Friday, June 20, 2008

Sea Level in Maine

After a bunch of traveling, including a fairly hellish congested stretch of 295 et al. through Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire and some of the heaviest rain I 've seen in a while, Caolan and Sophia and I are settled in a small cottage a few hundred yards from the ocean on Peaks Island, just offshore from Portland. The ferry ride though brief was fog-bound and cold and even now the leaves in the oaks around the cottage are dripping with condensed moisture. Although it seems an unlikely spot to think about climbing, the Maine Rock gym is a ferry ride and a short drive away and interestingly a stone's throw from Whole Foods, just like the gyms in Boulder. And on the island itself, I am wondering about this wall; here is a photo I took last year. It's very similar to the rock at Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth and should provide a few sessions of interest, especially the wall on the right side of the photo. I grew up across the bay in South Portland and started climbing near there so in several senses it is a return to my roots.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Undercling Traverse Video

I did the Undercling Traverse this morning second try, after a few tries on Saturday. It felt a lot easier than the other V9s I've done recently and much easier than Mongolian Cosmonaut. I don't think it's my style but it went very quickly. Here's the video.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A short video from Cloud Shadow

I went to Cloud Shadow this morning to try UCT and got very close on two tries but it was really warm. Here is a video of the two classics on the wall, Hagan's and The Consideration. I will include the outtakes on UCT later once I have sent, which I am hoping will happen on Monday since cooler temps are forecast.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I finally sent Mongolian this morning. Watch the video to see my left hand pop off the lip for no apparent reason. Fortunately I had a good edge on the right and didn't spin off and fall. Conditions were OK but surprisingly slippery. I now see why some suggest the grade is soft V10, which I now agree with, especially in spring or summer. I had a much harder time on this than I expected to.

Now for the next project. Unfortunately I haven't yet decided what that will be. Maybe UCT which feels much easier than MC. If anyone has info on the agreed upon start for Reverse UCT, please let me know.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Weird Breakthrough on MC

OK so I went back like an addict (see this post for more on the topic)and tried the project, failing again and again. However just for fun, I tried using a turned out left foot on the left pebble and started doing the first move almost statically. However the humidity suddenly spiked and the sloper on the left became almost unusable. Tomorrow AM I'm going back. And then there's the proper sit start which is at least V11, maybe 12 though very dab-prone. I plan on writing an essay on this very peculiar odyssey.

I wandered around Flag looking at some other walls and have decided that Hollow's Way really has to be done. The only problem is that it's a wee bit tall and very uneven at the base. Props to Rob C for working this one out sans pads. So if there's anyone with a substantial quiver of pads and reasonable spotting skills who wants to tackle this beast, please let me know.

Listen if you might think you are a good climber, check out the news of Tommy Caldwell's 20-hour push on Magic Mushroom. I got tired just reading the account on the Climbing Website. This is a practically superhuman feat of climbing on a world, nay universal level. The route sounds grueling and sustained at a level beyond any I have heard of before.

Congrats to Alex Johnson (1st!) Alex Puccio, and Lisa Rands and Paul Robinson, Daniel Woods, and Chris Sharma (8th!) for their performances at the World Cup in Vail. Three out of the six mentioned plus Ty Landman train at CATS gym in Boulder. I haven't been there in months at this point.

To the poster who responded to my complaint about protocol by saying just do more 7c problems: I deleted your comment since it was for all intents and purposes anonymous. Let me know who you are if you have something to say. By the way I am trying to do more hard problems as readers of this blog know too well already.

Finally if you haven't check out Dave Macleod's website and blog. A lot of pertinent info and writing from a climber who is way out there on the edge.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Frustration on Flag

I have been throwing myself at Mongolian Cosmonaut in vain for more mornings than I care to count. Aaargh! There is something about the first move that is thwarting me and I will probably give it a rest as I feel much stronger than the problem actually requires. It seems more a mental issue at this point, although crisper temps always help.

I have been away from the internet a few days which has been nice and have found myself slipping down to #13 in the master's ranking. This is in part due to a climber who has entered multiple flash ascents of the same problem. It's hard to beat the equivalent of 8 or 9 7c problems. While not wanting to get too whiny about it, isn't that what the logbook option is for? Anyway this little quirk provides a unique challenge to overcome in the quest for 10th place. I would propose that anyone who makes it into the top 20 of any of the rankings have a legitimate series of ascents. I would suggest that the only repeats you are allowed to enter are from at least one year previous and you never deserve a flash or onsight score for previously climbed routes or problems.

So I may be trying the Undercling Traverse which I have not done in something like 8 years. I would also like to get to Mt. Evans soon before I go East for a couple of weeks.

I have worked out the 3 pad carry system which isn't too bad and is fairly cush for bouldering alone.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Summer is definitely here...

Since my last post I have doing battle with high temps close to Boulder. It's frustrating to feel the air warm up to the mid-60s or 70s by 7 am. This is making closure on Mongolian very difficult as the first move is no longer the crux but is just one in a series of struggles to not slide off the holds. I am hoping for success on Thursday but no guarantee.

I talked with Boulder OSMP about the graffiti on the back side of the amphitheater and a crew may be headed up there to sandblast it off. Went down to Beer Barrel this morning after I was done with MC and was looking at the wall left of the SW corner. This looks really difficult, i.e. V10 or so, and is only referred to as a Chris Jones problem on Mountain Project. Anyone know for sure what's up?