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Last year Flashed Athlete Ian Dory went to Australia with Dave Graham and Nalle Hukkataival. Keith Ladzinski went along and shot glorious photos, some of which are featured in this month’s Rock & Ice Magazine, and many more which are featured in a photo essay on Keith’s blog.
Check it out - :: Keith Ladzinski Visual Media ::
And Ian? Right now he, Dave, and Nalle are back in Australia right now putting up more first ascents.
Fontainebleau is one of my favorite places to climb. Here is a short video from last Spring, when Chris and I spent 2 months there. We didn’t have the best weather but we still had some fantastic climbing days. In the video there are a few snippets of problems and a few full problems. The video is by Chris Schulte.
Coup de Cymbale (7a/+) at J.A. Martin - This is a strange little problem in a corridor. I think it is height dependent, or at least I felt very stretched out. You do a big move to an arrowhead shaped hold, then a few more easier moves and a mantle that is a little more spicy than it first looks. Especially if you are thinking about what is behind you.
L’Elephant highball swiss cheese face (don’t know the name) – This is a fantastic climb. Super fun, big jugs up a tall face, so it is very approachable for a variety of abilities and, if you are feeling scared, you can down climb. The landing is sandy and flat so it inspires confidence. The down climb is easy. A great climb.
Les Nombrilistes (7a+) at Vallée de Champlaid - The bright orange slab. This problem is quite insecure and the crucial slopey sidepull near the top was damp the day we did it so it took some very delicate movement. It sits all alone and is sort of hard to find but very worth the effort.
Appartenance (7c) at Buthiers Piscine - An awesome problem. Very easy to see from the loop road that circles through the forested recreational area of Buthiers. Any day here you will see hikers, climbers, trials bike riders, people playing tennis, swimming, riding bicycles, etc… Up the hill there is a ropes course and more recreation, in the center is a climbing gym that has a pop-top for good weather. This problem was quite inspiring to me, especially because of the delicate mantle at the midpoint. You’re not done til you’re standing all the way up, and though the landing is flat the fall is still a bit far. Pic below.
For more on these boulders and on Font in general check out this fantastic site: Bleau.info : bouldering in Fontainebleau.
Well, sort of a lot and not much has been happening for the last few months. I’ve driven around some, visited family, climbed a little. The weather has been…unusual. Way drier and warmer than normal. One result of this was that as I drove through California I had a couple of fabulous days in Bishop.
Bishop hasn’t seen a dry winter with perfect temps in a few years. When I was a younger climber every winter, no matter how crappy the weather was up north by Lake Tahoe and Reno, and no matter how bad the weather report for Bishop said things would be, Bishop itself could always be counted on to be sunny and cool–perfect for climbing in a t-shirt yet sticking to the rock. Then came the bad years—the feet of snow that closed down the Buttermilks repeatedly and set every vagabond in the pit on the 17 hour drive to across four states to Hueco.
Now things are back to normal, in Bishop at least. I got a chance to hang out with my good friend Israel and finish up some old projects on glorious afternoon at the Happy Boulders. A few weeks later I came back again for an afternoon at the Buttermilks with my good buddy Alex Johnson (who pretty much crushed her way through some highballs–read about it here: Bishop Bouldering Blog: Alex Johnson, Golden Age (2nd?) and More), watched an exciting 49ers game and had dinner with some friends,
…and then headed OVER TIOGA PASS to boulder for a few days in Yosemite!
For those of you who don’t know, this is crazy because Tioga Pass is never open in January. Never. It is always buried in snow. But this year? Open, dry and clear. Families were ice skating and picnicking on the ice. Alex and I stopped to slide around a bit, which was fun for the novelty if for no other reason. Then we packed back in and made our way to the Valley proper where we met up with good friends for some fun bouldering in the best temps I’ve ever seen in the Valley. It was crisp and cool but not too cold, and so very dry that the granite felt fantastic.
After watching Alex crush her warm-up of Orion (V7 highball, last move is the most committing) and then do Drive On (V10) in 2 tries we headed down the trail to the classic Great White (V1?) which we climbed with our friend Sasha and her dad Tom, and old-school Valley climber who proved he’s still got it as he literally vaulted over the top outs of Great White and the V2 to its left.
The next day Alex, Sasha, and Tom headed off to do a long route somewhere and Kelly Sheridan, Kyle O’Meara and I had fun in Camp 4. The highlight of the day for me was the group send of Battle of the Bulge, a V6 that I don’t even know if I’ve tried before but did 1st go this trip after watching Kyle demonstrate the beta. Kelly, who is a strong climber but has feeling out of sorts due to his recent four-year bout of Law School, also managed to climb the problem in only a handful of tries.
Now I’m back in Colorado and the weather here is unusually dry. Last weekend we went out to local area Carter Lake to have some fun in what we hoped would be nice temps. The air temp was nice, as was the sun, but a few periods of gusting winds definitely made us tired by the end of the day. Now it’s time to check out the new bouldering by Rocky Mountain National Park as even Estes Park is unseasonably dry, meaning the best temps in years are available on some of the low lying boulders. I’m psyched, as the drier temps hopefully mean no more pressure splits like I got in Font last year:
Hope everyone had a good holiday, and here’s to hoping for enough moisture to replenish the watersheds but enough dry days for sending!
Here is a video of Flashed athlete Joel Zerr and some friends climbing one of the erratic classics in Tahoe. It’s a good thing they had that Flashed pad for falling off the top!
Recently I began working with a site called Climbfind that is focused on helping people find climbing partners. One of the things I do for them is help run the heroes blog, which is a 3-person blog of insights, inspirations, and industry news (I imagine you can guess which third of that I’m most involved with). Anyways, the site is cool because it can help people from all over the world find climbing partners, whether it is for the afternoon at their local gym or for a trip to Australia. In a couple of months a newer and better Climbfind will be live, but for now I recommend checking out the old version–you just might find some old friends you’ve lost touch with (I did!) or learn about a new climbing area you’ve never heard of before.
It’s that season in Colorado again, or at least it would be if the snow would finish melting. As it is, at Mount Evans Lincoln Lake is mostly melted out and apparently Area A is good to go as well, which means most of Area B is probably also good. The park, on the other hand…well…apparently it just snowed again yesterday. Endovalley, Veritas and Moraine Park are probably fine, but most days they will be too hot cause they’re so low. It’s a weird year.
Fellow Climbfind Hero blogger Wendy Bradley is spending her summer in Colorado, and since she’s from Texas all this Alpine bouldering is brand new to her. What this means is she had no idea how much stuff she’d need to go bouldering at Mount Evans without putting herself at risk for spending a day cold, wet, and hungry. I made this handy post to help her and everyone else who hasn’t bouldered in the mountains before get an idea of what kind of gear you’ll need to have a successful day, and what kind of pad you’ll need to carry it all. Hint–it’s a Flashed pad. Check out the post here: Alpine Bouldering Gear.
You can watch Ian and all the other competitors live on http://www.ifsc.tv/ right now!
Cuvier Rempart is one of the most famous popular (i.e. fastest drying) bouldering areas in the forest of Fontainebleau. The other day we discovered this little problem hiding in plain sight. It is an excellent 7a+ intro to sloper climbing, and I did my best to help my new friend Marjo get up it. Check the effort:
After a many-faceted epic last year that lead to canceling a three month trip to Font at the last moment (literally, the day before we were supposed to fly out) we spent what turned out to be quite a productive season in Hueco and felt glad we’d missed a wet European spring. Hueco was fun, but we really enjoyed our previous experiences in Font and wanted to come back. After hemming and hawing about what to do this winter, we finally took the plunge and booked our tickets for two months this spring.
It seems like we booked our tickets for too late. Like last year’s weather, this year February was very very wet, with lots of rain, lots of damp climbing days, and a few sort-of-dry days, though the rock didn’t totally dry out until a nice streak in the beginning of March. And then it rained again. Anyways, on one of the dry days we ventured out to an area called Oiseaux near the more popular area of Roche aux Sabots. I made this little video of a wonderful problem called Brasil, also 7a, though don’t go to 8a.nu to try to translate Font grades to V grades, because they despite attempts to the contrary they don’t really translate. I’ve seen multiple V14 climbers utterly fail on 7a’s here and spend all day working to send 7c’s, then do 8a’s in a few tries. Font is it’s own kind of climbing area, and everything here should be taken purely as it is–fun movement on cool holds in a beautiful setting. Here’s a great example. Enjoy!
You may have seen the new ad in Deadpoint Magazine from Clark of Cordless/Revolution and Josh of Organic. If you haven’t, check out the newest issue of Deadpoint, but here is a little picture. If you click on it it will take you to the mag so you can read the text on the ad.
Anyways, so Clark also occasionally blogs, and on his blog he gave a nice shout-out to Flashed for the innovation of the Ronin and for being brave enough to think outside the lines. If you are interested, you can check it out here: Revolution Climbing