Monday, January 23, 2012

Twilight Ridge

Don't let my last post fool you. Training does not exclude climbing on real rock. I have spent five of the last seven days climbing and training, but in spite of the nagging soreness from Saturday's bouldering session at Hangar 18 in Riverside, I couldn't say no when Ian McIntosh shot me a text asking if I wanted to head up to Black Mt on Sunday. Ian, Bridget, Diego and I headed up to the Republic area and hiked up to Twilight of the Idols and explored what other boulders lay strewn about what Ian is referring to as the "Twilight Ridge."

After a prolonged warm up, culminating with a surprisingly classic, golden, vertical v5ish face climb, we headed back over to Twilight of the Idols. Ian repeated the 4 star line on his first try, and inspired Diego and I to give it 100% on our own attempts. 

Ian getting into the business on "Twilight of the Idols" (v10)
The setup for the crux deadpoint
Ian about to breeze through the redpoint crux. This was my highpoint on my best attempt.

I think Ian deserves extra style points for this awesome topout!

I was super psyched to make it past the big crux move that had stumped me on my previous day on this boulder, so I wasn't too disappointed that I fell off the slightly higher second crux move. Diego pieced the bottom together fairly quickly, so hopefully these guys will be psyched to go back up there so we can both send some time soon! 

From Twilight we headed over to another cluster of scantly developed boulders on the ridge. One particular bloc has at least three 3-star lines on it. Ian worked one project while I worked another and Diego and Bridget both came close to repeating the established v7 face.

Bridget attempting the only line we know to have been sent on this bloc, v7ish.
Ian attempting a project
Just another unexplored hillside of boulders
The project I was trying is a full-value crimp line on solid, sharp patina edges. It starts sitting with an obvious jug and climbs straight up with a couple of powerful moves on small holds. Looks like the Buttermilks, don't you think?  After a while of working a project around the corner on the same bloc, Ian came over to try to his hand at nabbing the (likely) FA of the line I was trying, only to come off the topout after a few tries. I did all the moves and linked through the crux from the bottom, but couldn't hold it together to the top. We don't think it will end up being any harder than v8 or 9, but we'll have to wait for an ascent to really tell, so it looks like we'll have to return for this one too!

Ian, two moves in from the sit start
just after the most powerful move on the line
Lock off and pull through (from this horrible left hand edge, left hand goes to the big edge above his right hand, as pictured below.)

and then a big pull to the top
Ian, moments before deciding to save the sketchy topout for  next time.

Of course the sunsets at Black Mt never disappoint. 
That's it for this week's installment. Hopefully there will be news of some new sends to report next week. Stay psyched everyone and see you at the boulders!