Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas at Twilight of the Idols

Yesterday, Craig and I went up to Twilight of the Idols, heralded by its handful of ascensionists as one of the best v10s in California. I had never been to the problem before and was excited to see it, and Craig was psyched to try to send, after a few days of sunshine had melted out the worst of last week's snow. 

We parked off of the road to The Republic, when Craig's minivan wouldn't make it any farther, and made the long steep hike first to the main Republic area, and then the additional 20 or so minutes uphill through a tunnel chopped through the Manzanita to the exposed ridge that is home to Twilight

View of the ridge between the Wild Things area and Twilight.

Mt San Gorgonio as seen from Twilight of the Idols

Craig Brushing the upper holds ... which neither of us made it to.

Craig on the second move ...
and the third ...
and fourth.
Unfortunately, things didn't go as well as last week at the Jupiters. After a few attempts to feel out the first moves, I found myself matching Craig's high point, heel hooking just below where his left hand is in the photo above, and going left hand to the sharp, somewhat sloping hueco high above his left hand. From that first crux move there are still a few hard moves before the tricky topout, and I hope that I can at least fall off higher up  (if not send!) my next day out there.

That, however, won't be until 2012, as I'll be visiting Maya in London for New Year's and the week following! I kind of doubt if I'll update before then, so I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season, whether you celebrate Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or none of the above, and have a happy and safe New Year too!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Super Nova Sends

Well here is the "uncut footage" of Eden and I both sending Super Nova (v10) at the Jupiter Boulders.

It is worth noting that the left hand compression hold in the overhang is a horrible sloping angle change, rather than a real "hold" and that the first few right hand holds aren't much better. I haven't done many hard compression boulders, so I was pretty darn psyched about this one!

Eden sending

Me doing the same

Stay psyched and see ya all out at the boulders.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Great Day at the Jupiter Boulders!

Sunday, Itai and Eden Axelrad and I drove out to meet Anthony Tarascio for a day of bouldering. Our original intention was to check out some of the lower elevation stuff at Black Mt, but with a heavy cloud shrouding the mountain and dumping snow, we decided to check out the Jupiter Boulders, near Palm Springs. Considering that the parking area is a local firing range, we parked the cars and ran up to the boulders as quickly as possible, politely informing the gun-slingers that we'd be hiking up into the canyon to their right, and to please not shoot at the moving colorful rectangles.

Anthony gave us a great tour of many awesome problems, including Super Nova (v10), which both  of the twins and I were able to send! (Anthony had of course crushed it previously.)  

Eden warming up with a flash of "Air Flash" (v7)

It really does feel like you're on another planet.
 After a quick warmup we ran over to Super Nova, which Anthony hailed as one of the best problems at the Jupiters. With perfectly polished holds and very difficult compression moves, we all concurred with his assessment.

Itai sending "Super Nova" (v10)

There is also video of both Eden and I sending Super Nova, which I'll post up here as soon as Itai has it available.

After we all finally sent (I was last, predictably), we headed over to the beautiful bloc that is home to such classics as Suck My Venus (v8), Kiss Uranus (v11), and a couple of projects as well. Itai and Eden were both able to flash Suck My Venus, which took me three tries, and when I did finally send I'd say my sketchy, pumped out of my brain topout form deserved some negative style points. I decided to take it easy after that, and just take pics of the other three working Ian McIntosh's testpiece, Kiss Uranus.

Eden Axelrad flashing "Suck my Venus" (v8) 

Itai also flashing, with a wild and impressive foot cut. 

Eden working the moves on "Kiss Uranus"

Itai starting "Kiss Uranus"

Anthony on the same

The view, which made the setting feel even more surreal

Up canyon
All in all, it was an amazing day at a new (to 3 of us) area, and we look forward to returning on future days when the upper reaches of the mountain are covered in snow. Hopefully we won't have too many of those this season though!

Until next update, stay psyched and see you out there!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Perfect Temps at Black Mt

Sunday, Anthony Tarascio and I cruised up to Black Mt and met Ian and Bridget for an awesome day of granite bouldering in perfect conditions. Although the second gate on the road up to Black is closed, a quick(ish) 2.5 mile uphill hike landed us at the OK Corral in about 40 minutes.

Unfortunately, I'm an idiot and forgot to charge my Nikon battery, but my cell phone has a shitty camcorder app, so I was able to get some footage, including my almost-send of/epic failure on Gimme Some and Anthony's spectacular send of Man is a Bastard.

Myself falling at the end of Gimme Some (v9)

Anthony Tarascio, finally sending Man is a Bastard (v10)

Temps are great right now and hopefully I'll have even more ascents to report in the near future.
Stay psyched everyone, and get out on those rocks!

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Day in Black Velvet Canyon

Sunday I met Hans, Elliot, and others out at Black Velvet Canyon for an awesome day of bouldering.

Hans warming up by linking "Wet Dream Right" (v11) to its top (He sent the problem previously)

Elliot working the same.

A helicopter made laps (drills?) in  and out of the canyon.

Hans working "Wet Dream"


Myself working out the upper moves of "Wet Dream Right."
Hans attempting to repeat "The Fountainhead"

We all also sent a fun little slopey crimp line that I guess is called American Gothic (the name is more exciting than the boulder in my opinion) before heading back down to The Fountainhead. Although nobody sent WD or WD Right, we all made progress, and I've got an awesome new project to be obsessed with.

Stay psyched and see you out there!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I spent the Friday after Thanksgiving out bouldering at Red Springs and the Kraft Boulders. My goal was to finish UltraViolet (v8/9), which I fell off the last move of last January first. I ran into Craig and Elliot, whom I know from Black Mountain, and the three of us warmed up and charged up the hill to the striking overhung arete.
The hillside above Red Springs
Craig executing the first move of UltraViolet (v8/9)
And not quite sticking the third.
 I couldn't pull out the first try send, but got it within a handful of efforts with a little bit of a yell on the crux move.

Myself starting up "UltraViolet"
The definitive crux of the problem, a long deadpoint off of a horrible right hand crimp to a left hand edge.

The other hard, long move, which thankfully goes from and to much better holds than the first crux.
Jugs to the top. Psyched!

From UltraViolet we hiked over to the well-known crimp testpiece, Vigilante (v10?), which looks like it has broken and would be super hard in its current state, and then headed over to the Kraft boulders to finish the day on a fun easier circuit.

Craig on the dyno of "Dusty's Coffee"
Elliot, deep in the plumber's crack.
Many classic moderates with fantastic holds abound on the generally less than highball boulders littering the hillside below Kraft Mt, and it made for a nice finish to a memorable day. Having started bouldering here when I was a kid, these boulders will always hold a special place in my heart.

Today I'm resting, and tomorrow I'm super psyched to be heading out with friends to Black Velvet Canyon and Ethan Pringle's masterpiece boulder problem, Wet Dream. More photos soon.