Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Black Mountain

Cody and I set out Friday night to meet up with Joe, Sara and Jason at Black Mountain. We battled heavy traffic the whole way but eventually made it, ready for a night of sleep. Unfortunately, due to recent rain, the dirt road up to the basin campgrounds was too much for our low clearance vehicles. After a short nap we tried our luck at a different campsite and called it a night.

We awoke after very little sleep, so I decided to get the gang on the infamous Big Greeny in hopes of waking everyone up some more. I think it worked.

Cody, a move away from peeling off the wall. 
Joe, staying composed on the committing last move.

After running through the warm-up circuit, I showed everyone some harder moderates including the classics Tour de France and Hopscotch. 

Cody, on a problem I put up several years ago called Captain America.

Joe, on the elevator door move of Tour de France Sit

Cody on Tour de France.

Sunday was hot and we were tired but of course we still found the energy to climb. I took the crew out towards the Lion's Main boulder which I had never been to before. Making committing moves up high in the noon sun was rather draining, and most of the group decided to head home. Cody and I stayed for a few more hours, working some projects and hiking around.

Jason slabbing it up.
Cody, figuring out his beta on Loh Roof.
Chalk Heart
It was nice to get back out to Black Mountain and play tour guide for a weekend with some good friends. I'm hoping they'll be back soon (with better temps).

  - Itai

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


On Saturday Cody, Itai and I drove out to The Tramway and met up with Isaac, Alexandra and Alex. 
We were hoping that the recent "drop" in weather would lend for a nice day of climbing outdoors. 
It had been roughly a month since I got to climb outdoors, and much longer since I had touched granite - so I was very excited for the trip. 

Before the trip I was itching to jump on Black Mamba (V12) and see if it was a viable summer project. During the day Itai and I managed two separate sessions on it, by the end of which we had completely unlocked the beta and executed every move. Unfortunately we both received flappers/splits in the process and were unable to continue once temps became more favorable. Below is a shot of me staring down the low percentage deadpoint on the Mamba. 

The deadpoint move on Black Mamba (V12)

After the morning session near the Swing Dance and Blue Flame boulders we headed up the mountain to a cluster of boulders that none of us had been to before. It got recommended to Alex because of a "classic" lowball V5 called How I Wasted Your Time - or something along those lines. Since it was a new place, the crew got to test out some of the other climbs in the area, like the one pictured below.

Cody cruising up a V4 with a nice view

We finished up in the new area and decided to search for Emerald City. I had never been to this Tramway classic, and I was amazed at the quality of the line. Emerald City climbs up a 25-30 foot slab face, and offers a beautiful panoramic view as a topping out present. Highly recommended.  We finished up our day with a goodbye lap on White Flight, another immaculate highball. 

Itai working his way up a V5 just to the right of Emerald City

Cody on the last move of White Flight (V3)
I had a solid day trip out at Tramway and can't wait to get back on some granite in the near future. 
Seriously, granite is like the best. I can't even.

- Eden

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Brickyard - Round II

It was too nice a weekend to stay indoors, so I met up with Eden and Jovanna for a quick day trip to Santa Barbara. We ran through a circuit of the area classics like Watch The Dog and Charlotte's Web before switching over to more casual slab climbing.

Eden, on the super fun Smooth Criminal (V6)
Some dank sandstone formations.
Itai, questing up some sunny slab.
Jovanna, sending her project of the day.
The heat and the flies are a good reminder that fall is still far away. Nevertheless, The Brickyard is always a good time. Till next time!

- Itai

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Brickyard

Marina, Jake, Ike and I drove up the coast yesterday for a relaxed half-day at The Brickyard. It has been a while since I have climbed on sandstone, and the large and mostly open-handed features proved more manageable for my sore finger. We jumped on many of the area classics and left feeling tired and more than ready for some Mexican food in town.

The beautiful view overlooking Santa Barbara.
Ike, on Charlotte's Web (V3).
Marina, on Soot Patrol, (V3).
Jake, on his spite-send of Watch The Doge, (V5).
Marina, on a tall and thin face climb.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Rainy Day

Isaac and I headed up to Black Mt. Saturday morning, optimistic and ready to climb. Unfortunately, we were greeted by 100% humidity and about 10 feet of visibility which dampened our mood. I still managed to climb a great line that Isaac put up called The Last Survivors of the Pleistocene Epoch.

Trying not to slip off of the wet holds on The Last Survivors...(V7).

Uncut footage of the send

Dead trees in the mist. (Is that the title of a Stephen King novel?) 
Trying a dyno on a hard project.
It's hard to get upset about getting rained out considering California is in a severe drought, but we managed. A redemption trip is a must!

- Itai

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