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 

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.


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