Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Free and Open

I wanted to share with you all a project that my buddy Drew Mylrea has been working on for a while. Free and Open is a proposed webseries, which takes place in a post-internet censorship U.S. I'll let Drew and his Kickstarter campaign do the talking, but I highly recommend that folks take a look. If you're reading this blog, you probably believe in an uncensored internet, so take a moment to check out this project.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Another Horse Flats Day

I spent Saturday up at Horse Flats with a great crew: Itai Axelrad, Charlie Andrews, Christina Pilo, Brett Gottdener, "Ninja" Kris Linstrom, and Richie Wong. Unfortunately, Brett is nursing an injured finger, so he didn't really get to climb, but everyone else went home with some new sends.

After a long warmup, during which Charlie, Itai and I did the Peanut Problem (v7) and the classic Bow Sprits (v2/v4 sds), we tried the nicely patina'd, steep face of Arbor Day. The three of us traded attempts from the sit start, climbing powerful, tensiony moves on incut holds, only to fall at least once each off of the top. After the rest of the crew arrived at the boulder and Kris quickly sent the stand start (v5), Charlie and I were re-motivated for the sit, but we were thrown a curveball when Charlie broke a crimp off the lower section. We figured out some slightly different beta and after a few tries we both sent the full line. Arbor Day SDS, is even better in its newly broken state, and Charlie and I both felt that it would be fair to call this one v8. The bottom climbs really well, but we didn't manage to get any good photos or footage of the full line.

Kris sending "Arbor Day Stand"
While the rest of the crew held back for a little while at Bow Sprits, I took Charlie and Itai over to Blank Generation, a short, powerful problem that I was able to send recently. Itai managed to FLASH the full line, and Charlie managed the send after a handful of close calls. Way to go guys! There is video of Itai's flash, so watch the Axelrad twins' blog for that.

Charlie Anrews sending "Blank Generation SDS" (v10)
Charlie sticking the crux of "Blank Generation"
Charlie holding that swing like it's nothing.

After Blank Generation, we met up with the rest of the crew at Orange Flambé, another area classic that I've tried here and there over the years. The delicate face saw ascents by Charlie, Itai, and Kris, but neither Christina or I could seal the deal. Looks like we'll have to return for it another day.

Myself starting out on "Orange Flambé" (photo: Richie Wong)
Ninja Kris starting "Orange Flambé"

Pulling the first crux (photo by Richie)

Itai past the crux and heading for the topout.

Charlie gunning for the top of "Orange Flambé"

From Orange Flambé, Itai, Charlie, and I explored the Titanium Man cluster of boulders for a bit, finding one amazing, tall wall of crimps that we figured would best be left for another climber on another day. As the afternoon stretched on, we decided to head out, but stopped at one of the earlier boulders in the main area to try a harder looking line to the left of an obvious jughaul, just off the trail. We all sent the unknown problem in short order and felt that it made a perfect ending to a nice long day of bouldering.

Itai on our last problem of the day.
  We made the long hike back to the car, parked way out by the gate to the Christian Camp, since the road to the campgrounds is still "closed for the season" and reflected on an awesome day on excellent California granite. 

What a view. Ridges of the San Gabriel Mountains, seen from Horse Flats.
Stay psyched you weekend-warriors and full-time rock grapplers alike. Hope to see you out on the rocks!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

ABS Youth Nationals and the Malibu Roof

Well, it's been a couple of weeks since I've updated, and a lot has happened in that time. I spent last Thursday through Sunday in Colorado Springs, CO, coaching at the ABS Youth National Championships, enjoying a few days in a climate other than California's constant sunshine.

Natalie, Charlie, and Sami, all from Rockreation LA, made a great showing at Youth Nationals.
Natalie managed to flash all four qualifying routes on day one (going into semis tied for first place), but re-tweaked her sprained back on the third semi-final and barely missed making it to finals (by one point!) Charlie also flashed all four of his qualifying problems on Friday, and climbed very well on Saturday and Sunday, securing him an 8th place finish. For full results, click here.

Natalie Josefsberg flashing qualifier number 3
and 4
View of Pike's Peak from my hotel room window.
Walking around Garden of the Gods on Saturday before semi-finals
Some dudes climbing some sketchy sandstone at Garden of the Gods
We returned Sunday evening, and Monday I set my boulder problems for the new set at Rockreation LA. Check out the steep side of the boulder if you get in there, there are some fresh new problems!

On Wednesday, Maya and I ventured out to Malibu Creek State Park, so that I could try to send Chubbs aka The Malibu Roof, featured in my last post. Here are some beautiful pics Maya took from the day.

Walking in to Malibu Creek State Park


Me traversing back to get my additional crashpads at the end of the day. The other guy was rocking a wet suit and kept jumping in and swimming, while I aimed for the opposite.
The Rock Pool

While I didn't send it first try, I did on my second! Luckily for me, my friends Alex and Dara were there to capture a repeat of the ascent on Dara's iphone for the uncut footage. Check it out below.

Untitled from Dara B on Vimeo.

After the long hike out (well it sure seems long if you're carrying three crashpads) Maya and I went to one of our favorite LA spots, Malibu Seafood, for a delicious dinner. You can't really beat sunset on the ocean and a plate of amazing fresh fish.

Psyched to have sent (twice!), I felt I deserved a big meal.

Full moon over the PCH, what a perfect ending to the day.
Stay psyched everyone and see you out on the rocks!!