Time for the boulderingmontana’s 3rd Annual Best of Last Year List. I just about scrapped the whole thing, but I realized how much I enjoy looking back at at the great problems, places, and people from last year. Without further ado, the 11 best or most memorable climbs I did in 2012:
1) Fe Fi Fo Fum V7, Whiskey Gulch, MT – This one missed the 2011 list by two days. Due to the amazing weather last winter I was able to slap my way up this new school Whiskey classic in perfect conditions in early January. If you haven’t tried this problem yet, head out to the End of the Road and go for it! Video:
2) the Montana Cancan V4 FA, Whiskey Gulch, MT – One word, pogo! Awesome, new, one move dyno overlooking the Tobacco Roots. Couldn’t come up with a good name, but Brandon Rennie nailed it!
3) Kredulf V4, Druid Stones, Bishop, CA – Three completely different sections – crimpy tech into dyno into a tricky and tall mantel. Pretty hard to beat the view too. It’s located on a hill high above Bishop that overlooks both the town and the Sierra’s.
4) Redrum V7, the Happy Boulders, Bishop, CA – While Redrum is a very fun problem that I would recommend in a heartbeat, it’s more memorable to me for showing the progression in my bouldering ‘career.’ Years ago, on my first real trip to Bishop with Ho and Manlove (yes, they’re real people and those are their real names) we went to this boulder. Manlove was working Redrum and Ho was working the sit. I watched them and thought it looked completely impossible. It was great to come back and put it down. This also may be the hardest boulder problem I’ve done.
5) the Hulk V6, the Happy Boulders, Bishop, CA – Pretty much the exact same reason as Redrum, except this is a world-class boulder problem as well. I’d try it a few times each trip for the last few years and never got too psyched. But, I stuck with it, deciphered the toe-hook, hit the boss, held the swing (MONEY MOVE!!!) and topped it out. Well, technically, I did all that and punted off the top out, then sent it next try. Sent Redrum in the morning and I was content to just cruise around wherever in the afternoon, but a wicked windstorm rolled in and the only somewhat calm spot in the canyon was the Hulk. Thanks again for sticking it out with me in horrible conditions SHo! Video with both the Hulk and Redrum:
6) IsRail V6, Moe’s Valley, UT – Whenever I go on a big bouldering trip I usually have three goals – climb as many classics as possible, climb something ‘hard’, and flash something ‘hard’. There’s just something very satisfying about trying really, really hard on that first go and sending. When I was making my tick-list for Moe’s I knew that IsRail was on the top of this list, but it never crossed my mind that I could flash it. I got there and luckily there were two people working it. As I was having a snack I watched them and realized it perfectly my style – heel hooks and slopers. I figured I should get a little more serious and go for it. Somehow everything clicked and I made it through the crux without falling. I fumbled the top out a little bit, but thrutched my way through and flashed it! To add icing to the the cake, it took a certain unnamed Metolius Climb Team member 7 tries to do it!
7) the Flying Saucer V3, Whiskey Gulch, MT – In my opinion this is the best V3 at Whiskey. A sweet, slopey 5 foot roof rail followed by the crux getting to the lip of the boulder. Excellent! I think this was put up a couple years ago by the Bozeman Climbing Team. Video of both the Flying Saucer and the Montana Cancan:
8) Routes – This is cheating a little, but rather than do a seperate routes list I’ll just cram all my favorites into one slot…
8a) Spider Man 5.7, Smith Rock, OR – Sweet multi-pitch climb with Peder that I’ve been wanting to do for almost a decade.
8b) Circus in the Wind 5.11-, Ten Sleep, WY – Enduro! Over the course of the summer, I did more than a dozen climbs rated harder than this one and they all took me less tries (except for #8d). I really don’t think there is any move harder than V0, but I had practically zero endurance before going to Ten Sleep. Very, very good route and fun to send something my anti-style.
8c) Meet Me in Heaven, 5.12a, Ten Sleep, WY – It was my second to last day and I knew if I had one more go on this one I could put it away. Well, it was getting dark… and raining. I was with the Groseths and it was their turn so while they were on some insane 5.13/14 with 57 bolts I was hanging out a few minutes down the trail getting psyched and rehearsing beta. It started sprinkling as they finished up and by the time they got over to me, it was a down pour. I’m sure they were assuming I would be packing up ready to head down. Nope. I was tied in with my shoes on huddling under the slightly overhung route trying to stay dry. I really didn’t want to come back to the Mondo the next day so I went for it. The first four bolts, which is the crux, was dry due to the slight overhang, but after the crux, the route slabs off for about 20 feet of 5.9… completely soaked. After countless curses and “watch me”s I was able to sketch my way up to the chains in the dark… and the rain.
8d) Beast of Burden 5.12b FA, the Fins, Hyalite Canyon, MT – The most tries I’ve put into a sport climb. Shorty, but very, very fun climbing. Burly slab climbing.
9) the Interplanetary Insanitarium V6 FA, Upper Mason Lake, Tobacco Roots, MT – Perfect one move wonder high up in the Tobacco Roots. I first tried this problem in 2010 and could barely pull off the ground, let alone generate momentum for a dyno. A gorgeous setting in the middle of the mountains.
10) Gimme Three Steps V0 FA, North Willow Creek, Tobacco Roots, MT – A terrific slab of nubbins and crimps. On the tall side, but not too bad. It’d been a long time since I’d done a really good V0 and this one broke the streak.
11) Bring the Heatwole V7, Joe’s Valley, UT – Full meal deal. It’s got a little bit of everything – underclings, jugs, slopers, gastons, sidepulls, crimps, knee bars, heel hooks, and toe hooks! No stopper moves, but the sting in the tail crimp top-out pitched me off a bunch due to the endurance factor.
Hope this year is even better than the last for everyone!