Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wonderboy FFA 5.13c R

I did this FFA back in August but with my school schedule being so heinous I have not had any extra time, so better late than never right?  

The sport climbing life is relaxing and pretty casual especially in some areas.  For these reasons it feels great to just hang out with good friends and climb without feeling overwhelmed by the day ahead.  However, I have always found that too much of a good thing can get monotonous and leave me feeling somewhat empty inside.  This emptiness comes from lack of adventure and hard blue collar work.  This is were bigger routes with big approaches come in to pack my body full of satisfaction.

The amazing 5.9 intro pitch with perfect patina climbing (photo Andrew Burr)

Some good friends of mine aided the Wonderwall a while back and had great things to say about the rock quality and they were also optimistic about the route going free.  I decided to check the line out so I rapped into the wall and was blown away by the aesthetic nature of the line and the amount of orange lichen.  Being so smittened by the line I went right to work scrubbing the wall and forgot about how strong the alpine sun is on your skin.  I turned into a tomato with blisters but the line was clean and ready to be worked out.  After a few more trips up to Lone Peak the route began to come together and I was ready to lead the line.  There was however, one major issue, the line is a seem in many parts and lacks the ability to place any gear.

The technical stemming begins on the 5.11+ second pitch (photo Andrew Burr)

After talking to some of the other locals I decided to try to hammer in a pecker.  Tommy Caldwell does it on El Cap so what the hell I should be fine.  That night it rained buckets but we woke up to a beautiful morning so I went for it anyway.  The first two pitches are incredible climbing and make for a great warm up and I was psyched up and ready to crush.  working my way up to the first crux I took some deep breaths clipped the pecker, grabbed the crimp, brought my foot up to the smear and then I was flying through the air along with the crimp.  "F**k", I screamed as I was sure the route would be close to imposible now but the pecker held and looked good.  I looked down at Ari and said "this pecker is a bolt." After recomposing myself and coming to terms with what had happend I began to try and suss out a new sequence and with some feet you need a magnifying glass to see I was able to find another way.  I had fallen on the pecker repeatedly at this point and decided to do the section one more time and fell and before I knew it I was standing besides Ari, my belayer.

Me and Rob taking a breather before the crux (photo Andrew Burr)

"I guess peckers are not bolts", I said to Ari and started laughing.  Ari and I climbed to the summit and called it a day.  It was back to the drawing board with the question of gear and I decided to try out knife blades instead.  Another hike up the hill by myself, although, time spent by myself helps to clarify what truly makes me happy in life.  The next day I rapped into the Wonderwall took special care to make sure that every knife blade was placed perfect and hammered until it sang like a bird.  Then I began to perfect my beta and was able to send the line on minitraxion twice in two days.  I knew it was time to give this beast another go.

Getting partners to hike 5 miles with 5,500 ft. of elevation gain is quite hard and a week passed with people bailing on me.   My good luck charm belayer Rob Duncan was up for going last weekend.   With a not so wonderful 5 a.m. wake up to beat the sun we got started and were below the crux pitch by 8 a.m.  This gave me 2 hours to try the pitch before it was in the sun.  My first go was good but my body was not in the right position for the balancy crux move.  The second go I felt great, although I missed the foothold.  The third go I felt extremely solid and was climbing well my body position was perfect and I nailed the desperate foot move and rocked my way up to success to the crimp.  I made sure to take my time at the rest and then blast through the remaining technical climbing to the top of the pitch where I gained the enormous smile that I still have.

I decided to name the free line Wonderboy 5.13c hahaha

(photo Andrew Burr)

Summit shot (photo Andrew Burr)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Summer Fun!

Summer is a bit of a double edged sword in SLC and many other places as well.  With the better weather comes the heat and forces us to suck it up and enjoy climbing for the movement and try and be less fickle about "perfect temps."  These are the reasons that SLC climbers gravite towards Maple Canyon in the heat of the summer.   Maple offers climbable temps and fun movement PEROID and that is how you have to think of it.  After two weekends of the Pipe Dream I was over the crowds and I sent Millennium so I was happy to move on.  The Compound is a great cliff that is a bit of a hybrid between Box Canyon and the Pipe Dream with many hard routes that are mostly nails hard for the grade.  It is quite refreshing after the fluff of the Pipe Dream.  The grades rage from about 5.11d to 13d and some red tags(boo).  

It was great climbing with John Starr, Kristin, Clay, Rosie, Reid, Ann, Lief, Lindsey, and Kim for a few weeks.  In the end I managed to do most of the routes there and had a great time.

Hanging out till the sun leaves the cliff.  AHHH sport climbing laziness 
Breakfast of Champions

Clay trying to make the "Fat Laydy Sing" one of the best 13c's in Maple
More of the Fat Lady
Starr on another incredible 13c TSS

After weeks at Maple I was ready for some adventure and Lone Peak was just becoming climbable.  This was due to the Wasatch having a record snow fall and delayed the normal access to the area by about a month.  The first day up I humped a load of about 70 pounds up the 5,500 feet of elevation gain and it was a total bone crusher.  It probably did not help that I left the trailhead at 9:30 P.M. (I am an IDIOT!)  The next day I ran into my friend Ari and I was able to get the second ascent of Jonathan Knights route.  It is great with very technical climbing that requires perfect body positioning and a cool head to say the least at 5.13a.  Ari also had some good burnes and will do it soon I am sure.  I then went to work on a line in the middle of the question mark route and JK route.  This thing is MEGA just under vert climbing and will be the hardest route I have done if I can put it together.

The following day I raped into the Wonder Wall that is a classic aid line that goes at A3.  I worked out the moves and I hope I can put it all together this weekend!  Psyched!!!!!

 The pig Argggg!
 Pretty lights
 Boosting moral or attempting to on the brutal approach 
 Finally sleep or not since I got eaten alive by mosquitoes 
 There she is

 Ari on JK Route, Oh and is that old school trad master top ropeing?  just kidding Ari
The Wonder Wall A3 and soon to be FREEEEEE (I hope)
 Some people crushing the Undone Book
 Not a bad view eh?

 Chilling on the bad ass ledge of the Wonder Wall
 Some of my good friends came up to summit and I  hung a rope so they could try get a tast of the best granite in the Wasatch. 

Some frisbee fun!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lunar X Free 5.13 FFA

Being in school  has forced me to stay more local with my climbing, which I am fine with.  I live 4.5 hours from Zion and have not climbed there much at all.  During spring break I was psyched to start looking for new free routes and the first one I rapped seemed like it would go.  I spent the next few days mini traxioning the line and fell in love with this route.  The meat of the route is in three pitches, the 1st being a boulder problem traverse pitch, 2nd a beautiful splitter that involves tight fingers, fingers, and some powerful face climbing as well,  the 3rd hard pitch is a twin seem that takes small gear and is mostly face climbing with a few finger locks.  

Putting in my first bolt!
The traversing boulder problem pitch that allows access to the amazing crux pitch
Giving'er on the boulder problem
Up high on the crux pitch
Starting off on the final 5.13 pitch

The season in Zion was less than desirable for the reason of VERY sporadic weather for instance one weekend I rapped into the route and was caught in a blizzard.  By the time I jugged out there was 4 inches of snow on the ground.  The following weekend the high was 86 degrees.  
The weather coming in

Last Saturday was great though with a high of 70 and cloudy (this route gets a lot of sun so clouds=good) everything was lined up to send.  After warming up I took one burn and fell then rested and fired it off.  The next pitch went easier than expected but the gear is a bit tricky.  After doing these pitches I was overwhelmed with joy I thought it was just going to be a joy ride to the top.  WRONG, the upper pitches were very sandy and I had not done them before. Even though they were moderate the gear is not great and it is certainly run out!  On the last pitch I thought I would take the overhanging obvious finish that looked super classic but it turned out to be a sandy mess. I broke a large hold off that caused me to fall and I just wanted to be done.  After that I was over it and just wanted to finish this beast off!  I climbed the regular finish (a different variation) and again it was SO sandy.  There was one finger lock that took multiple up and down climbs to commit to.  Once I finally committed my hand popped out and next thing I knew I was hanging upside down and my heal was throbbing like it was hit with a sludge hammer.  It took me some time to realize I had fallen and hit the ledge below me.  At this point I was getting mad and took some time to compose myself and then finished it off.  With a huge relief to just be on top and finished with an amazing route felt incredible. This is the first time I have established a FFA and what a route to do it on.  This has been a huge learning experience for me and I can not wait to keep looking for new lines.  This was not a one day ascent but for the reason that the rock quality on the lower pitches that deviate from the original aid line are very loose I was not psyched on climbing them again.  Climbing is something I do for fun and if I know I will not be having fun I don't see the point.  Please dont let the less than desirable pitches deter you from doing this route because the crux pitches are INCREDIBLE!  I have to thank Sterling for the static lines that made it possible for me to work this route and of course the nano for the sending line, La Sportiva for the best shoes, Black Diamond for incredible equipment, and last but certainly not least all of my friends who helped me out with this route.  Thank you so very much you are all the BEST!!!  

Photos courtesy of Jeremiah Watt

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

This is AMAZING!!!!!

This cracked me up if you have not seen this give it a shot.

Friday, February 25, 2011

WOW its been A WHILE

It has been so long since my last update that I have decided to just post a bunch of pictures from Thanksgiving to now. So here we go...

Thanksgiving line up

 My aunts and mom with their bump its putting Snookie to shame
 I guess its time to leave the Red
 In Chatty its cold..This is our attempt to melt our water

 Space slab is so classic and fun
we accidentally went to a gay bar and they had a drag contest so AMAZING

 went crag checking on a snowy day looked sick

 Little rock city

 Ouray for the ice fest
 Damn good breakfast and cheap
 Ribbon solo was sick and sooo fat

 Bird brain boulevard with Hayden.  It was a great day with a good friend in the mountains. 

 Da comp
 These guys were fucking bad ass.  They were pouring Macallan 12 yr. in their beer all night.  They even gave us some, thanks guys loved it.
 one hell of a chocolate shop

 Packing for Iceland!!! Burr giving peter what peter want
 Cant leave without the PINK
 Peter just realized he left his computer...Shhhhhit
 Load em up boys
 Flight numbero uno
 Some shut eye for the Greek
 A cool mirror in Baaaaston
 We missed our flight and Andy is PSYCHED!
 At least we each got our own baller hotel rooms
 Oh and a comped dinner
 finally we are in Iceland
 rallying the rental

 hiking up to do some dry tooling with water pouring down on us

 Thats WEIRD
 A geyser
 this thing freezes oh what could have been
 a cool deal by our hotel
 drying our stuff
 No ice so lets Party

 MMMM what to choose

 a cool shipyard

 best part of the trip
 going hot tubbing

Peter got a ticket there goes $300 pay on the spot
How the fuck do I say that (its a national park)
cool icebergs  

 right before this shot a wave came in and almost took me out

 the peak we could have climbed looks sick

 a 40 dollar hot tub
 Superbowl pre game party BBQ on the GWI

get that beer up here boy

I have been doing a lot of bouldering and power training in the gym lately.  Its been years since I have tried to gain some power so I am psyched to be making some gains but Zion is on my mind.  It is so close and with being in school it is the best option for me.  Unfortunately the weather has sucked ass the last few weekends so I have not been able to make it down yet but I hope to soon.  I have some cool ideas if the weather shapes up.