Sunday, October 11, 2009

2 in a Day

Today might have been the last day of climbing for my old pair of Optimus Primes. I'm impressed this pair lasted as long as they did. I started blowing a hole in my right front toe a couple of weeks ago, but kept climbing in them until they were truly trashed. Luckily, I just got a new pair shipped on out from Evolv, so I don't need to go even one day without an aggressive shoe.

I had a really great day of bouldering in these tired shoes, in a matter of about four hours this morning. First up, shaded from the early morning sun at about 8 am was the "Plumber's Crack Traverse" at the Kraft Boulders in Calico Basin. I had worked the moves a few days ago, with Josh and Stephen from work (aka the climbing gym), but this morning, while the air was still crisp, it went down second try from the start. It's a cool problem, reminiscent (although significantly easier and backwards) of Hueco's "Crown of Aragorn."

Then I hiked over to the Monkey Bar boulder area, searching for a problem named "Bitch Slap 5" that is supposedly uphill from it, which strong-man Pete Lowe had told me about. I searched all over the hill he described and couldn't find the dang problem, so I decided to hike around Kraft Mt into the Kraft Wash/Gateway Canyon and search for the classic "Tailpipe," which Pete had also recommended as a hard problem that is doable in a session. Thanks to Jeremiah from the gym for helping me persevere and find the dang thing, because it was a LONG f-ing hike. I mean, I kept stopping at boulders hoping they were it, and they totally were not. About an hour later, we finally found it.

The problem starts on a matched, sloping undercling and then throws out left to a decent crimp. The move is far and it was getting warm, despite the shade in the wash, so I didn't think there was any way I could send in those conditions. That is until my trusty O-Primes revealed to me the obvious foot-cam beta, used to execute the first two moves of the problem. A few tries later, voila, I sent "The Tailpipe." As seen below. The first move is still difficult, but much more fathomable with the heel-toe cam. I'm not necessarily gonna say the problem is soft, but I could definitely see someone just a little stronger than me flashing "The Tailpipe" with this beta.

So PSYCHED. I really can't wait to spend a little time climbing back up at Black Mt and in Bishop in the coming months, and particularly to go back to Hueco in January. I could be stronger than I've ever been, and that's a cool feeling to have two years after an accident which could have ended my climbing career.

Here is a view up the wash from the Tailpipe area.

And here is a view of just part of Kraft Mountain with the other side of Gateway canyon (the darker red rock) in the background and the limestone of the La Madre mountains in the distance.

I ended up just hiking west up the wash and back around Kraft Mt, meaning I completely circumnavigated the damn mountain this morning. It was a bit of a hike, reminscent of a long West Mountain day in Hueco, but totally worth it for such a great day and two classic boulders.

Now for a snack of some sort.


  1. nice work, mang!

    have you ever climbed at a vegas-area place called "mud springs"?

    i was in vegas for 1.8 days long ago and the locals we stayed with showed us this area... there was a few good lines and seemed like a lot of potential for more with some brushing. just curious.

  2. Thanks JJ! You too btw with the Godly Hair problem.
    I have heard of the mud springs area, but with so much stuff already developed and my limited time left here (I go to LA on Thurs and won't be back in Vegas for a couple'a months) I haven't gotten too far off the beaten path yet.

  3. so kraft..... fear of a black hat. good? scary? casual? lame?

  4. It looks GREAT. I just haven't had enough pads to get on it yet. Clockwork looks sick too.