Some Fall Photos

Looks like fall is coming to an end and winter is arriving as I type this.  63 to -6 in two days, gotta love Montana!  Can’t complain too much since it was a pretty damn nice fall that lasted a little longer than we normally hope for.  Here’s some photos from all around Southwest Montana:

Lucky Strike near Homestake Pass (Batholith)

Ho - crux dyno of the Long Knife V6

Ho – crux dyno of the Long Knife V6

Crazy tree

Crazy tree

Double pinky mono sit start on a slab!?!?  Ho - Pretty Shield SDS V2

Double pinky mono sit start on a slab!?!? Ho – Pretty Shield SDS V2

Ho - Fools Crow V2

Ho – Fools Crow V2

EC - FA of Shpadoinkle! V6

EC – FA of Shpadoinkle! V6

Moonshine Boulder (New World Gulch)

EC - Satellite V6

EC – Satellite V6

EC - Satellite V6

EC – Satellite V6

Yankee Jim

Leslie - Bobby Wonder V3

Leslie – Bobby Wonder V3

Leslie - Assault from Above V2

Leslie – Assault from Above V2

The Angel Boulders (Tobacco Roots)

EC - FA of Last Caress V5

EC – FA of Last Caress V5

EC - FA of Charybdis V6

EC – FA of Charybdis V6

EC - FA of Charybdis V6

EC – FA of Charybdis V6

-EC

Summer Summary

This blog’s not quite dead yet.  As usual, I spent the summer climbing on ropes rather than over crash pads.  I’d like to say that’s why I don’t post, but the posts don’t seem too much more frequent during bouldering season.  Well, it may just be a quarterly blog.  Deal with it.  All 7 of you.  Here’s some photos from the last 4 months or so:

EC - Happy Colored Marbles V2, FA - Boulder River Boulders, Mile 18

EC – Happy Colored Marbles V2, FA – Boulder River Boulders, Mile 18

4th of July celebrations at Chestnut

4th of July celebrations at Chestnut

Ho - Overhangatang V5 - Hyalite Canyon

Ho – Overhangatang V5 – Hyalite Canyon

EC - Overhangatang V5 - Hyalite Canyon (photo by Ho)

EC – Overhangatang V5 – Hyalite Canyon (photo by Ho)

EC - the Gravy Train 5.12b/c - Ten Sleep Canyon (photo by Ho)
EC – the Gravy Train 5.12b/c – Ten Sleep Canyon (photo by Ho)
SHo - Soft in the Middle 5.11c - Gallatin Canyon

SHo – Soft in the Middle 5.11c – Gallatin Canyon

Leslie - the Solace of Bolted Faces 5.12a - Wild Iris

Leslie – the Solace of Bolted Faces 5.12a – Wild Iris

Chris - the Devil Wears Spurs 5.10d - Wild Iris

Chris – the Devil Wears Spurs 5.10d – Wild Iris

Leslie - Limestone Cowboy 5.12a - Wild Iris

Leslie – Limestone Cowboy 5.12a – Wild Iris

Wild Iris

Wild Iris

EC - Don't Bring Your Guns to Town 5.12c - Wild Iris (photo by Chris Ennis)

EC – Don’t Bring Your Guns to Town 5.12c – Wild Iris (photo by Chris Ennis)

Chris - High Plains Drifter 5.10c - Wild Iris

Chris – High Plains Drifter 5.10c – Wild Iris

Jess - the Terrible V7 - Leavenworth

Jess – the Terrible V7 – Leavenworth

EC - Cattleguard Arete V8 - Leavenworth

EC – Cattleguard Arete V8 – Leavenworth

EC - Andy's Arete V5 - Leavenworth

EC – Andy’s Arete V5 – Leavenworth

Peder - Crimpsqueek V7 - Leavenworth

Peder – Crimpsqueek V7 – Leavenworth

Jess - Footless Traverse V5 - Leavenworth

Jess – Footless Traverse V5 – Leavenworth

EC - WAS V8 - Leavenworth (photo by Jess Groseth)

EC – WAS V8 – Leavenworth (photo by Jess Groseth)

Peder - Premium Coffee V7 - Leavenworth

Peder – Premium Coffee V7 – Leavenworth

Peder - Premium Coffee V7 - Leavenworth

Peder – Premium Coffee V7 – Leavenworth

EC - the Beach Arete V2 - Leavenworth (photo by Jess Groseth)

EC – the Beach Arete V2 – Leavenworth (photo by Jess Groseth)

-EC

Yankee Jim and the Bitterroot

About time for my bi-monthly blog post…  Well, it’s been a pretty nice spring here in SW Montana.  Had to chase the good temps here and there but nothing to complain about (except ticks!).  A few weeks ago I was pretty psyched on Yankee Jim.  I managed to put down a couple fun new-to-me problems that I’d never climbed at the Locomotives – Mr. Leslie and Lightweight, both V6 and both highly recommended.

But, the main event was across the river – Montana’s Most Wanted.  This amazing problem is on the far west side of the Campground.  It was a fairly under the radar project for a long time before somebody climbed it a couple years ago and officially opened it to the masses.  Pat Dyess may have done it first but he’s a ginger so he is not to be trusted.  I spent one perfect day figuring out the moves and trying it from the start for a few hours.  By the time I figured out the moves I was already worn out so I couldn’t quite put it together.  But, I came back a few days later and put ‘er down first try.  One of the best around!  I finished up the day by climbing a new problem put up by Tony Chang in the talus west of MMW – Genghis Tron V5.  It’s another great problems with an awesome landing thanks to the hard work of Tony (and possibly others).

Lightweight V6-ish

Lightweight V6-ish

Crux move on Montana's Most Wanted V7

Crux move on Montana’s Most Wanted V7

Genghis Tron V5

Genghis Tron V5

 

Last week I was able to get out of town for a couple days.  I’d been wanting to go somewhere all spring with the top choices being Lander or Cody but I’ve been really busy so they never quite materialized.  I decided a quick trip to the Bitterroot was in order.  One day in Lolo, one day in Lost Horse, three goals – Hooray for Boobies SDS V7 (Lolo), Lock Off Lichen Lips V6 (LoHo) and Big Chuck V6 (LoHo).  With a lot of sweat spent and a lot of skin lost (mostly at Lolo) I was able to climb all three problems!  Big Chuck is good, Lock Off is better, and Boobies is another one of the best.  Hooray for Boobies SDS is a couple moves into the best dyno ever followed by one of coolest mantels ever.  What more could you ask for?

Snagging the dyno on Hooray for Boobies SDS V7 (Lolo)

Snagging the dyno on Hooray for Boobies SDS V7 (Lolo)

trying Succubus V7 (Lolo)

trying Succubus V7 (Lolo)

Lolo Rock

Lolo Rock

Big Chuck V6 (Lost Horse)

Big Chuck V6 (Lost Horse)

 

Lastly here a little vid I put together of three Montana classics (mentioned above) that I climbed this spring – Montana’s Most Wanted, Lock Off Lichen Lips and Hooray for Boobies SDS:

 

-EC

Neat Rock Boulders

Loren, Bridget and I made it out to the Neat Rock Boulder in the Madison Valley yesterday.  They were only in town on Sunday and the forecast didn’t look good but we went out anyways.  It was a bit chilly warming up in the morning, but it slowly turned into a perfect day.  The sun popped out every once in a while which was great to bask in, but not long enough to heat up the slick rock.  We did a sweet little circuit on Lolo’s old stomping ground hitting up most of the classics.  I think I’ve said this before, but y’all should really hit up the Neat Boulders if you haven’t.  It’s not the largest area, but there’s some real gems out there!

We finished up the day on the Butterfly Effect, a classic two-mover V5/6 that Loren put up years ago.  While we were trying it I joked to Loren about doing a variation going up and right avoiding the jug finish of the Butterfly Effect.  Upon further inspection, it actually went!  I was able to decipher the moves and put it together just before we called it a day – the Lolo Effect V6, named after the man himself.

Photo from the day:

Loren - Tick Season V2

Loren – Tick Season V2

Loren - Tick Season V2

Loren – Tick Season V2

Loren - Tick Season V2

Loren – Tick Season V2

Bridget - Serendipity V0

Bridget – Serendipity V0

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EC – Serendipity V0

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Loren – 5.15/V15 OW Project

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Bridget – Yesteryear V5/6

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EC – Yesteryear V5/6

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Loren – Follow the Wind V5

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Loren – the Butterfly Effect V5/6

-EC

A Few More from the Southeast

Well, I’ve been back in MT for over a week now and per usual I’ve been slacking on the blog.  Made it out to Whiskey yesterday and did a nice circuit at the End of the Road.  For anyone thinking of heading out next weekend be warned, there is lots of snow.  Pretty much all of the boulders are dry, but there’s a foot or two on the ground everywhere that doesn’t get baked with sun.  I normally bring gaiters but spaced it yesterday and my socks were soaked after just a bit of hiking.

Anyways, last I left off I was midway through my trip and had visited all the big three in the SE (HP 40, Stone Fort and Rocktown).  I finished up the trip by heading to 6 different areas in 7 days – the Lilly Boulders (Obed), TN, Stone Fort, TN, HP 40, AL, Rocktown, GA, Blowing Rock, NC and Rumbling Bald, NC.

As a quick summary, Stone Fort, Rocktown and HP 40 are all world class areas.  Any of the three are amazing destinations that shouldn’t be missed.  I wasn’t super impressed with the Lilly Boulders.  They seemed like a fun local area.  Probably wouldn’t go back for the bouldering, but the sport climbing looked stellar.  Although I didn’t spend much time, I was pleasantly surprised by the North Carolina areas and Rumbling Bald in particular.  The polished gneiss was a bit of a shock to the fingers after a couple weeks of perfect sandstone, but there were tons of classics in an amazing location.  Combine that with all the stuff around Boone and I think North Carolina could be a potential destination again in the future.

Photos:

Flexorcizer V7, Lilly Boulders (the Obed), TN

Flexorcizer V7, Lilly Boulders (the Obed), TN

Case - my Sequoia replacement for the day at the Obed

Case – my Sequoia replacement for the day at the Obed

Lab Rats V6, Rocktown, GA

Lab Rats V6, Rocktown, GA

Horse Pens 40, AL

Horse Pens 40, AL

Green Knob V5, Rumbling Bald, NC

Green Knob V5, Rumbling Bald, NC

the Biltmore Estate outside Asheville, NC

the Biltmore Estate outside Asheville, NC

Statue at the Biltmore Estate

Statue at the Biltmore Estate

-EC

Stone Fort, TN and Rocktown, GA

Not many words this time, but here’s a few more photos from the previous week in the South.  Just for you, Isaac:

Red House V7 - Stone Fort, TN

Red House V7 – Stone Fort, TN

the Wave V6 - Stone Fort, TN

the Wave V6 – Stone Fort, TN

Golden Shower V5 - One of the most aesthetic boulders around.  Climbs pretty darn good too.  Rocktown, GA

Golden Shower V5 – One of the most aesthetic boulders around. Climbs pretty darn good too. Rocktown, GA

Iron crimps at Rocktown, GA

Iron crimps at Rocktown, GA

Ruby Falls - This waterfall is INSIDE a mountain that overlooks Chattanooga.

Ruby Falls – This waterfall is INSIDE a mountain that overlooks Chattanooga.

Onward to the Lilly Boulders (the Obed), TN tomorrow and then Rumbling Bald, NC the following day.

-EC

HP 40!

Well, it’s been a pretty eventful last week.  I finally managed to plan my dream trip to the Southern sandstone of the U.S. of A.  I left last weekend and went to the Montana Bouldering Championship in Billings at Steepworld.  It’s been a great comp in the past and it seems to get better every year.  I’m on my way to a bouldering paradise for three and a half weeks so I just needed to pace myself and not get injured (that’s called foreshadowing…).  Well about 3 hours into the comp, I’ve got my card filled out but there’s one more problem I might be able to do.  I get halfway up the problem, do a hard drop knee and feel a pop in my knee.  Pretty sure I would’ve heard it too if the comp wasn’t so loud.  No pain, but I’ve been here before and I was certain I tore my meniscus.  I called it a day and iced it.

We hit up Chuck E Cheese for the annual post comp skeeball tourney and then I continued on to Sheridan where I slept in my truck in the Wal-Mart parking lot (classy!)  For those of you that seen the classic movie No Country for Old Men, remember the scene where the bad guy gets shot in the leg and hobbles into the pharmacy to get first aid stuff?  That’s how I felt getting out of my truck and limping into Wal-Mart for Ibuprofin.  I was not optimistic about crushing problems a few thousand miles away…

I decided to continue on anyway.  I stopped in Sioux Falls, where I grew up and stayed with my sister.  2nd day after the comp, I wasn’t limping anymore.  Then onto Saint Louis to stay with my college BFF Megan.  At this point I started hearing about a crazy ice/snow storm that was going to hit the South… a blessing in disguise.  Instead of getting up early and heading straight to the deeper South, I toured around Saint Louis with Megan and gave my knee an extra day to heal up.  We hit up Sweetie Pies (crazy good soul food), the Zoo (most animals weren’t out, but the reptiles were in full force),  and the SoIll climbing gym, which I’d wanted to check out for a while.  I even climbed a little to test out my gimp-ness.  I was definitely scared of weighting my right leg, so I would just climb until it got hard then jump down.  Cool gym with a very friendly staff!

the Eyeball feature at SoIll, much bigger than I expected

the Eyeball feature at SoIll, much bigger than I expected

My original plan was to go to Chattanooga and Little Rock City, but the weather looked a little more promising at Horse Pens 40, Alabama.  After breakfast, I left Saint Louis and made it just past Memphis where I camped.  The following day I arrived at HP 40 just as the 4 inches of snow (!!!) was beginning to melt.  Area-wise, HP 40 isn’t that big, but everything you’ve heard about the fabled slopers is 100% true.  Crazy table sized slopers everywhere!  I’d always dreamed of these slopers, but never really thought it through fully.  Awesome slopers for you’re hands means in a few moves you’re going to have terrible smears for your feet.  As Shakespeare says, “Aye, there’s the rub.”  That’s the real technique that you have to get used to to climb at HP 40, smearing.  I climbed 3 days and did tons of classic problems.  As per HP 40 lore, I got shut down on a V4 (Centerpede) and a V5 (Millipede) and had to project a couple V3′s, but had tons of fun.  My knee isn’t 100% yet, but I don’t think it’s held me back on anything except one or two problems with odd landings.  No right leg drop knees for a while, so hopefully I don’t get psyched on anything where that’s necessary.
The other brilliant thing with HP 40 is that is located on a private ranch/campground.  You pay $15 a day for camping/climbing.  They’ve got restrooms, showers, and even a little general store with most necessities.  Here’s a few photos:

Entrance to Horse Pens 40

Entrance to Horse Pens 40

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Bum Boy V3

Bum Boy V3

failing miserably on Millipede V5

failing miserably on Millipede V5

In more local new, David Sjoquist (aka Derveed the Swede), finished up the longstanding sick-proj at Whiskey Gulch going up and left from Caught in the Act.  “Decapitated” V11.  That guys gets his green card and thinks he can steal all our projects…  Nice work Derv!!!

Ho trying what would become "Decapitated" V11

Ho trying what would become “Decapitated” V11

Well, onward to Chattanooga and Little Rock City!

-EC