Monday, April 20, 2009

Wishful Thinking, 2009

In following the great climbing tradition* of posting projects on blog sites, I've created a wish list of Colorado boulder problems that I'd like to climb this year. My goals are lofty, and I'll be amazed if I climb even half of these problems. Still, the list serves as an outline for my spring, summer, and fall seasons, and it's nice to get a sense of where I'll be expending my effort for the rest of 2009. There's also a certain utility to outlining my projects, as it might get others to join me for a session or two. (Not that I view potential partners in a strictly utilitarian light. I will value your company as long as you carry lots of pads and thoroughly explain the beta. I promise. Oh, and do you have a stick brush? That would really be helpful.)

         In order to give the list focus, and because I don't know exactly where I'll be traveling in the near term, I've only included problems from Colorado. I'll try to make progress reports on a monthly basis, and will include photos and videos in future posts. So, without further ado, here it is. A list I'll call Wishful Thinking, 2009:

Veritas (V11), RMNP:  I spent about four or five days last year on the stand start, which I was finally able to climb. I then put in another ten days trying the sit start. I can link the two sections fairly easily, but lack the energetic where-with-all to top it out. Sadly, a crucial foothold recently broke, which will require some beta modification for me.  It remains to be seen how difficult it will feel now.

Stinkbug (V10/11), RMNP:  I've yet to do the first move. The end is pretty tough for me. I know, that bodes ill. Still, after three days of effort, I'm delusional enough to think that it's possible. 

Get Over It (V10), Big Elk Meadows:  I've probably spent about ten days on this over three years. I have everything but the top-out pretty well wired. I know what you're thinking: 'The top is the crux. If the crux was at the bottom you would have given up long ago, frustrated by the lack of ascension. It's easy to get sucked in when you're able to do a few gateway moves.' Good point. 

Whispers of Wisdom (V10), RMNP:  I've only really tried it once, but it's arguably the best V10 in Colorado, so I'm ready to invest much more time. 

Riddles in the Dark (V10), RMNP:  I've pulled on once or twice, but have never given it an earnest session. However, I like roof climbing, and would love to try this one when the snow bank below it is still high. 

The Aristocrat (V9), RMNP:  While this might not be the most noteworthy problem in the Park, I've found myself on it over three days or so, and have done all the moves. It'll be nice to finish it.

Deep Puddle Dynamics (V9), RMNP:  I spent several days on this several years ago. I'm pretty sure I've done most to the moves. Can't really remember. This is another one I hope to try while there's a snowbank.

Fluid Mechanics (V9), Clear Creek Canyon:  It seems as though this problem would fit my style, yet I've spent three days on it to no avail. I guess I'll just have to try harder.

Real Large (V9), RMNP:  This one's not that inspiring, but it's just across the way from Whispers of Wisdom, and has some enjoyable moves. 

Hollow's Way (V8), Flagstaff Mt.:  This is the most aesthetic line on Flagstaff Mt. I've spent two days on it, but haven't really worked out the final move to the lip yet. 

Small Axe (V8), Poudre Canyon:  I've only seen photos and video of this, but it looks absolutely classic. I suppose I need to find out how to get there before I try it. Little help? 

The Nothing (V8), Mt. Evans:  I've never even been to Area D, where this line resides, but it looks stunning. And, of course, the setting is overwhelmingly beautiful. 

Seurat (V8), Mt. Evans:  I've only really spotted others on this climb. It's not really of my style, but I suppose that's all the more reason to give it a go. Plus, it's a singular and gorgeous line. 

Tilt (V8), Poudre Canyon:  Again, never tried it, but have always wanted to. 

The White Man's Burden Project (V7ish), Isabelle Lake:  This is a relatively small boulder problem on beautiful rock, three miles back in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Its location, added to the fact that the crux involves a puny little dyno to a nice crimp, led to my tongue-in-cheek name for the project. There is very little else to climb on here, except for a problem I put up a couple of years ago which I named Manifest Destiny (V5). However, it's close to Isabelle Lake and Isabelle Glacier, which makes for a fetching setting. Plus, if you time it right, you can return from an outing with pounds of tasty mushrooms.  

Against Humanity (V7), Poudre Canyon:  I tried this one day, and arrogantly thought I would snatch it up quickly. After several hours of frustration, there is still a move I haven't even figured out how to do. Humbling, to be sure.

Immortality (V7), Redcliff:  I should have done this a couple of years ago, but simply got too scared at the top.   

Simple (V6), Poudre Canyon:  I've never even been to this, but have seen video. It looks fun. Would somebody mind telling me how to get there?

Germ-Free Adolescence (V5), Eldorado Canyon:  It's hard to believe that I've lived in Boulder as long as I have without climbing this John Sherman testpiece. Admittedly, viewing through my new-school lenses, I'd really like to do the low start, which weighs in at V7, and the low-right entry, which is called Here Comes Sickness (V8).  


* By tradition, I mean in the fickle, myopic, media-crazed sense. The truest sense, that is. 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Joe's Valley Post as a Pretext for an Apology

I know, I know. I haven't posted anything in quite some time. I'm terribly sorry. Although nobody has actually formally complained (or really mentioned it at all, for that matter), I know that you are secretly hurt. When I've given unprompted apologies for my lack of blogging activity, you've feigned indifference and, at times, relief. But I'm keenly aware that if I were to scratch through your stolid veneer, I would find a deeply despondent human being. You may comport yourself with a stiff upper lip, but I know you harbor an insatiable craving for my marginally serviceable climbing media. You want to hear about the V6s I've climbed. You need to see photos of Simone lying in the dirt. You must return to Lithic Loafing daily.

Well, fret not, all ye faithful. Spring is here. I have a new pair of climbing shoes. I'm drinking more wine than ever (it's a part of my formal education now). Everything is in place for low-budget spray and self-aggrandizing bullshit. I promise to deliver. 

In the meantime, enjoy these shots that I recently took of some tough kids in Joe's Valley, Utah. I said ENJOY, damn you! 

Sander Pick on Trent's Mom.

Kevin Cuckovich on Beyond Life.

Jamie Emerson on Black Lung.

Kevin on Planet of the Apes.

Sander on Anti-Future Plan.