Thursday, October 29, 2009

Domestic Bliss

Just another day of bouldering down the Icicle...

Drew Schick sussing a jump start at the Domestic Boulders

Carlin making the big reach on 'Bootin' Dookie'

Crossing into the mantel sequence...

and getting it done.

Drew trying to stay tight on 'Gino Papacino'

While Honcho spots, Drew executes the signature cross on 'Domestic Violence'

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Night and Day at Mountain Home

Fall is bringing some precipitation so we've been hitting up boulders and cliffs that are quick to dry. Mt. Home is a pretty solar spot and affords an amazing view into the Icicle Canyon. I headed up in the evening for some fire, food and drunken fun. Before I got too rummy I tried to get some night-time photography practice.

After some much needed rest we made our way down the hill and wrestled some pebbles. I managed to remember how to do 'Tall People Suck', we struggled to unlock 'Punk Ass Kid' and I tried to visualize the anti-gravity movement of 'The Ground Below'. No luck there, but I did snap a few pics of Adam going for a repeat.

Joey T. slabbing it up the Cattleguard


Adam H. on 'Tall People Suck'

Cole 'the Hoss' Allen focused into 'Punk Ass Kid'

Adam H. painfully close on 'The Ground Below'

Joey T.

Keri C.

Adam H.

Raymond 'Cole' Allen

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ground up on Gulliver's Travels

Midnight Rock from Noontime (Jens Holsten photo)

Jens and I made a rare visit to Noontime Rock last week, our first visit to Midnight Rock's somewhat less illustrious neighbor. We had our sights on the formation's only bottom to top free route, Gulliver's Travels. Almost 50 years ago the incredibly prolific Mr. Beckey nailed his way up this interesting series of disconnected features. Some 25 years ago a young Peter Croft cranked his way past Beckey's pins for a free ascent. If it wasn't for a shiny bolt at the first belay I would've guessed that we were the 3rd party to visit this stretch of stone. Whoever the mystery bolter was they neglected to do much cleaning.

Jens following the first "pitch", dirty but engaging 5.2

After I got our rope and bags up to the first station Jens racked up and headed towards the first crack transfer, getting some high gear before unlocking the first tricky traverse of the pitch. The crack that he gained was choked with moss but revealed itself to be relatively moderate and accepted some good protection. Jens tired of the moss-dust and lichen shower so he lowered down and handed me the rack.

Jens, round 1

After gaining Jens' highpoint I managed to pull my way up to the second traverse which ended up being the free-climbing crux. Beckey's pins still sat deep in the thin flake and held long enough to get some gear into the next crack. A short and steep finger splitter gave way to a thin hands to hands crack where I gladly stopped aid climbing and enjoyed some easy jamming.

Max, round 2

I took a brief look at the crux moves on may down and wished Jens luck on the toprope reconaissance. It didn't look easy but there's always a way. Jens didn't have much luck but he did manage to pop one of the ancient pins out with the weird toprope pull. A new relic for the mantle and also a marginal but usable new hand hold. After a lap up the hand crack Jens came down and I gave it a shot. Despite the new hold I was unable to unlock the sequence, quickly defending my weak fingers with the classic Leavenworth excuse:

"Dude, a hold probably broke on this thing, there's no
way this is .12a!"

Jens wasn't willing to give up so easily. Unfortunately for my ego he got back up there and figured it out in a few tries.

Jens, round 3 (looking cleaner)

There wasn't enough time in the day (or energy) to try the lead and though it was looking a lot cleaner than before it could still use some wind and rain, not to mention traffic, to get it back into shape. Hopefully we can get back up there this year and try to finish it off, the third pitch looks pretty fun.

This was an interesting outing in that we decided to just head up and clean on lead. Coming in from the top probably would have been more efficient and less time-consuming but the ground up style made for a little more adventure and something a little more akin to a first ascent experience (yeah yeah, except for the bolt and two pins).

Another view of Midnight, try to spot the immaculate splitter of Super Crack.
Major props to Jesse Huey on a ressurection and redpoint of this super classic.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Day of Ash and Snow

Winter made an early appearance this week, light snow mingling with ash from a local fire. The temps were almost too good so the visiting hardmen hit up some of the harder lines in the Icicle.

Oregon Adam on Thunderdome (middle start, one of three legitimate starts, don't you love bouldering?)

Jeff squeezing blood from the rock on Mad Max, Thunderdome's more moderate neighbor.

A rare photo of myself, looking composed (not mad at all) on Mad Max. Photo by Johnny G

Johnny looking for answers on the Twister Project, Carnival Boulders.

Johnny setting up for the finger-wrenching dyno of the Cotton Pony (another 3 start problem).

Walkin' the Stone

Yesterday I took Ryan's 5-month old Akita "puppy" for a walk in the orchards and had him pose down for me a little. I know there's a lot of money in pet glamour shots so I might as well practice on Stone.

Starting over...

Hey, I'm really gonna do it this time! Seriously, like, I'll keep updating this blog and it'll be sick, you'll see...

I'll start it off with some photos from the highly acclaimed Equinox wall, which I visited recently with Kyle O and Stordahl. Too bad I was profoundly hungover, I managed to toprope an easy pitch and get some pics from the observation deck.