Saturday, April 23, 2016

Deep Forest Bouldering: The Big Boys

High ball bouldering...... for most of my climbing life this is something that I have steered clear of. To put it simply I have been scared of it and there for just not ever done it. This all changed when I was presented with some tall amazing lines to climb and clean that were on well past the normal height and well into the highball height.
Pulmonary Edema V1 FA 30ft
The day I was shown this boulder I was told to bring a rope because of its size and so the first thing that I got on was a mostly clean arete that was mostly clean but had not sean a send yet. This arete turned out to be V5 our 12b and I did the send on a very loos rope because as I mentioned before I was not into highball bouldering. At the same time I was not going to bolt a boulder either so a loose top-rope seamed the best option. Inspired by this line I decided to clean off the next line to the right as seen in the photo above. After about an hour of cleaning hanging on a rope because it was to tall to reach even with my extension poll and because it had a complete blanket of moss on it top to bottom I found my self at the base staring up at the line and thinking about weather I needed that rope our not.
In mid crux.
My thought process was as follows; I will just try and climb it up to the nice horizontal hold and then jump back down. Yes that will work. Lets do this! Off coarse the next thing I know I am at the rail and it occurs to me that the hold I had made a point to scope out in what looked like a thin section of climbing up high was right above my head.
The horizontal hold is in my left hand.
Time to get standing up on it.
This is one of those moments when you can make a choice that can change things in your life. Thinking to my self I have two options; continue on to the top our jump down and tie into a rope for the send. The hold is just up there I think to myself and after that its just a few moves to the top. This spurs me on and up I go.
Two moves from the flash FA send
Dropping into a controlled mental state I cruse through the final moves and find my self on top with the flash send and the FA of a 30ft highball. I learned a lot from the climb and have since climbed the problem many times because the quality of the line is incredible.
On the backside of this stone is a different line that was great fun to climb. It is also in the highball range but at 20ft not near as high. The line consists of thin moves on sloper holds to a long reach. Then it continues on nice pockets to the top of the wall.
Making the opening moves into the sloper.
Eyeing the long reach to the pocket.
Stretch is the key hear.
Pocket in hand and feet going up.
After climbing some highballs in the deep forest it is amazing what regular problems feel like. Things that I thought were tall just don't feel that way now. I still love pulling hard on the short ones but I have found an appreciation for the tall lines that I never had before.
The bottom of the V2 with slopers. So good.
This is the line to the right of the sloper problem. It goes at V1 and is in the 25ft range with crux moves most of the way.
Spring is hear and the climbing season is full on so get out there and climb! I know that I have been.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Deep Forest Bouldering: Kids at the Boulders

I had the opportunity to take my kids to the boulders this past summer. Of coarse I want them to love climbing and so far they do. At this point though I think it is because there dad loves climbing which is great. Some times the trick is to find problems that they can do.
Holdless Slab at its finest.
Luckily for me there are lots of boulders with slabs around to climb.
Woods in the Northwest
The goal for this day was to get my daughter on some boulders and try some of my projects as well. I had a slab in mind with lots of little chicken heads on it in mind for my daughter so off we went to that.
My daughter in full onsite mode.
This problem has lots of chicken heads on it which makes the climbing supper fun and easy. It is about 20 feet high and full slab. A couple of days after this photo was taken I bought her some new climbing shoes.
Passing more boulders in the woods.
After she sent and had a second lap for fun we headed of to a different part of the boulders for daddy to try a project for a little while.
My little one heading by the boulders.
This project I have been trying for some time now. I get on it when the conditions are good and each time I manage a new move and get a little further.
Notre Dame V7 our harder.
My high point is one move past this one. I can now get to it most times. All holds on this one are terrible slopers with big throws between them. I am sure of how it is going to end but I have not managed the move yet. Supper excited about this one. After a few goes it was time for a transition problem then on to the next project.
British VB

Sweet Pocket!
I love the pocket on British. Great texture and moves make it a supper fun one for sure. With my transition problem done I moved on to the next project. On this next one I had come close before but not figure the upper part of the problem out on the last session. This time was different as I had an idea of how it would go so all I had to do was put it together.
Excalibur V4 FA

Excalibur V4 crux move.
Excalibur V4 Final move to small pocket.

Excalibur starts on a small pinch and an undercling. Then progresses through some small high side pulls to set up a high feet move to a right undercling sidepull. This brings us to the crux which is setting your feet high and turning in to a small pocket so that you can reach to the last pocket and rock over to the top of the boulder. Turned out to be a great boulder problem for sure with a bit of a commitment factor.
Staring lunch and looking at what I just sent.
I love the woods and climbing so much I find I am happiest in the forest climbing when the to can come together.
My kids sharing lunch with me.
After lunch there was just enough time left to hit some classics.
Mini Cooper V3
Steep, punchy, crimpy Mini Cooper is always fun as well as it opposite Centurion V2.
Centurion V2
22 feet high with a solid start leads to very committed finish way off the deck. This problem is one of the greats for sure. Well it has been a long day at the boulders once again and now we must go home. Until next time keep sending.