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?


  1. Nice work team Schultz! The season is starting off with a bang! Must be all the new shoes.

  2. It was a good day for sure. The Zipper went down! I had to turn on the try-hard at the upper crux and bear down on those crimps! Those upper moves are amazing! Such a great problem! It's not as hard as say BS and Moj, but harder than Venus, Anchor, and Jenga.