Thursday, August 27, 2009
I'll have some pictures to post in the next couple days, but for now, here's Scott Mitchell's video of Adam on the second ascent of Big Happy or Legs Go Snappy. Enjoy!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
The Hideaway is actually two small areas, the Hideaway and the Happy Valley, separated by a ten minute walk. Like Great Barrington and Farley, the rock is gneiss; unlike those areas, the access situation is stable. I think that Tim Kemple decided to include the Hideaway in his New England Bouldering guidebook to relieve the pressure on GB and Farley while their access situations were straightened out. The Hideaway is one of those areas that makes you wonder “how did anyone ever find this place?” It’s a ten minute walk from the car, in a flat deciduous forest completely devoid of any stone. Not surprisingly, the climbing here was discovered and developed by Ward Smith et al, the motivated members of “Team Tough” who developed much of the sport climbing at Rumney. Most of the bouldering is on small cliff bands, and though the area is pretty small, there’s a high concentration of quality hard problems.
Sleeping Giant Climbs the Far Side of This Wall
I tried Sleeping Giant about ten times before my hand slipped off the crux holds and I fell flat on my rump. With it being wet, and the temperature ninety degrees, I decided to leave it for another day. I also tried Press Your Luck, which was much harder and just as damp, but had the sort of guidebook description you can’t say no to: “Stand start on a sloping jug. Big Money, No Whammies!” Okay...
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Citroen lies far off the beaten path, way above the main forest in a hidden spot that would be impossible to describe [less-than-subtle hint]. I found it during that window of springish weather Gold Bar has every February, but never returned to it until this summer. I was lucky enough to have last week off, and found the problem again on Tuesday. I instantly started cleaning. I tried it for about an hour that day, managing to do all the moves but unable to send it in its damp just-cleaned state. I returned on Wednesday, only to find that the evening fog had turned into bona fide precipitation and soaked the boulder. Disappointed, I hiked down and turned my energy elsewhere. On Thursday, I went back up with Cortney and did the climb in a few tries. I named the climb Citroen because for some reason it reminded me of one of those smart little European cars. While it’s not too tough, it was nice to be able to dedicate the time to cleaning and climbing a fun new problem. If I spent all of my climbing time doing this, I would be a happy camper. Here’s a video of the FA:
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Joel and I spent a lot of time trying the Backseat, but neither of us could manage to stick the second move. For some reason I had always thought that it would be over after the first move – it’s not. Cortney came heartbreakingly close on Superfly but fell on the last move... next time. It was fun watching group sends of several classics like Sesame Street and George’s hard new addition Pain From Below (located in the woods just above This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven). In the end, Johnny was the only one who really cleaned up, with quick sends of everything, including an impressive three-try send of One Zen.
On Sunday, the rest of the guys went up the road to Paradise Valley, and Cortney and I stayed in Squamish to climb in the forest. Cortney made progress on Swank Stretch, figuring out all the moves quickly, but it was our third day on and she decided it would have to wait for another trip.
Later in the day, we met up with our friend and fellow Seattleite Jonah Harrison, and headed over to No Troublems. I had only tried this problem once or twice in the past, and could never get the first move. I got psyched soon after we arrived, and quickly did the moves in the roof. After a few more minutes, I got the guts to do the topout, and then set about trying to figure out the first move. Following many unsuccessful attempts, Jonah showed me some special beta and I stuck the move. As soon as I did, I went into Johnny mode, knowing that I might not get another chance to send the problem that day. I zeroed in on all the moves, executed them without any of my typical fumbles, and soon found myself wedged into the chimney at the top.
While it’s not the hardest problem around, No Troublems had always felt tough to me, and it was really great to send it on the end of my third day on. I’m always impressed by climbers like Jamie Emerson who can carefully meter their skin and muscles and climb hard for numerous days in a row, but that’s just not my style. When I’m out bouldering, I usually try to climb as many problems as possible. I can't usually avoid climbing many classic warm-ups or moderates in order to be fresh for a hard problem during the evening or the next day... I usually just circuit a lot and get trashed early, and as a result don’t get any solid climbing done on the typical Sunday. That I could climb No Troublems in the way I did gives me hope that age may actually benefit me – I’m not as strong as I used to be, even though I’m only 26, but sends like this make me feel like I’m still improving mentally. And, I met my quota: climbing one problem I haven’t done before is still enough to make my day...
Cortney on Swank Stretch Sponch! Jonah on No Troublems No Troublems