Sunday, August 16, 2015

Hocus Posos

So it's been a month since the last post, I guess its time for a few more pics from bowlder land. The Posos circuit keeps expanding, with lots of work from myself, William Penner, Nat Gustafson, Kendo, Neal Wostbrock and a few others lending a hand.

Perhaps the most notable discovery was Fury Road (V4). Honestly, this problem was a one in a million - an overhang that is located on top of one of the outcrops, fairly close to the edge of the cliff, with a landing just big enough to be safe. Due to its location, it got missed by us, until I literally just looked up one day and saw the Rocklands-esque nose. Incredibly, the line had holds, and even more incredibly, it climbed really well, with big moves on big holds, heel hooks, heel toe cams, kneebar potential, a crux deadpoint throw and a crucial toe hook compression move. Long too, almost pumpy. Honestly - one of the best of the grade I have ever done anywhere, save perhaps Moonshine Roof. William Penner got the FA, shortly followed by Nat Gustafson and myself.

One other notable send for me was getting the FA of Orange is the New Black (V8). Notable mainly due to the fact that its the hardest FA Ive ever done, a very cool experience to put something up that is close to my limit. Maybe its a 7, but either way, pretty challenging. I dont normally care that much who does what first, but apparently this one did make me feel good about myself. Very cool climbing - a compression line on crimpy sidepulls with a bomber heel hook that allows this improbable line to go.

Fury Road from below. Looks good eh?

Drew on Fury Road (V4). On the fifth/sixth move, lining up to make the crux deadpoint to a sloper crimp.

Hard to photograph the lower section of Fury Road, but heres an attempt.



 
Scott figuring out beta for his new line, currently unnamed V5/6 on the Mezzanine.

William on a mega new project line going up cream face. 

 Neal showing an impressive amount of commitment to a friction move finish on the FA of this striking arete, Chutes and Ladders V5.


Orange Is the New Black goes up the left-hand side of this overhang, about 40 degrees overhung.



Another new project, this one is very burly.


What's that?....

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

New problems at Posos

Back to Posos, our summer refuge in the Ortegas. Hitting it hard, and amazingly it has been yielding. In fact by my count we have tripled the number of "must do" problems at the main Where The Cows Drink sector. And still rollin...

Posos is so nice in the summer.. we've even been climbing in temps of 60s when albuquerque and the rest of NM has been roasting. Seen baby elk and baby coyotes on the drive up too... such an awesome spot.

Here are some shots of the "instant classics" we cleaned and established in the last month.

Posos/Where The Cows Drink north outcrop

A photo posted by William Penner (@melvinmills) on

Me on a very nice vertical crimping problem, Fallen Empire V5. Pretty much perfect for its style.


On the same block (Contraband) the opposite face is even taller. This is William on his new mega line, "War Boy" V6. A really stunner of a highball, cruxy start with compression moves then great moves between incuts leading to a rest on a ledge and a seriously committing high step, all on magnificent rock.




Mother Love Bone (V6/7) on the Aspen Overhang. Probably the single best feature at Posos. The line is interesting in the fact that it can be done many different ways - some would say this detracts a little, but just go with whatever appeals. The holds and the line are both amazing. The sit looks desperate but might go too.

Molly just chillin on a random spot of grass under a bright orange roof on "The Veranda"

New pup's in town


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Tahoe Bouldering Guides: Outlying Areas (including Loon Lake!) is out now

Well I've waited a long time to write this post. 4 years ago I wrote a guide to Loon Lake, my beloved bouldering area in Tahoe which I helped develop. 350 problems, give or take.. not too shabby. Dave Hatchett - the man! - took my notes and photos and incorporated it into his amazing Tahoe Bouldering Guides, and it got put in the "Outlying Areas" volume, which has been the last to be completed. Dave also visited Loon a few times, and managed to improve the landing of the incredible Chasing Rainbows project, and sent the stand (v5) and sit (v7). 4 star line, maybe the best in Loon (as I predicted). Can't wait to re-visit and climb the line that always taunted me. And there are still some incredible projects - the perky arete (pic1 pic2) and the vader boulder compression line to name two.

I think the website hasn't quite been updated yet, but go here for the book page or check out the FB page for more info.

Loon Lake is a BEAUTIFUL place. Different from much of the rest of Tahoe in that the boulders are out in the open, on incredible Tuolumne Meadows-esque glacially-carved slabs and bowls. Some of the rock is as good as Bishop (the Outer Loonies). Perhaps the main negatives are the long winding drive through the crystal basin from Hwy-50, and the fact that its so sunny and hot out there half the time it isnt covered in snow. But notwithstanding these detractions, I urge the Californians amongst you (are there any who are still reading this blog?!) to use the new guide and get out there! I have many fond memories of camping by the lake, with either the party atmosphere of the summertime with the 4wheelers, or in the Fall, a completely lonely, remote feeling destination.

Ok, so throwback time. Here are a few of my favourite lines out there, that I have photos of. Some of them I even managed to snag the FAs!

Silk Cut V6 (FA Liam Vance). Short - like 2 moves really!! - but such a clean, pure compression line

Shipwrecked V4 (FA Dave Nunley). An atypical Tahoe problem - beautiful steep jug haul on really good welded tuff

Point Counterpoint V1 (FA Owen Summerscales). Super clean friction slab by the water front. Like Bishop, but without the polish.

Big Whitey V1!!! (FA Owen Summerscales) Oh my.. one of my all time favourites at Loon. So freaking GOOD!! Pretty damn highball, dihedral, rounded textured comfy jug layback, clean rock... just get on this and try to resist the urge to climb all the way to the top...

Nautilus Roof V3 (FA Owen Summerscales). An awesome high foot slab move to get established, then just super fun moves over the top. Sloper jugs!!


Discworld V6 (FA Owen Summerscales).  Yes its a traverse, but its a damn good one, featuring a heel-toe cam, and slopers that are really hard to hang off, enabled by just one single foot chip, and a pumpy finish. I give this all the stars.

Maybe Its Maybelline V2 (FA Owen Summerscales).  Not as long as I'd like it to be, but very nice problem for its 8' or so of climbing. Great holds and heel hooks.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Xq

Xq? Why, yes, I am talking about the paleoproterozoic rock type.

Xq Ortega Quartzite – Coarse-grained, gray vitreous cross-bedded quartzite consisting mostly of quartz with minor amounts of muscovite, kyanite, and layers of hematite. A viridine-bearing member recognized as unit Xqv in the Ojo Caliente quadrangle constitutes the base of this quartzite and is aregionally continuous marker horizon.

X stands for "Archean", or Precambrian, i.e. its age - very frikkin old, the last on the list of geologic time periods. Q for quartzite. Or just Xtreme Quality.

Really that should tell you all you need to know. But maybe I would add to that - it's the best rock in the state, and some of the best rock I've ever seen anywhere. And there's more in northern NM than you can shake a cleaning brush at!

Up at Ortega West we got a chance to go back to our new roof boulder - dubbed Animal Action. It's great! We sent a pumpy traverse, a dyno and a short but fierce straight-up, all hitting the v4-6 range. Another moderate remains to be done, plus two very hard lines. One is a completely horitzontal roof with kneebars and toehook trickery (the "cornhole" project), the other is a committing highball face that starts with compression and will end in a very committing mantel move using thin seams and a big foot ledge (the "animal house" project).

Found another couple of steep problems immediately downhill of there, dubbed the one overhang "Lost Children", though need to get back to actually climb it. Looks like a lorra fun... compression leading into a hand jam then a succession of longish diagonal moves out of a roof.

The seasons been going pretty well so far up there. More areas are also being developed on the east side of the summit. So much to go back to ...


The Animal Action traverse (v5?)



Bear Pause


The Animal House project