Wednesday, October 26, 2011
After having such a great day at the Bald a few weeks ago and sending a few projects I had been working on for years, I've kept that sending flow going by ticking off other projects at various boulderfields lately...and the Lily project at the bouldering wall at the local park in Pickens, seen in the above photo;)
A few weekends ago, we made our way down to one of my all time favorite boulderfields in the Southeast, Boat Rock. One route that has always eluded me, for various reasons, is Lost Digits V3. This is a great problem that is much easier if you have a longer reach, but for me, the crux hold has always been just out of reach, and my shoes never seem to stick well enough to help me elevate up to it...until this trip. As soon as I got to Boat Rock, I headed straight to Lost Digits and started working the problem...it only took about 5 tries and I had finally snatched the crux sidepull near the top and I was topping out. It was so good to mark this one off the list, and I almost sent another project while I was there too, Watermelon (Bob's Arete) V4. I didn't snap a photo or anything after the send, but I did find this fuzzy video showing the route on the internet:
I also made another trip up to the North Face of Looking Glass and some of my personal favorite boulders in the area. I have long been infatuated with a thin crimpy arete just above the Warm Up Wall that some old schoolers have called V4/5. I have attempted this route for years and just couldn't ever seem to put it together for the send, but it all came together on this trip and the slabby bulging arete with some finger chewing crimps finally went down...it was so nice to finally top out after so long (honestly, I'm still savoring this send)! While I was there, I also sent a highball-ish V2 problem on the Loose Flake boulder that I hadn't sent in years. Sorry for the lack of pictures, I was more focussed on sending than anything else that day.
On more of a local front, I've been sending a few FA's and projects in the Bearfields and Jedi lately too! These incredible boulderfields seem to keep giving up awesome routes, even after I start to think the areas are tapped!
In the Bearfields, I FA'ed Anklebreaker V3, Pumking V1, Jack-O-Lantern V1, Simon SDS V4/5 and Jump...Mantle...Good Dog V4/5 and finally sent Walter V4, a sweet problem I've been trying to send from the original lower start holds than an easier, higher start. Simon SDS was a long time project to an older problem, Simon V2, that I had named after one of my dogs...it felt really good to make the odd beginning moves and link into the stand start problem. Jump...Mantle...Good Dog is a variation of Simon SDS that uses a deadpoint to a lip to the left of Simon and a tough mantle to finish it up. In the picture below, you can see Simon SDS following the thin seam up into the scoop to the right and Jump...Mantle...Good Dog deadpoints left to the lip once you hit the well lit hold in the middle of the face.
In Jedi, I FA'ed a LONG time (like nearly 10 years) project called Anakin Skywalker V5...this is one of my favorite sends in a while! It starts high on a 1/4 pad, 3 finger crimpy sidepull with a high foot and makes a powerful pivot move to get your other foot on and then follows a thin seam to an easy top out. After looking at this route and trying it off and on for years, it was awesome to send it finally! I also FA'ed (could be a Alzheimer FA...after sending it, it seemed like I had sent it before, years ago) Mace Windu V3 that starts on a pair of crimps with bad feet, to the left of Anakin, and throws high for a good arete. You can see the seam that Anakin climbs to the right of the crashpad in the picture below, and Mace Windu on the two spread out crimps above and to the left of the crashpad...and while you're looking at this picture, you can see Use The Force V2/3 to the right of Anakin (it climbs the seam in front of the small tree), Lightsaber Crack V1 following the crack to the left of the tree on the left side of the picture and the Padawan Arete V0 behind the biggest tree in the picture. All of the routes on this boulder are super classic and super fun!
I also FA'ed R2D2 V2 and Boba Fett V3 in Jedi, both being slopey and slabby problems with a few crimps on the other side of this same boulder...and I finally sent another project of mine, Luke Skywalker V3/4 similar to and in between R2D2 and Boba Fett.
On a little bit of a sadder note:
I am very close to my dogs...we have 3, 2 (Luna and Simon) are around 14 years old and I have raised from puppies or young dogs, and the other (Butter) is around 9 or so. Luna and Simon have been my best buddies through more shit than I can describe and helped pull me through a lot of the bad times. Both have been through hell themselves...both have had heart worms and were successfully treated and both have had their bouts with cancer. Recently, Luna's cancer has come back and is overtaking her very fast...and soon we will have to put her to sleep:( She is the reason I've been climbing with more determination and visiting Jedi more lately, its one of her favorite places to sniff around while I boulder. She has been my "warrior princess" in the woods for years and here companionship and ferocity to defend me from whatever we may encounter (bears especially) will greatly be missed! Here is a shot of Lily, myself and the dogs in Jedi.
And here is a picture of Luna giving me a good spot while I'm sending Obi Wan Arete V4...I renamed the easy, bailout version of the route Luna Wan Kenobi V2 in honor of her:)
Thanks for being the best dog in the world Luna!!!