More FA’s, more action.

This past week has once again been full of new lines and sending at the lake. The grip of fall has moved in, and the rock is starting to feel sticky. So what happened you wonder?
I have been working a hard project for 5 or 6 days now that climbs out the right side of the “El Parasol” roof in the Fat Raccoon area (listed under the Smooth Operator are on the northern West Bluff on Mountainproject.com). I would venture to say if I were to send the entire line it would be the hardest thing I have climbed… it’s no joke and it’s a really obvious line too. I have been making slow progress on it and managed to link it to the end starting a few moves in. Peter says its not a problem, but I disagree.  It’s just not the whole line that is possible (well, maybe possible…) I dubbed it Precision is Power and it probably checks in around V9. It starts on a slot crimp for the left hand, and a slopey shelf for the right. A tedious match move followed by a precise sideways jump to a bitey edge leads into a somewhat delicate and precarious top out that very well could be extremely bad to botch. When doing the finishing mantle you end up palming up a holdless slab above a small boulder landing that would suck to pitch off. So yeah, check it out, and if the whole line were to go it would be very cool, and I think surely very difficult and a high quality problem.
The next day I met up with a good crew in the just above the parking lot East Bluff North Talus field. The crew was psyched to try and fire Science Friction, a V8 I put up a couple of seasons ago that has a rad dyno finish move. Chris Eggert and John Dobbe managed to take it down for the fifth and sixth ascents respectively I believe, so props to those guys, that one gives a lot of people troubles.
While the crew was climbing on Science Friction I went over and started trying a line I had been on a few times previously in hotter weather.  It has a funky slanting bouldery landing, and is pretty long. In the middle of it there is a very big move that is the definitive crux that I was unable to do on my previous visits. To my surprise, after a few goes I managed to stick the move in isolation… the cold temps helped a lot. After a good break I started from the bottom and fired it. When I did the first ascent there was nobody else there and it was just me and my two pads. A few minutes later Skyler Frickleton and Cole Keesler came over and I was able to chuck another lap on it and Cole got some photos.

Set up for the crux

Set up for the crux

Sticking the hard move

Sticking the hard move

cool cross under move that would suck to blow after sticking the hard move

cool cross under move that would suck to blow after sticking the hard move

heel hooking action

heel hooking action

The finish eases and isn't so bad.

The finish eases and isn’t so bad.

I dubbed it Uncertainty Principle, and thought it checked in around V9 or 10. Due to the funky landing and the hard crux move it is a pretty serious line I think. Of note too, the next evening Peter Bonamici fired off the second ascent in a quick session along with Wave Rider Direct (V8) just next door for it’s third ascent. Proud work man, nice job. Peter thought Uncertainty Principle was probably V9, so I wasn’t so far off it would seem.
After that I moved over to the West Bluff and went back up to the El Parasol Roof and put more time in on the hard project. It still felt hard, but I did make a little progress. I also had been playing around on another problem on the boulder, and I managed to send it, and frankly it is one of the best of the grade I have done in the park. Midwest Dream probably checks in at V8 or 9, and it is a steep line. I manage to shoot video of the first ascent with my phone… Check it out!   

Midwest Dream pads up well with 3 pads and is a fun, safe problem. It should get some serious action. It’s also a five minute walk from the car… Why not go give it a go right?
Madison local Kevin Baker has also been on a tear. He has done Mean Girls (V8), The Haunting (V8) and What Up Weasel (6-8 depending on who you talk too). Nice work man.
Peter also managed to fire off the second ascent of Sticky Icky (V9) deep in the center of the West Bluff. Tearing it up! If you like funky dynos go check this thing out, it’s on the Moj Boulder. The huge top out is memorable too.
It’s getting cooler and cooler… things are getting better… Take advantage of the great weather everyone and happy climbing!

Advertisements

Fall is here! Things are happening.

The temps have officially dropped and the real bouldering season has begun at Devil’s Lake.
And a lot has happened in the past week.
Peter Bonamici has managed to send the Money Pit project in the Monolith Talus field, dubbing it Tyranny in Heaven. I have tried this several sessions and not sent and I can say that it felt very hard. Peter has suggested a grade of V11. I guarantee it is at least that. The line is surely one of the hardest in the park.
Peter also put up a neat little balance problem near the Mean Gurlz boulder in the same talus field, dubbing it Espionage, and rated it V8. I managed to flash the second ascent yesterday and enjoyed it. People should get on it, the rock is perfect. It starts on a low right sidepull, and a very low left crimp, faces north and is protectable with one or 2 pads. It is a one or two minute walk north into the talus field from the Mean Gurlz Boulder, and is a 5 move problem.
Peter also has been on a tear ticking problems off the B3 list. He sent Final Cut (V10, he says 8), Drunchies V11 (he says 9), and Hot and Ready V11 (he says 8). As far as the grade discrepancies go, myself and Peter are completely different heights and builds so it is no surprise that they feel different. I also could have used bad beta on the FA. There is also a discrepancy between our feeling of grades. It is no secret among midwest climbers that grades here are generally tougher than pretty much most other places in the country (probably world). I would like to have more modern grades that aren’t quite as sandbagged to open up progression in the area, but that is me, and I don’t know if myself and Peter agree on that. Regardless, a few more ascents of each problem should help gain a consensus, and the matter will be settled (or is it ever really settled?)

Peter Bonamici on his FA of Mean Gurlz (V8)

Peter Bonamici on the FA of Mean Gurlz (V8)

Okay, back to climbing.
I did the second ascent of Mean Gurlz Direct (FA Peter) and it checks in at a solid V7 and is a classic. The top out mantle itself is probably a tricky and committing V4 boulder problem. The problem pads out well with four or 5 pads.
I also put up a couple fun V6’s close by. Precious is a few move arete climb with engaging moves and an enjoyable dyno finish. There is a potentially hazardous fall off a ledge if you don’t have a good spotter, so it has a mental factor to it as well. Claustrophobia is in a confined corridor but has some fun moves and is worth climbing if you are in the area.
Last and not least, is some action that went down on the impressive Castle in the Sky boulder. Castle in the Sky is a big overhanging square cut block that Peter and myself worked on quite a bit to open up this past year. Peter managed to haul a ton of pads up there and did the first ascent solo, and an hour later I showed up and flashed it with play by play beta from Peter.

Peter runs another lap on Castle in the Sky about an hour after doing the FA.

Peter runs another lap on Castle in the Sky about an hour after doing the FA.

We decided it checked in around easy V7 for the area. Due to it’s spectacular position and exposure (not to mention fun climbing) it is unique and definitely a classic.
So, anyhow, a big crew rolled up there and we had 16 pads. Kevin Baker and Chris Eggert did the fourth and fifth ascents with authority. While this was happening I began trying the moves on a left exit to the line. It quickly became apparent that it would be harder and considerably pumpier than the original, and very scary due to a stepped landing and an insecure sideways toehook move right where the landing is the worst. I managed to figure out the sequence, and after a couple goes from the bottom, I linked it up and went to the top, finishing it out very, very pumped. I dubbed it Haunted Castle and it probably checks in at V9.

The exciting finale of Haunted Castle.

The exciting finale of Haunted Castle.

The weather looks promising for the weekend, so more is sure to happen soon. If you are interested in checking out any of the new lines the best way to find them at the moment is mountainproject.com until the guidebook is printed. Hope you all have a great weekend!
Also I forgot to put Aaron Wait’s Puke, Masterflash (V7) on the B3 list. Go check it out!

Aaron Wait just before doing the FA of Puke Masterflash

Aaron Wait on his line, Puke Masterflash.  He did the FA 5 minutes after this photo was taken.