Saturday, October 31, 2009

Some Inane Games

Fall is here and mixed with totally crappy days, have been some sunny, albeit windy days. Unfortunately, I have very few windows through which I can sneak away anymore so I have to take what I can get. This has lead to some pleasant and unpleasant outdoor sessions. The Antelope Boulder is always waiting to extract skin and power, it gets roasted from 1:00 to about 3:30 with sun so it can be great on a sunny but cold wintery day. The wind tends to blow at times and due to being very exposed sitting on a ridge it gets blasted when its blowing. Clint and I were determined to get in a session so we persevered.

Cold and Windy Day at the AB from Mike Snyder on Vimeo.

The Billings crew came again last weekend with Joel and headed to the Sphinx area. They had warmed up at the Toadstool before I showed up and were moving to The Spinxter and Coffee Skills when the kids, dog, Dave and I arrived. It was downright cold when the sun went behind the clouds so warming up was difficult. The rock was super sticky and I manged to do Fuck Germain V7 on my first attempt but couldn't manage Mini Cave Center V6 at all. When we joined the crew they were working on Coffee Skills and making a mess of things. This is a shitty problem that is an ass dragging lowball on shitty rock with all the good holds being off. There are rules about how it goes and what you can grab. All in all its kind of a joke, the only redeeming qualities are that its a lot of fun to climb and pretty hard too. Clint held the camera as the batterries were running out.

Coffee Skills V6 from Mike Snyder on Vimeo.

We went up to the Holy Horizontals Boulder and played on the brilliant V3 tummy turner of the same name. Plenty of pads made the going for the last throw pretty casual though Clint and I were the only ones who sent. The camera died as I perched on top leaving me with nothing from here on. We then turned to the V5 on the left arete, Joel was psyched to flash this problem as I think it suited him to a tee. The Hueco Wall was next and we found the Wannabe V6, V5 getting a sliver of sun - perfect. This problem is very good and though a bit tweaky, people seem to enjoy it. Art and Joel were very close but ultimately had to walk away before sending. The rest of the Billings boys took down the climbs to the right, Smiley V0 and Terrible Twos V3, then they all headed out. It was so nice at this point and my kids were having fun, Clint and I decided to do some of the roof problems on the Red Garden Boulder. A pretty damn good day.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A bit a Bouldering

It has been a while since checking in and honestly not much has been happening in the way of climbing with me lately. A new climbing unfriendly schedule, three snowstorms with weather like February, and a cold have contributed to the decline. I have not been back to my sporty project on the granite and now fear the Bureau of Rec. may have helped themselves to my draws - bastards! It is their land and I had no intentions of leaving them there for this long so we shall see what is there when I can return. I have slowly lost my power and psych for climbing and am trying to chart a course of training activity for what could be a long cold winter.

Fortunately all is not lost, and with a call from Clint to tell me the Billings crew was coming for a Saturday session, I checked the weather and promptly secured a sitter for the afternoon (thanx Kerry!). Joel, Nate, Ben, Mike, Miles and Angela showed up shortly after 10 Saturday morning and finding 60 degree temps they were psyched. We all met at the Cornflakes boulder to warm up and though I felt my role may be more of a guide and videographer for the day, once I got warmed up, I felt pretty good and was having to much fun climbing to shoot anything. After running through the standard problems on Cornflakes we moved over to the Fishhead Boulder and did Tuna Town and The Bludgeoning, both of which are V5, one really hard and the other a gimmie.

Joel mentioned he would like to try Studs, a V8 a little higher up the mountain and with everyone warmed up, we hopped in the vehicles and headed up the switchbacks to begin our quest. Now Studs is a great problem but it sits right next to the Spear Point Boulder which is difficult to walk past with out your jaw dropping. The boys were psyched and with a quick problem spraydown and warning of small hold sharpness, they set to work. Spearchucker a great but painful V4 was first and after several successes we moved to Babies For Breakfast V7. This sandbagged sideways crimpfest repelled all but the mighty Clintone who fired it for his first time with the quickness, too bad I didn't have my camera running. We then moved to my longtime project, the Spearpoint Crack, a striking diagonal line begining in the center of the face and trending up and right. I surprised myself by doing the first move 5 out of 6 tries, which is usually very difficult for me, and of course falling a few moves higher due to my typical lack of core strength. At V9 this climb ranks in the middle of the 7 climbs on this face. Tribal Vibrations V11, the undone sit to the Crack and the right to left link up of Spear Chucker into Babies into Hoedown Throwdown (also undone) are significantly harder.

With the painfest over we headed to Studs and nestled the pads into the snow under the problem. I absolutlely love this problem, it is nearly horizontal and involves compression, big moves and slopers - dig it! I manged to do it my first try and fire the crew up, but being cold and in the shade it was gonna take a while for some more sends. Everyone had started to feel the chill and after trying a bit we decided to head down the hillside to find some sun.

We chose the Maze area and with a lot of great moderates to pick from we managed to send a number of good problems including The Gym V5, Sugar Pie V6, Medusa V5, Perseus V4, Crucified Serpent V1 and most everything on the Hueco Simulator Boulder. Also I did manage to finally shoot some vids for your viewing pleasure. Hope you enjoy.

The Billings Crew visits Cedar Mountain from Mike Snyder on Vimeo.