Friday, July 11, 2008

July Heat

I met up with Chuffer on Wednesday morning to try the Reverse Face Out Traverse, a combination of the regular King Conquer Traverse V5/6 and the V7 Reverse Face Out. My skin was pretty fried from the day before so I couldn't link them up but I would propose a pretty solid V9 for this problem. Good to catch up with Chuffer--if you haven't gone to his (still unfinished) online guide for Flagstaff Mountain, you don't know the half of what's available. His own estimate is 800+ problems. People often put Flagstaff down and granted, much of it is less than stellar. But I would argue that there is virtually no other bouldering area in the world so close to a city that is of such extent and quality, so accessible, and across such a range of difficulty (classics from VB to V13). And it's still not tapped out. If you're like me and don't have unlimited free time and want to find hard problems outside, there is so much to do here that you may not even know about, most of it within 2 minutes from the road. I might say that it is the ultimate urban bouldering destination in the US.

Jamie Emerson has put together a concise encapsulation of Colorado Bouldering's Golden Age or as I would put it, a Renaissance, describing eloquently and accurately the impact of the past 10 years or so of a truly transformational wave of achievements and personalities. You must read it as Jamie nicely evokes the excitement of the time that he got caught up in and that is now past. As a cultural historian, studying the shining moments of the past is part of my job and yet there is always the sure knowledge that the past survives only in memory, words, and images, none of which truly can convey the spirit of the time that they try to express. I applaud Jamie's effort to set down, however briefly, in words the flavor of a truly historic time in American climbing that is, I agree, now past. We are left to reflect on its afterglow and pay homage by yet another hike up to Lake Haiyaha, which I am planning to do tomorrow afternoon, if the weather cooperates.


Dustyn Whyte said...

Hey, I've read about some of the problems in Camden, ME and your name popped up multiple times. I'm in Maine for about 4 more weeks and would love to get on rock before my time is up, do you know of any guides or websites for Camden or anywhere else near the Waterville/Oakland area?

Peter Beal said...

Stewart Green's Climbing in New England might have something. There was a guide written by Ben Townsend. Check with the Maine Rock Gym.

A while back Camden's sport routes were chopped but they may have been re-established. I don't know.