Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tony's Dyno and more ...

Well, temps are improving and Rock Creek continues to give up its toughest lines to some determined efforts and the occasional snap ascent. Interesting news of note is Adam Thomason's second ascent of "Tony's Dyno" (v11?) on the Boy Named Sue Boulder a couple of days ago. This sweet problem diverges left from the classic little crimping number, The Fluke, and had not seen a repeat since France's accomplished mountaineering and ski guide Tony Lamiche quickly dispatched it back in October 2007.

Adam had abandoned trying the problem the way Tony had done it and opted for a variation: From the good crimp of The Fluke, he swung his left foot over far to the left to a tiny horizontal edge, and reached wide left to grab a micro sidepull before throwing and sticking the lip with his right hand. While I do remember Tony had considered this option when he did the line, he didn't pursue it for long. It seems to be at least as hard as the original method, though requiring very different technique/strength and perhaps a longer reach due to the wide spans.

The original method is from the good crimp of The Fluke to stall at a very poor left hand crimp/sloper, at the angle change just up and left, before pulling feet up and throwing again (left hand) for the top. I repeated the problem using this method yesterday and it was an amazing feeling to stick that crazy move. Here's a pic of Charlie giving it a go:

Charlie Barrett throws for the top on Tony's Dyno (original variation)

Also of note is Charlie Barrett's second ascent of The Harem (v9?)--which he flashed! (The problem is at the base of the talus, directly across, and a touch downstream from the Campground Boulder, and is the right arete of a small wall. It is slightly spoiled by having a tree very close plus a very long move, which combo has put off most suitors, though it is otherwise a fine compression problem with a really nice slopey arete for the right hand). Ian Cotter-Brown also made a very fast ascent of the River Face Arete (v10, see below), checking it off in just three goes.

Charlie again, this time flashing The Harem.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sit Down Dude ... And more ...

Charlie Barrett has added a sit start to the classic Rock Creek arete, Dude (v9). The first move with a very bad foot, a nubbin for the right hand, and the left hand on the slopey arete is the hardest--a quick move up to gain a flat crimp for the right. It makes the climb a lot longer and less of a trick. How hard is it? Well, who knows ... "It's something to play around on," says Charlie.

A couple other things of note are two lines I did on the back of the Batter Boulder about a week ago: This is the boulder that is just up and left from the boulder with Clearcut and Overzealous (the Talus Boulder, in the guide). First, I repeated The Batter Effect (v5/6), though I started from an obvious left hand horn/sidepull and right hand on a good sidepull around the same height. There really didn't seem space to start lower if you want a pad under you, though apparently it was done from a lower start originally by Jeff Sillcox and a grade or so harder.

Andrew Stevens on The Batter Effect

Then on the back of the boulder I did the jump-start arete at left (not too hard, but committing) and also a sweet little sit-start beginning at right (also committing, but harder--v6?? Really don't know). The latter crosses the slopers until you can swing out left, grab a sidepull and then roll into the good hold and then top out as for the jump-start--well worth doing, though some serious pad skills may be needed to avoid breaking your neck if you fall.

Begin right line with both hands on the lowest point of the rail