For the past 8 weeks I've been back in Tahoe, trying to work through my hardest projects. One in particular has finally gone down. The first time I took Noah Kaufman to see the Shade Grove boulder in Erratica, one line caught his eye right away. I had looked in the section of the boulder he was checking out many times and never saw a line there. But when he showed me this line of holds it was crazy how awesome it was. This project fit my style but did not fit my body. It is full extention for me from the low footholds to stick a sharp crimp sidepull. This move, which is really hard for me but maybe easier if you're tall, is followed by some hellacious footwork to do the crux move. This involves a long deadpoint off the sharp crimp to stick an open handed ledge. After this the upper move is an odd core-dependent deadpoint to crimp. Unfortunately avoiding a dab on this move is a
big part of the crux. A definate heart-breaker in the full link up. This line has spit many good climbers over the years and was always thought of as Erratica's step up in difficulty.I managed to do this line on Saturday. I have been trying this line a long time, probably three or four seasons. Until this year I've never been able to stick the first two moves. It was really a good feeling to put this line to rest finally. This coveted project has been referred to as Balls of Steel. I've renamed the full sit start Balls to the Wall and I'm thinking that this climb is a v13. Only time will tell, but for me it is surely one of the hardest climbs I've ever done. In the meantime I am preparing to leave Tahoe for the summer to go back to South Africa. I'll be going to Rocklands for the season to climb some of the coolest sandstone I've ever seen. Besides training, and working, getting my affairssin order before I leave is taking up some mental energy. Between then and now I plan on climbing as much as I can in the area before I leave. There's a problem at Pie Shop to the left of Diamonds Are Forever that caught our eye the other day. Walker Emerson got the first ascent on Friday with me soon following. He named the line Live and Let Pie and suggested v8. It was really fun. A rad dyno move from two bad slopes, really classic. I'm really psyched to be leaving ultimately. Rocklands is truely an awesome experience for any person that is obsessed with bouldering. I have many climbs there that have been burned in my mind since my last visit there. I'm psyched to go there with some great friends and have a vacation from constantly working full time and climbing full time. I'm only 2 weeks away from departing for this adventure. It is going to be sick. My main focus before I leave will be visiting the Basement to get some power endurance. Walker and I opened up a possibility to extend all the lines to make for some more pumpy link ups. You should check it out. Very rad. In the meantime, check out Ian Cotter-Brown's video of the latest sending going down in Tahoe.