Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Off Road

Most of the bouldering that gets me psyched is usually a 40 minute drive away in Kirkwood. However, yesterday Frank Lucido took me to one of his old stomping grounds, the Off Road Area. This area was about a 2 minute drive from my front door. Although the hike to the top was uphill there was good bouldering along the way. I repeated the gem of the area, Gobstopper v9 for its second ascent. This problem was really cool. It follows a series of blob-like features, each having its own series of intricate holds. The line is also north facing so it gets lots of shade. I did some other lines on the way. The Tree Problem v4 is half way up the hill. This is a really good line on a cool tallish boulder. The Sunset Crack v6 is a must do on your way back down. This seemingly easy looking problem follows a good crack, but then turns a cornor and becomes very insecure. It has a very classic feel to it. The area had a lot more to offer than these. This place, like most spots in Tahoe, had a lot of good rock and bad rock. There was no doubt this area had more problems to do. Props go to Frank for giving me the tour and authoring these rad lines.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Way Lake

This weekend we had a big crew down towards the eastside at Way Lake. This place is awesome with lots of good , steep rock. The weather was warm but nicer than tahoe. Fernando and I both sent Chumscrubber v12. Josh Vale was very close and will likely do it very soon. On his 2nd day on the climb Fernando sliced his pinky vertically down the middle on his 1st attempt. Apparantly blood was everywhere. But he stayed psyched, taped up and did it a few goes later. This is Fernando's first v12 in the United States. David Outcalt also busted out his project Meadow Roof v8 on his first go of the weekend. Proud. It was a good time. We went to the wild willey's hot spring the first night and ate at "Burgers" on the second night. The fall colors are starting to change out there and it is getting very scenic.
My first day there I was watching Josh Vale try Chumscrubber when he fell off the first move. Then, in a fit of rage , Josh harpooned his ball cap towards my face and the brim struck me really hard in my nose. I started to pool blood out of my nose and it left a "brim shaped" welt across my face. This was a totally funny accident. By the time Josh let the hat go and realized I was there it was too late. At first I was pissed, and then I thought it was pretty funny that I was sitting there with a bloody nose that was caused by frustration towards a boulder problem. What a great moment in bouldering. Next time no hats while bouldering. It's a safety hazzard.

Fernando on Wills Seam v11

Josh Vale sticking the crux of Chumscrubber v12

Monday, September 21, 2009

Video links and Visiting Crushers

Camping with the crew at Erratica, good times
Noah Kaufman floating through Future Present

Fernando coming close to sending Welcome to the Future

Fernando working the moves on Milk Money

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Some cool new videos got loaded on the internet recently so here's the links for anyone who needs some entertainment. David Outcalt has a video of Ian Cotter-Brown sending Fat Guy in a Little Coat v9 at this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcOqRAkDXj4. David has a video as well of me doing Lactose Intolerance this weekend at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMQ-_yvcQG0. Thanks to David for the good footage. Noah has also put up a video of me sending Wolf Pack at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDLzRaIFVa0. If anyone needs to see some high quality sending to boost motivation and/or cure the bordem check out these awesome videos. Note: Jason Hogan is currently editing a really high quality short video of the Hoedown Boulder at Erratica. It will have the first ascent of Party Animal v13, and there will be a link to this video on the blog probably before the end of the week. Keep your eyes out.
This weekend South Lake Tahoe saw a couple of strong visitors from the Sacramento area. Mike Wickwire and Fernando came out to see some of the really good boulders that we had to offer and they cleaned house. Mike and Fernando both quickly sent Lactose Intolerance v10 and Barnyard Massacre v9 at Crater Lake. Fernando actually did Lactose Intolerace about 3 times, topping it out differently everytime. Later on we took the session down to the Barb-Wire Boulders. Fernando did the 3rd ascent of Future Present v11 in about an hour. He was really psyched as this is his first send of this grade in the United States. He also came really close on Welcome to the Future v12, linking through the extention and making it to the v11. Noah and Mike both got really close to the jump start. After a night of camping we took the next day at Erratica where it was all about the classics. It was a big group and the vibe was really good. Long Distance Girl saw its first set of repeats after a whole year. Fernando, Noah, Frank, and Jarrad all sent this classic former v9. The consensus put the grade everywhere between v5 and v9. ??? Haha. So funny. We agreed to call it v8. Dave Nunley got the FA of a new line just to the right and named it Gotta Think About It v3/4. And last, Fernando got very close to doing the long awaited 2nd ascent of Bunny Grinder v9. In the link he fell at the last move about 10 times. It seems like this Noah Kaufman testpiece may get the upgrade. This problem seems like it deserves it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6BGB7IERms this is the link to the video of the FA. This weekend is a Way Lake trip. We hope to link up with Ian and he crew to get caught up with what's going on down there.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More From the Hoedown

On Sunday Scott Chandler came up from the Bay area and climbed the undone left variation project to the Hoedown project. Scott said that this new line goes at v10 and is a great new addition to this boulder. It sit starts in the same undercling as Party Animal and does the first couple of moves and then goes by wide spans out left into a leftward top out into the slab. Party Animal climbs through the same opening moves and then climbs direct to the sloper into a rightward top out to a big ledge. Seems like the same line but consensus so far agrees that these lines are independent variations. It might be that these are just two betas. Even so, if you can climb this thing any which way you will have to try very hard. I am looking forward to trying to repeat this line and I will have to try just as hard and suck up the sandbagged grade. I can't wait. Good job to Scott on the send.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Best of Erratica

Yesterday we went out to the main ridge of Erratica and the conditions were good. Cold, cloudy, and windy. At the Shady Grove Area our minds were opened to the vastness of this area. After frequenting the Yeti Area it was cool to be reminded that Erratica has a whole lot more to offer in every direction. I managed to put up a new line on the Easy Boulder, near Golden Wall. This new problem is a v7 called Smoke Em If you Got Em. Short but cool. I also managed to hit the previously undone crux move on the Balls of Steel project on Shade Grove Boulder. I'm going to hone my sights in on this great undone line which will probably climb solid 12 from the start. It's going to take cold temps, steel tendons and of course, balls of steel. Props to Noah for having the vision to see this line.

Brenna Fischer sending Sweet Tooth v4

I have included for fun a list of the best problems at Erratica by grade with stars and first ascentists as well as the general sector to which it is located. Any Erratica climber who wants to do the best at a certain grade should seek out these awesome gems.

Erratica's Best Problems

The Arc v0- **** F.A. Damian Estrada @ Golden Wall

Scream v0 **** F.A. Jesse @ The Scream

The Crack v0 *** F.A. Elena O. @Boob Wall

Beautiful Breasts v1 **** F.A. Jesse @ Boob Wall

Scream Right v1 **** F.A. ? @ Scream Area

Black and Green v2 *** @ Golden Wall

The Shady Lane v2*** F.A jesse @ Trophy Area

Squeeze Between the Trees v3 **** F.A Dave Nunley @ Shade Grove

Jackie's Sister v3 **** F.A. Damian Estrada @ Shade Grove

Sidepulls in Paradise v3**** F.A. Dave Nunley @ Shade Grove

Five Dollar Happy Ending v3 *** F.A. Dave Nunley @ Simply Asia

Sunset Bulge v3*** F.A. Taylor Zentner @ Boob Wall

Broken China v4 *** F.A. Jesse @ Scream Area

Adrenaline Hoedown v4 **** F.A Jay Sell @ The Hoedown

Guns and Ammo v4*** F.A. Jesse @ Swimming Hole

Eye Of The Tiger v4*** F.A. Dave Nunley @ Boob Wall

Fugiyama v5 /7 **** F.A. Noah Kaufman @ Fugiyama Area

Sweet Dreams v5** F.A. Jesse @ Shade Grove Area

Smoked Out Jumper v5*** F.A. Jesse @ Shade Grove Area

Twenty-Four Ouncer v5*** F.A. Noah Kaufman @ The Painter Area

The Geek v5*** F.A. Jay Sell @ The Geeks

As Gold As the Sky v6 **** F.A. Noah Kaufman and Brian Arnold @ Golden Wall/Shade Grove

The Trophy v6*** F.A. Jesse @ Trophy Boulder

Mind Bully v6 **** F. A. Chip @ The Nerds

Vision Quest v7 ** F.A. Jesse @ The Black Boulder

Father's Day v7 *** F.A. Don @ The Erratics

Taco Time v8 *** F.A. Noah Kaufman @ The Geeks

The Pervert v8 ** F.A Jesse @ Shade Grove

The Yeti v9 **** F.A. Noah Kaufman @ The Nerds

Global Warming v9**** F.A. Noah Kaufman @ The Painter

Bunny Grinder v9*** F.A. Noah Kaufman @ Shade Grove

Krull v9**** F.A. Brian Arnold@ Fugiyama Area

Master Blaster v9*** F.A. Jesse @ The Hoedown

Fountain of Youth v10 *** F.A Jesse @ Swimming Hole

Robot Wars v10** F.A. Jesse @ Swimming Hole

Quest For Power v10 ** F.A. Jesse @ The Black Boulder

Vicious Poodle v10 ** F..A. Noah Kaufman @ The Geeks

Element of Surpise v11 **** F.A. Jesse @ The Painter

Party Animal v13 *** F.A Jesse @ the Hoedown Boulder

Use this list as you would a guide for the best established lines at the area. If you don't feel like scrubbing go seek out one of these classics and have yourself some fun.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Party Animal

Tonight I went down to the Hoedown project at Erratica with Jason Hogan and Mike Njoten. After a pitifull first round on the project. I surprised myself by sticking the dyno from a stand start and finishing the line. This move to the finish was probably hard v11. From the sit the series of crimpy moves that lead up to this dyno are powerful and fingery. Then I surprised myself again when I linked the entire line in the dark while Jason Hogan was rolling the camera. I was so psyched as this feels like the hardest moves I've ever done. Tahoe now has a v13 named Party Animal. So sick. Thanks to Hogan for inspiring me to bust it out.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Grand Weekend

This weekend was a grand weekend indeed. Lots and lots of great stuff was happening from every direction in life. Aside from the climbing scene, most of us got to witness a very special occasion with two great people. Noah Kaufman and Siemay Lee got married in Genoa, Nevada on Sunday. The ceremony was awesome and very memorable. The vows were to the heart and yet fun-loving and truthful from each person. I was personally touched. The reception to follow was epic; two great and funny families put forth their feelings of each of the newly wedded. To top off a great meal of surf and turf , the climbers were all at a few different tables where a lot of "grape throwing " was going on. I'm not going to mention any names but the Bay Area table and a certain very strong mom from B.C. was quite aggressive with their ammo. You know who you are. Haha. But it was an awesome night where I got to talk with a lot of people that I have only seen in brief, but memorable instances in my life. Yet another day I'll never forget that oddly had nothing to do with climbing. Awesome. Congratulations to Noah and Siemay. Like Matt said " Either of you are a force to be dealt with but together you are unstoppable".
So, for those of you who checked this blog because you were thinking of climbing, this entry will be nothing short of the raddest weekend South Tahoe climbing has ever seen. It all started Friday when Charlie Barret went on a tear through some of south shore's best areas with an impressive streak to follow. Charlie did the 2nd ascent of Freak Show v12 as well as the 2nd ascent of Lactose Intolerance v10 and sent the classic dyno move Hate Handles v10 on his 3rd try. Holy Shit Charlie, awesome job on the pull downs. On Sunday Erratica saw the most traffic it has ever seen in one session. The Yeti was repeated by Matt Wilder (2nd try), Scott Chandler, Brian Capps (2nd try), Paul Berazza, and possibly others. Courtney Hemphill also did an impressive 3rd ascent of Krull v9 while it was baking in the sun. Fugiyama v5/7 saw a slew of repeats as well. It was nice to see Erratica appreciated by people with unparalleled tastes in good rock.
There was one more strong visitor to South Lake Tahoe this weekend. Bishop's own Ian Cotter-Brown paid three days to tahoe and saw a lot of the new classic areas and left in a short time with a good tick list of hard problems. Ian sent Fat Guy in a Little Coat v9 at Burnside, the 2nd ascent of Lock Down Robotic v8 and the long awaited 2nd ascent of Future Present v11 at the Barb-Wire Area. Ian also got really close on the hard roof Freak Show Original v11. Next trip from Cotter-Brown will no doubt end in destruction. David Outcult also had an awesome send of Fat Guy in a Little Coat v9 by dynoing all out to the sloper at the lip. Nice one David. Another local on a rampage. The upcoming weeks will bring cooler and cooler temps and really soon we will all be in that special climbing season that typically produces our most memorable bouldering moments: Fall. I can't wait to see the sights. Me finally sending Smooth Boy Slim v9, so good

Ian Cotter Brown on Future Present v11, the day before it went down

Frank Lucido closing in on Krull v9

Charlie Barret sticking the crux move on Freak Show v12, the actual 2nd ascent go