Sunday, December 20, 2009

Fallen Sodas

This weekend Brenna and I went up to Twin Peaks and the Quality Boulder for some great winter conditions. I made it a personal mission to repeat Steve Francis' highball testpiece PJ Tight v10. This problems climbs a tall arete with an odd landing. It has a shouldery crux in the middle followed by commiting climbing up high. After much mental preparation and practice on a top rope I was able to push past the fear and make the second ascent of this 5 star line. It was truely a crystalizing experience, as well as a personal breakthrough for me in highballing. Just afterwards I decided to go for the FA of the link of Pimpjuice Low into PJ Tight. Since I had all the moves of both parts wired , I managed to do the link first go dubbing the new start Pepsi Clear. The problems on this boulder are all named after energy drinks that never really went the distance. One year ago I talked with Steve about this and we agreed that the next line/link up on the boulder should be Pepsi Clear in honor of this fallen soda. So the new link up is named after this and feels about v11 to me. Jason Hogan was out once again and caught these two awesome sends on film. It was an awesome weekend; white scenery, cold temps and high winds made this weekend a full value experience. It feels so good to be climbing again. Next week I go on my second trip to Bishop for this season to hopefully put to rest some of my epic projects.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Videos from Rocklands

Ian Cotter-Brown posted some videos of our Rocklands trip. Here is one of me sending my first 8B Fragile Steps. The other is Ian, Walker, and I having some good times.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Pictures from Bishop Thanksgiving

Rorsarach Test v11, sad boulders
Ian on the Mystery v12, buttermilks
Ian on Fall Guy v9, buttermilks
The first trip to Bishop this season was sick. I mostly just ate good food and partied with lots of good friends that I hadn't seen in a while. I managed to climb for two days. I did Twin Cracks v9 which was cool because it was very hard for me. I almost sent Rorsach Test a bunch of times but ended up just chucking laps on 95 % of the line. Pretty good work out. Most likely I'll be going back to Bishop around Christmas time to start trying some harder things that I've had on my mind. Until then work and bumming around tahoe will be taking up my time. There are still some projects here that I can work on.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Party Animal Video

The Party Animal video is back. I had to take the link off for a while because the video was kind of in limbo for a bit. They are considering putting it on Dead Point Magazine but we won't know for a little while. Jason Hogan made this video of me sending Master Blaster v8, the FA of the Party Animal stand v11, and the FA of the Party Animal sit start v13. Click on this link to watch it : . Good job to Jason on making another excellent Tahoe bouldering video. Don't forget to check out his other snowskate videos. Props dude.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rest and Recovery

David flashing Taco Time v8 at Erratica

I've been resting to heal from some minor injuries that I've had lately. In the meantime I've been working, hiking , and taking pictures. On a recent hike in Erratica I've discovered some more possibilities for the future of the area. If you follow the creek at the "rad campsite", boulders follow it all the way down to a deep canyon. At the bottom of that canyon lies many more boulders. The walk, however, is a bit intense. The temps in the Kirkwood area were perfect. Unfortunately, the snow storm on Friday might put an end to another great season in south lake tahoe. It may be time to start taking trips to Bishop and some of the Nevada areas that are lower in elevation. Winter is just about here, and I'm feeling better so it might be time to start climbing again soon. I'm really excited to start the new winter season.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween In Yosemite

Classic Cotter-Brown
Ian Cotter-Brown sending Heart Attack v6

Mike Wickwire drops the hammer on Flatline v8

Noah Kaufman ridin' dirty

David Outcalt on King Cobra v8
Yosemite was a great trip. A bunch of us stayed with Noah Kaufman in the valley and had great times climbing and hanging out. It was Halloween so lots of climbers were out bouldering in clever costumes. At night we played poker, drank beer, and talked beta. It was a sweet scene. I am currently injured at the moment so I spent most of my time taking pictures and relaxing.
Enjoy the pictures I took of some cool people on cool problems.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Brazilian Attack

I got to climb at Erratica again this weekend. Some friends from Bishop and the Bay Area came up to do some sending. Fernando sent Welcome to the Future v12 for the third ascent. He also did a bunch of v9s including Brushstroke Progression and Mistaken Identity. Eduardo sent the middle start to Party Animal, and he was very close on the sit start. Induo also got some when he made quick work of the short power problem Master Blaster. It was fun climbing with these guys. They were strong and very motivated.
I haven't sent anything too hard in quite a while. I've been trying this really cool hard project on the Painter Boulder. I've fallen from the lip a few times in the link. The lower moves are very low percentage. All the compression bouldering must have caught up to me because my bicep got pretty tweaked this weekend. I decided that I may take a week or two off to let my body regroup. In the meantime, I'll be working and getting extra psyched to make a come back. Hopefully, that will happen before it starts dumping snow on the sierra's.

Fernando does a lap on Brushstroke Progression v9
Eduardo working the opening moves of Party Animal v13

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tahoe Sugar

Nate on Stimson Manuver
Nate on the classic Squeeze Between the Trees v3

David Outcalt sending Krull v9

Dave Hatchet sending Tower of Power v6

A lot of new developments are going on in Tahoe. The west shore location is producing many choice lines. Dave Hatchet and Noah Kaufman continue to pick plumbs throughout this huge zone. So many FA's are going down that there are just too many to report. The Bishop crew paid another visit to Erratica and The Freaks. We had a fun weekend camping and bouldering on all the classics. I put up a new link up at the Basement. I climbed Mistaken Identity v9 into David's extention of Subterranean v8. I called this new link up Burning Down The House v10. This line is very good work out. It has 17 horizontal moves. Other than that I've been doing the same as everyone else, hiding from the rain. Hopefully there will be a windy day after the rain so that the rock can dry out.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another set of impressive sessions went down this weekend as usual. I got to show a couple of friends from the Bay Area around Erratica. Ben Snead did some awesome sends of some of Erratica's most scary highballs. Ben sent Meyer's Pride 5.8, Jackie's Sister v3, Adrenaline Hoedown v3, and did the long awaited 2nd ascent of Five Dollar Happy Ending v3. Ben also did the first flash ascent of Global Warming v9, and made quick work of Master Blaster v8/9. Josh Newman had some great sends as well. He made the 2nd ascent of the stand start to Balls of Steel v9/10. We all got in on some FA action as well at the Decoy Boulder near Krull. This boulder that has been walked by 100's of times finally saw a little bit of love. David Outcalt made the possible first ascent of the obvious arete and named it Quack Quack v3/4 and then Ben added 3 more highball slab lines that were just to the side. Duck Blind , The Dabbler, and Surf Scoater all turned out to be killer slabbin. We were all unsure if these lines had been done before but they were dirty and did not look very traveled. It was another fun and productive weekend in Kirkwood. For me, I just deepend the epic I am having with Hyperian, Scott Chandlers v11. This thing is so reachy but I have no doubt that I will send it soon. It will be a personal breakthrough for me in regards to just how far a little person can stretch. I can't wait. But, with the bad weather starting to loom over Tahoe, only time will tell just how much longer we can have our fun here before it's time to break out the snowboards. When that day comes it's time to start going to Bishop.
Ben big ballin' on Five Dollar Happy Ending v3
David O on The Yeti v9

Friday, October 9, 2009

Feats of Strength

Yesterday I went out to watch Fernando and Brian Hedrick at the Barb-Wire Area. It was rad to see Brian flash Future Present v11 and then do Welcome to the Future v12 a short time later. It is really cool for me to watch other strong climbers enjoy this perfect line the same way that I did. Very impressive send by Brian. Fernando was once again really close to the 12 but he will have to come back another day.
Earlier in the week I got to see Sugar Pine Point bouldering. I was in awe at the amount of good rock and all the work the north shore crew put into this place. The approach is a bit involved. I messed up and took a bmx bike out there and ended up whinning the whole time. But once I got there it was well worth it. Next time I'll be taking a mountain bike. The climbing was really good there. Lots of good granite with plenty of features. I managed to put up a new line called Skull Fucker v9. Very good sustained crimping problem up a somewhat tall face. Though, not nearly as tall as would have been if not for some tricky landing work. Thanks Dave. Noah Kaufman also put up a awesome new highball v5 that he named Bmx in my honor. Really bad ass tall face with gripping moves between crimps. This place was awesome, and I look forward to going there again before the snow starts falling. This weekend the crew and I are going to start the session at Erratica and then just go with the flow. I just know that some cool stuff will be going down.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cold Weather

Tahoe climbing conditions were excellent this weekend. The cold weather came in and we took advantage by doing or trying a lot of friction dependent lines. The first stop was the Barb-Wire Area where we did some of Jay Sell's classics Peinese v3 and Wild Rose Arete v4/5. Everyone was impressed with the quality of these climbs. Fernando and Ian were on a mission to get the second ascent of Welcome To The Future v12. Both climbers put up a good fight and got really close once again. But, in the end this ballbuster just didn't give it up. Fernando and Ian each fell at the last hard move in the link. They are going to send next day on it for sure.

Fernando about to grind up some bunnies. Bunny Grinder v10

Next the party moved over to Erratica where some business had to be taken care of. Zack West came down from the eastside to take down some old projects. Zack sent Master Blaster v9(v8?) and The Pervert v8. Fernando was back for vengeance as well. He sent Global Warming v9 and Bunny Grinder v9/10. Ian Cotter Brown also managed to pull off the third ascent of Noah Kaufman's problem The Vicious Poodle v10. I mostly lolly gagged around. I did send Global Warming which is surprising because of how reachy the crux move is. Fernando had some good beta for the move and the conditions were perfect. Other than that I ended up getting shut down as usual on some of my megamegas. The Balls of Steele project and Hyperian v11 are at the top of my list right now. Both are pretty much at my limit. I can't wait to send.

Fernando finding key beta on Global Warming v9
At the Bear Valley Boulder Bash this year, the conditions were finally good. Noah Kaufman took first place in the difficulty comp when he quickly repeated his own problem Gladiator v10. Siemay Kaufman also won first prize in the women's category. The Dynamic Duo have struck again. David Outcalt also had a great run when he tied for first in the moderate category. Good Job you guys . way to Represent!

Cory Cotter Brown on Adrenaline Hoedown v3 (scary)
The weekend abruptly ended when the group and I woke up Sunday to about 7 inches of snow and near white out conditions. With everything went we decided to go home and get some rest for the next big session. The weather is getting colder and the psyche is getting stronger.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

We heard that Caples was good again so Ian and I went to check it out. Turns out most of the good stuff that was on the beach was still underwater. The problems close to the shore were primed though. We climbed the Pearl v6 and then ended up finding new granite boulders in the trees behind Excalibur. Ian and I put up three new problems . Everyday Something v9 follows a super cool and pure slopey lip traverse. The holds are cool and skin friendly. It is pumpy. Maybe 15 moves. Right around the cornor we found another overhang with neat sloping features and a knee bar for the sit start moves. It starts matched in a sloping undercling and goes out a tricky sloper finish. That problem is called Practical Demonkeeping v9. Really good line. Next to it was a short wall with a v5 we put up called DavesMom. Big moves with a hard sit start.
In a day at Erratica Ian Cotter Brown did the first flash of Master Blaster v9 and then ended the day by sending Krull v9 rather quickly. The temps are good and this weekend is going to be another smasher. The movie is tomorrow. I'm psyched to see the new footage from this year.

Ian checking out beta on Practical Demonkeeping v9
Ian on Everyday Something v9

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Off Road

Most of the bouldering that gets me psyched is usually a 40 minute drive away in Kirkwood. However, yesterday Frank Lucido took me to one of his old stomping grounds, the Off Road Area. This area was about a 2 minute drive from my front door. Although the hike to the top was uphill there was good bouldering along the way. I repeated the gem of the area, Gobstopper v9 for its second ascent. This problem was really cool. It follows a series of blob-like features, each having its own series of intricate holds. The line is also north facing so it gets lots of shade. I did some other lines on the way. The Tree Problem v4 is half way up the hill. This is a really good line on a cool tallish boulder. The Sunset Crack v6 is a must do on your way back down. This seemingly easy looking problem follows a good crack, but then turns a cornor and becomes very insecure. It has a very classic feel to it. The area had a lot more to offer than these. This place, like most spots in Tahoe, had a lot of good rock and bad rock. There was no doubt this area had more problems to do. Props go to Frank for giving me the tour and authoring these rad lines.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Way Lake

This weekend we had a big crew down towards the eastside at Way Lake. This place is awesome with lots of good , steep rock. The weather was warm but nicer than tahoe. Fernando and I both sent Chumscrubber v12. Josh Vale was very close and will likely do it very soon. On his 2nd day on the climb Fernando sliced his pinky vertically down the middle on his 1st attempt. Apparantly blood was everywhere. But he stayed psyched, taped up and did it a few goes later. This is Fernando's first v12 in the United States. David Outcalt also busted out his project Meadow Roof v8 on his first go of the weekend. Proud. It was a good time. We went to the wild willey's hot spring the first night and ate at "Burgers" on the second night. The fall colors are starting to change out there and it is getting very scenic.
My first day there I was watching Josh Vale try Chumscrubber when he fell off the first move. Then, in a fit of rage , Josh harpooned his ball cap towards my face and the brim struck me really hard in my nose. I started to pool blood out of my nose and it left a "brim shaped" welt across my face. This was a totally funny accident. By the time Josh let the hat go and realized I was there it was too late. At first I was pissed, and then I thought it was pretty funny that I was sitting there with a bloody nose that was caused by frustration towards a boulder problem. What a great moment in bouldering. Next time no hats while bouldering. It's a safety hazzard.

Fernando on Wills Seam v11

Josh Vale sticking the crux of Chumscrubber v12

Monday, September 21, 2009

Video links and Visiting Crushers

Camping with the crew at Erratica, good times
Noah Kaufman floating through Future Present

Fernando coming close to sending Welcome to the Future

Fernando working the moves on Milk Money

Remove Formatting from selection

Some cool new videos got loaded on the internet recently so here's the links for anyone who needs some entertainment. David Outcalt has a video of Ian Cotter-Brown sending Fat Guy in a Little Coat v9 at this link David has a video as well of me doing Lactose Intolerance this weekend at Thanks to David for the good footage. Noah has also put up a video of me sending Wolf Pack at If anyone needs to see some high quality sending to boost motivation and/or cure the bordem check out these awesome videos. Note: Jason Hogan is currently editing a really high quality short video of the Hoedown Boulder at Erratica. It will have the first ascent of Party Animal v13, and there will be a link to this video on the blog probably before the end of the week. Keep your eyes out.
This weekend South Lake Tahoe saw a couple of strong visitors from the Sacramento area. Mike Wickwire and Fernando came out to see some of the really good boulders that we had to offer and they cleaned house. Mike and Fernando both quickly sent Lactose Intolerance v10 and Barnyard Massacre v9 at Crater Lake. Fernando actually did Lactose Intolerace about 3 times, topping it out differently everytime. Later on we took the session down to the Barb-Wire Boulders. Fernando did the 3rd ascent of Future Present v11 in about an hour. He was really psyched as this is his first send of this grade in the United States. He also came really close on Welcome to the Future v12, linking through the extention and making it to the v11. Noah and Mike both got really close to the jump start. After a night of camping we took the next day at Erratica where it was all about the classics. It was a big group and the vibe was really good. Long Distance Girl saw its first set of repeats after a whole year. Fernando, Noah, Frank, and Jarrad all sent this classic former v9. The consensus put the grade everywhere between v5 and v9. ??? Haha. So funny. We agreed to call it v8. Dave Nunley got the FA of a new line just to the right and named it Gotta Think About It v3/4. And last, Fernando got very close to doing the long awaited 2nd ascent of Bunny Grinder v9. In the link he fell at the last move about 10 times. It seems like this Noah Kaufman testpiece may get the upgrade. This problem seems like it deserves it. this is the link to the video of the FA. This weekend is a Way Lake trip. We hope to link up with Ian and he crew to get caught up with what's going on down there.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More From the Hoedown

On Sunday Scott Chandler came up from the Bay area and climbed the undone left variation project to the Hoedown project. Scott said that this new line goes at v10 and is a great new addition to this boulder. It sit starts in the same undercling as Party Animal and does the first couple of moves and then goes by wide spans out left into a leftward top out into the slab. Party Animal climbs through the same opening moves and then climbs direct to the sloper into a rightward top out to a big ledge. Seems like the same line but consensus so far agrees that these lines are independent variations. It might be that these are just two betas. Even so, if you can climb this thing any which way you will have to try very hard. I am looking forward to trying to repeat this line and I will have to try just as hard and suck up the sandbagged grade. I can't wait. Good job to Scott on the send.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Best of Erratica

Yesterday we went out to the main ridge of Erratica and the conditions were good. Cold, cloudy, and windy. At the Shady Grove Area our minds were opened to the vastness of this area. After frequenting the Yeti Area it was cool to be reminded that Erratica has a whole lot more to offer in every direction. I managed to put up a new line on the Easy Boulder, near Golden Wall. This new problem is a v7 called Smoke Em If you Got Em. Short but cool. I also managed to hit the previously undone crux move on the Balls of Steel project on Shade Grove Boulder. I'm going to hone my sights in on this great undone line which will probably climb solid 12 from the start. It's going to take cold temps, steel tendons and of course, balls of steel. Props to Noah for having the vision to see this line.

Brenna Fischer sending Sweet Tooth v4

I have included for fun a list of the best problems at Erratica by grade with stars and first ascentists as well as the general sector to which it is located. Any Erratica climber who wants to do the best at a certain grade should seek out these awesome gems.

Erratica's Best Problems

The Arc v0- **** F.A. Damian Estrada @ Golden Wall

Scream v0 **** F.A. Jesse @ The Scream

The Crack v0 *** F.A. Elena O. @Boob Wall

Beautiful Breasts v1 **** F.A. Jesse @ Boob Wall

Scream Right v1 **** F.A. ? @ Scream Area

Black and Green v2 *** @ Golden Wall

The Shady Lane v2*** F.A jesse @ Trophy Area

Squeeze Between the Trees v3 **** F.A Dave Nunley @ Shade Grove

Jackie's Sister v3 **** F.A. Damian Estrada @ Shade Grove

Sidepulls in Paradise v3**** F.A. Dave Nunley @ Shade Grove

Five Dollar Happy Ending v3 *** F.A. Dave Nunley @ Simply Asia

Sunset Bulge v3*** F.A. Taylor Zentner @ Boob Wall

Broken China v4 *** F.A. Jesse @ Scream Area

Adrenaline Hoedown v4 **** F.A Jay Sell @ The Hoedown

Guns and Ammo v4*** F.A. Jesse @ Swimming Hole

Eye Of The Tiger v4*** F.A. Dave Nunley @ Boob Wall

Fugiyama v5 /7 **** F.A. Noah Kaufman @ Fugiyama Area

Sweet Dreams v5** F.A. Jesse @ Shade Grove Area

Smoked Out Jumper v5*** F.A. Jesse @ Shade Grove Area

Twenty-Four Ouncer v5*** F.A. Noah Kaufman @ The Painter Area

The Geek v5*** F.A. Jay Sell @ The Geeks

As Gold As the Sky v6 **** F.A. Noah Kaufman and Brian Arnold @ Golden Wall/Shade Grove

The Trophy v6*** F.A. Jesse @ Trophy Boulder

Mind Bully v6 **** F. A. Chip @ The Nerds

Vision Quest v7 ** F.A. Jesse @ The Black Boulder

Father's Day v7 *** F.A. Don @ The Erratics

Taco Time v8 *** F.A. Noah Kaufman @ The Geeks

The Pervert v8 ** F.A Jesse @ Shade Grove

The Yeti v9 **** F.A. Noah Kaufman @ The Nerds

Global Warming v9**** F.A. Noah Kaufman @ The Painter

Bunny Grinder v9*** F.A. Noah Kaufman @ Shade Grove

Krull v9**** F.A. Brian Arnold@ Fugiyama Area

Master Blaster v9*** F.A. Jesse @ The Hoedown

Fountain of Youth v10 *** F.A Jesse @ Swimming Hole

Robot Wars v10** F.A. Jesse @ Swimming Hole

Quest For Power v10 ** F.A. Jesse @ The Black Boulder

Vicious Poodle v10 ** F..A. Noah Kaufman @ The Geeks

Element of Surpise v11 **** F.A. Jesse @ The Painter

Party Animal v13 *** F.A Jesse @ the Hoedown Boulder

Use this list as you would a guide for the best established lines at the area. If you don't feel like scrubbing go seek out one of these classics and have yourself some fun.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Party Animal

Tonight I went down to the Hoedown project at Erratica with Jason Hogan and Mike Njoten. After a pitifull first round on the project. I surprised myself by sticking the dyno from a stand start and finishing the line. This move to the finish was probably hard v11. From the sit the series of crimpy moves that lead up to this dyno are powerful and fingery. Then I surprised myself again when I linked the entire line in the dark while Jason Hogan was rolling the camera. I was so psyched as this feels like the hardest moves I've ever done. Tahoe now has a v13 named Party Animal. So sick. Thanks to Hogan for inspiring me to bust it out.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Grand Weekend

This weekend was a grand weekend indeed. Lots and lots of great stuff was happening from every direction in life. Aside from the climbing scene, most of us got to witness a very special occasion with two great people. Noah Kaufman and Siemay Lee got married in Genoa, Nevada on Sunday. The ceremony was awesome and very memorable. The vows were to the heart and yet fun-loving and truthful from each person. I was personally touched. The reception to follow was epic; two great and funny families put forth their feelings of each of the newly wedded. To top off a great meal of surf and turf , the climbers were all at a few different tables where a lot of "grape throwing " was going on. I'm not going to mention any names but the Bay Area table and a certain very strong mom from B.C. was quite aggressive with their ammo. You know who you are. Haha. But it was an awesome night where I got to talk with a lot of people that I have only seen in brief, but memorable instances in my life. Yet another day I'll never forget that oddly had nothing to do with climbing. Awesome. Congratulations to Noah and Siemay. Like Matt said " Either of you are a force to be dealt with but together you are unstoppable".
So, for those of you who checked this blog because you were thinking of climbing, this entry will be nothing short of the raddest weekend South Tahoe climbing has ever seen. It all started Friday when Charlie Barret went on a tear through some of south shore's best areas with an impressive streak to follow. Charlie did the 2nd ascent of Freak Show v12 as well as the 2nd ascent of Lactose Intolerance v10 and sent the classic dyno move Hate Handles v10 on his 3rd try. Holy Shit Charlie, awesome job on the pull downs. On Sunday Erratica saw the most traffic it has ever seen in one session. The Yeti was repeated by Matt Wilder (2nd try), Scott Chandler, Brian Capps (2nd try), Paul Berazza, and possibly others. Courtney Hemphill also did an impressive 3rd ascent of Krull v9 while it was baking in the sun. Fugiyama v5/7 saw a slew of repeats as well. It was nice to see Erratica appreciated by people with unparalleled tastes in good rock.
There was one more strong visitor to South Lake Tahoe this weekend. Bishop's own Ian Cotter-Brown paid three days to tahoe and saw a lot of the new classic areas and left in a short time with a good tick list of hard problems. Ian sent Fat Guy in a Little Coat v9 at Burnside, the 2nd ascent of Lock Down Robotic v8 and the long awaited 2nd ascent of Future Present v11 at the Barb-Wire Area. Ian also got really close on the hard roof Freak Show Original v11. Next trip from Cotter-Brown will no doubt end in destruction. David Outcult also had an awesome send of Fat Guy in a Little Coat v9 by dynoing all out to the sloper at the lip. Nice one David. Another local on a rampage. The upcoming weeks will bring cooler and cooler temps and really soon we will all be in that special climbing season that typically produces our most memorable bouldering moments: Fall. I can't wait to see the sights. Me finally sending Smooth Boy Slim v9, so good

Ian Cotter Brown on Future Present v11, the day before it went down

Frank Lucido closing in on Krull v9

Charlie Barret sticking the crux move on Freak Show v12, the actual 2nd ascent go

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Back To The Future

an earlier picture of Future Present ; photo: Joe Debaun

Tonight I put up one of my best fa's ever. At the Barb-Wire area in Hope Valley I sent one of my long term goals, the extention stand start into Future Present v11. The extention added a hard cross over move to a slopey crimp with a powerfull jump into the arete. All in all the line was very hard but more noteably very good. I was really psyched to climb this thing as it is one of south lake tahoe's best hard feature climbs. I named it Welcome To The Future v12. a five star line. Go check it out.I originally named it back to the future but then I found out there is already a classic v9 called this in north tahoe, so I decided to change the name to avoid confusion. The Barb-Wire Area features other classics such as Wild Rose v5, Peinese v3, Marmot Slab v0, Little Mantle On The Praire v4, and Lock Down Robotic v8. Much thanks go to Jay Sell, Joe Bob , and Brock for showing me this area last year. This is perhaps one of my best first ascents.

Camoflage Forest

Here are some pics from a short day at Camoflage Forest in the Bog Area. I was resting and taking pictures trying to recover from a week of working nothing but hard projects. Brian Arnold and I did a session on the Hoedown project and made a lot of progress. This project seems to be morphing into two different lines but either one will be very hard and very good. I've also been working the extention into Future Present. This line will link v8/9 into v11 and will likely be the hardest line in South Lake Tahoe. Noah took a big crew to see Sierra Buttes for the first time and it will be cool to here the news when they get back tomorrow. With more visiting strong climbers coming into town for Noah and Siemay's wedding, this week will probably be filled with lots of news on hard bouldering going down.

Brenna Fischer working on Shock the Monkey v4
Frank Lucido climbing the classic Bruce Cambell v5

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Crater Lake News and Breaking New Grades

We hiked all the way out to the Hidden Draw area in Woodfords yesterday in the hottest conditions ever. The exposed 45 minutes walk in the 90 degree heat felt like a little slice of hell as Brenna Fischer marched out on a mission to send her first v5 boulder problem. Despite bad conditions and a tweaked ankle Brenna was confident that the send would be imminant. And after warming up on the finishing moves she sent the problem rather quickly and we bolted right back out to escape the intense heat. While some people may feel this is not a ground-breaking event, we all know what it feels like when you hit a new high point in your climbing. Each step is more exciting and intense than the last. We can only really get that feeling a maximum of 15 times before we die, so each and every one is rather special to us. Congratulations to Brenna on breaking a new personal barrier. She will probably want to do a lot more v5s now and v6 is not that far off. Good Job.

Brenna Fischer sending her first v5 Earth Day @ the Hidden Draw

Yesterday Noah Kaufman, Brian Arnold, and many others did a session at Crater Lake where old problems became more clarified and new first ascents and repeats went down. Noah Kaufman sent the F.A. of Lactose Intolerance v10. This new climb is awesome and is a must do for anyone who is sick enough to pull it off. Brian and Noah also pulled off the 2nd and 3rd ascent of Dangerously Cheesy v11 which actually goes up the right arete from a sit-start. There feelings were that this is likely soft for the grade but keep in mind that both these monsters regularly crush problems of this grade so maybe they just don't know there own strength. But either way this thing saw some more sends. I thought I was doing this line's 2nd ascent the other day but it turns out that I was actually doing a new F.A. on the boulder that is probably the hardest line done so far. I named it Milk Money and I'm calling it v12 . Other notable ascents were David Oltcult doing the right line v7 and Frank Lucido sent the right arete v6/7. The continued traffic on this boulder is confirmation to its quality and for all who haven't seen or heard you need to go get some.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Afternoon Delight

This week Tahoe's heat got turned up in more ways than one when climbers focused on new areas and new climbs. Jay and Frank have been hard at work developing the Ghosts while Noah and I have paid a few visits to Dave Goodwin's Crater Lake boulder. The Crater Lake boulder is incredible. This lone boulder sits in a beautiful meadow and comes complete with excellent rock and many 5 star lines of all grades.
At the Ghosts I got to see some new highballs go down. Many repeats were done on Lucido's awesome photo-op climb called Spectre(aka ghost shark). Jay Sell added a line next to it called Shark Bite, also very good. Noah did the F.A. of a line that hasn't been named yet that is very good vertical climb that probably goes at v6/7. I even got some action when I added the no star anti-gem dubbed Don't Wake Your Neighbors v?. This is now the safest and lamest line on the Moby Dick Boulder....sorry about that ..haha. More fun was had during sunset when Noah and I repeated Jay Sell's problem Ghost Dreamer. This is an awesome line that will one day top out as a world class ultra-highball. The consensus on this grade has settled at v6. It is easier if you are tall and harder if you're short but doable for everyone. A new project was opened to the left of this line that will likely be pretty hard but very awesome. The Ghosts are slowly shaping up to be a great area with lots of potential.
There was no shortage of action at Crater Lake as a bunch of us when to check it out and were blown away at how cool this rock is. Very smooth and inspiring with plenty of slopey top outs, rad holds, and great problems. I managed to get the possible first ascent Milk Money, a really stout v11/v12. This line was really cool and hard and is probably one of the best hard problems in south lake tahoe. But it didn't stop there because Noah did a likely first ascent of a super good line up the middle of the face with big moves on cool holds which is being called Lactose Intolerant v8. More news will probably come later because Noah almost linked this climb from a full sit-start which may end up being another great v10/11 on this boulder. Noah fought hard every move, getting narrowly shut-down at the very last hard move on the problem, but I assure he will be back for victory later on. To anyone who hasn't seen this rock, make calls, get beta , and go get some; it is really cool. Thanks to Dave Goodwin and company for authoring this picturesque masterpiece.

working Milk Money on day 1
photo: Brenna Fischer
Noah making the 2nd ascent of Ghost Dreamer look easy

Frank Lucido running a lap on the beautiful Spectre

Noah on F.A. of Lactose Intolerant

David O. getting some at Crater Lake
photo: Brenna Fischer

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Ghosts

South Lake Tahoe just got a new area in the game. Tired of climbing so much volcanic climbing I went out with Frank Lucido and Jay Sell to a new area that I can't disclose the location of just yet called the Ghost. It has looks of good quality granite block that are typically highball and climbable. The rock can have lots of diagonal slashes, good patina and even slopey top outs. I can't tell how big this area is just yet..but it looks big. There are already some great problems that are top value for the region. Jay Sell put up one of his hardest to date, Ghost Dreamers v?7ish is an awesome line up an overhanging bullet crack feature. The holds, the view, and the climbing position are all rad. Frank Lucido and myself have both been bouted on this thing. It is super awesome worth a try. There is also an excellent corridor full of awesome slab climbs with major highballing potential. The climb called Bodie v3 is full value. Intimidating yet safe. Frank put up a cool problem called Spectre that I haven't seen yet but supposedly is 4stars. I got to put up a neat one as well yesterday when I did the new line Ghost Story v6. Gentle overhang with cool slots and fun move for the top. This area has major potential for great bouldering. All the problems done so far are great and it seems like there's much more. By the way, if you go , don't skip the oportunity to do the problem called Is It Over Yet? v? classic. Brock trying a cool new project

Jay Sell climbing Bodie v3

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Freaking Out

Noah Kaufman sent the 2 highball roof projects to the left of Jay and Don's. The prouder one has been dubbed Atomic Confusion v6. Very scary and reachy. He also did one just left of that one that is slightly less serious called Afternoon Wood v4. These are some excellent additions to the area. Noah also had an impressive session on the steep Dazed Boulder when he started out by doing the first flash ascent of Twizzler v8 and then made short work of the 3rd ascent of Morning Wood. Later he also had one more good flash in him when he dispatched Subterranean v7/8 on his first go. Noah had a great day after not getting out for the past few weeks because of work. He says that's he's found more new great projects at Erratica , which is not surprising as this is the most shit-stacked area in south shore. It's going to be an exciting fall.
Also Ben Broche has posted the link to his video on youtube of the first ascent of Freak Show. View the video at

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Downtown Brown

Jay and Don working on the new project
Jay Sell chucking a lap on his gem Too Many Words v3

Frank Lucido on Morning Wood v7
First move of Freak Show/ Downtown Brown

Cold temps graced the tahoe area today with excellent climbing conditions. We all went to the new hot spot where a few lines got done and new projects opened up. Jay Sell and Don opened an incredibly intimidating roof highball. This looks like it will be a great new ballsy line. I did some of Jay and Frank's highballs on the Confused Boulder. Too Many Words v3 was amazing. Tall and really good. This has to be a must do for the area. Frank also added some fun tennis shoe climbs on the new 7 up boulder. I added a traverse into Twizzler that I called Red Vines v9*** . Excellent pumpy line with many steep moves and a cool problem to finish on. Also in the Basement another sick roof line went down out of nowhere. I worked the moves on this harder finish from the start holds of Freak Show. I could barely hit the hard moves one at a time and then out of nowhere , when trying from the start one random time, I got psyched and linked the whole climb together for the F.A. of Downtown Brown v12***. Another excellent roof climb. Many hard moves into Subterranean v7 made this line feel very hard. It's always a guess with the grade but for me this felt a little harder than Freak Show but not enough to warrant a crazy grade. Tomorrow I am going back to the Freaks where Noah Kaufman will be visiting for the first time since all the major developments. It will be neat to see what goes down.

New Freak Show

The Freaks are going off. Cleaning and climbing seems to be the theme. This area is already an instant classic. On Monday night I did the FA of the project that was a lower start to Freak Show and decided to make these the new start holds instead of calling it 2 different lines. Now Freak Show is v12 and more full value. This is a 20ft roof and is super bad ass. The project going right will likely be just as hard or maybe harder. Ben Broche came out and got awesome footage of the FA which will be on youtube in a few days. I'll update with the link soon. We all have Frank to thank for this awesome gift. This area is a true find, especially for people hunting for power climbing. Here is a list of many of the problems that you will find here.

Pocket Change v3 **
Black and White v1 *
Morning Wood v7 **
Twizzler v8 ***
One Hitter v5 *
Wake and Bake v1**
Freaky Not Creaky v1*
Munchies v0 *
Chubby Chaser v1*
Bong Water v6 **
Subterranean v7 **
Smoke and a Pancake v2*
Freak Show v12 ***
Lost for Words v2 **
Too Many Words v3***
and many more to come

Friday, July 31, 2009

Freak Show

Today I put up a new hard line at the Freaks. The Freaks is an area near Erratica with good steep, volcanic rock. Many good lines have already been done by Frank Lucido, Noah Kaufman, and Jay Sell. Some of the classic problems include Twizzler v8, Wake and Bake v2, and Smoke and a Pancake v6. Among these lines the newest boulder is a 20ft horizontal roof on excellent quality volcanic rock which is abundantly featured. This roof is called the Basement. I did a great line going right through the middle of the roof on good holds really far apart. I called the line Freak Show v11. Very hard I thought. It will have a lower start that will likely add a couple of hard moves. There is also another project starting this line or lower that will go rightward through intense shouldery moves. It will be cool to see what else will come from this unique area. Usually volcanic is rather chossy but this place is an exception. I'd recommend a visit, though it is still semi-secret so good luck on finding an open door. Tahoe feels like it is cooling off a little for the weekend so I'm excited to see some more good climbing.

F.A. of Freak Show v11