Sunday, January 31, 2010

After a long period of crappy weather and lots of indoor training, I was happy to get back on real rock. I started the weekend off by visiting a project at Prison Hill that is just to the right of Prisoner on the Roof v9. This problem shares the start hold of that line with the left hand and the right hand is on the other side of the feature on a bad sidepull. From here a series of short slaps to bad slopers and pinches lead to a heinous move to a slick, slopey crimper. From there the top out is a fun headwall that is probably v5 or 6. I named this new line Juvenile Delinquent and gave it v12. This problem is slightly an eliminate as it does not use the juggy underclings on Prisoner on the Roof or the top out holds of Prisoner on the Roof. Using these holds to do this line would reduce the difficulty by a couple grades. However, in the interest of making this line feel unique I did not use these holds. All in all, the new problem is cool and climbs very well.
The next day was full of adventure as we tried to climb at an area at high elevation that is typically saved for the hot summer months. With massive amount of fresh snow everywhere, we began the uneasy hike into the backcountry. The walk itself was filled with excitement. At every turn there seemed to be a deep, snowy gully or rushing creek bed that had to be crossed. Navigating our way to the area also took a lot of time. Everything looks different when it's covered in 10 feet of snow. Sure enough though, we found the boulders and hiked up to the Basement. Here my goal was to repeat one of my problems from this summer, Downtown Brown, for the camera. With snow surrounding the cave there was the best dry, cold temps possible. I was able to link up this hard climb in 2 goes, having remembered all the beta from the summer season. All in all, it was another awesome weekend bouldering in the Tahoe area. It felt fun to realize that snow can't due much to stop the determined.

Snow or No from Jesse Bonin on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The following weekend at Prison Hill was much sunnier than the previous. Frank Lucido, Jarrad Wycoff, David Outcalt and I did many ascents on the areas classics. The send of the day was the Electric Chair v6. Jarrad was the first to cap off the 2nd ascent of this tall classic. Then David and myself followed.This problem is the super shiny arete uphill from The gully near Solitary Confinement. I has a tricy beginning, solid rock, and a heady topout. In addition to David's third ascent of this line, we also got footage of some of the other area classics from the north side of Prison Hill. The footage came out a bit washed out and the lens needed a good cleaning. Just for fun though I decided to add this to vimeo for anyone to enjoy. There will be more to follow but now the snow is heavy. Climbing in the Tahoe area for the next week or two may be kind of spotty. I have a lot of possible winter projects in the area as well as things I need to go do in the Buttermilks in Bishop. Looks like the next few days will have to be dedicated to either intense resting or intense training, hopefully a good mix of both.

Prison Hill, part 2 from Jesse Bonin on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Prisoners in the Fog

When I woke up Saturday morning in South Lake Tahoe, I didn't think bouldering was going to be a possibility. The entire town was engulfed in a thick, wet fog. But I thought, what the hell! So David Outcalt and I spent the weekend at Prisoner Hill. Both days that I drove down I passed through the inversion coming down Spooner. It was foggy at the top, foggy at the bottom, and sunny as hell in the middle. It was a neat moment passing through there each morning. When we arrived the whole area was in a very thick fog. There was a spooky vibe with the mist. The boulders just appeared out of it throughout the entire trecherous hike. The first day we climbed on the north side and did all the moderate classics with Jason Hogan joining us. We did Reno 911 v0 , Cocaine Blues v3, Congical Visit v3, and 15 Minutes to Go v5. Then we hiked all the way over to the south side of the big hill over to the Watchtower Boulder, home to Noah Kaufman's awesome power-fest Alcatraz v10. I worked on repeating the sit-start and David worked the gem. At first we were both flailing pretty hard, but then we got psyched and they both went down. David Outcalt caught the likely 6th ascent of Alcatraz v10, a proud moment for this was his first of the grade. I managed to unluck the beta that made the sit-start doable and sent just after David.

The second Day we spent the morning warming up on top of the south side. In this spot the rock is mostly crappy at the top and good at the bottom. So we spent a little time riding the choss wave. But the gripped factor did us well as we warmed up. Next , we went over to Alcatraz to do some filming then went straight over to a possible project wall that was killer. Sitting only about 50 yards from the Watchtower this awesome face had two plum lines on each side. It looked like they've never been done but you never know around here. David caught the likely FA of the right line which he dubbed What Are You In Here For? v6ish. I did this line just afterwards and it was killer. Next I got the left line and it was about v7. But then David broke a hold in the middle that may have made this climb slightly easier. He pretty much ran laps on the crux to the heady top out. But it was at the end of a long weekend and we both ran out of juice for any more lines. But it was a great time and we look forward to going back next weekend if the weather is good...or if it's fog. We made a short 5 min. video of some of the coolest lines. I hope you enjoy the video.

Prisoners in the Fog from Jesse Bonin on Vimeo.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Old Footage

I had some old video footage on my computer of a few climbs. Bordem set in last night and I decided to put together a random video just for fun. Making short climbing films seems to be the thing in the industry right now. This is awesome for me because I love surfing the internet and watching the new bouldering videos that come out on a daily basis. Perhaps this is the climber's version of watching Monday night football. I've really been enjoying all the good short videos that have been coming out this season. DeadPoint magazine appears to have it on lock down. My short video does not compare to most of the good ones but I figured I'd put it on for people to enjoy. The video mainly features the Geode. This unrepeated v11 has pure moves up a slopey prow on high quality rock. The FA took me a while but in the end it all came down to perfect conditions. At the time of the ascent it was about 20 degrees out in early winter. I hope you enjoy the short movie. Unfortunately this problem is definately out of commission until late spring, so you might not get to try it for a while.

The Geode from Jesse Bonin on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


My Bishop trip over the holidays was a sucess. I hung out with my good friends there, ate good food, drank beer and climbed a lot of great stuff. I managed to finally do the Rorschach Test v11 on Christmas Day. Felt more like a 12 to me but ?? I also made a quick send of Bubba Butt Buster v11, Acid Wash v10, Bubba Gets Committed v10 and the Iron Fly v9. The Iron Fly was an interesting send. I've tried this thing before with the dyno method and had no luck. One cold day I tried the other way hitting the sloper and hit it in a few goes. I was pleasantly surprised. Ian and I made a short video on of Rorschach Test and the Aquarium. The other good memory of the trip was bouldering campfire-side at this secret location in Bishop and doing a bunch of easy highballs in the dark. It was a great time indeed. I'm looking forward to a possible short trip to Utah coming up soon which will hopefully pan out. Now I'm back in Tahoe for more training and, possibly, digging some great local projects out of the snow for sending.

Zack West on Hit the High Hard One v9