Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Praise Sweaty

So tomorrow I've got meetings all day but I've gotta give credit where its due.

Sweaty. Man. That was the best comment ever. I've never seen so much go into something posted on this site. It was truly a piece of art. So much so that i'm posting it here. Read the whole string to get a sense of the grandness of it all.

(Climbers)
Ding Dong! The Brownie's dead. Which old Brownie? The Wicked Brownie!
Ding Dong! The Wicked Brownie's dead.
Wake up - sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up, the Wicked Brownie's dead. He's gone where the brownie's go,
Below - below - below. Yo-ho, let's open up and sing and ring the bells out.
Ding Dong' the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
Let them know
The Wicked Brownie's dead!
(Steve)
As Mayor of the Climber City, In the County of the Land of Gnar, I welcome you most regally.
(Eggnuts)
But we've got to verify it legally, to see
Steve
To see?
(Eggnuts)
If he
(Steve)
If he?
(Eggnuts)
Is morally, ethic'lly
(Remo
Spiritually, physically
(Narc)
Positively, absolutely
(Climbers)
Undeniably and reliably Dead
(Sweaty)
As Sweaty I must aver, I thoroughly examined him.
And he's not only merely dead, he's really most sincerely dead.
(Steve)
Then this is a day of Independence For all the Climbers and their descendants
(Eggnuts)
If any.
(Steve)
Yes, let the joyous news be spread The wicked Old Brownie at last is dead!


Take note that this is all in response to me saying that I payed nic off with a snickers bar to kill RV. After RV scolded us for giving Nic chocolate.

Also, Remo punted really hard today on Tunder Tighs. So many peeps in the running for Punt of the Month it's mind boggling.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Velvet Hammer


Too many things happened this weekend to write a full write up. And I'm feeling lazy. So here you go. I'm liking numbers lately.

1 - Ian did the Falling Pieces project and named it Hungry Hippos. He thinks it's a 7 or so. Instead of doing a jump start he started matched on the juglet/sidepull and went up hugging the arete. It was pretty cool actually and I want to try it. He did a great job on the landing too so go do it.

2 - Ian then did a sit start linking Jenga into Hungry Hippos, naming it Hungry Hungry Hippos. He called it a 9. Should be a classic line actually and doesn't feel forced at all. Once again, go do it.


3 - Chris and I moved a shitload of boulders. More on that soon hopefully.

4 - Super Slab is absolutely badass. Everybody should do it. I'd totally forgotten how much fun it is. One of the best V0 highballs in the park.

5 - Ian then flashed Moj which was sick. Sadly neither of us had our cameras on and I might actually get video punt of the year. Ian tried to repeat it for the camera and fell on an easy move after the crux. Dude is strong.

6 - I tried the Seam Project again and feel absurdly close to doing it but I don't know what I have to do. It's a really interesting move for sure.

7 - The first right hand hold on Moo Stache broke off on Saturday but it doesn't seem to have changed the grade too much. It's kind of sad just because that hold was really cool and somewhat unique. Sarah is also extremely close on that one and should do it soon. Go Sarah go!

8 - The Tilted Project is REALLY hard.


9 - I truly enjoyed seeing Aaron climb yesterday. He's having a good season and is motivated by the lake right now and that's just cool to see. He fought through it all and finished Smooth Operator which is super proud and one time he even came off the topout. Skeery. Then over at Tunder Tighs he said he just wanted to give it one or two tries. A half hour later he was cruising through the problem and getting ready to top out. I'll let the video below tell the rest of the story. Nice to see someone climbing really well outside while not caring about the gym too much.



10 - Ian is climbing strong right now. He flashed Flatiron, Smooth Operator and Massive Vertigo with relative ease. Adding his try hard flash on Moj he had a damn fine weekend just with that. Then he went and did Tunder Tighs in a handful of tries calling it one of the best at the lake. It's nice having him around for the season. Need to find him a project.



11 - The ladies held it down too. As I said above, Sarah will do Moo Stache soon and will prolly do Magnum as well. Sam looked really strong on Massive and I hope she'll finish it up before the summer sets in. Katie seems really psyched on Tunder Tighs though she can't span the big left hand move to the lip so she'll have to figure out different beta. Excited to watch her on that.




12 - I may have gotten my pad golf swing back. It took me four shots to get to the path coming down from Tunder Tighs and I had my best throw ever. Suck it.

This season has been an incredibly enjoyable one for me. We're only a month or so in and I've been lucky enough to spend an absurd amount of really nice days at one of my favorite climbing areas with many of my closest friends.

I want to thank everyone for that. It's been a really fun season so far.

Here are a couple of videos from the weekend.

Devil's Lake Bouldering - Super Slab, Seam Proj, Hungry Hippos from Steve Schultz on Vimeo.



Devil's Lake Bouldering - Dirty North, Smooth Operator and Tunder Tighs from Steve Schultz on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Snake Proj

So we all know that traversing is equal to that of murder and theft. It's beebus's punishment against us all for all things unholy. The work of the devil really.

Nic found a new proj at the lake. We're calling it the Snake Proj. It's far and away the proudest project I've ever seen at the lake.

The goal is to physically touch every single hold on the Keymaker boulder. Nic came damn close the other day and I've got video to prove it. I'll put it up here soon.

To give you a better idea of what it entails see below.

Green=Beautiful Soup
Blue=Keymaker
Pink=Snake Proj.


HAH!

Here are some other videos to enjoy.

Eggsack finally making soup.



Me being a dumbass.



Adam and his sleepy self.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Commitment

There's really only two things to talk about here.

Chris did Keymaker. So sick. Katie finally did Jenga. So sick, once more.

It happens so often when you walk up to a problem, do it and walk away, not putting any real thought to it other than "that was fun". There is no work, commitment or sacrifice. No punting or trials and tribulations.

Those problems tend to be somewhat forgettable.

What Chris and Katie did yesterday doesn't fall into that category.

There was a huge amount of commitment that went into each problem and it inarguably took over a major part of their lives. It dominated their thought process and they each spent multiple days trying to get off of work or out early so they could go up in the evening or early mornings.

The level of psych it takes to get to that point is something special and somewhat rare. It doesn't happen all that often but when it does good things happen. They are times that should be cherished and enjoyed to the full effect.

What's most inspiring to me is knowing that it didn't come easy for them. They had to try extremely hard. There were huge falls, dry fires and so many punts it was staggering. So many days were spent walking down the talus wondering when it would happen and to come back from that can be demoralizing.

Right before Chris did Keymaker, after multiple big falls from the last hard move, he wondered if he'd rested too long(probably had) and whether he'd be able to do it that day. Not 5 minutes before Katie did Jenga she looked directly at Nic and told him she wasn't going to do it that day. She hadn't stuck the crux once and felt terrible on the problem.

They both turned it around yesterday.

On November 14, 2009 a nice crew went up to the lake. Aaron, Ellen, Katie, Chris, Sarah and myself. We started at the North Shore and went to Beautiful Soup. Chris tried Beautiful Soup for the first time that day. We spoke briefly about Keymaker and I remember talking about how psyched I was for it. Chris noted that he'd never do Keymaker.

Shortly after that we walked up to Moj. Chris and Aaron wanted to work it a bit. After neither sent we walked up the hill to Jenga. Both of them did it and Katie tried it for the first time.

As we walked down the talus that day Katie looked at me and said, very candidly, "I'll never, ever do Jenga".

A year and a half later, on the same day no less, they've both cleaned up their projects.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Season So Far

A month ago I posted some predictions and I gotta say, we're doing pretty well so far.

Beautiful Soup is 2 for 5. Moj is 1 for 2. Keymaker will get done for sure by Chris very soon and hopefully I'll get it done too. Ian has a hurt digit and wants to work Greatest Show since it won't be tweaky.

We're 1 of 10 on new problems and seem to find new projects weekly. I believe pretty firmly that the Corner Project will fall into V10 or harder with the eventual sit to Moj checking in at an even more desperate level. The Tilted Project seems brutally hard but absolutely stunning and there are more projects out there for sure.

I can say with relative ease that there are only 2-3 established problems I'm psyched on right now. Cleaning up these projects are the next level for the lake and are only going to add to the general feel and psyche of the area.

I hate to get all huggy huggy here but this has been a really cool year so far. The sheer amount of psyche and energy coming from all the different players is encouraging and honestly, astounding to me. It takes much more than one person to make a great season and everyone has been around so far. People are making sacrifices and creating time to get out. It's something that doesn't happen all that often and it's one of the reasons I look back on 2009 with such good memories.

Nic is coming down for the second time this year to try a couple of projects(assuming he isn't a dumbass again). Eggsack has a full time job, a wife and two kids but still somehow makes time to get out and send V8's like they're nothing. Katie and Adam have been going out weekly squeezing in early morning sessions before work. Chris and Sarah have been making time between having brand new jobs and buying a house(congrats!!!). Runnells and crew end up having to drive 4 hours round trip but have still found time to get out multiple days. Dobbe, Aaron and Gabe all got out to the new problem up in the East Bluff fields between new jobs/relationships/general insanity. Hell, even sweaty was able to make it up here once so far. Considering an almost 8 hour round trip(insane) we all have nothing to bitch about.

It's those types of sacrifices and commitment that make special years happen. I really can't say enough about how cool its been to see the general level of psych grow. On top of being psyched, things are going down and people are getting close on whatever projects they have. It's sick to see first hand.

I'll leave you with two things.

1 - Josh sent me a new pack yesterday. It's ridiculously awesome and I've been waiting for it to come out ever since I saw it last summer. It's yellow and black and small and perfect. It's awesome. Everyone should buy one. They're cheap.

2 - Here's a video of Katie hiking Massive Vertigo for its FFA.

Devil's Lake Bouldering - Massive Vertigo from Steve Schultz on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tilted Project

So I took a quick video of the Tilted Boulder last night when Katie and I were packing up. We fixed up the landing a bit and looked at the area for a few minutes. Could have some potential. Saw a really striking highball arete just down the hill and the line to the left of the Project is pretty cool too assuming we can move a few more boulders.

Excuse the super dark video. Just wanted to give everyone some perspective on the line. The boulder is maybe 10-15 feet tall and the arete will be extremely hard. The holds aren't as good as you want them to be and the feet suck. But it looks somewhat possible at least. Enjoy. I figured I wouldn't post to Vimeo since I just wanted to give you fools a quick view.

video

Monday, April 11, 2011

Weekend Wrap



I feel like a broken record every time I come on here and say we had yet another damn fine day. It's been so good this season though that I can't help it. It seems that every time someone goes out something goes down and it's super fun to see. I love it.

Saturday was no different.

We made it up there around 10:30 in the AM and waited for Eggnutz at the cabins. How, you may ask, did we know that he was up at the lake?? We could hear his "Rumbler" of a car over at the South Shore parking lot idling.

Then we could follow his progress as he drove along the south shore road. It was pretty great. So much power he doesn't even know how to deal with it.

Eventually we made it up to Keymaker and soon after the other Chris E and his better half Sarah joined us. Party time.

Thanks to Mr. Runnells all the upper holds were well chalked and ticked perfectly. Thanks bud. We quickly warmed up on the traverse while Eggy warmed up on Soup. For once I wasn't the worst at warming up.

After a bit of waiting I hopped on for my first try at Keymaker. Traverse felt fine, and I was able to get some good beta for bumping to the higher edge that starts Beautiful Soup. It all felt fine.

I grabbed the crimp and it didn't feel super, but felt decent. I readjusted a bit and moved my feet around. I felt pretty good about everything and started to throw.


And then I was on the ground. Everyone was quiet for a second or two and the pain started to seep in.


I've dry fired a lot at the lake. The Alpine Club one sucked but Ian got smote down for laughing at me. Massive Vertigo was terrible but Dobbe, Chris and Remo were nice enough to put a jacket over me. Perfect Medium was horrible but it only tore the tape a bit.

This one though, was the worst. By a staggering amount.

Eggballs put it the best when he said it sounded like a firecracker went off. And bonus. Esser got video of it.

After some recoup time I got back on the horse but each time I got to the crimp it felt terrible. One time I did make a half ass throw to the rail but never really committed to the move after that.

Esser on the other hand had some great tries and it's over once he hits the rail. Staggering how wired he has the top section. Literally it's just one move separating him from the link. It's super fun watching him on the thing. He's got it wired and it'll go rather soon I think.

Moving on to one of two highlights of the day now. I really enjoy climbing with Eggsack. Dude's just fun to be around and he's strong. Not only is he strong but he's strong in crappy shoes.

He's been trying Beautiful Soup for about 3 years now, off and on. He'd given it a go with RV and I last September and he was just barely not holding the rail. Super close. Fast forward to this year and we'd sprayed him down with finish beta in case he stuck.

Each time he'd come to full swing and then just as he was coming back in something would pop. After a while his skin started to roll and he was down to basically his last effort. Duder just got up and did it. Kept both his feet on, no less! He sketched his way through the finish moves and stuck the jug with ease.



I'm really glad we were able to meet him up there in his really limited time. Geezers like Chris give me hope. He works 40+ hours a week, has two kids, a wife and is turning 40 this fall. Plus he wears Sportiva Mantis's. Suriously impressive that he climbs so hard on and off rope. And he'll be going for Sandstone Violence again this fall on his birthday. When he does it it'll be his 10th time doing it. So sick.

Impressive bud. Really happy for you.

We parted ways after that and the four of us hiked our way up to Massive Vertigo. Katie came absurdly close last week before her heel popped with her hand on the jug and she was psyched to get back. After a couple of close calls she finished it up with fairly little effort or drama.

Sarah giving it a few burns



Right before the send


It was really just a super solid link for her and she looked great on it. Very nice to see. She remarked afterwards that it was nice to do a problem. It didn't feel like an epic or a super hard project, just another problem to do at the lake.

It was good.

After we cleaned up there we hiked over to Dog Walk to see if Magnum P.I. was dry. It was not, but that didn't stop us. Esser and I dried the holds that we could with chalk and he even used his jacket to cover a wet spot.

Sarah started working out the moves once more and after 10-15 minutes she was getting close but not quite there with the crux move. She moved her foot a bit and something clicked in her. All of a sudden she was super close to doing it. Each time she'd get to the gaston and pause for just a second before popping off.

She gave a few ditch efforts but her shoulder had been acting up so she called it a day. That one will go very soon for her. Should be good!

After Dog Walk we hiked it up to Jenga but everything up there was damp and wet so we didn't give anything any real efforts. A nice round of Pad Golf down the 500Ft field ended the day and I was able to reclaim my winning ways with a 1 stroke win over Chris. He was close, but not quite all there. He's a solid putter though. He came through clutch to put the pressure on.


Weather is looking dodgy this week so we'll see if anyone gets out. Anyone in town this weekend should come to the comp at Boulders on Saturday. It'll be a good time. Ale Asylum is donating 2 kegs so bring your drinking boots.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

New Energy

Man the energy around here is just incredible right now. People are so psyched and it's awesome to see first hand. On Tuesday Remo took a crew of people up to try the Get Up Stand Up project and Vince figured out some super high foot and sent the thing. Nicely done! Called it Night Grinder and put it up at V6. Apparently it's pretty sketchy too. Even better.

Then yesterday Remo, Sweaty and Eggnuts went up to the West Bluff and re-found an area that Hefty, Peter and I had climbed in a bit. It made me abnormally happy to see the pictures come up on Mountain Project this morning. The line that we did isn't amazing or super proud or uber hard but it was one of the final unresolved things leftover from the Fall '05 season.

I've put in a decent amount of work trying to make sure that Peter's contributions have gone recognized as he was the one that got me excited about the lake. He changed my mind about the area and showed me a glimmer of its potential. Often times I find myself wishing he were around to help in the renaissance that we're experiencing here. The Futballer Direct and the Fire Road boulders were kind of the last bits of info that hadn't quite hit in full.

It makes me happy that those boulders won't be lost anymore. It really surprises me that no one else found them throughout the last two years though. I definitely spent some time searching for them myself.

And right now Katie and Adam are up at Massive Vertigo. Katie linked into the pinch on her 4th go but fell off going to the good hold on the arete. On top of that it seems Mr. Narc is on his way up to the lake and I'm guessing he's going to start trying Keymaker. He seemed excited about it and he seemed to do well on the traverse and tried the upper section a bit. Curious how that'll go for him!

Can't say it enough but good things are happening right now. People are trying to get up to the lake as much as possible by making time for it. It's something that we didn't do last year. If time wasn't there then oh well, we wouldn't go up. This year people are putting in the work and making room to go climbing. It's often overlooked how much of a commitment it can be to take all your free time and put it towards something like this.

And I'll leave you with a quick video of Beautiful Soup and Keymaker. My footage is the bomb. For reals.

Devil's Lake Bouldering - Beautiful Soup, Keymaker from Steve Schultz on Vimeo.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Saturday

Often times I have a hard time thinking of the lake as a true bouldering area. Part of it is that you always seem to trek to one area and kind of stay put. Contrast that with other areas where everyone is climbing on different problems in different places all at the same time.

For the first time in a long time this past weekend felt like the lake was coming into its own. In total there were 11 people up on the West Bluff bouldering. At any one point we had people at Dog Walk, Black Sheep, Dumpster, Wrong Way on a One Way, Anchorpoint, Double Elephant, Alpine Club/Beautiful Soup and Massive Vertigo.

Problems got done. Projects got sent. New stuff was found.

It was a damn fine day.

Katie and I parked by the cabins after a quick hike to check out the new stuff Remo found(which is really cool. I'm psyched to see/try the Get Up project after you send it!). Just as we were making it to the trail Runnells, Tony and Sarah were coming down from Double Elephant where Tony and Brian had just finished it up.

We all went up to Beautiful Soup and just as we were unpacking Chris/Sarah and crew were coming up. Katie took Sarah, Ben and Erin over to Dog Walk while Chris and I went up the hill to try Keymaker a bit.

We watched Brian and Tony for a bit before shoeing up to try Soup again. After one slight miscue each we did the crux throw on Beautiful Soup on our second try. Personally I was really psyched I could still do it as I had tried it last year and failed.

After that we just started boosting each other up into Keymaker, trying to figure that beast out. After a few tries we'd each whittled down our beta a bit to our own totally different method. Myself jumping/campusing to the crimp and Chris using the high heel.

A couple boosts in Chris just took it to the top! Very sick to see it go down that quickly for him and I have zero doubt he'll do the whole problem extremely soon. On my best go I was able to get a pause on the second crimp and felt the body position click in a bit.

Watching Chris on this thing is super inspiring cause it's just made for him. It's really cool seeing a problem/climber seemingly built for the other.

All I can say is I'm really excited to get back on it now. Its taken top priority for now and that feels good.

Towards the end of our time at Soup both Brian and Tony were getting heartbreakingly close to sticking the jump move, coming up just short of reeling it back in. Finally Brian stepped up to the plate and stuck the jump move with a good dose of try hard. He calmed himself down, matched the crimp out right and avoided a punt on the last hard move to the jug.

Done and done! Brian seemed happy to have done it and we were all happy for him.

After a brief stop at Alpine Club they headed off to Dog Walk while Aaron and I threw ourselves at Alpine. I'll be honest, Aaron isn't known for being a technical climber. Aaron is strong, like bull. I can say this stuff cause he can take it. He's tough.

I've NEVER seen anyone so close to doing Alpine Club as Aaron is now. Dude basically stuck the crux 3-4 times in a row and looked like a damn rockstar on the problem. It's one of the most impressive things I've ever seen and I can say with the upmost confidence that he'll do that problem soon. It's incredible.

After picking up there we walked over to Anchorpoint and met up with the rest of the crew. Sarah sent Recreational Vehicle which is awesome! Seems that her and Ben were also excited about Anchorpoint. It's nice to see others getting more and more psyched on what the lake has to offer.

We didn't stick around too long since Katie wanted to try Massive Vertigo once more. This time, after some beta refinement, was a bit better. Fairly quickly she'd worked out an entirely new sequence that seemed to play to her strengths and allowed her to get the kneebar a bit more securely.

With fatigue setting in and light fading she gave a couple of all out efforts and on her best go she fell on the last hard move before the jugs. Sad but encouraging at the same time.

On our way out we met up with the rest of the crew coming down from Dumpster Diving where pretty much everyone sent it and moved on. Once again, so nice to see people going out and just climbing new problems in new areas.

So notch it up. Another good day at the lake. More problems got sent, no one punted and new problems are on the horizon. This year has had a different flavor than the last couple. People are getting out more and the projects seem closer than ever. Excited to see where this leads.

I'll leave you with another gem of a video. Go Katie go.

Devils Lake Bouldering - Jenga from Steve Schultz on Vimeo.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Punt Of The Month - March


Well now. Here we are. I was really hoping Nic would get punt of the month. He deserved it. Here's his case:

- Drove 4 hours to Madison. Climbed at the gym for a few hours and then started drytooling. Broke a hold. A Nicros hold, just to top it all off. Punt

- Drove 1 hour to the lake and then failed to stand on top of two big pads after repeated effort. Punt

- Did some 5.6's and then cut his arm open walking over to Jenga. Had to hike out and go to the doctor to get it glued up. Punt

- Both the Ranger and the Doctor were dicks to him cause they didn't like his tone. Punt

- Drove an hour back to Madison, at a burrito and passed out on our couch. No Punt. Burritos are good.

- Set the Union South wall with a busted arm and forgot his socks, charger and something else at our house. Punt

- Drove 4 hours back to Minneapolis not having climbed anything and called it his least productive climbing weekend ever. Punt

- Ended up driving a minimum of 10 hours only to buy Katie a bottle of Adult Chocolate Milk(which is DAMN strong btw). Punt

But then Katie threw a wrench in the gears. Here's her case:

- Repeated, uncountable punts off the last move on Jenga. Over and over and over. All caught on video. Punt

On one hand we have a general life punt. Nic wasn't trying hard or doing anything difficult for himself, he just slipped and fell and started bleeding. Dude was just walking...On really slippery quarzite.

On the other hand we have someone who's trying incredibly hard and coming up just short. Albeit many times, but coming up just short. It is possibly the definition of punting. I mean seriously, watch the video. Textbook punt.

Now, I've equalized the two cause they're pretty inexcusable. Both of them. Individually in any other month they'd win outright, but we have this truly incredible circumstance where I've got two clear winners. Two people that punted so hard it's difficult to comprehend. Neither of them are winners here. But there has to be one clear loser. It'd be sheer chaos if I just took the easy way out and made them both punt of the month.

How did I decide you ask? How did I separate two perfectly equal but totally different punts? It's an almost impossible task but after some soul searching I figured out what I had to do. It was so simple after I thought of it. So easy.

I brought it down to the bribes.

Nic bought me a six pack of Double Cream Stout and a bottle of incredibly strong boozed up Chocolate Milk.

Katie made me a cake in the shape of a penguin.


Katie wins.

Nic loses.


Nic, YOU are Punt Of The Month. And I want you to know that this wasn't an easy decision to make. If you had made me a cake in the shape of a penguin AND gotten me some boozy chocolate milk, you'd have won.

But you didn't. I look forward to procuring your prize at Goodwill this week.