Way too many words in the last post so how about some photos?



Ho - Sick Proj

Ho – Sick Proj

David - Willing and Able V8

David – Willing and Able V8

David - Willing and Able V8

David – Willing and Able V8

David - the Optimist V9

David – the Optimist V9




11 from ’12

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!

Jess - Montana Cancan

Jess – Montana Cancan

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.

Kredulf (photo by HAPS)

Kredulf (photo by HAPS)

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.

Redrum (photo by Ho)

Redrum (photo by Ho)

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.

Spider Man (I just realized the Monkey Face is in this photo!)

Spider Man (I just realized the Monkey Face is in this photo!) (photo by Jess Groseth)

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.

Meet Me in Heaven (a couple hours before the rainy send)

Meet Me in Heaven (a couple hours before the rainy send) (photo by a Groseth)

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.

Jess sending Beast of Burden

Jess sending Beast of Burden

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.

the Interplanetary Insanitarium

the Interplanetary Insanitarium

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.

Bring the Heatwole (knee bar #2)

Bring the Heatwole (knee bar #2)

Hope this year is even better than the last for everyone!


Super Sand Land!

Ho and I spent Saturday at the sandstone mecca of bouldering Billings, aka Super Sand Land.  Fortunately, Loren had to do his laundry so he was headed to Shepherd on Saturday and was able to join us for a day of good old fashioned Montana choss bouldering.  We were even joined by the local guidebook author Joel Anderson.  Unfortunately, Joel was nursing and injury so he wasn’t able to climb with us but we got a quick tour of the new Country Club area at the end of the day.  Make sure to pick up his excellent guide to Billings climbing at Spire or Steepworld.

If you’re itching to get some winter bouldering in and it’s looking a little chilly or snowy in the batholith check out Billings – there’s more than enough to keep anyone busy for at least a few days.  Here’s some photos:

Loren - Rave Ambition V5

Loren – Rave Ambition V7


EC – Rocky Top Orange Soda V5 (photo by Loren)


Standard Billings downclimb…


Loren – High Friction V7


Ho – Rocky Top Orange Soda V5 (photo by Loren)


Billings wildlife viewing!


Loren getting into character for Buck Hunter.


Also, speaking of Billings, the Montana Bouldering Championships at Steepworld is coming up soon on February 9th.  They’ve got a new expansion with a sweet new steep wall ready to go for the comp.  Better start training!

Montana Bouldering Championship - 2013

Hope to see you there!



the Valley of Joe

I made it down to Joe’s over Thanksgiving and so I don’t end up passing through December without a post here’s a few photos and vid from my time down there with a great crew:

Jarred - Planet of the Apes V6/7

Jarred – Planet of the Apes V6/7

Evan - Planet of the Apes V6/7

Evan – Planet of the Apes V6/7




Evan – Chips V6/7


Jarred – Stand Up V7/8

Here’s a vid of a few of the better problems I completed:


I also spent a rest day at Arches National Park outside Moab, which I would highly recommend.  If you go, make sure to do the relatively short hike to Delicate Arch.  It was one of the coolest natural wonders I’ve seen.  Photos:


Balanced Rock


Delicate Arch


Wall Street


Wall Street


Happy Holidays!


Full Gravity Day 12 Pics

Walter – I like you man, but you’re crazy…

Marj crushing

Kevin crushing

Joel crushing

Ho crushing

Woman’s Finals Problem #1 – Sarah

Woman’s Finals Problem #2 – Susan

Men’s Finals Problem #1 – Mike

Men’s Finals Problem #2 – Alex

Congrats to Sidney and Dominick on their Open domination!




…is near.  Are you ready?  Spire Climbing Center, Saturday November 10.  Be there or be square.  No excuses – you can even pre-register.  Do it now!!!

More info.


See ya there!


Skyline Boulders, the Bash and a rainy Leavenworth

Well, it’s been awhile so here’s another photo dump – par for the course.  Let’s start with a trip to the Skyline Boulders.  This small, but high quality collection of boulders sits below the Skyline Buttress in the Gallatin Canyon.  Here’s some photos of Isaac and Ho trying a new V8 (possible it’s been done, but unlikely) up the center of the Trailside Boulder on the way to the Skyline Buttress.  Neither got it that day, but both returned and triumphantly sent.







A couples weeks back I attended the Butte Bouldering Bash at the Trailer Boulders.  As usual, the event was awesome and the climbing was lots of fun with lots of friends.  I basically didn’t take any photos, but Ari took a few with my camera.  For a bunch of excellent photos of the event check out Tom’s wrap-up post here.

Myself on the Aristocrat V4 – best problem I did all day! (photo by Ari Kaufman)


Lastly, Jeff, Sarah and I made a trip to Leavenworth, WA last weekend.  What was supposed to be 4 or 5 days of perfect granite crimps and slopers turned into one perfect days of bouldering followed by rain… lot’s of rain.  Luckily we all climbed a ton on Thursday so it wasn’t a complete bust.

Jeff and Sarah took off to Seattle on Saturday morning while I stuck it out through the weekend.  On Saturday, I tried what was probably the only dry problem in Leavenworth – the Lefty V7.  I got pretty close, but didn’t succeed on Saturday so when Sunday rolled around with clear skies I went back to it thinking I could finish it up quickly and then move onto whatever else I could find that was dry.  Well, that didn’t happen.  I spent 7.5 hrs over two days on a single problem with nothing to show for it.  Very frustrating to say the least.

The problem basically boiled down to two very hard moves then another kinda hard move to a drop-off jug.  Just after warming up on the second day, I stuck both the crux moves only to fall off going to the jug.  It’s a bit of a precision throw into a slot and I missed.  I knew I could do all the moves and usually that means imminent success for me.  Not this time.  3 more hours and I never got through that second killer move.  I suppose since it’s a contrived drop-off anyway and I stuck the first V6 move about 30 times, I can say I ran 30 laps on a V6, right?  Anyways, although the weather made it mostly a bust, I’m as psyched as ever for Leavenworth granite and can’t wait to get back!


EC – Hueco Route V1 (photo by SHo)


Ho – alternate beta for the Hueco Route V1 (photo by SHo)


SHo – the Undercling V5


SHo – the Undercling V5


Ho – the Shield V7 (photo by SHo)


EC – trying the Shield V7 (photo by SHo)


EC – Cruise Control V6 (photo by SHo)


Leavenworth livin’ – brats and beer!