Way too many words in the last post so how about some photos?
Way too many words in the last post so how about some photos?
There is a serious wildfire at or near the Whiskey Gulch bouldering. According to the latest InciWeb report, the 19 Mile fire is larger than 4000 acres and has burned many structures in the Radar Creek and Toll Mountain area north of Highway 2. It appears it may be on the edge of the bouldering as well. The latest map shows the Widdler/Optimist Area southwest of Whiskey Proper in the fire zone. DO NOT GO! All access to the entire area has been closed.
Alright, I know it, I haven’t had a true bouldering post in nearly three months. That changes now. Been trying to get into rope climbing shape for an upcoming trip to Ten Sleep, but I’ve managed to get out a few times here and there. I made it out to Whiskey a couple times before the heat set in and did a few new (some new to me, some new to everyone) moderates. One, in my opinion, may be the best V3 at Whiskey – the Flying Saucer. From what I’ve heard, DJAJ and the BCC kids put the problem up a few years ago. I never heard a name for it, so I’ve just been calling it the Flying Saucer, which is also the name of the impressive boulder it’s on. For some reason, I’ve put off trying it since then, but I finally did it and it was amazing. For the grade, it’s about as close to Hueco style climbing as you can get at Whiskey – a few horizontal moves followed by the crux heading up a vertical face to the top. Here’s a little video I made of the Flying Saucer, along with two other excellent problems I put up in the same general area. All three are located in the large area south of Whiskey Proper known as Southern Comfort.
Last weekend I made it up to Lower Mason Lake in the Tobacco Roots up from Pony. Unfortunately, the day after I was there a large wildfire started nearby and has closed down access to the entire area. As long as the winds don’t change directions drastically, the bouldering isn’t in danger, but there are a bunch of people in nearby Mammoth that have been evacuated. Hopefully, the weather cooperates and they can get it under control and re-open the roads and trails before the end of the season.
Anyway, I planned ahead and brought the trusty snow shovel with. I spent the first hour getting re-familiarized with the talus, then got to work on the snow. I dug out a good landing for a couple problems I eyed one of the last couple years and managed to climb both. The left line was alright, but the right line (Stone Cold Crazy V4) was a true gem. Kneebar, toe-hook, crimps, sidepulls – it had a little bit of everything. I’m really curious how it will be in a month or so without snow. No idea how deep the snow was, but I’m guessing the sit start I did will turn into a high stand start. I finished off the day with a few other new ones in the lower talus that didn’t require any snow removal. All in all, it was a great day in the mountains, in one of my favorites areas in Montana. It was also a perfect place to beat the heat. It was still warm in the sun, but climbing over snow in the shade felt great compared to the 90+ degree temps in Bozeman. Here’s a few photos from the day:
As I mentioned before, I take a lot of video while I’m out bouldering alone. For one reason or another the majority of the footage doesn’t end up on youtube. Here’s some screenshots from my video footage from the last year:
And last, but not least… my next post will be from here:
We started off the weekend with an early start to Billings for the Montana Bouldering Championships. But to fully justify the trip we decided a nice 3 hour warm-up at Zimmerman Park was in order. Isaac showed us around his old stomping ground. It may not be the MT sandstone mecca we all dream of, but if I lived in Billings I would head up there a lot.
Afterwards we headed to the comp at Steepworld, which was a lot of fun, but there were a few things that could have made it a little better – most notably, tighten down the holds! I had five holds spin on me and I know there were a lot of others. There was even a spinner in finals which is about the worst possible thing that can happen. We all climbed well, with Ho doing great in finals against a stacked field of young guns.
Sunday, everybody rallied out to for a semi-lazy day at Whiskey. I didn’t take as many photos as I should have, but I got a few at our last stop of the day – Montana Cancan, a sweet Moon kick dyno that I put up a little while ago.
First off, let me get this out of the way. Don’t be an asshole:
Whoever left the above mattress at Whiskey is an asshole. I don’t care if you want to use a mattress for a crash pad, but whatever you use take it with you when you leave. Don’t be an asshole.
Alright, back to the fun stuff. Peder, Jess and I made it out Saturday and hit up a nice combo of old and new at Whiskey. We did the obligatory Wave Runner warm up then headed to the Fagatron roof. Like many at Whiskey, completely inappropriate name, but totally appropriate fun. If you’re looking for an obscure excellent problem, check it out. Although it’s dabby most of the time, it’s nice to have a few pads and a spotter. I punted off after the crux, missed the pads, landed on my butt on the rock slab below and just about fell into a small pit next to the problem. Luckily Jess saved me from anything other than a bruised butt. I had a mini-epic getting back, but pulled it together and sent. The guide has it as V4, but it felt a grade or two harder. Peder and I also did Pillow Biter, which heads up the right side of the roof. Fun, but not nearly as good as the Fagatron.
Next we headed to the massive area south of Whiskey Proper, which is known as Southern Comfort. We made stops at the Optimist boulder, where all three of us flailed on a V6-ish problem.
Then onto Redneck Yacht Club, a new problem Peder put up last year. I ascended the Club and Peder added a new V6/7 crimp problem just left of it – Ruckus on the Levee. Nice work on the new ones peder!
On the way back towards the Tuna Juice boulder (where Peder crushed a new-ish V9 variation Tuna Tartare) we stopped at Black Eye, an excellent problem with a cool hueco that Ryan Holm put up a few years ago. We were thinking it will settle in at V3.
You start Black Eye matched on a sidepull with a giant food ledge, then head up into the crux move shown above. Peder decided to try it without the foot ledge and somehow this was the result:
Jess and I went back out Sunday as well, but there were no photos, so we’ll just say nothing happened. We made it back in time to see the finals for the Prince and Princess of Plastic competition at MSU. Peder came in second to some unknown dark horse name Jeff Ho. If you want the full story of the amazing-ness the Ho-Master pulled off check out K-Feds write up by clicking here. Sarah Ho won the woman’s side so there’s a couple Ho’s holding the crown of the Prince and Princess of Plastic. Nice work Hos!
We got in a couple more days at Whiskey before the snow came today. I made a solo trip on Friday itchin’ for some new stuff. I got my fix in the Red Valley, a short five minute walk from Tuna Juice. I did a few problem there last winter and knew there could be a few more, but it ended up being a lot better than I remembered. I put up seven new ones. All were worthwhile, but two of them were well above average. Here’s a couple screen shots of “Montana Cancan” a sweet V4 with a very cool dyno. As a side note, I usually take a lot of video when I’m alone, but only put a little bit online, so I’ll start posting more screenshots from the vault.
I had a pretty crazy work week so I was planning on working Saturday and heading back out Sunday. Long story short, I shuffled things at work cause Sunday looked like crap (and it was…) and made it out Saturday afternoon. I couldn’t believe it when I got there. NINE CARS at Whiskey! There were at least twenty different people out there. There were about 10 Bozeman boulderers out there, so according to a recent Rock & Ice article every single boulderer from Bozeman was at Whiskey Saturday. While I’m on the subject, Jeff Ho got the FA of the Green Monster (vision & cleaning by Ryan Holm), Joe Meiners last name has two e’s in it and Fruh’s line in the Canyon is called “Der Fruh Lowe” not whatever they put. Just a few of the errors… Great photos by Ben Herndon though.
Anyways, I spent the day climbing with Peder, Jess, Molly and Brandon. Shortly before I got there Peder and Jess continued their Whiskey crushfest with Peder getting the second ascent of Ho-masters “Just for Men” V9 and Jess finishing off the Emphysema Traverse Low V4+. Jess also crushed her season long project “CCC” V5. Pretty cool to see her put that one down.
After that I talked them into heading to the Red Valley. We started on a problem that I put up last winter, Full Gravity Daze V?. It’s a great compression arete with the one of the coolest moves I’ve done for the crux. It’s a giant reach to a tiny crimp above the lip off of a toe hook. Unfortunately the crux and even the move before the crux is very height dependent. It wasn’t too bad for Peder and I, but everyone else who is shorter than 6′ struggled with the crux.
Molly just about sent a nearby project as well. Next go for sure.
We finished up on Montana Cancan with a few sends of the namesake. Molly also added a nice V5/6-ish problem just right of Montana Cancan (it’s the diagonal seam/finger crack cut off on the right side of the first two photos). She said I should name it so unless I hear otherwise, we’ll go with “Slots of Doom”. Always like the Doom theme at Whiskey…
K-Fed (Kevin Macartney) put up some good photos of the crew he was climbing with as well. Click me.