Monday, May 18, 2015


The San Jacinto Mountain range received several inches of snow from a brief and passing storm but the weather forecast now promised blue skies and good climbing temps. Emily, Jake, Cody and I took this opportunity to escape the city and travel up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to 8,500 feet and try some quality granite bouldering. We got an early start and were looking forward to the full day ahead.

Someone spilled a lot of chalk on the ground.
Emily, warming up on The Terminator (V2).
Jake, battling the area classic The Cube (V5).
Cody, on the stout Left Hand of Darkness (V9).
After warming up we all began working our respective projects but came away without sends and plenty of climbs to return for. By the afternoon the temperatures had dropped and so had our energy, so we opted for some easier but scarier climbing.

Jake, on the immaculate Emerald City (V0).
On our way out (after getting lost for a bit) we couldn’t resist trying just a few more classic lines.

Itai, on the blocks of Sunshine Daydream (V4). Photo by Cody.
Cody, preparing for a big throw on Green Hornet (V5).
I hadn’t been to Tramway for around 7 or 8 years and I’m hoping it takes me less time than that to get back there. How bout next weekend?

- Itai

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Trailside Boulders

Isaac and Alexandra had plans to show some friends from Flagstaff - Andrew and Jordan - around Black Mountain, and were kind enough to invite me along. However, upon our arrival we discovered that the road was closed due to maintenance and that our initial plan was spoiled.

The gorgeous view from the Black Mountain trailhead. 
We settled for the Trailside Boulders instead, and began charging up the approach. It was quite warm already, so I quickly hopped on all the stellar problems the boulder had to offer, including Diamond Zen (V0), Blind Spot (V3), Lip Service Stand (V5) and Trailside Arete (V6) before tackling the sit start, Shoot the Moon (V10). Andrew and I sent it in quick succession but unfortunately the holds went into the sun before Isaac could give it another good send go.

Isaac, on the top out of Lip Service Stand (V5)
Itai, trying to keep the tension on Shoot the Moon (V10). Photo by Isaac Palatt.

After a quick lunch break we ventured further up the trail towards the ridge that housed the stunning Twilight of the Idols (V10), which is thought to be one of the best problems in California for the grade. Although it certainly climbs well and has all the qualities of a 4 star line, the rock quality was a little disappointing. I managed to send in a few goes, after which we began exploring the area for more climbs and potential first ascents.

Itai, latching the big throw on Twilight of the Idols (V10). Photo by Isaac Palatt.  
The sun began to sink and we all felt rather exhausted so we started the hike towards the cars and shared a growler before driving down the mountain.

The winding 243.
All in all it was a great (and exclusively open handed) day at Black Mountain.
See you out there!

  - Itai

Monday, April 13, 2015

Springtime In The Buttermilks

The crew rallied from Los Angeles to Bishop for what might be the last trip before fall. Eden, Jovanna and I met up with Marina, Jake and Emily in town for a coffee Saturday morning before heading up the bumpy Buttermilk Road. 

Jovanna taking on Hero Roof, (V0)
The thin cloud coverage and breeze made climbing bearable despite the hot weekend forecast. After a quick warm-up, we took turns jumping on some of the area classics.

Emily, nearing the end of the mega-classic Iron Man, (V4) 
Itai catching the lip on Iron Fly, (V9)
Itai enjoying some sunny slab climbing on Pope's Problem, (V4)
We awoke Sunday morning sore and sunburnt, but more than ready for another day of bouldering. (After a healthy dose of coffee, that is.) Sunday turned out to be hot as hell, which must have discouraged most climbers because we nearly had the Buttermilks to ourselves. A rarity nowadays!

Marina, on a surprisingly fun Unnamed, (V7) 
Jake, on the same climb.
Danny sending the burly Cave Route, (V6)
Eden piecing together The Buttermilker Stand, (V12)  
We managed to escape the noontime sun by playing around in what little shade we could find before struggling up some sun-soaked slabs to end the trip. A great weekend with a great crew! Eden and I even opened up a few new projects that are sure to keep us motivated through the summer (Bishopless) months.

Farewell, Bishop.
I'll see you next fall.

- Itai

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Las Vegas

My brother and I arrived in Red Rock Canyon mid-day, excited and ready to climb, but as we hiked the short approach into Pine Creek Canyon, our enthusiasm was dampened by the heat. We had our eyes set on a short and powerful problem called Siren's Call, but unfortunately couldn't manage a send before the 7 o'clock Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area closing time.

The beautiful Pine Creek Canyon
Eden on Siren's Call, (V11/12)
We awoke the next morning and ventured out into the Kraft Boulders in search of a shady climb. We played around on the Monkey Bars boulder before it got too crowded.

Eden on the dynamic climb The Redirect, (V12)
Eden, warming down on the shady Perfect Poser, (V1)
By mid-day the heat was unbearable and we decided to toss in the towel and head to the Las Vegas strip to join a group of friends by a pool. It looks like the end of the season is upon us.

- Itai

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Buttermilks & Druid Stones

Cody, Itai and I drove out to Bishop on Friday afternoon for a weekend adventure. We got into the Buttermilks around 7:30 and decided to have a night session before turning in. 

Itai taking a lap on some beautiful Bishop patina
Eden running a lap on the local secret and rarely climbed Iron Man
A long exposure of the night sky
The next day we got up early and ran out to Dale's Camp. We had a long morning session on the immaculate Xavier's Roof and then got on Green Hornet and Solitaire on the way out. By the time we got back to camp the sun was oppressive and we decided to take a long siesta. 

Cody working the top moves of Xavier's Roof (V11)
Eden on the classic Solitaire (V8)
Later that day we felt wiped and opted to kill a few hours by running up some easier classics. We also spent a lot of time up on highballs enjoying the view and beautiful, but not climbing friendly, weather. 

Cody on the Green Wall (V2)
Itai on the left arete of the Green Wall
Itai and Cody taking in some sunshine
We woke up on Sunday morning feeling incredibly sore and sunburnt - yet, for some odd reason we decided to brave the Druid Stone hike. I have to say, we were pretty eager to check out this outlying area for the first time, despite what we'd heard about the approach. The Druid boulders are scattered over a mountain ridge that overlooks the valley and the town of Bishop. The approach takes about 45 minutes, and by the end you gain 1,200 feet of elevation. On the way up I was stopping every few minutes in order to avoid keeling over take photos of our progress. Below is a photo I took from about 3/4 of the way up the hike. The arrow should help you find our starting point (my car). 

The arrow is pointing at a black pixel which happens to be my car
The hike was definitely heinous, but worth the quality of climbs out at the Druids. We spent hours climbing exclusively area classics and enjoying the view.

Itai warming up on Fear of the Unknown (V3)
Cody topping out on Prostrate to the Higher Mind (V5)
Itai on Suspenders (V5)
Cody on Suspenders (V5)
Eden on Suspenders (V5)
Eden on You Can Cry If You Want To (V1)
Eden on the burly Cayla (V7) 
Although we managed to put a significant dent in our Druid Stones tick list, we vowed to return and finish off the list in cooler temps.

Till next time,