“We don’t know who we are until we see what we can do.”
There have been countless climbing challenge ideas thrown around amongst Boone climbers, ranging from the stupid (e.g. “the 24 challenge”) to the silly (e.g. naked climbing), but last weekend, wearing his new big-boy “I’m 21 mofo years old!” pants, Carson decided to lay down the hammer on 21 of his favorite v5 boulder problems around Boone.
The Bakker boyz managed to wrangle two Zachs and a hobbit (that’s me!) to follow them on their grand undertaking. After eight days on, I have no idea why Zach Briggs decided to spend his rest day driving us around to various crags and cheering us on, but if you see him, give him a high five or pat on the back for an out-of-this-world psyche level. The crew would not have been complete without the highly missed face of Zach Silberman who was in town for the weekend and kept me entertained with awesome stories from his adventures in Colorado. With a puppy in tow, we set off, unsure of our chances of success, but determined to spend a beautiful day among trees, rocks, and friends.
The final numbers at the end of the day were 21 climbs completed in 11 hours, with ~10 miles total hiked up and down and around virtually every single area of Blowing Rock, 221, and Grandmother. We left around 8am and made it back to Boone a little after 7pm. Carson and Drexel day flashed every single boulder except for two, and each one of them blames the other for bad beta. Still struggling with a finger injury and with soft gym skin, I felt accomplished for keeping up with the boys and at least touching every single problem. Climbing doesn’t always have to be a competition – it can just be plain silly fun that just coincidentally happens to help grow big beefy veiny forearms.
I was impressed by Carson’s commitment to staying true to the goal of exactly twenty-one v5s. Besides our initial warm-up, he did not lay a finger on a single other grade. I don’t know how doable this venture would have been if we had picked a higher grade or if Carson had just turned 50 years old instead of 21, but it surprised all of us how easy this was. Okay, maybe not “easy” but it certainly wasn’t as brutal as we had imagined. I only spotted a couple chicken wings and the guys actually cruised through the last few boulders of the day pretty smoothly, versus the dramatic pumping out and screaming and grunting one might expect after a long circuit day.
Highlights of the day, according to Drexel, were Cocaine Highway (that sh*t is TALL and SCARY! Carson giggled like a little schoolgirl at the top!) and finishing the day on the Long Wall classics.
The weather was perfect all day. Fall called and said she had a good time visiting and will be back in a couple weeks for a longer stay. I can’t wait to spend many more weekends in Boone getting my skin and psyche ready for prime climbing season! Don’t forget to register for Hound Ears!
Check out the photos of our day (that big thing above) and see if you can name every single one of the climbs. Is there a v5 you think we missed? Let us know in the comments below.