Monday, February 21, 2011

Projects completed, projects begun

This winter has been very productive for me as far as finishing up some awesome bouldering projects around the front range. First up was Valhalla (V7) on Flagstaff. This is a very fun, very steep problem with a couple sharp crimps and a last move that spit me off time and again on link. I was able to do the high start (Valkyrie, V5) in one session, but the last move is just hard enough to be the redpoint crux for me. After falling there about 8-10 seperate times over multiple sessions, I went back on a crisp day in mid December with the goal of finally dispatching this problem. On my first go, I totally dominated it. Felt like V3. This was one session away from becoming a mind game and it felt fantastic to dispatch it with such authority. On to the next one...

The Turning Point, V8 from Doug Lipinski on Vimeo.

The Turning Point (V8) was my next objective. All in all, I think I spent around 6 sessions hiking up to the Satellite Boulders to work on this problem before it finally went down last month. The session before I sent, I fell on the last (not super hard) move multiple times because I was using some stupid beta. By the time I figured that out, I was too tired to send. No worries though, it went down first try the next time I was up there. It was cold enough that my fingers numbed out for the last several moves, but there was no way I was letting go. This is my hardest send to date and without a question one of the best problems I've done. The moves, the rock and the setting are all spectacular. Plus there's lots of beta to figure out with different options for almost every move. The video above shows me on the send.

Kahuna Roof, V6 from Doug Lipinski on Vimeo.
Video by Sarah Evans, Edit by Paul Evans

Finally, I went up to Carter Lake last weekend with a good crew to finish off Kahuna Roof and try some other stuff as well. I had been up there about a year ago when I was in poor climbing shape and failed to do the second move. It was a different story this trip and Kahuna Roof went down after the 3 or 4 tries it took to remember the first two moves. This is another of the best problems I've done, with good rock, a fun dyno, a perfect landing and an awesome view. It's listed as V5 on most sites, but there are various rumors of breakage and I'd say it's solidly in the V6 range. We did a few other very fun problems too. My favorites were The Seam (V2), Rocky Top (V4, flash), and Sunshine (V6) which I should have flashed except for my terrible foot beta on the first go. Unfortunately, a lot of the rock at Carter is very pebbly and unpleasant to climb on, but there are still some very good problems.

With no other projects and great weather last week, Brock, Paul and I decided to head down to Eldorado Canyon to try Resonated (V9). This is a relatively new problem put up by Paul Robinson a couple years ago and it's really a fantastic line. It's only climbable when the creek is low and it ascends a prow that overhangs the water using a couple very small, sharp crimps, a terrible sloping sidepull/undercling, lots of body tension and some heal hook trickery to a very long move. I had tried the problem once before and had not been able to do the long move out right, but Brock had done all the moves and thought it could potentially go down. After trying a bunch of different things, I finally worked out some beta that works for me and pulled the crux move! Unfortunately, the top half of the boulder involves cranking way up off a good heal hook and I managed to pull my hamstring pretty bad on the heel hook the first time I tried that move. It's still pretty sore 3 days later, but definitely improving. There were no sends of Resonated that day, but we'll be back soon with high hopes for success. There are two good videos of the problem here and here.

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