Monday we started the day early, fresh from resting the day before and everyone had their eye on a project. The Boone Crew had started to arrive and it was great to have more friendly faces joining our ranks. We arrived at the Orb area to find it overrun with a youth team which made the decision to warm up elsewhere an easy one to make. During the warm up festivities Andrew stepped in dog poop earning him the nick name “Poopy Foot Andrew.” Many other nicknames were accumulated over the rest of the day including “Saggy Pants Drexel”, and “Toasty Knees Tommy.” After everyone was good and warm we headed over to the Bads for another round of trying all of the slopey physical classics the area has to offer. We all started the day on Little Bad V6 which Ian, Andrew, and Carson scrambled up and Cameron and I managed to flash. The girls were all close but being smaller is certainly not beneficial on this particular problem.
After that we slid pads under the Big Bad Boulder and Carson and Andrew set their sights on Big Bad Right V8. They both looked super solid on it but couldn’t quite overcome the hard deadpoint move. I chalked up Blackout V10 and started working the moves. It has some of the coolest holds I have ever climbed on and the crux revolves around a deep lockoff and some squeezing off a super cool pinch and a high heel hook. I am looking forward to returning to this one with some fresh skin for sure.
After that Carson and I went to try Burst of Joy, a really beautiful V9 that combines a powerful and physical opening sequence with a balancey technical ending on a slabby face. After a few goes of struggling to get my heel where I needed it to rock onto the face I managed to send. Carson ended up using a slightly different sequence but once he figured out his beta for the bottom part he quickly linked it up and sent as well. Little man is getting strong! After that we rejoined the group at the asphalt boulder where I did a bunch of sweet moderates and got to help Meira find all sorts of ways to use her tiny strong body to get to the top of some awesome problems. It is always awesome to see how good she is getting at figuring out her own way to overcome being a smaller climber.
The next day we split up and Carson, Dave, Ian, Olivia, Trey, Ryan, and I went to check out Zahnd, a small area that is along the same mountain as Rocktown. Farmer Dave played tour guide and took us straight to the Harvest Moon Boulder which features a handful of amazingly high quality problems ranging from V5 to V10. After a chilly warm up we started trying some more difficult lines. Andrew and I sent a cool one move V7 on amazing rock and then we all moved to the front of the boulder to try Harvest Moon V8 and the neighboring V9, Pray Like a Mantis. On my flash attempt I matched up on the crimps and launched to the jug with the expectation of feeling my hand close around it but when I closed my hand all I got was a big handful of slopey nothingness. I had missed the hold to the right. After a few more goes we all realized that hitting the good hold correctly was the crux of the move and you really had to consciously overcompensate to the left. After a few more goes I hit the hold perfect and topped it out. Carson and Andrew were both super close. I started trying Pray Like a Mantis and after a quick shoe switch (praise blanco), I managed to send that ones as well. Carson quickly realized that even though it is given a harder grade, Pray Like a Mantis suited his style of climbing much better and started focusing on taking it down. He got super close to sending multiple times but lost too much skin and energy to finish it off. We will be back so that he can finish it off on our project take down day.
Wednesday we had a crew of almost 20 people from all around and so even though everyone was a little beat up, psyche was through the roof. With a sea of pads under it some of us started climbing up the extremely tall and intimidating Hueco Simulator. Once a handful of people had gotten to the summit Meira decided to put her big girl britches on and give it a try. With some encouraging words and a lot of spotters she rolled over the top. Alexa decided to give it a try as well and despite hitting the stanky leg towards the top, also managed to send.
Dave, Andrew, and I walked down the hill to the Iron Claw boulder which is a beautiful compression problem that climbs out of a big prow over the creek. Andrew easily flashed the V7 stand and Dave and I set our sights on the V10 sit start. Due to the right hand start hold being damp (as always) Dave and I had to improvise and use an even smaller hold a little farther away. After figuring out some crazy beta for the first move we started making some good links and before too long Dave had squeezed his way up the boulder. In his words it was his “meat and potatoes.” My attempts started going downhill until I worked out a better foot sequence that allowed me to move my heel up to where I needed. Thus began the beginning of the war. The boulder revolves around 6 extremely physical moves that lead into the 4 move V7 stand. I started getting farther and farther each go but the skin on my right hand was dangerously thin and the fatigue of climbing 3 days in a row was setting in. I battled it for over an hour but had to walk away completely exhausted. It is now at the very top of my list and I can’t wait to return to it when I am more well rested.
Today we are all recovering in the local public library and although the sky is still cloudy, the rain seems to have slacked off. Everyone is tired but buzzing with excitement about the next two climbing days. Hopefully I will take some pictures and shoot some video of the next two days so that these posts will be a little less wordy. Until next time,