Monday, October 03, 2011

Starting October off Right

Saturday was the 1st of October, and what better way to start a month than by getting up to Black Mountain for a full day of shredding ourselves on SoCal granite?

Brett and I were finally able to lure our friend Drew Mylrea out of the confines of the gym and out onto the boulders. Although Drew insisted that it was going to be his first time outside, a little prying proved that he'd bouldered probably half a dozen times at Castle Rocks up in Santa Cruz when he was younger. 
Black Mountain is different though. The boulders are big and the rock is unforgiving. It is also addictive and Drew was psyched from this first slab.

Drew learning to trust his feet on slab, even in downturned shoes.

Welcome to Black Mt, Drew

A new perspective of Brett on Pink Crack 
After warming up, I suggested we head over to Velvet Revolver (V8+). Back in June when I was starting to train again I was coming close, so I figured with a little effort I could get the send.

The Fuller Ridge and San Jacinto Peak seen from Velvet Revolver

Brett decided to go for a repeat send of it, which he got, but not before falling once from the lip and kicking his spotter (me) in the head.

Brett seconds before kicking me in the head. Drew Mylrea photo


Velvet proved harder than I remembered, but after changing up my beta and deciding to climb it completely statically and with small technical moves (my style, also often referred to as "girl beta), I found myself standing on top of the boulder. 

Velvet send, pics by Drew Mylrea

This beta going out right from the start hold and then back left ads some moves, but allows me to do the climb static.

Using a tricky bicycle to match the edge.

The other additional move, using a poor left hand and a right drop knee to grab the lip.

Topping out psyched
 After Velvet, we went back to the small cluster of boulders I mentioned in a post back in June that I explored with the Axelrad twins, Marina, and Alex Hoffman. We did the moderates of the area and then I got down to the business of finally trying the steep arete project. There is a picture of the amazing patina dogbone that you start on in that earlier post, for those that recall it.

The good news is, it looks like the project will be really hard, but it will go!
The bad news is that one of the holds that I used (crimp ear on the arete that you can see in the second pic and my right hand is moving to in the third) could possibly break, and the alternative is a much worse sloping crimp on the right side of the arete, so I'm really hoping the crimp stays.
Either way, the project is super inspiring and I hope that I can send it. Maybe a hard spring project after getting stronger over the winter.

The first move of the project. Drew Mylrea pics again.

Bicycling the starting hold and eyeing up the crimp on the arete.

Looking a little dabby. Maybe I need to use an even thinner pad on that rock.

View from the proj. Drew photo
 After Brett threw down a lap on Where Boneheads Dare, an old school John Long (pretty sure he did it first) V5, we figured I should throw down some attempts on the DMMFP, one my kind of projects that I try a few times when I'm in its vicinity.

Brett brushing the holds on the DMMFP for me

Another failed attempt on the DMMFP
Tired, I suggested that Brett and Drew do the nice drop off problem to our right. It's on the same boulder as Way Too High, and although the slab looks almost doable, the word is that it hasn't been done and it would be a pretty dangerous position to get oneself into ground up.

Drew on the drop off prob.


Brett using tall man beta

Slam dunk!

Staring up at the blank-looking slab.

Of course we then headed over to Tour de France for Brett to give his goes on his project, the v10 sit start. He linked into the stand for the first time from the bottom and fell two moves before the topout, making his highpoint. Great Job Brett, I know you'll send the sucker.

Looking one direction from atop the TdF boulder

Aaand looking the other direction.

Photo sequence of Brett coming SO close to sending. Pics by Drew Mylrea

Check out that sick drop knee.

Holding the swing.

Oh noos, the fall!
We opted to head down to Hop Scotch at sunset again, so I could get attempts in with the cooler temps and perfect light, but I was dead tired and didn't stick the deadpoint. Maybe another day.

Just another gorgeous Black Mt sunset

A cool pic of another failed attempt on Hop Scotch. Maybe one day we'll have pics of me actually sending.

Brett enjoying a beer and the view. I certainly can't blame him.

Looking forward to  more sports action in a beautiful setting next weekend. Stay psyched everyone!


  1. Anonymous8:44 PM

    That drop off problem with the slab that looks doable is called "Superman"(11+? TR) and indeed has been done, even ropeless. Ask around with the older boulderers of the area like John or Chaz. Saw a Japanese climber send it myself a couple years back. cheers and very entertaining words/media.

  2. That is awesome! Might give us some encouragement to go for it. I've asked around and always heard something to the effect of "I dunno. I think it blanks out right under those jugs," but I have never met Chaz, in spite of my frequenting the mountain. Thanks for commenting!