Monday, October 22, 2007

Visitors Like Whoa!

We had a busy weekend here at my home in the ditch, and what better timing could there be? The leaves are yellow and red, the air is cool and crisp, and I had a four day weekend!

There was lots of sending this weekend, which always adds to the already enjoyable experience of hanging with friends, being outside, and bouldering. Most notably, Ethan Pringle made the second ascent of "Sasquatch" in about 20 min. of effort. I believe it took Dean Potter several years of effort before he got the first ascent. Dean climbed it barefoot, Ethan chose to use one left shoe, he also suggested a V11 rating (the problem was previously unrated). Prior to his ascent of Sasquatch Ethan flashed the third ascent of "King Air" and climbed "Dominated," not a bad day for him. The other most notable ascent goes to Paul Barraza, he made the second ascent of "Pine Box" this Sunday.

I got in on the action, albeit at not quite as difficult a level, with ascents of "Flatline" and "Motorcade". Both are lines that I've spent a lot of time daydreaming about, but never got around to trying. Fortunately, there was a motivated team of fellow climbers and spotters and I was lucky enough to climb both within a couple of attempts. John took a lot of photos this weekend so hopefully he'll post up. Check his blog for more (and better) images.

Vicki at the Sentinel boulders

Sunday, October 14, 2007

No News is Good News

I came home to Davis this weekend for my mom's wedding. Not long after I arrived I was informed that one of my friends was particularly worried for my health because I had not posted in a while. I assure you all I'm fine and have just been consumed with work, climbing, and visiting with friends.

While many of you may have already heard that Alex and Thomas Huber have broken the speed record on the Nose by about 3min., most of you were probably unaware of another attempt on this rout that was only interesting because of how it ended. Apparently a couple of gumbies trying their luck on this route could properly attach there "poop tube" (a modified bear canister) to their haul bag properly and launched it from just below the "stove legs" pitch. By the grace of God there had yet to be any fecal matter deposited in said container and fortunately no one was hurt by the falling receptacle. Word on the street is that the two would be ascentionist have not given up yet and may be returning in the spring for a second attempt. Be very afraid.

If you're interested in more bouldering news I've made my first contribution to the Betabase website. Check it out.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Noah's Arc

A busy weekend here in the Valley. First of all, the Yosemite Facelift organized by Ken Yager was in high gear. Ken deserves a lot of credit and one of your beers for all the hard work he's put into this event. Ken personally invested $6,000 of his own dough to make the fourth annual event a reality. This year over 41,000 pounds of trash was collected. The majority of the weight came from abandoned construction materials and even a 1950's era car, but the majority of the garbage included candy bar wrappers, bottles, cans, and everbodys' favorite...used toilet paper.

Here's George at headquaters on Saturdauy. George volunteered everyday of the event.

Here's a picture of Alex Honold climbing the new classic "Atlantis." Alex recently free soloed "Astroman" on Washington Column and the "Direct Northwest Face" of the Rostrum in a day! It makes me quiver just thinking about it.

In bouldering news, there was a genuine posse of boulders in the Valley this weekend. Paul, Lyn, and Tim from Berkeley, Ian, Wills, and Lisa from Bishop, Dave and Lana from Sacramento, and Ryan and Peter from Davis were all motivated to trash themselves on new and old problems alike. First to go down was "That's How Murder Happens." I believe Wills was first to send but Noah was equally responsible for making the line possible, it is a phenomenal boulder problem. I was lucky enough to get in on the action and do an amazing first ascent this weekend. Noah Kaufman first cleaned the line and was really psyched about trying to send. I had scoped it out previously, but had dismissed it as either too hard or too reachy. Noah's enthusiasm was infectious however so I had to give it a try. Unfortunately, Peter and Ryan had to head home and I wanted to accompany them back to my house. I asked for them to wait so I could try it just once, "I'm sure... only one try" was Ryan's sceptical response knowing full well that I'd probably get really excited and want to work on the problem until I sent or was bleeding from my fingertips. I assured him that I would only give it one try from the time I made it to the starting holds (the problem required me to jump awkwardly off of another small bloc to reach the starting holds). Sure enough, after a few false starts, I stuck the starting hold and continued up to the top. I called it "Noah's Arc" because without Noah's influence I wouldn't have done it and because of the dramatic arc created by one's body when they latch the starting hold. Unfortunately there are no pictures because it all happened so fast. It'll just have to wait until Noah returns to send for himself. Here instead is a Picture of Lyn trying almost as hard as her spotter Paul on "That's How Murder Happens."