Boulder Climbing is fun. Real fun.
Katie and I spent two very different days up at the lake this past weekend and both were phenomenal for different reasons.
Day one started by meeting up with Kevin and Brian. Yes. Mr. Runnells himself went boulder climbing. Hot damn.
We warmed up at the Greatest Bluff and talked about how phenomenal Imp Act is. Truly a great boulder problem. Those two had just come over from Massive Vertigo which they described as "awful". Not everyone can like those sharp crimps unfortunately. I'm with them on this one though.
On top of that Kevin had spent a good 4 hours at Boulders the night before. Perfect way to prep for a morning at the lake.
After a brief warmup we set our sights on Greatest Show. My psych was renewed after doing the first move a few weeks back and both of them were ready for it. I'll keep it short and say that all of us got a good case of the smack downs in the hour and a half we were there. Despite the great temps the holds felt unusually smarmy and greasy. More than once I stepped off of the pebble move solely because I could feel my fingers moving around on them. Dry fires were just sitting there waiting to happen.
Eventually towards the end of their time, Kevin started making some great links but got stymied at the crux. He seems psyched though and is eager to come back. Awesome.
In the meantime the rest of our crew was up at the bluff so I wanted to take some pictures and cop a brief rest. Just as I got my stuff gathered up Katie came around the corner and let me know all the boys were warmed up and on their way down to Greatest Show. Dammit.
So, without much of a rest I jumped right back into it. Pat, Aaron, Chris and myself jumped around on the problem for a good two hours or so. Every now and then one of us would make it to the first hueco and there'd be some hurried pad shuffling and excitement and then the inevitable crash back to the pads.
We started boosting each other through the first moves and up to the huecos and wow, we need to drop another rope down. Those holds felt terrible!! They need a good scrubbing before the fall season. Next time!
After enough punishment and a few awesome dry fires from Aaron, we all packed up and moved on to the Dog Walk boulder.
It's been a long time since I've been out with a bunch of people. Really, since Peter and I put up Anchorpoint. Often we shy away from big groups. Saturday afternoon was really really fun. Roll call goes as such: Katie, Myself, Ellen, Ben, Aaron, Isobel, Chris, Sarah, Pat and Kelly. So many people!
While the 9 of them situated the 8 or so pads I just sat on the rock behind the boulder and watched the insanity. Normally when you set up a landing one person takes charge and just does it. Literally 9 different people were moving pads at once and it was HILARIOUS to watch. It was the worst landing I'd ever seen there which was so funny. Pads were lying everywhere, stacked on top of each other and people were trying every line all at once. So good!
At one point there were 6 or so pads under the right line, one half pad under the center line and the remainder on the left line. In a matter of a few minutes Isobel dry fired and missed a pad on the left line. Someone else fell off the center and hit the dirt and every single person on the right line was dabbing each and every go. Full on gym atmosphere. It was great.
Eventually it all got sorted out and radness did ensue. The left line got seiged by nearly everyone. Center line was done by at least Esser, Pat and Ellen and possibly others. The right line stymied all attacks other than Chris and Pat.
Chris topping out railroad spike.
Aaron trying to finish up Moostache.
Kelly on Railroad Spike
Ellen finishing P.Stachio...and Chris thinking I'm taking a pic of him...
After a couple of hours action was dying down and people were giving their last efforts. Katie finally figured out some redonkulous beta on the right line and out of nowhere she was on the top out. I ran down to give her a spot thinking that a send was imminent.
Punt! She came off the topout twice on Saturday and dry fires shut her down on the rest of her tries. Sadly she had to leave it for another day.
Everyone else had left for the day and as we were on our way out I coaxed Katie up to Alpine Club. I re-warmed up on the moves and after 15 minutes or so I hit a break in the humidity and had three of my best attempts ever on it. For a moment on the third try I thought I had it. My body hit apex and everything paused.....before absolutely exploding off the wall.
I was as psyched as ever and thought it was in the bag. I took a quick break and hopped back on. Well. Humidity went up and I dry fired 2-3 times in a row, mid move. Fuck.
I was done. Over it. It'll be there another day and once more it feels close. I will say that it's nice enjoying the process once more. Day 29 HO!!
Sunday was a much calmer experience. Katie's skin was totally fucked from Saturday and she wasn't sure if she'd be able to give any sort of real effort on her project, Moostache. I was just excited to go up to the East Bluffs later in the day and the weather was perfect.
Four of us, Jeremy and Geoff joined in, made it to the Dog Walk/Stache around 11. Katie set the pads for the right line and I was busy explaining the three lines to our comrades when I noticed that Katie was warming up on the right. Without a pause she'd stuck the crux on her first try and hit the topout jugs! She quickly went up and left and was done for the day! Psyched!
No warmup. No skin. Just radness.
When I say she was done for the day, that's no joke either. She literally gave one effort on the problem, did it, and stopped for the day. Nice work!
After some good, serious effort both Jeremy and Geoff finished it up as well and we moved on. Pretty quiet session there.
Quick stop at Pete's Pebble...
We made the trek up to Horse Ramparts and I was pretty much beyond psyched. This area epitomizes what I see as potential for the lake. Rad boulders above workable landings with huge features. It's pretty sick up there and we keep finding more stuff each time. It's so good.
We didn't have a ton of time so I showed them around and put up a warmup named 'The Deserter' just right of the Jewel boulder. It's fun. It starts on a couple of really cool pinches and goes up on phenomenal jugs. I like jugs.
After we ran laps on that we moved the pads just right to another line I'd eyed up the first time we went up there. It sit starts on two good holds and goes through one big move to a jug and then tops out high on more good holds. Jeremy did it first and named it Spit Spot Spit I believe. Goes around a 3 maybe and is pretty damn good. Perfect start holds and everything is super comfy. I like that one a lot.
This area holds a ton of potential and I'm way beyond psyched to get back there and put up a bunch more. Lots of goodness.