Sunday, December 14, 2008

Day Trip To Moab

I've hardly been able to do any climbing since I got back to Telluride from New York. I made it out for one spectacular day about a week before Thanksgiving. Since then I've been on the snow every day for almost three weeks straight. I finally got a day off on Friday and the weather, while not the bluebird day that was promised, was nice enough to allow my friend Lexi and I to make it out to Moab for a fun day of bouldering.

Here are some pics of Lexi tearing it up: 1-Lexi sticking the initial crimp on 'BBB-4' (V1). 2-Lexi making progress on an unnamed V1. 3-Lexi scoping for holds on 'Right Exit' (V1).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Long Island Bouldering- Cutchogue & Greenport

Today, I headed to a great collection of boulders in the Cutchogue area. I had been eyeing two lines on a large block there since last fall. Unfortunately, the base of this boulder is covered with water except for a half an hour or so on either side of low tide. Consequently, I had to wait for a day when the tide schedule worked for me.

This gorgeous piece of rock is one of the tallest and best boulders on Long Island. There are two great lines with potential for maybe one or two hard variations. I would recommend bringing a wire brush for cleaning barnacles off the bottom footholds and an extension ladder for getting off the boulder as the two climbs are difficult to reverse, and the easiest downclimbs require a jump into the water to finish them off. I suppose that could be fun on a hot day. Just watch out for rocks hidden in the water below. I would love to have some pictures of me on these problems but I was flying solo on this day.

I'm not sure if these problems have been climbed before. I've named them for fun, not out of disrespect. As for the grades, how wet the lower feet are is an important factor, so the grades are just guesses. Here are some pictures and descriptions:

(below) 'Golden' (V1/2) This is a proud line up the obvious weakness on the main face. Start low on the right side of the lowest horizontal. Follow it left and then up on good edges, crimps and sidepulls to an airy but fairly easy top out. The base of this problem changes with the movement of sand each winter. As of right now, it is dry at the start, but once you traverse left you are over shallow water. It can be protected with pads, as long as you don't mind them getting wet. The best conditions would be a full or new moon low tide with an offshore breeze. In that situation, the base might be completely dry. The landing could probably be filled in to make it drier with a little work.

(below) 'Each Wave That Breaks' (V3/4) This is another proud line. The lowest foot is often wet but not critical. Start matched on a two hand sloped edge at 6-7 feet. Stab for the sloping crescent hold up and right. Step on a high right foot, match hands, and pull a powerful move to a good jug. From here, good footwork and crimps lead to a relatively easy but exciting finish. The base of this problem is entirely dry at low tide.

(below) This pic shows 'Golden' on the left and 'Each Wave That Breaks' on the right.
After climbing in Cutchogue a bit, I headed a little farther east to Greenport and spent a few hours messing around on the Sound Road Boulder (first picture below) and the Rock Cove Boulder (second picture below). The Sound Road Boulder offers fun face and slab climbs mostly in the V0-V2 range, with a few harder lines. The Rock Cove Boulder has easy sit starts on its south face and, on the face pictured below, about six lines with difficult and tricky starts that lead to a large horizontal and easier climbing above.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Central Park Bouldering

I spent Sunday in New York City visiting Dasha. We decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and explore the boulders of Central Park. I have always intended to climb in the park, but the opportunity never really came up. Sunday was the perfect day to change that. We expected Rat Rock to be the busiest place (and it was, with around fifteen climbers hanging out) so we decided to head to Cat Rock for a more low key experience. We were the only climbers at Cat Rock, though many interested passersby came over to take a closer look at what we were up to. Overall, I was pretty impressed with the quality of the climbing, and the rock. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to climb there more in the future.

Some pics: (above) The posh hotels of Central Park South loom in the background as Dasha cruises a super easy warm up. (below) 1-Dasha Zamolodchikov claws her way up 'Cat Crack' (V0-). 2-Christian Prellwitz setting up for the last move of 'Fancy Feast' (V3).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Long Island Bouldering- Wildwood State Park

After having a great time in East Marion on Saturday, Dasha and I enjoyed a lazy Sunday morning, lingering over breakfast and taking a nice boat ride to Great Gun Beach. We decided to head to Wildwood State Park for some climbing before Dasha had to retreat back to the city. Wildwood is a beautiful park, especially this time of year when the crowds have thinned out and the leaves are changing color.

There are two distinct bouldering areas. The Beach Boulders offer maybe a dozen problems with most of them being either fairly easy or fairly hard. The Bluff Boulders offer around 15-20 problems, most of them concentrated on one large boulder, with two smaller blocks adding a few lines. Of the two, the Bluff Boulders are the more frequently visited and this is where Dasha and I chose to spend the afternoon. An enjoyable twenty minute hike through stands of elm, oak, maple, sassafras and beech deposits you at the top of a short, steep trail down to the boulders.

The pics: (above) Dasha Zamolodchikov sticking the crux sloper on 'Kash Size' V1+ (below) 1-Dasha using her own unique beta on 'Crescent Moon' (V0+). 2-Christian Prellwitz midway through 'Agoraphobia' (V2). 3-Christian moving through the opening sequence of 'Blunt' (V2). 4-A sunset pose.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Long Island Bouldering- East Marion

Dasha came out to visit me this weekend. We drove straight from the train station on Friday out to the North Fork, stopping along the way to grab some fresh picked apples and sugar donuts at Wickham's Farm in Cutchogue, before finally reaching our destination- East Marion. This town, located only a few miles from the easternmost point on the North Fork, is home to some of the best bouldering on Long Island. Scattered about a mile long stretch of beach at the end of Rocky Point Road are numerous boulders of all sizes. Most are too small to climb, but eight or so of the blocks offer up high quality problems from one move wonders to sketchy highballs. With about two to three dozen independent lines, and countless variations and eliminates, this dense grouping of blocks is regarded by many as the epicenter of Long Island bouldering. Sandy landings and the constant hum of waves add to the experience.

The pics: (above) Dasha Zamolodchikov on the starting moves of an amazing unnamed V1. (below) 1-The serenity of East Marion bouldering. Dasha Zamolodchikov on an unnamed V2. 2-Dasha toeing into the crux high step move on an unnamed V2. 3-Dasha displays her battle wounds. 4-Christian Prellwitz provides a different perspective on a classic problem.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Short Trip To The Gunks

Dasha and I were able to make it up to the Gunks recently for a couple days of bouldering. We forgot to grab the camera from the car on the first day so we only have a few worthwhile pictures. It was great getting to climb again with Dasha- her grace always inspires me. The weather was fantastic and the fall foliage was beautiful. Hopefully, the pictures give some sense of that.

1-Dasha Zamolodchikov eyeing her nemesis problem, the 'Dislocator Roof' (V2) at the Trapps. 2-Dasha pulling through the opening moves of 'Clune's Crank' (V1). 3-Dasha positioned well on the final two crimps of 'Clune's Crank'. All that's left is one big move to the top! 4-Christian Prellwitz on the 'Black Box Boulder Problem' (V5). Sorry for the blurry picture! Dasha was shooting in auto mode and I forgot to tell her to switch the lens from manual to auto focus. This problem is so beautiful that I thought it was worth putting a blurry picture up.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cathedral Ledge

Recently, my friend Jared Vilhauer came out from Telluride to visit me. We spent most of the 11 days he was here exploring the diversity of rock in the Northeast. From the perfect granite slabs of Cathedral Ledge, to the steep schist of Rumney, the alpine environment of Cannon and the juggy roofs of the Gunks, we saw a little bit of it all. Jared has most of the pics on his camera as it's size and weight made it the better choice for the multi pitch climbing we were doing. Here are a few I took on our first day at Cathedral Ledge.

1-Jared about to start up the great second pitch of 'Bombardment' (5.8). 2-Jared starting the second rappel after climbing 'Book of Solemnity' (5.10a).

Friday, October 3, 2008

One From The Tree House

It's been a while since I've posted. I am back on Long Island now and while I have gone climbing several times, I have been alone each time. Consequently, I have no pics. My policy is 'no pics, no post'. However, Damon Johnston just sent me a picture that he took of me climbing at the Tree House Boulders. This fun problem does not have a name yet but it is located just to the right of the problem Damon is climbing in my previous post. For more cool photos, check out Damon's blog.

It will be a while before I post again but when I do I should have plenty of pics. My friend Jared Vilhauer is flying here on Friday from Colorado and we are going to be spending 10 days climbing all throughout the Northeast. Plans include Cathedral Ledge, Whitehorse Ledge, Cannon Cliff, the Gunks, Rumney and several bouldering areas. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we'll have lots of great pics to share!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall Days

Fall has arrived in the San Juans. It is an ephemeral moment in the mountains. Maybe a month, maybe six weeks and then gone, lost in the chill and falling snow of winter. The aspens turn yellow, the Gambel oak burns red, and somewhere out in the forest Dakota sandstone blocks are colored white with chalk. The days are cool and crisp and the air is heavy with the promise of problems yet to be climbed, projects that will yield themselves on these low gravity days.

Some recent pics:
1-Damon Johnston flowing through the stellar moves of 'Woodsy Way' on yet another new boulder at the Tree House. 2-Damon finishing up. Just high enough to make you think. 3-Damon Johnston on an amazing project. There is a harder start that traverses into this problem on incredibly powerful moves. 4-Lexi Tuddenham crimping hard on the short, but tricky 'Scotty's Problem'.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Few Routes From Cracked Canyon

On Thursday, I met up with two friends- Jared Vilhauer and John Sturdevant for a short day of climbing in Cracked Canyon. Now, I don't spend that much time on a rope in a year, and I certainly don't spend much time climbing cracks, but for these two guys I was willing to make an exception. Jared was my first climbing partner in Telluride and we've been climbing together off and on for the last six years. We couldn't be more different when it comes to what inspires us climbing wise, but we always find a way to compromise. I'll do multipitch routes with him and he'll come climb the small blocks with me. I've known Sturdy for as long as I've known Jared and he's always a welcome companion on any trip. It was a super fun day. The routes were great and the weather was nice. Most importantly, I was climbing with friends, and that makes any day worthwhile.

Here are a few pics from the day. 1-Jared Vilhauer getting started on 'Orange Peel' (5.10). 2-Jared looking silky smooth on the middle section of 'Orange Peel'. 3-John Sturdevant nearing the end of his lead of 'Round The Corner' (5.7). This route has a tricky move halfway up the route, and Sturdy did it proud. Nice job!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Reel Rock Comes To Telluride

Last night, the Reel Rock Tour came to Telluride. The Sheridan Opera House was packed with people psyched on seeing the latest and greatest climbing films. The Tour did not disappoint. First, there were some great shorts- 'The Readiness Is All' was my favorite. The Big Up Dosage from Rocklands was amazing. The boulders are super aesthetic, and the climbing was inspiring. The feature film- First Ascent- was shot in beautiful HD and the landscapes were amazing. Props go to local Jim Hurst, who shot some of the best footage of the whole evening, in particular Dean Potter BASE-soloing the north face of the Eiger.

Damon and I did a little book signing before the show, and participated in the giveaway at intermission with tour organizer Peter Mortimer. We gave away some copies of our books, as well as some chalk bags and chalk buckets that Josh from Organic Climbing was nice enough to donate. Local shop Jagged Edge also gave away a number of items. Overall, it was a fun event and everyone left the theater stoked on climbing.

(below) Dasha Zamolodchikov working through the tricky opening moves of 'Frogger' on the Road Boulder at Ilium.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Quick Trip To Joe's Valley

It feels great to be climbing again. It's such a joy to feel rock in my hands after being unable to for two and a half months. I've been taking it slowly, climbing some of my favorite problems at Ilium and the Mine Boulders, and playing around on some of the new problems up at Eider Creek. Now that I'm closer to 100% and heading back to New York in a little under two weeks, I decided it would be fun to head somewhere other than Telluride to climb for a few days. Joe's Valley is only about four hours away and has some of the best bouldering in the country so it was a logical choice for a quick excursion. My friend Lexi Tuddenham joined me for the trip and we had a wonderful few days, enjoying very pleasant temperatures and encountering very few climbers- a rarity for Joe's Valley. Here are some pics. 1-Lexi Tuddenham pulling through the abundant jugs of 'Warm Me Up Scotty' (V1). 2-Lexi squirming her way through 'Scuzlocks' (V-funny). 3-Christian Prellwitz groping for friction on the slopey crux of 'Filla Void' (V6). 4-The sun sets on another beautiful day at Joe's Valley.

More From The Tree House

Here are a few more photos from the Tree House Boulders, courtesy of Damon Johnston.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Telluride Bouldering Revival

No, this is not the name of the headlining band at this year's Blues & Brews Festival. It's simply the best way that I can describe what's going on with Telluride bouldering right now. The quality of the boulders being uncovered in the Eider Creek area is phenomenal, and it seems like there are plenty more yet to be discovered. A large crew of climbers spent this past weekend up at the Tree House Boulders, cleaning and clearing a number of new problems. Here are some of the gems that were unearthed this weekend. 1-Jim Hurst is manly enough to wear a pink shirt. Is he manly enough to conquer 'Andy's Anal Tricks'? 2-There's no admission fee for this gun show. Scotty Michels powers through a difficult section on a still unclimbed line. 3-The Tree House looms in the background as Scotty Michels revels in the celebrity treatment on the 'Cheeseburger Arete'.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Few More From Eider Creek

Damon Johnston, Jim Hurst, Daiva Chesonis and I headed out to Eider Creek again yesterday to climb some more problems and explore a little bit more. Jim found some incredible new boulders just a few minutes uphill from the Tree House. The new route potential here is amazing. We're all super excited to spend more time here this fall. Here's Jim and Damon on two of the great new problems in the area.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Telluride Bouldering Guide

I wanted to take a moment to be selfishly promotional and tell you about the new Telluride bouldering guide. This is the first time that anyone has documented the bouldering in the Telluride & West End areas. Detailed information is provided for a lot of the well known spots like Ilium, the Mine Boulders and Atomic Energy. There are also many new excellent locations that are revealed for the first time.

The book is available in Telluride at Paragon Sports, Jagged Edge and Between The Covers. It is available regionally in the Four Corners area at all climbing shops and many other outdoor/book stores. It is also available at climbing shops in the Salt Lake City and Denver/Boulder areas. You can buy it online here.

So, thanks for your support! It's good to keep in mind that most of us local guidebook authors are not becoming wealthy from the sales. If anything, we use the minimal amount of money that we make to continue to develop new climbing areas. Your support helps us provide more climbing for you! I hope that all of you who purchase the book thoroughly enjoy it! Feel free to give me feedback regarding the book- grades, star ratings, directions, overall enjoyment, etc.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Eider Creek Boulders

It's been a wonderful last few weeks for Telluride bouldering. First, the discovery of the South Fork Boulders and now development has begun on the Eider Creek Boulders. This new area is outstanding. Amazing problems on amazing rock. You will be hearing a whole lot more about this area over the next few weeks.

In addition to developing these two new areas, I am continuing to explore some other promising spots, namely the east end of the Telluride valley, and some locations around Ophir. The bouldering in the Telluride area is anything but tapped out.

Here's some pictures from the Tree House Boulders at Eider Creek. Damon Johnston climbing a great line on an amazing boulder.