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 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Goodbye San Luis Obispo

After four amazing years, it is time to say goodbye to San Luis Obispo. Luckily, before I left I got the chance to show my brother around Bishop Peak and reclimb some of my favorites.





I know Bishop Peak is not world class climbing, but I forget how spoiled I have been to have some rock 5 minutes from my apartment. I’m going to miss this place.

Goodbye San Luis Obispo.


- Itai

Monday, July 28, 2014

Purple Stones

Hmmmm, the Purple Stones, where to begin?

Last weekend I headed to the Purple Stones with Marina, Jake and Alex. This was our first time exploring this local crag, and we were eager to get outdoors for the day. Little did we know that we were about to have quite an adventure - perhaps one that is more fit for Bilbo Baggins than a group of spoiled LA climbers. The approach begins alongside Topanga Canyon highway, where one is forced to partake in a live game of frogger. Next, you must descend down a long and ominous drainage pipe, which really puts your hobophobia to the test. When If you emerge, you then follow a creek for about 15 minutes, after which you finally reach a cluster of boulders that are purple - yes, purple. In fact, the Purple Stones are hypothesized to be the birthplace of A$AP Rocky. This should come as no surprise, since one of his most famous songs, "Purple Swag", very clearly pays homage to this mysterious crag. Anyway, here is a quick photo montage of our day.

Frogger

Tunnel descent

Emerging from the tunnel

"I said, everything is purple (swag)" - A$AP Rocky, Purple Stones local
By the time we reached the actual climbing destination it was fairly late and we were drained. Nonetheless we had a go at some routes. Here are some photos of the climbs we complained about. 

Alex working out the sequence on some piece of rock
Group sesh on Purple Prow, V8?

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
These boulders were purple,
I bid you adieu

- Eden

Friday, March 28, 2014

Spring Break in Cabo


Cody, Itai and I headed up to Bishop (ok I lied, whatever) early on Sunday morning. We grabbed a quick breakfast in Independence  Lone Pine Big Pine (?) and headed straight for the Buttermilks where we met up with Marina, Jake and Chris. Here are a few photos from day uno y dos. 

Chris sending Center Direct (V10) 
Itai shaking off on a jug after a flash of Cocktail Sauce (V10)
Itai running up a slab on the backside of the Saigon boulder
Itai working a lukewarm slab on the roadside boulders
On day 2 we headed up to the classic High Plains Drifter (V7), where the gang (and 17 other dude-man-bros) all had a solid session. Here are a few photos: 

Marina reaching for the pinch
Jake placing the heel
Cody throwing for the crimp
Itai and Cody taking in the view after back-to-back ascents - choo choo!
Cody and Itai left early on day 3, and the rest of us decided to have a half day at the Happys before heading home.  I'd be lying to you if I said it was complaint free, but hey, we had fun - right?
 Here are some pictures that make it seem like we had a chance of sending stuff that day...


Marina getting familiar with the moves on Morning Dove White (V8)
Working out the foot sequence on He Got Game (V11) - PC: Marina Campana


As always, it was wonderful to be outdoors. Can't be more excited for this upcoming spring season. See you guys out there!
P.S. Congrats to Chris for sending The Buttermilker! yaa boooyyyy

- Eden




Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Send: Bouldering Competition

I made my way to Slo Op on Friday afternoon to help forerun the problems. It was t-minus 15 hours until the annual Slo Op CCS Competition began. The routes were looking great, and the finalists were in for a surprising dyno!

On Saturday, climbing teams from Cal Poly, Davis, Stanford, Humboldt and Sierra-Nevada drove in to town to compete for the win. Amongst the Stanford crowd was Andy Lamb, fresh off of the ABS Nationals podium. It was a stiff competition with some crazy finals routes!

As always, the event was fun and exciting (with lots of beer). Check out the short highlight video I made if you missed out or just want to re-live the comp.

Disclaimer: This video was not produced by LT11. Please lower your expectations before watching.




Thank you Slo Op and volunteers for putting on this awesome event each year!

- Itai          


Saturday, February 22, 2014

ABS 15 National Championships

(click the image for a preview of Nationals)

ABS 15 finals are coming up at 6:30 PST. Live stream via lt11 can be found here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l51KxaPHsEw

Good luck to the finalists, can't wait to watch!
And good job to all the other competitors as well, its been an inspirational weekend.


- Eden and Itai