2015

Hey, it’s 2016!  Time to update the blog.  I’ll just cut to the chase.

10 Favorite Problems from 2015(in the order they were climbed)

Adam’s Wall V5, Whiskey Gulch, MT

One of the best at Whiskey – big entry move crux followed by a heady move off a small crimp up high.  Always thought this one would have a bit much spice for me, but it didn’t.  Put up in the early days of Whiskey by all-around badass Adam Knoff.

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 9.23.59 PM

 

the Widdler V6/7, Whiskey Gulch, MT

Similar to Adam’s Wall, but harder and better.  This one definitely get’s your heart racing on the insecure top-out.  Contender for best at Whiskey.

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High Plains Drifter V7, Buttermilks, Bishop, CA

If you haven’t heard of this one you need to get out more…  Top five all-time for me.

Photo by Jarred Pickens

Photo by Jarred Pickens

 

Fun House V6, Castle Peak, Tahoe, CA

Techy crimpy traverse on beautiful stone.  One of the more aesthetic problems I’ve seen.

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Girls on Film V6/7, Summit Lake, Tahoe, CA

Simple and brilliant.  Two dynos followed by a nice mantel.

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Gill’s Twister V3, FA, Hidden Lakes, MT

A tricky jump start leads to a few dynamic moves over an adjacent boulder.  I put up a bunch of great problems at this new area near the Gallatin Canyon, but this one was my favorite.

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 2.42.55 PM

 

White Horse V6, Hyalite Canyon, MT

Another one that I put off forever for some reason.  Finally tried it and put down what may be the closest classic boulder problem to Bozeman.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 5.29.34 PM

 

Dear Mr. Fantasy V4, FA, Boulder Batholith, MT

Really couldn’t believe that this stuff existed in the Batholith – shallow two finger pockets followed by huge patina plates when it starts getting tall.  Can’t wait to get back out here this spring.  Probably the best boulder problem I’ve ever put up…

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 10.47.58 AM

 

White Buffalo V7/8, Joe’s Valley, UT

Beautiful features on perfect Joe’s sandstone.  New-ish one at a cool new area along the Right Fork.  The Flu did not disappoint.

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Gription V8/9, Moe’s Valley, UT

If I had to pick the single best problem I’ve ever done, this would be it.

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Bonus Best Routes of 2015 (no photos, sorry)

-Excalibur 5.11d, Lime Kiln Canyon, AZ

Beautiful techy limestone forever.

-Straw Man 5.13a, the Cube, Gallatin Canyon, MT

Unexpected send and one of the most memorable moments of my climbing life.

-Clips from the Bong 5.12b, the Fins, ID

Consistent vertical pockets lead to an ass-kicker runnel finish.

-Peyote 5.11a, Indian Creek, MT

Little bit of everything in this sweet, long pitch at THE Indian Creek outside Townsend, MT.

-Wizard’s Well 5.9, Practice Rock, Hyalite Canyon, MT

I know I’ve said this a lot over the last few years, but damn I love this crag…

 

Double Bonus – Random Photos from 2016

Inge - Manhattan Project 5.14a, the Fins, ID

Inge – Manhattan Project 5.14a, the Fins, ID

EC - Down with Disease V6, FA, Hidden Lakes, MT

EC – Down with Disease V6, FA, Hidden Lakes, MT

Yosemite, CA

Yosemite, CA

EC - Eliminator Right Sit V6, Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite, CA

EC – Eliminator Right Sit V6, Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite, CA

EC - Fort Rastafarian V6, Fort Ross, CA

EC – Fort Rastafarian V6, Fort Ross, CA

Jesse - Chupacabra V5, the Premiums, Tahoe, CA

Jesse – Chupacabra V5, the Premiums, Tahoe, CA

Becky (FGD Champ!) - Full Gravity Day 15 Finals

Becky (FGD Champ!) – Full Gravity Day 15 Finals

EC - Desparete V7, Triassic, UT

EC – Desparete V7, Triassic, UT

EC - Black Tambourine V5, FA, San Rafael Swell, UT

EC – Black Tambourine V5, FA, San Rafael Swell, UT

 

 

-EC

The Last 6 Months in Photos

Photo Dump!

WHISKEY GULCH:

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Jared – Arete of Doom V6

EC - the Widdler V7

EC – the Widdler V7

MONTANA BOULDERING CHAMPIONSHIPS:

Bugh and Inge representing Bozeman at the MBC at Steepworld in Billings

Bugh and Inge representing Bozeman at the MBC at Steepworld in Billings

BISHOP:

Derv - Red Light District V8

Derv – Red Light District V8

EC - Buttermilk Stem V1

EC – Buttermilk Stem V1

Becky - High Plains Drifter V7

Becky – High Plains Drifter V7

Louis - Highbrow V8

Louis – Highbrow V8

Derv - Standing Kill Order V11

Derv – Standing Kill Order V11

CODY, WY:

EC - Unnamed V7

EC – Unnamed V7

Inge - Ripper Extension V8

Inge – Ripper Extension V8

VanSickle - Wilford's Wretch V7

VanSickle – Wilford’s Wretch V7

Augy - Wretched Harley V10

Augy – Wretched Harley V10

EC - Babies for Breakfast V7

EC – Babies for Breakfast V7

Lolo

Lolo

S’MORE:

EC - FA of On the Fence V4, Cataract Boulders, Tobacco Roots

EC – FA of On the Fence V4, Cataract Boulders, Tobacco Roots

EC - Magma Man V7, Cascade Creek

EC – Magma Man V7, Cascade Creek

Beartooth Goat

Beartooth Goat

Sport Climbing Season Now...  Ken - ManBearPig 5.11a, Ten Sleep Canyon, WY

Sport Climbing Season Now… Ken – ManBearPig 5.11a, Ten Sleep Canyon, WY

-EC

SW MT Blocs: A Bouldering Guide to Southwest Montana!!!

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.

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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.

-EC

10 from ’14

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.

the Wave V6 - Stone Fort, TN

the Wave V6 – Stone Fort, TN

 

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.

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

Golden Shower V5 – Rocktown, GA

 

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.

set up for the bump on Tennessee Thong V7, Stone Fort, TN

set up for the bump on Tennessee Thong V7, Stone Fort, TN

 

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.

failing miserably on Millipede V5

failing miserably on Millipede V5++ – Centerpede is just to the left of me

 

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…

Center 45 V3, Blowing Rock, NC

Center 45 V3, Blowing Rock, NC

 

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.

Green Knob V5, Rumbling Bald, NC

Green Knob V5, Rumbling Bald, NC

 

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…

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

Beach Arete V2 – Leavenworth (photo by Jess Groseth)

 

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.

EC - FA of Charybdis V6

Charybdis V6 FA, Tobacco Roots, MT

 

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.

the Dead Sea V8, Joe's Valley, UT

the Dead Sea V8, Joe’s Valley, UT

 

 

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!

Montana Bouldering Championship POSTER - 2015

 

 

-EC

 

Bouldering and Ice-Less Ice Climbing

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:

Inge on Woman's Final #2

Inge on Woman’s Final #2

K-Fed (Men's 1st Place!) on Men's Final #2

K-Fed (Men’s 1st Place!) on Men’s Final #2

Jesse on Men's Final #2

Jesse on Men’s Final #2

Molly (Female 1st Place!) on Woman's Final #1

Molly (Female 1st Place!) on Woman’s Final #1

Ryan on Men's Final #1

Ryan on Men’s Final #1

 

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:

Bazooka Tooth V7, Moe's Valley, UT

Bazooka Tooth V7, Moe’s Valley, UT

Underwhelmed V6, Moe's Valley, UT

Underwhelmed V6, Moe’s Valley, UT

Isosceles V4, Joe's Valley, UT

Isosceles V4, Joe’s Valley, UT

the Dead Sea V8, Joe's Valley, UT

the Dead Sea V8, Joe’s Valley, UT

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…

Sunshine Daydream V7, Joe's Valley, UT

Sunshine Daydream V7, Joe’s Valley, UT (next move way up and left is the flapper ripper)

the flapper #1

the flapper #1

the flapper #2

the flapper #2

 

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!

Root Down V1, Problem #7, forgot how scary this one is...

Root Down V1, Problem #7, forgot how scary this one is…

Emphysema Traverse V4, Problem #13

Emphysema Traverse V4, Problem #13

the Italian Job V5, Problem #27

the Italian Job V5, Problem #27

Top of the World Cup walls was the best view in downtown Bozeman for a few days...

Top of the World Cup walls was the best view in downtown Bozeman for a few days…

Canadian Gordon McArthur representing North America in the World Cup Finals - 4th Place Overall.

Canadian Gordon McArthur representing North America in the World Cup Finals – 4th Place Overall.

 

-EC

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