Friday, September 28, 2012

Hueco Vid

Finished up the Hueco Video this week.  Enjoy Kevin climbing a few of the classics.

Hueco In The Summer from Steve Schultz on Vimeo.

Anyone getting out this weekend?  Both days look incredible.  Sounds like we're gonna spend at least a little bit of time up by Sunny and 60's again.  Really psyched on that area now so hopefully we'll get another couple problems established.

Monday, September 24, 2012

East Bluff

With Katie out nursing a shoulder/back injury Aaron and I took the opportunity to have a nice little "Man Date" up at the lake on Sunday.  The weather couldn't have been better with sun everywhere and highs in the upper 50's.

We started our way up through the East Bluff North talus field with the new area by Sunny and 60's being our goal.  We stopped along the way to look at a couple of potential pits(all yours Dobbe) and plodded our way up the field.  About halfway up Aaron found a cool slab that baked nicely in the sun and we set our stuff down to warm up.

It turned out to be a great little boulder with 4 distinct lines on it, all weighing in at the hefty grade of V0.  We played around there for a bit taking turns on all the lines and enjoying the day.

After some fun on the slab we made our way up to the boulder just above Sunny and 60's.  In all we spent maybe 2 hours fixing the landing for two potential problems on this really cool boulder.  Once it was to our liking we worked out the easier of the two lines and we each did "The Little Roof That Could" which weighed in around V3.

Screen grab from video of The Little Roof That Could

I repeated it for video and we each ran a couple laps on it to warm up again.  As soon as we were done with that we tried the project that goes up and right off of the same cluster of start holds.  After some failed beta attempts we figured out a sequence that looks rather possible, unlike most of the projects I seem to find.  It should be about 5-7 moves long and I'm guessing it could be around V9 or so??  Not really sure.

In the end I could be totally wrong and it could be impossible.  History has shown I'm not the best judge of whether a project is possible or not!!

Katie's starting to feel a bit better and hopefully we'll be able to get out and enjoy some fall weather this weekend!  Anyone else get out?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Maybe 6 months ago Eggy and I tried working through some of the "higher ups" at Mountain Project to see if there was any way to resurrect  All of the other sister sites were still up and running but sadly the DL one wasn't a site anymore.

No matter what we tried we seemed to hit road blocks until finally it seemed we ran out of options.  While most of the info on the site was transferred over I vaguely remember some absolutely classic forum posts and discussions about the area and badly wanted to see them again.

Then today I randomly clicked on a link on Supertopo that lead to the old site.  I didn't expect anything other than a "page doesn't exist" welcome note.  I was happily surprised to see the old site back up and running!

I immediately opened up pretty much every page I could and started combing through it all.  I highly recommend spending a couple minutes on the site as the general history of it is really interesting.  A couple of the boulderers from the last generation give a couple vague hints at other still unlisted boulder problems and there are some absolute gems of comments on there.

My personal favorites:

The year of the send? I would think probably not. Remember, though it may not be listed, everything (and I mean everything) at Devil's Lake has been climbed before. However, you can climb and help relist the route. Even give it your own name. Heck, most names and ascents have been lost in time. Still, they have been done before. Boulder problems? I would seriously doubt that John Gill left anything untouched. :-)

If you dont know of the reserve then you just have to get out bouldering more. The climbers will tell you in person but not over the web! Its a special place and shouldn't get prostituted on the internet. If you're out there climbing you'll find out about the sweet spots. Please don't spew beta about the low key areas. If you know where they're at cool, if not ask people out climbing next time you're at the lake. Thanks- dlsp locals

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dry Fired

Dry Fire - The practice of firing a firearm without ammunition.  That is, to pull the trigger and allow the hammer or striker to drop on an empty chamber.

Anyone who has bouldered at Devil's Lake has experienced the Dry Fire.  That fleeting feeling of being completely, 100% secure right before you find yourself unexpectedly falling to the crash pads.  

It's a truly beautiful thing.  

I could write volumes about the beauty and the sheer violence of a good dry fire.  The immediate pain, reactions of bystanders and complete surprise of it all creates something unique and unexpectedly powerful.  

Instead of writing words that can't equal the act, I'm going to just let you watch this video.  I want to thank everyone in the video mainly because it was a joy to spend time with you.  The process of making this video took much longer than I expected but I think the final outcome exceeded even my expectations.  

I honestly can't count the number of times someone came up to me and asked when the dry fire video was going to be done.   I couldn't even begin to think of how many times I saw the opening clip of Aaron on Tunder Tighs.

What I can say with complete confidence is that the enjoyment of going home after a long day of climbing and plugging in a 4 second clip to the video was always more entertaining than it probably should've been.

Above all else though, this video has encompassed more than just the dry fire.  If there's ever been something that has expressed my love for climbing, it's this video.  It's the random stupidity of someone tripping, or throwing a fit, taking an awkward fall or almost falling out of a tree.  The ability to laugh at oneself is essential to living a happy life, and I really hope everyone in this video can do that.

So with that said, sit down, turn up your volume and enjoy the new video, Dry Fired.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Boulder Bash

Boulder Bash

Alright, it's that time of year again!  Time for this years Boulder Bash Competition at Governor Dodge!  For those that don't know, this is the second year and based on the response I've seen it should be bigger than last years.

My one hope for this years go round is that people from Madison/Wisconsin will outnumber other people from Minnesota and Illinois.  While it was super cool to see so many supporters from out of state come to last years comp I'd love to see a big representation from the Madison community.

If you haven't been to Dodge, this is a perfect opportunity to have a walking guidebook around every corner, have a ton of pads and and is the easiest way to experience some of the best bouldering at Governor Dodge.  The cost is $35 and registration is from 10-11 tomorrow morning at Group Camp B.  Climbing will be from 11-5 and it's a VERY informal competition format that allows you to just add up your points in a cumulative format.

Looks to be some great prizes this year and it should be an exceptional time.

I would love to see a great turnout this year as it's the only outdoor comp within 1,000 miles of Madison and all of the proceeds will go towards supporting the Wisconsin Climbers Association.  On top of all that the weather looks to be absolutely incredible.

Hope to see you out there!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


A funny thing happened this weekend.  Something that was unthinkable 2-3 years ago and I honestly can't remember a time that it's happened to this extent.  Maybe when the Duluth crew came down but I can't remember.

On Saturday Katie and I took a crew from St. Louis around for the day.  We spent some time up at Monolith, North Shore, Anchorpoint and Jenga.  As always it was fun taking people around the lake for the day and giving a tour.  Venus Rising and Anchorpoint got done by one of the guys and another guy punted off of both after hitting the last hold.

Doug on Anchorpoint

Big Bud and Slope of Dadaism were each done by a number of people and I threw another lap on the latter, remembering how much fun that one is.  Surely one of the best at the lake.

While we were up at Monolith a group of five from Minnesota came by to boulder.  They did some of the Spotted Cow problems and later on met up with us over at Jenga.  In all there were 12 people bouldering that didn't live in Wisconsin.  Not a big number by any stretch but still impressive considering the area and, by my count, more than the 7-8 people that were from Wisconsin.

A couple things.  First off, that's super cool and something that would have been unfathomable in 2009.  The fact that the bouldering at the lake has grown to a level where out of state boulderers outnumber in state boulderers to that extent is nothing short of amazing.  In 2009 Katie and I saw maybe 3 different groups of boulderers that we didn't know, all year.  It just wasn't a place that people went.

Everyone who reads this post should be proud of the type of area Devil's Lake has turned into.

Secondly, the diversity of the climbing is astonishing.  In total people climbed on established problems ranging from V0-V7 in four different areas on the West and East Bluffs.  Another group was out establishing problems over by Smooth Operator and Big Red.  On Sunday Dobbe took a group up to Smooth Operator and established another handful of problems.

It's absolutely incredible to see what type of area Devil's Lake has turned into and the development is nowhere near stopping.

Just the other day Katie was showing me some pictures of some boulders she found.  I paused for a second trying to place the boulders in the pictures.  Sure enough.  She'd refound the Twins Boulders on accident.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


What's there to say anymore when it comes to Hueco Tanks?  It's an amazing place and there isn't much to add to that sentiment.  If you haven't gone, you should.  If you have gone then you can understand the vastness of the place.

If there was one thing I tried to grasp while we were out there it was just how big the place was.  That was the constant struggle when it came to pictures and video.  The area is absolutely massive and it seems to go on forever.

Looking out over West Mountain

Kevin's project

Katie and I had a nice plan going in and we both executed perfectly.  Luckily the 95-100 degree highs assisted us in not getting attached to any one project and using the trip more as a scouting trip for another one down the road.

Katie on Babyface

Frankly, I can't remember a trip where we just messed around happily with rather low motivation.  It allowed us to try out a number of different problems and we saw a bunch of different areas in the process.

Jugs, here's your nipple chafing solution!!

Kevin seemed the only one interested in trying hard projects with any amount of serious try hard and while he came close on a couple of his projects, even he had to submit to the terrible conditions.

Kevin on his project

Case in point.  On the last day, yesterday, we went to the Icarus boulders and puttered around on a couple things that were absolutely baking in the sun before moving on to a nice shady V1 that we figured we could warm up on.


The three of us spent the next 45 minutes getting humbled like no other on that random V1 before Kevin finally figured out some tall beta for the crux and bushwhacked his way to the top.


Skin and strength didn't seem to be much of an issue aside from the 3rd day for me and the 4th day for Katie.  I only got one split, on the first day, which surprised the hell out of me considering the temps.

In all we spent most of our time on North but took one tour on East Mountain on our second day.  The tour was a unique experience combining a bunch of different agendas, levels and personalities but our guide was awesome and I'd love to spend more time in the backcountry next time I go down.

We even saw a baby rattlesnake

If there was anything that was disappointing for me, it was the surprising gap between the level of polish on the holds.  It seemed that holds were either extremely sharp or polished to a sheen that even I haven't experienced before.  Often times all on the same problem.  That's what happens though when you get such a heavily used and popular area that's been on the forefront for almost a quarter of a century.

Out of everything we saw and heard while we were there, I have to say that the most interesting thing I saw was the broken Dam over on North Mountain.  For whatever reason I was enthralled with it.  Afterwards we took some time to talk to one of the rangers, Wanda I think, and she filled us in on some of the sordid history of Hueco.

I for one had no idea that a developer was attempting to build a resort there in the 60's.  And that he wanted to put a hotel on top of North Mountain.  It was incredible to hear about.  Same with the guy who carved Mount Rushmore.  He came to Hueco and wanted to carve a Mexican hero who's name I've long forgotten into the main side of North Mountain.

Can you imagine????


Both of us are looking forward to going back sometime soon.  It's tough though cause there's so many areas to visit still like Joe's, Squamish, RMNP, etc. but Hueco is something special.  The history, the iconic problems and the fact that it's very much the birthplace to the modern bouldering movement all make it something more than just another area.  If you haven't been, I hope you get to go soon.