This weekend brought the close to SENDtember (September) and the opening of ROCKtober (October.) Which inherinetly means that conditions are going to be prime for climbing. In a normal world. As it is right now, here in Boulder, the winds are picking up, temperatures are dropping and the snow is starting to fall. Hopefully that white stuff stays in mountains for a while longer. But beware of avalanches. Heavy snuff this early is not a safe thing.
This last weekend was filled with lots of climbing as usual. Saturday I hit up the Lower Satelittes with Eric Schuler and Nicol Todd. 2 Boulder/Eldo Springs locals. It was a relaxing session and more meant as “rest” day amongst the boulders. We lapped the classic warm-up Ak-7, which provided ample time for me to take a few pictures of the line. It’s a great rail hand traverse and right leg heel hook thing with some long moves at the end. Super fun.
From there we fussed around with great V4 roof called Original Grapple or O.G. The landing is a bit sketch but protectable. Starts matched in a big jug, big move left to another sinker jug. Then you work intermediate crimps to the finish jug then top it out. Super classic and soon to be on my solo no pads circuit.
We were taking it easy Saturday because Sunday we headed to Lincoln Lake!!! Also known as Wolvo Land. What an area this is. Thousands of boulders sitting in a GINORNORMOUS talus field at bout 12,000 feet. ALPINE! The hike in has you descend roughly a 1,000 ft (save a Red Bull for the hike out and extra water at the car) towards a lake into the talus. Last summer saw insane amounts of development and put Lincoln on the map for hard bouldering. Something along the lines of having the highest concentration of V13 and harder problems.
We warmed up slow then walked over to a great problem FAed by Luke Parody called “Chalk on Rock.” Its a crimpy V8 testpeice with a dynamic move to a jug followed by a slopeyish topout. Classic. I watched a few people work it for a bit then gave it my all for the flash. I cruised the first few moves then hit the jug barely holding on and ended up pulling thru. And with no dab. This is sort of a low ball problem but still not to be missed.
From there we headed up the talus to Unshackled, V10. This problem is DOPE!!! It’s also basically the Iron Man of Lincoln Lake. Though just a tad harder. Or a lot harder actually.
Most of the group shoed up and gave the opening moves a few burns with super solid effort from Sarah and Eric Schultz. They have been working this problem for a while and were looking super strong. Again, I waited for a bit to watch others suss out the beta. Then I gave it a flash attempt. Having no expectations, I pulled on, made the first big move and then crimped my way along the rail finally falling on the exit moves. I seriously came within 2 or 3 moves of flashing this thing. I was super psyched and extremely impressed with the quality of the rock.
I then chilled for a bit (achy fingers) then tried to send it 2nd go but did worse then my first attempt. For the next hour I took solid rests in between redpoint burns but seemed to not be making anymore progress. On the 6th or 7th go I came very close but managed to pump off. By this point the rest of the group was about over it and it was just me left working this beast. We pulled some pads but left just enough were I was safe in the talus pit. After a brief walk I came back with a clear head and enough energy for 2 solid burns. The 1st got my to the lip, I toe hooked and twisted my hips but couldnt hold the swing. I thought for sure that was it and I had no more left. But, I wanted this thing and badly. At this point, some of the group had moved on and few straglers were debating on where to go next. I didnt waste anymore time resting and quickly chalked up and pulled on. Big move left to the first crimp, bare down, relax on the shoulders, toe in hard with the left and cross right under to the next crimp. Smear the top of the right foot as the right hand bares down and the left comes thru to not so good crimp. Shuffle feet, right hand bumps in to a good crimp and left reaches out to a finger jug. Walk feet thru then get a toe hook with the left foot way out on the lip. Twist hips, lock off HARD with the right hand and pull left to a good pinch. I’ve been here before I thought. But I’m still on! Squeeze everything, get the right foot up and bring the right hand to the lip. Traverse up a bit then mantle and BOOM!!! I had done it!!! My first V10 in a day and the ONE problem that I really wanted to do while I was here but was convinced that I wouldnt get to.
I let out way to many yells of joy and fist pumped like a gym tanned guido. But I didnt care, I was completely elated and out of breath. Psyched.
After this the group moved on and I packed up my video and photo gear. We hit up this great sharp and crimpy V3/4 which I dont know the name of. After a short while the weather folded. We hid in caves and ate the last of our food to lighten the loads for the grueling hike out.
This was the last day of the season and the roads were closed to the Mt Evans area that night. Wolvoland, I will be back.