Monday, November 12, 2012

Birthday Challenge 2012!

For those who missed last week's update or didn't see the many Facebook updates, this past Saturday, Novebmer 10th, was my 27th birthday. I had planned celebrate with a birthday challenge to repeat 27 boulder problems at Black Mountain, but with a few days of snow in the mountains starting on Thursday, we made the decision to relocate the festivities to Joshua Tree. Now that a day has passed since we left the park, it's easy for me to reflect back and say without the slightest hesitation that Saturday was my most fun (and of course challenging!) day of climbing ever!

Of course, to the initiated, it's known that climbing in Joshua Tree is hard. The crystals that compose the quartz monzonite granite are really sharp, even more so than most of Black Mountain. Many of the ratings are fairly stiff, and terms like "old school" or "Joshua Tree" are frequently used as prefixes to qualify the V grades. Good thing that I'm fairly used to this from Black Mountain and that my goal was just to climb 27 boulder problems, with no minimum of difficulty. Remember, while my list of problems that I had planned to send at Black were all repeats, I have spent verrrrry little time bouldering in JTree, so every problem was a new to me!
The other things about the style of bouldering at Joshua Tree are that the boulders are usually fairly tall and the style is highly technical, with bad feet and plenty of hard mantles high off the deck. It was an adrenaline pumping, high-volume, highballing day for sure!

Now for some photos. All shots by awesome homegirl Christina Pilo, unless otherwise noted that they were taken by other awesome homegirl Tia Stark.
Driving into JTree during the early morning hours. Tia Stark photo.
Warming up on problem number 2, "Riffraff" (v0), at Ryan Campground. 
# 3, "Fidelman Arete" (v2). 
#4, "Figure Five" (v2), Ryan Campground. 
Topping out "Figure Five." Christina Pilo photo.
Coming painfully close on "Chili Sauce" (v7) at Ryan Campground, one of the few that got away. Sick shot by Tia Stark.
Christina Pilo sending the amazing "All Washed Up" (v6), one of the best problems I completed during the day!
All up ons # 6, "All Washed Up."
Homeboy Jesse Weiner giving it on "Picture Perfect" (v5).
#9, "Picture Perfect" (v5).
#10, "Joker" (V1).
#11, "Prince Hoi" (v2).
Brett Gottdener running up "Foot Fetish" (v2).
#12, "Foot Fetish" (v2).
I love the desert.
Tia Stark photo.
#13, "Hoi Palloi" (v0).
#14, "Maverick" (v0).
#15, "The Boxer Problem" (v2), at the Manx Boulder.

Rob Miramontes with the pole cam all up ons during my send of #19, "Undertow" (v3).
View from the Manx Boulder.
#20, "Out of Touch" (v2) with Miramontes' pole cam catching the action.
"Out of Touch."
#24, "Mighty Dog" (v7) Tia Stark photo.
Coming painfully close to completing "Vicaryous" (v10) as problem 27. I totally could have sent if I'd gotten here more fresh! Next time! Tia Stark photo.
We didn't quite get photos of every problem, as my camera was dying by problem 22 or so, but we came awfully close.
Here is the full list for anyone interested.

#1. "Wannabe" 5.9
#2. "Riffraff" V0
#3. "Fidelman Arete" V1
#4. "Figure Five" V2
#5 unkown v0 (#28 in Ryan campground)
#6 "All Washed Up" V6 (highball, committing, hard for the grade, and amazing)
#7 "Warm Up" V1 (in corridor with "All Washed Up"
#8 "Lunge For It" V3
#9 "Picture Perfect" V5
#10 "Joker" V1
#11 "Prince Hoi" V2
#12 "Foot Fetish" V2
#13. "Hoi Polloi" V2
#14. "Maverick" V0
#15. "The Boxer Problem" V2
#16. "Xylophone" V2
#17. "Scuttlebutt" V0 (amazingly awkward stemming scoop that I don't even understand how I started)
#18. "Fishbait" V0
#19. "Undertow" V3
#20. "Out of Touch" V2
#21. "Off Camber" V4 (really cool big move to a sloping topout with a triiicky mantle)
#22. "Gambit" V1
#23. "Wrangler" V2
#24. "Mighty Dog" V7 (onsighted at the end of the day and then almost did the sit start crimping traverse "Vicaryous" (v10) right after! Unfortunately I was getting tired at this point!)
#25. "Pea Brain" V4
#26. "Retro" V0
#27. "Footsie"V3 (This was actually the hardest climb of the day, took the most number of efforts, and felt the most satisfying!)

After the long day of bouldering, Brett suggested we hit the Joshua Tree Salloon for some burgers and beers, which I could not have agreed with more. It was a perfect birthday dinner with great friends, which included a really big chocolate lava cake dessert and plenty of jukebox kareoke.

Cheers to Christina, Tia, Brett, and Jesse for being an amazing support team throughout the day, and to everyone that was there in spirit. You were missed.
Of course, the next morning we had to hit up the Meadows boulder so that I could send (somehow!) both "Sloper Safari" (v4) and "Rasberry" (v6), both of which felt near impossible after Saturday's sendfest. We packed up shortly after and zipped back to LA, and by 6 pm I was up at Boulderdash resetting the roof on the boulder.

For some reason I feel justified in taking a couple of rest days!
Have fun out there, climb safe, and thanks again to all of you for your amazingly positive birthday wishes. It was my best  birthday yet and I look forward to sharing similar experiences with you all in the future!
I've got 27 years of life behind me, and I feel like I'm just getting started!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Some Pics from Malibu and Black

Lately, I've been trying to get out to Malibu Creek's Ghetto Wall once during the week and up to Black Mountain for at least a day during the weekend. I figure, if I'm actually going to accomplish 2012's resolutions I had better be working on them pretty constantly until the end of the year! Regardless of sending, it's been nice lately, climbing on stellar climbs in nearing perfect weather (come on fall!)
Working "Brenna/Lateralus"

David on "Ghettoblaster."

Abbey on "Dream Tiger."

Sending "Dream Tiger."

Stay safe, and I hope to see some of you at my Birthday Challenge at Black Mt. this coming Saturday, November 10th! Come throw down a pad and try to keep up as I attempt to send 27 problems!