Tuesday, July 28, 2015

One Step Further

          Every damn month out here it seems that enough great new climbing development goes down to fill another 40 pages of the Tahoe Boulder Guides update. This is Tahoe. It will never stop. June and July was a great month despite the heat and the massive amounts of crowds. First of all, a big shout out to the crew of Jay Sell, Brock Berry, Brandon Ransom, Joe Bob, Becca, and all those folks who put in the time on Lower Big Meadow. This new zone is basically like another Beavers. Great boulders in a spectacular, easy to access setting on Luther Pass. Mini talus surrounded by aspens, creek side goodness, and open pine forrest nestled in friendly user terrain. It has been awesome repeating the classics here. If you haven't gone, go pay a visit to this place. Lines not to be missed are Ripple v2, The JZ v5, Rained Out v5, Cloudburst v7, the Missouri Arete v3, and Bacchanalia v8.All good ones. What an area. It was a pleasure to follow in the footsteps of this crew and reap the bennies of their hard work. Another great zone on the map. I added a couple of lines that are unrepeated at the time of this blog. The Bacchanalia sit v10 is a hard one that takes high tension and bullet skin. Much respect to Becca from Missouri for envisioning this hard line and putting up the stand which is a mega line in itself. I also added The Grifter v8/9 which was a standing project that climbs an overhanging wall with thrutchy compression to a ball busting top out. With many smaller boulders scattered through the forest this area may yield more in the future.
        In addition to Lower Big Meadow, another area got put big on the map recently. Snow Lake was developed by myself, Jonah Fahrion, Brad Perry, Roman Yalowitz, Jon Thompson and Lamberto Franco. When we first began climbing here we thought it would just be a small area with not too much. This place really came to life with the efforts of the group and produced about 50 boulder problems. Most of these are instant classics with cool features on perfect stone. This place kind of has it all. Swimming, fishing, camping, bouldering, lots of wildlife, it has ...in fact....what you want. Don't miss out on the visit and be ready for an adventurous trek into heavenly terrain. Theres too many lines there to mention but some stand outs seem to be Powder Day v1, Fortunate Soul v7, White Out v10/11, Avalanche v10/11, Vanilla Wafer v10, Black Diamond v5, White Lies v2/7, and Euphoria v9. Quite a place, and for the full experience, strap a pad to your backpack and stay a few nights. You won't regret it. Remember that Snow Lake is part of Desolation Wilderness and you should technically get a permit if you stay overnight. You can visit this website to obtain information on visiting Desolation Wilderness.
       After we were done with Snow Lake, we knew the next move. This "campaign" that we've been leading into the wilderness is just going to be taking small steps deeper and further into the backcountry. I wonder how far back we will be by the end, I'm sure in 5 years we'll eventually hit the ocean, but then we'll just go north to south I guess. In the meantime, Jonah, Lamberto, David Outcalt and I pushed the development further this weekend into the next zone, Azure Lake. We started on the south side. Upon first glance we thought this area would have kept us busy for weeks to come. Perhaps by a miracle or a surge of motivation, we managed to climb the entire zone out ( more or less of course) in a single push through the weekend. Between the 4 of us, about 40 lines went up in 2 days. I've never seen production like this. If we were a company, we would have been millionaires over night. We came and we conquered. Most of the problems in this zone are in the v2-5 range which made this task more doable. There are some harder ones that were done that are in the v7/8 range and are really good. I'd say most of the problems were in the 2 star range. Between Snow and Azure, so far 90 awesome new boulders have gone up in just 4 weeks!!! Holy crap. I love this place. Anyone planning on visiting Azure should be warned that this area adds about 35 grueling minutes to the snow lake approach ( 1 hour 15 min on average), which makes this approach in the 2 hour range. Be ready for walking up a big ass slab right at the tail end which will be a spirit breaker. Be tough, power through and the rewards will be great. We are still hard at work pushing this one step at a time. We will be working on a video of Azure Lake that will be posted in the next few weeks. Topos will also be posted to go along with video.

     Speaking of topos. I'm posting below some pictures that I took of the Snow Lake topo that is in the works. Keep in mind, these are pictures of the rough copy of the topo. It is merely a reference to give anyone visiting the area some perspective of what's what. I hope this helps.

Hopefully, this information will get motivated mofos there a bit smoother. I've reposted this video again for perspective and psyche! We'll be moving deeper in the wilderness this next few weeks and filming for the next installment. Now get out there and go cranking!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Snow Lake Bouldering

After years of living out here in Lake Tahoe, there's no doubt when you venture around which season we are in now. It's hot, there's thunderstorms, night and day the streets are crowded, "for now, these hot days is the mad blood stirring". Oh yeah, and parking is a bitch.....especially at Emerald Bay rd.....? Well, speaking of Emerald Bay road, long story short, there's another new area in Tahoe yet again. I know I know, same ol' shit. Yet, if you're in my mind frame, it's another world. Another drop in the magic bucket. Another call from afar that we all hear whisper in our ears those two little words...."get some".  Lake Tahoe is full of a bunch of obsessed types that fiend for it daily. A month ago a few of us began to answer the call.
     It's no secret that Desolation is one of my favorite places. It's possible the main reason that I knew I did not want to leave Lake Tahoe. Having convenient access to such a gem of nature is privilege to me. I try to never take it for granted. Together with Jonah Fahrion and Brad Perry, we hiked deep, dialed the trail, and put in the man hours that made another Desolation fantasy spot a reality. This place is beautiful, full of plants and wildlife, and has the most unique concentration that I've seen all year. I'm very grateful to have got to help develop this great new zone. Here is a video of the early stages of FA's there.

A week or two later other players began to trickle in and leave their mark on this mega zone. Jon Thompson, Roman Yalowitz, David Outcalt, and Lamberto Franco recently came out and opened more new classics to the area. It was sick to see some of the bolder and stretchier lines go that I was not able to do. I'm really pleased to have put in another great sector with some of the most die hard boulderers around. Gratitude is high.
   If anyone was wondering, how do I get there? Google map snow lake desolation wilderness to get an overview. Bayview trailhead is your entry point. Follow the canyon past Cascade Falls about 1 -1.5 hrs drifting left in the canyon. The terrain is variable. Sometimes mellow and flat. Sometime steep and horrible. It's Desolation, strap on your boots and get out there. I hope everyone enjoys the short flick.