Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bishop Bound

Headed to Bishop today to thrash myself on the beautiful granite boulders. Had a super gnar sesh with Mike McClure and Randy Hill at Castle Rock last weekend, managed to flash The Smell and Jared's Roof Stand, and sent Out of Africa. I kept getting to the last move on the Smell of Africa, but that hard last move killed me after the second day on. That Taco Cave is PHYSICAL!! Should have tons of photos from Bishop, maybe some from Spectre....

Friday, October 31, 2008


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

New Pics

Make sure to check out the new pics of the Northwest bouldering and sport climbing, expecially the big photo of Polinski on Problem Child
Years ago at the U of I climbing gym, we used to session for hours on end, pushing each other to get stronger. At the head of the progressive climbing was a kid named Ben Carpenter. He gave up climbing about 4 years ago to devote more time to wood turning, which as with climbing, he gave it everything and excelled. Recently, over the last couple of years, he has made his way to the crag a few times, and ended up in Moscow again a few months ago. On Wednesday, Coty Gale and I managed to coerce him into coming up to Deep Creek, for a first trip for Coty, and might as well have been Ben's, he hasn't been there since 2003. I wanted to give Problem Child some goes, and Ben and Coty were going to try some of the other classics.

Ben hasn't lost anything in the way of technique, power is the only thing lacking now. He casually flashed Pit Lizzard, Coty sending it second go. I gave Problem Child 3 goes, the best being the last, when I made it through the lower part of the crux, and fell off a few moves short of joining up with Motley. Headed out to boulder at TumTum this weekend if the weather holds up, and as soon as possible a trip to Riggins to send some projects and meet up with the McClure's to finally give them their wedding present and boulder for a weekend. Problem Child and Progressive Discipline will have to wait till spring for me, unless the nice weather manages to continue for a long long time...

Sent the Four Horsemen (8A/8A+) at Liberty Park in Spokane the other day. It's mostly a training thing, doing two V10's and two V11's at the park in one session. I did them in probably 30-45 minutes, and all together it is some hard shit. Rad moves, got some photos that will be posted tonight, so stay tuned.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Back and Forth We Go

All psyched on routes again. Not that the psyche ever really left, but as the temps went south and the cool wind in Riggins starts to blow, I was getting pretty close to being done with route climbing for the season. Until this weekend. After a very engrossing geology field trip to dig fossilized plants in Clarkia, ID, I raced up to Spokane to Deep Creek to meet Mark Polinski, John Keane and Conrad Piper-Ruth for a weekend of the Creek and China Bend, a sweet limestone cliff in northern Washington. Warmed up, did the hard part of Flip a Bitch Bear to finish the warmup and decided to get on Problem Child. Mark has now invested around 15 days on this route, and he is as close to sending as you can get without doing it. Props to him all the training has been payin' off recently. Problem Child starts up a wall that is roughly 10-15 degrees overhung, on a techy, kinda balancey boulder problem that is also the start to the Masochist. A pinch, two crimps and one long move to a good hold leads you to a huge jug rest that you really don't need yet, but take anyways, seeing as it is the best hold you are grabbin' for about 75 more feet. Off the rest, powerful moves on good holds lead to a double left hand slap with a left heel that stretches out the longest wingspan to its max, keeping your feet low. A small left hand three finger 3/4 pad crimp with a thumb catch and a good right hand sidepull, hike up the feet and do the first really hard move (where I fell). Pop to a bad pinch, go again, bad hold after bad hold leads to a huge reach move to gain the path of Motley Crux, and finish up the 14a. Rad route, excited to work it, if it is this fall or in the spring if the weather closes out I am psyched.

China Bend was a good day in the sun, the temps were up near 70 at times against the white brown limestone wall. Good sending went down, Mark sent the Bigger Thrutch (13b), Conrad sent Divine Intervention (13a), Kevin Wilkinson, a visitor from Canada sent Game Warden (12c/d) and I sent a couple of things I gave some effort last year and hiked this year, proof that training (and not drinking vodka in the morning before work) pays off. I sent Poacher (13a), and Divine Intervention as well as setting draws on I'm Your Hero, the hardest and possibly coolest 13b around. Just hope Jens doesn't yellow card me for the route....going back next weekend with Kaiya and the rest of the crew, so photos will follow, no time for that this time around, too much sending going on....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Super sick nasty project goes down

Earlier this summer, a group of guys from the area began developing a bouldering area 20 minutes southeast of Moscow. Pawel, Shirley T., Mark and myself spent a consideralbe amount of time out there this summer, and recently Conrad has been logging quite a few hours. The bouldering is actually quite good, amazing to some who went to school here and looked for rock for four years (sorry McClures). A good amount of problems have been put up, ranging from V1 all the way to V11, and I think there is actually at least one problem at every grade. I had scoped out this project while Pawel and I were cleaning one of th first little areas that we found, a near horizontal roof about 8 feet long that had some good holds on it. Not after I pulled on them. After breaking off all of the choss, I discovered that there were good feet, and shit for hands.

I worked on the project for three days, figuring out that I could not get past the first move 4 different ways if I wanted to. I remember Mark and Shirley laughing at the sound of me breathing hard, trying to get psyched, pulling on the making one move, and then the sound of air being expelled as you hit the pads flat on your back, over and over and over. Every time I went out there I would give it a few goes, trying different things and making no headway at all. That all changed when I took a little afternoon trip to work on the proj. I discovered a kneebar that enabled me to make the 3rd and 4th moves, a bump to a tiny crimp, and an adjustment on the start hold. Getting to this point was great, the problem was starting to unwind itself. I began working on the end and had it all figured out by the time I had to go and was tired.

Next trip out, after working on it for about and hour and a half, I was millimeters from a HUGE mantram, after falling off the lip at least 3 or 4 times. Next go, the tension stayed, and I managed to hang on long enough to make the first ascent of Apples V11, at the Chapel at Lenville Road. Some pics of the problem and possibly a short vid to come as soon as I get back from a weekend of bouldering in Riggins, ID....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weddings, Projects, and Lil' bit of sending

Tammy and Mike finally got married. Can't really call it an onsight, but a flash could be given (rehearsal blows the onsight I hear) seeing as how they both performed flawless. Went down to Boise, ID on Thursday to boulder and attend the festivities for the weekend. Had a pretty sick night session with McClure, sent Ride the Lightning (V9) at Reynold's Creek in 5 goes, did some really cool easier stuff on the Peaches boulder too. Catalysis is one of the coolest lines I have seen down there yet, just over vertical granite, the only scars on the entire face are a few spread out micro crimps just big enough to link through. Nice little bit of bouldering to keep the mind from going crazy over the next two days. Super psyched to climb with Mike, always a huge motivator for me...good psyche and always just stoked to go out and climb.

Also got to stop in Riggins for a day and do some bouldering. Riggins aahhhh Riggins. So many projects. Over the last couple of years, I have managed to climb my way to having nothing but hard projects to work on, coincidentally the sending is fairly sporadic, while the frustration is more consistent. The photo is of me on the Golden Face (V12 or 8A+). Mike McClure first did this problem, a beautiful and asthetic line on a huge boulder at the Ruby Rapids three years ago and called it V11. He will be happy to know that for once, his FA is getting uprated, as it is by far harder than any of the other problems that I have done near the grade. The problem consists of a start that is 2 easy moves, then you make a tenuous move to a crimp that resembles half of a pencil, get your feet up and throw your left hand to another crimp that is about a small half pad. All the while with halfway shit for feet. Psyched though, last years high point was reached again today, even with virtually no bouldering GRRRRR. So next weekend we will see how it pans out. Peace for now, and Organic pads rule!!!! Shameless

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Liberty Park

Been bouldering at Liberty Park in Spokane a lot in the last couple of weeks, fortunately I have a good pic from last year, here I am on Medieval Justice, a V10 that was FA'ed by Mike McClure a few years ago. All of the boulder problems at the park are really long (for bouldering) and physical. Not as much of the techy side of bouldering here. More of how hard you can pull down, which is rad because it really lets you see how strong you are getting. All of these problems felt easy this year, so I guess all the training paid off in the long run.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Polinski Par

September has been a strange month of climbing for me. Struggling on Progressive Discipline (14b) at Deep Creek, a route that showcases the strength of Mike McClure, I have been going to Liberty Park after or before every session to boulder on the fractured basalt. Urbna bouldering at its best here, a picturesque area of Spokane, Washington, ripe with teenage gangbangers, broken glass and the occasional pile of bum shit that has to be scraped out of the landing area for fear of contaminating an Organic pad.

The last two trips have left me empty-handed and frustrated, able to touch the holds with my feet low, but the compression is too much for my shoulders to bear with my feet up in the right place. Coming off of killing it in Riggins at the cave all summer with the possee, everyone sending, it is hard to fall off the same move over and over...almost feels like another Mandala.

Sanctuary is found at Liberty Park, a place that now is climbed out for me, but will still be frequented, as my girlfriend and other climbing partners have multiple projects there. I have been able to send boulder problems every time there, keeping my sanity level just barely out of the red. I just sent Walk the Earth(V10), a Mark Polinski FA and an ode to the bum reference in Pulp Fiction. Working on Progressive is going to be an ongoing battle that is fought over the next couple of months, hopefully less than that, as the temps go down the sending is always easier....more to come, and some bouldering photos from Reynolds Creek, and maybe a few pics of Mike and Tammy McClure's wedding that is going down on the 27th.