Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Turning Point

One of the best things about the Boulder area is the proximity to good rock. You can easily climb at a huge number of different areas after work and good options exist for single or multipitch trad, bouldering and sport. However, when it's 95 degrees out it's just not fun to go climbing. To get around this, Brock and I headed up to the Satellite Boulders last night. Temps were pretty close to perfect around 11p with low humidity and a great breeze to keep the skin dry. Needless to say, there were no crowds either.

I'd never been up to the Satellites before, but it was a fun area and I look forward to going back in the daylight and being able to see beyond my headlamp once things cool off.

We warmed up on some easy, fun slab problems on the Sputnik Boulder and then a bit more warming up on the A7 boulder before heading up to the BBC boulder and the nights main objective, The Turning Point (V8).

A fun V1 or V2 on the A7 boulder
We both put a good amount of work in to The Turning Point and after quite a while we worked out some good beta for the opening moves and I was eventually able to do all the moves. Eventually I did the problem in 3 overlapping sections. This is a great problem worthy of 3 or 4 stars and is pretty close to the limit of my ability at this point. I was super psyched to do all the moves and can't wait to get back up there and work on linking it up.

Definitely check out the high quality version of the video below to see women and children far stronger than I make this problem look good. I didn't use the same beta as seen in the video for a single move on the problem, great problem for all heights!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Chaos Canyon, take 3

Looking back on my first post on bouldering in Chaos Canyon, lack of enthusiasm for the area was clearly evident. Well, yesterday I was back up there with a few others and, needless to say, I've warmed up to the area quite a bit. Despite the hour plus drive and decently long hike, this area just draws you in. As with anywhere, it took a little while to get used to the rock, but I think I mostly underestimated myself and the quality of the bouldering.

We left Boulder a bit after 8am, lucked into a great parking spot in the packed Bear Lake lot and demolished the hike up. We warmed up on the Potato Chip Boulder then headed over to the Gobot area to finish up some projects.

Me warming up from Doug Lipinski on Vimeo.

First up was Paul's project of several sessions, Autobot. This is a great V4 or V5, depending on who you ask. It climbs up out of a slot between two boulders. A couple difficult moves lead to a V2 topout with a perfect view of Lake Haiyaha. The problem climbs incredibly well and although it looks like a fall would send you tumbling down into the pit below, you can actually just lean back on the pads behind you. A must do if you're in the area. Congrats on the send Paul!

Paul on Autobot, V4, Lower Chaos from Doug Lipinski on Vimeo.

Next up was Revenge, V6. This problem climbs compression moves out of a cave near Autobot. The problem climbs much better than it looks and if it weren't for the strange topout (head left via a heel hand match) it would be a classic for sure. This was an end of the day problem last weekend and I felt sure it would go down quickly this time. I was able to dispatch it on my first go of the day, followed immediately by Brock with his send. He would have gotten it on his first go too, but got a bit confused on the topout.

Brock on Revenge, V6, Lower Chaos from Doug Lipinski on Vimeo.

Paul and Sarah made some good progress on this problem as well, but it will have to wait for another day for them. We decided to head over to Geeks of the Industry (V7) next. After working this for quite a while last weekend and even falling after slapping the lip on one go I had high hopes, but the problem felt really hard on my first few attempts. Our time at this boulder was very much up and down. It started feeling easier after a few goes and I even worked out some new beta for the last hard move. As soon as I started feeling like the send could be imminent it started raining and hailing. Fortunately that was short lived, but it raised the humidity enough to make the holds feel greasy. Finally, I worked up some motivation to give it my all and fired through the problem, feeling solid the whole way. Just like on Revenge, Brock followed up with the send on his next go too! Nothing like some extra psych to get you up a project.

Me topping out Geeks of the Industry (V7) on the send!
Despite the top out through the pine tree branch and the relatively short height of this boulder, I LOVE this problem. Crimps on a 20 deg. overhang requiring precision and control, a perfect landing (two pads is overkill), many options for different beta, and skin friendly despite the small holds! Get on it!

This is probably the hardest problem I've done and I was super psyched about it, but it really brought home to me (again) how much of this sport is mental. I know I fell numerous times on this problem simply due to lack of focus or effort at key moments. Just a little more precision or a little more use of your core muscles can make all the difference. Sometimes it just takes total commitment to the moment to make it happen. I can't wait for fall conditions to see what more I've got in me!

Many thanks to Paul and Sarah for the great pics and videos from the day! So psyched to spend more great days in the mountains!