MONTANA BOULDERING CHAMPIONSHIPS:
MONTANA BOULDERING CHAMPIONSHIPS:
Unfortunately this blog has gone the way of many blogs… instagram (@ecinaneasychair). I’ll try to post once in a while in the future, but for now I’ve got a big announcement in case you haven’t heard. I just finished up a guidebook for the bouldering around Bozeman – SW MT Blocs. The book is almost 300 pages and contains beta for more than 1,000 different problems all within a few hours of Bozeman, MT.
The book can be purchased at swmtblocs.com – just click on the PayPal button in the sidebar. There’s also some sample pages and more info about the guide at swmtblocs.com. For the time being (won’t last too much longer) shipping and handling is free. Also, through at least June, $1 from every copy sold will go to the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation for their Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund.
Before it gets too far into 2015 I’d better throw down my annual “Best of” list. You know the drill – here’s my 10 favorite boulder problems from 2014, in the order I climbed them. As usual with the blog, I’m feeling pretty lazy so no long-winded descriptions. Trust me though, if you get a chance to climb any of these problems, take it!
1) the Wave V6, Stone Fort (aka Little Rock City), TN
I finally got down to the fabled sandstone of the American South this year and it was amazing. First from the South is the Stone Fort classic the Wave. Perfect slopey sandstone arete.
2) Golden Showers V5, Rocktown, GA
One of the most aesthetic boulders you’ll ever see. I may not have styled the top out on this bad boy, but I beach whaled that sucker into submission.
3) Tennessee Thong V7, Stone Fort (aka Little Rock City), TN
This one has got to be a contender for coolest bump move ever. Again, ridiculously fun Southern stone.
4) Centerpede V4+, Horse Pens 40, AL
As expected, there was a bit of a learning curve at HP40. Combine that with the extremely sandbagged grades make for a humbling experience. Case in point – Centerpede. It literally took me 3 days to get off the ground on this guy. Luckily I took it to the top, but jeez… The epitome of HP40 climbing and stone – technical, pure slopers with terribles smears for feet.
5) Center 45 V3, Blowing Rock, NC
A few of you may remember a Urban Climber article from a few years back that ranked the 100 best boulder problems in America. Nearly all were well-known classics, but #3 on the list jumped out at me. It was a V3 at Blowing Rock, NC that I’d never heard of – Center 45. I had to check it out, so on my way from TN to Rumbling Bald, NC I may a detour to Boone and checked it out on a rest day. Definitely a classic problem, but I still honestly have no idea how it got ranked so high…
6) Green Knob (stand) V5, Rumbling Bald, NC
As I mentioned in a previous post, I was pleasantly surprised with the bouldering at Rumbling Bald. It’s a shock to the fingers compared the sandstone slopers to the south, but there’s some high quality gneiss in them thar hills.
7) Montana’s Most Wanted V7, Yankee Jim Canyon, MT
I’d always meant to try this thing and finally did last spring. Thanks to some improbable dyno beta from Tony, it went down. A Montana classic – good rock, good moves and super easy access. Here’s video of it along with another runner up for the top 10 – Hooray for Boobies SDS (only reason it didn’t make the cut is cause I’d already done the stand and it didn’t really add any quality).
8) Beach Arete V2, Leavenworth, WA
You can’t ask for a much more enticing line to climb. Juggy slopers angling over a scenic mountain river. Luckily Peder led the way and convinced me to do it. Pretty sure it would be a perfectly safe landing in a deep pool of the river if you fell, but it was still the most terrified I was all year. Maybe I just didn’t want to get my fancy red pants wet…
9) Charybdis V6 FA, Tobacco Roots, MT
This was barely even became a line. I did a new one just to the right of this (Scylla) and was packing up to leave when I noticed the improbable arete that would become Charybdis. For some reason it didn’t look that appealing, but I cleared some brush and cleaned/chalked the rock and the indistinct line turned into a beautiful tornado-esque arete. Amazing compression climbing on some of the best stone in the TRoots.
10) Black Sea V8, Joe’s Valley, UT
Just on quality alone, this one was on the border of making the list, but Jess said you gotta’ include your hardest climb so here it is. I will say, climbing this was one of the most fun and most frustrating processes I’ve had. I did all the moves the first day and was sure the send was in the bag, but it was not. Normally once I figure out all the moves, I will keep progressing further until the send (pretty sure that’s common for most people on most climbs). This one I was all over the place. I was pretty much falling randomly all over the place, I would get completely shut down on moves that I was doing with ease the previous day, and I was changing beta left and right which I rarely do once I’ve done all the moves. Eventually, I sorted everything out and was able to stand on top of the boulder problem.
Bonus Quick Hit Top 10 Routes from 2014:
1) Rancho Deluxe 5.11b, Allenspur, MT
Finally climbed this classic arete of the Paradise Valley.
2) Practice Wall 5.11, Practice Rock, MT
“A classic in any locale.”
3) Cardiac Arete 5.12c/d, Practice Rock, MT
The most meaningful piece of rock I’ve climbed (route or boulder). Never would’ve dreamed 10 years ago that I’d be able to do this testpiece.
4) Last of the Wild Ones 5.12c, Practice Rock, MT
For years I was too scared to even top-rope this wall.
5) Bowling for Buicks 5.12a, Gallatin Canyon, MT
That’s some nice gneiss.
6) Wind and Rattlesnakes 5.12a, Wild Iris, WY
Perfect power endurance on the high plains.
7) the Devil Wears Spurs 5.10d, Wild Iris, WY
Best warm-up ever?
8) Two Kinds of Justice 5.12b/c, Wild Iris, WY
Definitely not a fan of drilling pockets but at least they drilled a killer sequence on this one.
9)Ghost in the Shell 5.12a, the Fins, ID
Sinker mono to sinker mono and they don’t feel tweeky? Sign me up.
10) Al’s Diner, 5.12c/d, the Fins, ID
So much variety and amazing rock in just 60 or so feet.
Well, that’s that with that. Hope to see y’all at the Montana Bouldering Championship this weekend in Billings. It’s been a fantastic comp the last few years so I’d highly recommend it!
It’s been a busy last month for myself in terms of climbing related stuff. November started off with a bang in the form of the 14th installment of Full Gravity Day. Good times were had by all. Here’s a few pics from finals:
Shortly after FGD I hit the road for my annual pilgrimage to desert sandstone. I climbed at the usual suspects in Utah – Joe’s Valley, Triassic and Moe’s Valley. The trip ended slightly sooner than expected, but I was able to chase the good weather around and get a lot of great climbs in. Some photos/screenshots:
Immediately after sending the Dead Sea, which ended up being my main project, I headed slightly up the Left Fork to Sunshine Daydream, a really cool looking V7. After a few minutes figuring out the beta I was sure I would do it quick. Things did not go as expected. I threw for a gaston crimp, stuck it for half a second, then barn-doored off and knew I was going to miss the pads and land in jumbled fist sized rocks from a decent height. Somehow I stuck the landing and was elated that I didn’t break anything. That passed quickly when I realized I had ripped off half my middle finger’s tip resulting in the worst flapper I’ve ever seen. Well, at least I got to spend Thanksgiving at home for the first time in a few years…
Luckily it healed up relatively quickly and I was able to get out for my annual (weather permitting) b-day circuit at Whiskey. Ended up being a beautiful day and I surprised myself by climbing pretty well despite not climbing since UT and being quite tired from helping set up the walls for the World Cup Ice Comp at the Bozeman Ice Fest. Hope y’all were able to make it out for the first Ice World Cup held in North America. It was quite the show!
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)
Moonshine Boulder (New World Gulch)
The Angel Boulders (Tobacco Roots)
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:
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).
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?
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: