September Sends

A cold streak appeared on the forecast and beckoned us towards the Sierras. It was the last weekend of our seemingly endless summer and a Bishop trip would surely serve as a grand finale. Cody and I met Eden and Jovanna early Friday morning and made the familiar drive north on the 395. It was officially the first day of fall and felt like it when we exited the car for breakfast. Good climbing temperatures in September have been a bit of a rarity over the years but this was a welcome change. We warmed up in the Buttermilk main area and came away with some new climbs.

We then made our way over to The Mandala, an iconic Chris Sharma line that had thwarted me for years (Eden had sent the climb nearly a decade before). How iconic is this line? Well, it has its own Wikipedia page I managed to put it down on my second go this trip. Jovanna sent both Hero Roof and the committing Sunshine Slab.

The next morning the group hiked out to the Secrets of th…

Rocky Mountain National Park

Our trip to Colorado was moments away from being canceled due to suspect weather but our restlessness got the best of us. What's the worst that could happen? Even if we got rained out every day, sitting in a cabin in Estes Park sounded far more pleasant than sitting in traffic in Los Angeles.
Off we were from sea level to the mile high city and beyond. The hike to Lower Chaos Canyon in the park is a steady 30 to 45 minutes of well-maintained trail hiking out of the Bear Lake parking lot. The scenery along the way is simply breathtaking, or is that the altitude?

The climbing itself sits a few minutes off a social trail in a talus field surrounding Lake Haiyaha. (How the hell do you pronounce that?) The alpine setting makes the weather variable and unpredictable and during summer time very thunderstorm prone. It stayed warm (too warm) and relatively dry enough for us to get at least a few hours of climbing in each day before being rained out and soaked to the bone on the hike down.�…

Eastern Sierras

Jovanna and I headed up to Mammoth Lakes on Friday to enjoy the long (Labor Day) weekend in the Eastern Sierras. We arrived about mid day and hiked up to the beautiful Crystal Lake.

The next day we drove out to Tuolumne Meadows and had a great day enjoying the lakes, rivers and climbing. We started out by venturing up to the Ridge-top boulders to check out Space and Time (V10) - a 3-star crimp line. Unfortunately we got slightly lost along the way, and even though the guide suggested the approach would take 25 minutes, it took close to an hour and a half to find it. By that time it was midday and the sun was beating down. Still worth it! The line climbed well and I was able to send!

After the morning session we had lunch at Tenya lake, and explored the Tuolumne River...

When it cooled down a bit we decided to make one last stop at Dana Meadows before leaving the park. Dana Meadows doesn't have many boulders, but it's home to One Love (V12), which I wanted to check out. The lin…

Squamish (Part II)

Cody and I were left alone in the campsite and relegated to a party of two. We kept up the motivation and made it a goal not to take any rest days and climb as many problems as we could. This involved checking out new areas that we had never been to on previous trips, but first, we spent some time in the familiar grand wall area and filled all the unchecked boxes in our guidebook.

Next up was Murrin Park, just a few minutes south of Squamish. Both Cody and I ticked off several 4 and 5 star lines. I put down the area test piece after a short sport climbing break.

Though we had both spent some time in the north wall areas earlier in the trip, we still had plenty new climbs to check out. On my last day in the forest, we got out to the newly developed Lost World. Though we got lost trying to find it, the thrashing was worth it. I even managed a surprising send of the area test piece despite the sore muscles and split tips. A great note to end the amazing trip on.

Feels strange to be back …

Squamish (Part I)

Itai, Ike and I joined Cody in a smoky Squamish on Sunday, August 6th. The haze, induced by recent forest fires, deprived the surrounding scenery from its usual clarity, depth and colors. Fortunately for us, the magical forest remained unchanged. We spent the first few days running around the grand wall boulders jumping on classics and whatever else caught our eye.

By mid-week we had spent a few sessions at Gibb's cave, where Itai sent Black Hole (V11), and Cody sent Gibb's Cave (V8) - congrats!!!

On the crowded days we found refuge in the North Wall Boulders, where we got to explore new areas. Itai and I also began working out the moves on Perfect Cave (V11) which we both eventually sent. 

Jovanna joined us on Thursday and got to see the forest for the first time! :)

It rained Sunday night, which forced a rest day. We decided to hike the Chief since the smoke was clearing out. The views did not disappoint! 

Season Opener at the Tram!

Itai and I headed up to Tramway on Saturday for the first time in a year. We decided to start the day by jumping on our project - Black Mamba (V12). This line adds a sit start to Stretch Armstrong, a low percentage one-move-wonder V10. We both got agonizingly close, falling on the last move many times. Definitely feels like it'll go down this summer! 

After working Black Mamba for a while, we headed up the hill to the Icebergs to jump on Greenpeace Sit (V10) and Science Friction (V10). We made quick work of both! 

On the way out we stopped by Osama (V10), which Itai gave a few goes on. But by this time we were pretty wiped, so this one will have to wait for next time!

See you out there!


Springtime In The Milks

Eden and I made the easy decision to spend our 22nd birthday (just kidding we're old) out in Buttermilk country. The weather forecast suggested that it might be the last manageable weekend of the season in terms of temperature. Despite the non-ideal heat, we tested ourselves on some Bishop testpieces and even surprised ourselves with some good links on the thuggy A Scanner Darkly (pictured below). 

Even though Eden's flapper put an early end to our weekend, it was capped with Vitaly's send of his multi-year project, Evilution Direct (pictured above). Exciting to be a witness to it all!
Till next season!
- Itai