Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good Things Are Happening

Well, Remo found a couple of cool looking projects this past week and he added yet another talus field to the circuit. This one seems like it could hold a few gems and sounds like a rather benign approach. I, for one, am psyched to at least see the projects on Saturday.

The "Get Up Stand Up" project looks very cool and I'm excited to try it once Remo gives it some more effort! Sounded like he was so close! On top of that the "Block Party" project looks pretty cool too. Looks short but sounds like it's super hard. I'm curious to try that one out a bit and see what it's like.

Katie is up at Jenga right now with Adam hoping to finish it up before months end. If she does she just might avoid Punt Of The Month. I really hope she finishes it up today as its been kind of epic for her and it's always good to put those things behind you.

We'll see what happens I guess!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Birthday Weekend

I wanted to go climbing this weekend. I really did. Saturday was too cold and it was snowing. Sunday...well....on Sunday I was far too hungover to go climbing. It sounded like Adam, Ben and Jeremy had a nice day at Dodge though, so that's good.

Awesome stuff that happened this weekend...

Katie made this:

After making a cake version of my headless teddy bear chalkbag, a foot tall cupcake and then my Organic Big Pad she had a lot to live up to. Somehow she did it and made me a freestanding penguin. Utter amazement.

For those that don't know, the Penguin is my power animal. RV will try to convince you that he came up with that but it's all lies. Dirty lies.

Remo did this:

Chris and Adam ate these:

Which allowed them to do this without consequence:

Without the magic fruit tablets you'll look like this:

After Adam took the tablets he couldn't taste his beer, which made him sad:

After that we played a game of foam bowling(thanks Chris n Sarah!!!!!!!):

For the last frame we put up some obstacles:

Basing my decision solely on amount of strikes, I won:

At one point after my first strike I got so excited that I jumped up and broke our kitchen light with my fist:

Remo was nice enough to get me a bag of Petzl Chalk. Jon made me a 3 foot by 2 foot paper mache` pretzel which is now hanging in our living room. Totally sick. Chris and Sarah got me a giant gangster chocolate bunny and a foam bowling set. Also some jelly beans. Awesome. And Katie got me a thermos with a handle on it. It's gigantic. She also put two Petzl stickers together and made one that said "Pretzl". Fantastic.

Even cooler though, she got me a little Flip Cam video camera. I'm excited about that and will be posting videos on Wisconsin Bouldering once I get it going again. So keep an eye out for that.

Finally, some vidoes!! The first is of Chris doing Moj:

And Katie. Poor poor Katie. Can't be much closer without doing it:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Saturday, In Review

Five notable things happened Saturday.

1 - Nic was hiking around in the talus, fell, cut his arm open and had to go to the hospital. It was pretty fucked up. As a bonus it seems he found a cool roof.

2 - Katie. I don't even know what to say here. So many punts off of Jenga. It was truly heartbreaking to watch and yet very evident that it'll go down soon for her. It's putting up a bitch of a fight though. Her hand was literally ON the jug multiple times.

3 - Chris got employee of the day by absolutely fucking HIKING Moj. It was truly impressive and fun to watch. Really psyched we got to see it.

4 - The corner project by Moj seems like it will go but will be balls hard. If that gets opened up then there will be a brutally hard sit start that could go into Moj. I'm extremely excited about this project as it's short - only 5-6 moves long - and really powerful off of absolutely terrible feet and small crimps that are just barely enough to make you believe it'll go.

After trying it a year and a half ago I was convinced it wouldn't go at all. I feel different about it now and that's encouraging.

5 - I'm sorry to announce that Nic beat me in Pad Golf. What can I say. I'm embarassed. I mean it was my first round of the year and I only lost by one stroke(two if you count the freebie I gave him). Give him credit, he came back from a debilitating defeat last summer and had some very impressive throws.

BONUS - We got items 2 and 3 on video so once Esser posts that somewhere I'll get it up on here.

I will say that for a first week of the season shits going well so far. Magnum PI got worked over three times, Jenga almost got did, The Zipper went down and Moj saw it's 5th suitor I think. A good sign of shit to come.

I'll leave you with a bunch of pictures of Nic looking like a fool and trying to stand on a big pad.

Totally aces.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Predictions - 2011

1 - Alpine club will be done 3 times

2 - Beautiful Soup will be done 5 times

3 - Keymaker will be done 2 times

4 - Moj will be done 2 times

5 - Greatest Show will be done 4 times

6 - Tunder Tighs will be done 2 times

7 - Sandstone Violence will be done 4 times

8 - 10 new problems V6 or harder will be put up

9 - Of those 10 problems 4 will be V8 or harder

10 - At least 1 new problem will be DOUBLE DIGIT(said in a monster truck announcer echoing voice.)

Go. Conquer. Destroy.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's On

Well, the season is on I guess. Magnum P.I. got worked over this past week getting 3 sends and now Remo has done the Zipper! Really good work buddy!! Sounds like he's putting it in the 7 points category as it felt a smidge easier than EZ's other 8's. That'd fall in line with what Todd and Peter used to say about the problem. They called it V6 multiple times but I think that was a bit much and they both had the thing wired. Either way about it sick work and this is the first time it's been done in a long time. Possibly since Todd's bday challenge in 03 or 04. Proud work Remo.

I've said this multiple times now but THIS is the season for the lake. As good as 09 was 11 will be better. Overall psych is overflowing at this point and Remo and I in particular are ready to do work.

Either get on the bus now or sit back and watch. I don't care what you do but get ready. It's gonna be an epic one.

Predictions to come tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Devil's Lake

Katie on Magnum P.I.

I really really like Devil's Lake. The atmosphere. The climbing style. The holds. The whole experience. It's all just so unique and unlike any area I've ever been to. It's a truly incredible place and I count myself lucky that I've been able to take in so much of it over the last 11-12 years.

Yesterday was a very nice reminder of what I enjoy about the place. We basically had the West Bluff to ourselves aside from a couple of guys up on a rope above us. We ended up not being able to make it to Jenga as there was just too much snow to do it safely. Hopefully that'll be remedied by this weekend. Instead we settled on trying Magnum P.I. on the Stache boulder.

Despite not being super psyched on trying Magnum P.I. at first it turned out to be sort of a gem. A really surprisingly good gem.

After we finally got our pads set up I started playing on the first move in a lame attempt at warming up. Pretty soon I enlisted Katie's help and started working on the top moves. Everything except the first move went in a try or two and for us it really came down to that first move. We tried pretty much every combination of start holds you could imagine with little to no success.

Fearing ultimate failure Katie tried an improbable hand heel match with her left and she just sorta floated up to the first crimp. I tried it soon after and was amazed it worked. It was pretty cool.

I sat and rested a bit and then gave a try from the start. Soon enough I'd made it past the gaston move(which is mega cool) and had my hand on the sloper. Done I thought. Easy. I reached up to a sloping crimp and off I came.

Good to get that first punt of the season out of the way. My next 10-12 tries went a bit like this:

Dry fire, call the problem a bitch, bash my hand, call the hold a bitch, file a split, bash my hand on a bigger hold, fall off the V0 move, call that hold a bitch, listen to Katie laugh, joke nervously about the mini epic I was having, miss the gaston, file a second split, call my skin a bitch, dry fire as I'm going for the gaston and miss it, call the problem a bitch, fear for my pride, FINALLY stick the gaston again, nervously walk my feet over knowing deep down one of them is going to pick, foot doesn't pick, send.

I like mini epics. They're funny once they're done. Even Katie had one. It was good. She ended up getting the whole problem wired into submission except for the move AFTER the gaston. Unexpectedly she'd reach up for the sloper and each time her foot would pick and she'd pinwheel back to the ground. This happened probably 10 times at least. Catastrophic falls each time as she was fully committed and thinking she was gonna do it.

Finally she switched into the right Hornet and sent the problem without issue.

Both of us were psyched to do a new problem at the lake and I personally have to eat crow on this one. I'd played around on the problem a couple times but nothing serious. Aaron kept mentioning it to me but I kept downplaying my interest as it's really kind of a shitty little line. At any point you're never more than 6 inches from each problem to the side.

All that said, it's one of the best problems I've done in a long time. I was wrong. I was very wrong and I'm happy to admit it. Awesome effort by Dobbe to open that one up as it's a great addition to the lake and I'm happy to add that one to the circuit. The gaston move is kind of amazing(one of the coolest single moves I've done at the lake) and the problem packs a lot into a short distance. On top of that it's a very "DL" problem. Super core intensive, just past vert and a little bulgy. The moves are hard but not physical and it's very techy but still somehow powerful.

Good work boys, and girl. Remo tells me that he's heading up today and that the other day he tr'd the Zipper. Sounds excited about it too.

Two things before I leave.

1 - Quantums are fucking amazing at the lake. I can't express enough how perfect of a shoe they are for DL. Just a bit downturned. Stiff enough to be supportive but still have some sensitivity. Great toe profile and a nice heel. Perfect shoe for the lake.

2 - Conditions at the lake are great if you can get to the boulders. Right now the Eastern Ramparts side of the east bluff is pretty much snow free. South bluff is still covered and the West Bluff Talus is hit or miss. If you can find your way up to a boulder you'll probably be good. Stache was good but tough to get to. Alpine Club seemed like it'd be the same. Jenga/Moj are probably good this weekend after some more snow melts. All the east bluff north shore stuff is more than likely covered in snow for another week or two.

Make sense?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rock Climbing

Tomorrow I'm going rock climbing. I'm going rock climbing at a place called Devil's Lake. This "Lake of the Devil's" is pretty badass from what I can gather. It seems rather good for the rock climbing.

I'm excited to go rock climbing at Devil's Lake. Very. Very. Excited.

I don't know what exactly I'm going to rock climb but I will rock climb many things tomorrow. Katie will also rock climb many things tomorrow. Maybe, just maybe, I'll take pictures of us rock climbing. That'd be just great.

It's been far too long since I've rock climbed on quartzite.

Alright, suriously. I can't wait. It's supposed to be nice out tomorrow and Katie and I are tired from working all weekend, so there.

I think Katie is psyched on Jenga again and if we head up there I'll probably try the Seam Project and the Corner Project a bit. I'm hoping conditions are good for us as it sounds like most everything has melted off.

Also, you guys should check out Nic's new post and any others he puts up. He's doing a history of his pads which I think is kinda cool. Good idea. Go here.

Friday, March 11, 2011


I got new shoes. These. They're sick. And softer than I thought they'd be but that's not a bad thing.

What's most unfortunate though is that I'm not gonna be able to use em for a few days. Which always sucks. Instead I'm working Canoecopia. Peddling my wares, if you must. Even worse is that Katie has been working Bike o Rama for far too long already and won't be able to climb until early next week at best.

My skin isn't happy. Katie's is furious though. I've never seen her skin do this to her. It's incredible.

Real rocks will be climbed soon enough. Weather is looking prime next week and the snow should be gone soon. Spring has been so close for so long. The snow needs to stop.

That's all I got. Anyone gonna try to get out this weekend???

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Smooth Moves With The Gentleman - Catch The Fever!

With Mother Nature playing another terribly mean trick on us by depositing 3-4 inches of fresh, hateful snow I've decided that today is a day for The Gentleman. So grab a glass of fine bourbon, pull up a chair next to the fire and enjoy the latest installment of Smooth Moves With The Gentleman. Sure to be one for the ages.

It’s the Midwest and It’s winter and it’s awful-tastic cold outside but there’s still plenty of hot, sweaty, shirtless action to be found- Welcome to GYM SEASON 2010-2011!

We’re pulling into the prime time of indoor climbing, what with all the comps going down and I’d like to recap {bitch} about all that was wrong and unbearable about the 2010-11 indoor season.:

1) I paid I can do whatever I want

Climbing gyms are businesses (unless you’re smart Minnesotans and create a private climbing Co-Op not open to the public) and businesses need to make money, lots of money. How do you make money? By selling yourself to people with money. Some call this whoring, I call it commerce. What do the people who have rented you for the evening want to do to you, a climbing gym? What-ever-they-want. Climb barefoot with your athlete’s foot gnarled hooves? You bet! Use the ropes to Tarzan swing around the gym? Most definitely! Climb over a crew of your slack-jawed friends without roping up then falling like a jackass onto the crowd below like a retarded meteor striking a herd of cows? Who wouldn’t!

Making money is a necessary. I know this. Hopefully most of these people will Darwin themselves shortly after buying a membership but before polluting the gene-pool.

2) Show Time

Yo, check this out! Hey, hey you! HELLO watch me do this! Everyone, attention please! For real. Look at me!!!! SHOW TIME!

Guys do this infinitely more than the ladies do but every now and then a someone with XX Chromosomes pulls it off. You know the people. Regardless of what’s going on around them, whether someone(s) is/are already climbing in the immediate vicinity or, dare I say on the same problem, it’s go time and Showtime is going to climb. Everyone better get out of Showtime’s way because this is the exact moment that they’re going to do something awesome and we’d all better witness.

Oh, excuse me, were you waiting patiently to climb, well, allow me to jump in front of you.

Hey, were you brushing those hold for a reason? Oh, that reason was probably me. Allow me to sweat those hold back up for you.

Pardon me, I see that we’ve inopportunely crisscrossed paths, kindly get the hell off my wall and out of my way.

Hey, is that your foot on my foot chip, well, no problem, I’ll just step on your foot.

3) I got this.

Last week I was working a problem that I set. I wrote V6 on the problem because if you know our gym, you know we sand bag (i.e. V5 means hard, V6 means real hard, V7 and beyond means probably won’t get done). I gave it a good, hard effort, pushed it to the crux and burst off. Alright, got the start dialed, I though, now to work the crux section. I sat down.

Enter McNewb and his trusty sidekick Gunz McHasnome , enticed by a double-dyno problem next to my project. Gunz was up first on the dyno. Gunz was up and Gunz was down. No sooner had Gunz pulled onto the start holds then he was crashing to the mats unable to hold said start holds. Cue McNewb. To his credit, McNewb did hold the start holds and was able to manage a fairly impressive dry fire/ejector maneuver landing himself five feet away from the boulder. I laughed. It was funny. I’m kind of a dick.

Humbled, McNewb decided to try a new problem. My problem. This I had to see. McNewb chalked up, loosened up the ole’ shoulders and climbed on- in the middle of the problem, on the only two decent holds, and chucked for the crux hold and held it- for about two seconds before crashing off. McNewb proceeded to do this about to more time as Gunz’ cheered. After the third failure at snagging the crux hold McNewb walked over to me to ask about the problem. He’d seen me working it. He thought maybe there was alternate beta but I didn’t get what he was telling me he wanted to do. Then he did it. He said it.

Mcnewb: You know, really,for V6 it’s not that hard, if I catch that hold and put my foot on I got it.

Me: So you can cruise it to the crux can you?

McNewb: Actually, I can’t do the first three moves so I skip them. Is it really V6?

Me: Linking all the moves into the crux makes that move harder. It’s probably more like V7 or V8.

McNewb: The tape says V6.

Me: Yeah, but I set it and that was just a guess. It’s pretty hard.

McNewb: Nah, I got it. It’s not that hard.

Me: Oh Really? You got it? You can’t do the first three moves! You can’t do the crux! You can hold two holds. Con-grats! Sure, you got it!?

I wish the conversation had went further. I wanted to flame McNewb. I think he realized the scary look I was giving him and he walked off without say anything else.

These people make gym season suck. Usually they are also the same people mentioned in #1 and they lead to number 4.

4) Where is the manager. I want to complain.

This has marred GYM SEASON 10/11 and I put blame solely on people in category 1 and 4. New people, paying money to treat the gym like their personal playground. And when the playground situation isn’t exactly the way they want it…. They complain to the manager.

Our gym manager then has to try an explain why the playground situation is as it is then attempts to appease the complainer and finally sends out emails passing on the complaint.

I hate this. So to end this rant, here are a few little complaints that were heard in 2010/11):

-The 5.8’s aren’t 5.8 enough.
-Why do the setters have to set when I’m here? Can’t they set after hours (hours of operation 10am to 10pm).
-The problems and routes aren’t changed over fast enough
-Someone took down my project that had only been up for 6 months.
-I was climbing under a setter’s ladder and a wrench got dropped on me. Tell them not to drop things when I’m under the ladder.
-I don’t climb in comps so I don’t want them closing off the gym for comp setting when I am here.
-Why does it cost $11 dollars to climb? Can I pay less?
-Why is it so chalky in here?

Please feel free to add any others in the comment section. This is an open forum peoples.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Punt Of The Month - February

I think it was the obvious choice. I really do.

He bought plane tickets for September instead of February.

He lost his puppy sitter.

He got hurt trying to flash something.

He almost died.

His fleece died instead.

He's not 'merican.

RV, you should really be proud that you are the first repeat offender here in Punt of the Month land. Katie and I are working on getting you a nice prize from St. Vinny's. That'll be a guarantee going forward by the way. Prizes all around.

We'll pick out some good ones. Weather is turning here. DL should be climbable soon. Chatted with Remo yesterday and psyche is getting overwhelming now. I really can't wait to get back to the lake.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Punt Of The Month - February - A Community Decision

UPDATE - In the last 24 hours we've gotten two more gems from lovely Katie.

1 - "That's how the cookie tumbles!"

2 - "Get out of my room!! NO!! WAY!!! GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!! Dammit."

So I'm stuck. I've got two punters, both repeat offenders, that are up for re-election to the punting seat.

RV and Katie. Both punted this trip but sent right after.

Here are their cases.

Not sure I need to elaborate on RV's previous issues. On top of that though he hurt his wrist, went in a hot tub(which is like cheating death for him), got a sticker at Aretha's for eating two meals and then actually almost died. For reals. He also punted off of Jerry's Kids and Eliminator. At least he sent Jerry's Kids though.

Katie has a way with words. What else can I say. Here are some of my faves.

- "Third times a try! Wait. No. That's not it."

- "OH NO!!! YOUR CAR IS ON FIRE!!!!!" - She screamed this gem as we sped by the smoking car on the side of a highway, windows rolled up, at 70 mph on our last trip to TN.

- "Wait. Wait. They tell you where to throw the ball from?!?!?" - This was said on our first trip to LRC as we went to the back area, passing over the tee box. She's not one for the golfing.

- "That's enough from the Peanut Factory!!" - She yelled this one at me last week as I heckled RV from the top of a boulder. Sofie was polite enough to correct her.

All of these are spoken with the utmost sincerity and are 100% real. She's not trying to be funny or absurd. That's just how her brain works.

As for the trip itself, Katie punted briefly on Pythagorean Theorum before satching it up soon after. As a bonus she almost hit RV after he kindly let her know that she punted. So that was fun. She also narrowly avoided death, regularly wore short pants with mid calf stripey socks and walked across the walking bridge in Chattanooga. That last bit might be considered mundane to most of us but it was her greatest send of the trip as she used to suffer from a crippling fear of big bridges. I couldn't be more proud of her.

I'm 50/50 on this one but have a feeling which way it'll go. I think they're both deserving. I'm happy to say that I didn't punt once on our trip. Always a nice treat.

The poll will be open for 2 days.

Who's it gonna be???