Monday, May 22, 2017

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! 

Screengrab of Itai on Black Mamba (V12) 

Me on the same
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! 

Itai sending Greenpeace Sit (V10)

Me on Science Friction (V10)

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!

Itai sticking the opening move on Osama

See you out there!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

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). 

A Scanner Darkly (V12)

Eden makes quick work of Scenic Crank Low (V11)

Eden, chalking up on the beautiful Cuban Roll (V3)

The Swarm (V13/14) in all its crimping glory

What remains of Eden's finger after trying The Swarm.
Vitaly, topping out a dream (/nightmare) boulder, Evilution Direct (V11).

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

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Joshua Tree

Itai and I ran out to Joshua Tree yesterday for a day trip in the desert. When we arrived, the weather was beautiful and the wildflowers were blooming. 

We started the day at intersection rock, where I got to jump on Yogi (V10), a physical roof problem. Itai showed me the beta by essentially repeating the climb, and I was able to send pretty quickly! 

On my send of Yogi (V10)

After that, we decided to check out an area that was new to us - Geology Tour Road. We had fun jumping on new problems and exploring the region. 

Itai working on Thin Crack (V10)

Me on the Dripper boulder
For our last stop of the day we headed out to Hall of Horrors where we decided to try Nicole Problem (V10) - a crimpy one-move-wonder with the potential for a sit start (has anyone done it?). We spent some time fine tuning the beta, and both sent! 

Itai sending Nicole Problem (V10)

Me too!

Overall it was a great day out in Joshua Tree despite the heat and the wind. Still so many new areas to explore after years of climbing here. Just goes to show how much there is to do in this park!

- Eden

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Moe's Valley

Jovanna and I headed up to Zion for a short, but much deserved (on her part) vacation. We decided to make a quick pit-stop in Moe's Valley during our Utah adventure. At first it was tough to navigate due to the fact that we did not have a guidebook, but we managed to find the valley of boulders and enjoyed a full day of climbing. We were not disappointed! 

View of the valley 

A V6 on the Settlers of Catan Boulder

After warming up and getting a feel for the area I decided to jump on Show of Hands (V11) - which I had my eye on since before the trip. This beautiful line climbs out of a roof on perfect incut crimps and finishes on a tall slab. I was happy to take this one down!

Show of Hands (V11)

We spent the rest of the day trying out boulder problems and exploring the new area.

Jovanna working the moves on Whelmed (V4)

The Fridge (V4)

Jovanna sending Steamfunk (V2)

Spectro (V6)

Israil Direct (V8)

One day was not enough. I can't wait to be back!

- Eden

Milky Milks

It shames me to even mention that it had been over a year since I last set my eyes on the beautiful Buttermilk country. Over a year since my fingers got tested by the large crystals of those perfect granite crimps. Cody and I set forth for Bishop early last Friday despite some questionable weather forecasts, and I'm very glad we did.  Aside from being a little scared topping out Saigon and Roadside Highball in slight rain when we first arrived, it quickly blew past us and never returned.

Cody, slapping the last big move on Brian's Project (V8)

Sticking the first move on Scenic Crank Low (V11)

The first day ended with the highlight of sending the rarely done Scenic Crank Low (pictured above) in only three or so attempts. Cody got painfully close to sending Brian's Project but will have to return to it next time with better temps hopefully. Our finger tips were raw from a full day of climbing so we went in to town for a much deserved burger and beer and to watch some March Madness.

The next day Joe and Sara joined us for yet another full day of great climbing which included a flash of Pope's Hat and a few sunset laps on the giant Peabody's aretes.  

Joe topping out Verdad (V5)
Itai, pulling out of the roof and onto the tall finish on the flash of Pope's Hat (V10)

Joe, starting his long quest up Grandpa Peabody's East Arete (5.10a)

Itai, nearing the top of East Arete (5.10) as the sun sets on the Milks.
My fingers are still recovering from the non-stop bouldering weekend but as always, I can't wait to go back.

- Itai

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Slab Saturday at J Tree

I made the ever familiar drive out to Joshua Tree for the second weekend in a row. There was a promising weather window before a storm rolled in that I had to take advantage of. I met Alex and Chris out at intersection rock for what ended up being a non-stop day of trad climbing.

We began our day out at Echo Tee and got our slab fix. We were confronted with plenty of terrifying run-outs, a sure way to test the confidence of even the most experienced climbers. Chris Wegener, who himself put up many of the routes at Joshua Tree in the '70s, demonstrated his friction climbing skills before suggesting that I try the area classic, Heart and Sole.

The slab master, Chris, showing us how it's done. Can you spot the second bolt? Neither can I.

On the sharp end for the classic Heart and Sole (5.10a). Photo by Chris Wegener.

Sunset lap on the Flake. Can you spot Alex?

The desert in all its glory. Photo by Chris Wegener.
The view from the top of intersection rock at Sunset is hard to beat. A perfect cap to a full day of great Joshua Tree climbing. 

Thank you Alex and Chris for showing me around some new climbs!

- Itai

Monday, March 6, 2017

Happy Bishop

Jovanna and I drove up to Bishop early Saturday morning for a full day at the Happy Boulders. It had been a year since I'd last been to Bishop, and even longer since I climbed at the tablelands. I was excited to be back! 

Mount Tom, draped in snow

We spent the morning meandering through the canyon floor and jumping on fun classics.

Jovanna running up Mmm.. Nice

It started heating up and getting more crowded so we headed up the canyon side so I could jump on He Got Game (V11). After figuring out the beta for the crux sequences exiting the roof, I managed to send!

The crux sequence on He Got Game (V11)

Another angle of the same move

We continued climbing throughout the afternoon until our skin had us stop.

Jovanna, climbing Paranormal in the West Country (V1) on our way out

It was great getting out to the Sierras and I can't wait to get back!

- Eden