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