Friday, May 15, 2015

Time for Gratitude

Feels like it's been a while since I wrote some stuff on this blog. Not that there hasn't been stuff to write about. As usual, bouldering wise, the good news never stops here in Lake Tahoe.  March and April had me pretty busy with work but then came the inevitable pause. As far as climbing goes, my focus has been the same as ever. One great line at a time. I don't even know where to start.
    I'll mention that perhaps Brad Perry and I either rediscovered or built upon existing boulder development at Round Hill. Very near Nevada Beach we found a few things that had been scrubbed that were pretty cool. We decided to continue what this mystery person started and added about a dozen lines in this main cluster near the church. This Round Hill zone had a few good ones worth mentioning. These include Jihadi With A Banging Body v5, One Man's Trash v8, The Sonic Never v7 and Scoop of Lichen v2/3. It's not very much but anybody living close to the Stateline area might appreciate a quick visit to this easy access area. If anyone wants to have a look, park by the bike path intersection near Nevada Beach on Elks Point Road. From the car use dirt road/bike paths to walk through the opening in the fence. From the car you hike north /east about 100 yards to a cluster. I've drawn up a topo to submit to Tahoe Bouldering Guides.
  Speaking of Tahoe Bouldering Guides, the new Outlying Guide is about to be released. Get psyched for another huge volume of never-ending bouldering info. This new guide will have areas such as Erratica, The Freaks, Sierra Buttes, Doyle, Prison Hill, Legoland and more. With the summer season coming up, I'm sure all the visitors will have there hands full. The only problem with bouldering here in Tahoe is trying to decide where to go each day.
   With the help of the guide I've been going around my own backyard sampling goods that I never knew were there. I've been hitting mostly stuff that is close to town. Tahoe Mountain has been my focus the past month.  A few Lucido lines worth mentioning are Show of Force, Armed Response, Rolling Thunder, Golden Fleece, Divided Skyway, Vagabond. All of these lines had a great deal of allure and I can vouch for the quality of experience I received from climbing on them. Also, anyone who can climb v8 has to take the jaunt to the summit to do Jarrad Wyckoff's The Arena. Such a great one in a cool spot. Fair warning, Tahoe Mountain has it's own type of granite, what I mean is it is sharp, jagged. Wait for good temps and bring thick skin. Anyone looking for the extra challenge should give the Lucido masterpiece lowball Dead Ant a try. Apparently once a v5/6, this thing at time of guidebook was guesstimated to be upgraded to about v9. Personally after spending 7 days at this point working on the 3 moves, I've only hit one move, one time. My guess is that this little bastard is more like a v11. Just a guess as I tend to grade very liberal.

   Next place I'd like to mention is the new stuff that's gone down at the Beavers. Ian Cotter-Brown got the Beaver Ball rolling this season. Check out his blog here. Ian added Belly of the Beaver v9, Tickle Me Beaver v10, Moss Man Prophecies v8 and Don't Feed the Beavers v5. I got inspired. I cleaned a new rock 20 feet from the popular One Eye Willie. This boulder now has a v5 the Bored Arete and Short Fuse v9, a one move dyno to an incut rail on a short wall. Could be height dependent, favoring the shorter person for a change. I also added an extension to Tick Me Beaver that takes the line further left into Beaver Fever instead of Cleaver. I dubbed this line The Tickle Monster v11. Mike Njoten also added Busy Beaver v5, 6, 7, 8, or 9. This is a stand start on the trailside arete you come to right when you get to the Slug Boulder. I haven't tried this one yet but am very intrigued.
     But it never stops. Benwood Meadows has seen an influx of new lines, particularly highballs by the next generation of Tahoe youngsters. These whippersnappers are leading a full charge deep in the woods. They are doing some cool shit that is very tall. It's inspiring to watch though I'm not much of a highballer myself. In addition to Benwood , I recently took a trip to Sugar Pine where I saw the future of West Shore bouldering. Going beyond the furthest reaches of Sugar 6 I got to see the clean slate of Sugar 7. Wow, lucky number 7. I'd tell ya how many great, big, untouched boulders I saw, but I lost count after 50 or so. We did a huge trek out there only to get dumped on with snow and rain all day. For walking 2 hours out and getting completely shut down I had so much fun exploring and cutting up with a great crew of psyched locals who are in it for the long haul.
                                    What a crew, what a day! Photo by Jon Thompson

      This place is truly amazing. Tahoe is still very much still in it's golden age. Th
e amount of great boulders here will keep coming as the decades pass by. When I first moved here in 2002, I used to think that this place was a quick stop til I could get on my way, an accident. Now I know that it was no accident that a person like me ended up here. This month I have felt so grateful that I have been a part of this place. Now, over 13 years later, it's still going harder than ever. It's very cool to see the next wave of young climbers joining in the frenzy. Their fresh psyche, high energy, and obsessive dedication are going to push this place into becoming the infinite playground that it is.

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