Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Updates: Bishop, wintertime and Hueco

The last time I checked in, Bush was still in office, we were officially headed into a reciession(not that anything has changed on that front) and I was headed to Bishop California to go bouldering for Thanksgiving break. Ain't school great? Structured vacation time and everything. No wonder professional students exist.

So did the usual thing drove through the night got some shit food at a casino in Winnemucca Nevada and rolled into the Pit at about 5 am just barely coasting into a gas station on fumes. Thanks to Brian. Made it though, Pilch didn't get her paper done, so she got dropped in town and to the Happies we went. My girlfriend who from now on will be referred to as Kaiya had never been there so it seemed appropriate to introduce her to Bishop in the lowball dirt burgaling paradise of the Volcanic Tablelands.

Josh Vale met us there, right after I made a quick ascent of Human Contra-Ban, a V10 that traverses through a few moves on low pockets and then goes up next to Action Figure. I suprised myself be doing it in about 30 minutes and in only 5 goes. Felt harder the year before...TRAINING!!

Next was more easy bouldering for the day and a 2nd go send of Highbrow, a beautiful steep prow that is on the west rim of the canyon across from Atari. A highball by Happies standards, it follows the prow by slapping on good holds for a few moves, a big lock off and then a few committing moves on tiny crimps and a big move at the end to a good hold. Not to hard, just a bit sketchy. Josh Vale also sent the V8 on his 3rd go. A flash of Disco Hulk to end the day, and to the store for beer and food for dinner.

For the rest of the week, I worked the Buttermilker. I know I don't need to walk everyone through the moves so I won't. I fell off the left hand move to the sloper almost 10 times a day, unable to link the bottom moves all the way through to the top. Pulling on in the butter dish and the underclings I could send the problem on command, but couldn't link all the moves together. for the vid that Conrad Piper-Ruth put together from the trip shows me on one redpoint go when I fell on that move. Periodically I would take breaks from my project to go and send something easier to keep from throwing things and screaming. I flashed a couple of V7's at the Milk's and cheered Kaiya on to her first V5 in Bishop, a quick 3 day send of Go Granny Go.

Failing to send the Buttermilker taught me a lot about myself in working a boulder problem. I learned quite a few things about sending on the road. Kaiya did too, although she had a better trip than I did. She made a super quick ascent of Sucker Punch, a crimpy two move wonder V4 in the Happies, and Beekeeping for Profit and Pleasure at the Pollen Grains. Those were the highlights of her trip, The Rising, Jedi Mind Tricks and High Plains Drifter are projects in her sights for Spring Break....and on to Hueco.

All the Hueco vids can be seen at Mike McClure's site, of me on sends of Barefoot on Sacred Ground V12, Dark Age V11, Black Mamba V10 and working on Skidmark, a V11/12 that I started trying on the last day and didn't have enough gas to send. Kaiya had a fuckin dope trip, sending her hardest to date, a V7 called the Guns of Navarone. It is a 20+ ft gently overhung wall dotted with small crimpers that requires lock off strength and poise to keep it together, as the crux move is at like 15 feet or so. Kaiya also put down Lobster Claw V5, and also did two V4's, Donkey Head and See Sharp. Mike McClure had a first this trip too, sending 2 12's in a day, Right Martini and Loaded Direct. Keeping with the firsts, Tammy McClure sent the Beer Can Traverse sans dab (which after watching vids of the problem seems very uncommon)

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