Monday, May 3, 2010

What to do with an unused blog?

Well, it's obviously been quite a while since I posted to this blog. I've been thinking about what to do with the blog for a while since I apparently don't have the motivation to write posts very often. However, I've decided to make another attempt.

Over the past month or so I've been getting outside to go bouldering quite a bit, probably about twice a week on average, and I feel like I've been getting stronger and making progress. Flagstaff Mountain has (as usual) been the most common spot since it's only about 10 minutes from the CU campus.

I guess I'll start with a recap of some of the memorable events from the past month. About a month ago I went up to Flagstaff with a good crew of 4 others. We warmed up at Tutorial Rock and then headed over to the King Conquer Rock to work on the traverse. I did a quick repeat of Face Out (V5) and started working on the traverse. After figuring out the crux beta I started trying the problem from the start. On my second or third go, I punctured a hole in one of my fingers on a sharp crimp.

My finger post carnage (Picture from Brock)

I put some tape on it and resigned myself to being done climbing for the week. After some more attempts by the others, but no sends, we headed up to First Overhang (V5). Watching the crew make fast progress and culminating in a couple sends proved too much for me and I decided to give it a three fingered go. I surprised myself with a solid send even without my left index finger.

A couple weeks later, after my finger had mostly recovered. Brock and I went down to Eldorado Canyon. We warmed up on the Milton Boulder and started trying Milton (V4). I couldn't manage the send, but Brock pulled it off. I've got to say though, this guy styled it a little better:

After that, we headed over to the Gill Boulder and did all the easy stuff on there. We then started working Horan Face (V5/6). This a great problem with small, but very solid, crimps on a slightly overhanging wall and I quickly surprised myself by pulling through the crux and greasing off the last holds. I sent on the next go, very psyched, and Brock followed with a send on his next go.

After the Gill Boulder, we headed across the creek and uphill to give Germ Free Adolescence a try. This is an awesome problem up a very steep overhang. The holds are all there, but neither of us had the cajones to try pulling the lip. With only two pads and one person spotting it felt a bit sketchy. The last problem in the video below shares the same topout.

Eldorado Canyon Vol. 2 from Jon Glassberg on Vimeo.

Finally, yesterday I went up to Flagstaff by myself to try Salad Toss (V7), a problem I'd tried during two previous sessions. This is a strange problem since the first move seems to be very dependent on body position and grabbing the left hand exactly right. If things aren't exactly right I can't even pull off the ground. I worked the top a bit and started trying the first move. I only managed to pull on twice. The first time I stuck the next hold before my left hand blew off. The second time I stuck the next hold, got my foot back on, matched and threw for the sloper. On my first throw for the sloper I missed the good part of the hold and had to fight to get to it and top the problem out. I think this is a pretty difficult problem to grade. It's certainly one of the hardest problems I've done, but I'd lean more towards V6 or V6/7 than the V7 grade since none of the moves felt too difficult. I think the first move just has to be executed exactly right in terms of body position and hand positioning on the hold and, along with the throw to the sloper, is fairly low percentage. The problem can be seen in the video below:

Flagstaff Mountain Boulering III from Zack Sticcs on Vimeo.

I'm probably headed back up there tomorrow afternoon/evening. I've been heading to the Dark Side quite a bit and I'd really like to start trying Battaglia's Bottom (V7/8) and Valhalla (V7). Both problems look to be stellar lines with powerful moves on a steep overhang. The holds are all there and both look like a lot of fun. Both problems are in the video below.

Flagstaff Mountain Bouldering II - David Gibbons and Zack Smith from Zack Sticcs on Vimeo.


  1. Yeah, I'll try to post stuff more frequently now. Good stuff going down on Flagstaff and planning a trip up to the Poudre in a couple weeks.