Monday, December 27, 2010

Year In Review

So. 2009 was a good year. It was a really good year.

2010 wasn't exactly a banner year unfortunately. It seemed that nothing really aligned. People got injured, the weather sucked, the psyche wasn't there and the exploration didn't exactly take off like last year. If anything it just showed us how good 2009 was. Last year will go down as one of the more influential years for DL bouldering. No matter what happens going forward we can all be proud we were there for it.

Now 2010 wasn't a total bust. Good shit happened. Read below to see just how bad I am at predicting stuff.

1 - Beautiful Soup will be climbed by 7 people.

As far as I know Melin, Ian and Remo were the only ones to finish this one up this season. I was psyched to hear about all three of them and Remo in particular put a long term project to bed which is always satisfying. Ian also did it very quickly on about his 5th-6th try. Impressive, to say the least.

I'd be psyched to know if someone else did the problem. There are always dark horses coming up from Chicago and Milwaukee so all the info I have may not be truly complete. A sheriff only knows so much.

Now, a couple others did get very close. RV and Eggnuts both nearly latched the rail and I'm convinced they would have satched it up had they caught it. Jeff also punted a couple times after a very long day and after nearly doing Keymaker. Proud effort on all their parts.

2 - Alpine Club will be climbed by 3 more people.

So before summer was out both Kyle from Milwaukee and Paul from Madison did Alpine Club via the bump method. Both were proud efforts and it was cool to hear it getting done. The real fireworks came later in the fall though when Kelly McB made one of the most impressive efforts I've seen to date. She did the problem in maybe an hours work for its first female ascent. On top of that it was one of the fastest ascents that problem has ever seen.

Ian, Jeff, Katie and myself all agree on just how rad it really was. So impressive. To put it all in perspective four people who climb V12 or harder have put one or more days in on the problem. Of those four only one has done it(Nic) and he did it on his second day.

Fucking rad.

Alpine Club continues to be a nemesis for me but the big departure this year was that I enjoyed the process. I took the time to learn something new each time I went out and my psyche for the problem has only grown. I'm 31 days into it and I can't wait for day 32.

3 - Keymaker will be climbed by 2 more people.

I really thought Jeff had it in him. He was so close it's hard to believe he didn't do it but alas, Keymaker stymied his best efforts. On his way down the talus he started talking about how he'd have to fly back for this one. It's incredibly fun for me to see someone so psyched on a line at the lake. It kinda blows me away.

My personal fitness wasn't where I wanted it all year and for that reason alone I didn't really want to try the line. I did the jump move a couple times so it was nice to know that was still there but I'm hoping I start to feel a bit better in 2011. I think a couple others have it in them as well. Chris Esser has a good chance for it as it's very much his style and he's climbing very strong right now. Ian also has a chance if he can get past the pain of the crimp.

Sally up bud. Sally up.

4 - Moj will be climbed by 3 more people.

Well, RV was the only one to do it this year. What the hell guys? You let the skinny brown kid finish it up??

All stupidity aside, RV's send was a very proud one for him and it's special because I know it meant a lot to him. The problem is definitively his anti style and it took him a lot of work and a lot of punts. On top of everything he did it in the summer which is proud in itself.

Esser is close on this one, Ian is psyched to see it as is Jeff when he comes back and there are a couple others who have said they want to finish it. I'm curious how it goes next year.

5 - Black Sheep will get a second and third ascent.

Sorry Nic.

6 - Sandstone Violence will get climbed by 3 more people.

Hmmm. Not sure this one got done by anyone new this year. Chris, Jeremy, RV and I were all close and eggballs threw another lap on it but it didn't seem to attract much attention this year.

Maybe next year.

7 - Sex and Chocolate direct will get sent. Finally.

Thanks Remo.

The day that Nic did the Lamest Show on Earth, Remo cleaned up this one. On top of doing one of the more impressive highballs at the lake he took a couple wingers off the top which is just terrifying to think about.

Good work bud. I know you wanted it badly.

8 - The three "new" hotspots will be the east bluff talus fields, the Massive Vertigo end of the west bluff talus fields and Steinke Basin.

Steinke did get some good action this year and I do think that area has bunches of potential. The north end of the West Bluff also got a few new problems but nothing astounding as far as volume goes.

The area that I personally think holds the future for the lake is the East Bluff. RV and I found a TON of potential new stuff when we ventured up that way and there is so much unexplored terrain it's crazy. I'm excited about it going forward. So much to do.

What none of us saw coming was the Dog Walk/Stache boulder. That provided the starkest example of the amazing potential of the lake. It now holds 4 lines V3-V7 with a perfect landing, good height and a piss easy approach 20 yards off one of the most travelled trails at the lake. On top of that it filled out the 500 ft woods area so nicely and now there is a beautiful little circuit you can do for a fun day at the lake.

Every time I go to the lake I find new stuff. I don't think any of us can even fathom the amount of potential this place has. It is absolutely astounding to me.

9 - 7 new projects V6 or harder will get established.

So this one we actually got close on.

1 - Sex and Chocolate With A Cherry On Top - V8 - Remo
2 - Lamest Show On Earth - V9 - Nic
3 - Tunder Tighs - V7/8 - Nic
4 - Moo Stache - V6 - Aaron/RV
5 - Magnum P.I. - V6/7 - Dobbe/Aaron/Remo (not sure who actually did it first.)

I think those 5 are it. With all of those there are tons of projects that are close. The Seam Proj was so tantalizingly close it was hard to fathom. RV, Chris and Myself all got insanely close and it turned out to be much harder than any of us expected. Personally, Half Dome feels incredibly close as well and after getting the first move on lockdown the second feels all there. Should be an interesting one.

Other projects include the corner project up by Moj, the big money project at steinke and the falling pieces project by Jenga. This is the one area that I think the lake will continue to grow. Hard problems will continue to fill out and I'm curious to see where it all goes.

The list above is a very impressive one and I want to thank the people that take the time to put up new problems. It's more work than people think and it goes unheralded much of the time. We've got a core group of people doing it and It's great to see.

10 - One of those projects will turn out to be double digit.

Not this year. That said, there is definite potential out there. Half Dome might fall just under that but the Corner Project has serious potential to be brutally hard. Other projects abound and I think we'll see the upper end fill out nicely in the next couple of years.

It's been a very interesting year. Many times after a resurgance the next year is kind of a letdown. It happened with Dodge in 2008 and it happened with the lake in 2010. I truly have no clue what's going to happen in 2011. All I can hope is that we all stay healthy and that we get lucky with the weather.

I would love to see more people out there exploring, finding new areas. It takes a different breed of people to do that. To take a full day off from climbing just to walk around the talus. Unfortunately this is what the lake needs and we seem to be lacking those strange fools. There are definitely gems out there. We just need to find em.


  1. Great post Steve! Thanks for being the local news source, and a place we get to shit talk(Brown kid that means you) during our none climbing days. It's the glue for our little community.
    Cheers to 2010 everyone and lets hope 2011 brings good things...I think it will.
    Psyched- Remo

  2. Thanks Remo. I try to keep in interesting and hopefully it never gets too old. Honestly, that's kind of you to say.

    On a side note....Rv sucks.

  3. I agree with remo. I love logging to catch up on the wisco bouldering scene. Good work to everyone who did get some projects this year. Hopefully next season will bring some rad sends.

    Super psyched too... :)

  4. I may suck, but Steve has a fat head. Even his wife thinks so. Evidence is on the book of the face.

  5. At least my dog can kick your dogs ass.

  6. And both our dogs could beat up nic's dog cause his belly would just drag on the ground. Oh stepstool...