28 October 2008

Stuck on you

I'm not talking about the emotional clingy type, nor the over-infatuated, nor even the statically charged kind.

I'm talking about how I was with two problems at Joe's Valley, Utah.

When I pulled into the area Saturday afternoon, I admit I was underwhelmed. Jumping on Buoux Boulder, I was intimidated but still not sold on my decision to make a journey of over seven hours to come out to a rather drab area.

By Sunday afternoon I was sold.

I'll stay away from the superlative of it being the best bouldering in the U.S. I won't go that far. But the thing that Joe's has going for it is a number of good problems - and not contrived, ungainly sequences created by pad people with too much time on their hands - which can be found on the same boulder, the abundance of good landings and pretty good sandstone.

In three days, I had four bouldering sessions and ticked off or tried over 40 problems. Other than mantling a sharp hold and blowing a gaston - the causes of the gouges in my hand - my hands were in pretty good shape. Sure I had sore tips and by the end of Sunday, I climbed so much that it hurt to just touch rock.

The beta photos: UMWA

Funny, I couldn't get the VO on the left side but could get the V3 dyno right next to it and the V4 overhung hueco-fest around the left corner.

The Small One

Moby Dick Area

This is a big hunking piece of sandstone. The problem to the right of the arete is called A Big V1 I think. And it is. Actually did the problem in my boots and sans crashpad. Was just checking out the area and before I knew it I was at the big hueco near the top. Knew going up would be better than going down from that point.

Boy Size area

Left some of my skin on this one. It's either V4 or V2; couldn't figure it out with the guidebook. The problem is V2 I would say. The top-out is scary as hell as you pull on a very fragile edge to get your leg up.

Here it is from the sit-down start:

Man Size area

Warmup Area

The funny thing is I saw ONE other person bouldering. That ws when I pulled up to UMWA. Rob was just finishing one problem and flashed another one. We talked a bit and he and his significant other went down the road to Boy Size. Everybody else? Either they were arriving as I was leaving or they were taking a rest day. And I can tell you a rest day sucks at Joe's Valley. There is nothing out there but a sleepy Mormon town of Orangeville with shuttered businesses and boulders. That's it.

15 October 2008

Finally back on some rock

After only worked a handful of hours in the past week and a half, I really haven't done jack with this time off. Having interviews and looking for other jobs is a full-time gig in itself.

After yesterday's dose of bad news followed by more this morning, i decided to make up for being a cliche last night and sweat out my hangover with a good day of bouldering.

While driving to Evergreen I couldn't decide what I was in the mood for; slabby highballs, overhanging buttkickers or crimpfests of pain. I decided to check out a new area on the south side of The Brothers to see the potential. After much scrubbing and some knocking off loose rock - and whacking my knee a few times - a problem was born.

Took me a while because I wasn't sure what I was shooting to was going to be a good handhold, or even something that wasn't going to break off.

Further up the slope I found this beauty. You start by straddling the arete on a sit start, reach up to some bomber holds below the roof, heel hook and reach up and grab a big knob on the roof, turn the corner and then grunt up to the top.

On the other side is another fun sit start. More to the right yields some positive starting holds. More to the arete is just plain fun. Actually was tougher than the roof. Topping out is a chore.

Hiked back over east and went by The Eggs. Worked a few problems on this block. To the left of the tree shadow is an easier route but the right hand seems hollow and the topout is wallowing you hips over the lip. The problem on the right is thin and spit me off a few times until I got the body tension down. From there it was a nervous crimp up high left and a smear of faith.

Good day out. Got home to read an email stating I was terminated. I guess I'll have more time to boulder now.

12 October 2008

Blustery, bitter and boring

And that's just the weather outside. Okay, I've been really busy lately, hence the lack of an update. I was working alot which meant no play time for Ryan. Now I might be unemployed which means lots of play time for Ryan but the weather has turned to crud.

So here are some pictures from the past few weeks. I figure posting them gives me respite from the terrible prose I've been hacking out the past half hour. My honors lit teacher would be grimacing right now.

My sister canoeing with her hubby on the Chicago River this past summer

My niece Hannah in front of a neighbor's firetruck (yes, he's a fireman)

My little nephew Ryan just looking plain adorable

One of a giant herd of elk outside of Evergreen. They provided entertainment for a good hour with their posturing and bugling

A couple of boulders near Evergreen. The one in the background has some nice highballs with more traffic. As a result, I fell a lot pulling off lichen and loose rock - not good for the ankles tumbling from 18 feet up.

Sign of the approaching Apocalypse: Dan Gillett - a photojournalist - in a suit, during our "job interviews" to retain our positions at KWGN.

A couple of shots from the last concert @ Red Rocks this season: Sigur Ros - an Icelandic group.