Monday, March 5, 2012

New Vegas Boulders

As I mentioned in my last post, I had more climbing related stuff to blog about.  I wanted to get video of a fun new problem, Normal Dream v8/9, which I did a little while back with Ben Spannuth.  Also, I wanted to do a post about new boulders in general.  So yesterday, I got out to Black Velvet again, and got Normal Dream footage.  Dave Heerema also nabbed the 3rd ascent, after a very impressive first day in BV, doing Wet Dream Right v11, Fountainhead v9, and getting close on the sit, Atlas Shrugged v12.  All of this after doing Lethal Design v12, the previous day.  Nice work Dave!

I also gave a good effort on Atlas Shrugged, falling off the lip!  Atlas is an amazing boulder problem, one of the best in Red Rocks.  It adds some steep compression moves to the already high quality and stout Fountainhead.  Without a doubt, I'll be back to finish it up.  Just have to give the elbows a few days off from all that squeezing.

Wet Dream is also coming along, but it is so very very hard for me.  I've put in so many days already, and I'm honestly not sure I'll be able to do it before heading back to Colorado around the end of the month.  Why put so much effort into a hard problem which doesn't suit me?  Take one look and the answer to that question should be clear.  In my opinion, Wet Dream is hands down, the best boulder problem in Red Rocks, and one of the best I have seen anywhere.  So check it out!

Mixing up days trying hard things, I've also spent some time hiking around looking for and climbing new things.  It may come as no surprise, but there are still plenty of new boulders to be done around Red Rocks, and even at Kraft.  Just get out there at look.  If you don't like to hike, just check out some of the projects in Tom's guidebook.  That thing is a guide to the past and the future.

So now, after this post got hijacked by recent events at Black Velvet, we get to the video I threw together of some new boulders at Kraft and one at BV.  Sorry about the lack of video editing in my videos recently.  Editing is very time consuming, and I have plenty of other time consuming things to work on...

The first 3 boulders are on the backside at Kraft. Hike over the saddle, follow the trail till shortly after it splits. There is a black overhanging wall on the side of the cliff, visible from the trail. The project is closer to the wash, in the small cluster of large boulders.  I'm not sure if its possible.  Normal Dream is at Black Velvet Canyon. Project on p91, #38 of Tom's Guidebook.

Boulders in order. Grades are estimates.
Black Wall Right v9
Black Wall Left v7
Normal Dream, v9.

And another from a while back, also at Kraft.  Hovercraft Full of Eels, about v5.

This problem is on a plateau on the swirly cliff, in the Kraft wash (gateway canyon). Hike around back of the cliff and then cut in where you can. it's a red bulged visible from above.  If the name confuses you.  Google is your friend.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Another Winter in Vegas

Winter is nearly over, and I haven't written anything since the fall.  I've been busy and haven't had anything I really felt like sharing.  Since leaving Colorado, after finishing up work around the end of November, I made my way once more to Las Vegas.  My Mom lives in Vegas, but probably not for much longer, so it seemed like a good idea to spend another (perhaps last for a while) season climbing at Red Rocks.

Spending time in Vegas has given me a little extra time, which I have put to good use.  As some of you may know, I'm a software engineer, and I have started writing apps for mobile phones running android.  I just finished my first app, which is a weather app.  It's not exactly designed for climbers, but I was definitely trying to create the app that I would want as a climber.

When I look at the weather before going climbing, I like to use NOAA point forecasts like this to get the weather for Lincoln Lake (for example), not the weather for Idaho Springs, or Denver.  This is exactly how my weather app get its data.  With the app though, you don't have to scroll around the map looking for the remote area you want a forecast for, since smart phones can pull down your location from GPS, cell towers, or WiFi.  Also, you can load up the radar, and spot any nearby storms in the area before they come flying in over the ridge-line.  Beats the normal 3 seconds you get to gather pads and take shelter from the rain, hail, and lighting!  I wonder if you get cell service on Longs?

So that's my plug, if you have an android phone, check it out.  "Weather Here" on the Android Market.  There are free and paid versions.  If you find it useful, please leave a high rating in the app store.  Sorry if you have an IPhone, maybe I'll be able to port it over at some point.

I should have some more material to post on Red Rocks soon, but for now I leave you with just a few photos from the last months.

Hiking with Karma back over the saddle at Kraft, after a day of looking for new boulders.

Alex Johnson climbing Fear of a Black Hat v9 at Kraft.

Josh Muller giving some good efforts on Clockwork Orange v12, Kraft.

Julia Smith climbing Porkchop v2, Kraft Wash.  Probably the best easy problem in Red Rocks.  PORKCHOP!

Alex Johnson crushing Leathal Designs v12.  She did it so fast I didn't have time to get my camera out for any of the low moves!
And check out Ben Spannuth with a very impressive near flash of the same problem!