Thursday, March 27, 2008

Evil Empire (v6/7?) on Solitaire Boulder

Charlie Barrett has climbed a project on the Solitaire Boulder to produce what he has named Evil Empire (at around v6/7). The Solitaire Boulder is out toward Dale's Camp, past the Painted Cave Area, approached either from Dale's, or from the same parking as the approach to The Checkerboard Area. The problem is listed in the guidebook on page 264 (project #2).

"The climb has some really nice movement," says Charlie. "You start on a nice rail about 4 feet off the ground make two moves to nice edges then dyno for the good edge about 5 feet up, then up on some cool slopers and edges to a hard move out left followed by a big high step onto the edge you dynoed for and stand up to a big dyorite knob on top."

The problem required a lot of cleaning, but is now, apparently, well worth checking out!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Painful v9/10 project climbed on the Fly Boy Boulder

Listed as a project in the guidebook, page 195, #17, is this line, which starts as for Haroun and the Sea of Stories, but climbs rightward and out the roof, per Bulging Grain (v7) and then right again along the lip of the boulder to finish on a blunt rib: a long and sustained problem in fact. It would be an amazing counterpart to Haroun if only it were more skin-friendly, but sadly it's extremely rough. It's been something I have thought of doing, and maybe someone has even done it before (?), but it was definitely climbed by Gabriele Moroni yesterday. He suggested it was about v9, though his compatriot friend said, "Maybe ... but it's harder than Haroun ..." so perhaps it's more like a v10, or so: Haroun is not as hard as originally thought and is definitely not the v12 given in the guide, but v9? That's going a bit too far. The once-project gets a lot of sun, so if you have rhino skin and can wait until evening to give it a go, let me know what you think.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Gabriele Moroni repeats Mandala Sit Start (v14)

Today "Gabry" Moroni repeated the sit start to The Mandala. If you see a shortish, very red-haired Italian looking very strong out climbing, it's probably Gabriele Moroni. Or are there a lot of super-strong bright-red-haired Italians? Crimping is his specialty, and so the Mandala Sit Start felt okay for him, he says. Then again, he feels all the crimpy things he's done are pretty straightforward, including Direction and The Mystery. Don't you just hate that? He is only around for a couple more days, so it's hard to say if he'll get a chance to try any of the other top-level testpieces of the area. There is a lot of snow on the approach to The Swarm (v14), so if he doesn't get out to try that, maybe he'll come back another time ...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Pics of Magnetic North (v8/9?)

Here are a couple of pics of Jeff Sillcox on this line, mentioned earlier on this blog. It provides some really cool moves on great rock despite looking slightly contrived. Kinda harder, higher version of High Plains Drifter ... It's really good.

The first pic shows the small right hand crimp that is the key to this problem. Gain this with a pretty hard move out right with poor footholds fairly low.

This second pic shows the pull through from the key right crimp using a high left heel. This is a scary and hard pull. Jeff's left hand is on a slopey intermediate which is useful to gain height before grabbing the good patina above.

Thanks to Matt Birch for the images!