Monday, June 20, 2011
The Other Side of the Mountain
I have been very busy working on the book this past week but have squeezed a few visits in at Area A, Mount Evans. The snow has been piling up in RMNP all spring and although a few have ventured up that way, the action has clearly been at Lincoln Lake. The earlier (re)discovery of Endo Valley had primed the pump (in a manner of speaking) and the news coming from Wolvo/LL has been mostly fast repeats of last year's new problem testpieces along with the usual downgrades. Cool stuff to be sure and I look forward to heading out there later this summer. But all this focus on the east side has had a beneficial side-effect on the west side.
My acclimation treks to Area A have been marked the near-total absence of other boulderers. This has its downside, namely an absence of extra pads to work the problems at the Dali. But to be able to sit on a sun-washed boulder, drinking in the sky and clouds and the light changing across the cliffs above the talus, and hear nothing but the wind is a treasure beyond price.
The project is of course Clear Blue Skies (the hardest V11 in the state?). Easy first move, annoying and very difficult second move off the small crimp, strenuous cross-through to the most frustrating hold I have ever used. Pulling on this flat semi-crimp with minimal texture, I continually come up short throwing for the finishing jug. To me this problem feels as hard as European Human Being and much harder than the old pre-break Small Arms. I feel it coming together for sure and the hike is such good training (much harder than Wolvo or RMNP)that I will persist a while yet.
In a following post, I will discuss two very valuable tools I am using to aid in this quest.