Thursday, July 31, 2008

Independence Pass, CO

Dasha and I made a trip to the Aspen area with my parents to see some parts of Colorado away from Telluride. While we were there, we were fortunate enough to climb for a few hours one of the afternoons. Obviously, I still can't climb due to my injury. But, I'm approaching the three week mark and my thumb is healing well. Only five more weeks to go!

Here are some pictures of Dasha on a few Independence Pass boulders. I wasn't overwhelmed by the bouldering. There is a lot of rock. Most of it is very featured. Maybe too featured. We didn't have a guidebook or much of a clue as to where we were going so we just hit up the most obvious spots. I'm sure there are plenty of goods hidden in the trees. I hope to make it back there some day, armed with a little bit more knowledge about the area.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Mine Boulders

We finally received a clear and sunny late afternoon/early evening yesterday. Dasha, Noah and I took advantage of it by heading to the Mine Boulders. We haven't spent much time there this summer, choosing to go to the Ilium Boulders or The Cove instead, but this place really is incredible. Tucked high into a steep mountain valley, surrounded by waterfalls, are some of the best boulders in the Telluride area. This is the place to go for steep Telluride bouldering. Only one wall is crazy overhung- the nearly horizontal east face of the Gym Boulder- but almost every boulder has at least one gently overhanging side. The Mine Boulders are deceptively pumpy. Before you know it your forearms are burning, and your last bit of strength is gone.

The conditions yesterday were spectacular. We met a number of nice people who were enjoying the guidebook and the sunny weather. Dasha and Noah climbed a bunch of problems. Here are a few of them: 1-Dasha pulling through the hard starting moves of 'Broken Ankle' V1+. The crux comes early, the anxiety comes later. 2-Noah Sheedy spotting Dasha on the incredibly pumpy 'Jug Traverse' V0+ (sandbagged).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Riverview Boulders

We've been getting a lot of afternoon rainstorms lately. This has forced Dasha and I to head a little further west to find dry boulders. Yesterday, Ilium and the Cove were both wet, so we kept driving all the way to the Riverview Boulders. This small, but quality area is located along Sanborn Park Road, a few tenths of a mile before the parking for the Clay Creek climbing area. A little further up the road are the Sanborn Park Boulders, another outstanding little spot.

These two areas are excellent for Norwood locals, or Telluride boulderers looking for a change of pace. They are dry most of the winter, and they are often dry and tolerable (as far as temperatures) during our typically stormy summer afternoons and evenings. If you're sick of the same old Telluride bouldering, this could be the ticket for you. Check out all the beta in the new guidebook- 'A Guide To Bouldering In The Telluride And West End Areas' by Christian Prellwitz. Here's a few pics of Dasha climbing a fun problem at the Granary section of the Riverview Boulders.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dreams Of Long Island Bouldering

Eight weeks. That's how long it will be until I climb again.

For those of you who don't know, I severely fractured my thumb while ski racing up on Mt. Hood. I will be having surgery on Friday to re-attach a large piece of bone to the rest of my thumb. I will be in a harder cast for two weeks, and then it will be a softer splint and physical therapy for six weeks.

Until then I can only dream of the places I'll visit, the problems I'll climb, and the way cold granite feels in my hand. Here's one of my dreams. A beautiful highball problem, located in Southold, Long Island.

It won't be super hard, the features are all there. It's just a super clean and aesthetic line. (The line climbs the left center of the overhanging side facing the beach.) Getting off will probably involve either a sketchy downclimb and jump, or a butt slide/jump into the shallow water off the backside. Either way, the problem can only be climbed within half an hour of maximum low tide. That is the only time the base of the problem is dry.

There are many other boulders with great problems in the area. But, this is the one I dream about as I count down the days until I will be able to climb again.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

One More From The Cove

Christian Prellwitz silhouetted against the sky on the awesome 'Pine Tree Left Arete' (V2+).

New Problems At The Cove

The Cove, located in San Miguel Canyon, is one of my favorite bouldering areas. It is not a big area, with only around 30 problems, but the rock is outstanding and the climbs are superb. Combine this with easy roadside access, close proximity to Telluride (20 minutes), mild temps that make it climbable year round and the fact that no one is ever there, and you have an area worth visiting. The potential for new problems at The Cove is fairly limited. However, there are some new problems that have been put up since the publication of the guidebook.

Here's a sampling: 1-Dasha Zamolodchikov on a new short, but stout V2 lay down start (with both hands starting matched in the crack under the roof) located between problems 5 and 6 in the guidebook. 2-Dasha Zamolodchikov on a new V0+ located across from problem 1. 3-Christian Prellwitz staring down the arete on the powerful start to 'Ashes to Ashes' (V4). 4-Christian Prellwitz sticking the lip on a tricky new V1 SDS on a small block to the left of problem 7.

Back From Mt. Hood

I'm back in Telluride- a month early. I severely fractured my thumb running GS and will most likely need to have surgery on it. As I wait to see how long I'll be out of commission, I thought I'd share some more photos of bouldering in the Telluride area. Some of these were featured in my book A Guide To Bouldering In The Telluride & West End Areas. This spring I wrote mainly about the new development going on at Ilium, but there are new problems going up at other areas as well. The Cove, located in San Miguel Canyon, has seen several new problems put up on high quality blocks in the past year. The east end of the Telluride valley, home to the Mine Boulders, is littered with dozens more beautiful boulders and will be the focal point of Telluride bouldering development in the coming years.

1-Scotty cruising up 'Itsy Bitsy Spider' (V7), one of the benchmark Telluride boulder problems. 2-Leah Boelman on 'Karma' (V3+) at the Mine Boulders.
3-Catherine Gilb looking smooth on 'Sometimes I Still Feel The Bruise' (V0).