Monday, February 9, 2015

Back To Black

This past weekend Itai and I headed out to Black Mountain for the first time in a while. We met up with Isaac and a few of his friends, and had a fun day exploring the OK Corral. Isaac was a solid tour guide, and managed to get us all excited about the area even though temperatures were far from ideal.

Mike Doyle on The Dan Osman Arete (V6)
Not long after we climbed the classic Dan Osman Arete I found a short crimp line that hadn't been done before. It added two hard moves to an existing stand start. The first move is the crux, and it involves a dead-point to a small edge. From the edge you throw to a jug rail, hold the swing, and top out. After a relatively quick, but hard fought session I managed to piece it together for a first ascent! I speculate that it's in the V10/11 range, but a sandbagging downgrade second opinion would be very welcomed. I decided to name the climb Transitory State, because this winter season has been so absurdly fleeting.

Working the moves on Transitory State (V10/11?)

A GIF of the first two moves of Transitory State (V10/11?)

After the session on the project, we headed down to the lower OK Corral area to scope out more blocs. Isaac's tour only got better when he showed us the Hueco Wall (V3) and Loh Roof (V8), which were both crowd favorites. Here are some photos from the afternoon session.

Me heading up the immaculate Hueco Wall (V3)
Isaac eyeing the jug hold on Loh Bo?? (V9)

Itai holding the swing on Loh Roof (V8)
It's been a while since I've been back to Black, but I'm sure I'll be up there again very soon.
See you guys out there!

- Eden

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

¡ B I S H O P !

This past weekend I headed up to Bishop with my brother. We had the pleasure of meeting up and climbing with a solid crew, including Dan, Isaac, Marina and Jake. The weather was nice (?) and the psych was high. (If you need visual proof, here's a pic of the group posing in front of the Peabody boulders --> 

This trip I was on a mission to dispatch my old nemesis, Direction (V13), so naturally, it was the first thing I stepped up to. After a few warm up goes, and some beta advice from my brother, I finally managed to put the project down! But since I find it hard to express myself without emojis, here's something that will help convey what it feels like to send a long standing project (*play your favorite jam in the background for an enhanced effect): 

Seriously though, thanks for the support everybody!
Here are a few photos from the send...

After the send I took some time off to relax, take photos, and cheer the guys on. Here are Marina and Isaac getting close on their respective projects. 

Marina holding the swing on High Plain Drifter (V7)
Isaac reaching for it on The Mystery (V12)
Itai running a lap on The Knobs (V5)
Later that day we headed out to the Pollen Grains. I hadn't been out to this area in years and I was excited to jump on some fresh classics. Itai and I managed quick sends of Return of the Jedi (V10), and later joined Dan to work out the moves on Spectre (V13). 

Me, high-steppin' on the immaculate Jedi Mind Tricks (V4)
Jake working the same problem
Me, on Return of the Jedi (V10)
Dan, on the beautiful Spectre (V13)
On Sunday, Itai and I hiked out to the Secrets of the Beehive area to check out The Swarm (V14). We gave the problem a few goes each, and then decided to check out other climbs in the area. I really can't wait to come back to it with more skin and better crimp strength. The next project? 

Itai on the opening move of The Swarm (V14)
Me, sending Queen's Sweet Nectar (V9)
After our adventure in this outlying area we went back to the main Buttermilks to meet up with the rest of the crew. We ended the day by laying out in the sun and contemplating life's great mysteries. 

I can't wait to get back out there. Let's keep 2015 rollin'! 

- Eden

Monday, January 19, 2015

Horse Flats

Cody, Eden, Jovanna and I escaped the Los Angeles concrete jungle in hopes of spending our Saturday in a place with a scenic view. We decided to check out Horse Flats and were not disappointed by the granite boulders of the Angeles National Forest. We tried to get on all of the classics the area had to offer but the heat slowed us down and left us with plenty of climbs to return for. Here are some pictures from the ones we got on

Cody, getting high off the deck on the beautiful Thin Face (V2)
Eden, holding the swing for an impressive flash of Blank Generation (V10)
Itai, taking a lap on The Fridge (V2) and enjoying the view

Itai working his way up The Fang (V5)
I can’t wait to get back out there with cooler temps and more skin (and with more pads for Sword of Damocles).

     - Itai

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bishop: Round II

I drove up to Bishop this past weekend to meet up with Damien, Jovanna, Marina, Emily and Jake.
I was excited for the back-to-back trips, and I was hoping that the weather would hold up.

On Saturday, a windy forecast kept me out of the Buttermilks. Instead I went to the Happys to try and deal with some unfinished business from last week. The rest did me good, and I managed to dispatch both Bubba Gets Committed (V10) and Toxic Avenger (V9) in the late morning session. I rested in the early afternoon, while watching Damien take out the classic Every Color You Are (V6), and work the moves of Morning Dove White (V7/8). However my phone/camera was free of charge in the worst way possible, so the first day went sans photo.

On Sunday I finally went back to the Milks for the first time since Spring. We started out near the Birthday boulders and worked our way back to the Peabodies. I grabbed a send of Iron Fly (V9) while the crew was working the ultra-classic Iron Man (V4), and also put down Junior's Achievement (V8) shortly after.

Jake latching the last move on Iron Man 
Iron Fly (PC: Jack Hanes)
Marina working Junior's Achievement while Aaron makes rock art

Late in the last day of our trip I decided to jump on my project, Direction (V13). It took me a while to re-learn the beta, but after that I was able to repeatedly make high point on the climb. I fell off the last move around 4 times. So bitter-sweet. This is the best I've felt on the project, which is great - but I also fell on the last move, which was agonizingly frustrating.

Me on the last move... (PC: Jovanna)

...and moments later
As the sun went down we watched Dan Beall give burns on his mega project up the right side of the Grandpa Peabody. Here is a photo of the set up. Good luck Dan, hope it goes soon!

I'm sure I'll be back shortly because I already miss this place. 
See you out there.

- Eden

Monday, November 17, 2014

Bishop, The Opening Trip

This past weekend I went to Bishop with Jake and Marina. It was pretty cold, and we ended up in the warmer Happy Boulders for the entirety of our trip. The Happys are like cargo pants - they have way too many pockets. But cargo pants are (usually) harmless, while the ironically named Happys completely demolished my fingers. Over the weekend I managed to put 6 holes in my hands, and twice that many in my ego. It happens. 
Here's a photo of my hands at the end of the trip. 

Just kidding, if you look really closely you can tell that's actually a photo of Swiss cheese. 
The trip didn't see any noticeable ticks, but we all had a good time figuring out beta and hanging out with friends. Here are some photos of the climbs we worked or sent over the weekend. 

Jake working out the moves on Every Color You Are (V6)
Danny on his send of Action Figure (V6)
Marina eyeing some pockets on Morning Dove White (V7/8) - PC: Jack Hanes
Here I am on Bubba Gets Committed (V10) - PC: Jack Hanes

I'm looking forward to next weekend, when I plan to head back to Bishop.
See you all out there!

- Eden

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Red Rocks

Is it fall yet? In the past I have been able to rely on my usual cues and signs, for example, if Starbucks is serving its seasonal pumpkin spice latte, temps are usually favorable. However, we're already in late October and fall temps appear to be hanging back like a reluctant child on the first day of school. Don't worry fall temps, we won't bite! 

This past weekend Marina, Jake and I scoped out a warm Red Rocks for the first time. Red Rocks lies about 15 minutes west of Las Vegas, and offers a plethora of climbing. The magnificent sandstone formations and canyons provide a serene refuge from the wilderness that is Las Vegas. The contrast between the city and the surrounding desert is striking. Over the four days of our trip I began to understand the true severity of the juxtaposition. 

On day one we headed out to the main cluster of boulders in Red Rocks (Kraft Boulders). We warmed up and jumped on some of the area classics. It was a hot day, but we managed to chase shade and get a solid session in. Jake and Marina opened up a couple projects on the popular Monkey Bar boulder, and I snagged sends of Monkey Bar Direct (V8) and Timmy's Problem (V9)

Marina warming up
Jake on Potato Chips (V2), an area classic
Monkey Bar Direct (PC: Marina)
Day two was just as hot. We started off at the Monkey Bar boulder, where Jake put down the Monkey Bar Traverse (V6/7). After that we headed deeper into the canyon to avoid the sun and explore the Gateway boulders. Foolishly, I wanted to check out Book of Nightmares (V12), an appropriately named climb. I worked the opening moves, but left the rest for later, in case I ever return with more pads a parachute. On the way out of the canyon my flip-flops decided that hiking was not what they signed up for, RIP, but half a role of tape later and they survived one last push out of Red Rocks - before I dumped them in a Walmart trashcan for an upgrade. 

Working on Book of Nightmares (PC: Jake)

On day three I wanted to jump on Scare Tactics (V10), and headed there early while it was still in the shade. We ran into another SoCal climbing crew, and I got to work out the sequence with a fellow climber - Aaron. We both put down the crimpy climb in a short session, and then we all headed toward the Monkey Bar boulder to find shade in the overhang. Marina worked out the sequence on Monkey Bar Traverse (V6/7), and Jake sent Monkey Bar Right (V6).

Gettin' sideways on Scare Tactics (PC: Marina)

Marina working out the sequence on Monkey Bar Traverse

Jake on Monkey Bar Right
On the last day we were all pretty sore and tired, but we still had a short session in the shade of the Monkey Bar boulder. After that we headed home for a much needed rest. This was a great trip, and I can't wait for the temperatures to drop a bit more. I'm glad I finally made it out to Red Rocks, and I'm certain I'll be back soon. 

- Eden

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pine Mountain

Yesterday Marina, Jake and I headed up to Pine Mountain for a much needed escape from the city. Pine Mountain is situated above Ojai, in Reyes Peak - with an elevation of roughly 7,000 feet. It was my first time going to this crag, and I was excited to explore yet another climbing area.

The drive up

Reyes Peak Campgrounds
We jumped on a few classics and socialized with the other climbers that were out there. I managed to snag a send of 911 (V8), and unlock all the moves on Whiplash (V11). Hopefully I can return in more optimal temps in order to link the moves.

Jake gettin high on a V4?

Marina, finding out that flies and slab don't mix

Flies and slab don't mix - seriously, don't swat and slab

Me, grunting on Whiplash (PC: Marina)

All in all, it was not the most eventful day, and our trip was actually cut short due to the heat and the flies - but mostly the flies. I would spare you the details, but putting up a complaint-free blog is just not my style. So, if you aren't a fan of melodramatic tangents, feel free to skip the following rant paragraph.

There. Were. So. Many. Flies. 
I mean, if I had a dollar for every fly out there, I'd breach the Forbes 100 list. And these flies were far from docile. In fact, they were closer to masochistic. What makes flies act this way? It was like they all came from broken homes and had "seen some shit". They meant business and they had strength in numbers. Didn't they have something better to do than chip away at our mental fortitude? They were determined, like a middle school bully, pushing his victim to the edge of a psychotic breakdown. As hours passed, each buzz became more and more potent. They had an uncanny ability to break you mentally. By the end, it felt like they were flying by my ear and whispering shit about my most personal insecurities. I would try and think about where to place my feet and instead I'd end up dwelling on the fact that I'll never be able to grow a beard, or that I couldn't send that one V3 in Squamish last summer. How the hell do these flies know that I'm sensitive about my inability to grow facial hair? Are flies psychic? Seriously, can someone please enlighten me as to what the purpose of a fly is!? Thanks for making us leave early, assholes. 

- Eden