Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bolts and Boulders in Las Vegas

Brett and I returned late Sunday night from an awesome weekend of climbing in Vegas.

On Saturday, we drove up to Mt. Charleston to climb on the famous bone-white limestone of The Hood.

We had a nice warm up on the Pinetree Ledge, where Brett onsighted his first Charleston climb, the traditional warm up, Heatin' up the Hood (5.11c), but that was the last send of the day. (Joking, but seriously.)
Not The Hood, our destination, but another piece of rock above the trailhead.
Limestone features in Mt Charleston's Compton Cave.
Looking out from the Compton Cave.
The Imagination Wall.
Joey on "Run for the Border" (5.13b).
Joey running.
Gone! Taking the fall from the crux.
Brett, chilling in the Soul Cave.

In spite of the fact that I didn't get a good link in on Closing Down from the ground to the upper boulder problem (v8ish, the bottom bolt of which my rope is hanging from in the pic below), I did feel like I was finally starting to get the bottom boulder problem sussed (v7 probably in its own right). I definitely need to do more sport climbing locally if I'm going to hope to send this one though. We'll see if it's not too cold in Vegas to sneak in a day up there next time I visit before the end of the year, but this route might get to wait yet another season for me. (I first tried it 9 years ago, but don't worry, I have not been projecting it that entire time!)
Cruxy. Looking up at "Closing Down."
Dennis Gates, swimming in a sea of limestone on "Animal Attack" (5.13b).

Feeling totally worked from Saturday, on Sunday we went bouldering in Red Rocks' Kraft Boulders and Gateway Canyon. We warmed up on the Monkey Bar Boulder, where I surprised myself by repeating Monkey Bar Direct on my first try of the day. Lib came incredibly close on the direct too. I'm sure she'll send it soon.

Liberty Herring on "Monkey Bar Direct" (v8/9)
Lib snagging the crimp on "Monkey Bar Direct."
When we first hiked up Gateway Canyon, we checked out Americana Exotica (v10), a very powerful undercling problem that Pete Lowe put up a few years ago, but it was unfortunately baking in the sun. We also checked out Book of Nightmares (v12?), which looks incredibly beta intensive, as well as super crimpy. So instead, we opted to hike back up the opposite side of the canyon to an AMAZING roof boulder named Seek and Destroy (v9-11?) It actually sought to destroy us, and only Brett was able to start at the jug about halfway (or more) through the problem and top out. I will definitely be returning for this one!

Liberty working the end of "Seek and Destroy."
Before leaving the canyon, we check out Paul Robinson's Meadowlark Lemon, which looks absolutely impossible and sports many "non-holds" and then back tracked to the Jack of all Trades/Master of None boulder. Brett and I were able to pull off the former before starting the hike out.

Brett sending "Jack of all Trades" (v5).
The awesome hold on "Jack of all Trades."
Brett slabbin it in Gateway Canyon on the "Jack of all Trades" boulder.

Of course, no day in Kraft would be complete without the obligatory lap on The Pearl, which Brett and I did as our last climb of the trip.

Exhausted, we packed up and hit the road, getting back to LA after midnight.
This Saturday there is an ABS comp at Mesa Rim in San Diego, but I may get out to Black Mountain on Friday, so tune in for more sports action next week.

Stay psyched!!!

Friday, October 05, 2012

The Choss Boss

Last Sunday I went out to repeat the Choss Boss, which Anthony Tarascio and I worked previously and he FA'd last Wednesday.

It's a steep crimpy line right on top of the summit of Black Mt, in a small cluster of boulders adjacent to NRA and the summit block. It's probably V8 or 9 and has some really cool movement, in spite of being a bit of a dab trap.

First move. Photos by Maya Bartur.

As seems to be the routine recently, I tried Bang On a few times at the end of the day,

Those moves feel really hard.

Stay psyched, climb safe, and see you out there!