Things are on the ups in Estes Park.
The weather has taken a turn drastically for the better. And we’ve been going to a great area that’s new to us.. Wild Basin.
Wild Basin is a huge forested valley with a raging river flowing through it. It’s littered with rock and about twenty minutes outside of town. Currently there is a stack of great problems, though a lot of them tend to be pretty difficult. Wild Basin has saved the day for us around here.. It’s awesome! I am very happy to have this as the current home crag and it’s been tons of fun running around and attempting to climb out the area… I like knowing that there’s no way I can do that in a spring… or perhaps a lifetime.
It’s also a hot spot for development right now. Hard and not so hard problems are going up day to day, and on top of that, some of them are very good. I’ve even managed to sneak in a couple new ones.
Erin and I have no shortage of future projects in Wild Basin.
My injuries from my nasty fall, which was probably two weeks ago, have been healing up and I’ve been able to climb some decently hard and quality lines out there.
My favorites so far, all at Wild Basin are a trifecta of V11’s (depending on who you talk to of course) Free Basin, Dragon’s Claw, and Sun Storm. I have a bunch of other things I’ve tried, or want to try, or haven’t even seen in person yet… The place is great. We don’t see many people there… Usually. Yesterday was a different story though.
After a morning session in the main area trying various projects of ours, Erin and I made our way up to the White Noise boulder. I had gotten great directions from one of the friendly locals and we walked right to it. It was obvious when we got there that the boulder was bad ass. It has a v6, a proud 9, a super fun 10, two 11’s, a 12 or 13 and the namesake of the boulder, White Noise, an incredible looking V15. As far as fun, awesome, and very hard looking climbing goes, White Noise sure looked like it fit the bill if you could pull it.
Erin had to go, so I was by myself. I decided to try a 10, 11 or 12, depending on who you talk to, on the back of the huge boulder that looked the safest for me since I only had two pads, one of which really sucks. I tried for an hour or so and was making some progress. Then the posse showed up. I walked around the boulder to say hi, and Adam Ondra along with the Austrian World Cup team were there. They were also accompanied by some very strong and local tour guides.
They soon joined me on the problem I was trying, Sun Storm. Chad Greedy hooked us up with some good beta. Ondra flashed it for his warmup, along with the possibly the whole Austrian team. They briefly messed around on the sit start start, C3PO, a 12 or 13 one of the tour guides for the day, reknown climber Dave Graham, had put up. It gave them troubles, but one of the Austrians did it in a handful of goes. Ondra almost flashed it, but when he fell he didn’t try it much more. He was probably trying to save his energy for what was to come.
After another half hour I managed to pull through Sun Storm and went around to the other side of the boulder to join the party.
Ondra shoed up for a good flash burn on White Noise. He got through a lot of the hard moves but missed a hold in the middle. Him and Jakob Schubert, a beastly strong Austrian, traded another go or two and worked out a little beta. Everyone was psyched to head out pretty quick to go try other things at the main area, but Ondra and Schubert decided they wanted one more go.
After a bit, Ondra pulled on and started cruising through the problem.
He was quickly further than his previous goes, and got into a heinous shoulder crux. He turned on the inner beast mode and made some serious noise.
He pulled through, then kept his composure through the final tall and committing V9 finish. It was definitely one of the more impressive displays of climbing I’ve seen.
Jakob decided to give it another go. He smoothly pulled through the problem and wrestled his way across the wall to the final V9 outro. He was obviously pumped, but he fought hard. He shook out the best he could on some less than ideal holds for a while.
Unfortunately he fell at the last possible spot he probably would have.. It was a heartbreaker.
Besides Wild Basin, we’ve climbed a bit on the roadside too. Erin still has a handful of projects on Bear Lake Road that she’s psyched on, and getting close.
I managed to do a first ascent on one of the roadside boulders too. It’s not amazing but it’s pretty fun and about V8. I dubbed it Monsoon Season after all the rain and snow we’ve sat through this spring.
That’s all I got right now, hopefully the weather stays this way and the snow melts quick so we can start going higher up!