really there were three real highlights to the day.

First was when RV was nearing the end of his time on Tunder Tighs. He got super psyched up, got on the wall and really went for it. Sadly though in the hustle and bustle of getting psyched up he forgot to set his left heel which is the only thing keeping you on the wall. He went for the move and then promptly disappeared into a pit of death. All we saw was Katie's pad shifting around and then nothing. We figured he was gone forever. Nic, Katie and I were all about 20 feet away and could not stop laughing about it.

He bruised his ass a bit but was able to walk away from it with a smile.

Second was a killer round of pad golf. I made a rookie mistake and tried to traverse right to a better lie. Stupid.

RV on the other hand had the round of his life and ended up tied with me down on the trail. That said, I'm still undefeated.

Nic......Nic tried. I wish I had a participation ribbon for him. Pad golf isn't his thing I guess.

After that we went over to Pete's Pebble so Nic could get a bit of a swim in. He jumped in and we waited for him to hop out. When he did he started jabbering on about how he broke his shorts. Sure enough. He did.

His fly just plain ripped open. Then as he was showing us he flashed a family of 5 on the Tumbled Rocks Trail. Awesome. Just awesome.

Katie and I are heading out tonight. Devil's Lake is the plan. Sofie and RV may or may not join us. It will be rad either way.

Also, I did a Moonboard workout last night. Badass. I need to get stronger though.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wal Mart In The Parking Lot

There are some things that you just have to do when you're a 'merican. One of those things is going to the yearly spectacle that is the County Fair. You have to eat funnel cakes, corn on the cob and some variety of deep fried cheese. Throw in a root beer float or a waffle cone and you're all set. Make your way to the barns and poke some bunnies/pigs/goats/sheep/heifers/ponies/llamas/alpacas and you can go home at the end of it all with a smile on your face.

If you make fun of a carnie or two thats just icing on the cake.

RV has been in the great land of 'merica going on 6-8 years now I think. I found out only yesterday that he'd never been to a county or state fair. With a bit of help from Sofie we finally met up with them. Thank you Sofie. This was a major problem that needed to be solved.

He needed to experience the wonder of the county fair.

A few things made it a true Dane County Fair though.

1 - Katie inevitably wanted to buy each and every bunny she saw.

2 - After repeated crushing blows Katie swiftly moved on to getting Sofie to buy a bunny. We'll see how that progresses.

3 - A chicken tried to eat RV. We called him the 'King Cock'.

4 - I wanted an African Runner Duck. Katie obviously agreed and then I had to sadly crush my own dream so as not to be THAT family with anywhere from 6-17 Hermit Crabs, 4 Bunnies, 1 Goldfish with a bulgy eye, 1 partially blind African Dormouse and 1 puppy spawned straight from Satan himself...and an African Runner Duck. Not yet.

5 - We almost lost RV when he went off on a mission to find a Root Beer Float. His mission took him directly past two other carts that sold Root Beer Floats.

6 - I got yelled at by a Funnel Cake salesmen named 'Pikkie'.

7 - The soft serve Carnie looked down Katies tank top and immediately forgot how to do basic math. Yes, they are THAT powerful.

8 - RV and I are gonna go back at night and steal all the holds off of the climbing wall. They look brand new and Boulders needs more plastic.

9 - We saw Mr. Sweatpants himself. I'm sure of it.

10 - On possibly the saddest note of the night I found out that I was the only one that couldn't go on the "Amazon Adventure". Damn those 150 pound weight limit rides!!!!! On a positive though I think that only .0002% of all Dane County Fair attendees could actually get their Amazon Adventure on.

Wisconsin is not a svelt state. That is guaranteed.

Monday, July 12, 2010


I just got a call from RV and Moj has finally added a 4th suitor to its name!!! Apparently he sent after only a couple of tries today and said it "Felt like V4".

He sounded overly psyched and part of that stems from it being his self professed anti style. He's been devoting most of his year to this problem and it's a huge relief off of his shoulders to have it done. It's always hard holding back and really building your lifestyle around a certain climb/problem but if it pays off in the end, like this, it always seems worth it.

Instantly he started talking about going out to drink, eat and drink some more.


Punt Of The Month - June

So this is a new thing for us here at the Sicky Gnar Gnar. I forgot who exactly came up with the idea so I'm taking credit for it. Hah.

Each month I'll put up the biggest punter of the prior month. I think we all know who June's Punt Of The Month is.

HAH! That's what you get for playing frisbee Remo!! You even beat out RV punting on Moj for the millionth time! I mean c'mon!!! FRISBEE?!?!?!?!

Enough of that.

Katie has taken an early lead in this month's contest but Sweaty has just pulled even with his latest triathlete comment. Nice work. Could it be that the first two Punt of the Month's don't even involve climbing????? Guess you'll just have to wait and see.

On a climbing related note we all went out to the 45 degree boulder and sweated our ASSES off on it. Holy hell it was bad out. Ray had a nice moment at the end though and pulled out an "all or nothing" style send on the left line. Nice work. More on that day soon though.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Five Ten/Scarpa Shoe Demo

Meant to post this one up earlier today but lost track of time. A week from today everyone in the Madison/Milwaukee area should come to Boulders and try on some shoes! Nic will be there from Five Ten and Jon will be there from Scarpa.

It should be a fun time and if enough people show up to make it worth their while we can do another one sooner, rather than later. It means a lot to these reps if people actually show up to these kinds of things and it makes it a bit more worth their time/money/energy. Coming from the Montrail/trail running end of things myself it makes the whole deal much easier to swallow when people are there trying this stuff on.

So come out, try on some shoes and have some fun.

Next Friday!

Boulders Climbing Gym!!

Be there or else you suck!!!

(I don't actually know what time it'll start but I'll let you know as soon as I find out. For now assume 6-7.)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


So congrats are due to a couple of people out there. First up Paul D who did his first V10 very recently. Congrats kid. Psyched for you. It's always fun to break new ground.

Second is Sofie who's stepped it up recently and is plowing into new ground for her. It's been really fun to watch first hand and see her quick progression. She's very quickly taken down Recreational Vehicle and Dumpster Diving in two days each. Both of those problems are stout and have seen many failed attempts from lots of strong men and women.

It's fun to see goals taken down whether it's a V10 or a V4. With Sofie it's been cool to watch her get excited about climbing again. She's progressed quickly and has a great head outside. She hasn't assigned any numbers and definitely doesn't claim to understand them. She just wants to climb cool looking problems and thats admirable. With each topout she's smiled wide and then moved on to the next one, albeit with a bit of bragging to RV about how she's gonna beat him up now that she's getting so strong.

Very fun to watch.

Paul on the other hand has progressed very quickly and his psych is seemingly always there. He's young, strong and super fucking motivated. On top of that, he's not all that motivated to climb hard in the gym. While I haven't climbed with him much, it's obvious that he's excited about climbing on real rocks and that's refreshing to see from a younger climber in the midwest. We've seen a lot of kids burn out from climbing solely in the gym and hopefully that doesn't happen to Paul.

It's in that vein that I'll toss out a little story from my time in bishop. I really haven't told this to too many people. Part of it is that I'm a little embarrassed and part of it is that it changed my thought process about grades sooooo much. Knowing that there are roughly twelve of you out there that'll read this makes it that much easier! It's not like people care, right?

I was 20 when I got to Bishop and beyond psyched about absolutely everything that had to do with climbing. On top of that I had a drive in me to get better and to try and do as many hard problems as I possibly could.

In the back of my mind I had a goal set of climbing V10. I figured if I could do that I'd be all badass n shit and people would faint when they saw me cause I was so rad. Or something like that.

Pretty soon I made it through a few grades and thought I was king shit so I started projecting a 10. A few days went by and I made some progress on the rig. Cool, I thought. I'm rad.

Then one day I got really fucking lucky and did the problem. I had a crazy amount of motivation, amazing conditions and like I said, I got REALLY lucky. I found a problem that fit me perfectly and I did it.

Up until that point I had been rather obsessed with grades. I took them as concrete evidence of how hard/sickygnar/totallysickandrad a given problem was. The more I started to think about it though, the more frustrated I got with the idea of grades. At that time I was a V7 climber, at best, and I just got caught on a really good day under a problem that fit me really well. To me, it wasn't a 10. I had no idea what it was.

As I sat on my pad it just kept hitting me that grades are so stupid sometimes. And I don't want to get into the discussion of "grades are good versus grades are bad" because that might be even more stupid than the grades themselves. The v-system at its best is a decent little guideline. At its worst it gets people onto shitty problems in hopes of chasing a grade.

What makes this story even better is thinking about all the piddly, stupid little Devil's Lake V4's that I've spent countless days on without a send. Now THAT makes me laugh.

All this said, I'm really psyched for Paul. Not for sending V10 necessarily, but for finishing up a longtime goal. It wouldn't matter if it was V6 or V12, anyone that finishes up a goal is fun to hear about and deserves a congratulations.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Saturday was a real nice surprise. Really nice conditions in the talus and a nice breeze was blowing through the area keeping everything rather climbable.

After a very quick warmup at north shore(read: totally socked in) we made our way through the chaos and over to the cottages. We had a pretty large group of about 10-12 people but the plan was to mess around at the Dumpster boulder before splitting up and going up to Jenga.

Sofie was excited to try Dumpster Diving again after coming so close last time so we stopped there first. After warming up to the oddly shaped holds she started feeling better and better. Pretty quickly she was making good links and was only coming off on the big move out left. She took a quick break to calm down and then did the problem, making it look rather simple.

Very psyched for her!! She's been progressing really quickly this time around and is really enjoying it. In the past month she's done both Recreational Vehicle and Dumpster Diving. Nice work!

In the meantime Chris figured out the problem after a couple goes and even had to use a sloper. He wanted to crimp so bad.

All the time we were up at Dumpster I could see Katie getting antsy and eventually she hopped on Dumpster Diving with her street shoes on and repeated it. It's nice to see the giddy just wants to clmb motivation come back after so many months of her being sick. It's very nice to see.

We made the quick hike up to Jenga before Katie started running around in circles. Very quickly she made progress on Jenga and soon she was linking into the last move. I went down to check out the Seam Project and when I came back up she'd apparently just fallen going for the jug!

There's only one thing I can say.....PUNT!!!

After a few more efforts she was continually falling on the last big move and on her best effort she fell with her fingers just grazing the edge of the hold. Alas, it'd have to wait for another day.

She'd better finish it up before she gets a nomination for Punt of the Month.

In all honesty, it was a really strong effort on her part. Really strong. She hasn't been up there since early March and to make such quick progress and stick the crux move many times is really proud.

With that we went down to the trail and over to Alpine Club. I was interested in trying out the bump beta and also seeing how the original beta felt.

First the bump method. After a few tries I started warming up into the movement but wasn't quite sure where my left foot needed to reside. A little bit later though and it all started to feel a bit more comfortable. On one of my last goes I got a nice little pause on the edge before my foot blew. I really think it's just a matter of pushing a bit more with my right foot to create opposition for the awkward thrutch.

I didn't give it very many attempts before moving on to my real goal of trying the original betas. As I've stated previously, I'm most interested in doing the move Peter's way. This problem means a lot to me personally and Peter had a large influence on my climbing style as well as my outlook on the lake.

After a few warmup efforts I came oddly close to the move and had a bit of a pause on the high gaston. It was really refreshing to be honest. I've spent many days at the base of this boulder with many ups and downs. More ups than downs really, and this was a nice little boost on a problem that I've avoided like the plague for many months now.

This problem is definitely a personal battle for me and I'm looking forward to more effort in the coming months.

It's been a long time since we've had a really great day climbing and Saturday was a welcome change of pace for us. It was a long, fun day and both Katie and I are really excited about Rock Climbing again. Something has been missing lately and I think we've found it.

Good shit. Also, I've apparently been really into taking portraits of people. Who knew. Honestly, I think it has more to do that my long lens has been on and I've been far too lazy to take it off. Here you go.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Battle Continues

Well, summer hasn't let up quite like it did last year. We've been left with pretty heinous conditions for the past couple months. We're hoping it holds out to be a decent enough day tomorrow. Should be a fucking zoo at the lake but oh well. I just want to climb some real rock. I've had enough of the fake rocks lately.

On a positive note RV and Melin had a seemingly good day out earlier this week. From RV it sounds like Travis gave the Falling Pieces project some good attempts and then they moved down the hill to work on Moj. Once more RV stuck the crux move "7-8" times but couldn't quite link the tough S.O.B. He said that every time he'd do the move one of his hands would grease off on the next moves. One time he even greased off of the right hand juglet.

Proud work in the summer bud. I don't care if you didn't send it, really proud. It'll go very soon for you with even halfway decent conditions.

After that they moved down the field to Dumpster Diving which Travis did quickly. A final stop at Pete's Pebble apparently showed just how worked over Mr. Melin was as all out full body failure ensued. RV tells me that Travis has vowed to come back and project it until he sends. He will vanquish the beast!

Too damn funny.

I hope everyone has a good 4th and don't blow a finger off. Remo, I'm talking to you! No more injuries.