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'.