Rebel Pride Project, World Peace second ascent.. and the hardest flash in Wisconsin bouldering history? Also an Updated B3 list.

There is officially snow on the ground! I hope the weather gods allow us to keep climbing a little bit longer at least…

I just got word that Michael Schaffer has done the second ascent of World Peace at Governor Dodge. I ran into Mike the day I put it up and he must have gotten psyched.. Two days later he fired it! Congrats to Mike on a good send. I am under the impression Mike is relatively new to the scene in Wisconsin and from my conversation with him I understood he lives in Iowa and makes the commute. He got the attention of the local climbing community earlier this year when he did what appears to be the first ascent of a very serious new trad route, a direct start to the Good, the Bad, and the Jacked (maybe 12.C by the sounds of it). Anybody that has trad climbed at Devil’s Lake much knows how impressive this is.  He went on to free solo it as well.

So… he also shot video of his solo.  The video makes my heart flutter! I’m going to share it.. The climbing starts around 7:30.  Make sure to have the volume on and note the unknowing tourists talking and singing right next to his camera.. and then they finally notice Mike.. “He’s doing it free hand!”  Mike does an excellent job at zoning out the distractions and staying focused..

Yesterday I said screw it and drove up to Devil’s Lake in snow flurries with the intent of trying the Rebel Pride Project. When I got there I brushed the boulder off and let it dry for a little while. Surprisingly the snow hadn’t seeped into the rock at all and the holds felt dry and sticky. It was uncomfortably cold and the light snow flurries didn’t relent. After a few hours of messing around I unlocked a sequence and managed to climb it. It felt maybe in the V10 range and was a pretty darn unique and cool problem.
First of all it is sandstone, and of the highest quality. It is very reminiscent of problem you may find at Horse Pens 40 in Alabama.

Rebel Pride

Rebel Pride

It starts below a mini-roof on a jug and a sweet pinch. A few powerful moves on slopey holds leads to a very interesting lip encounter. My way of pulling over the bulge was full body.. let’s just say that. My hands were fully numb when I topped out but I was glad I stuck it out. It’s always satisfying to try things that felt impossible before and suddenly find yourself actually climbing them.

In other news I got word that strongman Peter Bonamici has flashed the previously unrepeated Shredder. Shredder is a traverse along the base of a cliff section up on the CCC Trail and has some balance moves on thin holds. Huge props to Peter on this.. it is without a doubt in my mind the hardest thing that has ever been flashed in Wisconsin (that I know of anyhow:). Peter claims it’s not a boulder problem.. hmm. I’ve heard this argument so many times from people over the years and yeah.. You bouldered it.. it’s a boulder problem.  Take that Peter! Here’s a video of Shredder.. 

Also in case you are interested here is an updated B3 Boulders list. Due to a request I have now tried to put quality ratings on the climbs as well.
Current B3 Boulder Problems at Devil’s Lake State Park
Problems are organized by the date they were established. Ratings are unconfirmed, since the problems have probably only seen one ascent. The area they are located is listed along with the possible first ascenionist. PB is Peter Bonamici, ICB is myself, Ian Cotter-Brown. For our list we’ll only include problems initially graded V7 or harder.
Also the quality ratings are included and they are purely my opinion. I have not done every problem on the list so I am purely guessing on some. Also due to the generally bomb proof rock at Devil’s Lake, I believe a lot of people would find most things at least worth climbing. Quality ratings are very subjective person to person:
* – Fun, worth doing
**- Good quality problem that you should try
***- Definitely try. Classic in a sense of a very obvious line, and/or the movement or features of the climb are very unique and enjoyable.
****- A perfect boulder problem that should be sought out by every rock climber in the world! Not many of these around!
Pi’s Problem, V9? (ungraded) ***, Alpine Club Area, Date?, Pi

Ejaculator Right, V7 **, Ejaculator Area, Fall 2000? Jim Maierhofer

Black Sheep, V7 **, Midforest Circuit, October 2009, Nic Oklobzija

Grasping at Something **, V8, Anchorpoint Area, June 2011, ICB

Falling to Pieces, V10 ***, Super Slab Area, September 2011, ICB

The Ivory Face, V11 or 12? ***, Flatiron Area, November 2011, ICB

Wafflehouse, V8 or 9 *, Burma, April 2012, ICB, possible earlier ascent
by Mike Gasch.

Burmese Python, V11 ***, Burma, April 2012, ICB

Catch Me If You Can, V7 *, Smooth Operator Area, December 2012, ICB

Funeral Service, V8 ***, CCC Trail Upper Talus, March 2013, ICB

Snuggle Bunny, V9 *, Grotos Trailside, March 2013, ICB

Tree Hugger Direct, V7 *, Dog Walk Area, March 2013, ICB

SPF40, V7 *, Block Party Boulders, April 2014, ICB

Butter Burger, V10 **, Block Party Boulders, April 2013, ICB

I am NOT a Princess, V7 ** Battle Wound Area, April 2013, ICB

Cherry Underneath, V9 ***, Monolith, April 2013, PB

Purple Moj, V9 ***, Super Slab Area, April 2013, ICB

The Irregular Route, V9 *** (Whatcha think on this one Peter?), Midforest Circuit, April 2013 PB

Lippenstein Direct, V8 *, Lower CCC Trail Talus, May 2013, ICB

Dark Knight, V8 ***, Ghost Talus Field, May 2013, ICB

Stand Tall, V7 *, Happy Go Highball Area, May 2013, ICB

Nebulous Dyno, V7 *, Bulbous Area, ICB, June 2013

The Piano, V8 ***, CCC Trail Upper Talus, September 2013, ICB

Circus World, V11 ***, Greatest Show Boulders, October 2013, PB

Nerd, V8 **, Ghost Talus Field, November 2013, Tyler Thurmes

Full Sail, V10 ***, Ghost Talus Field, November 2013, ICB

Lake Boulder Lunge Sit, V9 **, The Reserve, November 2013, ICB?

Astroidea, V10/11 ***, The Reserve, November 2013, PB

The Winter Booze, V8 *, East Bluff North Talus Field, November 2013, ICB

Reverse Traverse, V8 **, The Reserve, November 2013, ICB?

Battle Cry, V10 ***, East Bluff North Talus Field, March 2014, ICB

Criminal Activity, V8 **, Cabins Area, March 2014, ICB

The Awakening, V11 or 12 ***, East Bluff North Talus Field, April 2014, PB

Twerk Life, V8 *, Peaches Area, April 2014, ICB

Trouser Snaker, V8 *, Peaches Area, April 2014, ICB

Puke Masterflash, V7 **, Massive Vertigo Area, April 2014, Aaron Wait

Angry Squirrel Sit, V9 **, Fat Raccoon Area, August 2014, PB

Tyranny in Heaven, V11 ***, Monolith Talus Field, September 2014, PB

Haunted Castle, V9 ***, Peaches Area, September 2014, ICB

Midwest Dream, V8 ***, Fat Raccoon Area, September 2014, ICB

All the Girls Say, V7 *, Anchorpoint Area, September 2014, ICB

Bananarama, V7 *, Burma, October 2014, ICB

Animated Hands, V8 *, Loompa Land, October 2014, PB

Clear Cut, V8 **, Lakeside Talus, October 2014, PB

Feature Presentation, V10 ***, Birthday Rocks, October 2014, ICB

Mad Cow, V9 ***, Burma, October 2014, ICB

Levitation, V10/11? ***, Lost and Found, October 2014, ICB

Ripples of Time, V10 ***, Birthday Rocks, November 2014, ICB

Twinkle Toes, V11 ***, Burma, November 2014, ICB
Also at Governor Dodge State Park..

Battle of the Midwest, V8 **, Back Bone Ridge, October 2014, ICB

Popalicious, V7 **, Back Bone Ridge, October 2014, ICB

Hope you all have a great weekend. Dress warm if you get after it!

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COLD. Updated B3 list.

It’s cold and winter is threatening to end the bouldering season early!  Here is an updated B3 list!

Current B3 Boulder Problems at Devil’s Lake State Park
Problems are organized by the date they were established. Ratings are unconfirmed, since the problems have probably only seen one ascent. The area they are located is listed along with the possible first ascenionist. PB is Peter Bonamici, ICB is myself, Ian Cotter-Brown. For our list we’ll only include problems initially graded V7 or harder.

Pi’s Problem, V9? (ungraded), Alpine Club Area, Date?, Pi

Ejaculator Right, V7, Ejaculator Area, Fall 2000? Jim Maierhofer

Black Sheep, V7, Midforest Circuit, October 2009, Nic Oklobzija

Grasping at Something, V8, Anchorpoint Area, June 2011, ICB

Falling to Pieces, V10, Super Slab Area, September 2011, ICB

The Ivory Face, V11 or 12?, Flatiron Area, November 2011, ICB

Wafflehouse, V8 or 9, Burma, April 2012, ICB, possible earlier ascent
by Mike Gasch.

Burmese Python, V11, Burma, April 2012, ICB

Catch Me If You Can, V7, Smooth Operator Area, December 2012, ICB

Funeral Service, V8, CCC Trail Upper Talus, March 2013, ICB

Snuggle Bunny, V9, Grotos Trailside, March 2013, ICB

Tree Hugger Direct, V7, Dog Walk Area, March 2013, ICB

SPF40, V7, Block Party Boulders, April 2014, ICB

Butter Burger, V10, Block Party Boulders, April 2013, ICB

I am NOT a Princess, V7, Battle Wound Area, April 2013, ICB

Cherry Underneath, V9, Monolith, April 2013, PB

Purple Moj, V9, Super Slab Area, April 2013, ICB

The Irregular Route, V9, Midforest Circuit, April 2013 PB

Lippenstein Direct, V8, Lower CCC Trail Talus, May 2013, ICB

Dark Knight, V8, Ghost Talus Field, May 2013, ICB

Stand Tall, V7, Happy Go Highball Area, May 2013, ICB

Nebulous Dyno, V7, Bulbous Area, ICB, June 2013

The Piano, V8, CCC Trail Upper Talus, September 2013, ICB

Circus World, V11, Greatest Show Boulders, October 2013, PB

Nerd, V8, Ghost Talus Field, November 2013, Tyler Thurmes

Full Sail, V10, Ghost Talus Field, November 2013, ICB

Lake Boulder Lunge Sit, V9, The Reserve, November 2013, ICB?

Astroidea, V10/11, The Reserve, November 2013, PB

The Winter Booze, V8, East Bluff North Talus Field, November 2013, ICB

Reverse Traverse, V8, The Reserve, November 2013, ICB?

Battle Cry, V10, East Bluff North Talus Field, March 2014, ICB

Criminal Activity, V8, Cabins Area, March 2014, ICB

The Awakening, V11 or 12, East Bluff North Talus Field, April 2014, PB

Twerk Life, V8, Peaches Area, April 2014, ICB

Trouser Snaker, V8, Peaches Area, April 2014, ICB

Shredder, V10, April 2014, CCC Trail Upper Talus, ICB

Puke Masterflash, V7, Massive Vertigo Area, April 2014, Aaron Wait

Angry Squirrel Sit, V9, Fat Raccoon Area, August 2014, PB

Tyranny in Heaven, V11, Monolith Talus Field, September 2014, PB

Haunted Castle, V9, Peaches Area, September 2014, ICB

Midwest Dream, V8, Fat Raccoon Area, September 2014, ICB

All the Girls Say, V7, Anchorpoint Area, September 2014, ICB

Bananarama, V7, Burma, October 2014, ICB

Animated Hands, V8, Loompa Land, October 2014, PB

Clear Cut, V8, Lakeside Talus, October 2014, PB

Feature Presentation, V10, Birthday Rocks, October 2014, ICB

Mad Cow, V9, Burma, October 2014, ICB

Levitation, V10/11?, Lost and Found, October 2014, ICB

Ripples of Time, V10, Birthday Rocks, November 2014, ICB

Twinkle Toes, V11, Burma, November 2014, ICB
Also at Governor Dodge State Park..

Battle of the Midwest, V8, Back Bone Ridge, October 2014, ICB

Popalicious, V7, Back Bone Ridge, October 2014, ICB

World Peace, V11, Back Bone Ridge, November 2014, ICB

So there you have it! Lots of unrepeated boulders out there…

More FA’s: Ripples of Time and Twinkle Toes.. and More

Today was a good day. It was cold.. Borderline uncomfortably so. Sometimes that’s all you need to get some stuff done though.
I had two things at Devil’s Lake I really wanted to do before the deep freeze of winter and fortunately I stepped up to the plate today with the support of Erin Ayla and got them done.. It was definitely one of my best days of putting up new climbs ever to be honest.
The first was a low start to a problem I established a few weeks ago, Dolphin Fingers. The low start is the whole climb, and it follows a very obvious feature that is easily visible if you are hiking along the train tracks. A spotter is extremely important as there is a shelf you can fall off.. and it totally has happened. This past week local Adam Remus flew off the shelf and was fortunately not seriously injured.. Nonetheless he payed the price in pain with scrapes and bruises.. Rolling down steep blocky talus just isn’t that cool, let’s face it.
We got there and I worked out some last minute beta changes. With the sequence I had the thing was real hard. Fortunately I figured out a way to cut out a couple of moves and that sparked the psych. I knew I could do it. First go I climbed to the end, and on the last hard move, a chuck to a jug, my right hand popped off the lip and I flew outside the safety of the landing shelf.. Erin was there and had my back so nothing happened. Whew! We went for a walk and when we returned a breeze had picked up and clouds had moved over the sun that was threatening to grease up the holds.
I pulled on and managed to climb it flawlessly.. I had fun doing it too. I dubbed it Ripples of Time due to the ripple holds that are used. I find these ripples fascinating because apparently they are from an ancient ocean floor that existed before life as we know it. Pretty wild to pull on holds like that right?!
I reckon it checks in around the V10 range. If you are looking for a tough, physical, steep and fun problem, you should go check this one out for sure.
I managed to film it.. Here’s the video.

After that we headed over to Burma. There was one last line there I had worked over the years and this past week I finally figured out how to do it. It starts at the end of an obvious horizontal seam below a holdless wall and climbs into the classic V5, Pinball Arete. If you haven’t been on Pinball Arete go try it! It’s one of the best 5’s in the park.
We tried to film it.. but the fact of the matter is this thing did not go down easy. I put a lot of time into it.. and even just before I did it I wasn’t sure if it would go that day. It has a very delicate 6 move sequence leading into Pinball and the feet are very poor. The feet have to stay for it to go (for me anyhow). Everything has to go right and I would continually fall on pretty much any move in that sequence. It almost felt like luck when I finally put it together. But I did and that’s what counts. I dubbed it Twinkle Toes due to the extreme footwork, and I would guess it’s probably V11. There is definitely a sharp hold on it, but regardless I think it is classic.. Obvious start, it’s long and it’s very engaging. Not to mention it has a 5 minute approach and the landing isn’t so bad.

Eyeing the first move of Twinkle Toes

Eyeing the first move of Twinkle Toes

Grabbing a slimper on Twinkle Toes

Grabbing a slimper on Twinkle Toes

In other news, Purple Gold, also out at Burma, has gotten another couple ascents from Ben Strobel and Martin Tikusis. They both loved it. Once again if you have not tried this thing and it’s in your wheel house go get on it!
This past weekend during his reign of sending, Aaron Wait also did the third ascent of Sticky Icky up in the Super Slab area. Aaron is on a tear.
The Ivory Face has also been getting some action. It is still unrepeated since I put it up in the fall of 2011. Aaron is psyched on it and is apparently making some progress. Minnesota strongman Nic Oklobzija came down too and put in a second day on it. So far it has stymied their efforts. I am genuinely rooting for both of them. I really had to work for it.. I thought it was impossible at first, but after continually trying it for at least a dozen days I put it down.. It very well could be my hardest FA ever. It’s such a simple problem too, which is why I was attracted to it. Juggy start. Climb into very small holds, huck with everything you have to the lip. It’s hard to find problems as pure as that. Here is an old cheesy video of the Ivory Face in case you haven’t seen it…

It looks cold next week. Winter is almost upon us. Happy climbing everyone.

World Peace FA and Aaron Wait tears it up

While I was down in North Carolina this past week there was a boulder problem on my mind…
I had been trying to do a sit start into the mega-classic Sandstone Violence out at Governor Dodge State Park. On my third session, just a few hours before I began the long drive south I almost did it, but I kept chuffing the last hard thrutch to the jug at the top of Sandstone Violence. I managed to stay in climbing form while I was in North Carolina and went back out to Dodge the day after I got back to try and settle the score.
I was trying to film it, and to my dismay it did not feel any easier even though the temps were prime. The thing felt hard. I was with Erin, and her mom came out from her nearby home south of Dodgeville to spend the day with us. I packed up the camera and accepted defeat, knowing that I would keep coming back until it went down. After hanging out for a bit I decided to give it one last hail mary go. I pulled on, and sprinted through the problem as fast as I could. Before I knew it I was eyeing the jug from the small holds at the top of Sandstone Violence once again. With every thing I had, I threw at the jug with a loud yell and barely latched it with my finger tips. I kept my composure and took it to the top. Three days later now my left middle finger tip is still bruised from crimping so hard on that final thrutch to the jug on the send go.
World Peace is now the hardest established boulder problem at Governor Dodge. I reckon it checks in around hard V10 or V11. It felt desperate, and the movement on it is great. If you want to check it out, it starts sitting below Nameless Arete and climbs into Sandstone Violence. There is a definite crux move gaining the start of Sandstone Violence where you have to lock off a wide gaston (the way I did it anyways) and move into the juggy start of Sandstone Violence. Every try while doing the move I was hoping my shoulder wouldn’t explode!

The start of World Peace

The start of World Peace

A few moves in.

A few moves in.

Getting into the shoulder move

Getting into the shoulder move

The hard cross under into the start of Sandstone Violence

The hard cross under into the start of Sandstone Violence

Holding a the mini swing into the start of Sandstone Violence

Holding a the mini swing into the start of Sandstone Violence

Another shot showing the whole wall

Another shot showing the whole wall

The big news out at Devil’s Lake is that Aaron Wait tore it up this weekend! One day he managed to send The Soupmaker (V9/10 and proud) and Purple Gold (Aaron thinks V8 and amazing). Purple Gold has gotten nothing but rave reviews. If it’s in your wheel house definitely go get on it!

Aaron Wait commits on Purple Gold

Aaron Wait commits on Purple Gold

Here’s a video of Soupmaker too in case you are interested:

The next day Aaron managed to put down his seven day project, Fukness Direct. This was the second ascent and Aaron thinks it is the hardest thing he has done at the lake and a very good quality problem. After that, for icing on the cake he fired off the second ascent of the nearby Dolphin Fingers, which we both agree is probably a stout V7.

Aaron Wait eyes the prize on Fukness Direct

Aaron Wait eyes the prize on Fukness Direct

Here’s a video of Fukness DIrect too: 

Also of note, just above The Fukness and below the popular Birthday Rocks rope climbing area is a freestanding boulder that is home to Big Foot Arete. It has been getting a lot of action and rave reviews. Consensus seems to be V7 or easy 8. It has a perfect landing and is of reasonable height. It starts on a perfect jug and climbs up a striking arete through some balance moves to an easing topout. If this sounds appealing you should go try it.

Skyler Frickleton styles his way up Big Foot Arete

Skyler Frickleton styles his way up Big Foot Arete.  Note the train in the background.  Holy crap, sweet photo!

I think that’s a wrap for now, hopefully everyone is enjoying the fall weather. Put those projects down now, winter is on it’s way!