Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Spain Climbs

A TurĂ²n 7a

I wish Washington had a fraction of the density and volume that Spain has. Granted it takes a lot of work to clean off the limestone conglomerate but still, I'm jealous. The rock had perfect texture save two climbs at El Chorro on the Swiza wall. Margalef-Monsant were both conglomerate and not only do the cobbles have texture the pockets do as well.
3 Rules for Sport Climbing In Spain
1) Don't follow the Bolt Line: Unlike in the US where the bolts are placed in the path of the climb in Spain the bolts are installed as directly as possible. Multiple times we were zig-zagging across the bolted line following the chalked holds and wondering 'am I supposed to go over there?' the answer is yes. Some routes even use holds from it's neighbor. It was weird at first but then we adjusted to this style.
2) No finish Jug: Just like the bolts the chains are placed at reasonable locations for lowering off 30, 25, 40m. Almost every climb has a HARD move to clip the anchors. The finish jug would be 6' lower than the chains?!? So remember to save some energy for the top or  slap the chains and take a victory whip.
3) I forget what the third was but most routes aren't fixed and have a single ring to lower off so bring slings to clean the anchor especially if you don't like the look of the single lower off biener.
There were tons of underclings too. If you ever got lost look for an undercling!

 The steep wall at Monsant with the classic 8a Hydrophobia
More Margalef
Next post will be about the Culture of The Olive Branch in El Chorro, Northern Spain and Barcelona!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Spain: CRAGS

Poema Cave, El Chorro

Scenic. The best word to describe where you are climbing at in Spain. The climbing itself consisted of fun and varying moment but the setting of each crag set the tone. Beatuiflly colored walls meandering into the Spanish forests retaking there claim to land in ancient orchards. The trees with the jungle-esc fauna helped enhance the otherworldly feeling of the areas.
Turon Left Side, El Chorro
 The rock was textured and solid on the majority of lines we tried. The golden rule was climb the ones with visible chalk and you won't be disappointed. 
The first area we climbed at was El Chorro. The walls had Stalactites and Tufas!!! The Sweeping views of the reservoir and valley below where enjoyable and made belaying a refreshing activity for both the skin and the eyes. Sorry for the short write up. I'm still in a fog from the adventurous (61 hrs of travel) journey home. More to come tomorrow! 
La Rambla Wall, Siurana

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Back in Action

Pictures from around Burlington, where I currently reside.
Larrabee Cave
Chuckanut Roof, my spring project and first v12.
Mt. Baker
Steven on Clip It or Skip It, Equinox
The Shores of Puget Sound
Duck Hunting Area

I haven't updated this blog in awhile since I got a full-time, 40hr a week, engineering job. I now realize that the extra 20hrs of work is a great financial benefit but eats up the entire mon-fri work week. Facebook and photography are time friendly options to editing videos and writing posts.
The main reason I'm resurrecting the blog is for my Spain trip March 16 - April 5!! Where we will be staying has wifi so I can post pictures and I'll have plenty of time to describe our adventures starting with 48 hrs to El Chorro. Stay Tuned!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Joe's Valley II

I guess it's only been a little over a month since I returned from my Fall trip to Joe's but it feels like at least a season, or two, has passed since then. The post is really late, I know. I've been too busy and too lazy, see-sawing between the two. Below is a nice video I made from footage from the trip. I wanted dual angles but this is what we captured...

This time the trip was composed of me, Keath and Brittany. Due to a snow storm the trip was cut into two parts with time spent in SLC in the middle and ends. The first half of the trip was fun with warmer than expected temps but a good fire was a requirement for when the sun finally dipped behind the plateaus.

Keath's friend Traughn working Lactation Station
The trip started at a new area for me called the Dairy Boulders way up right fork. The area consists of super soft and super hard problems for the grade but really good movement. After a very poor warmup session we jumped on Stir the Pie v9/6. while falling on the big move, my pinkie was jammed into the best part of the good right hand slot and as I was falling I heard a crack. When I landed my pinkie finger hurt a bit and a there was a rushing warm feeling. Because I just drove 13 hrs the previous day, and heard a 'crack' not a 'pop', I decided to tape up and managed to send 2nd. Go! (1 month later the pinkie still hurts, but not the pully).I decided to just pop some Motrin and the problem will work it's way out when I get back. As it turned out the pinkie didn't hinder me from sending, I just hindered it form healing, priorities right? I also tried Lactation Station v10 and managed to get up to the crux and found a way but will need to come back. Classic sloper groveling!!
Brittany sending Dunkin' Donuts
It just sorta happened that the theme of the trip, for me at least, was to check out new areas in the guide that we skipped over in Spring. This required some hiking and once we did the hike(s) up we found some more internal incentive to send, if you know what I mean. One such boulder was the Dunkin' Donuts boulder with the v10/8 namesake line. Well, the rumors of it being soft were a little too good to be true. Later online I found out we used a different sequence and the line felt v8ish we all agreed. It has a cool toe hook but other than that there was nothing special about it. Now Raiden v6, on the other side of the boulder, is an excellent line and took more tries too!
With warnings of a storm coming we broke camp and headed to SLC. We spent some time in LCC and I finally did All Thumbs v10 in two parts!
Keath contemplating his 'rest day'
We eventually returned to our campsite and tent life for a couple more days. I managed to send a few more things but began to feel the previous 6 days of climbing. Like last trip, we climbed way to many days in a row.
A nice campsite in the SUN!

I personally feel that a lot of the crimps on the Joe's Valley sandstone are tweaky and require some intense finger strength to pull through the mirco-ness and the irregularity of the hold. I have recently began the 4-3-2-1 training cycle and have found, through weighted deadhangs, that being able to hang onto smaller holds for longer, even microseconds, makes a huge difference. I have an upcoming trip to LA to visit some family and play on some chossy sandstone and hit up JT for round II. I know how fast time can fly but I can't wait till the end of march for another spring trip. Joe's is on the top of the list but I think a return trip to Bishop might take the top spot. Till then lots of Leavenworth weekends on some Post-Guidebook problems once the rains let up.

Until, then Happy Training, and Christmas!!

P.S. Well looks like Winter in Levy is over and I'll be posting a video of Lisa and Me climbing some stuff over Fall/Winter.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Five Fun Fall Days

Wow, after driving over Hwy. 2 so much over Spring and Summer I began to get bored of the drive with the potential new granite hidden behind thick green bush, and lots of it. This time though, with fall colors raging it was pleasant and awe striking drive. The crash of white granite with orange leaves made for some amazing Scenery!
Washout Boulders, Leavenworth WA

The weekend began with a long drive through traffic down to Portland to stay with Lisa for the Portland Boulder Rally comp. The comp went alright. I managed a good flash of one of the top ten problems and then it went downhill from there. I began bouncing all over the points spectrum falling on the last moves. Lisa did well but was one away send away from finals. Results can be found here RESULTS  After the comp a bunch of us decided to play pool and kick it till 2:30. Afterwards, because three of the climbers had plane flights at 6:00, we stayed up till 5:00 AM and dropped them off at the airport.
PBR Women's Final #1

Sunday morning after getting a few hours of sleep Lisa had to do the PCI clinic so I kicked it at the SW Circuit for a couple hours and then decided to go to Carver, the local bouldering area. The temps were great and I managed a two sends and got close on Angry Squirrels, a v9 traverse and got to the crux of the Cedar Project, v10. After returning back to Portland it was a very long drive back up to Seattle to get some sleep before heading out to Leavenworth. I was already feeling sore by this point but decided to push hard anyways and get in some more climbing.
Lisa prepping for the finish of Angry Squirrels, v9. Carver, OR

Me feeling the perfect, basalt, slopers of The Cedar Project, v10. Carver, OR
Leavenworth was fun with most of the time being spent at the washout boulders and the bulge boulders. On the second day Lisa put together the Lion's Den, an excellent v9. I then managed to send Kelly's Bulge, v9, and Lisa did all the moves save the first. Next time. We finished Leavenworth at Filibuster where using a knee scum I was able to get farther on the finish!! Should go down next time I'm on it!!
Lisa finishing The Lion's Den, v9. Leavenworth, WA

Working the moves of Johnny's Bulge.
Filibuster, new beta with the Knee-Bar pad. It works!!
That night we drove to Index to jump on the river boulders. It was a cold day and after sending a tricky rail feature I finally jumped on All of the Above v12 and did the intro moves. For more punishment we moved over to Haga and I finally stuck the big move out and moved a lil off of it! Yeah!!! After playing around on it for a bit I raced home, took a 15 min shower, and zipped off to work to belay kidos for an hour and a half!
Lisa on the Tricky Arete. Index River Boulders, WA

Working the intro moves of All of The Above.

Monday, October 7, 2013


I've been bad at updating the blog lately and will try to get better as things work their way into a routine. For starters I finished off my Undergraduate College education at UW! With all this free time now... Yeah. Right. I feel just as busy if not slightly less so than last fall. Working only part-time at Stone Gardens has left me 4 day weekends filled with climbing, training and job apps. Dang applications take forever to fill out! Back to summer though, when I wasn't doing HW I managed to get out to Squamish and rope up a couple times with the SG crew. I didn't send anything hard but did complete a few new things and send a handful of new sport climbs. I also did one new 13a at Little Si keeping the tradition alive!!  Below are some pics from over summer!
 With a fire closing Lil Si, Nevermind became the place for Seattle sport climbing.
 A new project for me in the Apron boulders of Squamish, Black Hole v11
 I also managed to check out the Booka Boulders, Thanks goes to the Oly crew for their hard work making the aproach trail and scrubbing the unique lines!
 I finally returned to Newhalem as weel (twice!). Here Kevin is about to put away 12c for a day, 12b
 Ah Rat Cave, Only managed a few hours this year. Made progress on Tuff Nerd and Lisa had a no fall day!
 Due to a family emergency a year ago, we finally closed down the Tenino house, which was home for 23 years...
 It's now fall in Leavenworth, more on that to come!!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

End of Spring Updates

This blog may have been inactive for the past 5 weeks but I can't say the same for myself. Teaming up with Keath or Amber I've been roaming the Cascades bouldering like crazy. We stumbled upon some untouched boulders in a talus field beneath Mt. Baring. While sadly not granite, the plus side is that we can retain skin while scaling tall boulders composed of Little Si-esc rock. I also spotted a few big boulders in a Talus field near Wellington. I looked for photos of the area but due to no trails in the vicinity it was a trek trough rough brush when Amber and I ventured out to the. We stopped at the first talus and found some smaller stuff on cool granite boulders. We'll come back for the gems later this summer. The scenery was beautiful with white granite talus, green shrubs, grey granite walls topped off with crisp blue skies! Besides expouldering we also managed an index and Leavenworth day. Index was a fun day with no sends but Leavenworth Keath and myself busted out a send of Aggressive Reject, v9, a gnarly crimp line I never thought I would jump on. The move is cool and the holds are the perfect size so all in all it was a pretty cool two mover.

I also attended Graduation and if I don't mess up my three summer classes will have successfully acquired a Bachelors of Science in Civil & Environmental Engineering. To get ready for fall and psyched for summer gym climbing I started a 4-3-2-1 training cycle. I'm currently in the 3 week phase and already feeling good about my climbing. I just need to spend more time in the gym which will happen after Aug. 23 when I will be officially done with Undergrad!!

 College Educated, probably should've spent less time doing this (Below) ...            ;)
 The Secret Window, Barring. Cleaned the top out now to project the 45 degree granite column!
 Me gettin' my crimp on Aggressive Reject, Leavenworth
The giants of Barring. Not granite but they are skin friendly boulders. Can't wait to FA some beautes!