Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fall to Winter

Between the first snow of the year and DST, I am feeling the yearly gut punch, that is the onset of winter. I do ski, but winter just lasts so damn long that it always seems to get me down a little. Fortunately the sun shines quite a bit here in 'ol Wyoming and in a few weeks I'll begin visiting the sunnier destinations and all will be fine.

The Fall has yielded some great new lines and people have been checking boxes on the old stuff too. I went up to Cornflakes and then to the OG Boulder with the local crew to try and send one of the hard undones on this boulder. I cleaned this boulder up in the spring of '09 to try and open up the central line, but no one has put much time in on it until recently. Marc and Kerrek were both fired up on the stand start, which may be the ending for at least two different sit starts. After some concerted group effort Kerrek came away with the FA. Linking the beginning of Pistol Whipper or climbing from the true direct low start will be sick. Here is some footage from our day at the OG Boulder.

The OG Boulder from Mike Snyder on Vimeo.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bolt Clippin - Done for the Season

I have avoided this post for some unknown reason, all summer and fall. I think it is because although I had a very productive bolting season, I fell short in the sending department. I had too many cans of worms opened at once and couldn't seem to get anything completed. I like nothing better than to plop down beneath something, figure out what I need to send it and then do it - that day. Of course, it just didn't really work out that way this year.

I did manage to clean and equip 11 routes in Tensleep and build a trail to open a new crag. Between Charlie, JB, Aaron and myself the 'Downtown' Crag now has 21 routes total, 19 from 5.9 to 13a, and two harder projects. My routes were a 5.11 crack thing called Carbon Footprint and a spur called Oh Two... 12b. Four routes on the back side of the Cigar, the amazing and undeniably phallic freestanding pillar. They are Floyd Direct .12a, Have a Sneegar .12c, The Name of The Game .13a, and The Gravy Train .12b. All of which are super high quality in my opinion. I did two more on a steep shorter formation called the Nugget, Toothless Grin .12b and Goin' Feral .12a. A steep short arete with powerful bouldery moves called Sleep Reaction .13a, went in just left of Charlies' Coolsville route. Then of course there were two projects I couldn't get done, Shaker .13b or c and Big Bend AKA The Shit Storm project, which is similar to Shaker, but has 3 hard cruxes.

I have almost no media from the summer, but early on I drug Aaron Mulkey along on my first FA day of the Summer and he produced these two photos of the send on Gravy Train .12b.

Then there are the the Summer heartbreakers:
1. Heart Balls and Swagger, 19 clips at mid 5.13b/c. A .13a bouldery pocket thingy with tough exit moves to a giant rest, followed by like 45 more feet of .12+ crimpin'. One hung it.
2. Kyberspace .13a/b. Almost sent third go, tore a hole in my finger on the crux hold but managed to hold on only to break a hold way up high and come flying off. Hole in side of finger never healed up in time and tape kept rolling off. Shit and double shit. One hung too many times.
3. Shaker .13b/c? New route I bolted, consistently hard all the way up. Distilled the only crux down into a dyno preceded by a knee bar rest, making it not really very cruxy. The upper 45 foot headwall has one great pocket affording a rest if you can get to it. Ultra-sustained before and after. One hung that shit too.
4. The unnamed Granite Scoop from last year, 5.13b? Good god, I have this thing wired now. Why can't I finish it?!?! Finally got through the whole roof, turned the lip and in my overzealousness, I bolted for the anchor. Success was fleeting as I clipped the last bolt, not only could I see the anchor I was so close I could smell it. I screwed up the kneebar I so desperately needed and melted off. Triple shit! I have one hung that one so many times, I'm embarrassed.

I did mange to finish off the Whiney Baby Wall Sending Team Whiney Baby .12c/d and Tangerine Fat Explosion .13a. Both of which I climbed with my good friend Victor Blanco in a day, on two separate occasions. Should of flashed both but got 'em on second goes. I should note both climbs are quite good but a little soft on the grade. I also managed to fill in some unclimbed easier ones from years past like Saigon Sheridan .12a/b (easy) and Hot Dog .12b (not easy).

I saved Rosey Pussytoes for many years, averting my eyes when anyone was climbing it, hoping to onsight it someday. I popped off the final cruxy crimp, only to easily climb through it on my second go. This route has changed so much over the years, starting life as a celebrated .13a with a viscious bouldery crux. A seemingly invisible flake broke off leaving a crisp edge to null and void the boulder problem down to .12+. It then received an extension pushing it back up to .13b, until people started climbing to the right on 5.10 ground, to avoid the tiny pockets. The extensions bolts were moved to the right to accommodate the dumbed down ending and the climb has settled at .12d. Like waiting to see a blockbuster until it comes out on video and then not enjoying or understanding what all the fuss was about, I'd give it one star.

I guess I was reluctant to post cause I expected to send one of those harder routes, but it just never materialized. So there it is, much bolting and trying but not so much sending. I have finally, begrudgingly let go of the bolt bug until next year. Focus has now shifted to boulders and eventually training (yawn). Many cool new problems already with lots more to come... stay tuned.