Is the heat wave over? Many friends and sends. More videos..

There is, or maybe I should say was.. an abnormal heat wave in California. For pretty much the last month we have been here it has felt like April instead of January and February.. What that means is that sending hard projects has been, well, hard… Waking up early has been the strategy.
Most.. actually all of my projects have small and sharp holds. When it is hotter your fingers sweat and slip on holds more, and when the holds are sharp your finger tips pay the price.. The process involved in the lines I have been trying to do (and probably anyone with hard projects at the buttermilks..) has been painful and no doubt memorable.. You find yourself falling very frequently on spots where it feels like you would never fall if it were just a bit colder.. You also find yourself exploding off holds more often. Who knew the life of a boulderer could be so complicated right?!
The cold has come.. Finally. Yesterday it started snowing and the Buttermilks now have a nice layer of white stuff. I’m confident it will be climbable up there in the very near future and I’m psyched! This whole next week looks to be about 15 degrees colder than it has been. We have been waiting for this!
Erin is still picking off classics. She has done many, and there are many more to go. She’s loving it. She’s also very close to sending a couple hard projects of her own as well.. I’ll keep you posted on that.

Erin sticks a move on one of her projects

Erin sticks a move on one of her projects

We are now camping, at least for the moment. Our living situation fell through, we’ll just leave it at that. It is not a bad thing actually. You never get to fully appreciate the bright stars out here until you start sleeping under them. This is also one of the most camping friendly areas I have ever been. The hot weather does have it’s perks too.. Instead of shivering at night you can comfortably hang out and chat with your friends.
To further complicate the living situation, Erin got into a car accident. She got kicked of the road by a curb on the way to the Buttermilks and the van we stay in has been in the shop. Erin was thankfully uninjured, which is by far the most important thing. It appears the van will live to drive another day even. So what can we learn from this? I guess keep your eyes on the road and pay attention. The slightest mistake in our everyday lives doing things we normally do without a second thought could have devastating consequences. She went off the road at the perfect spot. If it had been 30 feet sooner or later the outcome could have been drastically different. I think the thing I take away from this is to live life cautiously and enjoy every moment while you have it.
My good friends Isaac Caldiero and Laura Kisana stopped through town for a week and it was a blast hanging out with them. These guys are entertaining people.. Isaac put down one of my projects, Maze of Death which was sweet (I fortunately sent a few days later too..) and almost sent the Buttermilker. The heat did not aid in his efforts! Laura looked stronger than ever too. We’re looking forward to hanging out with these guys again..
More good friends, Ryan Held and Kelsey Fair also came through for a few days. It was awesome talking smack and climbing on boulders. Need I say more? Once again I’m looking forward to the next time..
Our Wisconsin contingent of friends we have been hanging with sporadically are leaving town today. Another couple of good friends of ours from Wisco are coming out on thursday. The constant in and out-flow of people in Bishop is a pretty unique thing.
The climbing scene here is really positive and there’s a ton of great people and energy around.. It’s really hard to complain. Rumor has it the legendary Charlie Barret may start climbing again soon for real.. I tried a project with him one day and in typical Charlie fashion he could easily do a move on it that I didn’t stick once.
I’ve been going up to Rock Creek fairly frequently to escape the heat. This area is at 9,000? feet or so and generally isn’t climbable until late spring.. It’s perfect right now and I’ve been enjoying trying to tick the whole area off. I managed to send the Osama Eliminate (V10) and Overzealous (V9), which leaves me with just one more problem I have to do in the main cluster of boulders.. Tony’s Dyno.. Tony’s Dyno is a V11 or 12 vertical face and I have probably put 50 days of goes into it over the years.. Hopefully it will click soon. There’s also a few other straggler problems in the talus I still need to clean up… Charlie even put up and unrepeated V13 a few years back, Lessons.. The thing is way hard! I wonder when it’ll see a repeat…
I also managed to do a sweet problem in the talus that was put up by Jeff Silcox a number of years back, Large Talons. It’s probably a V9 or 10 and has a really funky top out that feels nails until you crack the sequence. I would definitely recommend this thing, just have a few pads and a spotter.

Ryan Held negotiates the tricky finish to Large Talons.  This problem is significantly cooler than the picture makes it look.

Ryan Held negotiates the tricky finish to Large Talons. This problem is significantly cooler than the picture makes it look.

Besides that here are a couple of videos. The first is one of me doing the Iron Fly (V9) and Evolution to the lip (V10) at the Buttermilks, along with Blue Ribbon (V11) at Rock Creek. The second is some old footage I had laying around of Erin and I climbing a couple of classics on the Yosemite Slab Boulder at Jackson Falls, Illinois.

Enjoy and I hope winter is treating you well!


Maze of Death! and Jobs

I have another post all written up and a couple other videos I would like to share but I am sitting at the Looney Bean in Bishop with Erin, it’s 7 in the morning and their internet is not the fastest.. And I want to go climbing today before I work at 3.. so you’ll have to settle for this for now.
So the big news is yesterday morning I managed to send Maze of Death (V12). I had been working it sporadically since mid-January. It probably took me 6 sessions to do it. Throughout the process I saw it flashed by Alex Megos and sent by my buddy Isaac Caldiero. It was extremely satisfying to put it down. California has been in a heat wave so my strategy was to go up there early in the morning before it got too toasty.
On the send go I climbed it flawlessly but nonetheless when I got to the last and easiest move I was slipping off the holds and just had to do a desperate toss to the finishing jug. Fortunately I just barely latched it! Here is a video of the send…

Erin and I still both have stacks of other projects so hopefully more will go soon. We also have more friends coming through town in the near future.. more good times.
An update on the job front:
Erin is teaching yoga at a couple different studios in town along with working part-time for an agency that reps various companies. I am now working part-time at the Burger Barn (best burgers in Bishop!). Working at the Burger Barn is actually way cooler than it sounds. The owners are really friendly and the work schedule is great for climbing.. On top of that the food is great. It is my first job in the food industry and it is giving me some needed extra money.
I’m also helping polish off the Devil’s Lake Bouldering Guidebook.. It’s in it’s final stages of production before we send it off to printers. Expect to see that out in June! It has been a long process getting this project done and it will be really exciting to see the final product.
I hope everyone is doing well and expect to hear more from here soon.

Erin wakes up on an early morning jaunt up "The Ridge" (5.4?) at the Buttermilks.

Erin wakes up on an early morning jaunt up “The Ridge” (5.4?) at the Buttermilks.

Life is still good in Bishop.. Classics, FA’s…

Cool things are still happening in Bishop!
More and more friends are circulating through town and the number of cool people to climb and hang out with is plentiful!
Things are getting sent and things aren’t getting sent as quickly as expected, per usual.
Erin is still picking through classics and is loving every second of it.

Erin did the stand to Acid Wash Right (V7 I think).. one of the many fun climbs she has done.

Erin did the stand to Acid Wash Right (V7 I think).. one of the many fun climbs she has done.

I managed to fire off a couple climbs at the Buttermilks that I really should have done before. The first one is Evolution to the lip. It’s an amazing drop off problem on the Grandpa Peabody and it checks in at V10. The movement is stellar and it was put up in the early 2000’s by Chris Sharma. Maybe sometime I will go all in and try to top this bad boy out.

Feeling really cool hanging off the lip of Evolution

Feeling really cool hanging off the lip of Evolution

The second was the Iron Fly Dyno. I could never do this move before, and in the presence of some buddies from Wisconsin I finally managed to stick this elusive move. The attempts in the past probably numbered in the hundreds so the moment of the stick felt pretty magical.

The stick! Blair and Aaron are my lucky charms.

The stick! Blair and Aaron are my lucky charms.

I also managed to put up what I think is a new line in the Rave Cave at the Happy Boulders, Black Light Party. The landing isn’t the greatest as you climb above a rock slab and a couple of protruding boulders, so it has a heady factor to it. It probably checks in around V7 and climbs well.
I put together a video of Black Light Special and my send of it’s neighbor, Kill On Sight (V11 or 12) from the previous week. Check it out…

Hopefully everyone is well!